The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
-Buechner

Monday, January 9, 2012

Objectively Updating

I realized recently while I'm sharing lots of what is taking place in this crazy journey of ours, I've neglected to post some "real" updates. You know, the kind you notice weekly (sometimes daily) regarding growth and change and all that fun kind of stuff. So, here we go. In point form so you don't lose interest and in hopes of my long-windedness not getting...well...just that.
  • When I picked her up in Ethiopia, Makeda's wee body weighed a whopping 8.2 kg and her legs curled under her as do those of a newly born babe. She had gained a mere 1.2 kg in a six month period (whilst in orphanages) and she maintained that for another month and a bit once home with us. Now, weighing much closer to 10kg, she not only mastered crawling Christmas Day, (prior to that for nearly a month it was the army crawl), she is making her way along furniture quite quickly and proving that when I tell her brother's to move their stuff, I am saying it not for nagging purposes.
  • She wore 3 - 6 month clothing and some of that was big. Her feet drowned in 6 month socks. She now boasts 12 - 18 month attire always and those 6 month sock are about to be consigned.
  • While she arrived home on Sept 24, Makeda didn't gain weight until sometime late November. I know this because at her specialist appt in late October she hadn't gained a single ounce. We also know the culprit of such weight maintenance (and not gain): Giardia. It's nasty. I can tell you this first hand because, well apparently we like to share in this house and Makeda shared nicely with me. She also came home with another rather serious "disease" which is now gone and for that we are thankful. If I could offer up a single piece of really good advise: immunize your family. That statement includes those who aren't traveling to Ethiopia but who will be in frequent, loving contact with your child. I don't feel I need to disclose what exactly she had but fortunately, we are happy to report she is completely happy and healthy - as are we.
  • She didn't have a single tooth when I brought her home at a day short of ten months. After her first tooth popped about ten weeks ago, she's cut another four. There's never been any complaints from her. Ever. Well, except for the diaper. Apparently she complains out the other end and while I would take this any day over sleepless nights and napless days, the cloth diapers (and wipes too!) can get rather rank. Not complaining'...just sayin'.
  • Makeda now signs..."all done", "more", "please" are all part of her repertoire of hand signs. They are the basics and we feel that with so much to teach, learn, and experience not only in the first year (plus) of life but also with so many other stimuli being thrown her way, these really are the only ones she needs to learn for now. She does, however, also love to blow kisses and wave hello/good-bye. She has acquired a few syllables used for specific people/puppy.
  • The girl has attitude. Not always but when she's seriously opposed to something and perhaps just a bit overtired she shares her pre-adolescent, perhaps genetic, most definitely female-estrogen induced attitude. Make no mistake.
  • There is no longer any food she will not eat. For awhile eggs seemed out of the question but once she turned one and we could feed her scrabbled eggs including both the yolk and the white, she proved to us that tastebuds do change and she was more than happy to chomp away.
  • Speaking of eating, she does that a lot. I often overlook the fact that she has a healthy appetite for a one year old. Currently favourites include sweet potatoes/butternut squash, hummus (homemade from either chickpeas or white kidney beans), plain (balkan!), whole yogurt, to name a few. Her favourite snacks could include homemade granola bars (recipe to follow very shortly) and bananas. She prefers savoury over sweet and this doesn't surprise us as the Ethiopian diet is definitely more of a spicy, flavour-filled one. She likely ingested such flavours in utero.
  • She's not had any illnesses other than the two she came home with in September. Healthy kid.
  • Though some days I forget and cannot believe she is one, she's proving daily that she truly does know exactly what is going on everywhere. This can now be understood when something is being taken away from her and she screams and cries in protest. Oh, that sad sad cry.
  • Jealousy. Truthfully, we have been so blessed. The only jealousy seen from her brothers is between the two of them when they are both vying for her attention. She was so long awaited that her brother's don't show an ounce of jealousy. We are so grateful. They are helpful and eager to play with her (most of the time...they are human after all) and help make her smile. They love to praise her when she reaches new milestones and do what they can when they are asked. It's incredible.
  • And, while my intention isn't to make it sound like everything is perfect (we are human after all), this journey - Makeda's coming home and integrating into our family - has been more seamless than we could ever have hoped or prayed for. Often it is as if she has always been here. And so, when she is reminding me at the top of her lungs, that she no longer wishes to be in the car, I have to in turn remind myself what a gift it is to listen to that scream...even if some days it takes everything in me not to return the favour at a pitch only dogs can hear.

All this in only three and a half months home.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I love hearing all these little everyday details!