Thursday, October 24, 2013

My favorite words...

So after a few heavy blog posts I thought I needed to add a little humor to the blog that was started from a  Facebook post by a fellow adoptive mom. Below are a few of my favorite N-isms tht have been created when you have a thick accent, speak little English and have a 6/7/8 year old imagination...

I bring you Amheri-Enghaleish by our very own N

When we first came to America when you asked him " How are you?" His response... I am 7.... Yep- no English speaking here!

He calls PJ's ( get ready for it...)  BJ's. (try explaining that one! Especially at bedtime " Daddy, BJ time"- umm.....)

He calls The television TB.... "Mom, I tb time?"

One of his favorite things to do is to ride the four wheeler out and feed the deer with Gene, except it sounds like this...  "Dad. You go. Beer? Now Dad, on brrrrrr, foot, chom on"

His first week home when you introduced him to someone and you would tell him to say hello he would say  "I ah say, say Hello to teacher, hello" Then I would repeat, just sat hello N (to which he would respond)  "Mommy say, I ah say Hello Teacher? Hello teacher. "

About a month after we were home I took N to Meskerem Restaurant and when spoken to in Amharic he said  "I no no a- speak-ahs Amharic, Mom Engahalesih pees" says my fluent Amharic speaker to
an Ethiopian man!

When he heard a sounds in the woods...

N- "mom-monkey?" ( Walking towards the woods)
Me- "No honey, no monkeys in Missouri"
N -" Missirreeey Mom, no monkey? Giraffes mom?" (Still walking towards the sounds)
Me- " No honey, no monkeys or giraffes in Missouri "
N - " MOM- lion????( looking like- come on, at least that and still walking towards the sounds)
Me- " No N, no monkeys or giraffes or lions in Missouri"
N- "oh MOM oh my goodness...."

But then when in the park...

N- "Squirrel mom, knaww naw ww (pretends to bite his arm) oh my goodness, no no no Mom" *insert finger shaking* And he runs away! Apparently monkeys, giraffes and lions are not scary, but we better watch out for rate man eating squirrels :)

Fast forward on the remote is  "Tuk-a-Tuk-a"and the remote is "The Tuk-a-Tuk-a" 

Our latest word is "foddie".... It is a multi use word that can mean: eat, like to eat, don't like to eat, food, drink or anything related to food.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Seeing the light

   It has been almost a month since I have blogged but it feels like a year. So much she happened and changed in this month and we are finally beginning to see the light. Earlier this month we had some dark days. Our new son was really struggling with change and safety and we were having raw emotions flowing daily. His heart was hurting and this came out in control battles. We felt that for each time we made a step forward he took three steps back. His pouting went back to melt downs that lasted for thirty minutes to an hour over the simplest things. During his melt downs we saw such raw anger and pain that hurt down to the very core of our being. A rage/grief that comes out in full on screaming, hitting/kicking, scratching himself, throwing things. In these times we held him for safety and continued to show him unconditional love. When he was able to calm down and regulate his emotions we would use our words to talk about how he felt and he always wanted to hug and validate our love for him. After a very long weekend of this repeated cycle hours at a time Gene and I took out our Created to Connect book and my counseling skills and dug deep into how to really meet his needs. 

We decided to go back to cocooning basics like we did on day one. We found ourselves instead of thinking of N as a "typical" 7/8 year old boy we continued to remind ourselves how much he has endured and how much transition he is going through so we instead approach him how you would have with a toddler which is where he is emotionally anyway. We only went to the essential places like school and home and an hour of church. We kept him close to us at all times rather then play on his own. We practiced taking turns with the other children and continued to role play and practice social skills and the house cleaning and blogging went to the waist side. We made it a week and a half before having another full fledged melt down. 

                              Even with the emotional struggle- who does not just want to scoop up 
                                             this little man and giggle along with him! 
So now we are creating a new norm. Gene and I take turns as much as. We can with social events and if it is an absolute that we all must go then we have some basic interventions to help him during this transition time. I can only imagine how scary it must be for him to be in a place he has never seen only comprehending maybe 20% ( if that) of what is being said, surrounded by people that don't look or sound like him not fully understanding what is going to happen and when he is going back home because he has no frame of reference for activities. 

Even with these tools he still struggles. We had meltdowns today and yesterday but even still, they were shorter and less aggressive. What we are experiencing is completely normal adoption related trauma and grief that will become less as time goes on. Doesnt make it any easier but I have always wanted to give a genuine and honest account of our journey. One day at a time, one step at a time...