So many of you have sent me messages this week wanting an update and between 12 suitcases of dirty laundry, soccer, football, 3 dental appointments, hair appointments, losing the dog, purchasing school supplies for six and MANY other things I haven't had a chance to blog until now. I am hopeful that when school starts I can blog every other day and so we will see how that pans out next week!
It is hard to believe that we have been home a week. In some ways it seems like yesterday yet I feel that Tia and Garrett have been part of our family forever. They both have fit so well into our family and for that we are so thankful. They both are so full of life, super busy, and into everything! I really feel that they are two year old's in six year old bodies as they explore their new world. Here are some neat highlights from the week:
When we drove home from the airport last Saturday Garrett said, "Dad, fast! No Police in America?" We were going about 60 miles an hour on the interstate and this was faster than he had ever traveled in a car (remember prior to being with us only one car ride in their life). We all laughed and explained that we do have police but in America cars travel much faster than in Ethiopia.
We arrived to our house and it was all smiles. They both saw the basketball goal in the driveway and got super excited. As we walked up on the porch they both were saying "Tulek (meaning big) house." We opened the front door and they both took off exploring. They were both running all around not sure where to go or what to do. It was a very tearful time for me knowing that I had prayed for so long to bring them HOME.
As a family we took them upstairs to show them their bedrooms. They both were so happy and loved the fact that they had a bed that was all theirs. They have been sharing bunks on a bunk bed with others and so a bunk alone made them overjoyed. When we entered the playroom they both laughed out loud. Tia went straight for the baby dolls and Garrett went to the matchbox cars. They were thrilled to have a place to play. The orphanage had one soccer ball that was shared by all and other than that no toys for kids their age.
They turned on every (and I mean every) light in the house and kept saying, "Power", each time they turned on a light. They had no power on the island and very unreliable power at the orphanage. You should have seen Garrett as he discovered the remote controlled ceiling fan and light in our family room. He turned it on and off at least one hundred times that first night.
Tia also really liked the bathrooms. She counted each of our 4 bathrooms and laughed harder with each one. She turned the water on and off in all 6 bathroom sinks. Something we take for granted each day yet for her it was amazing that she had six bathroom sinks to brush her teeth in when she has never even had one. Another thing she loved was the bathtub in my bathroom. She and Lindsay had so much fun splashing and playing while she enjoyed her first bath ever. The bubbles added to the fun and she didn't want to get out when it was bedtime.
Garrett loved the garage and all of the fun things that he found in there. He got out every ball he could find along with every bat, helmet, and frisbee and played with each one. He sat on every bike and pretended to ride each one. He is so active and I know that the garage and outside is where he will spend most of his time.
The kitchen was another favorite place that first night. They had never seen an oven (much less two) in the wall, a refrigerator with water and ice in the door, or a pantry full of food. They had fun exploring around the kitchen and enjoyed some bananas and blue berries while they took it all in. We have a built in desk in the kitchen with a computer on it and they both quickly found their way over to play on it. It was so cute seeing them see photos of our visit with them in November on the computer screen.
They both loved the basement and Garrett was amazed by the Wii. They both loved Megan and Kaylee's queen size beds and thought that it was funny that only one person slept in them. So many things we take for granted and they remind us that everything we have is a blessing!
Bedtime was so much fun that first night home even though we were all exhausted we got to tuck them both in, say prayers and praise God that He brought them home to us. They both were so excited to be in their own beds and both giggled as we tucked them in. Such a precious memory and reminder to us all that in God's perfect time He answers our prayers. God has been so good to our family!
Other quick highlights from our first week:
Our fridge is often a waterfall.....they love to watch the water pour out of the front and cascade down to a large puddle on the floor.
I have found the toaster oven on several times this week and now we unplug it after use.
I taught Garrett how to fill up his cup with water from the front of the fridge and you should have seen his face the first time ice came out instead of water. He thought that he had broken the fridge.
We went to a sports store to purchase cleats for soccer and this was their first real store experience. We walked up to the front of the store and they both couldn't believe that the doors were sliding open for them to walk in.
Garrett's eyes were huge as he walked into the sports store. He started jumping up and down with excitement. He couldn't believe that he was going to get to pick out some cleats for soccer. You should see the ones he picked...... the most shiny ones on the shelf.
Tia giggled with delight as she put on her pink cleats. She laughed really loud when David tried her shin guards on her. When it was time to pick out a soccer ball of course the bright pink one was hers!
Back to school shopping was also fun. Their first trip to Target- They couldn't believe that we were buying all of those school supplies (and neither could I)- Six kids equals tons of school supplies!
Tia went with me to get groceries at Walmart one day this week and I was so thankful that Megan was with us. She had never seen anything like Walmart and so everything she saw she wanted to touch and then she wanted to put in out cart. I have never said no so much in my entire life as in that one hour.
Garrett loves to know how things work and so the liquid hand soap pumps at our house made him very curious. He decided to take apart the one in our guest bathroom and while doing so the entire thing broke (I had refilled it less than an hour before). He decided that this was an emergency and so he carried the broken container all over the house until he found me as the soap spilled everywhere he was going. Have you ever tried to clean up liquid soap?
The large framed fabric in our living room was in the floor right before the younger three's first soccer practice on Thursday night. I couldn't figure out what had happened and then Garrett brought me his soccer ball and took my hand. He then took me in the living room and replayed for me what had happened.....he now understands not to play soccer in the house. I would love to have seen him when that huge thing fell down. I am sure he was scared to death!
Garrett found some green sunglasses (big and not real attractive) that were given to Lindsay by Dr. Massari-Wilson at her last dental appointment. He put them on last Saturday and would not take them off until we bought him a pair of Spider man sunglasses a few days later. He and Tia both love their sunglasses and have them on from early morning until bedtime.
Soccer Practice for Tia, Garrett and Lindsay was also a big hit this week. Garrett and Tia have never played soccer on grass only on concrete at the orphanage and so it was great to see how excited they were to play on a real field!
So many neat things this week but the neatest by far is at meal time.......Garrett always leads our family in thanking God for our food and each time I almost cry. I am so thankful that Garrett's heart is thankful to our Father- I can't wait until the day that all 6 of my kids have accepted Him. Praying daily for Tia and Garrett to quickly realize their need to trust Christ completely with their precious lives. Join me in praying for them! So much more to share...... off to see what they are into!