A very sincere apology for being absent for so long from this site! The end of the year swept me away and I am finally feeling like I am back. So...here we are...Noah has been home for 16 months now and as much as I hate using the phrase, "It's like we have always had him," I have to say it is so very true. The newness of an addition to the family has worn off, the blessed honeymoon period over, and the pulling up the shirt sleeves and getting down to business as far as discipline and expectations has begun. Somedays it is heartbreaking and somedays I have to pinch myself because I am so incredibly blessed to be able to call this little man my son.
Noah is half way through is second grade year. Every day he comes home full of excitement and stories of his classroom. I had to laugh right before Christmas break when he hopped into the car already explaining himself before I read the note from his teacher. Apparently he was swinging his book bag a little too enthusiastically when his class was singing Happy Trails (which in itself is so cool that 16 months ago he could hardly mutter a word in English and now he is singing in his perfect pitch Who cares about the clouds when we're together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather anyway... ) and "loudly" getting their stuffed packed up at the end of the day. He "bonked" Lily in the head with his bag which sent her into a fit of tears. When I asked Noah why he "bonked" Lily with his book bag, a quickly defended his actions by saying she was being too loud and it reminded him of when he herded goats in Ethiopia. He needed to gain control of the situation. He then added that Lily should be lucky he didn't have a stick. I dare you...truly...I dare you to try not to hold back a laugh when you see that sweet face and those beautiful brown eyes evoking his goat herding memories from his life in Ethiopia. I had to step out of the car...HE thought I was cooling my jets. : >)
We are still assessing Noah as far as his cognitive ability. His older brother Zak was adopted from China at about the same age. The timelines of their lives before they came to our family are very similar. So much has to be weighed into brain development when the first 7 years of life are a mystery. For Zak we are fortunate he didn't miss a beat...and in truth is scary smart. For Noah, it seems like there might be some delays. We aren't ready to jump and panic yet, but are definitely monitoring some of his cognitive skills.
Noah's memories of Ethiopia still flood his thoughts. He is able to emotionally handle them better as time passes. This past week, with images of the earthquake in Haiti he had a very interesting memory. He is keenly aware of the countries surrounding Ethiopia. He has an uncle in Somalia. He is not partial to Sudanese because refugees of the unrest would wander into his village on numerous occasions. Noah was watching the news about the earthquake and turned to me, recalling an adventure his aunt and he took. He described traveling a long distance by car to the ocean. He said some of his family who had lived by the ocean had been washed away by a giant wave. He talked about massive destruction that looked a lot like the earthquake images on the screen. I Googled tsunamis in Somalia and sure enough...the big one that hit Thailand crossed the sea and hit the coast of Somalia. Noah would have been just a little over three years old. Of course I am a woman of perspective...and for one of my sons earliest memories to be witness to the aftermath of the deadliest tsunami on record...well...that memory kind of shadows my son Nick's Toy Story third birthday party.
One quick last note...the picture of Noah holding the cookie for Santa that looks like the ET flag...his sly look is hiding the small detail that he mixed a spoonful of bereber into the red frosting...so when Santa took a bite...around midnight...exhausted...and ready for bed...'he' was greeted with an explosion of Ethiopian spices in his mouth. God Bless berbere!!