Friday, November 30, 2007

I have decided to write today a little bit of the challenges of adopting a toddler. It is hard to plop someone down in your house, personality formed and intact and just gel. Especially when it is a personality that you haven't had before. The dynamics really change and everyone needs to adjust. That is pretty hard to do.

When you are being screamed at with the word "no" about 5000 times a day with a hateful look in the eye and a swatting arm, or a one shoulder shrug that seems to tell me to go you-know-where, it is hard not to take it personally. It took a good 3 months for me not to take it personally and to realize that maybe it is just something part cultural(the look and shrug), but mostly just the only way she knows how to communicate. She still does it, but at least catches herself and corrects herself when she yells "NO!" at me, so I guess that is a good sign. A lot of it is her frustration at me not knowing what she wants. Another good bit is the fact that she doesn't understand the "why" of the word "No" to her. She goes off in a tizzy when she is told no. She absolutely thinks that everything that everyone else has, she should have. And not in your typical 2-year-old-doesn't-know-how-to-share kind of way, either. If one of the boys wants to sit in a chair, then she sits in a chair. Food, toys, and even a shower are sources of this issue. It's wild. And she ain't silent about it. Can anyone with boys and girls tell me that little girl voices are way more shrill?? Jeez. Now, I say all of this running the risk that someone will slam me and say the whole "How dare you", bit, but it is the reality of adopting an older child. I didn't really consider her an older child, but I do now. I read the books, but until you're in it, you can't quite grasp the scope of it all.

I still have MANY times where I get angry about her "attitude", but it's so hard to tell what is "attitude" and what is normal girl drama. I imagine that if I had had a daughter already or no boys yet, nothing to compare her behavior to, this would be less of a struggle. The fact that I do have something to compare her to, which is a natural thing to do when you have other kids, probably makes it more difficult, because it is hard not to do so. She is all drama, man. I am not used to that. Boys are really just go-go-go, get hurt, tears, go-go-go-go, and repeat. It's funny, because people who have their daughters first, and then a boy, talk about how their boys are their tough ones. Maybe it just depends on what your experience is. Maybe it is just Mars versus Venus.

Anyway, it would be crummy of me to post about challenges without posting about the beauty of Peeps. She is sooooo content to love and be held and sit in your lap(unless the boys have something she wants, of course). And, man, is that girl smart. She is talking up a storm and is quick to figure things out. She is obedient when corrected (except for her initial responses with the no and swatting thing). And she's getting more and more independent every day. She wants to walk like her big brothers in stores and do whatever big kid thing they do. And do I need to say that the girl is adorable?

I am kind of bummed that there really are no more babies in the house. But not too bummed. I need a break. They are 4, 3, and 2 and wearing me out. Cam will go to kindergarten next year, which he will love. That will give the younger ones some more one on one, which I look forward to. They both have early September birthdays, so Bro will still be home for another 3 years and Piper another 4. Both will turn 6 the first and second week of Kinder. That seems like a long time away.

This whole journey has been fantastic, difficult, easy, quick, long, and every other set of opposites you can think of. I'd do it all over again and again and again.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

If you wanted to remind yourself of why you should be thankful, visit the blog No, I'm Not a Nurse regularly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Here are a couple of our court date pictures.
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Everybody Rise!


Piper Chaltu Elliott is officially Piper Chaltu Elliott! What a breeze the court date was. We had all of us there and my mom, too and it went really well. We were in and out within an hour. Only about 15-20 minutes were in actual court. We got some pictures with the judge and even more fun was getting to meet big boy Deacon Faulkner, who can now be found at the Faulkner's new blog. He was good lookin' boy. Poor Piper, he(at 13mos) may have even been taller than she (at 2) was. It was great to meet him and his family.

I just printed out this entire blog. It was 70 pages long without pictures. Unfortunately, if you copy and paste each month, the dates go backwards, most recent first, like on the blog. And there are no page numbers, so we don't want to drop the stack and play 70 Page Pick Up! It is not a pretty scrapbooky-stampy thing, but the sentiment is there in black and white.

Our camera is no good, so I have to wait for my mom's pictures to post them of our court date.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Court date-in the U.S.

Our court date to make things "official" again is this coming Thursday, November 15th. We will go up to Ft.Worth on Wednesday night and we are to be there at 7:45, the next morning. Apparently it is an open docket and that way we can get in and out(in as much as you can, I imagine). My understanding is that this is where Piper's name change and citizenship will become official and she can get her social security card, American passport(she has an Ethiopian one), and an American birth cert(we have the Ethiopian one), afterwards, as well.

It really seems that this is never ending when you are ready to just to "be"! But we are coming into the light at the end of the tunnel, so it's all good.

We are starting to think about the adoption credit. Is it really just a full blown credit? Like, you may owe $3000, but with the $10000 credit you get $7000 back? Surely this is too good to be true. Can anyone shed any light on this for us? That is a huge credit and sounds great, but are we understanding this right?

Our camera fried, so I will put some other pictures from our recent trip to Sweet Berry Farms in Marble Falls. Granny Elliott went with us.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What a treat!

I was so excited this year because it was going to be our real "first" Halloween with trick or treating and the works. Cam used to be terrified of Halloween. And by terrified, I mean, refusing to get out of the car, wear a costume or anything like that. He was a wreck at his Parent's Day Out last year for the whole week with the decorating of pumpkins and scarecrows and stuff. But for some reason this year, he was stoked. And we all went. It was really so much fun. Of course, we should have brought the stroller for Piper, who is starting to weigh a lot. She was so funny. She would get all bent out of shape whenever we would skip a house. It didn't take her long at all to figure out what was going on. It was weird watching our little boys walk up by themselves and do it all without needing us. They are growing up!