...a perfect potty record. Not one accident (at least up until the moment I typed this!)
...the smiles. Of all the pictures we received of the boys before traveling, I think there were two in which Jadon was smiling. Apparently, it's just a camera thing. He may not be a fan of the camera's eye, but he'll flash a great big grin at just about anyone else who looks friendly.
...the hugs. Jadon's hugs are tight, snuggled in, everything-he's-got squeezes. I guess I was geared up for a more slowly warming approach. Apparently, he's a "dive-in-with-both-feet" kind of guy. Mind you, these hugs are given to parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors, random strangers...we haven't discovered the "this is only for you, Mom" hug, yet. But reserved, he is not! If this is how he shows affection to strangers, we're in real trouble come dating years!!!
...the sleep issues. Don't ask me why I'm surprised here. Sleep was our biggest issue after Ethan's adoption. Perhaps I thought that having a big brother and big sister in the room would ease all fears. Perhaps his easy-going personality threw me off. Perhaps I'm just spoiled with two really great sleepers. I don't know. I do know that trying to think through your best response at the moment screams interrupt your peaceful early morning sleep is not a great approach. I've spent a good chunk of today trying to process ideas/techniques to help Jadon make this adjustment.
...Jadon's helpfulness. Again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Eagerness to help was one of the most obvious attributes in Ethan after he arrived home. However, given the marked differences in their personalities, I wasn't expecting it from Jadon. Still, he's the one who's at my side unloading the dishwasher, pleased as can be that he knows where to put the kid bowls.
...the drama-less sibling acceptance. As I said last post, this transition has not been without its minor bumps and offenses BUT I did expect more flagrant upheaval from the children. Instead, it's been pretty low-key, matter-of-fact, let's just get on with it already.
...what an amazing father Mike could be. Don't take that wrong! I've always known Mike would be a wonderful Dad, but, in the past few weeks, he truly has amazed me with his strength, love, and wisdom. For a guy that was really nervous about accepting a referral for an "older" child, he has proven completely up to the task! Babe, you're the best! Your expanded heart honors and reflects the Father's heart.
...missing Abu. No one could have known that Abu would be detained in Ethiopia by unexpected test result and a relatively new government regulation. Coming home with one child instead of two certainly changed the dynamics of this transition. I wonder what it would have been like to have two Amharic-speaking boys chatting back and forth while we English-speaking Tappers tried to communicate. I wonder if Jadon will still be speaking Amharic when Abu gets here. I wonder how the big brother who did smile in all his pictures will react to the unimaginable changes that will come with joining us here. I wonder when Abu will feel comfortable extending a real hug to his mother (he'd much rather hug Dad now!). I try to think of what it will be that will help us to connect in a special way.
I wonder how Abu will like his bedroom. I know he sleeps on the top bunk at the transition home, and we plan to give him the top bunk in the boys room. I wonder how Abby will transition to a room of her own (since she's still occupying the top bunk "until big brother comes.") I wonder what "issue" will be the hardest in his transition. I wonder how his personality will blossom. There's so much there to discover! I wonder what stories he will tell when we can communicate better.
I wonder how all the kids will adjust to being four instead of two or three. I especially wonder how Ethan and Abu will relate. How will they communicate? Will they enjoy playing together? Will they feel the need to compete? How will their persoalities blend? I wonder if they could be best of friends.
At any rate, all of these surprises are making life very fascinating around the Tapper home. Each day is a new discovery, each moment is packed with expectancy. It is a great way to live.