March 11, 2014

Four Years Home

We just celebrated the fourth anniversary of meeting our two older children and bringing them home. In adoption circles, it's often called gotcha day. Four years! Time definitely flies when you're having fun (and when you're really busy, as a friend of mine says).

It's so sweet for us to think back to our trip to Ethiopia. We'd been loving and praying for our babies from a distance, and we were eager to have them in our arms. Our life has been characterized by raising children ever since, and we absolutely love it. God has been very kind to our family. Children are a gift, not a guarantee, and and we don't take for granted how much our heavenly Father has blessed us.

I thought that since I love reading about the personalities of dear friends' children, I'd share a little about these two little ones that bring us so much joy.

This sweet boy is full of energy. He talks all day long, and has always had great diction and a good vocabulary. The other week he was sick, and by mid-morning his sister said "it's quiet." Little man is very observant and thoughtful. He's great with directions and has long been able to let us know which way to go to get to certain places. He takes initiative to be a helper around the house when he notices something that could be done, and he's genuinely good at the chores that he does. He has a great singing voice, and he tells us he'd like to play the drums when he grows up (we're in no rush on that!). He's fascinated with good guys triumphing over bad guys lately - he loves a story with adventure. And he loves to have sword fights with people, especially daddy, to act out the battles! For how active he is, he can also sit still for a long time if he's interested in something. He went through two maze books in the last couple of months, and he likes building things. He's a creative and detail oriented guy, coordinated and good at most things he puts his hands to. It seems to me like he has really good reasoning skills for his age.

He also sits through the church services quietly and can tell us what the pastor preached about afterwards. He has a tender conscience and is eager to please. His Sunday School teachers tell us that they think he has leadership qualities among his peers, and that's something we've definitely seen too. He enjoys being around older kids a lot. He seems to be very bright. He picks up on things like letter sounds, letter and number recognition and tracing, and days of the week very quickly.

He loves to laugh and loves to eat. We're so thankful he's our son!

This girl is a people person through and through. It's hard to find a picture of her by herself because most of the pictures I have are of her with other people. When we check in at the nursery and walk down the nursery hallway on Sunday mornings and Sunday and Wednesday evenings, she stops all along the way to give people hugs and wave and say hello. She's our little social butterfly, and it gives me joy to see her spreading joy all around her. She's a generous girl, frequently giving gifts to her friends. She especially adores her little sister. And baby sister loves her too - she lights up for her like no one else. Our sweet oldest daughter is full of silliness too. She loves to be goofy and make people laugh. And I've never met anyone that likes to be tickled like she does!

She is a compassionate girl, truly concerned and quick to comfort and help when someone is hurt or sad. And she's affectionate. She loves to snuggle, hug, kiss, hold hands, and sit close by.

She has an expressive face and mannerisms. Her daddy says she gets it from me, but it seems to me like she's always been an emotional girl! When we read or watch a story together, you can basically follow the story line by watching her facial expressions and arm movements. She likes to play dress up and to dance. She's a carefree, lighthearted girl that runs into things and forgets why she went into a room sometimes. But she has a seriously remarkable long term memory, sometimes talking about specific things that happened a full year and a half ago when there's been no mention of it since. She brings a lot of laughter into our home and we love her so much!

Here are some of my favorite pictures lately of our two crazy kids. They love life, and we love life with them. We thank the Lord for His goodness!

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