wn. Starting feels too hard when there is so much to write. How do I summarize the complexity and busyness of the last couple of months without just making some generic statement about how "life is great"? I suppose I should just take it one chunk at a time. For starters, here is an update on the most recent addition to our family:
Benjamin is now fourteen months old, and I thank God that he has now been with us for one-third of his short life. When I look at the photos from his first days with us I realize how much he has changed and grown during that time. What a big boy he is getting to be! The clingy and insecure wailing baby of the first couple of months is gone. We now have a son who crawls at lightning speed around the house, forcing me to chase him down because he has become so independent. He is at the INTO EVERYTHING stage: emptying drawers, pulling things over on top of himself, tossing everything he encounters in his mouth without discernment. We call him the Roomba - you know, the vacuum that bounces around the room sucking up everything in its path. That's our boy.
He started crawling around his first birthday (August) and can now pull up just about anywhere. He's also just starting to "cruise" a little bit. I don't expect to see his true first steps for a couple more months, and that is just fine with me! He is already into everything as it is! Madeline didn't walk until almost seventeen months, and so he fits right in at our house.
His personality has seriously mellowed out. We don't hear nearly as much screaming, and his temper is not as extreme. He has actually become quite a tender little guy and gets his feelings hurt pretty easily these days. When we tell him no, he often looks hurt and begins to cry instead of getting mad and throwing himself on the floor like he used to.
He is absolutely in love with his daddy. Now don't get me wrong, he loves his mama. But he REALLY loves his daddy. In the morning if I am the one to get him out of bed, he looks at me and says, "Whuh dada?" When he gets up from his afternoon nap, he asks the same question. And when Dada finally walks in the back door at supper time, he is so out-of-his-mind excited he can hardly stand it.
The language part of his brain woke up one day a couple of weeks ago, and he suddenly started learning new words every day. He constantly points at things and asks, "What's that?" Actually it sounds more like, "uh sat?" So cute. He understands way more than he can say, and so we are starting to feel like we can really communicate with him. I LOVE it.
B is so friendly it cracks me up. He flags down people at the grocery store to wave and say hi. And he acts just as secure as any other kid his age now. We leave him in the church nursery and with a babysitter sometimes, and after the initial protest at the indignity of being left behind, he is just fine.
He is seriously the best sleeper ever. To say that I am thankful for that is an understatement. He sleeps from 8 pm till 7 am and never (never!) wakes up during the night. Then he takes a one hour nap in the morning and a THREE (or sometimes more!) hour nap in the afternoon. He definitely makes life easy on his mama in this way.
We have been struggling with some digestive issues. For the past couple of months he has had chronic diarrhea, and we just can't quite seem to figure out what the problem is. (I have lots of
graphic, entertaining yet stomach-turning stories that I could share about this, but you probably would never read my blog again if I did.) He has tested negative for various parasites or other problems that could cause it, and we have ruled out lactose intolerance. If anybody out there has any insight because of personal experiences with an Ethiopian child, I would love to hear from you! But the boy certainly has an appetite. He easily eats twice as much as Madeline does. At some point, we just have to stop feeding him. He doesn't ever really stop on his own. And he eats everything!
We are so thankful to God for the prayers that we have seen answered over the past several months. Benjamin has come so far, and we have grown in faith and maturity as we struggled through those early days. Every day we are more in love with our boy. And he truly is now - he is ours.