So, I'm not sure of the last time I actually posted something on here. I happened to go back and read some blog posts I wrote from last fall, and I guess it inspired me to write again. As you all know, we are a family of four now and Ezra has been with us for almost four months. First let me tell you some really wonderful things:
1. Ezra is so healthy and beautiful and super smart and right on track developmentally. She is inquisitive and curious and determined and developing a comical sense of humor.
2. Ezra is starting to talk! Mama, no-no, uh-oh, Jill (our dog), tee-tee (our cat), ball, jet, milk, snack, "moo," "woof-woof," "baa."
3. Ezra loves to dance! She has also developed a new skill of rocking back and forth from foot to foot and is also practically running already! I guess you move on quickly to better things once you master walking at 12 months of age!
4. Ari loves his sister and has adjusted astoundingly well to having a sibling. He asks "Where's Ezra?" if she's napping and has started coaxing her to follow him around the house and come play with him. Which is interesting considering the minute she gets her hands on something he's playing with first, he lets her know who's boss in a less-than-gentle manner.
5. Ezra has had no apparent attachment issues with me and Roger, although we still work on it vigilantly as we know it is a process that takes a whole lot longer than four months.
6. Ezra has slept through the night every night for one whole week now!!!!!! I credit this accomplishment to two things: her bottom molars are finally through and we implemented a version of the "Ferber Sleep Method" last Sunday night, and it worked like a charm. Thank you, Lord!!!!!! (Did I mention I now believe sleep deprivation is a true form of torture?!?)
7. We feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have our daughter home amidst all the orphanage closures in Southern Ethiopia due to UNICEF's monetary influence and the devastating ramifications that is creating for adoptive families, not to mention the bleak future the children affected now face.
And now let's get real and chat about some not-so-awesome stuff. This two-toddler business has knocked me and Roger on our rears!!!! No joke. Seriously, we have been in survival mode emotionally, physically, and mentally for the past three and a half months. This second adoption has been challenging to say the least. It is somewhat difficult to put into words how I feel, but the reality is parenting two toddlers 13 months apart in age is about ten times as hard as parenting just one. It has been frustrating and disappointing to me to not have an endless amount of one-on-one time with Ezra like I had with Ari. Duh. Did I expect to have a lot of one-on-one time? No, of course not. But to experience it creates a lot of feelings of inadequacies on my part. It is taking a diligent and relentless effort to attach to a toddler who is asserting her independence in all of her activities. That is an incredibly difficult thing for me to admit and accept. But the reality is my attachment to Ezra has been a process. It just is. So many adoptive parents experience this and so many people have told me it's normal, but, folks, let me tell you, it's not a good feeling. It feels like failure -- on my part -- and despair frequently and a whole lot of guilt. It feels like there is spiritual warfare being waged against me because, quite honestly, it feels so awful it just has to be the works of something evil. And it certainly does not feel like me at all. I love being a mother. Every day I look at Ari and Ezra and feel blessed and privileged beyond words to raise these two beautiful children. It is just such a contradiction of emotions at times. So, anyway, there it is. I will say great progress has been made and is continuing, and we are starting to feel our new "normal" and I am just so ridiculously happy and relieved that Ari and Ezra have each other. It is a glorious thing to watch them play together and develop such a close relationship at such a young age. And now for some pictures of our girl.