The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Friday, March 4, 2011

So how are we doing...really??

Here we all are, ready for our first trip to church. Not an award winning photo, but we're all in it, and we're all looking the right direction!

We've been home for almost 2 weeks now, and I find my curious friends wondering just exactly how is it going? What does the day to day look like...are we overwhelmed...are we sleeping, etc. Well, the short answer is we really are doing well. Much better than I expected. I mean, I was hoping we weren't going to be a total wreck all of the time, but I had prepared myself for our share of bumps in the road.

We have found ourselves in a day to day routine that is predictable and seems to be working for us. (For those of you bored by the mundane, you can skip this post. :) Solomon is the first to rise (wish Teenage Baby could teach him to sleep in), usually around 6. I shower before the rest of the crew is up, and at 6:30, I allow the girls to get up. They are awake before this, but they know to stay in their room until I come to get them...usually they are making their beds and folding blankets when I go into get them. (They have been taught to make beds and fold their pajamas at the end of the bed when they get up...I'm considering having them hold a class on how to do this for my other kids!) They dress into the clothes we put out the night before, and head downstairs for breakfast or to play until it's ready. (Or follow one of us around, which happens often as well). I dress Solomon, and either take him downstairs or a big kid takes him for us. I'd love to tell you that I'm now making a wonderful, hot breakfast, but the reality is, that just ain't happening. My big kids have been amazing to help with the kids and their breakfast, they all pitch in to be sure everyone is fed. Then, it's off in our big van to take the big kids to school.

Our mornings are spent in a variety of ways...playing at home, maybe running an errand (yes, I've taken them all the grocery store!), doctor appointments, and even spending a morning at our church's indoor playground. The time passes quickly, we have an early lunch, and the boys nap by 12:30 to be up in time to pick the big kids up from school. The girls have been having some quiet time with books or resting in their room in the afternoon. (I may need this more than they do, but we are doing it nonetheless!) Around 2:30 or 2:40ish we leave to go pick the big kids up from school and then come home for a snack and playtime. We spend playtime playing play-dough, reading stories, playing 'letter games' on the computer, and recently jumping on the trampoline and going outside. Then, it's dinner, family time, and a bedtime routine.

Aleigha and Grace busy working!

Grace is eager to please and eager to learn. She is concerned with her younger siblings, and a natural caretaker. We are working towards letting her know that we will meet everyone's needs (she doesn't seem overly anxious about it, mostly eager to please), and we want her to relax and rest in the fact that her siblings aren't her responsibility. Grace has a sweet disposition, but is definitely able to let you know if she is unhappy about something. She tends towards the dramatic and expressive, and it will be interesting to watch this come to life as we get to know her better.

Aleigha is fun-loving and giggly most of the time....she often looks like she is on the verge of cracking up. She is usually quieter, but mostly just until she is comfortable in a situation. When the girls are playing or singing together (and there is no one new around), she's definitely out of her shell. She also is eager to learn and loves to sit and play a game (although there may or may not be a little cheating going on), color, and work on learning her letters. She tends to not be quite as serious about things as Grace, and loves to have a good time.

The girls are both picking up a little language, and it's fun to hear them try to use their words. We're glad they feel safe enough to try! You will often hear them walking around just repeating what they've learned. It goes a little something like this (in the cutest Ethiopian accent you can imagine): "Are you OK? I'm OK? How are you? Good. Fine. It's OK. Come. Are you OK? Yes. Good." and so on... They are so proud of their English words, and we are amazed at what they understand already!

Who could resist that smile and those eyes??

Sweet Solomon is definitely the baby of the family. He seems so young in comparison to Elijah's teenage ways. It's evident that he's spent his time with babies, and that his needs were well met. (He has no problem expressing them, and seems to expect that they will be met!) We love his giggles and smiles. He loves the be held and the boy can eat. He's had some 'intestinal issues', and we think his over interest in food comes from a combination of those issues, eating for comfort and security, and habits he's developed. We actually already see some improvement in this area, but he still loves to chow. He's a decent sleeper (does not get up in the night), although he gets up a little early for this needs-her-sleep mama. Elijah was not sure what to think about him at first, and was a little rough with Solomon. (He's just a rougher kid than Solomon anyway). That seems to be improving, and seems to view Solomon as a baby, and is learning to be a kinder, gentler version of himself.

So, that's us for now. Maybe not super exciting, but that's perfectly fine with me! We have a long way to go in truly getting to know each other, but we are enjoying the ride this far. We're so glad our kids are all home - what a blessing!


Brent and Melanie said...

Thank you for giving us a peek of how things are going. We have been on the waiting list for 5 months waiting to be matched with a sibling group. A friend sent me your blog a few weeks ago and I feel so blessed to be able to read your posts. Thanks for sharing! Melanie

Gina said...

Thanks for sharing! So glad everything is going so smoothly! They are sure precious!

kim said...

I got tickled reading your post and that the girls say come. We used to tell Selam and AJ to come all the time. It seemed the easiest way to get them to follow us. Eventually we moved out of the puppy commands and into English, LOL. So funny, you are bringing back some good memories for me!

Dawn said...

Hi Garrisons!

What a fabulous looking bunch!

(we met in DC and Ethiopia - the sister-in-law.)