Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 4: A Hesitant Smile, and Some Tears

We were excited to head back out to the care center at 9:00 am Saturday morning.  There was no dozing this time around, and the kidlettes were busy absorbing the Addis sights, sounds and smells as we navigated the congested streets.  It never ceases to amaze me how traffic continues to move despite the crowds of walkers, cars going the wrong way down one way streets, sheep being herded down the middle of the road, and buses stalled across multiple lanes.  The kidlettes were enthralled.  It helped that many of the sights they witnessed are featured in the book E is for Ethiopia, which they've been reading to prep for the trip.  In fact, we brought the book with us, and Dinkeneh has actually pulled out the book several times to point out something he saw in Addis that day.  (I wish I could take credit for the brilliant idea of using the book as prep, but this was actually recommended to me by another family that recently returned to Ethiopia with their 4 year old son.)  Anyway, the morning ride was enjoyed by all of us.

After arriving at the care center, we found out that they had inadvertently scheduled too many families for visits, so they had to put us in the care center library.  Those who know the kidlettes well know that this was an accidental blessing, since they adore reading (even if the books are mostly in French :) ). 

The kidlettes became absorbed with reading, and pretty soon the nannies brought in T and A.  Dinkeneh and Sisaye were both a bit more interested in the newbies this day.  How adorable is that smile Dinkeneh gave his new baby brother?  Happiness!

With my usual bull-headedness and lack of tact, I decided to question the nannies on T's health.  Does he respond to his name?  Does he ever smile?  Does he ever laugh?  Does he engage at all?  Probably all fair questions; probably not asked in the most tactful way possible.  While I had my back to the room, busy grilling the nannies (who I think were rather offended by my questions), Chris was playing with T and A on the floor.  Suddenly, I heard Chris calling my name and laughing.  I turn around to see T crawling across the floor, and to hear that Chris got him to smile "a little."  T definitely seemed to see us (and the toys), and he seemed much more engaged than the previous day.  Yay!  Lots of holding toys, transferring them from one hand to the other; lots of toys going in the mouth.  All great things :).

A, on the other hand, decided that not only did she not want to be put down all that much, but she really didn't want to be with us at all.  We saw a few smiles, but nothing like the day before, and after about thirty minutes, she decided that she'd suffered enough of our attentions.  Big sister Sisaye did get a chance to hold her for a few minutes; check out this quintessential Sisaye expression:

T really didn't want to be picked up all that much; he was too busy crawling around to investigate all the toys on the floor.  Mama and Daddy did get the chance to hold A for a little bit:

After about an hour, I looked up to see the nannies I had grilled earlier coming into the room with a camera in their hands.  Turns out, they had actual photographic proof that T could crack a smile.  I was only slightly embarrassed :).  It was really very sweet that they were so protective of him, and of course, I was thrilled to see him looking so engaged in all the photos.  All of our prior updated pictures showed a very worried, serious looking little man, so these smiles were extra special.

We got to visit with T and A for about an hour and a half.  Then we headed back to the guest house for a little relaxation.  Dinkeneh and Nati played with the gift he received from T and A:  a Soccer Guys set.  (By the way, if you have a child really into sports, these sets rock.  D also has the Football Guys and loves them.  I only wish we had thought to purchase the Soccer Girls instead, since we go to many Lady Irish games.  Anyway....)  Sisaye and I had some tickling fun. 

 And that pretty much rounds out our second day as a family of six.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a nice visit. The library, hm? Now that's a perfect place for S and D!
Oh, you just posted something new. Got to go read.