We're bad bloggers! OK, now on with the massive update.
In a nutshell- everything is great! The boys eat anything that is put in front of them. They are quickly picking up the language. In fact, I have done a few double-takes to see who was talking. The biggest problem we have is teaching some common sense items. For example, if there is no toilet paper in the bathroom, that does not mean there is no toilet paper in the house. So no, you should not just pull your pants up without wiping! The toilet seat is also an issue. Bereket likes to stand and do his business with the toilet seat down. However, when he needs to sit to do his business, he lifts the seat. Nice. John is finally gotten into the swing of homeschooling although some days are better then others. (I was a little concerned when I got home from my first day back at school and John met me in the driveway!)
Here are some specifics on the kids.
She started 9th grade and homeschooling is more work than she thought it would be. She didn't imagine that she would be learning about nuclear reactions! She has done a great job being a big sister. Yes, she does get tired of the boys at times, but during those times she retreats to her room for some quiet time.
He is now in 3rd grade and has learned that he likes poetry. He is still obsessed with video games but doesn't play nearly as much as he use to. Now he goes outside and plays with his brothers. He thinks Feromsa is amazing. He is especially impressed with Feromsa's athletic skill. It's like having a his own live superhero. He was getting irritated with Bereket but since I pointed out to him that Bereket was just trying to be like him, he is much more understanding.
He just celebrated his 1st American birthday. We enjoyed a traditional Ethiopian meal. (Thanks Susan! We finally ate the injera and the yummy stuff you made that I can't remember the name of! You did a great job. The boys were really excited about it.) We have since learned more about his life and Ethiopia. It seems that he was once kicked in the head while milking a cow. He has started soccer and loves it. He is really good too! Since we have been home, he has grown 2 inches and gained 5 pounds!
He is plugging along. He is quiet and likes to watch everyone. He is very loving! I get kisses all day- John gets them sometimes ;) When we picked him up he had a terrible ear infection. We already knew that those were chronic for him and that he had some hearing loss. After some awesome drops from our doctor and a couple trips to the ENT- his ears are completely healed up and he only has very minor hearing loss. We will be going back to the ENT soon and they may decide to put tubes in his ears. We are still trying to get him speech services - hopefully soon. He did see a speech therapist for testing and we were actually quite surprised at his comprehension of English. He may not be able to communicate in English real well but we know that he does understand us. We are still waiting to see the neurologist. If we don't hear from them on Monday, there may be a very grumpy mom calling them. (For those of you wondering....Bereket had seizures as a result of meningitis as a baby. He has not had one in 2 years, but he has also been on medicine during those 2 yrs. We'll see what happens.) By the way, Bereket has grown 1 inch and gained 1 pound.
Overall the whole family is doing well. It has been amazing how quickly the boys have adjusted. Perhaps our biggest problem is that we had traveled quite a bit right after we came home from Ethiopia and now the boys don't understand why we aren't going somewhere everyday! Feromsa thinks that at any moment we should be going to the hotel. We must answer the question "Go?" at least 20 or 30 times a day. (I guess they didn't get out much in Ethiopia.) It also seems quite amazing how it seems that these boys are simply our boys and that they are part of this family. There really isn't any thought that those are the two new, adopted boys. They are just 2 more children in addition to 2 other children making up our little family of 4 children, 2 adults, lots of noise, lots of activities and lots, and I mean lots of love.