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Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

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Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

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Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Things change slow...but oh so fast!

Chad Dykstra - 2011-02-03
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Watching your children change is a little like watching your hair turn grey.  When you stand in front of mirror and look for changes, it doesn't seem like much is changing.  If you look at a picture from a few months back and hold it up to that mirror, though, that's where you really realize just how quickly things change!  I thought it fitting to start with a "grey hair" analogy for this blog.  The last few months have probably given us quite a few gray hairs.  smiley

We are coming up on 8 weeks being home.  8 weeks is such a short time, and it's an eternity.  It seems like yesterday, and it seems like forever!  We still shake our head sometimes at some of the silly things that have stayed the same, but if we look back at where we were 8 weeks ago so much has changed.  Both boys are in school now 2 days a week (Lora is there to keep things under control).  We went to church for the first time last week, which went pretty well (again, with Lora in children's church with them).  We're slowly starting to hear more English and less <whatever language they are speaking at the time>.

It's fun to see all the kids interact together.  They are really starting to act like siblings.  For those who haven't seen the video that I uploaded of our wild Indians, you can watch it on the media page.  It's pretty entertaining - click here to go to the media page and watch it.   Every once in a while, we are able to let the kids play without direct supervision.  It doesn't happen often, and it sure doesn't last long...but it does happen once in a while and it's great!

Seven weeks ago, in order to get the boys to sleep, I had to stay in their room with them until they fell asleep.  Six weeks ago, we needed to drag them to bed.  Both of those have improved dramatically.  This week we've changed sleeping arrangements around a little bit.  Ben and Zinabu now sleep in a room/bed together and Abi and Abatu have beds in the bedroom downstairs.  We did this for a few reasons.  Both of our "naughty" boys are now together in one room and close to us so we can keep an eye on them.  (Insert evil parental grin here).  The main reason, however, was that Ben has complained about having his own bed and we've caught him several times over the past few weeks sleeping in Abi's bed with her.  He'll crawl into bed with her after she falls alseep.  We figured why not embrace it and let him share a bed with Zinabu.  Both Ben and Zinabu are very cuddly so it's a good fit.  Abatu is excited about being "down-ko-stairs" and having his own bed too.  It's been working out well for us so far!

Bedtime schedules are slowly working in our favor as well.  Zinabu's over his infection, and he's not getting up to use the bathroom several times a night or waking up wet anymore.  The kids are usually sleeping until 7:30 or so, which is a welcome change for us...we're really not a morning family!

We showed the boys pictures and videos of their family in Ethiopia and mentioned the names of their siblings for the first time today.  That had mixed results.  When Lora was saying the names of their siblings, they would add "Abi" and "Ben" which was pretty neat.  Abatu really enjoyed the video and pictures and couldn't get enough.  He especially liked the video messages we recorded from each of their siblings we were able to meet.    Zinabu didn't want much to do with it yet.  He kept coming in and out of the room with a funny look on his face saying "yucky".  He would go into the other room, close the door, then open it and come back, head back out and close the door again.  I think he's going through a little more of an anti-Ethiopia phase right now than Abatu is.  It's completely normal for kids to cycle in and out of that.

It was neat to have them see the pictures of their sister Mitaye's husband and say "daddy".  That was a connection we really didn't make prior to meeting him...that even though he was their brother in law, Negese was a father to the boys as well and they consider him as such.  We feel like we are now able to print a few of the pictures we took of the family and hang them up in the house.  We've wanted to do that since our return, but haven't felt ready yet.  We still have the video lifebook that Bethany created that shows more video of their family, community, and home that we will not show the boys for a while...but today was a good start to helping them continue to remember their family.  We want to make sure that's a part of them that is never lost.

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