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Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

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Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Family Blog, Reunion Episode

Chad Dykstra - 2011-05-26
2 comment(s) - View or write a comment

Thanks for tuning in, and welcome to the Dykstra Family Blog reunion post.   We’ve been home just about 6 months now, and thing sure look different than they used to!  I thought this might be a good opportunity to look back on past blogs and reflect on them to show a little progress.

In Questions and Answers (click to view in a new window), we covered many of the frequently asked questions that we had within the first month or two of being home.

Are the boys adjusted yet?

The new answer:  We’re still working on a few things (and we always will be) but the boys have made a lot of progress in 6 months.  We’re still learning how to share, and learning how to deal with life and possessions not always being fair 100% of the time (Less Is More).  Zinabu specifically is very inquisitive (read: naughty) and is quite a challenge for us.  For anyone who happened to be at East Saugatuck Church on Sunday morning at 9am, yes – it was my child who pulled the fire alarm in the middle of the service.  Doh!

We have settled into normal life routines for bedtimes and mealtimes and overall, we are doing very well.  Both boys are now done with preschool for the summer and will be in kindergarten/young fives 5 days a week next year.  They look forward to riding the bus!

Do they speak English yet?

The new answer:  Yes – very much so.  The boys can communicate now very well and the language barrier is almost entirely gone.  The boys are almost exclusively talking to each other in English.  We still talk in Kambaata/Amharic whenever possible with the few words we know to keep the boys sharp, asking them what things are to make sure they’re going back to that place.  “e su en Etopia minden no?”  It seems like they are still able to pull quite a few things out – most of what we believe to be Kambaata.  It seems like Amharic is mostly disappearing.  If I point to a fish, they can no longer come up with the Amharic word “asa”.  We’ll see if we can get them to hang on to some of it.

We have a ton of “story time” moments over the past few weeks.  Now that English has come as far as it has, the boys are free to tell stories.  We’ve heard lots of stories about Ethiopia – some of which are believable and some which don’t seem so true.  Both boys have been able to recall the plane flights home and explain to us what they were going through.  We’ve learned Abatu’s ears hurt on the flights, and Zinabu and I were able to hash out the “seatbelt incident” (Home Sweet Home) and we found out that he was scared of the “opening windows” – the overhead bins being opened and closed.  

We talk frequently about their family in Ethiopia and their experiences.  They like to talk about it now, and Zinabu is mostly over his anti-Ethiopia sentiments, which is a really good thing.  We’re very glad that we have an open relationship about their past and let them know it’s OK to talk about it and to miss it.

What do they think of the snow(sun/rain/etc)?

The new answer:  They’re over the snow!  They liked it while it lasted, but they have told us they do prefer the nice warmer weather we’ve been afforded lately.  It really doesn’t depend on the weather - they just want to be outside.  We’ve had several issues – even tantrums – over them not having their own umbrellas.  Lora finally loaded them up in the car and drove them to town to buy them umbrellas to silence the madness.

So how are you doing?

The new answer:  We’re doing pretty good.  Our life admittedly is crazy.  It’s a different level of crazy than most families face – but crazy nonetheless.  We’re very fortunate to have family supporting us and helping us out on a regular basis.  It makes the madness we face at times bearable.  We still try to not leave too many “1 parent days” wherever possible – specifically at bedtime.  It does happen on occasion though, and it is way easier than it used to be.  That is a big blessing.  Abatu has also in the past month finally decided that he loves mommy.  That was great news – he was mostly indifferent towards her before.

All four kids now can ride two-wheel bikes and they do so all over the place.  It’s nice to be able to turn them out and let them play.  They got their first boat ride on the pond last weekend, which they loved.  All have fishing poles, but we haven’t dared open that “can of worms” yet.  Fishing with four little ones will be a challenge, even for 2 adults!  As nice as it is to turn them out and “let them run”,  it still requires a certain level of interaction and supervision to keep them from seriously injuring each other, but thus is life as the parents of four similarly aged siblings.  Speaking of “let them run” – we’ve signed all four kids up for the Rural Rush 1 mile fun run on June 3.  We expect them to finish very high in the 0-6 age bracket. smiley

Thanks for stopping by – you stay classy.

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Posted by Belinda on 2011-05-27

I am so proud of you guys! So many hard days, so much hard work, and an abundance of patience (and a bit of joy mixed in there!) and 6 months later you see progress! Your "new normal" is starting to feel a bit familiar, and you even look forward to days ahead. And  2 little boys from a far away country now have a family to love and walk through life with. Feel affirmed and encouraged, as we all continue to pray for the patience, energy, and wisdom that you need in the days ahead.

Posted by Gwyn Dykstra on 2011-06-10

Just read this.  Why are they going to my spam box?  Great job again Chad.  All I read was answered prayers.  

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