Sunday, July 12, 2009

HOME!!!!! Day 1

Team Dragovich

Scooter Time!!

Papa and RiSa

More Scooter mania

I can't believe I was in Ethiopia this last week. In fact, after only 24 hours home, I sorta feel like it was all a dream... except for the fact that we came home with two little people who don't speak our language, don't know us at all-- but call us Mommy and Daddy. I will give you the logistics and facts first-- I'm not sure I can unravel all the emotions in one post... and CERTAINLY I cannot begin to share all the thoughts, suggestions for future traveling families and just general experiences of individual days in one post. So, I REALLY hope you keep coming back to check in with Team Dragovich. I'll try to post some pictures each time, too... just as "candy" to keep you coming back for the real stuff ;).

Let's see... From Tuesday on, I was pretty much on an emotional roller coaster. I could cry at the drop of a hat and usually did. I was overly tired most of the week, but could never go to sleep. Selame did NOT break us in easily to her energetic and head-strong personality, and even though I never was sick per say, I had no appetite and came home a little lighter than I went :). The Embassy Appointment went fine... for all the fuss that is made over it and all the paperwork you have to do to prepare for it the end result is rather anti-climatic. Unless, of course, someone has not done their job and paperwork is lost, then I guess it can be a real pain. Thankfully, all the families made it through without any problem and we were out in a couple hours. After that, we went shopping in what seemed to be a nicer part of Addis. I think that was on Wednesday, anyway. It is all a blur now. I will say that with each day, Selame seemed to become a bit more comfortable with us and looked to other "daddies" less. One thing I wasn't really ready for was how aggressive all the kids play with one another. It was not uncommon for either Selame or Biruk to just walk up to one another and kick, pinch, grab from one another or do some other overtly aggressive thing which blew my mind but seemed so everyday normal to them. Tony and I quickly responded and have been responding ever since. And it wasn't just the two of them. Whenever Biruk would play with the two older boys being adopted by another family-- it could quickly turn to mass attack on one another. It also took a lot of "NO's" to get them to stop. And in a lot of cases, when Biruk would be egging on Selame to get a reaction from her-- which he LOVED to do-- even when I told him to stop, he would just laugh hilariously and not really listen right away. The language barrier can be tough. But, I will say that now they are home, I have not seen him pester her at all and even as the week progressed, he did it less and less.

Our flight home went amazingly well. Both kids slept the entire time from Addis to Rome. At the stop in Rome for re-fueling, they woke up and Sassy-frass (my new nickname for Selame when she is acting sassy and 2) wanted to cause a little trouble. But not so much that she couldn't be averted with books, magazines and coloring. She HATED her seatbelt and tried like crazy to get it off. I was not really her best friend at that point. But, in the end we made it and only had one bag not make it to Raleigh with us. It came to our house sometime after midnight. We are guessing that it is because it had the coffee in it, so customs wanted to do an "extra good check" on that bag. Biruk was sick most of the 9 hours from Rome to D.C. He threw up 5 times before falling into a deep sleep the rest of the way. He was amazingly fine on the flight from D.C. to Raleigh which surprised me, since it was a little hopper plane which hit some turbulance.

So... here we are. I cried so much when I saw my boys' faces. They met us on the entrance road to our neighborhood with their bikes and scooters. Tony and I stopped the suburban in the middle of the road and ran full on to see them. Then we followed them the rest of the 1/2 mile home, full of grins the entire way. They have been just WONDERFUL with the kids. Sam takes J.B. everywhere and Isaac and Wyatt have been taking turns looking for Rebekah's attention. They both slept fine in their rooms-- I had no doubt Biruk would and the only reason Selame did was because she fell asleep downstairs so Tony and I could transfer her to her crib without conflict. She woke up at 4am fussing, but once I got her and put her in our bed, she fell right back asleep.

As far as Day 1 of being a family of 7 goes-- pretty okay. We said goodbye to Nana and Papa and that was hard. Especially for Wyatt. He is sooo nervous about these new siblings. I understand completely how he feels. In a lot of ways I am, too :). The boys were DYING to take the kids to swim, so we decided on the beach in our community, loaded up and off we went. JB and RiSa did really well. They had no concept of how once the water went over their heads they couldn't swim, so at first they followed the boys right on out until they could barely touch and were pretty much swept off their feet by any set of boat waves which came their way. Tony and I were right there, so it wasn't a big deal. They had a BLAST in the water and it was funny to watch them play, splash and rub sand all over themselves. And it was REALLY fun to watch the boys interact with them. Can you believe I didn't take the camera?? I wanted to, but I just didn't want to be snapping pictures if they ended up hating the water or start drowning while I was saying, "CHEESE!!"

But, here is the best quote I can use to sum it up... RiSa started to throw a total tantrum at lunch because we wouldn't let her have more tortillas before she ate some other parts of her lunch. She started into her continual cry mode while we were trying to eat. Wyatt finally looked at us and said, "Ummm... can we do something about the crying?" I answered, "Yeah. Get used to it."

Pray for us!! :)
Grace and Peace,


Sincerely Anna said...

Yay! That's a beautiful picture of all 7 of you. I'm sure you are continuing on full-steam and it's hard to sit down and blog but I'm so glad to read these stories. I can totally picture how you stopped the 'burb in the middle of the road and ran out of the car! LOL

Bette said...

Welcome home! It's great to see all 7 of Team Dragovich together. I love the pic of all the kids playing on scooters. I'm glad you're home and can now work on the new family dynamics. God Bless Thee!

Christina said...
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Anonymous said...

Yea! Thanks for the cute pictures! I am just thinking of you so much! Thanks for taking the time to post!

Apryl said...

Ugh--been without internet (I say that as if I've REALLY hated it) for a week and I'm catching up! We've been praying for you guys...if you need an understanding ear, feel free to call! The kids look great, it's so funny to see you all together--I'm so excited. It will get easier and harder all at once, but wonderful nevertheless!
many hugs,
ps. Dare I even ask if you guys will be at the reunion :)

Natalie said...

Wow Shari! I didn't realize your kiddos JUST came home. Congratulations! Praying that God will bond their little hearts to yours...and yours to theirs. If I can ever help you or offer advice, please let me know. One of my friends has a blog for Christians who are helping their kids attach. You can check it out at