Okay, I'm getting ready to commit a huge bloggie sin... and I have done it before, but this is really bad. I am getting ready to post about my newest son's first b-day as a member of Team Dragovich-- and I am NOT loading pictures. This is not by choice. I used Tony's camera to take pictures and he can't find the cord I need to upload the pics onto my camera. To make matters worse... I didn't even TAKE a camera yesterday to our day trip to the beach because again, Tony's camera is missing a cord AND his card is full... and my camera's battery is dead and I can't find the charger-- which it doesn't really hold a charge anymore, so I see the end of my camera coming... but still. How shameful.
So... Thursday, August 20th, was JB's 6th birthday. Luckily, Sam's b-day was two weeks before, so he got to see a birthday in real time as we celebrate here at Team D. As the days approached to his big celebration, we would mention to him that he was going to have a birthday soon. He would smile and say, "No. Biruk-e birthday. No". We didn't really know why he kept saying this, other than maybe it wasn't the day yet, so maybe he was confused. Then, when Thursday came, we all got up and did our birthday thing and he kept saying, "No. No, Biruk-e Birthday. Sam's birthday. No, Biruk-e birthday". Every time we would tell him happy birthday, or say, yes, it WAS his birthday, he would say no. He tolerated our birthday fun all day, but denied that it was ever his birthday. Tony and I were somewhat puzzled over this, not really knowing if we were making him upset, if he didn't understand, etc. We thought once we did the cake and presents, he would brighten up and say, "Sure! It can be my birthday!" Instead he seemed so uncomfortable and uncertain of what to make of all the fuss over him. And at one point, I thought he was going to cry. He kept his silly smile plastered on his face the entire time, but when Tony kept telling him it was his his birthday and he kept saying no, I wasn't so sure we weren't headed for trouble. The crazy thing is, I think it was exactly what he needed. The persistent attention, the celebration of him, the constant, "Yes! It IS your birthday!!"... he just doesn't know how to handle the attention, affection and consistent love. Tony and I had a long discussion and just wondering outloud about his entire reaction. We laughed that we had just witnessed a first-- a kid who DIDN'T want a BIRTHDAY!! Now, let me just clarify-- he DID want the presents and was happy to unwrap gifts labeled "JB". But, consistent with a lot of his little quirks, the anti-birthday reaction helped put more of a face on our little boy's tough life before us. Joshua-Biruk wears a lot of masks to hide the hurt that he has experienced already in life. Most of those masks seem to present themselves in ultra-silly behavior, resistance to a lot of attention and focus on him, immediate "wounded" behavior when he is offended by a brother, over obsessiveness over Tony... there are more than just these, but Tony and I see these masks the most.
But... PRAISE GOD!!!... we are seeing less and less of the "beaten down little puppy" and more and more of the truly wonderful boy, God has perfectly created. It seems as though in the past two weeks, we have started to turn a corner-- or maybe it is more of a very wide turn... but either way, ALL of us have begun to settle more and more into our new, expanded family. I know I have talked before about lack of eye contact-- just in the last week, JB has looked at me-- ON HIS OWN-- EVERY time I have asked him to!!!! And he will even maintain eye contact for more than 2 seconds! Even when it is for discipline purposes for which I am speaking to him... he looks directly at me, and responds in an appropriate way. He speaks to the boys before he whines at them. They have many hours a day of appropriate and happy playtime together AND he seems to be really digging both soccer AND homeschool-- both of which started this week. And the boys have become INFINITELY more compassionate, kind and tolerant of him. Every day we pray, multiple times a day, for God to weave our hearts together as a family and He is so very faithful. Of course He is!
Okay, so that was a lot about the "birthday"... I'll try to be more concise on the "beach & Vomit"... as they sorta go together. Earlier this week, Tony got a wild hair to take a day trip to the beach-- we live about 2+ hours away and have made it a day trip before. We're crazy like this. He wanted to see the Hurricane Bill waves. Sure! I RARELY turn down a trip to the ocean! So, yesterday morning we get up and out the door later than we wanted, but still pretty early and headed to the beach. I noticed that RiSa was more crabby and lethargic than normal as we got ready to go. She was more fussy and sassy. I assumed she was mad that we weren't eating breakfast before heading out the door-- the girl likes her food. Well... after about 40 minutes in the car, I found out the real culprit. RiSa was sick!!!! She still is. She threw up consistently on the drive to the beach and once while we were there. JB joined her, of course in the vomiting fun-- you know, he gets car sick pretty easily and we don't get to "our" beach via interstate-- two lane state roads, through little towns, full of starts and stops, slow moving vehicles, turns and uneven pavements. She seemed to liven up at the beach. We all had a blast in the waves and sand, came home sufficiently lobstered and I thought all was well. No. She started throwing up again around 7pm last night and is STILL throwing up. It is 10:30 am on Sunday. I have never had a child throw up for over 24 hours. And once she started vomiting last night, she maintained a steady rate of "sick, Mommy" every ten minutes or so. To say that I feel like my head is in a fog right now is an understatement. And I'm still blogging. Whatever. Pour me more coffee. My husband is calling me his "hero" and has crowned me a saint for "letting" him sleep all night while I stayed up. As if I could have woken him from his coma sleep if I tried. What a goof ball. :)
Okay... last but not least... here are a few more quick notes of our last week:
*We started doing school this week. Tricky with 5 kids in-tow, but after a few adjustments to the schedule and activities to keep little bodies busy at the right time... we had a GREAT WEEK!! Who knows what chaos will come, but at least I am over the "starting school again" hump.
*JB seems to really dig school. Don't get me wrong, he loves to play more, but he comes very willingly to the table when it is his turn for "Mommy time" (one-on-one instruction) and has even taken a couple of the things we discussed this week during story time and applied them to every day (the boys sees every American flag we drive by-- and is sure to point them out to me-- "MOM! FLAG-- America Flag!" Too cute)
*The RiSa cuteness factor continues... this morning AS she was vomiting into her puke bucket, Isaac made the comment, "Mom, I just can't get over how CUTE Selame looks in those new pajamas!" She's even cute when she is vomiting-- at least to SOME of us :)
*I have been able to run more lately. I either run while at the soccer fields during practice-- that is, when Tony comes with us, too; or I put RiSa in the jogger, JB and Sam ride their bikes and I even bring Penny-- the dog-- along. I let Wyatt and Isaac stay home, since I am staying right inside our little neighborhood. I can get about 3 1/2 miles out of the boys, and of course, RiSa is happy to ride as long as I can push her :).
*We found out that both of RiSa's ear drums are perforated this week. We are being referred to ENT where we will determine what needs to be done. Obviously, this happened before we had her-- not sure if the holes will close on their own or not. They must be pretty large to still be open after such a long time. We never received any reports while she was in the Transition Home that she had a bad ear infection-- not sure that we would have-- but still... I'm a little concerned that they won't heal on their own and she will need to have them surgically repaired. None of my children have ever needed to be operated on, yet. When the realization hit me (more like Tony mentioned it-- very casually, I might add-- yesterday on the way to the beach), my heart dropped to my stomach and I almost started crying. Then I knew...
... these ARE my children, given to me by God, Himself for a purpose and a plan.
Grace and Peace,