Cuddling on the chaise (Kiki and Jim)...
But everyone around us was so generous with gifts for the children that it was still overwhelming with the amount of toys and clothing that they rec'd. Thank you family and friends!
This was an odd Christmastime for me. I had been expecting it to be the best Christmas ever, and in many ways it was, but there was still something missing for me. The true Christmas spirit never completely captured me as it typically does. "Stuff" just isn't as important as before. And even though we made some gifts this year for the grown ups in our lives it wasn't as I had hoped.
No matter what, you end up feeling like if you don't have an extra special purchased gift for people that you screwed up. You (or I) would watch people opening our "scaled down" gifts almost wincing with apology. It's hard to explain. It just felt sort of embarrassing since nobody else "scaled down". You see, I'm known in my family for being very creative and giving really cool gifts instead of grabbing crap off of end caps. But this year was different. We bought some for kids, we made some for grown-ups and bought some delicious treat too, and donated the bulk in different families' names.
We really wanted to do this and people seemed to enjoy the donations but they still didn't have a cool gift. It reminds me of how commercial I still am and how little my thoughts are. But don't we all care if someone likes what we give them? Sad, but true?? The ego kicks in now and then!
My heart was also pulled because I thought a lot of Tessa's family... Even though they haven't celebrated Christmas (Timkat as they call it) until January, I thought of them and wished that they could see her smiling and happy now. The photo album that we handed them at our birth family visit had pictures of Tarikua upset or vacant looking. They were only pictures that were given to us before we traveled by other wonderful families and of us as a family of three. She was not the same as she is now and I want her Mamoo to see her filled with life and not the dead look in her eyes that is in most of the photos.
I'm ashamed to say that I'm glad Christmas is over - I would almost cringe when people would say that in past years (sort of feeling it a little) but I really feel that way this year.
Perhaps the past few months have taken a bigger toll on me mentally than I had expected. Between the wonderful/difficult meeting and coming home, being ever so ill (still am) and then the holiday season sprinkled on top! Phew! This is coming from someone who cannot put too much on my plate without feeling the overload!
Light and wonderful things; Tessa is AMAZING me and us every single day. Michael said just two days ago that these are the happiest days of his life. We are so madly and crazy in love with Tessa. Her sentences are full and wonderful. Sadly she's losing a bit of her accent on several words. We began a little daycare a bit ago and she's loving the other kids. Not afraid that she's not coming home to us and feeling scared. The great thing about our life and the way we raise our kids is that life is pretty structured and predictable - perfect for a new member of the family to adjust to!
She is the biggest snuggle bug on the planet and cannot get enough of girly stuff and playing with my hair and letting me do hers. She's obsessed with anything pink and sparkly and insists on picking our her outfits each day. She is so content and easy to please, she is HYSTERICAL with her humor and makes up crazy songs every day (which mostly consist of repeating the same words over and over but in a different tune.) It's been odd that she is never (almost) speaking Sidamafoo (sp) or Amharic. She never really has much, even at first. If she can't say it in English she basically doesn't say it. We try to use some of the phrases that we learned to keep it up but sometimes she looks at me with her head tilted and says; "No thank you Ethiopia". It's sad. She says the same thing after looking at pictures from our trip too (we do not show her pics. of her family visit), "no thank you momma, no Ethiopia" she'll say after looking at several of them. We want to and will continue to instill that we love Ethiopia! She get's excited at first and then doesn't want to see them anymore.
On a Twilight front - still love it - crazed obsessed fan! Heaven help me! :)
I'm tired of writing and will stop now - Ciao~ I'll try to pull some recent pictures together soon!