Friday, November 25, 2011

Stories...

The kids had so much fun today! We made Christmas lists. Maybe we shouldn't have tried to explain Santa Claus. (Or Christmas Father, as they call him.) They know who he is, but had no idea he brought presents. They wanted to know how he gets in, how he gets their letters, how he knows which house is ours... They are so confused!


Serwaa & Konto talked & talked today. I love to hear their stories. Serwaa told me about catching birds with her older brother. (I didn't know she remembered him at all. They were seperated when she was 4 years old.) They would go into the woods, and he would shoot them with a sling shot. Or, he would 'walk small-small' (sneak up on the bird) and put a basket over it!

They also told about their friend Yadudu raising a baby chicken names Janet. When it grew up, it had three babies. They named them Janet, Felicity and Jennifer. Then, Yadudu ate the mother.


Another girl named Serwaa also raised a chicken. It had one leg. The girls would sneak some of their food to the chicken everyday. When it died, they all cried.

They talked about Ghana's presidents, and their opinions of them. Then they quoted a poem about Ghana they learned in school.



They told about how well Yadudu can break dance, how Faith and Eugene write left-handed, and how the cooks don't like Amankwa because he cries when he is hungry, and when he eats okra.


I know the stories are pointless to everyone else. But I hope my kids will always remember them. (I had to write them down, because I know I'll forget!)



And last but not least, Malorie taught them to slide down the stairs...
video

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Serwaa...

Well, we are finally done with all of the kids' lab work! So glad to be done collecting urine & stool samples!!! Monday we got the results for Serwaa's labwork. The doctor said it was all pretty good! He said they did find two 'things'. He said in all of his 20 years, he had never heard of them. He looked up the first one (don't even know the name). He said treatment is controversial; so if there are no symptoms, he will do nothing. The other 'thing' that showed up as positive wasn't even in his medical book. So if it's anything important he will call back to let me know (once he finds out what it is).




Serwaa is really a very sweet, loving girl. I am so lucky to be her momma. Although she can be a drama queen, she is also very quiet alot of the time. If only I knew what she was thinking.




While she seems generally happy, she does cry sometimes. She never says why. She did tell her friend once that she dreamed she was being choked. She cried & said her throat hurt most of that day. She also cried when trying to write a letter to her 'Ghana mother' (her Aunt who raised her until age 4). I really think she doesn't know how she's supposed to feel about her. She didn't know what to say. She asked me to write a letter, and she would just copy it. So I did. The only line Serwaa added was "I am very happy". Later, we wrote a letter to send 'Grandmother' (the orphanage directress). I also wrote that letter. But Serwaa did add "Here is good. Thank you for helping me to come here. My father, mother and sister are very good. God bless you."




She is starting to try more foods, although she still doesn't like most of them. Especially vegetables.


On Saturday, she went to a birthday party with my daughter. I know you're supposed to stay with your children non-stop for awhile, but I let her go. She actually had fun. When she got home, she ran in to hug and kiss me a million times. So sweet. She also still tells me she loves me almost every day. I am so blessed with this girl.



Serwaa Akweleyaa Knight


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So Far, So Good...

It's been 2.5 weeks. Everything is still going great! I'm not sure when all that awfulness I have read about & prepared myself for is supposed to kick in. But honestly, it's all good right now. So here's a quick update on it all.


Food:
Serwaa is still VERY picky. She refuses to try almost everything new. If she refuses to try the food I've made, I refuse to make anything else. If she tries it & dislikes it, I will give her a few more options. However, even when forced to try something, she will lick it, then say she doesn't like it. Konto still eats like a starving man. Serwaa knows how to make a few things from Ghana. Yesterday they made 'ato' (I think). It was boiled & smashed ripe plantain mixed with 'nkatemali' (peanut butter) & raw onion. We even sat in the floor & all ate from the same bowl with our hands! She has also made plantain fried in palm oil.


Brother/Sister Relationships:
The kids generally love each other. Malorie told me the other day, "I love having a brother and sister!" The girls tell each other "My seesta, I love you!" about 5 times a day. Konto tells them "I don't love you oppossite." The hitting is decreasing, but we still have a long way to go. Malorie spent half of the day doing hairstyles for Serwaa. Poor Serwaa. The kids even made a 'siblings club' in the attic today. These 3 have been really fun!


Health:
Konto's toe still looks awful, but at least it's not infected now. Maybe one day he'll have a real toenail. Serwaa went to her 1st checkup on Monday. Her hearing, sight & hemoglobin are all good. She will have lots of bloodwork done once I return her stool sample to the lab. (Parenthood is so glamorous, I know.) Also, after the Dr looked her over completely, he said he would assume she is around 9 years old. And a huge relief: Konto has gone a week with no pullups at night, and Serwaa has gone 3 nights! I have read that this problem sometimes re-surfaces, but I'm so glad to not be buying pullups this week!



General Behavior:
The kids are both pretty shy at first. They tend to look down & not speak when people speak to them. They never approach strangers or anything scary. However, they will attach themselves easily to people who buy them things or give them gifts, and are not shy to keep asking people to buy them more things! I imagine this will die down once the memory of having nothing fades. They obey pretty well. (Except for lying, we have a long way to go with that one!)


Funny Ghana Behavior:
Never closing the bathroom door
Eating rice with hands
Urinating in public
Running around naked after baths
(We haven't even bothered to try to change any of this yet. All in good time.)


Attachment:
This is still a non-issue for me. It's just like the first time we were together in Ghana. They don't feel like new kids. They really feel like they've always been my kids. I have yet to get frustrated with them like I would with someone else's child who lies or pouts. Maybe this wears off after the 'honeymoon' stage. I'm not gonna paint a fairytale, so I'll let ya know! For Al it seems easy too. Of course, he's usually not home during any negative behaviors, so that helps! He's like a big kid. He has 2 more people to play with, so he couldn't be happier! For Malorie it's been much easier than expected. Maybe this too is part of a honeymoon stage. Serwaa & Konto- I'm not sure how to judge their attachment to us. They seem attached. They like to snuggle with us. They look me in the eye when talking. (Serwaa is better about it than Konto though. He doesn't hold a gaze for too long.) I guess time will tell.
 

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Week...

I can't believe the kids have been home a whole week now! (Actually, a week and two days.) It has really been good. Konto went to his first doctor's appointment on Friday. (His toe is infected where his toenail should be.) He did really well, and the nurses all liked him.


They are trying more food, but still loving their regular foods. So, we try to have a mixture of both. (Like hamburgers with ampesi, or Pork Chops with rice & shitor.) Konto eats more than any person I've seen in my life (even myself)! Maybe it's because he didn't have the option to eat alot before. But man, he doesn't stop until you make him! He's gonna be huge in one month!

The kids still hit alot, but maybe it's getting a little better. All in all, the kids are getting along well. Of course they fight sometimes, but it's not too bad. The girls are still trying to pick out matching clothes everyday. They insist on taking their baths together. And they are always playing tricks on their brother.

Konto is loving being the baby. He wakes up early every morning, just to lay in our bed for a couple more hours. He is also daddy's boy. On Saturday night, we went to the mexican restaurant. When Konto saw that daddy had gone up to the front for karaoke, he ran up there to give him a hug. Then, he stayed up there and danced through the entire song! He was breaking it down! So funny! He is also a pouter. If he doesn't get his way, he is definately gonna pout/ not talk/ not walk...


So, that's how it's going now. Over all- very good!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living in a House...

It's so funny to watch the kids as the learn to live in a house. Of course, they lived in a 'house' before. The orphanage has a girls house & boys house. But, it's so different. Most of the day the kids are outside. They eat outside, bathe outside and play outside all day long.
Here, we are inside alot. Things are so different, so there is alot to be learned! For instance- when the kids have trash, it is thrown in the floor. When Serwaa was tired of chewing her gum, she spit it in the floor. Konto threw a golf ball at the wall in his room. After playing outside with sidewalk chalk, Konto brought it in & started using it on the carpet! He also got red ink on his hand accidentally, so he wiped it on the carpet! Dirty tissue paper is put in the trash, not the toilet. Doors are NEVER shut, whether they are changing clothes, bathing, or using the toilet...

It's all so funny! They aren't being bad at all, they just don't know otherwise! Also- today we were leaving a friends house. We all got in the car, except Konto. He went to go pee in the neighbors front yard! I quickly stopped him, so he went to the vacant lot across from it to pee instead. (He didn't mind that the construction workers could see him!) Never a dull moment!
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Knight, Party of 5...

It is so good to be home with my whole family. We got home Saturday night after spending about 36 hours between airplanes & airports. It's been really nice so far! Sunday morning we went to church, then out to eat. It was so much fun when they asked 'how many?', & we FINALLY got to say 5 instead of 3!

Malorie, Serwaa & Konto are all getting along pretty well. There is still alot of hitting, even though much of it is just playing very roughly. The kids are slowly learning to eat more than just rice, bread & soup. But suppertime is still a struggle. Usually I just make one thing they like, and one thing everybody else likes. And Konto- he eats like a grown man! He wants at least 3rds of everything he likes, & eats everyone's leftovers!

They are loving all the toys here. I'm sure things will get rough eventually, once all the newness wears off. But now, it's very good. Sometimes one of them will just start refusing to do what I ask, but it doesn't usually last too long.

A wonderful lady at my church gave me lots of samples for the kids. Lotion, shampoo, conditioner, scalp oil... lots of stuff. And gave me a short lesson in how to care for their skin & hair. So thankful to have people like that around! But, I'm sure I'll need lots more coaching along the way!

Also, the kids got to skype with an old friend from the orphanage today. They had SO MUCH FUN! I love it!