I know it's said in every "6 month home" blog but it really is hard to believe Tariku has been home 6 months. I talked to him on the phone the other day and I was convinced he was Trysten. There is virtually no accent left on him and when I spoke Amharic the other day he had no idea what I was talking about. Both sad and incredible at the same time.
Yesterday marked the day that he has been with us longer than he was in the care center. Yesterday marks another day that will hopefully be proving his permanence in this home.
Today he thanked me for bringing him home (we weren't at home, so the concept is interesting).
He was always a great kid. He never really had huge tantrums and only in Ethiopia did they last anywhere close to 5 minutes. He's a bit stubborn but without a doubt he's the best behaved 3-year-old I know. The way they described him in his lifebook video is somewhat accurate but he's actually pretty great at sharing and does not cry nearly as often as I was expecting (though that's gotten better as well).
He has grown at ridiculous speeds, he is now getting a bit too big for 4t pants. His face is filling out and I hardly recognize the pictures from Ethiopia.
But my reflections over the last couple days haven't been much about his clothes or his non-accent.
They've been about the difference in all of us from 6 months ago. I was talking to another adoptive mom about this today (oh ok, it was Jody). Adoptive moms, as she puts it, are a force.
And we are, hopefully for good.
But I'm all in now. Bringing Tariku home has brought EVERYTHING in my backyard. Everything is personal. I can't escape the orphaned in Haiti or the little boy whose parents need a little extra time to figure out how to be better parents. I can't escape them because I've fallen desperately in love with one of those. I don't look at Tariku differently than Trysten or Dailah but I also remember where he did come from and the tragic circumstances that brought us together.
I always say that at the very basic, most elemental level; adoption is "killing two birds with one stone." We really wanted another baby to love and there just happened to be a little boy who needed someone to tuck him in and give him super special mommy kisses. It works on both levels.
And even though I had no idea that I would be forever changed as I have been, I will be eternally grateful to Tariku for it. I'm still guilty of slipping into the everyday and thinking of me and mine. But I also sometimes wake up at night and think of how I can have an outlet for the pounds of passion keeping me up. I think of how I can honor Tariku's adoption by making adoption less needed. That's the Plumpy'nut, the backpacks, and hopefully every one of our monthly projects. Selfishly I'm happy adoption was needed in Tariku's case (full disclosure) but I'm not naive enough to believe Tariku is better with me than with his Ethiopian family.
Clearly I make mistakes, clearly I'm an incredibly selfish person most of the time. Any moment of sheer unselfish genius I have is inspired by the people around me. I surround myself with those warriors of unselfishness so that I can hide my own indiscretions. That's the secret to life isnt it, surrounding yourself with inspiring people?
And truly, Tariku is by far one of the most inspiring people I will ever meet in my life.
Thank you baby boy, for being stronger than I could ever give you credit for and for a lifetime's supply of inspirational moments.