Saturday, September 27, 2014

Letter to Joseph, Son and Brother

Dear Joseph,
Pretty soon, we'll be marking off 5 months that you will have been in our family.  You spent 504 days in an orphanage, and eventually, on September 22nd of next year, you will have finally been in a family longer than you were in an orphanage.  Little by little, day by day, we get to even that score while day by day you amaze us with your resilience.  

Joseph, for 504 days you may not have known that you were supposed to be well fed and held and played with and cuddled and tickled and entertained and loved, but you have caught on to these ideas quickly!  You have completely bought into this whole family thing and you completely and rightfully expect that your Baba and I, along with your sister, are here to meet your wants and needs.  You want to be held?  You got it.  You want a drink?  You know who to ask.  You want someone to push you for 45 minutes in the swing?  Sure.  You are ready at 4 o'clock in the morning to get up and start playing for the day?  Well, your Baba handles that solo, but he does so every day for you!  You make us exhausted, but you so completely trust us that we always try to meet your expectations.  We don't want to let you down. You didn't ask to be adopted and flown half way around the world, but you seem to like it anyhow.  
You like Juice Boxes so much
I love to call you Buster.  That is
a reference to a TV show that is
really before your time.

Jos, you are such a happy little boy.  You are also stubborn and energetic and you have really big ideas.  In fact, your ideas are so enormous, that you can hardly contain them within your little body.  They come out in screams and bursts of squeals, giggles and sometimes tantrums.  They manifest physically as you run, fall, climb, and twirl from place to place.  You had 2 giant bruises on your face this week, the results of some of your big ideas.  Nothing is too big to climb.  No speed is too fast, and if you crash, so be it because your family will pick you up and hug you and kiss your tears until, 20 seconds later, you wiggle and squirm to get away and back to adventure.  

Through observation, you also have figured out how everything works here.  You know where your shoes are kept, when to put them on, and even have a good idea of how to accomplish that.  You know where the leash is and have an idea of how to walk the dog.  You understand what trash is and where we keep the garbage can and you even squeeze your little hand behind the childproofed cabinet door to throw away your unwanted wrappers or old juice boxes.  You know where food is kept and you figured out how to navigate and climb the fridge to get to the juice boxes.  You know where to put your dirty clothes after a bath and where your dirty diapers go after being changed.  You seem to take comfort in the daily routines of our life, however boring they may be, they are ours for now.  

Part hug-fest, part wrestle-mania, you and
your sister are best friends.  It is our hope for
you both that you will stay close as you grow up.
Happiness is
a Stinky Blankie.
This letter would be incomplete without mentioning how very much your sister loves you.  She refers to you as "my baby" like when, the other day, you made off with a block from her classroom and she returned it to her teacher saying "Sorry, but my baby took this" and when she is 8 or 9 she plans to marry you. She is proud of you, proud to be a big sister, and wants the world for you.  She wants to make sure you get your fair share.  She wants you to be happy, comfortable, healthy. Until you start talking, she will be your voice (and maybe after that too!).   She says "Joseph wants crackers" or "Joseph and I want to ride our bikes."  Last Saturday you were sick with fever and vomiting.  After playing at a park (babies do not slow down when they are sick), you fell asleep in the car and Baba carried you into the house and laid you down on the floor.  Abigail, in a very touching display said "My little brother Joseph would feel better if he had Blankie" and she put her Blankie on top of you.  This is the very Blankie she swore she would never share with you.  The Blankie that would be the first non-living thing we would save from our house if it were on fire.  The Blankie you try unsuccessfully to steal from her in the mornings when you watch Curious George together.  Pure love.  

Joseph, you are a sweet, loving little boy.  I can easily imagine you growing into a kind and silly man like your Baba.  Stay sweet and loving, Jos.  


PS:  If you want to sleep through the night until 5 or 6, no one will mind!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Snapshot(s) Kiddie Hiking

He ran or walked for most of 2 hours!

It was the most beautiful fall day today!