Two weeks ago we spent the weekend with my parents again, and Yikealo finally got to ride in the combine with my Dad. Papaw was already pretty special, but now he has definitely achieved a very high status in the eyes of my little boy! Yikealo has not stopped talking about the combine and the corn and the semi since. Nearly every day I hear some variation of: "Please Mom, Papaw's house and then combine tomorrow?" Sorry, cutie pie, but they're all done with the combining for this year! You'll have to wait awhile.
That same weekend brought Yikealo the experiences of his first car accident and his first trip to the ER. We'll blame the accident partially on him: he recently found some photos of a run-in that I had with a bridge back in 2001 and has been asking about it repeatedly. Whenever we were out driving the week after he saw those photos, he would ask, "Please Mom, make car go CRASH! CRASH!" I tried to explain that accidents were not desirable situations, but he wasn't buying it until we had a run-in with a deer while driving my brother's mini-van with three small children in the back. Fortunately, we were all fine, although there was a fair amount of damage to the van.
The trip to the emergency room happened much later that night when Yikealo woke up gasping for breath, and Mom drove us to the hospital where we learned that he had croup. He was fine after a couple of breathing treatments, and he's had no trouble since, but it was a scary thing for this first time Mama! I definitely felt my "protective mother-bear" side rise to the forefront, and refused to let anyone else hold him for awhile - including David. There was just this overwhelming NEED to hold on to my little boy and pray over him, and I kept thinking, "So THIS is what being a mom feels like. I love this child SO much, and I cannot imagine life without him. PLEASE let him be okay!" Once the medication kicked in, he had a good time goofing off with his Grammy while we waited to see the doctor. She was trying to get him to cough, and he wouldn't, so she pulled the old, "You're not allowed to cough anyway. Only Grammy can cough. You'd better not try!" As soon as she told him that he couldn't do something, of course that's exactly what he wanted to do! Reverse psychology works every time with this kid.
This past weekend, Yikealo got to meet his first new friend who was also adopted from Ethiopia. We had the great pleasure of visiting another adoptive family - Blake, Christine and their adorable Alexander - in Chicago, and we had a marvelous time sharing stories and introducing our beautiful boys.
My sister-in-law shared Blake and Christine's blog with us a year ago right after we announced that we were planning to adopt from Ethiopia, and we've been following their journey ever since. Christine graciously answered a number of travel questions for me during a phone call last June, and we've been wanting to meet them for awhile, so when they invited us to Chicago for the weekend, we jumped at the chance. They were wonderful hosts: on Saturday we visited a great children's museum (where among lots of other fun activities Yikealo got to pretend to be a vet, which basically meant giving his poor stuffed animal victim about 25 shots), played at a park along Lake Michigan, and had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant, and by the end of church on Sunday, I think that our boys had hit it off pretty well!
The funny thing is that both boys think that the photos of the other on our respective blogs are photos of themselves, and actually meeting Xander this weekend hasn't changed that for Yikealo. As I was looking at a photo of David holding Xander on our way home last night, Yikealo glanced up at it and asked, "Yikealo, what are do doing?" (his way of asking "what is happening in that picture?") I replied, "Sweetie, that's not you. That's Xander," after which he answered, "Oh. Xander, what are do doing?"
I'm so thankful for the gift of friendship with God's people, and I'm hoping that this will be the beginning of a special forever friendship between our sons!