Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Queen Buster and Other Stories

Yikealo continues to do very well with his new life - it's hard to believe that he's been here for 8 months as of today. He speaks only in English now, although we do have some pronunciation issues from time to time. Take his memory verses for Sunday School, for example: the three year old class is learning the 23rd Psalm this year, with a new phrase being added every two weeks. It took me a couple of days to convince him that "Da Luord is my Shepherd, I shall NOT!" or "Da Luord is my Shepherd, I no want it" were NOT the same thing as "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want!"

Two days ago, Yikealo and David were snuggling in our bed in the morning when David called me back for an interpretation:
D: "Honey, he's saying something about Buster crying in the door because Mom and Dad are all gone. Do you know what he's talking about?"
Me: "Hmmmm.....I have no idea. Yikealo, can you tell me what you just told Daddy?"
Y: "Yeah, Mom, menember story? Buster is cryin' in the door because Mama all gone and Daddy all gone? In my book?"
Me: "Sweetie, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't remember reading a book about someone named Buster."
Y: "Mom, in my book! I show ya." (Runs off to the bookshelf and returns with "My Bible Friends - Book 4" - open to "Esther, the Brave Queen.") "See, Mom? Buster!"
Me: (Giggling) "So, I guess we did read about Buster! Somehow, though, "Queen Buster" just doesn't have the same ring as "Queen Esther."

(You'll notice, of course, which part of the story held the most significance for him. Esther, the orphan girl, crying because she was all alone before her cousin Mordecai came to get her.)

Other Yikealo-ized Bible stories include his very favorite: David and Goliath. We've been reading him a Bible story at bedtime every night, and when we finish reading, he ALWAYS has to turn back to the pictures of Goliath, by which he is completely fascinated. Then he always asks David what the giant is saying. I think after the first two weeks or so, David was getting a little bored of the routine, so he started ad libbing (in his very best deep, gruff, giant voice, of course!): "HA HA HA! YOUR GOD IS TOO LITTLE TO SAVE YOU! I AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND EAT YOU ON TOAST!" and other such nonsense. The other day, Yikealo came running to me with his favorite giant picture and asked again what the giant was saying. I told him to tell me, since he's heard it so many times. He immediately puffed out his chest, scrunched up his face and using his very best, deep, gruff giant voice he said, "I'M EATING TOAST! HA HA!!!" Okay, so I cracked up laughing, which is probably how the Israelites would've responded to such a threat too. I mean, really, can you think of anything more frightening than a toast-eating giant?

Yikealo also informed David yesterday morning that "Dear God says 'Don't read the Bible!'" This was in response to David telling Y that no, he was not going to read Green Eggs and Ham for the 1000th time because he was in the middle of having his morning devotions. We tried to set him straight on that account, but that will only last until the next time that he wants to give us orders of some kind. His direct line to "Dear God's" voice always seems to correlate to what he wants somehow!

Speaking of Dr. Seuss classics, another book that Yikealo loves is "Fox in Socks" - with his favorite line being, "I can't say this blibber blubber! My tongue is not made of rubber!" He walks around repeating this over and over until I honestly feel like my head is ringing. A few days ago, we arrived home with groceries, which I proceeded to carry into the house. When I returned to the car, Yikealo was carrying on a very loud conversation with our elderly next door neighbor, Wanda - across the snowy yards separating our houses. As I walked out of the garage, I heard him shouting, "I can't say dis bibber bubber! My tongue is not made of bubber!" Wanda looked slightly affronted, so I quickly explained that he was only quoting Dr. Seuss. Honestly, of all the things to be shouting to a nice neighbor that you really haven't seen for several months because you've all been shut indoors. Oh well, that's a little boy for ya!

And we musn't forget his version of "Ring Around the Rosie," which goes like this:
"Ring awound a werzy,
Pocket full 'o me,
Ashton, Ashton,
You fall down!"
This, of course, is the most fun when you are spending time with your cousin Ashton, and can use it as an excuse to boss him around.

As I've mentioned before, it does make me sad to see all of his Amharic go by the wayside. It's unbelievable to me that words which were part of our everyday life just 2 months ago no longer have any meaning for him, and in some cases, he can't even pronounce them correctly when we mention them. The human brain is an amazing creation, and this little guy's resiliency has overwhelmed me. It was probably one year ago today that Mihiret relinquished him. He arrived at Hannah's Hope on March 5th, just a couple of days after his mother had given him up to some men associated with AGCI in the northern city of Mekele. So many changes in one year's time, and yet it seems that he's taken most of them right in stride. We grow more thankful every day for his presence in our lives!


  1. What a beautiful smile :) It is amazing changes that seem to happen so quickly!

  2. It's late and I just posted on our blog and then checked yours. I miss you guys so much... I could just hear David in his gruff giant voice, and I had to giggle at the toast-eating giant. Indeed!

    If you get to the library, we found a great book in GA on our last time there: Watch Me Throw the Ball, by Mo Willems. it should be called The Piggy Rocks! HeeHee. Just get it!

  3. What a cutie! Ab still says Du for The. :) and I agree about the resiliency. Blows me away at times when I think about all they have been through and they are able to run, laugh, and play with abandon. God is good.

  4. Laughed until I cried! Thanks for sharing those stories! Isn't it amazing to watch them grow....into our culture.... and spiritually!Ours brings the picture Bible to us regulary to say "What's the name?". Hard to explain that the man with leprosy had a name but I don't know it!

    We are still dealing with sentence structure but it's so cute! "Give it to me the book." hee hee