Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Four Years Old

Sintayehu turned four on Monday. My little boy is growing up so fast! He has really turned a corner behavior-wise during the last few weeks too....he seems much more focused and settled and loving than he had been in quite a while. We still have a bad day every now and then, but we're no longer having rough spots constantly throughout each day. This kiddo is SO much fun when he's happy! He is learning to use his inside voice (a HUGE relief to our exhausted ears!), he is learning to ask nicely when he wants something instead of throwing things or slamming doors, and he is learning to talk through his feelings instead of throwing temper tantrums. His language skills are coming along, although he is still somewhat difficult to understand if you're not used to deciphering his speech! Some of his mis-pronunciations have made their way into our family lexicon:
  • "fosa" (sofa)
  • "sicky puck" (sippy cup)
  • "vay hop-hee" (very happy)
  • "Look! It's a chunka-munka!" (said about a squirrel that he thought was a chipmunk)
  • "Kank you!" (Thank you)
  • "asselpauce" (applesauce)
  • "jump-a-leen" (trampoline)
  • "pan-panks" (pancakes) The other night, I had mentioned that I was making "pan-panks" for supper, and he was quick to give me orders, "Don't put bwuebways (blueberries) in it, or I be fwustwated wis you!" :-)
  • "I 'cared o' sumping." (I'm scared of something. This is the latest excuse to get out of bed, although when pressed, he can never actually come up with anything that he is 'cared of, except maybe a vague-sounding "montuh" (monster.))
A few other Sintay-isms:
  • "Oh, blasted mushrooms!" He says this whenever things aren't going his way, usually several times a day. When we were on vacation earlier this summer, he and I had just walked down to the beach one morning when he threw his arms up in disgust and said, "Oh, blasted mushrooms!" "What's wrong?" I asked, to which he replied in an exceedingly whiny voice, "Moooooommmmm, I don' have my supah powahs wif me!" (He couldn't actually articulate what his super powers are....)
  • On our last day at the beach, I asked what his favorite part of vacation had been. He said that he liked swimming in the ocean and the pools. I asked if there was anything he hadn't liked. "Ummmmm......(thinking carefully).....yeah! I don' like tigahs eating me." Okay then! I hadn't realized that we'd had any tigers gnawing on my child while on vacation, but there you have it.
  • One day I was listening to praise music in my bedroom while folding laundry. Sintay came in and asked, "What dis song?" I told him that it was called Breathe, and he asked why. "Because it's saying that we need God like we need air, sweetie." Sintay: "Like a hump-back whale?" Huh?? But then, that's usually how conversations go with this kiddo.
Then there's the way he insists on walking around our street wearing swim goggles instead of sunglasses....charming, isn't he?

After supper Monday night, we had some cake and ice cream to celebrate his birthday. He was most excited about "blowing fire," but once the candles were extinguished, he immediately dove head-first into the cake. I guess we're just getting to the whole first-birthday-destroy-the-cake thing a few years later than usual!

The most amazing part of this birthday celebration, though, really had to do with Chris and Erica's trip to Ethiopia last week. They were able to spend a few days in Gambella, the region where Sintayehu lived. While there, they met his birth mom (A) and were able to give her a photo book that we had made of Sintay's first year with us. A was able to communicate to Erica how thankful she is that he is in America, where he has the chance to be safe and happy, how blessed she feels that he is being raised in a Christian family, and how much she loves him. It felt like such a gift on Sunday evening, to hear Erica's description of that meeting. It was even more beautiful, when on Sintayehu's birthday, Erica forwarded many new photos of his beloved first mama. He was overjoyed to see her again, although he wanted Erica to know in no uncertain terms that A was "MY Mommy A, NOT Ehkah's!" I am grateful beyond words to be able to have ways to keep in touch with our boys' first families.


  1. Love this post!!! Sintay makes me laugh so hard....and who wouldn't agree that jump-a-leen makes much more sense than trampoline anyway?? And where did the guy ever come up with "blasted mushrooms??" And the guitar shirt!!! I love that he can wear it now. He is becoming such a beautiful boy.

    And my favorite photo? The one of A looking at the pic of your family. It melts my heart. :)

  2. Oh I LOVE Sintay!!!!! He makes me laugh!!!!

    And that photo of A melts me...what a gift!