Mente, Lulu, and Teme are my joy, three of the greatest blessings of my life. Lulu is my surprise, a little girl for us when we were told that we certainly would have a boy. Teme is my miracle, a second child for us when we had only planned for one. Lulu came to us at 10-months-old in the fall of 2010, and Teme arrived home for Christmas 2011, just over 15-months-old. Mente is our first child who will be our last home. His story is magnificent and a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Mente is waiting for us in Ethiopia, now just under 3-years-old. We hope to have him home before his birthday.
Lulu spends her days dancing (even with no music), clapping her hands, and reading her “woo woo,” “kitty,” and “meh” books over and over. She loves waving at the cows that live up the street, and she’d much rather be outdoors than anywhere else. She devours bananas, eats apples and their cores, and eagerly takes bites of anything I ask her to only to politely spit them out and tuck them in her chair. A baby wipe or kitchen cloth keeps her busy for at least half an hour, and she has detailed yet unintelligible conversations with her Nana on her play phone. She’s very wary of finger paint and play dough, and she’d rather eat crayons than color.
My Teme is much more reserved, grasping at my pant legs, peeking around corners before stepping into rooms. He is sensitive, offended if he suspects he is excluded from Lulu’s bath time or the last to put his coat on when preparing to leave. He’s my snuggle bug, wraps his arms around my neck and presses his cheek into mine and stays there happily while his sister roams. He imitates his sister’s kisses and dance moves. His speech is surprisingly clear, proficient with more than 30 words in under 3 months. He grins with his four teeth showing while toddling around the house with a spatula in one hand and a picnic basket on his arm. He loves to cook in the play kitchen and often snacks on pretend food.
We are still getting to know our Mente, but he seems more like his brother than his sister. He is wary of us, warms up slowly. He likes to kick at soccer balls, look at books, and learn new words. His Amharic is quite proficient, and he is learning some English already.
These sweet creatures are the substance of my days, my very favorite things.