Joking aside, we love her so much. Today we celebrated as a family by taking the golf cart to the green park for a picnic -- just like we did a year ago. I've posted the two pictures below for comparison.
At the picnic, instead of having a coffee ceremony (Ethiopian tradition), we decided to share in a "coca-cola ceremony". Ethiopians love their coke, and it is always in bottles. So we made sure to bring some bottled coke along.
After the picnic we went to see the movie The Lorax. We figured Alemitu might be too young to see a movie, but we thought we'd give it a try. We knew sitting still might be a problem, but what we didn't factor in was that she yells when she speaks, and she speaks nonstop. "DADDY!" (points to the screen) or "MOMMY! Drink please" or "DADDY!" (give him a hug) or "MOMMY! here" (handing me popcorn). It was nonstop for several minutes. So . . . the rest of the movie Alemitu and I hung out on the ramp by the entrance of the theater where no one could see or hear us, but we could still watch the movie. Only a few times did Adam hear her yell. :-) Even sitting on the floor, we had a great time watching the movie.
Alemitu is funny, sweet, cuddly, bossy, loud, smiley, shy, ham, loving, impatient, etc. I thought I'd show some comparisons:
Last year when we brought Alemitu home, she could not put pressure on her legs. Now, she walks, runs, wrestles, rides bikes, and just goes nonstop. In the past few weeks, she has given herself two goose eggs on her forehead.
Last year, Alemitu was shy with her brothers and they were shy around her. Now, all she wants to do is play with her brothers. She won't play with toys -- just her brothers. She wrestles with them, yells at them, chases them, etc. The best part is that they love it and play along with her too. Only sometimes do they ask if they can play in their room without her.
Last year, Alemitu slept at least 12 hours a night and took great naps. She still does. (We are so, so lucky!)
Last year, Alemitu kept her two middle fingers in her mouth. She quit doing that after she became comfortable at home with us. Now, she puts everything into her ears. The other day I got her out of her car seat and she took a Reese Pieces out of her ear and ate it. She had been saving it for later I guess.
Last year, Alemitu had trouble eating and had stomach issues. She still doesn't eat a lot, but her favorite foods are ice cream and fruit snacks.
Last year, Alemitu didn't say any words. Now she says a lot of words, and either sings them or yells them most of the time. (Sidenote: as I review this paragraph for mistakes, Alemitu is currently standing on the couch screaming at the top of her lungs, and then laughing because she is cracking herself up at the screaming)
Last year, Alemitu loved water. Now -- she still loves water. You'd understand if you witnessed the way her nanny would bathe her. No child could be scared of water after that (although the parents were all shocked). She loves baths, showers, swimming, sinks, dog bowls, etc. We go swimming a lot, and the past few weeks Adam and I have just been pushing her back and forth in the water (completely submerged) between us. She moves her arms and legs as if she is trying to swim. In June when we went to Hilton Head, she ran into the ocean. She has no fear of water.
Last year, Alemitu was a mommy's girl. Now she is starting to become a daddy's girl. Adam has been traveling a lot, and she is really loving her daddy when he is home (and yelling at him on the phone when he is gone). In addition, last year she would go to anyone -- stranger or not. She didn't know the difference between stranger and parent. After working with her the first few months on attachment, she now is very shy with strangers, and even some family and friends. In fact, there are only a handful of people whom she feels comfortable to easily leave our arms and go into theirs without fussing.
Last year, Alemitu was loved by her grandfather. She still is.
And we love her too.