A family from Montana, living in Senegal and adopting a baby from Ethiopia
Monday, March 23, 2009
A few things about Dessi
We had a great time in Florida. Absolutely great. Dessi spent her time kissing her cousin Ellis, learning to throw a ball with her grandpa, and dancing in circles and playing games with her grandma. I loved that she had someone to play with or hug and kiss her just about every second of the day. She loved it too, and once again I could see how she just thrives in those situations and really needs a little more than just her mamma day in and out. We're actually going to go check out a nearby preschool next week (I've been waiting for my knee to get better, and it is improving every day). I know she's young, but I think she will really get a lot out of it. I'll be with her the whole time, anyway, so if it doesn't work it's no big deal. She is so social and easygoing.
I have to say, Dessi really is the most unbelievable child. We think she is just the coolest and most amazing person we've ever met. Neither Eric or I can get over it. We are filled not only with love and joy and gratitude that she is our daughter, but also we feel very strongly a respect for her -- for her fortitude and good-naturedness and for her sense of humor and the love and sweetness that are her very essence. She is an absolute light in the world.
She is always making jokes (hide and seek, peekaboo, the scary-noise game, chase, here-do-you-want-this-oops-no-sorry!) and laughing all the time. She wakes up happy, she goes to sleep happy, she plays well, and she truly seems to be bursting with joy and love. She cries almost never. She has always been a kisser, but now she has this thing where she kisses every single thing she likes. So, this plastic box that makes a nice popping noise when she pushes it? Kiss that. Kiss the cat, kiss the dolly's stroller, kiss the books, the stuffed animals, the flowers in the garden, kiss her mama ALL the time (often while patting my cheek and saying, "Mama. Mammee? Maaaama"). Kiss Daddy (and go running open-armed toward the door when Daddy comes home -- he loves that), kiss Tata (her nanny), and blow kisses to every one and every thing else. I half expect some assembly of Tibetans to be at our door one morning to say that Dessi is some famous rinpoche or the Dalai Lama's former teacher or something and they would like to take her back.
There have been three times, however, when I've taken something away from her (twice a pen) and she has become instantly so frustrated that giant balls of tears stream down her face and her mouth opens and both hands go into it as if she would rip out all of her bottom teeth with them. Like she is in anguish. The first time I was completely blown away and scared that she was hurt. The second and third times, I just started laughing at her and then she laughed and then that was that. It's bizarre, though, absolutely -- and probably a sign of what's to come when she is a little older ... she's 17 months now. Two years is coming!!
I welcome them. Still, look how big she is here! Like a little girl now! (This is her in Florida with our little dog, Spikey.) Sometimes it can break my heart a little to see her asleep in her crib and suddenly realize she is already 2/3 of its length, or when I see some of her old dresses -- so tiny! But every day she becomes more able to process and enjoy the world around her -- to dance using every part of her body (including, now, the Ethiopian head roll!), to make jokes and laugh and run around, and even now to sing a few notes in a very identifiable way (the "round and round" part of the Wheels on the Bus).
Every day, we thank our lucky stars for all of this.