Thursday, August 28, 2008

Placed in Our Arms One Year Ago

Everyone says how quickly time goes the older you get but I had no idea...

Just this morning I was thinking about where David and I were in our lives. I can't believe how much has changed. We met Elijah Abraham one year ago (yesterday) and was given to us (Gotcha Day) one year ago tomorrow. Is it weird that I still am not used to being a "MOM"? I mean, I know I am, and I love being a mom, but... I, me, am really a MOM? Some of the things David and I didn't expect as we became parents were: our early concerns about school (he's not even two yet!), the fact that our house will always be messy :) (that was more me, David couldn't care less), how much you can put yourself last on a priority list, the weird and now healthy foods you'll eat - just so your kid will eat them too, but mostly how much love we have for this little boy. Every day I love him more and more and every day I can't imagine being able to love him any more than I already do. I love it when I have to rock him to sleep. I love it when he gets up at night (I know... weird, right?) and I can calm him down and he feels safe with us. Let me also just say, to those of you who think I'm crazy, we didn't have any attachment issues or problems with Elijah adjusting to us. I told David we shouldn't have any more kids because the next one(s) will be a terror! :)
So everyone has been asking... when will we go back? Well, we're not sure. Although we have been talking about our second adoption since we picked up Elijah, we're still not ready to jump just yet. We're in the process of finalizing Elijah's adoption in the state of WI so that we can be issued a birth certificate from WI. We had our last post placement report with our social worker a few weeks ago and she believes we'll have our court appointment by October. In each state, there are different time lines you have. In WI, you have to wait until at least your second post placement report is done (six months after you're home) in order to even apply for a WI birth certificate. Our friends, the Cavitt's (in TX) were able to do this within a few months of being home with Abby. So we're just finishing all that up. We have a birth certificate from Ethiopia with our names on it and Elijah does "belong" to us, this process is so that when Elijah wants to go to work or get his drivers license, he won't have to jump through hoops and have problems with an Ethiopia birth certificate. Anyway, all that to say... we're just not ready yet.
David continues to take his classes from Moody Bible Institute through the mail. I am so proud of him, he has Aced every class he's taken and is doing so well with his school work. He also has taken a leadership role with the youth group at church. Harvest Bible Chapel-Milwaukee launched it's first service one year ago this month. David has taught the youth group form four kids now up to fifteen (and doing a great job of it).
I left my job with Towne in April and felt God calling me to be our Pastor's Assistant. The position is about one mile from our home, great hours, great flexibility and a great boss! I am able to now be home with Elijah on Monday's and have a few hours to myself on Friday afternoons. I love working at the church. I always tell David, it doesn't feel like I'm working but just able to help out more now. There's a lot of work to juggle, many new things I've never done before and lot's of humbling and growing I've done since I've started in April.
Elijah has been growing by leaps and bounds. I love watching his new mile stones each and every week it seems. He loves to sing, dance and make music. His favorite thing to do at the park is the swing. He doesn't watch a lot of TV so he doesn't really get into any characters. I have been getting the Backyardagains DVD's from the library and he likes the music on that. He loves the Muppets (go figure!). He loves his cousins and being able to see them as much as possible. He loves his dog, Dixie and will even say her name now once we're about two blocks away from home in the car. He is such an easy going kid. Some of the things he doesn't like are getting changed (clothes or a diaper), going to bed (what kid does?), hearing the word "no" and his time-outs. When we tell him to jump, he bends down, takes a deep breath and extends his legs as high and as hard as he can go. His toes never leave the ground. :) One day he will though. Until then, we laugh and laugh as he tries so hard, then claps for himself. No wonder I love this boy so much :)

The three of us love to go to the zoo, the park, out to eat or just for a walk. Elijah always grabs both of our hands and insists on us lifting him up every few feet as he yells "FFFRRRRREEEEEEEE!!!!!", as in one, two, three and then a lift up for him.

What a joy he is... For now, our family is complete!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally an update

So we have the cutest kid in the world right? That is what everybody probably thinks about their children. Elijah has been the biggest blessing to Amanda and I. We have had one heck of a summer with our little guy. On July 17th, we had our one year anniversary of when we received our referral of our little guy. What a great reminder of how much Jesus Christ has done for the Duda family. The Lord continues to bless Amanda's position at the church. She is such a hard worker. And He is keeping me busy here at the city with all of our construction jobs just getting started up this week.

Elijah was just at the Dr. and he's in the 95-100% in height for his age. And about 55-60% for weight. So he's starting to get really tall and skinny. Though he does eat a ton most meals. I could use some of that metabolism myself. Elijah is saying about 30 words total. Most of it isn't really easy to decipher unless you are with him a lot. He is also throwing many tantrums when he doesn't get his way. Oh yay, Genesis 3 (man sinning and thereafter being born in it) has finally reached our son full blast. We are just praying that this season doesn't last too long. Also, he is getting his 2 year molars in as well.

He has taken an interest to sitting on the toilet, so that is really cool. How cool would it be to have a poddy-trained 1 year old? We'll see if his muscles have caught up to it yet. I think Amanda and I are going to get him a seat this week. Well here's some pics from the early summer. I'll try to get some videos of him being silly as that happens almost every day. Talk to ya soon

Elijah and his cousin Gavin in their Cadillac Escalade at Mimi's house

Elijah and his daddy learning to Hulahoop at the Milwaukee Zoo

Nice face, this is Elijah at Grandma and Grandpas

Elijah with his new cousin Polly. Grandma and Grandpa got a new puppy Pollyanna Bridget Duda. She is such a cute little dog. Elijah keeps calling her Dixie, as that is our dog's name.