Oh that's right! I lured you into reading this post by titling it "Letters From My Kids." Which it will be. But first I have to rave about them really quick, and then on to the letters. ;) These kids are so freaking amazing and I love them so much!!!!!
Levi: Levi is a care-taker. I guess that isn't really a word in this context, but it describes him perfectly. His priority in life is to take care of the people he loves. Especially Z. He is constantly checking on her and making sure that she has what she needs. If she is sad or upset, Levi may roll his eyes (typical big brother) but ten seconds later he is asking her if she is okay and trying to make her feel better. He will talk to her and then try and play with her until she is happy again. Yesterday when she was moody, he offered to play basketball with her and within ten minutes, he was signing to me, "Mom, Z is smiling now! She's happy." The look on his face was so precious; he was overjoyed that his baby sister was no longer upset.
One of my favorite things about him is how far he is willing to go to make her smile. I mean, he is the perfect big brother. He will give up ANY of his belongings (including his camera or his soccer ball) if it will make her smile. He will play baby dolls with her--and give the baby a kiss. He will play make-believe stuff. He will sit with her while she plays dress up. He actually put ON a dress one day.....which led them both into hysterics. :) He tells her she is beautiful. He reminds her to say thank-you (for everything haha. He is constantly like, "Zahria, tell Mom thank-you." For every little thing. :) Anyone who met him in ET, especially the Parkers, will back me on this next statement: Levi is Mr. Manners. He is the most gracious kid ever to walk this earth.)
Zahria: Z is a helper. No matter what she is doing or where we are, she will be right next to me with WHATEVER I am doing. When I get home from work and Levi is sleeping or working out, she is downstairs waiting for me. Normal, right? Except if she is downstairs, that means she has already made her bed, made MY bed, and thrown whatever clothes she sees in the laundry (she doesn't understand that not ALL clothes that are not put away are not dirty haha). She helps me make breakfast; she does the scrambled eggs ALL on her own. After breakfast, Levi washes dishes and Z sweeps. Except she doesn't just sweep. She takes initiative and straightens all our shoes, dusts, gathers the trash and takes it out. It's ridiculous. This precious baby girl helps me deep clean and do laundry all the time.
Both kids are always concerned that Abe and I don't eat enough and EVERY meal they try to give us their food off their own plates, but Z is especially big on this. She will tug on my sleeve every meal, offer her plate, and go, "Mama?" It breaks my heart. Her biological mom described her as an incredible helper and said that any time there was food, that Z would give it to her mom before eating any herself. This tiny tiny baby is trying to be the mommy and take care of those she loves. It breaks my heart. She tries to take my coat from me and hang it, she brings me blankets and a pillow if I sit down on the couch, and she puts away the groceries with me. She is literally my tiny shadow. Actually no. She's more like a third leg or arm......both in the fact that she almost never lets go of me, and that I can't function without her anymore. :)
Are they perfect? No. (Me neither, go figure. :)) Levi is almost OCD about keeping stuff clean and in a certain order. Like, EVERYTHING. He drives me insane in this area. He daily reorganizes a cupboard or entire room in my house (without checking in first). I can't find anything in my kitchen. Well, not anything that I want. I do find surprises now, since everything is moved. Example: I looked in where the glass cookware is now, and he had put some thawed chicken thighs down there because they were in a glass bowl near the fridge and he didn't like them cluttering the counter. Bye bye chicken dinner. It was a little old at that point. :) He also went upstairs (I myself am a neat freak, but he has me beat by a mile!) and decided my hairbrush and comb should not be on bureau so he stuck it with my nail polish and nail files. Then he reorganized my earrings. I can't find a ton of them. I haven't said anything yet though, because he is SO proud afterwards. And it's really not hurting me. And he thinks he is helping. However, once I put a bowl where it USED to go and then he opened the cupboard and looked at it sadly, and just stood there shaking his head. Later he went to my room, saw a pair of jeans on the floor and did the same thing. I was like, "Get OUT haha," and he started laughing and walked out still shaking his head.
Z has a habit too that drives me slightly insane (mostly because it requires a lot of patience and that's not my strong point) but this issue is a little more personal for her and are possibly adoption/grieving/bad past related, so I won't expand on them here. She's also pretty jealous of me which is both a blessing and a curse. :) She even drew a line down my face and chest yesterday in the air and told Levi that my right hand, side of my face, etc., are hers. :) She told Abe he can't hold my right hand either haha. Her exact words were, "MY Mama!!!!" :-p However, she is a precious DARLING, and the sunshine of our house (and the queen of silliness) and I have no clue how she and Levi turned out as amazing as they are after all they have been through. #angels #trulymiracles
Something I L-O-V-EEEEEEEEEE is that the kids clearly love us as much as we love them. Levi is constantly hugging me throughout the day. He will walk up and just hug me ALL. THE. TIME. And say, "Mom, I love you! I love you SOOOOO much!!!!" He also kisses my hand. I seriously cannot believe that after all this time fighting for him, that he is actually here and grinning while he walks around rearranging my house. This child is SO special....words can't describe it. He is a living, breathing miracle and testament that circumstances do NOT have to shape who you are. He knows how hard we fought for him, and he and I have a special saying. I say, "Levi, my heart is in here," and I tap on his chest over his heart. And then he will say it back to me. Yesterday he made me a bead heart in Ethiopian colors and told me it was so I could have a visual "heart".
Z bear hangs on me and usually I am carrying her around or holding her tiny hand. I love to tell her about the first time I saw her picture but didn't
know she was going to be mine and all I could think was, "That little
girl is SO beautiful.....whoever gets her is SO lucky!" She loves to snuggle (we also call her Snuggle Bear) and will sit in my lap any time she can. I love hearing her run through the house calling, "Mama! Mama!" Side note: she decided a week ago to call me Mama and that is my name now. No Mom. No Mommy. It's Mama. :) And I love it. :) Her laugh is infectious and almost always present. She is talking in 3 and 4 word sentences and usually she describes or explains something by saying, "Dis (deees) one Mama, dis (deees) one! Mama, JD, (motions to tail), BOOM-BOOM (points to eye)." Me: "Oh no, JD's tail hit you in the eye?" "Yes Mama! Dis one go boom-boom!"
Oh look, we are finally at the part about the letters! Like, a year after I started this post. :) Anyway....both kids write us letters (this started about a week ago) every two days or so. I thought I would post the first one from Z and the most recent one from Levi.
Z's is pretty self explanatory. I cried when I got it.
I am going to interpret Levi's for you, just to make sure you understand what it really means. The left hand column is pretty clear most of the way down. "GOOD NOW" means that he is good now. As in, he feels safe, protected, and loved. So he is "good now". He often tells us stuff from his past and then says, "LEVI GOOD NOW." My poor poor baby. Last time he told us stuff was two days ago and let me tell you I was BAWLING. And of course, Levi tried to comfort ME. Anyway, back to the letter. "YOUR YOUR" means that he and Z are mine. "Good much love so your" means, now that they are mine, they are both good (safe, loved) and they love me so much.
Can I just say I love these kids beyond words.