Two years has flown by at an unbelievable rate, if only the wait to bring them home had happened as quickly. The last two years has spanned the spectrum between a constant fight through to extreme happiness. It certainly hasn't been an easy ride, but then I knew it wouldn't be - but the reality can really smack you in the side of the head sometime.
Christolla was my problem child to begin with - unruly, loud, defiant & constantly challenging me. Her constant testing & attitude made her my most difficult to manage child. She still is a little sassy & strong willed at times but she has turned into a lovely six year old. Now she can be reasoned with & will actually even obey sometimes. She now is a joy to take out in public & even loves to help while we shop. She still remembers Haiti & some of the people there but even that is beginning to fade. We ran into a Haitian gentleman one day a couple of weeks ago & when he spoke to her in Kreyol; she sadly no longer understood any of it.
Christolla really struggled to learn her colors, abc's, shapes & I was certain she had some major learning disabilities & would always struggle. I wish I could say I was always patient as I tried to teach her, but I found it very difficult to start at square one each day as she struggled like she had never even seen the concept before. Then one day almost a year home; a switch just flipped as connections were finally made in her brain & she was understanding & you could see she just wanted to devour & soak up as much knowlege as she could. Since that time she has really developed into a smart little girl who is eager to learn.
I held her back one year in school so she is currently in Kindergarten as she had so much too learn & was so far behind her peers. Now she is reading & she probably would have done great in grade one - I am amazed at the giant strides she has made. Next year I am moving both the kids to a French immersion program so that will be a challenge for her in grade one.
She is loving, sweet & affectionate but still a little insecure. She says "I love you Mommy" multiple times a day & just needs the extra reinforcement that all is still well in her world. Frequently she asks if I am her Mommy forever & why did it take me so long to pick her up from the orphanage. I am not sure if she will ever get over her early childhood losses or if she will always struggle with insecurity.
Mr. Nelson - well he is another story................ he started out a much less defiant & much more a active toddler who was into everything. He still had so much baby in him he was easy to fall in love with. Now as a four year old he has turned into a defiant, cheeky little spit-fire that can charm the socks off of a snake. He compliments people constantly, even strangers while we are out & about, that they are beautiful or some other sweet compliment. He loves women & can bat those long eye lashes & flash that beautiful smile & has all the ladies eating out of the palm of his hand. He is going to be a handful in his teenage years so anyone with teenage daughters better be extra careful.
His newest trick is to throw temper tantrums like a two year old when he isn't getting his way at both home & school. He still growls sometimes & then it usually escalates until he is yelling, stomping his feet or flopping around on the furniture like a fish out of water. I tell him constantly that I can't wait until he is six years old. :)
He doesn't know all of his letters or numbers yet but to be completely honest I was so worried about getting Christolla up to speed that I haven't pushed him as much. I will have to switch the focus to Nelson now to prepare him for Kindergarten next year. He is in his second year of pre-school & loves going there.
Dieunelson doesn't remember Haiti at all or any of the kids from the orphanage any more.
They are both super HIGH energy kids & they are both still early risers & are ready & rearing to go each day before 7am. Me, well not so high energy & I am a night owl & like to sleep in on the weekends. I think this was some kind of wicked joke to give me kids that are the polar opposite.
Both kids want to play hockey so bad in the fall; I hope I can work out a schedule & have the finances in place to make that a reality for them. We just finished their first set of skating lessons yesterday & will start their second set in a couple of weeks. They are both actually starting to skate; compared to their walking on the ice that they were doing previously. Christolla is skating with one leg, kind of like she was skateboarding but on the very last lesson Nelson actually starting skating! I think this next set of lessons they will both show great progress. They finished swimming lessons a couple of weeks ago & now are taking private lessons with their big sis Ashley. They are doing amazing & will even jump off the diving board & swim to the edge in the deep water with very little assistance. Christolla doesn't like floating on her back & is a little more nervous but she is really starting to swim. Nelson - well he has no fear - he is up for anything.
We just starting private lessons at the climbing wall with Ashley too. So far we have only had one class but they did better than expected. I am just trying to find some activities to expend some of their energy from being cooped up all winter.
They are amazing little people & I can't wait to see how much they grow & change in the next year. It is really amazing how two little kids can change & influence your life. I wish I was younger & had the finances to adopt some of the newest orphans in Haiti. I think of all the struggles we had at the beginning & my littles had not experienced the trauma of an earth quake. The new wave of orphans coming out of Haiti are going to have even bigger struggles. My heart hurts for Haiti as they approach the rainy season & I just feel like I need to go there to help at some point. Now that I have seen the poverty & living conditions of the Haitian people I just can't pretend it doesn't exist. I do have plans to take the kids back to Haiti for a visit some time in the future.
In case anyone is wondering my kids bio family in Haiti are ok. They do not live in Port au Prince so did not sustain any damage to their home. Even Haitians who were spared the devastation of the earth quakes wrath are still suffering greatly though as food prices have escalated making even staples unobtainable to the majority. It's hard to believe that people can have less than nothing. There is not a quick fix for Haiti, it will be many many years before they recover.
March 5, 2010 - 2nd Homecoming Anniversary.