Here are some pictures from the ten months before we met them. The changes from then until now are astounding in Godson. Shekina, strong and outgoing from the moment we met her, has not changed that much appearance-wise. Healthy as a horse, strong as an ox.
Major bump on the head from a fall on the orphanage's concrete or tile. Almost a year later, the bump is still visible. No smile.
Always sweet and cheerful
Bump on the head. Feeling bad or unhappy? Most likely sick.
So sick looking.
Sweet, sweet girl!
Flash forward to Dec. and Jan., 2013-2014. Shekina is completely fluent in English, and although she can be hard-headed at home, her behavior at school is outstanding. She participates in gymnastics after school twice a week, can spell her name, and is chomping at the bit to learn to read. She is completely ready to do so, I truly so believe. She's incredibly bright!!! Although her papers say she will only be 5 in June 2014, she just lost her top two teeth. The greatest excitement this year, other than enjoying the heck out of school, came from learning about the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. Shekina was very upset that I wouldn't leave her window open for the tooth fairy, but I told her she could easily fly through the dogs' door. (Not a major fan of the dogs, S wasn't thrilled with this either!)
Godson is incredibly sweet-natured, and unlike the ten months prior to July 4 (the day we met him), he is smiley, healthy, playful, and gets uncontrollable giggles, especially when tickled. He loves dogs, eating just about anything, and anything transportation-related, especially trains. He loves school, can already count to five and sing his ABCs at age two. He's into EVERYTHING, and his favorite thing, to mom's chagrin, is to throw things in the toilet when we forget to shut the door. He can climb like crazy, and is very close to climbing out of his crib. Hardly able to walk when we first met him, he now races around the house like a madman! He's a night owl who fights sleep something fierce, but he does sleep in his own bed every night except for visits to the grandparents' house. There, he sleeps horizontally across the bed, causing everyone to get a crick in their neck. What a beg hog!
Check out some of these six-month pictures!
Bundled up for the coldest temps Memphis has experienced in decades. Two coats and Mama's scarf. Refused to wear gloves.
Obsessed with trains, especially Thomas.
Don't they look so good?!!! Christmas Eve, 2013.
In his engineer cap and Thomas pjs
First braids since having to have her head shaved in Congo. Lost both her top teeth just in time for Christmas (and just in time for people to teach her the obnoxious song, "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth!" (Blech!)
Wild man riding poor Bing, our big yellow dog.
Recently discovered his belly button and I have received reports that he goes around preschool showing it to everyone, laughing his little booty off. Oh, brother!!!
So playful! Our little Elton John
Shekina was one of four chosen out of her school's pre-K program to sing a Christmas solo. She brought us all to tears! What PROGRESS, what CHANGE!!! Unbelievable.
Can't WAIT to see what the next six months bring.
(One proud and thankful mama)