8 years old

Today is a very speial day indeed. My little buddy Alex is 8 years old. On one hand I think, "has it really been 8 years already?" but on the other it's "has he only been with us for 8 years?" He's such a fabulous little guy I thought I'd take a moment to record what it's really like being his mom. He's clever, creative, thoughtful and generous. He loves to build, read and create. He's a gentle soul who is quick to put the needs of others before his own. He's more nerdy than athletic. He's good with little kids. He likes his legos, GI Joes, and vehicles. He's never met an art supply he didn't like. He makes friends quickly, and will talk your ear off if you let him. In short, he's a fabulous mixture of the best qualities of both Jory and me, and we love having him around.
So it goes without saying that we're in the middle of birthday week around here. I'm not sure when celebrating a birthday turned into a week long ordeal, but it's fabulous so we're going with it. On Tuesday we had a birthday dinner #1 at the chinese restaurant with my parents, my brother, and our dear friend Sandy. Yesterday we went to the Air Force Museum in Dayton. Our friends from Columbus, the Alexander's, met us there to celebrate the joint birthday of Alex and Hope. Even though we were just there in April, it was very very fun. (Yes, there are pictures, but they're all still on the camera). Today is the actual birthday of my boy, we're having an ice cream sandwich birthday cake, presents, probably birthday dinner # 2, and probably something fun of Alex's choice like a trip the the playground (or dare I say it...) the pool. Then tomorrow, Alex's last day of birthday is when his biggest gift arrives... he's getting a brother! A temporary brother, who doesn't speak English, but it's the closest thing he'll have to a brother for now.

So yes, all the preparations are made, as far as we know, there are no more hoops to jump through in Russia, the children are going to be on the airplane within 24 hours. There are 10 coming, ours is the youngest. We have friends from church who are in the process of adopting 2 children who are currently in Russia, they managed to get on the same flight back that our kids are coming on, so they'll be able to help chaperone them. I can't imagine traveling across the globe with 10 kids (and 2 adults) who don't speak the same language. But I made sure she had a big bag of goodies to entertain the kids with before she left.
But yes, the reality of having a homeless child who speaks no english, and comes with little to no clothing that fits, has probably never been in a car, nor been in water deeper than his ankles is setting in. As much as I want to introduce him to everything that's good about life in America I have to be realistic about the amount of stuff that I can throw at him. Yes, we can try every flavor of ice cream that Meijer's sells, think of 20 different ways to play with water, and learn how to make our own snacks. But we probably can not visit all the tourist attractions in town, or let him pick out a snack at the supermarket. We'll be sure to keep a running list of all the things that were a hit, and what totally bombed.

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