Tuesday, June 1, 2010
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIKI
Tiki joined the family last November. Jamie and son, Hays, traveled for days and spent countless hours meeting people, pleading, signing documents and praying for this little boy's release from his native land. He'd lived most all of his very young life in orphanages in Rwanda, Africa. His days were spent with other such boys, speaking only French, attended to by a group of dedicated nuns.
We're not real sure when he was born, he has no birth certificate, no blood relatives, no hospital picture. You see, if a child was delivered to the orphanage in winter his/her birthday was Jan. 1....if that small one arrived in the summer their birthday was assigned as June 1. It is the American drs. best guess that he "might" be 6 years old.
Tiki is a delightful little boy that we met for the first time last December in his new home in Durango, CO., a home he'd known for only about 4 weeks. We loved him immediately! At that time everyone and everything was brand new. He'd never had a mom, dad or FOUR siblings before. He had no idea of the concept of grandparents or extended family members. He did not understand that he could have more food anytime he wanted it, or that it was not necessary to "steal" from other peoples dinner plates. He explored, touched, tasted and held every new experience.
My greatest desire at that time was to climb into his little head and determine what he was thinking! He'd been plucked up from everything familiar and transported to the USA, it might as well have been to a faraway planet in a distant galaxy.
He'd never been to school before and had no idea that he was to sit down and stay in one room. He was mesmerized by football on TV, standing perfectly still while staring at the screen. (I wondered if he was pondering the game or how all those little people were crammed into that relatively small box!) He stared at and eventually ate our foreign-to-him food. He learned to enjoy the bathtub and the confines of the walls of his new house. Communication was difficult but overcome with big smiles and lots of hugs. His favorite "look" was sporting his sunglasses on his nose UPSIDE DOWN. And he learned that honey on biscuits was "very goooood".
This past weekend we visited Tiki again. Six months in America has changed this little guy forever. He speaks English very well now, colors WITHIN the lines beautifully, teases his siblings, dances with abandonment, and has become a ROCK STAR at his school. EVERYONE knows and loves Tiki.
He's still very busy, still likes to wear his sunglasses upside down and
now "pogos" on his new Pogo Stick, his birthday gift from BeBe and PaPa.
People often look at adopted children and remark, "he's so very lucky to have been adopted by your family" and my reply to them is "we're so very lucky we have him, he's teaching us so much."
We're still not sure where he came from or how old he is. We will probably never know or understand what all he experienced in his first years of life. We will never know his blood relatives or fill in the blanks of his family tree. And NONE of that matters. All that DOES matter is that he now belongs to THIS family, forever!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TIKI! WE LOVE YOU!