Friday, May 20, 2011

One year later.

Over the course of 365 days, Tariku has morphed into Taki (rhymes with "hockey") and has planted his flag as the heart and soul of our family.  The passive, weak, and exhausted baby we brought home one year ago is barely recognizable.  In his place, is a not-so-little guy who is as "strong as bull" in heart, mind and body.  His sense of humor is second to none, and his mimicking ability is uncanny -- not to mention his coordination with a ball and a stick. He loves his sisters and brother FIERCELY and is extremely possessive and protective of them -- as they are of him.  He is also quite protective of his personal space -- if someone gets too close, they are treated as foe until proven otherwise.  He has a wicked fast right hook and has clocked more kids than I care to admit.  We are working on it....   He walks, runs, skips, tries to jump, dribbles a soccer ball, and is working on dribbling a basketball.  He hugs with all his heart (and all his might) and adds a "mwah" at the end of his kisses for emphasis.  

Although many of his gifts are certainly "nature," I am quite certain that his skills with a cupcake are all "nurture" -- and it only took me two months to realize that he was not in fact cursing at me when he screamed uncomfortably loudly-- "mommy, aw-shits."   I was admittedly slightly impressed when I realized that he was merely asking for more "chocolate chips."  

So, without further adieu, I wish you a "Happy Home Day," beautiful boy. You have completed our family and have brought all of us home. (**should have posted this on 4/10/11)

Tariku's referral picture -- taken on December 8, 2009.  
This is the first photo we ever saw of Tariku.  
He was 4 months old.

These were taken at Layla House, AAI's orphanage in Addis Ababa, on April 5, 2010 -- the day I met Tariku for the very first time.  He was 8 months old.

The right side of his head had been shaven a month earlier and he was wearing pink pants....

And this is Tariku now.  One year later....

Lazy Sunday morning. 
Showing off his traditional Sidama outfit.
Walking the streets of the South End of Boston with his boys.
Tackle football in the North End of Boston.
  "The Snowy Day" is now merely "Peter."
Rocks are "baby balls."
Recognize the LaYlA HoWs gang sign?
Deep in thought about either the airplane or how he is going to snag Ben's basketball.
His nickname is Taki -- appropriately rhymes with "hockey."
Got sag? 
Even this pathetic stick was transformed into a "bat." 
Our neighbor's boardwalk bike.


  1. Imagine my joy tonight when I clicked on the nightly blog check and saw that you had a new posting...and with great pics to boot!! My favorite pic of T is the one with the hockey stick. How cute is he!! It is so exciting to see our guy so healthy and happy. My continued best wishes and love to all of the fam. XOXOXO

  2. You're BAAAAAACK! joy, joy, joy.

    love, your favorite stalker

  3. Yay for the update! Love the pictures :)

  4. Terrific! I love it, I love the pictures, and I love YOU. Amazing that we're all reliving our time in Ethiopia a year later already...

  5. Happy One Year Anniversary. What a beautifully written post for your precious son. The pictures are just amazing.

  6. Rachael,

    Taki is beautiful..... all four of your children are. What an amzing year!!! I can tell by the pictures how Taki has thrived - he exudes joy.

    I still look at Zach (adopted domestically) and am amazed that 14 months have passed. He is my miracle. ~ Jessica

  7. Yeah! A new post! Its all I can do to not forward this to everyone in the office :)
    He looks great, and your words sound even better!

  8. Dang girl. You have my heart. As does he. And you got mad photo skills. My favorite is the one with the big fat vein sticking out of your happy forehead at Layla. You know I'm a sucker for shots of you doing what you do. If you start posting again, who knows? I might too. But that said, if you started pegging your jeans like in 5th grade, I might too.

  9. Rachael, I love the way you put your disclaimers in. So unobtrusive...they made me laugh! And your captions are awesome. I love to see the pictures with him and his brother and sisters-you can almost feel the love radiating out of the pictures! And I finally recognize where you took that first photo with Tariku :)

    As for Morgan, hopefully you do follow Rachael's example. It would make me feel less silly to check your blog almost every single day if there was a different post at the top once in a while!