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."|
|Even this pathetic stick was transformed into a "bat."|
|Our neighbor's boardwalk bike.|