I am very nervous meeting the kids for the first time. It is a different nervous than meeting Evie. A newborn has no expectations. But our oldest four, what will they think of me? Weak or strong? Sissy or sensitive? Stupid or funny? I received strong hugs from them all. It was a bit strange, not the hugs, but the meeting in general. There are so many kids here vying for attention. They're all so sweet. I want to love on all of them but I also desperately want time with my four. I gave a BlowPop to each child who was old enough to have one and also gave one to the nannies. Throughout the day Eyasu climbed all over me. He is very affectionate. Yoseph stays pretty near me as well. Solomon is hanging next to the wall. Rahel was slow to come downstairs to meet me, but she was the first one I saw. She was standing on the balcony awaiting my arrival (at least that’s what I’d like to believe). Someone told me she was changing clothes, "getting pretty" before she came down and saw me. She didn’t need to “get pretty”, she is gorgeous. Her hug was the longest and tightest of all.
We play a variety of games with all the kids. Some of the kids want to show off a trick or talent. Each of them wants your eyes on them. Finally I'm going to attempt to pull it all together by taking turns jumping rope with a few of them. They all laugh as I fail miserably to jump a rope that is a few feet too short for me. They all took turns showing off their jump rope skills; I showed my ineptitude. We did cartwheels and karate and I picked the kids up in the air, starting a trend that would have lasted indefinitely. I noticed Donnie was showing some pictures and videos to some of the older kids so I used that opportunity to give my arms a much needed rest. We gathered around my phone and looked at pics and vids of Evie and Jessica. The kids laughed out loud at Evie's sweet smiles and yawns and at Jessica’s video message to them. They mocked her saying “y’all”. That was priceless.
I notice Rahel is not around so I make my way upstairs to find her. I told her I want her to see some videos and pictures so she walked down the stairs with me. As we were descending I mustered up some courage and put my arm around her. I didn’t know how she would respond. She grabbed my hand and wrapped it tighter around her. She leaned her head into my chest and that’s the way we walked until we reached the bottom floor. It couldn’t have been better.
We watched most all of the videos and pictures again with Rahel and she beamed. I am still beaming from our walk down the stairs.