The way she looked the first time I saw her
How she asked who was taking care of my house while I was in Africa
The way she sang "now I know my D-F-Gs"
The way she pronounced red pajama like eid jamama
The irony that her favorite book when we got home was Are You My Mother? pronounced "R U ma motha?
The adorable space between her two front teeth
The first time she called me Mommy
The way she says "Imani do it sof" (self)
How she sang "touch my felix" (spirit)
The way she says her full name: Imani DOWNing!
Imani has now been home with me as long as we were in Uganda together. This little girl has lost three teeth, grown out of lots of clothing, has a vocabulary that is exploding with English, and an amazing amount of resiliency. She's independent like her mom! Her sweet spirit and sassy attitude are still shining bright, but she's added some defiance, tantrums, and yelling. It's almost a joke because all of these are actions she has seen a cousin or two do and she just had to try them on her Mommy. One or two minutes after the attempt, which has been thwarted when I walk away, she's right back to herself. I admire her learning experiences (trial and error) and am reminded that it's just because she's smart. :)
She gets a good report from school daily in the note I get of the basics of her day. I'm amazed at the schedule she keeps and the quick way she adapted, like this was nothing new. She wants to be with family whenever the chance arises and is quick to join both boy and girl cousins at play.
She eats like a champ and still enjoys chicken and rice any chance she can get them. 'Popopcicles' and avocados rank pretty high too.
Books are still a delightful passtime and she's memorizing some. She can tell me the story and while she isn't 'reading', she's well on her way! She knows where things go, reminds me of random things at the right time, and keeps me on my toes! She negotiates "one more time Mommy" with big eyes and several fingers up. She plays with my hair and says "I like it Mommy", rubs my back (when she doesn't want to go to sleep) and says "Good morning", which is just music to my ears.
Every doctor is the tooth doctor. She has had 2 series of her vaccinations so far (icky) and was totally onto the situation the 2nd time around. I felt horrible even bringing her.
Being this little girls mom is what I was made to do. It's rewarding, challenging and just awesome to watch her grow and learn with all the love showered on her everyday!
Thank you to my family and friends for all your unconditional support! Thank You God for holding us in the palm of Your hand and for the gift of being this little girls mommy. I don't want to forget any of it!