While Cava was very excited about Thanksgiving, he wasn't happy to find out that he would be out of school for three days. He even asked his teacher to give him homework that he could do over the holiday. While I am thrilled that Cava loves to learn, my teachers never would have heard me ask for homework.
As it was with his birthday, Cava was full of energy the day before Thanksgiving, but come Thanksgiving Day he became quiet and, several times, burst into tears. He was in stimulation overload and was having a difficult time processing all of the activity. Having grown up in an orphanage, he needs an environment that's predictable and consistent day after day. That's one of the reasons that he loves school so much.
Of course, he loves to help out in the kitchen and Thanksgiving was no different. He helped us prepare the stuffing and he painted the rolls with butter. Cava also oversaw whatever we were doing to ensure that we were preparing everything properly.
As the food was cooking, Cava watched the Macy's Day Parade. His favorite was the Cirque Du Soleil's float with all of the acrobats. His critique of them was, "That's so cool!"
Still, throughout the morning, as he breathed in deeply the aromas of the Thanksgiving meal, he kept telling us, "I'm hungry." To keep his mind off food, I played Go Fish and King in the Corner with him (the boy loves card games) and he and I created things with Play-Doh.
When the time to eat finally rolled around, both boys were ready and waiting with their plates in hand. Before we ate, we went around the table to say what we were thankful for. Cava went first and he told us of he was thankful for America because we have Thanksgiving and good food, he was thankful for his family who love him, for his friends at school and at church, and he was thankful that God loves him so that he could have all of these things.
Benjamin followed and told us he was thankful for having his new brother, Cava, for having two amazing and loving parents, and for Jesus Christ, whom he accepted as his Lord and Savior this year.
Danelle and I both were thankful for our family, for those who are overseas to add to their families through adoption, and for those troops who are away from their families so that we could have the freedom to celebrate a holiday where we can give thanks for what we do have.
After I gave a blessing, we began to eat our lunch.
Cava tried everything: turkey, dressing, roasted vegetables, homemade mac and cheese, green beans, and a roll. He loved the turkey. When he tried the dressing, he gave us the thumbs up but then proceeded to make us a face that told us otherwise. Still, he ate all his food and a slice of peanut-butter fudge pie.
Later that day, we went to visit my sister and her family. The boys love going to see their Uncle Amir, Aunt Kristen, and their cousins. As you can see from the photo below, Cava loves to be around pretty girls.
One of the games I instigated was all of us went through the Black Friday circulars to find the worst gift to give for each other. Everyone had a blast with this one.
My sister and her mother-in-law made Persian food for their Thanksgiving, since her father-in-law is originally from Iran. Both her father-in-law, who left Iran at 15 to come here, and Cava being adopted into our family showed us two true pictures of what Thanksgiving really is about in that they both left their countries for a better life here.
The boys got to try new food. One of the things I appreciate about Cava is his willingness to try any new food.
Although, what he really enjoyed, was Aunt Kristen spraying whipped cream in his mouth from a can.
He also liked whipped cream on pumpkin pie. And he liked the coconut cake. Yes, Cava was very well fed.
Thanksgiving took one so much more meaning this year because of Cava. Last Thanksgiving, we were giving thanks for the fact that we would be traveling to Ukraine sometime within the next couple of weeks to find our child, and, now, a year later, he was here with us and telling us how thankful he was to be a part of our family. We were thankful for the fact that, in less than a year, Cava has truly begun to feel a part of our family, to begin understanding what it means to be loved (both by parents and his brother, but, ultimately, by God), and to love in return . We were thankful that God blessed us by allowing us this opportunity to have a deeper glimpse of Himself, not only because He is a Father to the Fatherless who has adopted us into His family through Christ, but because we are learning a little more how to love as He loves.