Happy 15th birthday to Niko today!
If you’ve been around my blog for a while then you know that Niko was the first to join our family by way of an airplane rather than mommy’s tummy. Would you believe that was NINE years ago? I still remember my heart melting and tears springing to my eyes when I caught my first glimpse of him through the orphanage window almost ten years ago. There he was in the flesh. My boy.
This boy, the one who made me a boy mom after five girls: He has my heart.
Niko hit the ground running in our family at 5 and a half. He found the well-hidden garbage disposal switch, turned the thermostat up to 87, and took a flying leap from his top bunk, all in his first 3 days home, and he hasn’t stopped “helping” and “fixing” and moving ever since.
But let me tell you about this young man now! Niko is so incredibly smart and resourceful. With all the challenges he has faced, we are always extra amazed at what he achieves. This boy is blowing Algebra 1 out of the water this year. (He is limited only by his insistence that 2 and z are written exactly the same way, much to his math teacher’s frustration!) Although written language has always been a challenge for him, we are seeing steady improvement across all areas of his schoolwork. At his last neuropsych evaluation at CHOP, we were told he can absolutely be shooting for college if that is his goal.
In his free time, he enjoys crocheting, writing stories, and learning to code using Scratch. He occasionally still dusts off his Lego, although for the first time ever he didn’t ask for any for his birthday this year (sniff!) He’s also become quite an accomplished baker over the past several months.
He has an engineer’s mind and loves figuring out how things work. He is an avid learner and loves sharing what he’s learned with us.
He is absolutely smitten with his baby brother. Although he has always been really sweet with his little sisters, there is definitely a special bond and fascination with Milo. The admiration is 100% mutual. Can you blame either one of them?
Niko and I may butt heads sometimes, but he has a deep and growing desire to do what’s right. He tries hard, he says sorry when he’s wrong, and he’s quick to forgive me when I am (which is a lot.) He has a ready and infectious smile and gives me hugs throughout my day.
His fierce tenacity may get him into trouble, but it is also what drives him to accomplish anything in life that he puts his mind to. He’s currently interested in pursuing a career in engineering or inventing, and I have no doubt he’s up for the challenge if that’s where the Lord leads.
Nikolai Dickson, you bear the special distinction of being the first child that we got to choose, and I would choose you all over again a hundred times over. I love you, and I’m so thankful God gave you to us.