Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Gift

When adding a child to your family you work hard to bond and build attachment with your child. Each day brings progress as you see hints of their personality emerge. Often your child will initially be solemn and guarded in their interactions.

Many friends have spoken of the "light switch" moment, when their child finally let go of their hesitance and smiles, giggles, and laughter emerge...well you could say our greatest Christmas present this year was our "light switch" moment.

It was something as simple as a pair of socks from her Korean grandma to bring on the best belly laughter we've heard from her...

video

We hope you all had a holiday season full of laughter and joy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Return from my blogging vacation!

Hello to all my fellow bloggers...sorry for the break with no updates. There are several reasons...one being how much I loved my last post...it was just right for the time. The other reason surrounds going from a family of two kids to three kids...life is crazy busy and we have had a sick clan on and off for a month now...we are all now mostly on the mend and hoping to be healthy going into the new year.

Updates on our girl:

  • She now has 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on bottom
  • She loves to eat and only cries tears when she can't have another cookie or has to wait til lunch or dinner instead of snacking away
  • She loves her brothers and likes to be in the middle of everything they're doing
  • Sadly she is no longer using Korean words, but is now using many English words
    • Momma
    • Dada
    • Butter (Brother)
    • I-yah (Isaiah)
    • Bottle or baba
    • Ball
    • Puppy
    • Pup (Cup)
    • Juice
    • Hello
    • Hi-ya
    • and her newest word tonight - Jesus
  • She can have quite a temper and melt your heart all at the same time
  • She melts into us when we pick her up for a hug
  • She loves Patty-cake, itsy-bitsy spider, and ride-a-horsey
  • We see more smiles and giggles as the weeks pass at home
  • She still hugs her FF picture when we show it to her and listens closely when we play the recorded message from them
  • Our girl now loves a pacifier...especially at bedtime
  • She has completed our family and we are so blessed to have her home

Our two boys have also been busy, growing and changing...

Ethan just finished up the first half of fourth grade and is doing great! He is such a smart boy and loves to read! He also just submitted a book through a publishing program with the school to publish his story on "My Trip to Korea". He did such a wonderful job documenting our trip and I can't wait to share it once we have a copy home!

Isaiah has transitioned from baby to boy before our eyes. He has finally lost his baby fat and this is the stage that just breaks my heart. Don't get me wrong...I love to see my kids grow and thrive..but I don't cry the day they start school, instead for me it is the time I see that change to growing out of "Mommy's Baby".

I have returned to work, which is going well, however, this time it was hard to return. Not because I don't want to work, because I need to be busy and like to be out accomplishing things, but I have been in my current job 5 years and I am having a hard time finding the zeal I had 5 years ago. I am hoping the 11 day break that starts tomorrow will be enough time to put some inspiration into my worklife!

We have our 2nd post placement visit on January 11th. It is hard to believe we have been home for almost three months! Life is finally beginning to settle into our new normal and we enjoy each day learning about each other and growing closer as a family.

Now for what you are really waiting for...PICTURES:

The First Month Home:








Our First Placement Visit:

Birthdays:





Baby Dedication at Church:





Christmas Time:









 Our Traditional Christmas Tree:

 The Tree We Won at the Festival of Trees:

 Annalee's Tree:

 Ethan & Isaiah's Tree:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Wish...

One day our family had a dream...a wish...

....we are so blessed that it came true...




Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Amazing God Thing!!!

On this adoption journey we have embraced we have met so many wonderful people and familie that are now our friends and our adoption family! We are truly so blessed and my friends, my sisters have been so loving and supportive!

One of my friends started the adoption process after us and she has been so supportive, encouraging, and interested in our process. We have had such a good time sharing our journeys. Well, yesterday and today we have found that our journeys will forever be entertwined!

My friend and I talked yesterday and I asked about if they had received a referral or heard from her agency and she said no, not a word, but hopefully she would get some anticipated paperwork in the mail that day. Well, I got a call later and in fact she received the mail she was waiting on and guess what...a referral call too!

Now I can't give details, because it is still in the very early stages and if you by chance know this person...please do not post any responses that identify her or the family...I want their referral anouncement to be identified by them with all of the details!!!

Anyway, today I received a call...not only is this the perfect child for their family...here is the GOD thing...when Ethan and I were in Korea, we are 99.9999% sure we held her baby and played with the baby and took lots of pictures...so GOD led us to this child, before any of us knew and allowed us to love on this sweet child. How awesome is that?!?!?!?!?!?

God is just too awesome for words sometimes...I keep wondering how much more amazing this journey can be and God keeps showing up and saying, I'll show you!


As for an update on our family...Ethan is back to school and has just continued life as normal, no issues transitioning to an older brother of two now...Isaiah is doing better but still is crying for me alot...naptime and bedtime are the worst, although tonight is the first night since I got home that he did not have an all out fit!

However, he loves his sister and is always by her side:



Annalee continues to adjust and is soooo smart and learning sooo much.
  • She was taking 5-10 steps without holding on when we received her, now she is walking all through the house and will stop, squat & pick up a toy, then stand and continue walking!
  • She has a hot temper when she doesn't get what she wants and has learned how to take the outlet covers out if we look away for a few seconds, so we have to really keep an eye on her.
  • We also have learned that if she needs to have a BM she will go to her pack-n-play and put her arms up to be put in....too funny that she likes her privacy of the pack-n-play to do her business!
  • Yesterday she had a really hard grieving spell...I don't think I can ever see her grieve without grieving with her. We had been to the Korean market and my work, both places people spoke to her in Korean, we had walked with her in the carrier for the first time in a few days, and we fixed her rice for dinner...I'm not sure what triggered it, but it carried a bit into today. We kept things pretty secure/calm today to try to help soothe her.
  • She is cutting at least one new tooth, maybe more.
  • We went through her items from Korea today and found that the recorded book we sent for her was retaped by the Foster Family! They say..."Hello Mommy, Hello Daddy, I love you! Thank you Mommy! Bye!" They also say several things in Korean...what a treasure for her and us...I am thankful we recorded the original with my cell phone and will record this too, so she can always have both recordings!
Now for some cute pictures







Saturday, October 23, 2010

Family Bonding

Baby boy, well, actually almost four year old boy, has had a hard transition from being an attention getting Mamma's boy to sharing the lap with baby sister! Not only has his spot on the lap been replaced, but he missed me so much while I was in Korea!

Don't get me wrong he is very good to his sister and very protective, but the whiny..."Momma hold me, Momma I love you" chorus has been a repetitive sound since we came home. My bet is these two will be thick as theives before too long at all!
So, yesterday I decided we needed some one-on-one time...we went shoe shopping for him and to get ice cream cones at his favorite place:
Showing off his new shoes!
 
Annalee had her first doctor visit...she is healthy and wonderful! She is above the 95th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference, which puts her on target to be a 5' 9" beauty when she grows up!

The Dr. advised to go to three meals a day with bottles between since she is wanting to munch on our table food everytime we eat!
He also agreed that there is no biologic reason for her to not be sleeping through the night, and if she did wake up to make night time wakings super boring, so she wouldn't want to wake up every night for play time!
She can really make some moves and sing with her Pororo microphone!
Of course, it is so cute she even cracks up her own little self!
Every night since we arrived home our sweet girl has been waking up and 1am - 2am and continue to want to play with Mommy for a few hours!
Of course by about 5 am Annalee & Mommy are wiped out and ready to sleep 'til noon!
Well mommy had already decided that day that we were sleeping the days away, so drastic changes were in order. Let's just say there was a ton of prayer that our plan would work with minimal damage to our bonding that was going great!!!

So the plan was this...no more than two 1 hour naps during the day, keep her up until 10pm and up no later than 8am. Well, the first day she took about an hour and a half nap and by 8:45pm was done, finished, not enjoying our plan and ready for sleep. Well, although there was much crying involved she stayed awake until 9:30pm and then down for the night...

However, she was awake at 2:30am...UGH! Mommy was not happy...baby was not happy, so we got a bottle and hit the mattress in her room. She refused the bottle, but did sleep next to me on and off, until she took the bottle sometime in the wee hours of the morning...another sleep til noon day for mom.

Daddy woke her before 8am and the next day of sleep training began. Day two...1.5 hours in naps, great feedings, very cranky baby...leading to an all out cry fest again before bedtime...at which time I totally began to wonder if I was destroying every bit of bonding and attachment we had built and feeling a bit like the meanest mommy in the world!

However, the next morning when we all woke at 7:00 am after 9.5 hours of sleep and a happy, not crying girl...I was soooo happy! Today has been wonderful...we are all well rested...Annalee has been a joy. In fact while Dad and little Oppa took a nap, we were having mom & daughter play time. I will kiss her chubby little cheeks and say, "Oh, I love kisses from my girl." I said give Mommay a kiss and she planted a big, sloppy baby drool kiss on me!!! Be still my heart! I actually woke up the boys in my woohoos of excitement!!!!

So today we had a mini photo shoot of our rested and happy kids before heading to the school's fall harvest festival...they are just too adorable! You can see the thrill of the photo shoot on their various facial expressions!


(If you haven't noticed yet - little girl loves electronics and is always reaching for them - cell phone, camera, remote...doesn't matter..and boy is she fast!)



By the way, did I mention our girl loves to ride in the car...in her car seat...of course she always has her little big brother beside her for entertainment!
All are in bed and I am praying and hoping we have another super night of sleep. We are so thankful that the structure we are providing seems to be facilitating the bonding and attachment versus damaging it! God sure has blessed us beyond measure!