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 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 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 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 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 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 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!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Settling In

We have been home for a few days now, Ethan is back in school and life is somewhat returning to normal. Annalee is not grieving much at all, but she is on Korea time. We are taking her outside to play, which she absolutely loves and trying to keep her up as much as we can during the day.

Thankfully, hubby and I are both home, so I take the night shift, then he gets up around 6:45 to get Ethan ready for school. After he returns he takes over with Annalee and I transfer from the mattress in her bedroom floor to my bed. She is napping and sleeping in the crib, however, by 2:30am I am tired, so we just play then sleep on the mattress once she tires out. We figure it will take a couple of weeks to get over the jet lag.

The boys are also settling in...Sunday was the culmination of mayhem!!! We teach Sunday School, so hubby had to leave ahead of us. Isaiah had missed me while I was gone and is a huge mamma's boy, so he spent most of the day hanging on my leg or in my lap whining hold me mamma. Annalee was fussing to be held. We were trying to go to church and this was my panic moment of "oh three kids are so much more demanding than two self-sufficient boys...what was I thinking!"

I think the emotional exhaustion of this entire journey was finally soaking in. It is so much to process that happened in a 4-5 day period and so many moments that you are still trying to devour in your memory so as not to forget. Monday and Tuesday have been so much smoother and I have realized it will take time for us all to adjust and really there is no hurry we have the rest of our lives!

Tomorrow we will go see Dr. Toms our family doctor and hope she doesn't scream at the sight of him. She screamed in Korea when we walked into the Dr.'s office! With Isaiah, he had to take the RSV prevention shots (Synagus), so our Dr. would take off his Dr.'s coat and try to sneak in, but Isaiah still went ballistic! Oh well, that may take time too, but hopefully she will like him and she seems perfectly healthy, so we are praying for an uneventful visit! :)

Annalee is having fun getting to know daddy and the boys....crawling through the house and playing with her of her favorites is a little doll. Also, she wants to eat what we eat, so tonight we put her up to the table for her first "meal" with the family! She enjoyed the green beans, peas, and potatoes. Of course at the end of the day, she loves a bottle with daddy! Enjoy the pictures!