Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Minimal Words Wednesday

OK, I do not do wordless very well. Here is what I woke up to this morning.

"Mommy, it's Christmas Eve Eve!" - Ian

The anticipation is killing them. Oh, I love Christmas!




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eliza's Homecoming Video

I finally finished our video of our journey to our precious baby girl. I hope you all enjoy.

video

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Type A???

Eliza has discovered that her highchair tray has a built in cup holder. She is very persistant about making sure her cup is IN that cup holder. Either this is a fun new game, or I have a little type A personality on my hands. Hmm...at first I thought this could be bad, because I am just about as nonstructured as can be, but then I thought....Maybe she'll be a neat freak, and clean my house when she gets older. Now that would be a switch from these tornado boys.

video

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Apparently It Is A Very Important Day...

I am so embarrassed that my sweet son had to remind me of this. I mean, what kind of mother forgets such a very "special" day??? Nathan is 100 MONTHS old today. Who knew?!? Sorry kiddo. No cake for the 100 month day, but we will have turkey and pumpkin pie tomorrow. Here's a pic of him on his actual birthday (I did make cake for that.)


Friday, November 20, 2009

National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Month. As most people know, adoption and the care of the orphans of this world is a subject that I am passionate about. By obeying God's call on our lives to adopt, Ken and I have been abundantly blessed with our daughter, Eliza. When I first felt God nudging me toward adoption, I must admit, I was hesitant. I deeply longed for a daughter, but I had my reservations. In the end, after much prayer, Ken and I decided to let God be in control, and follow His lead. Life usually does work out better that way. I celebrate every day that we have Eliza in our lives. What a true miracle of God's love and grace she is.


God has, through our adoption process taught me that ,as a christian, caring for the orphans of this world is not optional. I believe scripture commands us to care for them. I'm not saying every christian family should adopt a child. If God is calling you to adopt, I urge your to follow His prompting. But perhaps caring for His children looks different for you. Perhaps you are called to give financially to one of the many organizations that sponsor orphaned or poor children. Perhaps you are called to pray for them to find the homes they need or the food they need or the education or medical care they need. Perhaps you are called to serve them in another way. All I know is that as Christians, we are called to serve them in some way. As long as I am able to do something for the poorest and neediest children of this world, I believe that is exactly what God calls me to do...something.
James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Let us not just be "aware" of the orphans of the world this month. Let us do something about it. Let us step out of our comfort zones and reach out to the least of these.


Here are some links to just a few organizations (there are so many more) out there that are fighting for those who have no family, and trying to give them, at the very least, a voice in this world. Also I am including, instead of pics of my gorgeous kids, pics of other gorgeous kids who are waiting patiently to be called son or daughter by parents who love them.



http://www.holtintl.org/

http://www.shaohannahshope.org/

http://www.cryoftheorphan.org/

http://www.feedthechildren.org/

http://www.adoptuskids.org/

http://www.rainbowkids.com/














Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Riddle Time

How many clowns can you fit inside a princess tent?




Answer: 4



Monday, November 16, 2009

Early Thanksgiving & Baptism

This past weekend, we went to St. Louis for an early Thanksgiving visit. It was a whirlwind trip, but we had lots of fun with Ken's family. Eliza got meet several family members for the first time including her aunt and uncle who live in Arizona, great grandparents, great aunt and uncle, and some cousins. It was so good to see everyone. The kids also had Christmas with Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Rich, since we won't see them again at Christmas time. They thought it was great fun having Christmas and Thanksgiving in one weekend.




Eliza and her proud Aunt Jennifer




Eliza with Great Grandma Velma









We came home Sat. night, and Sunday morning we celebrated Eliza's Baptism. It was a wonderful day. Eliza wore her Korean hanbok, which is a traditional Korean outfit worn for special occasions. It was gifted to her by her Korean foster mother, and is so beautiful. Some of our church family even cried tears of joy at welcoming Eliza into our church family. They have prayed for her coming almost as much as we have, and it was such a joyous celebration to have her finally home. What a privilege to have this responsibility of raising her in our faith.










Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Look Who's Standing

Little Miss Eliza is starting to stand up all by herself. She has been cruising along furniture for about a month, and is now starting to get brave enough to let go.(even with one shoe on, and one off) My baby girl is getting big already. I caught a pic of her letting go today. She's so proud of herself too. It's adorable to see her beaming smile when she realizes what she's doing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The whole gang at grandma's house. (except daddy who was a police officer this halloween)



Phillip aka Greasy Street Pizza Delivery Guy



Nathan aka Vampire



Ian aka Wolverine



Isaac aka Ninja




Mommy and Eliza aka Mommy and Eliza with few kitty wiskers and a cute Halloween shirt







Monday, October 26, 2009

Lots to celebrate!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Ken! I love it when his birthday comes, because for the next 9 weeks, he is as old as I am. ;)



Phillip has been awarded the Track Maker Award from his school for scoring among the top in his class on the science portion of the Mapp Test. Way to go Phillip!

Last week was Parent-Teacher conferences, and all the boys are doing well in school. Isaac is enjoying Kindergarten, and doing great. Ian and Nathan both have straight A's. Ian's teacher even bragged about what a great leader he is in class, and how she can really trust him!

Eliza continues to amaze us. She had some bonding time with Daddy this past weekend, as Mommy went on a much needed women's retreat. She is not walking yet, but is instead focusing on climbing! The stair gates are in full force, and she is now trying to climb onto the couch, but I don't think she's quite tall enough yet. Boy, am I gonna have my hands full with this active little one. And that's fine with me. My hands are full, and so is my heart.

Yes, she hiked her leg up there all by herself! Ballet, perhaps?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Not So Small Victory

It's that time of the year...Parent Teacher Conferences. Yesterday I went to meet with one of my son's teacher's. Usually his teacher says something like, "He is such a sweet, smart boy, BUT he has a lot of trouble...listening, following directions, getting his work done, staying on task..."

Well, this past spring, He was diagnosed with Non-hyperactive Attention Deficit Disorder. It seemed to take forever to get a diagnosis because he is not hyper like most kids with ADHD. Also, I was looking for him to have anything but ADD, because I did not fully understand it, and therefor had some serious misconceptions about it. I was not about to put my kid on Ritalin to calm him down or make it easier for me to manage him. (Again me being seriously uneducated about the disorder and the medications to treat it). I basically thought ADD was something that teachers/parents made up to have an excuse to sedate out of control boys (well, mostly boys). Wow, how offensive am I?!

Anyway, after several doctors and lots of research, we finally got him the diagnosis he needed. His first medication worked somewhat, but it was not the results we hoped for. Last month we changed his meds, and WOW! what an amazing difference. It is like there has been a cloud hanging around him his whole life, and the cloud has been lifted. His brilliant personality is now shining through. He is starting to succeed, and you can just see the excitement and self pride in his eyes.

Back to the Parent-Teacher conference: This year, his teacher is beaming about him. And no BUT.. She raved that he has been able to fully participate and even lead in class. He went from doing 20-25 math problems in a minute to doing 50! He read a chapter book in 2 days! This is all huge! Then came the bomb. She shows me his report card, and not only does he have straight A's, but he has satisfactory behavior in every category (that has never happened!). I actually started to cry. I felt like an idiot, but who cares. My son is victorious. Finally! He is free from the obstacle that has been holding him back, frustrating him and us, and slowly tearing down his self esteem.

I have prayed for so long for God to take this burden from him, and my prayers have been answered. This reminded me of a verse I memorized this past year:

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Galatians 5:9

I cannot tell you how defeated I felt when I chose that verse. I felt like we'd never figure out how to help our son, like the daughter we longed for would never be ours, and so many other things. But I do believe the Lord is fulfilling his promise. The harvest is coming in, and it is a bountiful harvest this year! Praise God!

ps: sorry, no cute pics today. The flu is making it's way through our house, so I thought I'd spare you pics of our tired eyes and snotty noses.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Amazing God

I am so completely amazed that this precious child, who I prayed for for so long; who was born half way around the world, in a amazing land I probably would have never visited; who was born to a mother who loved her very deeply, but knew she could not raise her; who weighed only 1.8 lbs. at birth, and struggled just to stay alive; this miracle child was without a doubt hand selected by God to be my daughter. I am, but shouldn't be, amazed by the perfection in His plan. Under normal circumstances, it is very unlikely that I would have ever crossed paths with her in my entire lifetime, but through the miracle of adoption, I now call her daughter. God is so, so good.

I want to share this popular adoption quote with you all today. It so beautifully describes my heart.

We witness a miracle each time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey across time and miles, growing in the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's own hands.

Big Brother "Up"

As I have probably said before, Eliza totally adores her big brother Phillip, and vise versa. Well, yesterday when I called for him, she chimed in right after my "Phillip!" with her own "Up!". She has been calling him "Up" all day. It's so cute. This morning before he was awake, she put her hands in the air and said "Up?", as if to ask "Where is Phillip?" It is so amazing to me how quickly she is picking up on our language, a language she had never heard just 6 weeks ago.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Isaac loves to read


Isaac read his first book all by himself! Yeah! He is so proud of himself, and of course, we are proud of him too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Settling In

We seem to be settling into somewhat normalness (is that a word?). The newness of baby sister is wearing off for the boys. They still love and adore Eliza, but they aren't in her face all the time. It's back to runing around making more sound effects than actual words, and focusing on their own activities such as scouts and school work.

We had our first post-placement visit of 3 from our social worker this past Friday, and it went very well. She is quite impressed with how well Miss Eliza is adjusting to her forever family, and so are we.

She is also doing so great developmentally since she came home. She was basically just doing an army crawl when we brought her home, and now she is a super fast crawler. She can pull up on furniture, and is cruising. She loves to hold our hands and walk, and she smiles big and looks so proud of herself when she does. Yesterday she even stood unassisted for about 5 seconds. It is really amazing to see how quickly she is growing and getting stronger.

On November 3rd, we have our first of 2 court dates to finalize her adoption in the US. Approx. 6 months after the first court date, we will have finalization and she will officially be ours and a US citizen. Right now she has a green card, and will be a Korean citizen until her adoption is final and she gains US citizenship. We will for sure have a huge celebration on that day!

We had kind of a busy week, so not a lot of new pics, but I love this one of all my babies:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Peek-A-Boo!

Our little Eliza is really letting her personality shine through more and more every day. I really keep waiting for this honeymoon to be over, but so far, the adjustment has been so much better than I ever imagined. The boys are so in love with their sister, and fight over who gets to play with her (as if they needed something else to fight over), and I think Miss Eliza very much likes being the center of attention.

We had her 12 month checkup this week, and her doctor said she looks very healthy, especially considering how small she started out. She is about the size and developmental stage of a typical 9-10 month old, which is just about right, since she was born 10 weeks early and only weighed 1.8 lbs. She is now 17.5 lbs, and 27 inches long. Although my back thinks she's a little heavier. ;)

It has been challenging for me to get back into the baby routine, since it's been 5 years since I've done it. I have no idea how I did it when the stairstep boys were so small. I guess I was younger then, and just used to it. But I am slowly getting my energy back, and Eliza and I have been exercising (ie: going for walks) everyday. Thank goodness for the beautiful weather.

Here are some pics for this week, as well as an adorable video of Eliza playing pee-a-boo with me.




Playin' with Grandma Barbara


On the porch swing with Phillip


GO CHIEFS! Cheering with Grandpa Ed!


Cuddles with Grandpa Wayne


PEEK-A-BOO!
video

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Eliza Inae!!

Yesterday, September 16th, we celebrated Eliza's 1st birthday. Since she has not even been home 2 weeks, it was a very small, informal celebration, but it was great.

I made bulgogi (korean bbq) and some other korean dishes. We had a small version of the tol table with rice cakes, orange candies, korean cookies and cupcakes. In Korean tradition, the child's first birthday is a very special celebration. The child is dressed in traditional korean clothing called a Hanbok, and during the birthday celebration, several items are placed in front of the child, each item being symbolic of the child's future. The first two items selected by the child are said to predict the kind of person the child will be as she grows up.The items are:

a book = the child will be a successful scholar
a spool of thread = the child will have a long life
a knife = the child will be a great cook
a jujube = the child will have many decendants
a ruler = the child will be good with his/her hands
money = the child will be wealthy

Eliza's beautiful Hanbok was given to her by her foster mother. It is quite big on her and should fit for several years. She was not too excited about having it on, so we just kept it on long enough for her to choose the jujube (many decendants) and the knife (great cook). Then we let her get comfortable again.

She enjoyed everyone singing happy birthday to her and she REALLY enjoyed her cupcake. At one point I had to lift her head up out of the cupcake, because she was so burried in it I was afraid she couldn't breathe.

We are so amazed each and every day by this precious gift God has granted us. We fall more in love with her every minute. She continues to show us more and more of her dazzling personality, which is so encouraging, because that means she is getting more comfortable with us. She is leaning in and giving her daddy kisses, and today, she looked me straight in they eyes and called me mama, then gave me a big hug. Blessed is the only word to describe how we are, completely and totally blessed.





Friday, September 11, 2009

Home One Week

It's hard to believe we have already been home with Eliza for a week. I would say the adjustment is going really well. She still much prefers to be held by me, but is starting to allow me to put her down, and has even let daddy carry her in her carrier a few times. I can tell she is going to be quite the handfull. She is starting to show off her crawling skills, which is more of an army crawl at home, since we have hard floors. I think it is just more comfy on her little knees to do the army crawl, but boy is she fast! And what do you suspect the first thing she crawls toward is...the stairs, of course.

I know we have yet to see her full personality, but she is so sweet. She is starting to let out little laughs, and I can't wait to hear her really let out a big belly laugh.

She LOVES to eat. She may be tiny now, but she is really workin' on catching up. She has liked everything we have given her so far. She especially enjoys Gerber Puffs.

She has been sleeping all night long in her crib for the past 3 nights. Not even waking for a bottle. I can't beleive how easily she adjusted to the time change. If only her mommy was adjusting so easily. The jet lag is kicking my butt. Ken is used to swithching his days and nights around for work, but my body is not at all ahppy about it. I think I am almost there though. I was able to get to sleep by midnight last night, which is much better than 3-4am. Thank goodness for afternoon naps!

Here are some pics of my beautiful, sweet, silly girl.