Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blog Friend Get Together!

Last night I had the wonderful blessing of getting together with two other Blog Friends Sandra and Grace. I was so excited when Grace initiated a get together and we had a girl's night last night. We went out for yummy Korean Food for dinner.

In our conversations about Korea and adoption Sandra mentioned the great cakes in Korea and Sandra had the brilliant idea of going out for dessert. We all have a sweet tooth in common and we headed over to a Korean bakery for dessert and ate Strawberry Bingsoo which you have to try if you haven't had it before! I had never heard of Bingsoo and it's amazing. Ice cream, shaved ice, rice cake, gooey goodness.

I had to wait for Grace to post on her blog so I can link to her pictures. She was the great picture taker in the group. :)

It was wonderful to talk with both of them. Sandra brought her son, Ben, home this spring and Grace is waiting for her TC (come on EP submission!!!). It's so exciting to hear the stories and it's great to talk with other people who understand this frustrating process and some of the strange things that Adoptive Parents hear from other people. It's also great that Grace speaks Korean and can share so much about the Korean culture, I'm hoping she'll let me hire her as a private tutor.... :) Plus Sandra is from Germany so if B needs a tutor I know who to call! :) I was the only dud at the table who only spoke one language fluently. I really wish we were better about that here, but that's another post in itself.

Thanks Grace and Sandra for a fantastic time! I can't wait to meet Ben and for Choi Boy to come home!

Sweet Pea Project

The Sweet Pea project is a wonderful project who gives blankets to grieving parents whose children died at or soon after birth. I can only begin to imagine such a heartbreaking time. Here's a link to a blog where she is trying to collect 100 blankets by October 15 for the Sweet Pea Project.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What if I Give All...

I found a new blog today (thanks Elizabeth) called Journey. The post I linked to inspired me to share this song. It's one of my favorites. (also thanks Elizabeth for teaching me to link!)

What if I Give All by Ray Boltz

He heard the preacher say
"A single dime could feed
A hungry boy or girl with
Nothing to eat"
So he pulled a dollar
From the pocket of his jeans
He asked his Mama
"How many will this feed?"
She just smiled when she told him ten
He reached back in again

"What if I give all I have
What will that gift do?"
"My child a gift like that could change the world
Could feed a multitude!"
He didn't close his eyes or turn away
I can see him standing tall
He saw the need and I can hear him say
"What if I give all?"

Three birthday dollars could of bought a special toy
But he reminds of another little boy
Who gave to Jesus a gift of fish and bread
I wonder if he said?

"What if I give all I have
What will that gift do?"
"My child a gift like that could change the world
Could feed a multitude!"
He didn't close his eyes or turn away
I can see him standing tall
He saw the need and I can hear him say
"What if I give all?"

Long ago, a Father and His Son
Saw the children lost in sin
Can you see the tears in Father's eyes
As Jesus says to him?

"What if I give all I have
What will that gift do?"
"My son that gift will change the world
It will feed the multitude"
"So what if I give all I have
What will that gift do?
My child a gift like that could change the world
It could feed a multitude
We cannot close our eyes and turn away
When we hear his spirit call
We see the need, now let him hear us say
"What if I give all?
What if I give all?"

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Versatile Blogger

My wonderful blog (and forum) friend Tracee at Mothering in a Shoe (http://motheringinashoe.blogspot.com <--I think I need to learn how to turn words into a hyperlink...anyone want to teach me I'd greatly appreciate it) gave me my first award! The Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks so much Tracee! For those of you who haven't read her blog it is about being a Mom to her three beautiful children, adoptive parenting, being a Foster Mom and a Military Wife! Wow! Check out her blog! So, with the Versatile Blogger Award comes a few guidelines...

  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to 7 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.
  • Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award
7 things about myself:

1. I am a military wife and I'm happy about it. I wasn't always happy about it but I've come a long way in the past 9 years! :) The hardest part was probably throwing up pregnant with my husband in Iraq during his first deployment. Scared + Sick = 1 unhappy wife (and Mommy to be).

2, I am a Christian and God has always brought me in unexpected directions (see above) and has always used the negative situations in life for His good! The aforementioned deployment lead to amazing communication and an even better marriage than ever anticipated! The adoption definitely has it's share of ups and downs and I'm frustrated at times, but I know God is in control and He will make something wonderful out of the negative situations (specifically out of our poor child's loss and the negative situation(s) that led to his/her adoption plan in the first place - not erase the hurt but bring beautiful things from the bad).

3. I'm a runner. I used to hate running. I often used my kids as an excuse not to run (granted a well founded excuse, still an excuse). Once when doing that my husband told me that he'd watch the kids but that I won't start running. Well, that was it. My friend and I started running together 3 days per week. When we moved to the DC area I signed up for the 10 miler and had a goal (one I wasn't sure I'd obtain). I ran it last year and it was awesome. I'm signed up again for this year and have had trouble being consistent with workouts so I'm getting nervous and need to get my butt in gear!

4. I'm not the most organized person in the world (to say the least). The good thing is I've gotten much better since becoming a Mom. It's still a lot of work for me to stay organized and on top of things (including cleaning) but I'm doing fairly well at it now.

5. I have a SWEET TOOTH! I love ice cream, cookies, chocolate, donuts, etc. I can't get enough. The only thing that doesn't excite me is candy. Most candy (except for the chocolate variety) is something I can pass up. I loved it when I was younger but now it's nothing special.

6. Confession: I get too into tv shows. The ones I'm following, I get interested in and excited about and can't wait for the next episode. Sort of like a good book where I can't put it down. I look forward to the next show a bit more than I should, in my opinion.

7. Never in my life could I have imagined my life to be as wonderful as it. A loving husband, two terrific kids, in the process of adopting our 3rd, amazing family and friends. I am so thankful for my life. It's not exciting, it's not perfect, but it's truly amazing to live it!

OK - Blog friends to award this to (apologies again for my inability to turn names into links):

1. Pixie over at Cheese Curds and Kimchi: http://curdsandkimchi.blogspot.com/
2. Elisabeth at Loving Leah with All Our Heart and Seoul: http://lovingourleah.blogspot.com/
3. Jenny at Searching for Cutie Pie Clopton: http://cutiepieclopton.blogspot.com/
4. Linny at A Place Called Simplicity: http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/
5. Kala at Our Adoption Journey: http://adoptfromkorea.blogspot.com/
6. Sonia at His Hands, His Feet: http://cheaperbythehalfdozens.blogspot.com/
7. Elizabeth at Romans 8:15: http://romanseightfifteen.blogspot.com/
8. Sandra at Three Continents, One Family: http://across3continents.blogspot.com/

I didn't follow the rules and I did 8. I tried to do 8 people who haven't posted about the award yet (though they may have been awarded it). I also may have missed it so forgive me. This is a great way to share blogs so check those out. I want to mention a.e.i.o.u., Chois R US, Little Bit O'Seoul, and John and Kelly + Max because I enjoy those a lot, I believe they've all received the award but wanted to mention them anyway. I enjoy learning more about everyone. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First sick day. :(

B is home sick from school already. It does take long for those viruses to spread around at the beginning of the school year. He's so cute because he tried to tell me he was OK this morning but then I could tell by the time we were down to get breakfast that he was SICK. Praying that he's better soon, we have a marriage conference (with free child care) that we're REALLY hoping to go to this weekend. I also don't want my boy to be sick (wow, that last statement sounded horribly selfish - but we don't get opportunities like this often and I know he'll be fine so I'm babying him but not terribly worried).

G loves having her big brother home, though she was sad to miss PWOC today (seriously - she's been fighting me on being left anywhere and TODAY she wants to go?!?). It was our first class of the semester so I'm sad to miss it, but at least I already have my book so I won't get behind.

G has school again tomorrow. Right now she's excited about it, but by tomorrow I expect to hear "I don't want to go to preschool!" I ordered "The Kissing Hand" and "Llama, Llama misses Mama" from the scholastic catalog. Unfortunately she'll probably be all settled in by the time the books come. Maybe I'll take "The Kissing Hand" out of the library in the mean time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

G Starting School! And musings on separation anxiety.

My baby girl just started school (preschool). They really ease the kids into it so yesterday was the first day that she got dropped off and I left. The teacher told me there were a few tears. Generally my daughter isn't very shy or clingy at all but recently she has been a bit more. I think that as excited as she is about school (she's been talking about it ALL summer and she just thinks it's very exciting) the reality is making her uneasy and causing a bit of separation anxiety as we move forward. She's now crying when she goes to church or PWOC, and that didn't used to be the case. Hopefully as we all get used to our new routines she will be her old cheerful self again in all (most) situations.

The good news:
1. Her teacher is AMAZING - so warm and loving!
2. It is a Christian preschool (not just taking place at a church but the teachers gather and pray for the kids each morning before school starts, the kids learn a memory verse and have chapel time, etc.)
3. G is always happy and excited when I pick her up from any of these places. She seems happy about what she did in class even if she doesn't want to go initially.

As I experience this with her (my child who has never really experienced a lot of separation anxiety, who follows my son who only experienced it right after Brian deployed when he was 1 but then never did again), I wonder about our child on the other side of the world. We're guessing our child has been born and has experienced his/her first loss already. Separation anxiety won't even begin to describe the type of difficulties this child could face. Loss of parents and then loss of foster parents. Coming to an unfamiliar country with weird looking people and a strange language. Finally attaching to us (hopefully within a few months or so) and then definitely NOT wanting to be left with someone else. The fear that being left could invoke would be so real. I am thankful that G and B are so attached that they don't want us to leave but that they're really just fine once we do. They are confident that we will return. I pray that eventually our third child will also feel confident in that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Waiting Place... (Dr. Seuss)

.....for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the PHONE to RING (ring phone ring!!!)
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Apologies to Dr. Seuss for using his work and tweaking it slightly.

Obviously adoption is filled with waiting. You'll notice the italicized parts and of course my own commentary above. Steps that you wait for during the adoption process. We're waiting for the phone to ring (and the agency to be on the other end with a referral). We know that we're likely to be waiting a few more months. The important part is not to live the wait, but to live while we wait.

This is something I've been contemplating for a few weeks now and the Chaplain at PWOC today mentioned something that was interesting. He said that some people are just waiting to die to go to heaven. They're not living the life God gave them. To me this sounds crazy but I remember that there are days when I get caught up in what is to come (whether it's the adoption or a move, etc.) that I forget to live in the moment and appreciate all that God has provided in this day right now! So NO! I won't live in the Waiting Place. I'm waiting but I'm also LIVING!**

**I may need this reminder from time to time....

Wednesday (yesterday) was 2 months HSTK! Our agency said 4-8 months. Recently I've heard 6-8 months. I can't bring myself to think 8, but I'm trying to let go until January and just enjoy the fall. So excited for the kids as they enjoy the beginning of the school year. I can't wait to go apple picking! Lots to look forward to and to enjoy each day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fundraiser for adoption - fun raffle!

Just thought I'd share the info about a very fun raffle/fundraiser over at His Hands, His Feet: http://cheaperbythehalfdozens.blogspot.com/2010/09/prizes-prizes-everywhere.html

Check it out! Very fun stuff and for a great cause - bringing home two adorable, active, funny boys from China! :) Also check out the pictures of these two on her blog b/c they will bring a smile to your face!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to school: B's first day

B had his first day of 1st grade today! What a big boy. It was at a new school and he was pretty nervous. He's been excited all summer and I think last night the nervousness really set in.

The good: His teachers were nice, he liked them (I was told that they're very strict the first couple of weeks so this is a surprising start!). He was excited about German and not terribly upset that he didn't understand any of it yet. :) By the end of the day he had made a friend: named Gus. I didn't see a Gus on the list but I didn't study it extensively the other day either so either there is one or B didn't hear his name correctly (very possible!).

The bad: I asked the wrong questions. He talked away to my Mom on the phone (I think I need to call and get some info from her) but didn't tell us a whole lot. I asked about the playground and he said no one played with him on the playground. This broke my heart and I felt horrible. I think I am much more upset than him about this. Brian reminded me that at the playdate before school started (where he made friends who are all in the opposite class!) it took the kids about half an hour to warm up to each other and playtime at school definitely isn't more than that so it'll be better in a couple of days.

The Ugly: G told B everything fun that we did today without him. Brian took the day off to see B off to school and pick him up but of course we all took advantage of only having one child with us and ran some errands and went out to lunch. I'm not sure how to handle this throughout the year. How do I continue to have fun with G but not make B jealous and sad that he's at school.

Brian took the kids out for ice cream and I'm headed out to meet G's teacher. Jealous about the ice cream but excited to learn more about G's preschool. Plus I'm on day 4 of (successful) healthy eating and exercise! Hurray!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Working Out Again

OK, so I have struggled with consistency in eating healthfully and working out since starting this process. Now some of that is seasonal, some is my lack of will power and some is stress. Yesterday I finally got back on the wagon! I ate healthfully and ran, today I continued with my healthy eating and Brian and I did P90X (of course I used to be much better at it so that was some motivation as well!).

I just thought I'd post that I'm trying to be better to kind of make some accountability for myself. My goal is to lose about 10 lbs. by Halloween. I guess we'll see, but I think it's possible. ;)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Anyone have big plans for the weekend? Brian has to work tomorrow thanks to Hurricane Earl (which changed our original plans) but we're hoping to make the best of the weekend. G has a bad cold so rest is definitely necessary but hopefully we can go out to eat, relax a bit and do some fun things around town.

Brian took B into DC and to visit the Pentagon today (plus they got to ride the VRE which is very exciting for B). G is having a movie day due to not feeling well, though we did have a lovely tea party with her stuffed animals and Alani (G's Cabbage Patch doll) up in her room. Hoping everyone is healthy and home and able to enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School Playdate and Meet The Teacher

OK, we've been out of the loop lately. I've been dealing with ear and sinus issues and there's been a lot going on but since it's almost time to go back to school I will share a little about this week.

Tuesday was Brian's 30th Birthday! Hurray! He joined the same decade as me (I'm the older spouse - you know, women live longer, I chose a younger guy....). ;)

The night before his birthday I got an email and on Tuesday they were having a playdate for all of the German Immersion kids and were specifically inviting the incoming 1st graders so that they could make some friends. So my husband was a trooper, and being the wonderful Daddy that he is, he celebrated his 30th birthday at the school playground! It was great for B. He met some nice kids on the playground and I think he's a bit more comfortable about starting at a new school. I met some nice Moms which makes me a bit more comfortable too! :)

Today he gets to meet his teacher and find out who is in his class. Afterwards I promised another trip to the playground so the kids are excited! Surprisingly (since he's switching schools) B is very excited to meet his teacher and go back to school this year! I'm a little nervous though because I was told by some of the parents that the 1st grade teachers start off the year by being VERY STRICT! They ease up after about 2 weeks but they set the standard high initially. While this is a good thing for the most part, I'm nervous about my son who struggles to not talk in class and hold his body still (he is a 6 year old boy - sitting still and quiet is NOT in his nature!). All I can do is pray and wait out those intial weeks. It will probably be great for him in the long run but I envision a few tears along the way...

These are my random musing about school. I'll probably write more about preschool soon. Right now I'll leave you with a quote from B "I just can't believe that G is big enough to go to preschool - I just can't believe it!" Like his Mama - he still thinks his sister is our little baby, but she's growing up!