Thursday, December 16

One year ago the phone rang...

and we got our travel call!!!! The call came sooner than expected as we were told the wait for travel would be around four months from referral. The call came in the later part of the morning while I was at work. How I managed to keep it together I will never know.

After the kids went to bed we spent several hours figuring out our travel plans. We had to work around Ron's work schedule, Christmas, and my nieces baptism... not to mention crazy prices for flights. It was so stressful because I was ready to just hop on the next flight! It is a very good thing that there were so many events to keep me busy until our departure day... January 1st.

Sunday, December 5

20 Months Old

Eden turned 20 months old on Friday.

Two nights ago Ron and I found ourselves laughing out loud as we lay in bed recalling all of the funny things Eden has been doing lately. She is a funny girl. Her newest and funniest thing she is doing lately is pretending to walk into something and say, "Uhhhh" with this strange inflection... over and over again... to make you laugh. She is putting on a little show.

Another super cute things she does is.... She will throw her typical freak out when she wants something screeching, fake crying, stomping her feet. We will then ask, "What do you want?" She will immediately stop and in the most girlie sweetest softest voice say, "dink." (drink) The way she says it is just so sweet and cute... so the opposite of what she was doing just seconds before.

More good stuff...

* She totally knows what, "What do you want?" means. WHICH IS GREAT!!!!!

* She is saying too may words to list anymore!

* She is still into Elmo and we have added two new Elmo movies to our collection. She knows the Sesame Street logo too. Today while at church there was a Sesame Street book face down with only some words and the logo showing. As soon as she saw it she said, "Elmo!" She also recognizes Christmas carols from her Elmo Christmas movie when she hears them on the radio. If one comes on she will say "Elmo!"

* She has a new nickname... The Claw. She scratches. Sometimes she will scratch other kids if she thinks that someone will take her toy. Sometimes she scratches if a child has a toy she wants. And sometimes she will scratch for no reason at all. She has drawn blood. I now have to be vigilant in keeping her nails trimmed down to nothing. I have mentioned before how much she enjoys getting her nails cut. Ugh. Can't wait till this phase passes.

* So far Christmas is a hit. She likes this waaayyyy better than Halloween. She loves the decorations, music, and cookies. We decided not to put our tall tree up in our family room this year because I figured I would find her 1/2 way up the tree one day. Instead we removed our chandelier in our dining room, took the furniture out and now it just holds our smaller Christmas tree and some decorations. She loves to go in there and look at the tree and stuffed animals. She was napping when I put the tree up. When she came downstairs the first thing she said was "Wow."

* Ron's parents came in from New York to celebrate Christmas with us. Eden unwrapped her first Christmas present. It didn't take long for her to figure out what to do. She was into it!

* Eden is now outgrowing most of her 12-18 month clothes. I hate that she can no longer wear some of my favorites. Good thing I have my two little nieces to pass her things on to.

* She calls all babies "Mia."

* She has the WORLD CUTEST run. Tippy toe, bouncy, happy little baby run.

I love this little girl so much!!!! She is just so precious. I love seeing her personality come through. We may have another class clown on our hands!!!!!

Wednesday, December 1

Tuesday, November 23

Another Step Forward in Attachment

Yesterday I had an appointment after work but needed to stop home real quick before leaving for my appointment. My in-laws were in town and were watching Eden. When I walked in I was greeted with a screaming, running, smiling, sweet hello. She was so happy to see me. :) I gave her a quick hug and then turned to leave. Well... then the tears came. "Maaamaaaaa... Maaaamaaaaa!" This was a first! I thought that maybe it was a fluke... but then this morning she cried for me again as I left for work. Same sad, "Mama"... with real crocodile tears.

Although I really hate leaving her upset (she calmed down with her favorite distraction... food) and it breaks my heart to leave her.... I can't help but smile. See... up until now she hasn't shown a real preference towards me. She seems to tolerate me and seems to like me alright... but nothing more than that. She let me into hear world, but not into her heart. I felt like she knew I would meet her needs and was a comfort to her, but if I left tomorrow she wouldn't really care. I was replaceable. She never put up a fuss when I have had to leave her before. Although she is happy to see me, my "hellos" pale in comparison to the ones she gives to Daddy. There were even days when I would get home from work and she would grab my mom's leg and cry because I was home. Talk about rejection. It's been tough. For a while I felt like a servant.. feed me, clothe me, comfort me, get me what I want. All the while I keep waiting for something. Some little sign that I have have broken through and have entered her heart... that she didn't just want someone to be with her... but that she wanted ME to be with her.. that I have something that no one else has... that she has set me apart. I know it is selfish.. after all she has been though... focusing on my need to feel "special." I wonder how long it would take me to love again if everyone and everything I have ever loved and known was taken from me. She has done remarkably well, considering.

Honestly, what makes me even happiest is knowing that she feels confident and safe enough to let me in a little bit... to start to love me.

Monday, November 8

19 Months Old

Eden celebrated her first Halloween this past month. It took me quite some time to find the perfect costume... a strawberry, Little Red Riding Hood, Minnie Mouse... but I ended up finding the cutest pumpkin costume on Etsy! I have to say she looked adorable!!! She really seemed to like her costume too! Other than that... Halloween was a bust. She really disliked the whole pumpkin carving bit... she actually was spitting and gagging when we cut it open. She didn't seem to care for the smell and wouldn't touch the seeds/guts. Eden is going through a phase where she hates having he picture taken. She will be fine and the minute to take the camera out she will start to throw a fit! Sooo it took forever to get a decent picture of her in her costume. I needed LOTS of distractions! Plus she is so very busy that it is difficult for her to hold still long enough to even take a picture. Thanks to Uncle Jay I did manage to get one good one! She didn't get into trick or treating... not that I figured a 19 month old would. She just wanted to pull the wagon. I am curious to see if Christmas will be more her speed.

More cool stuff...

* She continues to be a super funny kid! I can't help but laugh when she crinkles her nose up and smiles.

* She still loves to be chased and will screech and scream but then runs into your arms instead of away from you.

* She LOVES Adrian. She asks for him all the time. If she doesn't know where he is she will say, "A-den ho-keee." She must have figured out that if Adrian is not home, chances are he is at hockey.

* She has a great sense of direction. She will start calling out, "Nonna, Papa" when we pull into my parents subdivision. She will also say "hockey" when we pull into the rink. She really freaked me out though when we were driving and were stopped at an intersection near my sister's house. She started saying, "Tee Tee" and pointing in the direction where we would need to turn to get to her subdivision.

* She is starting to put two words together... Mama All Done (I guess that is three!), Mia Night Night (three again)

* She does the same thing each day when we arrive home. We will get out of the car and she will start saying, "ReeeRoooo" (Hero) and will run to his crate. She will then let the dog out. Next she will start saying, "Elmo" over and over and over and over... until you put the Elmo DVD in.

* She LOVES her BFF and cousin Mia. She asks for her daily. She will go to her picture and say, "Mia" and then run to the front door and reach to open it. It's her way of saying that she wants to go to Mia's house.

* She has a new love in her life besides Barney... Elmo. She has one Elmo Christmas DVD. We basically have it playing on a loop. She will watch it for just a few minutes but if you turn it off she will go nuts. This morning as I crawled out of bed one of the songs was playing in my mind over and over. "It's almost Christmas, It's almost Christmas, It's almost Christmas Daaaayyyyyaaayyyyaaayyy." Ugh.

* She hates to have her hair done or nails trimmed and will throw a giant fit when either needs to be done.

* She loves raspberries with a passion.

* She loves to "help" me do laundry. She will help put the clothes into our out of the washer and dryer. Her favorite part though is shutting the big door.

* She is in a scratching phase. She actually drew blood on a child at church last week. She will grab and dig her nails into faces. Nice. She will do this if someone has a toy she wants or if another child looks interested in a toy she has. Sometimes though she will just do it for no reason at all. I hope this phase passes quickly.

Eden has been home with us for ten months and the days are just flying by. I can't believe how much she has changed when looking at pictures of when we first brought her home. It seems that time seems to move 15 times more slowly when you are waiting to bring your child home. Once your child is finally home time seems to move 15 times more quickly!

We are so blessed and honored to have this beautiful child as our daughter. She is more than I ever dreamed.

Tuesday, November 2

Adoption Awareness Month post 2

When I was a little girl, if you would have asked me how many children I would have one day, I would have said five. I most likely would have told you that I was going to adopt a Chinese baby too. No joke. Not sure exactly where that came from. Honestly, part of it came from my fear of childbirth... and probably because I have always thought that Asian people are so beautiful. I remember wishing I had Asian hair and Asian eyes.

Things sort of worked out the way my ten year old mind envisioned. Instead of "Chinese" we have a Korean born daughter. Instead of five kids... we have three. Three is a lot. No doubt about it. I can't imagine having five... or four. Not while working anyway. I know people do it, but I know that for me personally I can't take on one. more. thing.

But then... I see a face. A face of a child waiting for a family.

...and then I wonder... does my heart, my home, my leave from work, my schedule, my wallet, my children, my piece of mind, my husband... have room for one more? A mixed bag. Some resounding YES's and some HUGE no's.

It's hard to be in the adoption arena and know what I know and see what I see and not feel like... I should be doing more. Scratch that... I WANT to do more.

You see that face and you think...
I want to love you. I want to hold you. I want to show you and teach you and be there for you. I want to tuck you in at night. I want you to know the love of a family.

Some faces haunt me and I will have to check over and over again to see if anyone has stepped forward to adopt them. Many of the children on these lists have special needs. Some are severe but many are not. Some are on lists because of age alone.

This child has been waiting on the Rainbowkids site for a year.

These two cute guys are likely still waiting because they are boys, over the age of 2, and have some malformations of their fingers and/or toes. I have had students who have had missing fingers and never once did it stop them from doing anything. This is such a minor need. Yet they wait.

... and there is this sweet girl

Although I have not read her full file... her "special need" is so minor. It doesn't appear that she will need future surgeries or therapies or medication. Her age is likely the reason why she is still waiting. I just want to reach out and cup that sweet face in my hands.

There are hundreds and hundreds more children on these lists... from all different countries... all deserving of a family.

I know that there will always be "that face" that calls to me. Even if I adopted 100 kids... I know that my heart would always want do adopt more. For now, I need to focus on the three little faces that greet me each morning. I need to love them, teach them, tuck them in to bed at night... and I am blessed beyond measure. So, I will do what little I can for these waiting children... advocate for them, pray for them, and encourage families out there to learn more.

If you are interested in learning more about these waiting children the following website has many links to photo listings. But be forewarned... you may see the face of a child that will steal your heart.

Come Unity

November is...

ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH. I am going to *try* and do some posts about adoption in support. This blog really has suffered since Eden has come home. I am now a working mother of three active kids. There isn't a whole lot of time to spare. Most days I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water. My house is never clean, there are always piles of laundry to be done, and I can count on one had the number of days per month that we don't have something planned for after school. Hockey practices (for two kids), hockey games (for two kids), drum lessons, church group meetings for the kids, church volunteer days for me, doctor appointments, work meetings... ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Most of it is all good... just busy.

I have thought several several several times about ending the blog. I don't think that there are very many readers anyway. ... but then I will get an email (like I did today) from someone I never met telling me how reading this neglected and poorly written blog (my opinion) has somehow helped them. Whether it be using our agency, changing countries, encouraging them during the wait or deciding on adopting... this blog has helped someone. For that reason... I will continue.

First up for adoption awareness month... a video created by a adoptive family. This family frequents a Korea adoptions forum that I am a member of. They collected pictures from other members and made this video. Eden is not in the video as I never had the 10 minutes it would have taken to send in a picture. Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, October 12

Referral Day Video

I wanted to get this post out for our referral day anniversary... but didn't have time.

Monday, October 4

18 Months Old

It surprises me just how much Eden grows and changes each month. She is such a precious perfect gift.

This month she is...

* Eden started going to an in home day care three days per week while I am working. She did great with the transition... I had been worrying for months. I LOVE her screaming, running, smiling hello when I pick her up each day.

* Eden said... Adrian! Well... it was more like "Aaaden" but it was clear as day. It's so cute. I thought for sure she would say Luca's name first because Adrian is such a hard name to say!

* She likes to throw her dirty diaper in the garbage after I change her.

* She loves coming home and letting our dog out of his crate.

* She likes to say "no"... a lot.

* She is back to drinking bottles. After a few months of rejecting them, she is back on a bottle kick and will ask for one often.

* I love the way she asks for a cracker... "rrrr rrrrr."

* I don't know if I ever wrote that she can do a somersault and will do one if you ask her to. She has done this for months.

* It has been six months since she had her ears pierced and can now wear regular earrings!

* She loves sleeping and going to bed. When I say it's time for night night she giggles and runs for the stairs. I pick her up and she lays her head on my shoulder. She then waves to everyone as I take her up the stairs.

* She still thinks burps are hilarious and will fake burp and laugh.

She makes us laugh all the time. She is so funny and cute. I so wish her birth mother knew what an amazing child she is. I so wish she could see the miracle she brought into this world.

Thursday, September 16

One Year Ago Today....

we got the call. We saw our baby's face for the first time. What a wonderful day it was!

A referral picture and Eden looking at her referral picture

More to come on how we celebrated our first referral day anniversary. For now... I am too tired to post anything more than this. :)

Friday, September 3

17 Months old and 8 Months home

Our sweet, smart, beautiful girl is seventeen months old today. She is a ball of energy, funny, and way to bright for her own good. She can be trouble with a capital T... going from one "no no" to another... like she has a radar for things she is not supposed to do. She has the BEST smile in the world and nothing on the Earth feels better than her little arms wrapped around you. Here's more....

* She is just too dang smart and determined. Her goal each and every day is to find a way to escape from her play area. Mind you.... it is our entire family room. The room is basically her play room.... just a couch, chair, TV and about a million toys. She has the run of the place. There are several large gates blocking the three entrances into the room (darn open floor plan) to keep her in a safe area in the house. Well, from the moment she is in the room she is looking for a way out... and she has found several. One is to just ram her way out with all of her body weight and strength. This will bust open one of the sides. I now have to wedge a chair into that corner to keep it from happening. She will also slowly move her entire toy bin out of the way and fit through a tiny not humanly possible opening between the gate and stairs. My personal favorite though is that she will drag her chair over to the side of the gate and stand on it and try to climb over. I couldn't believe it when I saw her do this!!!! Without the chair she will find other things go drag and stand on. It's nuts. One day I set her in the family room and ran upstairs to put some clothes away. I am upstairs in her bedroom and the next thing I know... I turn around and she is standing right behind me... smiling of course. She broke out, went all the way up the steps (alone!), and found me. Scary.
Here she is caught in the act...

* She makes the same noise for all animal sounds. She growls. So if she sees a bird, dog, fish... whatever... she says, "grrrrrr".... so funny. Our chiropractor has a full size spine model in his office which she thinks is an animal because she growls at it whenever we are there. :)

* She is repeating everything now and learning lots of new words. She knows when we say, "Say....." that she is to repeat the word. It is so cute. Some new words are... apple, please, cracker, up, Hero (our dog), outside

* She now waves to everyone as I bring her upstairs for bed or nap. It is so cute.

* She gave her first kiss!!!!! It wasn't for me and in fact she hasn't kissed me ever... but it couldn't have been sweeter. My sister's daughter Mia was over. Mia is six months younger than Eden. She got so excited to see her that she ran over and started hugging her. Then, she pulled back, puckered up, and kissed her right on the lips! It was so adorable! Up until that point I had no idea she even knew how to kiss. Sure.. she gets kissed about a thousand times a day... but she had never given one.

* She still loves Barney and really likes Mickey Mouse. She says "Baaaaneeee" and will sing "I llllaaaaaaaa" for the "I Love You, You Love Me" Barney song. She will say "Meee Mooouuuu" for Mickey Mouse. It is adorable.

* She understands just about everything you tell her. If you tell her that we are going bye bye, she will run to the front door, try to put on her shoes, and pound on the front door. She usually adds, "Ouuusiiiii" while doing so.

* She attracts a ton of attention. People are always stopping to talk to her and complementing on how cute she is. I am amazed at how many people stop us who have adopted or know someone who has.

* We received her new birth certificate. It lists her birthplace as Korea but lists us as her parents.

* She is still a screamer but less often. I think she is catching on that she doesn't get what she wants when she screams.

* She loves babies... real ones.

* She is still better with bath time. She is not crazy about getting water on her head.. but overall she is much better with it than a few months ago.

* She thinks that she can do whatever the boys are doing... which is hilarious and scary at the same time. She wants to play what they are playing, go where they are going... and when she can't... look out!!!!! She gets mad.

* She is still a great sleeper. She hardly ever protests going to bed.

* She has been home with us eight months now. This is the longest she has lived in one place in her life.

She is full of happiness and joy. You can't help but feel it when you are around her. She makes me laugh all the time. I continue to be in awe of her beautiful face. Ron thinks she is the most beautiful baby in the world and is always saying, "just look at her" and stares in amazement. He thinks she should be on posters and agency advertisements for adoptions... "If she were on the advertisements, there wouldn't be any babies without families." I love that.

With all of her beauty, it is hard to imagine her being anything but a perfect little angel. We know better. This girl is trouble. She reminds me of the Elvis song...

You look like an angel
Walk like an angel
Talk like an angel
But i got wise
You're the devil in disguise
Oh yes you are
The devil in disguise

but I wouldn't have her any other way!!!!! Wellll..... most days. ;0)