Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
We got up a little later than usual this morning as we didn't get the kids in bed at their usual time last night. Ben slept in until the glorious time of 7:30am! Wow. Ella was right behind him with waking up and telling me it was time to get up at 7:45am. Oh, the days of sleeping in...it's crazy when "everything is relative". We got up this morning, made breakfast, and started opening our presents. It was such a nice start to the day to just spend time together. I love spending time with relatives, but oh...when you get your kids all to yourself, that's even more lovely. Ella got so many presents yesterday that I think she was a little sick of opening boxes neatly wrapped with paper, only to find more things to play with. I think it was making her decision on what to do even harder. I can see why some say that you should only give a little as they become too over-stimulated. I witnessed that very thing.
We got the kids the new Elmo Xtreme. Elmo laughs and laughs until he falls over and starts moving across the floor. Now you need a little background...Ella loves Elmo. She loves pictures of Elmo, Elmo on sesamestreet.com, Elmo on the tv, Elmo on clothes, Elmo on window shades, even Elmo undies. We thought that this was going to be the present of all presents. We saved this package for last. We got the camera ready and the video camera out. Jason and I waited anxiously to see her face light up with glee...but instead, we turned Elmo on and she freaked out. She was practically crawling up onto Jason's head to try and get away from the thing. We shut it off and explained that Elmo isn't scary, he's just laughing...she wasn't convinced. She decided that he wasn't too threatening if he was shut off and just sat there quietly. Once Ben woke up from his nap, we thought we would try again. We reassured her it was only Elmo and he wouldn't be coming to get her. She insisted on sitting in my lap for safety. We turned him on. Unbelievable...Ben started crying and Ella was yelling "shut it off, shut it off!" Hmmmm, I guess we could have saved ourselves some money on that toy!
We have had a wonderful day, although it has gone by entirely too quickly. To top it off, we are only half done with Christmas as we will be traveling up to TRF to see my family this weekend. I think I may need a vacation from this holiday.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
I brought it up to my pediatrican at his 6 month appt and she seemed a little stumped. She checked his ears, throat, etc and medically he's fine. I brought him in again yesterday and she again checked his ears, throat, etc. and medically everything checked out. He is certainly healthy and is not lacking in the weight area. In fact, he's a champ when it comes to his weight. He has now broken the 20 pound marker which is validation for why my back aches after carrying him in his car seat for more than 2 minutes. How can this be if he's not eating, you ask? It's because I don't give up when he won't drink. An ounce here, and few swallows there...you do this all day long and he gets his needed fluid intake, but I'm stressed and frustrated by the end of the day. Usually I have to wait until he naps and then just when he's falling asleep, I slip the bottle in his mouth and he drinks a little until he wakes up enough to know what's going on. Then it's back to the screaming and back-arching. The pediatrician supported my idea of taking Ben into the International Adoption Clinic and the U of M. They are known throughout the US for setting such a high standard for adoptive children. And as luck should have it (and we all know it's not luck at all, but God working) our insurance covers it 100%.
The Adoption Clinic usually has a couple month wait time...they are literally booked that far out. I called yesterday and low and behold, an appointment time had just opened up for this Friday at 8am. Can you say "miracle"!! God is opening the door once again for us and providing for Ben. I'm so thankful that I can see God working in my life...that He allows me to see His hand at work and know that it's not just a concidence. So...we are off to the clinic on Friday. Pray that we can find some sort of solution to this issue. My overall sanity may just depend on it. We'll keep you updated.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
We’ve become sensitive, it seems. Certain phrases uttered by the news media in light of recent celebrity adoptions, or even phrases mentioned by our family, friends, and even complete strangers can make us cringe so easily. I bring you this post not to make you feel badly if you are one of the friends or family who’ve said these things to us or other adoptive families, but so that maybe you’ll understand the weight of what you might say to future adoptive families you encounter.
Please don’t ask us for details about Ben's birth family. We are the guardians of his story. Ben will be told his adoption story a little at a time, and when he is old enough, he will have all the details to share as he chooses. It’s not that we are hiding some juicy secret, it is just simply his story to tell, not ours.
Please don’t tell us that it doesn’t matter what race our son is, that love is color blind, and that our area is “getting better” in regards to diversity. Race does and will matter for our son. He will notice that he doesn't look like anyone else in his family. It will matter to him when his family and friends who love him minimize his experience of racism. Racism continues to exist and it’s a cold hard fact that Ben will face it.
Don’t tell our son how lucky he is that we adopted him. Our son shouldn’t have to grow up feeling indebted to us for adopting him...just the same as Ella shouldn't feel indebted to us for going through labor and birthing her. Simply put, all children should have the right, not luck, to a have a loving family. We are the blessed ones for having the opportunity to parent Ben as well as parent Ella. There is no difference. God has blessed us with finding each other and bringing us together to complete our family. I can't imagine not having Ben a part of our family. He's a natural part of it just as Ella is.
Don’t introduce our son as “Ben, who was adopted from South Korea” or “their daughter, Ella and their adopted son, Ben.” Yes, we did adopt. Obviously. But adoption is not the only part of our son's identity, just as being a biological child is not the only identity Ella has. How we came to be family is only part of who we are. I’m amazed that perfect strangers think it’s OK to ask what happend to our son's "real" parents or if we weren't able to have any other children “of our own.” Imagine how a preschool aged child feels when he repeatedly overhears Mom and Dad being asked about his “real” parents, or overhearing comments that assume he is not a child "of our own". We are a real family. Ben and Ella are both our REAL children and we are their REAL parents. When Ben wakes five times in the night and looks to us for comfort, he is our own. When Ella throws a tantrum in the grocery store and we are left to deal with it, she is our own. When we walk through the door and they have smiles for us, they are our own. When they laugh together like all siblings do, they are our own.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
After starting the adoption process, I have spent time talking to other adoptive families through a few on-line forums. There is a woman named Jen whom I got to know while we waited for news on our adoption. There was also another woman, Ryan, and the three of us were cheering each other on. We waited together for our referrals, and then for our travel calls. Jen and her husband got their travel call one week before us. I was so priveledged to have met her in Korea. While we were still adjusting to the time difference, Ella, Jason, and I were up at 4am for a midnight snack. While in the kitchen, I met Jen in person. It was such a great moment...after talking with her online, I finally met her face to face. They were staying in the room right next to us on our floor at Eastern. I was blessed to be able to meet their new baby, James, as well as her husband as they were waiting to leave for the airport.
After they got their sweet baby boy home, they noticed that he was often fussy. Jen took him to the doctor. Only five weeks after James came home, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It's a disease called Wilms Tumor, and both his kidneys are infected. James has been through chemo, only to discover that the tumors have grown during the treatments instead of shrunk. This week he had surgery which resulted in taking out half of one kidney and all of the second one. Out of us three woman waiting together, none of us imagined that one of us would be touched with something so horrific.
Please keep Baby James and his family in your thoughts and prayers. God has brought James to this family for a reason. They love him fiercely and are fighting hard for him. Here is the link to BABY JAMES.
Remember what you are truly thankful for today! Praise God for the blessings in your life.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I am busy today washing clothes so we actually have clean things to pack into our suitcases. It's amazing to me 1) how fast kids clothes can pile up. I swear I just washed a load for Ben and Ella when last night Jason asked me for a clean pair of undies for Ella after her bath. Amazingly, I had to dig out a pair from her dresser that's big enough for both her and her brother to fit into at the same time. Poor kid, she's only 2 and already wearing "grandma undies"...and 2) that so many of them can fit in the washer all at the same time. It takes me an hour to fold one load of little kid clothes. I'm sure that half of Target fits into that washer if the size is 2T and under.
Ella is really busy these days chattering up a storm. She's my reserved one in front of people and it usually takes her a little while to "warm up" when strangers are around. She can carry on quite the conversation. Just the other day she said a 7 word sentence..."Hold on mommy's legs, don't fall in" as she was done going potty. What's a proud momma to say??!!
Ben is busy learning how to sit. I'm hoping that one day soon he'll master this skill. He's such a lump to hold onto right now. I put him in his jumper today and he started jumping like a mad-man. He was as proud as a peacock. He would stop to smile and laugh at me while I clapped like a lunatic. Hmmm, maybe it was me he was laughing at.
Yesterday we went to Wild Rumpus. What an experience. For those of you not familiar with this children's bookstore, it's the place to be! They not only have books, but they have a resident cat, 2 chickens, a chinchilla, and various birds. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more...Ella or Ben. Ella was so busy chasing down the chickens, she didn't even notice the books (which she LOVES books) and Ben was so busy jumping up and down and squealing, that I got an arm workout to last me the rest of the year. It's nice to know my exercise goals are complete now until 2007. It's going to be our new hangout when it gets cold and we are feeling cooped up.
Well, that's all the time I have to write...both kids have somehow woken up at the same time again. I swear they do this on purpose. :) It's baby code or something.
Love to all.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Well, keep checking back as I will update as much as time permits. I plan to post pics as well so you can see how the kiddos are growing and changing.