Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Own Child

I saw this on a friend's blog...I thought it was soooo good that I wanted to adapt it to my family and share it with all of you. Thank you Jen, for writing this so well!

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

Baby James

I hope that you are being thankful for all that God has given you this year. It's so easy to take things for granted, isn't it? Like our health...the health of our children, the health of our spouse, the health of our dearly-loved family members.

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

A few pics for enjoyment...

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that you all have fun plans for the holiday weekend. We are headed up north to see my family in TRF. We will be staying up there for 4 days which means that Jack should be hoarse by the time we come back home. For being a cat, he sure can seem like a human a lot of times.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Love to all.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ella and Ben

Me and my new little brother. Mommy took this the first week after we brought Ben home.


Welcome to our blog! We are excited you have come to check it out. I don't have a ton of time to write on it daily, but I'm committed to making a post more than once a month! How's that for dedication! I feel like there are updates that I want to send out to so many of you, but I never have the time to customize 30-40 different emails. Either a sweet, little 2 year old is tugging on my leg telling (notice I did not say "asking") me "come play, mommy" or a cute, chubby-cheeked little boy is blowing spit bubbles to get my attention. How's a mom supposed to get anything done with that kind of wonderful distraction?

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.