Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wanna say thanks...

To my precious friend and her husband. They gave us a donation towards our adoption and I know it was definitely a sacrifice! They were excited to be a part of what God's doing. You know who you are, THANK YOU!! May God return your blessing ten-fold.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy 18months birthday

My dear Hudson, today is a huge milestone in your life. You turn 18months old. Officially, you are no longer a baby. I know we've only known about you for a few months, but it seems like forever. How much we've missed of your little life. Never will we see or take pictures of your first smile, first tooth, first taste of baby food, first crawl, first step, first word, first slobbery kiss, first throw your head back cackling laugh, first temper tantrum. We are very very aware of how hard your homecoming will be. With every day that passes, you become more like a little boy, attached to your sweet foster family, more Korean. We want you to know that we don't underestimate how much grieving you will need to go through. We will never minimize the losses you have and will experience. No child deserves to lose a parent at birth, then lose the only momma and dadda he's ever known for a year and a half, a country, a culture, a language. Your journey here is marked with loss! But, there is joy at the end of the journey! You have much to gain too: a daddy who loves to snuggle, to play Uno with his kids, who doesn't go off to do "man" activities because he loves his family too much, a daddy who loves Jesus and wants to model his Father in Heaven to his children. You have a momma waiting who adores little boys and loves to play games like tackle, play with Hot Wheels, play chase around the living room, and is longing to rock you to sleep in our "big blue chair." You have a big brother who is the sweetest and most thoughtful 13yr old teen around. He thinks his siblings are fun and he loves being a Korean-American family. You have a big sis who is so mature and capable of taking care of business. She draws pictures and prays for you every night to be safe and healthy. You have a big brother who is the funniest 6yr old boy in the world. He uses his eyes, hands, and charades to communicate the words his mouth can't make. He has bunk beds waiting for you to come share. You have grandparents who just love spending time with grandkids. You have many many aunts, uncles, cousins, great-grandparents, great aunts and uncles who will love on you and cheer you on. See, you will gain much. We love you.

Now, to the rest of the world out in cyberspace. I'm having a bit of a hard time today. A child turning 18months old is BIG deal! I'm acutely aware that we still don't have a fingerprint appointment with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The travel time I was once expecting to be late June/early July is now looking like late July is more realistic. I'm so sad that I'm missing a huge stage of development with my sweet boy. I'm also acutely aware of North Korea acting like a fool! I know I know, they have acted like this many times in the past. But, when your child is in a city about 1.5hours from the North Korean border, you can't help be anxious. I suppose the bright side of this international tension is that maybe,nobody else will want to travel to Seoul and then our plane tickets will be much cheaper :)) Yes, I'm also worried about how to pay for 3 plane tickets.

I leave you with a poem written by an adoptive mom in waiting

Song of the Waiting Mother
I'm pregnant, but my tummy isn't growing,
And no one ever calls me "little mom."
The public simply isn't overflowing
With questions that I'd handle with aplomb.

There are no special clothes to mark my waiting,
Nobody stops and smiles as I pass by.
The absence of a due-date is frustrating
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.

When I'm overdue no one will worry.
The phone won't ring and ring as friends check in.
I can't induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.

Adoption is a worrisome endeavor,
And waiting all alone is not much fun.
To be "with child" a year seems like forever.
Dear God, we're ready! Please send us our son!
by Christine Futia(taken from the book "Toddler Adoption")

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Court Date

Well, it wasn't what they were hoping for, but not bad. The judge will give more time. We are thankful she is staying with my sis and her hubby, but UGH!! Come on already!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recruiting lots of prayers

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just blabbing into cyberspace, but according to my visitors log, there are quite a few of you logging in. So, I have a HUGE prayer request. Tomorrow(Thursday) at 2pm my sister and her husband will go to court to find out what the social services department and judge feel is best for their foster baby. Please Please Please pray for favor for my sis and her hubby and that God's will is done for sweet baby J. We all want them to adopt he so badly, but most of all, we want what is the best for her.
Psalm 37:5-6 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sobering Statistics

I read a book several months ago that broke my heart. Children of Hope by Vernon Brewer is about AIDS orphans in Africa. Honestly, I knew there was a huge problem, but seriously folks, this is a huge crisis!! Why don't we care about orphans in Africa? Why does the richest country in the world turn aside and refuse to acknowledge the millions of suffering children? I'll let you ponder the answers, I have some theories of my own, but they would not be popular, I'm sure! So, tonight I challenge your brain and heart to learn some statistics.

Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS in Africa
15 million children have been orphaned by AIDS, a number that is expected to increase to 40 million by 2010
According to UNICEF, in Zimbabwe, 100 babies become HIV positive every day; and a child dies every 15minutes from HIV/AIDS
South Africa has an estimated 2.5 million orphans

And, the most disturbing of all!!! Barna Research group conducted a study and found that less than 3 percent of evangelical Christians said they would help a Christian organization minister to an AIDS orphan.
In the words of Gomer Pyle, "For Shame For Shame"!! Our thoughts and ideas about HIV/AIDS are irregardless when talking about orphans. The children are innocent and suffering. If you don't think orphans are super duper important to God's heart, you need to do a study of the Bible. Over and over God talks about caring for the fatherless and downtrodden.
Here is a great quote by Larry Jones, co-founder of Feed the Children "You can throw up your hands in despair(about the sheer numbers of children suffering)... or you can roll up your sleeves and get to work."

When I get to the end of my life, I want my Lord to say "Well done good and faithful servant." I sure don't want to hear Him say "when I was hungry, you stuffed your own belly with food you didn't need, When I was naked, You spent 65.00 on a pair of cool jeans." Forgive me and my complacency Lord Jesus. Show me how to make a difference for Kingdom value!!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday

1. Good report from the doctor(yes, another little issue cropped up!)
2. We are totally done with our part of Hudson's adoption. It feels so good to have it all accomplished. Now, if USCIS(immigration) will move super fast to give us a fingerprint appt and process our papers, we will be doing well)
3. Carter did awesome as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland
4. Abby was precious in her ribbon squad performance
5. Dillon is talking in longer sentences at school!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It Is Here!!

We got our big Fed Ex packet from Dillon International today. This has our son's legal papers, our official acceptance papers. So, we get things notarized, send copies to Dillon, and finally file with USCIS!! BIG step! After this, we wait for a fingerprinting appointment with immigration. This is our 3rd Korean adoption. With each one, we've been fingerprinted by local police and immigration before the adoption. Then, 6months after the child has come home, in order to finalize the adoption, we've been fingerprinted again. Let's see--that makes a total of 9 fingerprinting sessions for both Mike and I. Not to mention my fingerprinting for my nursing lisence. You'd sure think that there is a way to centralize all this madness huh???
Bring on the ink, I want my baby boy home! We set up the bunk beds in Dillon's room and are about to start decorating. We've decided to go with a kind of antique cowboy theme. Won't it be adorable? My 2 little Korean cowboys!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Moving Forward!

We got word today that our homestudy was approved!! YIPPEE. This means that we can begin the offical acceptance paperwork, and hopefully, be able to file with immigration soon. You never know how to gauge timelines with all these important steps. This is our 3rd Korean adoption and you'd think I'd be calm and cool. NOT SO! This is my child, my beloved baby son, even if I haven't met him. Non adoptive parents can't comprehend how you bond with the picture and referral paperwork, but you do!! When I watch the video and Hudson smiles, I smile back, acting like he is interacting with me, his momma! Crazy huh?? Yep, crazy in love!!!!!!!!! Pray for smoothe sailing and for the Orphan Petition Officer and immigration fingerprints to move like the wind.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

1. my family is safe
2. my husband loves me
3. sweet friends who care about us
4. the video we got of Hudson
5. God's Word
6. BIG praise---my sister's foster baby had recent developments that look very very positive toward them being able to adopt her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isaiah 61:3 says God will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness
I've been walking in heaviness. No more, I'm choosing to wear my garment of praise!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A good shot in the arm

We got our new video of Hudson Monday. OH MY, I'm not ashamed to brag--he is the cutest stinkin kid ever. It shows him toddling around, chasing after the social workers pen and paper-not the toys they are trying to get him to play with :) He grins and is off. He is chubby, gorgeous, healthy and perfectly developing. We are super in love and are so ready to get our legals(meaning his legal referral papers that are required to file with immigration for clearance to bring an orphan on American soil)!! That baby NEEDS to come home. His sweet foster momma is there and she is tearful the whole time. The interpreter says "they are joyful tears, that since he was waiting for a family for a long time, she was worried, what if there is no family?" Ouch! Yep, I cried a bit.

About Carter, man, kids bounce back quickly. His goose egg is completely gone. He is doing great. He has a mild headache and gets a little dizzy if he bends over. My nerves are shot. I told my mom that I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The whole weekend at the hospital, I was calm and collected, never even cried. I'm not an easily upset, emotional person. In fact, I've been called a stoic, type A, control freak(true, I love my calenders. schedules, and ToDo lists!). I think that is why I make a decent CCU nurse, I don't freak out. So, yesterday, all was well right? Well, not inside of me. My cheeks felt hot and like I could bawl or punch someone at the drop of a hat. I keep reliving what could have been! I've been stressed out and the Enemy has jumped on me with a spirit of anxiety, doubt and fear. How will we pay for another medical bill AND 3 plane tickets to Korea? Why did this happen? I mean, since last summer, Mike began a doctoral program, Carter got mono, Mike injured his ankle, he had outpatient surgery on it in early February, late February was when my 6yr old son was really sick-had an emergency ambulance ride and stayed 2 days in the hospital, now this, and working on bringing home our new surprise blessing. No wonder I'm feeling a bit frayed. Here is the verse I have taped above my kitchen sink to remind to focus on choosing faith, hope, joy, blessings, life:
When I said my foot is slipping your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalms 94:18-19

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Big Scare

Carter joined a local youth group for a weekend of fun yesterday. He was so excited about it. At 11pm we got a phone call from one of the adults on the trip saying Carter had been hurt. He fell while ice skating and hit his head. He was unconscious for 1-2 minutes. We jumped in the car to meet them at a hospital near where the kids were(30minutes from our house). Carter proceeded to vomit 3 times. At the hospital, a CTscan showed a tiny "spot" that was consistent with bleeding. So, he got a 23 mile ride in an ambulance! Mike rode with him(it was only fair since I rode with Dillon during his ambulance ride a mere 9 weeks ago, Ugh!) to the childrens hospital near our home. They admitted Carter to a room at 5:30am for observation. Fortunately, by about 2:30 am Carter was acting like himself. This afternoon a neurosurgeon came by to consult. The CT scan showed several of the tiny bleeding areas. So, we will stay the rest of today, see the doctor in the morning, and expect to go home tomorrow. We are shook up about all this but realize how it could be so much more serious. We are so grateful for God sparing our son and his brain. And, for what it is worth, we won't be ice skating any time soon :) A big thank you to the wonderful people in the youth group who helped last night--no names, too many looney people out there!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Practical ways to help

Sorry for the rampage last night. Actually, no, I'm not sorry as that is what God has put in my heart. But, I'm sorry for coming across like a crazy woman ;)
So, I've compiled some practical ways people can help those in need. These organizations are not endorsed by me, but I've dealt with them personally and feel comfortable sending you, my blog world friends, to them.
James Robison's feeding program in Africa
OrphanCare International
Help with adoption grants through Dillon's Building Family Fund
Love Without Boundaries
Special needs orphans in China
Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care
Sponsor a child through Compassion International
Food for the Poor
Childrens home in Nicarauga(we've been there)