Thursday, May 31, 2012

kids book recommendations

If you have Korean-born children, here are 2 books that we love and recommend.  The first one is Bee-bim Bop.  It is the cutest little book about a Korean family making a traditional meal(Bee-bim bop which is veggies and rice in a stone bowl).  Our children love this book.

The next is an oldie but goodie.  When You Were Born in Korea tells the story of Korean adoptees.  The adoption language is a little out of date, but the sweet explanations and pictures are so precious and make me cry.  Abby keeps this one in her room and I've caught her looking and reading it recently.  Hope you all enjoy

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hudson sings

Scroll way down to pause my Music Player so you can watch angelic Hudson sing with his fav...Kari Jobe.  The little man adores her and insists I play her on my ipod every time we get in the car.  I had to hide the camera to video him, otherwise he acts like a dork every time I try to video. Ohhh, he's too adorable.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pinning ceremony pictures

I'm horrendously pale!  Lucky Abby with her gorgeous brown skin.  Check out the mini-me pic below.  Abby and I busted out laughing when we saw it.  Carter and his daddy, 2 peas in a pod! And may I just say, thank you my sweet husband?!  Your unfailing belief in me and support spurred me to keep going.  I am so honored to be your helpmeet.

Shout out to my blog-world friend, Meredith!  You leave in 3 days to finally pick up your sweet Korean son(after a 20months wait).  The treasure waiting for you is SO worth it. I'm praying for little man to have a God-imparted sense of peace and love when he meets his forever family.
And, shout out to my great buddy, Wendi, you leave tomorrow for a 2 week trip to serve in Tanzania.  I 'm so dang proud of you girlfriend!  Love you both.

Monday, May 21, 2012

here's what I learned being sick last week.

I almost feel sacrilegous saying anything about being sick.  Surely, my pneumonia was no severe illness and I'm bouncing back nicely.  I mean, in my  job, I take care of really sick, and chronically sick people.  No way am I comparing myself to those people.  However, I think God has used this to teach me some lessons I needed learning.
I'm learning patience and the value of health.  I'm used to being a crazy active busy bee.  I tried walking about a mile this morning and coughed constantly for about 2 hours.  I feel good, even great!  But clearly, I'm not back to 100%.  It is very frustrating because I want to run in the early morning, like I've been doing for years.
 I've been trying to relax and read Proverbs.  One thing that I'm concerned about is our savings plan.  I missed 1 week of work.  Thankfully, I have sick time and we have investments for future needs.  However, as far as liquid savings for "what if", we are not in the place we should be.  But, Mike and I don't believe in storing lots up.  In fact, the Bible teaches that hording for ourselves when others are so needy is sin.  However, the Bible also teaches about planning for the future and being good stewards.  Somewhere in the middle is God's will for our lives.  Our family values generous and outward living.  We'd much rather live on less and be able to donate to people adopting or going on missions, or heck, we love to go on mission trips ourselves and typically spend several thousand dollars a year on just that.  But what about being a wise manager and have savings for when hard times come?  That was a big wake up call.  What if Mike or I did get really sick and burn through short-term disability and savings?  I guess that is where we seek the Holy Spirit's leading for our family--somewhere between living outward focused and below our means and yet planning for the future and taking care of our family. I don't guess we ever will figure out exactly what is "right."
Which leads me to another revelation.  I've been doing number crunches lately.  I'm a hypocrite about budgeting!  Please forgive me for pretending to be good at managing my family's finances.  The past 6 months we've stunk it up!  I'm just sick at what we've dumped down in the drain at the local grocery and superstores.  We could put so much towards paying Mike's truck off early. Poor planning is all it has been.  As of June 1st, I'm back on track.  Menus, lists, and taking cash only to the grocery!!  I need a budget accountability partner.  Any takers?
And lastly, I learned that I love my job.  Hats off to stay at home moms and all!  This chic loves working 24 hours a week outside the home.  I miss it and am glad to be returning on Wednesday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Carter-His holiness

Here's my son, the priest in Trinity's rendition of The Sound of Music.  He didn't have a single line and dang near stole the show with his costume and antics.
Our little school has the absolute most talented teenagers.  They can sing like crazy, can act beautifully, and do all the backstage themselves.  Carter usually has a large role, but this year, he had a much less significant role.  When the curtains opened for the wedding scene, the house went crazy for Carter, who looked and acted like he was about to break in to the wedding scene in Princess Bride--"maiwage, maiwage is the weason we are gathered togwether"   Such fun. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I've got pandemonium of the lung.  Actually, I've got pneumonia, but a little old lady from the country I took care of in the ER called it pandemonium of the lung one time and since then, Mike and I always prefer that title!  I began coughing at work Friday, was fine Sat morning, had a lovely pinning ceremony, got acutely ill Saturday evening and was just so-so Sun/Mon.  Tuesday, sick!  So, I left Abby here with the little boys and headed to our fabulous urgent care center a few blocks away.  I expected a shot for bronchitis and go home in 20minutes.  The doc listened to the lower right lung a good while and asked I hurt there.  I told him I hurt everywhere, like flu, even my skin hurt.  A chest x-ray confirmed a  nice white patch in the lower right. When the doc came in to tell me, he had quite a tongue-lashing for me.  "You nurses are all the same, you wait and wait, you think you don't need to go to the doctor, until you are really sick!  I'm right here everyday, why didn't you come in sooner?"  Sheepishly, I admitted I'm stubborn :)  Mike, I know you'll read this, you have my admission in writing.  So, I got iv fluids and antibiotics, and a work note saying I have to be off til next Tuesday and strict instructions to rest.  I'm not liking this at all!  I hate being still, I miss working, and as dumb as it sounds, I hate missing my weekend shift this weekend because it comes with a handsome differential on top of my hourly wage--and with a Korea trip looming, I could sure use that money!  Anyway, I'm trying to chill, finish reading The Blessed Woman(Debbie Morris) and the book of Proverbs(God)--Lord knows I need wisdom.  Would ya mind saying a prayer for me to sleep?  I'm so miserable at night.  The coughing is constant, I nearly wet my pants twice with coughing.  My cough syrup with the narcotic in it made me hallucinate that bugs were on my skin.  Mike made me a special hot toddy last night.  I slept several hours, thankfully. 
Anyways, enough about the pitiful old lady, on to my children, who are so funny!  They are seriously lacking in nature and green space play.  We live in a cookie cutter neighborhood with tiny trees, we drive miles and miles in the car to get anywere.  So, yesterday, before I began feeling awful, it is always worse in the afternoon, I took them to the little creek behind the park.  We took string and some ham.  They used sticks to try to catch crawdads(basically a mini lobster thing that lives in muddy water). 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

one big prayer answered

Mom and Susie found flights to Seoul for about 1050 each.  Hooray!  I have been praying that they'd find a much cheaper alternative to the $1400 ones we'd been looking at.  They won't be flying with Abby and I, but will land at Inchon airport a few hours before us.  They will enjoy chilling out in the nicest and most modern airport I've been in. Only 5 more months til our trip!  And only a few more prayers to be answered.

Side note:  several people have commented about how am I going to go work with the children in the orphanage and not end up adopting again? Well.... so what if we do?  Is it funny, or weird, or crazy, or bad for us to adopt again?  Mike and I both feel our family is complete-for sure.  But, if we did adopt a 5th child, why is that so crazy?  The Bible calls children a reward. There are 163million rewards living in the world with no parents. Seems to me that most of American society sees children as a burden and temporary pleasures as a reward.  Mixed up world we live in!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sweet Saturday...Sour Sunday

Yesterday was my pinning ceremony for the RN to BSN program. Nursing schools have a very old tradition of pinning the specific nursing school's pin on the graduates. I picked out a nice, professional light pink straight skirt from Banana Republic that my friend gave me(we love us some hand-me-downs) because it was too small for her and a floral peasant blouse. You all know that I never buy nice clothes! Our church is very casual and capri pants are the right attire for that and I'm such a tightwad when it comes to wasting cash on clothes. I had no heels or nice shoes for this occasion. So, I ran to Target and found these 2 wonderful choices--and the neutral ones were on sale for 15.00

I really wanted to wear the salmon-colored sassy ones. The morning dawned and we got ready to go. Guess what? The outfit looked horrible--the skirt was way to loose and looked like my old local church days(inside jokes for my family and close friends!). Fashion crisis. Do you all do that? You stand in your closet, needing to leave in 30 minutes, looking at the full racks and panic because you have nothing to wear? Well, I really had nothing to wear, except old black standbye that I bought for Abby's kindergarten graduation(she is now 11), and it wasn't speaking to me. So, with no time to call up a friend or stop by a store, I headed to Abby's closet. She has 3 nice dresses that a teenager at our school passed down to her. I spied a nice black and white one and it looked perfect on me! I wore the neutral wedge heels. My nice dressy outfit cost me 15.00. Score! We had a lovely time. The ceremony was made up of non-traditional students who all had been RNs with associate degrees and had worked so hard to complete their Bachelor's degree, all while working jobs. I cried a lot seeing the mothers and fathers cross the stage to be pinned by their family members. Abby was my pinner. I'll post a pic when the photographer releases them to us. We forgot to take a single picture ourselves. We went to a Lebanese restaurant for lunch. Then, I stared feeling awful. No, not from eating, it was aches, my skin hurt to touch it, my neck and head were aching awful. By 5:30 I had a 101 temp. So, here it is the most beautiful Texas morning and I'm blogging on Mother's Day, alone on our new back patio. The new back patio we had poured before Mother's Day because we were hosting my family for a cookout. I am sooooo bummed to miss church! I love our church and the 3-4yrs olds I teach in morning Growth Group. And, next week I work on Sunday. Boohoo, yes, I'm having a pity party for Mother's Day. The bright side? Well, I do love to have quiet alone time in my house. I guess I need to enjoy it when I can get it.
And, for our Biblical app for the day----because God's word is applicable to every single occasion in our lives:
Proverbs 31:28a says Her children rise up and call her blessed
I wonder, how many of us moms have children that rise up and calls us grumpy? I know that steps on my toes for sure! I want my children to call me blessed. So, let's try to be kind, patient, gentle, wise, loving, and nurturing so our children will rise up and call us blessed.
One more thing, Happy Mother's Day to my amazing and sweet mother and mother-in-law. I love you guys! I'd be horribly selfish if I didn't also remember the selfless act of love that 3 of my children's birth mothers gave--they chose life and made an adoption plan for the unplanned babies growing in their bellies. We are honored and blessed to raise these treasures. Thank you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Super Fun Day trip

Mom, Melody, and I took the littles to Fossil Rim in Glen Rose Tuesday.  It was so worth the drive.  The weather was foreboding:  dark clouds swirling, cool air, and looked like it would rain.  We loaded in the SUV with baby C who is almost 5 months, Kylie-2, Aspen-3, and Hudson 4!  Whew, what a crew.  There was no crowd--we apparently were the only nuts coming to an outdoor safari on day it may storm.  And, it was reasonable because Tuesdays are discount day.  We packed food for lunch.  The animals are roaming in a very huge and spread out African Savannah type environment.  They walk up to your car expecting a special hand out. We howled with laughter at the children.  They were hysterical and Mom, Melody, and I couldn't see from laughing/crying at their responses to the animals and each other.  A few quotes from the tots:  "Run over it!" in response to the pesky ostrich who seemed to want to peck our eyes out, "Why him eat him bobo?" in response to seeing a baby deer(or some strange name like audua) nursing his momma, and "turn your window up"...translation roll up your response, once again, to the terrifying ostrich! Here is Hudson's hand feeding the "raffe."

Look at Kylies face!  She was not impressed by that big ugly bird!
I sat in the back seat and held baby C most the time and picked cradle cap out of his little fro.  I'm sick like that:  pop zits, floss teeth, scratch cradle cap off....I'm your crazy nurse friend!
Anyways, back to the subject matter. If you have a nice day and don't mind a drive, take the kids to Fossil Rim, it is really cool.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A gift from Omma

A wonderful adoptive family carried this gift from Hudson's foster mother(omma) all the way from Seoul when they returned home from adopting their newest cherub 2 weeks ago.  It came in the mail Saturday.  It is a box of crayons and Pororo is on the box.  Pororo is the beloved children's character in S. Korea--kind of like Dora or something.  The letter is my favorite.  It is in her handwriting-in Hangul(the Korean alphabet).  I'm assuming our caseworker at Dillon International translated it. Mrs. Lee loved Seong Cheol(Hudson) with all her heart.  She kept him from 2 months old until 22 months, when we picked him up.  Abby and Dillon wondered why they never get a letter or gift from their ommas.  Mike explained that Hudson lived with his foster family a lot longer than either one of them did.
The letter tells about how happy she is to see him growing well and looking so smart and happy.  She tells us thank you for sending pictures.  It is our honor sweet Mrs. Lee!  You did a good job and I'm convinced, it was your family's loving devotion that made sure the little bitty preemie thrived and be so healthy. She doesn't know that we are coming in October.  Can't wait for that reunion, and for her to meet my mother.  Speaking of our trip, darn, I'm pumped!  I have zero patience and don't want to wait 5 months.  Pray with me about flight expenses for us and my mother, Jeannette, and my friend Susie--I can't stand the thought of them spending 1400.00 for their international flight.

Friday, May 4, 2012

mixed up

Do you guys find your thoughts and emotions are jumbled up like a bunch of electrical cords entangled behind the old 1995 desk top computers?  Lately, I feel all mixed up, like sweet and salty, at the same time.
Here is Carter driving himself to school for the first time.  A big mixture of feelings:  happiness, relief, terror, sadness...  I guess really it felt like a hole in my being.  He doesn't really need me.  I want him to need his momma. And yet, in ways, it is nice to not be needed so much.  Arrrg, I'm going crazy.

Abby had an "entering 6th grade meeting" at school.  I'm excited because it is fun to move into secondary school and that is where daddy's office is.  I'm sad because elementary is behind us and elementary is so sweet and fun...and yet that in itself is nice because it means no more Valentines parties, long plaid jumpers that she has to wear on Chapel days, no more Field Day(can I get a big amen from the parent section?!).
Hudson got an invitation from his soon to be principal at Trinity where he will go to PreK every morning next fall.  I'm so excited for him to go to school--believe me, that child NEEDS to be in school.  But, my very last baby.  No afternoon naps next to a chubby kid.  No good excuse to  not volunteer to drive on a field trip :)  Okay, I'd never use my little blessings for that, or have I several times already?
Ok, seriously, I'd saved this draft post this morning and tried to concentrate on my homework(I have 8 weeks left before graduating and it is hard to stay on task), but I found myself on Jen Hatmaker's blog.  Unbelievable, I mean, I knew, after reading Interrupted and 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, that she was my unknown soul sista, but she posted something just like what is swirling in my mind!  Here is a link to her blog JEN She is a much better writer than I am, you mom's will enjoy it. 
Things are changing.  Time begins flying by faster and faster. I can barely hang on.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

adoption info mtg at church

First off, I love our sweet little church.  The pastor is very supportive of adoption and orphan care.  He lets me run with the vision and ministry God planted in me.  Sunday night we held our first "thinking about adopting/fostering" meeting.  I was so pumped because 6 couples came.  A sweet family at church spoke about their experiences with foster to adopt.  Then my sis and her hubs, Melody and Brad, shared about their journey in adoption and fostering.  I led the meeting and was so happy to have them all sharing and open for Q and A.  We were very very open and upfront with the couples about the realistic expectations when entering in to the adoption and/or fostering world.  Perhaps too upfront!  I dont know, but maybe we scared them all off :)  Really, I ran out of time and didn't get to share much at all about international adoption or about the beauty, miraculous, exciting, humbling, joyous, and all around love that comes with adoption!!  Dang it--now I'm obsessing again over whether or not it was good enough.  Anyone else out there always struggling to decide if you are good enough?? 
Anyways, I made a Preparing for Adoption worksheet for the families to work through.  I figured somebody landing on this blog might find it helpful. 

Motivation: Are we interested in parenting for life? Do we truly desire to adopt or is it just a cool Christian fad we like?

Marriage stability: Are we united in our desires? Can we talk openly and honestly about our dreams and desires? Can we handle waiting, frustration, the unknowns without turning on each other?

Finances: Debt—is our house in order or are we upside down in debt? Do we tithe according to Biblical principals?! Do we trust God to provide when He guides our family down a path? Are we willing to live radically to pay for adoption expenses? Are you willing to drive a crappy car for 10 years in order to not be strapped in debt so you can pay the fees with adoption?

Racial issues: Can we love a child of another race? Do we live in a diverse community? What about your extended family? Am I willing to face mean and ignorant people at Wal-Mart?

Loss and Grief: if walked through infertility: have we processed our grief over the loss of the biological child we felt we would have? Am I expecting an adopted child to replace that loss?

Blending biological children and adopted children: what are the personalities and needs mix of our current children? Be prepared to talk about hard sex ed type questions.

Expect to complete background checks, fingerprinting, home- studies and reference letters, portfolios, medical clearance for yourself, psychological evaluation and lots of required adoption education.

Selecting an agency:
Experience in the type of adoption/fostering you are interested in, word of mouth is the best resource, talk to families who’ve used an agency, do they offer post adoption support, do they take you through the paperwork step by step or do they leave you to figure it out on your own, do they have a list of families willing to answer questions about their adoption experiences, do you want a local agency or does that really matter

Post adoption support:
It is very important to remember that adoption doesn’t end with the child taking your last name. Adoption forever alters your family. There will be rough patches and questions. Realize that you will want and need a network of post adoption education and support. Pick an agency that has a long history of offering post adoption support.
How to finance an adoption: see article taken from Dillon International's website, tax credit, free if an older child or hard to place child with the state

Medical and/or developmental needs:
Be realistic. Any child that has experienced intrauterine stress, great disruption and loss are at risk for developmental and/or medical problems.

Recommended Reading:

Are Those Kids Yours?

Adopted for Life


Love is a Decision

Toddler Adoption

The Connected Child

Raising Adopted Children

Attaching in Adoption

Verses to pray over:
Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 9:10, James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 94:18-19, Psalm 139:14, Isaiah 48:17, Matthew 25:35-40