Monday, September 26, 2011

Beautiful Days

I'm taking comfort, today, in the notion and belief that there are beautiful days ahead always. This is the belief that gets me through anything or has in the past.  I try not to think about what may or may not happen so much.  Try is the key word.

I've been trying to get some help for our ADHD child.  We have a backup prescription ready for the first time in 7 years of dealing with this.  We're still going to give the vitamins more time.  He's only been on them for 1 week, so hopefully we'll see some changes.  I've had a lengthy phone conversation with the school counselor and she has assured me that all of the kids in his grade are having major transition issues.  She did at least tell me that he can stop Spanish class at semester and take ASL next year as his foreign language.  If he feels he needs to give up, I think I'm going to let him.  He's such a visual learner and even with our help is struggling.  ADHD gets better as they get older in some ways, but there's always something new with it that they have to learn to deal with.  I'm hoping we can stay off meds, but I'm not ruling it out either.  I have a call into the coordinator for special services to have them test his reading/writing ability to make sure there's nothing else going on after speaking to another specialist today.

My little many's behavior has, in many ways, gotten worse over the last week or so.  I didn't feel any choice but to call around to see how we can help him further.  The development ped in April only found him to have mild expressive speech delay, but was unsure about his behavioral oddities.  I have an email to her nurse to make sure she doesn't think anything of him still having the same tendencies, with no real changes, now that he's 3.  3 is such a magic number.  In so many ways they seem older and really into the throws of toddlerhood instead of infant, but he almost seems more trapped there.  My cuddly little boy still doesn't quite know how to make friends or look at me, consistently, when I talk to him.  There are seldom long gazes.  But at 3, I can get him help.  So, the school is also supposed to call me back about evaluating him.  My guess is still on the spectrum of Aspergers.  I confirmed my mother in law, who has a daycare, thought the same thing.  If we can get him evaluated by the school then we can get some help from a great center for special needs. 

So as I talked to several specialists in several areas and described two of my boys, I teared.  Not all in out crying, but tears as I realized in my words there were so many truths that I so badly don't want to believe, but I do.  I hurt for them both and hope they will be okay, mostly socially.  I love my children with a passion that makes it hurt that much more when I have fears about them.  So, I sit back, take a deep breath and decide that another beautiful day is coming and they will be okay.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall

I really do love fall. The weather's nice enough to get stuff done and pretty enough to actually enjoy being outside. We enjoyed watching Chase's football game Saturday. Win or lose it's always enjoyable watching one of my boys play. I hope to have many years of that between the boys.

We came home and worked on the house for 4 hours. Dirt digging, hard manual labor with many blisters. All we need is the rocks and the very back of the house will look nice. I have so many other things in mind we need to do, but we need money and time. We'll see what all we can get to.

After we got done Brian grilled our burgers and dogs and we had a nice, leisurely dinner together. I mean we always eat our dinners together, but there was no where to rush off to and we could just enjoy. We chit chatted and laughed. It was really nice.

Hoping for many, many more days like today this fall.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Perfection and Imperfection
















In connection with my last post, I wanted to say that my children have perfections and imperfections.  I don't even know them all yet as some of them are still very young.  I'm learning to appreciate all of these imperfections as I'm getting to see more of their perfections, knowing that no one person is perfect.

I'm here to talk openly about it.  I won't say anything that will hurt my child or try not to, just to make other parents realize they are not alone.  Half the battle of parenting is realizing that you are not the only one with imperfect children so you can feel better and quit beating yourself up.  I know I beat myself up, plenty as a parent even when I know I'm not alone, thinking I should be a better parent then I try so hard to be.  I want to be a perfect parent to my children and I'm finding I'm not capable of that.  I'm hoping that as long as I'm trying my best, though, God will understand and my kids will forgive me for my lacking areas. 

What do I love about them and really, strongly dislike about them?  Hmmm?

  • Cole is great at giving us dirty looks when he dislikes our parental decisions or really to anybody he feels has wronged him.  Cole has a short fuse with his siblings, but I don't think can really imagine his life without them.  I wish he had a stronger ability to show his love for members of his family, on his own.  Cole has a strong will that has kept him surviving with a heart condition that could have kept him down or worse.  Cole has worked hard to try to live with his ADHD and do things that others can do with ease.  Cole is working to accept the live God gave him and the things his heart prohibits him from doing while his peers do freely.  You have to think highly of a teenager who has to deal with such an adult issue.  Even adults wouldn't deal that great with this.  I have high hopes for Cole.  Because he's been through so much he has tools young adults don't come into adulthood with and this will make him better and stronger if he allows it.  Cole can talk to adults like a young adult already.  Cole is pretty funny, but doesn't always have the confidence to show it to everyone.  Cole has some common sense that will help in as he gets older and as a teenager especially.
  • Chase has a knack for throwing great tantrums.  He's the only one that gets mad enough to use his words and say "I hate you" to us.  He's really good about finding something else to do when work needs done around the house, but works hard if they're outside and work needs done for someone else.  Chase still hugs and kisses his mom goodnight and I know he'll find it bad that I put this in writing, but it's a great thing to a mom and he won't understand until he's a dad how many parents always want hugs and kisses from their kids no matter how old.  Chase is a funny, fairly confident kid that can be anywhere and have fun.  Chase is a good athlete, but doesn't let that rule who he is and remembers his brother and his limits and I believe he realizes how lucky he is to do the sports he wants without his brother's limits.  I'm thankful he doesn't make it a big deal to Cole and Chase's sweet heart keeps him from making it a big deal so Cole doesn't feel any worse.  Chase is a creative artist.  This creativity will far beyond art.
  • Kaelin.  She is a dingy replica of her aunt.  Sorry Megan, but she looks like you and acts like you and that's not a bad thing because I love you too.  Kaelin can be a leader, but with her friends is often a follower and wish she were more confident to lead.  Kaelin is drama almost 24/7.  Kaelin can make wrong choices and hide them well.  Kaelin is sometimes too agreeable and doesn't always verbalize how she really feels and what she really wants.  This can be good and bad, but most parents what to know the truth of their child's feelings.  Kaelin doesn't always like to take responsibility and own her bad choices.  Kaelin is BEAUTIFUL; inside and out.  Kaelin has her own style and I hope she'll always be confident enough to go with it and believe in herself.  Kaelin is a good person, she just needs a little more belief in herself  to show everyone who she is and they can see what we already know about her.  Kaelin is really funny.  It's fairly subtle sometimes, but it's truthful and funny all at the same time without being hurtful to anyone.  Kaelin's the kids that's on top of things and prepared.  
  • Chelsi is a little emotional.  Chelsi has a temper and can't walk semi-quietly, for such a little body, to save her life.  Chelsi has a tendency to be so smart that when she acts her age you want to get mad at her, but then have to remember how old she really is and that she's just normal sometimes.  Chelsi still looks like the sweet baby I brought home 5 1/2 years ago.  She has that sweet round face that my mom told me I always had and I was the only one of the grandkids to get the round face my great grandma always thought was so beautiful.  Chelsi's jokes are innocent yet written for adult funny.  She gets everything and you can just talk with her.  She is so proud of her little brother and is so happy to have him with her and she makes sure we know she loves him; though she yells at him often enough.  Chelsi is still a cuddler. 

  • Jaemin is Jaemin.  We say this often because he is the only one like himself.  He is a one of a kind kid. He's so stubborn, wild and unruly.  Sometimes he seems to catch onto things slower than his peers, but out of the blue will let you know he knows it.  He's quirky and beyond active.  Jaemin can take time to stop in for a hug or a kiss.  Jaemin is huge fan of anything ball; baseball, football, basketball.  Jaemin is almost always smiling; 5 minutes after he's in trouble or mad he's smiling again.  Jaemin is growing up too fast for his mommy.

The thing my kids all have in common is that they are all smart.  Varying degrees, yes, but they are smart and have a lot of academic capabilities.  My kids all, even though they don't want to admit it, have a love for each other and will help each other when one another really need it.  My kids are all loving, beautiful kids.  I love talking to my kids.  I love our individual talks we have.  They remind me that they think far more than we give them credit for sometimes and make me realize that they're becoming great people...or remind me of that better yet.  My kids all make me crazy, but give me reasons everyday to make me remember how much I love them and am thankful for them the way they are.  My kids are exactly who God meant them to be and always will be.  They are a beautiful mess of perfection and imperfection gift wrapped and ready to be opened slowly.

"After the Airport"

I don't want to hog the bittersweet day that today is; being my son's birthday which is a good day for us and most probably a sad day for his birth parents in Korea.

I wanted to give notice to this blog article written by another adoptive mother.  This article holds so much truth.  First in her appreciation for homeschooling mothers.  I couldn't even imagine what it takes to homeschool your own child and to the point that can get to college to succeed.  I couldn't do it, but sometimes wonder if their input would help all of the struggling public schools as they seem to do it well for the most part.

 Mostly, I want to address this article in the truth that it holds for a lot of adoptive parents, me included. I'm fairly truthful here and in my life because I wear my heart on my sleeve, but no one wants to whine about the child they've wanted and prayed for for so long.  Even if it's just a bad day, no one wants anyone to think, for a second, that they are not thankful or don't appreciate those children they admittedly have been blessed with.  No one.  But some days, you just need to be able to say what this author said. 

Are we blessed with our 5?  No doubt in my mind.  Do I love everyone of them?  Absolutely.  I even had someone ask me, not too long ago, point blank if I had a favorite child.  While, some years ago when I only had younger children I might have said yes.  I admit that I used to think I did.  A couple of children and many years ago though.  Now?  I love pieces of everyone of them and I dislike pieces of everyone of them.  They're not perfect and with this imperfection comes desirable behaviors and undesirable behaviors.  I love stages that each one has gone through, each differently, and dislike stages each one of them have gone through.  But, mostly I will tell you that with our happy family of 7 are struggles.  If a parent, even without adoption, doesn't admit this I think they're lying, but hey I could be wrong?

I think we were sort of dealt struggle from step 1.  We lost our first child and our first born was born with a heart defect that required open-heart surgery.  We were young enough back then to take it fairly in stride.  So I do feel like we dealt with that well.  We were too young and naive to worry like I would today.  Our adoptions have never been a struggle when it came to paperwork process.  There were never those awful delays that made a parent wonder if they'd ever be united with their child.  But, I do admit I think I had a bit of post-adoption depression once.  My TMJ amplified the issue and at times I wondered what we had done.  There are times that the behavior of a coupe of our children make me question whether it's due to the losses and adoption processes or just their personality.  Our youngest wears me out to the bone.  I've never been so exhausted in my life, parenting him and I'm not THAT old.  He's just one of those active children that can be tired and still run circles around you. He struggles with language, is mildly delayed.  This is not a big issue, but his way of dealing with it is yelling or hitting to compensate for his frustration.  He's always been a hitter, since he came home from Korea.  It's gotten better and you can't blame him if you imagine what he's been through being separated from everything and everyone he knows and loves.  That is no longer an issue, but the behavior remains intact and we're left to deal with it.

All of this said, and this is not my life by a long shot, I love my children and couldn't imagine one of them not in my life.  I can, however, back up what the author of the article above was trying to say.  After parents come home with adopted children, they lose the support they had while in process.  This is when it gets hardest.  This is when the family and the child is trying to attach and get to know each other and these are the most complicated process pieces of adoption.  I don't care how good of parents they are they need support and help.  Everyone thinks adoption is different because the child is older than a newborn.  Not so.  You have to treat your child as a newborn of sorts so they can go through all of the processes their brains need to build those emotional attachments to their new family and surroundings.  But, the families get abandoned with no help while families with newborns get help.  My opinion is that at least newborns sleep a lot.  These kids are coming home walking, active, and ready to go.  These families are emotionally and physically drained by the time the kids come home and they've still got the hardest job ahead of them. 

Someone I know said to me just two weeks after Jaemin came home that I was "strung out".  Honestly, it hurt and it hurt bad.  She didn't know me well enough to say it first of all and second I'm allowed to be a little tired after stepping off of a plane and a 24 hour journey with a 9 month old 20 lb active boy just two weeks prior that wasn't sleeping because it was his daytime.  So, in addition to what the author of "After the Airport" has to say I want to add give newly united adoptive families a break!  Until you've been there with a stranger in your home that you have to get to know you don't know.  Instead, maybe ask if they could use some help; a meal, some laundry done....anything.  You have no idea how many offers are just words into the wind offers where there are no good intentions behind them.  When we've had our kids and Brian had his accidents we had offer after offer to help with this and help with that and nothing ever came to fruition.  I was a good thing I was always too busy to care enough to think about it or I probably would have been sorely hurt.

I'm getting sort of random now, but really wanted to point to this article that was really well worded about a families needs after children arrive.  I echo support of her article; every piece of it rings so true.

http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/09/06/after-the-airport

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to my youngest two babies!

It's almost like having twins, but because they're not, you have to separate out their birthdays....or so I feel anyways.



Jaemin's birthday is tomorrow and Chelsi's is Monday.  They are exactly 3 years apart.  I still can't believe my baby boy is 3.  Wow.  Where the heck did the time go.  I really don't have little babies anymore.  It's a chapter closed.  We decided since today was a really rainy day and everyone was tired from being out in the rain at the football game we would just celebrate their birthdays tonight.  I made a small cake for Jaemin with Mickey Mouse on it like he wanted and picked out and made princess cupcakes for Princess Chelsi.  They each got to blow out their candles separately and we went ahead and let them open presents....okay I admit it, I couldn't wait.  They already got their presents from one of the grandmas anyways.  Both Chelsi and Jaemin got some great gifts already.


It took Jaemin a full three tries to blow out all 3 candles and we're pretty sure there was spit involved.  Oh well.  Cake was still good.  :)




Happy birthday my two sweet babies.  You are and always will be a blessing to us.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's up?

It's just been busy.  I'm going back fulltime in right at a month from now.  Sadly.  But, in November I'll have a full paycheck again, which we badly need.  But, I will miss my time with Jaemin.  He's changed so much in this past year I've been home with him, so I know it was as good for him as it was for me.  He's talking better, fully potty-trained except at night and just acting so big.  The Asian lady at the grocery store just loves him and gave him $1 today.  Then, he got to pick out what he wanted me to put on his birthday cake and he picked out a big Micky Mouse candle and a confetti cake mix with white icing.  Chelsi's stuck with it too since we're not going to eat two cakes in two days.  I'll make half of it into a cake for Jaemin and half of it into Princess cupcakes for Chelsi.

I still haven't heard about the promotion.  I know enough to believe none of us that are currently employed there got it.  So it's even more hurtful that 7 weeks later they still haven't even told us we didn't get it yet.  It feels very rude and noncourteous.  I'm trying not to think about the other things I think about the situation.

We're looking into house plans and have been for a couple of weeks.  We love our house, but LOVE this piece of land.  However, we're pretty sure we can't afford to build; even if the house is only barely bigger than this house now.  So, now that we have an actual plan that's been drawn, we're hoping the builder will call and tell us if it's even possible.  If not, we stop.  If it is, we try to sell the house and start building.  If it's not possible, though, we will do some things around here, as we can.  Hopefully, that means, tearing down our deck and rebuilding a smaller deck and doing some concrete work.  Maybe a couple of other small projects, but make this more the way we want it.  Don't know yet.  As long as we can get the deck in before Winter, I'll be happy.  It's cheap and not a big job, just has needed done for a couple of years now.

Other than that, we're just trying to enjoy life and squeeze in some football.  Tomorrow's going to be a busy day though.  I have to work part of the day and then take Kaelin and some other friends to a friend's birthday party.  The mom called tonight to ask if I could help drive them into the location.  Sounds like fun!  I think it's going to be about 10 9 year old girls eating frozen yogurt, doing karaoke and making tiedye shirts.

Monday, September 12, 2011

YeSss!

Just got our work schedule.  I don't have to work concessions...just the gate for the football game.  So much better than last year!  I know I'll have to do concessions as he gets older, but this one year I don't!  Looking forward to the game.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Football is officially here!

As much as I never thought I'd say it I love football.  Okay, I admit it's really only when my kid is playing on the team.  Today was the first day of the season and they had a great game.  A little slow to start against a much bigger school with some well.....really big kids.  But, they pulled it off and won!  Only 1 minute to go and one of Chase's friends literally ran down 3/4 of the field to make the winning touchdown!  It was pretty awesome.  Chase made every tackle that was his, so he did his job as cornerback again this year.  He's #5 and on the bottom of the pile in the last photo.


Finally some really great weather!

It's finally not been too hot or too rainy and we can spend time outside.  The kids spent a night just playing ball and playing with the pups.  Jaemin and Chelsi play boats....notice the bats as oars.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Apparently my bed is just right

During naptime, most of the time anyways, Jaemin sleeps in his toddler bed in his room.  At night I make him go to his portacrib which is next to my bed.  He  will NOT sleep in his room at night, so this is our compromise.  I told him last night he was absolutely not to get out of his bed and into mine.  He tends to destroy.  So, after 10 pm last night I walked into my room ready to get into bed and well, things were turned down for me already.  Little stinker.  Between that and always wanting to sleep with all of his pairs of underwear I'm not sure what we're going to do with him. He's crazy!  :)  Such a fun boy.  Always keeps mommy guessing.

His nice cozy spot.

Here's where he always goes to after he hikes his leg over the crib and drops out.



Monday, September 5, 2011

Still there?

Anyone still there?  I haven't written in a bit.  Nothing major.  I do have to go back to work in just over a month...full time....boo hoo!  I'm a little sad, but less stressed knowing we'll be better able to pay our bills.

Our little pups are doing well.  Remember the little mini beagles the boys go about a month ago?  They're huge...I mean fat.  The vet says they're very healthy!  And they LOVE to be LOVED!

Biggest news is that Jaemin seems to be doing well potty training.  He never poops in his underwear and the only potty accidents he has is either from not poking it down fast enough or not getting to the bathroom in time and it's just a tiny bit in his pants... no big deal.  I'm relieved to think in the next 6 months or so I could be totally free of diapers for the first time in 14 1/2 years.

Let's see.  Jaemin is ornery as ever or maybe even worse.  He starts fights with Chelsi every chance he gets.  He's still sleeping with me.  If we put him in the porta crib he crawls over the rail and gets in my bed and goes to sleep there.  Oh well, you can't win them all, right?

I got my first gigs doing portraits this weekend.  It was really fun.  I love the creative outlet and make a little money on the side.  Not much, but enough I can hopefully reinvest in getting a faster laptop and some other small things for my camera.  They turned out really great and I'm really liking them.  We'll see if I can get more customers or not.  It's a pretty heavily populated job area, so it's fierce competition.

Still haven't heard about the job I applied for, but since it's been almost 6 weeks, I'm pretty much sure it's not me.  :)  Oh well, this is where my faith in God comes in.  It's just not meant to be.

Thinking about some friends in Korea right now.  One momma is there for her first time and I think she's having a wonderful time.  So happy she got that opportunity.  Can't wait to hear all about it Jane!