Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My cup runneth over

I had entered a contest in mid-August.  I wrote a 150 word essay summing the last couple of years for us.  I wrote it and forgot about it and I didn't tell a soul.  Then, one month later, I got notice that my story was very popular and I should try for more votes.  So I did.  I worked hard trying to get more votes.  I entered the My Life Reader's Digest contest and lost.  I saw on their Facebook page the winner of the story and was a bit bummed it was not a profound story or even slightly interesting...at least to me.

But, I put Jaemin to bed tonight and sat on his bedside and just looked at him.  He's so beautiful and he makes me a million times happier than that $25,000 could have even if it did get us to Korea.  Even if we never get to go, I have him...my little piece of Korea.  I could sit and stare into those beautiful, thinking eyes for hours.  I love everything about Jaemin.  He is my miracle in life.  My blessing of a lifetime.  I would never have even thought and dwelled over Korea if it weren't for having 3 of my kids, so I'm thankful to them for another love in life and an interest in a journey and exploration.  I love my children and in the end, that's what I need.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Family Strengthening

We watch movies all the time together.  At least once a month we find something and sit down and eat on the living room floor to watching it together.  It's something all 7 can agree on pretty easily and no one every complains about.

With holidays always brings a certain amount of stress for both kids and parents.  They've been having a harder time getting along with one another.  Just little things, but growing more constant and definitely getting on our (the parents) last nerves.  So, we had a little sit down tonight and I have to say it was nice.  We picked a kid and had them say something they liked about another one.  Then, we asked them to say something about us.  We talked to them about kindness and manners and by the end of it they were going on and on with the compliments to each other and us. 

Another thing we talked about were friends.  We tried to tell them that the ones they have now are not necessarily the ones they'll have all their life.  They don't have to stay friends for the sake of having a friend.  They should enjoy that person and if the person changes they're not 'married'.  We told them how their friends reflect themselves and if one of their friends is not a nice person others will think they are not nice, in turn.  We told them they need to find happiness and friendship in each other.   They are built in friends for the rest of their lives and they will always get each other because they were together through it all.  They need to be proud of one another's accomplishments and not jealous.  They need to encourage each other along the way because they each have differing interests and strengths.  They seemed to start getting it.  I want to see them cheer each other on and be happy for the other one.  I told them that I have plenty to be jealous over my sweet younger sister, but I'm not.  I'm proud of  her.  I'm happy for her and I would only ever wish her happiness because it would hurt to see her or my brother hurt.  I don't want to see any of my siblings hurting. 

I pray by example, my children find happiness, bonding, encouragement and love in each other as they grow older together.  They are bonded by the two of us and the love we have for them.  I hope they always know this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No progress...

and left frustrated.  The developmental pediatrician tried hard not to dismiss my concerns.  She said some occupational therapy couldn't hurt.  She thinks J is just 'intense'.  What she means is high spirited on the verge of ADHD, but I just don't know.  Then, I asked again about his sleep issues.  The melatonin is working wonders going to sleep, but again it's not meant to keep someone asleep.  She said to give him a little more to see if it at least keeps him asleep more than 2 hours. She then told me to get him out of my bed.  That this is best for him.  Developmentally, maybe.  Adoptive attachment wise, I'm not convinced.  All the research I've done and all the connections I've had with other adoptive families with kids with attachment issues reinforces to me that sleep is not something you mess with.  His cry when I try to get him to stay in my room is so sad and I just can't force him to sleep by himself.  He really does need me.  I don't know that those outside of adoption can understand the trauma kids in adoption go through and some just don't adjust like the majority do.  Some just need a little more for a little longer and I feel that that's my job to love him through this hard time he's having.  It doesn't help that his speech is delayed and he can't voice his issues to me.

My frustration is definitely not with J.  I'm frustrated that I don't feel able to help him sometimes and I want to so badly.  I pray she's right.  I pray that with time we'll see these huge strides in his emotional and social development.  I hope because that's all I have left now that we've ruled everything out except speech, which I am working on.  I love this little man of mine.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jaemin is so insensitive sometimes

We're getting Jaemin evaluated for sensory processing disorder.  The developmental pediatrician mentioned it in passing in April, so I dismissed it too.  Since some things aren't changing much, I've been looking into a little further and they're going to see him again.  We'll see.  But, one thing that stands out is how Jaemin doesn't feel much pain.  He can fall flat on his face on our hardwood and not cry.  I was putting his socks on him and noticed dried blood on his big toe.  His nail was broken way back in the bed.  I don't know how or when he did it because he never cried.  He did flinch when I tried to pull it to see how bad it was, but that was it.  Poor baby.  He's so sweet.

Here's Jaemin donning his Cinderella bandaid.

Pajamas with Mom Party

I guess they've been doing this for a little bit.  I don't know if they did it when K was in kindergarten or not.  She never mentioned it.  Chelsi, however has been begging since she found out.  We went back to school last night and listened to the teacher read a book while we sat on a blanket in the gym, in our pajamas.  Then, we went into the cafeteria and Chelsi had some ice cream with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.  Then, we went back tot he gym and had blanket races.  I had to wrap Chelsi up in the blanket and drag her down the gym and back.  She was laughing so hard when we were done, I didn't think she'd quit.  She had so much fun.  She really is a fun girl.  She is literally friends with everyone.  All the boys AND girls come to talk to her and get her to sit with them.  And when it was all over we had moms coming up to meet the girl they hear about.  One boy's mom, in particular, came to tell Chelsi 'thank you' for helping her son to quit crying.  I thought there was only one boy that cried and she helped, but apparently there were 2!  She is quite the caring, sweet girl.  She kept fixing our blanket when we were sitting and her teacher came up and told me how organized she is.  She said her desk is immaculate and organized at all times.  She sweet, smart, beautiful and organized?  WOW!!

Here are the pictures from my little camera while we were at school, waiting to start.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Call me crazy

But, I'm behind Cole 100% on wrestling.  I did not go into this earlier.  I guess I was partially wanting to say if Cole stuck with it and partially because I wasn't sure what the docs would say.   Cole told us about a month ago he wanted to participate in wrestling.  I told him I didn't know if his PC (pediatric cardiologist) would allow it, but he looked at me and said 'push'.  This was our code.  I had promised if there was something he felt strong about I would push.  I called our family doc and they called the PC for us.  The nurse called back and said the PC's nurse said no....it's a contact sport.  I got her number and called myself.  I asked her to please check, personally, with the PC because we've told Cole no to everything for 14 years.  I guess after watching him suffer through the loss of playing football, just after he got the okay and seeing him socially struggle just hurt me too much for him.  I told her I needed him to be able to live. No one knows how long they have and I just wanted him to enjoy his life, whatever it may be.  She called back and said he said okay with strict instructions on weight lifting and no weight loss efforts to make weight (i.e. losing weight by sweat and water loss which could kill him because of his heart function).  So with that understanding and a very careful and important talk with Cole it was a go.  We turned in the papers he wrote up to the coach and Cole's been running 2 miles at practice and lifting some weights.  He's so tired, but seems so much happier.  And now when his grades slip a little he's more receptive to our nagging to get them back up or else.  He knows what the or else is.  I bought his wrestling shoes Thursday after work, so he's really ready to go now.  What possessed him to do this?  I have no idea. He has no friends participating, but I'm so happy for him to find something that makes him feel like he belongs and he's happy....genuinely happy.  We even had the talk to remind him that he should enjoy every single second.  If he has to have his surgery it could be over.  Enjoy every second as it happens in case it ends.  And maybe he'll get all 4 years of it.  Who knows.  Only God knows.