Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Been A Year!

Yep, it's been a year since Desmond came home from Korea. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, like when he is all happy and giggly and I can't believe it's only been a year. And then other times it seems as if we have had him, like when he is throwing tantrum number 20 and it's only 7am and I think to myself: "I can't believe I'be been putting up with your tantrums for a whole year!". I was lurking around the adoption forum and I ran across a family that has recently brought home a little boy of their own from Korea. She mentioned that from day one her kiddo called her "Omma", which is "Mommy" in Korean. I got to thinking about it and Desmond hasn't really ever called me anything. I call myself "Mama", like: "Mama wants you to obey", but he doesn't call me that. When he first came home he would call out in the middle of the night for his foster mom: "Omma! Omma!". I would respond and then he would look at me like: "You ain't my mama lady!". After awhile though he did accept my comfort and came to tolerate me, then like me. Now I can't get him to leave me alone! :) Should you ask Desmond who is mother is he will point to me, but he won't say "Mama". Everyday when Michael gets home from work he will run to the window and shout: "Dad! Dad!" He gets really excited when dad comes home. To my knowledge he doesn't do that when I get home from the grocery store, usually he follows me into the kitchen screaming: "YUM YUM!" I can only recall two times when Desmond has actually said "Mama". The first time was when I had just put him into timeout, yep he screamed "Mama" in anger. It was kind of funny, I chuckled. The other time he said "Mama" was just a few weeks ago when he got in trouble for something and Dad took away his applejuice. He tried to plead his case to me, as if I was going to go get his applejuice back. Both Michael and I laughed at that one too, that kid is just so darn cute even when his crying. When Desmond had his heart surgery and was coming around right after the surgery the nurse told me he was calling for me. We got into the the room and he was moaning "Omma, Omma". I told the nurse that he wasn't calling for me, he was calling for his foster mom back in Korea. I think the nurse immediately started crying. I wasn't hurt by the fact that he wanted the woman who raised from 3 months till 17 months of age, she nursed him after his first surgery and took him to all his doctor appointments. I am also not hurt that he doesn't call me anything, he has never really needed to. I am with him for the most part 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I am always nearby and all he has to do to get my attention is come up to me tell me what he wants. I feed him, cuddle him, take care of him, let him fall asleep in my arms prior to nap time, rock him for 30 minutes!! before bed, hold him when he is hurting, take him to the splash park because he loves it even though I hate the summer heat, let him have two peices of cake at Sunday dinner, drive the grocery cart all crazy because it cracks him up, let him climb all over those big red concrete balls outside of Target while everyone is staring because the moment we pull into the parking lot he is yelling excitedly: "A ball! A ball", let him watch Elmo's World a lot!, get up in the middle of the night when he cries just to make sure he isn't cold, take him to the doctor for the bazillionth time. I do all those things because he is my son and I am his mother. He doesn't need to call me "Mama" because I am his mom and he knows it and that is all that matters.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hearts and Hospitals

First off I want to thank everyone for praying Desmond this week! For those of you who do not know today Desmond had to go to the hospital for the cardiologist to get a better look at his heart. Last month we went to the cardiologist to get his heart checked out. When he was about 3 weeks old he had surgery for ASD (typical hole in the heart that closes up in newborns, his did not close up) and CoA (narrowing of the aorta). While this surgery went well, it just wasn't good enough. Today they did a catheterization to look at the narrowing of the aorta.

His procedure was supposed to be at noon, however we had to wait for all of his blood work to come back and he didn't go in until 1:30. Thankfully he fell asleep before he realized he hadn't anything to eat or drink for 7 hours.

The actual procedure went well, it took about 3 hours. After it was all done we had a pow-wow with the doctor. He let us know that Desmond has two options: to put in a stint, then when Desmond grows more put in another, then another, then another and so on, or surgery again. We are opting for surgery again, which will need to be scheduled in the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Right now we are just hanging out in the room trying not to move for the next hour and a half. It's not going all that well :(. Hopefully he will be still and then he can get up and walk around. What I would really like is for him to go to sleep, hopefully soon...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Month Home

One month home and Desmond is a mostly happy guy.
One month home and two ear infections later we are finally getting into a routine.
One month home and my husband is back at work and I am home full time with Desmond.
One month home and I have yet to finish writing thank you notes for the all the wonderful people who have helped us out with the adoption.
One month home and Desmond is still not walking! He takes about 4 steps and then either gets unsure of himself or realizes he get where he needs to go faster if he crawls.
One month home and melt downs only seem to happen about once a day.
One month home and Desmond is sleeping in his own room.
One month home and we have had some unexpected car expenses, which means I have to find a part time job sooner than expected.
One month home and I filled out my first job application in over 6 years, for some reason I can't seem to remember how much money I made at all my previous jobs going back farther than 6 years; I used to know this stuff!
One month home and I really hope I get one of the two part-time jobs I have applied for (Please pray that I get one of them they are both something that I would like to do and both have perfect hours for our family.)
One month home and my family comes next week to meet Desmond!!
One month home and my husband and I are going to go out on a date sometime when my family is here, I think I'm more excited about this than my family actually coming to visit...shhh...don't tell them though.
One month home and Desmond doesn't get up until 8am!! Seriously this is fantastic!
One month home and Desmond lets me enjoy at least 2 cups of coffee every morning while he plays quietly.
One month home and Desmond loves music and loves to dance. At this exact moment he is pounding out some original compositions on the piano.
One month home and I refuse to take Desmond back to the splash park by myself until he is walking! He insists that I take his hand and walk him all through the fountains and water, it gets old after about 10 minutes and then there is a melt down and it's time to go.
One month home and I purchased a blow up pool for the back yard that is much better than dragging him all the way to the splash park (at least for me).
One month home and Desmond loves hanging out in the church nursery! Of course they have way cooler toys than at home!
One month home and the English words Desmond is saying are: meow, mama or mom, Michael (totally refuses to call him dada, I think it's because I call my husband by his first name all the time.), Desmond, what, amen.
One month home and Desmond knows where his belly button is. He also knows where his nose, toes, eyes and ears are but he pretends he doesn't.
One month home and we are a family of 3, plus 2 cats.
One month home today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Desmond has been home almost a week. I can't believe how fast time flies, it seems like just yesterday we were starting this process. I think back to a year ago and we weren't even considering having children let alone adopting one from halfway around the world. This past week has been very trying, I will not lie. Let me tell you about the week...

Last Tuesday I set off from my hotel in Seoul for the agency offices in Korea. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get there. I was carrying two big bags, one was filled with gifts for Desmond's foster family, the other was filled with donations for the agency. My appointment to meet Desmond was at 1:30pm and I wasn't sure how far the office was from the subway stop. I arrived at the office at 1:10pm.

I took the elevator to the second floor and met with social worker, she said that he and his foster mother were already there. Gulp! Already? I wasn't ready, I could still turn around right?

Here is the face the greeted me when I walked into the room.

He was all smiles and he started to feed me some cereal. His foster mother noted that he never is that happy around strangers. I honestly can't really tell you what I was feeling. I am generally a non-emotional person and during highly emotional situations, like this one, I just shut down completely and show absolutely no emotion whatsoever. I'm sure his foster mother thought I was a strange person!

After a few minutes talking about Desmond and asking about his schedule, eating habits, favorite foods, comfort items we left to head downstairs to see the doctor. The doctor was busy and we had to wait in the waiting area. During this time he let me hold him for a few minutes. He also got to ride on a little bike and did not want get off of it when the doctor was ready. He started screaming bloody murder when he was forced off of it. His foster mother leaned over and said: "Oh yeah, he has a temper." Ummm...yep he does.

He was checked out by the doctor and I was given a piece of paper to sign. This was it, once I signed that piece of paper we were now responsible for him. I actually hesitated, so much so the social worker pointed out again where to sign. I signed it. That was it. There was a flurry of activity to get him strapped to me in the carrier and to flag down a taxi for me. In the meantime he was crying and screaming, his foster mother was crying hugging me and him, and I just stood there numb.

The cab came, good thing it was an older friendly fellow who tried his hardest to get Desmond to stop crying. I was back at the hotel by 2:10pm, it happened all so fast. Desmond ended up crying himself to sleep and slept for about 2 hours. This was a blessing for me. I could just sit for a little bit and digest what just happened. I just became a mother.

While in Korea Desmond and I just hung out together in the hotel room and got to know each other a little bit. This was a good thing because I could get a sense of when he was tired and about ready to have a melt down. On Thursday of last week we packed up and headed to the airport. (Yes, I did handle all of that stuff by myself with a kid.)

The plane ride wasn't that bad, but I am glad it is over with. He slept for 5 hours woke up and screamed for about an hour, stared off into space for another hour then slept for another 4. I was so thankful that he slept so much. I have heard horror stories from other adoptive parents that their children literally screamed the entire time!

These first few days have been rough, there have been times that I've doubted our decision. Especially last Friday and Saturday when he cried non-stop for about 24 hours. Part of it was grieving and part of it was a double ear infection we didn't realize he had. We are new to this parent thing. Besides he didn't show any signs of being sick, no fever, no tugging at his ears. And to top it off we were told to expect fits of crying because of the grieving. In hindsight we probably should've gone to the ER.

Yesterday my husband came into the playroom where I was trying to get Desmond to stop crying and play. He said: "When he is 17 he is so going to hear about his non-stop screaming." I said: "Please can he be 17 now?!" As I thought about this statement I had not only just wished my son's life away but I wished away all the memories we can have together. Today I thought that I don't want to wish away my child's life because now is the time instill values, teach him right and wrong, if we miss these times then we've totally missed the point of parenting and instructing a child. Do I wish that he had not cried those first few days? Of course, but I needed those first days of crying to learn more about being a mom and to learn more about my son.

Both my husband and I know adopting Desmond was/is what God wants for us and our family. By doubting that I am doubting God. His plan is perfect and I want to be in the center of His plan. Everyday will get a little better and everyday is better when we are in the center of God's will.

Friday, June 3, 2011


There are so many changes going on in our lives right now. Yesterday was my last day of full-time work. I actually had never thought that I would leave my job. I love my job. I love working with the people in the office. There was never a time when I really didn't want to go to work. I had been there for 6 1/2 years, not my longest tenure at a job, but it was by far one of my better jobs.

Now I am going to be a stay at home mom. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this, not even sure if I am completely ready to be a mom. I am really hoping some maternal instincts kick in soon! I'm sure that when I finally get to meet our son, there will be some motherly feelings. It's hard when all you have is a picture to love. When one is pregnant they can feel their baby growing inside them, it's there with them always. Not the case in adoption. But that's okay by us, this is the path we have chosen to grow our family and I'm sure once he is in our arms we will know 100% that we have made the best decision.

I am currently in the process of getting the house ready and baby proofed. It's hard to think like a 18 month old and try to figure out what will be enticing to play with. His room is almost ready. There are still a few things that I would like to get done in it to make it feel more like his room.

We really don't have much time to get things done, so it is a good thing yesterday was my last day at work because I am leaving for Korea in just 6 short days. It still kind of seems surreal, like it's not really happening or I feel like it's still some months away in the future. Soooo not the case!

God has blessed us with a few extraordinary things in the past couple of weeks. First off, I'm pretty confident that our adoption is paid for! We are still waiting for some money to come in that was offered to us by some very generous people, but with that money we will be able to finish paying off the fee! Also, we received a grant from an organization that helps families who are adopting children with special needs. What was great about this is that our agency applied on our behalf and we didn't even need to lift a finger! This was great news since we had already been turned down for a couple of grants that we had applied for.

Another blessing is that my husband seems to have more vacation time than what we previously thought. His employer is changing insurance carriers and they had a meeting with the employees to discuss the change. In the packet of info was an overview of all the benefits the employees can receive. Both him and I noticed that he was not accruing as much vacation as he should be. I went back and checked his pay stubs and noticed he was accruing vacation as if he was still working in his 6th year...he is in his 12th. So as to not bore you with all the math, my husband now has an extra 16 days of vacation! That's 3 weeks! He is now able to spend a little bit more time at home when I get back from Korea. We are super excited about this as we were just planning on him taking that time off without pay. God's timing is just so perfect! I'm getting all teary-eyed just thinking about how wonderful God is!

I'll be sure to post more about my trip to Korea to meet/pick up our son.

Monday, May 9, 2011

God is Good!

This past Saturday was the fundraiser for Desmond. My husband and I didn't quite know what to expect. All week long our friends from church kept e-mailing and texting me with items that were being donated for the silent auction. All week long we were amazed by the outpouring of generosity from complete strangers. I think we were most concerned about the turn out. We knew that we would be there, my sister, my mom and my niece made the trip from Colorado. Then we knew my husband's family would be there, our friends from church and a few other stragglers. So, we knew we would have at least 30 people there :). Saturday came and I was kind of anxious. I asked my husband how he felt and his response: "Fine, why do you ask?" "You aren't nervous or anything?" "No, why would I be?" Men are just so calm sometimes!

Why did I worry? We had over a hundred people attend the event! There were people there we had never met before! At the end of the night we were exhausted, but we had a great time! I was excited to meet new people and felt that God was at work the entire time.

So are you ready for the unofficial total? I know there is still some money trickling in from people who could not be there, but I think this is a somewhat accurate total...$3658!!! How fantastic is that? We now just have to come up with just under $12,000 before July! Although this seems to be a huge amount, we know that God has things under control!

I wanted to publicly thank everyone for helping with this fundraiser. A special thank you to Melissa Karas and Jessica Philips for organizing the whole event! I also wanted to thank our church! We go to a wonderful church with wonderful people who have such a heart for adoption. We are amazed and in awe of how God is working through people in our church. Thank you to everyone who donated items and thank you to those who purchased those items.

One funny thing that happened...The centerpieces for the tables during the event were goldfish, which I happen to think is an excellent idea. Well there seemed to be an over abundance of goldfish leftover even after making an announcement that whomever wanted one could take one, or several. After everything was cleaned up for the night 34 goldfish managed to make it into our car. My mom said that she would just take them and flush them if we didn't want them. As a lover of animals I just couldn't bring myself to let her. We got home late that night, I just happened to have two aquariums, I got one out and just dumped them in there and left them for the night. Seeing as how I didn't have any fish food on hand there were four casualties the next morning. After church on Sunday we stopped by the store and got some food. There are now approx. 30 happy goldfish in our larger aquarium. So now we have 33 pets in our home. At least the goldfish do not shed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Good News!

The good news just keeps on coming! Desmond's Emigration Permit (EP) has been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea. This is a HUGE step in the process. Basically this is the piece of paper that says he can leave Korea. Just so you know how big this is, every year the Ministry of Health and Welfare only issues a certain number of EPs each year. Last year agencies were running out of them starting in June. Each year the Ministry lowers the number of EPs that they issue, so there will less EPs issued than last year. Most families get word from their agency towards the middle of the month if their child has been submitted for an EP. However, this month it seemed like no one was getting notified if they were being submitted. There was a lot of talk out there on the adoption bulletin boards that maybe, just maybe, agencies were beginning to run out of EPs. I was just a bit worried because well, I'm quitting my job in June and to not have an EP this year would mean that we wouldn't be able to bring Desmond home until next year. But very quickly I was reminded that God is in control. He has a perfect plan for our lives. So the thought was put out of my mind.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up my e-mail yesterday to find that not only had Desmond been submitted, but it happened on April 6th. Which means once his EP is approved we are talking just a few weeks before he can come home. I honestly didn't even expect for him to be submitted until at least May if not June. So now we wait for all the paperwork to be completed and in approximately 10 weeks, if everything goes smoothly, our child will be coming home! :)