A Little After Christmas Cheer!

I was emailing the assistant director at our agency about some paperwork that I needed to tie up loose ends on today. You see every time we get a picture, or medical report from Korea we also get a transmittal memo that we are supposed to sign and return. All of these must be signed and returned before we can travel.

Well, I haven’t sent any back in a few months because I was waiting on another piece of paperwork that I also needed to send in from USCIS. Long story short I asked her to please check and let me know if I had overlooked any that I needed to return.

An hour or so later she replied that I needed to return 3 (one from October, two pictures from August…and : ) this updated picture attached below!!) Now, I would say that is a pretty fun part of her job! Mamas are all about new photos of their babies!

Had we been on the phone I would have hurt her sweet little ears because I squealed…loudly!

I do LOVE a new photo. And gracious day alive it is the sweetest of them all.

To top it all off he got his Christmas package..on the 22nd! YAY, I am beside myself.  If I do not get my hands on this boy in the next few weeks I don’t know what I will do!

So, enough of my jabbering here he is:

I cannot get over how grown up he looks. And a holiday snowflake sweater with a puffy vest? Could he be any more stylish!?! We sent the hat and I do think he looks mighty dapper in it, don’t you?

 The kids were asking about snow on Christmas. Where is all the snow? I know, right? It’s barely chilly enough for a jacket. But, they thought it was pretty fun that Maddox got snow for Christmas! Yes, Seoul is covered in white. I hope our sweet boy had a great Christmas!

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$7 Tshirts ~ Clearing out!




Christmas has come and gone and I’m clearing out and cleaning up. We had a few tshirts left over from the fundraiser and are selling them for $7 this includes shipping. There is just one style and it is the one Reagan is wearing in the photo above. My favorite part is on the Simply Love at the bottom the “o” is an outline of Korea. SO cute.

The back has 1 Corinithians 13:13 printed on them. There are 3 colors (white shirt with yellow/orange writing, White shirt with blue/green writing, and grey shirt with orange/yellow writing). If you are interested just comment or email me (tdaniel76@yahoo.com) and let me know the color and size.

Here are the ones we have left:

White shirt (Orange/Yellow writing)
1 YXS (SOLD)
1 YS (SOLD)
1 Adult S (SOLD)
1 Adult Med. (SOLD)
1 Adult Large (SOLD)
1 Adult XL (SOLD)

White Shirt (Blue/Green writing ~ like the one Reagan is wearing in the photo)
1 Adult Med. (SOLD)
1 Adult XL (SOLD)

Grey Shirt (Orange/yellow writing)
1 Adult Med. (SOLD)
1 Adult L

As it comes to a close…

This Christmas will go down in the record books as one of my all time favorites in history. The ONLY thing that could have made our Christmas better would have been to have our sweet Maddox amid all the mess and chaos on Christmas morning.

 I hope that each of you who read this also had a memorable Christmas filled with happy memories and lots of special time with all those that you love the most in the world. I pray that you were filled with peace and joy as you remembered the birth of our Savior.

 I’m looking forward to all that 2012 has in store for our family. It’s looking to be an exciting year full of firsts. David and I are already running through ideas of what our new year’s resolutions will be and the kids have chosen theirs. This year we also plan to “name” our year. I got the idea from friend, but the premise (at least for us) is to name the year for something you plan to focus specifically on throughout the year. We’ve thrown around a few ideas but will settle on a final one in the next few days. I’m excited…like bubbly, uncontrollably excited about what the new year will bring!

I hope you will be blessed in this new year!

A little bit of everything : Christmas Break edition

Just sharing a few pictures of our week aka “iPhone Goodness”

Christmas break has been so refreshing. Slow paced. Intentionally laid back days filled with lots of quality fun with our little family.  It’s been amazing and we have almost 2 weeks to go!

We went to see “Chipwrecked” and Reagan got to bring along one of her best friends who our family seriously adores!  Reagan, up until this year always preferred to play with the boys. Totally fine by me because the boys that she likes to play with also happen to have awesome mamas that I adore and like to spend time with but it is nice to hear her ask for a girl to come play on occasion. : ) This year she has been all about the girlfriends! I LOVE it! It makes me want another girl in the house. The sweet giggles, the dress up, the dance parties and fashion shows! It couldn’t make me happier!
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This was taken the night of the blanket drama. After Dawson was sound asleep I switched out Reagan’s “macy” for his fresh, clean “night night” . Before I went to bed I checked in to find this. “Macy” in hand and one peacefully sleeping princess.

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I did get a little chuckle when I glanced over to see this. Reagan has tucked her sweet (beautifully styled hair) doll in with a mini version of “macy”. LOVE!

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One thing about being home several days over the last two weeks is my kids suffer from “I’m hungry syndrome”. Apparently this condition causes extreme hunger to occur every 10-15 minutes along with fall out on the floor tantrums where the 3 year old in a very shrill voice exclaims, “I hungry! SO, so very hungry.” It’s incredibly dramatic and induces great big internal eye rolls from the parent in charge. So, I decided to set up a snack buffet after nap time. This way they could help themselves to my choice of snacks, in limited quantity whenever they feel one of these attacks coming on. It worked splendidly. Whenever the snack is gone there is no more until dinner. They ate it all…every crumb and despite my reservations still had a hearty dinner. Problem solved.

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They also had an exciting two night stay at my parents house. I use to complain about growing up in the country. 15 minutes from “town” which consisted of a grocery store and a caution light and almost an hour from a larger town that had an actual mall. It was just terrible…at least at the time. Now looking back I think about how incredibly lucky I was to grow up there. It is like a little kids wonderland. There is never a moment where there isn’t something to see, do, or explore and my kids LOVE it there. Tractors, ponds, a tire swing…a little slice of heaven. My parents (and David’s parents also) are INCREDIBLE grandparents and we are so blessed that they want to spend time with our children.

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This is the pre sleepover photo that David text my dad. Gotta keep the kid hydrated for all that fun in the country, right? Of course, this wasn’t actually for Dawson but we like to keep my dad on his toes! ; )

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Don’t you love Pinterest? They have all kind of fun “learning” activity ideas that you can pull together on a whim. This day I REALLY needed to conquer laundry so we set up the table with some “new” things for the kids to do. This is Dawson with pipe cleaners and a colander. Who comes up with this stuff? He loved it though.

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And of course the colander can then be used as a helmet.

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Reagan’s big Christmas break activity has been writing letters. She started with this one all on her own. All of our initials (at least the first ones) and we progressed on to learning how to write an address on an envelope. She mailed out a few letters this week including one to her kindergarten teacher which she was particularly proud of. I like nothing more than getting “real” mail and I hope to instill in her the desire to continue writing letters and cards to friends and family. Who doesn’t like to get mail and know that they were thought of enough to have someone put actual PEN to PAPER in this world of email and Facebook? It’s FUN! She learned where to put the stamp and return address. It was a great practical lesson.

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Finally, our stocking for Maddox came in the mail. We had to upgrade to a new set of stocking hangers. Our Joy lost a J and I jokingly set it up to say “Yo” but once M’s came in the mail we purchased a new set. David said I should have gotten one more hanger “just in case”. Haha…love that man! It finally felt like the Christmas decorating was complete once all 5 of them were hanging from the mantle.

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Just a few more days until Christmas! Our family is excited to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. One of my favorite days of the year!

No use crying over spilled chocolate milk…unless it spills on “Night Night”

I just had a to jot down this sweet story.

We’ve been inside ALL weekend basically. The kids had a stomach virus and I was recovering from a cold/flu/sinusy type thing. By this afternoon everyone was going CRAZY and we needed to get it out.

 As soon as the sun set I called both of the kids in the living room and said, “1,2,3…go get on your PJs and meet me at the door in 5 minutes.”

 Reagan reappeared less than 2 minutes later in Christmas PJ’s and sparkly black ballet flats and dragging in just in time Dawson shows up with a Spiderman shirt and cotton shorts. I don’t blame him it’s been unseasonably warm even for the south!

We loaded up. Rode through the drive thru at Kr*spy Kreme (The hot now sign was on. It was a must). The kids got chocolate milk and a sprinkle donut and then we headed out in search of some really great Christmas lights!

 I told David we needed some type of award to hand out to the house that we all decided had the best lights and he looked at me like I had 5 heads so apparently he thought it was a dumb idea. Sounds fun to me!! Can you tell who the fun stopper is?

 Anyway, we rode all over town “oohing” and “ahhing” over the lights and had a fun time. Just as we were about to come home Dawson spilled his chocolate milk ALL in the floor of the car.

 We didn’t realize at the time but the majority of the milk was soaked up by “night night” his very special baby blue minky dot blanket. Sigh… We do have extras but they are spread out at different grandma’s homes at the moment.

 We got the kids ready for bed and prepared for the nuclear meltdown. Dawson is a chill kid but mess with the “night night” and you’ve got a problem. Seriously, he NEVER gives me trouble about going to sleep as long as he has it. So, he is screaming and crying for the blanket. I held him, and tried to comfort him to no avail but finally I had to say that it was enough and leave the room.

 Of course it continued (more of a whimper by this point) but I’m trying to block it out and then I heard Reagan’s voice and I started to call out to her and fuss that she wasn’t upstairs. She came down the hall towards me and said, “Mama, I gave Dawson my Macy (her equally as special blanket). He was just so sad and it was an accident with the milk. I know how it feels to be without my blanket and I think it would be ok with me if he snuggled with Macy tonight.”

Stop the presses. This is a moment that you just want to savor. 

Thankfully, Dawson seemed to be ok with this scenario (although he turned down every other similar blanket I had offered previously). It must have been something about it being her special one that he could just tell it was a sacrifice and accepted it. Within 2 minutes he was asleep.

I’m so proud of my sweet girl. Isn’t it amazing when you see your children displaying a trait you’ve worked so hard to instill in them?   Compassion is a hard one. She really has the biggest heart. I think I may go sneak Macy away from Dawson and take her upstairs. I would bet Reagan is still up there unable to get to sleep without her. Wow. So much to learn from my kids!

 

*~*~*~Travel Call Contest~*~*~*

As our time draws closer to the highly anticipated call that will tell us that our Maddox is ready to come home we are getting more and more excited. It’s a hesitant excitement but nonetheless we are ready for the New Year to roll on in! : )

We wanted to do something fun to celebrate with our friends and family! So, we are having a “Travel Call Contest”. All you have to do is reply to this post with the date in the new year that YOU think we will get our travel call and the person who guesses correctly will win a prize.

I’ve teamed up with my friend, Kelly at http://minus1project.blogspot.com/ for the prize. She is currently fundraising to bring home her son, Carson, from South Korea and has a REALLY fun store filled with t-shirts, jewelry, tervis tumblers, and more. For the contest I will be giving away either a necklace or bracelet from her store. She adds new inventory all the time so I’m not sure exactly what the piece will look like but all of them are super cute. To check out pieces similar to the one the winner will receive check out her store: http://www.gotloveadopt.com/ and click on the jewelry link on the left side bar.

The ONLY thing you need to do to enter is:

~ Leave a comment (here on the blog not on Facebook) with the date in 2012 you think we will get our travel call.

~Make sure you leave your name AND email address (or blog address) so that I can get in contact with you should you win!

*** Please look at others responses because there can only be one guess per date.***

Have fun! I can’t wait to announce the winner!!

What words often fail to say a lyric often captures…

I think this song about sums up what I was trying to say in an earlier post. A dear friend, Kristina, shared this with me several weeks ago and I’m so glad she did. Keeps me looking forward.

All you waiting mamas out there that are about to click grab a tissue! Merry Christmas!

Here are the lyrics:
There’s a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma’s arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It’s Christmas time again but you’re not home
Your family is here and yet you’re somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I’m warmed by the fire’s glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven’s angels come to carry you here

It’s Christmas time again but you’re not home
Your family is here and yet you’re somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It’s Christmas time again and now you’re home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I’ll hold you in my arms
And I’ll tell you from my heart, and I’ll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

December Well Baby Check

Well, it seems our little guy went in a few days earlier than usual for his December checkup. I was pretty bummed that this means he didn’t get his package when he went in on the 8th. Although, after I posted on Facebook about my dissapointment that he wouldn’t get his Christmas package this year several other moms who have worked with our agency in the past said that there is still a chance he might receive it so we will hang on the that hope. This is why I love the adoption world. The ones who have gone before know what it’s like and are an encouragement to those of us who wait. Isn’t this the way God designed it? Through our trials we grow stronger and can help others through those same trials we once faced and that little bit of encouragement that helps them get through. Perfect design down to the last detail.

There was good news in that sweet little report our little Maddox who has been struggling to catch up developmentally for some time is now WALKING! Praise God! He weighs 23.5 lbs and has 8 top teeth and 5 bottom. There were also a few new words added to his vocabulary! He now says umma (momma), abba (daddy), mama (hungry), and Na (I’m not sure on this one?). I’m so glad he seems to be quickly catching up over the last few weeks since he has started physical therapy.

We also received the report from his rehabilitation consult which we were assured says he needs no further appointments with them but I have no idea what it reallys says. A friend of ours who works in the PT world has agreed to look it over and put it in lamens terms for us. Thank you, Pam!!

Also, he is now apparently going to be going in for a consult for his eyes. Who even knows. I’m sure it’s fine but I’ll be anxious to see how that turns out.

Other than that he is “Cute and Fine”. Just praying that his package will somehow find it’s way into his sweet little hands.

Oh and I did want to remind everyone that we are still collecting donations for the babies in care! Thank you to all of you who have pitched in so far! They are currently in need of Aveeno baby lotion and Gerber puffs. We hope to take a few totes of donations over when we travel so if you think of it grab a few of either when you are out and about and send them our way! Thanks!!!

Christmas Programs 2011

   I LOVE watching my babies in their Christmas programs. There is just something so sweet about watching your little ones up on stage singing (or not) their little hearts out…and occasionally throwing in the right motions to the song. How brave of them to stand up in front of such big crowds of wild camera weilding mamas who will stop at nothing to get a good view of their children (oh, and I’ve seen some crazy mamas….you all know what I mean). This year I was actually almost taken out by a woman who was no less than 60 army crawling…yes crawling down the church aisle with her video camera in hand to get just the right shot. I’m serious. : )

 Anyway, this year both the kids were in the same program at their school. This was a first so I was finally able to experiance trying to look in two places at once. The kids school program was very cute and Reagan had a little speaking part that she took very seriously. She practiced so much at home that even Dawson knew her lines and apparently said them along with her during one of the practices! I had my fingers crossed he didn’t pull that during the program but he was more interested in laying his head on the banister.

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Then on Sunday the children’s choirs at church sang during both morning services. Unfortunately for me, the lens broke on my camera and I was at the mercy of others to snap a few pictures for me. The kids did great! Dawson didn’t sing one word but he sure knew how to shake his jingle bells…and made sure to let everyone know when he didn’t get a set of bells during the 1st performance! Reagan even did the motions with the songs. Proud mama. Here are the few shots I have!

Love both of the programs. It’s so fun to see your kids growing up and being able to participate in these little programs. Christmas is getting closer!

Happy 17 Months Sweet Jeong-Hwan

Today our littlest fellow is 17 months old. Something about it being the Christmas season has me a little weepy that heisn’t home with us but it’s hard to be overwhelmed with that emotion because we are on the home stretch.

It’s 19 days until the 1st of the year and the EP reset and we are holding on to hope he will be submitted in that 1st batch.

On Friday his Christmas Package made it to Holt Korea. Last month he went in for his check up on the 10th so we are hoping this month it was at least the 10th or after and he will be able to (or has been able to) receive his Christmas gifts from us. I hope we get a new picture! That would be a welcome Christmas gift for sure! : )

 A while back I blogged about a fun gift exchange a fellow blogger set up called “Friends For Adoption”  where AP’s can be matched up and exchange a monthly gift and encouragement with one another. I was matched up with Rachel and we’ve had fun with our little exchanges! Who doesn’t like a package in the mail? Last week she sent me the most thoughtful gift and I still tear up when I think about it.  Along with some super cute Christmas hand towels she included this:

 3 ceramic bird ornaments. She said when she saw them she thought of me and how each one represented one of my children and that when I look at them I can remember that next year all 3 of them will be home to celebrate Christmas together. It was such a thoughtful gift and I hung them on the tree this morning and did just that.

It seems looking forward to future holidays has become a theme lately. Our church decorates the sanctuary each year with poinsettas. You can purchase one “in honor of” or “in memory of” a special person in your life. When they announced it this year I looked over at David and told him I wanted to do one for Maddox. This Sunday, they arrived and it was also the Sunday that the children’s choirs performed. I was sitting on the edge of my pew beaming like all proud mamas do when their children are up there singing and the poinsettas caught my eye. Just for a moment it felt like he was here with us. All 5 members of my family were in the same room and it made my knees weak. The Lord whispered tenderly, “Next year sweet one” and I choked back the tears and clapped for my oldest as she stepped off the stage. Pain and joy all wrapped in one. Such a strange thing to experiance and I’m happy to say that this part of this journey is coming to a close. It couldn’t come soon enough.

 A precious friend of mine in this journey, Melissa, wrote a blog a few weeks back about how even in the wait she is trying to be intentional with her daughter this season and relish all the magic this season offers. Here is her post:

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I wish I could say I’m there. I pray for it but I’m just not. I mean I go through the motions with the kids but that magic of the season hasn’t landed in my lap just yet. I’m so glad I have this blog and that I can be honest about where I am. I pray that through my honesty others who are behind me in this journey can see the truth of our experiance. I never thought it would be this hard. I never thought things would happen the way they’ve happened. When our agency would say “timelines could lengthen” I would say…well that won’t happen to us. : ) Well it did…every time. And for the program that we went into being slated as the most predictable and stable for 50 years things for us didn’t end up being predictable at all. I still love our program and our agency but things have been shaken up and steps that use to be cut and dry are no longer and well that’s the world of international adoption..ever changing.

 On top of just wanting my son home I’m really struggling this year more than ever with commercialized Christmas. I mean truly, truly struggling. I may write a post about it but I may not…so controversial (which is not really me). I know that the Lord is working on me through this. I wish things were different but I think those two things combined have kept me from jumping full swing into everything Christmas this year.

So, now that I’ve strayed very far from my original intent of this post : ) I’ll just end by saying this to my son. Maddox, baby if you ever read this I want you to know how I beg the Lord to bring you home every day. He knows what’s best for you though and this Christmas He has you in Korea with a family who absolutely adores you, the only family you know as your own.  And really how can I take that away from them. While my heart aches to hold you in my arms their hearts are aching as their time with you is quickly coming to a close. I know you are loved and being cared for in their home just as well as you could be here and that’s going to have to be enough. I love you baby boy, more than could ever seem possible for a son I’ve never met and I pray you enjoy every moment of your time left with your foster family. Happy 17 months, Jeong-hwan.