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Happy Lunar New Year, Everyone! This is the year of the Dragon. : ) Did you know that in Korea age is counted by the passing of the Lunar New Year. At birth you are considered 1 year old and you age 1 year ever Lunar New Year. So, Maddox turns 3 years old today even though by American age he is only 18 months. Below is a great video explaining what Lunar New Year (Seollal) is all about.

 

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January WBC and 11 months

 Friday we received Maddox’s January check up from our agency. I do realize nobody really cares about all these little details but I like to keep track of them here. : )

Here are a few highlights:

~ He weighs 24 lbs

~ It was noted that he is not active. I giggled at this. Not one person would describe either of my older to this way. Aw, my little laid back baby! He is in for a big surprise with his big sister and brother!

~ Walk, walks backwards, throws a ball, steps up stairs with assistance

~ Has 15 teeth!

~towers cubes, scribbles, plays pat a cake, waves bye

~ No new words this month. He is saving all his talking for his mama. ; )

~ For several months he has been lagging behind developmentally but this month we are happy to see he is catching up! YAY!

~ At the bottom it is noted that his foster mother will begin working with him to identify his body parts, drink from a cup, and use a fork and spoon. : )

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Today just so happens to mark 11 months since we opened that email and saw our sweet boy’s face for the 1st time. What a whirlwind. We are praying,praying,praying that the one year mark at least sees him having being submitted for his EP.

I mailed off the biggest care package in history today. I blogged it’s contents here. After that post I squeezed everything into ziplock bags, labeled them, and went in search of a box that would fit it all. A small packing box did the trip. And it’s off…can’t wait to hopefully get a picture of our guy with it next month.

Let’s get Simon Home!

       

       Back in September our adoption agency, Holt International, blogged about a very special little guy named “Hayden”. I  knew this precious face because he was listed on the same photolisting as our Maddox. He has been waiting on his family to find him for 5 years. I have always thought he was a doll but it was that blog that put finding “Hayden” a family on the top of my radar. I made a commitment at the time that when we traveled to Korea that I would meet this sweet boy and find everything about him that I possibly could so that when I returned home I could advocate for him. I’m talking pictures, videos, interrogating his care givers ; ), anything I could get! So began lots of prayer and tears over this cutie. It was very clear to me that this is what the Lord was asking me to do. Find him, love on him, and help him find his forever family.

http://holtinternational.org/blog/2011/09/taking-the-next-step/

 Fast forward to a little over a month ago when I received a facebook friend request and a message. I opened the message and before I could get through two sentences I was in complete hysterics. This woman, not even knowing my tender heart for this little guy, had heard that I was going to visit his orphanage (which is really much more than that but lack of a better explanation I’ll use that term) and wanted to know if I would seek “Hayden” out and find out any information I could about him. She believed that the Lord has called her to be his mama. I was literally speechless. Crying. Squealing. Over the top crazy.

 God is so good! SO, long story short I told her that this was already my plan and that I would be honored to do this for her. There are many, many children living there and yet the Lord connected the two of us. What are the chances?

Fast forward another month and her family has been officially matched with “Hayden” who is now Simon. Oh, I love that name! When I look into his sweet face it just feels right. Simon has a family! Praise the Lord.

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” ~ Matthew 16:7

 Now here is where YOU can help! I’m asking if you would be willing to give up Starbucks or a lunch out for ONE day and donate what you would spend there to help this little boy come home! He has a mom and dad. He has lots of brothers and sisters! He has EVERYTHING he needs if we can just all rally together and help his parents raise the funding to bring their son home!

Will you consider helping?

” Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ~ James 1:27

 I don’t believe every family is called to adopt but I do believe one way that we can live out James 1:27 in our lives is to help families who are called. Let’s stand in the gap for sweet Simon!

Just yesterday a donor has stepped forward and is willing to MATCH every donation that is earned up to $5k! Join us as we rally to bring Simon home! I promise you are not going to want to miss out on what God is going to do here! Click below to donate..GO! : )  http://www.acharityproject.com/f/5for5yearoldSimon

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Follow Tracy as she journeys to Simon on her blog (http://astepinfaith.wordpress.com/). You can see her huge heart for the orphan and her passion for her son. She also has several other fundraisers listed that you might be interested in!

Tell Me About Yourself ~ Blog award

So, it seems as though I have been bestowed a blog award. Well how about that. Ha! IT sounds like fun so here it goes.

The rules:
1. Thank the person(s) who gave this award to you.
2. List 7 things that people may not know about you.
3. Pass it on to 15 other bloggers (I did 10)
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1.  I’d like to thank, Jaclyn (who blogs here). Jaclyn and I “met” right after we were both matched with our sweet Korean cuties! Bonus is that she lives in the same state as I do and I look forward to many, many playdates with our two boys! When Jaclyn traveled to bring her son, Mason home she was SO gracious and took over a care package to Maddox. : ) Jaclyn, thanks for always being a great encourager and cheerleader through our adoption process! I love your blog and hearing about all things Mason! He is such a doll!

I also need to thank my  friend, April. Love this girl! We bonded over chewy spree and it was no turning back from there. I have no doubt if we lived closer to one another we would be great friends! How about that vacation to the beach, April?? This summer would be a great time for a visit. : ) Griffin, Kinley, Reagan, Dawson AND Maddox..whew, now that would be fun!

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 Ok, so 7 things people may not know about me:

 1. I have a fear of elevators. Not a little, take a deep breath, suck it up and get on and ride type fear either… I do not get on elevators. IF I do I will have a panic attack and it’s possible I could die. ; ) I have walked up 25+ stories to avoid an elevator…it’s serious.

2. I’m a wanna be organizer. In my mind I have grand plans for a home that is organized from top to bottom. Everything has a place. Everything is labeled. I’m actually pretty decent at keeping things organized it’s the little people who live in my home that keep me from staying on top of these things…. that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

3. I do not eat Ketchup, marinara sauce, or mayonnaise. They are all super gross..ick. I love mustard though and would put it on about anything. I eat my fries plain. Why mess with perfection?

4. I’m seriously going to regret typing this but in high school I was a cheerleader…and I had my tongue pierced. (shaking my head…and hoping my children never read this). I was a terrible cheerleader by the way. Ha! Moving on..

5. If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be married with 3 children I would have laughed in your face. And on top of that never in my life did I imagine that I would be a stay at home mom, adopt, drive a minivan!?!? Shut your mouth.. and I wouldn’t have it ANY other way.

6. I don’t like the beach. Gasp. I mean I like the idea of the beach. Surf, sand, and sun but the reality is sticky, sandy, and hot. I go…because my husband and kids love it but I’m not a beach lover. I don’t even really like to “sun bathe” . What? It’s hot and bright…and you get all gross. Sorry, just not a fan.

7. I’ve always wanted to play soccer which is hilarious because I lack basic coordination. Neither High school that I went to had a soccer team and I grew up in the country (like down a long dirt road, surrounded by acres of land, and 15 minutes to the closest town which only had a caution light type of country) so my soccer options were limited. I REALLY hope one of my kids like to play soccer. I’ve given up hope for the oldest. Here is why: She is the 3rd to the left…please notice the pose.


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Ok, so passing I’m passing on this award to:

1) Jessica

2)Katie

3)Karen

4)Michelle

5)Kelly

6) Christie

7)Melissa

8) K-leigh

9) Kelly

10) Jen

~January Care Package~

 Remember back in November when I wrote this and I said that I would not be sending anymore care packages…yeah well I was wrong. : )

It seems, as has been common in everything for this entire process, we will not be going to Korea as soon as we have planned.

 The Ministry has decided not to process any EP’s in the month of January…and no word has been given on if they will restart in February. So, all hopes of traveling next month or really even in March have been dashed. The latest from our agency is that we “should” be home by his second birthday…which is in July.

Not a whole lot to say about that.

So, with that being said I put together another package. Sadly, this package was the hardest of them all. The reason being that all the outfits I sent were already folded and packed away in his suitcase for us to take to Korea. Yep, the outfits we planned to bring him home in. Sadly, I don’t think when we get there it will be winter anymore and what’s the point of keeping them here when he will likely never be able to wear them.

 

This time,I didn’t even limit myself to a priority flat rate box. I just gathered up everything I wanted to include and found a box that will fit. I definitely need to make sure I put in a reusable shopping tote for his foster mom because…it’s a LOT of stuff. My usual restraint went right out the window.

I included:

~ Almond Rocca & Starbucks Via packets for the Foster Family

Clothing-
~ 3 one piece outfits
~ A button up shirt and some dark washed denim jeans
~ A super cute pair of navy shoes with orange details
~ An owl hat that my sister, Jenny, got for him.
~ A striped hat with the ear flaps on the side
~ A thick fleece jacket

For toys:
~ A green ball
~ Fisher Price Click n’ Learn Remote
~ Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Activity puzzle
~ A stuffed puppy that says “I love you” and I sprayed it with a little bit of my perfume. 🙂
~A Little Golden book 1st Bible

Other:
~A family photo from Christmas in a magnetic frame
~A Valentine’s card that talks and sings
~A Flash drive with a video tour of our house and a short clip of the kids and our family

I’m pretty happy with the things I put together and it definitely was therapeutic.

I posted on Facebook over the weekend that Laughter and Jesus are the two things that will always get you through. So true. My parents came up and ran off with the kids for the weekend. David and I had no plans really but ended up having the most amazing weekend. I truly cannot imagine being married to a man that is more of a perfect fit for me than he is! We laughed, and laughed, and laughed…and we never really did anything that anyone would call remarkably special but it was just a fun, relaxing weekend. Good for my soul!

This week I’m going to try to finish up the nursery/toddler room (sigh) and hopefully post a few pictures of it. I’m working on a few crafty projects that are a little more difficult than I typically attempt.oh Pinterest! ; ) We’ll see how it turns out!

IF you think of it please pray for all the families caught in this backlog. If you’ve ever waiting on something day after day after day and not gotten news than you can somewhat imagine what this feels like. January was what we were all told to wait for…and it was tough but we did it. Now, we don’t even know what we are waiting for. It gets more and more discouraging as each day closes with no news. My friend, Jen, wrote a blog that really sums up things. She compares it to being on a raft in the middle of the ocean. We are ALL just ready to get off of our raft and hold our babies. Here is the link: http://corascominghome.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/dear-friends-of-my-adoption-friends/

Now, I’m off to hang out with a my crew. My sweets is off today and I’m going to make him act out a Korean Children’s song! Baha! He is a good sport! Dawson will also being doing his rendition of “Little Bunny Foo Foo”…  Do your kids sing this song? At the end he says the fairy is going to turn Bunny Foo Foo into a Spicy Meatball? It’s seriously the funniest thing EVER!

 Maybe I’ll post a clip? ; )

 

~ Happy 18 months Maddox~

Today our baby is 18 months old.

I miss him. Crazy, right? Since we’ve never met. But it’s true. A heart wrenching, pit in the stomach, longing that you just can’t shake. Not an hour, sometimes minute goes by that I don’t wonder what he’s doing.

In the midst of morning chaos with cereal bowls to fill, and little heads bobbing into their seats for breakfast I remember that we are short one bowl of cheerios.

When I load the car and glance into the rear view mirror, I see two sets of eyes reflecting back at me when there should be three. One sparkling blue, and two chestnut brown… and no matter what the morning rush is that day my heart sinks every time.

On days like today where one is at school and the other is home I listen in on the sounds coming from his room. Blocks, and robots, and dinosaur adventures and I think how that noise should be multiplied. How I should be calling to them to “play nicely” and peeping around the corner to exclaim how amazing their block tower is just as the littlest knocks it over. Instead there is just one little voice. One little voice who longs for his brother.

After dinner, and baths, and stories when they are all snuggled up in their beds they pray. Every night our son prays that his brother will come home soon and I often wonder if in his 3 year old mind he really even understands the concept. He has been praying it so long that I question whether it has become second nature to him…as mundane as brushing his teeth.

My daughter’s prayers are enough to make a grown man cry. I’ve seen it happen. She prays for each of us, right down the list. Then she adds “God, I want my brother to come home. Mama said I couldn’t feed him a bottle anymore because he will be too big. But last year she said I could. What is taking so long? Will he ever come to live with us? We miss him!” Sometimes when I let my mind wander off into the dark places I ask myself those same things. Then she prays for his foster family. That they love him a lot and that they take care of him. She longs for him just like we do.

The latest news from other Korean agencies is that the ministry has asked them to hold off on submitting EP’s “right now”. The “right now” is an undisclosed amount of time. I feel like I say this a lot but that has never happened before. Most years the 1st submission of the year happens on the first business day of the year. It’s January 12th…and nothing. No movement at all. Our agency has not informed us of this so we haven’t heard anything official but we wonder….

When we were first matched last year we were praying he would be home by his first birthday in July. Now, we are just praying he will be home by his 2nd.

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day ~Habukkuk 2:3

When I find myself so frustrated at people, and governments and this whole process I have to remind myself how fleshly that is. What makes me believe that I get to decide in this? What makes me believe that my timing is better than God’s timing? Flesh,and sin, and doubt. The minute I take my eyes off of Him the floodgates open and my mind is filled with all of it. God doesn’t want that! He doesn’t want me to try to figure out every detail. He doesn’t want me to try to use the past to figure out what the Korean gov’mt will do in the future. His word clearly says,
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

He doesn’t want me to try to figure this all out with “head knowledge”. He wants me to live by discernment – revelation knowledge. I can only imagine Him looking down at me and thinking, “Oh, sweet thing. You are so clueless. Just take a deep breath. You are never going to figure this out. Just TRUST me!”

Trusting God means that even though I have no idea HOW He is going to accomplish it I know that He WILL . So, I have to say, “God, I can’t figure this out so I’m going to trust you to give me a revelation to get me through this and I’m going to step out of the driver seat.” So, today…that is what I’m doing. For far,far too long I’ve tried to analyze and control every variable of this situation and it’s caused me nothing but worry and anxiety. From now on out, I’m letting Him take over and listening closely to see what He has for me in this wait. I don’t want to miss what He is trying to teach me.

A fellow adoptive mama who is in the very same place in this wait we are in shared this from a devotional she read today:

 “Trust me by relinquishing control into My hands. Let go, and recognize that I am God. This is My world: I made it and I control it. Your is a responsive part in the litany of Love…

When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Me you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on My presence and My promises.” ~ Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

“You will keep in perfect peace  those whose minds are steadfast,  because they trust in you.”~ Isaiah 26:3

   Happy 18 Months, Maddox Jeong-hwan! We love you and we trust God’s perfect plan to unite our family. We hope your day is filled with much happiness and that soon we can be there with you. All our love from across the ocean.

 

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Waiting here for You

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If faith can move can move a mountain then let the mountain move.

We come with expectation
Waiting here for you

You are everything you promised
Your faithfulness is true

We are desperate for your presence
All we need is You

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s You we adore

Singing alleluia

We will wait for you Lord
To walk in step with you Jesus

Waiting here for You.

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“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

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Clinging to His promises as we wait.

Happy New Year

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Maddox is excited about the New Year!! And why wouldn’t he be!?!? It’s official 2012 is here and Korea’s Emigration Permit quota has been reset! Now THAT is something to celebrate!

Our baby boy is now officially waiting to be submitted for his permit and we hope we will be notified of this very soon. We are hoping that will happen this week but it could still be weeks away.

Please join our family in praying that these last few pieces of paperwork are completed quickly and efficiently and that we will be given travel approval soon. We also ask that you pray for the Lord to prepare Maddox’s heart for this transition. It’s not going to be easy and although we are prepared (as best as we know how to be) he at 17 months can’t understand what will be happening. He needs to be surrounded in pray over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me!!

Much love to each of you in this New Year. I pray 2012 brings joy and peace to you and your family!

Tracey