Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2 Months Home and 11 Months Old!

Whew! The time continues to fly by! I am happy to report that Zoey is doing well and such an active baby! She is still working on getting those six teeth popped all the way out and is biting everything, including us! And it hurts if she catches you! She is comfortable roaming all around the house and especially loves to get into anything she's not supposed to! She will even turn around and look at us before she does something naughty with a big smile across her face! If we tell her no, it just encourages her to continue! We just recently applied for her social security number and it should be arriving within a few weeks. Since we haven't finalized the adoption yet, it will be in her Korean name and we have to go back once she's citizen to change it. But we needed it now, so we'll just have to go back! We finally received her green card as well to prove her residency here in the states. Her balance is getting very good and we wouldn't be surprised if she was walking by her first birthday which is in just four weeks! Her hair is growing very fast and I've had to trim the back a bit to even it all out as we're trying to grow out her bangs so we can pull all that hair out of her face! She loves, loves, loves her brother and does great in the car as long as he is sitting next to her. Otherwise, the car is still a nightmare! She has decided she does not like baths again, whether we do it in the kitchen sink or with brother in the tub. She just plain doesn't like it! We continue to try and find foods she'll eat regularly as she still refuses to eat anything that comes out of a baby jar. We frequent the Korean market to stock up on her favorite snacks. She is still trying to sleep through the night consistently, we hope she figures that one out soon! She has discovered the bunny Lizzie and comes in the office to greet her everyday. She loves to badger the dogs too and squeals with delight when they let her. She is recognizing now who we are, though is not yet addressing us by any particular name yet! The talking has not quite started! I could go on and on about this wonderful little girl, but I'll stop by saying we love her with all our hearts and feel so blessed to have her! Though she's only been home two months, we feel like it's been forever!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Familes are Forever

All seven grandchildren from left to right - Riley (my sister's oldest) holding Zoey, Eddie (my sister's youngest), Emma (my brother's youngest), Spencer (my sister's oldest boy), Braedan and Christopher (my brother's oldest)
My precious girl!

My handsome red-headed boy!

My proud parents with all the grandchildren!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

8 Weeks Home, 3 Steps and a Two Hour Nap!

Well, the title sums up our day today! But to elaborate...we can't believe we hit our 8 week mark today! Zoey celebrated with a TWO hour nap this afternoon! This is big because she doesn't sleep much for me during the day! Ususally an hour and fifteen minutes is awesome! I was able to actually get some things done around the house! We went over to chat with my parents (and eat dinner, of course!) and she pulled up on my legs and walked THREE steps on her own to the end table!!!! She has been pulling up on furniture since arriving home and has more recently taken a step but not before grabbing onto something near by. So we were thrilled to see this today! I have a feeling she'll be walking at her first birthday later next month! Way to go Zoey!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two Families, One Boy, Much Love

As some of you may know, last November, Danny and I requested a file from the photolisting of the Waiting Child Program through Holt International, which finds homes for children who have special needs and/or medical conditions. We knew this would bring a referral much faster than the standard program and knew we could love a child no matter what the circumstances. And, though they tell you not to, we fell in love with him right away and felt he would make a wonderful addition to our family. We called Holt to let them know we would like to proceed with the adoption, but was informed that another family was also interested and we would have to go to committee for the final decision. After what seemed like an eternity, though it was only three weeks, we waited by our phone on the day of committee. We were devastated when we got the call and were told that the other family had been chosen. It didn't help that all three of us had been down with flu the entire week.

But we were thrilled to know that this little boy had found his forever family. It was the very next day that we received a phone call from the same social worker to let us know we had been matched with our Zoey. Had we not gone to committee for this little boy, our paperwork would be no where near ready to accept a referral from the program and our homestudy had just been completed that day, so the committee would have it to review. We realized that precious Hui-Seung had lead us to our baby girl. And now two children have found their forever families.

Just a few months later, through the Holt Forum, where adoptive families from all over the world can support one another and share in our journey's, I found the "other family". And for the past several months, we have been in contact and developed what I hope to be a long time friendship! What a blessing it is to have this wonderful family in our lives! As we approach our two month mark since Zoey arrived home, Beth and her family just received the "Travel Call" today! Now named Micah, Hui-Seung will be home forever next Tuesday, June 30! We could not be happier for them and think they have done such a great job waiting this excrutiating last six months! He and Zoey will have the same "Gotcha Day" just two months apart! We wish them the best and pray for a quick and smooth transition to a family of four!

And the biggest blessing of all is being able to now watch Micah grow up! He just recently turned 18 months old and is doing very well! The last picture Beth and her family received was this one taken several months ago! So they are excited to see him in person as I'm sure he has changed so much!

To Beth and her family, thank you for letting us be a part of your journey! We are two families, joined together by one boy, with much love for him! Happy soon to be Gotcha Day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another package from Holt!!

Yet another package arrived in the mail, this time containing a small box with Zoey's little umbilical cord that was attached to her belly button! Maybe weird to some, but I think it is something very neat to have! The best part was a journal filled with entries from her first foster family in the city she was born! While it is all in Korean and I have yet to have it translated, the dates range from her date of birth, July 31, 2008 all the way till November 12, when she was transferred to her final foster home before I picked her up. I'm already thrilled and I have no idea what it even says!

I just cannot say enough good things about these wonderful familes giving so selflessly to these children. I have often wondered about this first foster family as it has been months since they have seen Zoey and I wondered if they knew she had found her family. We do know that it was a young couple with a elementary school aged son, and we hope that since this journal was now sent to us, they now know she is with her forever family.

We are eternally grateful to these two wonderful families who took such wonderful care of our precious Seon-Mi. To both of them, thank you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Our blog has been a bit quiet this week! We have been spending time with family! My brother, sister-in-law and their two children as well as my sister came in from College Station and my oldest sister and her three children, who have never met Zoey, flew in from Maryland to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday. All four children and 7 grandchildren were under one roof and we enjoyed the hot days out by the pool. We also took this opportunity to get some pictures with all the grandchildren and nana and papa. The photographer sent us a sneak peak and the beautiful photo below was one of them. Just captured such a cute moment between Zoey and her papa! Our daddy had to work all weekend unfortunately, but we want him to know what a great daddy he is and how much we love him! Happy Father's Day to all those fathers out there and a Happy 60th birthday to my dad!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A little purple box...

I used to jump for joy when anything came in the mail from Holt International, our adoption agency. It was so exciting to just have something tangible to prove our daughter was real. Even if it was just paperwork, we still felt like it could get us through the day sometimes. Now that she's home, not a whole lot comes from Holt anymore, so imagine my surprise to find a small package in our mailbox yesterday from them. Zoey and I came inside to see what it was and pulled out a letter that read, "We have received the enclosed from you child's foster family". There was a picture of Zoey and her foster mother and a little purple box. Inside was a beautiful necklace with a Korean flag charm and Seon-Mi's name and birthdate engraved on the back. I teared up remembering that as we come into our seventh week of being a family of four, Zoey's foster family mourns their seventh week without her. I remember how I literally ached for her to be home, yet I did not know her yet. I remember some days it was hard to even get out of bed to face another day without her. I can only imagine the sacrifice and love it has taken for Zoey's foster mother to say goodbye. I must realize though it is part of this process and how we will remain eternally grateful to this wonderful woman and her family.

I have never before posted her picture in an effort to protect her identity, but today's post is about honoring a woman who so selflessly gave five months to a little girl she may never see again, and loves her unconditionally, though she knew she would not have her forever. I will not leave it up but for a day or two, but thought she deserved this tribute.

The best part of it...when I handed Zoey the picture and said "Omma", she smiled and pointed at the picture. Adoption is truly a miracle.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This was definetly a picture worthy moment! I actually had time before our 8:30am church service to snap a picture with both kids dressed and sitting in the same place!

After a little fun raiding Nana and Papa's first aid cabinet, Braedan informed me he had been attacked by Megatron! (That's a Transformer, for those of you without boys!)

She loves those dogs! They just wish she was a little taller so she could reach the door handle and let them in from the triple digit heat!

No, she does NOT use a pacifier (around our house, we call them "bobo's" which means kiss in Korean), but her brother does. She found one, put it in her mouth, and laid on the floor with my Croc shoe for about twenty minutes!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our Favorite Things!

I have wanted to do this for a while and since the camera ran out of batteries, so I can't post any pictures, I thought today would be the perfect day!

Price $149.99 at Babies R Us
This is a bit of a splurge in my opinion for a high chair, but it is worth every penny! First of all, it matches our kitchen cabinets perfectly and looks like a piece of furniture! Zoey loves it and it's so comfortable, easy to clean and can be used for quite some time as it later converts into a toddler chair to sit up to the table. I would buy this again in a heartbeat!

Price $60.00 at Post Exchange Air Force Base
I must admit, I thought I could get away with not purchasing one of these, even though I had two with my son and he loved it. I actually called my mother from Korea when Zoey's foster mother said she loved hers at home! She found it for just $60 at the local PX with no tax! But you can't put a price on something thats keeps baby happy and in one place while you get that much needed trip to the bathroom!

Price $60.00 at Pottery Barn Kids
I absolutely LOVE Pottery Barn, but usually can't afford, and aren't willing to fork over the asking prices. My son's room is baseball themed all Pottery Barn Kids, not one thing did I pay full price for! Either Ebay or outlet store. Fortunately, I found this set on clearance at our local store and for the crib skirt, bumper, sheet and blanket, paid just $60 with tax! I then splurged a little and found the three circus prints for the wall online for $45 and my husband made frames. I just draped unhemmed yellow fabric at $2 per yard from the ceiling to make a tent like feel and also from the windows. All that, and she sleeps in our room!

Price $150.00 at Full Circle Baby (local store)
Okay, okay, call me crazy, but this is worth every penny and after using it, I would pay more! I have tried the Moby Wrap, which is great, but really geared towards infants as Zoey squirmed her way right out of that thing! Then we tried the Baby Bjorn, which again is great, but really puts all the weight of the baby on your shoulders and doesn't provide a whole lot of support for the baby. After several great tips from the ladies on the Holt BB, I broke down and forked over the money and couldn't be happier! All the weight really distributes on your hips and I can carry Zoey forever without any effort at all! She will even ride on my back in this as well as take cat naps at church. Today I just strapped her on my back and vacuumed the entire house, including the stairs! I have the exact print below and LOVE that Danny will wear this too! By far, this takes the cake and is my favorite product!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We've made it six weeks!!!!!

Trying to unplug the vacuum cleaner while I vacuum. One of her favorite things to do!

So proud of herself for sitting in brother's booster chair!

Just still so unbelievable to me! The wait is absolutely torturous and then poof! Baby is home and the time flies! Our girl is just doing fabulous and we have absolutely nothing to complain about! Our family was great before, but she just adds that little somthing we were missing! Braedan and Zoey get closer every day and she just shrills with delight the moment she sees him every day! She has turned into a huge chatter box and will yell at the top of her lungs just for fun! She loves to be outdoors, especially in the pool, and will take every opportunity when the gate is open, to try her best at the stairs. She is cruising around furniture like a pro and has discovered which button to push to turn off the satelite when the TV is on and gets much pleasure from doing it! She has an obsession with small holes and will stick her finger into anything big enough, including your nose and ear! She is reaching for Danny and I all the time and will cuddle, give kisses and pat our back or face. She has six teeth now and knows how to use them! If you're not careful, she'll catch some flesh! She is still dealing with a few skin issues she was having in Korea, but we're finding what works best to keep it under control and so far, it's not bothering her too much. It is a complete feeling of euphoria and it feels as though she's been here all along. Happy six weeks home to our family of four!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eventful Night at the ER...

Well, after five hours at the ER and about four hours of sleep, we're all still alive and doing well! Braedan and I took little trip to the hospital last night after he was complaining of severe stomach and back pains. He was a little "backed up" as far as digestion goes and he needed a little help. So after some x-rays revealed the culprit, he was able to get some help to move things along and is feeling so much better today. Unfortunately, we had to reschedule our first post placement visit for Friday as we didn't quite get the preparation completed that we wanted to. We're just happy that our little man is feeling better. He's had a rough last six weeks with all the changes in his life. After all the pain and agony, as we walked out of the hospital at 3am, he looked up at me and said,
"Mommy, that was fun, huh?"
I could only smile back and say,
"You know what Braedan, that was fun getting to spend all that extra alone time with you!"
What a great son I have!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Playing Catch Up!

After a bit of a blog funk from being sick, I'm playing catch up with some things I didn't get to post when they happened. First up, Braedan's last Tball game on May 30 which also included a party with his team at Peter Piper Pizza and his very first trophy!

Braedan attends a Kids Day Out Program and because of Swine Flu delays, he just ended the year on June 4. He adores his teacher and this program helped him learn so much! He also received a special award..."For Excellence in the Martial Arts". Aka - fighting with the air! It's mostly when he's pretending to be a Transformer!He does this at home so it's no surprise, just very funny to hear he does it at school too!

And of course, an update on our girl! She's teething! In the nearly six weeks we've been home, she's popped up four new teeth! Needless to say, she's had a little trouble sleeping and the drool is just unstoppable! But she's still in good spirits and we're looking forward to spending time with out town family next week that hasn't seen her since her homecoming!

Here she is at her first "restaurant" outing! We have never taken her out to dinner so she's never sat in a high chair but her own, but loved it at Brother's Tball party!

Our house is cluttered with toys, but she has an obsession with Croc sandles and will find whatever pair is left out and stick her fingers in the holes!

You can't be in our family if you don't own some sort of Houston Astros gear! We bought this hat before she came home and had yet to try it on her!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Got Pepto?

Well, the last few days has been full of illness around here, but we'll spare you the gory details. Fortunately, I'm feeling much better today, but can't say the same for Danny. But, more importantly, the kids seem to be doing fine and no sickness in either one - yet! Let's hope it stays that way.

Just wanted to give a quick update with a cute video and picture below!

Shirtless dinner...Zoey was making a mess feeding herself so we decided to take her shirt off in an effort to preserve her clothes. Of course, Braedan didn't want to miss out on any of the fun, so he insisted we take his shirt off as well!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beautiful Face...

This morning, while getting ready for school, Brother looked at Zoey and said, "Mommy, her face is beautiful!" Those are the moments when a mommy feels it's all so worth it! I am so blessed to have him as a son. He has done remarkably well considering he was an only child (and a very spoiled one, at that!) for four years and has been such a trooper with all the changes we have made recently in his life. Don't get me wrong, he still acts like a four year old!! But he so loves his sister and told me the other day he can't wait till she can talk and walk so they can run and play together! (Really, I think he wants her to be able to wrestle with him!) And she equally loves him. Every time we walk to his door, right before I open it, she gets a huge smile on her face, flaps her arms excitedly, and giggles out loud! This just started in the last week or so and she does it every time!

I snapped this picture at Braedan's last Tball game this past Saturday...