As time passes

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption, everyday, kids, life

A new friend encouraged and inspired me to write this update. It was such a God thing to have sat next to her today in MOP’s. I thank the Lord for His provisions in my life. He truly provided an angel to get me through another day.  

I am hopeful that very soon we will get our court dates. Then we will finally be able to take our first of 2 trips to Korea. In the meantime we have realized that we will miss being with Josiah for his second birthday. I recall saying that if I don’t have him in my arms by the time he’s 2, I don’t know how I will function. The realization of this coming true is totally eating away at me.  

So here’s the thing. You know how you hear about a horrible situation someone went through but then the person is talking so calmly about it and thanking the Lord for it and seems so strong and put together? You draw strength from them, right? You say, “Wow, they are amazing.  How are they able to do that?” Right?  I have done it plenty of times.  

I think I may be coming to an understanding about that. It’s not them.

Seriously, it’s God who has carried them through, and is carrying them now, and will continue to carry them as long as they ask. I know this because that is the only way I am functioning right now.  

If it were up to me I would sit on the couch and eat snacks and watch bad TV movies. But God has given me these great kids, who are filled with His love and they need me.  What’s more, they want me.  So I pray and Jesus comes and carries me through yet another playtime.  I have students who are smart and want to learn what I have to teach them. So I pray and God gives me more steps to teach and new dances for them and I make it through another class. I have a loving, understanding, patient husband who gives me grace daily, more than I could possibly deserve.  To be completely truthful, I cry.  A lot!  and Jesus sits with me and holds my hand.  

So I can say with confidence that I will function past Josiah’s 2nd birthday. But just be aware. It’s not because I am so strong. It’s not because of me at all. I am a mess on the floor in the fetal position. If you see me functioning it’s because that day you met Jesus as HE was carrying me through whatever I was doing at the time.  

Thank You Jesus!!!

 

Elijah got baptized!

Written by Shawn on . Posted in kids, life

ElijahBaptism_webWe are so proud of Elijah taking this public step in following Jesus! As a dad, it so much joy for your son tell you he wants to be baptized. We are excited about the ways God is going to use Elijah in his life. Below is the testimony that he wrote.

Hi, my name is Elijah. I’m 7 years old. I believe the words of the song we sing in Kids! Praise – Jesus is better than the best thing! I love God and that’s why, when I was 5, I asked Jesus into my heart with my mom. I am learning that God can do anything. I want everyone to know how awesome God is and that’s why I’m being baptized today.

Disney Trip

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

We are back from Disney World and we had a magical time. This trip was of course totally exhausting but I think well worth it. So many memories were made and we are already thinking of when we will go back for Josiah’s 4th Birthday.

Some of you have expressed interest in what our itinerary was. Let me warn you, this trip is not for the faint of heart. We love to see and do it all, and tried our best to get every penny of our money’s worth. So use this information as you wish. Some things I already know I will change for the next trip.

We did four parks in four days and used the fast pass system as well as we could. We did not pay extra for park hopper tickets, so we did everything we could each day at one park. We also got a free dining plan when we booked our trip which they seem to offer a couple of times a year. I don’t think I would do it any other way. Having the dining plan made it so simple and worry free. I wasn’t comparing prices to decide what to eat, I just got what I wanted and if the kids didn’t finish, oh well. Such a good thing, even if we have to pay next time.

I recommend you get familiar with the layout of the parks. We looked at the Disney website and bought Fodor’s Walt Disney World with Kids 2013 which had a lot of good tips. You will feel more apt to handle traveling around the parks. At each park we got a map and schedule first thing to see where things were and what special character meetings or shows there were, then we arranged our day from there.

Day one was Animal Kingdom. We left the hotel at 8am to be at the park at 8:30am because they will take your ticket and let you enter at 8:45am even though the official open time was 9am. Then they drop the ropes inside at 9am and you are free to dash off to whatever. We went to the back of the park for the Safari and saw a ton of animals because it was early and still pretty cool out.  So fun! Then Elijah and Shawn went to ride 

Everest while Naomi and I went to get fast passes to Dinosoaur and meet Pooh, Tigger and Eyore. We met back up and rode Triceratops Spin, then split with Elijah and I going to the PrimevalWhirl while Naomi and Shawn played in the Boneyard playground. We went from there to the Nemo show, I highly recommend it. We went back to use our fast pass on Dinosaur but it was broken down and remained that way the rest of the day, bummer. So we had lunch at Pizzafari. Then went walking on the Pangini Trail and the Maharaji Trail. Next we saw the Lion King show, another must see! After that we met Pocahontas and took the wildlife train to Rafiki’s petting zoo, we headed back to the hotel. Despite the cold temps the kids wanted to swim so we did that for about half an hour and then booked it to Downtown Disney to have dinner at the T-Rex Restaurant. We were back at the hotel by 10pm. Animal Kingdom is the only park that really doesn’t need a full day.

Day two was at Hollywood Studios. We had 7am reservations for Chef Mickey so we drove ourselves that day. It was extra magic hours for Hollywood, but because of our breakfast we didn’t get there until 8:30am, half an hour after it opened. We went directly to the NBC studio offices, behind American Idol, and signed up Elijah for the Jedi Training show. He had to be there with me to sign him up and despite being there early he didn’t get into a show until 4:10pm. So if you want to do this, get there fast! This park is not as easy to do everything. There are a ton of shows with specific times so you really have to look at the schedule and plan it out. After the Jedi sign up, Shawn took the kids to meet Chip and Dale while I got Fast passes for Toy Story, those go super fast, we got them at 9am for times around noon, so do that early too. Then we saw the Little Mermaid show, walked across the park to do Star Tours, went back for the Disney Jr. show (Sofia, Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates), saw the Indiana Jones show and then met the Army Men on the way to do the Toy Story ride. We got another fast pass for the Toy Story ride because we love it so much, it was for 7:30pm.  We went to Pizza Planet for lunch and then saw the Muppet Show, the Backlot Tour and the Beauty and the Beast Show, where I saw an old dance partner of mine. So cool! Elijah and I then booked it over to his Jedi Training show orientation. While he was trained, Naomi and I shopped a little. We all watched his show then took in the Great Movie ride and had the kids play on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. We had 5:45pm reservations at the Sci-fi Drive in restaurant and then went to our second time on Toy Story. Lastly, we saw a new Jack Sparrow show, which wasn’t really worth it. Originally, we were going to see Fantasmic, but we were tired and it was pretty cold so even though we were there when it started, we just went back to the hotel and crashed.

Day three was at Epcot. We did the same schedule as day one and were there by 8:30am for the 9am opening. We went directly to Soarin’ and had no wait. I then ran to get a Fast pass to the test track while Shawn took the kids to get in line for the Nemo ride. I made it back just as they were entering. We explored The Seas area and saw the Talk with Crush, highly recommended and very cute. Next we all went to Figments Journey to Imagination before Elijah and I headed to the Test Track and Shawn and Naomi explored Innoventions. We went back to The Land area for lunch and then explored Planet Earth. It was finally time for the countries, where we got a fast pass for Norway’s Maelstrom, went to Mexico’s 3 Caballeros ride, then went back to use our Fast pass. We then went to be the first in line to meet Mulan in China, grabbed a snack in Germany at the chocolate caramel shop and waited in line to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. We walked the rest of the way around the countries and saw the Captain E-O Show before going back to China for dinner. By that time we were freezing, it was 45 degrees, so we went to the big Mickey store and looked around, read books and shopped until the Illuminations show. We were back at the hotel about 10:30pm. Illuminations is Shawn’s favorite fireworks show out of any of them.

Our last day was at Magic Kingdom. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this last because we were tired but it was Naomi’s actual birthday and that was the only time we could get a reservation for Cinderella’s Castle. We again got there at 8:30am and were ready for the mad dash to the back of the park for the new Fantasyland. We started with the Ariel ride and then had to bypass Belles’ Story time because it was closed for a while. Instead we met up with my old friend Eric, who was in the Beauty Show, and went to Peter Pan, Small World, got fast passes for Pooh which gave us bonus fast passes for Mickey’s Philharmonic, and rode the Carousel. We said goodbye to Eric who had to go back to work, and went to use our fast passes. Then I rode the tea cups with the kids, and we got in the long line for Dumbo while Shawn got fast passes for the Barnstormer. The new Dumbo has a waiting area where you get a pager and the kids play on a playground, then you get paged when you have to go back to the line. A new concept for the long wait. After Dumbo, we used our fast pass for Barnstormer and then Shawn went to get fast passes for Space Mountain and met us at Cosmic Rays for lunch.

After lunch is when things got a little screwy. We drove on the Speedway and then tried to go to Monsters Inc. but it was shut down. So we went to the Stitch Show, which is not worth the wait.  Then we got fast passes for the Buzz Ride and Elijah and I went on Astro Orbiter while Naomi and Shawn went on the People Mover, which broke down for a few minutes while they were on it. Then we went to the Monsters Inc. show to only get seated and be told it wasn’t working again, they did give us 4 fast passes to be used anywhere, we should have taken that as a sign to get out of Tomorrowland. Instead, we headed off to use our Buzz fast passes and then Shawn and Elijah rode Space Mountain, to be followed by me and Elijah riding it again. Only this time Space Mountain broke down with us on it as well, so Shawn and Naomi decided to go on the People mover again which broke down while they were on it. After all the glitches we still took in the Monsters Inc. Show because Elijah wanted to hear his joke that he entered in the show. Needless to say, we spent way too long in Tomorrowland.  We did get out of there and used our bonus fast passes on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and then headed to The Pirates of the Caribbean ride and Aladdin ride before going to Dinner with Cinderella. We went and checked in, stood in line for our picture and Naomi was jumping up and down with excitement. She was dressed as Cinderella and looked so cute!  She not only had her picture taken, but also took some time when no kids were checking in to chat with Cinderella about her dresses and shoes and other things. Adorable! Then we decided to check on why we had been waiting for 45 minutes to be seated only to find out they had lost our name so they sent us right in. Of course I was so tired and crazed by all that had been going wrong that I broke down and the manager came over. We explained how long we waited and that no one even said they were sorry and he set out to help us. We finished dinner, met all the princesses and the the manager came back and gave us all free mickey mouse ears and said our meal would be free. We were on the dining plan so it didn’t really matter, and it was our last night or I think he would have done more for us, but it was nice that they he tried to help. So after all the mishaps of the day, we missed the fireworks but did make it out for the light parade. Naomi fell asleep halfway through, but loved what she saw.  Then Elijah fell asleep right after as I finished up the last of our shopping and we were back to the hotel by 11pm.

It sounds crazy when I write it all out, but I really just picked a few key things I wanted to do and went from there each day. I have little moments that are coming back to me each day. Like Naomi and I skipping through Hollywood Studios to the Laverne and Shirley theme song, or Elijah and Naomi talking about how the dinosaurs in the T-Rex restaurant were looking right at them and having conversations with them. Or even at Cinderella’s Castle how they both were closing their eyes and making a wish during the wish on a star song. They were so into the magic of Disney World.  It really was a great time!  I recommend it.

Rebecca

Josiah’s 1st Birthday!

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption, kids

Yes! As a way of celebrating our son’s first birthday without him, we are choosing to announce his name, Josiah. Now you can pray for him by name. I have great joy and great sadness writing this post. I feel blessed to have gotten a referral for a child. We know he is healthy and developing well. His foster family, from what we can tell, is loving him well. So thankful for all of this. I think that is why I am hesitant to say anything about the sadness. But I am nothing if not honest. Sad is what I am feeling at the thought of not having my son with me to celebrate his first birthday. Plus all that goes along with that. Not being with him for all of the developing that is going on throughout his first year. I think also, having no idea when he will be home is taking its toll at a milestone like this. We talk with the kids about their brother having his birthday and they ask “when will we see him?” and I have no answer. Tough. For a little history, we started the adoption process on Nov. 21, 2010. Elijah’s 5th birthday. He is now 7. When we started they said that we would probably get a 9 month to one year old. How time has changed things immensely. Now they say we will be lucky to get our son home by 18 months, more likely close to two years old. I just have to adjust my expectations. This birthday officially marks that adjustment. It doesn’t come easy but I am trying to shift my thoughts and prayers to adjust to God’s timing. I don’t doubt He knows best, just having trouble getting my heart to come along. This is how things stand right now. There were new adoption laws put into place in August. Since then only 3 families have been submitted to the Ministry for adoption approval. This used to take about 20 days from submission to approval. Those first three families took 2 months. Plus it used to be just 2 weeks from approval to being able to travel to go and pick up. Now the new laws have added a step that means going to the courts and getting finalization of adoption before traveling. We have no idea how much time this will add to the wait. Maybe two months? Not sure until it happens with these first three families. To sum up, no families have travelled since this new law in August! We are waiting indefinitely. Needless to say, prayer in any way about any of this would be greatly appreciated. On a much lighter note, we are able to spend Josiah’s birthday driving to Disney World. We are going for Naomi’s 4th birthday, just as we did for Elijah’s 4th. God’s timing has placed the two birthdays close enough together that I can be distracted from my sadness to celebrate Naomi’s joy. She is so excited to meet all the princesses. We are having dinner with Cinderella at her castle on Naomi’s birthday! Can’t get better than that. So there really are so many reasons to praise God. I choose to focus on those. Rebecca

It’s a boy!

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption, everyday, kids

Yes, it has happened, we got a referral!

A little boy born Feb. 28th.  He is healthy and sooo cute!  We got his story, we know a bit about his birth parents and their history. We know that he is living in Seoul with a foster family until we can go pick him up. We got pictures of him at birth and then of him now.  Unfortunately we can’t share any of that publicly, but rest assured when he gets home there will be so many shots of him that you will get sick of it.

Needless to say, we are super excited.  Our baby will turn 1 right before Naomi turns 4, which puts all the kids 3 years apart.  I think a great spacing.  His foster family seems to be feeding him well because he is cute and chubby.  He was sitting in a bumbo seat laughing and chewing on his fist. Seriously, so cute. We only waited nine months for this referral while others have waited, and are still waiting for 2 years or more. God has blessed us. I recognize that and rejoice in that. Really we have gotten a great situation here so I feel guilty saying this but this is where it gets hard.

We have been told that the wait time before being able to go pick him up is anywhere from 6-14 months!  So I am asking any of you who is willing, to please pray. Of course, pray for our son to continue to develop and be happy and healthy.  Pray that his foster family has what they need to provide the loving environment he needs to thrive. Pray for his birth mother who will undoubtedly grieve his loss forever. But I ask that you boldly and fervently pray that he will come home quickly. God says he can do “more than we ask or imagine” so let’s ask and imagine big and see how great our God can be!!!

Why does it take so long?  So many have asked us this. Well, there is the usual stuff of needing to do all the paperwork involved in getting a visa, immigration, and health check-ups to leave the country. There are also new laws going into place that have to have everything figured out.  So at this point we really have no idea how long the wait will be.

Where we stand now is this. We have been told there are families waiting to be submitted to the Ministry that accepted a referral in January. Nine months ahead of us! They will all come first. Then, once our son is finally submitted to the Ministry, it still takes about 2 months until we can travel to pick him up.  So it is looking bleak for us!  There also were new laws passed in August that have delayed things and no one has been submitted to the Ministry since then.  The hope is it will resume soon but there are no guarantees. The people working for us in America don’t want to push too hard because S. Korea can always decide to just shut down and kids would be stuck there, never to come home to their families here. So our option is to pray!  Not a bad option, but one that takes away our control of the situation and puts it in Gods hands, and the Ministry.  Ugh!

Well, enough hard talk. Like I said, we are rejoicing! In the span of our son’s life this will be so short. We just have been getting the questions so we thought we would keep you all informed. God has blessed us with a son! We will probably share his name soon, but for now are keeping it to ourselves. As we did with our other kids. Remember pray, and then pray some more. Oooo, sooo excited! I can’t stand it!

Dance Recital

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption, Fundraising, kids

I am happy to say that my dance recital is over! Whew!

When most parents have their kids in a recital they get all excited and can’t wait to go see how cute their kids look.  This is certainly true of me, but I also have a whole other aspect to a dance recital that most parents will never experience. I don’t get to just go, sit and watch.  Oh no! I don’t even get to go and just help out my child’s class backstage, taking kids to the potty and entertaining them while they wait to dance. No way! I get to run the rehearsals, teach warm up class, line up all the kids for their dances, speak about new dance opportunities coming up at the studio to the audience during the show, and oh yeah, dance at the last minute for a dancer who got injured.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it!  Exciting!  Fun!  Exhilarating!  Artistically invigorating!  But also exhausting, dizzying and mind numbing!
I did get huge joy from watching Naomi be a Baby Doll in the Toy Shoppe. Her poofy dress with her tight little bun.  So adorable!  Never mind that she stared backwards for most of her dance looking, and eventually waving, at her brother sitting on stage behind her.  She went out there, and didn’t cry, or push anyone down.  If you know my daughter, then you know that for her, this was a success. I also felt great pride in Elijah dancing his Toy Soldier dance.  He was so precise for only being 6. Plus, he doesn’t even take class, so for the 3 rehearsals that went into the dance, he was darn near perfect!  So as a parent, I definitely got my fill from watching.  Even if it was for a quick 7 minutes in between hours of mass madness.  Thank you, to Academy of Dance Arts for putting on such a wonderful production and for making it so family friendly.  I love teaching there and knowing my kids are always welcome to come along with me.

Now I get to relax on my week off by sorting, and organizing all of our belongings in order to have our big fundraising garage sale this weekend.  Thanks to all of you who have donated items.  We will have a huge variety of items to sell.  Everything from baby/kids clothes and toys, to furniture, electronics, and antiques.  As some of you saw we even have a real, working, old fashioned coke machine that is from when coke was first invented, I think!!!  Anyhow, a bunch of things.   And because it is a fundraiser for our adoption, we welcome any donations, if you can’t find something you were missing all your life at our sale. Come out this Friday and Saturday 9am-6pm.  Or until it’s all gone…….

Spring Break

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption, everyday, Fundraising, kids

It seems like Spring Break has become such a huge thing.  From what I remember, we never took a Spring Break trip my entire childhood.  Maybe we went to visit family or something but I know for sure there were no trips to the beach or big week long extravaganzas.  Now it seems everyone takes a huge trip.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly see a reason, or should I say need for it.  I could really use a break right now.  A getaway from life would be wonderful.  I also see the need for doing things around the house that desperately need to get done, but I don’t ever have time to get to them.  So we are doing a little bit of both on this Spring Break. We started out the time going to Cincinnati. We picked up Elijah on Friday after school and drove to IKEA.  We love it there so it is vacation time, plus we needed things for the house, which is chore time.  We got new bedding for the kids.  Since Naomi moved into the same room as Elijah, they each got to pick a theme for the room and new bedding was part of the package.  We ate dinner there which I always enjoy and also find really cheap.  Yay! In the morning we tried a new place I found, EnterTrainment Junction.  Loved it!  It has a giant model train display, I mean it goes on and on like a winding maze.  Very cool.  Plus it had a play area for the kids, climbing, riding trains, and play trains.  Then they have a Funhouse that had four very different rooms.  They had a special going on that made all of this really affordable.  I may not have paid full price for the Funhouse, but the deal made it great.  One room they had was a mirror maze.  While we were there a kid about ten went running into that maze full speed and we heard a BAM, and saw him laying on the floor.  He was dazed and then cried.  We of course had to contain our uproarious laughter.  It was so hilarious.  Seriously, laughing at it now as I think about it.  Don’t think too badly of us. Next we went to Great Wolf Lodge.  Always super fun there, but expensive and busy during Spring Break.  Probably recommend going at a different time because it is less frantic and stressful when you can stay 2 nights.  But we certainly took advantage of all the time we had.  We showed up early to swim and stayed late aftercheck out too. The last day we went to the US Air Force Space and Air Museum.  I can’t believe it was free!  It is huge and has tons of planes. We took a tour of old Presidential planes, saw stealth bombers, and everything from beginning of flight onward.  Granted Shawn and I enjoyed it a little more than the kids but we still spent the entire day there, for Free! Now I am in the chore part of Spring Break.  We did do some more fun kid stuff like color Easter eggs, go to the Children’s Museum and have a play date, but my mind is on the tasks to get done. So far I have painted the kids bedroom.  It has a night wall, and a sand and sky wall for Elijah’s Star Wars theme.  Then it goes into a grass and sky wall and a pink wall for Naomi’s Disney Princess theme.  We just put up all the wall stickers we got yesterday, so it is finished.  I still have to organize all the toys and books that have to be combined for their joint room.  That leads me into my final project that I just started yesterday and am pretty sure I won’t finish, organizing my storage, toys and clothes to get ready for our Garage Sale. We have finally set a date for our Garage Sale.  For all of our 10 followers, save the date- June 15-16.  We will put anything that we make from the sale towards the Adoption fund.  If anyone has anything they want to donate to the sale, we will gladly take it and store it, or come and get it, whatever.  We want this to be a success.  So I am going through the whole house and seeing what we don’t need, getting as much to sell as possible.  I know I will feel so organized and free when I am done, it is just doing it and making the hard decisions.  What will I use again?  Will I want to buy a new one instead?  Stuff like that. It does seem like Spring Break has flown by.  One day left and then Easter weekend.  I better get crackin’!  Have a Blessed Easter everyone!    

Elijah’s Belt Test

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

Elijah recently had his Tai Kwon Do Belt Test. It was neat to see. He started taking classes in January and just missed being ready for a test at the end of that month. So he was super excited to finally be able to test. He was a white belt. He had to show a 10 basic motion series that consisted of different blocks for punches. Next he had to show his White Tiger Form, which was what I would call a combination of steps and punches that travels different directions. Then he got to watch the other belts take their tests and do their motions. A great idea, because then he was able to see what was coming next and how much he could learn if he sticks to it. They had all the way up to black belt there. Finally he had to break a board. He had to do a chopping down motion. As his Mom I thought it was very cute to see my little boy do that. But I also was very impressed by his focus and strength. The black belts had to break three boards with a series of chopping and kicking. Cool! Last they called up all the kids who had received excellent comments from their parents on their testing forms. Unbeknownst to us, he was one of five kids to get a red star for his uniform for us commenting on his good behavior. They also called out some kids for their parents saying they were not so good. That’s a way to get your kid to obey and work hard. I guess whatever works, but I would feel bad doing that to Elijah. His new belt is a yellow stripe belt. They had a ceremony at the beginning of his next class to present the new belts and have the Grandmaster put it on them. Very official. I am so proud of his hard work.

Naomi is 3!

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

Naomi on her 3rd birthdayNaomi is now three years old! I just read somewhere that this Mom spends her children’s birthday’s reflecting on the day they were born and the delivery and how they were when they were newborns. I can honestly say that never even crossed my mind on her birthday. What I did think about was how big she was getting. How it did seem to go so fast and that she really was a little kid now and not a baby. She has lost her baby fat, ha, like she had much to begin with. She has always been a super muscular kid. If only I had the muscles she had, I could wear a bathing suit much easier. But I digress. So maybe I am not the sentimental Mom that thinks back to her birth but I do think a ton about the now and how to love her for her.

Naomi has always been a loud girl and that doesn’t seem to be changing. I think she is getting a concept of what it means to talk quietly, but that doesn’t mean she does it that often. She is for the most part very happy. But, as Shawn said the other day, when she was crying about something and I was trying to tell her to calm down. Then she saw something in my purse and immediately stopped crying and said happily, “What’s that?”. Shawn said, “She changes moods so quickly!” That she does! It is a little scary what may come down the road with her but I definitely am learning a new way to parent. She has broken the mold and we take everything differently and delicately with her.

She takes gymnastics and ballet classes and enjoys them both. I know I will have a hard time, as I do with Elijah, trying to choose what to have her do because she seems good at everything she tries. She has loved her Moms Day Out class, as have I , and we are sad that it ends next month. She is officially potty trained and so has earned the right to move into Elijah’s bedroom. They are now sharing a room, Naomi on the top bunk and Elijah below in his bottom bunk cave. The nursery will be gotten back together for our third child, whenever God sees fit for that to come through. Now comes the challenge of decorating a room for two very strong personalities to share. Naomi wants pink princesses and Elijah wants sand dunes and Star Wars. Hmm. I still have to think on that one. We will be heading to IKEA on Spring Break so I am waiting until after that to buy bedding, get some inspiration and then make a design.

I do love having a girl. She wants to hold my hand, sit reading books, play with dolls and look at flowers. Fun. I like to share the girl stuff with her. Honestly she makes me more girly than I would naturally be. She likes the painted fingernails and pretty bows and certainly wears more dresses than I would want to. God, bless my 3 year old, hold onto her heart, and guide her through life carefully. And please let me not get in the way of His plans for her.

Elijah’s Musical

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

Elijah has joined our church’s kids musical, Jonah’s Druthers.  He goes every wednesay night to practice and loves every minute of it. They are learning songs and choreography. So cute!  They had auditions for speaking parts recently. He brought home the monologues that he was to memorize for the audition and I was sure he wouldn’t be able to remember it all.  He has trouble with his memory verses that are super short, so I couldn’t imagine him memorizing 2 paragraphs. Oh, how I was wrong! He learned the first paragraph in the first day. By the next week he had them both down. When I would quiz him he would stand up and recite the lines with feeling and hand motions.  Very impressive!  One thing I should mention is that the musical is for kids from K-4th grade. So he is the youngest of the group. Elijah was just so enthusiastic and not afraid at all.  That I am not surprised about. Well long story short, he got a speaking part! He is the Mayor of Ninevah. It has only 1 line but it is a pretty long line. There are no small parts, only small actors. I was pleased that he was not disappointed about not getting Jonah but very happy to be the Mayor. What is hard to believe is that the show isn’t until the first weekend in May. I hope I can hang on ’til then.  After hearing the cd in the car so many times that even Naomi is singing the songs around the house, May seems very far away. But seriously, I am a very proud Mom. Plus, I love that he is getting the extra time with his church friends and spending so much time with God’s word going into his heart. Thanks to Church at the Crossing and Chelsea Walker for this whole production and all the work that goes into it!

Adoption Update

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption

It has been awhile since we wrote on this blog.  It seems as if it is up to me to keep up with it, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.  I am not good at keeping up with anything that isn’t vitally essential to everyday life.  However, my Mom wants an adoption update, which I am sure, or am hoping, means others are interested as well. So here it is. We have finished our home study! Yay!  It is, officially, in the final approval stages, but with the way things work in S.Korea we are on the list already.  Our approval date is Dec. 6, 2011.  In the next month we should have everything sent over to S. Korea. From what I understand that is all that needs to be done for now.  This is different than other countries, like not needing a dossier, but because of the long history that the U.S. has with S. Korea we don’t have to do all the other paperwork other countries ask for ahead of time.  From our last update from Bethany we know that there are 31 families waiting for referrals and that some of them have been waiting since 2009.  So we know we have a potentially very long wait ahead of us. It does seem more and more real as we get closer and closer.  I do know though, that we don’t want to get too excited too soon because it just makes the wait harder.  I can honestly say I feel ready to have a child at any time.  Especially with all the friends of mine who are having new babies.  I do hold on to hope that maybe our baby is also close to being born and that we just have to wait ’til we get the referral of that baby in the next year.  That may be wishful thinking but I am holding on to that hope.  That way I can feel like my child will be about the same age as all of my friends kids.  I can look at them and their babies and think that’s what my baby is doing in Korea.  I pray for that baby and ask for all of your prayers as well.  Pray that we would prepare our hearts and our home properly for our new family member. As with any adoption, we are still gathering all the funds for the fees from S. Korea. I know the long wait will help us gather the money easier.  I hope to plan a yard/garage sale this spring and am still thinking about planning a fundraising concert/silent auction.  I will try to keep everyone posted on all of this.  As always it is much appreciated any time you buy something off amazon to use our link. Thanks for everyones support both financially and spiritually.  Every little bit helps!

Naomi’s hospital stay

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

I am still trying to process everything that went on last weekend with Naomi and thought writing it down would help me both emotionally and with remembering all that went on.  For those that don’t know, which can’t be that many because so many rallied around us in prayer and support, Naomi had 2 febrile seizures last Saturday.

The scariest moment:  I recall after Naomi had the 2nd seizure, and they had me carry her into a different room while she was seizing, she took a while to wake up.  She was unhappy with the oxygen mask and with them taking her temperature anally, who wouldn’t, and the IV because she just wanted to sleep.  They had coordinated a transfer team from Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital which took over an hour to arrive and she slept most of that time.  The team came into the room and woke her up to talk to her and assess her.  This was my worst moment.  She was wobbly, unable to sit up on her own, unable to focus her eyes on much of anything and unable to follow commands.  I thought for sure my perfect little girl was gone.  Something had happened to her brain and she was not ever going to be the same.

God moments:  Elijah has a friend in kindergarten who one day in class had a seizure.  It turns out, he has a history of febrile seizures.  Having seen this before Elijah was not traumatized at all by what happened to his sister and managed to be very calm throughout.  Only God knows why things happen when they do!  Next, after Naomi’s first seizure she only had a 99 degree temperature so they were unsure if it really was a febrile seizure.  They gave her a CAT scan which was clear and then a chest x-ray because she had a cough for over a month which was also clear.  The Dr. felt pretty confident that it was just a febrile seizure and said that she was free to go.  I questioned him once more about the cough and so he decided last minute to give her an antibiotic infusion in her IV before letting her go.  The nurse came in to let us go and sign paperwork and I said I thought we were still getting the infusion.  She went and checked and said that I was right, it was added last minute and we should stay.  It was during that infusion that Naomi had her 2nd seizure, her temperature was 104.6.  Had we left without getting it she would have seized in the car!  Thank the Lord for the last minute change!  The last one is after seeing the neurologist, and him clearing us to go because everything looked good on her EEG.  The nurse again came in saying that Naomi was free to go and she was going to get everything ready.  She then stopped and asked if Naomi’s cheeks were flushed and checked her heart rate which was way up.  She immediately took her temperature which was 103.9.  She was not allowed to go home.  I fully believe had we gone home, she would have had another seizure but, as it was, she stayed and no more seizures!  Praise the Lord for the great nurse!  I know there are many more times He was their for us but those are the ones I am pointed to now.

Heartwarming moments:  When the transfer team arrived and all chaos was happening with Naomi not responding well she was able to answer one question.  I asked her to point to Demaw, Shawn’s Mom who was with her when the first seizure happened.  Her head wobbled to look around and then her cute wobbly little finger pointed over to where Demaw was standing.  She loves her Demaw. It was the first sign that Naomi was in their somewhere.  Also, according to Demaw, after the 1st seizure it took about 3 minutes for Naomi to even come to.  Elijah in that time walked over to Demaw and put his hand on her back and said, “She’s breathing, she’ll be ok.”  He is so good in stressful situations.

Thankful moments:  Their really are too many to count.  I am thankful for my wonderful boss who is also a nurse and who put her life on hold to talk me through everything and then meet me at the hospital at midnight to take Elijah for the night and next day!  I am thankful for all at our church who rallied in prayer!  I am thankful for our friend and pastor who with her husband and baby, drove to Hendricks County Hospital and took care of Elijah, prayer, my car, gave me her phone when mine died!  I am thankful for friends who send their Mom’s to come to the hospital and take Elijah to dinner!  I am thankful for uncountable facebook friends that sent prayers and well wishes to us throughout this ordeal!  Shawn mentioned he had to stop reading them during his concert, which he had to play Saturday night during this whole ordeal, because he felt to overwhelmed.  I am thankful for friends who brought us lunch, and texted help and prayers and all else that was needed!  Thankful!  Thankful!  Thankful!

As for now, Naomi seems perfect.  She has recovered well.  We finally were able to take of her sticky ER snaps that they put on her chest and belly last night. She screamed and cried throughout but they came off easily after a bath and vaseline.  She said this morning while I got her out of her pj’s and saw they were gone, “I am all better.”  So I pray that she is and this will be our only encounter with this type of thing.

Last summer hoorahs

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

The past week was spent vacationing around home.  Shawn took the week off and we tried to do tons of fun stuff before Elijah having to start school.  We started off the week with a trip to Holiday World.  We went with Papa and Grandma Jane.  It was super fun.  We got there before they opened and left with the closing announcements.  We could have spent 2 days there for sure.  Then on Wed. my Aunt Chris came to visit from Penn.  The kids enjoyed running around the grass at the cell phone lot and looking at the planes coming in.  Thursday we went to the State Fair.  We went in the morning until naptime and then when they awoke went back for more.  I had bought the voucher for unlimited rides at walmart, so we had to make sure and get our money’s worth. We didn’t leave there til after 9pm.  Friday was Conner Prairie.  We took a balloon ride, all by ourselves.  Pretty cool, but glad I had a coupon for the ride because not worth the $15 they normally charge.  They had some very interesting demonstrations and movies.  A little scary for the kids but not too bad.  All in all a very tiring, yet enjoyable and memorable staycation!

3rd Adoption Meeting

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption

We had our 3rd adoption meeting with our adoption specialist this past saturday. All seems to be moving along well.  We did find out that we hadn’t sent out a couple of paperwork things, good to know.  We had to have individual interviews this time.  Shawn went first to get it over with.  He was nervous about having to answer things by himself, but it turned out to be very easy.  Just another time to talk about ourselves, our childhood, our individual personalities and so on.  Each of us took about an hour.  We did get asked if we were criminals, offenders or abusers- for the 3rd and 4th time.  Guess its good they are being thorough.  We are hoping to have our fees raised for Bethany by January, we will see if we can make that goal.  They never can guarantee how long you wait for a child once the home study is done.  Most people have been waiting about a year and a half to get a referral and then another 5 to 6 months before traveling to pick them up. We did hear that because of Shawn being Korean we may have less of a wait time but no one really knows.  So if we finish the home study in January or February of 2012 then the long end of things would put us coming home with a new 1 year old in 2014.  The fastest it would happen would be traveling to pick up this time next year!  Not likely but does make you think that our baby could be born already or just about to be.  We need to keep that in our minds so we pray for our baby, their birth mother, their foster family and all those who would need to be involved in their care and well being.  Please pray for all of those with us.  It seems to be getting very real, and super exciting!

My firstborn is in kindergarten!

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

Elijah left this morning to go to his first day of kindergarten.  He goes to Mary Castle Early Learning Center.  We went last night to meet his teacher.  The room looked a lot like his preschool room, only these had computers.  Cool!  There are 22 kids in his class, only 3 more than last year.  There is another Elijah though, so unless the other one wants to be Eli, we may have a year of being Elijah J., or Jonesey.  Perhaps he will want to be called Indiana, like the great Indiana Jones.  We will see what he says today.  He had to get up at 6:30 this morning and left by 7:30.  I will pick him up at 2pm this week but then he will be going til 2:35.  I am confident he will do well.  I just pray that he finds some good friends and doesn’t get picked on.  Crazy how quickly time flew.

Camping

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

It all started with Shawn wanting a tent for his birthday. So he picked out a tent that he wanted,  which ended up being a tent that has fabric walls inside to hang up so that it has three separate rooms.  How cool!  Next, we had to find a free weekend.  Not a small feat with our busy schedules.  We settled on last weekend pretty much having no other options.  Then we found out we were going to be having record breaking temperatures and a heat advisory for the weekend we chose.  Great!  But we pushed on and reserved a campsite.  We chose one that was near a playground and had no other reservations around us.  Finally we made our lists and went shopping for everything from a cooler and sleeping bags to flashlights and s’mores.  I spent Friday packing up and we were on the road by 4pm. We arrived at our campsite and the boys went to work.  They set up the tent and started the fire.  The girls unpacked and set up the food and beds.  We had hot dogs grilled on sticks over the fire for dinner.  Oooh so tasty, nothing like fire grilled.  We had s’mores for dessert.  It was so humid the crackers were soggy.  Still enjoyed them.  A little flashlight hide and seek and we put the kids to bed.  They started out in the same little room but after 5 times of us getting up to tell them to go to sleep and to stop fighting and laughing,  we separated them into their own rooms.  Then 3 more times into the tent to tell Naomi that she had to stay in bed and couldn’t steal Elijah’s flashlight.  Then we finally just went to bed.  I did get to fall asleep holding Naomi’s hand, so tiny and cute.  Not something I will get to do very often, as she is so independent.  Loved it! That should be it for the night, except we found out our air mattress had a teeny tiny hole.  Not big enough for us to be able to find, and believe me, we tried, but big enough that by 2am we both were up      re-pumping.  It also was super hot, I think 79 degrees overnight.  Luckily we had electrical hook-up, so we had 2 fans going.  I think that kept us alive, not cool, but alive. Saturday morning we were awakened at 7am by a very loud bird.  He spent a long time looking for his friends who never seemed to answer back, but he kept trying.  We had a great breakfast of eggs and sausages and little cereal boxes.  Then, we took a small hike to the playground to play and hiked around that area.  Next we drove to an official hike that was super long.  A whole half a mile!  Elijah “just couldn’t take another step”!  We somehow made it back to have lunch at our site.  Then it was off to the pool.  I think by this point it was about 95 degrees.  We welcomed the cool water.  They had a giant baby pool that both kids loved and the olympic sized pool was shallow enough for both kids to touch so they enjoyed that one too.  We spent 3 hours there.  The kids got very brave and both were putting their heads all the way under by the time we left.  It was only a 10 minute drive, maximum, back to the campsite but the kids both fell asleep.  Elijah was even playing his DS and still fell asleep.  Exhausted kids!  We let them sleep while we made dinner and woke them up to eat.  Wrong move, both of them were miserable and didn’t real eat.  Shawn and I enjoyed our pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and grilled peppers and onions despite the crying.  We did have to take a quick trip to the store for diaper cream as Naomi was pretty bad, so that took some of our evening.  That was the only thing I forgot the whole weekend, diaper cream, yay me.  Then we enjoyed watermelon and popped a jiffy pop popcorn, which the kids thought was pretty neat.  This evening they were much more tired and went to bed with only a few times in & out. Our night was pretty much the same.  2am pump up the bed and up by 7am. Sunday we took our time having breakfast and packing up. We stopped by the big playground and went to the stables.  Elijah took a pony ride and then took and extra ride when Naomi started to scream and cry after sitting on the pony.  We left in time to have lunch at McDonalds on the way home. I realize it sounds as if there were a lot of negative things that happened on this trip.  The funny thing is despite all of those, we really had a great time.  I loved it!  I loved not knowing the time and having no schedule.  I loved all of us spending so much time together and not having any electronic interruptions.  I loved having everything all in one small area so at any point we all knew exactly what everyone was doing and how much work was being done to get everything accomplished.  It was really just a great weekend.  I am already thinking of trying to go again.  Maybe during Elijah’s fall break.  Keep you posted.

Good Morning Super Mario!

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

This morning  I woke up to what I thought was sounds from the Wii.  Now, normally Elijah wakes up before us, turns on the TV himself and watches tv from the pre-made list of shows we have made for him.  So I wasn’t sure what I really was hearing.  We have kind of made it a rule that he needs to ask to play Wii, so I was thinking that was not good if he was playing Wii.  I went out to see what was really going on and I saw that he was playing Super Mario Brothers Galaxy.  I walked around to see him sitting on the couch and just had to laugh.  Elijah had gotten himself dressed to look like Mario, overalls, hat and all!  It was sooo cute!  I couldn’t get upset with him.  After all, did I really want him to wake me up to ask if he could play?   Plus, he had turned the sound on the tv all the way down, so he wouldn’t wake anyone up.  The sound I heard was from his remote.  I did tell him he was supposed to ask, but left it at that.  He has since put on his batting gloves to be the white gloves that Mario wears, and is running around the house and backyard being Mario.  I have to love and admire his imagination.  He is so smart and creative.

Our Fourth and more.

Written by Shawn on . Posted in adoption, everyday, Fundraising, kids

I haven’t posted for a while and few things have happened in that time. I turned 38, as my sister always reminds me, one year closer to 40.  I am going to start doing some extra contract work to help us save money for the adoption. I will be developing and designing websites.  Pretty much what I do now as my side job, but for a company.

We have had quite a few evenings outside.  I have been playing softball with our church team.  So whenever Rebecca and the kids go to the games they take a picnic. I played in big band concert in Plainfield so Rebecca, my mom and the kids went and had a picnic at the concert.  That was a lot of fun.  I am not a lead player at all, and was playing lead.  I didn’t do too badly.  I got some good high notes in there.  Every year for the Fourth we go to CarmelFest.  We went to the Carmel parade in the morning and sat with the Tieks. After that we went home and the kids napped for a few hours.  We went back to Carmelfest and played around for a while until my concert. And then fireworks ended the evening. Overall it was a pretty good Fourth of July.

Our big project over the Fourth weekend was installing a paver patio.  We started excavating on Friday. Then we hauled 3.5 tons of rock and 1 ton of sand, and 256 pavers on Saturday and Sunday.  We finished on Monday after we put down polymeric sand.  We are really happy with how it turned out.  It gives us so much more room to have patio furniture and kids toys in our back yard.

We postponed our next adoption meeting until August.  That gives us a little more time to get our finances in order. Just reminder, if you order anything from Amazon, use our Amazon search to the right of here.  Also, if you want to try some new coffee, order some through our link to the right.  I highly recommend the Guatemalan coffee.

Elijah has started soccer.  He is just learning how to play, so it is not a league.  He does that through July.  Then he might start taking Tae Kwon Do.  He took an introductory class and loved it.  We are just trying to think of how it will work with our schedules.

Naomi and Elijah are taking swim lessons. Elijah is doing well and starting to swim by himself. Naomi is getting used to blowing bubbles and getting water on her face.

I think those are most of the updates.  Rebecca will probably post with more.

PS:  A good friend of ours, Kim Tabor, wrote an inspirational book, Finally Free. If you are looking for some good summer reading, click on the link to the right and buy it from Amazon.

Elijah’s Motorcycle

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

My Dad just visited us.  He drives a motorcycle.   Not just any motorcycle but a Honda Gold Wing, for those who don’t know bikes it is a big fancy one.  He had a Harley but sold it for this one because of the extra comforts.  It has xm radio, cup holder, heated seats, GPS you know  all the bells and whistles.  Anyway, he drove it from Virginia out to us and is now on his way to his Dad’s, my Grandpa, in Nebraska.  The really fun thing about all this information is that Elijah, who has taken a few small test rides on previous trips, road all around town with him on the back of the bike.  I know, I know, how could I let a 5 year old ride a motorcycle, he might get killed! Well he is fine and loved it.   He wore a half helmet my Dad carries with him which took up his whole head, his batting gloves, sunglasses and long sleeves.  My Dad is really careful, being a retired FBI agent I thought I could trust him.  What was really funny is they were following me to the park and the museum and I couldn’t even see him on the bike.  He is so small that even though the seat in the back is raised up higher than the driver he was still not tall enough to stick out anywhere.  SOOO CUTE!!  I love it now but when he is old enough to drive one I may sing a different tune.  See me in 10 years and see how I feel.

Week off!

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in adoption, everyday, kids

My studio, Academy of Dance Arts, had their recital yesterday.  They all danced very well and the parents seemed pleased.  I must say, I really loved some of my pieces this time.  Not that I don’t like all of them, but I feel like I really had some good stuff this time.  I must credit that to the dancers though.  They have gotten so good that I can just come up with whatever I want and they are able to do it.  It is very inspiring! Now I have a week off before starting to teach the summer session.  That’s always a pleasure.  I still spend most of my same work hours preparing new stuff for the summer but I don’t have to go anywhere to do it.  I am trying to think of what fun things we can do as a family on the weeknights.  We never have weeknights together. I have considered trying to potty train Naomi, but I am pretty sure that would cause great aggravation so I don’t think I want to take that on.  We have spent a good amount of time out back with our blowup pool and that seems to have made her aware of when she is going so I know we are close.  I think I will just keep doing a lot of that.  Less stressful.  I do think it is time to buy pull-ups though. We also signed up for our educational classes for our adoption requirements.  So I suppose I should look at that and start some work. Oh and Fathers day is this weekend so I should do something to plan for that.  Looks like I have more than I thought to fill the week. So who knows what this week will bring.  Hopefully some relaxation, organization and maybe I will feel like I have time to get caught up on life.

Great Wolf Vacation

Written by Rebecca on . Posted in everyday, kids

We finally have gotten to take a vacation!!  This is our belated Spring Break.  So what if it’s almost summer.  We got a great deal traveling this late. We are at Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati.  We arrived yesterday and leave tomorrow.  This is the second time we have been to this place.  I felt a lot more relaxed about it this time.  Maybe because Naomi is older, so I needed to pack less.  Maybe because I knew better what to expect.  Whatever the reason we are having fun! Elijah is way more into the water slides.  He has gone down all the kiddie slides and even tried one of the bigger ones.  A toilet bowl kind of slide on a 2 person tube.  It’s funny because he is officially tall enough, but in order for him to not fall out the hole in the tube, Shawn or I  have to put our feet underneath his butt to hold him up.  I am trying to get him to do the water coaster which can be 2 or 3 people on a raft thing.  Of course we would just be 2 people, unless we decide to just let Naomi play in the wave pool by herself.  Joking!!  We will see if he gets brave enough to try it. Naomi hates the water slides.  We forced her to go down 2 times yesterday and once today.  I could blame it on fear of going down slides, since she broke her leg on one, but I don’t really think that’s it.  She has gone down regular slides a few times since she got her cast off.  Although always on her stomach, feet first.  I think she feels she is slower and more controlled that way.  Control freak like her Momma!  Anyway she cried the whole time we made her do it, so I guess no more this trip.  She has enjoyed the water sprouts from the floor, and playing with the balls in the little pool  that she can walk around in by herself.   What she really seems to like, is that she is sleeping on the bottom bunk of her “wolf bed” as she calls it.  She climbs up and down the ladder to Elijah’s top bunk.  She and Elijah were whispering back and forth a long time last night before finally going to sleep.  Definitely not ready to share a bedroom yet. We plan on going to IKEA tonight because kids eat free on Fridays.  Plus, who doesn’t like to just walk around IKEA.  Shawn and Elijah are seeing Kung Fu Panda 2 while I relax and Naomi takes a nap.  Nice!  Tomorrow the plan is more swimming and maybe go to Jungle Jim’s Grocery store.  We have heard it is another great place to walk around and just take in the hugeness of it all.  I love my family.  Thank you God for my many blessings.