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We are making our first trip to Korea to meet Josiah. #adoption
Published via Pressgram
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!!!
We 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.
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.
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!
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…….
Naomi 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.
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.
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.
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.