Friday, January 30, 2009
So now we're getting ready to start February and as far as I'm aware we're still #7. We've been #7 since November. I feel like we're permanently stuck at #7. I'll be posting my 4th of July post and I'll still be complaining about being #7. Next Christmas my title will be MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE'RE STILL NUMBER 7!
OK, I'm kidding. I'm sure it won't be that way, some days it just feels like it. :)
On another note, I'm still trying to track down a copy of Mobile Electronics magazine. I appreciate everyone who tried to find it for me yesterday! Hopefully they'll be getting the new issue online soon, I've been obsessively checking. I'm really interested to see what they do with the cover. They had me take a photo of the owner holding a fishing rod and apparently they're going to photoshop him into a fishing scene or something. I really hope it looks OK. I'll keep you posted on my search for a copy of the magazine!
OH! I do have something fun to talk about! Yesterday my favorite electronic gadget website (www.woot.com) was selling a little video camera that is meant to be used to take short videos to post to the web. We have a video camera, but it's more of a pain to use just to take short little web videos so I never use it for that. It's more of a process to transfer the videos to my computer and prepare them for web use and I never want to bother to take the time. The camera I just ordered is small, like Ipod sized, and it looks super convienient for quick little internet videos. So the reason I bought it is so that when Clarissa gets here I can post little video clips of her on my blog! I think that I'll also take it to Korea with us and then I can do video blogs while I'm there. How fun would a video blog be?! I'm such an electronic gadget junkie. I love stuff like that.
So coming soon I'll be doing some video blogs every now and then. Maybe when I get the camera I'll take some video of the boys or of Clarissa's room or something. Fun stuff! :)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Revisiting the magazine photo shoot
I'm excited to see the magazine but I don't know where to track one down. I think that the magazine I did the job for is going to mail me a copy, but I'm not sure on that.
But if anyone comes across a Mobile Electronics magazine and there is a guy with a fishing pole on the cover, I shot the cover photo and I shot the article on Aspen Sound.
Hopefully the photos aren't terrible and I didn't just tell everyone to go look at my terrible photgraphy, because I haven't seen the magazine yet. :)
If you track down a copy, let me know! I'll scan the pages and share them as soon as I get my hands on one.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
The Decision That Can Now Be Named
A few weeks ago I came across the file of a waiting child on our agency's website. A waiting child is a baby who was born with some sort of medical condition that doesn't match the profile of any family waiting for a baby. They're basically ready to be adopted but they're waiting for a family who can take on their medical condition.
I've been checking the waiting child list for the past year, but most of the medical conditions were more than we're prepared to handle.
A few weeks ago we came across the file of a baby who caught my attention for some reason. The agency won't let us give any specific information about waiting children at all, so I can't tell you anything about her or her medical condition, but it was one of those things where they won't really know the extent of what's wrong with her until she's older. She may be fine and she may have severe issues, it's still unknown.
Anyway, we felt like we wanted to know more about her so we requested her file. Last week the agency sent me all of her medical records and all the information they have on her.
I'm an extremely soft hearted person and the waiting child listings always break my heart. I wish that we were in the position to just take all of them home. We know that we have limitations though and we've had to be really honest with ourselves about what we're prepared to handle.
We looked over the file of this child and read all the medical reports. I read them so many times I memorized them. I wish I was able to explain her issues, but I can't. All I can say is that they're complicated and still partly unknown at this point.
After a lot of thought and a lot of prayer, we came to the conclusion that this is not the right child for our family. It just didn't feel right.
Let me tell you, I have never struggled more over any decision in my entire life than I did over this one. I didn't think it was going to be that difficult, but it was an extremely emotional decision for me to make. How do you look at that sweet little face and say no? It absolutely breaks my heart. I so badly want to pick her up and love her, but I also know that God has a plan for all of us and we believe that the answer to our prayers was that this isn't our baby. God has another plan for her and I'm sure that there is another family out there just waiting to love and care for her.
My heart breaks for her though and I feel like a horrible, heartless person for saying no to her. I know that it was the right decision but I still feel like I let her down somehow. She'll never know us and she'll never even know that we considered her, but my heart is hurting right now. There is a family out there waiting for her and I hope they find her soon.
So that's really all I have to say on that subject. Choosing to bring a child into your life is the biggest decsion you can make and turning a child down is one of the most heartbreaking.
I know that our Clarissa is out there. I know that God has a plan for our family and I know that one of these days soon we're going to be matched with the baby who is meant to be in our family. But I'll never forget that sweet little girl that we agonized over this weekend. I pray for her family to find her soon.
Saehae bok manhi badeuseyo
Korean New Year generally falls on the day of the second new moon after winter solstice. It's a huge celebration that lasts for three days.
I didn't get things together in time to celebrate it this year, but I think starting next year our family is going to start having a traditional Korean celebration on Korean New Year. There are lots of really fun traditions that I think would be fun for our family. My favorite is that on New Years day children wish their parents a happy new year by performing a deep traditional bow and the words saehae bok manhi badeuseyo, which translates to "may you receive many blessings in the new year". Parents typically reward this gesture by giving their children new year's money and offering words of wisdom. I love that idea! There are cute little silk pouches that you put the money in.
There's also a really fun Korean board game that they play during the New Year celebration. It's called Yutnori. I've read the directions for it and I basically know how to play it, but I'm having a hard time finding a place to buy the game. It's traditionally played on a square of embroidered silk fabric, and the all the ones I can find are cheap paper versions. It's possible to buy the real silk version, I just haven't been able to track one down. I only found one online store that carries it and they were out of stock. I might just have to wait and buy one we go to Korea.
The more I learn about Korean culture the more I really love it. I've developed a real love and admiration for the country and the people. I started out learning more about Korea because I felt like I needed to familiarize myself with my daughters birth country, but now it's become more than that. Now it's not because I feel like I have to, it's because I really genuinely love the culture. It's a beautiful country that I can't WAIT to visit!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The black hole
So now we're home from picking out carpet and I'm kind of worn out. I've been really stressed out for the past couple of weeks about several different things and then with the Decision That Shall Not Be Named (still not decided, BTW) it sort of put me over the edge. Today I'm just tired, cranky and I have a headache.
I was reading back over my blog last night and it occured to me that last summer my blog posts were a LOT more fun than they've been lately! Last summer I was talking about fun trips and photography stuff and searching for alligators and lately they've been kind of blah and unhappy. I hate to be that kind of person, but winter does that to me every year. I'm not a big fan of January anyway and the stress of the adoption wait right now isn't helping.
So bear with me, I swear my blog is going to get fun again eventually! I vow to shake this mood I've been in lately and start blogging about something more interesting. There are so many exciting things to look forward to. Thankfully the black hole that is January is almost over, Feburary is short and by March I hope that the adoption referrals are moving again and I'll have lots more fun things to talk about. We're also taking a really fun vacation to Memphis in March that I'm really looking forward to. Fun times are ahead, I'm just sure of it!!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Check out time
Nope, it made me cry! If you haven't seen that movie, you really should. It's not a comedy, although it does have funny parts. It's just cute and sweet and so worth watching. I just never expected that Steve Carell would make cry! I'm used to seeing him as Michael Scott and usually I just want to punch him in the face. :) It's a good cry though, it's a really cute movie.
So anyway, I think it's time for today to be over. It's only 9:15 but I think I might just get my jammies on and go to bed. My brain is full of so much stuff today that I'm mentally exhausted. Tomorrow I need to go shop for carpet for Clarissa's room and go back to work on making big decisions. Hopefully next week I'll be able to explain myself a little more.
So keep us in your thoughts for the next few days while we try to figure some things out. My brain is on overdrive at the moment.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
14 months and counting
I'm so unbelievably ready for this. I'm SO ready. I've been consumed with waiting for 14 months now and I'm totally over it! I'm just ready to get on a plane right now and go get our baby so that we can move past this phase of our lives. I'm ready for sleepless nights, I'm ready to change diapers again, I'm ready for toddler tantrums, I've been mentally preparing myself for this for so long. I've read books about attachment in adopted children, I've hung on every word discussed in the Korean adoption message board, I've read other people's blogs about their adoption experience and now I'm just totally ready. There is so much unknown when you adopt a child, or bring any child into your life, really, but I'm ready for it. I'm up for the challenge.
Unfortunately the challenge still isn't ready for me. As far as I know we're still stuck at #7. I feel like someone has hit the pause button and I desperately want to push play.
So there is my adoption whine for the day. I know that no one wants to hear me whine about how long this is taking, but sometimes I just have to get it out.
So moving on to something else, I was all excited to share a photo today of Clarissa's room painted, but there's not really much to share yet. The painter came over and put the white stripe on the wall and then he's going to come back either this afternoon or tomorrow and put the other colors on. So today the room looks pretty much like it did yesterday, it just has a white stripe on the wall. Hopefully by this evening it will be finished and then I'll have something to share. I'm really excited about it being finished, I think it's going to be cute!
We've used this painter before for other projects, so we're already kind of acquainted, but when I told him yesterday that we're getting the room ready for an adopted baby he said that they're in the process of adopting a little boy from the Philippines! So we had a good chat about it while he painted. Aside from all the internet friends I've made who are adopting internationally I know very few people in real life who have done it or are doing it, so it's always really exciting to find someone I can chat with.
So today I don't have a lot going on other than waiting for the painter to come back and working on some photography projects. I've been looking for some artwork to put in our dining room but I can't find anything I love. Then it occured to me that I'm a photographer. Hellooo, I create artwork. So today I'm going to come up with an idea. I'm thinking of doing a series of something (I haven't decided what yet) and then having them put on canvas. A three canvas series would look nice in our dining room. I just have to come up with the idea and get it shot first. The nice thing about doing that is that I can make sure that it exactly matches the colors and decor of the dining room. I think it will work, it's just going to take some planning. It's the kind of thing I love though. I can get totally lost in a project like this. I'll share what I came up with when I get it finished!
So in summary: Yay for 14 months, boo for it taking so long, someone push the play button, the painter is adopting and my dining room needs artwork. How's that for some random babble? :)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Weight Loss Monday
I bet Clarissa weighs around 10 pounds or so now. Can we just exchange our 10 pounds for a 10 pound baby??
If you overeat because you're stressed out about an adoption, then can you refer to your diet as losing baby weight?? I'm totally losing baby weight. :)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Pennies and paint
We've been doing some spring cleaning around here for the past few weeks, which means that closets have been reorganized and a bunch of stuff has been put in a pile to be sold or donated or sent to the dump. We started out getting things ready for Clarissa's room and that little project has spread all over the house.
Once we started planning Clarissa's bedroom I started going back to another problem: Matthew's bedroom.
Here's what happened when we moved here. There are four bedrooms upstairs in this house. Obviously we have the master, and then since Josh is the oldest we gave him the biggest kids room. That left two other bedrooms. There is one bedroom that I've always been in love with. It has big bay windows and just looks like a little girls bedroom. I always wanted a bedroom with bay windows when I was young! So even though we didn't have a girl when we moved here and at the time didn't know if we'd ever have one, I left that room empty, just in case. That's lame, I know. :)
So that left only one choice for Matthew and it ended up being the smallest room. He was only a year old when we moved here, so it didn't matter that much at the time. It worked fine as a nursery. But now that he's older and spends more time in there I feel bad that he's stuck with the small room. He's the middle child and I was the middle child and I always felt like I was getting overlooked growing up, so I was kind of horrified with myself when I realized that I was doing the same thing to Matthew!
So as I was getting Clarissa's room ready I kept feeling more and more guilty about Matthew's room. It's small and crowded, he got Josh's hand me down furniture and I decided that it needed an update. So we went over to our favorite furniture store and found him a really cool loft bed. A loft bed works perfect in there because it maximizes the floor space. The bed has shelves and drawers under it where he can store his toys and there is still enough room under there to play. Matthew says it's his secret headquarters. I also bought him some cute new bedding and we updated the decor. Matthew is really into superheroes so I bought some fun Superman posters for his wall. So now he has lots more room to play, a secret headquarters, Superman decor and he's completely thrilled. Project complete.
Now I can get back to Clarissa's room. The first problem we have in that room is that the carpet needs to go. Without getting into the whole saga of our elderly cat, let's just say the carpet in that room has some problems that can't be fixed, so we're re-carpeting. We thought we could buy a remnant, but it turns out that remnants are 12 feet wide and Clarissa's bedroom is just under 13 feet wide. Crap. So now I think we're going to have to have someone come look at it so that they can decide if it's something that can be seamed. We're still working on that. In the meantime we ripped out the old carpet yesterday and last night I painted the subflooring with Kilz. It's kind of a mess in there right now!
Next week we have painters coming over to paint that room. Normally I would paint it myself, but what we're doing in there is more complicated than I want to deal with. Once it's painted we'll get the carpet situation figured out and then hopefully we'll be on our way to getting that whole project finished.
In the meantime we had to move Matthews old furniture out of his room and a few random pieces of furniture out of Clarissa's room and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it all. I think it's all going on Craigslist in a few days and hopefully I can get it out of the house ASAP. We're kind of in a mess right now with rooms torn apart and extra furniture all over the place!
There's a lot more to our redecorating story, but I'll leave it at that for today. Believe it or not, that was the short version. :)
So that brings me to story number two, entitled "Why You Shouldn't Run Around With A Penny In Your Mouth".
Last night Josh came into our bedroom and announced that he had just swallowed a penny. Apparently he was running around with Matthew and somehow there was a penny involved...I don't know. I figured that it probably wasn't a big deal but I Googled it anyway to make sure. Apparently swallowing a silver coin is no big deal, but pennies are a problem. In the early 80's they changed the metal in pennies and they're now more zinc than copper and apparently pennies are now corrosive. If you swallow a penny made after 1981 and it gets stuck somewhere on the way down it will eat a hole wherever it got stuck, so it's important to go get an x-ray to make sure that it's not stuck somewhere. We called our doctor to double check and he said yes, go get an x-ray. Fabulous. So last night Shawn took Josh to the ER to have an x-ray. Thankfully the x-ray showed that they penny was in his intestines and likely to pass just fine, so the doctor said not to worry about it unless he starts to have stomach pain in the next few days. So far he seems fine.
But kids, that's why you shouldn't run around with a penny in your mouth. Not to mention the fact that putting coins in your mouth is just really, really, REALLY gross. Josh knows better. He knew better before he did it. But somehow putting a penny in his mouth still seemed like a good idea. That's the hazards of raising boys, I guess. :)
So between redoing Matthew's room, ripping out old carpet, painting the floor, trying to find new carpet, moving furniture and getting x-rays, the last few days have been a little crazy. I'm looking forward to getting Clarissa's room done and hopefully things will get back to normal around here.
Oh, and speaking of Clarissa, we got our weekly update e-mail from our agency on Friday and they said that there still has not been a single Korean referral this month. *sigh* This wait could go on for a looong time. I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Laugh 'til you cry
Unfortunately, that's not going to happen in this lifetime, BUT today I bring you someone elses blog to make you laugh. This post is the absolute funniest thing I've seen in a while. So as an apology for not having the funniest blog in the whole internet universe, I bring you this guy and his trip down JC Penney lane. Enjoy. :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Oh. My. Goodness.
I always chalked those dreams up to pregnancy hormones. Because when you're pregnant, don't you chalk EVERYTHING up to pregnancy hormones?! It's a nine month free pass.
Anyway, I've officially discovered that it has nothing to do with pregnancy hormones because lately I've started to have crazy dreams about Clarissa. Last night I dreamed that they called to tell me that Clarissa was coming home and when they were telling me about her they said that she had just turned one. Then they brought her to me and she was a teenager (who couldn't speak for some reason), only they refused to admit it! They showed me her birth certificate and it said that she was one, so she must be, even though she was obviously not.
I kept telling them that they gave me the wrong baby and they finally got tired of arguing with me so they went to find me another baby. The next "baby" they brought me were two kids, a boy and a girl, who were probably about Josh and Matthews age and they obviously weren't Korean. Where were they getting all these kids from?!
I felt really bad because I didn't want to keep giving kids back if they needed a home but none of them were Clarissa. The agency didn't seem to care. They said they'd find me a child and they found me THREE, so what was my problem?
Is it possible to chalk it up to adoption hormones? Surely there's such thing as adoption hormones, right? :)
Monday, January 12, 2009
The Joy of Life
Josh was an awesome sport. I took this up in our favorite spot, which oddly is a cemetary. There is a beautiful veterans cemetary here that is way up on a hill. Just at the edge of that cemetary is the perfect spot to shoot sillouhettes because you're on a hill and all you have behind you is sky. Pretty much every single sillouhette photo I've ever done has been shot there. It's a very peaceful, beautiful place and I absolutely love to go up there. I'm not sure if I've shared Matthews superhero shot, but it was shot there too and in this photo you can see the area a little bit:
I also did a shot of the actual cemetary once for a challenge where the topic was "Fallen":
Anyway, I've totally gotten off topic! My point of this thread was going to be about enjoying life. (so why did I post a photo of a cemetary? I just asked myself the same question, lol.)
Taking the Joie de Vivre photo this weekend and watching Josh jump around in the sunset made me happy. It's not the most award winning shot I've ever taken, but there's something about it that makes me smile. Kids are so excited about life. Everything we do is a new adventure for our kids, and I love that. I love to look at the world through their eyes and remind myself that life really is an exciting adventure. We bog ourselves down so much with the mundane things in life, but sometimes you just need to go outside and dance in the sunset.
So my goal for this week is to try to do that. I'll look at that photo and remember to enjoy life. I'm the kind of person that is so busy looking for the destination that sometimes I forget to enjoy the ride. So this week, I'm just going to enjoy the ride.
Friday, January 9, 2009
The agonizing wait
I swear, sometimes I honestly don't think that I can wait for one more second. I want her here with us so much. We're so ready for her, my heart needs her home with us. I feel like it's so close but still so far away and it's agonizing sometimes. I know she's out there somewhere and I just want to go get her.
But I can't so I just continue to wait. I pray that she's safe and loved and that she'll be here soon. That's pretty much all I can do right now.
In two weeks we will have officially reached the 14 month mark, which technically puts us in range where we could expect a referral at time. Unfortunately it sounds like things are moving kind of slowly right now and I just found out that we're still #7 on the list. I talked to our social worker recently and found out that there were no referrals last month and January and February are usually their slowest months. So while we are technincally in the range where we could be reaching the end of our wait, if things don't start picking up we could be waiting several more months. I was hoping for a referral as early as March, but if there are no referrals in January or February we'll still be #7 in March. Our agency gets an average of two referrals a month and sometimes as many as five, so normally being #7 would mean that we would be pretty close. We just got unlucky enough to be reaching the end of our wait right in the slow part of the year. Of course!
So at this point I can't really even guess when the referral is going to come. We really got our hopes up that the wait was going to be a little shorter than we originally though, but it's starting to look like we aren't going to be that lucky.
So I wait. Next week we're painting her bedroom and then we're going to recarpet it and in about 3-4 weeks her bed will be here and then I'm going to hang pictures on the wall and then I'm going to put clothes in her closet and then I'm just going to keep on waiting until the agency tells us that the wait is over. It will happen eventually, just not fast enough for me.
Waiting patiently has never been a talent of mine and this wait is definitely testing my limits! I just have this motherly instinct in me that wants my baby. I feel connected to her and I need her home. I feel like a mama lion pacing in my cage waiting for the zoo keepers to bring my cub back. And if they don't hurry up I'm going to start growling and pouncing on people, lol.
But for now I'm trying to be patient, so this mama lion is going to wrap herself up in her cubs new quilt, say a prayer and hope for the best.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
New Years Resolutions
But January is always a good time to reevaluate things and resolve to make a new start, so I'm working on it. I always have a list of things I'm going to work on and most of them are forgotten by the third week in January. One of my resolutions this year is to try harder to keep my resolutions!
I have several, one of them is to eat better. I'm a total comfort food eater, and I'm an emotional eater. I could definitely benefit from better eating habits and I'm really working on it. Today I've been compiling some new recipes so I can get myself out of my rut of the same boring food that I'm tired of.
I've also signed back up with Weight Watchers online. I love Weight Watchers, it really helps me keep track of what I'm eating and it forces me to make better choices. I'm resolving to lose a few pounds, unfortunately they're the same pounds that I lost last year and gained back again. I'm pretty sure I've gained and lost the same 15 pounds about 50 times now. I lose weight really easily when I put my mind to it, the problem is that I also gain it back really easily as soon as I stop paying attention. I'm resolving to pay attention this time.
I'm also resolving to spend less time on my computer and to spend more time doing something constructive. I feel like too much of my life takes place on my laptop these days! Between my adoption message board, my other internet friends, my photography business which is mostly done online, learning Korean on Rosetta Stone and the time I spend working in Photoshop, I spend more time on my computer than I ought to. With the kids in school it's really easy for me to sit down in the afternoon to work on a project for "a few minutes" and look up two hours later and realize that my few minutes took all afternoon. There comes a time when you have to put the laptop down and go take a walk or something. I'm working on it. Of course I say that while I'm sitting here working on my blog. :)
I figure I've got about six months to get myself in better shape and work on getting things in order for Clarissa to get here. My life is really pretty simple at the moment. The kids are in school and I'm home alone for part of the day so I've got more free time right now than I've had in years. Once Clarissa gets here that's going to be over and I'm going to be back to diapers and baby food and nap schedules and sleepless nights for a while. I'm actually looking forward to that but I don't want to waste the next six months I've got of peace and quiet before she gets here. I'm hoping to get some projects done, and take advantage of the free time while I've got it. This is the perfect opportunity for me to get my to do list out of the way so that I can focus on Clarissa when she arrives. I have feeling that the last half of this year is going to be really chaotic and I want to be ready for it!
So now I'm getting off my computer, I'm going to go through my kitchen cupboards and throw out some junk and then come up with something new and different for dinner tonight. I resolove to make good use of the rest of my afternoon.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Happy New Year!
We had a fun New Years Eve. We bought some junk food for the kids and told them they could have a New Years Eve party in the basement, watch movies and stay up as late as they wanted. They ate a cupcake and fell asleep at 9:30, which is what we expected, but boy, they thought we were cool parents that night. :)
After they were in bed Shawn and I had our own little party. To celebrate the year of the adoption we decided to welcome it in Korean style. I bought some beautiful Korean rice bowls at the Korean market and I made sticky rice and Bulgogi and we ate them in our pretty bowls with chopsticks and we watched a cute Korean movie.
Our family is in for big adventures this year and I can't wait.
Oh! The other big news around here is that Josh got his glasses! We picked them up a few days ago and he's really excited about them. They look really cute on him and he is amazed at how well he can see! I feel like the worst mother in the world for not realizing how bad his vision was. I think he thought it was normal not to be able to read clocks from across the room and not to be able to read small words on the TV if he was sitting very far away. He never mentioned that he was having a problem. But now that he has his glasses on he can see all sorts of things he couldn't see before. He's been walking around the house looking at things for the past few days, lol. He can sit in the family room and read the calendar on the fridge in the kitchen. That amazes him. So now he can see and he looks all grown up in his glasses! Here's a photo I took yesterday:
I love Josh. Even looking at a photo of him makes me smile. He's a sweet kid and I'm proud of him.
Yesterday afternoon I went to my favorite furniture store that has pretty much furnished our entire house and I ordered Clarissa's trundle bed. It's going to take 4-6 weeks to get here since the trundle is a special order, but I think it's going to be perfect when it gets here! I can't find a good photo of exactly what it looks like with the trundle but here it is the exact bed without the trundle, and the second photo shows the bed with the trundle, but not in white.