Wednesday, February 23, 2011

RIP Daisy :(

After 13 wonderful years we very sadly had to put our sweet cat Daisy to sleep this evening.

She's been throwing up and losing a lot of weight really fast over the past couple of weeks so Shawn took her in to the vet this afternoon and her blood tests indicated that her liver function was very poor and the doctor was pretty positive that it was cancer.

He told us we could do a lot more extensive testing but that the outcome would be the same no matter what so we chose to put her to sleep. Shawn was able to stay with her until she passed and it was peaceful.

I've been dreading this day for a long time and I'm having a really hard time with it. I've pretty much cried myself into a swollen eyed mess this evening. Daisy was very much a member of the family and she's going to be missed.

Daisy joined our family just after we got married. Shawn and I both really love cats and on our first Christmas together we couldn't afford a present for each other so we went out and bought a sweet little kitten for $5 and after much discsussion of names we named her Daisy. I'll never forget how excited we were when we got her.

Daisy was the best kitten ever. We didn't have kids at the time and she was our baby. She slept in our bed, we taught her to play fetch and she used to drape herselves across our shoulders when we sat at the computer.

She had quite an adjustment when Josh was born and another one three years later when Matthew came along but she was a sweet and loyal cat and she was loved.

Over the years she went from being a super feisty kitten to being a fat and lazy cat but she always loved to snuggle and I could always count on her to keep my toes warm at the end of the bed at night. :)

I really really loved that cat. It's going to be really hard tonight when I don't feel her at the end of the bed and weird tomorow when I don't see her curled up in the chair in my room.

For now I'm going to have a good cry and eat some ice cream. Ice cream helps everything. 

Goodbye sweet Daisy. You'll be missed.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The End

It's been a fairly eventful week around here! Wednesday we went to the good old Department of Homeland Security office (for the billionth and last time in the adoption process) and got Clarissa's Certificate of Citizenship.

When Clarissa was legally adopted by us she technically automatically became a US citizen because her parents are US citizens, but of course the government made us jump through a thousand hoops to get her citizenship recognized by them.

So a few months ago we filled out a big, complicated packet of information to apply for her Certificate of Citizenship, which is what she needs to have her citizenship status recognized by the government. It's pretty much the last step in the adoption process.

We thought that they were going to just mail us her Certificate of Citizenship, but a few weeks ago we got a letter from USCIS letting us know that her COC was approved but that we had to attend a citizenship ceremony to surrender her green card and pick up her COC.

Now, because we all know that I tend to overthink things, I wasn't so excited about a citizenship ceremony. Here's the thing. I know that this adoption was in Clarissa's best interest and becoming a US citizen is a good thing. I really do. But I feel bad that she lost her Korean citizenship. To me it's just one more thing that we had to take away from her. Korea doesn't allow internationally adopted children to retain duel citizenship, (partly because if they did all the male Korean adoptees would be called into mandatory military service with the Korean military when they turned 18) but if they did we most likely would have chosen that for her. But we didn't have that option and when she was adopted by us she lost her Korean citizenship. I know it probably doesn't really matter in the long run and I know that I'm probably completely overthinking it and that it's irrational that it bothers me, but this is my blog and I reserve the right to be irrational. :)

It's not something I really think about that much until they sent us a letter telling us that we had to attend a citizenship ceremony. I think a citizenship ceremony is the most wonderful thing in the world for all those people who have dreamed of becoming US citizens and have taken the citizenship test and have finally reached their goal. I'm proud of those people and they deserve a big ceremony. But when I thought of celebrating Clarissa's citizenship I just couldn't help feeling like we'd be celebrating that she was no longer a Korean citizen. She didn't choose any of this. It was chosen for her. I know, it's irrational. I'm completely aware that it's silly. Clarissa doesn't know the difference and most likely will never care that she lost her Korean citizenship. She's only going to remember being an American.

So I kind of drug my feet about the ceremony. By Wednesday morning I was dreading it. But we put her in a pretty dress and took her over the USCIS office for the ceremony.

As soon as we walked in the door my feelings of not wanting to be there went away. We went in and there was a table set up in the front and they were taking people up one at a time to hand over their green card and get their COC. The room was filled with people of all different races and cultures who were so excited for their special day. It was really the most amazing thing to watch. People were carrying little American flags, getting their picture taken next to a big flag and there was such a feeling of excitement and pride in the air. I sat in a chair with Clarissa in my lap with tears in my eyes as I watched all those people get the official paper that declared them American citizens. I was so happy for them that I wanted to give them all a hug. I wanted to hear all their stories. I wanted to know where they all came from and what brought them here. It was a neat experience that I will never forget.

Finally it was Clarissa's turn and we went up to the table, they commented on her pretty dress, they took her green card, showed me where to sign her COC and just like that, it was official. When it was over they handed Clarissa her own little American flag to wave.

I'm still sad that she lost her Korean citizenship. I'm sad for all the things she had to lose to come here. But I'm happy for all the wonderful things she gained and I hope someday when she understands everything that happened in the first years of her life she's happy too.

When we walked out of the USCIS office Shawn commented that it signified the official end to the adoption process. We first walked into that office in 2007 to get a federal background check and to turn in our I-600 form back when we were brand new to the adoption process and had no idea what we were doing. We had no idea where the road was going to take us back then. Walking out of that office on Wednesday, holding Clarissa's hand and watching her proudly wave her American flag was a really neat moment for us. We did it. We've officially come to the end of the adoption process. There were many times where it felt like it was never going to end, but it did. I love happy endings. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm a big fan of Valentine's Day. I know it's a silly Hallmark holiday, but I always look foward to it.

I didn't always like Valentine's Day. When I was a Junior in high school I didn't have a boyfriend on Valentine's Day so a friend and I, who was also mourning her lack of a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, dressed in black and celebrated anti-Valentine's day, lol. And we were in the Key Club that year and they took the Key Club yearbook picture that day so every time I look at that yearbook picture of my friend and I in our black clothes it makes me giggle. I was such a dramatic teenager. Incidentally I did find myself a boyfriend a few months later and he was a yearbook photographer. Come to think of it, I wonder if he took that picture...

Anyway, I do like Valentine's Day now. It's a fun day to get all sappy and celebrate the people we love. This morning when I made Matthew's lunch I cut his peanut butter sandwich into a heart shape, I'm making pink strawberry cupcakes for the kids this afternoon and tonight Shawn and I have a hot date. :) It's shaping up to be a pretty good day.

In non-Valentine's day news, we recently got a letter in the mail letting us know that Clarissa's Certificate of Citizenship paperwork was approved and we have to go to a citizenship ceremony on Wednesday at the USCIS office to surrender her green card and pick up her COC. Technically she's already a US citizen because she was adopted by American parents but this will finally make it official.

Then all we have to do is mail a copy of the COC to our adoption agency to prove that we finished the process and change her citizenship status with the social security office and we will FINALLY be 100% finished with the adoption. From the time we first requested an application in 2007 to the time we finish the citizenship stuff this adoption will have taken almost exactly four years, start to finish. That's a long time!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Valentine's Day project

Most years I send my kids to school with store bought Valentine's to hand out on Valentine's Day, but yesterday I felt like doing a project and I thought I'd share the results!

This is actually super easy to do. I took a picture of the boys holding out their hand like they were holding a sucker, then I designed a really basic card, printed it out, used an xacto knife to make a small slit in the top and bottom of their hands and slid a sucker through it. Voila, cute homemade Valentine's cards. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've been meaning to post for the past few days but I haven't managed to get around to it until now!

We've had a fun time the last few days. Friday was Clarissa's birthday, which was really exciting! We ended up leaving Friday morning and taking the four hour drive to my hometown to visit family for the weekend. Friday was also Korean New Year so I made Korean food at my moms house and we celebrated the New Year and Clarissa's birthday at the same time.

My moms birthday is today and my brothers birthday is next week so on Saturday we had a fun birthday party for everyone. It was nice for the kids to spend some time with their cousins. They really had a good time.

The best part of the weekend for my kids was going sledding! The part of Idaho we live in doesn't really get all that much snow, so my kids rarely get the chance to go out and play in the snow but the area my mom lives in gets a lot of it, so it's always fun to go there in the winter. My mom lives way up in the foothills and they have a few acres of land. The edge of their property is on a pretty steep slope so in the winter they have perfect sledding hills. The boys spent hours and hours going down that hill on sleds. They would go up to the top of the hill, sled down and they would go so fast that they would just keep going all the way through the neighbors yard. the had a ball, I was really glad that they got the chance to do it. Sledding doesn't happen very often around here. Shawn even took Clarissa on a few rides down the hill and she loved it!

On Sunday we packed up our stuff and headed home. The kids always love to go to Grandmas house. They were sad to leave.

On a Monday we got the kids back to school and I finally got the call that the new glasses I've been waiting several weeks for finally came in so I can finally see clearly again! Yay! I have horrible eyesight and my other glasses desperately needed to be replaced. Shawn and I have decided that one of these days we're going to get brave and get Lasik surgery. The idea of having someone laser my eyeballs kinda freaks me out but I'm tired of not being able to see.

So that's pretty much the update from our house. I actually have a whole bunch of pictures that I'm planning to share of the kids sledding and the portraits I did of the boys last week but the pictures are all on my laptop and I'm using my Ipad at the moment so it will have to wait until maybe tomorrow. Stay tuned!