Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big prayers

I learned more about prayer than any other topic while adopting Jack. Through God's encouragement and some dear friends, I began to ask God for some very big things while adopting Jack. He kept His promise to me and He answered every one of them. I still put God in a box sometime, I still forget how big He really is, but at my core I was changed through the eighteen months of praying over Jack's adoption.

Strangely, it's kind of a let down, for life to be "normal" again. I know that sounds terrible, but it's weird I feel less connected to God in a way because now my opportunity for seeing Him at work has lessened (although I'm sure it shouldn't have). Adopting Jack was one of my mountain top experiences and it's always hard to come back down off of the mountain.

Then God decided to answer another big prayer in my life this past month. He gave us Korean friends. I know it sounds small, but to me it's huge. I had been praying (and had friends praying) that God would bless us with real Korean friends with children. By real I mean friends that truly loved us and loved that we had adopted Jack into our family. That is hard because, (generally speaking) Korean people are not super excited about Korean children being adopted by white Americans, and who can blame them really. They tend to be a very homogeneous society.

So on our first night of home church, you can understand why I had to excuse myself to the kitchen to compose myself, when in walked a white man, married to a Korean woman with two children. The woman was born and raised in Korea so she knows and understands a country that I really want Jack to know as well. But this family went against cultural norms and got married and had children as a mixed race couple in Korea. God worked it out, they were both Korean and American just like Jack, they had two children an older girl and younger boy just like us, and they love the Lord. Not to mention the fact that they go to our church and walked into our home...pretty easy to befriend I think.

The other night we had a social evening for our home church and since it was earlier Jack was awake and he got to meet the family for the first time. The mom, loved him, in a way that I think everyone does when you're far from your home and you meet someone from home. She picked him up and asked if she could speak Korean to him and call him by his Korean name. I said of course, because alas that was part of my dream. I stood there watching her whisper in his ear a message that was just for him and began to cry. I cannot fully explain to you what it was I felt, in part it was surreal to watch a dream unfold before my eyes, I could not fully believe that it was happening again, God was answering my very specific prayer. In part it was the mix of emotions that go along with international adoption, in hearing Korean again I was transported back to where my life with Jack began and I was overcome.

This family is a blessing in my life, an answer to prayer. I'm not sure how long they will get to live here, but of this I am sure. God will continue to answer my prayers for a Korean family that can be a part of our life. Jack will be raised getting to experience not just what it is like to be an American, but also what it means to be Korean, and that means everything to me.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Two little pumpkins

My cute pumpkins! Here's the kids dressed up for the Fall Play day at school.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh PBS how I love you...



Y'all I love PBS. If you took away every channel on my TV (which we pretty much have, now that we just have a digital antennae) and only left me with PBS, I would be happy, so happy.

Every morning we watch an half hour of PBS before breakfast while we all wake up. It is almost always, Sid the Science Kid. I love that show, we do the experiments from it occassionally, so fun! And Kylynn has learned so much from watching it. Just have her tell you all the types of simple machines, she can and she'll tell you what they do (in case you don't know it's a wheel, inclined plane, and a pulley...I think).

Well, this season there is a new show on PBS, The Dinosaur Train. Genius, total genius. I can just picture the creators of the show sitting around okay what is two things that all children love! Dinosaurs and Trains. Bingo, let's make that into a show.

Now here is where the point of the blog comes in. This show is not just about dinosaurs and trains, but also adoption and interracial (or should I say interspecies) families. The show consists of a family of dinosaurs that are all one species except for one of their children which they "adopted" which is another species. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have this show for Jack to look at see a reflection of his own family. It deals with the issues that come up so beautifully, very much stressing that he is their son, they are his family, period.

Regardless of whether or not you've adopted, you will love this show, I guarantee it. But for those of you out there who've adopted, do whatever you have to do to see this show. It will make you so happy to watch it.

Have I mentioned I love PBS?

30

“Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.” -C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And...

4) she will take a really short nap, get up and make the rest of the day go on forever!

Note to self

Note to self:

Do not under any circumstance allow Kylynn to stay up late, like 9 o'clock late. Nothing good will come of this. Without fail she will:
1) get up extra early the next morning, the more sleep deprived she is the worse she sleeps.
2) have an extra cranky day that will turn into,
3) a screaming child, so out of control, that it is almost funny if you weren't worried that this might be a sign of some emotional problem or ADHD. This screaming will go on for at least an hour straight while trying to put her down for a nap because, "I'm tired" and "I don't want to go to bed" cannot live in the same brain without lots of crying and screaming.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Camping

We went camping this past weekend. God blessed us with beautiful weather and for that much I am grateful. There are many other things that I am not grateful for, but that is because I am still in progress and complaining is one of my many daily sins.

All in all it was fun, and it makes Kyle so happy, he just thrives on it. Jack loved it and did so great, he gave us no problems. Kylynn, well see above about my struggles with a certain sin.

Here are pictures so you can either daydream of going yourself (you can come with us, we supposedly are to go twice a year), or you can laugh and thank the good Lord that you don't have to do that!









video

I will say that this time my list was almost perfected and the food was the best yet and the easiest yet. If you want any tips for what we pack and what we eat I'd be glad to pass it on, just know that we are the exact opposite of a lightweight camper.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It saved dinner



Pandora has saved dinner in our house. In our new house we have space in the kitchen that I can have the computer on and not be in the way of the cooking. So I've begun to listen to Pandora while I cook dinner..

Now I love to cook, in principle. Give me a perfect world, where I have unlimited time, someone to watch my children whenever I want, and groceries delivered to my front door free of charge, and I'll give you a wonderful dinner that will be fun for me to prepare.

Give me my real world and you have someone who goes through ups and downs of wanting to cook something, but hating doing it because of the screaming child, and the missing ingredients to not wanting to cook for a week straight.

But somehow Pandora has made the whole cooking thing fun again, on some level. So when Kyle gets home and he can take care of the kids, I'll turn on Pandora and start cooking..and the world seems almost perfect.

For anyone who's never heard of Pandora, it creates a custom radio station for you based on whatever information you want to give it. My station is a mix of 70s, 80s, and early 90s country music, by mostly women artists, for example Patty Loveless, Loretta Lynn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Judds, and Tanya Tucker. It's named, "The bed you made for me" which is a song that I love and wanted to hear music of a similar style. I've tweaked it several times and now it's amazing how much I love the songs it chooses for me.

I can't make any promises, but maybe listening to songs you really love can help dinner time be more fun for you too.

Princess teeth



Kylynn went to the dentist for the first time this morning. I was talking to a friend on the way there who said, you're going to take pictures right? Opps...that didn't occur to me, frankly I was glad to be their relatively on time and that Jack had stopped crying.

I got to go back for the first five minutes but then she was on her own. She did great and still loves the dentist as much as she did before, except for the whole no eating for 30 minutes after the flouride, she was not happy about that one.

She told me that they made her teeth princess teeth, I guess they had her pegged. Maybe it was the pink shirt, pink skirt, and pink knee socks that gave her away.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Letter

We mailed a letter to Jack's foster mom today.

I can't tell you exactly why it took 10 months. It was too hard to do. Our agency had guidelines for us to follow and even a sample letter, take a piece of paper and write one to two paragraphs thanking the woman who helped raise your son and give her an update on how he's doing. It should be short and sweet. I couldn't do it. It was too short, too simple, it was not the letter I would want if I was her. So Kyle did it, he wrote a simple but grateful letter with a good update on Jack, I added the pictures and we put it in the mail.

Here is the letter I would have sent:

Dear Mrs. K,

For the first few months that Jack was home with us, he looked for you. I could see it in his eyes when he approached women at the library that looked similar to you, he was terrified of any stranger, but these ones he walked right up to, close enough to touch, and looked up into their face, searching. I could see it when he would wake up crying in the middle of the night and I would go into him, seeing me would startle him, he was waiting for you, and it would take all I had in me to calm him down. He loved you fully and I know that losing you will be a hidden hurt in his heart for the rest of his life.

We keep your picture in his room. He doesn't notice it or ask about it. But someday he will. Someday I will pick it up and talk to him about you, about how you loved him, and the way that you cared for him so completely in the beginning of his life. I will take out the photo album you gave him and all the presents and he will be grateful as I am, that he has at least those things that are in some small way a part of you. He will be able to find a connection to his past, to his birth country, to you, through those items.

Jack is doing well now. It was a hard first few months for him. So much loss, so much newness, then sickness, and surgery, and pain. But now he is good, not just hopefully, but really. He is healthy, I know that will calm your worries. He is funny, so funny, and loves to laugh. He is a little ham putting on singing and dancing shows for us. So often when he giggles and when he sings I think of you, of how you taught him to love to laugh and to love to sing. Of how you told me that first day that these were things he loved to do.

Thank you, is not a good word. It is a word I use when the store clerk hands me my bag, yet in English there is only one word for thank you. I hope that there is a better word for it in Korean, that when this letter is translated they use a word that contains what it is that I feel, a feeling of being overwhelmed by the gift you gave us.

With love,
Jack's third mommy

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Almost Famous

Tonight was the first time that someone came up to me and said they knew who I was because they had read my blog. It was so wonderful, wow, somebody (who doesn't know me) reads my blog!

As we talked it turned out that they not only went to my church but I had also played bunko with the woman last month....
So I'm not famous, not even in a small town way...but almost.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Friday



Last night was the first Friday of the month, so we headed down to downtown Bryan for "First Fridays". This was the first time that all four of us had gone together.

Families, listen up. You cannot beat this kind of family fun. FREE family fun. Just when I think I couldn't love living here more, I discover another thing that makes me wonder why I would ever want to live anywhere else.

We rode our bikes last night (it was Live Green night!), and I think generally that's how we'll get there because we're close enough to do that. But once you're there, all the shops and restaurants stay open late. Even if you make it to downtown from time to time like we do, you will be amazed at all the new shops and restaurants, just awesome places. Their is often some type of theme or give away going on (more free stuff!!). Last night they also had a free craft that anyone could do (and yes if I could do it that means anyone), we painted Chinese lanterns, so fun! There is always live music, which Kylynn loves to dance to, she actually stopped traffic last night :).

Then here's the best part, they have a free movie playing in the Palace Theatre (that's an outdoor theater). Last night it was Happy Feet, but the time Kyle and Kylynn went it was Mary Poppins, it's always a family movie.

If you haven't checked out First Friday, you have to go. If you have kids and you've been thinking you need to find a time when you can get a babysitter before you go, don't!, it's really an awesome family outing.

Can you tell I had fun. And this cool weather is energizing me...a real Fall...I feel like I've died and gone to heaven.