Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How it's going

I have a mantra, one that changes everyday but stays the same, today it is, "it has only been 4 days."  I say that again and again reminding myself that this is not the permanent condition of our family.

Don't get me wrong, we're surviving and overall we're doing pretty good, all things considered, it's just hard.  And everyday that passes where I can't seem to figure out how to get her to sleep the whinier and more frustrated I become.

Sleep is a big deal for me, I could never be a doctor or my husband for that matter, I follow the recommended guidelines and feel like I need a good night's sleep.  The kids taking naps (or having a quiet time in Kylynn's case) are an even bigger deal for me, Kyle is gone when we get up and not home again till 5:30 or later, it's all me around here for a huge stretch of time, and I need that break to keep sane.

Chloe is very similar to Jack in that she doesn't possess the ability to self soothe, she cannot seem to fall asleep on her own, so I rock her to sleep, which is fine, but as soon as I stand up to lay her down, she wakes up, so we do this back and forth for hours all day and all night long, and it's making me a little crazy.  But it's only been 4 days (remember) so it seems wrong to let her cry (right?) and I feel like I'm affecting our bond, so I let her cry for a little bit then I go back in, till I'm so exhausted that I lay her down and go to sleep, too tired to know how long she cries before falling asleep.  I have to wake her up in the mornings because of this and we begin the whole process all over again.

Jack is having a hard time, it is showing itself in him not wanting to leave my side, I had to drag him to school yesterday, and he was hysterical, so I cancelled speech today to spend time with him, but really I spent all my time rocking Chloe, so the pattern continues.

People are bringing us meals for the first month, which is the best thing that has ever happened to me, because if I had to find a way to cook right now, I would just lay down on the floor in a ball and cry.

I went to the post office and target last night at 8pm, it was wonderful and beautiful.  I bought things not on my list even though we just spent all our money in Korea, but the fact that I now have two table cloths to switch between, makes my life a little bit easier and the red pillows will go great with the ones I plan to make in all my spare time.... :)

Chloe has caught her first American bug, and has a fever, that doesn't help the sleeping probably.  She is eating really good though, but needs some more teeth before she can get down most of the foods she prefers.

It is beautiful and cool and sunny outside today, I putting that new baby girl of mine, whom I adore, even if she never sleeps, into the carrier and we're going to the park darn it, on my way there I will pray for God to send fairies to clean my house, and just remember all the ways I am blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Presenting Chloe So-hyeon

Here she is, I know I've kept you waiting entirely too long, it was a mixture of exhaustion, being overwhelmed by all the chores that met me at the door, and not really having any pictures of our baby girl, she is the third child after all :).

I want to get some pictures of her outside so that you can see just how beautiful she is, I felt like I couldn't really capture her essence inside, but it was raining and I knew I was past due for some Chloe pictures on here.

She is very petite and reminds me of a porcelain doll, perfect features, perfect ivory skin, long black lashes, and a beautiful mouth, which often has her first two fingers in it.  I love a finger sucker, perhaps I'm odd but I've always found it so cute when babies suck their fingers instead of their thumbs or a pacifier.

She is really adjusting well, the first couple of days were very hard on all of us, most of all her.  We've made some adjustments, like giving up co-sleeping and she's now able to sleep well.  Despite the fact that she is still frightened, her personality is showing through, she really enjoys making people laugh and will laugh right along with them.  She loves music and can't seem to help but start dancing.

I think she is still not sure what to think of Kylynn and Jack yet, she probably finds them very loud, I know I do, and becomes very upset if I hug or hold either of them.  Kylynn and Jack are both going through an adjustment and it has expressed itself in some tantrums over small things, but once I was able to talk to them about how they feel about Chloe they were both able to express their fears and frustrations and I think they are overall really very excited to have her home.

She will someday be a Daddy's girl, I can just feel it, but for now she is all about mommy all the time, as she is not used to men caring for her.  But Kyle has been diligent in feeding her and taking care of her for a few minutes when she wakes up and has yet to see me, to work at bonding with her, and I do believe she will bond to him much faster than Jack did, as they're already making progress.

Thank you all for your prayers for our trip, our daughter, and our family.  Once again they were felt so acutely and we saw God's hand move throughout this process.  There is still a long road of adjustment ahead for all of us, but we know God will not ask us to walk it alone.

*Edited: Oh my I always forget those pesky details, Chloe turned one a week ago.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Korea, day three

Can I just say that this hotel and it's big American breakfast every morning is the only reason I survived this trip.  On my first trip to Korea I loved the food, but on this one, well I just got unlucky with several meals or we skipped lunch all together so I've needed those breakfasts to last me all the way through the day.

I started day three off with a little bit of butterflies, tomorrow would be the big day, but knowing I would have a full day ahead to keep me busy I got ready and pushed on.  We headed out that (very cold) morning to go see several things on foot.

First we headed over to Cheonggbokdung palace that had inside of it a Secret Gardens, when we got there however we found out that you can't just view the palace or the gardens on your own you must take a guided tour, and the next guided tour in english wasn't for over two hours.  So we did a little shopping in their gift shop and walked on over to a park.

On our way to the park we walked back through some what we would call alleys, and looked at several of the old hanoks that remain in the area.  A hanok is a traditional house, that are square in size, originally you would have walked through the front door into a courtyard and then onto the house, they have traditional tile roofs, are one story, and each house is connected the house next door to it.  These alleys though very tight at times would often have motorbikes driving down them at full speed and occasionally at the ends, cars.

While walking down the alleys we came upon several stores mixed in with houses, we also saw some hanko guest houses, which are like a bed and breakfast that you can stay at, Kyle is determined that our next tip to Korea we will be staying in one of those.  We also happened upon a Buddhist temple, that is still in use today, we were able to walk around it but didn't go inside not knowing the protocol.

When we finally got to the park, I really loved it, it gave me a glimpse of Korean day to day life.  Older gentelmen, I assumed retired, were gathered at that park playing a game that resembled checkers (or Kyle says it resembled pente, but I have no idea what that is).  There was probably about 50 men there playing, each game seemed to require two players and there appeared to be some kind of tournament that was going on.  An audience gathered around to watch and a lady seemed very happy to see some Americans and insisted on having her picture taken with me, which freaked me out a little because Koreans have never acted like that with me before, they seem very reserved and private and hardly even taken inquisitive looks in our direction.

We then walked over to Bukshan market, where they appear to sell household items that the locals need, it was definitely not aimed at tourists.  They had the food section, which was amazing and similar to every other market, in that there would be 10 fish stands next to each other, and 10 fruit stands, and so on.  In the middle of the market were people cooking and selling nukta (which seemed the same as Korean potato pancakes), and other fried food items, like fish, or vegetables, of these meat pies.  The rest of the market had stands with each of the following: blankets, pillow cases, light bulbs, electronics, jewlery, and hanboks.

We bought a nukta for the two of us to share and ate at the food stand where we bought it, the food stand had heated seating (I'm telling you Koreans love heat!) which was covered in foil, Kyle just loved the heated seating as it was really cold that day, but I'm not much for heating my butt :).  It was then that I hit my daily wall and needed to go home, so Kyle got us a cab even though as it turned out we were really close to our hotel.

Back at the hotel I had some time reading and really if it was up to me would have done that the rest of the day, but Kyle had other plans.  He invited over our new friend who lives in Korea and he went out with us to do some shopping (I know who would of thought you could shop so much) in Insadong (which is where our hotel was).  After about an hour or two we finally finished up all our shopping and went back to the hotel to put down the bags.  Our friend wanted to stay in for dinner (and I was so happy that I didn't have to suggest it) so we ordered some very expensive pizza from Pizza Hut.  It was so nice to have time with a Korean person, we probably asked him 50 questions each, but I really felt like I got a better understanding of Korean culture and traditions I need to incorporate in our family culture with raising Jack and Chloe.

We went to bed too tired to be nervous, but excited that tomorrow would be the day to meet our daughter!

We're home

I will post a long entry soon, complete with photos of our baby girl and more of the story of our time in Korea.  For now I just wanted to let everyone know we made it home safely yesterday, our flight had no delays, and we were able to drive home safely and quickly from Dallas to Bryan, where my parents met us with Kylynn and Jack, it was so nice to be home.

Our only snafu on our trip home was when we got to our car in the parking garage at DFW our battery was dead, we called the help line and waited a while, then began to ask people parking if they would help us, but they said "no", I guess they had a plane to catch :).  I began to fret, deciding that everything was going to start to go wrong, somehow it snowballed into me not knowing how to be a mom to three children, how I can never get dinner ready on time already and now with three kids it will be impossible, and I can't figure out what Chloe wants to eat and she's going to starve, ahhhh!

I stopped and asked myself the question I've been using lately when anxiety sets in, "is God in control of this situation?"  I prayed and asked him to help us (which is always a better first step than third step, but I'm still learning).  Sure enough not one minute later who pulls up, but a giant church van with the words "Free Will Baptist church" written on the side, but not just in english, below it was the translation in Korean.

I had to laugh as God said to me, "I am in control of this situation, of all situations, and I can bring people from Korea to rescue you in a parking garage in Texas if I want, this is my world, pay attention to me and don't lose focus, I am in control of your children's eating, and any other other worry you can dream up."

They charged our van for a while and got the battery going, and Kyle thanked the man in Korean, which made him so happy he hugged Kyle, than we explained that we had just gotten back to the US from Korea and introduced them to Chloe.  It was a highlight of the trip that's for sure, how amazing that something that looked to be only for delay and frustration was used for such good.

I will need this story often in the coming months, the transition has been hard so far, Chloe's grieve is large and I often feel lost at what to do, but like Elizabeth reminded me on Friday, I was made for this, this is what God put me here to do, and God is in control of this situation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest Post: The Marathon

Knowing that blogging would be difficult while I was in Korea, I've asked my dear friend Elizabeth to guest post on my blog today.  Elizabeth cracks me up daily on her blog, she is truly funny, and yet she is truly wise when it comes to adoption issues and walking this path that can be so confusing at times.  She reminds me daily that indeed, Everyday the Wonderful Happens.

I have prayed since before we brought Jack home for friends who's families look like ours, it is something I crave like sunlight and food, a relationship where I don't have to explain this part of us.  God answered my prayer a little differently than I expected in giving me Elizabeth, whom I've never met, and lives all the way in Alabama, and yet in his sovereignty he knew what he was doing, Elizabeth is just the friend I've needed these days, now if I could just get her to move to Texas! :)

Jenny asked me to write a guest post here while she is in Korea meeting her daughter.  I was immediately flattered, but then began to panic as I tried to decide what to write about.  The options are limitless, and while I'm pretty sure that the fact that I once had the same hairstyle as Hugh Grant (or did he have the same hairstyle as ME?) is relatively entertaining, it is not necessarily relevant in this forum.  So I went back to my blog archives and re-read some of our posts from when we were in Korea meeting and bringing home our son, Matthew.

One emotion really stood out to me as I re-read it all:  fear.  Okay, if I'm being honest:  terror.  Matthew was 2.5 when we met him.  He was lovingly attached to his amazing foster family and here we were about to rock his world.  It wasn't love at first sight for any of us, and all of this change was happening in an unfamiliar place to us, away from our support system of family and friends.  Yeah, terror was just about right.

This is a passage from a blog entry I wrote after meeting him for the first time:

....there was a lot of joy today.  However there was also a lot of sadness. The foster mother is grieving the loss of Matthew and I feel her pain deeply. There are also all of the losses Matthew is about to experience. Then there is the reality that this child is virtually a stranger to us. I love him. I have loved him since before I knew his name, when he was only a picture. But now I must begin the journey of falling IN LOVE with him. And even scarier (because I know it will take so much longer) is the knowledge that he must fall in love with me too. This child who I have yet to make smile. It is rather daunting.

Back home, my oldest sister was reading my blog and she knew that I was struggling.  She sent me an email and the subject line read "you were made for this".  I still vividly remember reading it as I sat in the Korean guest house.

Here is just some of the encouragement she wrote to me that day:

"I want you to remember that you have come into this with your eyes open, and that if you thought for one minute you could not handle this, you would not have moved forward after you saw Matthew's photo for the first time.  You have killed yourself with yard sales, a tight budget, immeasurable are the most together person I know.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  This is going to be hard at first, and making it harder is your empathy for Matthew and his foster family.  You need to remember that this is also what will make you a wonderful mother to him.  It is Ok to cry right now, tears or pain and/or anger.  A lot.  It will carry you into what is next."

After I read the email, I looked down to the hardwood floor, and saw it was covered with round wet droplets.  A collection of my tears, soaking the floor, as I soaked in the encouragement from my sister and the many others who took the time to send emails, comment on my blog, and pray for our family.  I took a deep breath and told myself to get it together.  I could do this.  I would do this.  It wasn't necessarily going to be easy, but I was made for this.

It has been 15 months since Matthew joined our family, and during that time, I have reminded myself of my sister's words:  This is a marathon.  And it is.  Heck, half of the time it feels like the stinking Ironman triathlon.  But we are still in it.

We started out running, red-faced, with stitches in our sides, and frankly it didn't even feel like our shoes fit right.  But we kept on.  Soon, we began to find our stride.  We were still tired and sore and it was hard to catch our breath, but our pace was steadier.  Nowadays, we walk.  There are still Charley horses or short bursts of ungraceful jogging, but they don't scare us.  We work through them and return to our steady pace.

Have you ever been to a marathon?  All along the course, there are people there cheering on the runners.  They hand out water, energy snacks, even beer.  People make signs and t-shirts to encourage their friends, and wait at the finish line to celebrate.

We had that.  Messages from friends.  Prayer.  Dinners brought to us.  E-mails from strangers.  A kind friend who would call and ask me how are you, and by the way, it's totally fine if you say you are not okay.  Encouragement.  Don't forget wine.  Wine is good. 

We had a cheering section.  And the knowledge that God knit our family together in His infinite wisdom.

I think that one of the biggest lessons I have taken away from our experience, is that everybody is running their own marathon.  They might be doing it gracefully or erratically.  You might not understand it at all.  You might not know what you can do to help. 

Just cheer them on.  Pray for them.  You can even run beside them for awhile (as long as you don't show up with perfect running clothes and immaculate makeup.  Don't be that girl--nobody likes her).  Bring some snacks and water.  Or better yet, wine. Wine is good. 

**Jenny, I love you and am praying and believing that your transition with Chloe will be more like a 5K than a marathon.  Regardless, I am here to run alongside you if you'll have me.  I promise to wear an old t-shirt and no makeup and we'll totally go out for frozen yogurt afterwards.**

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Korea, day two

Seoul is a big city, the likes of which most of us have never seen, there is 10 million people in the "downtown" Seoul, with 25 million people in greater Seoul area, which almost 45,000 people per square mile, that's 8 times more crowded than New York city.  That's a lot of people!  So Kyle wanted to get out of Seoul and see what else there is to see, we headed out that morning on an hour long subway ride to Suwon.

I was expecting something rural (why, I don't know) but Suwon while certainly less crowded than Seoul has a very similar feel to it, basically it's a big city.  It is also home to the Wwasaeng fortress, which was built by the king in 1790, it's famous for it's observation towers and command posts, which were very advanced at the time.

To get to the top you walk up some very steep steps about a quarter of a mile, straight up.  I was having a hard time to say the least, every time I would stop to catch my breath another 60+ year old local would run past me up those steps, getting their daily exercise, it reminded me I really need to get back in shape, it was pitiful.

Once you get to the top you have a beautiful view of the town below and get a great view of some of his command posts and a bell tower that after paying his money, Kyle got to ring three times.  We seemed to be the only tourists there, everyone else we saw was over the age of 60 and running up and down the mountain as if it were an ant hill.

Down at the bottom you can view his palace, and we actually were given a private tour in english, it's still winter in Korea, so there's not much tourists around.  I enjoyed this palace more than some others I've seen, because they had taken the time to re-create real life scenes in several of the rooms, it helps me to understand the culture of the day to see the rooms with furniture and people set up in them.

We happened upon an artist who was working out of the palace selling pictures that he would make of your name.  We had him make one for both Jack and Chloe in their Korean names and they are so beautiful, someday I think they will really treasure them, and I got them for about 15 dollars each, matted and framed!

Next it was off to find lunch, Kyle had read in his guide book that in Suwon you have to go to a local restaurant and have kilbe to eat.  So we got a taxi over to a really hoppin restaurant and ate one of my least favorite meals of the trip. :)  Kilbe is a beef rib stew, rice, and of course kimchi is served on the side (kimchi is served on the side of all Korean dishes).  Kyle loved the kilbe, I loved my coke and my protein bar and we were both perked up enough to head out for more shopping.

We took the train to Namdaemun shopping market, which is my favorite shopping area in Seoul.  Before I tell you about Namdaemun I have to tell you that riding on that train was one of my favorite moments on the trip.  The subways can be very crowded and since I'm not Korean I am uncomfortable with how little personal space is allotted to you, so I sit on the subway folded up trying not to touch the people next to me, all the while everyone else is just cozied up not thinking a thing about it.  But on the train you have your own seat that's actually wide enough for a westerner and out the window you can see the city in it's unique beauty as you drive by.  It also has a bathroom on the train which I found fun and handy considering I have the bladder of a mama who birthed all three of my children and had drank a coke.

After getting off the train we walked over to Namdaemun, which is a very crowded, very active shopping market.  In all the traditional Korean markets, of which Namdaemun is just one, they group products together, so one part of the market will have blanket sellers with about 10 stores selling identical blankets, same goes for jewlery, electronics, clothes, food, anything you want.  I find it confusing how you can stay in business right next to your competitors but there appear to be plenty of shoppers.  Above is a shot of three stores selling the same luggage and bags.

We got a ton of stuff (if you are expecting a gift from us, don't look to close at that picture and definitely don't show it to my kiddos), and got down to only a few things left on our to-buy list.  I definitely hit a wall though, having had so little for lunch and getting up at 4:30 in the morning and Kyle got me a taxi home, which is very easy and very cheap thing to do in Seoul.

That night in his effort to not wear out his wife, he went out and found some Korean food to bring back to the hotel for dinner.  He brought home some pajaeon (Korean potato pancakes) to eat, which is one of my favorite Korean foods, but for some reason this particular one wasn't that good, so I was left that night feeling rather in need of having some American food tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today is the big day

Today is the big day.  In less than seven hours we will be meeting with our social worker (midnight on Wednesday, Texas time), asking the foster mom questions, and seeing Chloe for the first time.

It's a relatively short meeting, one hour, followed by a short check up with the doctor, and then we're handed over our daughter and her things and head back to our hotel.

Would you be praying for us, to be calm, to ask the right questions, and most of all for Chloe and the very sad and painful transition she is just beginning today.  I'll update more soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Korea, day one

We managed to find a direct flight to Korea this time around, we flew out of Dallas and when we got off the plane we were in Korea, this was the happiest thing to happen to me in a long time.  I can't believe the blessing, on the way home when we have our new baby who has just met us and is grieving so much, we get on a plane one time and when we get off, we're home, no re-checking in and re-boarding in LA, no holding a baby on my lap on a domestic flight.

Last time I distinctly remember thinking, whew! I did it when we got to the US, but then I had to do it all over again and the flight from LA to Houston was terrible, there was so much less space and Jack was crying and I had to change his diaper and there was no place to do it anymore, and you get the idea.  So I'm very happy to have a direct flight home, even if Korean Air it required flying Korean Air, which heats their plane to 80 degrees, Koreans love heat, you can quote me on that.

After a night of multiple three hour naps and some melatonin, we got up and got to skype with the kids, which was so good for my heart.  I was already missing them terribly and wondering how I was ever going to spend eight days away from them.  They were so happy and having so much fun, hearing their "i love yous" was soothing and I was able to go off and enjoy my day.

This time our hotel included breakfast, which is another huge blessing, last time we were here we were on our own to find breakfast and an American breakfast is very hard to find, the best we could do was coffee and pastries, which is not the most filling or healthy way to start the day.  So we filled up, after all it was included in our rate and everything else we would eat that day would cost us :).

We then took the subway over to the COEX shopping mall, which is a very modern shopping mall, with a mix of stores selling traditional Korean gifts, along with typical mall stores, it also has a theatre, a aquarium, and probably more things we didn't have time to see.  We got several things purchased, our main mission this time (besides getting Chloe) is to buy a lot of things that we can give to the kids over the years that are unique to Korea, we want them to have decorations, toys, and collectibles that represent part of their identity.

After a long day of shopping we came back to our hotel to rest for a little while before heading off to see the show Nanta, which was really good and quite funny even though I couldn't understand everything, if you ever have the chance to see it (it travels all over the world), I highly recommend it.

By the time that show was over it was 7pm and I was kaput, my husband was not (of course).  How can I explain what traveling with Kyle is like, it's a little bit like Amazing Race.  There are a large number of activities that have to be accomplished each day, and they need to be done quickly, because we need to get in all of our activities.  So of course after the show was over he had made plans for meeting a friend we recently made that lives in Seoul.

Kyle's goal for this trip was to try and tone it down some and give me time to rest, because my idea of a vacation is basically staying as still as possible.  He's been trying really hard and the compromise we've been coming to is him doing something by himself at night while I rest, which he did the night we got in to Korea and also did after we saw Nanta, I spent the evening eating junk food in a robe and taking a bath, but y'all knew that.

I'm trying to remember to take more pictures this time and to blog about what we do each day so I have that record, so stay tuned.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Living it up in Korea, to be continued

We've made it to Korea, safely, and not much worse for wear (except for a very sore butt..which is amazing because my butt has plenty of padding).  I was going to give you an update with pictures and everything, BUT, my computer has 8 minutes left of life on it.

Kyle plugged in the converter that he's had since he was 19 and lived in Spain and it was working great until all the sudden I smelled the worse smell of my life, ruining the jr. whopper I was eating while sitting on a couch in a bathrobe (I'm living it up tonight y'all), and he informed me that the converter was on fire, the computer was too much for it.

So I will update y'all soon with real pictures and everything, once Kyle buys me a new converter.  But it won't be till another day has passed because my sweet husband does not know how to slow down and like all vacations he's got plans for every moment of the day, pray for me :).

With three minutes to spare, and less than 3 days till we meet Chloe!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An event to tell our stories

My church, Grace Bible Church, is having a women's event this Friday evening, March 25th, called "Something to Say."  It sounds like a blast but I have the small problem of being in Korea so I won't be making it.  

Dinner will be served and the attendees will get to hear the amazing stories of Erin Cole and Renee Davis Meyer, these stories will move you and inspire you and just really refresh your walk with God.

 Then they're going to have break out sessions to learn how to tell your story and how to affectively learn other's stories.  And after that if your young and don't go to bed at 9pm, you can stay and hang out with amazing women and make journals.  

So if you want to sign up head over to Grace Bible's website and click on "register for this event."  It's open to all women, college aged and up.

They asked people to submit a story for a booklet they're going to be handing out to everyone, below is my story of grace.

I was going to tell you a different story, a story that sat unfinished for the past two weeks, I intended to finish it today and then, today, of all days, I got the phone call I've been waiting for.  The phone call to tell me that our daughter Chloe is ready to come home and we can fly to Korea to get her.

And now it is impossible for me to tell you any other story, because today the only story I know is the story of Chloe, which is the story of Jack and the story of Kylynn and the story of us.  The story of being a mother.  Who has walked such different paths to motherhood, a story of being on this path for so long, that we all have a hard time remembering not everyone does it this way.  Just this morning we passed the hospital where Kylynn was born and she told Jack that was where mommy came to get her after she was born, she does not understand the concept of giving birth, she only understands adoption.

And there it is, if God uses me for nothing else in my life, I will be content, he has used me to raise a little girl who, though I carried her for nine months, labored with her for 28 hours until they had to take her from my body, only understands adoption.  It is my story, it is my legacy, it is who I am.  A mother.  A mother of two children with a third one I will have my arms around come week end.  A mother who understands hurt and joy that I never dreamed I would experience, a mother who's seen how ugly this world can be, and how completely it contrasts to the beautiful plan he has for me.

This is what adoption has taught me, God has something he wants each of our lives for that is bigger than ourselves.  Something he wants us to say yes to that we cannot do on our own.  He chooses whatever scares us the most, the thing we instinctively say "no way" to, that thing we can't possibly do alone, so that, in the end having lost the ability to rely on self we turn to him and the world looks in and sees glory, his big beautiful glory.

Adoption taught me that we can say yes to the impossible, to the "no ways", because all he asks of us is our yes, the rest falls to him.  When we say yes and walk through that door he's placed in our path, the love and joy and peace comes like a river, and it can only be experienced in handing over our dreams to Him.   When you trade in your treasures for a yoke, your rights for a master, then you know: this is what it is to be rich, this is what it is to be free.

Adoption is all I know these days, it is my story.  I took all the dreams I had for my life, my marriage,  my family, and I traded them in for His.  He has held my hand every step of the way, he has never once let me down, never once asked me to do anything on my own.  He asks me daily to hand over the latest piece of junk I've picked up and begun to treasure, daily to come and follow Him, daily to remember I am His and this is his story to tell.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lean on His strength

I finally slept last night, I slept good, I'm talking deep, deep sleep, where all the dreams I remember had nothing to do about Chloe, adoption, flying, or Korea, it was a welcome relief.

Ever since I got that call on Wednesday I've been walking around in a fog, a fog of distraction, a fog of to-dos and a fog of fear.  I feel like this time around I know what I'm getting myself into and while it's something I love getting into, I know that there is a road before me filled with some very uncomfortable moments.

Many of those moments will occur within a few days time, telling our daughter's foster mother goodbye, watching Chloe grieve and begin to adjust, flying home on a long flight with a 1 year old, who has known us for about 2 days.

My hope is that I can somehow let go of my fear, to allow God to handle the big and the little going on right now.  To enjoy this process, after all I am going on a kid free trip with my husband, something that hasn't happened in a very long time.  To try and figure out how (I never can) to live in the moment, this one the one I'm in right now.  To not miss my kids yet, because they're right next to me, to not be scared of flying yet because I'm not on an airplane, to not worry about meeting Chloe yet because that's days down the road.

God is always using my life circumstances to remind me that I cannot do this on my own, but I can do this with His help, if I let Him lead me and lean on His strength, I've got this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's time!

We got the call, THE call.  We are soon to be in Korea meeting our precious baby girl, Chloe.

Will you pray for us, it is the only reason that last time went so smoothly.  Please pray for God to go before us and prepare our path.  Please pray for God to prepare our daughter's heart to say goodbye to her foster family and become part of her forever family.

Now it's off to make some lists...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A tea party

I started out this week that is supposed to be a break, spring break, feeling frantic as I looked over my to-do list and decided to treat this week like my last week before I head to Korea (though I have absolutely no idea if that is true and most likely is not).  I began to do what I do when I feel overwhelmed, a half a project here, a third of a project there, fold a piece of laundry, oh wait go send an email.  Setting the pace for a very busy and entirely un-fun spring break.

Then suddenly the view outside caught my eye, it was a beautiful spring day, in fact I'd say God was showing off a little, and I realized that 1) this is my last time being a mother to just two children and 2) nothing on my list was really that important, if it didn't get done before we went to Korea, it wasn't the end of the world.  I went upstairs to tell Kylynn to finish up cleaning her room so we could go play outside, and she stood there in her self-made apron (a baby blanket and a belt) and told me how she was going to make a tea party for me and all that it would entail.

I looked at her, really seeing her, when so often I'm to busy to pay much attention, with her bright eyes and her plans she had dreamed up and her desire to be a princess right out of the movies, who puts on an apron to clean and then a party dress for a tea party.  Let's do it, put on your dress, pick one out for me, I'll make the food, you decorate the table on the back porch.

She finally decided on a long summer dress for me, after I encouraged her that her original pick was a little too fancy.  She cleaned her room in record time and was off to decorate.  My daughter has many of my loves and hang-ups, she loves to decorate as do I, but she has a flare to her that I've never had, she mixed and matched and made a beautiful table, although she was sad I wouldn't give her one of my vases for flowers.  We had strawberries with sugar, goldfish, and cookies per her request.  We also had hot chocolate because Jack had been talking about it for days and I'd been telling him I would give him some soon.

Jack had been insisting I call him "Cinderella" all day, so of course he was right at home, as I believe Cinderella loves tea parties.  I have no idea why he wanted to be called Cinderella, he acted his same old boy self all day and really I think just got a kick out of the control of correcting me every few minutes to say, "no, Cinderella!"  It was a lovely tea party and really set the tone for this week.  Now that I've calmed down I'm actually getting a lot more done and realizing that what I need to put at the top of my list is time with my kids.