Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Morning Date

This morning John and I had a short date, our first with a babysitter for Joshua. In January, when my mom was here we sneaked out for a dinner date after Joshua was in bed. It was wonderful! But we haven't felt ready to try a babysitter.

For the first 4 months home we didn't leave Joshua at all. At 4 months home when we switched churches, we decided to give church nursery a try. I know some people would be of the opinion that this is a little early to leave your child and others have probably already left their child in someone else's care by this point. Obviously, every child is different and everyone has different circumstances. Some people have to return to work. Others, like us, live in a place where they have no family and few friends. Our new church meets in a high school, so it really doesn't have a true cry room, just a space in the back of the auditorium which really only works for little babies. The choice was either continue to miss church as I had been doing to stay with Joshua or give it a try. Spiritually, I felt like I was in desperate need of this time to worship the Lord with my husband. Our church has a number of other adoptive moms and after asking their opinions we decided to go for it. My gut told me Joshua was ready for it, but I was so nervous. In the end, Joshua didn't cry at all. The same can't be said for me. I think he was a little anxious, but no more than any other child his age going to the nursery. The other thing I really watched for was any disturbances in his sleep. I knew if there was an issue it would come out in his sleep, either by lots of wake-ups with crying as it was in the beginning or a night terror. Thankfully, neither occurred. We were also invited to join a small group. One of the coolest things about this group is that every family in the group except one has adopted a child or is in the process of adopting. There are actually two other families with kids from Korea in the group! We meet on Sunday evenings and young lady named Imani from our church watches the kids in the family room while the adults have our study in the front room. It couldn't be a more perfect situation for our family. We are so grateful for the Lord's provision in this because we were so desperate for fellowship with other believers. We are finally feeling connected here in Tucson.

Imani has been watching Joshua on Sunday evenings for almost 3 months now and he has gotten quite comfortable with her. We have had a number of people offer to babysit for us when we were ready, but it was really hard for me to take anyone up on their offer. I just wasn't ready to take the plunge. Finally, last Sunday we ran into Imani after church service. This never has never happened before and it was as if the Lord orchestrated it. I felt His gentle nudge and knew it was time to ask her. She came over this morning and John and I went out for just over 2 hours. This way we would be home in time to put Joshua down for his nap. We went for bagels and coffee which we took to a nearby National Park. We climbed up on some rocks overlooking the park and just ate and talked. Then we went for a drive and stopped by a farmer's market. It was truly wonderful.

It got me thinking though. Sometimes I hear people say to couples dealing with infertility that you just have to enjoy the extra time you have together as a couple, and that is true to a certain extent. But something about that statement has never fully sat well with me. This morning I realized why. It is hard to enjoy that time when there is a huge gaping wound in your heart. That hole is ever present. For us, it was there for such a long time that it is hard to remember a time when it wasn't there. But this morning I got to feel what it feels like to go out with your husband and not have that hole present. And it was glorious.

The Lord has healed my heart and made me a joyful mother (Psalm 113:9). Thank you Lord!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Grandma's Quilt

My grandma, Joshua's great grandmother, died the summer after I graduated college so sadly she was never able to see any of her grandchildren get married or meet any of her great grandchildren. My grandpa died the year prior to her death. How I wish I could have known them as an adult when I would have appreciated them so much more.

My grandparents were not extravagant people or big collectors. They lived simply, loved Jesus, and prayed for their children and grandchildren daily. We do however, have a few cherished items that belonged to them. The summer grandma died, my sister was pregnant with my niece. She would have been the 1st great grandchild for my grandparents. One of the cherished items is a baby quilt made by my grandparents, apparently my grandpa would actually do a lot of the hand stitching, so naturally that item went to my sister. When I was pregnant my sister passed the quilt along to me as part of my Christmas gift. For a very long time it sat tucked away in the guest bedroom closet. It was hard for me to even look at it. One of my cousins had a baby, but at the time I had pushed those thoughts so far out of my mind (for survival) that I didn't even think about the quilt. Thankfully, by the time another cousin (his brother) was expecting, I was able to pass the quilt on to them. Their little girl is named Elise, which was the middle name we gave our baby, so that was kind of neat. Anyway, my cousin sent it back to us last summer before Joshua came home.

In August, I am going to have another niece so it is time to pass the quilt back to my sister. Truthfully, we didn't use the quilt much because it really is a baby quilt. Also, I didn't want Joshua to choose it as his blankie (with him being at that age). But it was important to me to get some pictures of Joshua with it before passing it on. I took a few pictures at the house which didn't really turn out well and then went to a park to play and have a picnic lunch. It was a fun day and a great memory.

I only wish she could have met my sweet boy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Joshua is in love with balloons right now so we got him a couple more to celebrate today.

Then we made cupcakes. He LOVES helping mommy right now.

Finished product - Toppers are a free printable from Creations by Kara

St. Patrick's Day lunch was rice with seaweed (it looks black in the photo, but it's really dark green) and green grapes on a green plate topped off with a cupcake.

Initially, I wasn't sure how I felt about celebrating this holiday with so much emphasis on it being an Irish thing. We have an Irish last name, and therefore Joshua will have an Irish last name once our adoption is finalized, but I don't want to take away anything from who he is as a Korean American. Ultimately, I decided to have fun with it and celebrate the day with things I know Joshua enjoys. I like the idea of having fun little celebrations for the various holidays throughout the year. I want to keep it simple, however, and not fall into the trap of doing things to impress others or to try to be the perfect mom.

I also love this post from Dr. Russel Moore - a great reminder that St. Patrick's Day is really about a man who told people about Jesus. Now that is worth celebrating.

Friday, March 16, 2012

February Recap and Pictures

February started out wonderfully with a visit from Papa and Meme but then took a turn for a worse when both Joshua and I got sick. However, we did manage to have some fun.

It snowed in Tucson on Valentine's Day! It actually made me a little sad though because it made me think of our friends in Maryland and Virginia.

We had some fun with a Valentine balloon, bought at half price the day after, since I was too sick to leave the house prior to that. Joshua loves us to karate chop it. :-)

Met up with a new friend (also adopting from Korea) at Spring Gymnastics, where they open up the gym to toddlers and let them play on their trampolines, mats, and Joshua's favorite the foam block pit below the parallel or uneven bars (not sure which).

"More, more, more" - he wants me to throw him in the pit

Following his most recent illness, our pediatric nurse practitioner put Joshua on inhaled steroids indefinitely. We do one treatment in the morning and one right before bed. To encourage his cooperation, he is allowed to watch a video during the treatments. This particular evening we were watching one of the Praise Baby DVDs. There are balloons throughout the video, so Joshua just has to go get his balloon in order to watch it. He gets quite upset if he doesn't have it with him. :-)

Joshua turned 22 months! I just took pictures of what he happened to be doing that day. Here he is playing with the green bowls in the living room, a favorite activity.

And here playing with the little ceramic bear my mom made for him.

In front of the quilt John's mom made for him. Isn't it gorgeous!

Met up with some ladies from our new church for a playdate. Here Joshua is "dancing" to a beat. He will do this anytime he hears music or some type of rhythm. His dancing is marching his feet and spinning around.

He also discovered the teeter totter.

"More, more more!"

Joshua started giving Annie her treats in the morning. As you can see, he is quite pleased with himself.

Getting down on the ground to watch Annie eat her treat is required.

I am sure we did other stuff, but if I don't have a picture then I can't remember. John always make fun of me about this because I always want to take pictures of whatever we are doing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pictures from Papa and Meme's Visit

I need to catch up on some picture posts, these are from my dad and stepmom's visit in February (all taken by my stepmom).