Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Dream Come True

During our years of waiting to become parents, one of the hardest times for me was the start of fall. That's when everyone starts posting all the adorable pictures of their kids at the pumpkin patch. I am not sure why these were so hard for me, maybe because fall is my favorite time of year. But each year my heart would ache and I would dream of just maybe someday taking a trip to the pumpkin patch with my own child.

Last year, Joshua was newly home, but because this was something I had always wanted to do, I pushed to go, a big mistake. It was pretty much a disaster. Joshua clung to me in absolute fear. How I wish I could go back and tell the me of one year ago to just be patient, the time would come. In fact, I would tell any adoptive family with a newly home child to give it at least 6 months to a year (and sometimes it is much longer), until then have your expectations around holidays low, don't push to do things your child may not be ready for, and don't compare yourselves to the other families that traveled around the same time as you. I wish I had known these things back then.

But what a difference a year makes. Our day could not have been more perfect; it was almost magical. It was actually quite chilly the morning we went, making it actually feel like fall here in Arizona! It was also quite windy, which wasn't so great for my hair, as you will see in the pictures below. But it didn't matter. Joshua loved it and we had a great time. He is obsessed with anything green right now, so he kept pointing to the green (unripe) pumpkins and saying, "green, green, green." Thankfully, he didn't get upset when I told him we couldn't get a green one, we had to get an orange one.

Here is our day in pictures, warning be prepared for picture overload!

Riding out to the pumpkin patch on the tractor:

Heading out to the patch:

Picking out our pumpkin:

Picture with mommy:

Heading back with our pumpkins:

Family photo:

Pumpkin carving:


Pumpkin #2:

 Posing with the pumpkin he picked out, picked because it had green :-)

 (This is his "cheese" - shoulders raised, tongue up)

And here with the finished product:

It was completely unintentional, but our pumpkins actually represent our family of three very well, don't you think? It was a day dreams are made of with the little boy who is "immeasurable more" than I ever dreamed.

I am so very blessed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Update on Jonah!

In October we got an update and new pictures of Jonah! He is doing really well.

At 15 months old, he weighs 21.8 pounds and is 31 inches tall - such a peanut compared to Joshua who weighed 30 pounds at 30 inches. He has 4 upper and 2 lower teeth.

He drinks 6-7 oz of formula 3-4 times per day. He eats rice, soft bread, banana, and yogurt. And then it says, "amount of less eating." Something tells me this is intended to say he is a picky eater :-)

He gets 1 bath a day, which he likes, and takes 2 naps a day. At night he sleeps from 10pm to 7 or 8am in the morning.

The rest of the update is in the form of a checklist, Jonah does the following:

-Walks and runs
- Says "no" meaningfully
- Says "umma" and "mamma" meaningfully (mamma means food in Korean)
- Uses single word sentences
- Shows understanding of words
- Points with index finger at body parts or to express needs
- Gives toy to familiar adult spontaneously
- Imitates adult behavior
- Plays ball cooperatively
- Turns pages of a book
- Scribbles with a pen
- Puts 3 or more objects into a container
- Brings spoon to mouth
- Holds and drinks from a cup with some spilling
- Builds tower using two cubes
- Follows simple errands
- Finds hidden objects

Then it states that RiYoon is without issues in the loving care of his foster family and it describes him as smart and sweet.

It's crazy reading this for me; Joshua didn't do most of these things until much much later (past 20 months old). Joshua and Jonah are 14 and a half months apart, but developmentally they will be much closer than that. I kind of feel like I will have twins, which is something I always wanted.

These pictures just about did me in, Jonah looks so big. But he sure does look like a little sweetheart, especially in the second picture - love his little smile.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Adoption #2 Update

After being asked a couple of times recently if there were any updates on Jonah's adoption, I realized I am long overdue in giving an update. As you can see by the ticker on the right side of my blog, we have now been waiting almost 10 months from the time our referral acceptance paperwork went to Korea (ATK). Initially, we were anticipating an 18 month wait to bring Jonah home, but as the process began to move forward it began to look like he could be home by February of 2013. Now I am not so sure.

Many of you may remember that we were waiting on Emigration Permission (EP) from the Korean government in order to bring Joshua home. We have been waiting on the same thing for Jonah. Once the EP quota was announced at the beginning of this year, we knew we would not travel this year to bring Jonah home. But it was looking like we would be in the first group submitted in 2013, which is when we began to anticipate traveling in February. However, a new law in Korea went in to effect on August 5th of this year. This law mainly changed things with domestic adoption in Korea, however it does have some effect on international adoption, the main effect being that after we receive EP approval we now have to get approval from the Korean court. At this point it looks like only our paperwork goes to court; we don't have to personally appear in court and our adoption will not be finalized in Korea just as before. In anticipation of the new law the Korean government allowed the adoption agencies in Korea to submit large groups of families for EP approval prior to the new law going into effect. Only 10% of the 2012 families were not submitted under the old law; these families are to be the trial group under the new law. The problem is only a few of them have been submitted for EP, none have received approval, and not one international adoptive family has gone through the Korean courts yet.

The recent MPAK blog post sheds more light on all this. The problem appears to be with the courts and with the Ministry that handles adoption. No one knows yet if the court is going to require additional paperwork or information from us. But irregardless, it looks like the remaining 10% of families will not all travel this year which pushes us all back. Even if all these families receive EP, it is being estimated that it could take another couple of months after that to receive court approval.

So where does that leave us? Traveling in May? I honestly have no idea. This new information has had me feeling pretty down and discouraged. I feel like Jonah is going to be two years old before he is home. Missing two years of his life - a hard pill to swallow right now.

But I have to trust God with this. It is all so out of my control. I know His timing is perfect. It was with Joshua, and it will be again with Jonah. I have to rest in that and do the only thing I can - pray.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

9 Years Ago Today...

..I married my best friend. He still is my best friend, even more so today. I am so very blessed and thankful.

Looking forward to next year, when God willing we will be together on our anniversary and celebrating 10 years of marriage.

A little pre-wedding snack/lunch

Happy 9th Anniversary John, I love you so much!