Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A new blog....another son

It has been awhile......I have started a new blog....please come follow us there!

 Sons From Afar


Monday, August 23, 2010

3 years

It was 3 years ago this month we first laid eyes on Jet.

We had no "plans" to adopt again. My husband didn't, for sure. But an infant girl became available from Korea who was already state side. We raced like crazy to get our home study done, yet we were not the parents planned for this little girl.

But we have a home study done. Just sitting there. It kinda seems like a waste not use it, right?!? LOL

In come the waiting child photo albums and websites. We were interested in an infant girl.

Long story short, our older boy found us. Have you ever noticed how many boys are available?? I mean, seriously, you can dress them cute too and they love hugs just as much!

I had requested info on a few boys, intending to only look at kids with subsidized fees. I "accident-ly" (we know God doesn't do things accident-ly, now don't we!) received Jet's and fell in love. We were in the process of praying and discussing what to do when I get an email from the agency, Jet had received subsidized fees!

Now 3 years later on August 10th we went to the Thai Embassy in Chicago and registered Jet's adoption. We have fulfilled all the requirements needed. (OK, we still need to do the passport, oh and raise him!!)

We couldn't have it go off without a hitch though! I had called back in April and set up an appointment for August. We planned our time in IL, Papa took the time off and I let my daycare families know. Papa, I and the boys took the train in from the suburbs for an eleven o'clock appointment.

We arrived early and thank goodness we did. They had no record of us coming in, the gentleman I had spoken to was in Thailand on vacation and the paperwork was not ready! I must say what happened next would NOT happen at a US Embassy. After we explained we were here for one day, the man we were talking to asked if we could come back at two o'clock. He would do everything he could to get it ready for us, even though he had never filled out this paperwork before. We said we would aim for 1:30ish.

We kept sitting there for awhile, it was air-conditioned and free! We were going to wait until a little closer to lunch time and then leave. Well, good thing we were there, he came back a couple of times needing to ask us some questions, make copies of paperwork I had just decided to throw in my bag and at 11:40ish told us not to leave, he was trying to get it done by noon before their break for lunch!!

We were treated nicely by all involved even though it took until 12:10 for us to finish. The gentleman cheerfully engaged with Jet and Bug and was genuinely touched when the boys both bowed and said Kob Khun Ka. Unfortunately Jet is no longer able to say much else in Thai. ;((

We took pics outside of the Embassy and headed down the sidewalk to find some lunch. Right next to the Embassy was Silver Spoon, a hole in the wall restaurant with steep stairs leading underground. We went and we ate some of the BEST Thai food we have ever had, coming close to food we ate in Thailand!! YUM! Their lunch specials were huge and very well priced!

It was cute when in the middle of the meal Bug said he wished we could take lunch to our helper at the Embassy!!

I was amazed at the paperwork we received. I had no idea. We received his actual Thai birth certificate, we had only seen a copy. We received his House registration, like a US SS#. And we are able to maintain dual citizenship for him. We received 2 other forms in Thai and I can't remember what they were so if anybody knows, please tell me!!

It has been a long 3 years in some ways but now time just seems to be flying by!!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When I grow up....

We were playing a game tonight and Jet pointed to a picture of a boy with brown skin saying it was Bug. Then he said the boy with white skin was himself. I said that doesn't look like my boy, both of my boys look like this boy, as I pointed to the boy with brown skin.

Jet was not happy with this comment, as he whimpered his response.

He doesn't like or want brown skin.

He asked his next question with tons of hope in his voice--"Will I have white skin when I grow up"?

So sad, only one year in and he has a desire to have a different color skin. I would give anything to have the beautiful brown skin my munchkins are naturally blessed with. My other 2 have not experienced this before/yet.

I find it so interesting as this last year I have become so disillusioned living in the United States. (Not that Americans are the only "white" skin colored culture) And this impressionable aged child comes to America, sees many white people and believes that is something to strive for and desire. What is it about our culture/environment that permeates a young child's mind, creating this type of a reaction to something as basic as the color of their skin. To make him want to be white when he grows up. To be willing to "change", hope to "change" what he looked like for 8 years, what all the others he knew looked like, abandon all that for something he believes is better. He was honestly disappointed in my answer. To the point of tears starting. He is not even the darkest of our children. So why does he see it as important? And where did the notion come from?

And, most importantly, what can I do to educate, encourage, explain to him that he can and should be valued by who he is on the inside. Not by the color of his skin. And that the color of his skin does not influence how much money, food, things, has.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

May 11th, 2001

I am behind, please bear with my reflecting on the past month.

My Peanut came home on this day. Nine years ago, our first born child and only daughter was placed in our arms. We traveled to an airport about 3 hours away. It was a surreal experience, driving to an airport to be handed your child. This was pre-9/11 (barely) so we were able to wait at the gate and see our children's escorts getting right off the plane. An incredible experience and I am so thankful we had one child come home before 9/11 as to not miss that scene.

We had family at the airport. Her flight in was really late at night so we all stayed in a hotel. I gave in to the warnings to not let anyone else hold Peanut and regret that to this day. Very sad to say, it is my precious daughter who has paid the biggest price for that choice. Is still paying for it.

At the time we were adopting our first child through Holt, parents were not able to select gender unless they had one gender at home. We didn't so we were obviously open. It was a well known fact that more boys were available and most first time parents were blessed with a son. That knowledge, combined with the fact we knew a family in our town with the same dossier to Korea date requesting a girl, convinced us our first child would a boy.

Obviously God had other plans! And we naturally had no problem with that!!

Peanut is a loving, generous, petite, free spirited young girl who loves and hates the fact she is adopted. It is a battle that flares up frequently within her sweet soul. She longs to know Korea and recently became penpals with a young gal who is Korean. Peanut loves her family, Jesus, reading, swimming, ballet, singing, snuggling, sleeping with her bros, music, sunshine...

So many of her characteristics fit mine from when I was a child. Nicknames like Trouble, Twinkle Toes, Babbling Brook.....There is no doubt she is my daughter and I am SO very thankful to God for allowing me to raise her!!

Our butterfly whisperer

She had to squat down because the water blaster got too heavy!

A girl and her dog, Sam~we miss you, boy~

Peanut and her Godmother, my sis

Our 4 1/2 year old!

Is determined to do anything she wants!

Her first ballet recital, 5 1/2 years old

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thailand monsters

When we first met our son in Thailand he was wearing 3 "bracelets" around his wrist. Two were regular looking bracelets and the other was a piece of string. We asked Miss Oh if there was any significance to each bracelet. The string was usually put on at a wat by a monk for good health, especially if one had been sick. She also let us know you NEVER cut it off. Very good to know!

Flash forward a few months when Jet starts talking about his experiences in Thailand and he says a monk put it on to keep the Thailand monsters away. I am fairly certain he still believes monsters are real. He is still trying to figure out why there aren't any in America or if he should believe us or not!!

Around 2 months or so ago, Jet asked me if he could cut it off. I indicated it was fine for him to cut it off or he could leave it on. Secretly, I have been wanting to cut that string off ages ago! It is dirty, ratty and a germ haven, I am sure. But I would never do that to him. It needed to be his decision or it needed to break on its own. He said he wanted to cut it off.

But he didn't. And I didn't say a thing.

We didn't discuss it again until today. He was Tigger bouncing around the living room and out of the blue indicated his "bracelet" and said, I want to cut it off. Same answer from me.

Straight for the scissors he went. Thankfully I snapped this first.

I am taking it as a sign of his letting go, moving on, feeling safer in our family. I can't help but correlate it to our conversation yesterday when Jet expressed to me he thought I loved Peanut and Bug more than him. Where another heart to heart, family bonding, crying time was had by Jet and I. Ya know, a YOU ARE MY SON FOREVER kinda thing. WE CHOSE YOU, WE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR YOU, WE THOUGHT ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY kinda thing. I hope it is a sign of an increased comfort level for him.

It was probably just a Tigger bouncy off the wall kinda thing! Oh well!! I can have my moment, right?!!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Highs and lows

I wrote the first part of this post back on March 16th. Most of it was done, but I struggle with my posts being perfect and I assume I couldn't find the words to finish it. So I never did. I found it yesterday when I was going through my drafts and planned to post it today. Little did I know how appropriate that thought would be. (The second part of this post was written on Thursday)

March 16th
Today was a tough day. Tensions have been high lately, each day seeming to build a little more. I am fairly certain we hit the crescendo today.

It appears Jet has decided he doesn't feel like following rules. A bit of a 2 year old temper tantrum attitude has become more prevalent. He does his own thing and even when he is trying to help, he won't listen to any advice.

Peanut's tolerance level has reached an end. She has had to take on more responsibility due to my increased daycare combined with the fact she is a child who NEEDS the sunshine and outside time. And lets face it, not all our snow has melted yet. And today was the warmest day since last November, we maybe topped out at 46*.

They played outside for almost 2 hours!!

But at dinner tonight we were able to bring it all back to memories from when we traveled to Thailand. Cheerful, good memories. Peanut remembering how cute she thought it was when they talked to Jet on Skype. I would tell him "say hello" and he would respond "say hello"!! LOL Bug agreeing and adding how he liked to hear his voice after wondering for so long about him. The pride in Jet's voice and posture after he said "what brother" and answered his own question with "oh me"!

We are a family. Through the good times and the tough times. (I am not a fan of using the words bad times, all can be teachable moments, God can bring good if we allow Him to)

We have been heading toward that crescendo again. And within a 45 minute time frame all 3 children had a sobbing meltdown, separately.

Peanut struggles being the only girl and her brothers doing "boy" things all the time. She and Bug were inseparable and did boy and girl things together no problem. They were exceptionally close and that has changed. It very well might have changed with the ages they have turned even if Jet had not entered the scene. I am not sure how long Bug would have played Amer*can Girl or Pol*y Pockets. Though since it coincided with Jet coming home, it appears to be because of him. Jet does not like to do girlie things, surprisingly to me since he lived with quite a few girls. But most everything he was exposed to seems to be gross motor activities not gender related. And he caught on rather quickly to gender specific types, even though we don't emphasis them. Not sure how that happened. Since that was never an issue, I am often at a loss as to how to deal with the whole boy/girl play thing.

Jet has become a bit angry, more defensive in his manner. He takes most things as a slight whether intended or not. He has started talking back to the kids as well as Papa and I. We have had a few incidents of exaggerating or lying. Jet wants to make all the choices and be in charge of all situations. He doesn't have the same desire to please in doing his chores as he had before. He also seems to be having an increase in his energy level, a bit of a need for speed.

Bug is very sensitive and rather conflicted at times. He ADORES his sister and can't stand the thought he (or someone else) might have hurt her. He ADORES having a brother and all that goes along with that, like Star W*rs, Leg*s, light sabers, etc... Bug does not understand the flare for "drama" his brother and sister display. During today's situation the poor kiddo just kept repeating "I just wanted to play with the marbles and blocks" while crying.

It seems to go in waves. We have had two or so weeks of great "getting along", everybody's ideas counting, no big disagreements, good sharing, thoughtfulness to each other. Then bam! It can almost seem like we are at ground zero starting all over again. I am ever so thankful God is my constant companion and that He creates children with such incredible resilience. I appreciate their ability to forgive and forget. I can learn so much at times by watching them move past a negative situation and return to the loving relationship they share with their siblings.

It has come to my attention over the last few weeks, being a brother or sister is not a natural instinct. It needs to be more intensely taught and learned then I had anticipated. An example would be about one week ago, I was having snuggle time with Bug after the other two were in bed. An extra 15 minutes each munchkin gets for one on one time once a week. After 5 minutes, Jet comes up saying he can't sleep because Peanut was crying. I said maybe he could comfort Peanut, see if he could make her feel better. "How" he asked with this perplexed look on his face. I gave him suggestions. After Bug's 15 minutes, Peanut came up and the first thing she said was "Jet just made my year"! He comforted her! Though Peanut quickly changed it to "her day", I mean, come on, we can't make things seem too good now can we?!

I realize all the happenings in our house are natural, expected, part of the package. We have not been a family of five for even a year yet. Though we are close! But we were a family of four for 6.5 years and Jet was a child in an orphanage for 8+ years. When you compare those time frames, one MUST understand we are where we are "suppose" to be and we will continue to grow and learn. With more highs and more lows.

I strongly believe the highs and lows are what creates the strong family bond of affection. Feelings are intense, they need to be, to produce sympathy, love, unselfishness. Those things that make a family, help it to survive all trials, allow its members to be themselves and know they will always be taken care of with an unconditional love.

So bring on the highs and lows!! And let us always remember to forgive and forget.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Jet and Bug were playing with their Ma*ch box cars the other day when Jet was telling me about one of the cars. He told me something about the "fancy" car.

Bug stopped and said "where did you learn a big word like that?"!!! LOL

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

11 months

Wow, it is unbelievable to realize we will be celebrating 1 year home next month with Jet!!

I thought I would give an update to things in our house!

Jet is doing very well. He is an energetic, little boy who is very happy warmer, outside weather has arrived. The winter was a long cold time for him. Outside play is minimal because it gets quite cold here, yet the sun shines brightly like in Thailand. He would think that automatically meant it was warm enough to go out. By the time spring was starting Jet was literally bouncing off the furniture! Thankfully our spring has been incredibly warm and much outside time has been had. I was quite sure one of us wasn't going to make it to spring if it didn't come soon!!

On the topic of energetic, Jet doesn't walk anywhere. He runs, skips, jumps, hops.... Literally. all. the. time. Arms flapping, head bouncing, legs hopping. Jet doesn't walk up the stairs, all four limbs are used to bounce up them every time! You could ask him take out the trash and his wiggly, giggly body would be on the task! If we could only bottle up his energy and enthusiasm!!

The bathroom situation is still a struggle. He goes at the prescribed time only with the exception of a handful of times. Once after I noted something seemed to be wrong, he indicated his stomach hurt and we encouraged him to go potty. (It is the name he uses for time to sit, pee we still call hung nam) He has been able to draw on that "feeling" and know he needs to go. At least 90% of the time he goes because he knows he "has" to because it is part of his routine. Jet was floored when he finally realized this needed to be a daily ritual. (I might have just found one task/time he doesn't hop, skip or jump to do!) He tells us he did not have to go every day in Thailand. Nor did he have gas. ;0)

Jet would really like to travel back to Thailand. He would like to see his friends. He would like his family to meet his friends. He has all sorts of things he talks about wanting us to experience, eat, see. This one troubles my heart. I would of course love to take us all back there. We enjoy traveling, the other munchkins didn't get to see it. I also strongly feel Jet NEEDS to go to have closure. So much is happening when the time comes for our children to leave their current life. A child Jet's age, 8+, has got to have so much going on in their heads. So much unknown, excitement, fear, anxiety. How can they truly grasp the departure from life as they know it? That their new home is 7243 miles from their current home and chances of returning are unknown. It is impossible for them to grasp and therefore, in my opinion, also impossible for them to take with them what they NEED to take with them. And I don't mean physical things. Adding more struggles is the fact we now have 2 countries to visit, S. Korea and Thailand. Unsolicited advice warning: Plan financially to return at about one year with your child and I am obviously speaking about the older adopted child here. I realize all children are different, if yours doesn't "need" to go back, go on a great vacation or use it to adopt again!!

Jet has grown about 1 1/2 inches and gained 4 pounds. His hair is the most obvious sign of better nutrition. His hair was very thin and sparse when we came home from Thailand. Jet has more hair now, it seems more full. Malnutrition is still evident in his appearance and will be for 3-4 years our family doctor feels. I also believe it plays a part in his attention span.

We have naturally had ups and downs, however we are thrilled to be a family of five! I have other areas to update however I want them to have their own posts so it isn't so much to read at once!!

We are so blessed!

April 2009

January 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Singing time

It is so fun to listen to Jet sing! It is like listening to a toddler/young child singing what they think are the words.

My favorite to hear, and his so we hear it alot!, is Jingle Bells. (He likes to sing all the time and I have just been realizing we need to do the typical young child songs for him to learn and expand his repertoire!)

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way,
Oh my God
, it is.....(mumble mumble)

And the best part is Oh my God is said very reverently as we do not use that phrase in our home and when we say my God it is done as we talk about our God.

I like to hear it so much I have not yet been able to correct him. Neither has Peanut, she thinks it is sweet too.

We do singing time with the day care infants everyday and it so cute to watch my kiddos with them. I love watching Jet sing to them and try to follow along as he is learning. Yesterday he was trying to keep one baby happy while I fed another so he tried to start the songs on his own.
I really had a blast listening to him sing to her, his versions, with the Thai accent.

I wonder if their parents will notice when their kiddos start singing songs? Ya know, the Thai accented wrong words to the traditional nursery and Christmas songs!!

But seriously, who could resist!!??!!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My son

Quite a few times over the last few months Jet has commented he wishes I would have a baby in my tummy. (I feel in some ways it is his way of experiencing/saying he wishes he had been born from my womb)

A couple days ago, out of the blue, Jet tells me he is glad Jesus didn't have a baby put in my tummy. I asked why. Because then I wouldn't be your son. You and Daddy wouldn't have come to Thailand and brought me home. To be your son.

My son.

I am glad too.