Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thailand Memories

We have had some growing pains today in our status as a family of five. Many members cried a few times. Too tired to blog about it. So I am going to share some fun memories from Thailand. Hope you enjoy!

These were a fruit Jet picked out at the Seafood Market. They were opened and served to us like this! We had no idea what they were. But we tried them and they are SO good! Even anti-fruit eating Papa liked them! YUM

Here is the little step I fell down. Not the 2 BIG steps, just the little one. And yes, I fell down it, all 2 inches of it!!
Jet liked taking pictures. It was an icebreaker for us the first day at the orphanage. He took pics of everything. Including Tom and Jerry in Thai! On the T.V.

Papa's dinner included this huge shrimp, eyes and all, laying right in the middle. In true tourist fashion he had me take a picture! Thankfully, it was not alive! That was a different restaurant!

My singer, songwriter, guitar playing husband did indeed hunt down a guitar store in Bangkok. And yes, it is true, he "abandoned" me and the child who did not like me...... go visit the store, chat with the store owner's son, drool over the guitars (whew, none were left handed!) and take pics of his outing!! In typical tourist fashion!

Another dorky touristy picture of Papa with the coolest. biggest, most disgusting tasting drink ever!

The heat even sends the dogs inside there!

And a final one taken at home. 3 is STILL my new favorite number! (New sandals for summer!)

Hope you all are having a good evening! I am off to give myself a pedicure while munching a cookie or two. Blessings~

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Of language, that is!!

This past Sunday it was like a switch was flipped and Jet has started talking ALOT. I liken it to a baby then toddler all in 8 weeks. He didn't talk much at all in the beginning, mostly listening, taking it all in. Then he moved to a few words, repeating words you said, definitely feeling self conscience of the sound coming out of his mouth. He would giggle after many words and spoke very softly.

A week or two ago Jet started putting 2-3 words together occasionally especially when prompted. His voice was growing stronger. He had the ability since he has been saying prayers with us at meals since Thailand and night time prayers for at least 4 weeks!

On Sunday all 3 kids were making Father's Day cards for their Papa and their Grandpas. I had seen Jet making one for Boppa (my Dad) and knew there was one for Papa. At one point he came downstairs to show me, indicating one for Papa and one for Grandpa E. I asked him where Boppa's card was. He said oh and ran upstairs.

About 5 minutes later Jet came back down and repeated the one for Papa and Grandpa E thing. I persisted about Boppa's since we were about to leave to go there. I told him to go up and ask Peanut where it was because she had seen him make it. He looked at me for a minute. Then his answer went something like this:

Jet asked Peanut where Boppa card; Peanut doesn't know; Peanut said ask Mama

And we are off to the races!!!!!!!!

He has been having more conversations like this everyday since!

I am so completely amazed at his receptive language as well. He truly understands SO many things. Yesterday I mentioned to him something was under the table and he knew right away to look UNDER the table. My Mom was giving a direction to me of something tricky to do not being very direct since it was to me and he completely understood her!

I am in awe of his determination. He will persist with me if I say something, I can see it in his face, trying to figure it out. Then if I can tell he isn't sure I will start to mime, gesture and then the ah haa moment comes. It is so fun to see!!

8 weeks yesterday!! We have been home for 8 weeks!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love you's and Kisses

I had a different post planned for today. But then something happened that just had to be shared first!!

There are 2 things you need to remember to go with this story. We are an affectionate family and that has been an adjustment for Jet. And he has not always been very fond of me. (Putting it nicely!)

Peanut and Bug are huge huggers and kissers, with each other and with us parents. It has been a slightly uncomfortable thing for Jet. He has grimaced his way through some and I have had to encourage Peanut and Bug to give him some space at times. I have strongly believed seeing Peanut and Bug interact with each other and me has been really good for Jet.

At this point in time, Jet has hugged me, snuggled, allowed me to kiss him, bless him and has said I love you in return. I love you has been said as a repetitive thing, not necessarily understanding the meaning and emotion.

This morning I had the children gathered around me while I was slathering them in sunscreen. While waiting his turn, Bug was giving many kisses to my arm and cheek. Jet was getting the sunscreen applied so he had a good view of Bug's affection. I turned to Bug so my lips got his lips to surprise him once. Jet giggled. It was then Bug's turn for sunscreen.

Much to my amazement Jet started kissing my arm, kissed my cheek then moved his face in front of mine. Then he kissed me on the lips!! With only a little giggle following. WOW

Later in the day we were outside playing in the pool. Jet came up to, goggles and all, wrapped his arms around me, saying "I love you, Mama". Looking right at me.....through blue goggles....but looking right at me! This was completely on his own. Neither of his siblings had just been doing or saying that nor had I just said it!! WOW

Two times my breath was taken away and I had to fight for composure. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

This boy keeps stealing my heart a little more each day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I have spent the day thinking about fathers. Many different kinds of fathers. Naturally, the fathers who have children they are raising or have raised come to mind. I thought about the fathers who have created life only to experience a miscarriage or death prior to birth. From our own experiences I also consider the fathers who are struggling through infertility. Each month is like a silent miscarriage. It has always been very special for me when others include women who have suffered miscarriages and/or infertility when describing a mother. The same goes with a father for me.

This year I spent more time thinking about my childrens birth fathers. In most conversations birth mothers are more often referred to. In the face of raising 2 sons now, the birth father comes to mind more. My sons will have their father, grandfathers and uncles as examples. I watched Jet today in church sitting next to his uncle, imitating his every move, the exact fold of his hands, his stance. So impressionable. One day an explanation of the role their birth father played will be needed. How will that impact my boys?

Our children come with very little information about their birth parents. Particularly the birth father. I wonder if the birth father even knows he/she exists. Would he want to know? Would he have played a part in raising his child? Is he a father? What kind of an example would he be? Would our children be better off being raised as some say with family of the same race?

My faith tells me when we die we will see everything from our past. Will they be surprised to know they have a son or daughter? How will they feel? I think of so many emotions that could be involved. Regret, anger, guilt, leaves me speechless and heartbroken.

Our children are beautiful beings, inside and out. (I DO realize I am prejuidice!) It is unthinkable to me that their birth parents and extended family don't have an opportunity to know them. Yet it is because of that situation we are allowed the privilege of being their parents. Without which there would be no Father's Day for Papa.

In the end I can only offer it all up to my heavenly Father. I pray for all fathers everywhere and thank God He has made my hubby a father.

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him Father! ---Lydia M. Child

Blessed indeed!

Happy Father's Day, Papa!! I am so thankful you are the father of our children. We ALL love you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Books, books and more books

We love to read in our house. Lots of books can be found here and there around the house. While in Thailand one tidbit we learned about Jet was that he loves to read. Go figure......isn't God amazing!?!!

I wasn't prepared for as advanced a child as Jet is so I have no Thai reading for him. Unless you count the 2 comic books we bought in Thailand, having no idea what they were even about!!

A couple of weeks ago I was searching online and found this website with Veggie Tales personalized books!! We like the Veggie Tales stories alot. They use your child's name as the hero in the story. I know there was at least one specific for a Thai boy. And they are in Thai! I can't wait for his birthday or Christmas to get him one!!

I couldn't find any other sites, in English, where I could get children's books in Thai. I was very disappointed....until last night! When I was searching for the Thai 1000 words book, I came across buythaibooks and they have many choices of children's books written in English and Thai. I was so excited and even more so when I came across the Bible Stories available. Both Thai and English in the same book!! YAHOOO!!

Then it got even better if you can believe it! While looking at the choices available at buythaibooks I noted you could go to another website of theirs and HEAR the stories on the internet in Thai. There is a listing of Aesop's Fables to choose from as well as another page of children's stories available to have read to you by a native Thai. So crazy cool!!!!!!!

So tonight we had Pad Thai for dinner and heard A Bell on the Cat's Neck (in Thai) for our bedtime story. Jet was shocked when the Thai started coming out of the computer. It was awesome to see his face! Peanut and Bug were not too thrilled with a bedtime story they couldn't understand. Ummm, yeah, that has been your brother's life for the last 6 weeks! What a teaching lesson that was!!!

Enjoy checking it all out!! Off to shop myself!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Top Thailand Tips

Use Miss Oh!!!! She is a travel agent in Thailand and has an extensive understanding of the adoption world. She can provide transportation services if needed. (More cost effective to use cabs unless you have a big family, in my opinion.) She will take papers needing to be translated, drop them off, pick them up, check for errors and deliver them to you. We received way more than we paid for with Miss Oh! She brought sweets to our son the first day she met him. We were able to ask any questions we wanted like shopping and restaurant suggestions, sightseeing tips, writing names of destinations in Thai for us to use with the cab drivers. Most importantly, Miss Oh talked with our son explaining many things for us. She had conversations that produced many useful tidbits we never would have otherwise known. Like our son was really hoping to have a RED bike, he wanted to grow his hair longer like his Daddy's, (mind you Papa's hair isn't long but in comparison to the buzz look he was use to, it was) and was 3rd in his school class of 33 children.

Eat at Central Chidlom Department Store's FoodLoft! This place was awesome! Great choices for everyone, good food, inexpensive prices! We were so bummed we went there near the end of our trip because we would have gone back. They have one booth that was noodles! Our 8 year old was so excited about it and I would think it would be great for the 2 year old range also. His meal was very similiar to the food we saw him eat at the orphanage.

Buy this map NOW!! Nancy Chandler's map of Bangkok is so useful! I had heard about it and wanted to get one when we got to Thailand, which I did. However, it is so jam-packed with information you need to get it to plan before going. The map is truly amazing with it's details and information and the accompanying booklet is filled with useful info. Miss Oh even saw it and said it looked like it was THE map! So much detail it was even helpful to show our hotel valets to explain to the cab drivers where we wanted to go.

Thai Berlitz Kids 1000 Words book rocks! It can be found at this link to explain what can be found in the book. However I can't find a place on the web to buy it. I didn't search too long though. We bought it in Thailand at the AA Bookstore. Very useful words shown in english, Thai characters and Thai letters.

I would truly love to go back now!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Attachment Part 3

Thank you to everyone for accepting my feelings. I appreciate all your kind words.

I best jump to the present though! We have come a LONG way. The day before we were scheduled to leave Thailand as we sat in the US Embassy, Jet leaned his elbow on my leg!! I couldn't believe it!! It felt wonderful. He leaned on me completely for the plane ride in order to look out the window. It has just continued from there!

Jet now snuggles on my lap, holds my hand well, gives me hugs, looks to be picked up, lets me put lotion on and kiss him.

Upon arriving in the states, I did hope it would help Jet to see Peanut, Bug and I interacting. All the above things didn't just happen right away. He would still be stiff in my lap, but not try to get away. I did encourage contact with me. For example, I put lotion on the kids, starting with Peanut so he could see it, rubbing and massaging for awhile. I exaggerated the care of any ouchies he got so I could have contact with him. I still do those things, I figure he missed out on a lot of that "mothering" so I need to make up for it. I also want our kids to have that example of a Mom for their future.

Papa and I had gone back to the orphanage with Jet a second time and were able to see better interaction with staff. There was definitely a more playful, fun relationship with the guys and more serious, caretaking with the women. We both agree had our other children been with us, it might have helped Jet to see the interactions between us and feel more comfortable with a Mama.

Our only concern is we what have seen when we are out, Jet easily hugs whomever is talking to us. There are times our other kids have done it first, but at times they haven't and we really don't know the person that well. So we obviously have that as a concern, to ensure he is able to distinguish the difference. We have not been going out much and my family knows only we help with those primary needs like food and bathroom.

We are simply amazed at the progress that has been made in our family over the last few weeks. Jet is an incredibly resilient child who I believe was well prepared for this adjustment. In some ways it seems he has always been here with us. He works so hard at the language. It has been fun for all of us to watch the wonder of the things we take for granted. The kids and i took him through the car wash the other day. Peanut and Bug have been waiting forever to do that and he loved it! His wonder and amazement is very contagious!

God has proven once again....He knows what He is doing!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Attachment Part 2--Thailand

I would like to apologize NOW for the following things that will be mentioned in this post. I know myself and I will feel the need to say I am sorry or I feel bad for many of my thoughts, feelings or comments. That would make the post very long for me to write, you to read and I have no pictures planned along the way to add interest. :)) So I will try not to do that if you promise to remember I am being truthfully honest about very real emotions. Not all pretty ones. In a stressful situation (not to make excuses). I am very thankful I have a merciful God Who does already know the thoughts and feelings I experienced.

As I stated yesterday, I was not ruffled in the beginning. I was actually thrilled Jet liked his Papa and was able to spend this time with him. As a SAHM, who home schools, the kids and I have plenty of time to be together. As the primary caretaker at home, it was enjoyable to have Papa doing "more" than me. I enjoyed being there, watching these moments between Jet and his new Papa. My husband MORE than stepped up to the plate which made it even more enjoyable to witness.

When I started noticing the difference in play with me, not sitting on my lap, trying to worm his hand out of mine, etc...I made mention to Papa. He didn't "see" it. I wasn't trying hard enough.

Now in all fairness to my hubby, he was not trying to mean here. As far as he not seeing it, the times most of those things happened we were out somewhere. The busy, hectic streets of Bangkok, a meeting for the adoption, the orphanage, a restaurant. As for the not trying hard enough, I will admit I was slightly uneasy. I was not too sure of myself, not wanting to scare the kid but emotionally wanting to swoop this child up, hug and kiss him and not let go. We had been dreaming and thinking about THIS particular child for 20 months. I knew my 2 kids loved hugs, snuggles, etc, but I was concerned it might be too much for him. So to a degree, I held back, I believe in retrospect.

I felt like I detached a little too, partly due to the fact that I was in a foreign country to bring my son home and also due to the emotions surrounding seeing the poverty, so many children without families and sex trade. We live in the land of plenty. I know there is poverty in the US, I just haven't seen it. And this I saw, every time we left our hotel.

I now realize the rather sheltered life I have led, though if you had asked me prior to this trip I would not have answered in that way. (Oops, I did have pics to share)

So after grumbling at my husband for being mean ;)), I tried even harder. I did make sure Papa was watching though. Not only to see for himself the difference but that I was trying.

During this time, I, of course, told Papa we knew this could happen. It wasn't unusual. The books did mention this as a possibility. However, how can one plan the way they will handle it, if it
happens to them?

I persevered. I still got in the water with them at the pool. I pretended to be a shark after Jet just like Papa was doing. I grabbed his hand to hold when necessary and "danced" our hands trying to make a game out of it. I tried very hard to ignore the unhappy shrieks and looks of disdain from Jet.

I never did stop trying but gradually I found myself walking a few steps behind Jet and Papa. Letting them be in their world and me be in mine. I did what I wanted, if I wanted to read in the sun, I did. If I saw something to look at in a store, I stopped. I took care of all the adoption paperwork stuff leaving child duty up to Papa. I was still a part of everything, but a distant part. I felt it didn't matter whether I was there or not.

Eventually, I became so disheartened I started making rather mean comments to my husband. In private, between us and not directed at him (or Jet) but venting, frustrated (and possibly snide :(( ) comments. I tend to be the picture taker in our house. Jet refused to be in pictures with me and he refused to smile (or look at me) when I was trying to take a picture of him and Papa. So I started making comments about not even bothering to take our camera with us since we weren't going to get any good pictures anyway. This is one example of the irritation I allowed to slip out to my husband. I struggled with wanting to "force" the child (my view at the time) to do the things he didn't want to do like hold my hand, sit on my lap. Those were my thoughts when the anger and frustration threatened to take over. I DID win that battle, just so you know. :))

My Peanut was home miserable with a BAD case of the chicken pox, my Bug REALLY missed his Mama and my long-waited-for Jet wanted NOTHING to do with me.

What had we done, I thought?

Next installment tomorrow....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Attachment Part 1-Thailand

I had read the books.

I did the online classes.

I had read blogs, forums and bulletin boards.

I knew the stories well. Quite often when a child first joins a family through adoption a preference is shown for one parent. Not only is a preference shown for one but the other parent is often unable to do anything for the child without making them upset.

I was confident in our ability to handle this situation. Our 8 year old son had pictures of us. The few things I had come across in relation to older child adoption had comments like "the minute she saw us she knew who we were!", "he recognized us and flew into our arms".

Besides, I am a Mama, an affectionate, hugging, kissing, hand-holding, child carrying, snuggling, loving Mama. It seemed to me, if Jet didn't come running into our arms instantly, I would most certainly be the one he would attach to you at first.

(I must insert a reminder here--I am keeping it real, telling it like it is, human flaws and all.)

Yes, it would be me.
It wasn't me.

NOT BY A LONG SHOT WAS IT ME!! At the orphanage Jet came to both of us hesitantly. He allowed both of us to give him side-to-side hugs. Neither one of us pushed it at all. He seemed to like us, was ready to go with us but was reserved as well. Naturally.

Within a few short hours this was the way he was with hubby:

A subtle change had started to take place. He was definitely preferring Papa, liking to hold his hand when it was necessary, looking to him for answers and direction. I wasn't too concerned, really didn't notice it. Only in retrospect am I able to see it. I went about doing things for him, swooping in as that loving Mama when the grieving it the first night.

Papa and I started to notice things the next few days. Like when it was necessary for him to hold a hand (crossing a street) he would lunge for Papa. No exaggeration--LUNGE. Jet got to the point where he knew the time was coming for one of us to reach for his hand so he would grab Papa's prior to us reaching. My leg literally could not touch his leg when sitting next to each other. In the situations where he had NO CHOICE (because if there WAS a choice, he was nowhere near me) but to sit next to me, he spent the entire time shifting, moving, trying not to allow any part of him to touch any part of me.

If Papa and I were sitting next to each other, Jet would stand on the side of Papa that was not near me. If Papa moved him in between us, Jet would become very antsy and move back as soon as he could. Doing everything he could to keep his body so no part was touching me. If for any reason I was closest and needed to pull Jet onto my lap he resisted, keeping his body stiff and feet on the ground. His hands would work to "free" himself from me.

Getting out of the cab I would reach for Jet's hand to get us to safety while Papa paid the driver. Jet would not "hold" my hand, rather he would work to twist his hand out of mine, looking at me with disdain. The minute Papa was free Jet was grabbing his hand and looking at me to release his other hand. When the 3 of us were playing in the pool, I would try to swim after him like Papa did or play in a similar way. Jet would make a whine sound and, again, lunge for Papa. To protect him.

When I said he wasn't fond of me, I really wasn't kidding.

It wasn't me. In a big way.

I do not write any of this for sympathy. It is what it is. The idea is for families to share, be aware, know they are not alone in this journey of adoption we are called to.

I will be keeping it real tomorrow with MY reactions!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My 1st Blog Award!!

I have seen many blog awards on other blogs as I wander around reading others stories. But never one as ADORABLE as this one!!

My friend, Sarah, from Bunches of Burches, gave me this award. She and her hubby have been trying to grow their family with many trials and struggles along the way. They were just chosen by a birthmom for a little one due in November! Please pray things go well for all involved in this baby's life.

Here are the rules:

Post this cute award to your blog.
Link the person from whom you received the award.
Nominate as many blogs as you'd like.
Leave a comment on their blog telling them how adorable they are!!

I nominate:

Kam @ Faith, Family, and Adoption Kam, Jason and their 2 adorable girls are waiting for a little boy to join their family from Thailand.

Ellie @ Little Lily Ellie, Eric and their brood of 3 cutie-pies are waiting for an official referral of their daughter, Lily from Thailand.

Molly @ Motherhood and Musings My beautiful sister blogs here, occasionally! and pics of my scrumptious niece and nephew can be seen.

Kelly @ The Dawson Diaries Kelly and Brian have 4 beautiful girls and are very interested in adopting one day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Going from 2 to 3

"So how is it going from 2-3 kids" my friend asked me last week.

I am sure we have all heard it both ways. No difference adding another after 2 or as parents we are outnumbered now!!

Now I realize we are a bit different because of the ages of Peanut and Bug plus Jet being an older child adoption. But here is my experience!

More laundry. I am not sure how one small 8 year old can produce that much more laundry, but it seems my piles of laundry have gotten bigger. (Now here is where I would insert a picture of a pile of laundry to spice up the post if I hadn't broken our new camera 2 days ago. :)) Toss in the bulky fleece pullovers he is STILL wearing everyday, sheets for an extra bed and towels, cloth napkins and placemats for a 5th person and you end up with a little bit of extra laundry!!

Having all 3 walking, yet no one young enough for the cart, does make for interesting times out by myself as far as hand holding. I was not smart (we don't use the word stupid in our house but it fits!) and took us all to the grocery store again for a quick trip. Jet still doesn't want to hold Peanut's hand. I figured it was a cultural thing, and therefore wasn't going to push it for now, until he held the neighbor girl's hand to run through the sprinkler. Gotta hold Peanut's hand, Buddy!! If he knew more English or I knew more Thai it really wouldn't be a problem going out with all three. I just can't communicate the need to stay close by, where I can see you or there is a car coming!!

We already struggled with one child talking at the same time as the other so that hasn't changed any except now there is 3 trying to talk all at once!

Peanut and Bug still sit on my lap and snuggle. It is definitely difficult to get all three on my lap. Jet does not like being smooshed whereas Peanut and Bug don't care if it means they are with Mama. It is taking some thinking on my part as I work to make myself an equal-opportunity Mama. ;)) Part of it is making sure each child's needs are being met separately instead of as one. It is probably better for everyone in the long run.

More groceries. We couldn't keep fresh fruit in the house before Jet came home!! Our grocery bill has increased, buying Thai ingredients here is expensive. Wal*mart doesn't carry much of it so our 1 big grocery chain can charge whatever they want. Jet gets very excited when we go down the asian food aisle in the grocery stores. He stands in front of the many different types of rice, saying "Mama, Mama" over and over again!! I must not be making rice enough!!

Now I hope you all know me well enough to realize I am by NO means complaining about a single thing on this list! I feel very blessed to have more laundry to do, come up with more ways to keep our grocery bill down, have more snuggle time......It helps me to keep my focus where it needs to be. On God, my husband and my children. Bringing a 3rd child into our fold has only increased my focus.

Papa and I talk alot about idleness and how it can create more opportunities for satan to tempt us. Living in this broken world there are already so many temptations being put before us the minute we walk out the door of our house. We have to be vigiliant in keeping our homes as free from the temptations as we possibly can. I love Proverbs 31 and specifically look to verses 26-27 as my goal to strive for everyday.

She opens her mouth with wisdom
and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

I am thankful that each morning, with God's mercy, I am able to start anew and hope to one day fulfill the next verse:

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her.

So.....more laundry, cooking, snuggling, teaching.....BRING IT ON!!!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Picture Post

This beautiful tree is located right outside the cottage where Jet lived. Isn't the orange color amazing?

This was taken from our cab. We couldn't believe how many people were on each tuk tuk!! We did take one ride on a tuk tuk. It is a must do for the experience!! Just one time though, imo.

This mini-temple was on the orphanage grounds near the front. I am assuming it was used to teach the children about Buddha and to give him honor.

The playroom in Jet's cottage was filled with more toys than I had anticipated. Many were educational type toys and quite a few books.

There was playground equipment set up in many different areas on the grounds of the orphanage.

A goofy picture of Papa at our hotel on our first day as we checked things out! (Pun intended!) We took it especially for Papa's Disn*y-loving parents!

Hope you all enjoyed! I realized the last post was fairly boring with NO pictures. So I thought this would be fun!