Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hometown Shower

This weekend my Aunt Ann, cousin Casey and dearest friend Jennifer had a shower for me. It was a blast. I have been keeping a mental list that compares my experiences waiting for Christian to come home to what a pregnant mom goes through. I added to that list at my shower when I was able to have a few beers. Something we hope an 8 month pregnant woman would not do at her shower.

I want to thank all of my family, and friends for helping me celebrate Christian's impending arrival. I feel like it was over so fast and I didn't give everyone enough attention. Although, I probably would have those same feelings had it lasted two or three times as long.

My aunt Ann hands me a gift while Jennifer keeps a list for me.

My mom's side.


The Grandmas and me

Since the shower I have been able to spend more time getting the nursery together since I was fortunate enough to receive the organizational items from the registry. I might even finish "Phase II" by the middle of this week.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Visa Physical

After finding out about Christian's Embassy Permit approval earlier this month we have very anxiously been waiting to hear of his Visa Physical (VP) date. It took longer than I had expected so I even sent an email asking if the agency knew anything one day last week. I was told that his VP may or may not have already taken place. The reason for the very vague reply was because a key player from the Korean side of things had come to the USA last week for meetings.

I was exceptionally nervous because if the VP had taken place then we might get the travel call completely out of the blue. Now that we know when when VP is we also know that the call will most likely come two weeks later. Although it could take a little longer than two weeks.

It is always nice to make progress and get information.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's in a Name?

My mother-in-law recently asked what we plan to call our son when he arrives home. This is an excellent question that Frig and I have thought a lot about. Seeing as Christian is obviously old enough to know his name very well we are going to call him Jae-won when he initially comes home.

While his name is not the hardest Korean name I have ever had to get used to saying it is also not the easiest either. This is because the Jae is similar to the English name Jay, but not exactly the same. I know I'm still not saying it exactly right from my Korean students' expressions, but I am trying. The "J" isn't as hard as in the name Jay. It is more like a mix of a "z" and a "j" sound. I keep trying to thing of an English word with a similar sound, but it hasn't come to me yet.

We are not exactly sure when we will start to transition him to Christian. Much of that decision will be based on so many factors such as English language acquisition and attachment. My mom suggested that perhaps his Baptism would be a nice time to start the transition, but only time will tell.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A little something

Frig is often asking people, mostly the people that schedule TV programs, to "throw him a bone". I believe this mama just received one of these much needed bones.

I wish I knew what he was holding!

I believe someone had told him "No". What do you think?

Once again, such a curious little man.

Giving a little bit of a smile?

I wonder why our son was at the reception center. I am so thankful for this little bone, but wish there was a bit of meat or even fat attached.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's the hold up??????

For those that missed it, we experienced a pretty major milestone on Christian's birthday when his EP (Emigration Permit) was approved. There were several other families I know of whose children received EP on the same date. Many of these other families were notified of their child's Visa Physical (VP) on the same day as their EP approval. All of these children met the doctor for their VP on July 14. Due to already having their VP these families should all expect their travel calls any day now.

Sadly, we were not one of the families to get notice of a July 14 VP. In fact, we have yet to hear any news since the EP notification on July 7. I was hoping that we might get a Well Baby Check this month, since the last one we received was May 5, but I know that sometimes if the baby seems healthy appointments might be skipped during the hottest times of year.

I know that God has a plan, but I just wish he would share it with me so my need for logic would be fulfilled. Maybe He is waiting for Robin to get to Houston. Maybe He wants me to get to experience my first Baby Shower. Maybe He thinks it would be easier if I was still here for the incoming seventh grade math camp. Maybe, maybe, maybe........

If anyone out there has any answers please feel free to share. ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Room - "Phase 1"

The room still needs work, but at this point I am finally willing to put up some pictures.

These are just some sheets I had in the house.

This is my old dresser and the horse my siblings and I all used.

I did change out the door pulls on the dress.

Another family item.

The rug is a new buy - the little rocker is not. I can't wait to get some books out.

I wrote about this bib awhile back. It speaks about what little Korean boys are made of. I decided to put it in a shadow box instead of using it for it's intended purpose.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dos and Dont's

I was recently guided to This particular list of Dos and Don'ts For Family and Friends is worth sharing. The information in this list is what Frig and I have been reading over and over regarding Christian's attachment and grief.


1. Offer household help (running errands, preparing meals that can go right from the freezer to the oven, etc.) so the mother can spend more time holding the child.

2. Trust the mother's instincts. Even a first time mother may notice subtle symptoms that well-meaning family and friends attribute to "normal" behavior.

3. Accept that attachment issues are difficult for anyone outside of the mother to see and understand.

4. Be supportive even if you think everything looks fine to you.

5. Allow the parents to be the center of the baby's world. One grandfather, when greeting his grandson, immediately turns him back to his mom and says positive statements about his good mommy.

6. Tell the baby every time you see him what a good/loving/safe mommy he has.

7. When the parents need someone to care for the baby for a night out, offer to babysit in the child's home. (After the child has been home for a substantial period of time.)

8. As hard as it may be for you, abide by the requests of the parents. Even if the baby looks like he really wants to be with Grandma, for example, he needs to have a strong attachment to his parents first. Something as simple as passing the baby from one person to another or allowing others, even grandparents, to hold a baby who is not "attached" can make the attachment process that much longer and harder. Some parents have had to refrain from seeing certain family members or friends because they did not respect the parents' requests.

9. Accept that parenting children who are at-risk for or who suffer from attachment issues goes against traditional parenting methods and beliefs. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.

10. Remember that there is often a honeymoon period after the child arrives. Many babies do not show signs of grief, distress, or anxiety until months after they come home. If the parents are taking precautions, they are smart and should be commended and supported!


1. Assume an infant is too young to suffer from emotional issues related to attachment. Babies are not immune.

2. Underestimate a new mother's instincts that something isn't right.

3. Judge the mother's parenting abilities. What looks like spoiling or coddling may be exactly what the child needs to overcome a serious attachment disorder. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.

4. Make excuses for the child's behaviors or try to make the mother feel better by calling certain behaviors "normal". For example, many children who suffer from attachment issues may be labeled strong-willed by well-meaning family members. While being strong-willed can be seen as a positive personality trait, this type of behavior in an attachment-impaired child may signify problems.

5. Accuse the mother of being overly sensitive or neurotic. She is in a position to see subtle symptoms as no one else can.

6. Take it personally if asked to step back so the parents can help their child heal and form a healthy and secure attachment. You may be asked not to hold the baby for more than a minute. This is not meant to hurt you. It is meant to help prove to the baby who his mommy and daddy are. Up until now the child's experience has been that mommies are replaceable. Allowing people to hold the baby before he has accepted his forever mommy and daddy are can be detrimental to the attachment process.

7. Put your own timeframes on how long attachment should take. One mother was hurt when she was chastised by a relative who couldn't understand...after all, the baby had been home six months. It could take weeks, months, even years. Every child is different.

8. Offer traditional parenting advice. Some well-meaning family members will tell a new mother not to pick the baby up every time he cries because it will spoil him. A child who is at-risk or who suffers from attachment issues must be picked up every single time he cries. He needs consistent reinforcement that this mommy/daddy will always take care of him and always keep him safe.

9. Fall into the appearance trap. Some babies/toddlers with attachment issues can put on a great show to those outside of the mother/father. What you see is not always a true picture of the child. Even babies as young as 6-months-old are capable of “putting on a good face” in public.

10. Lose hope. With the right kind of parenting and therapy, a child with attachment issues can learn to trust and have healthy relationships. But it does take a lot of work and a good understanding of what these children need.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting Closer

Today we received notice that our EP has been approved:

I just wanted to let you know that the Ministry of Health and Welfare approved your child for their Emigration Permit (EP) on June 28, 2010.

While we still don't know exactly when our Travel Call will come it is getting significantly closer. There are still several steps to go, but other wiser women than I are estimating that we could get the call as soon as the end of this month!

Wowzers - I was not expecting it to happen so fast. I was trying to be conservative so as to not get my hopes up to high. Maybe we should be moving a bit faster with his room and getting everything together for the trip. I plan to call Ikea tomorrow to see if they have gotten a shipment of the bed we want into their store.