Thursday, September 30, 2010

Medical Update

Jae-won and I went back to the Children's Hospital today. He had to have more blood drawn, get his chest xrays done, and have his TB test analyzed. I still needed one more feces sample so I started on the top floor, with the TB test, and worked my way down. I was hoping the poop machine would do his thing before we left, but he was not cooperative. His TB test was negative. The nurse was so cute, I told her why I was there and she responded to bring my son in and she would take a look. You should have seen the surprise on her face when I pointed out he was on my back quiet as a mouse.

Next stop was imagining. He did very well with the xray. He cried a little, but didn't fight me and the technician to badly. She verified the quality before we left and we were good to go after the first try. We ran into a former student Jennifer and her mom. They live just a few blocks away, and I tutored the girl a few summers. Frig and I hope Jennifer, a certified babysitter, will be able to watch Jae-won for us in a few months.

I am a bit perturbed because they did not break up the blood tests anywhere close to even. On Monday they took only three vials while today they needed EIGHT. The little man was so sad, and it took so long. Good thing Omma listened to the tech on Monday and had been giving him lots of grape juice so his blood flow was strong.

I am supposed to hear back from Cardiology by Thursday of next week to set up an appointment with them. I will attempt to call Ophthalmology tomorrow. I imagine both of my men would be very happy if these appointments were completed before Omma goes back to work.

In other Christian Jae-won news:

1) He has learned the wonders that a light switch holds.

2) He is at least trying to spit after teeth brushing. Maybe because he realized Omma wasn't giving him any toothpaste.

3) He put on his own shirt for the first time yesterday.

4) We had our first hotdog, Hebrew Nationals, for lunch today. They went over very well.

5) He loves tacos with hot sauce. We have had fish from El Rey and homemade Turkey.

6) His fasctination with buckles continues. His newest addition being the buckle on the bike helmet.

7) Monday's visit with Nanny, his great-grandma, was a hit. They played ball and peak-a-boo. We look forward to lunch with Mama, another great-grandma, and his Great Aunt Susan tomorrow.

8) Tonight we will be going downtown with his Godparents to listen to some live music outside at the park.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Shots and Mongolia Spots

Today our little man spent 3 hours at Texas Children's Hospital being poked and prodded. To start the pediatrician asked a bunch of questions about development, and had him show her how he could draw. She tried to get him to speak, even gave him a phone, but mum was the word. She answered all of my questions: lactose intolerance and calcium, caring for an uncircumcised penis, teeth grinding, and making sure we aren't over feeding. She also did a once over checked his heart and such. She was so good she got down on his level and never once asked him to come out of my arms and get on the table.

After we were done with the doctor a nurse came in and he received three shots - 2 in one leg and 1 in the other. He also had a TB test. He had to get on the table to have these complete. Finally we went down to get his blood drawn. The moment he was placed on the table he started to scream. He learned fast that what happens on the table is never pleasant.

He really was a champ. I brought lots of yummy snacks and they did their job keeping him occupied. We do have to go back on Thursday for more blood work, TB test needs to be checked, and he will have a chest Xray as well. I believe will need to load the bag with even better food this time.

Also, we learned that what we thought was a bruise on his tale bone is actually a Mongolian Spot. I have heard of these, but never noticed a reference in his paperwork to him having one. This was a relief, especially to Frig, as he has been super worried that the "bruise" didn't seem to be healing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This Is Dedicated

I am dedicating these few pictures to Things 1 and 2 and their super special Mommy. Christian Jae-won, his Appa and I are all very lucky to have such wonderful friends in our lives. I had NO idea when I open the Oriental Trading Company box (no the irony was not lost on anyone) so many months ago how big a part all of its contents would become in our lives.

Overalls are a blessing for Omma as she doesn't have to continuously pull my pants up!

Walks would be incomplete without his fisherman hat.

How could the "I hate being hot" guy get any sleep without his onsies?

This is the best bib EVER! And this 12 year old sleepier is AMAZING!

Grandparent Visits & Mass

This weekend we are giving each set of grandparents a one hour "sightseeing tour" of their grandson. Since Frig and I am working very hard on bonding and attachment we are asking that they do not touch or perform any other care taking while here.

We are currently one down and one left to go. Yesterday went well. Of course he was shy and played opossum as far as being sleepy was concerned, but finally started to show his true monkey man colors towards the end. I hope today goes as well.

Yesterday evening we took the little guy to mass for the first time. When we picked a pew second from the back we could tell the two single men in close proximity were not too pleased. We think our little man had them apologizing for thinking ill of him by the end.

I did realize not to long into it that if he was able to stay quiet for the first seven hours of a fourteen hour plane ride that he mostly likely could do one hour of quiet in a Church. He did start fidgeting during the Homily. I remember that was always the hardest part for me as a child as well. Also, there was a family of four that came in a little later than us and took the seats directly in front of ours and their four-ish daughter started coloring on one of the envelopes. Well that got Jae-won thinking and he decided it was time to look through the books. We are lucky he knows how to treat books with care.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One Week Home

Today is the one week anniversary of the little man coming home. He is sleeping through the night, and fighting me for naps. I keep trying to tell him that his Uncle thoroughly prepared me for any level of tantrum he wants to throw. I will just love him and hold him and come hell or high water he will take a nap.

The rest of his tantrums are super short. I think more out of frustration at not being able to communicate with me the way that he could with his FM. I can't wait for him to say his first English word. We figure "more", "shoe", and "Blue" are all in the running.

I though I would include a few tips (at only 9 days in) for others thinking about adopting a toddler:

1) If you aren't in shape get in shape! I weight lift via yoga, but you better be doing something or you are going to HURT! I am feeling this.

2) His FM was able to show him my picture for just 2 months and he recognized when I walked in the door. He has called me Omma since those first few hours together. Now try telling an 8 month old "this is going to me your forever Mom".

3) My mom keeps saying "I just love that age" and now I understand. He is helpful, playful, observant, and loving.

4) I can tell that Korean food gives him comfort so I would keep that in mind. If your child is coming from a different culture incorporate his or her food into what your family eats.

5) Amazingly the experts are right - he does seem to be regressing a bit. Especially when it comes to naps. I wish I could go back in time and ask the FM how she got him to take his naps back when he didn't go to sleep on his own.

6) If your kiddo knows a different language learn as much of it as you can. The few key phrases I know have been invaluable. CJ already knows when I am asking if he is hungry or thirsty because I used both languages every single time for the first week we were together.

If there is anything I haven't touched on, that you are curious about, please ask away. I will tell you about our experience to date.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baby Carrier

I belong to a message board for parents adopting from Korea. Time and again the topic of baby carriers comes up. I have to say I am super thankful it came up as often as it did or I most likely wouldn't have invested in one.

The first time I asked Jae-won ("Chey-won") to get into the carrier he was confused. I think because it is a different type from what he was used to. The second time my sister helped and gave him a traditional Korean cookie once he was in. The third time he didn't need any help, but sure liked the cookie. It has been smooth sailing ever since. Don't get me wrong, a stroller would have been great when we were waiting in the customs line at DFW, but the carrier has so many high points it is a MUST have.

When we went to the grocery store he helped me carrier the bananas. We can dance together. It puts him right to sleep for a nap or bed time. I can clean, and he helps by grabbing for the broom (so cute). He was trained for a carrier, and I am so glad I am taking advantage of this.

Our First Weekend

I would like to start this post off by asking why does everyone say "sleep when he sleeps" when they should really be saying "drinks lots of caffeine"?

It is easy to get him to go to sleep at night, bath, jammies, teeth brushing and he is out. During the day is a whole other story.

Both Friday and Saturday nights we took him to the park after dinner, when it was cooling down, to give him a little exercise before bedtime. He is our little monkey man, and so fearless. Up and down the slide.

We had a rough start today as he went to sleep at 8 he was up at 6, but not really up. I should have let him hang out quietly in bed as long as he was willing, but I wasn't that smart. We went to Big Lots and thankfully they still had the umbrella strollers I'd been eying. The walk with him and Blue really mad strides in developing their relationship.

Here are some pics from Friday and Saturday.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I think not! What could possibly be mundane about a 26 month old living the high life in a super fancy suite with two women at his beck and call.

Video of our first evenings events.

I tried to get the video on the screen, which I did once before, but didn't have luck with this evening. The little man is waking up so this will have to do for now.

Honeymoons Are Amazing

The past few days have been nothing less than amazing. I have the most amazing son. When I walked into the meeting room on Tuesday September 14 at 13:30 he recognized me right away. I would be lying if I said he looked super happy to see me, but that is to be expected. He knew my arrival would mean the end of his 12 months with Foster Mom, stopped playing with his toys, and he ran back towards her. It was the saddest thing you have ever seen - watching the two of them say good-bye to eat other. His FM talked a lot; it was great that she was so sharing. Our son is so lucky to have had such an amazing FM this past year.

I kept a handwritten journal during our trip, at least until I had a toddler to keep me busy, so the little man will have a detailed record. After he was in the picture we have all of the video and well pictures to document. Maybe in the next few weeks I will find the time to come back and tell you the day to day stuff. For now I figure what everyone really wants to know about is the star.

He is a quiet and shy introvert. When he does speak it can barely be heard. He is constantly watching his surroundings which makes it next to impossible to pull one over on him. No hiding that ______ (fill in the blank) he saw exactly where you put it.

FM says he loves to climb and I didn't find out how true that was until the plane. I thought he liked to climb in the ballroom and we got some pretty good pics to document it all. I didn't know she meant he would like to climb on my arms, shoulders, neck, face, and head.

Our son gulps water like a pro and likes being a big boy with a cup or water bottle. He also enjoys barley tea or rice milk, but water will do and lots of it.

He is super lovey and likes to cling both when he is awake and asleep. Likes getting kisses and has even given me one of my own.

He has the cutest little squeal when he thinks something is funny. His favorite thing to say is "Moya" which mean "what is this". He says it whenever something happens he didn't expect or when he finds a new "toy" or food item.

He is an eater. Muscles, fish, noodles, all fruit, broccoli, beef, potato, corndog, chips, you name it he wants it. In fact it would be easier to list the things he hasn't seemed to like - ketchup and overcooked tomato. FM says she had to limit his food and it took awhile to figure out what she meant. First, he will put bites of food into his mouth until his chubby little cheeks are full and not have taken one swallow. Then when he does start to chew his mouth is so full that the food kind of starts to come back out. Second, if anyone around him starts to eat, even if he just finished eating a bit ago, well of course he wants to eat too.

Pictures Anyone

I'll post some words later - I know what you really came here for!
Practicing using a spoon with some barley tea - Yummy!

Taekwondo anyone? Aunt Robin showed me how it was done.

Who is that hansom little man in those pictures? Oh it's me!

Lovin' some rice dream.

Little man loves a big cup.

Super special "Do not open" top secret envelop. The star is in his backpack - look over my right shoulder.

Man am I hot! Thank goodness Foster Mom gave Omma a fan.

Another airport (DFW) and how exactly is this a picture op?

Home at last! Super tired and hot.

Getting to know Appa.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Foster Mom Letter

I have been going back and forth on writing the Foster Mom a letter. Don't get me wrong, I believe she deserved one, I just didn't think anything I wrote could ever be good enough. This morning, on the way to school no less, I decided good enough or not I had to write one. This created two problems. First, would I be able to find any paper worthy of such a letter in my classroom. Second, would I be able to find Xena and would she be able to translate for me.

Paper problem) I knew I had some paper in my classroom from when I worked at a stationary and gift store during college. I couldn't really recall what it looked like and I wasn't exactly sure where I had it hidden. After much opening an closing of drawers and doors I found one card stock Thank you note and some half-sheet decorative paper. The card stock wouldn't do since I need two versions of the letter. I took the paper out of the bag and it was PERFECT. The background looks like a sky at dusk and at the top of the page is a globe, but not just any globe. The globe has been molded into the shape of a heart, the continents are golden, and the whole thing radiates with a rainbow edge.

Xena problem) That was actually pretty easy. I went out the front doors and asked the first eighth grader I saw if she knew were Xena would be in the morning. Thankfully she directed me to the correct location - the cafeteria. When I got to the cafeteria I quickly spotted her cohort, but was told she wouldn't arrive for at least 5 more minutes. I wrote a pass, but basically by the time I made it back to my room she was there. I got very emotional when asking her to write the letter, teared up, and asked her if I could have a hug. I don't know what I would have done without all of Xena's help this year and last. I now have two versions of the "Foster Mom" letter on my desk.

The letter is simple and short, but I hope it conveys to the Foster Mom how much in her debt Frig and I are for all of her love and care these past months.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Diaper Purchase

Yesterday Frig went to buy diapers. I really had my hopes up that Christian would take to the potty training, but the word back from Seoul is that he is still using 5 diapers a day. I hope Christian doesn't gain too much weight when he first arrives because we have a WHOLE bunch of diapers the same size. I think Frig must have a similar theory on buying diapers as he does on buying tampons. His says buying tampons tells the cashier and those in line that he has a woman at home. I think he over did it on the diapers so everyone in the whole store would be able to tell that he has a kid at home.

Speaking of diapers, I haven't changed one since I was in high school and worked as a Sunday School teacher for a 2-year-old class. I hope its like ridding a bicycle because that's as long as almost half my life.

I still need to pack the diapers, my clothes and a few first aid items. I hope I can find room. I had to ask sis to bring all of the toiletries and make-up once I found out diapers were needed. I am LOW on space.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I got the final details on our itinerary today. To reiterate, sis and I will leave early Saturday morning and rendezvous in Dallas. Our international flight will leave DFW around noon on Saturday. We arrive in Seoul at 4:35 on SUNDAY. In the process of crossing the international date line we lose a day.

We will have Sunday evening all to ourselves. I was not able to get us the cheapest accommodations so I went with ones that have a good location. We will be close to downtown so it should be easy for us find things to do. On Monday morning we will have will have a city tour followed by more sister alone time.

On Tuesday morning we need to get ourselves to the adoption agencies office because we will pick Christan up at 1:30 PM!!!!!!!! The foster mom and a social worker will both be there and we get to talk about CJ. Then we go back to the hotel room and hope for the best.

We leave for the States at 11 AM Thursday and arrive at DFW at 9:45 AM - here is where we get back the day we lost earlier.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Long Weekend

My parents had come into town on Thursday for a doctors appointment, and thankfully had decided to stay the night. We were very lucky that they were still in town on Friday and able to celebrate with Frig and I. We went to happy hour with awesome apps, Frig and I had both neglected to eat lunch, and had a late dinner where my brother joined in.

Yesterday morning all five of us went to breakfast at a local Greek-American location, and then we ran by Target to get a few last items for the bathroom. At that point my folks dropped us off and headed home. We will miss not seeing them for a few weeks, but we all know that it will be what is best for Christian.

In the afternoon Frig and I watched a POV episode about a Chinese adoptee. We had tried to watch Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy with my folks on Thursday evening but the TV would not cooperate to let us see PBS. There were parts of the episode that were hard to watch, but I believe it was good for us. I also believe it was a motivator. When we got home from mass we worked on our Korean language and we plan to work more on it today as well.

So far I have been unable to appreciate my last few nights of what is supposed to be uninterrupted sleep. I keep waking up with irrational fears and find it hard to fall back asleep. For instance, last night it was a worry that I had given the travel agent the wrong birth date for Christian. This is after having checked over all three birth dates at least a dozen times and even verifying that I had used the right one for my sister. I know when my sister birthday is, but I am just that paranoid I needed confirmation. When I typed in both of our passport numbers and expiration dates I can't tell you how many times I compared what was on the screen to what was on the paper in my hand. I wonder if a woman about to give birth suffers from the same sleep depriving anxiety - of course by a week before the due date I would imagine sleep would be hard for other reasons as well.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Travel Plans Made

Sister and I will leave the US next Saturday. She and I will converge on Dallas' DFW airport in the morning and leave for Seoul right around noon. We will arrive in Seoul the following day, Sunday, as we will lose a day going there. Our return flights get us back to DFW for Thursday morning the 16th. At that point our paths will diverge again, but not before she gets to see us off (thank goodness).

We will have to wait for Tuesday (9/7) to know where we will be staying and exactly which day, Monday (9/13) or Tuesday (9/14), we will pick Christian up. We had a lot of constraints on us when making the flight arrangements due to Labor Day making communication difficult and there being a Korean Holiday on September 15 (Chuesok).

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Rest

My study lab actually sat in their seats, doing their thing, for several minutes after the lunch bell rang. When I finally motioned that they could leave L.L. made a rather shocked comment to have realized that I was in class. The kids had been so quiet she had no idea. They actually weren't even talking as they left, but only the noise of books - papers - chairs.

Frig was at school today, but in the room farthest away from mine (three floors up and the diagonal corner) after the phone call I literally ran for it. I knew he was in his study lab so it wasn't like I was going to interrupt his class. I got to his door and held up the phone. He looked at me, looked at the phone, and ran across the room to give me a hug.

Got It

My Friggy-diggy-do-da's luck paid off once more. I hope to travel the middle to end of next week. I am waiting for a return call from the travel agent. As soon as I know more I'll fill everyone in.

The call came in during my study hall. It was just a few minutes before the end of study hall, and the end of lunch, so I decided to check my phone. Not really thinking there would be a call, but as you know already there was. I listened to the message, just make sure it wasn't a false alarm, and was pretty sure from the tone that it wasn't. There were just 2 minutes left in class, but I couldn't wait, they were 2 minutes that would feel like an eternity for sure.

I called the international agency and asked to speak to L.L.. As soon as L.L. told me Christian was ready I started to tear up, my heart started to race and my head got all fuzzy......

to be continued.

Last Chance for Awhile

Today will be the last chance for three whole days. I think we all know what I am talking about. It would be very luck of us to get the call after just 5 working days, and those that know Frig well know that luck is all his. I am not the lucky type. Granted I am also not the betting type so I have fewer chances of winning anything.

Starting today Frig will be Texas History for the next two week, or until I leave for Korea. He was already this same teacher twice this week. Once he was asked ahead of time, but the second day he was called at 10 AM because the sub that took the job was a no show. The district is using a new web based sign-up and there is an issue that our school can no longer be as selective with our substitute selection. Maybe this is what we need to invoke the call. Who knows maybe that is even what the secretary was thinking when she asked Frig to take it on. After all, she has been helping us with the paperwork since the homestudy.

Yesterday, Frig was at home during the day. He admitted that he spent some of the day watching the live feed on the blog. Watching the different people "hit" - there were 21 by the way. He was waiting for someone to comment, and was sad that no one ever did. I thought that was super cute. I don't think I write in such a way that invokes tons of comments, or at least it makes me feel better to think about it that way.