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Friday, December 31, 2010

Decompressing Bullet Points

  • My fingernails are bright pink.  Ana decided to paint them.  Pink isn't my favorite color (by a long shot) and ironically this nailpolish has stayed on longer than any other has. 
  • We're on our way home for 18 hours.  I'm depressed about that but happy that we'll get to be together in Korea.  And I'm hoping the end is in sight.
  • Christmas at Casa was amazing. 
  • Having the girls with us for 10 days was probably the most rewarding thing ever, and the most difficult thing ever.
  • Pre teen girls are really, really different than pre teen boys. 
  • High School Musical in any form is now banned from my house until further notice.
  • The way little ones are able to pick up language is amazing to me.
  • I've finished my craft projects for the year, but I still have to post them. 
  • Over eating during the holidays is cross cultural.
  • Atlanta Int'l Airport is one of the busiest and craziest airports I've ever been in.
  • Eat, Pray, Love has been the movie shown on three of the four flights.  I'm sick of it.
  • I'm really thankful that I've done some reading on attachment stuff for kids, and after the last week I am convicted that I have a ton more to do.
  • It's going to be a really, really, really big change to have three girls with us all the time.
  • I've never been happier that we chose to proceed with all three girls rather than leaving one or two behind. 
  • I have no idea why Tate loves being on the floor.  It seems like no matter where we go he ends up on the floor.  He must have an amazing immune system because he's not sick all that often and the germs he encounters down there...yuck.
  • Theo eats way more than Tate. And sleeps way less.
  • I got to pay Erika for her hats for Hope By Design and it was one of the highlights of my trip.  Watching her jaw drop when I told her how much the hats sold for was so fun.  She had a baby on the 9th of December and knowing that she can still make money while staying home with her child is such a relief for her and her husband.  I love that the skills my grandma taught me are being used to change lives.
  • Tonight I have to dump out all of our summer clothes and pack all of our winter clothes.  I'm really hoping our luggage arrives with the airplane because if it doesn't I don't know what we'll take to Korea.  Garbage bags?
  • I'm supremely happy that we were able to spend Christmas with the kids at Casa Bernabe.  I missed our family but I know it was the right choice for us this year.
  • The girls' grandparents came to visit them on Christmas.  It was wonderful to meet them and have the girls spend a couple of hours with them. 
Well, I'm off to try and get Theo to sleep.  Thanks to Delta and modern technology I'm able to connect to the interwebs while we're on the plane.  Mark, bless his heart, has both of the boys for a few minutes so I can get a break.  Theo is 100% hands on right now!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On our way

We are packed and ready.  I can't believe it's here.

But I'm feeling melancholy.  Not because we're going to Nicaragua...I can't wait for that.  I have had an inbox of emails saying how many people are excited to see us.  I can't wait to see them, too.

It's the trip back to Korea that's looming in my mind and making me heavy hearted.  I don't want to go back.  We'll only have one day home and then we have to leave again.  It's making me sad.

I want to start the new year in our home, preparing for all the great stuff that is coming.  I want to go to our church, hang out with our friends and be with our family.

*Sigh*

I need to change my focus.  I am blessed beyond words to get to see our girls in less than 24 hours.  I'm going to miss my extended family but I know that when we do come home it will be a wonderful treat to see them again.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a New Year full of laughter and love!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nicaragua for Christmas

So, this week we'll be heading to Nicaragua to spend Christmas with all of our kids.  I'm pretty sure we won't be staying in the Posada this time because there are new house parents and we don't know them.  My prayer is that there won't be distance between us and the boys just because we won't be living there.  Also, it's Nicaragua.  Things change all the time.

We have no firm plans for our trip, just ideas.  We may get to have the girls with us overnight while we are there which would be amazing!  I'm trying not to have any expectations, though.

I have some pictures to upload but the server keeps rejecting them.  I'll keep trying.

I'll try to post in Nicaragua, but I think you all know how spotty that is.

Hopefully there will be no airplane horror stories this time around.  We've had several talks with Tate about the importance of keeping his pants on...

Seriously though, we'd appreciate your thoughts and prayers while we're there.  This is the home stretch with travel for a while and it's going to be killer.  Two weeks in Nicaragua with a one day turn around to go to Korea for +/- six weeks for LT Wonderful's job [we may just pack the dirty clothes because I'm cool like that].  We are all excited about Nicaragua and dreading Korea.  I know that sounds horrible.  I'm just ready ready ready to be home for a while.  Tate's ready to start preschool and Theo, well, honestly he's up for anything.

Peace and love,
Jenni

Our Seventh Anniversary!


Today is a significant day for LT Wonderful and me. 

We are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary!

I've often heard stories about how difficult the seventh year of marriage is, but I never really put much stock into it.  But for a hundred reasons; yet really just one, this year was our most difficult.  The reasons behind the difficulties are many little things-during the past year or so we have moved twice, changed jobs, changed lifestyles (Navy to civilian), we have a toddler, a four year old, we're adopting three more.  On top of that, we spent most of the last year anticipating this job in Korea, then had it postponed and extended several times. 

But those are mainly excuses.  The main reason this year was so difficult is that we stopped making our marriage a priority.  We let ourselves get bogged down with the details of our lives.  It wasn't a him or me thing, it was a him and me thing.  He got busy with work.  I got busy with the kids.  It was unintentional and avoidable.  I thought that nothing could ever happen to us but the truth is that no one is immune to problems.

We found ourselves thousands of miles apart with 16 hours of difference between us.  We weren't angry with each other, we just kind of stopped communicating.  We can come up with so many excuses but the bottom line is that we weren't putting each other first.  We weren't putting our relationship first.  We were trying to fit each other into our own lives and it wasn't working.  Some hurtful things were said and done and we were suffering. 

So we scrapped our best laid plans and met at home in Portland.  I'll be honest,  I didn't want to leave Nicaragua.  LT Wonderful was concerned about leaving the project in Korea.  But we both decided that it would be best to go home.  We needed to re-prioritize our lives and start putting each other first all the time.  

And that's what we did.  With family and friend support, we came home as a sign of our commitment to each other and our marriage.  We went on dates.  We talked.  We focused on reconnecting and having fun.  We communicated.  We started cleaning off  the bridges that had been neglected.  Once we felt like we were on the right track we left for Korea again, together.  

Once in Korea we continued focusing on our relationship.  After our personal relationship with God, our relationship is our top priority.  And I'm happy to say that the choices we've made and the work we've been putting into our relationship has paid off.  Amazingly, when we are both focusing 100% on each other, all of our individual needs are met.  When we start focusing even just a little bit on ourselves and not on the other person then we start to have problems.  It's a continual give and take, but I feel like we're on the right track. 

So this year; even more so than in the past years; we have something to celebrate.  

We fought back.  
We worked for our marriage.  
We are working on our marriage.

 It would have been much easier to stay in our separate worlds and let everything else take over.  

But we didn't.  

There were tears, hurt feelings and hard decisions.  But more that, now there is forgiveness, love, hope and a renewed commitment to each other and our family. 

So I'm going to take today and really enjoy it.  When we said for better or for worse seven years ago I know we meant it.  But now that we have lived through the worse of that better or worse I really feel like we're onto something.  

I was thinking about it last night.  I think love is like a tree.  It starts out pretty fragile but gains strength as it grows.  When it goes through a dry season it suffers.  But if you care for it and lovingly nurse it back to health, it grows stronger and more beautiful.  Trees are resilient.  So is love.  It just takes two people to work together to get a relationship healthy again.  Taking the metaphor one step farther (to perhaps gross territory, but whatever) when you throw crap on a tree it may stink for a while but it grows stronger than ever before.  It takes the nutrients that it needs out of the mess and uses it for growth. 

I think love is like that, too.  Sometimes life throws crap on your relationships.  Sometimes you throw crap on your relationships.  But if you can work together, learning how to do it better next time you really can grow.  Not just in spite of the crap, but amazingly, because of it!

Mark, Happy Anniversary!  I'm glad we've got the seven year stigma out of the way and can move on.  This year will be our best yet!  We've stopped throwing crap on each other and together we can grow stronger when life throws junk  our way.  There is no one out there that I'd rather be partnered with!  

I love you, Mark.  Now and forever. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bad news/Good news

It has been an insanely long week.

Earlier this week I got a phone call around 9:30 pm from our landlord.  She wanted to move back into the house, the sooner the better.  She was super nice about it but bad news is bad news, no matter how it's delivered.  I went into freak out mode, and for good reason.  Between now and February we've got about 5 days that we'll be in the US.  The rest of the time we'll be in Nicaragua or Korea.  And seriously, bad news at night is a hundred times worse.  I would have preferred getting a call in the morning because at least I would have a good night's sleep to back me up.

I don't know about you, but I am physically incapable of packing up all of our stuff with two little elves running around "helping".  I have us almost packed for Nicaragua and I've had to load every suitcase about 4 times due to Theo's perpetual "helpfulness".

The good news of this whole story is that today I got a call saying that she found an apartment and wants to let us stay.  We're signing a new lease through June.  Praise Jesus!

*************


Then today I was visiting my grandparents and we got the news that his brother passed away.  It was my grandpa's last living brother.

Since he wouldn't, I wept for him.

I tried to take as much off of my dear grandma's plate as possible.  Being the bearer of bad news is never fun but I felt like it was the least that I could do.

Grief is so difficult because everyone handles it differently and at their own pace.  I never know what to do or say.  I just hope and pray that I was able to help a bit.  I do know that having the boys there was an appreciated distraction.

As I was driving home tonight I had a memory of being little and fighting with my brother.  I don't remember what the fight was over but I remember clearly my mom's response.  "You two need to stop fighting and learn to communicate.  Someday your dad and I will be dead and you two will be the only family you'll have left!  You don't need to like each other but you always need to treat each other with love!"

I kind of understood that at the time, but I get it even more now.

My brother Stephen is honestly one of my best friends.  He's two years younger than me but I know he's got my back no matter what.  He can irritate me faster than almost anyone but until I had kids there was no one I was quicker to defend.

Siblings are really the ones who get it.  Steve grew up with me.  He saw me pre-braces, during braces and was there when I got them off.  He saw the fat Jenni, skinny Jenni, and every Jenni in between.  He knows where all of my horrible adolescent pictures are in the family album and gleefully shows them off when he gets the chance.  I know where all of his are, too, for the record.

I don't have to explain inside jokes to him: he was there.  He lived through them with me.  He suffered the awful mandatory fun Ungame nights right along side me.  We skipped a week of school together when our parents went out of town.  Even though we rarely see each other anymore [because he's always in Asia and I'm usually in Central America] I know he's got my back.  I know he would be there in a heart beat if I needed something.  He's my brother.  He's my blood.

And that's why I felt so strongly for my grandpa.  I didn't know his brother well.  But I can empathize with what he's lost.

Siblings are one of the best gifts.  I consider myself blessed to have an amazing one and I am so excited that my kids have great ones, too.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tate's New Skill Set

[So Mark taught Tate some hand gestures to say, "I love you" "you're the best" and "you're cool".  Tate was telling me this at dinner...and then he added his own.]

Tate: Mom, look!  You're the best of the champions!

Tate: "And, you're cool."


Tate: "And, Mom?  I love you."


Me: "Oh, Tate, thank you so much.  I love you, too.  You are such a sweet boy!"

Tate: "You're welcome, Mom.  And you know what?"

Me: "What?"

Tate: "This means, 'you're a duck!'"

******
[after breakfast]

Tate: "Mom, can I watch cartoons?"
Me: "Nope.  Not right now."  
Tate: "When can I watch them?"
Me: "Maybe before dinner."
[Tate is quiet for a few moments]
Tate: "Mom, I just talked to my tummy and he wants to watch cartoons too."


*********

[Tate is coming down the stairs and is tucking his shirt into his underwear.]

Me:  "Tate, we don't tuck our shirts into our underwear"
Tate: "Yes we do." 
Me: "No bud, we tuck them into our pants."
[understanding dawns]
Tate: "Ooooh, so that's how we do it, huh?"




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 Craft Goal-SO CLOSE!


27 & 28
The Last Two Stockings!

Aren't they just beautiful there together?  We have Joy [Jenni], Mercy [Maricela], Faith [Ana], Blessing [Theo], Peace [Tate], Hope [Teresa] and Love [Lt Wonderful]. 

I love that all of our stockings are done.  These were the only things that really had to get done and I can relax and bask in the glow of accomplishment. 

And, let me say again, don't they look great all together?

******
Just two more!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Ugly Truth

Since we've come home I've managed to sneak on 5 extra pounds.  Since those 5 pounds really make the difference in me feeling my best and feeling a little sluggish, I've decided to do something about it.

It seems like everywhere I turn is an opportunity to eat goodies and, well, crap.  So for the next day or so I'm just going to have some fruits and veggies.  Mostly in the form of Green Smoothies because I love them and I have yet to find a better way to get spinach down the boys' throats.

So, today and maybe tomorrow I'm having fruits and veggies.  I want to cleanse my body of the processed sugars and fats that I've been eating lately.  I'm sure it will be easy until small group tonight.  I'm bringing snack and even though I want to force my choices upon everyone there, the truth is that I don't know a few of the families and I would like to make them friends.  Somehow I feel like if I just brought green smoothie everyone would feel gypped.  So I'm bringing pizza and pumpkin pudding.  And it smells delicious cooking so I'm being properly tempted.

Another thing I need to do but haven't felt in the mood for is a work out.  I really need to do one but I really don't want to.

I'll let you know how the rest of this process goes.  5 pounds.  I can do it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Isn't that a scary thought?

******

It's been a busy week...I'm not going to go into specifics but it's been crazy.  The good news is that even though it's been busy we've accomplished a lot. 

And, let me just say (in case I haven't said it recently)
It's AMAZING to be home again!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craft Project Update for November






Project #26

Various Hats for HOPE by Design

I'm down to little things now, and since I didn't actually use an entire skein on any of these projects I decided to lump them together.  The good thing is that of the colors used above, I finished off the red, dark and light blue, almost the black, heather grey and yellow.  I feel good about that!  The patterns for the elephant hat and the flame hat (which there are 2 of, BTW) were completely new to me.  And I liked them.  

Only FOUR projects to go and several of them are close to being done.  I just may make it!



Monday, November 29, 2010

Such a Great Dad!



 You know he's a great guy when he lets the kids climb on him after a long hike.  

*****

Theo: Ere eee oing? (Translation: Where are we going?)
Me: We're going CRAZY!
Tate: [almost crying] Dad, can you drive somewhere else?  I don't want to go there.

***************

Setting: Church.  Lots of people are standing around and while they aren't eavesdropping, they can certainly hear everything.  Tate is talking to our children's director. 

Tate: Miss Angie, guess what?  I can wipe myself now!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Good News!

My faith has been restored.  It was not in vain [although I don't think faith is ever in vain].

We got good news a couple of days ago.  We received a letter of acknowledgement from Nicaragua saying that they have received our approval from the US!  Praise Jesus! 

For now we are working on getting the girls declared abandoned and finishing up our paperwork for Nicaragua.  These two things can happen simultaneously because we both have to be approved for adoption.  The abandonment process will likely take the longest and we should have all of our paperwork in by December.  Yesterday we got all of our state seals for Oregon taken care of, so we are one giant leap closer than we were before!

This has been great news for us.  Since we're in the system, the hope is that even if they were to suspend adoptions, we'd be able to continue because we're grandfathered in!

Thank you for your continued support in bringing our girls home.  We love you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Glory




More awesome shots from Korea.  There is some awesome beauty here!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I love having boys








Monday, November 15, 2010

Us minus 3


This is the first picture in a long time that Tate wasn't doing something completely doofy. 

I just wish there were three more smiling faces with us.

Seoraksan National Park

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1st (Gulp) Blog Giveaway~ WINNER~

I had some pretty great help choosing a winner for the hat. 

Theo was in bed due to a mega-tantrum, so Tate and I got to have a bunch of fun!

First we cut up the paper and put the numbers into a hat.  (Each paper was the same size, don't worry)

Then Tate closed his eyes...

 Picked a number...

Turned it over to read what it was...

And showed it to me!

And comment #2 corresponds with MIRIAM's  comment!

Congrats, Miriam!

And a sincere thanks to all who entered.  But more than that, thanks for being my friend and supporting us on this journey. 

I love you all! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

RIP, Dave Niehaus

Today in our house, along with all of the Pacific Northwest we are mourning the loss of one of LT Wonderful's childhood icons, Mr. Dave Niehaus.

Dave was a Hall of Fame announcer for the Seattle Mariners.  Since the LT spent much of his life away from Seattle, Dave always brought the Mariners home to him.  Even when we were thousands of miles away, Dave's voice brought us a little slice of home.

Thank you, Dave.  You will be missed.

Image from American Sportscasters Online

"The stretch...and the 0-1 pitch on the way to Edgar Martinez, swung on and LINED DOWN THE LEFT-FIELD LINE FOR A BASE HIT!  HERE COMES JOEY, HERE IS JUNIOR TO THIRD BASE, THEY'RE GOING TO WAVE HIM IN!  THE THROW TO THE PLATE WILL BE...LATE! THE MARINERS ARE GOING TO PLAY FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP!  I DON'T BELIEVE IT!  IT JUST CONTINUES!  
MY OH MY!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The promised pictures



You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you



You're so vain, [so vain] I'll bet you think this song is about you


Don't you, don't you?



*****


Sometimes Tate gets frustrated with the fact that Theo is so mobile these days.  Occasionally he'll climb up on the table to color away from Theo.  Not anymore. 

And this was too cute not to post. 


***************

Mark: "Tate, what do you want to pray for tonight?"
Tate: "My mom. I don't want her to go to jail."

And the following night:


Tate: "Dad, I don't want Mom to be sprayed by the fire sprinklers. And I don't want a light to fall on her head."

It's good to know that Tate's got my back!



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A ho-hum update

I had a bunch of cute pictures of the boys to upload but my internet is being so slow today that I am unable.  I am sad about that.  I have cute pictures of the boys making eyes at themselves in the mirror (it's not just girls that do that!), among others.

I went to a kids playgroup today and made some friends!  Even in my tie dye shirt!  I was pretty excited to meet some people with kids.  There aren't a bunch of them in our area.  In fact, at the church we're attending we're definitely the minority having kids.  The majority of people attending are single 20-somethings.  I can't relate because I was never a single 20 something-I was married at the ripe old age of 19. So, there's that...

Obama is going to be on base here tomorrow.  I wish I could go and see him.  I've never seen any of our Presidents in real life and that's something I'd like to do someday.  Why not tomorrow?  I jest.  The base is pretty much closed down so we're staying as far away as possible.  In fact, we're leaving Seoul tomorrow because we aren't permitted to drive in town on Friday so we decided to take the crew up to a National Park on the other side of the country.

Why can't we drive?  Because the G20 Summit is in town.  Cars with odd numbers on their last space on their license plates can drive on Thursday and not Friday (that's us) and even numbers cannot drive Thursday but can on Friday.

Well, that's it for me today.  I'm tired and I have to go fold some little boys socks.

Peace out!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turning over a new leaf or some crap like that...

I have a love/hate relationship with mornings.

Lately it's been mostly hate.

In junior high and high school I was up faithfully before 5am nearly every morning to go swimming.  Once I retired from swimming I retired from early mornings as well.

Lately though I've been feeling convicted to get more done in the early morning so I've been meaning to get up earlier...for nearly a month now with limited success.  But I did it this morning.  More importantly, I think I've found out why I've had such a hard time with it.

You see, I would think that if I can get up in the morning I should get my Devotion and my workout done.  I love devoting.  I wouldn't have a problem doing just that.  But working out in the morning?  Um, that sucks.  Especially when it's freezing outside.

So this morning I decided to give it a go with just the Devotion done early.  It was a smashing success. I have been allowing myself coffee in the morning, but without worrying about transitioning into the workout right away, I didn't need it.  I was able to wake up a half hour earlier than normal and feel great!  Instead of doing my Devotion the first thing during nap time, I was free to have true free time.  And I got my workout done.  Before lunch even!

Funny what happens when you a)put first what should be first and b)don't try and change too much at once.

Now we'll see how tomorrow goes...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

1st (Gulp) Blog Giveaway!

I'm totally nervous to do this.  I've got back and forth on even having a giveaway.  What would I give away?  What if no one wants what I'm offering, how embarrassing would that be?  So I thought I'd give away a gift card, after all, everyone likes gift cards.  But then, I realized I'd have to go to a store and buy a gift card and since I have no car here and the only stores I can get a gift card for would be in Korea, I passed on that idea.

Then I thought about giving away a copy of one of my favorite books.  But that excludes you if you don't want to read it or have already read it.

The next idea was to give away something I've made.  And I pondered it (meaning fretted over it...are my feelings going to be hurt if no one wants something I've made?) and then decided to go for it.

So, without further ado, here's what I'm giving away...


One of my favorite new lacy hats!  If you read my post about the DMZ, you'll see that I wore the match to this one on our recent outing.  

And don't worry, even though I'm totally into regifting, I'm not regifting this.  It's brand spanking new.  It's wonderfully delightful merino wool in a beautiful dreamy- creamy color. 

It fits all head sizes (unless your name is Goliath), so if it's not your style feel free to give it away.  My feelings won't be hurt, I promise. 


If you're wondering why I'm having a give away, let me explain.  

It's not to generate more traffic.

It's not to make more friends. 

It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with you

I appreciate you guys.  I started this blog when we started the adoption process a few years back.  You all have walked with me through some of the best and toughest times in my life.  Loss in adoption.   A surprise (wonderful) pregnancy.  Moves.  Job changes. Life changes.  And now you're walking and praying me through another adoption.   I started this blog to keep friends informed about our life and I've gotten an outpouring of love and support.  It really has encouraged me. 

So, in honor of my 500th post this week, I wanted some tangible way to say thank you for your love, friendship and support.  And since I can't bring all of you to Nicaragua with me (which I would LOVE to do) and I can't fly out to see and thank all of you (because I don't even know who you all are!) I decided to give something away.  Something I made, something heartfelt.

So if you want to enter to win, simply leave a comment under this post...show me some love or just say "pick me" or whatever.  

I'll keep it open for a week (ending next Friday the 12th ) and post the winner on Saturday the 13th.  

Don't forget to post your name...you can post under Anonymous, but at least give me a first name in the post!

Good luck!  But more importantly, thank you sincerely for your love and support.  You all mean the world to me!

Peace and love, 
Jenni 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tate's Learning Languages!

Tate: Mom, Theo speaks baby Spanish.
Me: Yes, he does.  Do you know what you speak?
Tate:  I speak language. 
Me: Language?
Tate:  Yes.  And Spanish. 
Me:  OK.  Sounds good.  Anything else?
Tate: Yes.  I speak Korean quietly. 
Me: How is that?
Tate: [whispering] an- niyong-ha-say-yo


[That means Hello in Korean and that; combined with one other word (thank you) is all the Korean he knows]



And just so you don't think I've left Theo out, here he is in all his Halloween-y glory.  

Cute, huh?

Monday, November 1, 2010

North Korea and the DMZ

That's me in North Korean territory (with a South Korean soldier guarding us)

With the boys at the Third Tunnel

On Saturday we ventured out to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).  It was a trip I've wanted to do for a while.  The day was split in half, I did half with the family and half without because children under 10 are not allowed at the Joint Security Area (JSA) where I was able to step foot into North Korean territory. 

The trip was intensely sad.  Koreans have a long history of being occupied and manipulated by other countries and it's heartbreaking to think that after Japanese occupation ended, instead of coming into their own they fought a bloody war and the country was split. 

The first half of the tour was so-so, but the second half in the JSA area was really interesting.  As the name would make you expect, the two sides have access to the same area.  It's the only are that both sides come and go from equally. 

I am happy to have gone to see the DMZ, but really I hope and pray that the DMZ will be obsolete soon.  

********************

I just realized that yesterday was my 500th post!  I can hardly believe it!  In order to celebrate I'm thinking about having a giveaway here later this week.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What Faith Looks Like


I haven't brought up the adoption on here in quite a while.  It's not that anything has changed, or perhaps it's because nothing has changed that I've been silent.  We're playing a waiting game, and I don't have any new news to share.

Except that I'm getting scared.  Not scared about the adoption, just scared of what happens if it continues to drag out?  What happens if for some reason it doesn't go through?  What then?  We've experienced loss like  that before, and I never want to feel that way again.  But in some way, I already do.  We miss our girls.  We miss sharing experiences with them.  And in my mind (maybe this isn't reality, but it's how I feel) the stakes are so much higher than they were before.  Don't get me wrong, the stakes were high.  We were invested in Elliana's life and we miss her being a part of our family, but as a baby in the US, if she didn't end up in our family there was a family out there who wanted her.  In fact, there were waiting lists of families that wanted her.  Want her.  We were one of many, and I was fine with that because that is the path that God had brought us down.  But with our girls the situation is different.  They have a family and they aren't going to get to go back and live with them.  Their family, for whatever reason, is unwilling and/or unable to care for them.  Their family wants what is best for them, and they support the adoption.  We want what is best for them and are humbled to be afforded the opportunity to be their parents.

Everyone who should have a say supports this.  And yet we wait.

Don't get me wrong, I get it.  I know why there are background checks, notary checks, hundreds of documents, etc.  I just wish it could be faster.  Our girls are in limbo.  We are in limbo.  We want to be together.

And now that I'm in Korea; the farthest away from them I've ever been, I'm really starting to feel fear.  What happens if...

I know this is natural.  Adoption is loss.  And the girls are worth the pain.  They deserve to have people that love them so much and ache to have them close.  So I'm willing to go through it.  I just wish I knew when the waiting would be done.  I wish I knew for sure that the waiting will for sure be done someday. But there are no guarantees and I'm scared to hurt again.

I need a boost of faith.  Because faith drives out fear.  I believe God's brought us to this place and he's working in his time to get us there.  I just need to have faith and stop worrying so much.  And maybe I need to think more about the girls and less about myself.

In order to symbolically step out in fear, I'm casting on 61 stitches in Christmas Red on my size 6 knitting needles.  I've put off working on the girls stockings because if the adoption were to fall through I didn't want to have to face one more reminder at Christmas of our loss.  But I'm casting on in faith.  God will bring me through this.  I just need to have faith.  So, for the time being, knit one pearl one is my form of faith.

Because even if we lose everything else...faith, hope and love will always remain.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bridges in Seoul=Life

Water fountains off of the bridge at night-they change color!



The bridge at twilight...such a magical hour

Sunset, much more impressive in person.

This post should be titled "Because Pollution Can Be Pretty" or something like that...I'm pretty sure that it's smog that turns the sky those pretty/hazy colors. 

One thing I think Koreans do really well is make bridges.  Their bridges are all aesthetically pleasing, but especially at night.  Seoul is laid out in such a way that the Han River runs through the middle of it, separating Old Seoul (that I love!) on the North, and "New Seoul" (where I live) on the South.  There are several bridges to cross the river, and at night they are just beautiful.  They have colorful lights, water spraying from them-so pretty.  

In a city with a lot of neutrals, I really appreciate the life the bridges bring to the city. 

2010 Craft Goal-Only 5 More!


Project #25
Knit Flower Bud Hats
(3)

I loved the red one when I finished it, but I wasn't thrilled with how hard it was to see the pattern.  I had two skeins of this delicious cream merino wool that my mother in law gave me 8 years ago, and I decided to make one out of that. 

I fell in love.  So I used up the two skeins making them.  Two are 2 years to adult size, and one is child sized.  I'm thrilled with the one in the picture and I am keeping it for myself!  

Only 5 more to go, friends!  I may make it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tate Quotes: 2nd Korean Edition



Straight from the mouth of this Cutie!






Tate: Mom, why does Daddy have to go to work?
Me: To make money, Buddy.
Tate: So we can give it all away to people that need it?

I know I already shared this on Facebook, but I want to keep them all here, too.  This was a super proud mom moment!

*******

Setting: The park.  We'd been playing for a while and it was downright cold.

Me: Tate, it's time to go.  It's cold.
Tate:  Mom, when is it going to stop colding so I can go outside play more?

In reality?  Probably not until May.  Thank goodness for long underwear and gloves!

*******

And Britney, I agree.  It's time to come back to Oregon!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Irony much?


I realize you have no clue what I was trying to take a picture of here.  That's OK, I'll explain.  

Here in Korea, it's illegal to talk on phone while you're driving unless you have a bluetooth.  I'm totally in support of this.  I was when the law passed in Washington and Oregon, and I'm totally in support of it here, too (probably because I've encountered some of the worst drivers in my entire career here).  

I amend my former statement.  I was in favor of it, until I learned what is legal here. 

So what exactly is legal here?
  • Not wearing seatbelts (apparently)
  • Not using car seats
  • Children climbing from the front seat to the back over and over
  • Watching TV on your GPS. 

In case you missed that, I'll say it again:

It is permissable to watch TV WHILE DRIVING


Which is what the guy in front of us was doing.  We've seen it all over, and finally had the camera with us to try and catch it.

Quite possibly the dumbest thing to allow EVER. 

Personally, I would rather ride with someone talking on the phone.  I'd feel much safer.  I've tried to rationalize this but have failed.  I've tried to be the devils advocate, but cannot come up with one good reason to allow this.   

Thoughts?



Friday, October 22, 2010

The Glory of the Lord

Sunset on the way home from Dog Mountain
Portland, OR
8/2010


Fall Color
Bukhansan National Park
10/2010


Dog Mountain Hike
Southern Washington
8/2010

View from the Summit, Dog Mountain
8/2010

The Peak
Bukhansan Nat'l Park
10/2010

Snake Island
Philippines
9/2010

Palawan
Philippines
9/2010

Waterfall
Thailiand, 
10/2010




I love LOVE sharing pictures that inspire me, especially pictures of the beautiful world we live in.  I'm not particularly good at picture taking, but I'm getting a bit better.  In honor of the beauty I saw yesterday, and something that LT Wonderful said, I'm going to share some of my favorites on here.

Lately, Tate has been asking what things are saying.  And he's referring to inanimate objects...we never know how to respond, other than to ask him what he thinks they are saying.  Yesterday he asked LT Wonderful what the mountain was saying.  LT Wonderful's response was right on:

 "Buddy, they are declaring the Glory of the Lord!"

And they were.  So in honor of that, I thought I'd share recent Glory moments that we've seen.  Because really, can you ever see enough beauty?