Happy It's Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011

This is my seventh Halloween with kids and I'm not any more prepared this year than the last six! 

I am not one of those moms who plans weeks in advance, searches out costumes, orders ones I can't get in stores online and then sits patiently and waits for Halloween to come around.

I'm more like, oops, it's almost Halloween, our church's trunk or treat is a few days before, better waist an entire tank of gas (literally, in my big 'ole Suburban,) drive my less than thrilled three year old around searching every store, costume outlet and then some, for something that will work in the right sizes.

We saw the Luigi costume at various stores previously, but Bee wanted to be a ninja...

all the Mickey Mouse costumes were sold out and Seon-Mi refused to be Minnie.

So I spent all last Friday in and out of a million different stores, the outlet mall, twice, and ended up right where I started...

All to come home to one disappointed little boy and a little girl...

but never fear, my kids are easily bribed and getting them into those costumes was like stealing candy from a baby...or rather promising loads of candy to those who wore the costumes their exhausted mommy made them wear...

(But if you wait last minute like me, you just might get a Pottery Barn costume at the outlet for only 15 bucks!)

And because I am the mom that I am, I will most likely forget to take anymore pics tonight before actual trick or treating, plus, I'm lucky to have snapped these few while they're still and looking at the camera at our church's trunk or treat a few days ago!

(and who knows if they'll cooperate for a second night of 'I hate these costumes but I'll do anything for candy')

Let's just say Halloween is not my forte.

 Girlfriend has a mane of her own!

Doesn't he look thrilled?!?!?!

He's really crying under that mustache (kidding, but he did beg to take it off) and she's just thrilled there's candy involved... 
So if you happen to see Luigi riding into town on a unicorn, and neither of them are crying, well, it's been a good enough Halloween for us!

You may think I've learned my lesson and will start planning early for next year, but nope.

That would be too easy...

after all, we will have one more kid to add to the mix next Halloween and tracking down THREE last minute costumes will be all sorts of fun!

Alright, go ahead, let's hear it, I know you wanna judge me...lil' bit. :)

An update on Hui-a!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love this combination of two outfits we sent in  previous care packages!!  Hui-a's foster mother is clearly making great use of the mix and not so matching possibilites!! LOL!
(I think we sent her those socks too!)

You have no idea how badly I needed this update today and I'm typing this post thru tears!

We have really tried hard to stay positive and upbeat during this excruciating wait, but sometimes, it gets the best of you and we were hanging on by a thread this week waiting for a new well baby checkup!

Hui-a is now 15 months old, is 31.9 in tall and weighs 25.3 lbs!!  That is the 75th percentile!! My big girl!
Seon-mi was never over the 3rd percentile while in Korea!  And just to give you an idea...Seon-mi is 36 in tall and weighs 28 lbs at 3 years old!

She is walking, running and can also walk backwards!  She is crawling up and down stairs (oh boy!), helps around the house (too cute!) and a random fact...she can 'tower 5 cubes'!  She is saying umma (mommy), abba (daddy), mool (water) and mama (food)!

My heart literally aches looking at these pictures! 
What a relief it is to receive updates like this throughout the process! 

And can I mention how happy I am that her hair is growing out!

 Please, oh please, hurry home Hui-a!

My beginning.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

There are no pictures of my mother's baby bump...

No snapshots of my first cry...

No hospital bracelet keepsakes or ink blotted footprints...

But that doesn't make my beginning any better or worse than anyone else's...

it just makes it different than most.

The first minute or so on this video reads from a letter given to the agency who facilitated my adoption...

Several months ago, my mother had our family videos from Korea copied to DVDs.  I remember watching quite a bit of it and recalling her mentioning that there was footage somewhere in there of our family returning to the orphanage where I had been abandoned.  I believe I watched it at that time, and had planned to transfer it to my computer, but for whatever reason, didn't do so until recently.  I could not figure out how to upload it directly, so I played it on my computer while I video-ed it with my blackberry and then uploaded to youtube.

 Aw, technology!

The narrator is my father. 

My mother is in the white sweater.

The woman in red is a friend of my parent's.

My oldest sister is the girl in orange.

My brother is the little boy in the white striped shirt.

My other sister is the toddler in the stroller.

The one year old baby is me...

and this is my beginning.

To me, this footage is priceless.

(And kuddos to my awesome parents for thinking to do such a thing that I will have forever!) 

It was an all boy's orphanage, and the jubilant Korean ladies bouncing me back and forth are presumed to be my caretakers for the few days before I was given to my parents.

I have resigned myself to the fact that it would be quite difficult to find any of my birth family...

but maybe one day, someone will come across this video and recognize the orphanage...

or even me.

I wonder what has become of the boys in this video.

Where their life has taken them after time spent in this orphanage.

If they returned to their families, remained there, or were ever adopted.

It is sometimes difficult to imagine the different path my life would have taken had I not found a family.

I do not know whether this orphanage still exists or if the people who resided there are even still alive nearly 30 years later.

But one of my goals in this lifetime is to make it back there again.

It just might be the closest I get to that part of my life.

My mind does occasionally wander to that night.

That car.

That basket.

That note.

That baby.

And I wonder if 30 years later, it is any easier for whomever was driving that car, to think about as well.

I am thankful for my parents,

my siblings,

my extended family,

my husband,

my kids,

my birth family...

and for my beginning.

Keepin' it real folks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And so it begins.

I've been wanting to start a new blog for a while now...for a variety of reasons...that I won't bore you with...just know that I'll only be importing a few of my previous blog's posts, and that blog will soon go private.

If you're 'new' to my blog, then clickity click on the 'about me' to the right to get the low down.

It's a slow but steady process on the other links, but it will all come together soon!

So, here we have it. 

The new blog.

Fascinating so far, huh?!?!

Well, let's get right into it.

So one of my goals on this new blog is to 'keep it real'.  Tell it like it is.  Thread the needle.  Toll the line.

Alright ,you get it.

So here's my keepin' it real for today...

I am super proud to be Korean.   

But it hasn't always been that way.

I was bullied as a kid, semi-popular as a teenager, and I would say that I'm a pretty secure adult now.

I remember flipping through magazines in junior high and dog earring the pages of the girls I'd like to look like. 

They were all white.

Just like my family. (except for my one of sisters, who is also adopted)

And 98% of my friends.

Maybe it was just that phase of a typical teenage girl wanting to look like something other than herself.

Maybe it was because it might have been easier to just look like everyone around me.

In high school, there were two other Asian kids in my grade. 


When we decided to adopt, it was like the Korean in me slapped me across the face.

Yes, I knew I was Korean.

But I wasn't sure I ever felt Korean, or if I actually wanted to be Korean.

Suddenly, I wanted it all...the language, the culture, the food...

I was proud to be Korean! 

In the 3 1/2 years since, I've done nothing but fill that hunger.

Pun intended, as I also discovered me some Korean food and I like what I found people!

Before that, the only other encounter with Korean food I recall was when a Korean neighbor we had in Germany used to make us kimbap. I never ate any.  Not even sure I knew it was Korean food at the time or if it was intended for me and my sister or not.

Don't get me wrong, our family is quite cultured. 

I lived in Korea till I was two, Germany till I was 11 and traveled all over Europe while there.  Amongst other places, we've camped in Switzerland, sat on the beaches of Italy and even took a family vacation to Israel.

But the connection I feel and the desire I have towards Korea and it's culture is very different.

However, when we were in process to adopt Seon-Mi , I actually filled out the paperwork to have her escorted home.

I was afraid. 
I wasn't sure I'd be accepted.
I was scared things wouldn't turn out quite like I'd hoped.

But after much thought and prayer, and some advice from fellow adoptive parents, I knew going to Korea to pick up Seon-Mi would be an opportunity of a lifetime.

I traveled alone, and loved every single second of it.

(Well, besides the plane ride home, but that's another story for another day!)

I felt like I belonged.

Totally got lost in the crowd.

Everyone looked just.like.me.

I was home.

I've decided that home doesn't always have to be where you live, but instead can be a place where you feel comfortable, loved, and connected to.

Now, in my quest to define the Korean part of my Korean-American status, I've also become a fan of Korean pop stars.

Namely, the Wonder Girls.

I think these girls are some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.

(and let's not also forget about their freaking incredible dance moves, which I plan to learn in their entirety from THIS video!)

And if I saw them in a magazine , I just might dog ear their page...

I am proud to look like them!!

Well, okay, not exactly like them, (as long as we're keepin' it real!) but you get the idea.

I just hope that my beautiful Korean girls will find their place as Korean-Americans as well.

As a mom to one Korean daughter, and a soon to be mom to another, I hope I can be an example to them.

I can say that everyone in our family knows several Korean words, eats lots of Korean foods, knows a little Korean culture, celebrates a few Korean holidays and Seon-Mi responds with ease to both her Korean and American name and my half Korean son is very proud of that one half.

In conversation with Seon-Mi the other day...

Me: Where are you from?
SM: Korea!
Me: Where is Hui-a from?
SM: Korea!
Me: Where is mommy from:
SM: Korea!
Me: Where is brother from?
SM: No where!
Me: Hmmm, okay, where is daddy from?
SM: No where!
Me: Alrighty then.

So maybe, just maybe, we need to also focus on the American part.

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