Friday, December 31, 2010

Our journey to Dane at

~Saying good-bye to 2010~
It has been an emotionally hard, bittersweet, fabulous year.  Here is a quick peek at one of the hardest and most wonderful parts of the year -our journey to Dane. He is such a sweet boy, I am honored to be his mommy. I hope someday he will realize how much he is truly loved!
 Hoping 2011 will bring us another wonderful year as a family!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our court day!

December 20, 2010
It was a beautiful day, a day we had been looking forward to for quite sometime. We loved Dane from the moment we laid eyes on him, he was ours and he has always been a part of our family, but to just know he is officially ours is extra special!
We arrived at the court house at 2:45. We greeted our family and social worker. To my surprise my mom was there too! She literally had come straight from the hospital to the court house. She had spent a week in the hospital recovering from surgery where they had removed a cancerous mass and a lobe from her upper right lung. She had been telling the doctors for days that she had to be out, she had somewhere important to be. I had told her several times, despite how much I wanted her there, not to worry about coming and she always told me, "I will be there unless they won't let me out." There was no stopping her. Her love for Dane is fierce, unstoppable, it is that way for all she loves-she is amazing!
A few minutes later we were informed that the judge was running behind - he was dealing with a complicated case and it would be a bit before it would be our turn. We (9 adults & 6 kids) were ushered into a small stuffy room to pass the time. Joel and I looked at each other and would take a lot to ruin this day. Throughout this process, we have waited, waited and waited some more; time lines were frequently extended and we ran into many delays. So, it did not surprise us to know that we would have to wait.
A little over an hour later we were informed that the judge would see us. We walked in and took our seats, and Dane began to cry. I think he had had enough of this waiting business, he wanted to go. As I was getting Dane settled the judge began to apologize for the long wait; he was so nice and so apologetic. Finally Dane settled and we got down to business. The judge asked us some questions and really made the day extra special! He was amazing! After all was said and done, he pronounced that Dane was officially ours and both Joel and I were in tears...
The judge allowed us to take our time and take pictures. David and the judge really hit it off. They had a great time laughing together. I have some amazing memories! We ended the day with family and a trip to one of our favorite ice cream places for ice cream.

Dane snuggling Daddy

Dane & Mommy passing time.
Thank you Aunt Brenda for letting us use your bracelet, it was a great toy!

What?? These chairs are fun!

Our family & social worker in front of the judge. Dane is on my lap.

Family pic. with the judge

Our family

David and the judge...givin high fives!

Our official family!

Despite the perfect day, I know that on that day Dane lost a lot, he is no longer a Korean citizen, along with many other things. But he also gained a lot too. I , well we, love that boy to pieces. We are so thankful for him! He is a such precious blessing!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One year ago today...

One year ago today we received an email that would change us forever. We saw this sweet face for the first time and wondered if we would be chosen to be his family, we wondered if we were looking at the face of our son.

On January 5, 2010 we received the news - we had a son!

Now a year later, our son is home, we finalized his adoption on December 20, 2010. He is officially ours! When I think about the how much has changed the past year, how far Dane has come, and how much I am in love with that boy, my eyes fill with tears. We have been blessed with a wonderful son.

Happy 8th Birthday Alaina!

Well we celebrated Alaina's 8th Birthday a week ago. I have had some camera trouble and  haven't    been able to download pics., so that is the reason for the delay.

We had a wonderful time celebrating. We ate at  Alaina's favorite Chinese restaurant, opened presents, had a pajama party with Grandma and Grandpa, and ended the night with cake and ice cream. We had too much fun!

I love you Alaina! You are the greatest 8 year old I know!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving!

Well, Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I was hoping to post this post earlier but have not found the time...

It was about 5:30 Thanksgiving morning, I was unfortunately awake, I was exhausted,  had so much to do and my head was POUNDING! Alivia was finally asleep, she had been up all night with an ear ache. Joel was getting ready for work, yes work on Thanksgiving. I still had to pack for our trip to the Great Wolf Lodge and get things ready for Thanksgiving at my mom's.  And now Alivia and I needed to make a trip to the ER for her ear. Needless to say I was feeling less than thankful. So I called my mom at about ten minutes to 8 figuring she should be up. My step-dad answered and I shared with him about my morning and that I would probably be a bit late to Thanksgiving lunch...he immediately said, "How can I help? Can I make a dish for you? I am sure your mom will come pick up the kids so you can take Livi to ER."  And that's when it hit me - I have so much to be thankful for!  I have a husband who works all hours of the day and night to provide for our family, I have a mom and step-dad that will do just about anything for me (within reason of course), not to mention other members of the family too.  I was able to get medical attention and medication for Livi thanks to doctors, nurses and other medical staff that gives up their time on Thanksgiving to serve the community and little girls that need to feel better for Great Wolf Lodge.  My day did NOT go as planned and I did NOT get everything done that I needed to but over all it was good day!  And of course it was Danes 1st Thanksgiving with our family - his forever family and that alone was special!  He did really well being away from home for so long too! He even took a short nap - in my arms of course, but he napped!  Joel did make it to Thanksgiving too, about 3 hours late, but he made it none the less!

                                                               A little Thanksgiving fun!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Danes consult

Well, Dane had his consultation appointment today for his syndactyly. It did not go as planned, well at least how I planned. I was really hoping to get definite answers and a possible surgery date. We were referred to another orthopedic surgeon. The tips of his fingers are fused and it sounds like he will need a bit of reconstructive surgery done on the tips of his finger, including his fingernails. I am happy we got at least some answers. The doctor did say that we might be able to do both hands at once. I of course want to do what is best for Dane, but having one surgery and one recovery, not to mention less doctor visits, sounds really good to me. Dane did not like being at the doctors office(he never does), nor did he like them examining his hands. Poor guy, he cried so hard. I felt so bad, but I know it is for his own good. He did capture the the attention of all the office ladies with his good looks. I, of course, could not agree more - he is quite the cutie! He is exhausted from the days events and is sacked out in the chair with daddy. I can't help but fall more and more in love with him every day.
Laina and David will be home soon and I am looking forward to a relaxing Friday evening at home. It's been a long time since we have just stayed home and I can't wait! I am one blessed mamma!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy 6th birthday David!!

Yesterday was David's 6th birthday! Wow! Where does the time go?? We had a great night celebrating his special day! We had dinner at McDonalds (his choice), opened presents, ate cake and ice cream, put together his new skateboard and put his new reading lamp in his room. Of course we ended the night with a great family movie all snuggled on the couch.
Love you David! You are the coolest 6 year old ever!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November is adoption awareness month

There is a song that I have heard a few times, I do not know the name of it or who sings it, but there is a line in that song that I just love....
"worlds collide and colors fade..."

Getting ready to carve pumpkins

I remember a couple months ago, Joel and I and were riding in the car. I do not remember where we were going or what we were exactly talking about, but Joel look at me and said, "he doesn't look Asian to me anymore" -referring to Dane. I laughed. I think at that moment we had felt like we had kind of turned a corner. We no longer saw Dane as just being Asian but also as our son (Please don't take that statement wrong - it is really hard to explain). We love all of our kids equally and we will NEVER deny the fact that Dane came from Korea or his right to learn about his birth place, etc. But at that moment he was just our son and that was it. Having kids is hard. Being a mom is hard. Adoption is hard- there are so many emotions. And for me, when Dane was finally home my emotions were rushing all over the place. And if I am honest there where moments that I was not so sure we had made the right choice. It was hard to see Dane as 100% my son when all I felt was emotionally exhausted. In the car we had finally came to a point where the emotions were not quite so raw and we were able to enjoy our family as it was without emotions clouding everything. And for us it was a great thing!

For our family adoption has been an amazing, life changing experience. And we did make the right choice! Several people have told us how lucky Dane is (which bothers me but that's another post). I could not disagree more! We are the lucky ones!! We are the ones who have been blessed by him being home and a part of our family!! Dane is an amazing little guy, as are all of our kids. Although there have been some really rough days since Dane has been home and even though we have struggled (sometimes) with adjusting, I would do it all 100 times over. I know Joel still has a hard time looking back at our pictures of Korea, re-living those moments is still emotionally hard for him, he would say the same - it was the right choice for us and our family. God has blessed us beyond words through our experience adopting Dane.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Random thoughts

  • Well, sorry that it has been so long, life has been really busy now that school is in full swing.

  • School seems to be going well, both kids have amazing teachers!

  • We have been very busy this fall and have been loving most of the busyness!

  • We are STILL vehicle shopping- most of you know Joel, he has to find that good deal!!

  • Joel is still working 50-60 hour weeks, it makes for one tired daddy, but he is still managing to get time in with the kids, nothing else though. I'm so thankful that he chooses the kids over other things.

  • Joel got Dane's "D" tattooed on his back last week, now he has all the kid's initials.

  • Sadly, Joel's grandpa past away a couple weeks ago. He died of a broken heart. He was Joel's hero and the best grandpa ever- he is truly missed.

  • We had an AMAZING summer!

  • We received an email from Danes foster mom 2 days ago. I became very emotional as I read the words that she wrote. It left me feeling forever grateful for this wonderful woman (and family) who cares so deeply for our son and our family. I am so happy to have her words on paper to share with Dane someday. I am so happy to have contact with her. She even wrote that she prays for us...I can not even begin to describe what that email meant to me.

  • Joel and I have finally had a chance to process our trip to Korea, we miss Korea so much already-we are forever changed for the better.

  • Dane is walking in public!!! He started walking about a month ago, but only at home, 2 weeks ago he started walking in public! He has also cut 8 teeth since we have been home.

  • I will try to post new pictures soon, for some reason I am having trouble tonight.

  • I think that's it. Good night!

  • Oh, I love my family and my life. It is busy, messy, and really hard sometimes, but I love it and I am blessed!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My 2 girls and the neighbor girls selling "snow globes" -sand and water in empty water bottles. I love their creativity!

Duck Lake Channel- beach fun!

Camping in the backyard

David jumping


Alaina and Dane

One of Dane's favorite things - getting to drive the jeep!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Home 6 weeks!

Things are beginning to feel a bit more normal! Dane is still clingy and definitely prefers to be with me but he is beginning to settle in and show us who he really is! He, by the way, is really sweet, all boy and quite the little ham! He loves the water and watermelon. He would live on watermelon if I let him. Our other kids are beginning to finally enjoy his company! David and Dane have a unique relationship, it is really hard to explain, or even put my finger on how it is so special, but they adore each other - I really hope it lasts forever!

As most of you know Dane has not been to fond of Joel (DH) but that is really starting to change! I have seen Dane start to reach for him and even cry when Joel leaves the room! Sounds so funny, but that made me so happy when he cried for Joel! They both have really struggled with the transition but over the past week or so Dane has slowly been melting Joel's heart! How could you not love that little guy!

We have slowly started introducing him to some of our family and friends. It seems to be going OK.

We do have our set backs some days, but over all things are getting better and better everyday! This journey has been amazing! We have learned so much about ourselves and have gained so much! I would not trade any of this for anything! We are so blessed!


Doggy kisses! Mya is not that bad after all!

"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you... For I am the Lord your God..
~Isiah 43:1-3