Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

If you would have told me two years ago that I would be adopting a little girl from South Korea, I would have said, uh, ok - whatever! Today I am forever indebted to our Heavenly Father for placing us on this journey. I thank Him everyday, if not many times a day.

Control. Ask my husband, this is something that I have deeply rooted within me. I try not to control things, but it's just my nature. What can I say? Throughout this journey, I have been unable to control one detail. Not one. At first, it drove me crazy. The Lord has patiently and lovingly shown me that this is something, among many other things, that I have to lay at His feet. He has also shown me, through His astounding faithfulness, that things in His timing tend to work out better than those of my timing. I trust every little detail is worked out "according to His purpose." I give this adoption, and all that it entails - to Him. He knows where every sheet of paper is, the day, hour, minute of when we all will see her precious face for the first time, He has everything orchestrated down to the finest detail. That's more than I could ever control or even try to control! Amen?

I am so thankful today, for God's faithfulness and His patience, but most of all I am so very thankful for allowing us to experience His heart - a heart for children, and love so deep that bridges oceans. We're coming baby sister, we love you, and we will see you soon - well, in His timing, soon. ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pray for baby Stellan

Stellan is MckMama's youngest child and has a sick heart. He has been at Children's Hospital since Sunday. He has, and still is, going in and out of scary rhythms. Please visit the blog to get updates, but in the mean time please keep this family and little boy in your prayers today. Very scary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Culture of South Korea

This subject is one of my favorites. I just happen to love the word "culture." As a Homeshooling Mom, I guess it's kind of my motto, if you will. The more I can expose my boys to, the better off they are, and it's said to raise I.Q. (who knows if that's really true, but it sold me)

I am encapsulated in the Culture of South Korea. They have some really cool customs and beliefs. One central theme or thread that runs deep throughout their culture is - family. Something that I hold near and dear to my heart is family. We live within 20 miles of both of our parents, and we love it. Our kids get to have an awesome relationship with their Nanny and Poppy and Grandma and Papa. My parents are the "y's" and Chad's parents are the "a's." Another thing is that Chad and I can get away anytime, all we have to do is make a phone call and both are more than willing to babysit. Huge Blessing. It helps give me and the boys a break from each other, especially during the school year. (what was this post about?, oh yeah)

In our little bag of goodies, that we will get with our baby girl, will be a Hanbok , given by her Foster Mother. Her little Hanbok will be worn at her Tol, which is her first birthday celebration. This is the traditional dress (apparel) worn on special occasions or holidays. South Koreans also wear their Hanbok's when visiting older relatives, like grandparents, as a sign of respect.

This is a little girl, who is absolutely aborable I might add, in her Hanbok.

And this is a traditional adult Hanbok. At first I thought that just the children wore them, but I was wrong. I guess they are quite comfortable and not to mention stunning.

I have heard, through other blogs and adoption groups, that the first 100 days of a child's life is a very significant milestone in Korean culture. I finally found out why this is true. Many, many years ago, the lack of medical information and the proliferation of disease caused the death rates of infants to be extremely high. When a child was born, only family members could see the child. Then when the child lived through those 100 days, the family, along with friends and neighbors would hold a celebration called baek-il. Eventhough South Korea now has state-of-the-art medical, just like we do, the first 100 days of a child's life is still celebrated. Sadly, we won't get to celebrate our daughter's baek-il with her, but we will have much, much more.

Let's see, what else . . .

Oh! At first, the Korean people didn't have their own written language. They used Chinese characters to write down their thoughts. In the 1400's King Sejong, who was considered the most enlightened ruler in Korean history, had language experts create an alphabet that we now know as Hangul, the official language of Korea. Hangul first had 24 characters but now has 28.

Dancing is one of South Korea's most popular art forms. Ritual, Folk and Court Dances are the three main kinds of traditional dancing. The Farmer's Dance is the favorite of the Folk Dances. It reminds the S. Koreans how important farming has been for their country's history.

There is so much more to share, and I am so excited to share it all with our little girl. It would be more perfect if we were to travel and experience it all first-hand. We are still leaving it all up to God, to His perfect timing and protection.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Interesting Facts about South Korea

To pass the time, I have been doing some research about South Korea. So I am going to enlighten you with some random facts about my little girls' birth country, also reffered to as "The Land of the Morning Calm."

This is the flag of South Korea. The black lines are called Trigrams and they represent harmony. The yin-yang in the center, symbolizes balance within the universe.

South Korea has a population of more than 50 million people.

More than 2/3 of S. Korea is covered by mountains and highlands.

The National Flower is the Rose of Sharon. It represents the spirit of Korea. It is known to survive in harsh environments and to spread out from it's origin. This reflects the history of Korea and her people's survival through periods of trial and suffering. The Rose of Sharon embodies Korea as an independant nation with a long history.

It blooms from summer to fall for about 100 days. It's bulb opens in the early morning and closes up in the evening. In Korean its called Mungunghwa meaning "flower with endless life."

(I have already picked one out and can't wait to plant it once I know it won't freeze, I know it's hearty and all, but Colorado weather is tricky ;) It will be a tribute to our little princess and the trials and suffering that we all will go through to get her home. Those of her Birthmom, Foster Mom and the grieving process she will endure after leaving all she has ever known. We will watch this bush grow, and look back on the path that made our family whole. (just a side note)

Isn't it georgeous!

Moving On . . .

Most South Koreans use public transportation, rather than their own cars.

Koreans are known to throughly enjoy singing. Karaoke is very popular in Korea. They have Karaoke halls called noraebang or "singing rooms."

Soccer and Baseball are their favorite sports. S. Korea was the first Asian country with a professional Soccer team.

They sleep together as a family on a mattress on the floor, similar to a Futon mattress, called a yo. It is rolled up during the day and cleared away when it's not being used. Most houses have heated floors, which makes sleeping on the floor more comfortable.

English is taught as a second language in most schools.

Well that's all the random facts that I will share today. More posts to follow . . . for tomorrow: The Culture of Korea. I know you're excited!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have to say I am thankful for many things in my life, but today I am especially thankful for my baby brother. He's no longer a baby (just in case you were wondering) but a strikingly handsome, caring, loving, strong, hunky man. No, today is not his birthday, it's just a random appreciation for everything that he is. My brother is a Man of the Badge. That's right, he is a Police Officer. (I have never thought the term cop was very endearing)

Seems how Police Officers put their life on the line, catch bad guys and make sure everyone is safe both in their cars and in their homes, you would think that society would be so appreciative for what my brother does on a regular basis. I wish that were the case. He gets flipped off, cussed at, (verbally abused would be way more appropriate) amongst other horrific things that I never imagined he would face. Now don't get me wrong, even I look frightfully in my rear view mirror when I see the marked cars speed past or follow behind me. But if I am speeding, then I deserve a ticket, I was breaking the law! Granted there are those few, in every profession, that give those that are good a bad name, but imagine if the Men and Women in blue weren't out there to protect us! Also, imagine going to work everyday and doing a job where everyone hates you. Doesn't give you much to get out of bed for, if you know what I mean. But he does it, and he does it well. And to top it all off, he NEVER expects recognition for all that he sacrifices. NEVER.

So today I proclaim National Hug-Your-Hunky-Police Officer Day! So Uncle T, thank you for all you do and I pray for your protection everyday. You deserve more than what people give you on a daily basis, but please know that you are great at what you do and we ALL are so thankful for what you give each and every day. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Homestudy . . . D-O-N-E!!!

Last night our Social Worker came over and did our Individual Interviews for our Homestudy. I went first, and then Chad came home from work and he did his. I feel it went very well. Our SW is the sweetest lady, both of us absolutely LOVE her. Thankfully, she isn't looking for things to "fail" us on, it's just mainly talking, and making sure there aren't any hidden issues that we need to discuss. Coincidentally, I don't think that there is any order in which the HS is performed, but I'm pretty sure we did it all backwards. First, was our Home visit, then couples interview, then our individual's. I've been looking at other timelines and discovered this minor detail. Oh well, it actually worked better this way, both for us and for her. I actually like the fact that we did it different, makes it all the more special. Speaking of special, it dawned on Chad and I that this is a monumental achievement in our Adoption Journey! No, really - the HS was the most daunting of all the tasks thus far, for us, anyway. So we celebrated with a dinner out, just the two of us, the boys were with Grandma, again - I LOVE our Grandma's :). Our SW will then type it all up and give it to us for review. Now, we just hurry up . . . and wait.


For those of you wondering Escort or Travel? Chad and I haven't completely decided on this yet. We would absolutely LOVE to go pick our little one up in her birth country, see the sites, meet her Foster Mom - once in a lifetime opportunity, no doubt! However, we are praying diligently for God's will in this. We are preparing for both. I want the travel to be His plan, and not force it, if that makes sense. So, I did apply for my passport today and get my lovely picture taken, just in case we are meant to travel. Chad will be getting his too, just in case. Doesn't hurt to have a Passport, I have been told that it's nice to have, and that it saves preparation in the future. Either way, we will be prepared and are leaving the rest up to Him.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Up, Up, UP!!!

We are now #11! There have been exciting things happening to the list in the past couple of weeks. So far, there has been one referral a week for the past three weeks!! We can't believe it! There was a buzz on the Yahoo group that there were actually TWO referrals last Friday, but one was a little boy, so that doesn't affect our number. I KNEW the spring/summer was going to go fast! Keep them coming!!! Congrats to all of the families that have received their little ones!