Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

Hard to believe 2012 will be over in just 2 days.

So, to ring in the New Year ... My top 12 of 2012.
(in no special order)

 Number 1

Traveling half way around the world on a moments notice ( well 5 days notice) so I could finally
be in the same city as my son. 

I was blessed to have a great friend who is just like a sister accompany me on the trip.
While I would have loved to have been with Anthony when I met our son for the first time, I can't think of a better travel partner and friend to have shared it with. 
What an amazing trip.

Number 2

The first day I arrived at Holt Korea and met my sweet boy.

Almost a year after being matched, almost two years from the start of the process the moment finally came.
In a little room inside of the Holt building I met the baby boy that I watched grow in pictures for the very first time. The moment was nothing short of amazing.

Meeting him for the very short time was better then I could have ever imagined. After all the waiting, hoping, and praying my arms were no longer empty. I still dont know how I had the strength to say goodbye to him and get back on the plane to America.

So happy that I had the chance to travel to Korea and see James in his birth country.
I was able to see that he was a busy boy that wrecked havoc in Seoul just like he does here. :)
That its not an attachment thing - its a James thing.

Number 3

Saying goodbye to my sweet boy as I left to come back home was one of the single hardest
things that I have ever had to do. However, it was a defining moment in 2012 because it meant that
my little boy was real.. the journey was real... and the emotions were real.  This sweet boy slept peacefully in my arms after a day we spent together. It meant that for the first time I would be able to tell my family and friends what James was really like - that I met him and got a glimpse of this sweet boys personality.

Number 4

Meeting a great group of new friends.

Several years ago, I joined a moms group when Zoey was just a few months old. We all always said how lucky we were to meet so many good friends so late in life. Lets face it, the older we get the harder it is to balance life, family, and old friends let alone make new ones. I was very fortunate to meet so many friends and in turn so was Zoey. 

This past year, again, I was very blessed in meeting new friends.
Adoption is a hard process, but an amazing online adoption community exists.
I had the blessing of turning some of those online friendships into real life ones.
(don't worry - adoptive parents have quite the background check)

And get this, many of these new friends not only have children the same
age as James but older siblings the same age as Zoey - JACKPOT!

I cant say enough for these friends who supported me as I navigated my way to Korea and back again, as I brought James home and worried over and over again about his attachment.... friends that picked up the phone while I was jet lagged and awake on the other side of the world and just really got it.. the feelings and emotions... the highs and lows of this journey... these girls who  turned from waiting buddies that I would have dinner with occasionaly while waiting to friendships that will be here to stay. 

Number 5

Family Day!!!

After all the prayers, the waiting, the delays...
After traveling 1/2 way around the world to meet him and coming home without him...

The best day of 2012 for sure... and one of the top 3 best days 
of my entire life....

My baby boy was placed in my arms.

That moment, in a terminal at Philadelphia airport , was magical.
God was surely there - seeing his perfect plan through.

The child I prayed for before I knew of him...
the little boy I loved from the moment I saw his sweet face on my computer screen....

he was home. 


Number 6

My baby girl became a big sister.

It didnt happen all at once and we definitely had struggles in the begining.

But slowly,

my baby girl grew into an amazing big sister.

She looks after him...teaches him..and is learning to be patient with him more and more each day.

These two have my ♥

Number 7

James was baptized.

With family and friends present we celebrated his special day.

For many, this was the very first time meeting him.

We were honored to have our good friends,  Kim and Steve ,
accept the responsibility of being his godparents.

It was a day to celebrate such a huge blessing in our lives.

James cut the rug on the dancefloor.

and the kids had a blast with face painting, ballon art, and games. 

Number 8

Somehow, my princess turned 5.

Ummm, how did that happen?!?!

We always celebrate birthdays big - what better way to celebrate a big blessing - right?!?

This girl amazes me. She has grown and matured so much this year.

My beautiful baby girl..

You have blessed us more then you will ever know.

You light up our lives.

Number 9

Happy 1st Birthday home little man.

I think its safe to say that James had a blast celebrating his 2nd Birthday
and we had a blast celebrating it with him for the very first time.

Little man partied, partied, and partied some more.

He loved the animals and petting zoo...

and of course the bounce house too.

Sweet baby James...

You make everyday interesting.

Your smile lights up every room.

So blessed that we were brought together - forever.

Number 10

First family vacation with James home.

Disney of course!!

What an amazing (and exhausting) 12 days.

But the first trip together as a new family is down in the books.

Cant wait for more to come!!!!

Number 11

Yun, Jun-ha forever becomes a Wong.

The judge put on paper what our hearts already knew.

James is forever our son.

27 months after we started the process

We are finally a family of four.




2 years ago on Christmas we told our extended family that we were in the process to adopt.

1 year ago our hearts hurt because our son wasn't home for the holidays.

This year .....

was a month of holiday cheer with both my babies.

This year my home was filled ....

...and so was my heart. ♥

We had many special visits with the man in the big red suit....
and somehow Santa knew just how special this Christmas was.

He came to our home on Christmas Eve.

This year my greatest gift was definitely not under the tree.

but in my heart.

Having both my babies here on Christmas morning.

Happy New Year!!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Come so Far

"Hold on, to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

Cause I’m going to make this place your home."

It's hard to believe that James has been home almost seven months and that next week we will go before the judge and he will finalize what our hearts have known for a very long time.

This amazing story of how we found what was missing in our family...only it was not something that was was someone....the adventure that took us half way around the world ...the long journey that was filled with many delays, that tested our patience over and over again, that taught us that sometimes all you have is faith and that you must learn to lean on it more during the really hard times...this miraculous story that has come to be over the last three years has found its way to the courthouse and in eight days a judge will put his seal on  it... he will put into writing what has been written in our hearts.

It is amazing to think about just how far we have come...How hard, exhausting, and
just how messy those first days were.  It seems like a million years ago that this little boy had his whole world turned upside down when he traveled half way around the world to come to the place that he would eventually call home.

James came off the plane active...

and it wasn't until bedtime that the grief set in.

Words cant express how hard it is to see a child grieve the loss of the family that they have known and loved for so long. I had to remind myself often that foster care was not a permanent solution, and that finally this sweet child would never have to say goodbye to a family ever again- that we were forever. Sometimes at night, when his grief set in and he would cry so hard, I would cry too. I cried because we live in an imperfect world where this little boy has had to know this kind of loss...I cried because I had already loved him so much and it hurt to see him hurt..I cried because there was nothing else I could do to fix his scared and hurting heart. Finally when he would fall asleep I would stay awake and watch him all night..I would listen to him call out in his sleep...and I would pray that one day we would be a family.

"When you first arrived home it was hard to see you in such pain and experiencing such grief. You cried for your Omma and I wished that I could make her appear to comfort your hurting heart. You cried so hard and I could see the hurt in your eyes and I wondered if you would ever let me comfort you - would you ever let me be your Mama."  - From my blog at a few weeks home.

He would fall asleep with his blanket as I sat next to him quietly telling him that it was all going to be ok..He wouldn't let me hold him ...he didn't trust us yet...those first days this was the only way he would fall asleep.

Then slowly his personality started emerge.

Slowly I started to see the little boy that I met in Korea before his world was
rattled so hard....before everything changed for him.

He started to look at sister and follow her lead.

Slowly I knew that everything was going to be alright.
That we just needed time.

And one day, after a few weeks home, he looked at me with his huge grin and called me Omma.
He called me Omma!!!  He knew that I was his mother the way I had always known that he was my son.

And slowly, we became a Family.

Slowly, he trusted us...

more and more each day.

Weeks went past...and then months...

and we found our new normal.

We saw more and more smiles....

and less and less tears.

7 months ago I would have never believed that we would get to this good place...this place where we know that James is secure in his attachment...that he understands that  we are his mother and father and is happy because of it. A place where when he tantrums its because he is two and not out of frustration
because he does not understand what is going on around him.

A place where brother and sister fight less and less each day....and we can make it a full day - sometimes two...without a single fight.

A place we call Family.


Forever Family
Joined at the heart.