Friday, June 29, 2012

6 weeks home

Sometimes when I am driving and I look into my rear view mirror and see my sweet son in the reflection I can't help but to well up with tears. James has been home six weeks already, and in many ways it feels like he has been with us so much longer, but I still can't believe that we got to be part of this miracle. That we were chosen to parent this amazing little boy.

I am still amazed that twenty one months after we sent the initial paperwork to Holt... after all the figerprints and applications...classes and bloodwork...visits with social workers and numerous setbacks .... the little boy that we saw for the first time when we recieved his referral is asleep upstairs... in his home...our home.

The journey to James wasn't always easy... but we stepped out in faith and knew that if God brought us to it he would bring us through it ...and he sure did deliver. I feel so blessed that I am able to parent another child, that I am James' Omma.

James is amazing. He is full of life and spirited just like his big sister. He loves to dance and the boy got rythm. He likes to watch things closely, take it in, and then try to do it on his own. He loves to eat and eat - and eat some more. Thomas the Train is his favorite - he calls it a car. Anything with wheels is a car.... oh wait, he calls boats cars too.

He loves noodles, dumplings, soups and fried rice....Pizza and pasta are favorites too. He loves anything his sister is eating and always wants it too. Corn on the cob is his favorite veggie and the boy loves him some bananas. He loves to try new things and if anyone is eating around him they better be ready to share.

His vocabulary is increasing.... He says Mama ( he uses this for me as well as calls me Omma), Daddy, Cat, Ear, Nana, Car, Dog (in english and Korean - mong mong) and balloon. His receptive language is amazing already. If I tell him its time for bath he heads upstairs, if I tell his its time to go bye byes he gets his shoes, if i tell him to put something in the trash he does, if I tell him to give hugs or kisses he does, if I tell him its time to eat he goes to his highchair .... just pretty amazing.

When I think back to six weeks ago I didn't know when we would get to this place. James grieved hard ...he would be playing out in the yard and then start searching for his foster mother calling out Omma...he didnt trust me at all. He hated to have me change him, was terrified to take a bath, didnt want to eat, and just pushed us all away. I would sit on the floor beside him because my touch didn't comfort him and I wasn't the mother he wanted. I would be lying if I said I didn't question how we would ever get past it and if James would ever accept us as his family. I would be lying if I said that he was the only one crying.

Nothing could ever prepare you enough for watching your new child grieve the loss of the only life they had known. I don't think I could even put into words how horrible it was to watch this little boy hurt and confused over where his family was and know that the one thing that he wanted I could not give him.

Now here we are six weeks later and so much has changed.

He doesn't cry all the time anymore..... only if he doesnt get what he wants ( he still is stubborn just like his foster mother said) or is very tired. Oh, and if he has to share his Omma. He hates for me to do anything for Zoey - he about loses his mind when I brush her hair in the morning - I think somebody forgot to inform him that he wasn't coming home an only child. Wonder how he was with his foster brother!?!

He is cuddly and snuggly and gives kisses all on his own.
He would snuggle in my lap all day if he could. He loves to be in the carrier and just like to stay close to me - which is normal being the last Omma he loved so much he lost. In time he will feel more confident that I am here to stay - forever.

He loves animals and fish. He loves to be on the go. He loves going bye byes in the car.

He loves summertime at the Jersey Shore.

The boardwalk rides...

ice cream....

 and of couse the beach.

Happy 6 weeks home James!!!  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

5 weeks home and 21 months

It is pretty hard to find the time to blog lately but that doesn't mean
nothing is going on with the Wong's.

Our hands are full with these two..... but better full then empty :)

We are still working on the whole new normal thing... Some days we rock it ...
but others we fall a little short.

Big sister was doing great for several weeks....but the more attached to me James gets
the less he wants to see Zoey with me and I think this began to take its toll on her.

All of a sudden she was a baby too. Asking for booster seats and bibs at the table,
talking like a baby, and one night she woke up to go to the bathroom and cried for two hours
because.... she was a baby.

It is hard finding the balance especially now that school is out.

James wants me close to him all the time which is understandable. If I were him,
and I had to say goodbye to the only family I knew and join a new family with no understanding of
what was happening I would want to keep my new Omma close too.

But Zoey also is used to being my little girl. She misses that. She misses the one on one attention,
mall trips, me actually going swimming with her at the beach and not watching from the sand as I hold her brother... It is an adjustment for her too... and I have to remind myself that its only been 5 weeks.

And each day that goes by we are seeing more of this...

and this (holding hands) ....

and even riding rides together.

And while it feels like this little guy has been with us forever

I have to remind myself that it has only been 5 weeks...just 35 days.

And we are all settling into new routines, adjusting, and finding a whole new rhythm.

And even though we don't do it all perfect everyday - one area we have really been rocking is FUN!!!

FUN at Fantasy Island!!!!

FUN with big green alligators.

FUN playing games.

FUN winning prizes.

FUN at the beach....

...playing in the sand...

..splashing in the puddles...

...catching a wave...

and playing with friends.

FUN in Smithville.

FUN at the Popcorn Park Zoo.

Fun at Chuck E Cheese.

and FUN at home.

We are definitely rocking in the FUN!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Celebrations, Ramblings and Other Stuff

My baby girl is a graduate....preschool class of 2012.

It is hard to believe that the little girl who cried every single day at drop off of her first year of preschool is  now headed off to Kindergarten next year. She has grown so much this past year that I wish that I could stop the clock and have my little girl stay little forever.

Sweet Princess - we are so PROUD of you.

When I was her age I dreamed of being a flag waver for construction. I had big dreams of waving the cars past with a big orange flap of material stuck to a stick - making my mark on the world. My baby girl has BIG dreams too.....

.....she wants to be a camper.
I am not quite sure when she decided that this would be her career path because, well, she has never been camping. She does have  a play tent and a sleeping bag - Anyone know what the projected salary for a camper is in the year 2030 ?!?  I have a feeling she might change her mind so I wont cut back on the college savings plan just yet ;)

James has been home for just about 4 weeks - 3 weeks and 5 days to be exact.

His receptive language is really increasing.

He understands when we say "time to eat" and heads to his high chair. Pretty amazing being the first days home he would not sit in the high chair at all.  He loves it now.

When I tell him "Bath Time" he heads up the stairs to the bathroom.

If I hand him something and say "put it in the garbage" he does - and then looks at everyone with a Huge grin and claps. My little guy gets so excited over his accomplishments.

If we tell him Gertie ( the guinea pig) wants Kka Kka he goes to the fridge to get a carrot, gives it to her, and again claps with his ear to ear grin.

He had his first Mommy and Me class and loved it. He smiled from ear to ear watching all the other kids. He kept leaving me to stand in the center of the circle to take it all in - the trampoline and the parachute were surely his favorites - just like big sister when she took the class.

He loves anything with wheels but his favorite is Thomas and his new train table.

He has bene to the doctors 4 times already - having a rough time getting used to all these new germs.
Hoping he stays healthy for awhile now.

He had his first haircut since coming home. He did not like it at all. He sat in mommy's lap cried through most of it. Poor kid  - we survived it though.



With a little baby tamer spray mommy got it looking adorable but didnt get a picture.

James went on his first trip to NY to see his grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Here he is hamming it up at dinner.

Playing with Aunt Helen.

Resting in the park with mommy....

....while big sister and DaDa play in the trees.

These two had so much fun - but as hard as I tried this was the only picture I
got in their matching outfits.

He loves the beach.

And just really is adjusting well. For all that he has lost and all that has changed for him he really is doing wonderully. He loves to cuddle with me and put his cheek against mine. He loves to give hugs to me and sometimes sister too. When I lay with him to go to sleep he never cries and falls asleep easily - usually holding my hand or sometimes twirling my hair.

He is a little jealous of  his big sister and doesn't like her to get to close to his Omma.
If she is sitting near me he makes sure to climb into my lap and let it be known that I am his Omma.
He wants everything she has - even if he has the same. Slowly he is learning though - little steps.

In so many ways it seems like he has been with us forever.

I can't believe it hasn't even been four weeks.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Love this little boy

There is this boy...

he has my heart..... he calls me Omma.

When James first came home he grieved.... hard. He just wanted his Omma - his foster mother who took care of him for over a year. He wouldn't let me comfort him - he just called out for her sobbing and crying and at times he would be so worked up he would be gasping for air. It broke my heart to see him hurting and know that the one thing he wanted I could not give him.

I wondered how long it would take before he let me comfort him... before he began to trust me....before he would know that I was going to be his mother forever...and ever.

The first 10 days I wondered if our family would ever find a new normal. James' grieving upset Zoey, then she would cry,  and there was nothing that we could do to make things better. We were like short order cooks - only everything we made for our sweet boy wasn't eaten and instead thrown on the floor. He screamed through diaper changes, getting dressed, baths, and when it was time to go to sleep - and who could blame him - he just lost everything he had ever known..I certainly would scream too. On top of it all, Anthony and I had the most awful stomach bug ever, James had the croup, I got a sinus infection, and Zoey had to be rushed to the ER one night for stitches. I asked myself several times how I would possibly survive the week.

Fast forward - What a difference another week makes!!!

James now calls me Omma. All on his own he started calling me Omma with his hands extended to pick him up. Then he saw my face after nap, smiled big, and said Omma. The little boy who really made me wonder how long it would be before he liked me enough to be his mommy called me Omma . Pretty exciting since the Omma before me rated pretty high in his world. I am honored to be your Omma sweet son - forever and ever.

My sweet little boy gives the best hugs. He burries his cheek right into mine and makes the sweetest sounds. He hugs with everything he got and makes it good. This Omma could hug him a million times a day. 

He also has the sweetest laugh - its contagious. His face lights up and he gets the biggest smile ever. He is super tickly on his belly and I could tickle him all day just to hear that sweet laughter. 

Now that he is comfortable everything that made him cry and scream he does happily ( except wash his hair - thats still a work in progress) He loves taking baths and splashing around and that was the biggest hurdle.
Last night he cried that he didnt want to get out of the bath and today he wanted a bath in the early afternoon. (Omma let him of course - you can't be too clean)

He is super awesome at getting his diaper changed now. When he does # 2 he will sometimes bring me a diaper to let me know he went. He loves when I hold my nose and say "Stinky" and he will mimic me and do it as well. This usually provokes that sweet laugh I mentioed earlier. Not much can make a diaper change fun - but that laugh sure makes it a whole lot more tolerable :)

He likes to do what his big sister is doing and most of the time she doesn't mind. The other day he sat on her head and would not get off.... he was playing... she was upset. I went to move him and she shouted out - spank him mommy!!! Being that we never spank here at the Wongs I am not sure where she got that but it was pretty funny - we just didnt tell her that. She has no problem sharing almost everything with him - she draws the line at her favorite doll (Little Mulan). He hates for anyone to sit on his favorite ride on firetruck. So, if she goes for his truck I tell her to give him little Mulan and she gets off it quick- problem solved!

He loves Yo Gabba Gabba. Zoey loves to watch it again too - she says she used to watch it when she was a baby but now she is a kid  - but she will watch it for her brother since he is a baby. She will even watch it for him when he is napping. Silly girl!!!

When James first came home I tried his carrier to comfort him and it made him super mad. I put it away and forgot about it. Then he found it and his face lit up. He loves it now!!! I love it now!!!! He loves the stroller but it does not calm him down when we are out and he gets sleepy. Today he took a nap in it while I was shopping at Kohls.

I just couldnt imagine life without him.
 There is no doubt that the four of us were meant to be a family.

Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone....

but still miraculously my own...

Never forget for even a minute ...

You didn't grow under my heart ..... but in it.


Friday, June 1, 2012

2 weeks home

 Sweet Baby James,

It's hard to believe that 2 weeks have past since you have come home. When we were waiting for you two days often seemed like an eternity and now time passes so quickly. It has been an incredible two weeks and I can't believe how much things have changed.

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. Your 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.

Day by day you trusted me more. You began to seek me out and wanted me to hold you, hug you, tickle you, and cuddle. The grieving became less and less until it no longer was noticable. You stopped crying at bedtime and instead held my hand as you drifted off to sleep.

Just a few days ago you found a picture of you and your Omma. I worried that it would upset you,  but instead you sat in my lap and ran your finger over her picture and gave me your biggest smile. For such a small little boy who had been through so much it was like you were telling me you understood. You knew that Omma loved you very much but that your new Mama loved you very much too.

I love to see your big smile in the morning (even if its 5:45). I love your hugs... the way you place your cheek on mine and make the sweetest sounds. Your laughter is like music and I love to watch you dance. I love to watch you try new things and then clap with excitement. I love to watch the excitement on your face when you see big sisters bus coming down the street in the afternoon.
I love how you love to go.... how you bring me your shoes and then stand by the front door.... and your newest thing if it still isn't time to leave the house - you bring me my keys. You love the car and love to be out and about.

There is no doubt that we were meant to be a family. 
There is no doubt that we are blessed to be the parents of you, our precious son. 

So many firsts....

First time at the park.

Making his first Build A Bear.
Mong Mong (Dog)

First Fingerpainting

First Toddler Play at the Rec Center with cousin Ari.

First time driving the car....

....without a liscence. Sorry buddy, no keys till your 17.

First time eating out at the Chinese Buffet (before)

(after) Yikes!!!!

First Beach Day!!!
He loved it!!!!
First beach treasure.
First splash in the ocean.
Love that smile!!!!
Mommy and James!!!
Really, how cute is he?!?!

Looking forward to many more firsts!!!!