Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Preparing for First Vacation!

Soon these feet will be not just sitting at the local water park,but they will be sitting on Cocoa beach in Florida. (no there is no oil on the Atlantic side). It is official and we are taking our first ever in 16 years family vacation. We have been married for 16 years and never once taken a vacation to anywhere, not the two of us and not as a family. I do not recommend this to anyone. I causes burn out of every sort. So take my advice. Get away with your families.  I think there comes a time when you just really need to get away from it all, and we are definetly in need of that!!! My friend found us some absolutly great flight deals that we just could not say no to. Maybe this was Gods way of saying..go..go ...go and have some fun and get a break!!!  If it was not for that deal trust me we would not be going. We are all sooper excited and the kids are counting the days..Soon you will be seeing real pictures of all our fun adventures..On the adgenda: RELAX!! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Family Fun

This weekend we went to my bro's house to celebrate my little nephews 5th birthday. They live in a really nice area away from town so the kids can do all kinds of fun things..Here are just a few pics to share.
Bay was on cloud Nine just riding the four wheeler. Then he got me to ride with him.
We stopped by the creek to cool off. It was a hot day..but perfect weather!
And this is the birthday Boy...little Rylan is 5 years old already! This was his bday gift from his mom and dad..he is thinking he is pretty cool little dude. He has my heart that is for sure!

Then my bro wanted to take us driving through the hills with his new toy he got to just goof around in...This was a total blast as we all rode along for the ride. It is fun things like this that create fun memories. Below the mama dear took off as we drove by, her baby was left and totally froze and did not move out of this position. Poor thing...was so cute!

Amanda with her other cousin Dillan. She is my brothers daughter. I think her and Amanda look so much alike. They totally adore eachother. We thankfully only live about 10 miles apart..and we hope to see them more this summer!
What a great ending to a great sunday!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to my first born...

Happy 14th Birthday Bailey...Bailey, for your mom, 14 is scarey and fun all at the same time. Suddenly my little boy is growing up on me. How does this happen so fast? This year you became taller than me which really started to freek me out, but I think I am getting use to looking up at you now. It is fun when you pick ME up and carry me across the room. My boy is growing up. I had to learn to let go "a little more" so I could help you be more independent, but yes I know I still hang on pretty tight. :-) I was excited the day I took you out to learn how to drive. ..ok a little scared too. But I also cherish moments like that. Watching you grow, mature, and learn about life and responsibilities. I have watched you grow from my little boy, a tweener, and now a total teenager. The best thing I can say I cherish really is when we spend time in prayer together, or our long heart to heart talks that just you and I have and no one els ever knows about. I love that you always have hugs for me...that always makes my day, so don't ever stop doing that.  I love you Bailey with all my heart , soul , and mind! May God bless you with all your hearts desires...Love Always....MOM

Above, I took Bailey driving again......Below..auntee boo boo (my sister) came to dinner with us.

at home for cake...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Word less Wednesday

22 1/2 months old..(yes i am hanging on to one)

big brother is wrapped around her little finger :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day!

A Dad is a person

who is loving and kind,

And often he knows

what you have on your mind.

He's someone who listens,

suggests, and defends.

A dad can be one

of your very best friends!

He's proud of your triumphs,

but when things go wrong,

A dad can be patient

and helpful and strong

In all that you do,

a dad's love plays a part.

There's always a place for him

deep in your heart.

And each year that passes,

you're even more glad,

More grateful and proud

just to call him your dad!

Thank you, Dad...

for listening and caring,

for giving and sharing,

but, especially, for just being you!

Happy Father's Day, Love ya!
Amanda, Bay, Gracie

Candy basket from Amanda! So cute!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wrapped around her little finger!!

Yes this little Miss certainly has her big brother Bay bay wrapped around her finger. It is cute, Pretty much anything she wants she knows she can come to him and ask. Especially when she says "big broder bay bay"...He then just smiles and does pretty much what she wants. SHe loves to be like a big kid, especially with her brothers I pod. ..
There are 12 years between these two, but there love for eachother is huge. Some people have asked us how was it to "start all over again with a little one". Well for us we new we wanted to have more children, and really is it not about the years between kids, but more the love they share that is important. If we would have stopped just because we have two older children then we would not have our little Gracie, which I can not even imagine. We felt God leading us in this direction, and he had the perfect baby that He blessed us with! She brings such joy to our whole family!!!  The two older kids love and adore their little sister and vise versa. For my husband and I , we just slipped right back into the little baby stuff with no problem...I guess when you desire something like having another child so much and go into it with a great attitude then it all happens very naturally again. Someday maybe we will be blessed with one more..time will tell! :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More on Your Child's SS Number.....part 2

Ok, so I got a few questions from others on this issue i wrote about earlier today.. Titled "YOur child's SS number - Post adoption " Please click on that link in case you missed it .

When we got our daughters passport we were told we needed that because it will say us citizen on it. This way when we apply for the SS card, they will see she is a US citizen,and it should also have the same title!  Our goal is so that when we get the SS number we have the title US CITizen...if you read that link you will see why this is so important as they get older!

Ok so one question was
*what did we take to the office to get her passport? We had to take her Birth Certificate, the Adoption decree, and her Korean passport. They would have taken her Green Card, but we did not feel comfortable sending that off with them. Glad they took the Korean passport. The Adoption decree shows she is a us citizen (not sure why we can't just take that to the SS office, but nothing is easy is it?).
The passport came with in a couple of weeks. We took that to the SS office so they had i guess more proof that she is a US Citizen.  NOw her SS  card better come back saying this..or els :-) You do not know the title unless you call and ask either.

So if you got the SS number with out a passport or the COC, I would call to be sure it says "US citizen" as a title.

Another question I got was
*how long did it take to get her Birth Certificate? It took us one month from our finalization day.

Yes all this can be very frustrating and also put off getting taxes done..this is what happened with us. ..lesson learned here is get the passport or COC right after your finalization day (as soon as you have the birth certificate) ...don't procrastinate like we did because it all still takes more time to get it all done.
Please if you have more questions or comments please leave them, this is all so helpful for all of us families!


Remembering my dad...

"If Tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again" (this photo is my dad walking me down the aisle on my wedding day) 1994.
He went to be with the Lord June 9, 1996
Today 14 years ago my father passed away and went to be with the Lord. I remember this day so clearly, I'm sure like we all do when something tragic happens in our lives. My dad was only 42 years old, and this very much changed our family forever. I remember him today and want to remember all the great things he taught me growing up. He taught me to work hard, he taught me to follow my dreams, he was the one who always encouraged having your own business, being responsible, and planning ahead.  He was the one who displayed complete and total love to my mother. He respected her like nothing I have ever seen before. They were soul mates! He displayed what a great father is..he adopted me at the age of 4 1/2 or 5, this showed me that you do not have to share the same blood line to be someones daughter, but that love, and family is what is important. Today I remember him as a great man, hard hard worker, funny, drum player, devoted husband to my mom, dedicated father to us three kids....today I remember...and today just like all days I miss him deeply! I love you dad!

Here is a dance I dedicated to him in 2005  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGg4ooHmyHY

Your child's Social Security #-Post Adoption Tips

All countries may be different when it comes to getting your child's ss # after your adoption is finalized. THis information is for Korea adoptions as this was our experience. I wanted to post this because I do not find much or very little information about this issue. SO please read these tips..from our Holt newsletter...                              
                                                     My happy Girl looking over her Passport!!!

Each States SS office May be different...Our SS office wanted us to get a passport first. On the passport it shows on it that she is a US Citizen. So when we get her SS card it should say "US Citizen" Which is what we all want.  We do however also plan on getting her COC (Certificate of Citizen ship) because a passport expires, and a COC you have forever if we ever need more proof that she is a US Citizen later in life. Read below why this "title, US Citizen" Is SO Important for your child now and forever....

Information from our Holt news
If you’ve encountered difficulties regarding your child’s Social Security Number (SSN) in recent months, you aren’t alone. Over 20% of the calls Holt receives weekly regarding citizenship are prompted by Social Security Administration issues; either obtaining a new number for a recently adopted child, or having an existing number show up as a resident alien with an expired visa. These issues can delay filing for taxes, applying for a driver’s license, even enrolling in college.

We find that many Social Security offices across the country now refuse to issue a SSN without proof of citizenship in the form of the Certificate of Citizenship (COC). Although the law doesn’t require you to have one, we strongly recommend it based on the number of calls we receive reporting serious issues for adoptees who don’t have the COC. In fact, we have only recently discovered that many SSNs may have been issued under a status of “Permanent Resident” or “Resident Alien” rather than “US Citizen”. The number and card look exactly the same as the cards issued for persons born in the US; the status doesn’t come to light until prospective employers, or college admissions office, verify the SSN, which then appears to belong to a permanent resident with an expired visa. If your adoption is not yet finalized, you can apply for the Adoption Tax ID Number through the IRS, which will enable you to claim your child on your taxes, until a SSN can be issued. If your adoption is finalized, but you’re having trouble obtaining a SSN, we recommend you obtain the COC first, and then apply for the SSN. By waiting until you have the COC you will ensure that your child’s SSN is issued in their adopted name and it reflects a status of US Citizen.

Adoptees who have had a SSN for several years may still encounter issues with the number appearing as a “Permanent Resident”. To be safe, and proactive, Holt recommends you check with your local Social Security office to confirm the number’s status of “US Citizen”; obtaining the COC can take up to 6-12 months after application. You don’t want to wait until the college admissions offices gives your teenager 30 days to prove citizenship!
Please feel free to contact Holt’s Post Adoption Services department with questions. We can also provide you with the forms for the Adoption Tax ID Number and the Certificate of Citizenship.

I hope this information was helpful and will save you all more time or future heartache!

Friday, June 4, 2010

ATTUNEMENT - why it is important for your child...

What is attunement? The definition is to bring into harmonious or responsive relationship. Some amazing examples of attunement are birds flocking, fish swimming in a school, and people at a stadium doing the Wave. Other more common examples are sitting down or rising from a chair at the exact same time as your friend, or realizing that how your body is arranged while sitting across from a friend or family member is the mirror image of theirs; and when you shift a little they unconsciously shift as you did. When we vocalize in response to a baby’s vocalization we are attuning to their attempts to communicate.

How can adoptive parents practice attunement with their child? The basic elements of attunement are to be open to the other’s experience, use acute listening and observing, be responsive and synchronous. How can we apply this to parenting our children; adopted or birthed? First, empty your mind of any preconceived notions of what you think is causing your child’s behavior; second, imagine yourself in your child’s shoes; third, gather information from your child, if possible, to open the door to her internal experience and accept it for what it is, then consider what you could do that would be most helpful to him. This sounds very simple but sometimes can be hard to do.

What are some of the barriers to being attuned to your child? When a person is experiencing an unpleasant emotion like grief, it can trigger our own grief that we don’t want to feel. Often our first reaction is to try to cajole them out of that feeling. We might find ourselves saying something like it is not that bad or other kids have it worse, let’s think of something pleasant to make those feelings go away, or let’s go get some ice cream to make it all better. Another barrier to being able to create attunement with your child is cultural differences. An example of this is the reserved nature of many Asian cultures. When American parents meet their child for the first time they want to hug and kiss this child that they have grown to love through developmental reports and letters. However, these displays of affection are not common in Asia and the child experiences the parent as being intrusive.

What can parents do to overcome these barriers? One thing is to be open to experiencing their uncomfortable feelings. If a parent finds themselves getting uncomfortable they can take deep breathes and acknowledge their own feelings to themselves, and in some cases even their child. It is important for parents to maintain an appropriate distance from their difficult emotions so they can remain available for and focused on their child. Parents should encourage their child to talk about the feeling or just cry if words do not seem appropriate. It is important to follow the child’s lead in how long to stay with these feelings. This sends a powerful message to your child that you accept and understand to a degree all of their experiences and they do not have to put on a happy face for you. Practicing attunement over and over again with your children lets them experience you as an ally and someone that they can come to with whatever is bothering them.

*this information was provided by Holt International* I find this very helpful!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer is Here...Sprinklers, Smores, Camp outs, and more..

YOu know summer is here when you can start up the water sprinklers!
Here is some fun we have had in the past week...

Amanda had a few of her friends over for a summer camp out in our back yard.
camp out in our back yard..
Smores are the best!
Grace enjoying her big girl camp out chair..
The day was about 90 degrees and high humidity!

Even mom treated herself to a new hair doo, highlights for the summer time..

The new cabin my Mom bought, lucky for us this is only about 45 minutes from our house. I see lots of family memories happening here. This is such a beautiful area and the cabins being built are all brand new. The outsides all look very rustic and the insides are amazing with all the awesome details. The designer did amazing work. ..Below is one of the side views..So peaceful to go here!

                                                                     My mom, my sis, and me..hangin inside!

and that was a little bit of the past week for us..lots of fun and enjoying fun in the sun!!...