Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ashton's First Sentence

And it's those 3 little words everyone loves to hear!!

She's gaining on her vocabulary everyday.   She can now say Ashton, Skylar, Arwen, Yes, Maybe, Me, Kitty... I'm so impressed with her.  She's a joy!Image and video hosting by 


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shan Ying

In Sanmenxia SWI, we met Shan Ying.  She was Ashton's "big sister".  She is one of those people whom you meet once and never forget.  You could see the joy and kindness emanating from her.  She is an amazing person.

So I was delighted to see this video from ICC about her!  I'm so happy to share this with you all.  She is an amazing person!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Silliness Ensues

My daughter surprises me constantly with her charm, happy demeanor, and laughter.  She's just a happy child.  Yes she has her cranky days.  But how lovable and silly she is, it's a God send.  This morning was no exception.

She's just so stinking cute.  Her new favorite word is no... well actually, "No, no, no, no, no."  Especially to Dawson.  She can say Hello, Bye-bye, Outside... she's amazing!  

She found her tube from her breathing machine which must have rolled under the chair.  She just loved shaking it around and saying "ouch" every time it hit her in the head.  But it was a "I'm having fun" ouch, not a "what am I doing and why does it hurt" ouch.  She's such a clown.  She also was doing the same with her brush.

She loves the phone on reverse when taking a photo so she can see herself.

Wouldn't let go of the tube for anything!

You called my name?

You can't have this!  Come and chase me for it!

Can I rock the chair?

Not in the mood for a photo op, but cool statue!
She is really bonding to us and is now not wanting to go to just anyone.  Strangers forget it, she clings tighter to us and burrow her head to us or shakes her head no!  She wants us!  It's so wonderful to feel her attachment!  We are so happy!!  She's an amazing little girl!Image and video hosting by 


Sunday, June 23, 2013

20 Months Today

I cannot believe my girl is no longer in her teens, but is 20 months today!

She woke up in a beautiful mood.  She was so happy.  We ate breakfast and played a bit.

A little cuteness from today.

Then we all ran a couple errands before Ashton attended her first birthday party.  Our friends' son turned 6 today. Technically it's her second, as she attended one in China while we were with her.  But this is her first in the states.  

She loved running about and eating cake.  But the best part was they had a pool.  Her last pool experience was before the first birthday in China, and that didn't go too well.  This time was completely different.  We have a little water nymph!

We had a great time.  She was so excited.  I hope there will be many more pool days in her future.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

House Blessing and Game Night

Today was an amazing day!!

Ashton always gets up about 6am.  Well, she did again today, but played with her toys so Mama and Dada could sleep in!  Yay!!  I came in to her room seeing her play with her musical seahorse.  She was ALL smiles.

We then got dressed and played for a bit.  Nap time was great!  When she woke I changed her a a very cutesy, girly dress.  Why not?!?  I love dressing her up.  She'd take the bow out repeatedly, but now and then she'd forget for awhile and she looked super cute!!

We went to my cousin's house for her house warming and blessing.  There were many kids there.  Ms. E. about 4 years old just loves Ashton to pieces, and kept wanting to tour her the house, show off her room and hug her cousin.  Ashton had fun with all the new toys and going up and down the stairs   She even ate some meatballs.  My cousin Ms. S gave Ashton a jean skirt and swimsuit that her Ms. M just grew out of.  And Ashton looked adorable in them.  They just got a toddler, inflatable pool that all the kids were going to try out.  But of course once everyone was in their bathing suits, it started to lightening and thunder and rain.  So no swim.

My grandma came by and I got a cute shot of the two of them.

Afterwards, we were all going to walk the Monon Trail with my friend Ms. M, but with the weather not cooperating, we had tacos at her house then came towards our neck of the woods and had ice cream.  Ashton had strawberry.  She loved it is an understatement.  She didn't like us paying for it.  She wanted it right then and there.  She was so cute!

After Ashton's long day she went right to bed!  Then Ms. M, my hubby and I played games all night long.  It was fun to play games again that we used to do every Friday night!  We definitely have to start doing that again.  It was so much fun!  The laughter was so good!
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Walk the Wall

Walk the Wall is back for 2013! As a supporter of International China Concern (ICC), I wanted to invite you to join them, and thousands of others around the world, in participating in the annual walkathon, Walk the Wall. (locations)

Your participation and fundraising means so much to children in China who have been abandoned because they are disabled. My own daughter was part of the ICC program with her SWI.

By being part of Walk the Wall, you help to provide the resources needed to give life-saving care to many other children like my daughter who are still in ICC’s care. 

This year’s goal is to raise USD $530,000 worldwide. In fact, we hope to exceed that target with your help! (Currently $16,057 of the $530,000 has been raised.)

Getting involved is easy
All it takes is three steps:

1. Sign Up – Go to and sign up to join a walk close to you

2. Get Sponsors – Talk to your family, friends and co-workers and ask them to sponsor you

3. Walk – On the day of your event, come out and join others in the walk to give life and end abandonment

If none of ICC's organized events work for you due to location or timing, you are still welcome to join in fundraising and participating in your own independent walk.

Register as an individual or as a team, set your fundraising goals and start building your customized fundraising page.

All participants will have access to a customizable personal website along with templated emails that you can send to your family and friends. Let people know why you decided to Walk the Wall and how they can help you reach your goals. You can also tweet about the event or post your personal page on your Facebook wall.

As an independent walker, you can take part in an international event that raises funds and awareness to bring about the end of child abandonment in China. Your participation demonstrates your support for International China Concern, the organizing sponsor of the event.

For more information, please contact your local national office at
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Woke Up on the Wrong Side of the Crib

Ashton may have nights where its hard to get her down to bed.  In fact, there are nights she wakes up often through the night and others where she now sleeps through.  But EVERY morning she wakes up happy to be here and with us and is a morning person... much unlike her parents.  but she ALWAYS has a smile every morning and is excited to see us.

This morning she woke up crying and kept crying during the diaper change, kept crying during dressing for the day, kept crying when feeding.  She just wasn't happy, and we didn't know why.  She drank her entire milk bottle as if she hadn't had a sip of liquid in forever.  However, she didn't eat much for breakfast.  This girl eats a lot, but now and then eats a normal sized meal.  So I didn't think much of it, just she's crying too much to eat.

She didn't play with her toy remote in the car and she didn't cry in the car.  This is the time she always cries (she hates her car seat) or she is busily playing with her remote.  Today she just sat there.  I kept looking back at the child car seat mirror to see what she was doing, and she was just sitting there half tired or something.

We got to daycare and I dropped her off.  I let the teachers know she was having an off day.  She just wasn't in a good mood.  They all didn't see it as she came in waving at everyone.  She was waving yes, but not smiling.  

I left and not 10 minutes later as I was just about to sit down for work my cell phone rang.  It was the daycare.  Ashton had thrown up twice.  One more time and she would have to go home.  I thought about taking her home anyhow and working from home.  But I asked if she had a temperature.  They said they didn't take one officially, but she felt a little warm to the touch.  I think anyone who just threw up would, but what do I know?  I said if she was still acting out of sorts in the next hour (throwing up or not) to call me and I'd just take her home.

No call.

While I was beginning to engage with work, my co-worker Ms. P sent an email asking if she could stop by when I had a moment.  I said for her to come on by.  She had a present for my Ashton.  

She came by and said she had hoped to have it done before I went to China, but it was more time laboring than she thought it would be.  I opened the bag and inside was a handmade quilt!  It's so beautiful and carefully made.  She put a lot of time and thought into the fabric.

She even wrote a note to Ashton, "Ashton - A lot of thought went into this quilt.  Its focus is Chinese children playing.  The green is ginco leaves.  The blue is bamboo leaves.  The gold is cherry blossoms.  The red is (bunnies) hares with cherry blossoms since you were born in the year of the hare.  There are also pictures of pagodas and junks.  I wish you a long and happy life."

Even the black trim has silver cherry blossoms on it!  It is so sweet and so beautiful.  I am so touched that a co-worker wanted to make something so time involving and paid so much attention to detail for my sweet girl!  It made me think of Kay, my mother-in-law who loved making quilts and passed 11 months ago.  She would have loved it and probably done something similar.  I know that my husband will be very touched.

I wish I knew how to thank her.  I must take lots of photos with Ashton with it!  

When I picked up Ashton from daycare, they said she was fine after she threw up.  Possibly drank too much milk and just didn't settle right.  So tomorrow morning it'll be water, just to be on the safe side.

She was crankier than usual tonight, but was her usual self.  We played and were upside down and swinging... but still cranky if things didn't go exactly her way.  Thank goodness she went to bed without a fuss.  She hasn't done that since Thursday, so it was a nice change.  Maybe she was just icky and tired and sometimes that alone can give a sour stomach.  Or vice versa.  Regardless, she's happily asleep and I can't wait to see if she'll be our ray of sunshine tomorrow morning.
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

First Father's Day

Guess who got her Social Security Card yesterday!  Wow, another step completed!  It's good to know she has her SSN, though I know nothing has changed.

Yesterday, we ended up at Micheal's looking for something and ended up with something all together different.  For about $10 we bought Ashton a tent!

She likes it okay, but the animals love it.  I think they think it's an oversized box!  We'll have it up now and then, just for fun.

Today being my husband's first Father's Day, I asked him what he wanted today.  He wanted to go to the Indiana Museum and see the Star Wars Exhibit.  So we did.  

We drove down to get tickets to the exhibit and Millennium Falcon tour, but the tour was sold out today... so we only got to do the exhibit.  They open at 11am and we got there at 1pm.  So many other father's must have thought this would have been a cool way to spend father's day as well.

I love this photo so much.  I wish is was a model and on the same level she was so we could really compare height.  It looks like he is stroking her hair.

What a great Father's Day photo, Darth is father of the year... ha!

Have to have a photo with Princess Leia!

If I could take R2 home!!!

Ashton so not impressed!

This was the best photo of us, but a bit blurry.

Who is this gold thing?

Ashton was terrified of Chewie, so we had her Daddy take a photo with him.

It looks like she's listening to something he's telling her.
After the long, fun day, Ashton crashed on the way home and Daddy didn't fall to far behind!  Our furbabies were happy to snuggle with!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Daycare Fire

Last night we had terrible storms.  It started off very hot, I think it hit 93 degrees.  Then it began to pour and thunder and lightening all night long.  In fact, it was still raining hard and thundering early in the morning.  

By 7 am I was driving Ashton to her daycare in the pouring rain.  I wasn't looking forward to going out in it to unbuckling her the rain from her carseat and rush in.  

I could see a cop car ahead with it's lights.  He was detouring vehicles away.  Our daycare was only at the top of the hill.  I could almost see it.  But I assumed there must have been a car wreck somewhere up ahead. I wondered if I should ask if I could squeeze in as I wasn't wanting to pass through but go to the daycare, but in the heavy downpour I just thought it best to go around and try to come in the other direction.

It took some time, but I finally got turned around and was heading to ehr daycare from the other side.  There was a cop car in that direction almost immediately.  It was much further way than the first cop car.

I was angry with myself for not trying to talk with the first cop.  I wasn't happy for wasting my time.  Today was an important day to get to work.  I had 2 huge proposals due tomorrow I had to get in early to work on.

In fact, yesterday I stayed late to get some of it worked on as I knew I had appointments late this afternoon and needed time to work on them.

I swung around again and made my way back to the other side.  I went up to the cop car and the man got out of the car in the pouring rain and approahed me.  I asked if I could go to the daycare.  He said "It caught on fire.  It's closed."

It caught on fire?!?  Closed for how long?!?  Fire?!?  When?!?  I also thought back to the fire that I had a work a couple years ago.

The cop was back in his car, and I had to turn around for the third time and this time I went straight to work, with Ashton with me.  I have blue tooth in my car, so I called my husband and told him I was taking our girl to work and would be looking for alternative care.

I then called my friend, Ms. D.  She's a very good friend who works from home and said we could use her in case of an emergency.  I considered this one of those times.  It was now 7:30, I was late to work.  The phone rang and I got no answer.  I wondered who else lived close that maybe able to watch her.  I then called her godparents, and Mr. J. answered I asked if Ms. J. was available to watch her.  They said they would come to my work and be able to watch her, but only during the morning.  I said that was fine.

I then called my mother.  She lives about 45 minutes away and works downtown.  I thought she'd be a good back up plan.  She said she would try to get out of work, but to let her know for sure if I couldn't get a hold of Ms. D.

I explained I would try to work from home, but I really needed to be in the office today for the 2 proposals.  

I was finally at work and I laid chairs down around my corner work area to keep her "locked in".  I tried calling Ms. D again.  Nothing.

I started trying to work.  I brought her cellphone toy, some puffs, and plastic-ware to play with.  I had her diaper-bag  but it wasn't filled with going out for a long period of time.  More of short commute between here and her daycare in case of an emergency.  I know know to pack more toys and food!  Maybe a empty bottle that I can fill with whatever, just in case.  But you live and learn.

Ms. D. finally called and I told her that her daycare caught fire, I knew nothing about details and just needed someone to watch her for the afternoon.  She said Ms. J. could drop her off and she'd watch.  

My husband called to say he had a late meeting and I did too, so I called my mother asking if she could pick up Ashton from Ms. D's after work.  She said yes.  I then asked if she could cover Friday for me and then I'd find alternative daycare for the following week.  She said yes to that too.

I then emailed a in home daycare that I interviewed with once.  Seeing if she could take Ashton next week if the daycare wasn't up and running.  She said she could.  I could pay her daily until the daycare was back up and running.

Thank God!!

Wow, what a crazy day for Ashton.  She'd be watched by 3 different people in one day. Luckily it was with people she knew and loved. Tomorrow my mom and next week with a whole new place.

I then found bits of info about the fire online: 

An employee called 911 for heavy smoke filling the building at 6:35 a.m. Children were inside the daycare and were evacuated to a nearby Walgreens.  Everyone was able to get out safely and there were no injuries.  When crews arrived, they could see smoke coming from the building.  Storms were moving through the area at the time of the fire, but firefighters say they believe the fire was due to an electrical problem - not due to a lightning strike.The damage is estimated at less than $50,000.

I then found a post from the daycare: We are all safe, but the building needs inspected for safety before we can reopen. We will continue to update on this page. Thank you to everyone for your concern!

I did my best to balance work and Ashton.  She was so good.  She had fun playing with my post-its, her puffs, her toy and my business card.  After an hour Mr. J. and Ms. J. arrived.  We went out to the parking lot.  Luckily, the rain had stopped.  We moved my carseat out of my car into their SUV.  They left with her and I went back to work.

It was a hard work day.  I felt distracted with the rush of adrenaline.  After a couple hours I was able to truly focus again and get into the groove.

Ms. D. called only once to check on her food allergies.  She has none and eats anything/everything!

Then after work I came home to see my Mom playing with Ashton outside in the front lawn pushing her new dump truck she bought her.  They were having fun.

We all hung out for a while, and finally my husband came home.  We fixed dinner and talked about plans for Mom to come by to watch her tomorrow.  She then left and it was close to time to get Ashton to bed.

That's when I started blogging now.  And as I was blogging a new post came from the daycare: We WILL be open tomorrow! God is so good!!! Our building is okay for daycare and summer programs... There will just be some repairs to our hall area.

Whew!  I just called my mom to tell her she's off the hook.  I'll have to email the in home daycare about next week.  I'm so glad no one was hurt and that it sounds like the damage was minimal.

But Ashton seemed to have a good day in spite of being hauled all over.  I'm so thankful I have amazing family and friends.  Thank you all!  I love you so much!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Six Things Your Adopted Child Might Be Thinking, But Will Never Tell You

Saw this here and thought it was important to share.  Communication is so important.  Sometime you don't even know that there are topics burning to be talked about because it's just not brought up.

Six Things Your Adopted Child Might Be Thinking, But Will Never Tell You

This community roundtable is brought to you by Mark Hagland, Margie Perscheid, and Terra Trevor.

What kinds of issues around adoptee racial and cultural identity, racism, multiracial family dynamics, cultural interactions and complexities, are swimming around in your child’s head? Mark Hagland, Margie Perscheid and Terra Trevor talk honestly about six emotionally charged adoption topics, and what they’ve learned by living through them.

MARK HAGLAND: The reality is that virtually every adult adoptee I have ever known has at least to some extent avoided broaching these tougher, more challenging, more complicated topics with their family members, especially their parents. Below are several subjects that I’ve brought up, with Terra’s and Margie’s comments following each opening statement.

#1: Your transracially adopted child will have racial identity issues but will be generally reluctant to talk with you, particularly if you are a white person, about what he/she feels in that area.

TERRA TREVOR: Adopting transracially meant our family no longer fit standard racial categories. After adopting Korean children, we had a third race blended into our mix, a race we were initially unfamiliar with. From my own experience growing up half white and half Cherokee, Delaware and Seneca, I was familiar with calling two cultures home and acting as the solder between communities. I’d discovered early on the reality of America’s neuroses with race and skin color. In fact, I learned that having light skin meant that, even though I didn’t try to pass, society automatically granted me white privilege, something denied to my darker skinned cousins and friends who were never mistaken for white. Since I’ve stumbled across racial lines, straddling cultural expectations in my own development, naturally, I wanted better opportunity for my kids. I did my best to keep an open dialogue with my kids, but of course, like most children, mine were hesitant to mention the subject of race unless I brought it up first. On those occasions when they did want to talk, they wanted me to be a quiet listener. I also made sure my children were around other Korean adoptees, and we brought Korean ethnicity into our lives so they would have other Asian children, teens and adults around them whose experiences might be similar to theirs. My kids also grew up in the Native community and with my family and friends who are racial mixes.

MARGIE PERSCHEID: Let me tell you about this exchange I had in the car with my children one afternoon awhile ago:
Son: What’s for dinner?
Me: Meat loaf.
Son: What else?
Me: I don’t know, what do you want?
Son: Rice.
Me: Rice with meatloaf?
Son & Daughter: Mom, we’re Asian! We eat rice with everything!
There was something in their tone of voice that spoke volumes. And it had nothing to do with side dishes. With those words I heard my children claim their Korean identities – not easy for two Korean kids with white parents who were virtually ignorant of Korea when they arrived. My husband and I had to learn fast, so we did the only thing we could – we jumped feet first into our children’s culture and community, taking them with us. And somehow (the “how” is another story), with the help of the many friends we’ve made along the way, we’ve managed to get here, to two confident kids who know they are Asian, Korean, Korean American. This journey has been its own reward. For my husband and me, it has been an enriching, enlightening experience that has taken us out of our world into a culture that we would otherwise never have known. And for our children, it has been a journey to themselves.

I am a white woman from Cleveland and my husband is white man from Dsseldorf. We both grew up in areas that were overwhelmingly white, and both had our first real interactions with people of other races in college. We had had no personal experiences of racism to enlighten our parenting. The only thing we had was an understanding of the importance of our children’s racial and ethnic heritage, which motivated us to learn as much as we could about Korea and the Korean people, and to reach out to their community, which in our area has given us many opportunities to make lasting connections. We are fortunate, too, that we have been able to develop friendships with other adoptive families. Within our family, our children talk openly and easily about their Korean identities and the fact that we don’t share the same race. Although it’s impossible for me to know if they speak with the same confidence about being Korean and adopted to their friends, but I believe that my husband and I have done all we can to make that confidence possible.

#2: Your adopted child will assume that you can’t understand what she/he is going through.

TT: Being adopted transracially is huge, as are the feelings it carries. I don’t believe I fully grasped this in my beginning parenting years. But I’ve always been open to hearing what my children had to say, and sometimes this meant accepting their feelings and remaining calm while they expressed opinions I was uncomfortable hearing. I’ve also learned to welcome the opportunity to listen to the variety of experiences of their peer group of adopted adults; giving them the same respect I’ve shown my son and daughters. Now that my oldest daughter is in her early thirties we have begun to have conversations about our common experience of being racially compartmentalized. However, although I’m mixed race, since I look white, I’m generally bracketed as Caucasian, so I’ve never had to deal with the what-are-you grilling as she has.

MP: The fact is that I, a non-adopted white person, can’t understand what my children are going through. Although as a fellow human being I can extrapolate my own experiences in an effort to gain understanding and to sympathize, at the end of the day I can’t really empathize. I openly acknowledge this with my children, and at the same time I make sure they know I’m always ready to listen. I think this has given them the confidence to own their feelings about adoption, and also to make their own decisions about how much or little to share with my husband and me. When they do choose to talk about adoption, I try hard to listen actively, and to validate their feelings and experiences.

#3: Your child will generally not tell you about bullying or discrimination incidents at school or at play, unless you learn about them independently anyway.

TT: When it comes to race, white society tends to believe there is little discrimination in America today, and white people think of it in terms of incidents that happen now and then; whereas people of color know that, while it plays out in ways sometimes blatant and intentional, sometimes in ways more subtle, it’s always present. From experience, I also know the worst thing that can happen to a kid over the age of six is to have their mother call the school and make a big deal over the fact that their child was teased. I know, because I attended a racially mixed elementary school where kids were teased and tested, and I know because once I almost broke the rule and called my son’s teacher. Fortunately I had three kids, and the older two reminded me it would make it worse for him not better. Instead, I spent the evening rebuilding my son’s confidence, letting him blow off steam, talking about some of his newfound strengths, allowing him to take charge of the situation, showing my confidence in his judgment.

MP: Because my husband and I made a conscious decision to live in a diverse area, we thought that it was unlikely that our children would experience racially-motivated teasing in their schools or in our neighborhood. But when our son came home from kindergarten one day chanting a racial slur that had previously been aimed at him, we were quickly awakened to reality. The fact is that racial divisions are a part of American life. Since that first experience, we’ve made a point of asking our children from time to time if they’ve been the targets of any teasing or bullying because they are Asian. They’ve both shared several incidents, the majority occurring during their junior high years. Although it’s hard to accept that this has happened to my children, I’m glad that they were able to tell my husband and me about it. It has given us the opportunity to talk about how they reacted to the situations, their feelings at the time, and their feelings looking back. It has also given me an opportunity to talk to our daughter about the sad prevalence of fascination that some men have with Asian women. This is something that I believe she will be better able to handle if she is prepared for it.

#4: Your child will spend some years trying on different identities and aspects of identities. But again, she/he will feel it difficult to communicate how/what/why he/she is doing in the moment.

TT: I know what it feels like to be caught between two worlds, and I’ve explored my own racial identity. Though I’m half white, I seldom refer to myself as Swedish and German American, because I don’t feel connected to those cultures. Culturally, I’m Cherokee, Delaware and Seneca. It sounds absurd, since I look more white than Indian, but I don’t feel white. However, I did go through a stage when I was young and I dyed my hair blond and tried to blend into white society. While I never deliberately passed or tried to cross over, I also didn’t go out of my way to let it be known I was Indian, hoping it would make my life less complicated. I was playing with the idea of what it might be like to actually be an all-white person. I’ve also gone through periods when I’ve embraced only my Native side. I’m wondering if being adopted transracially might be similar to being mixed race, because neither is a singular experience, and both dynamics often carry an internal brokenness from our experience of being between. For me, it took years of trying on different identities to find my balance.

MP: Although my own search for identity didn’t focus on my race, it is still fresh enough in my memory to remind me how difficult it can be for a teen or young adult to struggle with figuring out who they are. I remember, too, how painful it was when I allowed a facet of my identity to become visible, only to have it be brushed aside by my parents. And so my husband and I have tried above all to let our children know that they are whoever they believe they are or want to be. This means we’ve occasionally had to let go of our images of their identities, and to trust their ability to develop their own. This process is hard enough for any teen, but is that much more complicated for a teen missing his or her genetic connections, and living with a family of a different race. This is an area in which gentle guidance is needed, not intolerant demand.

#5: Your child will, as he/she moves into adolescence and early adulthood, be silently evaluating you whenever you discuss current-events issues with him/her, especially any that touch on race, ethnicity, and his/her country of birth.

TT: Recently, while leading a roundtable discussion, I encountered adoptive parents who had negative feelings about the country their children were adopted from. They were willing to embrace the culture from an Americanized standpoint, yet harbored resentment toward the country, and spoke only poorly of their children’s orphanage caregivers and birthparents. I shudder at the message this sends. No matter how desolate a child’s life prior to adoption, some good things were also present. Find the good and praise it. I often ask parents to picture themselves 20 years from now. What kind of relationship do you hope to have with your child? Because I can guarantee our children are evaluating us now, and it will have a direct effect on the kind of relationship we have with them when they reach adulthood.

MP: I’m a 1.5-generation Slovenian-/Croatian-American. Although I don’t strongly identify with Slovenia and Croatia, I remember how little I wanted to acknowledge my heritage during the Balkan war, when so many atrocities were being committed by my people. It was a powerful reminder of how difficult it must be for our children to hear judgmental statements about their countries of birth. Although I can’t control what comes out of the mouths of politicians, newscasters, and insensitive people, I can ensure that what my children hear about Korea and the Korean people is balanced and honest. This doesn’t mean avoiding every negative topic, but it does mean putting negatives into perspective. And it means that I must become an advocate for my children’s ethnic community, here in the U.S. and in Korea. Respect for that community is really synonymous with respect for my children themselves.

#6: When issues do emerge, they will often “erupt,” seemingly out of nowhere.

TT: Back when I hadn’t yet fully recovered from the reactive state of having parented three teenagers, meaning that I was still into preventive parenting, still curbing the war, this was a big problem for me, because most of our serious issues caught me by surprise. If adolescence can be described as a roller coaster of emotions for teenagers experiencing it, the same can be said for their parents. Even though my kids are now adults, the only thing that keeps me sane as a mother is remembering to keep my sense of humor, being open to new ideas, and remaining flexible.

MP: Parenting a teen is like parenting on quicksand. Without a doubt, it’s a challenge, and adoption adds another layer. I now parent with the expectation that something’s going to blow from time to time, and I find I’m far less surprised when it does. It’s still not easy when it happens, but taking it in stride changes my approach to it. And my reactions are far less emotional now that my children are in their mid and late teens than they were when they were younger. A sense of humor is definitely needed, but also lots and lots of love and affection. And spontaneity – in my family, anyway, making sure that we’re able to do something fun on the spur of the moment from time to time reminds us all that we’re family, in spite of the friction that may come between us from time to time.

First published in Adoption Today Magazine
Reprinted in Love Isn’t Enough

Copyright © 2007
Mark Hagland, Margie Perscheid, Terra Trevor. All rights reserved.
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Certificate of Citizenship

We just got our certificate of citizenship!!  Yay!!!  It's beautiful.  The photo is from our memorable day in China at the medical clinic.  It's unfortunate that it's a little creased in the corner.  But who cares as long as I have the living, breathing girl this paper represents. 

It's funny that they list her single.  I mean, she is, but man, it's still funny to list her as that.  She has no concept.

Also, her height at first gave me cause for panic.  Our daughter is roughly 27 inches tall.  That is just 2 feet and 3 inches.  The CoC lists her as 2 feet and 10 inches.  34 inches may not seem that far off from 27 inches, but for our girl it is.  However, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services letter that came with the CoC said that my child's height on the certificate could be incorrect.  In their words, "A child's height is a constantly changing value, and that number could rapidly change from the date of adoption to the date the certificate is issued.  Therefore, we must approximate using a height/age template to assign a child's height on the certificate."  So, legally I have a tall or average height child.  Realistically, I have a child who isn't on the growth charts.

I now have to turn my newly received CoC in to the Social Security Administration temporarily along with other original documentation to get Ashton's social security card. 

It's funny to feel like I'm paperchasing again. At least I have Ashton with me now.  I don't feel the same anxiety to get it done, as I don't worry that I'm having her stay another day at her orphanage if I don't race to get it done.

I'm so glad to be her mommy!
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Perfect Day for a Picnic

We woke up in the middle of the night with Amadeus whimpering and whining  I turned on the light and he was a little hero.  He let us know Arwen was having a seizure.  It was a really bad one.  She hasn't had one in years.  So we were very surprised.

Once the episode was done we got her medication and decided to start her back on it, and put her on a diet... again.  No more scraps for her.  Bless her heart.  She was so scared. 

Se held her and my husband decided to take her downstairs and stay up with her the rest of the night to watch her and be sure no more episodes happened.

I had Ami with me, but he was in fits.  He had to know she was okay.  So Amadeus went downstairs to watch over Arwen.  It was so sweet. 

During her seizure the covers got peed on.  No big deal.  I started laundry and  remade the bed and it took a while for me to fall back to sleep.

Needless to say my hubby is dead tired.  But Arwen seems to be doing much better.

Ashton was in another great mood today like yesterday and I decided to go folding chair shopping.  And man, did I hit the jackpot!

Needless to say for those who know us, we're "original" Star Wars fans, so when we found the R2-D2 folding chair we didn't think twice!  We even bought the Darth Vadar one too, just in case she has a friend.  I think my husband just wanted them both.  

Ashton liked getting in and out of the chair.  But what really got her excited was the cup holder!  Who knew?  She was laughing and dropping her cup in and out of it.

Later we played a little soccer and then she pushed her Playskool Busy Basics Step Start Walk 'n Ride around and then wanted her ATV.  She was able to push the button for a few seconds longer than before.  I think in a couple of weeks she'll have figured it out.  But then she finally got off and just pushed it everywhere.  It was so cute.

Then I decided it was a great day for a picnic.  Just in our front yard, nothing special.  So we made PB&Js and got chips and drinks and sat under our tree "Rocky".  the tree had gotten so big. We planted it in 2010.  It's had a rough start, but is now providing shade.  We love the tree so much.  In 2010, we ripped out the 3 over-sized soft maples that was ruing our front yard with their shallow roots and we re-sodded it ourselves and added just one little tree.  We had to have it supported with wires and rocks, thus the name Rocky.  He survived a violent storm with terrible winds 2 years ago, but not without a lot of bark coming loose.  We had it bandaged and added nutrients to it's water to help it out.  It still needs TLC, but it's a fabulous tree.

We got our picnic basket out and had a lovely lunch together.  Ashton made a big mess of herself but was very happy.  I'm hoping we can have many more picnics in the future.
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