Monday, April 26, 2010

One Month Home!

Wow! Home one month! In so many ways I find it hard to believe that it's only been a month because it feels so much longer than that. At times it feels like this whole thing never happened and Ryan has been here all along. My friend who adopted her little girl from Guatemala 5 years ago, told me that once Ryan is home it will feel like he had always been there. At the time I didn't think it would be possible to feel that way but it's so true. Ryan has been in our lives for just over a month now and I seriously can't remember what my life was like before him. Well, the only thing I do remember is NOT having him and wishing I did! He has been the greatest blessing and although at times things are challenging, I wouldn't trade our new life with him for the world!!

Ryan is doing SO well and honestly we couldn't be more lucky with how well he has adjusted given all that he went through. He is such a special little boy and I can't help but love him so much. I love his personality and how he loves to eat! I love how he laughs when being tickled and cries for no reason at all. I love how he says mamamama all the time and now actually associates me with that word. I love how he whispers dadada and truly loves his dada and loves playing with him. In just one month he has brought so much joy and happiness to our lives. I am so happy and all that waiting was so worth it.

The last few days my husband and I have finally starting looking back on our trip to Korea and in some strange way actually miss it there. It's really hard to explain but we do. We visited two Asian markets this weekend and my husband made homemade Kimchi. The aroma of the spices and pickled cabbage filled our house. Sounds gross but in so many ways we loved it and the smell immediately brought us back to our time in Korea. We keep saying that we wish we were able to enjoy being in Korea a little more but the whole experience was so surreal so it was really hard to take it all in. I'm so happy that we were able to spend time in Korea to see just how beautiful the country really is. Some day we will go back when Ryan is much older so he too can see what a beautiful place Korea is and to see where he spent the first 9 months of his life.

Life is good and I am so blessed that our little peanut is finally home with us and our life as a family has finally begun.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why's that white guy carrying an Asian baby?

We knew it was coming - all the books prepared us for it - but it was still a shock when it happened. And it wasn't the first time. But, we had another patron of the Somerset mall audibly call out the conspicuous nature of our family this evening. This time it was a teenage boy - here's how it went down:

Setting: Express, Somerset Mall, Troy, MI
Me (Joey) carrying Ryan
14 year old (or thereabouts) boy, to his girlfriend: "Why is that white guy carrying an Asian baby?"
Me (mentally): What did he say?
Boy and girlfriend: Notices that I heard him ... walk briskly away, awkwardly ...
Me: Turn around and pursue the young guy, slowly
Boy: Grabs girlfriend ... quickens pace towards store exit while looking nervously over shoulder
Me: Begin casual pursuit
Boy: Stops at women's clothing shelf ... examines latest fashions (tops)
Me: "Did you want to ask me something?"
Boy: Acts like he doesn't notice
Me: "Do you have a question for me?"
Boy: "No"
Me: "Are you sure?"
Boy: "Yes"
Me: Walk away ...

He didn't say anything wrong, or bad. 14 year old do these kinds of things. But I was upset. I was hoping he would ask me the question directly - then I would have been able to explain the reasons for my Asian son being in his current position, and hopefully the young man would have learned something. A great education opportunity wasted ...

... or maybe not. I think it's a good thing it happened. Kari and I learned a lot from the unfortunate exchange, and the conversation that followed. We need to galvanize ourselves for more exchanges like this so that we can prepare Ryan to handle them when he has to. It opened our eyes to the new reality we are in, and even more to the road that Ryan has before him - he is so unfortunately lucky. We can't protect him from the reality, but we can help prepare him to deal with it. The books tell you all about it, but it's much different when it's facing you in the form of a 14 year old boy who doesn't know any better.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Clap, A Kiss, A Hug and A Dance!

I will have to say that the best part of being a parent so far is watching my child learn new things. This past week Ryan learned to clap his hands and now he does it all the time. It's so cute. Every time he starts clapping we start clapping too and say Yay!!!!! He cracks a smile and keeps clapping. He also learned to give kisses. When ever I hold one of his stuff animals close to him I tell him to give it a kiss. He will open his mouth, lean forward, and put his mouth right on the stuff animal. I love this. He started to give me kisses as well. It's so fun watching him learn new things. The last two days he started giving hugs. He will rest his head on my shoulder and put his arms around my neck. It's so sweet and I am absolutely loving how affectionate he is and how much is bonding with me.

Another thing Ryan started doing is dancing. He will do this at random times and I LOVE it! He bends his little legs and moves around. I think it's so funny how they pick up on things and learn things on their own. The last few days have been great. The screaming events have subsided and are much less often. He even slept through the night last night without waking up screaming. When he does scream I put my finger to his mouth and say Shhh. I then talk to him in a whisper and it seems to stop the screaming immediately.

We are working on waving hi and good-bye, giving high five and some sign language to help us communicate with him.
Tomorrow Ryan goes back to the doctor's to make sure his ears are all better. He will also be weighed again and I'm very curious to see how much weight he has gained in the last three weeks. I am guessing not very much being that he is very active and is constantly crawling around. However, this kid has quite the appetite and really loves his food.

Here are a few updated pics...

Friday, April 16, 2010


While the last three weeks have been wonderful and things really couldn't be going much better, the last few days Ryan has started something new. What you ask? Screaming! Not a screaming like a happy baby scream, it's a blood curdling screaming cry. This then results in him crying so hard that he can't catch his breath. This happens at such random times so it's hard for me to distinguish if it's a result of something specific. The last two nights he woke up in the middle of the night doing this. I rush to his room, pick him up and hold him. As soon as I do that he stops and falls back to sleep. He has been extremely clingy to me which I am thankful for because I am so glad he is attaching to me. However, if I need to wash my hands, pee, make a bottle, he will do this screaming cry. That's when I notice it the most. Sometimes I may leave for no more than 10 seconds and he will do this. Other times he is completely fine with me quickly walking away. Another example is today while I was sitting with him when he was eating lunch. He was laughing and happy just as he always is when he eats and then when he was finished eating he started in on the loud ear piercing scream and then a hard cry. I don't get it and I'm a little concerned. I just wish I knew why he started this and what it means. I can handle the crying, whining, fussiness, but when it comes to screaming, I want to scream!

Other than that he is doing so great. He eats well, sleeps well, plays well alone and with others. He is patient when we run errands and is getting better in the car seat. I'm not complaining, I'm just frustrated at the screaming cry. It's awful. To be honest it makes my blood boil. I just feel helpless when he does this and can't figure out why he is doing this. Hopefully this is just a phase. I love my little boy and he is so much fun and most of the time is a pretty happy baby.

Advice? Words of encouragement?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

10 Months Old!

Today our little peanut is 10 months old. I am so glad that we don't have to miss out on another milestone, even it's just a small one. I couldn't be happier that he is finally home with us and I couldn't be more thankful for the progress he is making. In just two weeks he has adapted so well to every situation. Here are a few things about Ryan...

-He loves to eat table food and pretty much eats everything we give him (avocado, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, etc.) When it's something he really likes he says mmmmmmmmmm while eating it.
-He crawls all over the house and gets into everything
-He says mamamama and dadadada
-He naps twice a day for about an hour and a half each
-He gets cranky when he's ready for a nap or bed
-He is starting to sleep through the night (3 nights in a row)
-He hates getting dressed and undressed (screams and cries)
-He laughs at Cooper
-He is getting his 7th tooth
-He pushes his walker around the house and pulls himself up on everything
-He loves going for walks in his stroller
-He turns to look at us when we call his name
-Instead of being read to he just likes to chew on the books
-He loves his puffs and yogurt melts
-His favorite fruit is banana
-He is getting much better at bath time...plays and splashes the water
-He just had his first hair cut by his mommy
-He will only smile for the camera if he is being tickled or if I make a monkey sound
-He puts anything and everything in his mouth

There are probably a million other things but that's all I can think of for now. He is generally a very happy and content baby who is very curious about EVERYTHING!
We are all adjusting to our new life as a family of three (4 including Cooper) and we couldn't be happier.

Friday, April 9, 2010

First Family Dinner Out...Korean Style!

After two weeks of being home and having a little craving for some Korean food, the three of us went out for a nice Korean dinner. When we walked in the restaurant the smell immediately reminded me of Korea. It made me for the first time think back to just how wonderful that trip and experience really was. It was our first restaurant experience with Ryan. I was of course a little nervous on how Ryan would be but he was SO good. He sat in his little highchair and ate puffs and rice while we enjoyed some of our favorite Korean dishes. Ryan ate dinner at home before going but loved sampling a few Korean items. He LOVED the white rice and was shoveling it. He seriously couldn't get enough of it. It was so cute. When we got home I found white rice stuck all over his pants and on his socks.

I think Ryan is starting to feel better. His ear still has that gross smell but he isn't as whiny and was much happier today. He enjoyed a nice visit with his Auntie Theresa and his cousins Sydney and Noah this afternoon. He also napped for an hour and half both in the morning and the afternoon and woke up happy from both naps. He fell asleep tonight while I was giving him his bottle which doesn't usually happen. I laid him in his crib and he woke up but didn't cry. All I could hear was him talking to his little fishies in is musical aquarium which he absolutely loves. Now all I hear is silence. He slept through the night last night so I am hoping for the same tonight. He is such a good little boy and after two weeks of being home, spite the fact he has been sick pretty much the entire time, he is doing so well. I hope he continues to be happy and I pray that this darn ear infection goes away!!!

Ryan and Mommy

Enjoying some puffs

Check out the rice on the wall



Ryan was definitely...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poor Baby :(

My poor baby just can't catch a break. He has been SO crabby and whiny the last few days. He just finished his antibiotics for his ear infections 2 days ago. Since then he has been crying and very whiny pretty much all day the last two days. We knew he wasn't happy about something but couldn't figure out what the problem was. We just assumed he was crabby because of a tooth that's coming in. Last night my husband notice that he kept pulling on his left ear when putting him to bed. He also noticed that his left ear had a smell to it. Today when I put him down for his afternoon nap he was pulling on his left ear and I too noticed that it had a weird odor to it....gross! I called the pediatrician and luckily they had an opening at 4:10pm today . Turns out he still has an ear infection in both ears. The amoxicillin didn't work the first time so he is on something different this time around. Let's hope it works.

I feel so bad because I was getting so frustrated with him because I had no idea what the problem was. We ruled out an ear infection because we just assumed that he was feeling better after being on an antibiotic for 10 days. He is so much fun and such a sweet little boy when he feels good and it seems that we've only seen that side of him a few times being that he has been sick since we've been home. I hope that tomorrow he will start to feel better. It's so hard watching your child when they aren't feeling well. Welcome to being a parent. Let's hope next week is a better week.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some People....

So Joey and I were at the mall today doing a little shopping with Ryan. We were in this store that sells tea called Teavana. This employee who was Asian herself approaches me and Ryan and says "your baby look Chinese." I said well, he's South Korean actually. Her response then was "Oh, I was going to say." What ever the heck that means. I responded back and said that we just adopted our son from South Korea and walked away. I didn't really know how to respond to her comment at the time. I don't know why this annoyed me so much. After I walked away I thought of a million things I should of said. Either way, some people are so clueless and say the dumbest things without even thinking. I guess this is part of being an "conspicuous family."

Anyways, thought I would share this. Joey and I walked away kind of giggling at her remark. Other than that we had a great time strolling the mall with Ryan. He was a very patient shopper...unlike his mommy :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A New Normal

Wow! What just happened? What a crazy week it's been. I'm so glad that things are slowly but surely starting to fall into some kind of routine and life is starting to feel normal again...well a new normal. I keep saying that I'm trying to find a new normal because it's amazing how quickly life can change. It's crazy to sit here and actually think about everything that just happened in the last two weeks. We still haven't had time to even look back on our trip to Korea. It's still so surreal and hard to even grasp everything that happened in such a short amount of time.

We are all finally feeling better and things are a little easier. My entire family got sick too...sorry everyone :(In the last 10 days Ryan has done a wonderful job adjusting considering everything he has been through. Last week we stayed home as much as possible only venturing out to the doctors, grocery store, and Target. We got him on a pretty routine schedule. He wakes up at about 7:30, eats, plays, naps at 10:00am, wakes up at 11:30, eats lunch, plays some more, and then naps again at about 2:30/3 until about 4:00. He eats dinner at 5:30, baths at 7:30, bottle, and then bed at 8:00. He wakes up in the middle of the night for a bottle and sometimes struggles to go back to sleep. Considering what his schedule was in Korea, things are going so well.

Saturday was our first family outing at my sister-in-law's house and I have to be honest, I was a little nervous to drive an hour and a half away from home not knowing how Ryan would be. He did great in the car and great at their house. I was so glad we decided to go and things couldn't have gone better. Today we had Easter at my parent's house and even that made me a little nervous. I'm still not that comfortable venturing out all over the place but in time I know it will get easier. But again, Ryan did great. I was so worried that he wasn't going to take a nap at my parents house in his pack n' play, but even that went smoothly and he slept for an hour. He seems to have no problems adjusting to new situations or environments. He loves other people but he is very quick to recognize Joey and I and will reach for us when he's ready to feel comforted. I couldn't be happier that he is attaching so well to us.

Our biggest challenge is getting dressed, undressed, diaper change, and getting his face or nose wiped. We finally got bath time down pat without him screaming, crying, and trying to stand up all while trying to be washed. We are making progress with something different almost everyday. He is such a sweet little boy and I am so thankful that in his in our lives. It's been quite the adjustment and change but I am so happy to have him in my life. He makes me laugh and I love watching him think about things and try to figure new things out. He has such a wonderful, pleasant personality and I am so proud of how well he is adjusting to his new life and new family.