Monday, October 28, 2013

Celebrating Mei Mei

I've been promising an update on Mei Mei forever.  I've sat down to write it many times.  I've even written it--then never published it.  I've pondered how much to share.  It's her story.  But it's also my story.  And it's our journey--complicated because of the many challenges she faced in her difficult past.  When she someday reads this blog I want her to be okay with everything I've shared.

And yes, I did say, "when she reads this blog."  Mei Mei is now reading!  And she has gone from not even understanding the concept of numbers to being able to count to 100, add and subtract.  She had very little Chinese language and now she speaks in full paragraphs all day long!  When she came home eighteen months ago, I never would have thought this possible.

But honestly, for all Mei Mei's gains, I've made more.  I've learned to celebrate Mei Mei for who she is and not fret about what she might someday become.  I celebrate her for her.  When she first came home and I realized her extreme delays I felt a rising panic--that she might never learn to read, go to school, drive, or be independent.  Now, I don't fret about those things.  Not because I know she will achieve them (although I think she will, given enough time), but because I love her and accept her simply for who she is. 

Why does our society think so narrowly about what is "right"?  About the trajectory our children should follow?  About what is normal and healthy and perfect?

Mei Mei is perfect.  She is the sweetest, kindest child I have ever known!  She is intuitive, fun, thoughtful, caring, and loving.  She is exuberant and loves to try new things!  She is FULL OF JOY!

Why doesn't society value those characteristics more? 

I know I've learned to. 

Mei Mei has come so very far.  She was a baby bird who just needed a chance to soar.  To love and be loved.  To be accepted fully and completely no matter what!

Mei Mei is a miracle unfolding.  So am I.  Oh, how I love this sweet, sweet girl!  I am so thankful God spoke to my fears.  I am SO, SO thankful Mei Mei is ours!!!

I am reminded of something a friend recently wrote.  Andrea is an adoptive parent who has met many challenges in her children's health--challenges that are truly life altering.   Andrea sums up her adoption journeys and speaks to my own heart:

"Forrest Gump was right.  Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get.  The secret to our happiness has been to embrace that NOT look at the guide that comes with the box of chocolates in an attempt to control which piece we get.  Sometimes, it's closing your eyes and just taking that chance, that step, that brings the most divine and supreme joy and fulfillment in life."

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Kim, Alex, and Hubby had SUCH a memorable trip to Korea.  I really wish I would have tagged along, they had so many special meetings with special people from their initial days of life.  They visited the cities Paul and Kim were born, Paul met the social worker who named him (after a handsome actor), and even met the doctor who delivered Kim.  Wow!  Here's a photo-rama to try and capture it all.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saint Teresa's Prayer

My dear friend Lisa sent this prayer to me. 
I know you will be blessed by it too!
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you
are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite
possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thunder Cake

We don't have a lot of thunder and lightning here, but this year has been an exception.  We've had several big storms that have included booming thunder and crackling skies!

On more than one night we woke up to several children on our bedroom floor.  I knew it was time for . . .

the retelling of a very special book and the creation of a very special cake.

Thunder Cake! 
I love this story, by Patricia Polacco.  The recipe is included and the secret ingredient is surprising indeed!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

From Kim: My Trip to Korea

Note:  This post comes late as Kim, Paul, and Hubby have already taken to the friendly skies!  They are having an adventure and I am wishing I was there!  Kim wrote this before leaving and I neglected to post it.  Soooo, tho delayed, enjoy Kim's thoughts on travelling back to her birth country along with pictures of the travels.

Hey guys this is Kim, in less than a week I will be heading to South Korea with my dad and my brother Paul. I am SUPER SUPER EXCITED and HAPPY! I am really looking forward to going back to my birth place and seeing my brothers birth place. It is a little nerve wracking just because after my adoption I have never actually stayed in Korea more than over night. I know it will be different from China, and I know it is going to be an experience that I will never forget. I am looking forward to this trip just because I know we're going to have a blast together and I will take a ton of pictures. Going over to another place out of the country is a really cool and unbelievable experience that I will always remember. I am lucky to get a chance like this.

Parents who have or are wanting to adopt will probably like to hear this. I went back to visit for a day and to see my foster mom when I was in fifth grade, so around 10-years-old. I think that it was a really neat experience for a 10-year-old.  I hadn't seen my foster mom since I was a baby. I'm glad I went back when I was younger--I think it makes it less scarier and/or nerve-wracking when your kid is younger because if I hadn't had the chance to go and meet my foster mom when I was 10 it would be a lot scarier to me now that I am 16-years-old.  I mean I know I'm a lot bigger and mature, but to me it would still be really scary to meet her when I wouldn't of even remembered what she looked like even though I have a picture of her and I when I was a baby.  I feel mostly excited and only a little bit nervous, whereas some of my friends who have gone back to their birth country for the first time as a teenager felt the opposite.  My point is that if it is possible, I think it is good to take a child back to visit for the first time when they are younger.