Halloween Weekend

On Friday we went to Baggenstos Farm. Londyn wasn't sure about the kids haymaze, the few animals they had... or the mud. But she did like the part where she had her own pumpkin!

Following the Pumpkin Patch, we decided to carve/color our punkins'! Andrew and I carved the Marine Corps emblem, the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Londyn... produced a Picasso-like masterpiece.

On Saturday night, we went to the Tri-Ward Trunk-or-Treat. Of course, out of the entire Halloween weekend, it was the only day that it was pouring down rain... which made it miserable for poor Londie Lou. She was not feelin' it. Although, she did bring in a pretty good loot of candy for a 15 month old!
For our Costumes, LJ was the cutest Lady Bug that ever was! Don't you think? Andrew and I came up with a last minute costume and went as Ceiling Fans. We thought we were hilarious, but nobody got it. I guess our humor is just SO funny, it is beyond anyone's comprehension?

Overall, it was a fabulous celebration and I am SO excited for the holiday season to begin!


Seoul Searching Mama

I am SO excited to announce the launch of my new blog, Seoul Searching Mama!

Seoul Searching Mama will not only follow my experience in the search for my birth family but also educate and show support for the blessings that adoption brings to many families around the world!

Care to follow? Check it out! www.SeoulSearchingMama.blogspot.com


Birth Family Search Discovery #4

Taking this journey in searching for my birth family has and is going to be a lengthy process. I am fully aware that I may never actually find these people and I am at peace with the risk that I am taking. This search is teaching me patience and increasing my faith. If anything in this process, those two qualities are worth acquiring.

As mentioned in a former post, my first discovery was learning that my birth name was given to me by one of my social workers, as opposed to my birth parents. This was daunting information at the time and definitely discouraging but I realize that again, this is a process and I am slowly preparing myself for the facts that may or may not be positive. After mulling over this discovery for a couple of months now, I am beginning to think that this isn't necessarily a setback but just another piece of "my" history. This piece of information is a part of my story and I appreciate putting another part of the puzzle together.

Now my second discovery was learning that I was born at 1:30pm, weighing 7.7 pounds and 18.9 inches in length. These measurements and time of birth are simple facts that most individuals know about themselves, that I have never known. When it is someone's birthday, most usually know the exact time... and until now, I never have.

My third discovery was finding out that my birth mother was 33 years of age and had graduated from primary school. My birth father was 40 years old, had graduated from primary school and was engaged in commerce by trade. I also learned that my birth parents were a married couple and that they planned not to have any more babies, as they already had 5 children. When my birth mother had me, they could not afford to raise another child and that is what led to my placement in an orphanage.

Now... for my fourth discovery! I was reviewing the Korean Adult Adoptee Tour that Holt holds every year, and read that part of the itinerary is meeting one of the Holt pediatricians that offered care to many waiting babies from the 1960's - 1990's. Her name is Dr. Byung Kuk Cho. Since I was adopted in 1987, I was curious as to whether I was a patient of hers prior to my adoption. I went through the few documents from my adoption that I have and and came across the following exam report from a doctor's visit, stating that she was the overseeing pediatrician that treated me on December 17th, 1986. I was just two months old! It is amazing to me that this doctor is still alive and resides in my birth country at this very moment. To know that I could potentially meet this woman who knew me at just a few days old is mind-boggling and exciting all at the same time. This Korean Adult Adoptee Tour is a dream come true!


Sisters by Birth & Divine Intervention

Through the few documents that I have from my adoption, I have the knowledge that at the time I was adopted I had five siblings in my birth family. Not until I recently started going through my file, did I know the number siblings and have yet to learn of gender. I have just always known that I did have some. In the past few months, after making this discovery, I find myself thinking about the 5 people on this earth that are may be my sisters. It is odd to think that I have might have other sisters in this world when I have always only known to have one. My sister Jenelle is 10 years older than myself. I have been told that when my parents brought me home from the airport, my brothers and especially my sister were beyond excited at my arrival. My mom has told me that my sister Jenelle thought of me as a little doll and that I was her baby. My crib was in her room and she would get up with me many times in the middle of the night. I remember being a child and following my sister around, wanting to be just like her and doing everything she was doing.

In growing up, Jenelle and I have figured out that we are polar opposites. Our styles, tastes, humor and even personalities are so different from each other. We do share similarities in the fact that we are both short, we love food, talking and ganging up on our mom. Although our differences are great and our commonalities are few, we just know each other and that's why we are so close. Jenelle just gets me and she is so patient with me. Over the years, I'm sure I have said and done many things that were immature and obnoxious. But she is my sister and accepts me. Even though we have 10 years between us, Jenelle was always a second mom to me when I was growing up. Now, she is my best friend and we talk and see each other almost daily. I call her for advice on the topics of motherhood, marriage and most commonly just to vent. We have not always been on the same wavelength, but in the last few years, we have probably become the closest we have ever been.

Now when I think of my relationship with my adoptive sister, it gives me just one more reason to be grateful for my adoption. Although I think and pray for my birth family, wherever they may be, I can't imagine my life without my eternal sister, whom I will have forever.

In doing more and more research on adoption and my birth country Korea, I am growing addicted to my history and where I come from. I wonder if all adoptees go through this process. It is so interesting to me that up until I had Londyn, I was completely satisfied with the mystery that my pre-adoption life held. I have never had any urge to find my birth family and now I want more than anything to find them.

Holt is the adoption agency that I was adopted through and they have many opportunities for adoptees, young and old. Holt lead an Adult Adoptee Tour in Korea once a year. The tour is a mix of the Korean culture and country, while also exploring your adoption. On the tour you visit the Holt office in Korea, receive your original adoption file, visit the orphanage you were placed in and if possible, reunite with your birth family. All of the site seeing and culture, does not amount to the possibility of meeting my birth family. There is definitely no guarantee of finding these individuals, but just the possibility is worth the adventure. Having learned about this trip, I just want to hop on a plane and get there as fast as I possibly can. But I know that when the time is right, everything will fall into place. I hope to go on this trip someday with my parents and my husband.


Gap Girl Contest

Our lil' Londyn Joy needs your votes! You can vote once per e-mail address, per day!
Click here to cast your vote!
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Four Grand Prize Winners will receive:
Professional Gap photo shoot starring your child
Your child's photo in babyGap and GapKids stores nationwide
$1,000 Gap GiftCard redeemable for a babyGap or GapKids wardrobe

All 20 Finalists will receive:
A trip to San Francisco for a Gap photo shoot
$500 Gap GiftCard redeemable for a babyGap or GapKids wardrobe

Fan Favorite will receive:
$1,000 Gap GiftCard redeemable for a babyGap or GapKids wardrobe
One Voting Sweepstakes Winner will receive:
$1,000 Gap GiftCard

Change Happens

The time has come. Londyn refuses to take her morning nap. She has been toying with this new schedule for months now... by taking short morning naps or sometimes skipping them all together. In replace of her AM nap (AKA: Mommy's break to get ready for the day) she stays awake and is grumpy until her afternoon nap. I know she is tired because she rubs her eyes and wants her paci. But is stubborn and will not go to sleep. I guess she is just getting older. I've never been a fan of change, and I guess God has blessed me with a child to figure out that change happens. This kid is constantly changing! I can't keep up!

The grump.

8 Days Sober

As some of you may already know... Diet Coke and I have been struggling with a pending divorce. It is now official and I am proud to announce that I am 8 days sober.

In the beginning, it wasn't love at first sight. I toyed with the idea and it was persistent enough that it snuck into my life. We did everything together. It has been about 11 years since my first drink... and I have to say, it's been a long road. On a bad day, it made everything better. We've been through a lot together. Lately, I have just noticed how clingy it really is... and if you know me, I am not a fan of clingy. It was getting to the point where it needed more attention than I could give and it was becoming a very unhealthy relationship.

I have learned a lot from Diet Coke... and I never want to rely on any substance to improve my mood or day again. If I was stressed, I NEEDED a Diet Coke. I was having one for breakfast, one midday and one in the late afternoon. That doesn't even take into account my situational drinks where I either drank socially or needed it to relieve tension. Don't get me wrong, our separation has not been easy on me. In the first few days, I was extremely sluggish and tense. The initial motivation was difficult to maintain, but now I am so proud of myself and feel much better!

I know it's a bit soon, but I have found someone else. I didn't mean for it to happen... but it just introduced itself and we've been happily ever after since. It's got old fashioned chivalry, having been around for centuries. I know what you're thinking... an older beverage?! But, I have to tell you... my new courtship with H20 has been fabulous. I am constantly drinking water now! I feel great and know that it's so much better for me!

I know that my former Diet Coke community is looking down at me... and feeling betrayed. But I did this for me. Even with our differences, I hope we can still be friends.


Mid-Terms Already!

Andrew has been working hard to catch up in school after missing the first week of classes, while also juggling his work schedule. Since he began the program, I have noticed two main observations. The first observation being that the course material is tough stuff and the second being that my husband was made for this world of electronics engineering. When he is talking about volts... binary base... bread boards... and wah wah wah lots of other electronic terminology, I can see a glint of joy in his eyes because this is the kind of stuff he loves to learn about! Although he always has his nose in his books, doing homework assignments and is either at school or at work- I am proud of him and am happy to see him moving forward.

It seems like school just started and Andrew already had mid-terms last week!

Here is a circuit Andrew built in class. It counts in binary (red leds) up to 15 then resets.

1st Time at Chuck E' Cheese

On Thursday Londyn and I attended lil' miss Riley's 5th birthday party at Chuck E' Cheese! Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of LJ & Riley because they were both all over the place and I couldn't keep up!

Londyn has always been an outgoing kid, but for some reason at Chuck E' Cheese she was not so sure about Chuck E. Cheese himself, the place, people or what was going on for that matter. She was pretty content with the eating part and the "let's walk around and have mom follow me everywhere" part. Fun times. I did manage to get her on a few of the little rides for a few seconds before she screamed and pitched a fit.

Here are a few poorly taken photos from my phone. (my camera is MIA. Shhh... don't tell the Mr.)

This is one of Londyn many men... Bryce. He is such a gentleman, and is always chasing this girl at church. This was their first official date. Londyn was making the poor kid work for her attention and was clearly more interested in the pizza.

I think Bryce was irritated with me chaperoning and wanted some alone time with LJ.


I have had bloggers guilt lately with too much to post and not enough time to sit down and write! So here I am, finally catching up.

On Friday, I turned the fabulous age of 24! I don't really feel like I have more wisdom than 23... maybe just a few more pounds. But I am happy and that's what's most important! This past year has been such a learning year for me. I have been embracing the new dynamic of wife, mother, homemaker, employee, YW's leader... all while trying to be true to myself. This has not been an easy adjustment for me and I continue to not only struggle, but also enjoy the journey. Some days I feel guilty for not keeping up on the laundry or feeding my child a frozen entree for lunch AND dinner that day... but hey, my family know's I love them and that I am trying my best.

I have some new adventures to embark on here in the next few months. I will be helping out a high school dance team in Hillsboro next month for about 7 weeks. My name was passed on to them through the dance team grapevine and I was happy to accept! I get to work with their team on basics and technique. Considering it has been 4 years since I was last involved with the dance team community, I am eager to get back in without a ton of commitment right now. Hopefully this will get my foot in the door, and I can help out more often!

I am also going to start teaching a couple of dance classes for kids and teens. This probably won't take place until January, but I am already picking music and reeling choreography in my head when I am in the car. I love working with kids and especially teens. I enjoy their passion and desire to learn and be better in dance. Dance is a true art form and was such a huge part of my life for 17 years. Having a break was necessary to get my life where it is now, but I am ready and willing to jump back in!

I am also on the lookout for more opportunities to advocate adoption and to get involved with the adult adoptee community. Certain people and experiences have been sent to me for a reason and I feel that now is the time in my life where I can come to peace with my story. I can't wait to share more on that!

The celebrating began on Wednesday of last week when my girl Erin Rowley took me out to lunch at Olive Garden. The soup, salad and bread sticks was of course delish and the company was even better. She also gave me an amazing gift, it is a book called "Your Study of The Book of Mormon Made Easier - Part One" by David J. Ridges. It is a book of 1 Nephi through Words of Mormon, complete with explanation in notes after each verse. I have been wanting this forever! She is such a doll!

Then on Friday, my girl Erin Odom (I have lots of Erin's in my life) took me out to lunch at Crazy Sushi... a delish Japanese restaurant. We usually go there whenever we go to lunch and of course, chat like crazy! I love that girl!

After lunch, I went to work on and when I got home was surprised to see a dozen yellow roses (my absolute fav), cards from my sweet man and baby girl and also some yummy drinks to try, taking into consideration my recent separation with Diet Coke. Andrew then told me that my sis would be babysitting LJ and we were going out! He took me to a little family-owned Korean joint and then splurged at Cold Stone afterwards. I was feeling very fat and happy! Such a yummy way to celebrate!

As much as my scale wishes I was done celebrating, my mom, sis, sis-in-law and grandma are taking me to lunch at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant tomorrow! AND... my friend Amy is taking me out to lunch on Wednesday too. Seriously?! For those of you that know me, you know I absolutely LOVE love LOVE to eat out. So this is the most lovely and thoughtful way to celebrate my birthday!


Time Flies: 15 months

15 months already?! It seems like we were just celebrating Londyn's 1st birthday! At that time, going into nursery at 18 months seemed SO far away and now it's just around the corner! I might be a little too excited for Londyn to go into nursery with Grandma Milne in January. Let's just say... she's a handful for those long and restless 3 hours of church. I can't even remember the last time I was able to stay in Sunday School for more than 10 minutes... let alone know what is being discussed in the class.

We are thoroughly enjoying our little LJ at this age. She has always been independent, but lately a little separation anxiety has kicked in. Usually she's off in her own Lou-Lou Land but occasionally when she realizes I'm not giving her all of my undivided attention, she freaks out and must be held at that very moment. I enjoy the cuddles and needing to be needed and wanted, but hope for her sake and mine... we will find a good balance.

Londyn's walking is getting more solid and not so wobbly with ever day that goes by. Wherever we are, she always wants to get down and walk by herself. I am working with her on holding hands when we walk together. For the most part she doesn't have a problem with holding hands, but occasionally Miss Independent flails on the ground and pulls her hand away when I grab it. I knew my sassy ways would bite me in the butt one day. Clearly, it's genetic.

Lately I have been noticing how much Londyn truly understands what we are saying. When I tell her to put something back, she puts it back. When I tell her to clean up, she usually starts cleaning up and then grabs my hand to help her. She has also become quite the chatterbox and is constantly talking my ear off. Even though most of her words aren't in English... she does say quite a few now. Whenever I refer to my sister, I call her Auntie Jenelle and now Londyn calls her "Nell." I think Auntie Nell has stuck!