Monday, May 24, 2010

Okay... I'm getting nervous...

Now that we've had a couple of days to let it sink in that we actually have a son waiting for us half way around the world, I'm starting to get a little bit nervous. I decided to look at the timelines for other people that have received referrals recently. 

Um. Yeah. Total shocker.

I've seen quite a few people that are on track to travel within 4 months of receiving their referrals. I know that things can greatly vary from state to state, agency to agency, and even family to family since the US Government hasn't had the greatest reputation for being 'consistent' when processing adoption stuff. But 4 months?! That's WAY faster than what I anticipated. (I know for sure that some of these people are using the same agency as us and live in CA - that's why I'm thinking things could be similar for us)  I'm still in the mindset that Charlie needs a full 6 months to gain weight - so losing 2 months could mean losing 3 lbs! (I know, I'm being totally silly, but again, I just wasn't mentally prepared for anything less than 6 months.) Regardless of when we travel, I'll just 'deal' with it. But I'd be lying if I said my heart wasn't beating much faster since I've been stalking timelines.

Anyway, I guess this should be a huge motivation to get started on my 'To Do' list. Which pretty much involves every room in my house. So Charlie - I need you to start hitting that weight gain like a sumo wrestler, and I'll get busy de-cluttering your room!

Friday, May 21, 2010

We Have a Son!

***** Warning - this will be a LONG post *****

Alright, it's all OFFICIAL, he's OURS!

Let me introduce you to 
Charles Robert Lesiw

Man... it seems like there is a ton of stuff to say, yet I'm not exactly sure where to start. 

After my post on Tuesday where I was talking about 'waiting', I really prayed about everything that night. Wednesday morning I checked my email first thing, and there wasn't any emails from the WCP (Waiting Child Program). I was slightly disappointed, but 45 minutes later there was an email... with an update on a little boy that we had previous 'declined' on. 

Now... I don't normally believe in signs, but now I kind of believe in signs even though I don't believe in signs. And here's why:

1) When we were first sent Charlie's file I looked over it, didn't understand the medical needs, and felt a bit overwhelmed by everything. Then I saw this little GIRL on the Photolistings that I wanted to check out. So I quickly sent in a 'decline' on the file and requested the little girl's (of course this was after Bob and I discussed it - it's not like I make these decisions on my own). In my rush to get the girl's file, I guess I said that I was still open to getting updates (which I don't remember doing) but I told them they could go ahead and photolist the little boy (as we were the only ones that his file was sent to). For what ever reason, they never photolisted him, and we were STILL the only family who had viewed his file. So when we received the 'update',  I wondered if this was a 'sign' that we were supposed to re-visit this file.

2) We ended up declining on the little girl's file - but during that period where we were reviewing her file I mastered the art of 'google' and found an experienced IAP (who gives discounts for WCP kids), and it also resulted in a 'delay' that allowed us to get important info off of Charlie's WBC's (Well Baby Checkups) that wouldn't have been available if we had initially considered his file. 

3) I sent off Charlie's file to the IAP and also printed up a copy of his file for a Pediatric GI Specialist. Okay - so everyone knows that Claire is an itty bitty. Her Pediatrician referred her to a Pediatric GI Specialist 'just to be sure' that everything was 'alright'  - which annoyed me because I didn't think it was necessary. The GI Specialist took one look at Claire and declared her 'perfectly fine', but that she needed to still gain weight (which we knew). BUT... I really hit it off with this doctor. Like... I want to be her best friend - or just hang out a few times. Anyway, during that appointment I told her that we were going to be adopting through the Special Needs program of our Agency and if we happened to get a file of a child with GI issues, could I make an appointment with her to review the file. She said of course, that I could just call her. This was 7 months ago. Keep in mind, at the time, I really wasn't sure what 'GI' really meant, or entailed.

4) We heard back from the IAP and she explained what his 'conditions' were. She also has some 'concerns' about his lack of nutrition and how that could affect his brain. During our last experience with this IAP, we noticed that she is really thorough, and caught some things that we had 'missed' on the little girls file - which ultimately resulted in us passing on the file - so we really trusted her. She was able to explain his condition in 'laymen' terms so I felt like I had a good understand (plus that fact that I pretty much read the same explanation on 20 different medical websites). 

5) The hardest part was waiting to hear back from the GI specialist. And just so you know, I failed miserably. I got frustrated, started having self doubt, thought I was over thinking, under thinking - my mind went in every direction. And then on Wednesday I called my BFF to 'complain' to her about how frustrated I was with the Doctor not calling us back - it had been a week, and that my mind was all over the place. She told me that she was going to be blunt and basically said to me: 

Your problem isn't that you're over thinking things, your problem is that you don't like waiting and you're not patient. So you need to stop getting angry at a doctor for not calling you back, and instead deal with your issues over not being able to wait. You chose to go through the Waiting Child Program and doing that means you'll probably have to wait on doctors. So if you can't handle waiting right now, then you're probably not cut out for the Waiting Child Program. 

Ahhhh... isn't that what best friends are for? They don't always tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. I instantly started laughing and agreed. She hit the nail right on the head. Because honestly, if the doctor told us that she saw a ton of red flags, I would have been perfectly fine with not moving forward. Honest. I truly believe with all my heart that God had the perfect child for us already picked out. So if it's not this child, then it's going to be another, I just have to 'wait' and see who it is. 

But fortunately he IS our Charlie. 

But I digress. A couple of hours after that conversation the GI Specialist calls. FABULOUS. She basically tells me that she sees no red flags in his file and the 'concern' about his malnutrition isn't really a concern. They will still want to monitor him, and there are a few things we need to keep an eye on and a look out for, but nothing that we can't handle. 

So that brings us to now. I had sent in the questionnaires that were emailed and our phone interview was today. At the end of our conversation she told us that it was now an 'official referral'. What wonderful words to hear. 

OH! I almost forgot this little 'sign'. The night the GI Specialist called - it was 6pm. I was supposed to go to a session with my trainer at that time. So normally I would have been out of the house by 5:45p... which means I would have missed the call. But my trainer had texted me earlier that day that he was still kind of sick (he never gets sick) and that he was canceling. I know! Crazy huh?! While I was celebrating the fact that I didn't have to go to the gym, little did I know I would actually be celebrating that I was at home to receive the phone call!

And the last thing I'll leave on, is that obviously at this point you all know how I can obsess over things. I have seen (and been warned by people on the Adoption Forums) that it's VERY easy to become obsessed with your travel time frame. So another 'blessing' that this is our Charlie, is that because of his conditions, he's really tiny. He needs to gain weight. That 'need' trumps any 'want' I have for him to come home sooner than later. Don't get me wrong - I eagerly anticipate his homecoming, but I feel really strongly about wanting him to be with his Foster Mom and gaining weight. The longer he can be in his stable, loving, familiar environment, the better chances of him really growing and thriving. So I look at this as a huge 'gift' from God because it has drastically changed my perspective on the 'wait' (which as recent history shows, I'm not too good at). 

So thank you to all who share in our joy.
We are excited to start this next part of the journey
and look forward to sharing it with you.
To God be the glory, great things he has done!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Breaking the Silence

Okay, so it's been a while since my last post. 
I was told that I couldn't say anything on the 'adoption forums' 
until I had the 'official' word...

 but we've decided to move forward on a file!!!

I've been DYING to say something

It took FOREVER to hear back from the doctor

It's AMAZING how everything is falling into place

I just sent back some questionnaires that we had to fill out
so we're waiting to set up the phone interview...
and then get the 'okay' from our Social Worker...

So until all that happens. This is all I can share. 
But once it all becomes 'official'
be prepared for a BIG OLE LONG POST. 

it's crazy
(at least to us)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Months

I just realized that we've hit the 2 month mark since officially being in the Waiting Child Program. It's crazy to think that 2 months have already gone by. And what's crazier, is that we've actually looked at 4 files already. Obviously, we didn't move forward on any of them as some of the conditions were more than we were comfortable with, but the good news is that I was told there were MANY families interested in all four of the files that we looked at. So hopefully all of those kiddos have a family, or are in the process of being matched. 

The 'wait' this time is so much easier. I think it's mainly due to the fact that we have Claire and she keeps us busy (along with everything else that we're involved with), but I've started to feel the roots of anxiousness trying to take hold of my heart. It's strange... it's like I can hear myself saying 'I really want to have a referral now', but I don't have the anxious feeling that is normally attached to that sentence. That's how I know I'm getting close to struggling. Like... if struggling is being inside the house, I'm probably standing at the end of the driveway right now - looking down at the house. (and it's kind of a long driveway)

I just wish I knew when it would happen. Like if someone were to tell me, 'Rachel, you'll get your referral in 6 months', I'd be like, 'awesome. THANK YOU for telling me.' But unfortunately God doesn't work that way (or at least He hasn't had any conversations like that with me). So I guess I'm stuck dealing with it like everyone else. 

So anyways...

Well, fortunately I have this super crazy, fun kiddo to hang out with. So life really isn't that bad... not that bad indeed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sneak Peek...

My partner in crime was super ready 
to help me get some photos taken for my shop.

But after promising to give her a cupcake
and let her watch 'Princess Tiana'
we got into a groove. I wasted no time. 

These are my new fabric, interchangeable headbands

They're also reversible.

(now back to work)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tiny Dancer

About the time Claire learned to say that she was 'two and a half' when asked her age, she also started wanting to take dancing lessons. I always told her that when she turned 3, she could. So then when people would ask how old she was, she would reply with, 'I'm two and a half and when I'm three I can take dance lessons.' Well... Claire turned 3 a couple of weeks ago, and like a good mom, I started researching dance classes. One thing I discovered is that the majority of Dance Studios do recitals, so they close off attendance once recitals draw near.  But being the super sleuth that I am, I was able to find a dance class that was 'non-recital'. So Claire is now enrolled in a 'ballet/tap' class (that I just found out throw in a bit of 'tumbling' too - I know, random). 

So fulfilling a  typical Asian stereotype, I proceeded to bring my camera and take a ton of pictures. Here's a bit of what I captured (I'm apologizing ahead for the poor quality - but all the parents have to sit outside a glass window, so it was the best I could do)...

I was a bit nervous at first that we were going to have 
a repeat of the Disneyland fiasco.

But after a bit she warmed up 
Bob thought it took her 30 minutes
(the class is 45 minutes)

 Claire is the smallest in the class
I think she's the youngest too. 

I know... how stinkin' CUTE is she?!

It's nice to see that she can follow directions
But she still has a long way to go...

... like during 'tap'...
when she just does her own thing

But she certainly loves it. 
She totally digs the 'tapping' sound the shoes make

That's my girl!
I hope she always thinks its cool to smile and wave at us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Goodbye... and HELLO!

Today I sold my Bugaboo Cameleon

A big shot out to Craig.
Without his 'List', this would have never happened.

with the $$$ I made, I quickly turned around and got this:

This is the Cameleon's  Little Brother
the Bugaboo Bee

And ooooooooh - how I love him!!!

I should start off by admitting I have an addiction to strollers. I love them. It's ridiculous really, because how many strollers do you really need? If you're me, you'll think a ton. :) Anyway, I have to say that I loved the Cameleon when Claire was an infant. The bassinet feature was awesome. We'd keep it set up downstairs so that I could be a lazy mom and just have her nap in there, vs me having to walk up stairs. (I told you I was lazy) Anyway, it was a fun stroller (amazing turning radius) and a smooth ride. I never thought I'd see the day where I didn't want my Bugaboo. 

And then Claire got big enough to ride in an umbrella stroller

Umbrella strollers are amazing. I love how light-weight they are, and how easy it is to throw them in the back of the car. So I got a Maclaren and thought I found heaven. During this time I also saw the Bugaboo Bee making a name for himself. I wasn't quite convinced of him yet... but I noticed him nonetheless. 

Now that we're waiting to bring a son home from Korea, I've been taking a stroller inventory and figuring out what we should do (translation: what new stroller can I get). There was a short stint where I thought I might need to bring a stroller to Korea  - but I quickly realized the folly in that - and during that time I was looking at lightweight strollers. That's when I became really acquainted with the Bee. I talked to Bob about it, and he didn't see the need for me getting another stroller. So I told him that I would sell the Cameleon to get the Bee. That clinched it - but now I had to try and sell that Cameleon. Last night I placed an ad on Craig's List and today I had two emails! Super fun. The first girl bought it, and when I called the 2nd to tell her I could tell she was bummed (which of course made me question whether or not I priced it too low - but I can't dwell on that stuff). I told Bob I wanted to go ahead and buy the stroller because if I didn't, I was sure to spend the $$$ on something else. So off we went. 

We ended up getting the Bee in black and I can't even begin to say how much I love it! It has all the best features of the Cameleon (minus the bassinet) and all the best features of an umbrella stroller. Some of my favorite features are:
The 'Break'
It's the EASIEST brake system ever, and it's
centrally located, SO PERFECT!

The 'Reversible' Handle
One of the best features of the Cameleon
was how the handle could switch to either side. So
your kid could look at you, or at the world. 
And my kid will be looking at me
thank you very much.
(for bonding purposes... yeah.. that's it)

It 'Grows' 
This was an unknown feature to me until tonight. 
The back of the seat will expand 'up', and the bottom of the
seat will expand 'out'. SO COOL. You can tailor it to 
fit your kid as they grow. Can't get better than that!

But enough about the Bee, there's one more goodie that I tried that I totally fell in love with too. It's the Ergo Baby Carrier. 

In the adoption forum that I'm a part of, everyone talks about the Ergo and the Becco and how they're the best baby carriers. You can wear your child in front, or on your back - which is how many of the kiddos are carried back in Korea. And since I'm trying to be a nice wife, I was leaning towards getting the Ergo because A) it's cheaper and B) Bob could wear the black one vs having to wear some modern print that I would undoubtably pick from the Becco line. 

Anyway, since my daughter is the size of a large infant (weighing in at almost 22lbs), she became the perfect 'mock baby'. I strapped on the Ergo, clicked her in, and between fits of laughter due to the fact that she was sitting SO close to me, I was totally shocked at how comfortable it was! It wasn't all lies and hype, the Ergo REALLY WORKS! Claire didn't feel heavy at all and it was the most amazing thing. So in case I didn't make it entirely clear, I will most definitely be getting one. 

Alright, I just realized that in my excitement over my new 'finds',  I just took up WAY too much time. So if anyone is still 'hanging' with me at this point... you deserve a medal. 

Summer Shoes

So I stopped by a girlfriend's house the other day and before I left she showed me some new shoes she picked up for summer...

 That made me covet. 

I remember the days before Claire along - where when the warm weather started I'd kick off summer by buying a super cute pair of shoes. There was just something about getting a new pair of shoes that made me feel like Summer could actually start. But alas... after Claire came along, I just didn't find it practical to run around in heels and wedges. I still have some of them... the favorites of the bunch... but now I'm getting the itch to find something new. So here a few that I happened to come by:

A classic. 
I seem to be drawn to this kind of wedge
and thanks to Steve Madden, they're actually

um... dream shoe!
I LOVE this shoe, but unfortunately
my 'adoption fund' doesn't.

okay... seriously? 
I mean, really...
no. no, no, NO!

I always seem to have something to this 
effect in my closet. Of course, my version
isn't this super cute, and it's definitely
not made by Dolce & Gabanna

Alright. Covet fest is officially over. And now I shall go back to reality and slip on my Dansko Mary Janes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I've had a bunch of things running through my mind. Here are some of them:

First, I LOVE this song by John Legend. I heard of snippet of it on Friday night when I was watching 'Who Do You Think You Are' on Spike Lee. (love that show by the way) I went to reach for my ipad to use 'shazaam' (its an app where it records a few seconds of what ever song you're listening to and it'll tell you who the artist is, what album, and where to buy it. This actually came in handy one night in December when Bob and I were having a 'discussion' over whether or not it was Wayne Newton singing a song. I was wrong, it wasn't him - it was Brenda Lee) but it was in another room. And by some crazy stroke of luck, my brain recalled it was by John Legend and was called something like 'Everybody Knows'. I still don't know how I knew that. But I did. And I am glad. So now I share it with you.

I watched the movie Bright Star as well (it was a recommendation from my cousin. It's about John Keats - the poet - and the girl he loved, who also inspired one of his most recognized poems). I thought it was good, definitely had some great love scenes, but I couldn't fully appreciate them to their fullest extent because I had a heckler in the crowd (aka: BOB) that ruined it for me. 

We also painted Claire's Toes

Here's a question for you all. I've been working on some new Blooms
but I can't decide if I like the 'coordinating' center, or if I should
just stick with  a 'monochromatic' look (just using the same
fabric for the center as it is in the petals)

Sorry that the color is all wonky on these.

But please be honest - let me know if they should stay as they are, 
or if I should make the 'centers' match the petals. 
You won't hurt my feelings. 
I gotta open the shop again soon, so I'd like to get these
sorted out so I can list them :)

I'm thanking you in advance because I'm hoping 
someone - anyone - will throw me a bone. 

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