Thursday, April 28, 2011

random ramblings

I'm afraid I may be coming off as the lady who cried wolf with this whole "blog going private" thing, but I promise I'm not! I'm still getting emails from people who want to be added to the list to have access, so I'm giving it another post or two. Then... pictures galore of my little man! (And of my little dolls too, of course!)

Speaking of my little man, I'm asking you to lend your ear (eyes, rather) for a post of ramblings about adoption from a new momma!

**It's ok to ask questions!! I'm sure it's no surprise that people stare or give us a second glance when they see our family together. Many people approach us and you can see hesitation on their face. They want to ask questions but don't know how. I just want to ease your mind...families who have adopted are {usually} delighted to talk to you about it!

**No, Sam doesn't speak Korean! I've had a few people ask and the question makes me chuckle. Truth is, he doesn't speak anything!!

**I read an article recently from American Family Association Journal regarding adoption and I love this quote from a family that has adopted children and biological children. "They are all our real children. God brought some through adoption and some through biologcial means, but before the foundations of the earth they were all ours." LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! All three of our children are our real kiddos!!

**Yes, we understand there are tough days ahead. As Sam gets older and begins asking questions and exploring his story, we are sure to step into uncharted territory. But let's be honest, there were no "Certificates of Ease" handed out in the hospital when I gave birth to my girls. Having biological children doesn't allow you to bypass troubled times with your kiddos. Parenting is difficult and apart from God's grace daily in your life, I'd say it's even impossible. I'd submit to you that raising children - whether biological or adopted - only has one guarantee...there are no guarantees!

**I love how Russell Moore says in Adopted for Life, that "adopted" is a past-tense verb, not an adjective. Sam is our son that was adopted, not our adopted son. Think about the difference in those two statements.

**Another quote from the article I mentioned above that is definitely worth repeating..."The only real motivation that should override everything for why potential parents should consider adoption, even over infertility, is the desire to give a child a family and meet his needs unconditionally. When Jesus adopted us He didn't come to us because we were a project for Him. He didn't come to us because we had anything to offer. It is grace. Today's adoption is a living picture of the Gospel."

I think that's it for now! It's late and my mind is foggy.

I've been working hard on a project that I hope to share with you soon! In all my free time (ha!) I have been preparing for a surprise "room reveal" for my girls. They don't know it yet, but I'm re-doing their corner of the house and I can't wait for them to see it!

Thank you for reading my ramblings!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

you will want to see this...

Monday evening we had the privilege of having family photos taken! I was a little apprehensive about how all the kiddos would do, but everything turned out great! (A special thank you to "Aunt Cortney" who came and helped!)

There is a sweet ministry that Thousand Hills Photography has to families who have adopted! Not only do they do an hour long photo shoot for free, but they also include several pictures in that for you! It's truly a blessing and it was a joy having pictures made.

Because of all the legal hoopla, you know that we can't officially post pictures from Monday, however....

...I will strongly encourage you to check out a post from the Thousand Hills blog and you may (wink, wink) see some familiar faces! (wink, wink) And for your convenience, just in case you decide to check it out, HERE is a link!

PS - As I said in the previous post, we are soon going private! If you haven't gotten your email address to me and would like to continue getting glimpses into our life, please send it to me soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

going private

After much contemplating, we've decided to temporarily make "Ship Shops & Pop Pops" private. I'm sad to do that, but we can't deny our out of town family and friends the privilege of seeing our sweet Sam! Sure, sure...I could write a blog post and then email pictures of him to those out-of-towners, but let's be honest - I'm still figuring out a new normal with three kids that allows me time to brush my teeth, so spending extra time on the computer is out of the question!!

Here's how it'll work...if you are interested in continuing to read the blog, please send me your email address. You can do this via email (, leave a comment, send me a message on Facebook, send a telegraph - really any way works for me! I will then "invite" you to view the blog and you'll have to log on. The truth is that I had no idea how many people were actually reading this until we started posting videos from our adoption journey! People showed up out of the clear blue sky and I LOVE it!! I knew Mom read it out of obligation ;) but some others have been a pleasant surprise! So if you'd like to be "invited" to keep reading, I'll need your email address - and I don't mind if I don't know you - you can join in on the fun as well!


So now that the legal stuff is out of the way, I must share with you pictures of my prince and his princess! On Friday night, my hubby escorted my oldest to a Cinderella Ball. She was beautiful and my hubby was (of course!) a hottie!

her prince picked her up at the door with a rose in hand

I did find a picture of Sam that I think is safe to show you. He was glued to the door a few mornings ago as he watched his daddy cut grass in the front yard!

Many of you have asked how things are going and I must say that things are going really well! Sam is sleeping good and we're beginning to figure out what he likes to eat. We're seeing signs of bonding which is so amazing! He (ok - WE!) have had a few rough days but that was mostly due to him having shots and ridiculous amounts of blood drawn for testing. As I said earlier, I'm trying to find a new normal as far as schedules and routines go, but I haven't landed anywhere yet. Many days I'm still on survival mode!! I had a father of five speak some very wise words to me the other day..."Enjoy the chaos with the joy of the Lord as your focus!" I pray I can do just that!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

breaking the law

I don't know that it's exactly breaking the law, but apparently we goofed...

Yesterday we received more paperwork (seriously, at least two forests had to be destroyed for all the adoption paperwork!) from our agency regarding our homecoming with our newest addition. One of the documents was a friendly reminder that we are not allowed to post Sam's face on any "public domain" or "non-secured website." Uh...oops!! We've kinda done that!

Here's the deal...Sam is not "legally" ours until 6 months from now. We are required to have a few post-placement visits from our social worker to make sure we're not allowing our children to play with guns or sniff glue. Once those are done, we go to court and legal custody is then granted to us and we are officially recognized as Sam's parents. I know, it's crazy. I mean honestly, how long can this be drawn out?!? But until that takes place, we are not allowed to publish our sweet patoot's face for all of you to enjoy. Hence the reason his pictures have disappeared and the videos have become private for now.

We're tossing around some ideas on how to jump this hurdle and one would be to make this blog private for the next few months. If I do that, you would need to subscribe to it in order to view our latest happenings. The other option is to simply not post his pictures on here. That, my friend, will be hard because he has the most scrumptious face!!! If you'd like to view the videos, please send me an email ( and I'll be more than delighted to give you access!

We'll see what happens...

Other than breaking some rules, things have been wonderful here on the home front. Sam is finally adjusted to Kentucky time and we're slowly adjusting him to our food. The boy came to us eating whole strawberries, apples and meat for goodness sake, but it has still been a bit of a challenge deciding how to feed him.

The girls are still totally obsessed with him although they don't understand why he can't do much. I'm so thankful that spring break is this week because it's made for a smooth transition. I haven't had to rush the girls out the door in the morning for school and we've been able to enjoy each other all day.

While my little Sam was napping the other day (ugh...I took the sweetest picture of him sleeping that I couldn't wait to share!!!) the girls and I decided it was far past time to do a little craft. Because I wasn't stocked up on craft ideas or supplies, we had to get creative...

I recently bought the girls white shirts (for another project) that got ruined in the wash by one of my favorite things...Downy fabric softener. (I will confess that I have a secret obsession with Downy, but I only buy it when I feel like splurging. I've actually received it as a birthday gift before. Sick, I know!) The Downy stained my shirts blue, so they've just been sitting on the dryer. They looked like the perfect victim for a craft experiment so I grabbed them, some rubber bands, kool-aid, a big pot of water and decided it was time to introduce my girls to the art of tie-dye!!

They turned out ok, I guess. We haven't decided if they will be play shirts or "wearing out" shirts!

Just for fun, I'll share some pictures I caught of Ellee outside today while she was chasing a bunny. She was very disappointed that she didn't catch the bunny. I asked her what she would've done if she had caught it. "Squeeze it and put it in a cage and keep it forever."

Oh dear, Mr. for your life!!

I also wanted to show you this picture I snapped of poor Kit sitting in the corner. I never could get to the bottom of what she had done wrong but it appeared to be bad! I guess I better get this taken care of before one of our post-placement visits so it doesn't appear that the girls are mimicking a form of discipline they receive! I can reassure you that I've never taped my girls mouth shut. Promise! But I can't say that the idea hasn't crossed my mind... :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

home sweet home

I've never been so happy to write a post from my living room couch as I am right now! I'm delighted to tell you that we made it - we are home with all three children sweetly nestled in their beds. My hubby is beside me working on his sermon for tomorrow and my Mom is on the other side and we're watching the UK game. (Disclaimer - I care nothing about this game, but I feel obligated to watch so that I don't forfeit my Kentucky citizenship!) For this moment, all seems well and I praise the Lord for that.

We survived the flight from Korea to Chicago, but it was rough! I've always admired honesty in people - if life is hard, say it is...if you're struggling, let me know...if you're falling apart, I want to crumble with you. Because of that, I want to be as transparent as possible with you and tell you that there were moments during that flight when I didn't think we'd make it! I imagine that anyone flying for nearly 13 hours with a nine month old can testify to that, regardless of their situation. None the less, survive we did!

We landed in Chicago with only an hour to go through immigration and customs, grab all of our bags, re-check our bags, and make it to the other side of O'Hare. And our "souvenir" from Korea caused a bit of a delay with customs. But I have to tell you who was standing in line with us while we were waiting to go through customs...Vanilla Ice!!! Seriously, he was there just a line over!! Because of my delirious state and total jubilation for being on U.S. soil, I asked Lee if he thought I should start singing "Ice, Ice Baby" out loud. "We" dedcided it wasn't the best idea...

Well we made the flight to Chicago, but only after I realized my phone was sitting in the women's bathroom on the counter after we had boarded the plane and the doors were closed. The nice flight attendants let me run back inside and retrieve it, but it was close! Although we didn't discover it until we were safely to our final destination, our luggage didn't make the flight due to the quick transition and we had to come home without it. But that was ok - I had everything I needed!!

Again, honesty being priority, I will tell you that I can't remember a time in my life being as exhausted as I was when we finally made it home! I think Sam felt the same way because he started crying when we got home and didn't stop for an hour. He wore himself out and eventually he crashed, as did his daddy and mommy. All of us slept for quite a while and I started feeling human again sometime Friday afternoon.

We are still trying to figure out what Sam's eating and sleeping habits are, but I know all that will come in time. The girls seem to think he's amazing and beg me to wake him up when he's sleeping. Can you blame them?!?

We are tired and have definitely had moments of frustration. But this is par for the course with any new baby - no matter their form of delivery! :) Thankfully my Mom is here to help us through these days and do what she does best - love and serve!

Click here to see the video of our homecoming!

Again - you will never know how much we have treasured all of your comments, posts, messages, emails and words of encouragement! We have loved taking you on this journey with us. We pray that God has been made much of and we give all glory to Him for our story. We love because He first loved us!