Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Swing face

I've been wanting to do this compilation for awhile lol. There are more but they are on our cell phone. So I figured one at a year old, at two and at two years and eight months(last ones are not a swing but same face) should give readers an idea haha.

Two posts in one month!

Well I am proud of myself! This is the first time I've posted twice in the same month in, well, months! I have the intention to keep posting as often as I can for two reasons, one I would like to continue writing about our lives with Van and two because I want our second child to have a record of our wait for him/her.

The second time around is definitely different. When we were waiting for a referral and then waiting for Van I was obsessed with blogging, obsessed with time lines and spent much of my time checking emails and staring at the phone hoping for news. I often read back over the blog BV (before Van) and remember those feelings of helplessness, excitement, frustration and anticipation. Things are so much different the second time around. Mainly because I am working and, of course, I have my sweet little man Van to keep me occupied. I am so thankful to have him as my son! Even with all of our struggles. We are so lucky! I have been reading the blogs of a few waiting parents lately and I so remember those feelings, those fears. But now the fear is that they will never become parents. I definitely recognize how absolutely lucky we are to have Van and how additionally lucky we are to be mere months away from our second. Especially at a time when international adoption, and adoption in general, is on a severe decline and many prospective parents face a possibility of a life without children. This saddens me considering there are still so many children in Canada and around the world who need a family and so many families who so desperately want to be parents.

So back to the wait. It is so different this time around. I definitely think about the second child everyday and glance at the phone periodically but it is not with anywhere close to the amount of obsession as the first time around. I am not compulsively checking emails or checking my phone...ok well maybe a couple of times a day lol. But every so often it hits me!! We have a little person waiting to join our family. He/she has likely been born already. We could get that call tomorrow, next month or eight months from now. In some ways there is more uncertainty and in other ways it is all much more certain. Still no control though but I am okay with that this time around.

Here are some pics of the sole performer. Someday soon he will have to share the limelight!

Playground at the experimental farm. Wet but he was happy:

We finally made the time to go and visit Auntie Manon in Hawkesbury. Being able to watch Curious George on the drive made it an enjoyable trip all around!

The Canada geese are back! Spring is in the air (actually it was one of the summer like days with temps at +25. Strange to have summer weather with snow on the ground):

Marching after mommy:

Not sure what we are looking at here but apparently it is pretty interesting:

By the way the hat he is wearing in the previous few pics is traditionally Korean (from Korea anyway, not sure how "traditional" it is). We went to a xmas party in December put on by the Korean adoption community association. The Korean community in Ottawa is very involved with the adoption community which is great (this is very different from our experience with the Vietnamese community). At the end of the party they were giving families these hats as well as beautiful calenders with pictures from Korea. I think Van looks super cute in his hat :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March already!

Jaysus time goes by fast. I was determined to spend more time on the blog in 2012 but clearly that hasn't happened yet! I had hoped to at least get an entry once a month. So here's hoping I can manage from here on in.

Things are trucking along as always here. The winter hasn't been as bad this year so we've been able to get out and about. We registered Van for a couple of Ottawa recreation classes as we've been trying to figure out what his likes and dislikes are as far as activities go. He doesn't really show a lot of interest in much other than his movies and Thomas the Tank Engine episodes. He also really loves the train table we got him for xmas. So we decided to test the waters on a few classes, skating and gymnastics. Well skating was a complete bust! He really struggles taking instruction when there is any distraction at all and if it is something that requires focus then it is pretty much a no go. Skating involved one of us holding him up (to the detriment of our backs lol) while he flailed his legs about. Sadly the instructor lost interest in him after the first class because he would not listen to her at all. Patience and perseverance is the name of the game when attempting to teach skills to any toddler but this is especially true with our little guy. He is also as stubborn as all get out so he was going to try and get up his way or no way lol. Eeep...sufficed to say skating will have to wait for another couple of years. Gymnastics has been slightly more successful as he can attempt things without much focus. He definitely struggles with any of the group activities and is pretty much in his own, overstimulated, world which involves a lot of looking around in a slightly agitated way. Once we move on to the individual circuit though he seems to calm and be able to focus a bit better. Apparently he is very strong according to the instructor and she has even suggested rock climbing! Hmmm, he's not a fan of heights so I'm not sure about that one lol. Plus he's only 32 months old...Anyway, we'll keep trying and I'm sure eventually he'll find his niche. The search for patient instructors is also part of the picture. Any suggestions or recommendations would be most welcome.

February was interesting and fun as a friend of mine from the UK came to stay with us for 10 days. The interesting part was that she brought her 3 1/2 year old son Dillon. We figured we'd get an idea of how Van will be with a little brother in the house (of course Dillon is older but still). The result was not too bad at all. He can be a little aggressive with other kids (pinching and scratching mostly) and he didn't disappoint with Dillon around in his space. But he adjusted very well. One thing we did realize is that our little man needs his down time to decompress from life and the stimulus it brings. For awhile now we have been allowing him to watch a favourite show or part of a movie once he gets back from daycare. He truly needs this time to zone out and relax. It has made a big difference for him. We didn't realize how much he needed it until Dillon was here. A bouncy 3 1/2 year old who's been waiting all day to play with his buddy Van was a little overwhelming for said Van. We realized after a couple of days we'd have to make poor Dillon wait until after dinner to play. Van just needed his time to decompress. Dillon was a real trooper and so understanding. The sweetest kid. After getting Van back to his routine the aggression subsided substantially. All things to think about when we get our second!!

On that note, our dossier is now in Korea!! It was sent over at the beginning of February. That means that technically the referral could come at any time! Wow! We've heard of families getting referrals within 2 weeks of the dossier being in Korea. The matching process there is very specific and they work hard to match the children with waiting families. They base the match on different factors including physical appearance. So the wait could be days or months. One thing is pretty certain though, our son (small chance daughter) has already been born! The matching happens when the children are over a year old. As the wait time for referral doesn't usually go past 8 months it stands to reason that we are already parents for a second time! The thought blows my mind...again... We are very excited about Van being a big brother. He loves to help any way he can so I can imagine he'll get a real kick out of helping with his little sibling :) We are pretty nervous too though as we have our routines here down to a fine science lol. It will be tough at first to juggle the needs of the second with the needs of Van. We'll figure it out though. Many families before and many families after have and will.

Anyway, here are a few pics from the last couple of months (only meant to upload a couple but when you only blog every 2 months...):

Tet celebration put on by the Vietnamese Embassy:

Tet celebration put on by Samantha, Woody, Max and Vanh:

Fun with Dillon:

Claire and Dillon...and Chibi:

Buds for life :)