Friday, August 24, 2012


Up until recently I hadn't been feeling anxious about our second wait to adopt. Everything has been going as planned, no bumps, smooth sailing. Well now that I know the call to travel should be coming soon I am finally starting to get restless and impatient. We do know that the average time for the children to receive their outgoing visas is currently 12-16 weeks. We also know, according to our agency's monthly newsletter, that the last few families have waited 13 weeks. Well next week is 13 weeks! We are close people! Very close. As a result it is feeling very real now and I want to hurry up and go get him (well, Pat is going but still). This whole process had been far less stressful than Van's but I am still scared something is going to go wrong. After all we've been through the wringer in the past. Anyway, here's hoping the call comes next week!!!

On the Van front he sure is becoming more and more of a character and definitely knows what he likes and doesn't like especially now that he is able to tell us and others quite clearly now. I leave you with this little tid bit. Ah, my son.....We generally listen to alt/indie/folk rock and Van is exposed to it daily. We tried the Sharon, Lois and Bram stuff and frankly it drove us bananas and Van didn't seem to really be into it. So our selfish selves decided music is music right? And as long as he is exposed to music that's the important thing. So yesterday in the car, in anticipation of going to see Springsteen in TO tonight, Pat was playing his new CD (which he's been playing on and off for a couple of months). Pat loves Springsteen! At one point Pat decided to turn the radio on and Van got upset and said he wanted the music back on. It gets better...yesterday at nap time one of the daycare workers started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at which point Van says"Stop! I want The Boss!". She struggled to understand what he meant then said "Oh, Springsteen?!" and Van said "Yes, sing Thunder Road." hahaha! Luckily the daycare teacher loves the Boss and knew the song. He is his father's son that's for sure hehehe.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Third birthday, updated pictures and the wait to travel

Hello, sorry it has been awhile since my last really decent post. Between my two week trip to Italy and the UK and Van's grandmother (Pat's mom) being in town I just haven't gotten around to posting. A lot has happened in the last month. First Van started his new daycare. He is doing really well there and it is obvious that we made the right decision. Just being around a lot of peers his own age has helped him. His language skills have improved as has his imaginary play. These were two things that he has struggled a bit with at times. We really lucked out getting a spot in this daycare. We have been asked a few times how we managed to get him in there as the waiting list is so long. The integration services woman assigned to us said that Van is in the creme de la creme of licensed daycares. I had no idea lol. It was just one of the places I decided to cold call. Van's diagnosis expedited him to the front of the list. If there are any readers with a child on the spectrum looking for a daycare please give Algonquin Early Learning Centre a call as you never know! Van really does love the place. He's even made a friend which is huge for an ASD kiddo. Apparently he and his friend are inseparable.

Van has had a busy couple of weeks! He turned 3 on the 21st of July. His birthday basically lasted a week as there were various celebrations. On the Saturday (the 21st) we attended the yearly pot luck pool party in Greely with other adoptive families. It is really neat to see the kids every year. They are growing fast!! After we got home we had a cake for Van and allowed him to open some presents. He did struggle a bit and became overstimulated which usually brings on stimming behaviour. We have to try and figure out ways to balance these types of events. Perhaps cake in the evening and presents the next day....things to think about. The next day we went to Max and Vanh's for their 4th birthday party. Many of the same kids from the Saturday were there so it was like a second adoption event. I just love seeing all the kids together!! Finally this past Sunday we had a little birthday party for him with a few friend's and their kids (the usual suspects that were also at his 2nd birthday). Again poor Van struggled and there are times when I wonder if he really gets anything out of these events or if we are doing it for us more than him. It is a tough one for sure. I don't know if there is a right answer. I do know that we will have traditional birthday parties for our second son so it seems we should do the same for Van. Maybe when he is older he can tell us if he wants these parties.

In other news we received updated pictures and a video of Yihyun. What a wonderful surprise. Even more special because Grandmother was here to see them. The pictures are simply beautiful and obviously taken by a professional. The video and a few of the pictures were taken at his Dol (sometimes spelled Tol). here is a link to wiki explaining it:

Such a neat and beautiful tradition. We were told that Yihyun chose the mandarin symbol which means he will be a scholar. Items for scholar often include pencils or books etc. Although it would have been so nice to be able to be with him on his first birthday, I am immensely grateful that he had the opportunity to experience it in Korea. We could never have matched the celebration they had for him! He will have the pictures and video with him always!

We are still waiting to get the travel call. We believe we may get it sometime this month! After much discussion we have decided that Pat alone will travel to pick up Yihyun. I of course want to go more than anything but financially it just does not make sense, and, more importantly, we just don't think it would be a good idea to leave Van with someone without one of us being here. This is already going to be a very stressful transition for him that having a virtual stranger (his aunt but basically a stranger as she lives in another province) showing up and us leaving for a week then returning with another child we think would be too much. It was an extremely difficult decision but for our family it is the right decision. I know I will be back to Korea in the future. There is no question of that not happening. There will be many birth country visits in our future for our boys and even possibly a sabbatical involving living in both countries for a few months.

On a final note we have chosen our second son's final name (or should I say names lol). A Korean American friend of mine recommended giving him a Western first name and keeping his Korean name as his middle name. It was a difficult decision but we have taken his advice. We will call him Gerad Yihyun (then his Korean last name and our last names). The Gerad is a nod to Pat's father Gerald who passed away a number of years ago. So Gerad will have his entire Korean name as his legal name. If he wants to drop the Western names at a later date he can with little difficulty. It's always a very emotional experience changing anything with respect to adopted children. Our feeling has always been to try and preserve as much of who they were before us as possible. We already have so much control over their lives and they have no input. We have striven to reach a union of the two with both boys as that is who they will grow up to be. Their feet in two different worlds. We have a duty to ensure that their access to the world they came from is smooth and easy.

Here are pictures of Van's busy birthday week and updated pics of Gerad Yihyun.

The third annual TDH adoptive family picnic.

Van's little family birthday on the actual day (Van, mommy, daddy and grandmother).

Max and Vanh's 4th birthday party:

Van's 3rd party with friends:

Hanging out with grandmother:

Gerad Yihyun: