Saturday, May 29, 2010

even the stones cry out.

while on a walk with piper this morning, something caught my eye. it made me laugh and smile and i had to capture it to share with you:

doesn't it look like the leaves are breaking into applause? love it!

it reminded me of luke 19:40 where the pharisees tell Jesus to rebuke His disciples for praising Him and He says, "I tell you...if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

thank you, Lord, for reminding me that You are SO worthy to be praised! that even if i forget, the leaves will break into spontaneous applause -- creation truly calls!

Friday, May 28, 2010

on my heart right now.

we are more than a little concerned right now about the situation in korea. it is hard to hear different reports and know that things are unstable.

of course we are worried about our family members that are living there and about the state of the nation in general.

but, above all else,

we are worried because our son is there.

we so desperately want him home and selfishly do not want anything to delay his pending arrival.

as of now, the agency has told us that adoptions are not being affected by the political situation, and we hope and pray that this remains to be true as we wait.

and as we wait, we pray. we pray for peace. for resolution. for the Lord to have His hand over the two koreas that have never officially been at peace. we know that to see these two countries united would be near impossible, but we know that with the Lord, all things are possible.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a few of my favorite things...

it is 90 degrees here in virginia today. 90 degrees!!! it feels like summer and i love it. i can just smell summer coming...yum!

i love summer...not just because i still get the benefit of having a summer break, but because i love the feel of summer. carefree, lazy days by the pool; living on a diet of popsicles and iced tea; throwing on a t-shirt and shorts, or even better, a breezy cotton dress; barbecues any night of the week; trips to the outer banks...mmmmm...can't you just taste it?

thinking about summer makes me think of some of my other current and all-time favorite things that put a smile on my face:
-pretzel m&ms
-the new colbie caillat album
-walks in the sun that end up with piper collapsing on the floor as soon as we get in:

-flip flops!
-bouts of belly-aching laughter over silly things that wouldn't be funny without the people you're laughing with
-iced green tea from panera
-hugs from my students
-real (non-bill, non-catalogue, non-circular, non-junk) mail
-rita's strawberry gelatis
-getting lost in a good book (need a good read? check out the help by kathryn stockett -- SO good! you can thank me later.)

-wandering the aisles of target
-psychic moments with my sister
-date nights with the hubs

and of course, my little choi boy! he will be 9 months old soon and i can't wait to hold him and smell him and cover him with hugs and kisses :)

and just because i love you all so much, i will leave you with a never before posted picture of our little guy. he is a little over 6 months old in this picture and we just loved his crazy hair and pink socks :)

sigh...i just love him.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

things i've learned along the way.

warning...slightly heavy post below...

a few weeks ago, it was national infertility awareness week -- april 25-may 1. an organization that i subscribe to, RESOLVE, the national infertility awareness association, sent out an e-newsletter with the following closing line: "We need your help to continue to educate the public, change perceptions about infertility, and provide the best possible support and resources to those in their family building journey right now."

so here i go.

i've gone back and forth on whether or not i should write this post for a while now...i hesitated because i didn't want to offend anyone or make anyone feel like i was pointing fingers. for the record, i'm not -- really and truly. but i have to share this because it is real and it is what's on my heart and has been for the last 3 years. please understand that the place where a lot of this came from was one of the darkest, if not the darkest, times in my life. and though i don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, i need to share the many hurts that i struggled with along the way. these are also the same hurts i have heard again and again from other women who are struggling with or have struggled with infertility...

here are a few things i've learned along our journey:

1. "so, when are you having kids?" is not the innocent question i once thought it was.
i admit that before we struggled with infertility, i used to ask this question all the time. i never thought anything of it, as i'm sure most people don't. it seems like it's the natural progression of things. you know, "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes ______ with the baby carriage!" harmless stuff, right? not always. when you are in the thick of infertility, this question is so hurtful and an extra, public reminder of your circumstances. often, women who are faced with infertility think about it every day on their own, so to be reminded of it by someone else can be quite painful. a friend recently equated it to asking a blind person, "so, when are you going to start seeing again?" that comparison might seem silly because you would never ask a blind person that because you would obviously know that person was blind. well, infertility is not as obvious, but it is also a medical condition that you just can't "get better" from and when someone asks about having kids, it is a reminder of that. i've vowed to never, ever, ever ask that question again because you just never know what people are going through. plus, it reminds me of this terrible case of foot-in-mouth syndrome :) (sorry couldn't find the isolated clip but it's from 2:05-2:35 -- love this cheesey movie!):

2. advice and suggestions, as well-meaning and loving as they are, are not always helpful.
a lot of times, people don't realize that infertility is usually caused by a medical diagnosis. this means, that old wives' tales and herbal remedies and other advice of the like, won't work. "suggestions" (and i'm going to leave it at that because this blog is rated PG) are also not helpful and kind of awkward to hear. i know this advice usually comes from sincere care and thoughtfulness, but it can be sometimes frustrating because it makes one feel even more misunderstood.

3. hearing others complain about or even talk excessively about their pregnancy or their children can be hard to take.
i was sharing about this with one of my dear friends and she told me she knew exactly how i felt, that just days after her mother passed away, a co-worker, who knew full well of the situation, made a remark like, "ugh! my mother is so ridiculous! she just showed up at my house unannounced!" my friend said she walked away, thinking, "don't you know what i would give for my mother to show up at my door???" this is a lot like what it felt like when i would hear people complain about their children or about being pregnant. i am sure morning sickness and being bloated and uncomfortable for 40 weeks stinks big time...but, what i would give to feel that way if it meant i was carrying a child in my womb! hearing these complaints were just more reminders of what i could not have.

4. infertility is often a lonely journey.
you never walk up to someone and say, "what's up? i'm going through infertility!" although, one of my friends, who was in a mood of sorts, responded to a co-worker's "when are you having kids?" with "i can't, i'm barren!"...this remains to be a running joke between a kind of twisted way. :)
because it's rarely talked about openly, it's hard to know who is also on this same journey, making it really isolating. it's also hard when all around you people seem to be popping out babies and they naturally gravitate towards each other, unintentionally leaving the childless out on the sidelines. suddenly, friends you once had so much in common with seem to drift away because of the different life stages you are in. thankfully, i had a great community of sisters through the hannah's hope ministry at our church. the hannah's prayer community forums are also a great place to find support, albeit it over the internet. it's a safe place to share and walk alongside others who are on a similar journey, making your own feel a little less isolating.

i share all this to give a glimpse into my experience...i truly, truly hope i didn't offend anyone, but rather, i hope it gave an eye-opening perspective that you may not have considered. i'm sure there'll be days when i need these reminders myself, and undoubtedly, i'll make blunders that will hurt others whose stories i don't quite understand. but, if anything, this journey has taught me that you cannot assume anything about anyone and there is so much lying under the surface that others just don't know about. since starting this blog, i've gotten many emails saying, "i had no idea you were going through this..." and i hope this post has given you an idea of what was going on under that surface...

i found this quote on a blog of sister who i "met" on the hannah's prayer forums. it's from former first lady laura bush. i didn't know this, but she and george w. struggled with infertility for many years before the twins were born. this quote beautifully expresses what couples often feel throughout their experience with infertility...

"But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby. The English language lacks the words "to mourn an absence". For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, or friend we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not. Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only "I am sorry for your loss". But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?"
- Laura Bush

i couldn't have said it better.

Friday, May 21, 2010

girls on the run!

i try not to use the word "hate" a lot. but,




i've always been really bad at running...i always dreaded the mile run in p.e. and was embarrassed at how slow i was/am. but, i really respect runners and hold them in high esteem for their dedication and commitment.

girls on the run is a way cool national organization (it's in canada too, canuks!) whose mission is "To educate and prepare girls for a life time of self-respect and healthy living." its objective is "to educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. At risk activities include substance/alcohol use, eating disorders, early onset of sexual activity, sedentary lifestyle, depression, suicide attempts and confrontations with the juvenile justice system."

isn't that awesome?

basically, the girls train together for a couple of months in order to prepare for a 5k race. the workouts are fun and uplifting and help the girls learn how to keep themselves healthy. at our school, the girls are in third through sixth grade and they have been working hard to train for their 5k race, which is on sunday.

during the race, every girl has an adult buddy runner to ensure her safety and to encourage her as she runs. i volunteered to be a buddy runner.

did you hear that? let me repeat.

i volunteered

to be

a buddy runner.


i know, crazy shenanigans. what's awesome is that i am actually paired with two of my former students. i taught A and J when they were in first grade and they are still the same sweet, silly and chatty girls they were when they were six. can't believe they're big bad 5th graders now! i'm really excited to be their buddy runner!

but, i'm also really worried about running 3.1 miles. eek! i know, for those of you marathon runners, 3.1 miles is, quite literally, a walk in the park. but for someone who just doesn't run, it's a little daunting. double eek!

go london towne lions! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

see, facebook *is* good for something!

whoa! this story was on the msn front page today...check it out:

while pursuing a private, closed domestic adoption, this couple was able to use facebook to connect with a birth mother. they ended up adopting her baby and now have an adorable son, found, essentially, on facebook! crazy! watch this video to hear a little more about their story, or as the book that it is featured in calls, their facebook fairytale :) you can also read their story in detail here.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, May 17, 2010


two weeks ago, we visited the us citizenship and immigration services office in alexandria to have our biometrics (aka, fingerprints) taken for our homeland security clearance. this was our second set of fingerprints -- the first set being for state clearances (i think)...sidenote: imagine if all people had to get clearances before becoming parents...hmmm...but, i digress.

i wanted to take a picture in front of the building, but there were clear signs posted everywhere that no recording devices and cell phones were allowed. it was very interesting being there and on the other side of immigration services, both of us being US citizens all our lives...very interesting. again, i digress.

anyway, these fingerprints were for our I-600 which is essentially the application for the visa application approval for little choi boy (you got all that?). today, we got our approval from homeland security -- hooray!!! this means that we are approved as the identified adoptive parents for our little one. we thought our wait on this was going to take a few more weeks so were thrilled when we received the letter from homeland security today! (i wonder how many other people are actually thrilled to get a letter from homeland security...?) this is a big step for us, because this means that now the korean agency can apply to the US embassy for choi boy's visa. meaning, this is pretty much the last step for us to take on our side before it is all in the hands of the korean and US governments, which will hopefully go fast as well :). hooray, hooray, HOORAY!

praying, praying, praying for a summer travel date...God is good!

Friday, May 14, 2010

the hill is in sight...

a few months ago, one of our college students, josh cho, invited peter and me down to durham to watch duke play wake forest. neither of us particularly like duke (read: NOT fans), but it was really neat to be in cameron indoor and be across the floor from coach k.

we were headed in to the student section and in order to get in, we borrowed student IDs from josh and his girlfriend's friends -- apparently, people do this all the time, so we didn't feel too bad about lying :). while we were waiting in line outside, josh casually said to peter, "i'm so glad you guys were able to come down! this is probably the last time you'll be able to do so..." to which peter replied, "no, we have other students that are coming down to duke, i'm sure we can come down to see them." and then, josh chuckled and said, "no, i mean this is probably the last year you can get in with a student ID without looking like you're totally faking it!" in other words, he meant that we are not spring chickens any more! :) we were slightly offended (not really) and mostly thought it was hilarious that josh would say that.

and then...we got inside and to the student section. so, it's standing room only. and squishy and crowded and smelly from all the b.o. coming off of screaming college students. there are all these cheers you have do and several involve jumping and fist pumping and arm waving, etc. i have never felt so. old. in. my. life. shortly into the first half, all peter and i wanted to do was sit down, which totally wasn't going to happen. peter was super annoyed with this nerdy kid standing next to him who happened to be wearing this jester-ish hat with jingle bells on it. the jingle bells kept hitting peter in the head and the dude was screaming very loudly, at times right into peter's ear. we were such an old, crotchety couple and realized that josh was completely right. :) we may not be over the hill quite yet, but that hill surely is in sight!

here we are before the smooshing really began...

peter with josh and steph

i bring this up because i always dreamed about being a cool, young, hip mom, and thought i would have 2 children before i turned 30 -- which will be happening in less than 6 months...sigh. i know, i know, i'm still young (30 is new 20, blah, blah) and by many standards will still be a young-ish mom. but it's just a reminder again of how things never really go how we planned them or want them. had we conceived back when we had initially started trying, i would have given birth shortly after my 27th birthday and would have a 2 year old. (and secretly, thinking about that actually kinda freaks me out!)

but, here's the cool thing about adoption...since our little choi boy is already 8 months and was born back in september 2009, he was actually born 2 months before i turned 29 and just after peter turned 31, shaving a year off our mommy and daddy age. :) heehee...after seeing little choi boy's face i can't imagine being a mommy to anyone else and i don't really care how old we'll be anymore...okay, maybe i care just a smidge :), but i know this was the way things were supposed to work out, and peter and i cherish the extra time we had together to travel and have more flexibility before parenthood. now we are so ready to take on this new challenge as parents and feel like we're at an age where we can truly, truly enjoy it and not feel like we missed out on anything in our 20s...

sigh...those 20s will soon be a distant memory for me...whatever, 30, here i come -- baby and all! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

just love coffee

this site is AWESOME. here's the quick version of the story behind rob webb runs a refreshment supply company in nashville, tn, specializing in coffee. two years ago, he and his wife were in the process of adopting from ethiopia, and as rob read more about ethiopia, he learned that ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and also learned of the living conditions and wages of the average coffee farmer, and was compelled to take action. he developed "just love" to help raise money for families adopting from not just ethiopia, but anywhere in the world. proceeds from just love also go to help the orphanage that helped raise his daughters before he and his family brought them home. what a beautiful story!

our friends, evan and stacey snyder, are currently in the process of adopting a baby from ethiopia and have set up a just love page to help fundraise costs for their adoption. we know first hand how overwhelming all these costs and saving for them can be, so we are so excited that this awesome organzation exsists and will be helping our friends! check our their site: and buy some yummy coffee! :)