Monday, February 28, 2011


Tonight we have seen it! We have really seen our daughter's personality! Boy does she have one!!! I had to write this tonight because we have seen so many "firsts!!!" I am completely and totally amazed! I cannot get over how well she is doing. Yes, she is still shy and timid out in public, as it should be, but at home, she is really opening up! When we accepted our referral last year, we said the whole time as far as coming home and adapting, "prepare for the worst, and hope for the best!" Well, we are getting the best so far. There is nothing to say that things won't/can't change, but she is really getting comfortable with us and her home.

Here are some of her cute firsts that have happened tonight:

1. She has gone to her picture that we have framed (one sent from the agency last May) and will point to it and then point to herself. She then will BABBLE some words as if to say, "Olivia."

2. She took a bath toy and ran down the hall giggling and laughing with me chasing after her to get it.

3. She is now waving "bye bye" and "hello"

4. She has been dancing and twirling tonight. She then falls on the floor in laughter!

5. She started babbling after dinner and has done pretty much the rest of the evening.

6. She is handing us toys rather than throwing them at us!

7. She is screaming with joy/laughter!

8. She is now smiling at the camera rather than looking stone faced!

9. She kissed Oscar. When asked where he is, she points right over to him.

10. We were looking at pictures saying, "mommy" and then pointing to me, and "daddy" and then pointing to John.

11. She put her hands on her hips AFTER undressing herself....because she wanted to!

12. She clapped!

13. She is blowing air out of her mouth as if to say, "whew!"

14. We knew she was a climber, but have *really* seen it today. She is climbing on EVERYTHING. She climbed from my chair in the kitchen, to Oscar's chair (yes, you read that correctly) and was trying to get to her high chair. She climbed on the top of the coffee table. She is climbing up on the chairs! Got to really watch this one!!!

15. She just went to a pic. and said, "daddy!" HOLY COW!!!!!!!

So, around our house, we have had a GREAT day!!! God is amazing! He is providing for us and holding all of us up in this difficult transition. I wish I could tell her Foster Mom all of this good news! I know she would be proud! How did we get so lucky????? Yes, we knew the day she was handed to us that we were blessed, but we had no clue just how much!

These are her emotions and behavior during the day/evening. Bedtime brings out a whole new set of emotions. I don't know if it is because she didn't want to go to bed or if it is grief. She will scream and then cry out for her "oeum." However, it only took about 10 min. to get her to go to sleep with a pleasent sigh as I went to the floor with her. (you know....the current group bed) :) I am hopeful that this too improves, but I know this is still new and that she needs time.

We are hopeful for tomorrow. I think we are going to try a walk at the park in the morning! :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

20 months

For the last 11 months, I have written about Olivia on her monthly 'birthday' and imagined what she was doing and how she was doing. Now, I know what she is doing!!! So, this is an exciting post for me! I remember last month when I wrote the 19 month post how hopeful I was that she would be here for her 20th month. Yay!!!! She is!!! Today has been a great day! We took our first real adventure out. We went to my neice's birthday party (it was scheduled for the 13th when we were in Korea, but Annelyn had the flu and they had to cancel). We said that if we went and she was terrified that we would leave immediately. While I held her most of the time, she was very observant and seemed to enjoy being around the other kids. She even walked a little while we were there!

I HATE that we didn't get any good pics of the birthday girl and Olivia together, but I am sure there will be many opportunities for that! :) I think Annelyn had fun with all of her guests!

When we got home, we ate dinner. Olivia decided that she thought it was fun to spin around in her high chair. However, she didn't think it was so fun when we buckled her in. Tonight she ate roast, carrots, potatoes, and a piece of key lime pie! We played a bit after dinner with her new blocks that my cousins gave her today. Thanks guys! She loves them.
It was time to head for a bath. She LOVED her bath tonight. She splashed and played as if she had always taken her bath in that tub.

She is splasing me with one of her cups in this pic. Pretty sure my pants were nice and wet when we were done. But who cares, right?!

After bath time, we came back out to the den and we were playing with her little phone. We always have conversations when she hands the phone to us such as, "Hello, hi, Olivia, the phone is for you." Well, tonight, after I handed her the phone, John and I were talking about something and we hear, "hi" from this very cute petite little voice. John said, "um....was that the toy?" I said, "no, that was her!!!!!" So, I guess that was her first english word....hi. So, yes, it may have been just a sound oops, but she used it in the correct context and so we are going with it. :) We put that up as she moved on to a puzzle that is in the box. Well, who cares about the puzzle, right? Boxes are so much better! So, here are some fun pics. we grabbed from playing with the box.

It was time for bed, so we cleaned up and went to get a book. John was looking for a certain book, and I went to Olivia's room to try to help. I asked him to go to the den to make sure she was ok, and he said, "ok" he was saying that, in she was coming to her room with her bag of new blocks that I mentioned above. This bag is as big as her, but she lugged it in as if to say, "not bed, block time!" I told her despite the great effort and regardless of her cuteness, the blocks would have to wait until tomorrow. Off to bed we go! Hopefully tonight is smooth.

Though we had fun today, we still know that she is not *ready* to go at full speed. We will take this week slow, but not quite as slow as last. We may go for a couple small outings and maybe a few more the week after that. I have no clue when we will be at the new normal, but we are having fun (most of the time) nonetheless. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1 week ago today

Exactly 1 week ago (it is 12:30 a.m. here in TN and Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Seoul Korea) we were handed our daughter and we became a forever family. Our lives changed in the blink of an eye! We made the journey across the ocean home and we have been adjusting ever since. The first few nights she was up from 11:00p.m.-4:00 a.m. screaming constantly. Not just crying, screaming. I could not put her down during the day, she had little interest in John, she did not like to sit in my lap and play with toys, she didn't like the carrier, and she was terrified! The first 48hours we had her she wouldn't eat much of anything. We got her to take a bottle and the yogurt that her foster mom had sent with her. Her foster mom told us she loved baths, was a picky eater, doesn't smile easily, gets car sick easily, and does not nap. This may be the case for her in Korea, but here she is very different for us.

First night home and first bath--not good.

In the last week, she has tried spaghetti, roast, carrots, keylime pie, pudding, yogurt, bananas, bbq, lima beans, sweet potato, oatmeal, blueberry muffin,cheetos, lucky charms, baked beans juice, and is off formula and drinking whole milk. I am not saying we are all smiles here (still very rare), but we have made some very encouraging gains. She is easily going between us now. She is getting up and walking around the house on her own free will, I can take a shower without her screaming the whole time I am in there, and she obviously loves to eat! She flew over 7,000 miles and has been in the car and only got sick because she was so upset and scared coming home from the airport. We have seen a few smiles, but she freezes the minute she sees the camera. We got what we think may have been a kiss yesterday from her and possibly a giggle tonight. I am sure she still has quite a bit of grieving left to go. Obviously, our days are MUCH better than our nights. We are taking it slow and one day at a time. We have left the house a total of 10 min. on Tuesday and 20 min. today. We only did this so she could see that we come back to the same place we left and to adjust to the carseat. We have not allowed anyone to come visit unless it is very short. We are all currently sleeping (when we get to sleep) on the floor in Olivia's room and she sleeps on top of me when she sleeps. I am thinking it will be this way for several months. I am currently typing with her asleep in my lap. She will wake up around 11:30 or 12 and be up probably until 4 or 5 a.m. We think that she is still on Seoul time! We had one "good" night of sleeping, but that is it for now. I cannot believe just a week ago we were handed a terrified baby who had no clue who we were. We were also in Korea. It still all seems so unbelievable! She is still unsure, as she should be, but we are slowly making progress one day at a time. She gives daddy smiles the last two nights at dinner. I am trying to teach her the sign for more and she looks at him and just gives a big grin!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What were you doing at 4:00 a.m.?

Here is what we were up to....

This is the first glimpse of happiness we have seen! :)

...and this is what Oscar did.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our first night home and first day

We were all tired and hungry once we got home. Thank goodness we had a great meal there waiting for us!!!! Olivia had no interest in eating, so we didn't force it. We ate and then tried playing on the floor for a bit. We decided since we were told she loved bath time and since we had been traveling that we would give her a bath. Bad idea!

She screamed the whole time. We finished and got pj's on and played a bit more on the floor.

She was very curious about Oscar who also joined the playing. We all fell asleep in the den and woke up around 10. She got down from the couch in a panic and ran to the door and then through the dining room screaming "oeum, oeum." It was the saddest thing to watch. We went to her room where we made a bed on the floor. She could not calm down and called for her "ouem" --Omma (which is mom in Korean) most of the night. She did not like me to lay down with her so I just held her and rocked her. She dozed a bit and finally fell asleep for a bit. I finally laid down later, and she cried for quite a while. She allowed me to put her on the floor next to me about when the sun was coming up this morning. Poor thing! She woke up around 10:00 and I tried a bottle with her. She drank some of it. She then went back to sleep as did I and we slept until 2:30 in the afternoon. Once we got up, she ate 1/2 a yogurt and then just wanted to be held. We got her dressed and tried to play or do whatever Olivia wanted.

She has fussed her way through the day, but we have made it. She laid down with me about 4:30 to take a nap, so John told me to go get a shower. He laid with her while I got a shower and woke up during that short time. She got up and allowed him to console her. Since then, she will have nothing to do with me. I tried to hold her for a minute, but she reached out for him. So, she is calling the shots for now, so back she went to him.

I have tried to use this time to get as much done as possible as did John when he wasn't holding her earlier. We tried some baby food tonight (mac and cheese) and she ate four or five bites!!!! Yay! She also ate four or five bites of banana bread!!! So, here we are, ready for night 2. Wish us luck!

Flying home and arrival

We had a van come to the hotel and pick us up at 7:00. Before we left, I took Olivia down to the breakfast room where the sweet girls that work there had asked all week about her. We promised we would bring her by before we left. When I went, they gave us a gift and tons of breakfast food to take with us! Wow!!! Everyone in Seoul is so nice! We got to the airport and got some breakfast. This was the best she has eaten for us yet. She had yogurt, banana, and bread.

In a short time, it was time to leave Seoul.

I hated to leave, but was ready to be home. We had another uneventful flight, which is miraculous to me!!!! Olivia pretty much slept from the time we left until we got home. She played a bit but overall slept.
We landed in Atlanta and had a 5 1/2 hour layover, but by the time we went through customs and immigration, there wasn't much time left. We arrived in Nashville to an amazing crowd!!!! The kids all had on cute shirts that had their names on them in Hangul! The adults all had on red, white, or blue. I love the coordination. All I could really see was a ton of people. I couldn't take it all in. The first one I got to was my sweet Anneyln. This is my 4 year old niece.

She ran to me and gave me the biggest hug. Oh, I missed that girl!!!! I then started hugging and talking to everyone. They had amazing signs and things to give Olivia. I will be keeping each and every sign!

I don't know how long we were there, but it was time to head home and let Olivia meet her brother Oscar and see her new house. Getting into the carseat was HORRIBLE though. She screamed and buckled her body out. It took both of us to get it buckled. I sat in the back and she continued to scream on the way home. She got so upset that she threw up. Poor thing. Eventually, she cried herself to sleep.
We arrived home to amazing decorations! My dad cut these korean girls out and my moms best friend painted them. I had no clue that dad ever did this!!!!!

We had pink bows on the lanterns and balloons on the mailbox. We had a cute wreath on the door. WOW!!!! My friends and family have made me feel SO loved! It doesn't stop there. I came inside to a stocked refriderator, diapers, snacks for Olivia, and dinner.

A girl cannot ask for more. John said, "so we don't have to take out a second mortgage trying to thank everyone, we will have a great cookout for them this spring or summer." Good idea on John's part, I thought. I do have a ton of thank you notes to write though. Thank you just isn't enough to even describe how grateful we are to everyone!!!!!