Saturday, May 28, 2011

Update on Avery!

We received Avery's latest well baby check! (She goes monthly to the doctor and this is his report on how she is doing)  She is doing quite well! She was 8 months old at this last appointment and she weighed 16.1lbs which puts in her in the 8% in weight.  She is 26.7 inches long which puts her in the 17% for length.  So in short, she is a tiny little peanut wearing 3-6 mo. clothing!  I always thought she looked so chubby in her photos but  clearly she is not!!    Developmentally she was at a 7.5 month level, so just slightly behind.  She creeps around, but is not officially crawling yet.  She plays peek-a-boo, and sits alone.  She has met most her developmental milestones as well so we are thrilled to hear about her great progress!  Can't wait for new photos!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All the Babies!!

I kept my friend's girls this weekend as she had graduation obligations!  It was hilarious trying to get some photos ... as you can see!!

YEAH!!  We did it!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Aroma of Christ

(How deal with insensitive people & comments)

I am, obviously, an adoptive parent. I like to read blogs (some being adoption blogs). I read adoptive parent forums. I have even read a couple books written for adoptive parents. I don't consider myself an expert; not even close, but I do want to say something to adoptive parents and I respectfully hope they'll listen.

Over the past few years, I have read MANY posts & articles written by adoptive parents about what everyone else should and shouldn't say to adopted children, what people should and shouldn't ask an adopted, and more specifically adopted, non-white child. I've read posts that lecture the general public about what they should ask, where it would be appropriate to ask it, what not to ask etc… and I'll be frank, it wears me out. I find all of the pointed advice overwhelming to the point of giving up, and I often hear a small voice saying, "forget it! I just won't ask you, or any other adoptive parent, anything about adoption since it's such a sensitive topic." After such articles my thought is always this, if I feel this way, how must the non-adoptive general public feel?!

Here's the reality; when a family decides to adopt, and more specifically, adopt a child who is of another race, then they have kicked the door wide open for curious questions because racially blended families aren't the norm. This isn't just a United States thing; they aren't the norm anywhere in the world. It is pretty much common knowledge that whenever you make a decision to go against social norms, you're inviting questions, opinions, and curious looks. This is reality, and it is a reality everywhere in the world because people who break tradition or don't follow "normal" paths ALWAYS get this reaction, no matter what country you live in.

For example, when a teenager dyes his hair red and spikes it into a four-inch Mohawk, people look. Why? -because it's not the norm. When a family chooses to have no TVs in the home, people ask questions; its not the norm. When a family moves half-way around the world to be missionaries, people question and inquire about it because it's not normal. If I'm going to be honest with you, I too am curious as to why people do these types of things . Why did that boy put his hair in a red mohawk? Why did you make the decision to not have TVs? What led you to uproot your family to be a missionary? I truly want to know. (…and I'll probably have an opinion about it too…but I promise to bite my tongue!)

Anyway, when people ask you, adoptive parents, about your child, this should be expected. This should not be a reason to take offense, and I firmly believe that many adoptive parents do take the questions in stride and see it as an opportunity to help others understand the need for adoption. It is also a great opportunity to share Christ if the conversion goes that way. After all, adoption is a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for His children. These "general-public questions" are something that will NOT go away, so may I tenderly suggest that adoptive parents learn to accept and answer them tactfully and with kindness. In doing so, we teach our child how to handle various people (from brass and offensive to sweet and curious) and their questions with grace that reflects Christ, honors Him, and opens lines of communication between people who adopt and those who haven't.

When we are rude, short tempered, and irritated after encounters with curious people, we teach our children to react the same way. We teach them to have a chip on their shoulder, to dislike people who don't understand, to be short with people who don't phrase a question 'just-so," to lash out when the question is insensitive. We should instead teach them how to be merciful and handle these situations tactfully and respectfully. (I'm not saying they, or we, have to answer every question…certainly not!!!) We should teach our children, and be examples of how to kindly decline to give out information without offending the questioner, thus showing the grace and mercy Christ has graciously extended to us.

This is part of our job as parents of adopted children; to prepare them for a world that may not understand them, so they, and we, can become little bridges of understanding that span the gap between those who have no idea why people adopt and those who do.

No, our adopted children didn't sign up for this; (but nether did the child whose blind, or the one with Cerebral palsy, or the quadriplegic ) but God has placed them, and us, in this situation and thus, it has become our God-given mission to honor Him by being examples of grace, gentleness and kindness; even when the questions are inappropriate.

Isn't this what the Bible calls us to do? Didn't Paul say, "I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some." (1 Corinthians 9:22) Shouldn't we too strive to be like this so that maybe, just maybe, someone's mind will soften to the concept of adoption, or maybe even Christ? And maybe this softened heart will result in that person supporting an orphanage, a child, or loving their adopted grandchild more. Or maybe it will be that "pivotal moment" that God uses to change their hearts so they too follow God down the path of adoption.

I pray that we will, all be more like this. It is my prayer I am more like this so I can leave a legacy of kindness and an example of God's mercy for my children to follow. After all, God has been, and still is merciful to me even though I have denied Him, sinned against him, and deeply offended him, so it only makes sense that I, in turn, extend that mercy to others and in doing so be "the aroma of Christ."

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 
2 Corinthians 2:15

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Mathematical Mom

My mother:  Math teacher, Math professor, Math workshop presentor, Math tutor, Math publisher, Math expert!!!  She has a blog with ton of math tips and also sells SUPER CHEAP math products for all ages from addition to algebra!

If you are...
  • Student
  • Parent
  • Teacher
  • Math Phobic
  • Math Lover
  • Homeschooler
...then you will love all the ideas and resources she has!!  Check out her links and find some great Math stuff!!!!

School, Sports, & Sons

 Drew completed a research paper/project over John Adams.  He did his presentation Monday.  Here are some photos of him and his display board.
 He even let me get a photo with him...even with all his friends around! 

 Jack is playing baseball for the Caridnals this year.  He loves playing catcher!  Here are some photos of his game yesterday night.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Care Package for Avery

 We wanted to send Avery a care package, like we did for Addison, so the boys and I went shopping.  Here's Jack looking through rows of pink clothes...something you'll not see often!!!
 Jack ended up choosing a blanket for her.

 Drew chose an did Nick but I didn't get a picture of it!

Addison just played in the cart! 
Our gifts will be taken to Korea by friends of ours who are going within the next couple weeks to get their little girl!  (Thanks Brooke from Mississippi!)  We hope Avery like her things and she comes home soon!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Addison turns two!

 Addison truned two Sunday, May 1st.  Here's the four layer white cake I made her.  (don't be too impressed; it was from a box)
 Wow! That's a look!
 Addison & her Daddy

 Addison and her Papa...she was feeding him cake!

 Addison opening her gifts..with baby Owen.  She kept telling him, "Mine!"

Playing with her new toys.  It was a great birthday!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Avery Faith Ha-rin
 5 months old

 5 months old

 1 month

 1 month


So you may be wondering how on earth we received this referral so quickly?  Well, in short, God.  Here’s how it went:  Mark and I have long been discussing a second adoption.  We both felt led to adopt two children.  We knew this before we even brought Addison home.  We toyed with the idea of adopting form foster care, and over time felt drawn to go back to Korea.  So we did.  I prayed Saturday, April 2 that God wouldn’t make us wait like last time.  As you probably remember, it took two years to complete Addison’s adoption.  It was horrible.  I begged God to not make us wait…shamelessly begged.  I did tell God that I would wait if that was His plan, and I would wait better, and bring Him glory, but in my heart I really didn’t want to.  Sunday, April 3rd we sent in our on-line application to the Waiting Child Program (WCP) at Holt.  (Waiting child just means the children have some medical condition, minor-major depending on what you’re open to) We were so excited.  We then called Holt Tuesday, April 5th to chat about timelines etc…  What we were told was VERY discouraging.  We were told they weren’t seeing very many girls, and based on our medical checklist, we would at  least wait a year or more…and many never be matched.  We were upset and felt like that door had just slammed shut in our face.  We just “sat on” that information, trying to figure out which way to turn; back to foster care, no adoption at all

…and the Thursday I received an email from the WCP asking if we would look at the file of a baby girl that matched our profile!!!  I was stunned!!  Actually, I think that is a understatement. Mark was shocked, and completely “freaking out!”  We reviewed the file, showed it to two doctors and after much discussion and prayer, we accepted the match!  

What’s even more beautiful than this God-given surprise, is that Drew had been praying and had even fasted about our adoption.  Guess what his prayer was? –that we wouldn’t have to wait.  Now, God didn’t owe us a quick adoption.  We don’t’ deserve his graciousness and excessive blessings, but I’m thrilled to be the recipient of them and I just can’t do anything but worship Him, because He knows my name, has saved my soul, and has been abundantly good to us.  “Apart from Him I have no good thing.”  -Psalm 16:2