Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Finally Final

November 15, 2012

Gavin officially became Gavin Minseo Parker!!!

We were happy that my parents and Matt's parents were there for this special day.

...some words to describe this moment...

anticipation...waiting...and waiting...full court nap...

...the adoption process was a rollercoaster ride to the very end... 

Thank you to a Kim, a very special friend, who was able to get some photos for us.

We appreciate her patience and for hanging around with us for around 2 hours.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Last night I dreamt of Seoul. 

I'm  fairly sure that it was because of my birthday.

Each birthday is a unique, but this one really is different.

Having a birthday with Gavin is fun. I really like seeing him get excited about candles and cake. I can say with certainty that kids make a lot of things in life, more fun. 

And...this birthday is different because I actually know things about my birthday.

I was born at 11:40 am @ Lee, Jungja Marternity home in Bong Cheon-dong, Kwanak-Gu, Seoul, in America that would have been at 9:40 pm on November 1st. 

While in Korea my family shared bits of what they remember...

My mother says that she wasn't able to look at me, but she prayed to Buddha every day for me and tried to live a good life in hopes that by her actions, I would be taken care of. She also said she wanted me back, but the agency said I had already left for America. 

My father says I had a very loud cry. He named me Hyeon Rae. Adding Rae in hopes that one day I would return to Korea. He says that he did look at me. 

My 1st sister says she had always known that she had one more sister.

My brother says he remembers peeking in a room and seeing a baby and later on wondering what happened to the baby. It didn't make sense to him.

My 3rd sister says she remembers watching a television show about adoptees, looking for me. 

I have to admit I was just like a kid, I was plagued with the thought would my family in Korea remember my birthday? They did not disappoint. 

One more thing...the other day I went to the Texas Med Clinic...and for the first time ever I was able to check off yes or no in the family medical history portion. It's the little things.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween...a day late., I saw this costume in the PBK catalog and "I" loved it, so I bought it... some friends helped encourage me by saying this would be the only year I could choose his costume, LOL.

My very talented friend at ARG Photographs took the pictures in the collage. She was  so patient with him...She captured Gavin perfectly. This is him. I do wish I could just ask him to sit and smile, but he definitely had some other plans on his agenda.

The big night arrived. I really did wonder what was going to happen.

It was pretty hot last night and this costume is definitely not light weight, but I'm happy to say that he kept the hat/hood on for quite awhile. 

We met at a friends house and  Gavin really understood the in's and out's of Halloween very quickly. He knew to get candy he needed to follow the kids, go up to complete strangers, and although he did not say trick or treat he would raise his pumpkin to them. I am happy to say that he would say thank you as he left each house.

He had a "death grip" on that pumpkin handle. I thought after awhile that it might be too heavy, but he walked/ran the whole route holding onto his stash.

...and seeing him running and laughing with his bucket made Halloween so much more fun! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

For This Child I Have Prayed...

Today we celebrated Gavin's Baptism.

Shell from the Gulf which was used to pour water on Gavin's head during the ceremony. 

Our minister was very kind and allowed my father to perform the baptism. My father has performed the baptism ceremony for all of his grandchildren.

Gavin was wonderful during the ceremony. It helps that he's "totally in love" with Auntie Ali.

We are very blessed, and this little guy is one of our greatest blessings.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seoul Sisters...

Last week a very sweet friend traveled to Seoul. She was gracious and offered to travel with items for my family in Korea.

My sister and niece said that they would be willing to pick up something from the front desk of the hotel where she was staying. 

However, after a phone conversation, she actually met 2 of my sisters!

I am so grateful and thankful that she had the time to meet with them! Her days were packed from sun up to sun down, so a big THANK YOU goes out to my friend Karen! You can follow her journey
 @33foramoment. I know she will be backtracking and documenting her trip once she gets back home.

My 2nd sister is on the left and my 3rd sister is on the right. We did not have the chance to meet my 2nd sister while we were in Korea, so it made me very happy that she was able to meet my friend.

When we were younger, my 2nd sister and I looked like twins...and we also look a lot like our aboji. 

But now I think I look more similar to my 1st and 3rd sister.

Not the best pics...but there is not doubt in my mind that we are related.
When I was younger, that is the one thing I wished for. I wished I had a picture of my birth mother and father, to see why I looked like the way I do. 

I have to admit when I first saw pictures of my family in Korea I did not think I looked like them at all. I guess I had it in my mind that we would look like clones of each other?!?! ...which is silly, since for any family sometimes there can be a very strong family resemblance and other times just traces. 
I think of my family in Korea every day...and I think that this meeting between Karen and my sisters validates that last April was not a dream...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Patch...

Last weekend we decided to go to a pumpkin,we thought we would try going to one that was only a few blocks away in the front lawn of a nearby church. It started out like this...

But once Gavin saw this playground that he could not get into it turned into... we left...and of course he fell asleep in the backseat as we drove away.

Well...I admit I was determined to get a pic of him with a pumpkin where he wasn't scowling. So later that afternoon...

At first the interesting gourds caught his eye...

And then I was able to steer him towards the smaller patch...

...and we found one that was "just right".

Saturday, October 6, 2012

September Recap

September-Where did you go?

We can't believe how quickly you came and went! I'm definitely not keeping up with the blog, so I'll just try to squish everything into one post.

Mid-September we traveled to Newport, RI for my brother's wedding. It was a memorable weekend. This was the first time that Gavin got to meet the rest of the family and his cousins. Gavin had a blast! The weather was absolutely perfect. The wedding was a blast!!! I will say that we probably pushed it taking Gavin on a big trip. He was clingier to me and he would not go to Matt like he does at home...but we would not trade that weekend for anything in the world. 

Gavin also turned 2 this month! We had a party, and this little boy knew exactly what to do when the candles were lit and people were singing for him. In fact, he was a candle blowing machine! 


And I guess this is where October has crept into a September post. 

October 1st marked Gavin's final post placement visit. I admit I felt a little weepy saying goodbye to our social worker. It's hard to believe that our process is almost finished.  

We were happy to report that:

Gavin is doing great at school. He loves playing with the other students and doing activities. 

He is beginning to like more vegetables.

If there is such a thing as a watermelon addiction, this boy has it. 

He will listen to us read stories to him. Before, it was just let's see how many pages we can get through and now we can actually read 2 or more books at a time.

He's beginning to repeat what we say.

...and we are not ready to go on the adoption roller coaster ride, right away. But you never know...

Gavin also had his 2 year old check up. As you can see he is an active little boy. These moments were captured as we waited for our pediatrician. 

Gavin is 35 1/2 tall 60% for height and 32 lbs 90% for weight

I am totally copying another friend when I say this- he is already over half way to my hopefully he will be taller than me!

...he got also got 2 shots...and he pretty much let the whole practice he did not like the shots, lol. 

So we are officially living with a 2 year old, and although people say 2 is tough, I can only think that 2 is going to be a great year!

one last of my online adoptive mommy friends is over in Korea right now. She graciously took some things to the adoption agency as well as for my birth family...originally she was just going to leave the items at the front desk of her hotel, but it turns out she is going to meet my niece tomorrow!!! Sometimes I feel like it's a dream that I actually have family over in Korea due to the distance and language barrier, but knowing that someone else is going to see someone from my family really warms my heart and soul.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!

Let the celebrating begin!
It actually started a week ago when we were in Rhode Island for my brother's wedding. Gavin was able to celebrate his birthday with my side of the family which was pretty special, since typically everyone will be in school during a typical year. My dad and Gavin are September birthdays. We had a combo party for the two of them. As you can see Gavin was hypnotized by the cake.

We are so happy that we got to celebrate Gavin's birthday with him. Anyone for a birthday chocolate chip muffin? Gavin knew exactly what to do when the candles were lit! 

He also received some special gifts from Korea. Last year during his dol, he happened to choose the stethoscope. As you can see he has already begun practicing medicine.

Yesterday and today, I couldn't help but think of Korea. 
These are special pictures from his first birthday. 

...and here are my wishes...

*that Gavin may know how loved he was from the moment he was born*

*that his birth mother has found peace in her heart*

*that his foster family know that they will always be part of our family, and we will be forever grateful for all that they have done for our son*

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

1st Family Vacation

This past weekend we traveled to Rhode Island for my brother's wedding. 
We LOVED it! There's so much to tell and I hope to blog about everything, but for is an Animoto Video to show what a beautiful, extra long, weekend we had.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

4 Months Home

We have been a family for four months! Some days it seems like Gavin has always been with us. Some days we can't believe we have been a family for 4 months. Time flies for me now, but I am reminded by Matt that time is constant, LOL! 

Gavin still loves the outdoors. Even in the horrible Texas heat if we go to a park or are outside, it can be a challenge to convince him that he would rather be in the nice cool air conditioning when it's time to go home.

Gavin  loves our pups. The most interesting relationship he has with the dogs, is the one with Ace. I suppose they act kind of like brothers. I love this video...I know some people thought we trained Ace to pull Gavin in the bed, but it was totally random that he happened to pull him when I told him to. What I didn't capture is Ace and Gavin fighting over who got the dog bed. They do that over the dog toys, too.

The first official week of school has come and gone. Gavin is in the 3K class at his daycare. He really loves his friends and his teachers. We are at the point when Matt drops him off there are no tears, and when I pick him up there are no more tears. The tears he gave me weren't the I want to stay tears. They were the how could you think of leaving me tears. They would have made me feel horrible and guilt ridden except for the fact when I would peek in the room he would be happily playing with his classmates.

Matt's favorite time of the year is season! As you see we have a Husker in training...

                                               but you never know he could be a Badger...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back To School

One of the best "back to school" activities in our school district is Convocation!

Convocation is when schools take turns gathering at one of the high schools get to hear our superintendent, see videos from events from the past year, and my favorite part is the high school
My school district is huge. We almost have 100,000 students...there's over 70 elementary schools, etc... What's unbelievable to me is that we are just one of at least 7 school districts in San Antonio...and our district can grow to be around 150,000 students. I wonder if that will happen when I'm still teaching. This is my 14th year and the district has grown in leaps and bounds since I started.

Can I say, I LOVE my team!!!! I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with. Wishing everyone a wonderful first day!!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bye Bye Summer

I can't believe how quickly this summer has flown by.

Last week I started to prep my classroom.

And...I had the cutest helper one day.

After we were at school we stopped to have lunch with Matt.

Time seems to fly now that we have Gavin home...and I have to say even though summer is coming to an end, there are so many things to look forward to!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

3 Months Home

 What can I say...we love our sweet son and can't imagine our world without him. 

Smart, silly, sweet, stubborn, snack lover, social...

He is beginning to really enjoy going to "school". His teacher says that he loves being around the other children and is not afraid to get a toy that he wants...that can be decoded in many different ways, LOL.

Potty training could be happening sometime soon. He's begun to notify us when the time has passed, but we're definitely heading in the right direction. 

He is making an attempt to repeat us more frequently and will typically have a hi or bye for people we meet. 

We are still working on sleep. Although he will nap at school, the only way for him to nap at home is starting off with a car or stroller ride. He still wakes up during the night, but that is getting better, too. 

One last week, before I start going to workshops for the new school year and Matt has been working more hours that ever before, but life is good!

Every day is so much sweeter with this little guy at home!
Sharing a snack with daddy.

Ready for the Olympics!

Best Friends!

Growing up quickly!

Excuse the mess, but just had to capture our favorite hat!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012