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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Fabulous Month of May

The month of May brought many special days for our family.  May 1st was our first special day! It officially marked having Jack longer than any of his foster families did in Korea! Jack's last foster family had him for 11 months, so we knew it would be an awesome milestone to celebrate once he had been with us that long. Bryan had just sprained his ankle playing basketball, so we didn't have a lot of options in celebrating. We decided since we don't eat out much, going out to Moes seemed special enough for us! :)

Celebrating Having Jack the Longest!
May was very nostalgic for me. May 16th came, which was the anniversary of our travel call last year!  I don't know if it was the weather or what, but throughout the whole month, I would suddenly get those butterflies in my stomach that I had this time last year as we were preparing for our trip to Korea. When I would have these feelings, I would just smile. I would smile because I was relieved that all that planning, packing, traveling was over and in the past. But mostly I would also smile because I would be reminded of the fondness of being in Korea, experiencing the culture and meeting my son for the first time!
Mother's Day was very special for me this year. I had been dreaming about being a mom for six years. Seven Mother's Days went by with the stabbing pain of not being one, but FINALLY, this year I got to celebrate it!  In fact, Jack, unknowingly, made Mother's Day extra special to me. I'm sure everyone has seen the tear jerking Publix commercial for Mother's Day...

It was this commercial and many others that Publix made that used to make this day so hard for me for many years. Way to go Publix! ;)  This year when the commercial aired, I had Jack by my side. Jack watched intently as he always does when commercials were on. Then at the end, when the girl jumps down to the mama's belly and whispers "You are really going to love mom," Jack came over to me and put his head on my tummy and gave me a quick hug and then just walked away. This simple act of love made me burst into tears. Bryan was there and smiled at what he observed. Jack may not have understood everything in that commercial, but he knew I was his Mama and that's what meant so much to me! He then continued to do this every time the commercial would air, and every time, that was okay with me! :)
On the actual Mother's Day, our church was having a dedication day as well. They showed a few pics of Jack on the screen in front of the church, and then we read a bible verse that is important to our family. Our family verse was Ephesians 1:4-5...

"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will."

We chose our verse not because it mentions the word "adoption", but rather that it explains the heart of the gospel; that God adopted His children. I have read that the deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans.  We ultimately wish for Jack to understand this, and also want our family to be a reflection of that message of love! 

Both sets of Jack's grandparents came to celebrate this special day with us. Along with his Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Brock and his cousins, Jordan, Getty, Finn, and Amelia.  After church, we picked up some KFC and headed to the park. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were so excited to have them visit us for the day!

Dedicating Jack at our church.
Happy Dedication Day! May 13, 2012
First Mother's Day!
Cousins make every celebration more fun!

The Whole Gang
Mother's Day Kisses. :)

We also planned our vacation to be this May. It was the first vacation we had been on in three years and I CANNOT begin to tell you how excited I was about it! And what better way to celebrate our one year together as a family! The plan was to go to St. Simons Island, GA. My parents go there every year for a conference, so we decided to join them and extend the stay a little bit. Jack had been to the ocean at the end of the summer last year and loved it. I thought he would be such a dare devil in the pool and jump right in when he saw it. I guess over the the past few months, Jack had become a little more reserved when it came to swimming.  He was a little nervous at first, but we eventually got him to trust us and soon he loved it. He didn't swim much on his own, but he did like to jump into Dada's arms. He would say, "ready...set...GO!" and jump in! As soon as he hit the water, he would say, "Gout! Gout!" (which meant, "get out!") so he could jump in again.
At the beach, Jack enjoyed putting sand in the bucket and taking sand out of the bucket. Seriously, that's all he did the first day we went. ;) The second day, we made a little pool for him there so he spent most of his time in it. We ate out a lot and went to the parks, walked the shops, but mostly just enjoyed time together and making memories as a family. It was perfect!

Had to stop and say hi to Mater on the way!

He held on to that ball so tight. :)

Going out with Pop and our matching shirts!

Ah! And there's a smile! :)

Saying cheese while eating cheese. ;)

Fun with Dada!

He loved the sand!

He never knew all that sand was up there. :)

Looking cool!


Yummy seafood!

Loved having his Gigi and Pop there!

Once we got home from vacation, it was May 25th! Jack's Gotcha Day! One year previous, we held sweet Jack in our arms for the first time. It is a day I will never forget! To celebrate Jack's Gotcha Day, we decided to make Jack a special breakfast, “GOTCHA” chocolate chip pancakes and then spend the day together. Charleston has a Spoleto festival celebrating the arts every May, but usually we are out of town. This year, we got to go for Jack's Gotcha Day! It was pretty fun to hear all the music and see all the artwork everywhere. We even got lunch at a Korean restaurant called Mama Kims.

Gotcha Day Pancakes!

Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC

Ummm, who's that white guy mom?
Lunch at Mama Kims!

Yummy Korean Food!

While we were there eating, I got that nostalgic feeling come over me again. I looked at my son and my hubby and was so proud of how far we have come this last year and all the years leading up. It has been quite the journey of us becoming parents. We've been through trials and hardships that I never thought we could endure. It was so tough to walk through our journey in the moment; we were battered and bruised, but the Lord lifted us up and pushed us through. Even once we finally got Jack, we still battled attachment and healing issues before we could ultimately see the perfect package God laid before us...A forever family that has been strengthened through trial and mended by love! People would always say to me (and I struggled to believe), “It will be worth it...the wait...the heartache and countless tears...the financial worries and spiritual battles...” And now, I can testify, it was!!! There is not a moment I have gone through that I wouldn't do again and again for our son, Jack! He has brought us so much joy that my heart overflows! Now that we have him, I can hardly remember what life was like without our Jack. He is the perfect fit for our family. And God knew that all along. How could I have ever doubted! I can look back now and see God's mighty hand at work, and I have grown more confident in His plans for us. God may have many more battles in store for our family, in fact, I can probably guarantee it, but I now try to look at them differently. Even in a death situation, God can draw us close to Him and bring us peace that surpasses understanding. His plans may not always be easy, but I know, they are ALWAYS good! We are so blessed and I only hope that God will continue to grow us and others close to Him in our journey of life!

1 comment:

  1. It's great to see you back on the blog - your heartfelt writing is always inspirational to me. What beautiful pics - Jack looks very happy : )!