Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from our family to Yours...
This is going to be a good one for our family. I remember last year thinking, this is our last Christmas as a family of 3! Our baby boy should be home next year. It felt like it took forever at the time, and yet it now feels like he has always been with us. The wait is hard, but it melts away the moment that baby is in your arms. I've made some friends in the adoption community. Some are celebrating their first Christmas with their little ones... some are waiting for a little one to come home... some are waiting to be matched with the child they now dream of.... If they are home, hold them close and enjoy every moment. If you are waiting enjoy your (hopefully) last Christmas without them. Then hit the sales for some serious Baby's First Christmas items!!!

To our Family and Friends reading... thanks for keeping up with us. I love that even those who are far away, can celebrate our family through the magic of the internet. :)
We hope to see you all in the New Year.
Wishing you all love, happiness, and health on this very special Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

HE IS ....






Friday, December 18, 2009


The countdown for Christmas is on! We took the kids into town for carriage rides and hot chocolate last night. It was bitterly cold, but we were all bundled up and enjoyed the luminary bags and Christmas lights. Kalvis especially enjoyed the light at the end of Livija's nose.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Last night I was playing with Livija and Kalvis in Kalvis' room. He suddenly came crawling full speed ahead to my lap. He pulled himself up, grabbed my face with both hands and planted a big, wet, sloppy, open mouth kiss right on my cheek. I of course cried. He laughed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Typically Kalvis shows that he wants me by crying when I walk in the room and putting his arms up in that baby "Uppy" motion. Lately when I walk in the room, a huge smile spreads across his face and he crawls towards me laughing. THIS is an amazing feeling.
The other night while Papa watched football, I sat in my bed editing photos on the laptop, when Kalvis woke up. I decided to bring him to bed with me for a cuddle. It started the way it typically does... Kalvis was restless. He tossed and turned, pulling blankets and pillows. He finally settled in. Suddenly he sat straight up, looked at me, and smiled so big his pacifier fell out. He giggled as he climbed up on top of me. He collapsed horizontally across my chest and rested his head on my shoulder, falling fast asleep. I remember these moments with Livija and NO feeling in the world compares. It is complete bliss.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009


My blogging has suffered as the family has been suffering from colds. Kalvis recovered from the fevers the day after Thanksgiving. By that evening he had developed a horrific cough and a nose that runs like a fountain. When babies get colds like this, it is horrible. They can't blow their nose, or understand why they can't breathe with their beloved pacifier in their mouths. So we get up and rock them, while pulling out humidifiers at 1am. Then there is the coughing until he vomits on me in the middle of the night.... you'll forgive my slacking on the blog....
I am told that when these precious little babies get sick, there may be a little regression in the attachment process. We had a rough day where I began to question his attachment to us. Just one day where I thought perhaps I had imagined that wonderful week that I had just blogged about. I fell asleep that night worrying that this rough day, was a sign of things to come. A few hours later he woke up coughing and crying. I went to him and like an answered prayer, he snuggled against my chest and played with my hair, as he fell back into a comfortable sleep. Prior to this night his night wakings were lots of shifting in my arms, struggling to break free, until brought back to sleep with a few ounces from his bottle. This night I comforted him to sleep. Just me. No bottle.
Since that night, he cuddles.
He is recovering from his cold and back to his playful, smiling self. What a relief. It was a good reminder though that the attachment process is a PROCESS. It's good to be aware, question, research, and work for that bond of parent and child.
An excellent source I found in researching attachment and bonding is Thought I'd throw that in, since there are other families formed from adoption reading.

What's a post without a picture? Here he is 10 months old!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


It's been awhile. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had drafted many Thanksgiving posts in my mind. We have so much to give thanks for this year. Unfortunately health was not one of them. My little boy got a virus a few days before Thanksgiving. By the time the holiday rolled around, his fever had hit 103.5. So no holiday travel and family dinners for our boy. I would've been content staying at home with the family, but our little Livija had made a marshmallow pie, and was so excited to see her cousins. So Papa and Kalvis stayed home, while Livija and I ventured out for Thanksgiving dinner.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Poor me. Poor Kalvis. He's home on Thanksgiving. So soon we take things for granted. The fact of the matter is, HE IS HOME ON THANKSGIVING. There is still endless thanks to give.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, full of many things to be thankful for this year. Let the Christmas excitement begin!

Monday, November 23, 2009


We turned a corner this week! After weeks of nap time struggle. We did it. The first few weeks I tried, lying down with him, putting him down in the crib and rubbing his back, rocking him, putting him in the crib and leaving. I wasn't about to try crying it out with him. I think that would contradict the process of building trust with Kalvis. It's been very frustrating, I won't lie. But last week he did it. I didn't do anything fancy. I just put him down in his crib, turned off the light, and walked out. He quietly went to sleep. Now he naps twice a day like this. I didn't post earlier because I didn't want to jinx it.
I think this is a huge step. He's starting to trust that no matter what, we are here to take care of him. I see this as I am able to put him down more often as well. He no longer cries in search of me if I leave the room for a minute. He plays much more, and laughs a lot. No more deer in headlights type of looks from him. No more waking in hysterics. It's a BIG step. This adds to my long list of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to the holidays more than I have in a LONG time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This beautiful little boy says Mama. Imants thinks it's for me. I thought it was mindless babble. He says it and smiles. I say it back to him and he smiles bigger and brighter. I laugh and say, "He doesn't mean Mama. He doesn't mean me", but inside I'm loving it. I'm starting to believe he means me.
So I ask around to some adoptive parents, "When did your child say mama?" I waited for the answer, all proud of my boy and myself. Then I find out that Ma or Mama is Korean baby talk for food. Suddenly I flash to all those sweet little times he said mama.... from his highchair. Oh well.... he'll say it and mean it one day. For now, the boy loves his food.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I hope you all had a beautiful Sunday like ours. The weather was perfect! We spent the entire day at the Bronx Zoo. Livija LOVED all the "aminals" and Kalvis loved to nap in his stroller. Two weeks home and all we had gotten is two 10 minute naps a day. This weekend, the boy mastered the art of the nap (**quickly knocking on wood**)! By Sunday night he was sleeping through the night. A well rested boy = a VERY happy boy.
More zoo pics on Livija's blog!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Everyone wants to know. I have to say AMAZINGLY well. I thought she'd show a little jealousy while we were in Korea talking to her on Skype. She missed us and here we are, a world away holding her little brother....but she wasn't. I thought the fact that I have to carry him most of the day, would be frustrating and cause some jealousy.... but it hasn't. Kalvis cries and she yells, "MOM, you better pick him up!". She thinks it's funny that he cries when I leave the room, and warns me not to go.
Livija loves anything and everything that is "big girl". The term "Big Sister" infers that she is a big girl, therefore she loves it. She stands at the kitchen sink where I give Kalvis his baths and is armed with a wash cloth, and has most recently appeared with a spray bottle of warm water and soap. haha. Luckily he doesn't mind a cup of water dumped over his head. She puts lotion on his skin, begs to feed him, and loves that he is now a part of our "family hugs". It's not to say that the novelty won't wear off, but for now her biggest concern is, "Doesn't his Korean family miss him?". I realize this may turn to "When is he going back to his Korean family?", but for now she is the proudest, happiest big sister I know.
In the meantime, we try and plan some special one on one time with each of our children. I think this is important to do throughout their childhood. Afterall they are different kids, they'll have different interests. Livija will get a date with her papa to the latest Disney movie, The Princess and The Frog, while Kalvis gets special mommy time while Livija is at school. Papa gets his special Saturdays with his boy while Livija is at Latvian school. Both kids are asleep by 8pm, so mama and papa even get some time to sit back and hang out as adults without kids. It's going well, and has become surprisingly normal in such a short period of time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In my previous post I stated that we prepared for the worst case scenario, in terms of grieving. I should've also said, that we absolutely don't have the worst case scenario. Yes he is quiet, and his eyes don't always have the same sparkle they did in Korea, but he knows we are his mama and papa. He wakes up smiling. Mornings are his happiest time. Midnight wakings are his unhappiest. We see moments of joy, and moments of sadness. So as not to leave you all on such a depressing note, I thought I'd share a happy moment between me and my boy.

Monday, November 9, 2009


There are parts of the adoption journey that people may not blog about or take pictures of... the grieving. The topic was discussed at our adoption classes, I've also read about it, and feel that we were prepared for the worst. While this adoption has been amazing and miraculous, it is not without loss, and with loss comes sadness. I am essentially Kalvis' 4th mother. He has had a birth mother, a foster mother up until 3 months of age, a second foster mother up until 9 months, and now me. It is not surprising that he wants me to hold him the majority of his waking hours. It is not surprising to me that he cries when I leave the room. While exhausting, I don't mind it at all. I am thrilled that he looks to me as his mother. I am sad, that I see his fears that I may not return once I leave the room. I've heard the stories of other adoptive families, but until you witness the sadness in your child's eyes, you don't truly comprehend it. His trust is lost. So we build his trust back in us. Each day, each moment spent with our son we try to prove to him that we are here, and we will continue to be here for him for the rest of our lives.
Each day has in fact gotten better. In the beginning, he would wake in tears, searching for his foster mother. He would come to us for the comfort he needed, but than refuse it, and cry inconsolably. Slowly he'd accept us, and come to us, allowing us to hold him and calm him. He cries giant tears that stream down his face. They are the biggest tears I've ever seen on a baby. They break my heart.
He does laugh and smile. Maybe not as much as he did, or soon will again, but he does and when those dimples appear they warm my heart. Today he laughed and smiled significantly more. Imants and I both commented about our time with him, and how his happy laughter lasted longer than it has since we returned home. He is blossoming. I know it will be on his terms and in his own perfect time. I am not scared that it won't happen. I saw it in Korea. I see it in the photographs from his foster mother. He's quietly observing, learning and rebuilding his trust. We can't rush him. We can only love unconditionally and with great patience.
I know why the adoption process is long and hard, filled with so many emotions and so much struggle. It was preparing us for this time with our son. We've learned that GREAT things come with great patience and struggle. We've learned that everything we've been through is worth it times 10. We've learned that these while these days can be tough, they will soon be a distant memory. The struggle is a drop in the bucket compared the the wonderful things that lie ahead for our family. The dishes might not get done, and maybe I won't take a shower (again) today, but I'll sit and hold my boy and remind him every chance I get, that we are here to stay, because we are his forever family.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I have a lot to type about and very little time on my hands. Our little boy isn't a fan of being put down. Although he has made great improvements in the past week. I hope to sit down tonight for an update. For now, here is a picture for my sister in law, who says she checks multiple times a day, and is disappointed when there is not a new picture for her. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



Tuesday, November 3, 2009


We've been home for almost a whole week. Sorry I've slacked in my blogging. Jet lag and adjusting to being a family of four is a lot of work and requires sleeping in the spare time that was once spent blogging. Finally I'm feeling a little human again. I think Kalvis adjusted to the time quicker than I did. Such a blessing.
So where did I leave off? The flight was a... nightmare from hell? Yeah, that about covers it. LOL. Kalvis slept through take off, so I thought we were off to a good start... I'd say he slept a grand total of 6 hours, his papa got him to play and smile for periods that added up to about an hour.... that leaves us with approximately 7 hours of crying, and squirming and walking up and down, up and down the aisles. Kalvis just wanted me. The stewardesses offered to help. Older ladies offered advice and tried to soothe my boy, but he just wanted me. That got me through. He recognized me as someone who could comfort him. Through his tears he wanted me, and this got me through. His tears were not the only ones, I must admit. Exhaustion and sadness of my son's sadness brought on a lot of my own tears. Landing in JFK was such a relief.

Imants and I were SO excited to see Livija and have the four of us together for the first time. It was a joy that words can't begin to express. We were greeted by my little Livija, my parents, Imants' mom, my sister and her two girls, and my best friend. They held their welcome home signs with tears of happiness, and greeted us with big hugs. It was like crossing a finish line to the race of a lifetime.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


More to come on our homecoming.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This is it. Our bags are packed and lined up by the door. We spent our last day doing some last minute shopping, visiting a buddhist temple, and walking to the Seoul Tower. Yes... WALKING. With a 20 lb baby strapped to me. The Seoul Tower is up a VERY steep VERY long hill, overlooking the city of Seoul. It wasn't easy, but it was a nice way for our son to say goodbye to his first home. We ended our night with a walk at the rooftop garden by our hotel. The cool evening air calms Kalvis before sleep. Bedtime is still his hardest time, but has gotten SO much better. He used to cry unconsolably. Now he cries, but I am able to soothe him. Previous nights he seemed to be searching for his foster mother. So baby steps towards a healthy loving bond with his mama.
Leaving Korea is bittersweet. I can NOT wait to see Livija and have the four of us together. FINALLY. And yet, I am sad that Kalvis has to say goodbye to such a wonderful country. Many native Korean people stopped us in the street to bless our baby and wish him well in his new home of America. One man even came up with very limited english and pointed to Kalvis' eyes and then mine stating, "it no matter". It doesn't. I have no idea why, but our son was meant to be born halfway around the world to another mother. This somehow seems perfect to me. I wouldn't change a thing. My little Tae-seong is a blessing and while I may not have thought so at the time, each step that led us to him was also a blessing. I am a very happy mommy tonight. i will be a VERY VERY happy mommy tomorrow with Kalvis, Livija and Imants.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tomorrow is our last full day in Seoul. We're leaving early Wednesday morning. Looks like we're gaining back that Wednesday we lost last week. Imants is VERY excited to have a birthday that lasts 37 hours. Unfortunately it will be stuck on a plane. We are continuing to have an amazing time in Seoul. Today we shopped in Insadong... AMAZING SHOPPING. Even Imants enjoyed it! Then we headed back to the hotel for a picnic dinner of sushi and wine on the floor of our room while Kalvis slept in our bed.

Tomorrow we are planning on some serious photoshoots of Kalvis in his home land. Can't wait!

Sending Love to Livija. I miss her so much it hurts. xoxo... we'll be home soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Gothcha Day is known in the Adoption world as the day your child is placed in your arms forever. Our Gotcha Day was October 23rd 2009 (3pm). It was amazing. Reminds me of the day we brought Livija home from the NICU. Such a feeling of accomplishment after traveling down such a long road.
He was changed into a brand new outfit from the agency. White pants and a little white hoodie. We excused ourselves from the room as he shared a private goodbye with his foster mother. We could hear her cries from the hall. The social worker then reached for Kalvis and placed him in my arms and we were quickly whisked away. While we waited for our cab, his foster mother followed and whispered her last goodbyes through the window. Kalvis did not cry. He sat in his papa's lap looking out the cab window at the city. Then he fell asleep.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Kalvis woke up from his nap with a BIG yawn.


During our SKYPE chat with the family, my camera took a tumble off the table. My camera = my prized posession. The lens snapped off and my heart dropped. On our first day here, we walked by a sign that said "NIKON". I mentioned something about it, wondering aloud if we could purchase cheaper equipment here. So off we went to the Nikon store. Turns out it wasn't a Nikon store but a Nikon repair shop! I don't think they normally take customers off the street. Ten minutes and $30 later I had a perfect camera, fixed, cleaned and a bonus 1G memory card. Imants finds it quite humorous how things always seem to work out like this for me.
So today we are off for more siteseeing and more picture taking. We got out and about in the general area of our hotel, testing it out, seeing how Kalvis would do. He does well. Here is a picture after a short trip around Seoul.... such a sweet boy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our first meeting with Kalvis was wonderful. As we prepared to head to the agency, I became VERY nervous. Butterflies, heart pounding in my ears, shaking hands. Imants found it very humorous, although I'm pretty sure he had some butterflies himself. Once we arrived, I felt calm. We sat in a room at the agency and soon Kalvis arrived with his foster mother. She pushed him in, in a stroller. We had not seen him since his 4 month picture, so we were very anxious as they entered the room. He was (is) absolutely beautiful. We did not have any pictures of him smiling, and I had no idea he had such sweet little dimples. AHHH, melt my heart. I did not cry (my goal for the day), he allowed both Imants and I to take turns holding him. He seemed very curious. We spoke with his foster mother through a translator. Tae-seong was her first foster child. We were warned that this was going to be very difficult. His foster mother clearly loves him very much.
She gave us photos, both professional and personal photos of her life with Tae-seong. She also gave us the traditional Korean hanbok for Kalvis to wear for his first birthday. She told us how he loves persimmons from her persimmon tree (and gave us some to try). She told us that he rolls around restlessly before going to sleep. He loves to be outside. He loves dogs (good news for Luna). She shared many small important details of our son's personality. It was a lovely visit.
We met with the Doctor. He gave us the thumbs up to take him with us the following day. Then came the tears and many promises to send updates and pictures. We will be forever thankful to our son's foster mother. She taught him how to love and to be loved. She did this without any regard for how hard the goodbyes would be on her. She truly gave him the greatest gift. We left that day with very full, very happy, yet very heavy hearts.

There is so much to say, but there is a spot next to my boys that is calling my name. New mommy's need their rest. I'll post all about our wonderful day after some much needed sleep.


We had our own private tourguide for the morning. In-Ju was wonderful. Not only did she show us around, but we had the rare opportunity of getting pictures of Imants and I together.