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.