Our FOUR Little Ducks (formerly Our Three Little Ducks :)~

I'm a mom to FOUR amazing kids, one of which was adopted from South Korea. Our family is wild and crazy, and REALLY LOUD but lots of fun. Oh, and my new favorite quote is: "HAVING KIDS IS LIKE BEING PECKED TO DEATH BY A DUCK." So so so true.

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Location: United States

I am currently a SAHM, but prior to leaving my job I was a labor and delivery nurse. I really miss work, but I enjoy being home with my kids (most of the time anyway!).

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A "first-mother" or the "only" mother?

I worked today... it was one of the hardest days in my career so far.

There was a mother (who was not my patient) that delivered her baby and had every intention of "placing" her baby for adoption. I use the word "place" because, simply, there are no good words. "Place", "give up", "relinquish"... does it really make a difference? They are all equally tragic, and honestly I don't think any of the words make a difference. Adoption for all first-mothers is a horrible situation. Anyway, because of the typical reasons, i.e. finances and social pressure, she thought she had decided to go ahead with the adoption.

Once that baby was born, however, things quickly started to change. Originally the mother had no desire to see the baby or even hold it. This was eating me up inside and I honestly couldn't stand the thought of her not seeing her baby. I KNEW that she would regret that decision. As they say, you can't say "goodbye" until you've said "hello". Well, after most of the day, the mother and the father finally decided to just look at the baby but not hold it. Naturally (and when I say NATURALLY I mean it in this case as there is a physiological link between mother and child) after she laid eyes on her brand new child, she wanted to hold it. Thankfully she had a very good nurse who brought the baby to her room, and the three of them (mom dad and baby) had alone time together.

I sat at the nurses station all day today fretting about that mother and her baby. I really wanted to go into her room and talk with her and shake her by her shoulders and tell her "YOU CAN KEEP THIS BABY! THERE ARE WAYS!!" But as a nurse, it wasn't my place... in fact, it could have damaged my career. Regardless of my opinion on what she should do (and my desire to inform her of my opinion), I made it my mission to educate my co-workers and all I have learned from the many first-mothers I have encountered, with #1 being: Many first-mothers would have kept their babies IF they had been informed of the services, resources, and support that is available, AND if they had been given a little encouragement.

As I was reading about adoption in my state, I came across a pamphlet put out by the Department of Social Services. It stated in it (paraphrasing) that the "birth-mother MUST be informed of" available resources, and alternatives to adoption. And that "anyone" can provide this information. I later encountered another nurse who had a very different opinion and felt that "the birth-mother obviously didn't care about the baby because she didn't have pre-natal care", and that if she did care about her baby she would have done everything she could have for that baby. Let me tell you, I would have spit nails if I could have. She went on to say that she has never met a birth-mother who regretted her decision, and cited some study (anyone know what this is?) where first-mothers were followed after placing their babies for adoption and they were doing fine with no regrets. I find that hard to believe, but I have no idea what she was talking about. I informed her that I know of MANY first-mothers who just WISHED that one person would have been in their corner to help them out... and as a nurse it's up to us to educate our patients and help them make informed choices.

Fast forward a couple of hours... I've now met the adoptive parents (very nice, but also very scared as can be expected) and I've seen the sweet baby. The first-mom is beginning to waiver in her "decision" and is now expressing her feelings to her nurse... social pressure, money, hurting the adoptive parents feelings, etc. I hurt for her, and was so sad to think of that baby sitting in the nursery all day by itself. It breaks my heart.

As I left today, I was torn. Should I pop into the patients room and talk with her? Should I just stay out of it? Should I talk to the social worker? I ultimately decided that it wasn't my place. I had advocated for her and her baby and tried to make sure that my co-workers saw both sides of adoption, not just the "win-win" situation that I have learned adoption ISN'T. I clocked out and walked out the front door of the hospital.

And guess who walked right by me? The first-mom and dad. I felt a rush out nervousness. All day I wanted to pass her in the hall and talk with her but I never had the opportunity. It was my chance. But I kept walking in the opposite direction, away from her (after all she had no clue who I was). It came down to my career or that family. I weighed the choices for about 20 steps, and then I turned around and went after them. I decided I would put my career on the line and just ask her one question: "What do YOU want to do? If there were no adoptive parents, if you take away the social pressures, and if resources were available, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO???". I never got to ask them though because I wasn't able to find them. I feel like a failure. I KNOW that they would have chosen to parent if someone jsut asked them to block out all the crap and focus on their own selves. I wanted to tell them that if they decided to parent the baby, the "social pressures" would fade after a couple of months and the potential adoptive parents would be sad but they would move on. If they decided to place the baby, they may regret it for the rest of their lives, and they would ALWAYS feel that pain, as would their child. OH I WISH I COULD HAVE TALKED TO THEM. I am so disappointed in myself. When I look at Arie I am so saddened because I know that he will always be hurt. There is a part of him that I will never be able to heal. I wish I could take that pain away from him, but I can't. I COULD have tried harder to prevent this baby from feeling that pain.

I got in my car and cried for that family. I prayed for them. I prayed that the mother would listen to her heart and do what is right for HER and her family, without worrying about other peoples feelings and opinions. I can only hope that I said something today that will go from the minds of our nurses out of their mouths and into the mind of that mother.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just had to share.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Here is our Christmas Card! Micah was thrilled as you can plainly see :)~

I'm taking a break until the New Year! Hope you all have a great Holiday Season, Merry Christmas, and a WONDERFUL New Year!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Amazing Blog

Choi, Myoung-Ja
Kim, Young-Mi

Here is an AMAZING blog by a grown Korean adoptee who was lucky enough to meet her first mother and the rest of her Korean family. You can read the entire story of Kim, Young-Mi and her thought provoking experiences surrounding her adoption, search and reunion. You can also read the story of her first-mother Choi, Myoung-Ja, who was beaten and abused by Young-Mi's first-father, and ultimately, out of desperation, had to place her baby girl for adoption. It's an amazing and emotion filled recount of the lives of these two people, and how they each dealt with the tragedy of their separation. I hope you take the time to read it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


In our house, Elaine doesn't have to eat dinner. It's her choice. We always feed the kids whatever we're having, so if we're having pork roast, then so are they. We're not short order cooks... I don't take requests. You get my point. Anyway, last night she didn't eat her dinner. So therefore she gets no desert. It's a fair rule, and she's the decision maker. She almost always eats though.
Because she didn't eat her dinner last night she didn't get to pick candy out of her Halloween candy bad (yes, I know, Halloween was months ago). We do, however, have an advent calendar with pieces of chocolate for each day in December, so we were going to give her that. Before we caved in though, we thought we would torment her a little bit. Here is the conversation...........

Elaine: can I have the chocolate even though I didn't eat dinner?
Ben: No. Mommy and Daddy are splitting the chocolate tonight.
Me: Yeah, we NEVER get the chocolate. You and Micah get it every night.
Elaine: PLLEEEEEEAAAASEEEE can I have it??
Ben: If you give me a million dollars.
Elaine: I don't have a million dollars.
Me: You can have it Elaine... because Daddy is going to Dairy Queen to get us ice cream!
Ben: Yeah, and then we're going to have a party after you go to bed... so be really quiet!
Me: And we're going to have, like, 10 piñatas! And LOTS of cake!... OH! And a PONY!
Elaine: You're just kidding, right?
Ben: Yes, mommy's kidding about the pony. It's actually a UNICORN!
Me: What time is the clown coming Ben?
Ben: Right after Elaine falls asleep.
Me: Santa's coming too. But the tooth-fairy never RSVP'd.
Elaine (staring in disbelief with her jaw on the floor): Are you really having a party???
Me and Ben (laughing hysterically): Yes, now go upstairs for a bath.

It is OH SO FUN to get her back once in a while. We did tell her the truth after her whining got so obnoxious it was piercing our eardrums. She is so going to need therapy when she's older! ;)~

Friday, December 15, 2006

Article in The Korean Times

HERE is an article in The Korean Times entitled :"Number of Older Single Mothers Rises". The article speaks about teenage single mothers, and older single mothers in Korea. It also talks about adoption and abortion. It's very interesting to read. I was thirilled to see the following...

Han Sang-soon, director of a single mother¡¯s facility Aeranwon, also showed at the seminar that the ratio of unmarried mothers who chose to raise the babies instead of adoption has increased from 2.7 percent in 1984 to 3.5 percent in 1996 and 31.7 percent last year.

Hopefully that trend will continue upward.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Feeding Clinic

Yesterday was Arie's first appointment at the feeding clinic at Children's Hospital. We were scheduled for 2:30. Because we live an hour and a half away from the hospital, I had to leave my house at 1:00. Everything was going smoothly when I looked up at the sign over the highway and read "ACCIDENT 16 MILES AHEAD, ALL LANES CLOSED". Crap. I called my sister frantic (she works at Children's in the therapy center) and she called ahead to the clinic. They told her that if I was more than 10 minutes late they wouldn't be able to take us! So we got onto a side road and FLEW there. And I mean flew. I was going 90mph down route 1, and praying the whole time that we would get there in one piece, that I wouldn't get a ticket, and that if I was late they will still take us. Let me remind you that it took me a few weeks to get this appointment, and as it was they squeezed us in only because my sister works there. Anyway, at 2:38 we signed in. WHEW!So after getting a history and weighing/measuring Arie, we starter the fun stuff. The first order of business was to try to feed Arie some rice cereal. So we put him in the chair and began the fun. The poor baby was gagging so much that drool was pouring out of his mouth. I tried for about 5 minutes before the therapist took over. She tried a couple bites, but it got so bad that he would start gagging from just looking at the spoon. The boy has an insane gag reflex. Just touching the spoon to the tip of his tongue set him off. After trying unsuccessfully for a couple of minutes, she switched over to a special flat spoon and managed to basically wipe some cereal on the inside of his cheek. He didn't gag... as much. But he did continue to cry and flail about. She was pretty impressed with the show... as was I. It is unbelievable to watch him. You would think that we were poking him with needles. By the way, he never did really eat anything. At least we figured out how to actually get the food in his mouth... even if he does just spit it back out.Aside from his spoon/texture aversion, they think he may also have silent reflux (no overt signs of reflux). He has this thing where he will drink about half a bottle and then freak out a little, and continue to freak out on and off until it's gone. Anyway, they want to do a barium swallow study and an upper G.I. test on him. That will be sometime in the next month. I'm already worried about that because he is supposed to drink this special liquid and I KNOW he won't drink it. Aside from that, I think they may have to strap him down to hold him still and that really bothers me. I might send Ben for that because I don't know if I can handle watching him scream the whole time. It's so hard watching him during these exams and tests. I can't even imagine being Baby James' mom... I'm sure she wishes she could just take every ounce of pain away. It's miserable to watch your child be so uncomfortable, scared, and upset and not be able to do anything about it.So that was our day. We had dinner at my sister’s house afterwards which was great. After I gave Arie his bottle last night he fell asleep in my arms. I rocked him for a while thinking about how fortunate we are that he is so healthy. His problems, although they seem big at times, pale in comparison to the problems so many other children are going through. Regardless, I held him and snuggles him close. He is so sweet and beautiful, and I am so thankful that I am his mommy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Holiday" vs. "Christmas"

During the holiday season I really start to notice how far out of their way people go to be "p.c." (politically correct). I think it's great that our mall has a Kwanzaa display, a Hanukkah display, and a Christmas display. I also enjoy hearing Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song on the radio in addition to the gazillion Christmas songs they play. I think that we should treat these non-Christian holidays with the importance and respect that they deserve. After all, America is founded on freedom of religion.

HOWEVER, sometimes I think that people push the envelope a little too far. For example, my sisters children go to a Baptist pre-school. Well, for some reason this BAPTIST school has decided to do a "holiday" party instead of a "Christmas" party because some of the children attending aren't Christian. Maybe it's just me, but if I chose to send my child to a Baptist school, I would expect that they would, at the very least, celebrate Christmas... while using the term Christmas instead of the catch-all term of "Holiday". If I sent Elaine to a Buddhist pre-school, I would expect them to teach Buddhism. (I don't think there is such a thing as a Buddist pre-school, but you get my point.) I wouldn't expect the whole school to change because of my child. After all, I have a choice of where I send her to learn. Obviously things are different in public school and I understand that, but I'm talking about a private pre-school run in a church. I just don't get it.

I recently encountered another similar situation. On one of the larger forums I talk on they are doing a "Christmas card" exchange. There are a LOT of people participating, but you don't have to participate... again it's a choice. After talking about it for a couple of days, a non-Christian mother replied,
"How come they are Christmas cards, not holiday cards? I send out cards every
year and would love to participate in this, but as someone who isn't Christian
it would be very strange and uncomfortable for me to receive cards of a
Christian nature - i.e., specifically geared to Christmas."
Nobody replied to her on the forum, but I did send her a private message. I told her that I would LOVE to recieve a Hanukkah card (or a card of any faith) because It would help me teach my children about diversity and about all the different holidays around the world that people celebrate. I also told her that as a Christian family, we will be having Christmas cards made (as opposed to "holiday" cards) and that to ask me to make "holiday" cards instead is a little un-fair. I was as gentle in my words as possible because I didn't want to offend her or have her think that my argument against her had ANYTHING to do with her religion. Let's say that I was Hindu and I saw the "Christmas card exchange" topic on the forum. If it would be "strange and uncomfortable" for me to recieve Christmas cards at my home, I simply wouldn't participate. But, since it wouldn't bother me (because I enjoy celebrating the differences of the people in our nation), I would sign on and welcome any card I recieved with a smile. Am I making my point or just diging my own grave? Anyway, we discussed it nicely and moved on... but after hearing about my nephews pre-school I've started noticing a trend in all of this.

Any discussion on this would be welcome. Let me make it clear however that I am NOT trying to start a religious debate. I believe that my religion is EQUAL to all others and that everyone has the right to believe what they want. I enjoy learning about other religious beliefs and practices. This discussion shouldn't be about religion in itself, but about where conformity should end.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Misc. (and more pictures)

Ok... umm....... I have so much to do today that I don't even know where to begin. So, naturally, I'll waste some time playing on the computer. Pathetic I know.

I got strep throat on Friday and have been on antibiotics since then. Just today I'm feeling more normal. Saturday was A.S.I.A.'s 25th Anniversary party. I took the max. amount of Motrin and Tylenol and forced myself to go. It was a lot of fun. They had Korean dancers, Indian dancers, crafts (which was fabulous because it kept Elaine busy the WHOLE time!), shopping, and best of all they had an all you can eat buffet! I met lots of people including Margie (a.k.a.
Third Mom), and a couple of other mothers from the forums I talk on. I was able to talk with a couple of adult Korean adoptees too. It was great to meet so many new people. I really had a great time... strep and all.

I have some random things to talk about...

First, let me tell you about my favorite person in the world. He is an employee at 7-11, and he made my week. I went in to 7-11 to get a slurpee (due to the fun throat pain) and this guy behind the counter asked me if I knew "anything going on tonight". I laughed because the only thing going on for me was changing diaeper and putting three screaming kids to bed. I also laughed because I can hardly remember what it's like to be worried over what party to go to. Anyway, after I told him I had three kids I asked how old he was... he looked young and I wanted to see why this guy though I might have the scoop on the evenings happenings. He told me he was 24 and then he asked how old I was. I said 30. He totally stopped what he was doing and said, "You're 30? No way. You look WAY younger than that!". I said thanks and walked out the door cheesing from ear to ear. When I got home I told Ben about it, but he just thinks the guy was hitting on me. I don'tthink he was, but even if he was, whats wrong with a 24 year old hitting on me? He he. Anyway, it made me feel good. 7-11 trains their employees well!

Second, I'm getting ready to start working on my Christmas letter. Although it's such a daunting task, it's fun to send them out. Between writing the letter, getting the pictures togethor, and addressing stuffing and stamping the envelope, it can take A LOT of time. I think it's so funny how all year long people look forward to the Holidays, but once they get here the tasks, customs, traditions, parties, gatherings, gifts, etc become SO overwhelming! It creates so much stress and even arguments in many cases... but still... year after year... we find ourselves doing the same things.

Third, I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you who have offered supporting words to Baby James and his family. He is doing well and is now out of the hospital and back at home. I know there are a lot of people who read this blog, and the support you have offered me through the past few months has been priceless. So thank you for extending that support to him and his family.

Well, this post flowed about as well as a concrete river... sorry about that. I'll do bettter next time!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I have strep throat... really really bad strep throat. Sorry I haven't posted. Bare with me while I recover :(