Saturday, October 5, 2013

I'll love you for a 1,000 years...forever! A slide show dedicated to our children.

I've been wanting to do a video of my kiddos for a long time now, but didn't really have the time to figure out how to do it, so I choose a slide show. I cried so I guess it fulfilled my movie making itch for now! I wanted to express how monumental, how special, and how simply amazing it is to have built our family through adoption. It's an action packed adventure most days, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

When I first heard this song I could only think of the feelings I had when I thought of my children. The feelings I had before they came to be. I thought I'd never be a mother, and it all changed one day. It wasn't all about joy, but also loss. A loss from my children that will forever be a part of them. There are lots of layers of emotion to us all, but one thing I want them to always know, that I will love them forever....for a 1,000 years! They were a very special gift placed in our care, and we are forever grateful for them!

Check out our YOUTUBE Video!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our World is Made of Memories!

This is a beautiful picture of the Lititz Spring Park.

I was pretty tickled when I saw how nice this black and white photo turned out. I totally LOVE Instagram! I could tinker with all the different photo styles forever...but I try to keep my obsession down to a few minutes.

 I sat and looked over this photo a few times when I finally noticed the park bench to the right of the stream. It hit me like a ton of bricks! This is the bench that my dear husband and I sat shortly after we found out that I was pregnant for the first and only time way back in 2004. We sat there for hours holding hands and smiling. We were almost to the point of giddiness! We were so young and naive dreaming of how our new lives would be as parents with a new bundle of joy. We sat there day-dreaming and looking across the stream watching the children play at the quaint little park.

Many of you already know the outcome of my pregnancy. For those that do not, it was not easy. I ended up losing our baby due to a premature birth. Never wanted to try again. Our hearts were towards adoption and only adoption. Amazing the turns our lives take. Now I look at this bench and cannot believe how far we have come from our naive view of life. I cannot count the amount of tears that we lost, but I can tell you that we have healed our hearts with these two beautiful children of ours. I thank God for them every day!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Digital Version of Adoptive Families Magazine

I wished we could have shared our story with everyone and now we can! See the link below, which will take you to the digital version of our adoption story and many, many other amazing stories of building families through adoption.

I remember reading every little morsel of information that I possibly could when we decided to start our adoption process. Ted and I loved to spend an evening here and there at Barnes-n-Nobles, and one of my first adoption reading purchases was the Adoptive Families magazine. We thought it appropriate to take their photo in front of the store. Plus, the kids love to come here! I thought you'd enjoy seeing their excitement of having their picture featured together. Gosh, I just love those smiles!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Our Adoption Story Published in Adoptive Families Magazine!!!

We're so excited, not to mention super surprised, that our adoption story made the cut for the May/June Special Issue of Adoptive Families Magazine!!!

We've had a lot on our plate over the last several months. We've always had crazy-busy lives, and constant activity with any and every kind of meeting/appointments, but its been extra hectic since coming home from China. Then of course as an adoptive family we know how keeping a schedule and daily routine for the kiddos is at the top of our list of must-dos. Yikes. Life is busy!

Anyway, for some reason my writing always seems best at the 11th hour, which is what happened with our adoption story for the magazine. It was handed in one day before the deadline. I was surprised (and super excited!) when I received the email stating our story was selected to be published. Gosh, I can only imagine how difficult it was to choose from all those amazing and personal stories. We feel very grateful and privileged to have the opportunity to share our story with so many people.

Adoption really is an amazing journey. I still can remember countless times when I thought it would never happen for us, how unfair it was, and the million questions wondering why it wasn't happening sooner! But as hard as it was some days I always tried to redirect my thoughts to the parentless child, and how they must be feeling. That quickly put it into perspective for me.

All the other adoptive families before us said it will happen at the right time with the right child. It is true. We were somehow matched with the two most magnificent children we could have ever imagined. Ever. I still pinch myself some days. No matter what kind of crazy day is happening...and being an adoptive parent we can have many of matter what crisis or celebration, we are forever grateful to find our forever family! It was so worth the wait.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sibling love!

How are the new siblings getting along? Pretty good I'd say...most days. One afternoon I took Nick out for a Mommy & Son outing for about two hours, while Riley stayed home with Daddy. We were greeted by Riley as she ran to the door yelling, "Ick, Ick!!" ("Nick, Nick"). She jumped into Nick's arms and tightly wrapped her legs around him! Nick, our very strong little boy, spun her around in a circle as they yelled each other's names! Talk about SWEET! Melt. My. Heart.

Now, this is not how it is at all times. Nick feels that he needs to guide his sister and "parent" her when he think he should. We often remind him this is NOT his job. It's ours. Then of course there is the regular good-ole'-fashion-toy-fight. "I was playing with it first!" Those kinds of normal arguing.

But yesterday was exactly the words that every mom wants to hear, which often come while driving in the car. This is why driving without turning the radio on (at times!) can be music to my ears. We were driving Nick to preschool when he said, "Mom, I'm really glad I have Riley as my sister. I was really lonely without her." Melt. My. Heart.

This is one of my favorite photos of the two of them! Nick is holding onto his sister as the look over the  edge to see the ducks swimming by. 

Couch camping. One of their favorite pass times!

Nick trying to do anything to make his sister laugh! It always seems to work.

First time sledding together.

Early morning silliness!
Nick and Riley waiting at Hershey Medical Center before her surgery.

Good times at the Plum Street Cafe!

Good ole' fashion wagon pulling.

Almost an entire night!

Welp, we were close! Almost another full night. I tried to lay her down for her nap near the same time as yesterday, and Riley slept until about 5:00 am. She slept with us and fell right back to sleep! AND she had a dry diaper that morning! Amazing. Did she go in the potty? Nope. But hey, it's a start!

Parenting is ever changing, and no two children are ever alike. Gosh, I love my family.... AND, oh, how I love my sleep!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Riley slept through the night...first time EVER!

It was amazing. I was awoken at 6:30 am to the sound pitter pattering little feet to my bedside. I was confused. What time was it? Why did it seem light outside? Wait a minute. Did our little girl actually sleep through out the night?! She did!!!!

You see, Riley has been waking anywhere from 5 to 20 times a night since we brought her home 6 months ago! Sometimes it doesn't even seem like she sleeps, but always seems rested in the morning. BUT not for mom, I was totally exhausted! Boy, did I feel amazing after getting my rest.

Why the change? I'm not sure. The only thing I did different was put her down for her nap at 11:45 am. She usually naps after 1:00 pm, after lunch. She has always acted sleepy around 11:00 am, but I always thought it was best to have her wait. Why? I have no idea. Plus, it's not always an option to put her down for a nap so early. Nick has school two days a week or we might be out running errands. BUT if this is the key? Then you better believe I will try my hardest to get her napping as early as possible when I can!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

An Adoptee's Perspective

Many of my Facebook friends, especially my adoptive-parent-friends,  know that I had an usually difficult day last weekend with usually rude comments revolving around my children. Their words of support, encouragement and shared stories were so nurturing, exactly what was needed. Thank you! I happened upon a wonderful article this week and asked permission to share it with you. 

An Adoptee’s Perspective:
10 Things Adoptive Parents Should Know
By Christina Romo

  1. Adoption is not possible without loss. Losing one’s birth parents is the most traumatic form of loss a child can experience. That loss will always be a part of me. It will shape who I am and will have an effect on my relationships—especially my relationship with you.

  1. Love isn’t enough in adoption, but it certainly makes a difference. Tell me every day that I am loved—especially on the days when I am not particularly lovable.

  1. Show me—through your words and your actions—that you are willing to weather any storm with me. I have a difficult time trusting people, due to the losses I have experienced in my life. Show me that I can trust you. Keep your word. I need to know that you are a safe person in my life, and that you will be there when I need you and when I don’t need you.

  1. I will always worry that you will abandon me, no matter how often you tell me or show me otherwise. The mindset that “people who love me will leave me” has been instilled in me and will forever be a part of me. I may push you away to protect myself from the pain of loss. No matter what I say or do to push you away, I need you to fight like crazy to show me that you aren’t going anywhere and will never give up on me.

  1. Even though society says it is PC to be color-blind, I need you to know that race matters. My race will always be a part of me, and society will always see me by the color of my skin (no matter how hard they try to convince me otherwise). I need you to help me learn about my race and culture of origin, because it’s important to me. Members of my race and culture of origin may reject me because I’m not “black enough” or “Asian enough”, but if you help arm me with pride in who I am and the tools to cope, it will be okay. I don’t look like you, but you are my parent and I need you to tell me—through your words and your actions—that it’s okay to be different. I have experienced many losses in my life. Please don’t allow the losses of my race and culture of origin to be among them.

  1. I need you to be my advocate. There will be people in our family, our school, our church, our community, our medical clinic, etc. who don’t understand adoption and my special needs. I need you to help educate them about adoption and special needs, and I need to know that you have my back. Ask me questions in front of them to show them that my voice matters.

  1. At some point during our adoption journey, I may ask about or want to search for my birth family. You may tell me that being blood related doesn’t matter, but not having that kind of connection to someone has left a void in my life. You will always be my family and you will always be my parent. If I ask about or search for my birth family, it doesn’t mean I love you any less. I need you to know that living my life without knowledge of my birth family has been like working on a puzzle with missing pieces. Knowing about my birth family may help me feel more complete.

  1. Please don’t expect me to be grateful for having been adopted. I endured a tremendous loss before becoming a part of your family. I don’t want to live with the message that “you saved me and I should be grateful” hanging over my head. Adoption is about forming forever families—it shouldn’t be about “saving” children.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I may need help in coping with the losses I have experienced and other issues related to adoption. It’s okay and completely normal. If the adoption journey becomes overwhelming for you, it’s important for you to seek help, as well. Join support groups and meet other families who have adopted. This may require you to go out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it. Make the time and effort to search for and be in the company of parents and children/youth who understand adoption and understand the issues. These opportunities will help normalize and validate what we are going through.

  1. Adoption is different for everyone. Please don’t compare me to other adoptees. Rather, listen to their experiences and develop ways in which you can better support me and my needs. Please respect me as an individual and honor my adoption journey as my own. I need you to always keep an open mind and an open heart with regard to adoption. Our adoption journey will never end, and no matter how bumpy the road may be and regardless of where it may lead, the fact that we traveled this road together, will make all the difference.

Christina Romo is an adoptee who was adopted from South Korea at age 2. 
She works for a child welfare organization and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their two sons. This piece was posted on her blog, Diary of a Not-So-Angry Asian Adoptee (

Please contact Christina at if you wish to use or distribute this piece.