Saturday, January 7, 2012

After much deliberation ...

I have decided to end "Trail to Aiden Lee" blog.  The whole point of the blog was to detail the journey to our adopted son, Aiden Lee Lemmons. I've done that. And, I'm so glad I did.  Before I started this blog, I was anti-blog.  I was not going to blog, was not computer savvy to even think about trying to set one up, nor did I think I had the time to devote to it! Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! This has been the most therapeutic aspect of the whole adoption process, not to mention having most all the adoption details remembered and recorded.  I plan on making my blog into a book, from Blog2Print's website. I can't wait to get it going and re-read our little adventure.

So what's next for me? Glad you should ask.  Why, another blog, don't you know! If you're curious what life has in store for the Lemmons' household, hike on over to this little cozy spot.  I'm sure I'll be adding more things to the site layout, but for now it's comfy, cozy, and I like it! Remember, I'm not a computer savvy mama, so hang around, you never know what you might  see!

Thanks so so SO much for reading, commenting, and hanging around this last year! I really do appreciate all the support from you all through this long process.  It has meant more than you will ever know! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 3, 2012

On this date, yesterday actually, Aiden turned 2 years old. I can not believe he has been home with us for 10 months tomorrow.  He was actually placed in our arms 10 months ago yesterday.  Confusing? Hardly.... Aiden has been with us for 10 months now, and he's 2!!

I remembered that I had his Hanbok in his closet.  I got it out today so I could take a picture of him in it. I took it out of the sack and showed it to Aiden.  He seemed less than thrilled when he saw it, a little scared really. I tried to put it on him and he was fighting me a little, which is totally not him! Not sure what he was thinking, but he never fights me putting anything on him, maybe except a hat, which he won't wear by the way. So I told him that he can have some M & M's if he'd let me put it on him.  Attention granted! So he let me finish putting the Hanbok on him. Then I tried to take a picture.  Here's the first one, not bad, but not what I was wanting!

He was moving around and I thought, standing up would be better.  More M & M's... Notice the red M & M in his left hand.

Okay eyes closed, next!!! I took him into the kitchen.  My bed was not the best background. Duh!

As soon as I took him into the kitchen, he planted himself here. More M & M's needed. Maybe the stairs will be better.

This is the only light switch he can reach in the whole house.  Trying again....

I can't believe he kept the headpiece on so long, but this one pretty much says I wanna take this hat off!

Finally, a picture I can live with. Not great, but it'll do.  

So, my little Korean cutie is 2 now.  I still can't believe it!  Yesterday morning, when I went in his room to get him out of bed, the first thing I said was "Happy Birthday!"  Usually I say, "Good Morning!" The first thing I thought of when I was changing him, was his birth mother.  I had a few tears well up in my eyes, but pushed them back.  I was sad for a few minutes thinking about her and what a hard decision she made.  His birth mother wasn't young, according to Aiden's records, his birth mother was 38 when she gave birth to him, 38! She knew she couldn't take care of him, she didn't have family that could help. But, she did the next best thing. She choose to give him up so a loving family could take him to a far away land, a place where he would be so loved and cared for.  What a selfless thing to do. 

I thought of her from time to time all day, hoping she would know in her heart that he was being loved and cared for, that he was/is  a very happy little boy, and that he will have every opportunity life has to offer. Aiden deserves so much because he is that special, he is a loving and happy little boy, and he has shown and taught me so much about myself.  Like I've said before, he has shown me how I was thinking all wrong about my own adoption. I never once thought of my birth mother and how she must have felt through the years of my life, not once.  But one morning, it finally clicked with me. Click here if you'd like to read my "ah ha" moment blog post.  I'm posting the last paragraph again, because it pretty much sums up how I feel now.

I don't know if I ever would have realized this if Aiden wasn't here with me.  This little guy,

is my savior. He is teaching me so much about myself.  He was destined to be with me and my family from the very beginning.  I never knew the impact he would have on my life and my families lives till now.  So through the years when Aiden's birthday comes around, I will always remember his birth mother, her loss, and her gift to us. I will always say a prayer thanking her for Aiden and hope that she has peace in her heart.  And as my birthday rolls around from this day forward, I will say a prayer for my birth mother also, thanking her for my life, and hope that she has peace in her heart, just as I have now.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Birthdays!! Yes .... 2 of them!! (con't....)

Round 2! Ding ding! Every year we have a small "grandparents" birthday party for Tay. It's usually just Mike and me, Tay, and both sets of grandparents on or around her birthday.  Somewhere around February we have our Cousin's Birthday party at our house for ALL the cousin's.  If you remember from a December post, we have what we call the Cousin's Christmas for all the cousins in my family. So we have a small birthday party for Tay on or around her birthday every year. This year was totally different. We have one to add to Tay's party - Aiden! Tay's birthday was on Dec 30th and Aiden's birthday will be tomorrow, January 3rd! So, we celebrated both kids birthdays together with their grandparents last night, New Years Day.

The grandparents arrived around 4 yesterday afternoon. First, there were presents!

With big sister Taylor helping again.

This toy was super cool.  Aiden loved it! The cars go down the ramp after you hit a button and it makes real car racing sounds. He played with it for a long time. Thanks Granny and Grandaddy!

Next, Aiden was digging into his animal crackers at his new picnic table.  Taylor had one of these tables when she was little and she sat at it A LOT. So I'm hoping Aiden will like it just as much. So far, he seems to, although he'll pat the seat next to him and say, "sit"  asking me to sit next to him. Sorry buddy, not gonna happen. If I get down in that seat, I may not be able to get out.

Aiden also got a water table. I'd heard about these from my cousin and I knew Aiden would just love this thing! Although, he'll have to wait till summer to play with it, but it'll be awesome! This kid seriously loves water! Tay was opening her presents too.  This girl has a different sense of style, obviously, but I love that she can be similar to other girls, but be so different at the same time. That's my girl! Totally unique in her own way! :)

I think the biggest hit to the party was this awesome slide!!

He absolutely LOVED it!! I thought it may be a bit big for him, but seeing him laugh and go down that thing so many times, nah, it's perfect!

Like father, like son. Aiden got down in the floor to help daddy put it together. Really simple, put a few bolts and nuts in, a couple of screws and you're done, instant FUN!

Aiden's awesome big sister, helping out again!

On to cake and ice cream, the good stuff!  I'd kept the "2" candle from Taylor's second birthday and put it on Aiden cake.

We sang Happy Birthday to him and I moved in with the cake.

It  took him a couple of tries, but he actually blew out the candle! Wish I had a video of it, so cute!

YUMMY!! He loved the cake and the ice cream Grandaddy B was feeding him!

All gone! Even the crumbs didn't have a chance!

Next, Nana moved in for one of those Aiden hugs, they are THE BEST!

Aiden got to watch a video of himself on Nana's camera. He was glued to it.

All in all, the birthdays were THE BEST ever! It's so great to have Aiden with us on his second birthday. Still can't believe he's here sometimes.  I have to just look at him time and time again. He is one amazing little boy. Aiden has taught me so much that I can't believe all I've learned from him, a now soon to be 2 year old! He is one special little boy who I can't imagine my life without now.

Tomorrow will be a very special day.  There will be 3 mothers (birth mother, foster mother, and me) thinking about him all day long, loving him even more, and hoping the best for him always. I know we all have a very special place in our hearts for him. I hope he one day knows how much we ALL love him and cared for him in our own very special way. Although my heart will be heavy tomorrow, Aiden's heart will be full.

I promise, you will know who you are and where you came for when that day comes. You will know how much you were loved from the very beginning. Understand that she loved you so much, she wanted a better life for you, for you to have opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise. She only thought of you when she made the hardest decision of her life, to give you a better life.  We are so happy to have you in our family and love you so so much!


                                                             The Gift of Life

I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
--- Unknown

Our Child!

With anxious hearts and open arms,

we sought you everywhere.

You, dear child, are a gift from God,

The answer to our prayer.

No matter whether birth or choice,
A home is blessed from above.
When caring parents claim their child,
A family is formed by love.....

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women,
who never knew each other.
One you do not remember,
the other you call mother.
Two different lives,
shaped to make your one...
One became your guiding star,
the other became your sun.
The first gave you life and
the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality,
the other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent,
the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,
the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
the other dried your tears.
One gave you up ...
that's all she could do.
The other prayed for a child
and God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me,
through your fears,
the age old question
unanswered throughout the years...
Heredity or environment,
which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling neither.
Just two different kinds of love.....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Birthdays!! Yes .... 2 of them!!

One thing I thought was amazing, when we first read Aiden's file sent to us from Holt International, was that Aiden's birthday was on January 3rd.  Taylor's birthday is on December 30th.  Wow, they're 4 days apart from each other! How cool would that be??

So on December 30th, Tay had her birthday/slumber party with 4 of her school friends.  The girls arrived around 11:00 am on Friday.  They chilled out for a few and then I said it was time to get some lunch before we headed to the mall.  Taylor was turning 11 years old.  Now in my mind, I'm still picturing my little girl, all sweet and quiet, kind of shy still. You know, as you see your sweet child, all in their innocence.  So when I got all the girls in the truck to go eat lunch, I still had some what of those visions in my head.  Boy did I get a shocking education on the way to McD's! And let me just say, girls today are not the same girls we were 30 years ago. (Keep in mind, I'm 41!) So now I'm comparing  my 11 year old and her friends to me and my friends when we were 16! Yes I said 16. Some of the same conversations they were having would have been me and my friends at age 16! How is it they grow up so fast!?!

Moving on, we get to McD's and the girls stand there acting all shy and no one wants to go first and order.  Typical 11 year olds come back into the picture, whew, I knew they were there somewhere. So finally Faith jumps up there and they all soon follow along.  Funny how the conversation tends to lead back to my 16 year old days when we all sat down to eat. Don't think I didn't like these adorable, sweet girls at all, I do! Just look at them!

Of course my child is the one with the goofy look shoving a french fry in her mouth! lol  Love that girl!

So we all finished eating and we headed to our local mall.  The first stop, Claire's! All these girls had money and were so excited to go there and spend it!

Next stop was Build a Bear! Ahhh, the 11 years olds are back! But, only 2 of them wanted to build a bear.  I forgot to take a pic so you'll just have to visualize 5 - 11 year olds at Build A Bear, acting as though they're 16.  The two girls that were actually getting a bear were getting help from the other 3 on what they could buy with the money they had left. Quite hilarious, I assure you! But in all seriousness they did very well.  I had to help one out with 46 cents and the other girl needed a dollar. I was pretty impressed with their math skills and their choices.

After that, the girls were pretty much broke, wiped out, out of funds. But they had a blast being together! Next, I needed to go to Toys R Us to get Aiden's birthday presents. So we headed there, the girls walked around together while I was waiting to purchase the items (You'll see those later!) Got them in the truck and headed home.  After we got home, the girls went upstairs and played around for the next 2 hours.  It sounded like a heard of elephants doing the Running Man up there! Just how much noise can 5 - 11 year old girls make? Elephants ... I dare say! It got pretty rowdy, but they were having a blast.

It was supper time, so Mike got the grill out, fired it up, and grilled them some hot dogs. I got the chips and lemonade out. They gobbled that up quick. Next, cake and ice cream!

They were trying not to breathe on the candles.

 My silly girl! "What are you waiting for? Make a wish!"

They all have chocolate icing on their noses, except for Tay.  You'd think she would have been in on that little spectacle of silliness.

Meanwhile, Aiden sits quietly in his high chair eating his cake and watching those silly girls. I think he just didn't know what to think about all those girls, really.

Another thing, I totally underestimated the stomachs of 5 - 11 year old girls! WOW some of those girls can put away some food!  After the cake and ice cream, they went back upstairs and the elephants returned! Needless to say, they were having oodles of fun and after about an hour they settled down a bit.  Mike and I went upstairs to get their beds, blankets, pillows out. Got them all settled and then they wanted to watch a movie. I put the movie in and stayed up and watched it with them, or should I say 2 of them. The other 3 girls were fast asleep about 30 minutes into it. By the time the movie was over, it was 12 am. Turned the movie off, slithered downstairs, got ready for bed, and crashed.  I didn't hear a peep out of them all night. Those girls plum wore themselves out! Awesome!!! I know right??

The next morning, Aiden sent out his morning call around 7:20, yeah he's been sleeping later since Tay's been out of school for Christmas break! I soon heard the girls moving around upstairs.  And don't you know those elephants returned yet again. I went upstairs and asked who's ready for pancakes. All hands went up! I came down, fixed what I thought would be sufficient enough pancakes.  Wrong! They gobbled them up, and wanted more. So, I fixed more. Totally underestimated those girls' stomachs, totally!

By lunch time most of the girls had gone home. Tay was tired, I could tell, but she had one awesome birthday party. So she spent the rest of the day being quiet, and I enjoyed the rest of the day being quiet. So happy birthday to my Tay Tay. Can't believe what an awesome girl you're turning into. You made me a mother 11 years ago.  You were my first baby, which makes you so special! Can't wait to see you grow into a fine young woman! Love you!

(to be continued.....)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and now birthdays??

So where the heck has time gone?!? Seriously!  These last 9 months have gone by sooooo quickly! Who knew adding one little kiddo would make it all fly by that much faster. Once Thanksgiving hit, life has been such a blur. There were so many things I wanted to blog about, but could not find the time! So now I'm throwing them all together.  Here's Thanksgiving with the grandparents:

We have a very special tradition that's been brewing around our house these last 5 years. Both Mike's mom and dad and my mom and dad come to our house for Thanksgiving.  May seem awkward, but it works great for us.  Our parents really enjoy getting together and it's makes things so much easier on Thanksgiving to have it at our house with everyone. If you add up all the years Mike's mom and dad, my mom and dad, and Mike and I have been married, it comes to around 114 years! How awesome is that!?!?!  And of course with a very special addition this year! This adorable kiddo, who on December 12 became an official Lemmons!

So this Christmas was a very very special one! Aiden joined our family officially and we had his first Christmas with us! The month of December seemed really crazy. I had made the Korean flag ornaments in October and November to sell to my AP mamas  to help with Christmas this year.

They were a big hit! Thanks so much for all the mamas that purchased my ornaments! It really warmed my heart to see all your pictures and posts on Facebook, blogs, etc!  You helped this family celebrate one awesome Christmas! I've got great ornament ideas brewing for next Christmas too! ;)

I think Aiden enjoyed his Christmas with us. He seemed like he was learning the whole time.  He really got the hang of opening presents, even helped his big sister when she really didn't want it. But she helped him just as much.

Christmas with the cousins and grandparents was so much fun.  All you needed to do was point Aiden is the right direction of a present and he was on it!

Now we're moving on to birthdays! Yes, I said birthday(s)!  Taylor's birthday is December 30th, this Friday. She'll be 11 years old. Just can not believe how old my little girl is getting to be.  I told her the other day to quit growing up, she just gave me that grown up look that said, "duh mom!".  She's planning on having some girls over for a birthday/slumber party Friday night.  Not sure if I'm ready for it, but I'll certainly give it my all!

Next, it'll be Aiden's birthday January 3rd.  This will be his first birthday with us and will turn 2 years old!  He's grown up so much since we first saw his picture last June. When Aiden was in Korea and we were waiting on him, I often thought about all the firsts that I would be missing, first tooth, first step, etc.  Now all I can think about are all the firsts we're experiencing with him.  I don't think about those firsts we've missed because we're making so many more memories with him actually here! They are far better than I ever could have imagined!

I can't believe how much he's changed in the last 9 months.  Aiden says just about anything you ask him to. Although some words aren't real clear, I can understand it.  He now gives kisses, asks for hugs, helps mama a lot, even when I don't  need it. ;)  In the last month, Aiden has really come out of his shell.  He's become more secure, and loves his mama, daddy, and sister. He really loves his big sister, really!   He actually calls me mama now too.  He'll go running through the house saying "mama" looking for me.  I can not believe how much love this little boy has. He loves us all, grandparents too and we all love him.  He's learned so much now and I've learned just as much from him. He changes weekly, all the way down to the position he goes to sleep in.  I still stay in his room till he falls asleep.  He sleeps really well now. I'll hear him cry from time to time at night, but he goes right back to sleep.  He wakes usually around the same time every morning.  He sleeps good when he sleeps, he's just not a late sleeper. He gets around 10 hours at night and naps for an hour to 2 hours during the day. Eating is still a challenge, but that's with any child. Believe me, Aiden is a solid 28 pounds! And I do mean solid!  Anyone who picks him up will tell you that.

Can't imagine my life without him! Everything feels complete around our house.  He is one awesome kiddo that I love with all my heart! What an awesome year it has been ..... really! Can't wait for the rest of his life!

Here's a funny moment from Christmas morning.