Saturday, July 24, 2010


Rai loves...

11. Vegetables!

12. Cooking (Either Helping Mommy or Pretending to Cook)

13. Dancing
Rai still dancing to the Korean Montessori cartoons Omma gave him in Korea. Last month, Rai started dancing at the entrance of the Korean grocery store. He continued to dance until he noticed the crowd of people around him.

14. Snack Time

15. Packages from Omma/Appa
Rai now realizes that an orange card in the mail means that the Post Office has a package from Omma and Appa. The last time we got a card, Rai wanted to go to the post office right then. "Surprise from Omma!" he said. :-) And Omma, he LOVES the vanilla wafers. Thank you!

16. Rain

17. Playing with Cousins

18. Playing Instruments
Anything that makes music is fascinating. We have a mini band in the playroom with a toy piano, guitar, cans which make great drums, a few whistles, and a harmonica. This drum was Rai's favorite part of the last zoo we went to.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rai Loves ... (Day 1)

As an adoptive mother, I cannot express how much I have dreamed of our son having a long relationship with his foster parents. I know I have posted several times how lucky we are to continue communication, but I was reminded this week of our fortune when we found new ways of communicating. Omma and Appa, these posts over the next few days are for you. Thank you.

Things Rai Loves:

Rai has always loved water. I remember Omma telling us that we should put Rai in the bath if he got upset on the first night. Well, Rai still loves water. There is a waterpark near our house that has a water playground, and he loves to go swimming at the pool in our neighborhood. This summer, Rai's preschool has "Splash Days" every Wednesday where he wears his swimming suit to school and gets to play in the sprinklers. The teachers have never seen a child who likes water in his face ... until now. :-) So yes, he still loves water.

2. Doggy (Stuffed Animal Toy Dog)
When we came home, Rai had 3 comfort items. A Minnie Mouse pillow, a stuffed animal horse we had sent, and the matching blanket. He still sleeps on the pillow (but we do change the pillow case sometimes to other colors), but he got attached to a stuffed animal dog that a neighbor gave him during his first weeks home. Rai says the dog is a boy dog, and his name is doggy. I can't find a picture at the moment, but I will take one with Rai and Doggy this week. Doggy ends up all over the house in the morning as Rai plays before breakfast, but we always put doggy back in bed to go "Night Night". Rai has slept with Doggy since the first week we came home and comforts him when he's upset.

3. Books
We read every night before bed. Rai usually has a favorite book he wants us to read. Right now, his favorite book is "I Love You All The Time". And he memorizes these books - at least the last word of each line. The book reads:
I love you in the morning, and all throughout the day,
I love you every moment, and in many different ways,
I love you all the time.
I love you when the clouds pour rain, and when the sun shines bright.
I love you when we count the stars, and when we fly a kite.
I love you all the time.
I love you when I play with you, and when I work all day.
I love you when I'm next to you, and when I'm far away.
I love you all the time.
I love you when I tell you "No", and when I say "All right".
I love you when I'm mad at you, and when I hug you tight.
I love you all the time.
I love you when I'm with my friends, and when I'm all alone.
I love you when I leave the room, and when I'm on the phone.
I love you all the time.
I love you when I read "The End", and when I shut the light.
I love you when I kiss your cheek, and when I say "Sleep Tight".
I love you all the time.
Even when you can't see me, I love you all the time.

Rai even reads the cover, the first page which says who the book is for and from, and who the authors dedicated the book to.

His favorite book before this was "Goodnight Moon." We also read other books, including a book of Korean children's stories. Aaron is slowly learning enough words so that I hear them practicing saying the Korean words after reading the English.

Although Rai didn't say too many words when he came home, he talks non-stop now. His preschool teachers find it funny that he was so quite until one day he started talking all the time. In fact, when Rai first came home, a specialist evaluated his speech development and worked with us to help him speak. We didn't work too long because he started speaking. Last week, the specialist came back to the house and evaluated him again. This time, all areas of development are higher than his age. So Rai has developed faster in ALL areas! We are very excited and he is very proud! At this time, Rai was 31 months old, but here were his development levels:
Cognitive (Learning New Skills and Gaining Knowledge) 39 months
Communication (Speaking and Understanding) 34 months
Social Emotional (Interactions with Adults and Children) 45 months
Physical (Use of hands and general movement) 32 months
Adaptive (Ability to care for himself and independence) 37 months

We are very fortunate that Rai had such a wonderful home with Omma and Appa and now he continues to do very well!

5. Recording Greeting Cards
All of our family (including Omma and Appa) have received cards with Rai's recorded voice. We even made a card a few weeks ago that we are sending where Rai says "Happy Father's Day Appa! I love you!" that we will send soon! I wish I could take a picture or video of him as we record these. Rai has so much fun. He likes picking out the card and listening to the songs.

6. Sushi and Bulgogi
Rai liked both foods while he lived in Korea, and we still eat both foods now. Aaron's soccer game is down the street from a big Korean grocery store, so we go sometimes to have bulgogi. I have made it a few times, but the restaurant bulgogi tastes better. :-) Rai also loves sushi, but he mainly eats salmon sushi and eel (in Japanese "unagi"). He is even learning to use chopsticks with Pororo children chopsticks. (I need to take more pictures.)

7. Soccer
I have shown some pictures and video of Rai playing soccer in the past, but this is worth mentioning again. Rai loves soccer! We have at least 4 soccer balls in the house, so we are always playing. Rai will even run with the soccer ball in the practice area during Aaron's soccer games. And he loves anything with soccer on it. Everything is a "soccer shirt" or "soccer shorts." And he LOVES the Korean soccer jersey! Thank you! He wears it all the time.

8. Singing Songs While Brushing Teeth
Rai now has all 20 baby teeth! He got his last 2 teeth just a week ago, so it takes us longer to brush his teeth. To help make it fun, I try to find a song we can sing as we brush each side. A few weeks ago, one of Rai's toys played the "ABC" song (the tune is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but you sing the entire English alphabet) and Rai started to sing along. We didn't even know that he knew his alphabet until then. Now, we sing the song while we brush teeth. Sometime we sing silly songs that we make up, but now he likes to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (To my friend Kimsan, Rai did sing "Happy Birthday" to Kimsan for almost one week after the birthday party. We thought it was funny.)

9. Talking on the Phone
Sometime we pretend to call people on Rai's toy phone. Several months ago, we tried to call people on my real phone but Rai won't speak if someone answers. He likes to leave messages. So I encourage him to call people on his play phone and talk to them. Sometime he calls Omma and Appa and other times he calls other family members. I will try to record Rai when he calls you on the toy phone. (He does get shy though.)

10. Food!
Rai is not a picky eater. Well, he does not like some fresh vegetables, but he likes steamed broccoli, green beans, carrots, asparagus, corn, and nearly any other vegetable. He still likes watermelon and many other fruits. We do buy Korean pears at the Korean grocery store. I think he gets excited because these are special pears since the are from Korea. And he likes many other types of foods. He eats cereal and sometimes banana for breakfast. His favorite cereals are either the plain corn cereal called "Crispix" and he likes "Frosted Shredded Mini Wheats". He has orange juice, too, each morning. For lunch and dinner, he will eat almost anything, and he REALLY likes dessert! We don't have it very often, but sometime, we will buy sweets at the Korean grocery store or have ice cream. He really likes cake, too. I am just very glad that we don't feed him too many sweets. He just went to the dentist for the first time last week and he has no cavities. (His teeth look good!)

So this is the first part of my list. I have many pictures to post, and I promise to post them soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010