Monday, December 31, 2007

Praying for America

If you would like to join me in praying for our country, please visit my new website.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New post & photos

New post & photos--Lookin' Good-- at Matthew's site

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Matthew's favorite song

New Christmas photos posted at Matthew's site

I've posted before about Matthew's favorite song...Divine Romance by Phil Wickham. Seriously, this kid loves this song! I call it his siren song because it will even lure him away from intense play. I caught it on video and wanted to share....sorry about the crazy camerawork...I was trying to be sneaky!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Come and listen...


I wanted to post a video of our adoption for Thanskgiving...but that didn't quite happen as hoped considering I remembered it the night before around 10:00pm! Then time slipped away from me while preparing for Christmas...but I wanted to make sure and post it this week because as I reflect on 2007 and what a BIG year it has been for us (Scott's 1st year of full time self-employment, a new home, working on 2 adoptions, the arrival of sweet Matthew, and the passing of our Pa), I am in awe of how faithful God has been through it all. Sometimes gently leading us...sometimes carrying us...and all the time loving us.

OOPS! I'm not sure why the right side of my video is cut off when shown on the blog...I'll figure it out later...gonna go hang out with my husband now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New post & photos

New post & photos - Baby's First Christmas - at Matthew's site.

Christmas morning video

Just wanted to post this video really quickly...it's the uncut version, especially for the grandparents! Photos will follow later...gotta get back to the festivities!

Monday, December 24, 2007

New post & photos

New post and photos -- 11 Months Old on Christmas Eve -- at Matthew's site.

NOTE: I accidentally used the wrong clipper attachment on Matthew's hair so he now has a military 'do!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A precious gift & the Perfect Gift

Scott and I were talking the other day about "What if we had given Matthew a different name?" and we tried to picture this little guy as a Sherman...a Vince...a Leo, etc. The name Matthew means "gift of the Lord" and, while we are biased, we think it suits him perfectly. He is a precious gift that God has entrusted us with, and he blesses us each day. We pray that as Matthew grows his name will reflect his relationship with all of the people in his life.

At Christmas we celebrate the Perfect Gift of God...the gift of Jesus. Yeshua is the original Aramaic proper name for Jesus and in Hebrew Yeshua means "Salvation." What a big name for a tiny baby...and yet that is the name given to Him by God:

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Mt 1:21

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ; however, we cannot do so without reflecting also on His death...since Jesus was born that He might die. Even as the Babe lying in the manger, His life was purposed for the salvation of others:

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born (Lyrics, Welcome to Our World)

There is no other name ...by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

So as we wake on Christmas morning may we celebrate with JOY the Perfect Gift of a Perfect Son...Jesus, our Salvation!

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God, Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world (Lyrics, Welcome to Our World)


MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Scott, Tish and Matthew

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Readoption Information

I believe all states have different readoption requirements, but I will tell you the process we have gone through so far:

1. The baby will receive a Certificate of Citizenship shortly after arriving home. For Taiwan adoptions through JOH Program 3, this COC will be issued in the baby's BIRTH NAME.

2. Depending on your local Social Security Office you may or may not be able to get a SS# in the baby's ADOPTED NAME when the COC is listed in the BIRTH NAME. I have heard of some families in other states being able to do this but, because we live in a high immigration area, our SS Office would not allow. The strange thing about this is that when I gave the SS worker my info, he said that Matthew is already listed in the database under my name as "Matthew" but he still couldn't issue the number.

3. For readoption, we created a petition and an order indicating our desire to have a state birth certificate issued for Matthew and took them to our District Court. This will help down the road when he needs a BC for school, etc. I have copies of our petition and order if anyone needs them for a guide. We did not use an attorney, so our filing fee was $107.


4. When the judge signs off on the order, you take that document and an application to the Vital Stats Office to get a state recognized birth certificate.

4. Once you have the order for readoption signed and a state BC, you can take them along with the VISA, COC, etc to the SS office to apply for a SS#. It will take about 2 weeks to get the card.

This is all we have completed so far...I'm not sure if we need to have Matthew's COC changed. I'll have to do some research!

Gimme more, gimme more...

Here is Matthew signing for "more." His technique needs some refinement, but he understands what's going on...little genius that he is! Funny thing is he never signs more for vegetables or cereal...only for treats like puffs, baby mum mums, and biter biscuits. God sure put him in the right family!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The young and the restless...




I think this is my millionth post about sleep. Or actually about the lack of sleep. Since Matthew has been home, he has had 3 periods of decent sleep...each lasting about 4-5 nights. Then he has times of crazy restlessness where he doesn't actually get up, but he lays there and yells "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH" very, very, very loudly. And he also has his stretches of time where every night he gets up for 2-3 hours per night to play. It seems as if it is starting to show as a cycle: night playing leads to exhaustion which leads to good sleep which, when well-rested, leads to the restlessness. Last night he was up almost the entire night with short "catnaps" throughout...and today it is showing! For example, he burst into melodramatic teenage girl tears when he was playing with my perfume and I said "Be gentle."
I keep checking his gums for teeth...but, so far, there's nothing. Scott says this is good because then he has less time to get cavities! He is starting to want what we eat instead of his baby food and, for some unknown reason, he does NOT want to drink out of a cup at all. Well...I hear him crying...he's only been down for 30 minutes...not nearly long enough for him...or for me!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Signs of the times...

You may remember that Matthew has learned to sign "bottle." This morning when he woke up I was still beat, so I gave him a toy hoping he would play and I could rest for a few more minutes. He looked at the toy, looked at me, and then started signing like crazy for a bottle! No tricking this one! Then tonight at dinner he finally started signing for "more!" Must have been those oh-so-delicious dried sweet corn snacks that pushed him over the edge! It is really cute because he gets a little excited and starts the sign for bottle and then works his way into the sign for more.

We had a busy weekend, so I don't have new photos to post. I finally watched The Notebook for the 1st time. A little late, huh? I usually don't watch love stories...they WRECK me...I get so into the movie & characters that it's like my heart is ripped out of my chest and is sitting next to me...completely exposed...waiting to be pummeled by the story's rollercoaster of emotions. Scott already said I shouldn't watch The Notebook again...guess I'll just stick with Nacho Libre. So anyway here are some old videos I dug up of Mateo!

Being a turkey on Thanksgiving Day at Grandma Goff's

Now this one is rated E for EXCITEMENT! Don't blink or you might miss the hint of a grin on Matthew's face!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A far cry from Baby Gap

Who dressed this kid?

When I was BK (before kids, not Burger King...although I love the smell of a Whopper) and I would see a kid who was in mis-matched clothes I would wonder "Why didn't the mom just take the time to put on clothes that match?" Ahhhhh....how naive I was. Now I understand that while the pajama top might make it through the night, the pajama bottoms might not....or while the jeans might make it through lunch, the sweatshirt might not...and so unless the baby's whole wardrobe is Garanimal-ized, you end up with clean clothes that don't quite go together. But mostly you end up not really caring.
BTW, does anyone know how to rotate photos in Blogger?

New Photos & Post

EVEN MORE new photos and post -- 4 Month Anniversary!-- at Matthew's site

New Post & Photos

More new photos and a post -- Christmas is coming! -- at Matthew's site.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New photos & post

New photos & post -- The Aquarium -- on Matthew's site

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Special video

UPDATE - sorry the link wasn't working! Please try again!

In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah Psalm 44:8

I would like to direct your attention to a great video posted today on the website of a special family. I encourage you to also read the post entitled "Our son."

The Spin Doctor

As I have mentioned before, Matthew doesn't show any interest in cute little songs with hand movements or naming body parts or anything like that...but boy does he like to spin things! Spinning bowls, balls, cups, wheels...he loves it all! We end up turning over toys and strollers so the wheels are exposed....because that's where the party's at! Here's a video of our spin doctor (sorry it's dark!)

On a side note, when I went in to get him up from his nap he was standing up and his pants were off. I asked "Matthew where are your pants?" and he looked down at them laying by his feet. Then I asked "Who took your pants off?" and he immediately picked up Lamby and handed him to me. Little tattletale!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Designer's Challenge

Token baby shot to appease my mom! In PJs from GA Theresa!
Family room (we do have blinds now!)
Kitchen

Uhhh...Matthew's playroom? Dancing with the Stars Practice Room? Or Living/Dining Room?

We moved into our new home the day we accepted Matthew's referral, so home decorating has taken a back seat to the adoption...and to being a mama. The family room and kitchen are really the only rooms somewhat finished, so I have my work cut out for me. Not only do I need to think about furniture but, as you can see from the photos, wall paint. The paint is going to be a huge job because the rooms flow and have some different architectural features...and I better stop on that because it makes my head spin! From where I stood to take the photo of the family room is the same location I stood to photograph the Living/Dining...so you can see from one into the other.
SO...all you HGTV fans, I am accepting any ideas! I like the styles of West Elm (Store) and Nicole Sassaman (Designer). I like muted colors...the way a spa feels. I was thinking of an off-white leather couch for the LR and a espresso colored dining table for the DR. But I am also on a budget since we still have another (or maybe many more!) adoption to pay for! So if any of the 50+ people who visit daily love to decorate, please share your talent!

Can't touch this - update

After a couple times of showing Matthew the "Can't touch this" video of the wreath,I decided we would give it another try. I opened the front door and showed him the wreath, and he got a big silly grin on his face. He tentatively touched it, so I took his hand and ran it over the branches... he laughed!

Does anyone else think that Matthew's facial expression in the header photo has a strong resemblance to the guy in that old commercial with bitter beer face?

Does anyone else think that the little baby marching across the caterpillar in the ticker above is moving WAY TOO FAST???

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Can't touch this!



Matthew loves to touch EVERYTHING, so I was surprised at his reaction when we received this beautiful wreath in the mail from the Johnsons. I'm too busy (read "lazy") to put this to music right now, so while you are watching it just sing MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" to yourself.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Helping the Orphan

I will be doing a post soon about how many potential adoptive parents are scared away by adoption costs...and I wanted to post this video...perhaps as an encouragement that behind the agency fees, country fees, travel fees, and processing fees are little lives...real little lives waiting for love.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Only by God's grace...

Matthew has not been having good sleeping nights lately and then today his naps took a turn for the worse. A turn for the worse!!! It was like someone snuck in and gave him some Vivarin or No-Doze or whatever it was that people took in college to stay awake during finals. Not to say that he wasn't dog tired...just that he wouldn't sleep. Let me say that I now understand why sleep deprivation is used as TORTURE in some countries (I was actually wondering today if I would rather undergo sleep dep as torture or have my fingernails pulled out one by one). I get frustrated when he is awake night after night, and irritated when I can't make appts/plans because I never know how his night will will affect his day, and selfish when I have to sleep on the little twin in his room that feels like it's giving me bed sores. Normal? Probably. Ugly? For sure. So I was thinking about all of this in the shower tonight when this thought came to my mind: "Lord, I don't want Matthew's sleep to get better until you change me!" This is not to say that I don't want my baby to be rested and healthy...but to say that I want my baby's mama to look more like Christ. Compassionate. Unselfish. Long suffering. A Servant's heart.

Only by God's grace can one say, "Please don't take away the thorn in my side until You use it to take away the sin in my heart." Only by God's grace.

UPDATE: Sometimes I think his sleep issues stem from the high doses of caffeine running through his veins??? He slept decently last night...was AWAKE at 5:30. I did finally get him to go back to sleep after his 6:30 bottle...in my arms. Then at 7 something before his eyes were fully opened, he "bounded" (not exaggerating) out of my arms, had crawled to the end of the twin bed, and was trying to bounce his bed with his arms. This was literally within seconds of waking. Maybe even milliseconds. He is just one busy boy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

UPdate!




(I'm going to get my hair done today and taking this photo to the stylist)

RE: Matthew's atopic dermatitis - His skin is looking better since we started running the humidifier, using Aquaphor, and cutting back on baths. Since I went gangbusters and tried all remedies at once, I can't tell you which is the secret weapon!


RE: Matthew's super soaked diapers - At the recommendation of a few wise mamas I started double diapering him at night. Most mornings I find him with dry sheets, so that is great! During the day if we are out at a place where changing him isn't easy or sanitary, I sometimes still end up with a wet shirt if I am carrying him...even if he is wearing plastic pants over his diaper. But who has the money to double diaper your baby 100 times a day, so I will settle for doing extra laundry.


RE: Matthew's disinterest in doing hand movements to songs - It continues. He is flat out unconcerned about any spider going up a water spout. While he is starting to point, he finds no pleasure in clapping.


RE: Matthew's teeth - Still none.


RE: Matthew's talking - He continues to say "dada" indiscriminitely. It also seems as if has learned a variety of other sounds which he practices a lot. We think he sounds like The Cheat on Homestar Runner. He is very talkative in the morning!

New post & photos


New post & photos ---Adventures in babysitting -- at www.youbelong.net/goff.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hope

I rec'd an Advent book in the mail yesterday from Buckner Int. The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." For Christians, the focus of the entire season is celebrating of the birth of Jesus in His First Advent and anticipating Christ's return in His Second Advent. The 4 weeks of Advent reflect the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

Because of Buckner's ministry to orphans, they have a special love for the fatherless and for the families who adopt them. I would like to share the prayers found in this Advent book for orphans and families.

Yesterday's prayer: HOPE FOR THE FATHERLESS
Sovereign God, please wrap Your loving arms around Your fatherless children. Provide them the HOPE of an eternal Father, the HOPE of being part of a Godly family, and the HOPE of having a family of their own. Please show them the HOPE of the Savior as we celebrate the birth of Your Son.

Today's prayer: HOPE FOR THE FAMILIES
Father, there are so many families looking to take children into their hearts and homes. Give HOPE to the childless and HOPE to the adopting parents. Help the families know that You will work out all the details to Your glory. Provide HOPE in order that these families can make a difference in the lives of that special child You have chosen for them.

New post & photos

New post & photos -- First Fingerpainting -- at www.youbelong.net/goff

Monday, December 3, 2007

Don't hate me because my blog is beautiful!

Check out my new look! I feel like a new woman! A much needed improvement, for sure! If you are now experiencing blog envy...don't worry...you can have a new blog look, too! Just contact my BBFF Rebecca. While my blog was constructed by Rebecca under the "Blogs with Love" organization (www.blogoverswithlove.blogspot.com), Rebecca has since started her own design site to help fund her family's adoption expenses. It's a win-win thing because, no matter which way you go, you are supporting adoption and you will get a beautiful web site!

Rebecca's new site is www.designsbyrebecca.blogspot.com, and it has great examples of the diversity of her designs. Be sure to check it out!

Matthew Pao-palooza

OK...more video...and one of them is long...but my mom loved the last one so much that she called and wanted to buy me a Crate & Barrel gift card!!!! Expect a lot of videos from now on!
Just jokes!


I call this video montage "shake it, don't break it, took your mama 9 months to go through the adoption process." Matthew loves to shake everything he can....the cart at Target, the kitchen table, and especially his bed. When I go in to get him up, he is usually shaking his bed, so then I do it too. It never fails that when I shake it...because I shake it harder...he becomes quite concerned about "Lamby" (his little lamb that we sent him while he still lived in Taiwan), and he always wants to kiss him! So here are the videos!





Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ghetto Christmas Parade

All bundled up!
Playing among the luminarias before the parade.

Tonight we walked up to our "Main Street" to watch the town Christmas Parade. Matthew was waving and waving. Some of the highlights were the Waste Collection trucks and a long line of low-riders decorated with lights. One "float" was a big truck full of girls listening to a Fergie-sounding song. I thought they were going to jump out and Ghost Ride da Whip (if you are unschooled in da Whip, just search it on youtube). There wasn't even a Santa...but did I mention all the low-riders??? We love, love, love our town...and what the parade lacked in class, they made up for in candy. Lots and lots of candy! Scott started picking some up and then that was all Matthew wanted to do. So we came home, put the baby to bed, and had a festive dinner of popcorn, Chips Ahoy, egg nog and parade candy!

Happy December!

Hooray for December...and celebrating the birth of our Savior! We kicked off the month by watching the Nativity Story movie. We were going to go to our little town's Christmas tree lighting (it is like a little 4' tree in front of town hall), but inclement weather kept us in. People who live in places like Minnesota would have called us wimps.

Now that we have a little one the thought of establishing family traditions, as well as keeping some of our own families', becomes more important...so if anyone has a neat tradition they would like to share..I would LOVE to hear it! I'm not ashamed to say that I am a total plagiarizer and need help being creative about such things!

New post and photos - Signs, signs, everywhere signs - at www.youbelong.net/goff.