Sunday, January 29, 2012

Family Goals

Each year, we set goals as a family and individually. This year, we chose 3 to work on.

Our first goal is to memorize a scripture each month. I was trying to think of where I could post the scripture and I came up with this idea. . .


Each month, I will print out the scripture and put it in the frame. It's in a great location in our living room where everyone passes through or hangs out. We also repeat it after scripture study.

Today in church, CJ told me that someone quoted our monthly scripture and recited it incorrectly. She knew it because she had already memorized it!

Our next goal is to visit a museum each month. This year is the "Year of the Museums". If you are a member of the local library here, you can go online and print off free or discounted passes to museums in the bay area. There are of course, only certain days in which the discounted or free passes work, but there are so many to choose from, that we will be able to find something.

Also, many of the museums, have a free day like the first Wednesday of each month. I'll be on the lookout for deals like these because it can get pretty pricey when you take your whole family to the museum!

Our last goal we set is to "Think of Others". The kids are quarreling more these days and we thought that by setting this goal, it will help lesson the tension and hopefully strengthen our relationships. It will also be good for Ben and I to focus on this. There are many times during the day, where I just want to complete something for me and many times I push aside the child who is pleading with me to stop and play with them, because I just want to get what I am working on finished.

I've also been thinking about the love languages. While I was visiting teaching, the books on love languages was brought up. To me, it makes perfect sense that there are different ways in which people communicate their love. Some show it through actions, words, touches, and even gift giving.

And since we each communicate in a different way it is important to know how your loved ones communicate. I want to show my family that I love them in the way that they understand. I also want to be able to communicate better with them and learn to understand them better when they come to me with their frustrations.

I love setting goals and I hope that my children will too and that it will become a habit in their life. I hope that they will see the benefits that come from setting goals and be proud when they accomplish them. And most importantly, that goal setting is a positive way to make ourselves better.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mia goes to State!

Mia's photography entry titled, "Color of Us" went to the District level for the Reflection Contest. Yesterday we arrived late because we thought it was a open house where we got to view the pieces that were chosen.


What we didn't know was that it was an award's ceremony and they announced names and the child got to go on the stage and receive an award. We barely made it in time before the ceremony was over and even though they already announced Mia's category, they arranged it so she could have her name announced and receive her award.


She was so elated! We found out that her entry will also be moving onto the state level!!


I couldn't be prouder of this girl! Mia is self driven and knows what she wants. She knew from the beginning that she wanted to do Photography and that she wanted to do something with color. Then, she was so clever to title her piece, "Color of Us". In essence, her description described that there are many different colors of people in this world and that we are all special. I'm sure that won the hearts of the Californian judges who bask in this state's diversity!

Go Mia!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finding out about myself. . .

When my parents came to visit me for Christmas my Mom brought me some things that she had from Michigan. She gave me a file from what I gather are documents and notes gathered from the social worker.

I found it so fascinating as I scrolled over these notes and tried to imagine myself as this 1 1/2 year old. Here are some interesting facts that I learned about myself and some things that are still true to this day.

I was admitted to Holt (the adoption agency) on December 21, 1978. That means I was probably about a year and a half when I was abandoned. They recorded that my weight and height exceeds average age level.

This is probably because in the notes before it talks about how I have a really good appetite and that I'm not particular when it comes to food, which is still true today. I'll eat anything!

I was shy around strangers but warmed up to people I saw more often. I was placed in a foster home with a family that had 3 boys ages 8, 10, and 12. It says that they loved me and took good care of me.

I also preferred boys better. Which is true even today. I'm not a super tom boy, but I have always gotten along with the boys and hung out with them. Sometimes I will find with friends that I enjoy talking to the husband more than the wife.

This next thing surprised me. They said I was mischievous and does errands in the room. My mother told me that I could keep myself entertained and play quietly.

They also said that I spoke many words and understands well. Not always saying real words, but I said, "um-ma" for mama, "ab-ba" for papa, and "neh" for yes. I think "neh" is actually Korean. I don't know about the other words.

Their last notes were, "Soo Ah (that was my Korean name) is physically healthy and sound, and is developing well. She is cute and lovely looking little girl ready for adoption."

This is a picture of me of what I looked like on my flight to the United States. I call this my refugee picture.


I analyze many things. One thing that I analyze quite often is what attributes did I get from my birth parent and which ones from my adoptive parents. I probably think about this more than I should. I think that it is just on my mind because I'm trying to figure out myself.

This is what I have concluded. I think that I have attributes and behaviors that are due to genetics and I also have behaviors that stem from the environment I grew up in. But I also think that some things about myself are just who I am and that no matter where or who raised me, I would still have the same qualities.

It's a testimony to me that we existed before this life and that we will exist again after this life.

Another thing that I have a testimony of is priesthood blessings, that the priesthood holder giving the blessing is the mouthpiece. That the words spoken are from our Heavenly Father. In the folder I also found the words from my name and blessing that was given to me.

As I read over the words, it felt familiar. It felt like my patriarchal blessing. It's my Heavenly Father speaking to me in a way, that there is no doubt that he knows me. That I am special to him. That I am important.

Some people who are adopted struggle with the "unknown". I have never been one that has struggled. I've never wondered "why' and "what if". I've always been so grateful to have the life that I have and even with this little bit of information that I have received, I don't feel any different.

I also know that in the next life, I will get to meet my birth parents. And you know, the first thing I will say is, "Thank you for giving me a better life!" and I will embrace them.

I think my Mom and Dad so extraordinary to have adopted 5 children and given each one of them a better life! I will be forever grateful.


(This is a picture that was taken of me when I became a citizen of the United States. I was in 5th grade. It took so long because my birthdate was incorrect on my birth certificate.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Porter Utah Tour 2011

Our friends in Utah call our visits, "The Porter Utah Tour". Makes us feel like movie stars. We left for Utah, 9 p.m. Monday, the day after Christmas. We arrived around 8:30 a.m. in Utah after driving straight through the night. I don't think I ever caught up on sleep the entire time!

Porters don't just sit.

They move.

Even if it is just moving our mouths-we move.



Moving our feet.


My favorite move was when Andy, who was on the ground on her back, took the ball in between her legs and flung it in the opposite direction. Wish I had a picture of that!


Moving our bodies.


Hannah and Abby are awesome when doing charades. Abby acts out inside stories and Hannah gives dialogue to every ones actions. The best part is that they always guess the right thing no matter how "out there" the word is. I want them on my team!


Mouths move (but not lips).

Ben cannot do this game without drooling. Next time, I would suggest a cup maybe to catch the drool?


Dance moves.


Who knew we would have so much fun with this? The girl cousins were so cute dancing-why didn't I get a picture? Abby and Kam are superior dancers and Mom and Dad busted it pretty hard too-future dance off?


Moving with Trax to Temple Square.


We visited the museum on temple square which had a Book of Mormon kids exhibit. It was alot of fun and they had many activities for the kids to do like helping Nephi build the boat, planting food, and learning how to do some mexican dances.


Ringing in the New Year!


We got to ring the New Year with Ben's family! This was my favorite trip to Utah and I don't know why, they are all super fun, but this one I just loved. We visited all of Ben's Utah sibling's homes, visited with Grandma/pa Porter (whose Christmas gift of homemade fleece blankets were super loved the whole trip), Ben made his famous pizza, made trips to DI and pawn shops, listen to Caleb sing and play his ukulele (oh yes Caleb, I heard you when you thought no one was listening! ha! ha!0, and just hung out.

The kids loved making the polymer clay boxes with Grandma. Mia told me it was her favorite thing about the trip. CJ loved making the quilt wall hanging. Xander loved the I-Pad. And Zoey loved her cousins or "my cousins" as she says it.


Can't wait for the "Porter Reunion"!!