Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Tristen

Tristen is a great kid who's got a lot of energy! He loves to play 1-on-1 with you!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

DogFest 2010: Minnie Makes New Friends

Minnie and I went to DogFest today. The money raised goes to the Cruse Dog Park! We had such a blast!

First of all, Minnie loves other dogs. She may be a Rottweiler, but she thinks she is a small dog. No joke. She wants to play with all the toy dogs... who are like a whopping 3 pounds. It scares the bejezus out of some dog owners. I apologize.

Anyway, another thing I loved--the Dachshund Dash! Wow, weener dogs are so cute. There are several heats through the day, but the one I watched was hilarious. The little weener dog that won ran so fast, and then it pooped... I guess it had too much excitement.

We even met a bloodhound who works as an Ozarks police officer! He sniffs out trouble!

Had such a great time today! Even Jim stopped by on his way to a story to see his little Minnie in action.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Korean Holiday Chuseok = Thanksgiving

What a coincidence.

This morning I was thinking of my sister, Hyun Jeong, so I decided to give her a call. When she picked up, she said today was the beginning of Chuseok. It's a big Korean holiday, like our version of Thanksgiving.

Actually, today is the start of Chuseok. It's a three-day festival that falls on different days every year because of the lunar calendar. Chuseok is the Full Moon Harvest Festival--celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar... and is held around the Autumn Equinox.

Anyway... Korea time is 14 hours ahead of Central. So, I always add two hours to the current time and flip a.m./p.m. That means day 1 of Chuseok has already passed in Korea. Hyun Jeong said everyone is staying at our Korean parents' house. My other two sisters, Hyunmi and Yeon Jeong are staying there along with their husbands and children. My birth mother told Hyun Jeong to call me today and ask how I was doing because she can communicate well with me.

I miss them.

And, I like hearing the updates. I feel like I'm a part of their lives. My birth father apparently has developed diabetes. He's not overweight, but he's lived the life of a typical Korean man--he smoked and drank for much of his lifetime, so now his body is catching up. Hyun Jeong said he's eating well--not eating meat--and that he's stopped smoking and most of his drinking.

Glenn says he and Hyun Jeong will likely take some time off next year and visit the states. I'm hoping they can take a road trip to Missouri. My mind is an uncontrollable force... I'm trying to calm it down because it's all too exciting to think that they'll be on U.S. soil!

Anyway, I have never observed Chuseok, even when I was studying Korean language... even when I surrounded myself with Korean people. But this year feels a little different. I'm getting older and realizing how blessed I am. I wish I could've been at the dinner table in Korea last night, watching my niece and nephew run around, and not understanding two-thirds of what was being said. At the same time, it's unbelievable that things turned out so swimmingly here...

Tonight when I get off work, I have a date to Skype with my Korean family as they celebrate Day 2 of Chuseok at Hyun Jeong and Glenn's new house. I can't wait! I'm so glad I'm celebrating two Thanksgivings this year... there's a lot to be thankful for!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Angels in Adoption, Thank you Mr. Blunt

I posted this on my Facebook page a while back, but I guess I've been neglecting my blog. I recently received a great honor, and I wanted to share it here.

I will be traveling to Washington, D.C. early next month to accept a Congressional award for my volunteer work in adoption. As many of you know, I've been a huge advocate for adoption for several years. The Wednesday's Child segments on KSPR have been going well, but I would like to see more participation from the community. We'll get there.

I loved, loved, loved being an escort for Korean adoptees. There's nothing better than flying halfway across the world to bring a baby home to the United States. The first time I did it was in 1998, and I remember that's when families could still go right up to the gate. That baby cried all the way from Seoul to Tulsa, but I was the one crying when we gave him to his parents.

I've never said this on my blog, but I would probably leave TV news if I thought I could work with Korean adoptees or for an international adoption agency... but what would I do? I admire social workers, but the work is too exhausting.

I once thought I could be a social worker in 1998. I was at KU. I took my first social work class-- it would also be my last. I thought I'd go to the class and automatically learn about my interest, international adoption. However, I learned about poverty, mental illness and the sacrifices social workers make. One day, I was sitting in a huge lecture hall, and my professor started crying. She had just learned one of her former students had been murdered in New York. The former student was now a social worker and had been killed as a result of being mugged.

So... although I am thrilled and honored to be accepting a Congressional award for my volunteerism, it does not even compare to the daily contributions our social workers make. They should be honored every day!
On a side note, I should thank Congressman Roy Blunt. He is the one who nominated me for this honor. As many people know, Mr. Blunt adopted a boy from Russia a few years ago, and Charlie is so cute!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Keanna

Wednesday's Child is Keanna--she's a very helpful girl who even spends a lot of her spare time helping those in need. Check her out!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Missouri-Grown Shrimp Tastes Like Lobster!

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, you may want to take a drive up to Dixon. Sure, it's a haul... but once you get there, you may end up hauling back a ton of shrimp.

Recently, I did a story on a guy named Paul Smith, who not only raises shrimp... BUT throws a big shrimp festival on his property! Read my story in this month's 417 Magazine. Paul was incredibly smart, funny and nice, and I wish him all the best in his venture.

Paul raises shrimp, tilapia and trout. Check him out!! The shrimp fest runs until Sunday... he has people all the way from Canada drive in. Can you believe that??

OH, and Paul says his shrimp taste like lobster. That definitely makes me want to take the drive!

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Marquell

OH my gosh! Marquell is so sweet with his little two front teeth missing.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

What Would You Eat Out of Hunger?

I won't get on my soapbox tonight, but I want to give you something to think about.

Today, I was not on the news because I had a Wednesday's Child shoot. I usually do this once a month and tape four foster kids throughout the Ozarks-- then air their stories throughout the next month. Since we have adoption professionals coming in from St. Louis and Jefferson City, it just makes sense.

When I shoot these stories, it's easy to lose focus on what we're doing. After all, I just get a glimpse of a child... in a certain time and space. I have no idea where the child has been or what the child has experienced.

I was speaking with a foster mom today who reminded me of why Wednesday's Child is so important. She told me, "You look at these kids and forget where they've come from. Every child has a story."

She then told me a brief story about one of her foster kids. He came to her weighing just 18 pounds at age 4. He couldn't speak... he had been left to fend for himself most days. When his case workers found him, he was pulling paint off the wall. He wasn't pulling paint off the wall to be ornery. He was pulling it off so he could have something to eat.

Good thing this woman is adopting him!

The boy can speak more than 30 words now, and he's learning to communicate through an electronic device. He is really making big strides.

And the best? She decided to adopt him after seeing his story on KSPR during our Wednesday's Child segment.

I will update their story when the adoption becomes final. Thanks to all who continue to support Wednesday's Child. I really feel like we're making a strong commitment to Missouri kids, and I am proud to be a part of it. I hope people will take the two or three minutes it takes to watch the kids' stories and realize the critical need out there!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Alex

Wow! Alex is one of the cutest little guys out there. His case worker says he's really stressed out about not being in a permanent home. It breaks my heart. You'll see what I mean when you watch the story. Thanks!