Category Archives: Adoption

Tales from our journey through adoption/building our family

Where are you? What are you doing?

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Well… really? I’m here. Waiting. But the BEST news is this:   there are only 6 more days until the Chicklet arrives! THANK GOD!  I think I have found a way in the River of Denial these last few torturous weeks of waiting for her to travel once we had her travel date.  I am still dumbfounded by why the travel arrangements took so long to make – but I shouldn’t complain.  I have travel dates for my baby and I know other adoptive families are in the midst of Waiting-HELL, a place when you have no dates, no deadlines, and no information.  Waiting-HELL is over; but the waiting is still here.

I’m sorry I have not been posting as much as I would have liked to.  You see, life in the Gobsmacked household has gotten busy.  Today is my last day teaching (next week is Spring Break) and it is like “Finals Week” with all of the grading, lesson planning, preparation for my long-term sub, notes for my students, letters of recommendation writing, etc.  It’s manic, to be sure, but I manage to find time to tell each individual student in my classes (all 145 of them) why I have loved and enjoyed them so this year in class.  It was great to walk through the class, shake hands with each student and tell them what gifts they have brought to our class and me, in particular.  I’m amazed I could do it without getting teary.  I love my job and my students… AND I have a tendency to cry at good, sappy Hallmark commercials – so heck!  I thought for SURE that I would break!  But nope, I was good. 😀

I feel badly about taking a break from blog writing.  Truly, this is a personal outlet.  NOT a venture for a earning money nor a career change (although I’m proud of my fellow GF bloggers who have brought so much to our community through their professional writing contributions etc).  This is not the job I want.  I want to blog because I love to reflect on life this way.  It’s peaceful, actually.  Taking time to sit and write about the things we have cooked or baked together as a family and sharing recipes and life with you all.

In March,  I turned 40 years old.  FORTY!  Who knew time could fly so fast?  I certainly don’t look “forty” (whatever that looks like!).  I remember thinking how OLD forty was when I was in high school.  I don’t feel the way that I anticipated at forty.  In fact, I think I rather enjoy it.  And I’m looking forward to 50!

For my 40th birthday, my family (Mom/Dad and sister from MN) flew in to celebrate with me.  One of my two sisters lives here and she hosted a party for family and friends.  It was nice to have some adult time with my teaching friends.  (Thanks, family, for the fun!)  We had veggies trays, hummus… and well, to be honest – too much food! :) It was lovely.

My Love and I spent time with my parents on Tuesday evening.  It was lovely just to have some time with the two of them.  My mom was talking to me about dinner and eating.  We had a heart to heart about how sometimes being on a special diet makes things complicated; especially emotionally.  My family is grand.  They like to do things on the fly and just plan to “grab something” as they are hungry.  What is difficult for me is that sometimes this “grabbing” means stopping for sandwiches, pizza, etc.  All things I can’t  just “grab”.  

I explained this to my sweet Mom who told me that no one minds that I don’t eat what they eat.  I think I was finally able to explain that it wasn’t about not eating the same thing; it’s about the emotionally feeling excluded from the fold.  Not being able to “grab a bite” wherever we are means having to plan ahead when everyone else isn’t.  It means having to figure out what I can/cannot eat from whatever menu or location we land at on the fly.  It means grilling waitstaff of the minutia of the salad ingredients and STILL getting croutons or tortilla strips or BREAD ROLLS served on top of whatever could have been gluten free but is now most definitely not.

Sometimes the internal emotional well that I feel in these social situations is overhwhelming and it makes me quite melancholy or withdrawn.  Sometimes I get irritated at the lack of consideration for the fact that MAYBE, just MAYBE I don’t *want* to eat a plain salad someplace again. And then there are other times when I feel like baggage or a burden or a pain or .. well… like I just don’t want anyone to notice.  So, in my own self-protective way, I plan ahead and plan again to make sure that I have access, people understand why I’m vigilant and I can not have blood sugar bounces that create a crabby-Kate.  😀

Now that I’m planning for the same even blood sugar for the Chicklet (packing snacks and healthy foods in to diaper bags and figuring out access to “emergency”/”feed the baby NOW” foods), I’m realizing just how much MORE important these past few years of planning ahead practice are going to be for me.  

Yes, I know my schedule is about to change dramatically for the better (or even for the stinky diapers).  Now, I need to plan and plan again.  No one needs a Crabby-Mommy-Kate because I am stuck eating the six pieces of iceburg lettuce that I found listed as a “salad” on some menu somewhere.  So, I’m packing ahead for myself as well.

  • What do you have on hand for yourself?
  • How do you handle this emotional divide that can sometimes creep in thanks to our separate diets?
  • What do you do when you have no control over the what, where, how and when of eating in your life?


I’m off to finish grading more papers.  Maybe I will finish by Monday.
I’d better.  I have more important things to worry about!
After all, I have a BABY coming!!!!!!

Happy GF Eating, All!

Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

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GF Coconut Cupcake, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Yes, my mind is whirling with the great news of our kidlet making an appearance. It feels SO GOOD to have a DATE on the calendar attached to a flight number and everything. It’s really an amazing thing. It is the first time in this very long process that there hasn’t been something else hanging over head or some other “unknown” about how long until we meet her.

We have a DATE! OH! I could SHOUT that from the mountains but umm…. I’m not in the mountains. Instead, I just sing happily on the way home and dance in the classroom with my students.

I made some coconut cupcakes the other day because I couldn’t resist this delicious looking package from G.F. Joe’s for unsweetened coconut. I had been looking high and low for some. I’m honestly a bit surprised at the LACK of unsweetened coconut at our grocers, to be honest. One would think that among the millions of things stashed on the shelves that there would be space for unsweetened, yummy coconut. Nope. Nada.

You can, however, find unsweetened coconut on the shelves of your nearest Asian market, food co-op, health food store, or .. if you are wickedly LUCKY like me (teasing!), you can pick some up at G.F. Joe’s. (And Joe even has a NEW sign hanging over the doors so he is easier to find!)

These cupcakes were the perfect thing to celebrate good news. They are NOT the light and fluffy cupcake but much more like a pound cake in consistency. To be honest, I think the next time I make this recipe, I will just make coconut bread. I think it will taste heavenly toasted for my breakfast on the run. Hmm.. maybe with even a little smear of peanut butter.

Okay.. I am digressing. Nothing new… I’m just getting less able to stick to a story line with thoughts of the kidlet’s arrival bouncing in my head. It’s actually quite the professional handicap. No one needs a teacher with swiss cheese for a brain, lemme just say that now.

Anywho, I hope you give these cupcakes a whirl. I’m making the coconut bread this weekend to test that. I’ll let you know how that works out too.

This weekend we are busy getting the car ready to carry a baby. I need new tires (grumble….) and it could definitely use a good vacuuming. We are off to a friend’s house to make kimchi (my first lesson) and some other tasty Korean food for children. I’m forever grateful for this family’s offer to help me learn these food techniques for the kidlet. It will make her transition here a little easier when the food she eats tastes somewhat similar to what she ate in Korea.

They say that we should start counting her age again once she arrives as everything is so new. Internationally adopted children, especially, have so many new things to learn (sights, sounds, smells, phonics!, tastes, textures, etc) that it is like starting over from Day One with a newborn. So while she will be one week shy of turning 11 months old, it is really like her social world and knowledge (routines, etc) will be the same as for a newborn. After all, as of April 9, it will be Day One for us all as a family too. I’m incredibly thankful to be able to learn a few food tidbits and tips from our Korean friends to help ease our little one in to our world.

But enough of my prattle – you’re here for the food, right?
So please! Taste these! Try them!
Let me know what you think! 😀

Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

Makes one dozen standard-sized cupcakes.
(A printable copy of this recipe can be found here.)

2 Tablespoons of butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup non-fat GF vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon GF coconut extract
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2/3 cup lite coconut milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, mix butter, eggs and yogurt together evenly.
  3. Add superfine sugar, vanilla and coconut extracts. Mix together again.
  4. Add unsweetened coconut, gluten-free flour mix and xanthan gum. Mix again.
  5. Slowly add the coconut milk until you reach a slightly thick muffin batter.
  6. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Fill each 2/3 – 3/4 full.
  7. Bake at 350F for 18 – 24 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
  8. Allow to cool and then frost with your favorite frosting – or eat as is.

Happy Gluten Free Eating, All!

She can travel!!

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Great news!

The Chicklet got her visa issued today by the US Embassy!  

This means that the South Korean government has obviously given out her emigration permit and passport.

Still no travel date, but it is DEFINITELY on the horizon now!

Thank you ALL for your love and support!

I’ll keep you posted!