Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Judaya!

Even though she has probably already celebrated her birthday, being that Korea is 14 hours ahead of us, we celebrated it today. On our July 1st.

We celebrated with Bulgogi, (Korean BBQ) which I made tonight for dinner. Then brownies.

It's really hard to believe that she's One today and we have just barely sent in our acceptance. When Tootsie was one, we were awaiting our EP approval. Six weeks later we were on a plane to get her.

I thought of Judaya dozens of times in the last day or so. Trying to put together a birthday care package with things that she might like.

There are many things that I am thankful for, even though I am not with her today. She will be celebrating her birthday in her birth country, with her loving Foster parents. She will be more immersed in the culture that we all love. Which will be harder for her to leave, in the end. But I guess a part of me hangs on to the hope that she will retain more of her culture than Joye did.

Celebrating her today felt good. It gives me so much to look forward to.

Will she be home this time next year? No one knows. I hope so, but then I also know that HIS timing is perfect. That is where I rest my trust.

Happy Birthday sweet girl. We love you so very much.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

LEGALS! and Baseball

So. . . . . .I guess our acceptance was sent last week, because I got Judaya's legals yesterday! Yay! I knew our acceptance was sent, because my agency told me so. But I didn't know that they already had her legals. I'd like to say that this important piece of the puzzle gets our timeline going, but that would be speaking out of turn. Oh well. I really feel at peace with the whole thing.

Some say that adopting for the second time is the same, but others say it's different. I'm gonna go with different. Everything - every detail has happened TOTALLY different than Joye's adoption. Which is kinda cool. It's kind of like the boys' birth stories. Totally. Different. I LOVE different. And these two little Korean blessings couldn't be any more different. I don't know Judaya yet, but I have a feeling that they are going to be very different. Hoping that Judaya will not be as spicy as Joye. I LOVE my little girls' spunk, but two of them? I feel a headache coming on . . . .

Next Step: Get the immigration fee together and then wait to get fingerprinted. Again.


In other news . . . .

We have been dashing to and fro baseball games and practices this summer. What do parents do for an entire summer without baseball? I'm convinced that doesn't exist. And if it did, my oldest would shrivel up and die, just at the thought of no baseball. It's his LIFE.

Abram is in T-Ball this year and his last game is tonight. (A very silent YAY! Please don't tell him!) I love that he loves T-Ball and my heart is so happy that we get to take him to play. But I am really done with dashing, and running and rushing. DONE.

Both boys have different practices at different times, on the same NIGHT. I think I said I liked different, let me retract that statement. Chad and I go separate ways for most of the evening. He takes one and I take the other. That ends tonight, thankfully. (That's why I gave the silent Yay. Ya feel me?!)

Kaleb on the other hand started in the Big Leagues this spring. That's right, I said SPRING. He started mid-April in the 9-10 Cal Ripkin League. Also-known-as Kid Pitch. He LOVES it. And I love that he loves it. He's the one and only catcher on his team, and he's a pretty good one. It's his life. They had a tournament a couple of weeks ago and placed 3rd.

The next day, after the tournament, we learned that he made All-Stars! So now we get to partake in MORE BASEBALL! I can hardly contain my excitement. (Anyone reading the enthusiasm level?!) I am so happy for him, though. He worked really hard for it. He never missed a practice, and gave it his all at every game. He totally deserves it and I cannot be happier. So happy.

In all seriousness, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him and all of us. I am so glad that we get to be a part of it. Plus, I don't know what I would do with him if baseball had ended. He already watches it, googles it, talks about it, dreams about it and plays it all day long. What would he do without All-Star practices and scrimmages to keep his mind on baseball? I dunno.

In about two weeks, we will be heading to the opposite side of our state to play in yet-another tournament. Go Panthers! (Hopefully they don't take state, then we head to another state for about a week!) Did I just write that on my Blog? Not me. *wink*

Friday, June 17, 2011

One. Whole. Year.

The day we brought her home.
Last month.

I know she doesn't look like she's changed much, but I assure you, she has.

She came home crawling, now she's running.

She was a whopping 16 pounds in Korea, now she's 22. However, she STILL fits in the same clothes that she came home in. I have to admit, it's easier to carry her in the Beco, being that she's still so tiny. She still loves the Beco, that hasn't changed.

She came home very much a baby, even at 13 months old. Now that she's two, she is doing many things that her toddler counterparts are doing. Like normal two-year-old stuff; tantrums, stomping, fit-throwing, crying at the top of her lungs, you know, regular toddler things.

She came home with MANY sleep issues, now she can fall asleep on her own. In her bed. Without me. (except now as I type, she's wailing in her crib, NOT sleeping - the irony.)

She came home bowing, responding to Dori Dori, and when you said 'sah-rahng-hey-yo' (Korean for 'I love you'), she would put her hands above her head. None of which she responds to now. Sniff, Sniff.

She came home with a deeply-rooted jealous nature toward the boys. They couldn't even come near me. Hugs, kisses, even conversations, would send her into a tornado-tantrum. Now, we see this from time to time, but not at the level it was. Glad that's over.

We were SO in love with our newest addition and yet, so pained by the fact that we took her away from the only 'mother' she knew.

That LOVE has grown so deep, so tangible, so REAL. And she is doing some loving of her own now. I really don't think she knew how to love us at first. How would she? She barely knew us.

She calls out for Chad and I, and prefers us to all others.

I have been reflecting back to a year ago, and it's amazing how far we, and Joye, have come. What a difference. I wouldn't trade this past year for anything in the world.

For the record, it hasn't been rainbows and Popsicle's.

It's been HARD.

But if it wasn't hard, I don't think I would have learned what I needed to learn, forgot what I needed to forget, and loosened the grip on what I held tight.

I am looking forward to many more years with my little Tootsie. (Even though she hasn't been the most delightful little person to be around lately.)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


JUST as I posted that we had Acceptance to Korea, our agency emailed to tell me that our SW hadn't sent our Homestudy to them yet. WHAT?! Wonderful. They also suggested us to contact her (SW) via phone and give her a 'friendly reminder.' Happily!!! So I sent Chad to do the dirty work and she called us back on Sunday. It should be ready this week. So we SHOULD have acceptance to Korea by next week. Either way, things are moving in that direction. It's totally out of our control, there's nothing we can do about any of it. I keep putting it in God's hands. He's the only One who has control anyway, right?

We also heard that Judaya had her eye surgery and that everything went well. It was an out-patient type of deal, but I was still relieved to know that everything went well. She is Joye's size currently, and very close to walking. Judaya will be bigger and Joye will be older. Who would have thought? Interesting, huh?

I'll keep you posted on when the 'official' acceptance is. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ATK! A.K.A. Officially Matched!

This past week our acceptance papers made their way to us. Then we notarized them and then realized that the notary expired next month. Yeah, THAT's not gonna work. So we had to have them RE-notarized. *Sigh*

But the GOOD NEWS is that our acceptance is on it's way to KOREA! YAY! So we are now 'officially' matched with our little girl! Next on the docket - care package!

The big question we've been answering is . . . "so . . . when are you looking at bringing her home?"

When we initially got on the list with our agency, we knew things in Korea were slowing down. So when we said "YES!" to our little precious, we knew it was going to be a while before we would get her home. We found out last week that the EP's are filled for this year. Which basically means that we won't have her home for another year, minimum. This wasn't a big surprise to Chad and I. We kind of figured. Miracles still happen, but it's going to take just that - a miracle. So in the mean time, I am enjoying the children I have, and reading up on Toddler Adoption. It will be different from Tootsie's adoption, and I'm not gonna lie, that makes me a little scared but also a little excited.

Those of you who have adopted a toddler in the 2-3 year old range, please share! Joye was 13 months old when she came home and still very much a baby. Judaya (which is the name we have chosen for our little one) will be 2, maybe even 3! Load me up with pointers and things that worked for you and your family. I'm all ears!

Otherwise we are SO GLAD to have our acceptance in, and are on our way to getting the state-side stuff done!

I want to say a heart-felt thank you to our friends and family. You donated $1800 towards our adoption which doubled to $3600! Without you, we would still be waiting to accept. So thank you! Words will never convey how thankful we are!

God. IS. Good.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Tootsie!

My little Tootsie turns TWO today! Can you believe it?! I can't. We actually had her cupcake party on Saturday, because Mondays are really not a good day to have a party. AND because we have Baseball practice. :) We invited friends and family over to celebrate. She greeted her guests in her adorable Hanbok that Foster Mom gifted us with.

Last year, we missed her first birthday, and I kept catching myself putting just one candle out for her cupcake. In my mind she's only one still. But no, she's really two.

It's been a while since I have updated our progress, so I thought her birthday post would be a great way to play catch-up.

She's sleeping in her own bed now! That's the biggest news of the day. She slept with Chad and I for a good 10 months and we (I) finally decided that she was ready. However, she is still in our bedroom. Which is OK. She needs to know that we are still near, and we all get better sleep this way. She still fights sleep and although it's still incredibly frustrating for me, it is getting better. There has been MAJOR progress in this area, and I remind myself of that daily.

Her language is exploding and she's talking and communicating more. There are still times when I am confused as to what she wants and it ends with a tantrum. But overall, it's MUCH better.

She plays with dolls more, and loves to cook with her pots and pans when I am cooking. She's more lovable and secure. She plays more independently and has less fits. She has grown incredibly attached to both of her brothers and is more affectionate to them.

Many of you are probably wondering about Sister. We are working on getting our Acceptance together and our money in. Until that happens, our timeline to bring her home doesn't begin. So we are getting close!

Anyway . . . Happy Birthday to my sweet Joye!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting there . . .

I just wanted to update you all on our progress to getting little sister home. STILL don't have Acceptance to Korea yet, but we are getting closer. This past week we have mailed out letters to our friends and family asking them to help in any way possible. Last Tuesday, Lifesong called and granted us a covenant loan for $4000 and a matching grant for $3500. Woooohooooo! We are THAT much closer to getting the funds to send our paperwork to Korea!!!

THEN, I got an email today saying that we have been granted $2000. This was totally unexpected that literally fell out of the sky. I'm not kidding. I knew if we were obedient, that God would provide, He always does.

Here is the letter we sent out, just in case you were not blessed to receive one. ;) Only kidding.

Hoping this letter finds you enjoying the New Year! Sorry we didn't get Christmas cards out this year. It was a busy ending to a busy year. Speaking of busy, our lives are going to get a little busier. As most of you know, we brought home Joye last June from South Korea. We have enjoyed her so much and she is such a blessing to our lives. After bringing her home, the Lord began to stir up thoughts of adopting again. We rationalized and talked, prayed and doubted. After we finalized in court with Joye, we finally bit the bullet and signed on with our agency, again. We were told to expect a 3+ year wait. Well, Our Heavenly Father had other plans.

We told our agency that we would accept a child that had special considerations. After many emails, phone calls between our agency and us, there is now a little girl in Korea that is waiting to become a part of our family. It’s a leap of faith. It's super crazy, but we know that this is what God has intended for our family.

The biggest mountain that we are facing is the finances to get her home, about $20,000+. We KNOW that God will provide. He provided every penny for Joye's adoption. However we had two years of praying and waiting. We don't have that long with little sister. She turns a year old on July 1, and we want to get her home as soon as possible.

So we will just get to the point . . . We have partnered with an organization, LifeSong, that helps out adoptive families financially. We have received a generous Covenant Loan for $4,000 and a matching grant worth $3,500. Please pray about giving to our fund. I am not asking for money. I am asking that you search for His Holy Spirit and genuinely ask about partnering with us and LifeSong, to help us bring home a little girl that needs a loving family. Everything that you give will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Whatever you felt led to give, will be more than we have right now. I know that many have fallen on hard times, and I am in no way discounting that, Chad and I felt led to just ask, and see how God mightily moves our gigantic mountain.

Chad and I have been called to adopt, and by stepping out in obedience, we know that God will meet us. If you can't give, please know that we understand, and we ask that you would consider praying for us and our new little one. Prayer is just as important, if not more important than money. You praying for us is a huge help and we appreciate every one.

Please send your donations to:

Lifesong for Orphans

P.O. Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St.

Gridley, IL 61744

Be sure to put Baxter/#1901 in the memo line to reference it to the right account. Thank you!

May God richly bless you all!

I have omitted her name (for the blog), but have added that you can also pay through Paypal. You can do that here. Just make sure you enter in our name and account #.

Thanks again!