Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Belated Birthday

Happy Belated Birthday to my Kaleb! He turned 8 on the 27th. Better late than never, right?!
I tried to put a post together but with Christmas and his party and all of us having a cold, today is the day it made it's way to the blog. :) Happy Birthday K!
Kaleb is a very special guy. He's very sensitive and caring. If I am having a bad day, he will ask me what's wrong and try to make it better. If I cry, he cries. He has such a special tenderness to him that I absolutely love. (His wife will too, someday.)

He is a VERY good big brother. He cares for Abram deeply. He shows him things, helps him when he needs it and Abram ADORES him. He calls him "bubba." Abram LOVES his Bubba. Don't get me wrong, they have their typical sibling tendancies, but I pray that they will be just as tight as they get older.

He also loves his baby sister. He whoops and hollers (sp?) right along with us in each step of the adoption process. He's not too crazy about anything "girl-y" so this will do him some major good. It's been a boy's world around here for way. too. long.

Kaleb loves Baseball, playing Wii and is a Wolf in Cub Scouts. Of the three, I think Scouts wins hands-down. It has been THE BEST program for him. He's met some real great boys and has learned so much. He tells me how much he wants to be an Eagle Scout, at least once a month. He's very smart. His favorite subject is Arithmetic. His least favorite is Health.
Typical boy. ;)

(Clorox! Where?!)
He loves to be near all of us and is a big family boy. The more family around, the happier he is.



Going camping this past year, was a big thing for him. He learned how to cast and caught his first fish by himself. I don't think a day goes by without him telling me how much he misses fishing. He can't wait to go next year. I HOPE Joye is a camper! If not, it's a good reason for the "girls" to stay home once in a while!






Happy Birthday sweet Kaleb, and may the LORD bless you in each step you take in this journey of life. I love you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cultural Exchange

I remember in High School having Foreign Exchange students in my classes. I always thought it was kinda cool. A student traveling half-way across the world to my little town to learn the American culture. I thought alot of the people that made it possible.





I received an email from a lady from the Face the World Foundation, that happend upon my blog while researching interesting facts about S. Korea. She is looking for Host Families that would be interested in taking in a student from Korea . . . eleven students to be exact. I was very interested, to say the least. She just simply asked me to forward on her information to families that I knew that *might* be interested. So I did. Then she sent me seven profiles of seven High Schoolers from South Korea that were interested in the exchange. In the profiles are their pictures, family information, hopes and dreams for the future, grades and letters to their prospective Host Families. I have one handsome fella already picked out. However, I have to remember that we *might* be traveling to Korea this late spring/summer. That's cool, he can come with us, spend time with his family while we pick up baby sister. How cool would it be to have a guy that can show us the "real" side of Korea! He'll miss a big chunk of school - but maybe it will be during Spring Break! Then I started thinking about the living arrangements. He'll have to occupy baby sister's room. A teenager needs his space, ya know!





Many of the profiles say "active," meaning they want to be in every program imaginable. Well . . .wouldn't you want to be in every program offered at that age, exprience that culture first hand? You! Bet! Then, I began to think "can I offer this young man everything that he wants to exprience while catering and bonding to my daughter?" Sadly, no. My heart says "absolutely!" but unfortunately my logic says "definately in the future." I'm sure there are many of you out there with the same reservations. BUT if there are some of you out there that would LOVE the opportunity right now, I have the contact information that will get you started.



Meanwhile, let me leave you with a letter from one of the students that is waiting for an exchange. It is intended for his prospective host family and the letter is in his words.



"Dear Host Family,



This is (name omitted) who is really looking forward to metting you very soon.



I am going to introduce my family members : father, mother, younger brother and myself. We have two cats and they are also our family members. All of my family member is very kind and love to enjoy sense of humor.



I love to play soccer and I have many friends who can play games with me. We usually meet at playground in school. If possible, I would like to participate in school soccer team. I can make many friends and lessen stress through playing soccer.



I have a dream to travel all around the world. I do not want to live just in my country. If possible, I want to experience many other cultures and learn their strong point. I am sure it will make me more responsible and mature. Eventually, I want to be a world citizen. I am sure being an exchange student is my first step to make my dream come true. I really want to experience as much as possible with my host family and new friends. I am sure I am well prepared and will do my best.



I really appreciate to you for inviting me into your family. I will do my best to be your family member so please do not hesitate to ask me anything that I am supposed to do as your family member. I will respect your family rule and keep trying to good relationship with all of your family member. I deeply understand it is not easy decision to host foreign student for one year. I really thanks again and I am sure we can make wonderful memories together.



God bless you and your family and take care!

See you soon~



Sincerely yours,

(name omitted)"



I read this, and everything in me wanted to start the process. Isn't it the cutest letter?! They all study English for 4+ years and I think he did a pretty awesome job! I will moderate the comments, to keep it more private for those that want information. Leave your email and let me know! You can also get information on the website if you'd rather.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Legals!

I just checked my mail, and there was a pretty-little-nilla-envelope in there waiting for me! The letter was dated December 10, so that's the date I'm going with. "What are 'legals' exactly?" you might ask? They pretty much state that our agency will be the guardian of little Joye until we finalize (~ six months after she's home). Nothing can get the ball rolling without these. Next step is State Approval and I600 submission.


State Approval is when our beloved Homestudy and legal paperwork are submitted to the State for an approval to adopt. Sometimes they can ask for clerification on certain things and that could delay the process. I have two friends from our agency that had a hiccup with State Approval. Hoping to sail on through with no delays. Normal time-frame for this step is 2-3 weeks.

Also, our I600 is now to be submitted for approval. This is the immigration stuff that I mentioned in a previous post. I won't bore you with the details, it's just the state-side stuff that needs to be done to get our baby home! We will get a letter (I171) in the mail stating that we are approved. I believe that with this letter we (Chad and I) get the okey-dokey to get fingerprinted. We then head to a local USCIS office to do that.

The "word" in the adoption community is that all of the I600 cases are headed to Dallas for approval. I'm not sure if this will be quicker than before, or longer. Either way, normal time-frame for this step is 6 weeks to 90 days. I, again, knew MANY people that waited the full 90+ days and it was excrutiating - to say the least. That puts us at March, at the latest, just to get the US stuff done. I know alot of people are asking "how long, how long?" so I thought that I would just put that out there. Baby Joye could EASILY be spending her first birthday with her Foster Family. I'm ok with that. Chad says I have to be optimistic and have faith. I do. I'm optimistic that she will be home, eventually, and I have faith that it will be at the perfect time. :)

Our agency also sent us some updated pictures of Joye and THE most adorable video I have ever seen. It shows her opening our care package that we sent and looking at our pictures in the photo album we made for her. She really studies them. It is SO cute. We sent a little doll with a rattle in it and she is so enamoured by that doll, that they can't get her to look up. They placed it out of her reach and she gave a little cry. Melted. my. heart. At the end, Foster Mom sat her up and then she looked up and then smiled and rocked from side to side while sitting. Too cute. Here are some of my favorite pics that they took while filming her.
Let me just say that I am forever indebted to the care that our little one is receiving while in Korea. Foster Mom is SO attentive to her and you can tell that she loves her as her own. My heart breaks for the seperation that she will have to endure. Someday I hope I will be able to give as she gave.
Here is FM with our baby and that is the Photo album we sent. At the beginning of the video she is telling her "omma, oppa." Which is Mommy and Daddy in Korean.


This face is what we saw in her referral photo. Eyebrows scrrrrrunched together. Every time they wanted to take a picture this is what she would do. She looks really confused, worried. But while watching the video, I understand why she makes this face. I think she's trying to figure out what they are doing. She made this face while she was studying our pictures, when they gave her the doll. It's the cutest expression, but I was glad to see the many other expressions she had.

Come on now - it's she just precious?!

We are totally in love, by the way - just in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One Month

Today, my little peanut turns 7 months old. It's been one whole month since we said "she's OURS!" No legals - yet. Our agency went to Korea the week before Thanksgiving and 'word on the street' is that they took pictures and should be mailing them out soon. I'm a rather-be-surprized-kind-of-a-gal, so I haven't emailed/called our agency to see if they have recent pictures of our little darling. I'm hoping they do, but no guarentees. I'm also hoping that our legals are in that picture package. :)

I really thought that the wait to bring her home would be cake. But one month in, I can't wait to hold her, see her, listen to her sleep and just be with her. It's alot harder than I thought, but I will survive, and there IS an end in sight, now. I have literally tons of compassion for waiting mom's that have had to wait beyond the time they were orginally told. I feel for them, really feel for them. One things for sure, this adoption road isn't for the faint of heart.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for the families that are waiting to bring thier children home. I pray that you will personally see to each piece of paper, each stage, each process that will get their babies home sooner. Please cover ALL adoptions with your loving provision. Please cover ALL of Your children and protect them as they wait for their forever families. Please give these families the strength to get through these times. Thank you for everything, in advance.
In Jesus' precious name,
Amen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Abram!!!

My little Abram turns five today! He's actually not very "little" anymore. In fact, if he heard me say that he was "little" he would correct me by saying "I'm not little, I'M BIG!" So now that he is a BIG brother now, he's content with no longer being the baby of the family. As much as I want for time to fly, so that we can be united with our youngest child in Korea, I have a hard time with my babies getting older each year. I CANNOT believe that my little snuggler is five today. :(

Abram is a lively, witty and happy little boy (I keep saying little - I just can't help it!) He makes us laugh ALOT! But when he's grumpy - WOW - you can't change his mind! He's not the biggest eater, but he loves Spaghetti (only from a local restaurant here in town), pizza, candy (of any kind) and gum. This kid LOVES gum. He would chew it all. day. long. if I let him.

He is one of THE most loveable little guys I have ever been around. Hugs all around at every family gathering. He is known for making quick friends and for entertaining.

He LOVES his brother, but also loves time away from him. ;) Typical siblings. He likes what Bubba likes and looks up to him alot.

Many people have asked me how Abram will adjust to having a baby sister. If he will react to not being the baby anymore. I really don't think it will bother him much. He is VERY easy going. I think he will be a great big brother.
He loves school, he's really good at writing and can tend to be perfectionist. He's left handed, like me, so he does have the "right brain" artistic-ness. He loves to color and draw.


He was born with blue eyes (I know literally ALL babies are born with blue eyes - but his stayed blue until he was about 4.) and curly hair. LOVE the curly hair. It's just like Chad's and like Chad - he hates it. I comb it up and gel it, and he mashes it down. It's really a big bummer! Flat won't let me touch it! I think he just does it because I want it curly so darn bad! Did I mention that under this curly cuteness is a little bit of stubborness? Ohhhhhh yeah. He has quite the temper . . . let me tell 'ya.



He is very imaginative and loves building things. Lego's, boxes, strings, you name it - it is all fair game when it comes to his little inventions. Who knows what he is going to be when he grows up!?


I absolutely LOVE this boy and I am so very thankful for him. God made him SOOOO special and I am so glad that I get to be his mother.

Happy Fifth Birthday Abram! We love you so much!

I wish for you on this day, that all your dreams will come true, that your Heavenly Father will give you the desires of your heart and that HE will bless you immensely in the years to come. I love you, Wooda!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Her Name

I can hardly believe that a whole two weeks has passed since I last posted. Where in the world did the time go? Since I last posted we have recieved THE acceptance packet (11/3) and signed and notarized 21 (that's right 2-1) pieces of paper (11/4) and overnighted it all back to our agency. Now we wait for "legals." That's our next step, getting the legal documentation from our agency in Korea for baby Joye. Once we signed over the acceptance packet, our information with that packet was sent to Korea to officially "match" us with our baby girl. The timeframe to get legals could take anywhere from 1-4 weeks or maybe longer. Some have recieved them with their referral and some have waited 6+ weeks.

Once we recieve our legals, then we can apply for our I600. Our agency does this for us. Which is the immigration paperwork to classify an orphan as an immediate member of our family (immigartion jargon, not mine). I'm going to stop there, because I could go on for another four+ paragraphs explaining the process of why it takes 6+ months to bring her home. I will post with each step, as they happen. Maybe that will get me to posting more often ;) (But I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you.) Plus, it could be months between each step - so I'm just sayin' - don't count on it!

------------------------------------------

OK - the reason for my post, Baby Joye's name. When I was pregnant for the third time, I was convinced it was a girl, (but looking back on it, I think it was more wishful thinking than anything else.) So I was NOT going to pick out a boys name, because I was convinced it was a girl. When we lost the baby, we chose not to see if it was a boy or a girl. Factors beyond our control made it harder to find out anyway - total God thing. When we were officially on the list for a little girl from Korea, I just couldn't bring myself to use the name we had originally picked out. I prayed for God to give me the perfect name four our daughter waiting for us in Korea. It was around this time last year the we got a mailer for Thanksgiving from the 700 club. Inside were cards reminding us of the meaning of Thankgiving. One card had "Joy" and the Scripture that now adorns this lovely blog. :) "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence; and the pleasures of living with you forever." Psalm 16:11. It hit me. This explains our road to adoption, perfectly. Chad I both agreed (which we rarely do on names) that Joy would be a PERFECT name for our new little one! Then I made a blog (!) with this Scripture as it's name.

Then I found this Scripture "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy." Psalm 30:11 And this one, "So I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn into joy."John 16:20 One more, "Weeping may go on all night, but JOY comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5b [emphasis added]

It was perfect. Simple. Beautiful. I know a couple people named Joy(e) and they are such wonderful people. One bloggy friend I met, while on this journey, went through the same thing we went through and I loved how she spelled her name. So I asked her permission if I could use her spelling. Being the sweetheart that she is, she granted me permission. She is a wonderful, faithful woman of God and has such a talent for writing.

When I was in High School I worked at our local Grocery Store and met another awesome woman of God named Joy. (HI JOY!) We worked together for a couple of years, but is still one of my greatest friends. A great supporter and I absolutely LOVE her! I have always loved the name and it's perfect for our little baby girl. I may be biast, but I think our darling daughter looks just like a Joy (with an e, of course!)

One more thing - in order to have TRUE joy in our life we need to follow the J.O.Y. acronym.

J-Jesus first
O-Others Second
Y-Yourself last

(I just LOVE it, don't you?)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Referral Day - THE Call!

First of all I would like to introduce you to my daughter, Joye SeoYeon! Her name means "wise" and "beautiful," which I whole-heartily agree! There is much background as to why we chose the name Joye, but for now I just want to share the details of the day we got the call. (Can you believe the hair?! I am going to HAVE to invest in some of BriarClaire's clippies!)

Warning: I am a VERY detail-oriented person, and I have ran the way this day would play out through my mind for MANY months. So, hang on, it might be a LONG one! ;)


We were mid-way through the school day on Thursday (10/29) and I had to run an errand that had to be done in the morning. So the boys and I packed up and headed out for an extra-long break. Once we returned it was about 10:30 am and the phone rang. It was one of those pesky "unknown callers." I let the machine pick-up, because I rarely answer the phone while homeschooling anyway. It was AAC, and they wanted me to call them back. I thought, "well they probably need some information or something. I'll call them back in a minute." Then my cell phone rang. Hmmmm, that's odd. "Hello?" It was AAC, again. We proceeded to have small talk about the snow. Then there was this small pause and she said, "well, we have a baby girl that we would like you to look at." My mind was reeling is disbelief while she proceeded to tell me a little about her. "This little peanut was five pounds when she was born . . . . healthy delivery . . . ." I grabbed a pencil and paper an wrote down what I could remember. Then she said " would you like to review her file?" I said "absolutely!" So she verified my email and said to give her a call when we knew our answer.


I then called Chad (who was at work, 40 minutes away) and after about five minutes of convincing him that we had actually got THE CALL, he called his mom and I called mine. Then, I waited for FORTY-FIVE minutes for the file to come through. Yeah, 45 minutes! I then called AAC back and said, "I didn't get the file. I KNOW you sent it, because you told me you were going to, and I bet it's our tricky email address." Sure enough, there were a couple characters missing in the address. So she re-sent it, apologized and thanked me for calling. I then called Chad and sent it to his phone -without looking at it. It never got to his phone. So I sent it again. Nothing. Meanwhile, I opened her medical report but didn't look at her picture. We wanted to see her together. I knew she was mine once I saw her name. Chad was STILL not getting her picture. So I said "here, let me look, take a picture on my phone and send it that way." He said "go ahead." And then I saw this;



Isn't she the cutest little girl EVER? I gasped, and told him how cute she was. We talked for a little while and then he finally got the picture. Love at first sight for him too! We went over a few things and then emailed our family and friends. I emailed our doctor earlier on, and so we waited to hear back from him.

One proud Papa!

One happy Mama!







Kaleb cried, and asked if he was dreaming! How cute is that?! He loves her so much - even before he saw her picture!





Abram is SO happy to be a big brother! He talks about "baby sister" all the time. He kept asking about "that Adoption Show" and if we could turn it on. (?) I could only guess that he thought that we should be on "Adoption Stories." I don't know - but it's CUTE!


She's 13 pounds and 24.5 inches long. She was born May 2, 2009, and today she turns 6 months old. Happy Six Months sweet girl! (SO happy to have a spring baby!) She's precious and I knew she was mine when I saw her name. Her picture made it all seem more real.


We celebrated at a local Chinese Restaurant then headed off to Kaleb's Pack/Halloween Party. I wanted to get up in the front and show everyone our daughter's picture. We ended up telling a few Cub Scout parents that knew we were in process.


It's still surreal. I still can't believe that I have a little girl in Korea and that we are parents again.

We can't stop staring at her picture. It is SO good to know who my little girl is! God is SO good and I am so thankful to be picked to be her mother! Thank you JESUS!!!!
(We officially accepted this morning, that's why I waited so long to post) :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am SO thankful this Thursday. SO VERY THANKFUL. Thankful for waiting, thankful that it's OVER! Well . . . not quite. After all, we have to wait to get our precious, beautiful baby girl home.

AAC called me today and introduced me to the cutest and most beautiful baby girl I have EVER SEEN! I' ll have to wait to post pictures, but just take my word for it, she's BEAUTIFUL!!! (It's also in her name)

Dear Awesome Creator,

THANK YOU for giving me this precious spirit. She's perfect and I know you picked her out just for our family. Glory be to You. Words cannot express how thankful I am.

Amen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My First Blog Award



I just received my first blog award from a dear waiting-friend, Kara! I can't tell you how excited I am! I have wanted to do a get-to-know-me post but it just felt weird. Now I can! Well . . . kinda.




I love this because I can give it to some other waiter friends and they can do it and (hopefully) take their mind off of the waiting. (I know it's hard girls, but I think if you do this, it WILL help . . . some.)




Here are six friends that I give the award to, (not in any particular order):


"I LOVE your Blog!"




1. Tracie




3. SNC

4. Shelley








Then I answer the following questions with only ONE word:




1. Where is your cell phone? charging


2. Your hair? short


3. Your mother? thoughtful


4. Your father? intelligent


5. Your favorite food? italian


6. Your dream last night? forgotten


7. Your favorite drink? coffee


8. Your dream/goal? photographer


9. What room are you in? office


10. Your hobby? quilting


11. Your fear? widow


12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here


13. Where were you last night? denver


14. Something you aren't? perfect


15. Muffins? cinnamon


16. Wish list item? twins


17. Where did you grow up? Arizona


18. Last thing you did? phone


19. What are you wearing? jeans


20. Your TV? baseball


21. Your pets? outside


22. Friends? irreplaceable


23. Your life? designed


24. Your mood? exhausted


25. Missing someone? brother


26. Vehicle? Pacifica


27. Something you're not wearing? shoes


28. Your favorite store? Herberger's


29. Your favorite color? pink


30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday


31. Last time you cried? wednesday


32. Your best friend? hubby


33. One place that I go over and over? mailbox


34. One person who emails me regularly? Mandie


35. Favorite place to eat? Zack's




I can't wait to see the responses of those that I gave the award to! (If you don't want to do it, no pressure!) Have fun!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Created

Somewhere in Korea, is a woman who has given birth to a beautiful little girl. That woman loves her daughter. So much, that, she has decided she needs to be raised in a family. She could care for her, raise her. But she believes that her little girl would be better off in a family. Her heart hurts. The pain of leaving her daughter is unbarable, but necessary. God created her to be a birthmother.

Somewhere in Korea, is a woman who has been given a beautiful baby girl to take care of. She knows that this isn't a permanent arrangement. She feeds her, loves on her. Grows very attached to her. The baby's schedule becomes a big part of her life. She witnesses her first smile. Hears her first laugh. God created her to be a Foster Mother.

Somewhere in Colorado, is woman who longs for her baby girl. She hasn't seen her face. Doesn't know her likes, dislikes. Hasn't heard her cry. But she loves this baby girl more than words can describe. She prays for her, thanks God for her. But she's never met her. God created her to be an Adoptive Mother.

I am still amazed at the paths that God orchestrates for His children. Our little one is out there. And the path that brings her to us is going to be an amazing one. Long? Maybe, but it's all in His timing. Not like we invisioned it? Definately. He visioned it much greater than I ever could.

She was created to be in our family. Created to have our last name. Created to be a little sister.

There are so many components to an adoption process. I truly believe that the way everything works together is because of our Mighty Creator. HE knew way before we were even born that this little girl was going to be in our lives.

I am thankful for our baby's Birthmother. I am thankful for our baby's Foster Mother. If it weren't for these two women, our baby girl wouldn't be our baby girl. The plan of everyone's life is created when we are created. I am also thankful to be the person to raise, care for and LOVE this baby girl who was created to be my daughter.

Thank you, Mighty Creator.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Three


It has been three months since we have moved on the list. Almost four.


It has been a little over three weeks since I posted last. I had really nothing new to share. I tried to come up with another post, but I just couldn't.


I haven't posted in September yet, month three in the third quarter. So here it is:


We are now NUMBER THREE! Can you feel my excitement?! It was a LONG three (almost four) months of no girl referrals, no movement, no - nothing. And then, over the weekend two of my favorite waiters, #1 and #2 on our agency list, recieved their little girls. BEAUTIFUL little girls, I might add. Their stories - breathtaking, their patience - amazing. Our God has the absolute BEST timing. Ever.


I have to say, I am actually excited again about meeting our little girl for the first time. AND we are closer than we have ever been before. All of the sudden I feel VERY unprepared. There's really not much to do before we get the long-awaited call, but I feel like there is. :)


So, number three, I love being number three. It feels a heck-of-a lot better than #5!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Surrender.

Surrender.

When I hear this word, this is what I think of:

Giving up. Losing. Quitting. Not trying hard enough. The opposite of control.

Webster's Dictionary terms surrender as: 1. (a) to yield to the power, control, possession of another upon compulsion or demand. (b) to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another. 2. (a) to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner. (b) to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence).

The past three months have been tough. For a year, my whole world has been centered on our adoption process. Everytime our Homestudy was delayed, or our Social Worker said she would call, and didn't, we would both say, "It's all in God's timing!" Saying it, put us both at ease. When the list didn't move last fall, we said "We're just beginning - we still have alot of waiting left to do!" No. Big. Deal.

In June, we repeated to ourselves, "it's all in God's timing." Then came July, we asked "I wonder why God's stalling the list and our process? We want her home by Christmas!" Many questions have crossed our minds. I became frustrated, angry, and even lost hope that we would even see the light at the end of the adoption tunnel. We kept reminding ourselves that God put us on this path, and HE is faithful. I trusted Him. I did. But I silently wondered why he couldn't just move the list a couple of spots. Restore our hope for a little while longer. I mean, He can do anything, why not this little thing?

Then I realized, through MANY revelations, that I was focusing WAY to much on the list, movement, and what number I was that I was losing sight of what really mattered. Jesus.
It was then that I surrendered.

I didn't give up - I let go.

I let go of the fact that I can't do anything about the list standing still.

I let go of all the details of how many referrals per month it will take to get her home by Christmas.

I let go of it ALL. I surrendered this process to Him. It's His process, not mine. It's His daughter, not mine. HE has given me the immense pleasure of loving her, teaching her, raising her and cherishing every single day with her. She is HIS, not mine.

I LOVE the way the Bible uses the word surrender.

"Surrender yourself to the LORD, and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:7a

Patience is hard, and so is surrendering. However, I believe we were made to do both, in Him.

Trusting in Him allows us to experience peace, freedom and His power in our lives.

Like the old hymn goes, " I surrender all."

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him;
In His presence daily live.

Refrain:

I surrender all;
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His name!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getaway

Since we have been saving and saving for the adoption, we haven't really gone anywhere in a while. Gone anywhere to get away, that is. So my hubby and I decided to take the boys and go camping for an extra-long weekend.


I really needed to forget about everything adoption and get up in the high elevation and see God's beautiful country. I was excited. We all were. Chad wanted to get away from everything work, and relax. No cell phones, no TV, it was going to be GREAT.


We left on Thursday afternoon and headed up. We found the perfect campsite, right on the lake,
and maneuvered the pop-up in just the right spot. We decided that he would begin popping up the camper and I would go pay for our three-night stay. I didn't want to take the dog with me and so I put her in the truck and headed up the hill to the self-pay station. "Should I roll down the window?" I asked myself. "Naaaa, it's cool out here, and besides, I will be right back."


Came back from paying and proceeded to empty the truck. Well, I tried. The doors were locked. Huh, that's funny, why would Chad lock the doors while I was away?


Me: "Hey, babes, do you have the keys?"


Chad: "What keys?"


Me: "The key's to the truck." (hello!)


Chad: . . . feeling his pockets for the keys. "I think I left them in there."




Me: . . . starting to panic, while running to the truck to see if, in fact, they were in the ingnition.



"Uh,Ohhhhhhh."


My sweet hubby then calmly went into the trailer to get a coat hanger (that we have used for roasting marshmallows) and tried for AN HOUR to get the door unlocked.


He stayed calm, and I panicked. ALL of our food, clothes, bedding . . . EVERYTHING was in that truck. Locked. No cell phone (in the truck). My cell was dying and I couldn't get service. Wouldn't help anyway, who would we call? No one had a key to our house and therefore couldn't get our spare key. We were a good hour from home and had NO way of getting back safely. It was going to be getting dark in about two hours and we were stuck. In the wilderness. No food. No coats. Nothing.





We were contemplating breaking a small window, when a guy in a BIG truck stopped, rolled down his window and said, "I hope that's your vehicle!" We laughed. (ha, ha, ha . . . funny, dude!) Then his friend pulled up behind him and they both got out. We explained to them what had happened. The two guys and Chad ended up prying the door enough so that the coat hanger cleared the weather strip and then he pushed the unlock button with it. An absolute miracle! They then told us that they were just in the area looking around! They were at the right place at the right time. It took them less than ten minutes to help us.(I was shocked that they stopped.) They were from Washington and they were camped pretty far from where we were. We thanked them excessively and were totally thankful they came, and even stopped.


When they left, I said to my oldest son, "I believe those two men were Angels. We... were just touched by Angels." (Which happens to be my favorite show on TV right now. They have such good messages!)


Who would have known that a little three-pound dog would have locked the doors!





It was an important lesson for all of us. Next time I see someone that needs help, I will stop and offer. If they would have not stopped and helped, I still don't know what would have became of our getaway. What started as horrible, ended up as one of the BEST 'vacations' we have ever had as a family.



We . . .


. . . hiked,


. . . rock climbed. (Not really). Kind of a cool picture, though. The rock is only two-feet off the ground.


. . . echoed. (I'm pretty sure that's not a real word, but you get the idea.)


. . . fished.



. . . . roasted s'mores, relaxed, read and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

We came back Sunday, burned, filthy, exhausted but, pleasantly happy.

It ended up being a GREAT getaway and just what we all needed.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Some things

Some things I have been doing lately. . .

. . . not blogging. I really haven't had anything to blog about. There has been no movement in the list for about 9 weeks. But I'm not counting ;)

. . . wondering if this drought in referrals is normal. Well, it is. I checked. We had a lull in the fall of last year (it seemed easier back then). And others that have been through this assured all of us waiters that it is in fact, normal. The adoption process is very unpredictable.

. . . schooling. We started our school year a week ago. We started early so that we can have a month break when baby sister comes home.

. . . visiting a friend that just came home from Korea three weeks ago, with her adorable baby boy. It was great to hear her experience and see what it's like on the other side of waiting. (Now I'm wondering if a month off from school is enough time to adjust and get back on schedule).

. . . coming to the realization that we won't have baby girl home before Christmas. This was a tough one. Even if we do get a referral within the next month or two, the probability of her coming home before the New Year, is pretty small. Korea has a limit of how many visas are issued per year. The families that recieved their referral in June/July have been told that they may not get their babies' visa issued before the end of this year. Heartbreaking.

. . . understanding that EVERYTHING is in God's perfect timing. Trusting that HE has our best interest at heart. Knowing that we will see our baby's sweet face, eventually.

. . . feeling for those that have been waiting at the #1 and #2 spot on the list for the past 9 weeks! My heart just aches for these two families. It's been a long haul. One in particular has been waiting for longer than any of us, and Karen, I am praying for you and hoping that you will see your sweet daughter's face very soon!

. . . reading.

. . . listening to adoption-related podcasts.

. . . trying to be patient.

. . . teaching my boys the value of working together (and not fighting).

. . . praying. ALOT.

. . . dreaming of the day when our little girl will be with us, the family she was created for, and the family that was created for her. *Sigh*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More questions

Well. . . since there is nothing to report as far a list movement, I thought I would answer some lingering questions that I'm sure some of you may have.



When we tell people that we are adopting a little girl from South Korea, we get MANY reactions. Some excited, some apprehensive and some just don't say anything. At all.



For those that are excited, they either know someone personally that is adopted, or they know of someone that has adopted. For those that are apprehensive or quiet, they just don't know much about adoption and so they just don't say much, and may ask an occasional question or two. Here are some questions that I thought I would address today.



Can you not have children of your own?



Believe it or not I was actually asked this question at church, while attending an Adoption Support meeting!



When I went back to the Dr. for my check-up, after we lost the baby, my greatest fear was that he would tell me that this was the end of my pregnancy days. I haven't had the best of times with my pregnancies, let me tell ya! I only have ONE ovary, one was removed while I was pregnant with A, because it swelled up to the size of a football and it was very painful with a 7-month (gestation) baby beside it. (It really was the size of a football, I have pictures!) Anyway, when I went back he said I should have no trouble conceiving. They don't know what went wrong with the baby, the tests were inconclusive. Having another baby was ALL I thought about while grieving. I knew it would take time, and by the time I was ready, God had laid another plan on my heart. Adoption. So to answer the question, yes, we can, but I feel that this is what God destined for our family.


Isn't adoption REALLY expensive?

Well, it isn't cheap! But what is anymore!

People really love to hit on this one. "How much does it cost, anyway?" When I tell them, which I have learned not to do anymore, I get this; "WOW, I don't have that kind of money!" and "I think it's really sad at how the government exploits children like that - someone is getting rich off you!"

First of all, we don't have that kind of money either! When we say we are adopting, people act like we won the lottery and just want to 'give it away.' Yes, adoption is expensive, but to me it's only money. Those same people that think we're nuts, sign on a brand-new truck that's worth more than an adoption. I'm not trying to get poopy on you, but you can't take money with you to heaven, but I will be able to take my daughter!

Secondly, the money spent on adoption is for the paperwork and the process, not the child. It is illegal to 'purchase' a child. However, I think that the government could make it easier and cheaper on all of us. Both agencies and adoptive parents. There is the FACE Act of 2009 petition in place which will enable children being adopted from another country to receive immediate US citizenship instead of the visa process. (click on the link and sign the petition!)

The moral of the story is adoption is totally worth every penny, and if you are lead by the Lord, HE will provide. My God owns cattle on a thousand hills and there is NOTHING He can't do!

You don't have to go over there and get her, do you?

Now, in their defense, the ones who usually ask this are Korean War veterans. The Korea they left, is a very different Korea, now. It is very western-ized. The babies are vaccinated, just like American babies are. The medical capabilities are just as good, if not better, than here. And South Korea is totally safe. We have personally heard hundreds of stories of families traveling to get their babies and having the greatest time ever. Literally, can't wait to go back! Nothing but positive. I bet 80-90% of couples adopting from Korea go and experience the culture and beauty of their childs' birth country. The ONLY thing keeping us from going is the boys. I really want to meet 'baby sister' as a family. Flying all of us over there would not only be hectic but more than we want to spend (or have!) By the way - still haven't decided on which to do yet: escort or travel. We will do what is best for us and best for our little girl.

and last but not least:

Wow, that's quite the process, huh?

Yes! It is! I love the road we are on and thank our Heavenly Father EVERYDAY for it. It takes patience, faith, and trust, but I absolutely love all of it. Well, I don't love that we have been #5 for six weeks! But I would rather be #5 than #15 or #25! How's that for optimism!

I want to tell those of you who have thought about adoption or have even looked into it - don't give it up! Don't say 'it's not for me' or 'it's too expensive!' We said that too, but we pushed on, and God will open doors you never knew existed! God won't leave you alone if He's prompting you. He has great plans for you, you just wait! Email me if you have any questions, I would be happy to help!

Hopefully this time next week we won't be #5! ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

God brought kitty.

There are two kinds of pet people, well actually three kinds, the cat-lovers, dog-lovers and those that choose not to have pets. I am a dog person, my hubby is a cat person. I was raised with dogs and he was raised with cats. So how do two people with such backgrounds choose their first pet? Our first pet was . . . a cat. Yep, he won.

Actually, I loved our kitty, Phoebe (he also picked the name). She was very independent and never listened to a word I said. I quickly found out that cats aren't really trainable, well unless they think it's worth it. So when our beloved kitty passed on (she had really bad skin cancer) I didn't plan on having another one. We got a little dog for the boys and we were good with just one pet.
My youngest son is a cat-lover. He has begged for a kitty for the past year. Literally. My parents and my in-laws both have a cat and I said "you have a kitty honey, at Nanny's and Grandma's." Um, not very convincing, I guess. I have came to the conclusion that my little boy prayed for God to bring us a kitty.

On the morning of our 10th wedding anniversary, a tiny, malnourished, scared, wild kitty found itself under our bay window. It took us about an hour to finally reach her and pull her out. She was extremely skinny and barely alive.





She was so little and could barely meow or even eat. We fed her warm milk and she acted like she hadn't eaten for a long while. Within minutes, she was purring.


That night we kept her in a big box inside the house and she cried alot through the night. She was really scared and was very unsure of her surroundings. She was NOT used to being around humans. My oldest son asked "why is she crying and meowing so loud?" and I said "she's calling for her mommy."


Four weeks later, she is a VERY different kitten. She prefers me over anyone else. She's playful, curious, healthy, and brings so much happiness to our family. I go out to greet her and feed her and she comes right up to me and purrs the loudest purr I have heard a little kitten do. Where before, she wouldn't come near any of us and she was petrified of everything.


Here she is about two weeks ago. She is now twice this size.
I now know why God sent us this kitty. The path of our kitty parallels the path of life that begins when our little girl comes home. She won't be malnourished and afraid of humans. But she will cry and mourn for her Foster mother. She will be unsure and maybe fearful of her new surroundings. And although we won't nurse her back to health, we will begin the attachment process. Kittens don't purr unless they feel safe, and I believe that our baby girl will supernaturally know that she was meant to be in our arms and in our family from day one. It will feel "natural" to her, just like kitty felt naturally safe.
I don't equate the "saving" of a kitty to that of "saving" our daughter. God has shown me through this instance that animals, just like people, are born with instinct. And our little princess will instinctively know that I am her mother. It will feel right to her. This little lesson that God gave me really put me at peace. I will instinctively know what to do and how to attach, with Him right by my side. There is alot to adoption, but I wouldn't have it any other way and I am so thankful for these gifts that HE has given us.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update(s) with butterflies

Adoption: Absolutely NO movement, what-so-ever, on the list since June 8th! I know, what is up, huh? Bring us some babies already! This is sheer torture and I can't imagine what life is like when you're #1 and waiting. Jumping. every. time. the. phone. rings. That will be me, well, I already jump when the phone rings and I'm only #5! It will be soon, though, July is our month for FOUR referrals, I can feel it! ;)

Baseball: The Machine-Pitch season is over. No more cheering. No more Wednesday night practices. No more games. What will I do with my summer now? I'm sure I will find something! ;) We finished at First Place, 7-1. Not bad, but I am sad for it to be over. It was a great year and K. (our oldest) really improved on his skills. Can't wait for next year!

Waiting: Doing anything and everything to keep my mind off of that darn referral call. Just thinking about that phone call sends my whole stomach into butterflies. I can't wait! NO, REALLY, I literally can't wait! Actually, I CAN, and I will! Being able to tell our number on the list with ONE hand really does something to a person. One word, Butterflies.

Festivities for the Weekend (the Fourth of July): BIG plans for the fourth. Well, unless you count a really small town parade, a lunch BBQ, then a dinner BBQ and fireworks BIG, then ok, BIG plans. We do it every year. And every year we say "I wonder what we will be/have/do next year at this time?" Well, hold on folks, I can say with assurance (I hope) that our little girl will be watching the parade with us next year! (Butterflies, yet again)

Last year at this time we were praying and seriously considering adopting a little girl from South Korea. It was at the end of July that we officially filled out the Preliminary Application and received the ENORMOUS package in the mail. I was at a family reunion in Kansas when Chad got the packet. Overwhelmed, he called me and asked, "what are we doing again?"

Once I got back, we trudged through each piece of paperwork. On August 4th, 2008 we mailed off our official Application and the money it took to get us started. Our agency received the check, packet and put us on the girl's list on August 14, 2008 at #25. That's the day we became a waiting family. I anxiously await the day that we finally become a forever family.
Oooh, a familiar feeling, butterflies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

10 Months and 10 years

So, today we have been waiting 10 months and 1 week to see our sweet baby's face. Someday's it seems like forever and yet, somedays it seems like it went by SO fast!

Ten years ago today, my soulmate and I exchanged vows and became devoted to each other for eternity. Again, someday's it feels like forever ago that I was in a beautiful white dress, excitedly awaiting our wonderful life together.

And other days it feels like that last ten years has went by in a flash! Either way, I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to share my life with a man that is so wonderful, words cannot describe!

I found it kind of ironic, the simularity of ten. Ten months . . . ten years. Huh, amazing. I literally thanked our Heavenly Father for the past ten years and everything that He has blessed us with. Without Him as our glue, we wouldn't be where we are today. Everything we have is His, and we are eternally thankful.

Blessed to be on both paths, and I hope to see our baby girl soon!

Happy Anniversary Babe, and I love more than words can express!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Glory.

"Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
Sing about the glory of His name! Tell the world how glorious he is."
Psalm 66:1-2
Well, it's over. The Yard Sale, that is. Two exhausting days out in the sun, hauling boxes and boxes of stuff in and out, in and out of the shop. In the midst of it all, Chad and I both found such a blessing in every single detail of the weekend. It was tiring, but yet, so incredibly FUN!
We live in a relatively small town and we really wondered if our Sale would be worth the time. Turns out, that small town thing was what brought all the people! My In-laws have lived here for over 25 years and my parents have lived here for about 15. Plus, our family business is pretty well known, as well.
We raised a little over $3,000! To God be the glory, and really the only reason I put how much we raised, is to bring the glory to HIM. Without Him in this, it wouldn't have been NEAR as successful. We were truly blessed to be a part of it. Literally. There were countless people that came by just to put money in the donation jar. In this economy, it was miraculous to see!

More important the the money, were all the people that were interested in the process. It was great to tell our story and talk about adoption all weekend long. It really was fun. Who knows, maybe we brought more awareness to adoption through this weekend! I hope so!
Baseball Update: Just in case you wanted to know, Kaleb's team is doing really well, and for you competitive parents out there, we are 5-0 UNDEFEATED! Nice huh!? We have three games left and I will continue to keep you posted.
Adoption Update: Nothing to report. Holding tight to #5, but can't wait to be number 4! ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Bloggy Referral!

Another bloggy friend of mine, Tracie, got her referral! You HAVE to see this little angel! She is absolutely adorable! So, that makes us #5! I was just filling out posters stating what our Yard Sale was for, and that we started at #25 and are now #6, but now I am going to have to replace it with a big 5 instead! Totally cool with that! Congrat's Tracie, and I hope the path to bring her home is VERY SPEEDY!

Yard Sale Status: We have recieved MANY donations and are VERY thankful for every. single. one! We have quite the collection. YAY! I was busy all day pricing . . . and sorting . . . and sneezing! I have terrible allergies, and I think one load was doused in Russian Olive pollen. Terribly allergic to Russian Olive! ACHOOO!


I think it's going to be a success and I am SO excited (to get it over with)! No, seriously, I am really excited to see what becomes of the weekend and I hope we sell ALL OF IT! You never know, and I really feel His peace and presence in it all. Hoping for nothin' but sunshine!


I took a couple pictures of the Quilt, it's hard to get all of a King Size Quilt while trying to show the pretty details, but here's one of them.



I think it is REALLY pretty, but I'm kind of biased. ;) Hope it brings $ to get baby home! All of the profit from the Yard Sale and the Quilt Money will go towards travel OR Escort. Yep, STILL haven't decided which. Hopefully we will before we get our Travel Call!!! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy. Summer.

Since Summer officially arrived, we have literally been on the go EVERYDAY! Which is good, because it keeps me busy and my mind off of "what number are we now?" I think and pray for our little girl everyday, but the closer we get, the more obesessed (and trust me it's an obsession) I become with what number we are and how many referrals it will take per month to get to our appoximate referral date. You know, the possible scenarios - if there are three more referrals this month, and three in July, then that will put us getting the call in late July/early August. That's only six, you say? Well didn't I tell you? We are now #6! I have a feeling, that maybe, just maybe, we will get the call before August (highly unlikely, though). I have been wrong MANY times before and I definately think that it's more wishful thinking than anything. The most referrals our agency has had in one month is three, since we have been waiting. From other timlines, there were five (I think) in July of last year. I'm hoping for a big batch, soon! Either way, we are getting VERY close and I can't wait to see my baby girl!

Remember a while back I posted about maybe having Yard Sale for a fundraiser? Well that's what we have been gearing up for the last couple of weeks. It will be next weekend, and we have already recieved lots of donated stuff. Family and Friends are also donating baked goods, crafts and all sorts of goodies. We are SO excited to see God move and we have already been SO blessed by the support and help that we have been given.

A very talented quilting friend of ours offered to help us make a quilt to help raise funds as well. She donated most of the material, alot of her time and even quilted it for us. It's a King and it turned out absolutely beautiful! It's a log cabin quilt with all kinds of colors and even some black. It really turned out great. I will post some pictures soon. I really want it on MY bed. But it goes for a great cause and I am thankful for opportunity and the time it took to put it together.

Kaleb is in Machine-Pitch Baseball and so we have been VERY busy with practices and games. He's got three GREAT coaches this year and is really learning the game well. It's been fun watching him learn and find a sport that he loves. I am surprized at how competitive I can get while watching! I am NOT a competitive person, but baseball tends to bring that out! Healthy competition, that is! No pressure. ;)

We wrapped up our first year of Cub Scouts and now Kaleb is officially a Wolf. He got his Tiger patch and will have Day Camp in July. Abram can't wait to be in Cub Scouts and can't wait to start T-Ball. "Just like Bubba." It's hard since Abram is 4 1/2, there aren't many activites to put him in. He enjoys going with, and watching Bubba, though. Plus, the craziness will really start when I have two boys in different activites. I am enjoying this time, believe me.

I hope this Summer finds you well and blessed. I will keep you "posted" on the Yard Sale, Quilt Fundraiser and Baseball (so far we are 1-0 -- yipee!).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bloggy friend Referral!

Shelley, a sweet bloggy friend that I have met through the blessing of adoption, recieved her referral of a beautiful baby girl yesterday! HUGE CONGRATS TO HER AND HER FAMILY! We have waited together since last fall and have supported each other through the tough times of waiting. We are also through the same agency. She is SO supportive of everyone and gives to others continually. Pop on over to her blog and take a gander and her beautiful daughter, she's a REAL cutie! I hope the wait to bring her home is VERY short!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Questions: Answered

We sent out a letter at the beginning of January to friends and family, explaining our exciting journey toward adoption. Since then, I have had a few inquire about the details. And, really, that's kind of why I started this blog, to inform our friends and family and whoever else that happened upon it (the blog). So today, I want to do a post entirely on the details of why, how and how old, which seem to be the ones asked most recently.

Why Korea?

I may have touched on this already, but Korea kind of chose us. We first looked into China, but I wasn't 30 years old yet and we really didn't want to wait to apply. Then wait for another 3-4 years to bring her home. Plus the qualifications were ALOT harder. So we began researching other Asian countries and even Africa. The age requirement (less than 30 years) really helped us narrow countries down. South Korea really popped out at us. It was the oldest and most solid program (it began in the mid-1950's) which really comforted us. The babies were cared for in Foster homes, instead of orphanages, and were typically younger in age than most other countries that we looked into. I then found AAC in our Yellow pages (a miracle, I believe) and the rest is history! They are based in Berthoud (Denver area) and have two Social Workers here on the Western Slope to do homestudies and Training. Perfect. Looking back, I truly believe God has His Hands on the WHOLE thing! We absolutely LOVE our agency and I am SO thankful to be a part of it all.

Why not Domestic (inside the US) Adoption?

Chad and I discussed Domestic for about three minutes, and mutually decided it really wasn't for us. We have since discussed it, and have remained confident in our decision. Mainly, having just lost our baby, the probability of having a birthmother change her mind didn't appeal to us. We wanted something more concrete. Don't get me wrong, things go wrong in International Adoption - governmental changes, countries closing, more restrictions - but overall the South Korean Program has been around for a long time, and we found it very appealing. Same conclusion with Foster Care/Foster-to-adopt. Didn't feel like it was the path we were to take at this particular time.

How old will she be when you get her?

Remember those regulations I mentioned in the previous question? Well South Korea used to adopt their babies out at birth, and were usually united with their forever families at about 4-5 months of age. Beginning in 2007, that changed, and South Korea started a new initiative of Domestic Adoption. So now, our little girl will be matched with us when she is about five months old. S. Korea gives the children a chance to be adopted within their birth country first, then internationally.

Once we become #1, our agency gets a packet from Korea, with all of our little ones medical info., pictures, and such, and gives us A CALL (I get butterflies just writing this). They say "we have a little girl for you to look at," followed by me screeeeaaaming to the top of my lungs and crying uncontrollably (that's how I envision it, anyway). AAC then sends us her information via email and we fall madly in love. We typically have 24-48 hours to accept our referral. During this time, we give her file to an IAP (international adoption physician) to review and tell us what he thinks, and a brief medical history explained in layman's terms. The babies are usually very healthy.

We then give our agency a call back and say "she's ours, we accept!" After that all of our information (homestudy) is sent to Korea and then 1-4 weeks later our "Legals" arrive. Which is just the legal paperwork stating that we intend to adopt this little girl. After that, there is a series of (MANY) steps to get her home. We will deal with those, and I'm sure will have another LONG post (like this one) stating that process, after we get our referral. Typically, the timelines from referral to travel (bringing her home) average around 4 months. Some are longer, some are quicker. Depends on the paperwork and how quickly it gets done, both in Korea and here in the US.

So a VERY long answer to a VERY short question is 8-9 months, ideally. Some are closer to a year. It really varies.

What is her name?

We have a very beautiful name already picked out, but I will announce it once we announce her. Her middle name will be the name she was given at birth, her Korean name. Some babies are named by their birthmother and others are named by their Social Worker in Korea. Either way, we want to keep it.

She'll be American, so why would you include her culture?

She was born in Korea, and so her culture will be a huge part of who she is as a person. Yes, she will reside in the United States, but a part of her heart will always be in Korea. Her birthparents are there, her Foster parents that raised her for the first 8-9 months of her life, are in Korea. The sounds, smells, language will all be a part of her - forever. She may not retain alot of it, but she will always connect to Korea in a very special way. That is why we are really praying about going to Korea to get her. We will be able to bring things back, tell her of the wonderful counrty Korea is, and to meet her Foster Parents. All priceless.

Ok, those were the ones that I felt led to touch on. I'm sure there will be more, and I welcome any questions anyone may have.

Friday, May 8, 2009

HS update and Last day of School!

Our Social Worker called yesterday and our Homestudy is officially typed up and completed. I know I posted that it was already done, which it was, but it needed to be typed up sent to AAC for revisions and then reviewed by us. So we will meet with her next week and then I believe it's off to the State to be approved. We're getting CLOSER! I am going to call AAC next week and see if there is anything we need to be doing and make sure that we are "paper ready." I've done everything on my checklist and now we just . . . wait.

I'm feeling that we will see our little girl's face sometime in July. There were three referral's each in March and April. So if we have three in May and three in June, that puts us at #2 in July! As we have found out with our Homestudy, it's all in His Timing.

-----------------------------------------

Today is the last day of school for Kaleb and I. Wahoooo! We start pretty early in the fall so we can have an early summer. Next year, I will have a 3rd Grader and a Kindergartener plus a 8-9 month old to entertain! I can't wait! It will be very different schooling two and having a little one. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It won't be easy, but in the end I believe that this is what is best for our family. I LOVE having them home and being able to give them a solid foundation. I have scheduled a month-long break from school, next year, once baby sister comes home. It will give us some adjustment time and getting a schedule in place. I hope. It will be interesting, to say the least! Relying on His power, and I'm sure He will get me through!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Waiting

I was brousing the Holt BB this morning and found this video. I was feeling discouraged this past weekend because I don't feel like we will get our little girl home before Christmas. I was really hoping we could. This video put everything into perspective. Plus, the time we wait is very minimal compared to the time - lifetime - we get to spend with her. Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb7TSGptd3Y

Thursday, April 30, 2009

God chose Mary

Kaleb and I were reading our Bible lesson yesterday morning and what he read out loud struck me:

"Jesus was born into a very special family. Mary, his mother, was chosen by God."


I guess I always knew this, but thinking like an adoptive mother, the meaning of it all really hit me. I'm not saying that I am Mary, and am not equating my situation to that of Mary's, but it made me think . . .


"God chose me to be the mother of a very special little girl in Korea, and He chose her to be a part of our family."


This revelation made me think of Joseph's relationship to Jesus. God was Jesus' father, and yet Joseph loved him just like a father would. Amazing isn't it?! God didn't wait until Mary and Joseph had been married and concieved a child together, and then say "this child within you is Jesus, the Son of God."(that wouldn't have worked, but you get the point) He designed it all as an Adoption story.


So when my little brown-eyed beauty begins to ask me all the questions about her birth family, why we decided to adopt and how she came to be "ours" I will refer to this story and tell her "God picked us all out like flowers, put us in a vase, which is our family, and He is the water that keeps us growing, together."


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Memorial Box Wednesday

Linn, and many of her bloggy friends, host Memorial Box Monday and Thankful Thursday. So Monday I had Thankful Monday and today I'm having Memorial Box Wednesday. I'm all mixed up . . . but you all get the point, thankfully. I don't think I have done a Memorial Box Monday post yet, because I don't actually have a Memorial Box to remember from. In light of that, I will explain what a "Memorial Box" is and why I chose to write about it today. A Memorial Box is really anything that holds reminders of God's faithfulness. Linn has had her Memorial Box for many years and has inspirational story after heart-warming story of God's wonderful faithfulness. Like I said, I don't have a box, but if I did, there would be something in there reminding me of this story.

Since the beginning of our Adoption process I learned that when you get your referral, you have about 24-48 hours to review the information and decide whether to accept or deny. During that period, you are to contact your Doctor, send him/her all the medical information and then they are to review the medical issues (if any). You then decide if this is the little one meant to be in your family. (For the record, I don't know if I could say "no")

I love our family Doctor and he has been a perfect fit for our needs. However, he's not the one that I would look to for a review of our referral. When we went in for our physicals he asked what we were doing this for and I told him. He isn't even familiar with Adoption, nonetheless International Adoption. So for months I researched, asked other Adoptive families and obsessed that there would be no one to review our baby' file. I ended up finding some contacts but they were either very expensive and couldn't guarantee a timeframe. It was something that was on my mind alot. Not to mention in my prayers alot.

Well about a month ago, a gentle whisper told me "why don't you email that couple, from your training class?" This particular couple are both Family Physicians, and have twin girls from Korea and had just had their baby boy escorted about a week before we met them. Hmmm . . International Adoption experience . . . with Korea! I was also on this, what if twins were offered and we were #1, kick so, I decided to email them, ask about their twins and see if they wouldn't mind reviewing our referral when we were blessed with one. He was the nicest and most awsome man. He told me that they were actually #3 or 4 when they got the call for their twin girls. The other families ahead of them passed. And then said that he and his wife would LOVE to look at our referral and actually he's a consult for our agency!! I was giddy for a good week!!! Everything with this process has been blessed by the hands of God and I am in awe! He's also relatively close (about 40 miles) and if I feel the need, I could take our baby girl there for check-up's and such. It was just too awesome of a story to not tell. (I'll have to share my what-if-twins' story later, it's a pretty good one too!) God is GOOD . . . all the time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thankful Monday

First of all, we are now #8! Other waiting Mom's, that are closer, have said after you are #10 it really tends to go fast. I'm so thankful they're right! A couple with our agency that has been on hold for a while finally got their referral on Friday! HUGE Congrats to them!!!

Then, this morning our SW called with a couple of questions about our Homestudy - which is a really good sign towards completion! God is faithful! The next step is reviewing our HS and then it gets sent to our agency. It then gets sent to the State (CO) and then off to Korea. If I understand it right, our agency usually sends the HS off to Korea very close to our expected referral. I am so thankful.

This weekend, my sister-in-law and brother came home for his birthday. It was so great to see the both of them. They don't live far, but it was great to be together and laugh. They both are such awesome people and I am so thaknkful for the time spent with them.

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I absolutlely LOVE our church. Our Pastor was the vehicle who started the "Adoption Ball" rolling with us. He has a little girl from China and is adopting again through Haiti. Like I've mentioned before, Chad had the desire to adopt a few months after we lost the baby, and I wasn't really on board. I had alot of " soul searching" to do. I then caught on, and God really spoke to my heart. Pastor K had a series of messages (three, actually) that really tugged on me. After the third one, Chad and I looked at each other and we both knew it was time. God was calling both of us to adopt.

At about that time, an Adoption Ministry was beginning to take root. (How divine is that?!) We started meeting some really cool couples. They have Adoption support meetings every month, and we've made just one. We live 40 miles away and they sometimes coincide with Kaleb's Pack Meetings. We have couples adopting from China, Haiti, Domestic and some Foster-to-Adopt. We are the only family adopting from Korea, though. I'm really trying to spread the word! Anyways, our church has a goal to adopt 100 children before December 2010. This past weekend was #1! A couple adopted a beautiful baby boy via domestic. And another couple is very close to getting their baby as well. They are both through the same agency in Salt Lake. Once their file opens it takes about 2-4 weeks to get their little one!

I think it is so great to have a Pastor that has a heart for Orphans. We've been with our church for over 10 years and I have never seen such a movement to reach out to children like this. I believe there are over 60 couples involved with the Adoption Ministry and are somewhere in the process. Not to mention the many couples that have already adopted and make up an AWESOME support system. I am so thankful.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Single Digits!

That's right we are now #9! I can't believe it! No news on our Homestudy, our SW hasn't called to have us review it yet. But I have a feeling it will be soon. Well . . . it HAS to be soon, because we're moving up little by little!

SO EXCITING!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Dentist

Today I took my youngest, A, to get two root canals and a filling. I know, I know "Mother of the Year." The bad thing is that I literally grew up in a Dentist's Office, and to date I have not one filling. I know better! My Mom was a Dental Assistant for over 20 years and her Mom (my Nana) was one for over 30 years!! Talk about denying your youth! My oldest K, had (just) one root canal three years prior, you would think I would have learned then, but I didn't. So needless to say we are "on the books" for the next 10-14 years with regular appointments.

Not only was it hard to see my little guy sitting in the Dental Chair with a Nitrous mask on his nose, but it was also REALLY EXPENSIVE! Like I said before, I know better, and with anything early detection is the key.

He did AWESOME, no apprehension, and took it like a trooper . . . until his lip and tongue started to wake up. Talked him through the creepy-tingling feeling, gave him some Tylenol and he was good-to-go. So, he now has some great bling-bling to match Bubba's (big brother). Good thing they are not right in the front (they're molars) and they're in his baby teeth, which he will loose (whew!) We're going to take extra good care of those permanents, once they come in. K (our oldest) had a great appointment and has NO cavities (hallelujah!) We are avid brushers, but that's no excuse, and we will be going every six-months. Lesson learned. Late. But there is still hope for those permanent teeth!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lucky #10!

We have moved up one more spot on the girl's list!!!! We are finally #10! It is single digits from here on out! This is the number that we are supposed to start our Homestudy, but that is already completed, well . . . for the most part. We haven't heard from our SW to have us review it yet, but all of our info is in, and all of our visits are finished. So, in essence, we are ahead. We will see . . . some families in our Yahoo group have had their HS questioned by the state. Things like "what is the make and model of the car they drive?" and "do they have any guns and if so, are they locked up and in a safe place?" - I can see the point of the gun issue but, the one that gets me is "do they have any dogs, and if so, what is the breed?"

Either way, we have left our HS, and all of it's contents in the hands of our Heavenly Father, and He will take care of it all. This I know, and have faith in.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

If you would have told me two years ago that I would be adopting a little girl from South Korea, I would have said, uh, ok - whatever! Today I am forever indebted to our Heavenly Father for placing us on this journey. I thank Him everyday, if not many times a day.

Control. Ask my husband, this is something that I have deeply rooted within me. I try not to control things, but it's just my nature. What can I say? Throughout this journey, I have been unable to control one detail. Not one. At first, it drove me crazy. The Lord has patiently and lovingly shown me that this is something, among many other things, that I have to lay at His feet. He has also shown me, through His astounding faithfulness, that things in His timing tend to work out better than those of my timing. I trust every little detail is worked out "according to His purpose." I give this adoption, and all that it entails - to Him. He knows where every sheet of paper is, the day, hour, minute of when we all will see her precious face for the first time, He has everything orchestrated down to the finest detail. That's more than I could ever control or even try to control! Amen?

I am so thankful today, for God's faithfulness and His patience, but most of all I am so very thankful for allowing us to experience His heart - a heart for children, and love so deep that bridges oceans. We're coming baby sister, we love you, and we will see you soon - well, in His timing, soon. ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pray for baby Stellan

Stellan is MckMama's youngest child and has a sick heart. He has been at Children's Hospital since Sunday. He has, and still is, going in and out of scary rhythms. Please visit the blog to get updates, but in the mean time please keep this family and little boy in your prayers today. Very scary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Culture of South Korea

This subject is one of my favorites. I just happen to love the word "culture." As a Homeshooling Mom, I guess it's kind of my motto, if you will. The more I can expose my boys to, the better off they are, and it's said to raise I.Q. (who knows if that's really true, but it sold me)

I am encapsulated in the Culture of South Korea. They have some really cool customs and beliefs. One central theme or thread that runs deep throughout their culture is - family. Something that I hold near and dear to my heart is family. We live within 20 miles of both of our parents, and we love it. Our kids get to have an awesome relationship with their Nanny and Poppy and Grandma and Papa. My parents are the "y's" and Chad's parents are the "a's." Another thing is that Chad and I can get away anytime, all we have to do is make a phone call and both are more than willing to babysit. Huge Blessing. It helps give me and the boys a break from each other, especially during the school year. (what was this post about?, oh yeah)

In our little bag of goodies, that we will get with our baby girl, will be a Hanbok , given by her Foster Mother. Her little Hanbok will be worn at her Tol, which is her first birthday celebration. This is the traditional dress (apparel) worn on special occasions or holidays. South Koreans also wear their Hanbok's when visiting older relatives, like grandparents, as a sign of respect.


This is a little girl, who is absolutely aborable I might add, in her Hanbok.




And this is a traditional adult Hanbok. At first I thought that just the children wore them, but I was wrong. I guess they are quite comfortable and not to mention stunning.


I have heard, through other blogs and adoption groups, that the first 100 days of a child's life is a very significant milestone in Korean culture. I finally found out why this is true. Many, many years ago, the lack of medical information and the proliferation of disease caused the death rates of infants to be extremely high. When a child was born, only family members could see the child. Then when the child lived through those 100 days, the family, along with friends and neighbors would hold a celebration called baek-il. Eventhough South Korea now has state-of-the-art medical, just like we do, the first 100 days of a child's life is still celebrated. Sadly, we won't get to celebrate our daughter's baek-il with her, but we will have much, much more.

Let's see, what else . . .

Oh! At first, the Korean people didn't have their own written language. They used Chinese characters to write down their thoughts. In the 1400's King Sejong, who was considered the most enlightened ruler in Korean history, had language experts create an alphabet that we now know as Hangul, the official language of Korea. Hangul first had 24 characters but now has 28.

Dancing is one of South Korea's most popular art forms. Ritual, Folk and Court Dances are the three main kinds of traditional dancing. The Farmer's Dance is the favorite of the Folk Dances. It reminds the S. Koreans how important farming has been for their country's history.

There is so much more to share, and I am so excited to share it all with our little girl. It would be more perfect if we were to travel and experience it all first-hand. We are still leaving it all up to God, to His perfect timing and protection.