Sunday, February 21, 2010

I600 Approved!

We got our i-171H in the mail yesterday. This means that our I600 has been approved and is on it's way to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire!! YAY! I will call the NVC tomorrow (Monday) and I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I bet we are already logged in! Hopefully. Our I600 was approved on the 16th, so we 'should' be. I'll find out tomorrow.

What does all that mumbo-jumbo mean? The National Visa Center 'logs' our I600 (immigration approval stating that we are ok to bring Joye into the U.S.) into their system then 'logs' us out, known as NVC in and NVC out. NVC out means that our I600 is on it's way to US Embassy in Seoul. The Embassy will then compile other documents needed along with our I600 to form our P3. Now, like always, I will stop there. This week we 'should' have NVC in and NVC out.

Why are these dates important? It just helps me to know that our paperwork has arrived to it's destination. It's just a checkpoint of sorts. So stay tuned, I will keep you posted. And then we will move on to the next step!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Waiting THURSday . . .

'cause I didn't make it on Wednesday. We have all been sick 'round here. Ick. I am sick and tired of kleenex, boogers, motrin, fevers and everything to do with all of it. Sick. And. Tired.

Kaleb was so willing to 'share the love' with us all about a week ago. Then Abram got it, then, you guessed it, I got it. MAN, it was a nasty one too. Now were all on the mend, well, kind of. While laying on the couch yesterday, I did have time to think about my theme for the infamous Waiting Wednesday post, but I just couldn't pull my but off the couch to type it up. SO, here it is . . . on Thursday. I'm sure you all understand. :)

IF (and it's still a BIG if) we end up going to Korea to pick up our sweet, adorable little girl, here are some things that I would love to experience while we are there. For the record, Chad and I really want to go and have our passports (his is in process) just in case, BUT we aren't 100% positive that we are in fact going. I know, talk about wishy-washy. We are tentatively planning to go to Korea, but there is a slight possibility that we might escort. Make sense? Believe me, you'll know when the time comes. When we talk about traveling vs. escorting, these ten things make traveling a much more appealing option.

10 Visiting the DMZ, a.k.a the Demilitarized Zone. The 38th Parallel that separates North Korea from South Korea. Seoul isn't very far from the DMZ and it's somewhere we would like to visit. It looks pretty interesting.

9. Lotte World. For those of you who don't know, it is like Disneyl@nd in Korea. It's the largest indoor theme park in the world. Plus, our first Korean Drama that we saw and fell in love with is "Stairway to Heaven" and many scenes were filmed at Lotte World. Can't WAIT to go here. I'm pretty sure we could spend an entire day just hangin' around in Lotte World.

8. The Food. Oh yeah. Maybe not all the food, (I've heard there are some pretty crazy things offered in Korea) but the regular stuff like Bulgogi, Kimchee and many other things. I have list of restaurants we have to try while we are there. Definitely looking forward to the food.

7. The Eastern Nursery. Eastern is the agency in Korea that facilitates the adoption stuff on Korea's behalf. This is where we will meet Joye for the first time (not in the nursery, but another meeting area) and the nursery is where the newborn babies are until they are assigned a Foster Family. Families can go in and help hold and love on the babies. How cool would THAT be?

6. Experiencing the culture first-hand. Just to clarify, I am NOT against escorting. I think some do what's best for their family and, again, we may chose this option. However, I have talked to many Adoptive Families and asked their opinion and they all collectively say, "GO!" Now, if we do escort, there is an option of going back as a family and we have talked about this, as well. There are many benefits to going to Korea and experiencing Joye's culture is a BIG one for us.

5. Meeting Foster Mom/Family. This is another big one for us. I would love to meet the woman that took care and loved on my daughter. I would love to give her my appreciation and thankfulness in person. Also, get first-hand information on how Joye likes to be held, tips on how to help her to fall asleep, what she eats, things she likes and doesn't like. VERY important information.

4. Shopping. I have been trying to tell my dear sweet hubby that we need an entire suitcase for all the stuff that we are going to bring back. He's STILL not down with that idea. I don't know if it's because he doesn't want me to spend tons of money or that he knows that he will be responsible for juggling THREE suitcases on the way back. Because I'll have Joye to contend with, I can't be dealing with the suitcases! I'm still not quite sure why he's against it. ;)
It's not that big of a deal. j/k

3. In addition to experiencing the culture of Korea, I would love to have pictures, videos and memories to show Joye someday. So #3 is PICTURES. Lots and lots of pictures. Pictures of our first meeting, pictures of Seoul, pictures of us with Foster Mom holding Joye. Just memories of how she came to be a part of our family. I have labor and delivery pictures of the boys' birth-days. This would be the same thing, by definition.

2. Possibly visiting the Hospital where she was born. Joye wasn't born in Seoul. She was born in a province south of Seoul. This is something that we just recently started talking about. It really depends on how far it is, and how much trouble it will be to get there. If it happens, great! If not, no big deal. I'll have to talk to AAC and see how feasible it is. It would be nice, for sure.

1. And the number one reason, we want to go to Korea is . . . to be able to bond with her, get to know her, and just 'be' with her as she flies to the United States. The separation from her Foster Mother will be tragic, and I want to be the one that can comfort her and just hold her while she grieves. This is really the biggest motivator for me. Will she bond if we escort? Yes! It's really a personal choice for me, I really want to be the one that gets her after she leaves the only woman she has ever known. I don't know why. I just do. If we escort, I'll get over it.

When we weigh the two decisions, there are many things we consider. We would LOVE for us all to meet her together. But in terms of my 'Mommy instinct', I just want to be there with her, when she leaves Korea. Selfish? Maybe. But in the end, I know that our Creator will lovingly guide us to the right decision.

To those of you who have been to Korea, what was your favorite things to see/experience?
Do tell! I would love to put more things on my list!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Long overdue.

Well, I finally did it. I fixed my header, which needed some major TLC. AND gave this bad boy (blog) a new look! It was in bad shape and really needed an overhaul. I mean, really needed it.

It took me forever to fix the header, and with my not-so-great computer skills it's not too shabby! At least it fits inside the border now! It's done, and I love it! What do YOU think?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Waiting Wednesday

I almost forgot that today is Wednesday! Wouldn't that be a bummer if I missed out on the Waiting Wednesday's post! I think so!

So here are 10 girly things that make having a daughter much more special:

1. Pink.

2. Pigtails, ponytails, braids and just being able to fix her hair.

3. Nail Polish. The glittery kind.

4. Dresses. Especially Easter ones.

5. Shopping together. For clothes, of course.

6. Cute dressy, polka-dot, frilly and everything else that makes girls shoes adorable.

7. Watching Cinderella and Snow White, instead of Star Wars and The Military Channel.

8. Purple-instead of Camo.

9. Girls day's where the boys are camping and it's just her and I.

10. Color-coordinating her outfits with clippies, shoes and all the accessories. Boys are kind of funny with the color-coordination thing. I've tried, and it just doesn't stick. My husband tells me it doesn't matter. But NOW it does!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Fear is a word that is very well-known in every language. I think everyone has a fear of something. Fear of spiders. Fear of snakes.

One very-real fear that keeps me awake at night and ransoms my thought throughout the day, is how will my daughter receive me when I meet her for the first time. Will she scream? Will she smile? There is no doubt how overwhelming that moment will be for her.

I have a picture-perfect scenario run through my mind occasionally, she will just supernaturally "know" who I am, wrap her arms around my neck and smile uncontrollably. Yeah, right. That's how I hope it will be. That's what I pray for everyday. But, reality sets in and I begin to wonder how the whole thing will play out. Then, fear sets in. Maybe she will hate me, deny me and reject me? Maybe she will scream bloody murder when I take her away from her beloved Foster Mother. Not want to look at me. Prefer Chad over me. I could go on and on.

This morning I was reading one of my favorite books. I haven't finished it yet, but would highly recommend it. "Praying the Names of God" by Ann Spangler. She talked about how we are sheep and how God is our Shepherd. That we fear many things, like sheep, and can get lost, just like sheep. She then quoted this insightful masterpiece:

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness,
for His names sake.
Even though I walk through the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Psalm 23

He is with me. Always. I can cast my fears upon Him, because He can take them. And in return He will "restore my soul" and give me peace. Only He can comfort me. Only He can shepherd me in the right direction.

One thing I don't fear, is death and where I am going when I die. I am not going to Heaven because I write Scripture on my blog and go to church. Salvation is not earned. It is given, as a gift. If there are any sheep out there that want this priceless gift and a Shepherd with you, guiding you, protecting you, and loving you unconditionally, then say this out loud as you read it.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I admit that I am a sinner. Everyone is. Today, I realize that I need you. I can't do this by myself. I believe that You are God's one and only Son. I believe that You came to earth as man. I believe that You died on the cross to pay the price for my sins. I also believe that you rose from the dead, conquering death itself. Jesus, with that faith I confess my sins to You and ask for your forgiveness. I believe that You alone can wash away my sins, and I ask You to occupy my heart. Replace my heart with Yours. Guide me in Your direction. I give you my fears, concerns, failures and I ask for Your peace and tranquility. From this day forward I promise to love You and seek you in all I do.
In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

May the Holy Spirit be upon you as you walk through life as a new being. Welcome to the Kingdom!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Waiting Wednesday

My fellow adoption blogging buddy, Kara, started doing "Waiting Wednesday's" and I thought I would join along. It helps to pass the time. Each week has a theme. Based on my post yesterday, I am doing my 10 favorite scriptures that have given me hope and helped me through this roller-coaster called adoption!

1. "Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along His path. " Psalm 37:34a&b

2. "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:23-24

3. "Don't worry about anything: instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done." Philippians 4:6

4. "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27

5. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

6. "Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths will become exhausted and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. The will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31 I LOVE THIS ONE!!

7. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

8. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

9. "For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." Matthew 6:32-34

10. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

I CAN get through this wait.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy 9 months!

My little Joye is 9 months today! I can't believe it. When we first started down this road and we began to tell people that we were adopting, the first thing they asked was "how old?" At the time, I said " she should be about 8-9 months old when we bring her home." Well, we are officially past the 9 month mark and really don't see the end in sight. Well, there is an end, it's just not as close as I would like it to be. I truly believe that we ARE going to have Joye home, but I just don't know how it will all work out. I feel really selfish when I say that I want to have her home by her first birthday. But I REALLY do. I feel for the mom's that have had to wait past that year mark, and some are STILL waiting. It breaks my heart.

We are still waiting on our I600, but it's because of MY stupid mistake. When we received Joye's referral, my agency sent me a form to re-submit our Department of Human Services background check. It had expired while waiting for forever for a match. It has to be current for us to finalize. So I thought it was no big deal. With the six months it would take to bring her home and then six months to finalize, I thought "I'll wait a little while and make sure it's current when we finalize." BIG mistake. My agency called last Monday asking where the current form was and when I mailed it. Ummm . . . it's still sitting on my desk. :) So I rushed down to the post office and sent it in. USCIS actually called my agency asking for it! Yeah, great. Who knows how long that takes and the USCIS probably put us at the bottom of the pile for not having our ducks in a row. And rightly so, I should have sent it off. I have been kicking myself for a week.

I'd like to think that this hang-up will catch-up to Korea in due time, but who knows. Korea is still behind in processing EP's. To be honest, I'm getting weary. I want ALL of our children home, not just mine. I'm trying to find the good in it all, but I just can't. Not today. I've been in a *negative* funk for a week. I can't shake out of it. It all seems so far away. Unreachable.

I know that it will eventually happen, but for now I'm just going to take it one day at a time and see what will become of it. There's really nothing else I can do. It's out of my hands.