Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Judaya!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

LEGALS! and Baseball

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

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

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


In other news . . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

One. Whole. Year.

The day we brought her home.
Last month.

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

She came home crawling, now she's running.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's been HARD.

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

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


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


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

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

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ATK! A.K.A. Officially Matched!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God. IS. Good.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Tootsie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway . . . Happy Birthday to my sweet Joye!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting there . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please send your donations to:

Lifesong for Orphans

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

Gridley, IL 61744

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

May God richly bless you all!

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

Thanks again!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kinda Wordless Wednesday

Fake smile.

Fake Smile.

There's the real one.

Is it just me, or does this girl have natural beauty? We're gonna have to keep her locked up during her high school years. ;)

She was coming near me (while talking) because she wanted to see the pictures. Far cry from the 'camera scrunch' she has had in the months prior.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

새해 복 많이 받으세요!!!!

새해 복 많이 받으세요(saehae bok man-hi ba-deu saeyo) or for us Westerners - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Today is Seolnal or Korean New Year. It's also Chinese New Year, Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year and . . . you get the picture.

I can't help but wonder what Tootsie was doing this time last year. Obviously celebrating the New Year with her Foster Parents, but what were the actual activities that she witnessed and took part in? Did she wear her Hanbok? Did she get money? I bet they had the traditional meals. How different her two worlds are today.

We will be doing our own celebrating tonight. No hanboks, no money. But we will have a Korean dish for dinner that I just happened to have on-hand. Beef with noodles. Korean noodles. We will be thinking of Tootsie's beautiful birth country. The people that we have fallen in love with. Wondering what our New Year will look like next year when we celebrate Seolnal.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR, from our American-Korean family to yours!

새해 복 많이 받으세요(saehae bok man-hi ba-deu saeyo)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Radical Craziness

What I didn't disclose in my last post, as to why I haven't been posting much, is that right after Joye's finalization we felt called to adopt again. We rationalized, prayed and tried to talk ourselves right out of it. We just brought Joye home and were dealing with bonding, tantrums, boundary setting, tantrums, sleeping issues, tantrums. You get the idea, and the place we found ourselves.

Since November, I have been in contact with our agency. For various reasons. Stuff to get Joye's Birth Certificate, and loose ends to close her case. Among those conversations, we asked how long the wait was for another little girl. We were told to expect 2.5-3 years. Ok. Well, if we got on the list now, then once our other little bundle arrived, we would be nice and prepared. So we got on the list.

Wait . . . there's more. Hang with me.

We (our agency and I) have had subsequent conversations since then. One in particular referenced a little girl that had some background information that could invoke some potential problems later on. (You catch my drift)

When God placed adoption on our hearts again, he also mentioned that minor special needs is something that we need to be open to. Really? So we filled out our little sheet of what we would accept, leaving it all open. (i know, crazy. right?)

So back to this little girl. We inquired about her from an email, and there was a list of families wanting to view her file. So I thought "oh, well, she will be placed. She's not meant for our family." Or so I thought.

A couple weeks later, our agency called asking if we wanted our post-placement retainage to be cut to us, or to just minus it off the fees due for the next adoption. We chose just to have it go towards the next adoption. She then mentioned that the little girl we had inquired about still hadn't been placed. My heart sank. My stomach flipped over. "Are you still interested in taking a look at her file?" she asked.

After a weekend of prayer, and much peace, we are adding this adorable little girl to our family. That's right. You might want to read it again, to let it sink in. Radical. Craziness.

We have not. one. dime. saved. All the assignment fees are due NOW. Our homestudy has to updated, fingerprints re-done, paperwork galore. I can't share her picture, tell much about her, because we haven't sent our acceptance to Korea yet. All the above HAS to be done before that. I just wanted to keep you all updated and ask for your prayers. The girls (oh ,wow, that sounds weird - GIRLS) will be 14 months apart. Yikes!

Like I said, we have total peace about this. We know He will provide the money. We know His timing is perfect. We know that He is in all of this. It makes absolutely NO sense. But what does when you are following Him? Right? Everything points to this being right for our family.



So if you find yourself thinking of us. Would you do us a favor? PRAY. Pray that all the balls that are now in the air, will fall into place, so we can get this little precious peanut home to her forever family.

Thank you. We appreciate every one.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where'd you go?

I totally forgot I had a blog! I had a feeling that something vital was missing, but just couldn't quite put my finger on it! (Just kidding)

I have had every intention of updating, but just couldn't find the time.

Wow, what a break!

Many things have happened since we last chatted.

Abram turned 6. We spent the day (Dec. 1) out and about just doing everything he wanted to do on his special day.

Kaleb turned 9. I know, I can't believe he's going to be a decade-old next year. I have to purposely block out that he's more than half-way to his drivers license. Yikes. *Blocking it OUT!* We spent the day (Dec. 27) out and about doing what he wanted to do for his special day which was watching the new Narnia. FAVORITE! It's my favorite-by far. It's going to be hard to top that one!

Tootsie had her first Christmas. She LOVED it all. Loved the presents. Loved the attention. Loved the busyness of it all.

We went through puppy training . . . with Tootsie. She had a bad habit of throwing temper tantrums at the drop of a dime. So we had a couple rough months, being consistent with her on what was allowed and what wasn't. Did I mention it was rough? Well it was. Really. Rough. Whew. But the cloud has lifted (for the most part) and we are back on track.

We've gone back and forth with the sleeping thing. Have good weeks, bad days. She's still learning to trust. Getting more comfortable. Laughing more. Talking a bit more. Communicating more.

We had our last post-placement visit. It was really good to get that done and to answer some lingering questions. Get some positive feedback. I want to reiterate - I LOVE OUR SOCIAL WORKER. She's awesome.

Joye's Birth Certificate is on it's way. Like blogging I slacked MAJORLY on that, and now I'm scrambling to get it here so I can get her SS card so we can get our taxes done. That's a mouth-full.

Well, I better start on supper. I am going to try my hardest to keep up and get back to blogging. Be patient with me, it's on the bottom of my long list of to-do's. I'm sure there are many that can relate. :)