Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello Ditty Raincoat

I'm smitten with this little one...

I'm sure you've noticed.

She's the sweetest, cutest little girl with such imagination. And spunk.

She loves her raincoat...even when it's not raining outside.

...and even if it's not actually her raincoat

...and it's 5 sizes too big.

...and it's 72 degrees in the house.

"Hello Ditty wain coat, Mama."

"Hello Ditty wain coat, Mama."

And the boots? Yep, they are Ella's too.

But who can resist when you get one of these smiles at the end? Her smiles are so big, she can hardly see.

So much happiness...all from a raincoat and boots. Oh, to be 2 years old.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I600 Update

On Thursday I got some news that sort of...well...wrecked me for a bit. Broke my heart is what it did.

And I cried like a big ol' baby. Yep, that's what I did. The tears welled up and I couldn't stop 'em.

I called the National Benefits Center...just so I could hear them tell me "Yup, that I600 has been approved and is in Seoul"...just cause I wanted every doubt erased in my head that it was still sitting on someone's desk and to get confirmation that it wouldn't be long until I would be holding my Cora.

The phone rang, I gave them our receipt number, and I got the "let me transfer you to the Officer working on your case so you can get an update on where it's at." That about ruined me there...cause that was a dead give-away that it wasn't approved yet.

The Officer assigned to us said she had reviewed everything and just had to sign off on it...and when asked how long that typically takes, she said that it should be done within the next couple of days.

Not done yet. Not sent to Korea yet. Not approved.


I was so upset. When I had talked to her 10 days earlier, (Yes, 10 days earlier) she had said that she was going to take care of it...and made it sound like things would be all finished very quickly. 10 days later and we still hadn't been signed off on yet?!?

I'm not sure if you all know our situation. Obviously, we want to get Cora home as soon as possible. It's in her best interest of course. The longer it takes for her to get home, the older she will be...and the harder this transition becomes. Lily's was rather excruiating, I won't lie...and she was 10.5 months old. Stranger anxiety kicks in around this time and it makes this very hard process into and incredibly hard process. And that's all an understatement, folks.  ...Cora is now 8.5.

Due to childcare issues and who we are comfortable leaving 3 busy children with for a week, we are on a timetable as well if we are both going to be able to travel together to Korea. Our magic day is April 15. My mom, who I am so proud of, is a Master Garnener now. She will be heading up a new Garden Center in her town. She starts on...yep, you guessed it...April 15. In case this isn't making a whole lot of sense and I'm rambling (which is entirely possible), we need to travel and be back to the States by April 15 if it's going to work for both Jason and I to go and pick up Cora together.

What happens if that travel call doesn't come early enough? Well, we have decided together that Jason will stay home and I will travel to Korea. Luckily, I don't have to travel alone. My awesome uncle Todd has agreed to take a trip around the world with me. I can't even explain how much it means that he is willing to eat up vacation time, spent countless hours on a plane, help me when I'm a frazzled mess with a grieving baby, and be my support and sidekick for a week. Add to the fact that he's been to Seoul before and is an experienced world-traveler...I know I'll be in good hands if Jason can't come. But of course, best-case scenario is that Jason and I travel together, as parents, to pick up the newest member of our family.

I deeply want need that woman to approve that I600...I'm running out of time. It would be so hard to leave Jason behind.

Do you feel my sense of urgency yet? If you do, tell me what I said so I can relay that to the National Benefits Center.


After much sobbing and a lot of kleenix, I remembered that God is in control of all of this. And as hard as this waiting can be, He knows what's best. He already knows that exact day that I will hold that little peanut in my arms...and be able to tell her in person that I love her and have longed for her.

...this is taking some reminding...cause this wait it hard y'all. It's hard. It's hard to have someone else raising your baby. It's hard to have someone else experiencing all of these "firsts". It's hard to have someone else offering comfort, hugs, and kisses. I'm grateful for Cora's fosterfamily and that they are taking such good care of her...but truth be told, I want that job. And I want it now. It's a purposeful thing for me right now...to remind myself that God has this all under control...and that His timing is perfect.

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

If you would, we would love prayers. Prayers for trusting in His ultimate plan...and if that could possibly include a travel call soon...we would be so grateful.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Few Pics...

As promised. The photo storage that I bought has been applied to my account so here are the pics from Monday when we were just chilling around the house...

A lazy day deserves some cupcakes...and cake batter...and frosting....yum.

Everyone needs funky sunglasses when it's chillin' time.

And who can resist this smile? My boy is just too cute.

Enjoy your day everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Chillin'

Another Monday...another week underway...

We are just chillin' around here, taking it easy after a good, but busy weekend.

On Friday, Jason took the kids to the Children's Museum in St. Paul. They had a blast! And while Daddy was out playing with the kids, I worked on things for the upcoming Korea trip. It's not far off and I'm scrambling to try and get things crossed off my list. And having the house completely quiet made for a very productive mama!

On Saturday, we had our good friends over who we met while in Korea picking up Ben. We always enjoy our time with them and the day always, always goes too fast! While the kids and daddys were visiting, Karne and I set out on a wild shopping expidition. We shopped until we were ready to fall over and managed to get all the gifts for the trip bought! I am so excited to give these to all the special people we will see in Seoul.

On Sunday, we did a little family visiting and then I got to work on some more knitting. This "nesting" thing has hit and I am always working on something it seems. Much to my liking, I started and finished the project.

Needless to say...we are tired out after a full weekend and have just been taking it easy today.

Oh My! Two geese just flew over the house, honking away, and landed on the pond. Granted, the pond is still covered in ice...but what a sign that spring is on it's way!!

I just tried to post some pictures, but apparently I have run out of storage space! Who new?!? I've purchased more but it takes a day or two to take effect so I'll post them later this week. I figure with the upcoming trip...I'm gonna need that space to keep you all informed on how we are doing, pics of Cora, and all the extra fun stuff that comes with a trip to the other side of the world.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Ask my mom and she will tell you that I have called her about a thousand times over the past few days.

Why? Nerves, my friends. Nerves.

Good ones...anxious, excited ones. Butterflies. Pit in my stomach.


After checking my adoption forums about 20 times an hour each day and watching for other fellow SWS families, I am getting the feeling that our travel call is not too far away. How far away? Well, isn't that just the golden question? I have no crystal ball and I can only go off of what I am hearing others are experiencing...and then throw in the uncertainty of Ol' Uncle Sam...and it's the makings of a complete guess. BUT, I am gonna place my bet that we will travel sometime in April to get Cora.

April? Wowza...I have a lot to do. I have bags to pack, clothes to wash and put away in Cora's dresser, shopping for all the people in Korea who have been a major part of our adoptions, babyproof my house, dig out baby toys from storage (which coincidently happens to be the garage...in gabage bags...that were ready to go out as donations since I *wasn't* going to need them anymore), figure out and plan my itinerary while in country, make and order picture books to put in birthparent files, write and get translated letters to go along with said pictures, and learn as much korean as I can (tall order).

Did I mention that I'm supposed to be doing all of this in between taking care of the three children who are currently in my house? In between homeschooling? laundry? cooking? grocery shopping? and everyday life?

Well, I've come to my senses. I've enlisted the troops. I've called in the back-ups. I've realized I'm in over my head and I'm gonna need help if I might possibly be traveling in 3+ weeks. A big giant thank-you to my family and my friends who have agreed to come aboard the Crazy Ship. I love ya all!


She's coming home y'all....soon....very soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Last Step State-Side

I was so nervous this morning. I asked a few friends to pray for me and I called my mom to have her do the same with me over the phone. Then, hands shaking, I dialed the number for the National Benefits Center (NBC) and entered opion #2 for adoptions.

Because the agency we are working with in Korea is so fast, we were concerned that waiting for USCIS approval might delay our travel call. Hence the call to the NBC to ask if there might be something they could do to help us out with the approval of our I600A and the I600.

I got my first dose of good news....we had finally been assigned an officer to our case after 2.5 weeks of waiting for someone to even look at our paperwork. I was glad for that. Once transferred, I expected to get the Officer's voicemail. Much to my surprise, she answered the phone. I'm sure I sounded like a bumbling idiot...I was so nervous. I didn't want to say the wrong thing, not ask the right questions, lose my one chance to plead my case. I won't lie to you...the first part of the conversation didn't flow smoothly and based off of her voice, I wasn't so sure she was going to (or be willing to) help me out.

With the phone shaking against my face from nerves, I told her the reason for my call. The Officer then asked for my receipt number and told me that I still needed to get fingerprints done. I told her that we went in early, Feb 22 to be exact, and we were all done. "I don't get updates so I would have never known that unless you called to tell me. I see your appt wasn't originally until March 15, so I wouldn't have looked at your file for days from now" was her reply. Whoa. Sooo glad I called if not for this reason alone! She told me she would take a look at our petition. But before I could let her go, I needed her to know that we also had the next step (I600) already there at the NBC as well...just under a different receipt number. After a long, long pause...she said that it would only make sense if she tracked it down and just approved both of them at the same time. Whew! That's exactly what I wanted to hear. :)

I don't know how fast it will get taken care of, but at least I know we are not at the bottom of a pile anymore. I didn't dare ask for specifics in case I made her mad and she changed her mind...so I thanked her profusely for what she was doing and told her I was grateful she had taken my call.

I most likely won't know about approval until the notice comes by snail-mail. But no matter how slow the US Postal Service is, by the time I get that piece of paper, our notification will be sitting at the Embassy in Seoul.

Can't wait to check off this last step state-side...then everything will be on Korean soil!

I can not wait to get my newest daughter home!! Mama's coming, Cora!!