April 09, 2012

TRAVEL CALL ! ! ! ! !

Yes you heard me...lol  





And they lived Happily Ever After!  


April 05, 2012

Visa Interview ...CHECK


Do I really need to say more?


March 27, 2012

Best Monday Ever ! ! !


EP's Approved!


After 378 days (or just over 12 months) of waiting since receiving our referral, I am please to report that the Ministry of Health & Welfare finally approved our son's Exit Permit giving him permission to legally leave Korea and begin  his new life in the United States.   Yay!!!
And with the March 5th EP batch now approved, the wait is on for the final step:  our notice to travel! 
Sometime in the next few weeks we will receive a call that Kwon's paperwork has been reviewed and approved by the US Embassy in Seoul, and he has made his requsit appearance at the Embassy for his Visa Interview, and is now finally ready to travel from Korea, and begin his new life with his Forever Family!   So we jump into high gear and get ready:

  • We change the ring-tones on our cell phones (this is one call we don't want to miss!)
  • And we begin washing the baby clothes that has been in storage for months.
  • And we start the mad dash to get all the baby gates up.
  • And we head out to stock up on baby food...
  • And Diapers...And Puffs...And Melts...Oh My...   :o)

And we get ready for a call from our social worker who (I just know) will shout the two words we've been waiting (it seems) a lifetime to hear:


March 26, 2012

Thank you Jesus - EP Approved!


1. I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

3. Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

4. I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.

5. They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.

6. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.

7. The angels of the Lord encamps all around
those who fear Him, And delivers them.

8. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!


Hallelujah...  Kwon is coming home!!!!


March 16, 2012

Why you can't come over to see my newly adopted baby... at least not yet


As we prepare to travel to get our son I came across this amazing perspective from a newly adoptive mom (Jen Hatmaker) on the need to keep life simple and children sequestered when first home.   In my experience parents of biological children do not get this concept, and sometimes take offense when adoptive parents don't follow their advice; but the one take away message here is this:  an adopted child (unless adopted as a new born) does not share the same basic psychology as a parent's biological child (experiencing loss, abandonment and distrust), therefore greater efforts must be made to help these children reform trust and family bonds.  Its a great article...  and even though we've heard all of this before (from adoption workshops, books about parenting adopted children, etc.), I never felt so moved by someone who has actually gone through it.  So please take time to read the excerpt below (and make peace with the concept), as our family will be adhering to very similar guidelines once our son is home.   ;-)

This morning, I got a panicked email from my dear friend who just had the fast-forward button pressed on her adoption. They are now throwing jackets and socks and toys and granola bars into suitcases and paying through the nose for tickets to Ethiopia to go fetch their two new daughters.
What hair products do I bring?
What food should I have in the freezer?
How are we going to talk to each other??
Am I going to be able to pull this off?
Please, please tell me this is going to be okay.
We are only six months home with our two Ethiopians, ages 8 and 6. So we’re clearly experts (sarcasm). All at once, it seems our panicked overseas trip was a million years ago and one nanosecond ago. In preparation, I read all the books and joined the online groups and went to the conferences and logged in to the podcasts. I obsessed over all the things I was supposed to obsess over: their names, their hair, their language, their food, their shoe sizes, their bedding. I read blogs and articles and became fake BFF’s with Dr. Karyn Purvis (in my head). I drove everyone mad with my myopic perspective, which was:  
“We’re adopting. There is nothing else.” We theoretically readied the house and everyone who lived in it.
Then we actually got them and brought them home.
Whoa, Nelly.
I mean, WHOA, NELLY.
Remember when you were pregnant with your first baby, and you registered for ten-thousand pieces of baby paraphernalia you read about in Consumer Digest, and then you birthed the actual baby and realized the “wipe warmer” dried out your wipes, the Diaper Genie was actually a complicated piece of crap, all those 0-3 month dresses were useless because she hardly made it out of her filthy onesie, and she actually had visceral hatred for the $150 baby swing? And what you really needed to know was how can I get this dadgum baby to sleep and can someone help me understand what is happening to my nipples, for the love of Moses??
This phenomenon applies to adoption as well, folks.
Sure, you need to direct some energy to the details...  but dear one, it is not the shoes and skin and hair and food you need to devote the most energy toward: It is their heart
Your child will come to you scared and alone and ashamed and insecure. At best. Our darlings were loved and held and nursed when they were babies, Jesus be praised, so they learned healthy attachment when it mattered. The pathways were formed, and we are finding them again together, day by day. We are learning to tap into the deposits of trust and security they once enjoyed, though they were so brutally interrupted.
But even with this potential for healthy attachment, our first two months home were difficult beyond words. Our kids were terrified. And who could blame them? They found themselves in a foreign land speaking a foreign language with foreign people who ate a lot of cheese (note: dairy products = no). They were sad and scared and overwhelmed and lost. We kind of all were.
Here are some tips that helped pull us through the mire. These things matter:
Stay home. I mean it. Stay the heck home. Cancel your calendars. Pull out of everything you’re involved in. Temporarily quit your small group and your Bible study and your volunteer position at church on Wednesdays and your gym classes. Katy, bar the door. Circle the wagons with your little family and hunker down. Do not take your newbie to Target. Do not drag them to public places. Do not spend two hours in the car running errands with them. Keep the moving parts to an absolute minimum.
Keep visitors at bay for awhile. Your child doesn’t know you yet. A lot of revolving faces simply reinforces the notion that people come and go, and he is alone. Yes, these people love you and love your child. They are thrilled he is home and care so deeply. You know that. He doesn’t. Tons of smiling, oversized, touchy strangers constantly in and out make for a nervous, insecure child. Our friends left dinner on our porch and texted us. Our parents chomped at the bit waiting, while we worked our way through the early storm of transition. God bless them.
To that end, prepare your family and friends in advance for this very important attachment plan: No one touches, kisses, holds, or meets the needs of your new one except you and your spouse. No one. Tell them in advance and explain why. Your child needs to learn right away that you are his mother and father. YOU ARE. You will meet his needs. You will hold him when he cries. He belongs to you, and you are forever. He is coming from a multiple-caregiver situation, so if twenty strangers hold and kiss and feed him and rock him in his new environment, nothing has changed at all. He will struggle to attach to you because you are not his sole caregiver. This principle is not permanent, but it is so necessary at first. Tell your family and friends to give him a “high five” and that’s about the end of it for a bit.
Know this: Those first few weeks and months will more than likely be difficult. They might be downright disastrous. You will struggle through feelings and emotions you didn’t know you were capable of. You will cry. They will cry. They may absolutely spaz out actually. You will wonder if your life is ruined or if happiness will ever return to your home. Beloved, IT WILL. It so will. They are grieving and processing and transitioning. It’s just hard – on them, on you, on the bio kids if you have them. There is no magic formula that will skirt your family around this chaos.
But you will emerge.
Your child will learn to trust you. God will begin to mend the broken pieces. He can do this. He is big enough to put a heart back together. You will discover love bubbling up in the cracks, transforming you from this clunky, awkward, uncertain group of people to a family. You’ll watch as her real self emerges, peeking out from behind the fear and loss. You may even realize that like an idiot, you though she was shy, and she is actually a firecracker (Jen raises hand). Your son will start to sing again, and he may become the adorable soccer star you’ve always dreamed of (Jen raises hand).
Then one day, you have this day; it’s just a day. The kids, all five of them – the three bio kids and the two newest Hatmakers – all go to school and come home competing for space to talk about how fun Dr. Suess Day was and the Million Minute Read project they are doing so their librarian, Mr. McCarthy, will shave his head, and they walk in and dump their backpacks where I told them not to and grab a snack, teasing each other. Then ten minutes later, their friends start knocking on the door like they always do, racing to the trampoline and inventing some sort of Dodge Ball Trampoline Game that will make at least two kids cry, but I’ll ignore it because I told them no crying if you’re going to roughhouse. Then I say homework and they are all aw, man, but in they come, sitting at the table, doing math and reading English words and writing English sentences and saying, “I know about to and two and too now, Mom. Is easy for me.” And we eat dinner, seven of us around the table, playing “high/low”, talking about our days, and the new eight-year old says his low was when his big brother got hurt, and that makes me melt just a bit. Then an hour later, I’m tucking them in with kisses and snuggles and the little one, with an arm snaked around my neck, prays Dear God, tank you for my mom. She’s a cute mom. She’s my best mom. And for all my family. And for Texas. Dear God, amen. And the brown brother prays Tank you for my friends and dis good food. Tank you for mom who cooks dis good food. Help us be kind. Amen. And they drop right to sleep, safe in their beds, no nightmares for months now. And I come downstairs and look at my husband and think:
We’re doing it. We’re a family. God made us into a family.
You’ll get there too, dear one. God will make a family out of you yet. Stay the course. May God continue to bring beauty from ashes in our stories, giving the world a picture of grace and redemption and healing.
All His mercy and goodness to you today.

And this is pretty much why you can't come over to see my newly adopted baby when we get home... at least not yet.   You know what, don't think of it as a Stop sign... think of it more as a Go Slow, Speed Bump Ahead sign.  Give us a few weeks and we'll be sure to have an awesome meet and greet, with finger food, sangria, a piƱata, and all.  Hey... its not like he's going anywhere.  Believe me, you'll get your turn at bat when it comes to babysitting the little tyke sooner or later.  ...And probably much sooner than later.   :o)