Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Recently I have found myself in a highly reflective state and taking each moment one at a time!

My reflections have been on the end stages of my pregnancies, which were both pretty traumatic and with our youngest a very raw and unsettling emotion if I reflect too deeply. You see my body saw pregnancy as an invasion by a foriegn body, literally. The entire pregnancies I was careful to take my vitamins, rest, and follow all of the rules, but still they were riddled with small complications.

With both pregnancies by 7-8 months I was physically exhausted from fighting my body to continue to remain in a pregnant state, emotionally ready for my babies to be in my arms, but knowing I had to resolve to keep the babies in as long as possible for their health...including medications, shots, etc. At these points in my pregnancy although I knew and fought to keep from an early delivery, I would have given about anything on my delivery days to have those boys out of my belly and into my arms.

Our first son was born 4 weeks early, he had a low tempature, but was healthy, however, I sustained significant damage from his birth. We were unsure we could have another child, then almost five years laters, I became with child, only to catch the flu and miscarry. We were hopeful, and just a couple months later I was pregnant with our second son, who was born six weeks early.

Our sweet boy was premature and unable to breathe on his own. I don't remember seeing him, although from pictures I know I did, until he was two days old and I could be discharged and travel to the hospital they had transferred him to. Thankfully, through the difficulty with the birth of our oldest, they decide to do a C-section, and it was an act of God, because our youngest had the cord twice around his neck and would have died in childbirth if I had tried to deliver him.

Our youngest spent almost two weeks in the NICU and as amazing the miracles are that we expereinced there, it is very hard for me to "go there". It is the most helpless I have ever felt in my life and the emotion of having my child on the brink of life and death for days is still overwhelming to consider.

Back to the present, the promptings for my reflection has been this gnawing need to have my baby girl home. It is really very hard to put into words how at times my heart physically aches. Friday was one of those days. I think I hit refresh on my email at least several hundred times via my phone...if we could just get a picture, just hear that our EP is approved...anything!!!!

I know that the Department of State indicated to wait 2-4 weeks to call and check. Last Wednesday I verified the name correction in their system, so did not feel justified in calling Friday on the 2 week mark. I thought at times I would literally have to sit on my hands to keep from dialing the number!

It is that end of pregnancy madness I experienced with both boys...in the form of end of adoption wait madness!

I know all things are in God's perfect timing. I know that if we receive a picture it will only make the wait more difficult. I know that calling and bugging them will only keep them from working on the paperwork! All of these things are very clear in my rational, logical state of mind. In my emotionally exhausted frame of reference I want to call anyone that can give me news, I want to know that Holt received our care package and gave it to our girl...I want my email to surprise me with EP approval...anything at this point would be so wonderful!

As I take each day lately moment by moment, I find myself looking for work to keep me busy, praying much more than usual, and when I become really tempted to email our case worker or call DC, then I will pick up my Bible to read. These coping mechanisms are wonderful, because I am getting my work ready for my leave and spending more time in the Word and in prayer! However, I must admit these crazy emotions, bordering on an obsession with my cell phone refresh could take a vacation and I would be oh so happy!

So tonight as I turn in for sleep I will dream of my boys and their sweet infant years, reliving the maternal desire I felt to see and hold them for the first time and dream of our girl and her sweet face and all the joys we have to come when we do have her in our arms forever! Tomorrow it will be back to reality and I am sure each moment will be progress toward Friday, when I have okay'd myself to call again and check status on our progress, until then I am sure I will be praying often, working hard, and seeking the words of resolve and comfort in the Scriptures.

Have a wonderful week and God bless each of you in a special way!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Donations for Holt Korea

When we travel to Korea to pick up Annalee we will take donations to Holt for the many children in their care. There are some items that are really expensive or hard to obtain in Korea.

If you would like to donate some items for me to take, please let me know. Here is a list of their needs as of July 2010:


*** 1. Gerber rice cereal - *** There are a lot of premature babies in care. These babies cannot tolerate the multigrain cereal that is available here, and single grain rice cereal is not available. "YES, STILL WE NEED LOTS of GERBER RICE CEREALS."

2. Diaper rash cream as like Desitin and aloe gel.
"During the Summer season, we need those."

3. Moisturizing Baby Lotion or Cream for dry skin is still first priority. Examples include:
"We need this more during the Winter time... for a while, we will be ok without it."

* Aveeno baby lotion - Many of the babies get very dry skin (dermatitis), especially in the winter and this lotion is extremely expensive in Korea.
* Cetaphil moisturizing lotion
* Johnson & Johnson baby lotion
* Vaseline will be also good.

4. Sometimes they have older children over 3 or 4. Coloring books, crayons, toys, etc are very helpful.

5. Baby & toddler Clothing - 0-36, 48 months clothing are always welcomed. "We would love to receive these for Donation."


** Neutamigen Formula by Enfamil is still needed. **


1. Stretch mark lotion/cocoa butter- used for relieving the itchy skin of expecting mothers due to their skin stretching to accomodate the baby. This is the top priority for the birth mothers.

"Recently one adoptive family brought this but they were only able to give it to one maternity shelter in Seoul though they have 5 maternity shelters. Young teenager moms need these."

2. Maternity clothes- Assume XS, S, or M size. (maternity clothes are expensive in Korea). New maternity clothing only please (i.e. no hand-me-downs).

3. Aloe vera


* Multi-vitamin with iron - polyvisol (for babies)

* Cleft-lip/palate bottles and spoons

* Baby toys (rattles and teething toys)

* Preemie baby clothes (unavailable in Korea)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Her Name is Fixed!!!!

Tonight I was headed to bed and received the following in an email from the US Emabassy in Seoul...

"Thank you for your email. We contacted USCIS through CIS, Seoul to fix the problem. FYI, we have received corrected I-171, Visa37, and I-604 with a baby’s name corrected. We also notified local adoption agency regarding this issue. It doesn’t look like there is more action from your side for this matter for now."


For good stress relieving  measure over the weekend we finally found "the rug" and "the chair" for Annalee's room:

We found both in Madisonville, KY at the Carpet Barn (rug) and Todd's Furniture (chair). The furniture place is a scratch and dent furniture store. The chair has two pencil erasor size marks on one of the arms....we only paid $80 for the chair. You probably can't tell, but it is a 360 swivel and a glider/rocker and has some neat geometrical shapes very similar to the curtains embossed in it!

Our luggage is falling apart and our camera takes black pictures, even with new batteries, so we ordered a new camera...Nikon CoolPix L110 with a great discount, we ordered an autographed photo book of KY from a photographer in Crestwood, KY as a gift for the Foster Family, and we bought an Ergo baby carrier from a lady on the Holt Forum we participate in at 1/3 of the original cost! Check, check, and check on my list of must buy items for the trip!

I can't wait for all of these goodies to arrive!

We found luggage at an awesome deal. It is Samsonite Litespeed with a 10 year warranty. The two pieces that we purchased were $143 including tax, however, they originally were $398 + tax! I love a great bargain and quite stunning I think!

So you could say my USCIS debacle came with a nice little stress relieving price tag or that it pushed me to finish up much of the "necessity shopping for the trip"! Now I am knitting scarves as gifts for the Foster Family and have a few more gifts to purchase...then I might actually start packing these blue bags!

As if life has not been crazy enough in the past week...the mail came yesterday and brought with it a summons for Jury Duty for me! Can you believe it? I have always thought that it would be a cool thing to do, with all the Perry Mason and Matlock episodes I watched growing up, but the timing could not be more horrific! Needless to say I dropped by my form today with a request to be excused from this session...please pray the judge will be merciful and allow me a waive on this session!

Have a great week and thank you for all of your prayers!!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Prayers Please!!!!!

This week has been the most trying week I have had in a while and I could really use some prayers!

Last Friday we received our I600 approval, which is also sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) to be entered and sent on to the US Embassy in Korea to have our daughter's Visa issued for travel. I made a mistake on the form and instead of listing her Korean name for her birth name and current name, I listed our name for her as her current name. BIG PROBLEM!

The I600 was issued in the wrong name. When I called Monday it was indicated no problem they could fix it and went to verify the Korean name...they had that spelled wrong with the first letter of the last name incorrect. I refaxed our Legal documents to prove her Korean name and they were going to update it.

Tuesday I called for status on the correction and just received voicemail.

Wednesday morning I called the National Visa Center to check what name they had on file and was told the incorrect name and our documents had already processed to the Embassy with the wrong name...Not Good. I called back to the USCIS office and the office indicated she had already fixed the name and sent it to us, but as of today we still haven't received the corrected approval.

Also, everyone up until today has indicated no problem, once the correction was submitted they would just pass it on to the NVC and the Embassy. Well, today we received the letter that our file was sent to the Embassy. I called the NVC again and this time they indicated I needed to call the Department of State because this would either have to be fixed there or at the Embassy and this was a big issue.

Needless to say it just went downhill from there. So our agency has provided me the phone number to the Embassy, I have a calling card for Korea, and Sunday night here (Monday morning in Korea) I will be on the phone first thing trying to get this worked out. We need the corrected I600 approval in the mail tomorrow or Monday at the latest to get this to them timely.

Needless to say I just broke down and cried today. I also had a really rough week at work and although I didn't let that get me down...this issue with our paperwork really has pounded on my spirit! I know God is in control and this is all in His perfect timing, and I am really trying to learn from this, but I feel so defeated and since part of the mess up is my fault it just weighs very heavily on me.

Bottom line if we don't get this fixed the Visa could be issued in the wrong name causing a huge NIGHTMARE! We are so ready to have our girl home and knowing we are so close is hard!

Thanks for listening...I know this is not my normal upbeat post, but I needed to just be real and need your prayers and God's mercy in this in a BIG WAY!

Have a very blessed weekend!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

School Starts, Schedules Change, I600 Debacle, & EP Submitted...Whew!

This has already been quite an eventful week in our house!

Our oldest started 4th grade on Monday. We can't believe how much our son has grown up...he is such a kind-hearted kid, we can't wait to see God's plan unfold in his life!

While school was off to a start our youngest and his Daddy were getting into their new routine and adding some finishing touches to our girl's room. Other than picking up something in Korea to put in the wall space over her bed the decorating is complete!

We refurbished a mirror that was willed to me by my grandparents...it is the perfect addition to her room!

We received our I600 approval on Friday, only to learn later in the day that I had filled out Annalee's name on the form as the name we will give her versus her Korean name. The approval must have her Korean name, so first thing Monday morning I called to have it corrected. Our file had already been sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) and the officer on our case had her Korean last name spelled incorrectly, so I had to refax our legal documents.

Today I called the NVC and we are considered NVC in and out...another big step in obtaining her Visa, however, it is with the wrong name, so those steps will have to be recompleted after her name is corrected. Needless to say I will be calling USCIS first thing tomorrow morning!

In addition we received notice today that we were submitted for EP, her Emigration Permit, on July 15th! This is wonderful news as all of the timelines I'm tracking show an average travel time of around 30-35 days after EP approval! We went from hoping to travel in October to now possibly going to travel in September, maybe even mid to early September!

This reality has been absorbing ever so slowly! The good thing is ticket prices for Delta drop in half as of Sept 1st, so that is a relief, the room is about ready, I have 5 weeks in PTO accrued. Then the to do and to get lists just bring on mental block! Ahhh! I am shopped out with the room, so I will just have to make a list until I can recover and am renewed to search for some really good bargains!

Things I am pretty sure we will need:

  • Carseat to bring her home from the airport...

  • Baby carrier for the flight home. I really want the Babyhawk Oh Snap, but they are really pricey...well worth the money if she is used to being carried and it will help my back, plus it will work up to 45 lbs!

  • Luggage. We bought our current luggage about five years ago and it is great for local travel, but has not held up to well when I have flown domestically...I need to check with some International travelers to find a durable travel set.

  • Gifts for Foster Parents - I found a photo book of Kentucky on-line and think it would be wonderful, but not sure what to include with it. How do you pick something for people that have done so much for your child?

  • Then there are all those little things...diapers, bottles, wipes, formula, pajamas, socks, sheets, etc.

  • Hand rails for our basment steps - have to get that done before she arrives!
Wish List
*wants vs. needs*:

  • Camera - ours quit workiing a few months ago and we use our cell phones, but it will top my list of buys!

  • Rocker for the babies room - we just haven't been able to find the

  • Rug - same as above...would be nice, but haven't found the right color/style

  • Stroller - need to do some research, but thinking this will be a birthday/christmas purchase after she arrives!
We are going to have to do some shopping!

I know there is no need to fret...God has provided and guided each step of the way and I know he will continue to do so! We may have another yard sale and we will take it a day at a time getting things ready!

Thank you all for your prayers, please pray we will get this I600 issue fixed soon and that it won't cause any problems as we wrap up this process to travel. Praise God for His wonderful grace and promises!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Annalee's Room

(I updated our post on our care package with more pictures and a video of the Hallmark Recordable book...if you want to check it out here is the link: Annalee's Care Package)

The past week hubby has been super busy preparing the room for Annalee. It's not quite done yet, we still need a rug, cozy chair, and to decorate the walls, but we are very pleased with the progress thus far.

We have lots of 24 months to 4T clothes, since that is what I bought while waiting for referral. I can't wait to fill her dresser with 12 - 18 month clothes for when she arrives home!

This is how the work began...putting putty on all the nicks and dents in the wall:

Removing all of the glow-in-the-dark stars and planets from the ceiling:

The inspiration for our color scheme:

The ceiling painted and walls trimmed out:

Our little family...baby in my arms...

Lighting for a princess:

Beautiful pink walls:

Closet before the dresses and clothes are added:

The closet filled with her clothes:

Dresser & Bed:

For those of you that are shocked to see a baby bed...we had planned to put a trundle in the room...we could not find a trundle in the wood stain color and price range that we wanted...this crib is convertible to daybed and full size bed...so we changed our minds and went ahead with a crib!

We still have lots of things to get before she arrives...diapers, wipes, sheets, bottles, all the infante medications, creams, lotions, bath stuff, etc...however, at least now our girl has a place to rest her sweet head.

We have butterflys to paint and arrange on a wall, a lamp to paint for the dresser...once we add the finishing touches I will post an updated photo!

I have decided that fall break would be a wonderful date to travel to pick up our girl, so please pray with me that the paperwork will align just right for us to be in Korea October 11th - 15th....this way Ethan would not have to miss school to travel with me and ticket prices should be much more reasonable!

We hope you are having a great week!!!!