Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Visa Physical

Tonight is Wednesday in Korea, so our girl is preparing to go or returning from her Visa Physical. Since we have everything else done I am predicting we may get "The Call" next week, however, I know it could be another two or three weeks if things run long.

So tomorrow I will throw open the suitcase in her room and begin to pack and make lists of everything we need to take. I need to finish knitting the scarf for the Foster Father. Then there are the letters to the Birth Mother and Foster Mother that I need to write....the list goes on and on and I am so thankful because this will keep me busy!

Have a blessed Wednesday!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Last night was the first night of revival at our church. Since I usually work in the nursery on Sunday nights I volunteered to stay and help out the parents and teen girls from other churches that had volunteered to come and work the nursery for us during revival.

Well, I moved from room to room, helping out and specifically holding the inconsolable ones that just wanted a familiar face. The first child cried and gagged herself until she puked, luckily this probably wasn't the first time, because she leaned over the sink and neither of us ended up wearing it! I can't tell you how happy this made me...I do not do puke at my house...thankfully I have a hubby that jumps in and takes care of the awful task!

The next little one I have never seen cry. She is a sweet little girl that was adopted just this past year, along with her brother...they are 5 months apart, both domestic adoptions. She just melted on my shoulder and wanted to hold the plastic and woolly lambs on the counter...our nursery ministry is called, "little flock"...or something lamby like that. She was just a doll, but if I put her down the tears would flow!

In between this and the other children, my 3, almost 4 year old had decided he is now the baby again until Sissy comes home and would howl and cry if I walked out of eyesight! Good times!

About twenty minutes before the service was over there was a baby screeching at the top of her lungs! Poor thing, she was inconsolable. So, I offered to take her and see what I could do...I traded the sweet girl melted onto my shoulder for this little baby under a year old. Her bib was wet, she was crying so hard her face to her feet were red, and nothing was calming her.

I walked to a rocker, took of the bib, and began to fan her with a book while singing/croaking out "Twinkle, twinkle little star"... I have had a sinus infection for a week, so my voice had that in and out quality and a slight crack and croak...poor people that were helping and had to listen! Agh! She slowly began to calm, however, if I tried to sing anything else "Jesus Loves Me", etc. she would begin to get upset again.

So I sang "Twinkle, Twinkle" over and over again until she fell asleep. I looked at my friend and said, "Oh my what am I going to do?"

She was completely confused and asked what I had her asleep. I urgently said, "What if Annalee does this all the way home from Korea, 16 hours or so?" "What do I do?"

She smiled and asked if I had started praying for a calm child....well, not that specifically, so I guess I should get right on that, huh! I know if need be I can handle a puking, screeching child for a while...God's grace will be sufficient, however, I will admit I am definitely praying for a happy, sleeping baby for most of the trip home!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Time for Rest

We survived!!! Not without our battle wounds, but we did survive the week!
The appraiser came today to look at the house and we should know the results of his report tomorrow. It took all of 15 minutes for him to glance around and take some measurements. I think we were both kind of like, "is that it?"...after 3+ days of intense house projects.

I will have to post some pictures, but basically we built handrails for our basement steps, painted the living room ceiling, installed door frames into three interior doorways, installed baseboards and quarter round, cleaned out the gutters, mowed and trimmed the yard, etc. Needless to say we spent every waking minute working, but it was so worth it. The steps were definitely the biggest project and they turned out great.

The good thing was to see how well we worked together. It is amazing 11 years into our marriage at how easily we worked together. I am sure 10 or even 5 years ago we would have probably gotten on each other's nerves and instead of discussing the ways to renovate, we probably would have battled out to get our way. I am so thankful for the growth in our marriage and that I have a wonderful partner to work with!

Our oldest turned in his bug project for school and earned his 5 points that were needed for his AR (Advanced Reading) course! We are so glad to have these complete and look forward to meeting with his teacher next week for parent teacher conferences! I can't believe we are almost finished with the first semester of school. His interim grades were really good....we are so proud of him!

Now regarding the adoption:

We were notified last week that Annalee's Visa Physical will be on 09/29. (Korea offices are closed next week for a holiday to celebrate families and the ancestor's of each family. I love learning the heritage of the Korean is so rich and full of respect!) After her Visa Physical, then she will be ready to have her Visa issued. I am still thinking we will travel to Korea the week of fall break (Oct. 11th)

Also, we received a new Well Baby Check today. Our girl is now 25 lbs at 10 months old (Cute and Big Baby) and has 1 top tooth in addition to two bottom teeth. She is standing alone, waves Bye-Bye, and plays ball. She is doing so well and we can't wait to see her and hold her in our arms!!! Very soon!!

Have a very blessed week!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

EP Approval!!!!

Today we received one of the emails we have been waiting for a few weeks now. We received the news that the Emigration Permit (EP) has been approved, which is one more step in the process.

So what exactly does EP approval mean?

Well, it is a huge step to our girl coming home and many families receive their Travel Call (TC) within 30 days or less from EP approval. This means in one month, which would be my sister's birthday, I could be getting that wonderful call. Although I sure won't complain if it arrives sooner!

You may be wondering why we have to still wait another 30 days to go get our girl. Well, first I have to say that we are extremely blessed and have been zooming right along on this way to TC. Also, a very good on-line friend of mine, received her referral just days from ours, our girls were born the same day, and our timelines match almost perfect now, so we could be in Korea together. Lastly, if we actually do travel in one month, it will be the beginning of our oldest son's fall break from school, so he will not have to miss as much time away as he would if we received the call earlier or later!

Isn't God amazing in how He orchestrates all of these little details!

So back to why we may need to wait 30 more days. After EP approval, the Korean Government must issue the Travel Certificate (est. time 1 week), then she will have her Visa Physical, then the Packet 3 (P3) with all of the important approvals will be sent to the US Embassy in Korea for approval (est. time 1 week). After all of these things are done, then they will schedule the Visa Interview and Annalee's Foster Mother will take her to the interview...I wonder if she (Annalee) will have much to say?

After the Visa Interview the Visa will be issued and we will receive our TRAVEL CALL!

That is 30 days full of approvals and I must begin to write my checklists...what to ask her Foster Mother, what to pack, figure out what to write in the letters to Annalee's Birth Mother and Foster will be a very busy 30 days!

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Passing the Time

At least once a day I get asked when our girl is coming home, are the boys excited about getting a new sister, and am I so excited in anticipation of "the call"...the answers are:

"As soon as possible I hope"

"They can't youngest asks everyday when I return from work, Mommy, did you go get Annalee today?"

"Words cannot describe the feeling you have anticipating that call and the moment our girl will be in our arms!"

Today there was a discussion regarding the Emigration Permit (EP) and the process wait time for approval. Our friend, who is waiting for her sweet boy Charlie, just received her approval at 9 weeks waiting, so I calculated where we are and on Thursday we will be 8 weeks into our wait for EP approval. So now I am very hopeful we will receive an email notice this week or next letting us know we have approval.

The significance of this approval is that most people travel within 30 days or less after their EP approval! We are getting ever so close to that call!

Meanwhile, we can never just wait twiddling our thumbs, so as if life wasn't eventful enough we talked to our bank a few weeks ago and learned now was the perfect time to refinance our mortgage. We have been checking into a refinance for a couple of years now and the rate was just too great to pass up. However, we have many "mini" renovations started, part of the reason we had put off refinancing until now.

So, my sweet hubby has an ever-growing honey-do list and we are becoming premier customers at our local Lowe's. Now for the fun part...the bank would like to do the appraisal ASAP, so we can close on the loan before our trip to Korea, so our goal is to have all of these projects complete by Monday morning. Well, one blessing is I now have something else to obsess about, rather than whether or not I have updated pics of our girl or if we have EP approval!

So this leads to a couple of prayer requests:

  1. Please pray we will have the endurance and time management to complete all of the tasks needed before the appraisal.
  2. Pray that the house will appraise for the target amount, so that we can have the PLI removed from the loan.
God has so richly blessed us with the ability to work and with opportunities to stretch each dollar He provides and we are so grateful. We are also very thankful for the distraction during what could be a very trying time in the wait.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


We hope that each of you will have a very blessed weekend whether it is leisure time with family and friends or laboring over home projects. Enjoy the beautiful weather and be a blessing to someone!

This morning my flip calendar held the following blessing for us:

Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

"Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be graciousto you; And therefore He will be exalted, that he may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him."

It is amazing when you are waiting for something, praying daily for the ability to continue faithfully, that He sends just wait you need for grace sufficient!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adoption: Calling or Just a Choice?

Today I was involved in an on-line discussion of sorts regarding the things that people say to adoptive parents that indicate they just don't get it....the person that started the conversation had posted the following quote to FB:

""Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial. ...Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary. Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child. Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.--- Rita Laws, PhD"

A person that read the quote left her a response that they admire adoptive parents for taking in someone else's kid!

Various people chimed in, but the following comments led to my blog-post title above:

Person 1:

"At this point in the process, what I find annoying (well-intended, I realize, but still annoying) are comments like, "Charlie is so lucky" or "It's so nice of you guys to do this." Things like that. He is not lucky; WE are. He is the one losing something, not us. We are NOT adopting to be NICE!! We are adopting because we WANT a child. Ugh."

Person 2

"I absolutely agree. However, and unfortunately, I think a lot of adoptive parents propagate this type of thought when they themselves cite their reasons for adoption as religious obligations to orphans: adoption because of charity. Yes, they WANT this child badly, but they also use additional reasons to describe their adoption choices, and unfortunately, I believe that puts a negative spin on adoptees, like they were some charity project. Put yourself in the child's shoes. I don't want my kids thinking that it would have to take an act of charity to adopt them, as if they were unworthy of love otherwise. Obviously adoptive parents don't believe that, but many of them spread around the very ideas that later offend them and demean their children. When my child asks me one day why we adopted her, I'm going to tell her it's because we wanted her so badly and loved her so much. Not because it was my Christian obligation. Not because God told me to. Not because it was charitable. Not because she was needy. Because I loved her. The same reason I tell others, and nothing more. Any other motive demeans her, in my opinion."

Person 3:

"Thank you for adding this. I am a Christian but I am not that Christian who adopted because God told me to or to bring another child to the Great Commission. Please don't get your knickers in a twist if the reason you adopted is for the reasons I didn't though. "

I added some of my personal viewpoints, which led to the below response:

Person 2:

"People rarely have to justify themselves when they become pregnant. Nobody asks "What made you decide to become pregnant?" The answer is obvious - they wanted kids. But people ask all the time "What made you decide to adopt?" because it's outside of the norm. When the answer is "Because God called me to adopt," you open the door for people to view the motive to adopt as something very separate than the motive to become pregnant. My bio kids will not grow up hearing what a wonderful person I am for raising them. My adopted kids, on the other hand, will hear this often, and they will internalize how this casts them as a burden in my life rather than a joy. I don't want them thinking that, and while I will tell them constantly that I love them, the world will tell them that I love them differently. What a sad thing. I turned to adoption for the same reason I turned to pregnancy. I wanted children. Did I have God's stamp of approval on both? Yes. Now, why would I advertise our motives for adopting as anything different than our motives for pregnancy? Or should I create a blog all about our "call to become pregnant" and ask for donations? I don't read many blogs like that. I wonder how many people would chip in...

I maintain that a portion of the adoption community digs their own holes when it comes to what annoying things people say to them. If you find it annoying when people say, "You're such a good person for adopting and your child is SO lucky," then never advertise your child as a charity case. You'd be a hypocrite to do so. (Or you can advertise that you're doing this great thing for an orphan, and then gloat when people pat you on the back for it. There's no hypocrisy in that. It's just a little disgusting.) People don't advertise pregnancy as a cause for charity, and nobody treats bio kids that way...."
So what do you think...
Is adoption a calling or just a choice?
Does creating a blog about adoption negatively impact an adopted child?
What is your view on fund-raising for adoption?
I am very interested to hear what your thoughts are on this topic, so please chime in..