Monday, June 29, 2009

Around and round

Around and round we go, where the paperwork stops, no one knows!!!

After a little misunderstanding with my email address, we received our home study packet on Saturday. Once things calmed down last night, I sat down and tried to figure out what I had already accumulated and still needed.


Luckily I had already done a lot, but there was still so much to put together. Today I sent out a packet with the following items: 8 page application form, payment schedule, detailed financial statement for assests and liabilities, HIPAA forms, forms to have our background checks done, individual picutures of everyone in our family, copies of everyone's birth certificates, copy of our marriage license and our last years taxes. We are still pending a statement from the pediatrican on the health of our girls, physicals for both Bobby and I, we have to write autobiographies and our 4 adoption classes we have to take.

It is the agencies (and Korea's) requirement that we have a minimum of 4 meetings/interviews (couple and individual) as part of the home study. We were really hoping to have someone local, but no such luck. Our agency is in Raleigh, so we will need to take at least one trip there to do a couple of interviews. Our first meeting with our social worker is July 9th & 10th. She is coming down here and we are hoping to go there on July 20th to do the last round. She says we are moving fast, but it's just not fast enough for us! Now that everything is happening, it's scary and exciting at the same time, just like being pregnant. You are excited for the future and to meet your child, but scared for all of the things to come too. It's the fear of the unknown either way I think.

It's been fun to look in stores now for baby things. I wasn't going to even go there, but Bobby and I went Outlet shopping for our surprise Disney trip last weekend and when we were walking by Carters Outlet he said "Guess we will be shopping in there again soon!" with a huge smile on his face. Just melt my heart why don't you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I just miss him

So, Father's Day. Everything was going so wonderfully today. The girls came in with hand made cards for Bobby this morning that were absolutely adorable and gave hugs and kisses and "Happy Father's Day Daddy!". We went to breakfast at our favorite place and headed to church. I knew Pastor Brad would talk about Father's Day today. I had thought about my dad, sure, as soon as I woke up this morning, but something about his sermons touch me so deep. Today was no exception.

He does such a good job connecting with everyone. It's not like a lecture, it's a conversation..a sharing with everyone. He doesn't dance around it, he gets right to your soul where you need to hear it the most. Today he shared a letter his dad wrote him when he was about 20 talking about regrets he had about him growing up and how he was proud of him. It really hit my heart because I remembered the letter I wrote my dad at Christmas before his cancer became so bad, letting him know how grateful I was for him, how much I loved him, how proud I was of him and how overjoyed I was to call him my dad. I hate that he never got the opportunity to read that letter himself, but I think me reading it to him through tear filled eyes meant so much more.

Pastor Brad went on to talk about how for most people, Father's Day was a happy occasion, but for some, it conjured up bad thoughts. For those folks that didn't grow up with the love of a father, for those that were abused in any way by their fathers or for those that had lost their father's it was a very different day.

He told many stories about folks he knew that had strained relationships with their fathers. Some never met them until much later in life, some had abusive fathers, some had dads that never told them they loved them or were proud of them, but how our Heavenly Father had been there always and gotten them through it. I thought about past Father's Days I had living those very words. I would lay awake the night before and wonder if my dad knew how Father's Day would make me feel. Back then it was not a celebration, but a day of hurt. I wanted to have the Father's Day my girls have had since they were born....busting into the bedroom, crawling into the bed and getting sweet kisses from their daddy, giving hand made gifts and hearing about how much he loved them.

I thank God everyday for the strength he gave my dad and I to reconcile. Thinking back to how I felt then, I cannot imagine how those days were for him. I'm sure he felt shame, sadness, guilt and sorrow thinking about me. While we can never have those years back, the few we had together as daddy and daughter are absolutely priceless.

Daddies come in all different ways and styles and situations. Even with all of our unfortunate background, we overcame. Alcoholism, pride, pain, prison, neglect, denial, hurt and abandonment could not separate us. Forgiveness is a very precious thing, and while it is not the easy road to take, the rewards at the end are far more than I can express in this blog.

Thank you Daddy for loving me then and continuing to love me now in Heaven. Thank you Bobby for being the epitome of the perfect dad. Thank you God for being my Heavenly Father and always watching over me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

WACAP approval received

Hey everybody!

We received an email from our case worker late Thursday night letting us know our adoption application was approved from WACAP! Step one down! We received our packet in the mail today with all of the forms to complete for WACAP and some tips on the home study. We thought we would be able to use the same home study as our friends Meredith and Shane, but the Korea program is very specific and they will only take home studys from ONE agency. So Catholic Charities it is! Our case worker told us they should call on Monday, so we will see what that will entail. Lots of paperwork and we will have at least 3 visits with the social worker.

I have already started downloading all of the forms and getting to work. Right now I am taking a break from one called the "Parenting Resource Plan". This is a monster! It doesn't look that difficult when you start, but once you actually read the questions and start doing the research, they are pretty tough to answer and you really have to take your time reading and thinking about it. Questions like "How would you respond if you found out your adoptive child was molested or molested another child" or "What would you do if your child rejects you?" or questions about how diverse your community is and how your child and family are going to incorporate your child's culture and heritage. I have five more questions to go, but I think I'm going to look back at it with a clear head tomorrow. It's been a long day of hard thinking!

We also have at least 10 hours of adoption education to get started on, so I am hoping to start on that next week as well. I sent off for certified copies of all our birth certificates and marriage certificate to include with a document called I-600 which we hopefully will be sending off in the next two weeks.

In other news, Reece got her first haircut today! Kyleigh needed her ridiciously long hair cut (a whole inch was cut off :-) and Reece decided she wanted one too. Ah, the lady doing her hair....she cut it uneven at first and then proceeded to tell me "it doesn't really matter because she has curly hair anyway." Nope, I am paying for a straight haircut thank you very much! So Reece ended up with two inches off, but she was so proud and did a great job!

Bobby's mom is here this weekend, so it's been nice to have someone help with the girls while I work on some of this stuff and bobby has been doing detail work on all of the cars all day long, so he is in heaven out there still. makes one year we have been in our house and in the lovely town of Carolina Shores. While I miss Wilmington still, I think this move has been so great for our family and look forward to hopefully staying here a while!!

Hope everyone has a great Father's Day tomorrow! I'm feeling a little bittersweet about my first Father's Day without my dad, but I'm being positive for the wonderful husband I have who is an excellent dad to our girls!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Out of control vacation planning

So, we are planning a *surprise* first trip to Disney the second week in August for the girls. Planning said vacation has taken up almost all of my free time. I never knew how many little tips you can find or how you can get lost for hours comparing prices for everything from hotels to disposal cameras. I had resorted to putting together a color coded excel spreadsheet complete with tabs for each park and each day of our vacation to plan everything out, but no, that wasn't enough. I found myself last night putting together a notebook as well, my vacation bible if you will. A binder full of my excel sheets and any other tips and tricks I was able to find.

I am out of control.

I am so excited and there is just so much there. I know we could go 100 times and still not see it all, but the point is that we will not be able to go 100 times. I want to know all of the high points we want to hit while still making time for the girls to just play or rest. That's hard to do working with 5 days believe it or not.

So anyway, I think after tonight I'm going to walk away from it a bit and catch the magical spirit of Disney again instead of starring at my expertly formatted spreadsheet :-)

Hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Being led by our hearts

Hi everyone,

So, as Bobby and I kissed on Saturday and celebrated the anniversary of our first date together eleven years earlier....we also had something else to celebrate.

That's right folks, you will be seeing a new face on this blog in the next year or so, a Korean one! Bobby and I have decided to adopt a baby from Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am over the moon excited and we are really following our hearts and our faith on this. We have been talking about it for weeks/months now and it's just so much to take in. How will this affect us financially? How will the girls take it? How will our family react? How will having a child of a different race in our family work? Trust me, there have been many heart to heart talks, lost sleep and happy tears shed over this decision.

We truly feel that this is meant for our family. Who could deny the need of adoption in this world where so many children are left without families to love and care for them? I have always loved the idea of a bigger family, but I just never thought it possibly since I cannot have anymore biological kids. The love that this child will bring into our family cannot be measured. Our lives and hearts have already been changed so much and we only just sent the application off!

So, we ask that you pray with us, hang on with us through this crazy ride we just jumped on. Because mostly girls are adopted and we did not indicate a preference in gender, we will probably have a son about this time next year. Kyleigh and Reece are already so excited to get a little brother (Kyleigh wants him to sleep with her and Reece wants to name him nibble :-)

We sent our application out on Saturday and then we wait for the agency to contact us back. We will then start our homestudy (LOTS of paperwork, social worker visits, etc.). Once that is approved then the real hard part starts...the WAITING! We will probably wait another 3-5 months to get a child referral and then another 3-4 months before we will be able to be together as a family. That is the cliftnotes version. I will update all along how things are going!

We feel so strongly about the positive impact this adoption will have on our family and hope we are planting a seed for other positive actions to follow!

Here are some facts below:

~Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans. Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone). 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home. Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system. Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT. Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home.

"It has been said that adoption is more like a marriage than a birth: two (or more) individuals, each with their own unique mix of needs, patterns and genetic history, coming together with love, hope and commitment for a joint future. You become a family not because you share the same genes, but because you share love for each other."

Friday, June 12, 2009

But getting wet and learning about God is fun!!

Pug love in the mornings!

Hey everybody!
It's been a crazy busy few weeks! I'm in automatic mod just trying to keep up with all of the things we've had going on. Time is flying by faster than any of us would like and there is no hiding from it. Kyleigh had her last day of school on Wednesday. So hard to believe Kindergarten has already come and gone! She did an absolutely great job this year and got outstanding in Communication, Reading and PE for the year and got an award at the end of year assembly for being a terrific reader. I'm having a hard time accepting my baby is growing up :-(

We also have been very busy on Wednesday nights with Nick at Night at our church. Our church is 35 minutes away, so it's an undertaking to get there by 6 and we get home late with very tired cranky kids, but they have such a good time and receive such a great message. It started last week, but I forgot my camera, so I took some shots this past week. The girls really love it there and I am so happy we found a great church home at Carolina Forest Community Church! Here are some pictures below of our happenings!

Holding my "Terrific Reader" Award on the last day of school

Some of the Nick at Night kids. Each team was a different color.

Our very own Pastor Brad hosing down after getting a pie in the face!

Kyleigh's team after getting splattered with smores and oatmeal

Kyleigh dripping wet after the water relay

Little sis in line for the water slide

"God loves you and we do too!"..and more words from the heart from Coach B

Just in case you were not wet enough, the fire truck sprayed down the entire field!