Sunday, February 27, 2011

An ongoing reminder

So I am incredibly excited to see some warm weather this way. I am one of those folks that their mood is affected by the weather and just this weekend has made the biggest difference to be out in the sunshine. It brings a much needed smile to my face. I mean, I smile all of the time...and I have plenty to smile about.

I have two beautiful daughters to call my own, a seriously wonderful husband, shelter and plenty of food, great friends and family. Our family is healthy and all of our needs are met. The only thing missing now is our son. I smile everyday because I feel so thankful and sometimes overwhelmed by all of it.

It's taken me a lot to understand that it's OK for me to be happy and to let myself feel joy. Sometimes I would feel guilty and sorrowful about other folk's situations and not allow myself to feel happy or sometimes I would let old ghosts from the past haunt how I felt about things. And the's so much easier than I thought it would be to really focus on the negative (meaning we still don't have Asher home and have absolutely no answer or information as to when that might happen) than to remember all of the positives of this.

I've learned a lot of lessons and sadly I'm so stubborn I've learned most of them the hard way. As much as this hurts everyday to not have my son home, I'm ultimately thankful for the wait. At some point, I quit putting on my "poker face" of everything being OK and realized that it really was. All of this wait is for a purpose. Maybe mine, maybe Asher's, maybe someone else's. But either way, I know I've learned so much about how my mental outlook affects my life, about how I depend on my husband and my Savior for support, about how I portray my situation to others.

I feel like I've posted on this so many times, but this is a process if I'm being honest here. I've learned adoption is and just being a Christian is. I do not wake up every morning always with unfailing confidence. I continue to make mistakes even when I am trying my best. I need constant reminders that I do not need to depend (or stalk!) information or updates from others or be anxious about how long things are taking. I cannot worry about how or why things have slowed down. Worrying gets me nowhere. What I can do is to remind myself that even though I have no information and I feel completely out of control here, that is OK. It's all being taken care of. The only thing I need to do is be still and wait and have patience in the good things that are in store. I need to push out those old feelings of anxiety, fear, stress. I need to replace them with joyful expectation and faith. I need to get off of the Holt boards and go play in the dirt with my kids. I need to let it go and have real peace with it. I really needed this reminder after last week and I continue to pray for all of my adoption buddies that are waiting on referrals, I-600 approvals, EP approvals and travel calls. I hope we all see movement this week, but if not, that we find peace in whatever comes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I am going private in the next two weeks...

We have come so far in this adoption journey and I want to be able to share pictures and updates, so in two weeks on March 11th I will release a new blog. Everyone will be able to access the blog, but you will need our password to view the posts as they will be protected. I have left information such as Asher's timeline and our basic family information for everyone to see as I found viewing other blogs during this adoption process has been incredibly helpful. It's bittersweet to make everything private, but I know we need to protect Asher's privacy until he is an official US citizen!

The reason I am posting this now is I am going to compile a list of folks and their email addresses so I can send you the new blog address and password to view. I have made so many great friends through this process along with so many of my already wonderful friends and I hope that you all will continue to follow us along this journey!

On adoption progress note...I wish I had EP approval news to share, but I don't. It's been a really disappointing week between Asher's birthday and no EP approval, but we are staying strong in knowing that it's all in God's hands and we will be united with our son soon!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Working through the emotions

So, today is hard. There is nothing soft and easy about it. Today my friends is Asher's first birthday. And he is turning one without us.

When we started this process, we thought for sure we would have our son/daughter home by their first birthday. God has other plans. I was having lunch with a fellow adoption buddy I met through church on Friday and we were talking about our timing versus God's timing. I would have had this happen so many times already, but every time that "date" in my head passes without anything to show for it I am sad yes, but there is always a reason for the wait. Maybe it was a heart change that needed to happen or maybe a connection that needed to be made or something that needed to happen for Asher and his Foster Family. Sometimes I know what these reasons are and sometimes the time passes and I don't have a clue.

While I have swallowed back a couple of tears today (and last night), I'm trying to stay focused that my time lines aren't always right. Seriously, so far my plans have paled in comparison. I am sad we didn't get to share this special time with him. I wish he was home. But I know his foster family has given him a wonderful celebration and I just hope they took bunches of pictures!!!

We did celebrate last night by going out for Korean and it was delish! We had dumplings, galbi (Korean marinated short ribs), bulgogi (marinated *spicy* chicken), bunches of side dishes I had no clue what their names were and bibimbap (which is a vegetable, beef and rice mixture with spicy red soybean mixture). We were worried if the girls would like it, but they loved it! Our nice waitress even brought more of one of the mystery side dishes because Reece literally ate the entire thing :-)

I really tried not to cry, but I have to admit I got teary eyed on the way home. Of course what comes on the radio but that darn "While I'm waiting" song to just make matters even worse! We got a birthday cake for Asher and sang him Happy Birthday and the girls' blew out his candle for him. I couldn't get through the song without tearing up, so I "conveniently" had something to clean up while they were doing this :-(

While I am still sad today, I am at peace. This is out of my hands and has been from the beginning. I'm praying for peace and understanding. I'm praying that we hear something tomorrow about EP approvals. If we can get our EP approval this month, there is a great chance we will travel in March. I hope we get some great news for Asher's birthday week tomorrow!!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tonight while our family is sleeping

Korea is fast at work. The 14 hour time difference right now is nice because they are always a day ahead, so it feels like I get news faster.

We found out on Monday that the EP group ahead of us got their approval. Yup, we are next in line! I'm praying, hoping, wishing, begging for our approval this week! The holiday at the beginning of the month slowed things down a bit, but I really hope they are back to cranking things out. I'm still holding onto hope that I will open my email on Friday or Monday and see those wonderful "Your EP has been approved" words. I've been taking comfort in knowing that while I sleep, so much is happening there....because let's be honest here, I'm looking for anything I can to hold onto during this wait :-)

After EP approval, then Asher will have his Embassy Appearance, Visa Physical and Visa Interview before he will be completely ready for travel. I'm still trying to figure out the process for those things over there. I know some agencies will do these before EP approval is even given, but I'm not sure about Holt. I'm thinking everything is done after EP approval. And I've been told that they batch the physicals as well, so I'm not sure about that and we may have to wait until they do another batch. I'm praying that some of this stuff has already been done and that we will not run into anymore bumps in the road bringing this little guy home! After EP approval, we are looking at 4/5 weeks until travel call. Fingers crossed it's sooner!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm going private soon!

So I just recently found out that I can show off all of the pictures I want as long as my blog is private...what am I waiting for! I am trying now to figure out how to set this darn thing up or if I need to create a new one all together (if anyone has any advice on this I would greatly appreciate it!!!), so it will be another week or two I'm sure, but I wanted to give everyone a heads up.

I have really enjoyed being able to openly follow other blogs and make all of the friendships I have through them, but I don't want to wait another 6 months after Asher is home to post his pictures! I will give everyone notice if you want to continue to follow and hopefully will have this all set up before we get our travel call :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

EP Submission!!!!

So I finally heard back from my agency.....

First of all, Asher is doing much better, which puts my heart at ease. I felt so unsettled not knowing what was going on. So thankful again for such a wonderful foster family!!

Secondly, they sent 3 absolutely adorable pictures of Asher! I cannot believe how big he has gotten. He truly looks like a toddler now (his birthday is coming up on the 21st). I'm so thankful to have these pictures. They make the wait not feel so horrible.

Thirdly, our EP submission has already happened! We figured it would be later this month, but thankfully it happened on January 31st! Korea was fast moving in January with these EP submissions and approvals, but with the new year holiday last week, it seems things have slowed back down. There is one EP set in front of us waiting for approval. I'm praying they get their approval this week and we get our approval next week!

If we can get our EP approval in the next 2 weeks, there is a good chance we will still get to travel next month. There are still a couple of steps after EP approval (visa interview, embassy appearance, etc.) that need to happen, but normally these are wrapped up within the month. Holt does batch the physicals for these kiddos, so that might slow us up if we miss being included in a batch, but hopefully most of the large road blocks are out of the way now.

It's crazy to think this time next month we might be on a plane to go get our son! Thanks everyone so much for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reece made me think about a bigger bed

So I've had sleep a lot on my mind in anticipation of Asher coming. I'm mentally trying to prepare myself for the nights without sleep again...and my husband, who doesn't seem to be worried about it so much. Maybe because you could put a blow horn to his head at night and he won't move. Let's see how a screaming 1 year old works :-)

Kyleigh has always been pretty good about sleep. She slept through the night pretty early as a baby and we never really had any issues until she was 3. She had a bad dream one night and we let her in our bed...which turned into two nights, get the drift. It took months to get her to sleep back in her own bed alone. She would go to bed and then sneak in our bed in the middle of the night. I am a very light sleeper, so I would usually wake up, but she got very sneaky and more times than not I would wake with her in my back. Luckily now she is awesome about bedtime and goes right to bed promptly at 8:30.

Reece on the other hand has never been a sleeper. Like ever. She gave up naps at 2. Yeah. All those moms that would talk about the stuff they would get done during 3 hour nap times I never had that wonderful notion. She still doesn't sleep. She fights bedtime every night still. We *start* at 8/8:30. Starting earlier doesn't work any better I will add first. We tried earlier and it just means fighting for longer periods of time. It's usually a 40 minute ordeal before she finally gives up and stays in her room. We hear every excuse...I'm hot, I'm thirsty, I'm not tired, I cannot hear my radio, etc. etc. etc. And she's up in the middle of the night too. Yup, sneaks in our bedroom just like Kyleigh did. On average 3 nights out of the week I wake up next to her. She is vocal about not liking sleep. She asked me this weekend if God had to go to sleep and I told her God wasn't like us and really didn't have a bedtime. "well, when I grow up I want to be God then so I don't have to sleep". Yes folks, this is our Reece a roni :-)

So, I know Asher's sleep transition is going to take some time. I'm trying to decide how to tackle things to have a game plan, but I also know it depends greatly on Asher's grieving and also what he is used to. I'm sure we will co-sleep for a while...but I bought a crib with purpose, so I'm hoping in a few months we will be able to transition him over. I think everyone does better when they get a good night's sleep in their *own* bed!!

Any sleep advice or tips to share?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fun at Marbles Museum!!

You know, we've been here for 6 months and we hadn't checked out the children's museum, so we decided last weekend as a girl's day out we were going to go! We were there for 6 hours and they had a blast! I'm seriously thinking of getting a family membership, especially to have somewhere to go this summer and with Asher as well to play indoors on rainy days. Here are some pictures from all of our fun :-)

Kyleigh wouldn't come out to perform on stage, but you know Reece will put on a show!

Here I am behind the camera holding my heart watching them set up water play with a sweet
Korean cutie

Reece delivering the pizza she made :-)

Got to love that smile!
Reece working hard cutting her wood
Showing off the mannequins they turned into models

Friday, February 4, 2011

How can I put into words how much I love him?

So my husband rocks. Seriously. This man is a saint. Valentine's is coming up and I am racking my brain trying to think of something to do. This past year he has been incredible, supportive, my best friend, a shoulder to cry on when I needed it and my strength.

You know, every year and every time we have something big happen in our lives, I just cannot imagine loving him more, and yet I do. I think back 13 years ago when we met and I would have never imagined our lives now. And to top it all off, we are going on our first date since September tonight! I'm not normally a huge NBA basketball fan, but Bobby absolutely loves basketball! This will be the 2nd time we will go see King James play (Bobcats v/s Heat), so he is pretty excited. Let's hope that 5 hr energy drink kicks in for that late 3 hour drive home!!!

His mom is coming to stay with the kids tonight and they are completely excited. We are really lucky to have family close to us again. This weekend will likely be a blur as we have two birthday parties on top of everything else and have to get all of these valentines done. And Bobby got Asher's dresser put together and mounted to the wall so guess who gets to wash and put away clothes this weekend? I've never been more excited to do laundry!

Hope you all have a great weekend and prayers for some good news next week!!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When they are gone...

the house is really quiet. really quiet. Sometimes too quiet and I'd rather hear them fighting even. All that quiet leaves me to my own thoughts. These days that has not been a very good thing with all of the waiting for Asher. Today I wondered how my days will be once Asher is home. How different it will be. No more weekly schedule for cleaning (yes, I am a complete dork and have this).

Chores may fall behind. I'm almost certain laundry will. And I love it. You know why? Because I will be doing more important things. Like getting to know my son. I am incredibly blessed to be able to stay at home with him and I never take that for granted. And as crazy as it's going to be this summer with all of them home, I cannot wait to be home with all of my kids. I'm so happy this year that I can say that instead of saying "I wonder if we will be all together this summer". It's been awesome to think about summer plans and include Asher. Because he will be home this summer. Oh yeah!

It's been a rough week honestly. On Monday I opened my mail expecting to find the usual junk mail and ridiculously high electric bill, but instead there was a document from my agency. It was a hospital report for Asher...dated January 11th. Yup, Monday was February. Seems our little guy is back to his respiratory issues and had to go back to the hospital. I was initially upset that he was sick again...and then upset that we were finding out 3 weeks later....then upset that no one called to tell us or even emailed and just mailed something like that...and then upset that we had no follow up. At all. I don't know how serious it was. I don't know if he's fine now. I.know.nothing.

I didn't call on Monday. I was incredibly upset. I waited until Tuesday to call when I wasn't so emotional to speak to our agency. They apologized for mailing something like that without a call or email and she said she would send an email to Korea and try and find out how he is doing now. Of course I also took this opportunity to ask about EP's, but she said she still didn't know anything and they never contacted her back from an email she said she sent 3 weeks before. I pushed again. Hey, don't judge me. This is my son. We need him home! So, she says she is going to email again. I know with the Lunar New Year, Korea is on holiday the rest of this week, so I am praying we hear something next week.

Please pray that Asher is better. Please pray that we get some good news that his EP has been submitted so we can bring him home hopefully in March before I lose my mind!