Friday, May 27, 2011

Adjusting our plans

Well, SWS (the Korean agency that our American agency partners with) has run out of EPs (exit permits, the number of children the Korean government allows be adopted internationally each year) for the year. It's fairly early this year but they gave out a lot of referrals early in the year which is unusual from what I've heard.

Our agency has said that they aren't going to give out any more referrals until fall to keep the time between referral and travel on the shorter side (3-4 months). Travel is likely to resume around late January (again, according to our agency's best guess based on their phone conversation with SWS). Other agencies that work with SWS are just saying that the wait for travel has increased a whole lot. Not sure which is accurate. Not sure which is better. The unknown of who our child is and what the future holds is starting wear on us. But I know once I see that sweet child's face I will want him (or her) in my arms SOON!

What does this mean for us? For those of you who don't know, we're moving to Arizona. Our original plans were that we wouldn't be leaving this area until late summer (believing we'd have a referral and USCIS approval by then). Now we're taking the summer to move out and get settled. It works out better for B and E because there's no concern about them starting school on time. We're taking a bit of a cross country trip and it'll be about 2 weeks for the kids and I to get out there (fortunately only 3-4 of those nights will be in hotels). Brian is going to spend those two weeks working and unpacking (don't I have the best husband ever! - then again, he doesn't have to drive cross country with kids....). When we get there we should be able to get settled pretty quickly and get moving on our home study update. Our agency here is contacting Dillon in AZ to facilitate this. Hopefully we'll talk with them early next week so we can do things like get medical exams, etc. done here before we move to save time. Hopefully we'll get everything updated and then we won't have to wait long for a referral.

We have prayed for God to work out the details of our move and our adoption. This is NOT the answer I wanted, but I know it's part of God's will and we will know that it is "good, pleasing, and perfect" once we see how it all unfolds.
These two verses continue to come to mind:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: Disney Edition


We went to Disney a couple of weeks ago and I need to blog about it before I forget the precious (and not so precious) moments. :)

*E started saying "That was awesome!!!!" (really stretching out the awesome) after almost every ride. She'd pump her fists in the air and get all excited. Very cute. Very much encouraged, especially by Uncle M and D (my BIL's wonderful girlfriend who came on the trip too). We did get a video, one day I'll put it on facebook. She'll probably be in middle school. That's how good I am at getting videos up anywhere.

*B is a thrill seeker. The faster the better! His favorite rides were Expedition Everest, Space Mountain (which is faster and darker since the renovation they did - I liked when it was tame with the neon signs personally...), Rockin' Roller Coaster, Dinosaur, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain (these two were "tame" for him but he still loves them).

*E also loved the thrills - that she was tall enough to enjoy anyway. Dinosaur, Splash and Thunder Mountain were her faves. But she still enjoyed Fantasyland and other tamer rides as well.

*A downpour and a spitting camel can be real highlights of a trip. Even to Disney.

*When we're at home B feels he's a bit too old for Disney characters. But while we're at Disney - he's still in awe. It's so cute to see his face when a character is coming over. His grin was so big it lit up the room.

*My kids both need sleep while we're on vacation. We really thought we could get away with few naps and slightly off bed times without meltdowns this time around. At least for B. Unfortunately we forgot who we were dealing with. My boy NEEDS his sleep! He is a different person when he's overtired and we saw that a bit more than expected. Both kids took naps a few times during the week. When that happened we generally had a great evening, so we embraced it rather trying to push through the day without a nap.

*I finally learned how to say "Please stand clear of the doors" in Spanish. This is my 8th trip to Disney with my husband and/or his family. The first trip I took with them they used to recite it each time on the monorail and I tried to figure it out. It took me 7 more trips and 11 years to get to that point... Big accomplishment. Just don't ask me to type it, I didn't say I could spell it.

* We went to a princess lunch at Norway. It was wonderful and despite his protests B enjoyed it quite a bit. He ended up wanting to have his picture taken with Belle and then he had a great time with Grandpa, Paika (my Dad) and Uncle M while E saw Princess after princess (and LOVED it!).

*Girl's tea with my Mom, MIL, D, and E (oh, and me) was wonderful. E was dressed like a princess and ordered scones and strawberries and E had chocolate tea (chocolate milk - glad she ordered it b/c she tried everyone else's tea and didn't like it). She did go around the table and put sugar cubes in for everyone who wanted one. She acted like the hostess throughout and loved it!

*B really enjoyed the parades and fireworks. It's the one time he enjoyed slowing down and watching. Otherwise it was go, go go. But he definitely enjoyed each parade and show that he went to. He also got to go to Fantasmic (one of my favorites) with Brian. They had fun, but he was scared. Brian said it was pretty cute to see him get so nervous and kind of cling to him. He's often such the big boy now, but he is just 7.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"I Wish for You a Beautiful Life" OR "What not to read while you're sitting on a plane in the middle seat b/w 2 strangers"

So I was traveling this week. I was on a plane in the middle seat, between two strangers (yes, you probably figured that out from the title) and I read " I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children"

An AMAZING book that gave insight into some Korean culture, as well as reading some very raw emotions from Birth Mothers. Needless to say - I was SOBBING! In the middle seat. Between two strangers. Big UGLY cry that I was trying to keep silent and discreet. Of course, I'm sure I failed but the people on either side of me kindly ignored me.

I would HIGHLY recommend reading this if you are an adoptive parent. Honestly it's a great read for anyone that has an interest in adoption or Korean culture. I read the book in a very short period of time - maybe 2 hours? It didn't take long and it was very engrossing. But I would highly recommend tissues and privacy! Definitely makes for an easier read...

Monday, May 16, 2011

A year and a half...

Today is the 18 month mark. It's officially been 1 1/2 years since we started this process. Hoping we see that beautiful face soon.

Just to make it clear - we're not with Eastern, I'm just praying for those families (and personally praying that SWS doesn't end up with the same issues soon, this scares me). I know this is all in God's hands and I have to give it up to Him daily and let go of what I can't control.

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

10 months and update

OK, last Sunday marked 10 months since HSTK. Not a milestone I ever wanted to meet but here it is, one week after that and still waiting. Praying it's this week but trying not to have my expectations low.

We also got news that the director of the Korea program at our agency is moving to a different position and there is going to be a new director of the Korea program. I have mixed feelings. I'll miss S - I really like her. I was thrilled to see A, our Social Worker, was taking her place because I like her a lot, I'm also concerned because I know S has a good rapport with Korea and A is new in this position. I'm hoping they take their time with the transition. I'm beginning to think we may need them to advocate for us since we've been waiting longer than most at our agency (maybe 1 or 2 other families waiting as long).

Also our fingerprints need to be renewed. They expire after 15 months which is the beginning of August, so we're filling out the paperwork for that. Not something I'm excited about but not too difficult either so I figure it could be worse.

We got both of those emails today when we got home from Disney World! More on that trip later, but suffice to say that two exhausted parents getting info like that isn't ideal. But again, I know it could be much tougher.

Speaking of worse - ESWS released some crushing news. They ran out of EPs - as of December 1, 2010. Therefore starting December 2 there is a 14 month wait for travel. That's heartbreaking. Can you imagine staring at your child's face for 14 months without being able to hold him/her? Prayers for those families and those children who are in foster homes, becoming more attached to foster parents, not knowing that they have yet to meet their forever families. That is not likely to make for an easy transition.

So please keep Eastern Families in your prayers! And I'll stop my whining and pray too. Sound like a plan?