Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Korea here we come & Day 1

The week leading up to our departure is a bit of a blur. Even know we have know we would travel all along and we knew it was getting really close I didn't dare prepare too much in fear things would go wrong and maybe we wouldn't end up here at all. I went thru the week almost on auto pilot. I didn't talk to many people I have just been a ball of nerves.

Every day last week was running around to try and find the perfect gifts for so many people. In the end I'm still not sure about all the gifts but it is what it is. I have 2 1/2 pieces of luggage filled with gifts. I'm hoping they are all intacted because I didn't even get to open those suitcases yet.

This Monday (6/28) was an extramely overwhelming day. I had a few more things to do it seemed like for everything we crossed off our list a few more were added. I was so worried about leaving Karley and how the boys would do on the flight and about becoming a Mom to 4 children. To most people I think they couldn't figure me out, maybe even thought I wasn't excited but I was just really overwhelmed with so many thought and I just couldn't think clearly. I usually get overwhelmed by big things but in the 11th hour I pull it all together clearly and it's all good. This time that never happened and as the hours pass I find ever more things I forgot to pack or do.

Monday Joe & Sally came around 7pm and brought us to JFK. They couldn't believe all the luggage we had, 7 check on bags and we all had backpacks to carry on. What can I say but I have alot of gifts. There are so many people we need to give gifts to. I'm bummed I wasn't thinking clearly or I would have taken pictures of our luggage. We stopped to eat on the way since none of us had lunch or dinner. We arrived at the airport and thankfully crusied past the line at check in and was helped by one of Joe's friends who worked for the airline. She checked in our luggage and although I was sure 1 or 2 of our bags were over the weight limit she sent them thru without a word. They should have only been a few pounds, less than 5 so maybe that's why.

We went to the Cafe with Sally, Joe & Mike and hung out. I felt bad but I was so nervous that I could barely talk to anyone. I felt really bad for leaving Karley at home and had no idea what to expect from the boys on such a long flight.

Fianlly close to 11 we went thru security and to our gate. The boys were great, we did let them play their DS's so that did keep them occupied. Thankfully Joe had gotten us 4 seats together in a bulkhead seating so we even had a little extra leg room.

The flight was uneventful, takeoff was good and other than the boys being a little scared cause they didn't know what to expect they loved it. Each seat has it's own video screen so the boys watched whatever movie they wanted and played games the entire 14 hours when they weren't sleeping. We got a dinner meal about an hour after takeoff and the food was really good. Actually they give you so much food there is no way you could eat it all. We slept on & off for a while, both boys slept about 5 hours straight which was good. About 3 hours before we landed they served us breakfast which I declined, I was still so full from the last meal an I didn't even eat it all.

As we flew over China and had 2hours and 19 minutes until our arrival in Korea it hit me and I started crying. I just can't believe we are here and when we return home we will have another daughter. From the first minute our phone rang with the news of a sibling we knew this little girl was meant to be with us but it seemed so impossible financially. Like with every other big decision in our lives we put it all in Gods hands and he provided everything we needed. Not as fast as I would have liked but there was not a single thing in the end he didn't take care of all by the time it needed to be done. Bill said to me on Sunday, "the bible says God takes ordinary people and does extrodinary things" with us he certainly has.

We arrived in the airport, claimed our luggage, cleared customs, exchanged a little money and was greated by our van driver which was great to come thru those door and see the sign with our name. Our driver took us to our hotel which was about another hours ride and unloaded all out luggage into the hotel. I will post picture of hour hotel later it's amazing. It's an apartment with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen & living room & a office area. There is a window that runs from the boys room straight thru to the lliving room then into our bedroom. It's really amazing.

We had planned to go see Seoul Tower but by the time we checked in, called Karley on Skype, showered & had breakfast, toured the gym, pool and children's room we were exhausted and opted for a short nap. Bill and I work but the kids wer exhausted and we never got Julian up until 3:30. We needed to exchange some money but the front desk was closed for the day so they sent us out looking for a money exchange. We followed their map and needed to ask directions a few times to make sure we were going the right way, even know we didn't speak the same language everyone seemd to be able to help. Finally we found a really nice girl who spoke english well and she took us to the exchange which was closed. We thanked her and parted ways. We opted to walk thru Lotte Depatement store, it was alot like something in New York. There was every designer sotre, gucci, prada, kate spade, coach & on & on. It was packed so we went down to the food court to get something to drink then we headed back to the hotel. We had planned on taking a cab but Bill has a great sense of direction and we made our way back easily. It was about a 35 to 40 minute walk and we really enjoyed. The boys brought their camera's so I can't wait to see their pictures.

We had dinner at the hotel since we weren't able to exchange money. Bill thought we should get sushi (I only eat Calfornia Rolls) and an entree well I could have just had the rolls for dinner, it was way too mch food so that was a lesson learned. At dinner we asked the boy what they thought so far and Julian said it was just like being at home so far. After dinner we went for a walk then we wnt swimming which the boys couldn't wait to do.

Although we didn't see anything we planned we had a really good 1st day. We ended up going to bed too late and now I'm up and can't sleep so I'm sure I'll be exhausted later today. I have been up since 3:19am.

Today we plan on going to Seoul Tower then to Lotte World. We need to squeeze in a visit to Holr Reception Center somewhere today or tomorrow. Hopefully the next time I blog I'll have pictures and some great stories. Sorry for the long read and for the typo's I'm tired and my spell check isn't working.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Counting Down

My stomach is in knots and I think I might be sick.....

We leave for the airport in 18 hours and I need to pack for everyone still do wash and finish cleaning. There never seems to be enough time.

Finally all the gifts are bought and I have a few extra in case we forgot anyone. I have that suitcase packed and it weights over 50lbs. I still need to check the airlines weight limit though.

We fly out at 12:50am and have a direct flight to Korea. We arrive at 3:50am on Wednesday their time. We have someone form our agency picking us up form the airport so that's wonderful we don't have to worry about that.

On Wednesday we will just do a little wondering around. On Thursday we are planning on going to Lotte World, Friday is our guided tour, still working on plans for Saturday & Sunday but they will be full of sightseeing. Monday we will spend some time at the Reception Center helping with the nursery, we think. Then the boys meet their foster families, out to lunch then back to meet Tae at 1:30pm and take her with us forever.

I'm shaking as I type I just can't believe it's finally time to go get our bundle of joy. I'm feeling so sad for our Foster Mom. Tae has been with her for almost 7 months now and 1 week after we leave she will turn 1 year. I can't imagine what this woman is feeling right now knowing that in a few short days she will have to send Tae home with us.

Well I really need to get back to packing I just needed a quick break. With any luck I'll update often form Korea.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


At 9:37am yesterday we received our travel call. :)

The day started beautifully with the sun out shining, the kids first day of summer vacation and we were waiting for our great nephew to be born. Welcome Gavin Lee to our family and congratulations to Tim, Jen big sister Faith & big brother Rocky.

I felt really anxious so I sent an email to our caseworker & program coordinator at 9:35am saying: my heart can't stand the wait today is there any travel news? And 2 minutes later my phone rang. I still wasn't sure it was the call I was hoping for but it was...

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur but we are tentatively booked on a flight next Tuesday at 1am which will have us arriving in Korea at 4am. We made arrangements with our agency to be picked up from the airport an taken to our hotel. Arranging travel was very difficult because it's a very busy time to visit Korea. Our return flight home will be on Tuesday July 7th and we will arrive at JFK.

The rest of the details are still being worked out. The agency in Korea is booking our hotel and we should know in a day or 2 when we will meet our boys foster mom's, when we will go sight seeing and when we will receive custody of baby Tae.

We have so much to do to get ready to leave. I downloaded Skype to my laptop and crashed it so hopefully it will be back & running so I can video chat with Karley every day we are gone.

I plan to post updates as often as time allows but with 2 young boys I'm not sure they will give me much down time and we have alot of things to squeeze into our week visit to their homeland.

I really can't believe it's time to go. It seems like a dream. Am I really going to be a mom of 4? That is a pretty scary thought but exciting at the same time.

I'll update once we have more information. And if any of you visitors to our blog have some travel advice that you would like to share with us we welcome it happily.~ thank you

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Procrastination- I'm not sure that I like this word it sounds so harsh but I guess I have to admit that I am a big procrastinator. On the few occasions I have had everything done on time or early I have always ended up being disappointed so I wait until the last minute. It's not like I don't have enough to keep myself busy I certainly do but sometimes it's things that don't need to be done when I'm doing them.

I'm days away from getting travel permission. We got confirmation today that our class b waiver was received by Holt in Korea so now it's just a matter of the embassy issuing the exit visa. I know it will be here in no time at all but yet I can't seem to get enough done. At one point I kept telling myself if I just checked enough things off my list we would get that call. But now I'm in panic mode wondering what can & will go wrong.

I have kept myself very busy with school & sports but the parties are behind us, Kai finished kindergarten today & Julian finishes tomorrow. We do have a fun packed weekend but Julian is done soccer for the next month and he will be done baseball on Saturday or Tuesday depending on if his team wins the championship game on Saturday. The non-stop life of the kids is beginning to slow down, I can no longer use this as an excuse not to be ready. SO why is my MUST DO list before we leave for Korean not getting any shorter? PROCRASTINATION is the reason, there still is time for something to go terribly wrong so if I don't prepare maybe just maybe nothing will go wrong.

I'm praying that I get myself on track & kick butt over the next week to knock all my "must do's" off my list by next Friday so I can have some peace of mind.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy 11 mos Tae- & 3 weeks closer

Happy 11 months Tae-hui. I had really hoped you would have been with us by now but I guess God has other plans.

It was quite a busy week and this one will be even busier. It's the boys last week of school and Julian is preparing for his championship baseball game. His team stepped up for the playoffs and is doing so great. Julian had to miss 2 of the games but is excited that they won on Saturday & made it to the next round.

I was really hoping Friday was going to be our travel call day but instead we received an email late in the day that we had to sign a class B2 waiver and the original notarized copy had to be sent to Korea before visa would be issued. Bill was able to rush home from work (which is an hour away) and meet me at the notary then I rushed it to the agency so they could send a scanned copy over to Holt in Korea & the original is to leave via DHL today. Can't believe we pulled it all off in about 2 hours.

At this point we expect this means we won't hear anything about travel until next week. If this is the case then we will have to wait until July to travel. It's really not what I was hoping for but at least we know with every passing day we are that much closer to having Tae with us forever.

On Friday we also learned that another family at the same point as us in the process learned that the baby they were matched with developed serious medical concerns and they were unable to adopt her. My heart is breaking for them, I can't even begin to imagine. This sure does put things into prospective for me and makes me realize that although our daughter is still not with us she will be very soon. We need to be thankful for each day we have and for all that God has already given us. Without him in our lives we would have nothing.

I'm so thankful to have such great family and friends who have supported us along the way. There have been a few key people who have blessed us tremendously and for this I am so eternally grateful. God really has put some key people in our lives, we truly have his favor.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2 weeks closer

2 weeks have passed since EP approval and tomorrow our little girl goes for her exit physical. With each passing hour we are that much closer to bringing baby Tae home to join her forever family.

I have been through all of Karely's old baby clothes not to mention the clothes given to me by friends and we bought a few as well so I'm hoping to be covered for the summer. At this point I'm still not sure on what size she is so I'll just have to wait & see.

I'm getting really anxious and excited. Today I considered packing Tae's travel bag but I didn't dare. I do need a few items for her. I need to get her a baby blanket and I need to pull out some baby toys to pack for her. Since she will be with us for a few days before we leave I'll have to pack for her as well which is something I wasn't expecting.

We found out last Friday that placement procedures have changed this week and now instead of meeting our little princess within 2 days of being in country we have to wait until 48 hours before we depart. With the boys we had a meeting with the Foster Mom & baby for about an hour within 2 days of our arrival. Then we went back 2 days later for the pre-flight physical (just to make sure baby is healthy enough to travel) then back 2 days later for placement & then off to the airport with Julian with Kai I had him overnight since our flight left on a Saturday. Now we will have 4 days to sight see then 48 hours before we leave we have a short visit with the foster mom, the pre-flight physical & off to our hotel for 2 days to get to know each other before we board the plane home for the 14 hour flight. I guess I have waited this long so a few more days won't kill me but knowing I'm that close to her and have to wait to meet her is going to drive me crazy.

Were getting closer to choosing a name we now have 3 contenders: Julian's choice is Jadyn, Kai's is Jacy & Bill's is Jana. Once we meet her we will make the final decision.

I know I'm completely crazy but I'm half expecting the phone to ring on Friday with travel approval. It's way to soon to expect it especially when the physical is tomorrow but it's just a hopeful feeling.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

1 week closer

Well we have had EP approval for 1 week now so 1 week is behind us. How many more weeks is the common question everyone asks but at this time we really don't know. Our agency said 4 to 6 weeks from EP approval until we travel but today another family just 10 days ahead of us with EP approval got their travel call today so I'm freaking out a bit. Translation is travel call 2 1/2 weeks after EP approval.

What this means for us I really don't know. All I do know at this point is that we are 1 week closer to meeting our little girl and bringing her home where she belongs.

I'm a true believer in prayer so I'm asking those of you who believe if you will keep us in your prayers as we approach our journey to bring baby Tae home. It has been a hard process for me and I have many different feelings but I'm putting my faith in God that it will all work out according to his plan for us.

For those of you who have been following us don't stop now the good part is about to begin. I'm very hopeful to be blogging, emailing & posting on facebook about our journey as we are traveling & in Korea and when we get back.

Now I have some shopping to get done and we better get some names decided on this little girl needs to be named.