Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas---9 mos. of WAITING

Well, everyone kept our Christmas request of 'no presents' for Olivia under the tree. Though we think about her by the minute, we didn't want to spend our Christmas morning opening presents for her, giving us that constant reminder that she wasn't here to share in one of the most magical days of the year. However, I had thought many times during the day that it was the day that marked our 9th month of waiting for her to come home. This month marked hope for me! It marked a huge opening in that extremely dark tunnel. It marked another month off the calendar, making us another month closer to our girl! We are preparing for travel and can't wait for that call!
I couldn't help but think of all that we have missed. (yes...again I was thinking about that) I read continual facebook posts about how friends' kids reacted to a certain present or how they had snuggled with their babies all day next to a warm fire. I could only imagine! Then I read the posts of the expectant mothers who are 'telling everyone via facebook.' However, there was one AMAZING post of a friend who has long awaited the arrival of her son, Colson. He is finally here and he is adorable! That momma has had one long road!

We have now missed 547 days of Olivia's life. That is 2 Christmases, 1 birthday, a lot of 'firsts' and much more missing out! Can you imagine missing those milestones? There is a bright spot to this though....we are not going to miss much more!!!

I am beginning to get a bit anxious about the upcoming weeks. I have everything squared away at work (I have left 25 pgs. of instructions on 'how to handle my room,' lesson plans through the remainder of the year, stuff for getting a new student, and all the work the interim will need, an amazing kindergarten team that will take care of any questions the interim may have, and an extremely supportive boss!) I have said to many friends that it is one thing to have been a nanny, kept my niece, or play with friends' kids, but this one is MINE! Oh my!!!! I kinda hit freak out mode. I am not bringing home a sleeping, crying and pooping baby that sleeps for the majority of the day. I am bringing home a toddler who is terrified of us. A child who has attached to her foster mom. A child who doesn't speak our language and has no clue who we are. These upcoming weeks are both exciting and terrifying to think about. Realistically, I am ready for summer. I am ready for her to know I am momma. I am ready for her to know we are coming back if we leave the room. I am ready for her to not look so sad and not to be grieving for the majority of the day (how heartbreaking it will be to watch that). I can't imagine how scared she will be! Poor girl! Please pray for us in these upcoming months. Pray that we have safe travels to Korea and back. Pray that my mom doesn't kill over from excitement when she meets Olivia for the first time! Pray that John is still standing after traveling for 18 hours (Flying and John do not mix!) Pray for an easy transition and for us to become a family of 4 (don't forget Oscar!) sooner rather than later. Our blogging journey will continue once she is should be a much happier blog and a lot more fun! :)

Tomorrow will mark Olivia's 18th month. I am hoping she is home for her 19th month birthday!!! Hopefully 2011 will be an amazing year!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Class B waiver

Well, Wednesday of this past week I logged onto my email and had an email from our CHSFS SW. My heart always stops when I see her name come across because I am hopeful for good news and terrified for bad news. SO.....I opened the email to see that we needed to get three copies of this form signed and notarized and then returned back to CHSFS by mail. My heart sped up as I got hopeful that by some miracle she may make it home this year! Some of my AP korean friends received their travel call a week after their Class B waiver got to Korea. However, we do know that they are not issuing anymore EP's out until 2011, but I was still hopeful. So, I called John's school and he was to my school within 30 minutes! We signed all three papers, got them notarized and back in the mail within an hour of receiving the email. (I will NOT be the cause of ANY possible hold up!) :) My dad and mom have been looking at flights and found that if for some strange reason we were to travel before Christmas the flight will be around 5,291.00/person!!!!!! HOLY COW! Well, the chances of the TC coming before 2011 are slim to none, but a girl can dream, right? I heard that price and thought, SERIOUSLY? I was stressing the money issue and talking to John when he said, "it always works out, the money will come somehow, and you know it isn't always pretty getting there, but we will."
Well, I posted on the forum that I was hopeful but not thinking we would get a TC before January and they all agreed. So, I guess that is yet another God thing, right? He is in control. He is still taking care of us (financially speaking) and we will get the call when we are suppose to. (hopefully soon!)
Regardless of it being this year or Jan. of 2011....we are SO close!!!!! Our paperwork is moving (and not lost) and she is COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I figure we are within 6-10 weeks. To me, that seems like nothing! We have waited so long, we can do this last part!
We needed this news this week. I needed to know that things were not at a stand still. I needed to know that she was still ours and coming home. God gives us things when we need it the most!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Anther milestone....17 mos.

During the hectic Thanksgiving break, our little one turned 17 mos. and our wait hit the 8 mos. mark since we first saw Olivia's face. In some ways, it is hard to believe that it has been that long, in other ways, I feel like I should be 100 yrs. old because I have been waiting so long! I wonder what milestones she is making each month.
As we decorated our house for Christmas, John and I talked about how next year Olivia will be here making things much more interesting and fun!
I continue to pray believing, but the news is definately daunting. Seriously, has anyone heard anything about Korea in the news in the last 20 or so years?!?! Now?? Really?? Can't the N. Koreans hold off a bit, or just leave the S. Koreans alone? Then you have our wonderful people here in the states that make us look like total morons by reporting what Clinton and Rice have said in private. Really?! We need other countries to have some respect for us! Come on people, can't you see I am trying to become a mom!
There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and I can see it, but I am scared. What if Korea goes to war? What if things get so dangerous that they won't allow children out? These fears, while may seem exaggerated to some are very real to me. We have had so many disappointments that I am terrified to allow myself to really let this be real.
Yes, Olivia has a room, her pictures are all over our house, we talk about her, but will she ever REALLY come home? Will my arms ever really be wrapped around her?
I have these fears and then at the same time see her playing in the back yard or me changing her diaper or rocking her (per her allowing me to do so). I also think about going through this process the 2nd (and hopefully 3rd) time with our house becoming full of precious Korean beauties. My head is in a war with itself. I can understand if we had waited 4 mos. or so. When we were first told that it would only be 4 mos., I thought that seemed like an here we are at 8. I think the longer it is the less 'real' it seems. I am not being cold hearted....I love her and cannot wait to meet her, but I am fearful to completely let my heart fall. So, if I come across negative, that is me protecting myself from more heartache.
Another thing I came across as we (I) decorated the house were the Christmas cards that I purchased 3 Christmases ago. I bought them in hopes of sending them out the following year because John and I had begun trying to start a family within that previous year.(Darn that 5 yr. rule that we agreed on--no really, I wouldn't have had it any other way. We needed that time.):) I could just see that sweet infant and Oscar on the front of our cute card. God definately had a different direction for our lives in which I am truly grateful for, but ready to see the wonderful benefits and experience the joy that Olivia will bring to us and our family! So, here we are.....3 years later and I still have an empty Christmas card. As I tucked them away yet again, I said, "next year!" Now....I am sending out a card this year, but don't get too excited. It is just a little quicky I made.
Apparently, I am a bit stressed. My eye has now twitched for 2 weeks then a 2 week break and now for 3 1/2 weeks straight! Who knew the effects of all this could be so physical? Sorry if this post is whiny or blah....that is kinda where I am. Each day is a day closer, I think. It is also another day of worry and fear that I may never get to meet the sweet girl that I have been falling in love with and calling my daughter for the last 8 mos. I expressed my fears to John and his response was, "well, if she isn't meant to be ours, then we won't be able to get her." Oh to be so 'to the point' and upfront. However, I know this is his way of 'protecting' his heart.
I see it as if we don't get her then that must mean that I don't deserve to get to be a mommy and what have I done wrong? What can I do to fix it to make sure we get to have her? John doesn't think that is the case, but really girls, where would your mind go? I know God doesn't work that way. I know he isn't punishing me, but these are just where my head is and my fears seem to be coming out on the blog tonight.
I have many friends who I have watched get pregnant, have babies, enjoy them and then get pregnant for the second time. I think I am up to 88 to be exact (maybe more by now)....NO JOKE! They are Everywhere! Don't get me wrong...most of them I am beyond happy for! I love getting to love on their babies! (Not so much happiness for the teenagers or the ones that don't take care of one child much less the 5th child. --that is a whole other post.) I just want to get to be mommy to one sweet asian girl. One less orphan! She deserves to come home to people who care so much about her. I also realize that if for some reason she doesn't come home (due to the crazy world and the current Korean status) that she will become an orphan at 14. Out on the streets! No life to speak of. She would be taken from her foster home and put into an orphanage until she comes of age to be let go. That isn't fair to her....she has parents right here in TN. She is a gorgeous girl with a wonderful full future ahead of her once she is home with us. The only thing lacking is one piece of paper and she is ours!

On a lighter note.....a friend is ready for her second Korean cutie!!! Yay MaryLeigh! She has one precious son and he needs a brother! Head over to her blog and check out her first fundraiser! Help her get that second baby home!
Olivia is going to LOVE her sweet Korean friends! All boys, but she will have a blast!! I love that they will all be close in age.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just what I needed today....

...was a picture to remind me that Olivia is real, alive, growing, changing, and MY daughter! It is becoming very abstract feeling when months pass, there is no physical change with me, and she is on the opposite side of the world. I often wonder if all of this is even real or ever REALLY going to happen???
I couldn't believe when I clicked on the attachment how much she has changed since I last saw her face. It was Sept. 24th when we got pictures last. Really, that isn't that long in the scheme of things. She has gotten a TON of hair! Which I love because she has a TON of big bows. I am so glad I got the bigger ones now. :) (Cassie, I can see Khloe's face now when I put the big one on her.) ha!

Ok, back to the update...she is now 16 mos. She is 19 pounds and 29 inches long. She is so little, but growing at a steady pace. She has 4 teeth on the top and two on the bottom. Really, that isn't very many teeth, but she is only eating cheese, rice, oatmeal and yogart. I am sure she will grow like a weed once she gets "Americanized." (up not out though) :) She is walking alone, turning pages in a book, follows simple directions, imitates adults, bringing a spoon to her mouth, holding her bottle (I know....she is STILL on a bottle -- very customary for Korean adoptive children) and shows understanding of words.

Since we got the update (pics. came today and actual update last Monday) my mom has gone around asking perfect strangers, "how much does your little one weigh, how many inches tall is she, how many teeth, etc." H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S (unless I am around, then it is just plain embarrasing.) So, if you get asked by some random lady about your child's development, it is probably my mom. She isn't crazy or anything....just excited! She is comparing to see how Olivia may look size wise since it is so hard to tell from a picture!

I guess that is it as far as the update! Oh, I guess you would like to see the changes! :)

Olivia around Aug. 24th timeframe.

Olivia in early November

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

16 months

Today Olivia turns 16 months old. So, my thoughts are, what is she doing new? Is she officially walking or is she just toddling? Maybe she is still a crawler?

What words does she know? How many words? Is she a cuddler or is she fiesty? I know these are all mile markers I will probably not ever know, but I will always wonder.

I am hoping for an update soon. The last time we heard something was July 27. She had two teeth on the bottom she was taking one nap a day and sleeping from 9pm-5pm. She was beginning to eat some solids such as rice, porridge, yogurt, fruit and cheese. She was waving bye bye, standing alone for a few seconds, enjoying books, saying mom and dad, and a few other developmental things. much more has she progressed? She is changing so quickly. I look at all the 'firsts' there and have to really work hard to remind myself how blessed I am rather than being sad that I missed the 'firsts'. It is so hard. I know we will get an update or something when God realizes we need it the most. That seems to be how it has happended the last two updates that we received. It was like my body felt as if it couldn't go another day without some kind of word on Olivia. I opened my email and had pictures.

However, I take the 'no news is good news' approach also. They typically only contact us if there is a medical problem. So, I only want them to call to tell us to come get her or give us good news! I want her to stay healthy! I want her to develop and grow (as hard as it is that I am missing it). We are only able to request two updates during our 11 month waiting (since referral) period. I have already requested one so I want to wait until January to request the other one. However, pictures aren't really a 'medical update' anyday now I would love to get some pictures!!!

Happy 16 mos. Olivia!!!! We WILL see you soon.

Mommy, Daddy and Oscar

Monday, October 25, 2010

The best question over the past 7 mos.

Today marks 7 months of waiting since the referral of our daughter. Someone made the comment today, "well that's not too bad." Really??? Have you done it?? It is almost a daily question for someone to ask, "what's the latest?" or "any new news?" Unfortunately, no updates, no news, and still 4 months away. However, I am still praying believing that we will get a call to come get her.

So, what is the best question you ask? Today, a friend at work asked me after learning today was the "monthly marker for waiting," "Laura, what is God teaching you in all this?"

Wow, that is a huge question! What a wonderful question. So all day, I wanted to come home to write about it since I always mark the months as they pass.
Well, God has taught me quite a bit. Here are some things that immediately come to mind:

I have learned in this very long journey who I can count on. Who will be there no matter what.

I have learned that I need to be spiritually fed daily and Bible studies are a great way for me to learn His word.

I have learned that God doesn't promise an easy journey. He gives us obstacles to draw us closer to Him.

If I had not been on this journey, I would have gone on with my mediocre relationship with God. I find myself wanting to know Him more and draw closer to Him.

I have learned PATIENCE. Can we please be done with this lesson???? :)

I have learned that each day is a new day. Enjoy the day. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, TODAY.

I have learned how to be a better wife. John and I have grown as a couple over the last three years. Fortunately for us, we have drawn closer to each other.

I have learned that even though my daughter is on the other side of the world, she is MY child. I love her and will go to great lengths to defend and advocate for her.

I have learned that it is all in His timing. No, I don't want to wait until February, but if that is His plan then I will wait.

I have been given a great peace about all of this. I thought it was a numbness, but I think it must be a peace. The months are going by and I am still making it. She is ok. She is healthy. When God is ready for us to be a family, we will receive that phone call. I may never know why we are being tested with this wait for our child, but I know there must be a good reason.

I have learned that being positive about this makes it a lot easier than if I make myself miserable daily over the wait. Yes, I have my moments...some days more than others. I make a concious decision daily to get through the day as happy as possible. I pray frequently for her. I also pray for us to be joined as a family as soon as possible. Really, me kicking, screaming, crying, yelling, etc. isn't going to do anyone any good. Why do it????

This will all His time.

7 months down, 4 to go!! The light at the end of this tunnel is getting brighter! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

15 months old and the start of the 3rd season of waiting

Today Olivia is 15 months old. She is no longer a baby in my eyes. She is heading into being a toddler. She is growing and changing daily. I am holding onto praying believing and hope that we get that phone call by November to come get our girl. I wish she knew what was waiting for her. I wish she knew how much people on the other side of the world love her and long for her. I hope she is happy and developing well. I can't wait to get my arms around her!
We got her referral in early spring (5 days into spring) and were very hopeful that she would arrive in the states in summer. We had a wonderful summer and have now moved into fall. Today was the first 'fall like' day and it made me more hopeful for her to be home. The change of weather means we are getting closer. It is so exciting to see the holiday season coming. It is coming quickly!

So, tonight in honor of waiting through two full seasons, I am going to post some of our spring and summer fun so Olivia will know what we do at home on normal days. Still waiting.....still praying! She is coming home!!!

Annelyn will love to have an Easter egg hunt partner other that Oscar!

Cousin Amber graduated from High School!

We watched the World Cup! GO KOREA! (yes, that is Oscar wearing Olivia's shirt.)

We LOVED every Thursday swim day!

We went to the Chihuly glass exhibit at Cheekwood.

We celebrated Johns' granddaddy's 103rd birthday! (doesn't this picture remind you of the little man on the movie 'UP!')

We got to pick beautiful flowers at Mr. Dean and Mrs. JoAnn's farm! It was hot, but a lot of fun!!!

Two great things about this post....
1. We (hopefully) will never go through a spring, summer or fall without Olivia being home with us.
2. Each day and every thing we did, we thought about Olivia and how things will be once she is home. Every swim Thursday we talked about how fun next summer will be!!!
The comment every single day is "can you see Olivia here doing ____." It doesn't matter what we are doing, we invision her doing it with us.
Yes, I can see her!!! I can't wait!!!!!!

Olivia, we can't wait to have you home! We love you!!!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My first baby shower

This was a day that I have dreamed about for a long time. Not just a baby shower, but MY baby shower! I always dreamed of having a baby, and this was something that I have always looked forward to. The only thing missing was the big belly! I must admit, I felt funny opening presents and not being pregnant, but that is the way it is. We got some great stuff for Olivia!!! Two of my best friends and my sister threw the shower for me. It was PERFECT! However, after being the 'mommy for the day' made me realize that I was not the best hostess when we had Traci's shower a month ago. Traci, pregnant with twins, would not let me do anything! She was the photographer today, took my plate, saw to it that everything was done. Hmmm.....I don't think I did such a great job for her, but I really tried and hadn't worried about it until today. Wow Traci, you out did yourself!!!! Ashley made the adorable banner, (I really think we should go into business with this stuff. When we make them together they go pretty fast!) :) and my sister took care of the delicious, beautiful cake!!!! Not to leave out an unnamed hostess. Nancy, you went above and beyond! The food was delicious! You worked in the kitchen the entire time washing and cleaning. I appreciate you coming up two days in a row to help with the preparation for the shower!!! Moms are the best!
Thank you all for making this day everything I have dreamed of since I was a little girl. I love you all!!!!

To top it all off, it is all unboxed and put away nicely in its place!! Those that know me are not surprised by this I am sure. Now...for the thank you notes! :)

The banner and some of the gifts!

The beautiful food table and awesome cake!

I love these girls!!!! Thanks for walking every step of this journey with me! Amy, we missed you today!!!!

Love this diaper bag! Thanks, Cassie!

MMMMM....Annelyn loves to eat cake!

Lots of helpers with opening presents!! So fun!

Landon and Khloe getting to play with toys once everyone was gone!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Please be praying.....

**Remember, this is my 'journal' of sorts.....I am honest and putting my feelings out there so I don't drive every friendship or family member away by talking about all of this with every breath I take. I put it here so people don't see me coming and walk the other way. This is where I can explode or just be me for a minute. I realize everyone has issues of their own and they don't talk about it all the time and it isn't fair for me to do so.**

From what we understand, September is the month when Korea is getting to the March referrals. Our referral was March 25th. They have set the cut off based on when paperwork got to Korea. That cut off was apparently April 1st. Our paperwork got to Korea on the 13th. However, I am praying that the government decides to let all the March referrals out. I am hopeful that we can slide by and get Olivia home in 2010.

If you ask me, in my heart of hearts I am trying to believe this. I feel doubtful a little, but if I don't pray believing, then what is the point of praying?

So, if you happen to think of us, please pray that we slide through in the next couple of months. I woke up every hour last night and each time I woke up I found myself praying. I prayed for God to soften the hearts of the officials in Korea. I prayed for Olivia's health. I prayed that we can continue to get through these LONG days knowing that our child is growing and changing daily. I just prayed.

It isn't like she is at daycare and we miss the first step or the first roll over. It isn't a weekend sleepover away at grandma's house. It isn't two or three late nights at work and getting home after she had gone to bed. If that is all I missed I would be so thankful. As of today, we have missed 443 days of her life. We are missing bonding time, smiles, hugs, kisses. We also realize that when she gets home that this will not all happen like magic. She will be scared to death of us and all of the newness. Seriously, we will have an adjustment, but nothing like she will. Imagine leaving your family, country, language, smells, food, bed, EVERYTHING. At least we will come home to something familiar. I know she will get use to us and be happy, but my heart breaks for her to know how sad she will be. It is exhausting to hear people say, "oh, she is little, she will adapt quickly and forget." Really???? Um....NO. It is not an easy process for these babies to come home. It is heartbreaking. The people that make these comments really have NO CLUE. Her life and the way we raise her will be totally different then a "biological" child. Yes, she is our child, but she has a past whereas most of my friends and family have children at birth and have a blank slate, so to speak. We will honor her past and we will love her for everything she is.

Well, I seem to have gotten a bit side tracked. I am very passionate about this, and the majority of people just don't get it. We are blessed to be getting Olivia and we can't wait to have her home! We will do all we can to help her get through her grieving process. Just remember, what if it were YOU that lost EVERYTHING????? How would YOU react???? I would be hysterical! I can't imagine.

So, please pray that we are united as a family sooner rather than later. I feel it is in the best interest for her in the grieving process. Please pray that the 'decision makers' realize this too and send these babies home!

God, please!! I am praying believing, let us go get her and bring her home!!!!! We will wait for the call. I know You have a plan for all of us. I will continue to try to get through each day with a smile. (yes, fake a lot of times) This is by far the hardest test He has given me. I know it isn't more than I can handle. I know I am not the first or last person to be tested like this.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

1st day of class...

Korean Class that is! Holy Cow!!! I don't know how anyone as an adult learns a new language! It was very cool! The first part of the morning was learning the language. Hmmm.....we may need cliff notes! It is suppose to seem simple, but I can't figure it out. We learned car, green onion, and mountain. Four words I am sure we will use all the time! :) HA! I think those words were chosen to show us how to write simple words. We were given a chart to follow, but I don't even get that. I think I will need to study. Now mind you, we are not going to learn much Korean, because I believe that she will learn the language faster if we speak mostly English to her, but I also know that she will be terrified and we need to know key terms. Now, if I can only learn to write it!!! That may be a whole other story.

The second hour was cooking. For two people who DON'T DO FISH, we may have a problem. I felt my stomach turn as they showed us the little dead fish in the bowl that they use for flavoring. However, we ate the 'staple' food, rice. :) The friends that ate the soup said it was absolutely delicious! We ate the other soup that was made. It was tofu, potatoes, onions, and broth. Much more my speed!

We enjoyed the fellowship time with our Korean AP friends. It is so nice to know Olivia already has some built in friends that will look like her. I think it is important for her to have that. I also think that learning her culture is important as well as teaching it to her. So, this will continue for us. My hope is to have her in the classes next year. (if not going to class then at least being there in that environment) Everyone there is so nice! I can't wait for our next meeting!

**we would have had pics to post of it, but we left the camera in the car. John mentioned taking it in, but I said, nah...just leave it. Who knew I would want to post about this??? Yea, yea John, you did! I am so glad that you know me so well! Maybe one day I will listen. :) **

Friday, August 27, 2010

14 months

Today Olivia is 14 months old! I can't believe another month has passed! I must say that August has gone quickly. It is so hard to know that your child is growing and changing so quickly ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. I know that we will travel and get her when we are suppose to, but come on! I think bringing her home at this point is going to be beyond surreal. Here are all of our pics. of her changing over the last 6 months since we first saw our daughter.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some updates around the Parker's

So, I have wanted to blog since last Friday because I got home and logged on to my email only to find some updated pictures of Miss Olivia. How exciting!!! She has changed quite a bit! My mom stopped by Friday night to drop off some flowers for a baby shower I was having on Saturday (yay Traci) and I pulled the pictures up. She has gotten into reading a lot of blogs with Korean cuties so her immediate comment was, "well who is that?" I let her look a few minutes and then said, "um...your granddaughter!" She couldn't believe it!!! It was a nice surprise because I didn't know that we would get anymore pictures. Well, here they are!!!!

I can pretty much tell you anything about these pictures! I have looked at them so much. Everytime we get updates I get excited, scared, nervous, sad, and excited again. How about that outfit??? Yeah, you see it! Poor thing! Why doesn't she have on that cute smocked dress I got her? This brings me to my next topic....

"Retail therepy" is what we like to call it. I can't hold her, hear her, or touch her, and this has seemed to be the only thing that is soothing to me. Hey, don't knock it until you have been in my shoes people. :) After such a long wait to have a child, I can't help but buy stuff! John has been great and hasn't said much. I have gotten great deals, but I know that once she gets home and new season stuff comes out that I will buy a few more pieces. After the Encores and More sale we decided that it was time to be done shopping for a while. (I still need hot pink shoes and black ones.) We have really buckled down on saving right now, but it is so hard not to go buy for her. This is a picture of her closet currently.

So, a few weeks ago we went to get her toddler bed at Pottery Barn Kids. I went over to the Brighton store just to browse. I designed a charm bracelet for Olivia's foster mom and then found out that they are giving one away each week from each store. I left the bracelet just to see if I would win, and figured I could go back and redesign it closer to travel time. On Sunday they called to tell me that I WON THE BRACELET!! It was a free bracelet with $100 worth of charms on it!!! My dad and I went to pick it up yesterday, and here it is!

The bracelet has gold on it since I have noticed that her foster mom has a gold watch. It also has Olivia's birthstone on it, a Y for her birth name, little girl feet and a little girl charm.

The next new thing around here is that Olivia's furniture was delivered yesterday! (Tuesday) It is so hard to find SOLID wood furniture, but we finally found some. I think it looks really good in her room. It is so strange to see stuff in there after it being empty for so long. It is going to take me a while to get use to it, but I do like it. I think the room is almost done once we hang the mirror. We still have to have her bedding and window treatment made, but we are getting closer. Oh, we would really like the cute little girl in there to complete the room! Please excuse the mess in there!!!

I mentioned above about a baby shower for Traci. I am posting this picture to tell these girls thank you for being there for me. (add in a few others that aren't pictured :)) I have not been the best person to be around during this process, but they have stood by me daily still loving and encouraging me. My family and friends have unfortunately endured my ever changing moods with all of this. I have been happy, angry, sad, and any other emotion that you can think of. The days are unpredictiable. I thank God daily for my family and friends. I have noticed that some days I get upset with a situation and then realize that it wasn't even the situation. It was me being sad/angry/anxious about Olivia coming home and the amount of wait time that we still have. Thanks guys. I love you all so much!!!!
My mom has been reading a forum and also noticed several moms recently posted that this wait and everything has also caused them to be the same way as far as mood and emotion. I wonder why it does that to us??? I think it is the unknown of them being on the other side of the world???

**side note....I got all of my post done (and it probably sounded better) and published it only to find that it didn't save. Ugh, technology. So, this is the best it can get after already working an hour on it the first time. :)**

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Sibling Rivalry"

Well, the jealousy begins...or should I say, it started the day we decided we were ready to expand our family. Poor Oscar is so jealous. I have been in Olivia's room folding clothes and rearranging toys tonight and he just got more jealous by the minute. I came out to sit down and write a couple of thank you notes and asked John where Oscar had gone. Then we heard his little feet hit the floor. I told John to run up and see if he did anything since a couple of weeks ago when we had been working in Olivia's room he did, but I thought maybe he had an upset tummy or something then??? I am not joking, this little fellow is not happy. He DOES NOT go to the bathroom in our house. GROSS!!!! I think he went twice as a puppy in the house and learned quickly that that was not a good idea.
I know he is going to love her, but he does not like sharing the spot light right now. He loves kids. When Annelyn was a baby, he would nap with her and sit on her in her car seat. He goes nuts the minute a kid enters the house. They make him so happy (usually)!
As I cleaned up upstairs, I really felt sad for him. John had thrown him out after fussing at him (which Oscar was fussing back the whole time)and his little white face stared back at us through the front door. When he came back in he stood at the base of the stairs and just looked up. Normally he would run up as fast as he could, but he knew he shouldn't.
Well, he has moved from the ottoman and is now trying to snuggle with John. He can't stand for us to be upset with him. He is a love. John now has taken him back upstairs for a 'manly talk' and they have apparently made up. They are both heading outside.

On a different note, we finally got a piece of furniture for Olivia's room!!! Mom bought her toddler bed at PBKids over the weekend. John has put one of my blankets from the den on it since Oscar immediately jumped on it when we all went in to look at it. So, here are a few pictures of the bed and of Oscar doing his BEST trick, which is to be cute.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27 Update and 13 months!

Another month down!!! Typically her turning another month older is really sad to me, but today I am trying to remember that another month just means that we are getting closer to going to get her!!!! I keep hoping that we will get to go in Nov. or something (I guess that time seems practical to me)but I know that it will be in 2011. Gosh, that seems like a long way off!
Happy 13 month baby girl! I can't wait to spend all the small milestones together!

So, now for the update. Hmm....apparently I just have my hopes set too high. I know they have lots of babies, but when I actually get to use one of my "requests" for an update I expect it to be a bit more than a few check marks off a list. Anywho, it looks like she is doing well, and that is what matters! She has gained 2 pounds and grown 2 inches since May. That puts our little one at 17 pounds and 28 inches. She is tiny. I love it!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We are done!!! Last night and tonight we went to Babies R Us and Target to get registered for Miss Olivia. John took the 'gun' and decided that he would be in charge of that. I went two aisles over and hear "beep, beep, beep," I didn't know what he was adding, but found several things on the registry when we got home and I looked them up. While I left a couple of the things, I did delete some of them! :) We had fun, but it made me want her here even more! Is that possible??? Our registry is a bit different from the 'normal' baby registry, so take that as your pre-warning prior to looking at it. Since we unfortunately don't get to have the saucer, high-chair, swing, bouncer, etc...we registered for things she WILL need such as developmental toys. She is going to need a lot of those! If it is out there and we thought we needed it we zapped it!!!
We did put several different kinds of bottles (the fact that she will be on a bottle at 1 1/2 is a whole other subject for me, but it is what she knows) on the registry since we don't know which one she will take to. So, no, it wasn't us being indecisive, it was us wanting to find what she is most familiar with. I know things like bottles, paci's, and sippies are going to be trial and error for us, so I gave us an affordable array of choices. :)
We registered for things such as v-tech and leap frog toys to work on her english and developmental things. We figure since we will be home the first few weeks we need to have lots to do as we all get acquainted with each other. Hopefully we will be able to play in between the grieving. Poor thing!!!
So, that is it for tonight! Go check out the registries! Babies R Us and Target.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Pics "the professional ones"

** Before you read: Thank you for your continued prayers and support. The days are very up and down. The wait is hard.****

So, we got a call last week to be on the look out for new pictures. We were initially told that we would receive professional pictures of Olivia at her one year birth day. So, naturally I think she will be dressed in her Hanbok or something we have sent. Wrongo!!! She has on sweet pink pj's with socks on. Mind you, it is as hot and humid there right now as it is here in TN. Poor thing looks layered and dressed for winter. Another concern was that she has a bruise over her left eye.
Well, my disappointment led me to email our international social worker. I know that they take 5 seconds to take those pictures, but for a parent who is on the opposite side of the world, a picture is ALL I have right now. It would be nice to see her smiling or some emotion on her face. They put her full Korean name on the bottom of the pictures (printed on them) and her last name is WRONG! Seriously! I know that this is completely nit-picky, but come on!!!! I sent an adorable smocked bishop dress that I thought she would have on if she didn't have the hanbok on, but nope....pj's.

Oh, by the way....I am whining and complaining tonight! If you are an AP and you have waited this long, you too can whine somedays, right?!

So, my email was completely polite, I was just asking questions. I didn't get any form of update. I got 4 pictures that all look very similar, and I think that is all I will receive until we get her in Feb.

I think I am particularly whiny because the reality has set in that we don't get to travel anytime soon. I say this now because all of the American paperwork is done, and at this point (if there wasn't a quota) we would be travelling within the month! February seems further and further away!

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the pictures, I just wish they had been better and there was some form of an update. I DO realize that there are a lot of other families in this long wait boat and they too have days of frustration.

Well, I guess I have said enough if I don't want you all to quit reading my blog. Keep in mind that this is my journal (essentially) so I am going to be honest with how I feel. This is for me and Olivia, but it is also for those that have shared this journey with us, and I am extremely grateful for you! Some days are much harder than others, and I had built the pictures up in my head and got disappointed. I had even had a dream about them!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The thing I said I WOULD NEVER have....

is one of these.

However, I will plead my case. Apparently, this is the common way that Olivia is use to being carried. So, in attempt to make her as happy and comfortable as possible with her new foreign situation, I got her one. So, when you see an almost 2 year old on my back, DON'T LAUGH! These carriers are actually made in Korea and are suppose to be the ones that they use. They are designed so that her legs will not lose circulation and be comfortable. I am doing this so she has something familar during the transition. I think people look ridiculous when I have seen these, but I am trying to do what is best for her. Trust me, if I had given birth to her she would NOT have experienced this carrier, but this is what her foster mom says soothes her. So here we go I guess.
I have been reading some blog friends blogs and the coming home stories are heartbreaking, but very real. I am glad that they are posting and telling of the reality of it. Elizabeth and Kelly are both recently home and have had their fair share of trouble. Thank you girls for not making it sound like butterflies and daisies because it clearly isn't. However, Elizabeth is starting to see a glimpse of a brighter side. These are the two blogs that I have been checking in daily to read. They are a.e.i.o and jon & kelly + one. You guys are doing a GREAT job, and I am so thankful for your blogs.
So, back to my purchase....most of the AP's use some form of carrier, but when I saw that this is the one that the Korean's use I decided on it. It is not the most attractive piece, but we will use it. I asked John which one he liked and he said he didn't care. I picked one out and he said, "that one will show dirt." I said, "well we should get one that is gender neutral since we will both carry it." He said, "seriously, get the one you want. If I am carrying a cute little girl in it I don't care what it looks like." So, here is the one we settled on.

Do you think Oscar will let us practice carrying him in it? :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Olivia's Dol

We got up at 6:30 or 7 and headed out to work in the yard to prepare for the party tonight. My parents arrived around 9 to help, my sister-in-law came and tied ribbons on the paper lanterns (inside) and then Ashley stopped by around 12 and washed fruit. My mother-in-law came by at 2 and began helping mom in the kitchen. (I think I got kicked out of my own kitchen 5 times before the day was over) Around 3:00 I began to feel like the clock was SPINNING. I couldn't get it all done, and I was still running around in my swimsuit working in the yard. (How many times did I tell people, "this is NOT a swim party.") It was so hot here that when I would work and when I started dripping in sweat I would jump in the pool and then get right back out just to be cool for a while. It got really cloudy around 2 which delayed taking stuff out. Also, because of the heat we couldn't take out the centerpieces or dol towers because of the candy would melt. So, it was the last 2 hours where I really hurried.

Around 3:30 the doorbell rang for the first time. It was our cake! It was absolutely GORGEOUS and DELICIOUS!!!! Seriously, if you need a cake for anything, call Lori Lafayette! She is awesome.

Lori is on the left and Audra is on the right. Lori makes the cakes!!! WOW!!!

Shortly after, Amanda's mom arrived with all the fruit. It was also beautiful! She did such a good job and it was also delicious.

So, now it is 4:30 and I am taking stuff out to the Dol table and fixing centerpieces. (yes, still in my swimsuit) Next, our singer arrived. He did a wonderful job and was a hit! He was suppose to be here from 6-9, and I think that is what I was looking forward to the most. I was going to sit down next to the pool, listen to the waterfall and music for an hour. Can you believe it got really windy and started lightening so he had to clean up his equipment and be done. It never rained a drop! In all that rush, we all started grabbing stuff and getting it inside. Pretty sure my guests would think I was a horrible host. Really are you suppose to WORK when you go to a party??? I promise, next year will be more relaxed friends and family! You will NOT work! (disregard that sentence mom) This party was all done to honor ALL the traditions of a Korean child's first birthday. Yes, it is very involved and I couldn't do it all alone. Well, enough about are some pics of the Dol. (I know, where are the people??? I stink with the camera. Once people got there, I put the camera down. I missed a lot of good shots of friends, family, and CUTE kiddos!)

See why I needed help cooking! I have a big refridgerator and we couldn't fit another thing in it.

The candy buffet (before it was complete)--I forgot to take one once I got it ready for the party)

Dol table with the cake on it.

Dol table without the cake on it.

The Doljabi table. What did she choose at her Dol in Korea????

Flowers and stuffed animal that Uncle Hugh and Aunt Judy sent. I wish they could have been here!

The cake!

Food table (chicken kabobs, bulgogi, fruit, all kinds of tea, bread, hot dogs, and rice)

Center pieces


Looking from the deck (food wasn't out, lanterns weren't quite all hung, no singer and waterfall not turned on) wish I got one of the full effect.

Me, Cassie, Ashley, and Amy (holding Khloe)


Sweet girls!

dad, buddy and Mickey at the grill working on kabobs

Uncle Don, Mickey, and Jeremy

Once everyone went home, I had to get my house back to normal. I couldn't stand it any longer. Around 11:45 John took Oscar out and came in calling for me. It appears our local raccoon friend (we have named him Ricky) came and went through our trash. John saw him running off with pineapple. I came out and we picked all of the trash up (Yuck!) and then remembered we didn't get the mail. I walked to the box and found a document from USCIS. I knew what it was. We got Olivia's I600!!!! I looked at the clock and it was 12:07, so we received it on her actual birthday! How cool is that????

We came in and I began to get ready for bed. Before I could turn around, both boys were snoring. Oscar was belly up before he heard the flash of the camera pop up. We were all exhausted, but had a GREAT day.

Thanks to all of our friends and family for making her Dol special. We are so glad you joined us!!!!

Happy Birthday Olivia!!! I can't wait to spend many more with you!!!