Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10 mos.

Happy 10 months Miss. Olivia!!! I went this afternoon and mailed the package that I posted about earlier. I hadn't mailed it because they said that the she may not ever even get the package, but I decided that since our wait had increased that I would go ahead and mail it! :)

I am hoping to get more pictures soon, but CHSFS said not to get our hopes up, however, at the bottom of her 6-9 mos. development it said they would send some at 10 mos. I guess we will wait and see!

I went ahead and placed the order yesterday for Olivia's baby be blessed doll. When it arrives, I will take a picture of it and post it.

I don't have any new news today, but wanted to post since Olivia is 10 months old today. I cannot wait to celebrate many milestones with her and we won't miss any of them once she is home!

Monday, April 26, 2010


When I got done with my blog post, I traveled over to my email. I had one from CHSFS. It was explaining all the unfortunate events that have happened in the Korea program over the last week. As I read, I came to a part that says if your paperwork was sent to Eastern on or before April 4, 2010 that your time to travel would not change. The travel time would still be the time you were told (6 to 8 mos.)

Our paperwork was received at Eastern on April 13, 2010. We missed the deadline by 8 days. If that isn't salt to a wound, I don't know what it!

And the news is...

Well, over the weekend I told you we were waiting for some news. Our Korean Specialist had called Friday, left us a message saying, "I have news about your child." and that was it. I called at 7:55 this morning and got our first Korean Specialist who was very helpful. (I still haven't heard from my newly assigned one) She said the news about Olivia is that she will not be coming home this year. I was heartbroken. I think I must have been in shock for a bit as I felt no emotion, but as I walked to pick my students up from music I began to feel sad. Then came the tears. I couldn't help it. They just came. What do you mean she won't be home this year? Well, apparently, Eastern only issues out a set number of visa's a year. Once the quota has been met, that is it! It is April and the quota has been met! Will we ever really get her home? Has anyone else adopting from Eastern gotten this lovely piece of information? Olivia's legals have already been sent to CHSFS, and we were waiting to start the visa process. They are projecting that she will now be home by mid-late February, but how? I just don't see how that is possible. It was going to take 6-8 mos. to get her and now they are going to get it done in the first month of the new year? Am I missing something???? I think my body has felt every emotion possible today. I am trying to 'look at the bright side,' but it is hard.
She will be pushing 2 when she arrives home. That is more time that I have missed and more things that a mother wants to be there for that I am going to have to give up. If you haven't adopted and you are one of those lucky fertile mertile people then you truly have no idea how badly this hurts.
We originally were told she would be home in 4 mos. which would put her at 13 mos. Then the 6-8 mos. which would put her at most 18 mos....now Feb is 20 mos! I know you are thinking that is only 2 mos. later than the last time frame, but 2 mos. is a lot of time! We have waited and been patient for so long that I am just ready to have her.
I guess my bright side is that she is still healthy and she is ours! I was so worried that the phone call was to tell us that something medically had changed. I have been tested with patience for the last 2 1/2- 3 years and I really think I have passed, but we will continue to wait. It is out of our hands and in His. Though we may never know the reason, there is a reason as to why it will be longer. I am such a control freak and this one is WAY out of my hands. I cannot change anything. I am at the mercy of the Lord.

This has been a long day and sad day for us, but I have to remember that He has a plan. Though I personally feel like right now He doesn't hear me, and I am completely obsolete to Him, I know that in truth, I must not be. Please pray for us and Olivia.

I am in the process of picking out a verse for Olivia's 'baby be blessed doll' and this one is standing out to me today:

"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

I think I will order the doll with this verse and remember this day (though I would like to forget it, but it is part of her journey) as the day that I realized how much I already care for and love her. She is no longer something I long for, she is a reality. I think that I hadn't quite realized that until today. I will fight for her. I will do whatever I have to. She is our daughter. She is no longer an orphan, but a daughter. Though today saddens me, I hold on to the main goal which is to bring her home and be her mom.

I guess in the scheme of things, 2 mos. isn't a death sentence.

God put Olivia in our lives. She is our daughter. She was made for us. This is all part of the journey. So, in His time we will be together as a family. Until then, I will pray. He hasn't forgotten John, Olivia or me. He has a plan for us.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

some "news"--Good or bad???

This week, we were given a new person to work with at CHSFS. The reason for this, there are so many children being adopted from Korea and they had to split them up. So, on Monday, CHSFS called work to say they had "news about our child." Rather than calling my cell phone, they called my work. I rushed to call the lady back and the "news" was just telling me I was getting a new lady to work with. No big deal, right? Well, the week went on, and I finally got an email from our new lady on Friday. I got home Friday afternoon to a message on our machine from the new lady saying they have "news on our child"....again. Well, she was already gone, so I didn't get to find out the news. It is killing me! My understanding is typically, they only call if your child is sick, something medically has changed, or it is travel time. My mom thinks it is time to pack our bags, but I know that isn't the case as we haven't received our I600A approval in the mail (it takes 30 day typically). I am so worried that something is wrong with our little one. I can't do anything about it. I can't change it. All I can do is wait until Monday and pray. Trust me, 8:00 Monday morning, I will be calling to find out the news. Please say a prayer for our Olivia that she will come home sooner than later and that she will be healthy. Pray that the "news" isn't anything horrible. Olivia will be 10 mos. old on Tues. the 27th, and I can't believe that we have known and loved her for a month already.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Well, the room is painted! I must say, I enjoyed doing it. It is fun to see a solid room go from nothing to something. I will show you before and after pics. sometime. After spilling a full can of paint (John didn't even get mad....he asked if I should get my camera to put it on the blog in the middle of us scrubbing. We scrubbed and laughed!) :) and painting, repainting, and moving animals, Olivia's room is done. All we need now is some furniture. :)

Also today, we picked up Olivia's blanket from Invitations Etc. and I fixed her 12x12 ziploc bag to send. I have a picture of everything that I squeezed into the bag. I am also going to add a disposable camera. If I put it all in just right, I can get the bag closed. It is impressive!

Spring break is coming to an end, and I hate that it is over. We were so lucky to be off these two weeks! We got so much done for Olivia! We are blessed in so many ways that we don't even necessarily even see!

Here are the pics....any suggestions for things that need changing or redoing would be great! :) I know I need furniture, curtains, and bedding....so don't suggest those things. :)

Finally, a big thanks to John's Aunt Susan for the HUGE Melissa and Doug giraffe!!! We love it and we know Olivia will too! Your favorite nephew, Oscar, isn't so fond...he has been barking at it and got stuck in the room the giraffe was in. The giraffe was in the door way, Oscar went in not noticing it was there, but then was scared to come out. Poor guy...he isn't a fan of all the change! He will get use to it and I know he will love his little sister!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another first for the Parker's

Well, tonight we were less than motivated to get off the couch! We went to Chattanooga today to celebrate cousin Mia's 2nd birthday, and we are worn out! So, after dinner we both sat down and have yet to move (it's 10 now). While we were sitting here, we were looking on potterybarnkids.com. We knew we wanted to register there and at BabiesRUs, but we haven't done either. On Thursday, we went to Green Hills to look at the furniture we had been eyeing online to be sure we liked it in person. Yep, we loved it! We have decided to get a toddler bed rather than a crib for many different reasons, and Pottery Barn has a really cute one. Tonight we made our registry there! It, like many other things happening in our life, seems surreal. She is coming!!!! We don't know when exactly, but she will be home and we will be ready! To bad with adoption you don't get a 'due date' in advance like you do with pregnancy. We have a time frame of 6-8 mos.--which you know I am way too OCD for that to work in my head. So the question is, do we sit around until August to start getting ready?....NO!
Not that it will happen, but what if they get our paperwork and call in 2 mos? I have to be somewhat ready! Plus, doing all of it makes her more real.
I look at the clock and often wonder what she is doing. Though she has no idea that we exsist, we know she does and we love her. She is our daughter! I bet she is going down for a nap about now. It is 10:15 p.m on Sat. here, so it is 1:15 p.m. on Sunday there. She probably finished lunch, played and is going to lay on her her pallet and take a nap.
Anywho, the point of the post was to say....we registered at one of our two spots! I want her to know that we are so excited for her to come home that we are planning for her and talking about her all the time!

The Papers are sent!

We met with Stephanie at 9 on Friday morning. She looked over our paperwork and said it looked good and signed the last few pages. With everything in order, we asked where the nearest fed-ex store was. She said that there was a box down the street, but knew that would not be good enough for me. She said, "you need a human to hand it to, don't you." Ahh--Steph, you know me to well!!! I obviously said, "Yes!" and she told us where to go. We went over to the fed-ex store and got it all packaged up ready to send. We handed it over to the man at the counter (who wasn't very friendly or helpful) and sent it on its way. It should reach CHSFS on Monday morning, and will hopefully go to Korea next week! I am SO ready for us to be linked in some form or fashion to Olivia aside from us knowing she is ours. We did a few errands and then picked up my favorite little blonde headed girl, Annelyn. We got back home and I took a blanket over to Invitations Etc. to get monogrammed. We had her korean name, YooMee, put on the blanket, and I hope to get it in the mail next week! We were told we could only send one package in a 12x12 ziploc, so this should be interesting!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The signing!

Well, today has been a BIG busy day!!! We started this morning running errands to gather more paperwork for the acceptance papers we were to be expecting today. John went to the bank and the Board of Education, and I went to school to get some pictures from my computer, talk to LT, and then to develop pictures. We met back at the house at 11:00 to head to Nashville to do our 'homeland security' fingerprints. I think aside from the workers we were the only Americans in there! They were very polite and efficient! From there we ran a couple of errands for taxes as we have spent enough 'out of pocket' at Nashville Fertility to help us on taxes! John's next agenda was lunch...heaven forbid we miss a meal. So we stopped at Taco Bell. After lunch we went out to Green Hills to look at the furniture we picked out at Pottery Barn Kids. We liked if from the catalog, but wanted to make sure we liked it in person. We did!! I think we will be purchasing it one piece at a time. :) We came home as fast as we could to find our Fed-Ex package on the front porch! We grabbed it and went to the bank. It is a lot like signing for a house. We had several things notarized and then have more signing to do tonight. There are 2 places that Stephanie has to sign, so I am going to go to Murfreesboro in the morning. Once that is ready, it is back in the mail to CHSFS and then on to KOREA!!!! Yay!!!
As we sat in the bank with the lady notarizing, I said... "I should have brought my camera." John's response was, "oh, your gonna be one of those people!" HA! Yes, I am going to be one of those people! I don't want to miss anything!
In the packet we received today are the original pictures of what we were emailed. I don't know why I got so excited over them, we have already seen them, but to have the hard copy just really made me happy! I have already framed one.
I am going to try to get John motivated to move furniture tonight and then I might paint. It all sounds good in theory, but my blanket is right next to me on the couch. :) We will see. Anywho, we have signed and placed her new name on her paperwork! It seems so surreal but exciting!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Comments from Annelyn, my 3 year old niece

My sister, Leslie called and said, "As we were getting ready for bed, Annelyn told me all the things she is going to teach Olivia...like how to open and eat chocolate, how to go trick or treating, how to take a bath. She thinks we should get her tomorrow. I told her you would agree too."

Houston, we may have a problem!

Okay, okay, so it is not the worst thing in the world, but I can't walk into a store without buying Olivia something. Seriously, I went to the CO-OP today to get food for Oscar and left with food for Oscar, and 2 things for Olivia. I guess I have just waited so long to buy, that now I can't seem to stop! I never let myself purchase anything during all the infertility stuff (even when I was pregnant!), but now I am so in love with Olivia that I can't quit buying. I was on Crazy8.com today and had 7 different items in my 'basket,' but had to make myself click out and not get any of it. If you are one of my teacher friends, you probably understand why we can't spend extra money at this point in the paying month. I decided after we get paid next week I will revisit the site! :)
Why am I even buying all of this? I already returned several things because she won't be home in time to wear the clothes. I am not 100% sure of size, but she is tee-tiny so I am buying 12-18 mos. for next summer and 6-12 for Christmas time. It is pretty much all from Gymboree, so I think it will work. I know that is small, but she is 9 mos. now and weighs 14 lbs. and is 24 inches long! I thought the 24 inches seemed big until I thought of how some babies are 20 inches when they are born! She is the exact same size as my friend's baby, Khloe!!!! Um....Khloe is only 4 mos--and she is your average size cute, snuggly baby.
So, enough about clothes! I had said to John that I wasn't going to post everyday unless something happens as far as the adoption process, but this clothes talk is about her, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My Hundred Good Wishes Page

Please send us a message as a 'well wish' or feel free to make a donation.

Click the bird picture to see how to help us raise money to bring Olivia home. Please send us a Good Wish. All donations go through paypal.

Once you enter the Good Wishes page it is all self explanatory....heck, even I figured it out! :) Click a square and the site will direct you from there. If you have trouble, let me know. Feel free to facebook me or email me at jrp116@bellsouth.net.

If you would like to donate, but don't want to use paypal, please feel free to mail it to us or stop by to see us!!! Every penny will go to bringing our child home.

Thanks in advance for your donations!

Tuesday, April 6th

Well, it is day 2 of spring break! Last night we went to dinner with friends, both of whom have little girls. I could imagine Olivia here as we all sat at dinner. It will be so fun to watch her grow up with my best friends children. Everley, Landon, Khloe...she is coming, get ready! They will all be adorable together. I can't wait until we have our lunches and gatherings and she is here with all of us!
Sorry, I got sidetracked....
After dinner, I went to Gymboree to return a couple of things I bought for Olivia. We were originally told we would travel in August, so I had bought some summer clothes for her. Now it will be probably Christmas time when we get her. I did buy a few things for next summer though.

Every morning when I get up I check my computer first thing! I had an email from Jill at CHSFS saying to fill out the paperwork and email it back to her. This paperwork will get the referral acceptance on its way here. I hope we receive it by the end of the week! I will keep you posted!

John and I are heading out to work in the yard and then I plan on painting in Olivia's room tonight! I will post pics. when the room is done.

Telling family

On Good Frday, We called John's dad over and had a t-shirt on Oscar that said "I am the big broher!" We have had this shirt for a couple of years and been waiting for him to get to wear it. He didn't get it at first, but then we showed him Olivia's picture. He seemed excited!
We then took our computer to John's moms work and I just opened the picture on my desktop and showed it to her. She looked at it and said, "we got one?" and then she came around and hugged me and cried. (If you know Rose, this is monumental...she doesn't hug) :)
My sister came over that afternoon and we told both her and Annelyn. Annelyn is already talking about what she can teach her. Leslie seemed thrilled and said that she is making a blanket for Olivia and wants me to go with her to pick out the yarn. She said if she starts now, she may be done by the time Olivia gets here!
My mom called my aunts and uncles and everyone seemed excited!! My cousin called on Sat. and we talked for an hour and a half about all the exciting things happening.
On Sunday we shared the news with the rest of John's family. After a wonderful Easter lunch, John went out to the car and put Oscar's shirt on him. His sister Amy was outside and walked in talking about how cute his shirt was and how he is a big brother. She didn't catch on to what she was saying until she got to the porch. Then she said, "b-b-b-ig brother!!! He is?" She was thrilled! The rest of the family wanted all the information they could get. It was a great feeling sharing with them about our daughter!

6-9 mos. development

It is easier for me to share my email rather than typing it all, so here it is:


Hello; how are you.

유미의 9개월 update입니다.

This is the nine-month update for Yoo Mee.

Regular formula 150cc를 3시간 마다 한번에 다 먹고 수유시간이 긴 편이다. 이유식은 죽, 밥알, 치즈, 요거트, 사과 갈은 것 등 양을 조금씩 주면 잘 먹는다.

She drinks 150cc of regular formula every three hours. She does drink the bottle all in one sitting, but the feeding time tends to be long. For solids, she is fed and eats well boiled rice (porridge), cheese, pieces of steamed rice, yogurt, scraped apple, etc. She eats just a little bit at a time but eats well.

변은 하루에 1번 상태 좋게 보고 목욕하는 것 좋아한다.’

She has one good bowel movement per day. She enjoys being given a bath.

졸릴 때 안고 토닥거리면 잠들고 밤 10시에 잠들어 아침 7시에 일어난다.

When she is sleepy, she is held and patted and then falls asleep; she falls asleep at 10:00 p.m. and gets up at 7:00 a.m.

낮잠은 하루에 1-2번 1시간 씩 잔다.

She take 1-2 naps per day for about one hour each time.

잘 때 위탁모와 함께 바닥의 요 위에서 바로 누워서 잔다.

She sleeps with her foster mother on a futon laid out on the floor.

옹알이 잘 하고 '엄마'라고 하며 기분좋으면 소리 지른다.

She babbles well and says “umma” [Korean word for mommy]. When she is in a particularly good mood, she yells.

그림 집중해서 보고 놀 때 음악소리가 나면 좋아한다.

She focuses in on pictures [for example, in picture books] and she likes to have music played when she plays.

낯가림을 조금 하고 위탁가족들 알아보고 좋아한다.

She has slight stranger anxiety. She recognizes and likes her foster family.

배밀이 하고 누워서 발 가지고 놀며 배밀이 하다 스스로 앉아서 잠깐 버틴다.

She pushes herself around on her stomach and she can move from that position to a sitting position on her own for short time.

엎드려 있다 무릎으로 기려고 시도 중이다. 장난감 양손으로 잘 가지고 논다.

She is trying to crawl on her knees when she is lying on her stomach.

She plays with toys with both hands.

다른 아이가 가지고 노는 장난감을 보면 뺏어서 가지고 논다. 엎드려 놓으면 고개 잘 들고 바닥에 세우면 다리에 힘준다.

When she sees other children playing with toys she takes them away and plays with them.

Laid on her stomach, she lifts her head and holds it up well.

If she is pulled to a standing position, she puts her weight on her legs.

성격이 예민한 편이고 똘똘한 인상이다.

She tends to have a very sensitive personality, but she gives the impression that she is very alert and bright.

다음은 유미의 신체 치수 입니다.

The following are her current measurements.

*Jan. 27, 2010(7M) Weight: 5.3kg Height: 61.6cm Head: 38.5cm Chest: 35.5cm

*Feb. 25, 2010(8M) Weight: 5.95kg Height: 63.1cm Head: 39.3cm Chest: 35.5cm

*Mar. 26, 2010(9M) Weight: 6.4kg Height: 65.1cm Head: 39.4cm Chest: 36cm

유미의 udpate사진은 10개월 상담 시 촬영하여 보내드리겠습니다.

When Yoo Mee has her 10-month update, we will take updated photographs and send them to you.

감사합니다. Thank you.

** well, it is safe to say we ACCEPTED!!!!!

Getting the referral checked out...

Once we said, 'YES' we were directed to get her file looked at by a doctor. We hadn't told anyone yet which was killing me!!! So, I called the Adoption Clinic at Vanderbilt and grabbed the first appointment. I emailed her referral and we were told that the doctor would contact us on Sunday. Sunday came and the doctor called around 3:30. He said that her prematurity was her biggest factor and that there were some things to worry about when they are this premature. We knew what came with a preemie, but we felt like she is a healthy one! However, we only had up to 6 mos. of her development. Before confirming our decision we wanted to know how her 6-9 mos. had gone. The doctor was very helpful and we will see him when we arrive home with her. After talking to the doctor, I told John that I had to tell my parent so that they could be praying for her.

The BIG day....

On March 25th we went to meet with Stephanie. She reminded me not to get discouraged. She said..."Laura, it has only been 2 months." She gave us some options as we knew with adopting from Korea we would only be able to get a child with special needs. The children we had seen were sad situations and I felt discouraged because ultimatly I want to be a mom.

Quick back up....a week before on March 19th I had the ultimate breakdown. Poor Stephanie was at a conference and called to talk to me about a waiting child and I began the ugly cry. She was so helpful and sweet, but I continued to cry. This was at 1:45. At 3:00 I was still crying. I sat behind my cubbies at work as all of my kids had already left before any of this developed. I got myself under control and in came Ashley and Traci. They obviously could tell I was upset and we began to talk. Rachel joined us and they just listened and encouraged me. I don't know what I would do without my friends that has been so willing to travel this journey day by day with us. At the end of our conversation, Traci asked if we could pray together. With Ashley and Traci both holding on to me and Rachel sitting at my feet Traci prayed (through her tears) for hope and peace within and for God to bring us a child. We left that Thursday afternoon and from then on I felt peace. I was ready for the wait! I had finally given my control over to God....something I have struggled with this entire journey. For those who know me...unfortunately I am a control freak and this is way beyond me.

Back to March 25th. We left our meeting saying that we were not interested in the other options and that we were prepared to wait for our Korean child no matter how long that may take. John and I left our 2 hour meeting with Steph and went to eat luch at Otter's. We headed home and crashed on the couch. My cell phone rang about 2:45. I told John...'leave it, I will call them back in a bit.' (we were practically asleep) I then got a text. I said the same thing, 'leave it.' Finally, the house phone rang and it was Stephanie saying, "where have you been?" "Do you want a girl?" I think I screamed and said YES!!! She immediately emailed us her referral and a couple of pictures. I was in love. It didn't matter what the referral said, I knew she was my daughter the minute I laid eyes on her. I was in shock that it was a GIRL as we were told that we would only receive a boy the first time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It all begins...

After many weeks of research and a lot of prayers we decided that we were ready to select our agency that we would be working with. So we began to fill out the mountain of paperwork. I called Heaven Sent Children, as well as about 10 other agencies, and set up some meetings.

January 26, 2010 was a hopeful day. John and I went to Murfreesboro to meet with Heaven Sent Children. Once we left I had that nice calm feeling (trust me....it is rare for me) and I knew that we had been matched with our agency and social worker. Her name is Stephanie and she is not just a social worker, but a mother of 2 beautiful children adopted from China and Korea. We had looked into different coutries to adopt from, but wanted to hear what she had to say. Within 10 minutes of being in her office, we were led to Korea. Her children came in and the light in their faces made me know that what we were beginning was right for us. Her youngest child, Noah is from Korea and I immediately said, "where do we sign up?"

If you have ever looked into international adoption, there is a lot of red tape and hoops that have to be jumped through. I had researched countries, and many require both parents to be 30 years old, many countries are closed, etc...

We gave Stephanie our first load of paperwork and a scrapbook, and got the list of 28 things to complete. We scheduled our first meeting for our home study for the following Thursday.

By Wed. of that week I had all 28 items completed. Some of these things were police clearance, vet letter for Oscar, letters from bosses, insurance, home insurance proof, life insurance, last 3 years of taxes, physicals (included blood work so I didn't think I would ever get John there!), etc....

Stephanie came to our home at 4 pm on Thursday, January 29th to begin our homestudy! I was so excited and thought this was the 'hard part' HA! Little did I know.

She stayed 3 hours and then needed to get home to her little ones. She gave us another list and more paperwork and we set up the next date.

We had a snow day and I emailed Stephanie saying how I wish we could meet that day because I knew she had a busy weekend as it was her daughters birthday party. Within 2 hours we were meeting with the next list of things completed and paperwork completed. I learned at this point that we not only use HSC but also an international agency. Stephanie said that Children's Home Society and Family Services was our best bet and explained that most of the children we will see are 'special needs.' We were also told that to only expect a BOY. Koreans typically have boys available and if you don't have any children in the home that is what is expected. We could care less the sex because we are of the mind that ALL children are a GIFT and who are we to be choosy?

A few weeks went by and I was checking the CHSFS website daily/hourly hoping our little one would pop up. We saw a few and thought we found a little fellow that was just perfect. Low and behold, we learned that we were not eligable for him and to continue to wait.

Stephanie continuously reminded me that we have not been at this long and that typically people aren't even done with the HS process! We were really moving!