Monday, December 15, 2008

The date has been set!

December 23rd we are to be at the USCIS office in Grand Rapids to get our fingerprints done. This is the final piece of the puzzle before we wait. Lots of families that are waiting are being told they will have an extended time frame. Dh and I are fine with that.

If anyone wants to donate to our adoption, please know that even a $1 is appreciated. You just have to click on the donate field on my blog or you could even mail a check to our family. We need to raise $3,000 for final expenses that won't be covered by our home equity loan. You can mail checks to:

Care of Jackie Abeyta
2200 Dendrinos Dr. Suite 101
Traverse City, MI 49643

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

USCIS--Here we go!

Well, I sent my paperwork to USCIS and the next step is waiting for confirmation and a date/time to be fingerprinted. Woo Hoo! I'll be sending the Agency fee next week and then we wait...wait some more...and then we wait :) I'll be focusing on Christmas, the New Year and the remainder of my classes! I keep freaking that I am actually graduating...I filled my audit card out last week and it felt amazing. I am so proud of myself for actually sticking with this and getting through it.

As I leave 2008 behind, I have so much to reflect on. The last three years have been so full of sorrow, pain and unbelievable joy. I've watched my friends become families of four. when just three years ago they were a family of two. I've seen my precious nephew turn 3, born 5 days before my due date would have been. But I also see hope, several "virtual" friends have gotten pregnant after many years of failed treatments and it proves miracles happen everyday. L and I are still holding on to the idea that someday, maybe we will get to experience that again. We just aren't going to force it. I have so much excitement as I realize how special our family is to be chosen to build our family through adoption. God has meant this for us and we are joyfully waiting with anticipation for the child that he has chosen for us.

A family is being united December 9th, they are being escorted by other adopting fathers..super cool! With this trip the rumor has it that they will be bringing along referrals..and who knows our referral could be in there..That would put us at the 4mth mark as they probably wouldn't refer until February...I'm not holding my breath but I can always dream!

As things develop, I will be writing more and posting pictures. I'd like to begin giving a background of South Korea, culture and why birth parents make the most unselfsh decision a human can make, the decision to give their child a better life. We must always respect the birth parents and remember them with kindness as they are the reason our children are here.

Merry Christmas,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brother can you spare a dollar?

I got my agency bill yesterday and I quickly closed the email. Took a deep breath and realized that I knew I would be getting it, I just didn't know I would be getting it before Christmas. Merry Christmas! I should be getting my home study so I can file the I-600A paperwork. The filing fee has gone up since my application..thanks to the Federal Government. I have to pay $830.00 for the Immigration office to fingerprint us to file a one page application. I know it is one step closer to my baby, but it is also one step closer to being completely insanely "tapped" out. Many adoptive parents don't discuss the cost associated with adoption but I feel that people should be made aware of how much of a financial commitment this really is. I'm already setting myself up to work weekends nights while I am on FMLA, I'll be exhausting my vacation time and praying that co-workers have hours they would be willing to donate. Things are beginning to feel very real tight now and I am not gonna lie, I'm going to borrow funds with the intent of paying them back during our "wait."

I go to bed at night and pray that my friends will step it up, help me in a time of need. L and I have planned so many benefits for our friends and donated so much time to other causes, I hope and pray that God will lend us some light. I spent a day at the homeless shelter talking to families that truly know what it feels to be down and out and I have nothing to complain about compared to their situations. My husband asked me today "if we were getting in over our heads." I handle all the financial aspects of our family and I actually had to think, is my vision so focused on the end result that I will do anything possible to acheive it and by doing so am I skewing my reality? Can I really afford this?

My mind is telling me YOU CAN DO THIS, I have never been one to accept NO as the final answer and being unable to give birth to another child was no enough that I'm not willing to let something as material as $ stop me. Although, I still have to find it. Maybe I have a long lost rich relative that is willing to help me, if your out there...I'm right here.

So enough of the sad story stuff, it is coming to be Thanksgiving and I do have much to be thankful for, I have a job, dh has a job, we are officially waiting for a referral, ds made the honor roll and I know if my heart this will all work out. The agency has gone through our finances and they approved us so it can't just be me that believes. But next week I will be writing the check...the second bigger one....the one for over 7K to the agency and trying to find the $830, I am short for our fingerprints. Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated!

Friday, November 21, 2008


We got the clearance and the official word! We are now able to file our I-600A, immigration fingerprinting paperwork. So I just need to write a check for $830 to the United States Immigration Office and wait for them to notify me of the date/time to do the fingerprints. Once that is done--everything on our end is DONE! We just wait for our baby to be matched with us!

I am getting super excited and can't believe that this seems to be happening for us! Years of trying to have a baby and now we are one step closer. Thanksgiving is going to truly be wonderful this year. I'll be placing an ornament on our tree this year in honor of our baby that will be coming into our arms next year. On April 19th 2005 I experienced my first miscarriage as we come upon our fourth anniversary of our 1st lost that changed me forever, I have something of a renewed hope to look forward to.

I'm praying to god that he our she finds us soon. We are waiting for you will open hearts and lots of love.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Letting go of Control

When I chose adoption I knew I would have to learn how to let go of control. I'll admit I am a person that likes to be in control. It doesn't help that I am currently writing my senior thesis, taking three classes and working full-time. Saturdays are devoted to my son's basketball games and Sunday is generally "cleaning" day. It's really the only day I can devote to my house. Working and class for over 12 hours a day is really starting to burn me out. Thank goodness December 10th is almost here! This will be the end of the madness since I am taking 2 online classes next semester and then I will be done. Well I do have my "Research Methods" class in summer but that is 6weeks and it is not a big deal. I AM GRADUATING IN MAY! It has been a long time coming but I have finally done this! I'll have my second degree and feel the sense of accomplishment I have been longing for.

The part that I am having the most difficult time with is the WAITING for my SOCIAL WORKER to write my homestudy. This part is driving me crazy. I know it is a lot of work but our last meeting was October 17th and it is November 7th today and I still have not heard from her. She gave us our verbal approval but I'm not on the list until it is written up. Apparently, she has to do the agency newletter and once this is done she will then do my homestudy. She PROMISED we would be on the list this month. It just breaks my heart to see families pass us on the list even after they started after us. But I guess this is the control I have to let go. I'm told that the Korean program does not have a lot of families going on the list so it shouldn't be a big deal or extend our time. I'm not sure I believe that since I have found lots of families online that are using the same agency for the Korean program. Seems like lots of families are requesting a girl as well. Breathe! I tell myself, Relax...I have no control and my child will be selected by God when the time is right...They say 7-9mths wait time for referral. I still wishing for a 2009 baby.

Now find the silver lining right..Yes, the silver lining is that I will have more time to save $ and pay even more of the adoption expenses out of pocket instead of depleting my home equity loan. This is the silver lining and I am okay with waiting, I just want to be waiting on the list. I have my USCIS paperwork filled out, signed and waiting to send my homestudy in so we can do our fingerprinting...but I need the HOMESTUDY! Someone give me some words of wisdom here and remind me to LET GO OF THE CONTROL.

I guess after so many IF treatments letting go is not as easy as I thought. I like doing the paperwork and sending my pieces in to the agency and since I have nothing else to send it I am finding that the wait is harder then I imagined.

Birth Control pills are not helping either...Imagine the irony of an infertile having to take birth that is funny.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What do they say? Oh yeah PAPER PREGNANT!

It's official we got approval last night, signed out contracts and now we are PAPER PREGNANT! Still no word on the referral time. SW said that she would know more about the second week in November. I'm not really worried about the wait..I look at it as an opportunity for dh and I to work our butts off and! So things are looking good and hopefully by this time next year if all goes well we have a new son or daughter.

Names-Dh and I have been going around and around with names, the latest dh mentioned was "Zander" (cringe) But at least we get to focus on names and nursery..two things that we have not been able to think about for some time. Perhaps we will keep the name secret until he/she is home. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homestudy Approved!!!

We have our homestudy approval!! Woo Hoo! Now we are told that we will be on "The List" in November. I will ask next week when we sign the homestudy what the approximate referral time is, but today I am rejoicing in the fact that we are approved! I had no worries really about being approved, I just knew how "scary" the thought of a homestudy is. To all you potential adoptive parents out there...homestudies are really nothing to be scared about. I feel like I have a strong bond with our social worker and am blessed to have her sharing in our journey.

I don't know how long the wait will be, but I know now that I can start to change my spare room into a nursery. Hopefully, this and my classes will help the time to referral fly by, I know the real wait will begin once the referral is accepted and we have to wait for our little one to come home in our arms.!!!

I'm so elated that this is the process I chose to pursue instead of Invitro, this journey is so right for my family. I can't imagine doing fertility treatments sadness has been lifted!

Our baby will be joining us next year sometime!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I'm teaching myself Korean..I'm starting with nursery rhymes first. I hope that when we can send a care package that I can tape record this and send it to my baby while he/she is waiting to come home. This hopefully will be another aid to comfort our baby while he/she grieves the loss of his/her foster mom.

There are three bears in a houseDaddy Bear, Mommy Bear, Baby BearDaddy Bear is fat (tung tung hae)Mommy bear is slim (nal sin hae)Baby Bear is so cute (nomu gui yo wo)`U Su (Raising one's shoulders)', Doing right

From what we sing, it's like this:

Gome sey ma lee ga,
Ahn gee bay ee so
Appa Goom, Omma Goom, Ey-gee goom
Appa Goom moon, d/tung d/tung hae
Omma Goom moon, nal shin hae
Agi Goom moon, no-mu gui yo woh
U-Su, U-su, s/chal han da.

Attachment Issues

I've been teetering back and forth about how much time I should or can take off. My employer will give me a year of unpaid leave. This is fantastic except that is 48 weeks without my paycheck and we are a two income family. I've creatively thought about working part time, two days a week after 6 months, because my contract allows for this type of transition back to work after adoption. This would be some income and would be helpful but it still creates issues with how we will care for our child. My son was fortunate to spend many days with my mom as I went back to work when he was 2 weeks old. He developed a close bond with her and I remember when I would pick him up at times he would cry. I never realized that those early days could affect our lasting attachment. Today, ds is attached to me and I don't foresee any attachment issue there.

However, my adopted child will have gone through a more traumatic experience, new country, new family, new brother and we will have to work very hard to bond with him/her. Attachment is not one of those things that just happens because you love someone, it actually has to be developed as trust is created. I know that parent trainings on attachment are one way that we are going to be able to be equipped with the tools necessary to form our "forever" family. My hope is that family and friends will understand this need and know that we are not keeping our child in exile for the first few months..but that visits will be limited. I've included an article that outlines this more specifically and my hope is that everyone will understand why these first months are crucial to the development of our child.

Emotional Age- Many attachment professionals agree that the emotional age of a child at placement is set back to zero months. It is important to always consider the emotional age of your child and not the chronological age. Emotionally, your baby needs regression in order to go through the attachment process with his forever mommy and daddy. Baby that baby! Stay Home Stick close to home and avoid the revolving door of visitors until the baby has had time to adjust and learn who his parents are. Remember, you are strangers to this baby. He has not been waiting a long time for you. When the time comes to introduce the baby to family and friends, it is best to limit holding to Mother and Father. Meet Baby's Needs Quickly and ConsistentlyAllow baby to see you and be held by you as much as she needs to feel safe and comfortable.

Respond to all cries immediately while being both calm and loving--no matter what time it is or what you are in the middle of doing. Use Skin on Skin Contact
Bathe with baby
Carry in arms or in carrier without lots of clothing between Mommy and baby
Routine massages (morning and night) using lotion
Scents Use the same lotion as baby. One baby brand we like carries a lavender (calming) and vanilla scent.
BottlesKeep bottles as an attachment tool for as long as possible.

Bottles should always be given in mother's arms while encouraging eye contact. Some babies have a hard time with eye contact. In this case, place your rocker in front of a large mirror so she can still see Mommy taking care of her.

Sleep It is best to sleep while the baby sleeps so that you are alert and available for his waking hours. Co-sleeping is recommended, but expect that it may take some getting used to. Co-SleepingA valuable attachment tool, co-sleeping has helped families continue the bonding process throughout the night. Use a Baby

Carrier Carry your baby close to you as long and as often as possible.
Routines As your baby adjusts to the many changes, find a schedule in which you can begin to incorporate routines. Consistent routines help a baby predict what will happen next and help him feel safer.
Interact Use every opportunity to make eye contact and enjoy your baby.

Interact and play during bottle time, mealtime, floor time, bath time, etc. Make interacting a large part of your day. Some babies have trouble with eye contact or face-to-face interaction. In these cases, sit with her in front of a large mirror so she can still see the delight and joy in your eyes while playing in a less threatening way.
Games Playing games that focus the baby's attention on Mommy and Daddy like peek-a-boo and "Where's Mommy?" help establish over and over who the important caretakers in her life are now. Singing and Nursery
Rhymes We sing familiar songs with attachment-friendly lyrics.

Rock a bye baby, in the treetop,When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,And Mommy will catch you, cradle and all.Make up lyrics using familiar songs that have the child's name in it and the fact that you are his forever mommy. Sing during bottle time and on car rides. Examples (to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?"):
I love baby, sweet sweet baby,Joshua, Joshua I will be your mommy, forever always mommy,Joshua, Joshua Mommy loves you, Mommy loves you,Yes she does, yes she does,Mommy loves Johnny. Mommy loves Johnny.Yes, she does. Yes, she does.Some nursery rhymes need a little tweaking:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.She had so many children she knew just what to do.She gave them some broth. She gave them some bread.She gave hugs and kisses and tucked them in bed.
Books Select from the list in Books for Children, or make your own:

Take pictures of Mommy and baby doing daily activities together: eating, bottle feeding, sleeping, playing, rocking, dancing, hugging, etc… Compile the photos in a mini photo album. Look through the book frequently, making comments such as, "Your good mommy is feeding you a bottle" or "Your good mommy is rocking you. You're safe with Mommy." Family and Friends Because of separation from birth mother and at least one foster mother, often the baby may be waiting for the next caregiver to come along. Once the baby has had time to adjust to all of the different changes and learn who Mom and Dad are, it is often helpful to not only use family members and friends to run errands, cook meals, help keep house, etc. but to help them to always redirect the baby back to Mommy and Daddy. This will help establish that these two people are the primary caregivers and the most important people in his life.

A few months after my son came home, it was clear that he was waiting for his next mommy to come and take him away. He even began to do a lot of "mommy shopping" and would make cute noises for other women and reach out to strange and random women no matter where we were. During play dates he made it his mission to sit in another mother's lap and not mine. To the rest of the world he looked very social, happy, and personable.

Our friends and family were thrilled, each thinking they had a special relationship with our son, but little did they know he would have just as happily gone to a complete stranger. Allowing this behavior to continue was allowing my son to continue to avoid me, his forever mommy, reinforcing that mommies are replaceable. I needed to prove otherwise. Upon seeing an attachment therapist one of the first things we had to work on was his lack of stranger anxiety and his use of other women to avoid an attachment to me. We taught all of our friends and family members whom we saw often to redirect his attention back to me immediately. Instead of allowing him to reach for Grandma and focus on her, Grandma would instead say "Hello, Johnny. I am your grandma. Where is your mommy? There she is. Mommy takes care of Johnny." And she would physically turn him around to go back to me. Exchanges like this continued for a long time until he knew I was his mommy and I was the one who took care of him. This is something that can be done from day one to help the baby learn and accept who Mommy and Daddy are and that they are forever. The baby cannot have a true relationship with anyone else until he has a healthy attachment with his mother and then father first.

FAQ: Why can't other people hold my baby? So many people have waited for our child as long as we did. How can I hurt their feelings and not let them hold our baby?
While every child is different, here is our experience. Our son came off the plane happy, smiling, and laughing. He was a beautiful and happy sixth-month-old. We planned on not letting anyone hold the baby until we felt he adjusted. Well, he looked very well-adjusted from the get-go. Everything made him happy and he took to everything so easily. Carseat, stroller, crib, new bottles, new formula, sleeping through the night…everything was so easy to introduce to him. What a happy, easy baby! And boy did he love people! It even said so in his pre-flight report. He seemed so happy and so willing to go to his grandparents, aunts, and uncles...a lot of people were waiting anxiously for this baby along with us. He seemed to adjust so well that we threw away the no holding policy and let close family members hold him earlier than we expected. He was not passed around nor held for long periods of time, but he was very loving and seemingly unaffected by the exposure to multiple family members. As time went on our son distanced himself more and more from me, his mother, but still went happily to everyone else. I was his primary caretaker and doing a lot to promote bonding, but he avoided me more and more in ways that seemed innocent but didn't feel right to me. By the time he was home four months, he was not happy when I fed him, changed him, held him, gave him a bottle or anything that required me caring for him. By this time he completely ignored my existence and became a full-time mommy shopper. He learned lots of interesting tricks to get the attention of other women. This child would have willingly left with a complete stranger from the grocery store and never would have looked back. Meanwhile, everyone else continued to see a baby who was so easy and sweet and good and loving...I did not see that child because when it was just the two of us, he avoided me and pushed me away. It was very painful and I thought at first it had something to do with me not being a good mother...I know that is not the case now. We had our son evaluated by an attachment therapist at ten months old. We learned that he was sensitive to the attachment process. Basically, he had the opinion of been there, done that...mommies are not trustworthy, mommies leave, I will pick my own mommy...I am safe when I control who takes care of me. From that point on no one held our son until he was out of the avoidant stage. We trained family and friends how to redirect our son back to me so I was no longer the mean lady taking him away from the loves of his life....any other woman. It took about three months of no one holding him and everyone redirecting him to Mommy, including Daddy. This was very hard on some family members who did not understand, but who would blame them? After all, he always looked happy to them. They didn't see what went on when potential mommies were not around. Because my son was sensitive to the attachment process, allowing anyone, including the grandmothers who waited as anxiously as we did, to hold him for even a few minutes was confusing because he did not know or accept that I am his mommy and I am the one who will take care of him forever. It was a lot of hard work, really hard work that might not have been so hard had I stuck to the original plan. So even if they look happy and well-adjusted, try to remember, you are a stranger to this child. Not all children will react like my son, but since we don't know for sure--and remember it was a few months before our son began to push me away--I highly recommend that you put the baby's emotional health before the feelings of family members who do not live with you. (a. 6mo, FC)

Another adoptive mom shares her story:
I am hoping not to offend anyone -- just wanting to share our experiences with no holding. We have three children adopted from Korea. With our first two, we did very little reading about attachment and thought we would just love our children to pieces and all would be well. Our first two arrived at 4 1/2 months of age. My husband is from a large family; they love to pass the baby and believe the child should be content and snuggle with each one. This is what our two sons experienced soon after their arrival - - one struggled and cried and the other seemed indifferent. I felt sad and sick after each visit. With our third adoption, our daughter was 6 1/2 months at arrival. Before her arrival, we read about and researched attachment. I asked our social worker about no holding for six weeks. She said she had seen wonderful transitions with those who had done this. With the loss and uncertainty our children have experienced before coming to us, not allowing others to hold our child made sense. Before our daughter's arrival, we informed family and friends that we would be the only ones to hold our daughter for six weeks. Because we had allowed our first two to be held, we explained that our daughter was older and we felt we needed to do this to help with her adjustment and attachment. We knew some might not be accepting, yet it wasn't about what other people needed; this was what our child needed. Our daughter's adjustment has been remarkable in comparison to our sons'. We can't know if this was due to no holding initially, personality, or the other attachment methods we have implemented. Our daughter was never anxious and upset when others visited during those first weeks. Our sons were. My seventy-year-old father was so struck by the difference in adjustment with our third child, he remarked that maybe we shouldn't be so anxious to let others hold our daughter after six weeks! (a. 4.5mo, 4.5mo, 6.5mo, FC)

FAQ: Why should we pick our daughter up every time she cries? Won't this spoil her? Until there is a more secure and healthy attachment, which takes many months and in some children even longer, it is important to meet needs quickly and consistently until the baby learns that you are the one who takes care of her and keeps her safe. Learning to trust that you are the forever mommy and daddy takes a lot of time and reassurance. Picking her up every time she expresses a need to be held proves to her that you will always take care of her and you are trustworthy. Even children adopted in the early days or months of life may struggle with trust. FAQ: Shouldn't my baby be weaned from bottles when he's one year old?Think of your child in terms of being emotionally as old as the number of months he's been home. If your child has only been home 5 months, ask yourself if you would wean a five-month-old baby from bottles. In your child's case, the bottle is a valuable attachment tool. He should be having his bottles in your arms while you hold the bottle and encourage eye contact. He should not be holding the bottle himself nor having it anywhere other than in your arms. All other drinks can come from a sippy cup but bottle time is still valuable for forming a healthy and secure bond between mother and child. It isn't unusual for children with attachment impairments to continue using bottles (with mom) for several years. Pediatricians are often concerned about teeth. Be sure to brush and/or wipe teeth with a washcloth after each bottle. FAQ: We tried co-sleeping but my baby doesn't like it and sleeps better in the crib. Isn't it better that he can sleep through the night?Many babies adopted internationally from foster care backgrounds have slept with their foster moms. When they arrive home, forever families are often perplexed by their sleep choices. They seem to prefer sleeping alone. Why the apparent change in behavior? Sleep is a close and intimate experience. Children with attachment issues do not handle intimate experiences well and push away even in their sleep.
Our son slept beautifully in his crib for the first four months. We assumed he was a baby who adjusted easily and liked his space. Four months later the anxiety he felt began to come out in his sleep through night terrors, nightmares, frequent waking, etc… It turned out that the four months he slept beautifully was avoidant behavior. Because of the sleep and attachment issues our attachment therapist recommended co-sleeping. It was very hard for a long time. He thrashed, kicked, tossed and turned, and cried out in his sleep all night long. He also tried to sleep as far away from me as possible. He definitely slept better without me but I stuck it out. It took a good six weeks before co-sleeping felt like it was successful. He now sleeps very peacefully and rolls into my body during the night and in the morning for comfort. Co-sleeping has had a profound and extremely positive effect on his attachment to me. I feel as though it has helped us to "gel". I can now tell while he's sleeping if he's experiencing any heightened anxiety and am better able to address behaviors the following day. (a. 6mo, FC) We tried to co-sleep when our son arrived, knowing that his foster mother had slept with him. He would wake up repeatedly, often startling. We finally decided that we must be waking him up so we moved him to his crib. He continued to have some trouble. On the advice of our adoption social worker, we let him cry-it-out a couple of times. After a few nights, he settled in and slept wonderfully by himself. Ten months later, the night terrors and nightmares began. Twelve months after homecoming we figured out that he had an attachment problem. At age two, on the advice of attachment professionals, we began to co-sleep. It took about six weeks to succeed. Co-sleeping has been a wonderful bonding experience. In some ways it has reminded me of the intimacy achieved with my bio children through breastfeeding. Something about co-sleeping helps to regulate the child and helps the parent to more clearly understand where the child is in the attachment process. Only wish we'd have stuck with it in the beginning. (a. 5.5mo, FC) FAQ: My baby is very big. Why should I carry him?For attachment purposes it is very important to carry the baby, especially when he first comes home. By using a carrier that keeps the baby physically close, he is able to experience more face to face time and eye contact, feel the warmth of the mother and learn her scent, and use the mother to help him regulate which will in turn help the child to self-regulate. Because babies are older and do not hold onto the parent, they often feel extremely heavy and difficult to carry. A good carrier that is front facing (facing mother), does not have material between the child and mother, is made for older/heavier babies, and is suited for long wear, makes carrying a lot easier on the mother. The Ergo is one of our favorite carriers. FAQ: Should I show my child photos of his foster mother? Why?Yes. Some children will find comfort from seeing photos of his foster family. Others may grieve. But, in both cases, the child will be able to experience his feelings--good or bad--in the safety and security of his adoptive parent's arms.
At the age of 13 months, my son was miserable and had been for several days. Then we looked at pictures of his foster family. The whining stopped. And he just looked intently through the album. He'd turn the pages quickly when there weren't foster family or pictures of us, his adoptive parents. He'd carefully study photos with any of his parents. He looked studious, and sentimental, but not heartbroken. Then, on one page, he leaned in and kissed his foster mom's photo. After the pictures, he was sad and a bit whiney, but could be comforted by me easily. We keep the album where he can look at it anytime, but never when we aren't around since we don't want him to be lonely/sad without our comfort. He goes through it frequently. (a. 6mo,FC) I got out the album from his foster mom and showed it to my son. HE LOVED IT!! He pointed and smiled and laughed but not in a way to shut me out. We must have looked at it for 15 minutes (which is long for him to sit with a book). The best part was my baby came back! He was pleasant all day and even started calling me "Mam" which he seemed to stop doing the last 2 weeks. I had to take the other kids out last night and I leaned down and said, "Mommy needs to go bye bye, I love you and Mommy will be back." Instead of pitching a fit he smiled and gave me a kiss! All I know is something changed and the only thing that was different was the album. When I got home at 8:30 he was in bed but awake. I scooped him up and rocked him and he smiled and snuggled in. What a way to end the night. (a. 6mo, FC)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We Made It! Phew!

For everyone waiting to have the first initial homestudy visit..for those of you cleaning every dust bunny and scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush..STOP! I know easier said then done. We had our first initial meeting today and it was PAINLESS! We laughed and talked and went over the nitty gritty of our adoption plan. The logistics and the process. I was nervous and pacing before the SW came to our home. The dog didn't even bark as she pulled in the driveway. I'm not even sure she realized we have a dog. I have told her on a prior occasion. For two hours we just talked..oh yeah and the walk through our home was about 3 minutes..seriously! To think I spent the last week cleaning, cleaning and was so uneccessary. I laugh about it now! We have our next three meetings scheduled and depending on where we are..we could be done by the 2nd week in October.. HOLY MOLY!!!

I have some things to do between now and our next visit..dh did great by the way! I think I was more nervous about his first impression..but he was just as engaged as me. Sometimes he tends to listen more then speak..which is not a bad thing! So maybe by Christmas we will be officially waiting. We have to fill out the form regarding medical issues we are willing to accept, this is aside from premature birth and Hepatitis B which are already a risk and dh and I were made aware of this before we applied. This is more about the possibility of our willingness to accept a referral that may have a correctable need. Dh and I will discuss this in length about what we would be okay with. Some are minor things like birthmarks while others are more involved like CP. We will ask God for guidance here.

In closing we have three more visits scheduled and ds needs to be involved in one of those. We will have the opportunity to read, learn and grow more as we venture deeper in this process. I think at the beginning of November may be a good time to include the rest of my extended family in our news. Especially when the homestudy is finally done. So here we are..4 years later and the dream of another baby. I didn't think it would ever happen for me. As anyone who has had a miscarriage can agree it is the time between sorrow, pity and anger that we ask God what we did to deserve this. As my journey unfolds the picture of why is beginning to become more clear.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Home Study Scheduled

We have our first homestudy meeting on Sept 9th at 1:00pm for about two hours. I have made arrangements to leave work for the two hours and then to go back. Because this will be the first week of school things are busy at work and finding time off is becoming more of a challenge. I'm excited and this has really motivated dh to continue working on the basement. We got another wall done last night. It's really coming together. Although our SW said it is fine to be working on our home...hey the basement has been an eight year work in progress! :)

So this weekend is the week that I tell my parents--I'm hoping that they will not be in a total state of shock and know that this is really how we have decided to build our family. I used to write poetry before I was labeled an infertile....and I am slowy coming back to being able to journal and write poetry. I've always found this to be the most amazing outlet and I wanted to write a poem to share with my parents that we are expecting...through KOREA! I had visions of them coming over and going to the spare bedroom where we have the crib set up and walking over seeing a referral picture of our baby in the crib with a big SURPRISE we are expecting again!!! This time our baby will have to travel the world before he/she is home.

I haven't quite come up with a poem yet...nothing seems to be coming together..but finally my home has a calmness to it..I've left the anxiety and sadness of the "not knowing" behind and finally have something to look forward to. I'm going to by a Mommy Again in 2009!!!!

If you have ideas on how to announce our adoption plans...please let me know. I'd love a creative way to share our good news!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


APPROVED!!!! Official word today!!! We have been approved! OMG! Next year I am gonna have a new baby!!!!

I have to inform my boss on Friday just because I am nice and since I plan on taking 12 weeks off they will need to have a replacement lined up for me...I talked about the possiblility of working from home and this is something that they are entertaining...That would be nice, otherwise I will have to come back and do 3 months of back work!!! But I'm not worrying about that since I focusing on one step at a time and today we celebrate because we have approval!!!! I'm still hoping for a referral by Christmas!!! I'm wondering how far off I will be.

But hey--next summer off would be fantastic too!!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Woo Hoo--Hurdle #1

Yes, Yes we are in the beginning stages but I am so happy to report that our Application is now in the hands of FAC. I met with our SW yesterday at a meeting and it was just me and her. I loved being about to ask so many questions and to have her full attention..I feel spoiled a bit. I felt SO SO comfortable with her too. Our paths have crossed before as she used to work for the company that I work for but ended her employment prior to me starting but it was fun to talk about all the people we knew from work. She shared a great deal with me and also said as an adoptive parent and mom of Korean daughters she is more then willing to share all of her experiences with dh and I. I am SO glad that we have someone that lives down the road from us and that has gone through what we are about to embark on. I told her that I knew it was important for me to collect all the tools I can to make sure I can offer my child everything he/she needs to feel complete in our family. SW also told us that she feels this process can be complete by next year...I was fully thinking 2010..but no..2009 may be our lucky year!! And babies are coming home around 10mths!

I hope that I can be a successful adoptive parent..I know that I am a good mom but the bonding experience will be so different with our little one. SW explained that babies have to be in the orphanage for 5 months and at times there can be 50 babies and 3 workers..I worried about attachment issues..since babies will then go to foster care when they are 5 months and we will receive our referral there. SW assured me that the babies are well taken care of and talked and played with..I can only imagine 50 little ones just waiting to be breaks my heart. SW also said that this agency KSS is the smallest Korean agency and that because of this the babies get more individualized attention then the three large Korean Orphanages.

On a side note, I did stumble across something that worried me..dh's physical had an HBA1C test marked as abnormal...this is the 3 month blood test to indicate if your sugar is being metabolized correctly... His metabolic panel came back normal though...dh has diabetes in his family and apparently the the number has to be below 5% to be excellent..dh's came through at 6.4% which is not diabetic or even close, but enough to be above the reference range. I was so upset that the Dr took the test from January 08 and used that on our adoption form instead of requesting a new blood test, since his could now be in the normal range and the fact that he NEVER told dh about it..just said he wanted to watch until he is a diabetic or scare the crap out of him to lose weight and watch what he eats.....or wait until it gets worse. I'm just frustrated because the DR is so passive regarding dh will be finding a new primary care giver and getting back in the gym. I on the other hand may be unable to carry babies but I am in picture perfect health :)

So now we wait....I hope the approval comes soon!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can you say Mountains??

I know that everyone told me how much paperwork was involved but I don't think I really grasped the concept. There is a TON! My letters of recommendation are out and my application is complete, I've gathered all the appropriate employment and insurance verification forms as well as started my self study questions. I've done one set that equated into 11 single typed pages..I don't know how dh (darling husband) is going to get through it. He seems to be overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork involved and I told him that you don't just get to purchase a involves work..kinda like being pregnant for 9 months. I think he got it.

So far I have had nothing but positive support and once we are accepted and our file is open for our homestudy I will tell my parents. I'm sure they will be supportive but it also means that they will need to accept I will not have another biological child. I have 4 chairs at my kitchen table and I always intended to fill each of them. 2 children is the max. I feel so at peace with my decision and can't wait for my journey to get into full swing. I pray that we will have a referral before christmas--(wishing here) and that I can send my news to my family that we are EXPECTING....FROM KOREA. I can't wait for that day. I have begun to have good dreams and I take these a signs from God that everything will work out. I've been crunching numbers and know that we will need to do some fundraising in order to not sink financially through this process. Once the homestudy is complete I plan on checking out books and books at the library and filling my time with applying for grants and scholarships for our adoption. Anyway, back to my dream..I saw in my dream that dh and I had a little boy..he was born February 12th and since my bio son was born on February 13th we were talking about how it would be so easy to have birthday's. Our child arrived home in November..I saw the calendar in my dream!!! Gives me hope--I did not see the year so I can only imagine it was 2009! I just hope it is before ds (darling son) turns 11.

I am so glad that my agency is so responsive..I send emails and get a response the same day!! Not to mention my SW (social worker) lives down the road. I know many of you reading blogs know what these abbriviations mean but in the event that my grandma reads this I thought I would help her out.

So after next week I have my physical and then we send in the application with the first large installment..$1750.00. Then we wait for the approval which could take 7-10 days. I am not worried since our preliminary application was approved and I can't see why we wouldn't be approved for our official application it's just the waiting that I know will be the hardest!

More to come..

Friday, July 18, 2008

Great Idea

One of my online FF members suggested setting up my paypal account to accept donations. I have a paypal account for my ebay transactions and didn't realize how easy it was to set up. Jennifer's right, every little bit helps. I have always felt weird about asking people for donations or for money my entire life. However, this is an event in my life that I plan on opening up to the world about. I am an Infertility Survivor, and I won't let IF hold me back from my dreams. If you choose to donate, please know how forever grateful I am to you. A simple "THANK YOU" is not truly enough and I can't express in words how your generosity is appreciated. God knows that this road is going to be tough and IF treatments were always based on what $$ I had and what I could afford. Adoption is going to be different. My road to my baby is straight and I plan on traveling that road with hope and optimism. My heart is yearning to be a "new" mom again. I have so much love to give that I feel a sense of peace in our decision to adopt. Again, I won't ask for donations but if your heart desires please feel free to add to our adoption fund.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The beginning

I've decided to start this blog for my friends and family. I plan to use this blog as a way to communicate the excitement, struggles, ups and downs of our adoption process. Most will ask why are you adopting? Many of my family and friends do not know of our struggle to have another child. L and I have been through many fertility treatments, IUIs, tests and procedures. Each test has left us with nothing... except that they are all normal. I have been trying to have a 2nd baby since 2006 and along the way I have experienced three pregnancy losses. It is because of these losses that I just can't put myself through anymore treatment. My RE (specialist) tells me I am an excellent candidate for IVF, but there are no guarantees. Adoption has always been something that L and I have wanted to do and it feels right that God has lead us to this journey. L and I decided to pursue International Adoption to add and complete our family. We feel like most expectant parents--we won't know until our referral if we have a boy or a girl. If we have a girl her name will be Alivia Grace (Korean Name here). Yes, we have selected South Korea as our adoption country. We sent our paperwork last Friday to FAC and were notified of our acceptance in the program on Tuesday. I know not everything will be this fast..Our Formal application will come by next week and with our physicals scheduled we should be able to send this application in for approval and start the homestudy process. How exciting! I am not worried too much about the homestudy because L and I know in our hearts that we are good parents and we are good people. I've been corresponding with our SW for the past year and this feels is the time. We carefully weighed our options and this is not our PLAN B, but is actually our Plan A. IVF would be our last resort. Our SW, Cher also said that our timing was perfect as placements for 2008-2009 are still open. They had been closed and opened back up because they expect more referrals then they initially thought! We could have our baby in 2009! Now many of you will ask lots of questions and I'll try and answer a few. Our SW has been doing this since 1986 and has two grown Korean daughters. This has given me a lot peace knowing that she has been through this many times. Our child will most likely be 8-12mths before joining our family. Korea is trying to phase out International Adoption and promote domestic adoption within, so children must be 5mths old at referral. L and I are absolutely fine with this as we have both had the opportunity to be pregnant and raise a newborn, for this we are forever grateful to god.

L, myself and C all had a family talk and given that C is only 9yrs old I wanted to find out how he felt about International Adoption, we laughed when he said, "Will this baby be my step brother or sister?" after some brief explanation and laughs together.. as a family we decided that International Adoption was right for us. I feel blessed that C is old enough to understand and his excitement is comforting. I have told my co-worker at this point as I need a reference letter and I was dying to tell someone. She has been a great comfort through my losses and treatments. I have not shared this news with family or friends other then my FF friends. I want to wait until the acceptance of our homestudy and when we are "officially" waiting or "paper pregnant." This is mostly to avoid the questions, "Are we there yet." This journey is going to be long and has ups and downs along the way, I can accept that I will not have control and must take one step at a time. It is because of this, I wish to hold onto our "secret" until our approval is granted. I hope those of you that I have waited to tell understand. Lastly, YES, this is a huge financial commitment and L and I have talked long and hard about this aspect. We have it figured out and with a little creative fundraising hope to offset some our our costs. My employer with contribute 3K and the Federal Tax credit will help immensely, still we will incur some debt but as any mother will tell you, "It's all worth it in the end."

I hope that you will join me on my journey and support my family as we GROW.

Lots of love,