Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ring, Ring. . . It's Go Time!!!

THE call came this morning and we are so excited. This is the climax of the adoption process this side of the Pacific!!! I was really hoping and thinking we would get the call today, Adam thought it would still be a few more days. I'm so glad that phone rang and we can get the travel ball rolling. I told Adam that since he got to take the referral phone call (and all other phone calls) I wanted this phone call. So, when the agency called him, he asked if they would just call me and give me all the info because I am going to be in charge of the travel plans! There will be no repeat of the expensive Austrain ticket snafoo this time around! Unfortunately, the agency and social worker are so busy in Korea with other babies being picked up that we will not be able to pick Neylan up until the 13th at the earliest. But before we can schedule our pick-up we have to make our flight reservations. I have already called the travel agent and will update when he calls me back.

And now, those ???? can be replaced with a number!!! (Once we get that figured out)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

??? Days and Counting!!

It's been a busy weekend of marking things off the list.
  • I bought Grayson's curtain last year at Ikea and had never gotten around to hemming it and getting it hung up. When you buy a curtain at Ikea, you are really just buying a piece of fabric. You have to hem and sew it to make it the way you want it. So, I finally got that done and am pleased with the result.

  • We bought our lock to put on Seoul Tower. Thousands of locks are placed around the tower to symbolize a love that will never be broken. People typically write a note or put someone's name on a piece of paper attached to the lock, put it on the tower, and throw away the key.
  • We did some grocery shopping- trying to think of things to have on hand when we get home and have visitors.
  • Adam cleaned out the cars and installed the additional carseats
  • I finished packing the second suitcase. I organized Grayson's travel activities into two categories. To and From. He has about 10 activities for each journey. Think that will keep his attention for about 15 hours of flying? All toys and activities are new to him. He has some magnetic books, a mini lite brite, playdough, silly putty, an aqua doodle, a color wonder coloring book, cars, animals, lacing cards, and lots of snacks!! Hope all this planning makes for an easy flight. Now I just have to figure out how to carry all of this on and pull it out one at a time without him realizing there is a whole pile of excitement inside.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

??? Days and Counting!!

I was really hoping to change those question marks today, but the phone never rang with that much anticipated call. So, we will continue to wait and work to get ready. . .because it IS coming- soon!

Today. . .

We went to a new international market tonight that is not far from our house. As we walked in, the smell of Asia hit me, and it made me want to hop on a plane. This store is huge and had a nice selection. I think we will be back often. They even had a little Korean cafe inside that serves lunch specials on Monday through Friday. Looks like we may try it out on Monday!

We only bought a couple of things: bulgogi marinating sauce and roasted peas for Grayson. The peas are crunchy and he loves them. Will be saving them for plane snacks!

Once we got home, Adam hung Neylan's curtain rod and curtain. I think this completes the room!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

??? Days and Counting!!!

We are getting so so close to being able to really begin the countdown with a number!! Another big step took place today.

  • Neylan's visa interview took place today. This is the last step that takes place before our travel call. I was really hoping to hear something today, so I decided to call the National Visa Center this afternoon. (Adam said he would call when he got home, but I couldn't wait any longer). Someone answered right away. When I told him what I wanted, he said "I'm sorry. Our visa database is down. You'll have to call back later or tomorrow." I couldn't just let that go. So, I waited a few hours and called again. This time I got a better answer. I talked to a nice lady. I gave her our case number and she looked it up. Then came back to me and said, "Oh, he is such a cutie. He had his visa interview today, but it doesn't say his visa was issued yet. I bet it will be tomorrow. You should call back. Congratulations". Thanks!!!
  • I touched up the trim around the house and painted over the spots on the ceiling where our paint rollers have gotten out of control lately!
  • I packed another suitcase. Neylan's stuff is almost packed and ready to go. Hope he can fit into some of the clothes I am taking for him.
Hoping tomorrow is a BIG day!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

??? Days and Counting!!

Big things happened today!!!!

  • We called the National Visa Center and they said "We see his picture and he's cute" WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This means we are two more steps closer to being able to hop on a plane. His packet of information has been returned from the agency and Neylan has made his embassy appearance. Our next step is waiting for his visa to be issued and then we sit by the phone! We are hoping his visa interview will at least be scheduled this week. 
  • Gathered some airplane entertainment for Grayson. A mom on our forum recommended that we buy (or borrow) new toys for the ride there and new toys for the ride home. So, that's what I am working on. Finding new and exciting activities that will hold a two year old's ineterst while sitting down!
  • We managed to get a few things done around the house, but nothing too exciting.

??? Days and Counting!!!

Well I will at least write what went on today. I was going to try to do the entire post from the iPad, but am experiencing some frustration. So, no pictures for now until I have a little tutorial on how to make them appear. I thought Apple was supposed to be very user friendly!

Anyway, today. . .

  • Grayson and I did a litle shopping. I tried on a different carrier, which didn't feel the best, so I didn't buy it. But I did buy Grayson some nice shoes for the trip. Some good walking and play shoes.

  • Nearly finished buying and organizing our gifts and donations. That was a chore in itself, but i think we have everyone covered now.


  • Packed the first suitcase! It is completely full of gifts, donations, and the big pea pod. And weighs in at about 46 lbs!


  • I made copies of our passports

  • We bought curtain rods for both boys' rooms. Hopefully this week they will be put up and curtains hung!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

??? Days and Counting!!

I can't wait until I can replace those question marks with a number. We are really hoping to do that in the next few days. Oh, I hope we get that blessed call soon. But in the meantime, there is still lots of work to do.

Today is our 5 year anniversary! Since we are really trying to do a lot with Grayson during these last few weeks with him being the only child, I woke up and wanted to go to a nice park and have a picnic. The weather was perfect today!! Adam woke up and decided to go to the doctor after not feeling well for nearly a week. And then he came home with a diagnosis of a "contagious virus" and 5 new medicines. I guess this change of plans just gave me more time at home to get a few things done. So, today I:

  • Cleaned up two carseats and got them ready to install. It's weird thinking that between our 2 cars we will have 4 carseats installed. Maybe less room for junk in the other seat will motivate us to keep it cleaner.
  • Made 2 chicken pot pies. One for a friend who is sick and one to put in our freezer. One item on my to-do list is to have a few meals ready for when we come home and the jet lag and possibly grieving Neylan have hit me so hard that I can't think straight enough to prepare a meal.
  • Made a necklace for Neylan's foster mom as one of her gifts. (will post the picture when it is complete)
  • Adam trimmed a tree in our front yard that needed it really badly. It was hitting the house and during every storm or really windy day it just bangs its branches right by Grayson's bed. Good thing it's done as we are under a severe thunderstorm watch now and I listen to the rain pouring outside.
  • I also downloaded 10 Sesame Street podcasts to the iPad. Never can have too many for a 15 hour flight! They are only about 6 minutes each. So after we rotate through each one 15 times we will be there!
  • And then, I also went to a baby shower this afternoon just to have some girl time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

??? Days and Counting!

Today the girls in my office threw me a little "sprinkle". Not a big shower, just a little sprinkle! They made an amazing breakfast and I got a few gifts. It was so much fun. Thank you girls. I really appreciated it.

Amanda, thank you so much for these cute shirts for the boys. I think these will be heading straight towards the suitcase!

Adam cleaned out and organized the garage tonight. It was a huge job that has been needing to be done since our garage sale at the beginning of April. Now we can finally get both cars back in the garage and hopefully avoid any further hail damage!

Congrats to my bloggy friends who received their EP submissions today!! Very exciting. It won't be long before you travel. Can't wait to meet those cute girls.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

??? Days and Counting!!

Well, I can't say there was a lot done today on the adoption front. I'm still moving and working on things as several in our EP group received their travel call this week. So, I know it's coming and probably sometime soon. So, we better be ready. It's been 10 days so far since anything has happened (that we know of)! So, just waiting, waiting. . . .

So, today I. . . .

  • Had Grayson's travel document notarized and mailed it back in. The agency has to have this before we travel, so I really needed to get this done.
  • And made a list of all the places we want to visit and see while we are there. Well, I guess I should say attempt to do and see. There are so many things on the list, we would have to stay a couple of weeks to get it all in. And we might- who knows!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

??? Days and Counting!

I am going to begin a series of posts from now until travel on all that goes on for us to get ready. Life is busy and we are frantically trying to get everything done and ready to go. We don't know quite yet when we will be leaving, but anticipate it to be within the next two weeks.

So over the past 3 days we have.  . . . .

  • Shopped for gifts for Neylan's foster family, office staff in Seoul, doctors, van driver, tour guide, and social worker. They suggest local items are always well received, so we found some moon pies from TN, but don't yet have anything local from KS. We should be getting some local honey to take.

  • We had to buy another piece of luggage. Our family is expanding, so our luggage collection needs to as well. We'll start with this and then see how much more we need!

  • Of course, chocolate is a necessity- to throw into gifts and to give me the energy and sanity I need for a 15 hour flight!

  • We bought our iPad cover
  • Mailed more cookbooks out- there's still some left though

Monday, May 16, 2011

{Six} Five Months Ago Today

It was six five months ago today, December 16th, that we saw your beautiful face for the first time

It was six five months ago today that we knew we would accept you as our son and love you forever

It was six five months ago today that we commited to be your forever family and you were no longer an orphan

It was six five months ago today that those chubby cheeks and pink sweater drew us in and our hearts were captivated

And today, we are exhausted from all of the work and shopping and preparing and the busyness of life that has absorbed all of our time over the past two weeks because we are getting ready for you to come home!!!! Over the past six five months our love has grown so deep for you and we talk about you like you have always been a part of the family. We have prayed for you many times. You have grown up a lot too and made many milestones. Within a few weeks, your life will change drastically and you don't even know it yet. We are so excited for you to join us in our crazy family. Your life will never be the same. We love you bunches, Neylan.

(Thanks Kelly for pointing out my math was wrong. It has only been 5 months, not six! My brain is totally mushy now!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Neylan, your room is ready!

We are one big step closer to being ready for Neylan to come home. His room is ready! I am pleased with how it turned out. Cars and trucks everywhere! Grayson sure loves it and will be spending lots of time in there!

Neylan's nameboard I made

Now all we need is some cute pictures of him and Neylan, himself!

He has a bunch of clothes ready. I had to take them out of Grayson's dresser becuase I just have a feeling they may be wearing the same size this summer. But they have plenty to share!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Going to the Doctor!!

It's Sunday night in our house, but it's already Monday afternoon in Seoul. (Did you see the new clock I added so everyone can keep up when we travel?!) Today is a very big day for Neylan. It's Visa Physical day!!!! This is one of the last steps in the process to bring him home. So, he may already be done by now. I pray that everything went well and no class B waiver is needed (usually only needed for children with special needs). Once the VP is done there's only 2 more steps to get completed before our travel call!! We're getting so close, yet it's still hard for me to imagine bringing him home and becoming a family of four!

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in the US and Parent's Day in Korea. I had a great day with Grayson today, but really missed Neylan being here with us. I can't wait until he is home in a few weeks. Mother's Day is such a special day to celebrate the little blessings God has given us called children and the huge job we have as mothers to raise our little ones. Today I can't help but think of Neylan's other two moms. His birth mom, who made the tough decision to carry him to birth and then give him over to be raised and loved by someone she would never meet. Wow! I can't even imagine, but what a gift. I wonder if she is thinking about her little one today as she is not celebrating Parent's Day with him. Words can never express our gratitude for her amazing sacrifice and gift. I really wish we could have a picture of her just to know what she looks like. I pray that she is blessed with children one day that she will be able to care for.

I am also thinking of Neylan's foster mother. She has also played a huge and very important role in his life as she has been the only mother he has known since birth. She has also made a huge sacrifice to love on and raise a child who is only hers for a short time. I think she has done a wonderful job and I can't wait to meet her. Within the next couple of weeks, I will try to sit down and put words on paper for her to express my gratitude and appreciation for all she has done for Neylan. I'm sure that will be tough. I can't imagine how difficult it is going to be for me to take this child from her and for her to give me this baby that she has raised since birth. I pray that she has confidence in us as his parents and I hope we will be able to see her again soon.

Last year on Mother's Day, I never would have imagined that this Mother's Day, I would have two little boys. God's plans are always better than ours and I can't wait to see how our new family of four unfolds in the next several weeks and months!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cute and Fine!

That's how every well-baby check starts out for Neylan. Hey, I'll take it. I'd much rather him be cute and fine than not so cute and ill.

So, our little boy and Grayson's "little" brother is not so little. I can already tell, this boy is like his mama. He likes his food. He continues to grow, a lot, each month. So much that I'm thinking he and Grayson will be sharing clothes this summer. Thank goodness we have a bunch!

He weighs 24 lbs and Grayson is 27 lbs.
He is 29 inches tall and Grayson is 32 inches tall (I think)
He still only has 2 bottom teeth
Still just pulling up and cruising around furniture

So they are not far apart in size. That might be a benefit for Neylan as he is about to enter a world where he will have to stand his own against Grayson.

See how "cute and fine" he is?!

I am covering his foster mom's face to protect her privacy. But, I can tell you, she looks like she is very sweet. I might have a hard time taking him from her. We are so, so grateful for all she has done for Neylan over the past 10 months of his life. She has given him a good foundation. He's holding the "kie kie" (as Grayson call it) that we sent to him and has our photo album. I hope she is showing him our pictures regularly so he's not completely shocked when he sees us.

Not much longer, little man, and we'll be on our way!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Soon and VERY Soon. . .

We will be boarding a plane headed for Seoul. To meet our baby! Because his EP (emigration permit) has been approved!!! This is such exciting news for us. We found out on Friday that it was approved on Thursday, April 28th. He is approved now to leave the country. So, from here, we wait some more. There are a few more steps to take place before we can travel.
  • A travel certificate will be issued
  • A visa physical- conducted by a doctor for the US Embassy
  • P3 given to the embassy from our agency. A packet of info that our agency currently has.
  • A visa interview/ embassy appearance
All of this takes approximately 1 month (give or take a few days or weeks). We anticipate traveling in early June, but of course, don't really know. This process is full of surprises. But, things are looking like Neylan will be home for his first birthday on June 20th. That has been my prayer since we saw him.

So now, things get really busy. We made our to-do list this afternoon of EVERYTHING we would like to get done before we travel. Only 56 items!! We have our work cut out for us, but have a little bit of motivation to get things done. I know there will not be time once we are home with 2 toddlers. I won't have time like I do now for the next 18 years or so, so I better get busy!