Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Allie's Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for my foster mommy.  Thank you for my birth Mommy Hee Young.  She Hee Young just like me!  Yeah, she is!  She in Kee-ya (Korea).  Yeah.  I miss her.  You have two zippers!  We both have two zippers!  I go to school today.


Thursday, January 24, 2013


Shenanigans happen often in this house.  With three kids ages 2, 4 and 6, they happen pretty much every time I let my guard down.  Last week in particular was full of trouble-making.  Here's just a few examples:

*All 3 kids were in tub together, I was across hall picking up Allie's room, keeping an ear on them.  They were playing so quietly (not the usual splashing and screaming) and my heart so full of pride for them playing so well.  When I checked on them, I realized why they were so quiet.  They had put an empty toilet paper roll into the tub, it shredded and they were all in a daze trying to catch all the pieces swirling around.  We had just had pipe work done the day before, so needless to say we fished out as many pieces as we could!

*Discovered Allie calmly and thoroughly putting hand lotion in her hair.

*Two days later, Allie very lovingly lathering up the cat with lotion.  (lotion is now put up!)

*All three were playing in Allie's room.  Boys came out without Allie and told me she was "resting" like a good girl.  Turns out they cleared out her closet floor, laid out her sleeping bag, and made her lay down and have rest time until the timer they set went off (they set it for an hour).  I went to free her and found her so quietly laying in her dark closet... they had even closed the closet doors and blocked them with bins of toys so she couldn't get out!

Then they all wanted to "rest" with Allie and had me block them in her closet... weird but okay.  They had her sleeping bag, pillows, stuffed animals.... they were playing in there so well and giggling when... Ben came to find me and said "Mom, for some reason I have poop on my hands and pants."  What???  They are all potty trained and not accident prone, so I couldn't fathom where it came from.  And yes, it was definitely poop.  Upon investigating, I realized that the entire time they had been "resting" in the closet, they had our one cat Max trapped in there with them.  He is not overly thrilled by our children, though he is not accident prone either.  They trapped him and literally scared the poop out of him!  Here's the pic I took B4 I realized there were two piles of cat poop in the closet.  Max is the black blob cowarding in fear between Sam and Allie.

*Allie took a shower with me the other day, and wanted to stay in a while longer after I got out.  She had some toys and was happily singing in there.  I relished a few minutes to get dressed by myself.  When I went to get her a few minutes later... she had somehow reached all the shampoo bottles, opened them and emptied them in the shower.  There were bubbles everywhere and she got shampoo in her eye... not sure if she was more upset about the shampoo in her eye or about getting caught before she could finish emptying the last bottle!!

Add to the constant chaos, that certain fiesty two year old  is starting to fight naps, making for some long and hairy afternoons.  And kids trapped indoors due to the frigid cold, two dogs and two cats stuck inside...ergh!   I keep thinking that I hope this next little one who joins our family is a tough little cookie and has a high tolerance for noise and chaos!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Next (baby) Step!

We received the date for our fingerprint appointment today!  A very small step, but in the right direction.  Currently we're waiting for USCIS (Homeland Security) to give us permission to adopt an international child.  We knew they had received our application and part of their processing our application is to get our fingerprints.  USCIS does not play around; you do not get to choose a day/time that works for you. They mail you a letter with your appointment time on it and you show up.  That is all.  We go January 22!  We did this with Allie as well; we have to go downtown to the Federal building, which again is no laughing matter.  There are metal detectors and very serious routines to follow there.  Which is fine... easier the second time now that we know what to expect.  Once they have our fingerprints done, then we keep our fingers crossed for their approval some time after that!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And it continues...

The stomach bug is slowly but surely moving its way through our family.  It was my turn this time, came on like gangbusters yesterday afternoon. Thankful for the hubs who stayed home from work today to be Mr. Mom.  He got Ben up and off to school, kept Sam and Allie entertained all morning, even got to make playdough to send to school with Sam (because I made some yesterday before I got sick and decided it may just be slightly contaminated playdough!).  Because things are never simple, we also had a clogged sewer pipe, so he also had to get a plumber out here today.  Add to that that he did go to work for a couple hours this afternoon while Sam as at preschool and Allie napped... he had to rush back to pick up Sam from school and get home for the plumber...but still managed to pick me up some soup at Frischs.  He's amazing.  He also enjoyed being home a little too much... he wants me to go back to work so he can stay home!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Yep, as predicted, once I had the house cleaned and disinfected, Sam came down with the bug yesterday.  Thankfully, so far he seems to have a milder version of it...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sci-Fi Stomach Bug

Being a parent is weird.  Jeremy came home from work Wed. saying he was going to throw up.  He never throws up, so I just blew him off. Ten minutes later he started puking and didn't stop for 12 hours.  Two hours after that, Ben said he was going to throw up.  I thought he was just having sympathy pains.  Wrong.  He started puking and didn't stop for about 10 hours.  It was bad.  Really bad.  Like something out of a sci-fi movie.  Jeremy couldn't get comfortable, he kept moving around really sporadically, up and down, rolling on the floor, on his knees, etc.  It was very weird.  Our one dog started humping him in the middle.  Nice.

A couple hours later, in the middle of the night, Ben started acting the same way.  Very jerky movements and not being able to hold still.  It was like something out of a sci-fi movie!!  He finally found comfort laying on his stomach on the corner of my bed.  He fell asleep there on his tiptoes.  I couldn't help but laugh and take a picture.  I was literally between the two of them in my room and bed the whole night.  They had simulteneous heaving at a few points.  I don't know how I haven't gotten sick yet.  I'm still holding my breath.  Sam and Allie are both okay so far too, knock on wood.  I spent yesterday cleaning and disinfecting the entire house, so I'm sure if the rest of us are going to get it, it will be now that everything is clean.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Adoption #2

Adoption #2 in some ways will be similar to Allie's adoption process, but in many ways will be different.  Every county is different and Allie was born in Korea. This time we're adopting from China.  We would have loved to have adopted from Korea again, but decided not to for several reasons.  First,the agency we used to bring Allie home now does not do Korean adoptions.  In fact, we've been told that she was the second to last group of babies to come home using our agency; we're really lucky she made it.  Korea began really limiting the number of Visas they permit each year, and we went through a period of time when she was still in Korea when we weren't sure if she would come home at all.  It was so scary and we just don't trust Korea's stability in international adoptions right now to pursue another one.  Plus we've been told that the timelines for babies from Korea are taking MUCH longer than they were before.  Once we were matched with Allie, she came home about 6 months later (and that was a couple months longer than usual at that time).  Lately we've been hearing that it can take well over  a year after being matched with a baby for them to come home!  We honestly just didn't want to risk it again.

China was a great choice for us.  We knew that Allie would benefit from having a sibling that "looks" like her and we have good experience raising an Asian child.  We decided that using a China special needs program would be a great fit for us.  Healthy babies can take up to 6 years or more from China right now!!!  But the special needs program they have is known to be stable and reliable and usually quicker.  We also felt like taking on a special needs child is something we can do and are excited about.  We did a lot of research and decided to go with CCAI, Chinese Children Adoptions International.  They are the largest Chinese adoption agency and have been ranked #1 in the adoption world.  They're really big, but also known for being very personal with each family.

Because China's process is different than Korea, some of the paperwork we have to do and the way we submit it is different.  Much of the content is the same, though.  We basically have to let them look into our whole lives-finances, health, parenting styles, relationships, etc.  The first time around it felt a bit intrusive, but this time we just know that's par for the course. 

What will be VERY different this time is that Jeremy and I will have to travel to China for TWO WEEKS to get our child.  This is huge for us.  When we originally chose the Korean program, we chose it in part because we knew Allie would be escorted home rather than us having to go there (even though that would have only been a 4 day trip!).  We just couldn't imagine leaving the country and leaving the boys behind in that way.  But here we are a year and a half later ready to take the leap;  we have to go to China and it is always a two week trip.  We're actually excited about the opportunity and know that while leaving three kids behind will be hard, they'll be just fine.  Now if I can just stop worrying about missing out on Christmas, someone's birthday, etc. while we're gone, we'll be okay!!

As far as special needs, we said we would consider a child with cleft lip/palate, limb difference (missing digits, club foot, etc) or a minor heart condition.  These three "categories" of special needs are very common in China.  Once we get a referral (or child match), we will have the International Adoption Clinic at Children's Hospital review the child's medical information to help us decide if that condition is something we can handle. 

We have requested a girl younger than Allie.  We will see who God has planned for our family!  Because we are pursing a more minor/correctible special need, we most likely won't be matched until sometime after our paperwork is "Logged In" to China--which won't be for a couple more months at least.  Right now we're waiting on approval from US government to adopt an international child.  I've put a timeline of this adoption on the top right of my blog.  We'll continue to keep everyone updated!

As we learned, much of the adoption process is hurry up and wait.  We just mailed our application to Homeland Security right before Christmas, so we're in wait mode-again.  :)  Timelines on special needs adoptions really vary depending on how open we are to the special needs out there and what children are available once we're logged in.  Overall, they've told us that usually the entire process takes 12-18 months.  We offically applied with CCAI in August 2012, so we're hoping for her to be home by February of 2014 at the very latest.  But we also know from experience that the world of adoption is always changing, so we just have to walk by faith and see what this adoption brings.

Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year (well, a few hours early but they didn't know the difference!) with homemade quesadillas and ice cream sundaes, a fire in the fireplace and snuggling up on the couch looking at family pictures and videos from 2012.  And lots of kisses!