Friday, September 23, 2011

4 new words and hoping for some news.

Our four new Korean words today are thank you, eat, no and yes! All good words to know, and thankfully ones I knew, but am teaching to my kids. :)

thank you is pronounced 'Gam Sa Ham Ni Da'
food is 'mam ma'
no is 'ah-nee-oh'
and yes is 'nay'

(again, native speakers, help a girl out!)

My kids did really well, especially Braedan, with the first two words!

I really think it would be quite cute to see my three kiddos communicating in Korean. ;)

So, we'll be working on these 4 new words this week!

Getting a bit restless these last few weeks with no news from our agency...hoping for at least a WBC {well baby checkup} this month for Em and maybe a few pics with her care package we sent with the J Family!

Trying our hardest to stay positive and focus on the end result as a family of five. But boy, adoption is not for the weak! At this point in Zoey's process, we were getting ready to travel!

But we know it's all in God's timing and we are hanging in there for now!

Hopefully, this picture of Em is her writing a little email to the Korean government to 'please get me home'!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Adoption Rocks!

Got up, got dressed and headed to the airport Saturday morning!

Passed the time waiting with a new friend, Zachary, also adopted from Korea!

Welcome home J Family!!

Henry and Zoey started right back where they left off...getting a head start on their future courtship! :0)

And the star of show...BEAUTIFUL Miss Anna has arrived!!! Just spending an hour with this adorable girl and her forever family proved she is right where she is meant to be!! Full of life, personality and definitely an active toddler!!

Thank you J Family for letting us be part of your special day!!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Lion King 3D and a dark hotel room.

I am sitting in a dark hotel room as I post this waiting for my kiddos to fall asleep! My least favorite part about all staying in a hotel room together! Danny pulled the short straw and is cuddled up next to Zoey and I clearly got the 'easy' sleeper, Braedan, next to me! Zoey likes to thrash and toss and turn and wake up in the middle of the night to yell at you for 'squishing' her! I got to sleep with her last time we were out of town, so...

Well, we decided to see Lion King in 3D at a local mall and it.was.awesome!

First, let me say that the ticks were not cheap. As in mama had to make a few extra sales not cheap! But totally worth it. We sat in super big and cushy chairs with a table attached for you to eat your dinner! You simply pushed a button and a waitor would appear and bring you anything from their scrumptious menu! I had fish and chips while I watched the movie! How awesome is that?!?!? The kids enjoyed their pizza and Danny had a brisket quesadilla...not your typical movie food and you didn't have to stand in line to get it either! *excuse the flash cell phone pics!*

I had not seen Lion King in forever and I forgot just how much I LOVE that movie!! We own everything but that movie for some reason, but it's definitely on our Christmas list now!

So where are we?!?!?

Well, we are in Dallas! Tomorrow morning we are heading to the airport to greet the Jesse family and their new baby girl!! You might remember the Jesse's as we have met them on several occasions and their Henry, who is also adopted from Korea, is just three days younger than his future wife, Zoey. :) And boy are we thrilled they'll be bringing home their new daughter, Anna, aka Braedan's wife. :0) Yes, we believe in arranged marriages!

No, all kidding aside, I must admit I am quite excited. This is actually the first airport homecoming I've been to that didn't involve my family and how could seeing a family brought together thru adoption possibly be boring?!?!? We are so thrilled for their now family of four and of course, we hope that our family is inviting them to our airport homecoming soon!

And did I mention how many times we were able to use the word bihaeng-gi today?!?! (which, thanks to all my bloggy friends, we're making sure to pronounce as 'bee-heng-gee'!!)

So off to bed rest up for the early morning greeting...

Hakuna matata!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

14 months old!

Can you believe this sleeping beauty turns 14 months old today?!?!?

These are more pictures we received last month from what we believe was her first foster home for 8 months...

Is it possible for her to be any cuter?!?!

And yes, we're still waiting.

And no, we have no idea when we'll be traveling.

And yes, this about sums up the way I feel about the EP situation and our current wait....

We are ready to get this baby home!

Monday, September 12, 2011


A big THANK YOU to Mrs. Lee for sending Seon-Mi these adorable clothes all the way from Korea! (And thanks MaryAnn for dropping them off at our house!)

When I went to pick up Zoey, I had the pleasure to travel at the same time as a family that I met through our agency. Their son had an absolutely lovely and very kind foster mother, who I believe had fostered several children thru Holt, I want to say Rai was her 17th? (click on Rai's name to see him opening the box!) It was an amazing number, she was is an amazing woman, and she was so hospitable and invited me to tag along on several outings with MaryAnn, Aaron and Rai. I know that she checks my blog from time to time, so I hope this all translates for her! We love the clothes, Zoey is doing well, and we appreciate you thinking of us!

And Happy Chuseok 추석 to all! (Yet another excuse to eat yummy Korean food!

Friday, September 9, 2011

50 words and toddlers.

So, when we set out to adopt again, we didn't realize we would be adopting a toddler. I will be the first to tell you that it took some time for me to get used to. But after much thought and prayer, I will say that I am now very, very excited about it! She's walking, talking and eating table food! We often joke how fun it would be if she came home potty trained. :0) Ha! A girl can dream, right!

But she's speaking....Korean. And we do not. I remember Zoey at nine months old, looking at my lips when I spoke at our first meeting, unsure of why I looked like everyone else in Korea, but the words coming out of my mouth were very different! I even remember a caucasion friend of mine who speaks fluent Korean getting a similar look when she would speak to Zoey in Korean! It was very clear she knew there was a language difference.

When I met with her foster mother, I was prepared with all kinds of questions. Amongst them, what Zoey liked to be called and how to comfort her. Her Korean name is Seon-Mi, which is now her middle name, and it's pronounced 'sun-me'. In Korea, they will often times add an 'ah' sound at the end when addressing children. I heard her foster mother call her 'Seon-Mi-a' as she pat her on the back as she cried and called her '예쁘다', pronounced 'ee-poo-ta', which mean pretty. She said she would comfort her by holding her close with her head on her shoulder and whisper 'ee-poo-ta Seon-mi-a' in her ear. The social worker at Holt wrote it down on my list of notes.

I remember one of her first night's home, as she grieved the loss of everything familiar to her, I whispered this same phrase into her ear and she looked up at my face and stopped crying for a second...long enough to realize I was not her foster mother, but clear that she recognized that phrase. We used this phrase, amongst other Korean words here and there for many months after Zoey was home. Over time, she learned to be comforted by that phrase when we said it to her. While some of the Korean words we used have since faded, I am happy to say that Zoey, two and half years after homecoming, still responds to her Korean name without hesitation, especially when she's in trouble. :0) At nine months old, she was not very verbal and while I giggled when people would ask how she well she was picking up the language when she was that age, I realize that with an older child, just how important language is.

Our family has set a goal to learn 50 useful words before Emersyn comes home! My brother is traveling with me and his goal is to become fluent. :0) So far, he knows the word for 'rainbow' really well, so looks like we'll be all set when we travel to Korea!

But just in case we need to understand and say more than the word rainbow to Em, every week or so, our family is going to learn a new word, write it on a card, post it on the fridge, and start replacing the English word with the Korean one in our every day language. This way, when Emersyn gets home, we will be more equipped to understand what she's saying and help her to understand us.

So, if you'd like to learn along with us, I'll be posting the new word of the day as we learn them here!

We're going to start with 비행기 - bihaeng-gi, pronounced 'pee-hang-ee', which strangely enough is a word I already know. :) We have these Korean Children's Song DVDs that we listen to in the car pretty often and they use this word in one of the songs...and it happened to be the first word I learned when using Rosetta Stone, so there you go.

Obviously, I hope this word helps us to explain to Emersyn what's going to happen as we travel home. I'm sure this will be her first time on an airplane and it will be a very looooooooooong first ride on one! Don't use the word airplane very often in your every day discussions?!?!? Well, now you will!!

And we're also going to learn 'I'm hungry' - 배고파, pronounced 'pay-goo-pa'. Good phrase to know for a toddler who will be hungry for something other than formula in a bottle, which is pretty much all Zoey would 'eat' when she came home.

So there go. We will point to the sky and say pee-hang-gee and just before dinner you'll hear us saying 'pay-goo-pa'! (I believe the word 'hungry' is a different word, but equally important, so we'll make sure to learn that too!)

Native Korean speakers, please feel free to correct me. :0) My agency;s online forum provides a list of these phrases I'm using and google translate can only be so accurate!

Here they are, on our fridge and ready to be used. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

July Birthdays!

Before Zoey, there weren't any July birthdays in our immediate family to celebrate and now we have two!

Emersyn's first birthday was July 15 and what a weird day was that for me emotionally. I've never 'missed' one of my kids birthdays before and and though I knew from referral that we would, the day was still very bittersweet. I am thrilled beyond belief that she got to celebrate her Tol in Korea and hope there are lots of pics to document it! But of course, we would much rather of been with her on her big, special day. We are thankful to be her family though and know we will have many more birthdays with her to celebrate! Since Zoey's birthday is just two weeks later, she was convinced Emersyn's party was hers! Not sure what she thought about having a pic of Emersyn's face on her cake, but she went with it!

Here's a recap of the day! My brother, sister-in-law and their three kiddos joined us for the celebration and turned out to be a fun little party. :) (click on the image to view it larger!)

Upper left hand pic: That was my super lame, yet 'worked in my head' idea! We are in a huge drought down here in Texas and I had bought flying paper lanterns (yes, like the ones in the moview Tangled!) to float into the sky in honor of my girl's bdays, but got shot down as they would start a forest fire with how dry the ground is! So, I thought floating a single candle in our pool would represent her first year nicely, and the wind was so strong, we couldn't get it to light! So I literally snapped that pic in the half second it stayed lit. :) But thanks to my brother for trying to help me pull it off!! Next year, next year...

Then, on July 31, Zoey turned THREE!! I can hardly believe it!

Zoey is VERY into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and loves anything that has to do with it! So of course, it was all about him at her party! She had a blast, loved her party, loved her presents and loved that she is now able to tell people she is three!

Here's a couple pics from her big day! (click on the image to view it larger!)

I am now a proud, proud mama of a six year old, three year old and one year old!

Now if we could just all be living under one roof.....:0)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's up with the kiddos?!?!

Yah, remember when I said I was going to start keeping up with this blog?!?!? Hmmm...not quite sure what happened!! I think I'm at that point where I have so much to catch up on, I just don't post anything at all. :) Good logic, huh?

Well, this is my attempt to start 'catching up'!

Today was a good day in our house! Zoey started preschool! And for any of you who know her in person, you will know what a huge step this is for her! Huge! This was the first time we have ever really 'pushed' her to do something waaaaay outside her comfort zone. She won't even stay in the nursery at church by herself, and she knows all those people! But I am so happy to report that after about 15 minutes of tears (and some screaming) her teacher was able to calm her down while Danny and I stood out in the hall listening. It was hard to not run in there and hold her, I won't lie, but I knew she was in good hands and I knew she would have fun. Her teacher said she remained a little reserved and quiet the rest of the day, but did great! And we are looking forward to her growing from this experience! SO proud of her!!

And did I mention that she is now fully potty trained? Girlfriend made potty training an absolute breeze! Woke up last Tuesday and told her no more diapers and poof! Here we are a week later and she's even waking up dry from naps. I am one happy mama and glad to be done with diapers...till Emersyn gets home that is!!

Here she is this morning on our way to preschool! (excuse the lame cell phone pics!)

And of course, Braedan started first grade on August 22! He is doing so well (as expected!) and even has a few kids in his class from last year, which makes everything easier. His reading is amazing and he loves school, and his teacher.

Here he is on his first day of first grade!

And our third little munchkin was busy this month too! I was so surprised to receive over 20 photos of Emersyn! We think they are from her first foster family, who took care of her from 2 weeks old till early April, when she was transferred to a foster home in Seoul. Here's a few snapshots of this oh so adorable girly!

Look at that smile!

Love this candid shot of her smiling behind that bottle!

So what's the latest on our adoption process? Well, we are completely paper ready on the US side. And we are currently waiting on what could be some very good news for our family...last week it was announced that the Korean Ministry will now provide priority Emigration Permits to Korean-American couples. What does this mean exactly? Well, our US agency has been notified about this new policy, but has yet to receive the actual details. At this point, without this new policy, we would lucky to be traveling early spring of next year. With this new policy, we hope that that time frame will be greatly shortened, but are awaiting official word. As you can imagine, this news is very exciting to us, but also bittersweet as the extended wait times for families right now continues to drag on and families continue to wait to bring their babies home. We are trying to remain as positive as possible and just remember that it's all in God's hands at this point and Emersyn will come home when the time is right. (and yes, we hope it's sooner rather than later!)

Waiting for relief from the wicked hot weather and drought...but in the mean time, staying cool and enjoying every last second in the pool!

Now let's see if I can keep up with this blog from here on out! :)