Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of the Year!

Wow, how can this year be over already?

As always, it was pretty exciting. We moved - again. This time into a permanent home that we will be in for years to come. Kinda scary when you think the one consistent thing in our life has been that the next move is surely just right around the corner!

We got a new cat who is doing the best he can to prepare us for parenthood. I haven't slept in months and I really need to childproof catproof our cabinets and drawers.

One of my highlights of the year was visting my friends and family in Germany, which I don't get to do nearly as often as I'd like. Next time I go, I will have the Little One with me, and will be able to outfit him/her in a Lederhosen/Dirndl.

We did lots and lots of adoption stuff. There was the paperwork, fingerprints and more fingerprints, the home study meetings, conferences, waiting parents meetings.... I read a ton of adoption/attachment books (and have yet to read more). While I know that I have so much to learn about adoption, I have come such a long way compared to where I was a year ago.

It was a great year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My new obsession

My mother in law gave us the baby the cutest books for Christmas. I especially love the two Jan Brett books. I am sure all Americans know them, but I didn't until now. What can I say - I am in love and will have to collect all of her books! The drawings are just fabulous and I love that the stories take place in different parts of the world.

There are a ton of free activities on her website:
I can't wait until I have an excuse to do the coloring activities...

In Search Of....

I have known what kind of carrier I will want for months now, and just yesterday I checked on the internet just to see if I could find it anywhere for a little less than retail. Come to find out, they don't make the design I wanted anymore! It's a tragedy ;-)

You can't buy it in the US anymore at all, but I did find it on a German website. Thanks to the exchange rate it's 1.5 times as much as it is here and I will have to think about how much I really want this specific design.

So, if you know anyone who is selling their Beco Butterfly II with the Owl design - I want it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Frohe Weihnachten

In Germany, today, Christmas Eve, is when we celebrate Christmas. The day is spent decorating the Christmas tree and waiting for the "Christkind" to bring the presents. The day is spent in anticipation, and there is just nothing like being called into the living room and seeing the lit candles on the tree (yes, we used to have real candles on the tree) and the presents under the tree. My mom would always make us sing Christmas songs before opening the presents, which was actually quite dreadful since none of us can hold a tune. Our family tradition is to have fondue on Christmas Eve, and to this day I refuse to have anything different for dinner on Christmas Eve. At midnight, we'd go to mass in one of the nearby churches.

I always get a little very home sick on Christmas and miss my parents, my friends, and Germany in general. We'll see how long I'll make it today before I'm in tears ;-).
I also miss being little and being able to enjoy this day to the fullest.

This year may be the last year that The Husband and I spend Christmas without children. I've managed to keep as much of "my" traditions alive as possible since we moved to the US and I hope that we can keep some of these traditions when the Litte One is home. It makes me a little sad that our child will never be able to experience Christmas the way that I did, but I do hope that this day will be as special and magical to him/her as it was to me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A year ago today

I finally dropped off our application at our adoption agency.

I remember the whirlwind of activity that ensued and am very very happy that all those appointments are behind us.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My wonderful husband

Even though he does get on my last nerve from time to time (male humor, anyone?), I feel so lucky to be married to him, for many reasons.

As we're growing our family, I'm the one who has been reading most of the adoption/attachment books and knows every little step that has to happen in the process to bring our baby home. But there is barely a day that goes by on which he doesn't mention our child. On the 8th of every month he comments that it's been x months since our paperwork went to Korea. He proudly tells all of his friends and acquaintances that we're adopting and that this is so exciting. He talks about all the things he wants to do with our child (no, I will not be coming along on that wilderness trip). He is even researching schools (even though it's a bit early for that one).

It is the most special thing in the world to see him look forward to our child and I can't wait to see the two of them together.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's been three months...

since our paperwork went to Korea! Time is flying. While I know that the average time frame to referral for our agency is 6-8 months, I know several people who have gotten theirs around the three month mark. Our Korean agency is almost out of referrals for this year, but secretly I am hoping that we will get a referral in January along with two friends of mine so we can all travel together. You can always dream, right?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Heavy Heart

Lately I have been thinking much about the ethics and necessity of adoption.

I've been reading about birth parents and grown adoptees, their heartbreaks and struggles. I've been reading the opinions of those that think adoption is evil, and that adoptive parents buy children. I've been reading more moderate opinions of those that think (IMO rightfully so) that there is a lot wrong with adoption today, and there needs to be a sweeping reform.

I've been thinking about how I can justify fulfilling my desire to adopt while there are so many things that need to be changed about adoption. The last thing I want is to contribute to a first mother losing her child, just because I want to adopt. Would I be doing that? I know there are those that believe we a-parents are the root of all evil and without us most children would be growing up with their birthfamily. They call us greedy and naive.

Some people believe that all a-parents are rich and infertile, and adoption is the only way they can have children. But that's not the case. Most families who adopt are middle class, and many of us struggle with the cost of adoption. And yes, 80% of couples adopt after infertility, but that still leaves 20% of people who choose adoption over having biological children. Are there people who would do anything to have a child, even if it meant knowingly taking away children from their families? I am sure. Does this represent the majority of a-parents? No.

It's our responsibility as a-parents to be fully informed about all aspects of adoption, but it is hard to find objective information. Is there even such a thing in adoption? I am beginning to think that there is very little information that isn't somehow "tainted" in one way or the other. It is such an emotional topic for all that are involved, and many seem to paint adoption in a way that makes them feel better about the role that they play in it, whether they're first mothers, adoptees, or a-parents.

I am having a hard time coming up with an answer to the question: If it weren't for international adoption, would my child not grow up in a family? That's what our family should be - a last resort for this child.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Today seems to be THE day to officially acknowledge all the things we Americans are grateful for. While I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving (being German and all), I have come to like the tradition of saying out loud what we are grateful for in our lives at least once a year. Also, I love me some Thanksgiving food!

So here is my list:

Every day I am grateful for the life I have had so far, it's been amazing!
Despite all the differences I have had with my parents over the years (and still do) I am so thankful for all they have done for me. As children we take everything for granted, but I can now see the sacrifices they have made. I'm sure that soon I will value them even more as I find out how hard being a parent really is.

I'm grateful to have a husband who is on the adoption rollercoaster right alongside me, even though he doesn't seem to notice the ups and downs as much as I do.

I am thankful to have friends to share my life with, be they near or far.

In these difficult times I am so grateful to have a home to call our own (well, really the bank can call it its own), and to be able to live comfortably. While I would clearly love to win the lottery and give up my job to hang out a home all day, I am so thankful that both the husband and I are employed.

I am thankful to be the servant to two amazing little kitties who make our lives so much brighter and keep us on our toes.

And I am grateful to be on the journey to completing our family. What a ride it's been already!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks for Asking!

Today I had lunch with a co-worker and she asked all about our adoption.
It felt so so SO good to have someone asking sincere questions, without making any assumptions about anything - the process, me, my husband, the child, the birthparents, or the Korean adoption program.

It was so nice to be able to just talk about how it all works and how exciting this is for us, and to actually be heard.

I think that I am also learning an important lesson here. I always have been one to quickly assume things and come up with my own theory on things that happen to other people, whether I know anything about the situation or not. And yet there are few things that annoy me more than people making assumptions about the adoption instead of asking me about it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Fernweh is a German word that means the opposite of Heimweh.
Heimweh can easily be translated into homesickness. Fernweh is an aching for foreign places. I have been suffering from one or the other my entire life, and right now I am experiencing Fernweh for Korea.

I just can't wait to go to Korea!
Not only because when we go to Korea we will be adding a member to our family, but also because I can't wait to see the country that I have been reading so much about over this past year.

I love to travel, and have not done any international travel since I came to the US over 5 years ago (other than going home to Germany twice, and that doesn't count). I so can't wait to be immersed in another culture, albeit it will only be for a week. While I'd love to stay longer when we go, we won't be able to take custody of our child until the last day in Korea, and completing our family takes priority over sightseeing. Of course the German in me wants to stay for at least a month, but I guess the American and most of all the mother in me will prevail.

I'm already thinking of things to do while we are there. Yes that is crazy since we still have such a long time to go!

One thing I would love to do is take a Korean cooking class. It kind of combines my two passions in life - travel and food. There can't be a better way to learn about Korean cooking than in Korea. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Seriously, I am so ready to go!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Second hand pregnancy

One of my best friends is currently pregnant with her first baby, and she is due in May (around the same time we are hoping to receive our referral).

Since my baby will come ready made, so to speak, I really have not thought much about pregnancy and fetus development beyond potential health problems our child might have.

While I am attending waiting parents meetings, reading about attachment, and learning about Korea, she is going to doctor's appointments, reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting", and learning about her growing baby. And I am learning all kinds of things about pregnancy and how babies develop, which I would have never known otherwise. Like how fetuses are covered in fuzz and pee in the mom's womb. Those may have been bits of knowledge that I could've lived without, but it's really cool for me to experience pregnancy "second hand" because after all, our baby developed in its first mom's womb and its life did not start as a 9 month old (or however old it may be at that time) when it comes home.

It is great to be on the path to motherhood at the same time, and while our paths to get there are different, in the end we'll still have many of the same joys and worries.

In the meantime, I will enjoy unpasteurized cheese, salami, and cocktails!

One year ago today

On November 15th of last year, we spent the day at our adoption agency for our pre-adoption class. How can it have been a year already?

We were a mixed crowd, with three couples pursuing international adoption, and three couples in the domestic adoption program. Some of us already had children at home, others would be waiting for their first child. One couple was actually expecting their first child through birth at that time.

What stayed with me, even after a year, is the amazing experience of realizing that adoption feels like the right way to build our family. This event is also when I learned to always bring tissues to adoption events. Our group discussed issues of fertility (or rather lack thereof), race, raising a child from a different culture, and incorporating the first family into our lives, and at some point or another every woman in the room was in tears.

The most important part of the day were our speakers. They included a first mother who made an adoption plan for her daughter (for an open adoption), an adoptee who is now in reunion with her first family, and adoptive parents who brought their son home from Korea a few months earlier. Especially having the birth mother and adoptee there to speak to us was such an important experience. When in real life would we ever be able to ask such personal questions and actually have them answered?

Unfortunately we lost touch with most of the couples, but I did meet a good friend that day who is also waiting for her child from Korea. I do know that one of the couples in the domestic program was matched with their son this year and I am so happy for them.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where is God in all of this?

Do I dare discuss religion?

Many adoptive parents believe that it was God who gave them the miracle of their child, and many times when the wait seems to become unbearable, advice and consolation such as "God's timing is perfect" is given.

But shouldn't God have given our child's birth parents the miracle of raising their child, and shouldn't God have made the timing perfect for this child's biological parents? Why should His timing be perfect for us but not them?

I really have a hard time with the notion that God meant this child to grow up with us as their parents. Surely He did not mean for a birth mother to go through so much pain and anguish so I could experience the joy of parenting her child. How can He plan for one woman to have to make such a difficult choice and a child to experience so much loss?

I am struggling with wrapping my head around the concept that this is how things were meant to be, for all that are involved.

I have always believed that things in my life have happened for a reason, and it's been an amazing ride. And while I can embrace that adoption is a miracle in my life, my heart breaks for this unknown woman who will go through a loss I cannot even begin to imagine, and I currently fail to see how this pregnancy could have happened for a reason that will ultimately lead her to a place of happiness.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We're two months into our official wait!

Not that I'm counting ....

Going by the current averages for our agency we're only 4-6 months away from our referral! That's assuming that we will fall into that average time span, which I am certainly hoping! I know there's nothing for granted in international adoption and that timeframes change on a whimsy, but it's good to feel like we are making some progress here. Hopefully we'll have the little one home next fall! I'm already so excited about travelling to Korea and it sounds like late summer/fall would be a beautiful time to go.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

While we're waiting...

Waiting. Is that a synonym for adoption? It sure seems like it is! There's the wait to wait, the wait for referral, and then the wait for travel. Oh yeah, and then the wait until finalization. That's a lot of waiting!

In an effort to do something useful with the time, we've thought long and hard about the things we need to or want to do now, before the little one comes home. 

1. Weekends away!

We both love to travel, and we might not be travelling for a while once we add baby to the family. We started with a night at a B&B in Charlottesville, which was FABULOUS. We're also planning on a night in NYC before Christmas (or at least a day).

2. Home improvement

This sounds so much better in theory. We're decked out with home improvement books and have a list of things we'd love to do with our home, but as it turns out, it is taking us 2 whole days just to recaulk our shower. Maybe this isn't our forte!?

3. Photography

I finally want to learn more about taking pictures! I love to snap photos, but am the most impatient person in the world. I have vowed to learn the ins-and-outs of my camera before we go to Korea so I can shoot incredible pictures.

4. Back to learning Korean

So it's been a while since our Korean class and unfortunately it seems as if we've forgotten most of it. Hubby brought home Korean CD's from the library and that's what we're listening to during our commutes. Something will stick!

I'd love to join another class, but there doesn't seem to be much close to home.

I'm pretty sure that this list will continue to grow.


Speaking of waiting, this weekend my heart goes out to all Eastern families who found out that their travel will be delayed for several months. Instead of the typical 3-5 month wait after referral to bring their children home, they are now facing a wait that may take up to 8 -9 months after referral.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

OK, so I am caving.

I really didn't want to buy anything until we got a referral. Since I am the only woman on the planet who hates shopping, that really shouldn't be that hard to do. Or so I thought. It turns out that baby stuff may be the one thing I actually enjoy buying. We're holding off on stuff like clothes until we know who our child is, but are keeping our eyes out for good deals on the bigger stuff. With this being our first child, we have literally nothing, and aren't even sure of what we need. So if we come across things that we love and that are reasonably priced, we'll just buy them.

I did start a mini-shopping spree on Amazon and ordered some books. This child better like books as much as we do!

P.S.: We're already a month into our wait!

Why I envy pregnant women

Here's why I envy pregnant women:

1. They have to wait only 9 months from conception to holding that baby in their arms.

2. They have a growing belly to prove to the world (and themselves) that they are going to have a child.

3. Everywhere they go, they are the center of attention (see #2)

4. They have a due date!

5. They don't have to defend their love for their unborn child.

6. They have their own parking spots.

7. What great excuse for leaving work early!

8. Paid maternity leave.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Alison Larkin is coming to town!

We saw Alison Larkin during an adoption conference earlier this year and thought she was brilliant. I am so excited that she will be back in the area this year and we will definitely see her!

To find out if she is coming to your neck of the woods, check her website:

She is absolutely fabulous and a must see!

Her book, The English American, is a great read. (No, I am not getting a cut of the profits, I am just a fan).

Congrats to Katherine Heigl!

Congrats to Katherine Heigl and her husband on adopting a baby girl from South Korea!

Here she is making her announcement on the Ellen show:

I am so happy she decided to share this on TV; I think it's wonderful that the public is getting a glance at adoption and what it takes to become an adoptive parent.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Officially Waiting!

Today our homestudy, along with some other paperwork, was sent to Korea and we are now officially waiting for our referral!

The average wait time until referral is currently 6 - 8 months, but I do know of several people who received theirs in 3 -4 months.

I'm excited!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Furry Baby Freddy




Since I've posted a picture of our newest furry family member, I need to post one of our sweet Freddy. Here he is!

As I mentioned below, Freddy found The Husband at the mailboxes at our old apartment complex in Georgia and decided to move in with us when he was about 7 weeks old.

He's been through a lot with us - many many moves, car rides, plane trips, hotels, apartments, and homes.

He is the most loving little guy and especially loves the ladies!

We feel so lucky to have him in our lives.

(Yes, you may call me the Crazy Cat Lady)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our special needs adoption ;-)

Four years ago, when we were living in an apartment complex in Georgia, the sweetest, cutest, and feistiest little baby kitten found The Husband in the parking lot and decided to move in with us. Since then, our little Freddy has grown to be the sweetest, cutest, and feistiest cat on the planet. He's lived in 5 apartments and 3 houses with us and has travelled across the US in a car and on a plane. Ever since he started living with us and we became his servants, we've been promising him that he could have a playmate one day. Today is that day!

We've been looking on the internet at all the cats available for adoption through our local rescue organization and decided to go to an adoption event at Petsmart today. There were so many cuties, and we could not decide which one would be the best fit for our sweetie. The same organization was having an event at another Petsmart 40 minutes away, and we decided to look there as well. When we got there, we described what we were looking for (good with cats, loving, playful, good with toddlers) and they showed us a cat that would be perfect. And then they started telling us about another cat they'd had for a long time, who would also be a good match, but who was deaf. We looked in the cage, and a handsome, albeit dirty, white cat looked back. We took him out of the cage to go to the backroom to play with him and I fell in love with the little guy. He was at a kill shelter and his time was running out. Apparently people were hesitant to bring home a deaf cat.

I'm happy to announce that he is now a member of our family. The Husband and I have been taking turns staying with him in the guest room, and he is just the sweetest thing. He's played extensively with his new mouse toy, snuggled and cuddled, and had lots and lots of water.

We are keeping him in the guest room for two weeks and will then introduce him to our Freddy. I hope with all of my heart that he is the companion Freddy needs and that they will become best friends.

Welcome to your forever family, Casper!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Adoption T-Shirts On Cafe Press

These are all available from different vendors on I think they are hilarious and/or adorable.

"So far no morning sickness.. But the papercuts are terrible"

Paper Cuts Jr. Ringer T-Shirt

Paper Pregnant Women's V-Neck T-Shirt

Infant/Toddler T-Shirt

"don't tell my parents" infant/toddler t-shirt

I-171H issued AND received!

After taking up our adoption officer's entire day with a long email conversation about our missing I-171H (that's the approval for the I-600A, for those that are keeping track of form numbers) and almost having a heart attack when USCIS asked for our home study update to be faxed (should that not have been there all along?), all is good. USCIS reissued the document and the lady was nice enough to even fax a copy of the I-171H to me. Unfortuntately our contact at the agency had already left for the long weekend  (just a couple of minutes earlier), but now our file is FINALLY ready to go to Korea and will hopefully do so on Tuesday. Hallelujah.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great News!

I emailed the USCIS office yesterday and very promptly received a very polite response that our I-600A was approved last week!! Yay! My guess is that either it got lost in the mail or they mailed it to the old address. I am to contact them again if I don't receive it by the end of the week and they will mail another one. So by the end of next week our home study should be able to go to Korea. Woohoo!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This should not be taking this long

You are sick of listening to me whine about the lack of I-600A approval, and I am sick of waiting and wondering what went wrong this time. I have semi-official confirmation that this is taking way too long, and it looks like our agency is going to contact USCIS soon to ask about the status of our application *gasp*. Contacting USCIS is a huge deal, since they are usually not to be bothered, and since contacting them makes them like you even less and can even have an adverse effect on the speed your paperwork is being processed at. In this state, we all live in fear of the USCIS lady! By now I am scared that they are going to deny us, which is actually pretty unheard of, but with all the mishaps we've already had, who knows.

I am honestly feeling like I am making this whole adoption thing up. I will soon be travelling to Germany and had planned to do some shopping for the baby, as some of the things available in Germany are hard to come by here, but I really don't think I can get myself to buy anything for this elusive baby. I mean, we're not even offically waiting on a referral!

Since we moved in our home, which was previoulsy inhabited by a family with 3 children, we've been on the receiving end of tons upon tons of catalogs and magazines pertaining to babies, children, and all things purchasable for them. I browse through them, but don't even feel like this stuff will ever be applicable to me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Waiting Parents

This week we had another Waiting Parents Meeting, an event that I usually look forward to. This time, I felt apprehensive about going, and I left a little sad.

There was an awesome speaker (check out her blog: who talked about raising her two Korean-born children. Originally the topic was supposed to be how to integrate your child's culture into your family's life, but we ended up discussing all sorts of topics related to adoption and raising children.

We caught up with the people we already knew, and as always, met some new people. I really enjoy chatting with everyone, but this time I have to admit that I became a little jealous of how fast everyone else is moving along. It seems as if everyone is speeding through the USCIS approval process and is then receiving their referral in record speed as well. Of course I am happy for those families, but I am also jealous that our process is so much slower than everyone else's. One couple there submitted their home study to USCIS in January and is about to travel to Korea to pick up their son. That's only 7 months!

This whine brings me to something that Margie, our speaker, said. She talked about how, when she went through the process of adopting her first child, the finish line was bringing her baby home. She said that in her mind, everything would be okay once she had that baby in her arms. But really, that is not the end, but the very beginning.

Right now, I am in that place where I obsess about the process of bringing a baby home. I don't believe that having that baby home will make me any happier, make any of my mundane problems go away (probably the opposite!) , or make my life more interesting. I also know that it's really not about just getting a baby home, but it's about raising that child. Yet my thoughts are consumed with timelines and paperwork. For me, right now, the finish line is bringing home our child. It's going to be the end of this chapter of our lives, but also the beginning of a completely different life, one that I can't even begin to imagine. Maybe that is why for many of us in the process our fairy tale ending is having our child home - the journey we are on right now is real, whatever lies in the future is beyond anything that we can imagine.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to Waiting on USCIS

We're in our new house! We were so lucky, once the last box was in the house it started pouring. Now we're busy unpacking and learning our way around our new neighborhood. I can't go anywhere without my GPS.

It's a total culture shock going from being so close to the city to the suburbs, but I am sure we will get used to it soon.

Our social worker came to see us on Sunday and we made our way through the boxes to show her around the house. It was a quick visit, and we were done within an hour.

Today our agency notified us that they sent the updated home study and all supporting documents to USCIS. Yay! I really hope that the 9 - 12 week wait for approval does not start all over. And I hope that this time around we actually do get an approval!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trucking along

Ironically, since I know that it is currently impossible to get the approval from USCIS, I am feeling much better. I guess I just can't stand the unknown.

We're gathering paperwork for our home study update, and our social worker will visit our new home in 1.5 weeks, right after we move in.

In the meantime, we've been crazy busy. We finally realized that movers are not magically going to appear out of the blue, and that we actually have to pack up our stuff ourselves. Imagine that. So we're frantically trying to jam our belongings into boxes. Where did all that stuff come from? Why have we been lugging it with us every single move? I don't know, but it is coming with.

I've also been super stressed at work, which is such a blessing in disguise, because while I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I have absolutely no time to think about the adoption.

Hopefully this next week will fly by and we'll be in our new place next Friday. and ready for the social worker visit. I am also praying that our home study update will be completed on time to go to USCIS before their deadline. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You've got mail - it's just not what you hope it is

When I saw that we had mail from USCIS today, I got very excited. But when I saw that it was on white paper, my excitement quickly dwindled.

On a positive note, we know that someone has touched our file. On a not so positive one, there has been a royal screw up regarding some documents and our home study, and we're going to be back to paperchasing again. So after almost 7 months of this, we're back at the beginning.

Please excuse me while I have a screaming fit and my first official nervous breakdown of this adoption.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Note to Self

Thinking about the lady at the local USCIS office every single waking moment does not make her process our I-600A any faster. Must find new things to obsess about.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why is this anyone's business?

Since I am a HGTV addict, I have been blissfully spared from an overkill of Michael Jackson coverage in the media. But even in the little bubble I live in, I have been exposed to all the speculation and talk around his death. I totally get that he was an icon and that people are going to talk about his life and his death. I also understand that many people have different opinions about all the drama in his life. I wasn't there, so I cannot judge what actually happend (or didn't).

Here's what irks me as a PAP: the constant talk about his children. Why are people so interested in who the biological parents are? And why do so many people think that the children should live with their bio mothers, when they haven't been involved in their lives for years, or even never. Why do people care if Michael Jackson was their biological father? Even if he wasn't - he was their dad.

I think it would be a blessing for these children to know their biological parents (assuming that MJ was not the sperm donor), but who these parents are and what relationship they have with these children should be a private matter.

I got into a shouting match with someone over who the children should live with, because this person was convinced that the kids must stay with their bio moms, or at least another blood relative.

It makes me so sad for my future children that society seems to value blood over love. So many people will not be able to accept us as a family, because we will not share genes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The first purchase for baby

We weren't going to buy anything for the baby until the referral, but there is one thing we thought was really important and we felt it would be best to go ahead and make the purchase already. So we bought a house!

We really wanted to give our child a permanent home that he or she can grow up in, so we started looking for homes several months ago. Let's just say we didn't have the best of luck, but we finally closed on a home last week. We will be moving at the end of July! I have to admit that it is a major step for me to move to the suburbs, but the need to provide a stable home in a safe area outweighs my irrational fear of the 'burbs. It can't be that bad, right?

I have never understood why people always seemed to buy houses when they were about to have a baby, but here we are, doing the same thing. We're really looking forward to finally settling down and having a home.

Of course this means that we will get to see our social worker again to do a home study update, which in turn will have to be forwarded to USCIS. I am hoping this will be smoother than I fear!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Did you know?

Just love the video! I did not post this for the polictical message at the end!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What to say when someone tells you they're adopting.

What's the appropriate thing to say when someone tells you they're adopting?

One word: "Congratulations!"

You might also say: "That is wonderful news", "I am so happy for you", or as one of my friends put it " Omigod, you're having a baby!"

Things I personally don't want to hear right after my announcement:

"My aunt/co-worker/friend's cousin adopted a child"

And why should I care? Unless one of your best friends adopted, and you were therefore involved in the process, or I also know the person you are referring to, I frankly don't care. It makes it sound like you're trying to make me feel like it's okay to adopt and I'm not the only one. Which are not facts that are new to me. Or you're trying to tell me that you know all about adoption, which unless one of your very close friends went through it, you don't. And quite frankly, and maybe selfishly, this moment is not about you, it's about me!

"My friend/husband's niece's brother-in-law/some random person I've heard of adopted and they had to give the child back"

also: "XYZ adopted and their child turned out to be mentally ill/handicapped"

That's like you telling me that you're pregnant and me responding with "I have a friend that was pregnant and she lost her child in the 8th month of pregnancy" or "My co-worker was pregnant and her child was born with no feet and they had to carry him everywhere for the rest of his life".

And this is one I just love: "XYZ adopted - and then they got pregnant."

Sure, there's nothing like adoption to cure someone's alleged infertility. I guess if this is your answer, you are assuming that they were infertile, and still desperatly want a bio child, and that the same is the case for me. (I suspect you must also be one of those people who give advice like "Just relax and you'll get pregnant" or "My friend tried to become pregnant for 4 years and then went to the beach and came back preggers"). This comment is offensive to everyone; those who indeed struggled with infertility, and those who chose adoption even if they might be able to have bio kids.

Seriously, people, a simple "congrats" will do!


So when I thought I would be able to relax while waiting for the I-600A approval, I was wrong! It's almost been four weeks since we were fingerprinted, and obviously we haven't heard anything from USCIS. We don't know if our fingerprints were approved, and if so, when. I hate not knowing! For all I know, they could've lost our paperwork. It's been a little over 6 months since we officially started this process, and somehow I don't feel like we've made any progress (even though in my head I know we have).

I just found out that two of my friends are pregnant, and I am so happy for them! I don't envy them for having to get big (and bigger), having morning sickness, having to give birth (that can't feel good), and having to deal with a newborn, but I very much envy the fact that they have a due date! How cool would it be to know the approximate date, plus/minus two weeks, on which you'll become a parent!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fingerprinting - check!

On Tuesday we went to get fingerprinted. We were an hour early and then realized that no one cared if we showed up at the time of our appointment, just as long as we came in on that day. So in theory we could've just went at 8 a.m. and not missed half a day of work. We had to draw a number and an hour and thirty people later, they took our fingerprints and we were done.

So now we sit and wait. We're still not done gathering our pictures and writing the letter to the birth family, and I am currently feeling very unmotivated to do so. On one hand I do want everything to be ready for when the approval comes, but on the other hand it's hard to do it right now when it's not needed until about three months down the road. I don't function well without impending deadlines!

I am a little relieved that we've almost done everything we can do and are now just waiting, so we can sit back and enjoy our time as a couple. The past few months we've had to do so much for the adoption that it was always on my mind and we talked about it constantly. Now we can just go back to being a couple for another year or so before we get the referral of our son or daughter.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We got our appointment to be fingerprinted in the mail today.Of course our appointment will be on a weekday in the middle of the day, so I'll have to take an entire day off work (in this town, my 10 mile drive to work takes about 1 - 2 hours). 

I don't want to jinx it, but so far I'm very happy with our USCIS office, even though they have one of the longest processing times. I've personally had a great experience with USCIS (in a different state though) when I became a citizen, so I am hopeful that things go well again this time.  I don't want to think about the horror stories that I've heard (and know to be true). 

Most USCIS offices have one (or more) employees dedicated only to adoption cases. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as if the states with more cases get more personnel. In some offices the turn around time for orphan visas is literally days (many of the offices in the Mid-West fall in that category), and other offices take 3 months and longer. Our neighboring state  processes visas in about a month, ours takes three. The USCIS office in Orlando was even taking 5-7 months! 

I wish the government would make more funds available to staff all offices appropriately, especially for the processing of the I-600. This is the visa you have to apply for once you've been matched with a specific child (which is in the far future for us), while the I-600A, which we've just applied for, is a general permission for us to bring an orphan to the United States. 

While slow processing times for the I-600A are holding up the process for us, the wait for the I-600 will be much more painful. 

Imagine being pregnant for 20 months or longer, and then you finally give birth to the child you have been dreaming about for so long. The hospital staff takes the baby - YOUR baby - but instead of putting it in your arms, they only show it to you briefly. It is the most beautiful child you have ever seen, and you ache to hold it. But they don't hand you the child; they whisk it away and tell you that you now you have to wait for your paperwork to process, which will take 3 - 6 months. During that time, all you have are a few pictures to look at and monthly updates about the progress your child is making - without you. 

While bureaucracy is necessary, I would love to see an improvement in those wait times!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all moms in the world - whether you're a mom to your biological children, an adoptive mom, a step-mom, a foster mom, or a first mom. May your children appreciate everything you do and all you've sacrificed for them. And if they don't appreciate it now, I hope they will appreciate it when they are grown.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Home Study Approved!

Can I get a woohoo!?

Our home study has been completed, officially approved, and mailed to USCIS, so they can begin processing the I-600A. 

Our agency emailed us the home study for review on Tuesday night, made the few corrections we suggested, and approved it the next day. 

It is very beautifully written, they did an amazing job. It is very weird to read about our lives on paper and from the perspective of another person. How they were able to condense everything into 17 pages is beyond me. They seem to have covered every aspect of our lives, and the lives of our immediate family members. I even learned something new about my husband! 

The home study includes sections about each of us, our marriage, our values, our outlook on parenting, and the factual part listing our financials, medical information etc. 

The most surreal thing was to read the title "mother" and then my name. Sometimes I feel that we get so wrapped up in the process, the technicalities of the paperwork, and the long wait, that it's almost easy to forget what is at the end of all of this.

We are almost done with our part, now all that is missing is a letter to the birth family and some photos of us that will accompany the home study when it eventually goes to Korea. I have to admit that I am so clueless on which photos to send (I am always taking pictures, so I am in none of them), and even more so on what to write to the birth family. We were told that it is highly unlikely that the birth family will ever read our letter, but what if they do? I do not have the slightest idea what to say.  But the cluelessness doesn't stop there; I am even obsessing about what kind of stationary I should use! 

We'll probably finish this in the next couple of weeks, so everything is ready to go to Korea when our I-600A is approved (the estimate for that is mid-September - yikes!).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not much going on

There really are no news.

Our social worker met with our in-person reference a week and a half ago (a huge THANK YOU - you know who you are), and our home study is now being written. By the end of the week  it should be complete, and we should receive a copy to review. It'll be interesting to see what our life looks like on paper.

Once we approve, it can finally go to USCIS so they can work on our I-600A. In some states this takes weeks, in others months (guess what kind of state we live in). USCIS has a staffing problem! 

We also had another waiting parents meeting and it seems as if everyone is miles and miles ahead of us and we will never  ever get there. 

If this was a normal pregnancy, we would be almost halfway through!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Last Home Study Visit

On Saturday we saw our social worker for the last time until after we have our baby (unless we have to update our homestudy). She came to our house to make sure we have originals of all the documents we handed in and then we did a very quick tour of the apartment. To my own surprise I did not panic and clean all day, and I am glad I didn't! It was totally pain free.

Now our social worker will write the homestudy within the next couple of weeks and then it will get sent to USCIS. This will start our visa application process to bring an orphan to the US from Korea.

On one hand I am so relieved to be done with this part, but on the other hand I am dreading the coming wait. Everything will be out of our control and we will completely rely on others to do their job as fast and efficient as possible.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Still Learning Korean

We're several weeks into our Korean class, and we now know the alphabet (sort of) and are starting to put together simple sentences. We're both struggling with being disciplined enough to study the vocabulary, but we're definitely making progress. I wonder if anyone in Korea would be able to understand what we are trying to say. It has been so long since we've attempted to learn another language. And I have new found respect for children who are just learning to read and write; it is a very difficult thing to do!

One big highlight of the class for me are the yummy (and weird) Korean snacks they put out at breaktime. I can't help it, I love to eat!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Adoption - Sponsored by Kleenex

Today we went to an amazing conference focusing on adoptees and their experiences growing up. It was such a great experience to hear from the only people who can actually speak about what it is like to grow up adopted. We went to sessions talking about birth parent reunions, homeland tours, and issues of transracial adoption. It was eyeopening, scary, heartbreaking, and reaffirming at the same time. We also saw many familiar faces, and made new acquaintances. I know I keep on saying this, but there is such an amazing instant bond to others in the adoption community. Hopefully our child will feel the same support. 

And, as always, the Kleenex tissue box played a prominent role for everyone involved. I have never once went to an adoption related event where people were able to hold back tears for longer than about 10 to 15 minutes into the event. 

The most entertaining, yet eye-opening, part was the introduction by Alison Larkin. She was born in the US, but adopted by English parents and grew up in Africa and England. She has a one woman comedy show based on her adoption. If you ever have a chance to see her, do so! I just got started on her book, The English American, and it is a fabulous read. Check her out here:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What Should I Feel?

Everyone knows that I am very excited about this adoption. I will get to be a mom! I am enjoying the anticipation, and I am very much looking forward to the moment that we can hold our child for the first time. 

But, adoption is not all warm and fuzzy. It involves significant loss and pain for both my child and its first parents. 

While we are gaining a family member, the other parties are losing theirs. 

It makes me wonder if it is even appropriate for me to feel the way I do. Does my wish for a child automatically mean that I wish for the first parents to lose their child? For the child to lose its first parents? Is it right to feel joy about becoming a parent when this event will likely cause so much trauma to others? 

But what would the appropriate feelings be, if not joy and happiness? 

Would it be fair to this child if I felt sad about its arrival? Would the first parents be able to raise this child themselves if we weren't adopting it? 

I will continue to look forward to the parenting experience, but I hope I will always remember that adoption means both loss and gain.

Second Homestudy Visit!

Today I had my individual appointment with our social worker. I actually enjoyed it and had a great time chatting with her. OK, so it was more of a one-sided chat, but she made me feel very comfortable. We basically talked all about my life so far, from my childhood through now. I had a hard time remembering some dates, I should have brought a cheat sheet! And I am not a very quick thinker and had a bit of a hard time coming up with one favorite memory involving my husband (I don't know why I picked the one I did) and three words that describe him. 

Hubby's appointment is next and then it'll be time for the much dreaded home visit!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fish out of Water

As a prospective parent I am trying to find as much information as I can about raising a happy and healthy child into a happy and healthy adult. I am clueless in so many ways, and am currently using the internet as my primary source of information. 

I love learning from other people's experiences, and thus have been looking at a wide variety of blogs of adoptive parents and adoptees. I was hoping to learn how parenting an adoptive child will be different from raising a biological child, and wanted to see what mattered to adult adoptees reflecting on their experience growing up. What I found scared the living bejesus out of me!

There is a very large population of "angry adoptees" out there, who are very vocal about how adoption has impacted their lives in a very negative way. Not all of them are transracial or transcultural adoptees, but since I focused on the expereinces of adoptees from Korea, the majority of search results that popped up were KADs. 

A recurring theme was their feeling that they did not feel like they did not belong in American society, and should have never been taken away from their own culture.

First, let me say that I wholeheartedly agree that in a perfect world, every child would have a loving and secure home with their birth family. In a less perfect world, every child would be cared for by an adoptive family in their country of birth. In our world, children find families across oceans. But they do find families. 

Second, I do not believe in the myth that there are millions of healthy children in the world who are waiting for adoption. While there are certainly millions of children who are in need of a good home, most of them are not sitting in orphanages waiting for a Western family to come along and rescue them. And yes, sadly in some countries, adopting children out to the "West" is nothing but a money maker. But there are those children in foreign countries that are "available for adoption" (oh how I hate how that sounds) to Western families because their country cannot take care of them. Reasons may be poverty or just the societal stucture. In Korea, children are available for domestic adoption until the age of five months, since most people want to adopt an infant. Only then are they referred to an international family.

Third, I have no idea what it is like to grow up in a family that does not resemble you physically. And in many cases, a society where the majority of people do not resemble you physically. I understand that this can contribute to feelings of loneliness and frustration.  

That being said, I do not believe that you belong to a culture based on birth and genetics. You may belong to a race based on genes, but you belong to a culture based on life experience. 

Most of us are interested in our heritage. As matter of fact, Americans seem to fanatically keep track of where all of their ancestors hailed from (1/16 Russian, 1/8 Eskimo, 1/32 Viking, 1/3064 caveman, anyone?). I am not denying in any way the importance of knowing one's roots and the culture of one's ancestors. However, I do not think that one cannot live in a culture that one wasn't born into. We want our child to know as much about Korean culture as possible. At the same time, our child will grow up American. That is the culture it will be exposed to on a daily basis, and I do not understand why anyone's genetics should hinder them from being a part of the culture of the country they live in. I can simply not recreate an authentic Korean environment in the USA for my child to grow up in. 

I will play the immigrant card once again. I did not grow up in American society, and my values are largely based on those of the cultures I grew up in. They are not my values because I genetically inherited them! Actually, by the time I was four years old, I lived in two countries that I genetically did not belong to. And as I am exposed to American culture after moving here as an adult, my way of looking at the world is changing. There were, and are, many times when I felt I simply did not fit in with the people around me, since we did not share the same experiences growing up, or the way we look at life. It has nothing to do with genetics! My child's life would be completely different if it was able to stay and grow up in Korean culture, but it is not genetically bound to be unhappy if it grows up in a society with a different way of life and values than the culture its first parents grew up in.  There are many traits that are aquired genetically, belonging to a culture isn't one of them.

Again, I think it is important that our child knows Korean culture (and other cultures), but even a second generation Korean American would not be able to grow up in a pure and "authentic" Korean culture.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Yesterday was our first meeting with our social worker, who is great. Even though I think she is fabulous, I am still not enjoying this process. I feel a little sorry for her for having to summarize our lives which have been anything but ordinary. I have no idea how she is going to condense all of that information! We scheduled our next appointments as well, which will be done individually. I think I will need to bring a cheat sheet listing all the information she will need! I am so glad this process is finally started, but now I can't wait for it to be over.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First appointment coming up!

Yesterday during lunch my phone rang, and to my big surprise our social worker called to schedule our first homestudy appointment! I didn't expect a call until later next week, so I was pleasantly surprised. We scheduled our first appointment for Friday. I don't think people understand why anyone would be excited about meeting with a social worker, but I am stoked!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just a little step closer

Apparently whining on a blog helps - today I got an email from our agency saying that they received the missing clearances and that they would look for a social worker so we can begin our homestudy. 

Just 5 mintes later I received another email with the name of the social worker who will be working with us! So now we are waiting for her to call us and schedule our first appointment! 

Things are moving along!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Wish for You

Dear Birth Mom, 

I wish you knew that even though I know nothing about you or the world you live in, you are in my thoughts every day. I wish you knew that my heart is full of love for your child - and you. We may never know each other, but we will be family. Your child is loved by us already, and it will know that it is loved by you, its first mother, as well. If only you knew that even if others may belittle and berate you for the choices you have made, to me you are the bravest person in the world. Thank you for giving life to your child, all the while knowing that you will not be able to witness how this life is lived. The greatest sacrifice you may ever have to make is also the greatest gift you could ever give. 

My wish is for your life to be happy and full, and that you will find peace with the decisions you have made.

Waiting to Wait

We're still waiting to officially wait.

There is one clearance missing before we can finally start the homestudy process. They've cashed the check weeks ago, so I would assume that someone somewhere is working on something. It is very hard for me to not obsess about when this clearance will finally arrive at the agency and we will be scheduled for our first homestudy visit.

On the brighter side, this week we went to our first Waiting Parents meeting at our agency. That was the highlight of my week. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in a building full of people who are in the same place as we are. We were able to speak with people in other programs and hear their stories, their heartbreaks and successes, and we were able to meet others who are waiting for their child from Korea. It was encouraging just to be around people who simply understand, and for whom clearances, social workers, visas, foster families and foreign travel are just a normal part of becoming a family.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Learning Hangul

As of last week, we are attempting to learn Korean! 

While they say the Korean alphabet is one of the easiest in the world to learn, the sounds that go with the letters sure don't seem easy to me. 

Hubby is doing really well with his letters, as he loves all things logical, but I still don't know my alphabet. Could it be that he is also more disciplined and has studied more?

So far, I am really happy we chose to attend Korean class, even if I never end up being able to say more than Hello and Thank You. There are some great benefits to attending the class other than learning the fundamentals of the language; we are also learning about Korean culture from a Korean, and we've met other adoptive parents that have adopted or will adopt from Korea. 

Here are some great links to learn some basic Korean at home:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Pickle on the Christmas Tree

One of our goals as international adoptive parents is to raise our child with a sense of awareness of its birth country. We've already blended two cultures in our daily lives, how hard can it be to add another?

Oh wait, here is the problem: We know next to nothing about Korea!

Having lived in several foreign countries myself and being an immigrant, I know how skewed our perceptions are of cultures we have not been fully immersed in for at least several years. 

Reading books and travelling are great ways to scratch the surface, but is there any way to go beyond this superficial knowledge of a country?

We all see the world through our own eyes, and our eyes have been shaped by the culture we grew up in. Germans are seen as neat and organized, unfriendly, but efficient, Americans as outgoing but superficial. All may be true to a degree, but there is so much more to a culture than those labels. Will my child form a view of Korea based on the prejudices prevalent in the society he will grow up in? How will we ever be able to provide our child with a true view of its birth country and the way of life there? 

I worry that I will give him a false sense of what his country and his countrymen are like. Will I be like one of those people who firmly believe that Germans put a pickle on the Christmas tree?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A World Away

In the next few weeks or months our baby will be conceived.

It is such a weird thought that somewhere on the other side of the world two people are making the child that will be ours to raise. It is easy to forget that while we are waiting impatiently for the arrival of our child, and the thought of holding this baby fills us with love and joy, this time may be one of great sadness and fear in our child's birth parents' lives.

I wonder what circumstances our child will be conceived under. Are the birth parents in love? Do they even know each other beyond a brief encounter? What tragic circumstances will make them consider not raising this child themselves? When and how will the birth mom find out about the pregnancy? Will the birth dad even know? Will the birth mom be loved and will she have support? Or will she be all alone?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two Different Kinds of Love

I saw this hanging at our adoption agency the other day and almost burst into tears even though I usually despise sappy poems (those darn adoption hormones LOL).

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.


And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.


If you've been smart enough to live in the same state your entire life, never had a speeding ticket, haven't been divorced, and have never been caught shoplifting when you were 14, gathering your paperwork for the homestudy really isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Is is it a hassle? Yes, but it is absolutely doable in a short time frame.
While every state has different regulations, here are some of the things we have had to gather: FBI check, Child Protective Services background check, driving records, physical, fire escape plan, financial statements, vaccination records for the furry baby, employment letters... This is in addition to the obvious, such as birth certificates and marriage license. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, it really isn't. We had all of our paperwork together in a few weeks. All the paperwork for the state we live in now, that is. While we've loved the nomadic lifestyle we've lived in the past few years, now it is a major pain to get all of those papers together. Our agency couldn't help us out at all and quickly became non-responsive to the questions I sent them. It was up to us to guess what paperwork they needed from which state and which country.
This means more forms, more fees, and, worst of all, more waiting. We'll get to add embassy visits and sending things to foreign countries to the list. And every time we think that now we've figured out all the paperwork we need, something else comes along that we have to track down. For us, this has truly turned into a paperchase.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm so sorry you have to adopt

While we've just begun this process, there has already been enough time for people to make inappropriate comments.

I realize that adoption is a foreign concept to many whose lives haven't been touched by it. I still don't know much about it, even after reading and talking about it for several months.

So let me lay it out what adoption means to me, and which comments really push my buttons.

1. I am so sorry you have to adopt.

We don't have to adopt.

Adoption is viewed by many as a last resort for those that weren't lucky enough to become pregnant.
While it is true that we probably wouldn't have pursued this journey had we been successful in TTC, adoption is in no way a second-best choice.
When we revisited our desire to add to our family, I was very clear that I did not want to have a biological child. We by no means exhausted the endless possibilities that fertility treatments offer these days. We didn't even come close.

Adoption is our first choice.

Everyone's journey to adoption is different, but let me tell you that none of us have to adopt. In fact, many of the couples in the process would be devastated to find out that they are pregnant. Our future children are real to us. And they are in no way second best.

2. You are so noble to give a child a good home

We are not adopting a child out of charity. It is a natural way for us to extend our family. This child will not be lucky to have us as parents, but we will be lucky to have our child bless our lives.

3. I could never love a child that is not my own

Neither could I. This child will be my own. I will be his real mother. While we will not create our child's life in a literal sense, we will be there to love and support him or her no matter what. It will not be like our own child, it will be our own child.

Bare your soul

One of the most difficult parts of the process so far has been having to bare our souls to so many strangers. While this is the same thing I am doing on this blog, it is much more difficult to open up in front of others that are there to judge your ability to become a parent. Both Dad-To-Be and I are private people (OK, so he is a lot more private than I am, given that I am publishing this blog), and it is hard to sit in front of someone and talk about the ups and downs in your life and your relationship.

As a part of our paperwork for this adoption, we had to write a 6 - 8 page autobiography summarizing the defining moments in our lives. At first I thought it would be a breeze. I certainly have had a life interesting enough to easily fill 8 pages! But soon I found myself stuck. Reflecting on my life, as blessed as it has been, was a lot harder than I imagined. Rather than taking a brief few hours, as I had anticipated, I labored over this paper for many weekends. My first draft focused on all the difficuties I have had, but with every overhaul I became more and more aware that the harder times in my life really took a backseat to all the amazing things I have been able to experience.

And while I know that writing the autobiography and speaking to our agency and, later on, our social worker, is good, and is necessary, it is still hard to put yourself out there for everyone to judge.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Giving birth to an elephant

Hopefully in about 2 years I will be able to post pictures of our little family of four (I am counting the furry baby).

Our journey to parenthood began last summer when we began thinking about how we should add to our family. With a history of unsucessful TTC in the past (and my unwillingness to revisit those unpleasant times), we quickly began exploring adoption as an option. We got a stack of books, and began attending informational meetings at adoption agencies in the area.

Slowly, we began gravitating towards adopting from Korea. Once this decision was made, all that was left to do was to pick an agency. We chose the agency that responded quickest to our questions, and one that was located in the area we live in.

This process will not be easy, and it will be long. In fact, from today it will probably take just as long as an elephant's pregnancy until we can hold our baby.