Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday we spent all day looking at daycares. I was absolutely exhausted by the afternoon - and we were nowhere near done. The places ranged from horrific (at least to me) to okay to "I want to go to daycare here". One place was absolutely awesome, it had heated wooden floors, skylights, a garden, and was just amazing all around. Unfortunately it was too far out of the way for us, which I am so sad about. But there was one more place we loved, the kids there seemed so happy and all the caregivers were really nice. And - this is a HUGE plus to me - I loved their meal plan. They have meals from all over the world instead of just serving hamburgers and chicken fingers (yeah, I am a food snob). We're getting on the waitlist for some of the places we saw (NOT for the one next to the rehab center for juvenile delinquents) and hopefully we can get into our top pick.

Today I called DC to find out that our P3 was sent yesterday. Then I found out that my waiting buddy got her travel call - absolutely unexpected. It's a good thing we bought clothes for the boys this weekend. And then I found out that a waiting buddy on the Holt board with very similar dates to us is getting super close to TC (you know who you are). And then I found out that the ministry in Korea will not be issuing any EPs for the entire month of April. So here I am going from "Where is MY travel call" to "I am not ready" to "Please let him have EP". I am absolutely going insane. I can't concentrate on anything other than analyzing people's timelines. I know that most people who are not with SWS have a much longer wait, but with all other SWS families traveling so fast, it would kill me to have to wait longer.

I know I just did a whole post about how wonderful this is and how I will miss being in process yadayadayada, but I am ready for this insanity to end!

Monday, March 29, 2010

NVC out

That means that now I will be stalking DC.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vorfreude ist die schoenste Freude

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this was written by someone who believes she is maybe 3 weeks away from travel. This would not have been written if I thought that I have much more than that to go. I will take it all back if we have to wait longer.

There's a saying in Germany "Vorfreude ist die schoenste Freude", which loosely translates to "The joy of anticipation is the greatest joy" and it's true. I am giddy with excitement that we are getting closer to Ben being home. I wake up in the morning and think of all the things we need to do before he comes home and am full of anticipation. Almost every sentence out of the husband's mouth starts with "When little HoYoung is here....". I spent the entire day yesterday out with my waiting buddy looking at Hanboks, Dol Towers, Korean grocery stores and then at clothes for the boys and gifts for the foster family. Then I went out shopping for Ben clothes with the husband.

This adoption process really is quite something. People refer to it as a rollercoaster ride, and that's exactly what it is. I've had some low points (like when I was frantic for an entire week because I was convinced our legals were getting lost in the snowstorm) , but boy do the high points make up for that.

There's nothing like hearing that progress is being made. It is an incredible rush to hear that something was submitted or approved. We're not home free yet, I am sure I will have another meltdown (or two) along the way, but ever since we heard that our I-600 was approved, I am on a total high. I am finding myself writing in CAPS A WHOLE LOT MORE. I'm on a total adrenaline rush. There is no other feeling in the world like this.

I am truly having the time of my life. We are so close (I think)!

It is so strange to think that we've almost made it. For over 1.5 years I have been thinking about this adoption all day, every day. There was always that next milestone to look forward to, always another high. This entire time I thought I hated "the process", but now I realize that I am actually enjoying this a whole lot more than I wanted to admit to myself. I think a little part of me is going to miss being in process.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Your call is very important to us. We are looking forward to speaking with YOU.

Of course I couldn't wait to call NVC, so much of the day today was spent listening to above message. Unfortunately work kept on getting in the way, so I had to hang up and call back several times without getting through.

I was a little surprised when I finally got a person on the line. She seemed a little confused when she asked for a casenumber and I didn't have one. I told her I was looking for my I-600 and she asked me for the petitioner's name and DOB and the child's name and DOB and then read my husband's phone number, so I knew they had our I-600. She said they received it yesterday! I almost forgot to ask for the casenumber :-)

They're open until midnight, so I might call back to see if we're logged out. I am completely obsessed!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I-171 received

Well, a week after approval we got our I-171 in the mail. I did a happy dance out in the street :-)

On Monday I am going to start stalking NVC!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ben's Room

If you were expecting some sort of designer nursery, this will be a huge letdown. The room looks like something has thrown up in it - and this time it was the baby store, not the cats.

Also, please excuse the quality of the pictures, snapping a photo with my phone is so much more convenient than taking a quality shot with my SLR.

The crib is expected to arrive in another 2 weeks - woohoo. So my dream of having the baby home before the crib won't come true.

I still have to paint that dresser, that is something that's been on my to-do list for about 10 years, ever since I got that thing. It's been through 8 or 9 moves!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I am a stalker

I've seen a similar post on a few of my bloggy friends' blogs, so this may just be completely normal.

Adoption has turned me into a stalker.

Other than filling out paperwork correctly, we have no control over anything in this process.

In theory, I could just wait until one day out of the blue we get that phone call saying our son is ready to come home.

But the control freak in me can't. Instead, I am obsessed with other people's timelines. I try to guess when every step will happen for us based on what I know about others. Which of course is impossible, because with adoption, timeframes aren't that predictable and things tend to happen that delay quite a few of us. Only it's always something different. For one person it may be a delayed I600, for another lost paperwork. Some of us will wait forever on EP, and others on the visa medical. There are general timeframes, but predicting my own timeline until travel might be almost impossible. But that doesn't mean that I will stop trying.

Now I'm off to see if anyone has updated their timeline on the Holt BB.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another Happy Friday

It was another amazing week with tons of great news! My friend Kim is waiting at the airport as we speak to get on that plane to Korea. My IRL friend with my agency was told that she will have I-600 approval today and should be on her way to Korea soon. Kimberly (Kyle's mommy) is in Korea right now. And - it's 70 degrees and sunny!!! Happy, happy, happy!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I-600 approval!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES, THAT'S RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I emailed our USCIS office today (even though per our agency I'm not really supposed to) and asked about the status of our application.

As I am on a demo for a new software my work is interested in, I get an email from USCIS that our I-600 was approved yesterday and will be mailed next week!!!!!!!!!!!

So I send my co-worker a rambling email and run to her cube and signal her to read it and we both freak out and the poor vendor on the other line thinks we're complete idiots. I do not remember anything about that product LOL.

I think and talk about you all day long

Yes that's right USCIS lady, I'm talking about you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Surprise Baby Shower!

This weekend we went to visit the husband's family that lives about four hours away. His parents just recently vistited us, so to be perfectly honest I wasn't too thrilled about going there. My husband convinced me that this might be the only weekend we would be available before Ben comes home. 
We got there and met my in-laws at an Olive Garden (which I HATE), then all of a sudden he started talking about having to buy running shorts at a sporting goods store. If looks could kill, he wouldn't be alive today. We went to a Dick's store and he started looking at EVERYTHING in that store. Soccer shirts, canoes, shoes, hiking gear... Every 10 minutes I would nag saying that it was extremly rude to his mom to spend all this time in a store when we were just visiting for two days. Well, we finished up at this store, and then he dragged me to the town center to look for a gift for his mom!

Finally we headed back to the house and I saw a car pulling up in front of us and my friend and her mother-in-law got out (who is my MIL's best friend). I didn't think much of it, since there are always random people at MIL's house.

Well, I went into the living room, and the room was decorated in blue and there was a gorgeous cake that had my name on it! It was a total surprise and so sweet of my mother-in-law. Hopefully someone will send me pictures, since I was not prepared to take any!

It was a wonderful afternoon and I abandoned my no-sugar-for-lent policy and had some chocolate fondue and the very yummy lemon cake. I was very hyper after that.

It meant so much to me that these people, some of whom I didn't even know, came together to celebrate the impending arrival of our son.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday!

It's Friday, and I am happy. Over all, it's been a good week in adoption world.
My bloggy friend Susan finally got her referral (I am so thrilled), a fellow SWS waiting buddy is getting close to TC, and I am now sure that it will not be 6 months until travel, since my friend who is with our agency and only 2 weeks ahead of us was told today that her baby is ready on the Korean side and they are now only waiting on our sucky USCIS office for the I-600 approval.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My World is Changing

I knew this would happen, I just wasn't sure when. In the midst of aching for our son to come home, I am slowly starting to panic about becoming a mother. Actually, the panic set in as we were standing at Lowes and I was eyeing a chaise for our patio when the husband asked me when I planned on using this. I said "You know, in the summer" and he started to laugh and pointed out that I would probably not be sitting or lying down again - ever.

How am I supposed to be a MOTHER? How can they let me be responsible for another human being?
Did we really think this through? And - am I really that old?
What is wrong with sleeping in, going on spontaneous trips (well, semi-spontaneous, since the husband likes to plan things in minute detail), eating out, and saving for retirement? What's wrong with not having to deal with diapers and meltdowns? What is wrong with not having a teenager who tells you he hates you? What is wrong with doing whatever we feel like doing?

Will I have to stop eating junk food in front of the TV (a habit I acquired after moving to the US) and what about all the inappropriate things I say?

I still don't really have a clue what it will actually be like to be a mom, but slowly it's starting to sink in that this really is going to be a major life change. Just like everyone says.

I finally followed the advice of some felllow AP's and bought "What to expect - the toddler years" and was almost surprised to read that there are other issues than attachment and transition related challenges. Yes, you may laugh at me. I'm getting a little worried about what I will actually do with Ben. How do you entertain a toddler? In my fantasy I imagine us taking walks in the woods near our house, Ben playing in a sandbox, and me reading to him on a rainy day. We'll take him to the beach and the mountains, we'll picnic near the Capitol and explore the Smithsonians. I am clearly delusional!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Steps

We received a notification from our local USCIS office that they received our I600. I am so upset with USCIS for adding 3 weeks to the processing time for this paperwork by routing it across the USA.
But hey, at least they got it. Now let's hope they don't lose it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ah, the things you get for paying insane taxes

Now, years after I have left, and they're well into their thirties, my friends in Germany are finally starting to procreate and/or get married. So we finally have a commonality again that's been missing for several years. Only becoming a mother in Germany is a little different than becoming a mother in the US. Here's a recent conversation with one of my friends.

Friend: "So are you taking one year or three years off work?"
Me: hysterical laughter... coughing... "Um. I can stay home for 12 weeks. Unpaid of course."
Friend: silence

You see, in Germany your employer has to keep a position open for you for three years. And during that first year, you still get 70% of your income. I almost want to cry every time I think about that, but then I remember looking at my paystub at the end of each month to find that 60% of my pay miraculously disappeared. Still, how nice would that be? Sometimes I miss Germany :-)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lunar New Year Celebration

Yesterday we went to a lunar new year celebration for Korean adoptive families. It was originally scheduled for earlier this year, but thanks to the snowstorms had to be postponed until yesterday. We had a wonderful time and it was just what we both needed at this point.
First of all, the food was absolutely amazing! There was japchae, mandu, bulgogi, kimbap, and other delicacies. Just what I had been craving!
While we were waiting on our friends to arrive, we chatted with some other adoptive families who were just so nice and who confirmed that my emotional outbursts were normal. We also reconnected with some families we knew from the waiting parents meetings, but who have now brought home their children.
As the husband said: "It's so nice to be with people who you don't have to explain yourself to."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

And because he is TOO CUTE, here's another pic

Was that me screaming at you? Ooops.

I thought I finally got it into my head that no one other than other AP's get how I feel right now.
I was able to smile gracisoulsy through some odd conversations about my little boy and his estimated arrival and ignore many comments that would have sent me through the roof not that long ago, innocent as they were. But yet today I found myself screaming at a poor guy at work pretty much at the top of my lungs. He said something about how a couple of months of additional waiting wasn't so bad and how his friends had to wait for 9 months when they adopted from Guatemala. So I yelled at him that he can't possibly know how I am feeling and that he is not entitled to an opinion unless he has adopted himself. Oops, sorry about that. I hope they won't fire me for being an emotional wreck.

I know a couple of weeks ago I loved it when people asked how things were going, because they showed interest, but now I just want to be left alone. There are no news, at least none that mean anything to anyone outside of the AP world, and there will be no news for a long time. If there are news, I will tell you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bittersweet - New Photos

I was having lunch at my favorite diner (it's such a dump but I love the food) when I saw that we received new photos of our baby. Of course I broke out in tears. I cry a lot these days. The ladies from work and I hurried back to my desk so we could look at them. Again, I cried. He is such a big boy now!

He has two teeth and has started eating rice. He sleeps from 10 p.m. till 10 a.m. (which is great - he used to go to bed at 2 a.m.).

He gets fretful when hungry and drools a lot. His report says that he is smart and cute. I agree.

He likes toys that make noise. Oy!

It's so incredible how much love I feel for this little person that I haven't even met.