Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blog Followers?

My heart flows and sometimes overflows over the pages of our family blog. Lately, we have noticed so many more followers from all around the country and would love to know who you are. If you are regularly checking in on our journey to Grace, we'd love it if you would click the link on the right that says "I follow this blog". We'd love to meet you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yeah Good News Today!

The phone rang today. And boy was I happy to be the one home to take the call. Last week I shared with you that we had someone checking on our 1600 at the USCIS office in Bloomington. The contact we made last week was at the Office of U.S. Senator John Thune. We had visited with Wess Roth a couple years ago when we very first began this process and he was very helpful! So that is who Terry contacted last week, thinking he would be able to give us some answers and or assistance with the process. He called today to let us know that he made contact with the USCIS office and they will not spend time working on our renewal app,(yeah!!) and will just expedite our I600!! (God answers prayers). He said we may even have that done as early as next week sometime. This was news we really needed to hear! It has given us some hope during a very long wait that is for sure. Hearing that the process could be up to 8 weeks was just too long. So Wess if you are reading this we Thank you so much for helping our family bring our little girl home!! We will visit your office when she is home in the US!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Playing with blog

Those of you that know me well know that I love to change things around. I change my furniture around and love to decorate my house.... So of course I will want to change the look of my blog once in a while. Especially when I find something new and fun. Hope you enjoy the fresh look.

More Art!

We saw these on line and they were over $300 so we decided to make our own and save a ton of $$. We think it turned out soo cute. This weekend we will do some painting in Gracies room. Hope to have pics of the room finished very soon.

The Art Projects Begin!

Amanda is our little artist! She decided the other night to make Grace a fort to play in when she gets here. Is that cute or what!

Federal Adoption Tax credit!!

I just became aware of this on my friends blog "Cole Family Mission" Thank you for getting this information. As we all know this is very important for adoptive families to have this credit. Please do something today..Pick up your phone!

This tax credit is set to expire in December 2010, a credit that has helped many families afford to adopt. If you have ever adopted, plan to adopt, or know someone who has adopted, please take a few minutes of your time to call your Senator or Representative about the H.R. 213.

We have to take action to allow families, like us, to afford the expenses of adoption. These children need us! This could affect many families who have a desire to adopt in the future.

Click on the button above to find links to find out how you can contact your representatives!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thank goodness for blogger Friends

My Frustration yesterday lead to some awesome support from other mom bloggers going through the same feelings and frustrations. I know I am not alone and those of you who wrote me it brought tears to my eyes. I guess it brings some kind of comfort to know that there are others who really truly understand the feeling that go along with this journey. Support and encouragement during this waiting time is so important! Thank you for your responses, I treasure them all. I know Grace will be home soon. And as one of my new friends said to me..."right now it seems like time is so long, but in 5 years we won't remember this at all." I really needed to hear that!! It would be a pleasure to sit around a table with a good latte with you all!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Working through the Loops!

Here are a few terms you need to know in order to understand: I600A is a approval that you get from the USCIS office (immagration) to adopt a Orphan. You do this in the beginning of your adoption process.

I600 is approval you get from USCIS office(immagration) to adopt the specific child (Gracie) that the good Lord has given you.

I feel like we are in a stage of this that Im not doing so well with anymore! More of the "waiting" period. Im beginning to really hate that word just as much as I hate the word "busy". We made some calls this week, in the hopes that this person would be able to give us some answers or help move things along a little faster. The USCIS office is now where the paper work sits. On the desk of someone who has no idea what our story is, or who our little Grace is. Seems the office that our paper work had to go through is doing work for two states and has a reputation of being extremely back logged. With being in this process for over 2 years now, we are so ready to have our little baby girl home with us. In fact "ready" is an understatement. We heard back from the person that was going to make some calls for us later today. He told us that he was able to contact USCIS and that they had not showed they recieved our paper work for our I600 (to bring home our specific child). We overnighted it last week Tuesday as soon as we got Gracies legals, and we show a reciept that they did get it! I guess it is sitting on the desk of someone , and has not even been opened or entered into the computer. Our life has been "hurry up!!, now wait!!"

Our 1600A (to adopt an orphan) acually Expires on the 28th of this month! Don't worry we applied for a renewal at the end of December so that it would not expire. Turns out he found out that they have not even processed the renewal app yet and would get to that in a couple of weeks. What?? What happens if they miss something here and let our 1600A expire..this is our fear! We now have our "specific child"...have sent in our forms to get I600 approval and they are still getting us renewed?? Why worry about that and not skip ahead to our current paper work which will bring home our daughter. Something is so wrong here! I can not believe all the hoops you jump through with this office. Or would a better word for it be obsticles? I pray that our contact person can do more. He was going to make contact with them again later today or tomarrow morning. I pray God works through this whole mess and will make things start moving in the direction that will bring Grace home.

Mean while our little Gracie is growing so fast and every single day people all around me are asking the big question "well any word yet?" It is frustrating to never have an answer for them! It breaks my heart every day that goes by that she is not home with her family! We miss her and love her so much!

"Lord God watch over our sweet little Gracie, surround her with your angels, and hold her tight in your arms. Keep her safe and healthy, surround her with love and caring people each and ever day. Surround her with happieness, contentment and peacfullness! Bless her and her foster family with all your blessings! Amen"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yeah New Photos of Grace!

Our prayers have been answered. We not only got one photo, we got 5 new photos of our sweet little angel. She is so very precious. These came by surprise and I cried with so much joy to see her. It touches my heart so much to have these new pictures. Remember we sent her a care package a few weeks ago....She is holding our bunny we sent to her, and wearing the bunny booties. We know the foster family is showing her our photos, and telling her about us. Oh what a huge blessing this sweet little girl is to us. I just want to kiss her and snuggle her. Thank you Lord for all you have done, and for blessing us with this sweet precious baby girl!

Thoughts of Gracie

We have been so sooper excited since the day we got our daughters photo. Counting the days until she is home. So much focus has been on that. As time gets nearer for her to come home God is really showing me through reading other families experiences that even though we are the ones soooo excited to see her, hold her, cuddle her, and give her all our love, she on the other hand will go through a major adjustment and may not be so excited about it a first as we are..we will need to be patient. I know that their will be a time of greiving for her. She will grieve for the only family that she has known and become attached to (her foster family). This hurts and makes me sad for her. I pray and know that God will give her the comfort that I know we will not even be able to fill in the first days. I have also found hope in all the stories I hear about how very fast they do get comfortable with their new family, new smells, surroundings, and how much they blossom and can just be themselves fairly quickly. Children are amazing and do adjust with a little time, patience and mostly love! We know she will have that!!

Gracie Makes the News!

Wow, our baby girl a world away has made our local news! She will soon be able see the community that has grown to love her long before she is even home! When the reporter contacted us because he heard we were adopting from Korea, we never knew he too lived in Korea with his wife for 15 years. He has a special love for the country of Korea!! I think it is great that he wanted to do a story about our journey. I hope this will encourage others to also look into adoption. This experience has been amazing, and we cherish the friendships with those of you who have also gone through and are in the same place we are with bringing a child home! God has grown us in so many more ways,and believe me each day I learn something new! Holt international is the agency have been with since the beginning starting in 2007. They are a wonderful support and have been very helpful! I am told to expect a new updated photo of our little Gracie very soon. She is 6 months old now, and Im sure has changed alot since her 2 month old photo! I hold A new photo will be I pray we do get one!! I will post it as soon as we get one. I can't wait to do all the goffy mommy things that infants seem to bring out in you :-) Thank you all for following our journey and most importantly lifting us up in your prayers!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Legals are Here!!!

Yeah...Finally today we got our Legals for Grace!! Legals are basically a couple pieces of important information:
1) A record of Grace's birth
2) A statement that Holt (the agency in Korea) is Grace's guardian
We are very very excited about this. Now we can take the very next step. As I type my husband is taking them to the postal office to overnight them to the imagration office in Minnesota. I hear that office is back logged, but our 1600A will expire 2-28-09. So we are going to try to get them to put a rush on it. The next step is that the Imigration office in Minnesota will go through all our legal papers for us to adopt her. As soon as the US is done they will get the papers to the US Embassy in Korea, they will then finialize the papers and she will be able to come home. If we estimate the time they say it could take to get her home (using the longest example of course), we would get a travel call around the end of April. This is a big time of year for us as I own a dance business and our big rehearsals are that very week, with a big show at the end of that week. We are praying that she will come earlier in April. I know GOd has His perfect timeing and I refuse to worry about it. It is all in His hands as everything in life is. I know He will bring her home very soon, and it will be perfect timing. I of course would have liked her home a month ago. But for those of us who are going through the adoption process we all know how much we really learn to "wait", and how nothing in this process is easy! BUT... So worth it!!! I am getting so excited, and I know that very soon we will all be holding and cuddeling our baby Gracie! The studio is closed all spring and summer and I will be able to just hang with my kids, play and enjoy summer!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Love is in the air! OHHHHH ...I love Valentines Day. This may have something to do with the fact that we also got married just a couple days before. Our tradition is to have candle light dinner as a family. The kids always look so forward to this tradition. I guess this is something I picked up on as a child since my parents always stayed home and spent it with us kids too. We give the kids a cute little gift. Nothing big, but just something special. We will have a great dinner by candle light..give thanks for everything that God blesses us with, and think of Gracie. Maybe she will be home for Easter celebration. We also had a great time today as we had my family come out to visit for a while. This made our day extra special!!

Go tell someone you love them and how special they are to you today!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

15 Years To Celebrate and more to come...

Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary! I think back to when we first got married and how time has gone so very fast. God has brought us through some obsticles, challenges, joys, and true miracles. What would life be without them right? We grow in many ways through our whole life. Each day God is forming us into the person He would like us to be. When our hearts and eyes are open we can learn so much about life! I always pray for Him to help me to be a good mother and wife and a strong woman of God for my friends and family. Everything els is minimal! I can honestly say I feel our marriage is stronger today for all the experiences we have shared together. The more we understand eachother and keep those communication lines always open, the more our love continues to grow for one another. Terry is truely my Prince and my very best friend! I look forward to many many more years and great memories to create. I am thankful for this special day, and being able to reflect back on so many great blessings that we have! I give thanks to the Lord for all he has done, and all that he has given to us!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Makin the News - Listen to This!

Terry came home the other night and said that our local newspaper reporter had talked to him because he had heard about us adopting from Korea. He wanted to do a story on our experience and follow our adoption. This was pretty exciting to I hope this story will open hearts of others to also look into adoption for their families! The reporter came by today to interview us on our adoption journey. We had a absolulty great visit with him and a very fun time too. ...Turns out that we learned that he spent many years working in Korea for a magazine, and absolutly loves the Korean culture! He was able to educate us more about the people, the children, the food, places to eat and places see. He new it first hand since he lived there. He said he would teach us some of the language! We even learned more about our little girls name!! He is going to have his wife show us some great Korean recipes (I can't wait to cook a korean dinner for our friends) We were extremly grateful for visiting with him and all the great information that he shared with us. I think it will be published next more on that to come!

The Gyeongbokgung palace in S. Korea!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"A Gracie Moment"

I've been strong for a few days, even to the point of almost at times this whole thing not feeling real. Maybe that is my way to cope with the lovely word "waiting", but once again tonight here I am sitting here at the kitchen counter, and suddenly it hits me and Im in tears. My wonderful son Baily walked around the corner and said "oh no whats wrong", and Terry said, it's ok, we're just having a "Gracie moment". Bailey said "I have them all the time too mom". Don't get me wrong ...they are not bad tears..they are good tears...tears that say "I want my little sweetie home with us". I want to hold her and rock her to sleep, I want to tell her how much we love her and kiss those cute little cheeks. Ohhh ...once she is here, I won't be able to take my eyes off her, I don't think any of us will. I have dreamed of adopting for so many years that it is amazing to me that she is our little Gracie....Our gift from God! My eyes are so open to the Love that He has for us, and how he put that desire to adopt in my heart many years ago. This is all part of His grand plan! He moves us through good and bad times, He grows us in the areas we need to grow in, and He blesses us all in His Time!

FYI: the photo is me with blonde hair....This is me praising my Lord!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Story Books

I have been searching for some great story books to read to Grace when she is home. I just got a bunch off of amazon. They came in the mail yesterday. I really like the ones we picked out. I believe it is important for us to talk to Grace from day one about where she is from and how much we love her, and how we dreamed of her for so long! I think story books are a great way to help explain adoption. Some of the story books we got that are soo adorable They are called... "Over the Moon", and "I wished for you", Our favorite book is called, "A Mother for Choco", about a little baby bird that goes to several animals looking for his mother, but none of them look like him, the story ends with a mama bear that becomes his mother, and turns out she also has children that are a pig and an alagator...what was most important is the happiness and love in the home and it did not matter that they all did not look alike! Very good story and I highly recommend it to anyone adopting. Enjoy!

Gifts in the Mail

We have recieved a couple gifts over the past three weeks. Nanna was out shopping within hours from our referral. And this week was exciting, we got our first baby gift in the mail and a good friend of mine who has known for 8 yrs my hearts desire to adopt sent Grace a cute little outfit and adorable shoes!! It put the hugest smile on my face and made my day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It has only been 3 weeks today from the time we recieved our referral. Feels like an eternity! I keep thinking of projects to get done before Grace comes home. My list just keeps getting longer. Poor Terry! My house has been cleaned and organized inside and out. Painting projects along with some remodeling downstairs. Seems I keep finding more things to do around here. Im truely nesting! A trip to Florida would be nice...warm sun...a beach to relax on! auhhhh I guess i can dream right. Our word for 2007-08-09 seems to be "wait". Waiting is something Im not so great at. Although I have had to learn that no one can control this process, and all we can do is wait, ...wait on others to do all the paper work that is necessary to bring our little girl home. This is one of the hardest and yet joyful times in our lives. This process is truely in Gods hands. He has designed it all every single step of the way. He knew long before that we would be little Gracies family. Every child deserves a place they can call home, and a family that loves them forever and ever!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Care Package

This weekend we all enjoyed getting a care package ready to send to Baby Grace. It was very exciting to think that we are allowed to send a package to the Korea Holt agency, and they will get the things to the foster family at their next well baby appointment with the clinic. I sure hope she will get this before the end of February which is when she seems to have her wb apts. It cost $47 to get it to Korea. We all hope she gets it all before she comes home. Here are some of the things we included.
Baby blanket: soft and cuddely. A "nye nye", both our kids loved their nye nyes and they went everywhere. A photo book filled with pictures of us all, in the hopes that the foster famiy will show her and talk about us. Some toys, two camera's in the hope that the foster family will take a zillion pictures for us and send the camera back with Gracie. We also included a nice bracellet for the foster mommy, a note from me, and a note that Amanda wanted to write to them late last night, she also included a purple bunny! Not picured is a cute little outfit that I put in on the top of everything. It was all very fun to get together and now it is off to another country to our sweet little daughter!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Please leave a comment!

We are so excited to see many of you following our journey. But we don't know who you all are. Especially if you are far away in other states. We'd love to know who you are. So leave a comment at least once to introduce yourself!