How Time Flies!

Miss Julianna has been home for 1 year!  It’s hard to believe……sometimes it seems like just yesterday and sometimes it seems like she’s been here forever.  She’s such a huge part of our family.

She LOVES to play school and mama.  She likes to wear our shoes, carry my purse, tell us what to do and take care of her babies. She’s a girly girl who also likes to play hard and get dirty.  Bows and cleats….

She has become a lot more affectionate and secure in the past few months.  It has been a year of adjustment and grieving for her.  So many new experiences and people to get used to, all the while missing her familiar.  New situations can still cause anxiety for her.  Korea is still part of our conversations and we hope to keep her very connected to her birth culture.   Some have asked if she knows she’s adopted or if we want to keep her language, etc.  We would LOVE to expose her to more Korean culture, but it’s hard here in Mississippi:)  The diversity is, shall we say, a bit lacking in our community.  While we’re on that subject, if you see people of different ethnicities in the community, be polite and nice.  Reach out to them.  Be patient with them.  Moving to a new culture is hard.  Learning a new language is hard.  Fitting in to new social situations is hard.  Making friends is hard.  All of this is hard enough when you are from the same country and move to a new area, but when absolutely everything is new, it’s especially difficult. Don’t be afraid to interact with people who are not the same as you!! (that really applies to anyone, not just immigrants) Just a little PSA for you!   Back to adoption talk……yes, she knows and it’s totally okay with us that she realizes she’s adopted.  What good would it do to keep that a secret?   We know it will bring questions along the way and we’ll deal with them as they come up.  We will speak positively about her birth mother and father, we won’t act like they don’t exist…..we will speak highly of her culture and not ever act like she isn’t Korean.  She has people in Korea who love her and we love that!   And remember, she’s almost 5 and super perceptive, so there’s no secret keeping from her!

Julianna is our strong, feisty, super smart and charming little girl!  She is compassionate and loving.  The boys love having her as a sister and think she does no wrong.  (well, almost nothing wrong)  We love her to pieces!

 

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Monday

Mondays mean an email from our agency. Sean and I try to outrun each other to check our email. He usually wins. I’m tripping him next week. Today’s email said to expect to make 2 trips to Korea.  Still no dates, but we do know people are getting court dates.  I’ll keep you posted;)

Only 4 more full days of school, then 2 more 1/2 days! We are excited!

Will someone come plant my garden for me? I have the plants sitting on the back porch.  I don’t even have to be home…you can just show up.

Jacob made a pillowcase with all kinds of stuff to know for their standardized test.  It’s cute! They’re supposed to sleep on it. He wants to know how he’s supposed to memorize all of this stuff if he’s sleeping on it. Good question, son!  Some good ideas go south in the land of autism….

I wish I was at the beach. For about 3 months.

 

Cheers!

Time for an adoption update. There have been many rumblings in the adoption world about the changes in Korea.  First, we heard that we would have to travel for a longer stretch and we would need to appear in court in Korea. Then we would have to wait for 2 weeks and take care of the embassy appointment ourselves.  Then we heard that none of that seemed to be actually taking effect (affect?), so we’ll see as time rolls on.  On a positive note, our paperwork is in Korea where it will be translated and then distributed to the many different offices who need copies of my diploma, etc. Ha!  Now the weird part is that once we sent that paperwork off, we were done with our end of the process.  So, while we’re really excited, it’s also surreal and VERY hard to wait.  But we know she will be home soon!  We have to  wait for everything to make its way through the process. We have had no snags or issues, but the process is long and it can be tiring.  We don’t have any more definite dates or anything, but I promise, you’ll be the first to know!;)

On to more fun things to talk about….

We are very happy to say that we FINISHED our puzzle piece fundraiser! And even sold a few extra pieces! 🙂 We also heard from a few grants this month, so  I’ll give you a breakdown on where we are financially:

Puzzle Piece fundraiser: Right at $2500!!!

Zoe Clothing, donations, our necklaces and tees and 31 Gifts: About $2500!

Matching Gifts and Reece’s Rainbow fund: $3100!

We received 2 grants: $6000!

We have raised  (from our fabulous supporters)  and been granted over $14,000!!! What, what?? To say we’re excited is an understatement!

Since God doesn’t have a bank account, He uses people to meet financial needs. For that, we are grateful! We’re more aware than ever how a little goes a long way and we’re thankful for every single donation.

So, give yourself a pat on the back, a big hug (well, not too big since I’m not a touchy feely person;)) and a “woohoo!”  We are extremely grateful.  That is a massive chunk out of our expenses and a huge relief and blessing.  Thanks so much!

Just Waiting and Waiting (and waiting)

Annndd, I feel like I’m 9 1/2 months pregnant!!  (without the weird cravings)  We’re so ready for her to be home!!!   We’re trying to learn some Korean words to help her (and us) when she comes home.  Like hyoung-neem (older brother), um-sik (food) and pyun-so (toilet!)  Oh, and kwa-ja or “cookie.” That’s an important one!  –  There are some changes being implemented in the Korean adoption process and there’s a lot of “wait and see” happening right now. Nothing major, but still–just something else to think about.  So, here’s where we stand right now.   We are sending in our final paperwork in a few days. Then it has to be double checked by our agency in the states.  Next, it goes to Korea, where it will be translated. Then the rest of the process takes place…..visa issuance, possible court appearance, maybe an extended stay in Korea.  We’ll see!  We’re not panicking and this doesn’t really change things for us, other than possibly adding a few weeks before we’re able to travel.  That’s no fun.

Happy Wednesday!

A Very Quick Update

Whoa, it’s been a while! How are ya?
I had a dream last night that Julianna was home already:) Not too much longer now….only 3 months or so! On that note, thank you for supporting us.  –I’m soooo ready for her to be here! I’ve bought some clothes, but I wish I knew her size!! And since she won’t be here for a few more months, I can’t buy many because you know she’ll have grown out of them by the time she gets here;) I’m stuck! I’ll have to buy some non clothing items and finish getting her room ready.  Ok, mini rant over. Let’s move on.

Caleb got braces last week. He was sore for several days, but was really excited when he finally was able to bite into food and actually chew it! I guess that is a pretty big deal, huh?
Nothing to report about Jacob. He just regularly keeps us laughing with his one liners.

I received a sweet package today from my friend, Kristin Taylor. She sent me a book…”Why I Chose You” that I’m going to read tonight. So sweet!

Sean’s in CA right now and it’s his birthday today.
We’ve had the NICS/Oasis directors in town for the past 2 weeks, so that’s been a lot of fun. Our friend, Kathy, stayed with us and left today. She’s the director of one of the new schools in Indonesia. She just started a book drive to collect books for her students. If you’re interested, click HERE to find out more. She has provided a list on Amazon and would love to have new or used books for her students. (You can indicate that you already have the book and take if off of her registry.) If you have questions, let me know!

Okay, off to give J a snack! Thanks for checking in!:)

Wrapped

Aside

Guess what?!  Sean was able to see Julianna yesterday! And, thanks to Skype, so was I!  He took her a birthday cake because she is turning 3 next week.

Image She is such a cutie with lots of personality! She showed up in a velvet dress because she loves to dress up.   It is so obvious that she is well loved by her “aunts” and other care takers.  That is a huge blessing to us.

So, this is what we know……she loves to eat, thinks everything is hers, has lots of spunk, and has made lots of improvements with her speech, etc.  We still don’t know a date that we’ll bring her home, but we do anticipate spring.  Come on, spring!!!

Here ya go!  A bit of sweetness for you…

Image

What do you think?  Any hope for him?

Christmas Lingers At Our House

Greetings! Look at this….

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You know who that’s for! And, we sent another care package with Sean. He’ll be “in the area” for his job, so he’ll deliver it. Sooo ready for her to be home. This year!!

We have a matching grant that you can donate to. When our account on the Reece’s Rainbow site reads $518, we’ll receive an additional $250 from a friend of a friend. Whom we have never met. It makes me teary. If you give through this link, it will be tax deductible. (And you’ll see a picture of Julianna when she was younger!) Click here to donate and consider yourself hugged.
If you donate on our blog, it goes straight to us, no tax deduction. Of course, either way works for us!

The boys go back to school tomorrow. They’re thrilled. We used some gift cards today, so that helped. Now I’m just hoping someone comes to clean my house and put up decorations! But I really am still enjoying my tree. Are there rules about holiday decor? Don’t worry, it will be down by February… unless I can work it into Caleb and Sean’s birthday themes!