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We had a whirlwind trip to the U.S., full of airports and long car rides, visiting family and friends and lots of shopping. I do not like shopping. At all. That being said, my tall kids and their parents needed clothes. We stocked up on stuff, threw in some Target, Amazon  and Wal Mart randomness and called it good. 

We had fun seeing cousins and friends in (HOT) MS and AL, fishing and kneeboarding, bowling and swimming, celebrating July 4th and my Dad’s birthday and eating too much. 

This is my last week before school starts. The 2nd year overseas should be a breeze! (please, please, please)  The kids have 2 weeks. Only 1 kid is excited. Guess who!

Quick summer breakdown in (a lot of!) photos…

 

  

    
    
    
    

  
   
    
    
 
AND…

   
because I screenshot everything, hoping I’ll actually remember good ideas! ❤️ I still love middle schoolers! 

Happy Summer, y’all! 

  

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Fall in Seoul

I love fall! It’s cool in Korea so that means no more tank tops for this southern girl.  But here, that means pull out all of your big coats and bundle up.  It’s just fall, y’all, not winter. The leaves are changing and it’s really beautiful here.  My dear hubby bought me a little pumpkin and my dear friends (here and in Mississippi) bought me some fall decorations. Now I can decorate! Pumpkins, leaves and well, that’s about it. Decorating for fall is not high on Korea’s list. Maybe I could carve a sweet potato.

Hanging pumpkins!

Hanging pumpkins!

My brain is on overload from a conference I’m attending.  Report cards come out soon and we’re about to start the 2nd quarter. This school year is going by fast! Jacob has asked every day what we’re doing for Halloween.  Sad to say, probably a bit fat nothing. I’ll find him some candy so he’ll be happy.  Julianna loves kindergarten but is exhausted everyday. She has more good days than bad but she’s still adjusting.  It’s hard for a little Korean girl! The boys are doing their thing and still enjoying school.  IMG_2039

Here is my challenge to you:  learn about trauma in kids.  Learn about transition with adoption.  Read about how trauma affects learning.  For the sake of all the kids who didn’t get a fair start, please do it.  Nothing hurts a mama’s heart more than when their baby is not understood.  And as a reminder, adoption is not all sweet and cute.  There is so much loss and confusion.

Thankful for big brothers.

Thankful for big brothers.

We are thankful for friends here who love on our girl.  (the boys opt out of being loved on!) We are enjoying Korea and venturing out more and more. And we bought a car!  We’re adjusting to life here and feeling more at home.  And we bought a table! We look forward to going to the states in December.

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KIA

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Happy fall, everyone, and be sure and hug someone you love today!

Happy Fall from the Garricks!

Happy Fall from the Garricks!

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This is a quick update of our first week in SK. 

So far we have

lugged our stuff all over, tried new foods, explored and gotten lost, greatly surpassed our daily 10k recommended steps, gotten over the hump of jetlag, started to like Korean coffee–(so many options!), experienced lots of firsts…

had to change destinations in a taxi to somewhere we could say, double paid a taxi driver (cash and card swiped by 2 of us at the same time!-oops!), heated chicken strips that I thought were precooked but were not (surprise!), not been able to find canned veggies at the store, except corn, obviously;) <–corn is big here…bought grapes that were actually scuppernongs…and the list goes on!

We are {slowly} settling in and look forward to more adventures. Probably with lots of hills. 

   
  

       

**silliness, pedestrian bridge, taxi queue (<–you wait in line), 7 Eleven, mandu, Korean restaurant**

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!

 

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!

My List Has No Checks

We’ve had a pretty lazy day. Of course, Jacob woke up super early, which is his Saturday ritual. I had a few plans for the day but they lost out to laziness.  I watched a lot of HGTV instead. (and Sherlock Holmes–good movie, by the way!) The boys love doing nothing on the weekends, especially now that school has started. We did eat today, so never fear-  my children are not hungry. They may be tomorrow if I can’t make Sean I don’t go to the grocery store!

What I didn’t do today: laundry, grocery shopping, pack for my trip

What I did do: eat, watch TV, nap, cooked lunch, listened to the boys play

Sean and I are going on a school visit with work next week. (we work together, fyi)  We are going to South Korea. It should be a great trip! We will visit NICS’ 3 schools there and do a bit of sightseeing, too. Any suggestions?

Also, we will be able to visit the orphanage that our little girl is in. (Learn about our agency here.) I’m super excited and just as nervous.  It will be pretty hard to “just visit”, but I’m very thankful to be able to meet her in person. If all goes according to plan, we will post some pics of our visit, and you will be able to see the cute little miss! So remember, when you see on Facebook or Twitter that we are in Korea, we are not bringing our little girl home! And on that same note, we are still not sure when that will happen. Next year sometime is all we know.  HOPEFULLY, it will be during this school year.  With adoptions, your timeline is never set in stone.

Okay, so a few quick silly updates on the boys:

Jacob’s new favorite word is “literally” and he literally uses it 97x everyday. Currently, he loves all things Ninjago.

Caleb is a middle schooler. He is perfecting the art of being uninterested in us in public. (but he’s still the best big brother ever)  Actually, Jacob said he is a “medium” brother.

 

I’m very excited to meet our little girl, but will miss the boys so much. I guess it will be the same after meeting her. One more cart added to my emotional roller coaster!  Most days I’m fine, but sometimes it’s hard to wait.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post while in Korea, but I’m not sure.  If not, we’ll put pictures up soon.

Also, we will soon be announcing a few fundraisers that we are planning. We will have a few different options for those who want to be involved.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!