Monday, January 31, 2011

Are 2-4 Years of Good Hair Days in My Future?

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support after my last post. John and I completed the preference list for our next military assignment and got it turned in to his senior officer. We feel pretty comfortable with our choices given the 13 potential options, many of which are considered undesirable locations.

We based our decision largely on the following:
- The presence of an adoption agency that had an already established partnership agreement with our agency
- The presence of an adoption agency with a Korea program (we want to be around other families who have or are adopting from Korea)
- Presence of an Asian American (and preferably Korean) community, as a minimum Korean churches, restaurants, and grocery stores (we really, really don't want our son to be or feel like he is the only Korean person around)

I realize there are some who won't understand or agree with our reasoning, but I feel the decision to adopt transracially/transculturally comes with responsibility. As far as it is in our control and to the best of our ability, we want to ensure our son is around other Korean adoptees and other Korean Americans. As is the case this time, we may not have the option of living in an area like the DC metro area, Los Angeles, New York, or New Jersey which all have large Korean communities, but we will do the best we can. This also means we can't select places based only on their closeness to family.

There are many assignments in the military where none of the above three requirements would be met and so we are trying to avoid those places. Basically, that meant we chose metropolitan areas.

So here is how we ranked the potential choices we were given:
1. Davis Monthan AFB - Tuscon, AZ
2. Luke AFB - Phoenix, AZ
3. Randolph AFB - Universal City, TX (just outside of San Antonio)
4. Lackland AFB - San Antonio, TX
5. Tinker AFB - Oklahoma City, OK (believe it or not it actually has the highest percentage of the population that are Asian of almost all these choices, but it doesn't have an agency that is partnered with ours, and it has tornadoes, so it is #5 )
6. Sheppard AFB - Wichita Falls, TX
7. Goodfellow AFB - San Angelo, TX
8. Scott AFB - near Belleville, IL
9. Keesler AFB - Biloxi, MS
10. Barksdale AFB - Shreveport, LA (sorry to my Louisiana friends, it is nothing against Louisiana, it just didn't meet the above requirements)
11. FE Warren - Cheyenne, Wyoming
12. Kirtland AFB - Albuquerque, NM
13. Cannon AFB - Clovis, NM

I had the opportunity to visit Phoenix for work last August. The dry heat is my friend - my hair looked better than it ever has all week long, even after walking around outside in the heat. So maybe 2-4 years of good hair days are in my future.

Okay, so we didn't  choose Arizona based on the potential for my hair to look good, though with hair as baby fine as mine is, it sure is a bonus. Arizona was the only place that had an agency with a Korea program that was already a partner agency with our agency, and so it went to the top of the list.

Christy, it made me so happy to read your comment on my last post that there is a chance you might also be moving to Arizona! One of the things that will be most difficult for me about moving is that I have begun to meet other families adopting from Korea here in the DC area. I really want Joshua to have "Seoul brothers" to have play dates with and to have a support network of other adoptive parents wherever we end up.

Overall, I am feeling better about the move and the timing of everything. Deep down I think I have been fearing the whole adoption would fall apart because of it. I called our adoption agency to talk about our upcoming move which did a lot to allay my fears. She recommended we try not to go to a couple of states if we could help it (one of which wasn't even a possibility), but overall she said our move wasn't going to be a problem. I was mainly concerned about having to update our home study once we got to the new state and what would happen if we got our travel call before we could get it updated. She said it wouldn't be a problem as long as our home study from Maryland wasn't due to expire (which it won't be since we are in the process of renewing it now). I told her everyone had been telling us that we were going to get our travel call in May right when we are trying to move. She laughed and said, "That isn't going to happen," meaning there was no way we would be traveling by then given the fact that our paperwork didn't go to Korea until October 5th. She said she didn't think we would travel until August or maybe even September, which would be the full "up to 11 months" that we have been told our wait would be. 

At least we should have plenty of time to update our home study and set up Joshua's room at our new house ;-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Prayer Request

We just got back last night from a quick weekend trip to Florida (Melbourne, not Eglin) to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday. My brother and his fiance, and John and I got in late Friday night and surprised him. I had an such amazing time! It was one of the best trips to see my family I have ever had.

It didn't give much of an opportunity for rest this weekend, but it was totally worth it.

I have 2 prayer requests and would greatly appreciate your prayers:

First, could you please pray for my friend Wendi? After many years of infertility, she is pregnant with her third child, and just had an emergency appendectomy in Turkey. I can't imagine how scary this must be for her. Mom and baby are reportedly doing well after the surgery.

Secondly, the Air Force FNP potential assignment list just came out. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are due to move at the end of May, possibly the end of June, to John's next assignment with the Air Force. Our adoption agency got permission from Eastern for our move after explaining to them that military families have no choice about moving. However, this was before the extended wait until travel happened. Prior to this, we were supposed to be traveling to Korea before our move, and now it may not happen until after. It just adds further complication to the process and I am just not sure how it is all going to go in terms of timing, which creates some anxiety in me. We may have to do a completely new home study for the new state - I think this is the part that worries me most in terms of the timing.

We need to rank order the 13 potential assignments on the list. To my family, none of them are in Florida :-(

I'll give a few hints. Based solely on the number of bases on the list that are in Texas, we have a good chance of ending up there. However, both of the Arizona bases that we had been thinking about are also on the list. None of the other places on our dream sheet are on the list.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers for wisdom for John and I as we make our choices and for favor with those making the assignments.

I know that the Lord has orchestrated our entire adoption process and He will continue to do so. It is all in His hands. I have to believe He has a place prepared for us. And so I choose, this day, to place my trust in Him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adoption News/1st Baby Shower

1) Our adoption agency had a waiting families support group meeting for families adopting internationally on the 8th. I ended up going even though my cousin was staying at my house while he was in town visiting (his sister lives here also and the plan was for him to spend the morning with her so I wasn't completely deserting him). My hubby was kind enough to make him breakfast and play host so that I could go to the meeting. That was during the time when I was at a low point emotionally (as I wrote about here) so I just felt like I needed to be there. I think just getting to do something, anything, to make this whole thing feel more real was helpful at that point. There was nothing said that was particularly helpful, I think just knowing that I am not alone was enough. It seemed that there were others that were having an even tougher time with the wait.

I think the best part for me was getting to see Jen and have lunch with her afterward. She had just found out that her son's paperwork was being processed for emigration permission, so it was fun to celebrate this news with her. She should be getting her travel call any day!!! I also got to meet another adoptive mom-to-be who got a referral in December and I am hoping to get together with her very soon. The support of others along this road is so helpful.

2) It is that time again. Has it really been a year already? Yes, we have to update our home study. We have a doctor's appointments on Feb. 2nd, we have requested our driving records from Florida, and we have put in the form to get the background clearance from the state of Maryland. If you remember from the last home study, this was the form that took 9 or 10 weeks, when the one from Florida only took 1 week. It held up the entire process. Hopefully, that won't be the case this time. Other than these items, everything else is pretty simple: some forms to sign, employment letters, and tax and financial information to compile. Unfortunately, they recently doubled the fee from $250 to $500 for an update :-(

3) We got another update on Joshua. The reason we received another one so soon is because he was hospitalized from Dec. 29th - Jan 4th for bronchitis. We didn't find this out until this past Friday, 10 days after he was released from the hospital. According to the update he is doing fine now and is at home with his foster family. I cannot tell you how hard it is to find out your son has been in the hospital. I wish I could have been there to hold him. But the reality is that he doesn't know me. I am not the one who can give him comfort right now. And so I thank God for his foster mother. Please keep him in your prayers as these type of respiratory illnesses are very common in preemies.

4) We finally got new pictures of Joshua!!! You will not believe how cute he is. I will post the pictures as soon as I get the originals so that I can scan them in (they emailed us a PDF with the pictures scanned in).

5) This past Saturday I had my 1st adoption shower!!! This is most likely the 1st of 3 showers. I will also have one with my friends here in Maryland and one with my family in Florida. It felt so surreal. The morning of I was so excited; I kept thinking and even asked John a couple of times, "Is this really happening? Am I really going to an adoption shower. For me? With baby presents?" The shower was held by the ladies from my Apples of Gold Bible study (the one I took part in last fall). It was a bath and book-time shower (though I also got a couple of really cute outfits!).

What I really loved was that it was very Christ-centered. We opened with prayer and delicious food and then afterward everyone shared a favorite bed or bathtime memory or ritual that they did with their kids or from their own childhoods. Then we had a game where we had to pick out safety pins from a bowl of rice with our eyes closed - much more difficult than it sounds. I really appreciated the fact that Kelly (who planned the game) made a great effort to choose a game that was appropriate to adoption (she even gave a short message about how she chose this particular game because it represents us finding our son in spite of all the difficulty and read Romans 8:14-16). And the best part was that whoever won got a prize for me, so either way I couldn't lose. After the game I opened presents and then we had a short devotional.

Lastly, we had a time of prayer for Joshua. Joanna (who organized the shower) made me 31 little prayer cards, one for each day of the month, done on scrapbook paper and then laminated. They are on a ring so that I can hang them up on a hook to have them nearby to pray for Joshua while I am caring for him. One one side of each card is a prayer and on the other the corresponding Scripture. I can't wait to make this gift for other friends. During the prayer time she passed out two of the cards to everyone and we spent time praying them over Joshua and us. It was such a perfect way to end the shower.

And now for a few pics. I didn't include the group shot since I didn't ask if anybody minded if I posted it.


Look at these train bookends - so cute!

Can you believe I actually have all this baby stuff in my house!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Because of Isaac

Inspired by their son Isaac, who came to them through the miracle of adoption, our very dear friends, John and Wendi, have started an organization called Because of Isaac. Their mission is simple: to raise funds to help childless couples adopt.

The reality is that there are many wonderful couples who would make great parents, but are unable to afford the high cost of adoption. The average domestic adoption costs $25,000. While it is true that there is currently a federal tax credit and some employers do offer adoption assistance that can help offset these costs, these funds are not available until after the adoption is finalized. The upfront costs of adoption must come from the adoptive parents.

John and Wendi are "providing hope for adoption" through Because of Isaac. I love this motto because hope is exactly what adoption has given me - the hope to become a mom to a child who needs a family.

I truly don't know what I would do or how I could handle it if we could not afford to adopt. We have been very blessed to be able to afford the cost of adopting. But that is not the case for many others.

Would you consider helping bring a child into the arms of waiting parents? Please visit Because of Isaac to learn how you can take part.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Year

It may have seemed strange for me to say as I did here that the new year didn't really begin for me until January 14th, but it is absolutely how I felt. When I awoke on that day, it was like a weight had been lifted off of me. I know now that all the sadness and uncertainty I was experiencing were an "anniversary reaction." I felt so guilty for having these feelings when I should be excited about Joshua's homecoming.

The excitement that had been alluding me has finally come. In fact, I was almost giddy with excitement on Friday as I thought about the fact that this is the year we will bring Joshua home. As part of that giant leap forward, I gave my notice at work on that same day. I will be officially transitioning to my new role as a wife and homemaker (and soon to be stay-at-home mom!) on March 11th. I am so excited!

As I look ahead to this upcoming year, there is still some uncertainty, especially in regards to where we will be moving and when  in the midst of all that Joshua will be coming home. Will we get our travel call before we move? My friend Joia wrote about having a word goal for the year which inspired me to choose my word for this year.

My word for 2011 is:


Definition of Trust

intransitive verb

1 a : to place confidence : depend
   b : to be confident : hope
2: to sell or deliver on credit

transitive verb

1 a : to commit or place in one's care or keeping : entrust
   b : to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgiving
2 a : to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of : believe
   b : to place confidence in : rely on
   c : to hope or expect confidently
3 : to extend credit to

And my verse for this year,

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you." Psalm 56:3

The Lord is faithful and I know I can put my trust in Him for all that this year will bring.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I could literally feel the prayers today.

Thank you.

It meant everything to me. His peace was with me all day long.

And tomorrow is another day - a brighter day.

Because of the LORD’s great love 
we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness.  
Lamentations 3:22-23

I just read on another blog that today is Korean American Day. And that makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have been wanting to write a "good-bye 2010, hello 2011" post, but have really been struggling with it. It probably didn't help matters that I started off the year with a sinus infection and my monthly friend. But I guess what it really comes down to is I am feeling guilty that I haven't been able to write a hope-filled post about how excited I am it's 2011. The truth is my predominant emotion about this upcoming year has been uncertainty. There just feels like there are so many unknowns right now. We are due to move (as a result of John's military service) in less than five months and we have absolutely no idea where that is going to be. And even though I know intellectually that this is the year we will most likely bring Joshua home, it doesn't feel like it right now. I know that probably makes absolutely no sense, but it all just feels so far off and unreal.

The other emotion I am feeling is sadness. It is two years tomorrow since we lost our baby. While there is no longer the raw emotion that was present in the first several months to a year following my miscarriage, it is still painful to remember what we lost. A friend asked me if having Joshua lessened the pain. My response was no, Joshua is not a replacement for the baby we lost. He is his own person to be loved and cherished (and we most certainly do love and cherish him!), but another baby doesn't take the place of the baby that was lost.

However, in spite of all the uncertainty and the grief I am feeling right now, I know I have much to be thankful for and celebrate about 2010, and I plan to do so because I think it is important to reflect back on all the Lord has brought about in preparation for this next year. But right now it will have to wait until I get through tomorrow. I feel like my new year no longer begins on January 1st, for me the new year doesn't really start until the day after tomorrow.