T Rex

Today was zoo day!! Dave’s brother gave us 4 passes to the MN Zoo, (thanks Joel!!!) and we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head up there with Ezekiel’s “best buddy” from daycare. We had a super fun day seeing otters, cheetahs, lynx, wolverines, sharks, camels, lots of other animals, and the best part… Dinosaurs!!! The zoo has an exhibit with life-like dinosaurs that roar and move and sometimes squirt water at people. My favorite pictures from the day came from this exhibit. I took these pictures a second apart, and giggled when I saw this sequence of events captured on film. The dinosaurs were “a little scary”.

Dinosaur!

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Dear Uncle Nate

A little background on this… A couple of weeks ago, Ezekiel and I were talking about big brothers. His Uncle Nate is my big brother, so I was telling him what an awesome big brother he is, and also about some of the “big brother” things he did to us when we were little. One example: my brother would toot into his hand or a jar, and then tell us to come over and look at something. Then he’d shove it in our faces. You know, brotherly love. Ezekiel thought this was hilariously awesome.

After Ezekiel wrote his letter to the mail lady last weekend wishing for mail, we told him that the best way to get mail was to send letters to other people. A couple of mornings later, I saw a blank envelope sitting on the counter when I was getting ready for work. I opened it up to look inside and found this. My brother called me this afternoon when he checked his mailbox after work. Hearing his laugh was awesome. He and Ezekiel are definitely two peas in a pod.

Image

“Dear Uncle Nate, I miss you. I miss tooting with you. I like playing with you. Here’s a picture of toots in a jar.”

Dear Mail Lady

This afternoon, Ezekiel came in from playing outside and announced that he needed to write a letter. We asked him who he would be writing a letter to, and he announced “the mail lady!” Our mail lady is pretty sweet, but we don’t see her often now that we are all gone from home during the day. It surprised and amused us to hear what he dictated to Dave (who wrote it out in pencil, then Eze traced the letters). And then he drew a picture of himself with the mail lady.

Dear Mail lady, I want some mail from you, please. Thanks for giving out the mail. Ezekiel

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Update

We got word from our agency today that they submitted the next batch of Emigration Permits. It was exciting to hear that they submitted a very large batch, and got through families with acceptance dates from May 2011 through September 2011, and even some October 2011 families. Unfortunately, we were not one of the families submitted. While it’s happy to know that we are 80% likely to be in the next batch submitted, it was disheartening to read that they are still not sure when the next batch of EPs will be submitted. They said that it’s likely that there will not be another batch until after the new law in Korea goes into effect after August.

It’s been hard not to feel a little angry today. Had things gone differently with the medical portion of our home study, and if our home study had been done 3 weeks sooner, we would have been a September family. And we would have been submitted for EP approval. And we would be celebrating the fact that we knew we’d be smooching our boy’s cheeks in 7-11 weeks.

While it’s good that the timing will work out better with the landscaping season, and it gives us more time to save up for the trip, we are feeling sad that we still aren’t holding Simon in our arms, and that we don’t know when that time will be. Please pray with us that we are able to bring him home by his second birthday in October.

Eze’s Hero

At the end of yesterday, I finally remembered to take a picture of my favorite guys together. I absolutely adore this picture. It perfectly captures Eze’s love for his daddy. When you ask Eze what he wants to be when he grows up, he ALWAYS answers “a landscaper!” even though he hates to get his hands too dirty 🙂 His first pick during playtime is anything that he can play with Dave. At bedtime he always wants Daddy’s stories. They both go crazy for breakfast, Mommy getting dressed up, and Temple Run (an iPhone game). I’m an incredibly blessed chick to be married to such a hero.

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Wishes Really Do Come True?

Tonight before bedtime, Ezekiel picked the book  Pinocchio for us to read to him. We read through the book, and I got to the very last line of the book, “And so, you see, wishes really do come true”. As Ezekiel jumped off of my lap, he said, “But Mom, wishes don’t really come true”. I asked him what he meant. He told me, “I’ve been wishing for Simon to come home for a really long time. And he’s never coming home”. Ugh. Stab me through the heart. I gave him a little squeeze and asked him if he really thought that, or if someday Simon will come home. He glumly told me, “Someday, Simon will come home”. And wandered off. I cuddled him into bed later, and prayed for him to feel better (slight cold), and for our wish to come true. For Simon to come home.

I hate this wait.

Cabin Weekend

We had an awesome weekend at my cousin’s cabin. We camped in an old school pop up in their makeshift campground, and it was crazy fun. Swimming, tubing, boating, laughing, eating far too much, relaxing, and catching up with cousins + uncle and aunt. I think my body will expect approximately 12 food breaks at work during the days this week. Dave celebrated 30-something years while we were at the cabin, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself – fishing, fishing, Ezekiel sitting on his lap (sitting still for over an hour at a time?! My kid? Weird.) fishing, and cleaning fish.

A balance break on the way up to the cabin

My lovely sunburn. I was so preoccupied with making sure Dave and Eze had sunscreen on, I forgot about my back.

Auntie Riss and Eze checking out a tent caterpillar. Auntie Riss is definitely a girl mom 🙂

Dave’s idea of a perfect birthday

Adore

A glorious ride home

Care Package #2

I finally got Simon’s second care package put together and Dave sent it out for us this weekend. I don’t know why but I was feeling really reluctant about putting it together. I don’t WANT to send a care package. I want to send myself over there to bring my baby home. My Ali finally gave me the kick in the pants that I needed last week.

She helped me pick out an adorable hat from Gap. I also sent a picture album with pictures from Eze’s birthday, with lots more spaces to add pics, which we will continue sending with each care package. I also got some snackies for him, and a patriotic little outfit that matches one I bought for his big brother.

My favorite thing that we sent was a recordable book, “All The Ways I Love You”. Dave and I alternated reading each page. We also got the Korean translation from one of the adoption forums and included that. I pray Simon hears our voices and knows how much we love him already.

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Bad Phone Luck

Yesterday Dave was working on our front landscape and set his phone down on the bumper of our beloved Suba.ru. We left a few minutes later to pick up Ezekiel from my parents’ house. Dave headed back in to our house later to pick up supplies to eat supper with my parents and grandpa. About 5 minutes after he left, my parents’ phone rang and I saw that it was our home phone number. I answered and Dave asked, “Rach, have you seen my phone out there?” I looked around, but only saw mine and my mom’s phones. I told him that, and then he uttered the words he has uttered more than one time in our life together, “I think I ran over my phone”. He had never picked it up off of the bumper of our car. I laughed pretty hard for a few minutes, then told him I’d take my dad’s car out to look for the phone. My mom (giggling the whole time) joined me on the hunt. I didn’t have to drive very far. It was about 50 yards down the gravel road from my parent’s driveway. In 3 pieces. With a completely shattered face plate. It had definitely been run over. I brought it inside and called the phone. It still rang, but the screen stayed black (and shattered). Thank goodness he was eligible for a new phone June 1, but hadn’t gone to the store to upgrade quite yet.

It got me thinking about why it’s so easy to laugh about this. Probably because of this list:

Fall 2001: Dave was working for Tree Trust, and helping cut down trees in a wooded area. He lost his phone during work one day, and we searched for hours to no avail.

Between 2001 – 2008: I can’t remember, but Dave has never just upgraded to a new phone. It’s always been a replacement for a broken phone.

Summer 2008: Set his phone on the bumper of his work truck at one of his work sites. Somehow ran over his own phone.

January 2011: Had his phone in his lap while driving. Got out of his truck and didn’t notice his phone drop. When he realized it was missing, he thought it had fallen out of his pocket while raking huge snow drifts off of our roof. I proceeded to bring in loads and loads of snow to melt in the house in hopes of finding the phone. The hardware store, in the meantime, found Dave’s phone on the street, pressed “Talk” and got a hold of my dad. The last person Dave had called on his phone. Small town = they know my dad, and as soon as they heard his voice, told him they had found this phone and it had been run over.

July 2011: Dave put his phone in the pocket of his swim trunks. Then proceeded to jump in the outdoor pool in town for an evening of summer fun. Felt something heavy in his pocket. Yep. The phone.

June 2012: See above.

Poor Dave is teased by both his family and my family for his luck with phones. My family has the same cell phone carrier as us, and they give us their old phones every time they upgrade. Even my best friend gave us her old Android phone the last time she upgraded, just in case. We make very good use of these recycled phones. And of our phone insurance plans.

Sad phone

A Sort-of Update

On Friday, after we got home from the wedding, I saw we had gotten our monthly update from the adoption agency. The past monthly updates have said 8-12 months to travel from approval date (ours is October 21). This month’s update said “approximately 12 months”. Which to me says without saying, “maybe 12 months, maybe 13, maybe 14, heck maybe 2 years”.

In this post, I mentioned that we received news from our agency that we’d likely travel in 2012 to bring Simon home. We’ve been hearing rumors around some of the forums online that other families with an approval date close to ours heard that there is a chance they won’t travel until 2013. I have taken that to mean that we are in the same boat. I had a slight meltdown while processing that change in expectations.

I started thinking about an e-mail we had gotten from our agency a few months back. If we chose, we could fly over to Korea before it was time to bring Simon home for (2) 1-hour visits with Simon and his foster family. At the time I dismissed the idea, because I knew we couldn’t afford both a “visit trip” and also travel a few months later to bring Simon home. After we heard the rumors that we might not travel in 2012, I vowed that I would see Simon on his second birthday, even if it meant putting the “visit trip” on a credit card. On Thursday night I met up with my Ali and told her “the day of his birth his birth mom was there, on his first birthday his foster mom was there, and for his second birthday I need to be there”.

But on Friday, the second part of the update from our agency announced that they would no longer be able to accommodate families coming to visit their children. There is just too much work to do for the emigration permits, and for the families traveling to bring their children home. We understand that, and whole-heartedly agree that bringing the children home is top priority.

My prayers are more fervent than ever that we get approval to bring Simon home for his second birthday in October.

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