Friday, December 26, 2008

6 months old!

Today, Amelia turns 6 months old. I can't help but wonder how much bigger she's grown since the last picture she had taken for us. I can't help but wonder which milestones she's reached. I can't help but wonder if she's getting more hair...I have a thing for hair bows! I can't help but wonder what her favorite things are. I can't help but wonder what makes her smile and laugh. Thankfully, soon enough I won't have to wonder about all these things because soon enough I'll have my girl in my arms. I do wonder when 'soon enough' will actually arrive though...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Details, Details, Details....

Since we've received Amelia's referral, the most common question we hear is 'When is she coming home?' and when we offer the answer (more than likely late February), the original question is followed 100% of the time with 'Why does it take so long?' So, I will attempt to answer that very question. If you're not into details, the short answer is that we're waiting for immigration and visa paperwork. If details are your thing, keep reading for all the nitty gritty details of the Korean adoption process after referral.

1. In order to officially accept Amelia's referral, we had to make our way through a giant stack of legal paperwork. Luckily, CHS (our agency) is FABULOUS with helping so it really didn't seem that bad! Our acceptance paperwork left the USA for Korea on December 18.

2. We're now waiting for Amelia's 'legals' to arrive from Korea. They'll actually be sent directly to CHS and we'll be notified when they arrive. 'Legals' are essentially a Korean birth certificate and all the legal documentation that proves she's eligible for international adoption.

3. Once the legals arrive, we're able to apply for the I-600. The I-600 grants us permission to bring a specific child (Amelia) into the country.

4. Once we've been granted our I-600, our entire file will then be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). It is 'logged in' and 'logged out'. At this point in the process, I have the ability to track our file. This is a good thing and a bad adoption, I've learned that there really is a such thing as having too much information. A hold-up of even a single day is enough to send an anxiously awaiting parent into a frenzy....

5. Our file leaves the NVC and is sent to the Embassy in Seoul. Once it arrives in Seoul, the embassy sends out some paperwork known as P3, to ESWS, our Korean adoption agency.

6. ESWS returns P3 to the Embassy which means that finally everything is done, and Amelia's visa can be issued!


*Just as a reference point, when we were in process for Graham, his acceptance packet went to Korea on July 10 and we got our travel call on September 12. Assuming we have no paperwork issues we're expecting to be on a similar timeline.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Introducing our DAUGHTER!!!

We are proud to introduce Amelia Paige Olson, born June 26, 2008!!!
When I woke up yesterday morning, I knew it would be a good day. I was having two of my college roommates over for lunch, one I hadn't seen in a very long time, and I was looking forward to catching up with the girls. What I didn't know when I woke up, was that my good day, would be turned into an absolutely, amazingly, great day! Early in the afternoon I said good-bye to my friend Amy, and not more than 5 minutes later the phone rang. Quickly running to grab the phone, I assumed it was Amy calling to let me know she had forgotten something. When I saw the telephone number of my social worker pop up on caller ID I froze. Things seemed to move in slow motion as I went through all the possible reasons for her to be calling. I answered the phone to hear her very cheery voice. Other than asking her if she was calling to 'just wish me a happy holiday' I have no idea what I said. After she told me she had our referral, I do remember her telling me to breathe! In all the years that my friend Jenny has known me, I don't think she's ever seen me so shocked! I'm so thankful she was here, because I was able to focus, or try to focus, on what our social worker was telling me without having to worry about entertaining Graham.
To make a long story short, I received our referral information over email, immediately fell in love with her picture, sent her medical information off to the International Clinic at the University of Minnesota to be reviewed (standard procedure with every referral), and refreshed my email every 30 seconds waiting to hear back from the doctor. Somewhere in there, I did call Jeff and was surprisingly able to catch him at his desk. Of course he was SHOCKED with the news, and the poor guy was heading off to give a presentation at work...I'm not sure how focused he was though!
I'm still trying to process the idea that I'm now the very lucky, Mother of two beautiful children who are 17 months apart...I'm going to be BUSY!!!
So, you're probably wondering what happens next? We've got some paperwork to complete and then every thing is out of our hands and into the hands of our government as well as the Korean government. I do have all the details regarding that process, but I'll save those riveting details for another day. Assuming everything moves along as expected, we'll be in Seoul towards the end of February to be united with our Princess Amelia.
Now the real waiting begins, the hardest part of the wait, the wait to have our little sweetie in our arms...
PS. Check back here often for updates. I'm so excited now that I have someone to actually update about!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Still here, and still waiting....

Yep, we're still here, and we're still waiting for the phone to ring. Our lives have gotten increasingly busy with the quickly approaching holiday season, so the days do seem to be passing a bit faster than normal. I feel so torn about wanting the time to fly. Part of me wants to fast forward to the day when the phone rings with news of our daughter, and other parts of me want to savor each day I have with Graham while he's as young as he is without rushing anything. I think a reminder of living in the moment is probably a good lesson for all, especially at this time of year when our calendars seem to explode with 'things'.

I do find myself thinking about her much more lately though. When I'm getting Graham ready for bed at night I wonder if she's just waking up and starting her day on the other side of the world. I hope that she's got a loving foster family and that she's greeted each morning with smiles. When Graham wakes me up each morning by loudly calling 'Mama' from his crib, then flops down with laughter when I actually appear, I wonder if his sister is getting ready to sleep for the night. As the weather has turned frigid here, and I know from experience how cold Seoul can be in the winter, I hope she's bundled in thick warm pajama's, not unlike those that Graham sleeps bundled in.

When the time is right, I know the phone will ring. Until then though, I'm going to focus on just living in the moment.