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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The end is in sight...

I got confirmation from our agency this evening that we will wait no longer than 4 months maximum for our referral!!! WOW!!!! Since babies have to be 5 months old before they become eligible for international adoption, it means that our little girl has already been born!!! WOW!!!! In just a few short months, Jeff and I will become parents of two children under two! WOW!!! It's a good thing I had plans to order her bedroom furniture tomorrow morning because she's going to be here before we know it! Until then though, I hope that she's being tenderly cared for and loved by her foster family.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Fortune Cookie

For a minute, let me go back in time over a year ago....When the wait for Graham's referral was becoming excruciatingly difficult and I felt as if I could explode with anticipation at any moment, my Mom's friend passed along a small slip of paper to me. This tiny slip of paper, which happened to come from a fortune cookie said the following 'Your greatest wish will soon come true.' She had been holding onto this piece of paper because soon after she got this message, her wish did come true with the arrival of her own miracle baby. Just days after this special paper was passed along to me, my greatest wish came true when we received Graham's referral.

Now, fast forward to October 18, 2008 and I myself was enjoying Chinese food with my family. As we were cleaning up, I began to hand out cookies and I quickly tore into my own. The message in front of me caught me completely off guard-'You will soon be crossing great ocean waters for an incredibly rewarding experience.' I immediately grabbed all the cookies and ripped into them to see what the other messages said. Each and every one, other than my own, had some laughable message that would quickly be forgotten and thrown into the trash. I'm not a superstitious person, but I will say that when waiting in adoption, I cling to any piece of hope I can possibly grasp. So, this fortune, in combination with the dreams I've been having, followed up with the recent news from our agency has me feeling like something pretty special is in the works right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good-bye waiting list...

The past few days have been weird for me adoption wise. I know that weird isn't a very descriptive word, but it just describes how I've been feeling, and that is weird. Two nights in a row I woke up in the middle of the night after having extremely vivid and real dreams that we received our referral. Don't get me wrong, the wait this time around is a million times easier. It's not that we're not as anxious to get Princess Olson home as we were with Graham, but thanks to my miracle of a little guy, my personal time is down to virtually nothing. This leaves very little time for my mind to wander.

My emotions came to a head this morning and I ended up having a tearful conversation on the phone with my mom. As I paced the kitchen pouring my heart out, I was oblivious to the blinking light on my answering machine. Only after I hung up the phone, did I notice the message and hit 'play'. I heard "Hi Melissa, it's Jill..." In case you don't know, Jill is the keeper of the waiting list, the patient and kind woman who answers all my waiting list questions in a very timely manner. As you can imagine, my stomach literally dropped when I heard her name. She went on to give me a few details of why she was trying to reach me then asked that I get in touch with her. With my very shaky hands, I dialed her number to get what would turn out to be amazing news! Here's what we know....Eastern, the agency in Korea has requested that any families with Korean heritage (us!) have their files sent to them ASAP for matching! They've also requested that those families be removed from the CHS waiting list. According to Jill, this was a very good sign and when I asked her if she thought if we'd still be waiting until spring she laughed and said she didn't think so! The only down side, is that I no longer have a way to check our 'progress' on the list. My one and only way to keep tabs on this process has been taken away and being the type A person that I am, that's a bit difficult to swallow. I can only hope that this process speeds up fast enough that I don't have too long to wonder where we should be on the list. It looks as though a trade has been made- I give up the waiting list in exchange for a pass to ride on the fast track...I think I'll take it! :)

One last thing, in case you're into the details, our file is heading to Korea on Tuesday...I wish for a smooth and happy trip for our paperwork!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Making Progress!

I feel silly asking our program director for list updates too often, so I often find myself trying to come up with an excuse to be in touch with her so I can just slip in my 'real' question. I'm sure she sees right through my ploy, but she kindly plays along. :) This month, I luckily didn't have to try too hard to come up with an excuse to contact her. My parents so kindly offered to make a yearly donation to the Korean adoption agency in Graham's honor. So, I had the perfect opportunity to find out what is currently needed and at the same time find out what sort of progress we've made on the road to our little princess. I had an email response almost immediately, and to be honest, my stomach always drops a mile before I open it up. I always feel like I need to brace myself in case the news is less than favorable, but also don't want to start celebrating prematurely. Well, today, I want to celebrate because we're #27!!! Not too bad, considering that just a bit over two months ago, on July 24, we were the family occupying the 48th spot on the waiting list. I don't want to jinx the speed this time around, but do I dare say that things are moving along quite nicely and that we might be united with our little girl sooner than originally planned??? Only time will tell....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good News x 2!!!

Just two weeks ago we had our fingerprints done for our I600A application. It was at this appointment that I was told my fingerprints were worn and the technician wasn't sure that the FBI would accept them. Fast forward to today, when I opened the mailbox and saw an envelope from the USCIS (immigration). My heart actually started pounding and my mind started racing. I assumed it was the letter telling me to come in to have my fingerprints redone. The thought of an approval didn't even cross my mind. After all, it had only been two weeks and an approval that quickly is almost unheard of! I tore open the envelope and my jaw dropped when I read the letter-APPROVAL!!!!! I must have frozen in shock because the next thing I knew, Graham was tugging on my leg and calling my name repeatedly. It's nice to know that the hassles of Jeff's improper left turn (aka criminal behavior) and my worn fingerprints are behind us! :) Now that we have our I600A approval, everything is in place for us to receive our referral....which brings me to my next piece of good news.

Since we got word of our approval today, I thought it was the perfect excuse to contact our agency and find out if we've moved up the waiting list. Four weeks ago, we were #48 on the list. Yes, it's a big number, but not having any idea how quickly things were moving, I was looking forward to getting another update so I would have a reference point. I got another happy surprise when I learned that in just four short weeks, we moved up ten spots on the list, making our new waiting list number.....
Things seem to be definitely moving! This evening I've found myself wondering when our little girl will be born, in a month or two or three, or maybe she's already made her debut to the world. It's probably a mistake, but I've let my mind wander and come up with all sorts of possibilities of moving through the waiting list at lightning speed. Even if referrals slow down and we only move 5 spots each month in the months to come, we could be hearing something by February or March...I'm sure I'm getting way ahead of myself, but a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bring on month #3...

It's hard to believe that tomorrow begins our third month of officially waiting for our little girl. It actually feels like much though longer since our application has been in the works since April, but it wasn't until the end of June we began our official wait. What may be even harder to believe is that I still feel like I'm 100% sane! :) At this point in the wait for Graham, I think I had already lost it. Granted, there was a lot more uncertainty regarding the timeline for his adoption, but still, I feel like I'm handling the wait much better this time around. When we were waiting for Graham, I desperately wanted to shop for baby things, but there was always this small piece of me that wondered "What if this never happens?". Certainly, at times it felt like it never would happen, but we all know how that turned out. This time around,I know that our daughter is at the end of this wait, so I know that it's ok to shop for her! :) It really is funny how much better I feel when I allow myself to pick up something for her. Growing up, my dolls always had quite the frilly, large wardrobes, so I'm excited that I'm now able to shop for my daughter! In case you're interested, pictured, are two of Princess Olson's newest dresses.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Today,we are able to cross one more "to do" item off of our adoption checklist...fingerprints! We're no strangers to fingerprinting, as I've actually lost count as to how many times we've had this done over the past few years. Each time is an experience and today was no exception. Depending on which level of government is wanting our prints, we either head to the county jail (good times!) or to the USCIS Office. Today, our fingerprints were being requested by the FBI so we headed off to the local USCIS office for our 11:00 appointment. Although this sounds like an important place, this tiny office leaves much to be desired. It happens to be located in a very rundown strip mall with a broken sign above the entrance that says "Application Center"....don't ask why it says that because I don't have a clue! Walking into that place is like walking into another country, and today, it felt a lot like walking into Somalia. Nobody spoke English, and I could tell the desk workers were relieved to deal with us since we were able to follow their directions without them resorting to giving instructions at a turtles speed with intense volume.

After sitting in the waiting room for nearly 45 minutes, Jeff was called back leaving me alone in the waiting room. Ten minutes later it was my turn and I was escorted back to the computerized machine. No ink pad and paper for the FBI-go taxes! The woman repeated several of my fingers then told me that many of my fingerprints have been worn down and that I shouldn't "freak out" if I get a letter from the FBI telling me that my fingerprints have been rejected. This lady obviously doesn't know me, because such a letter would definitely send me over the edge. We're talking about our daughter here, and rejected fingerprints mean a denied government approval (at least until this little fiasco is figured out). She then went on to say that she's seen "much worse prints be accepted" but that she couldn't guarantee anything. I questioned her about all the "what if's" I could think of and it sounds like if my fingerprints are rejected that I need to go back and have them redone so they can match my worn fingerprints from today with the new prints to verify my identity. Obviously a fingerprint hassle won't stop our adoption, but I'm not really looking to hassle with the FBI. Why can't anything adoption related by easy? Grrrrrrrr...........I think this calls for ice cream tonight!

PLEASE cross your fingers that the FBI accepts my fingerprints so that we can keep the ball rolling without a delay in our process.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fit for a Princess!

Jeff's parents recently returned from spending a few weeks in Korea and delivered this special outfit to us. Jeff's Aunt (who lives in Seoul) heard that we're waiting to bring our daughter home and picked out a special hanbok and matching shoes for her! I love it all, but I especially love the little shoes! What little girl wouldn't love a pair of silk embroidered shoes? This outfit is definitely fit for a princess!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The waiting list.....

I caved in this morning and asked our agency for a waiting list update. The thought of doing so hadn't even crossed my mind until I talked with our social worker yesterday. Our conversation got me thinking and I decided that I just had to know. Now I wish I had never asked because our number on the waiting list....are you ready for big, fat 48. Yep, you read that right 48...4 dozen, almost half way to 100, any way you look at that number, it's pretty big. For a few minutes after I heard that number I allowed my thoughts to wander. I wondered how much ice cream working our way to #1 (and still arriving with sanity) it was going to take. Then I began to do the math and attempt to figure out how many referrals our agency needs to get each month in order for us to receive our referral within our projected year. Then, before I let my mind race any longer, I made a good decision and called Jeff at work. Thank goodness I called him when I did, because he reminded me of something very important regarding the waiting list that immediately put my mind at ease. Let me explain...

When you're waiting for a baby from Korea, you can request to wait for a boy, a girl, or "either". If you have no children, you are automatically waiting for "either". The thing is though, there isn't actually an "either" list. There is a boy list and a girl list, and if you're waiting for "either" your name is actually on both lists. For example, when we were waiting for Graham, since we had no children, we were on both the girl list and the boy list. As soon as we accepted Graham's referral we were crossed off both lists. The majority of the time, if a family is waiting for "either" they'll receive a boy which will take their name off the girl list.

So, I can rest assured that there truly aren't 47 people ahead of us waiting specifically for little girls. I'm going to assume that maybe close to half of them are actually waiting for "either" which means when they receive their boy referrals, we'll actually move up the list. We'll also obviously move up the list each time a girl referral is handed out. Basically, at least until all the "either" people have their referrals, we'll move up the list twice as fast because any referrals means movement up the list for us.

If I've confused you with my waiting list logic, I'm sorry. The whole point of my rambling is to remind myself and all those waiting for Princess Olson that being #48 isn't as bad as it may seem.

Monday, July 21, 2008

One down, who knows how many to go!

Today marks one month of us officially waiting for our little girl! Of course, it feels like we've been waiting much longer since we started the application process way back in wintry April, but we're now able to say we've got one month of "waiting list waiting" behind us. In honor of attempting to patiently wait, I've decided to allow myself to indulge in my need for girly shopping once a month. I have to admit that I got quite the rush when I allowed myself to cross from the boy side of the store into the girl side. I could have easily spent hours browsing racks of dresses and ruffles. Since we don't know what size our little princess will wear when she makes her journey home, I decided on a few items that have some flexibility-a pair of sassy sunglasses, an adorable sunhat, and a pair of cute little sandals. Stay tuned for next months girly purchases!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Hmmm, we've only been waiting 3 weeks and I'm already finding myself questioning this process again. Why does it take so long? Why is the government so slow? Why is the entire process out of our control? Why, Why, Why? The fact that I'm asking myself these questions only 3 weeks into our official wait is definitely not a good sign. The truth is, I asked myself these exact same questions the first time around and although my questions were never answered with words, they were answered the first time I laid eyes on Graham. So, I guess I can answer my own questions. The answer to all my "Why's?" is very simply because our daughter isn't ready for us yet. That realization doesn't make the wait any easier, but I do know that the extremely long wait that lies ahead of us will make that first look at our little girl that much sweeter.

As these thoughts ran through my head today, I was doing some adoption reading on the Internet and came across the following poem. I read it over and over and over because it just feels so relevant to my racing thoughts. I'm definitely going to tuck this poem away for those days when the waiting feels unbearable. We're not waiting for just any little girl, we're waiting for our daughter...

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
--- Kristi Larson

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The next thing on our list....

Our social worker, Mary, is so fast! It's been just over two weeks since she came to visit with us at our house and our homestudy documents arrived in the mail today! Not too bad considering we had a holiday thrown in there too! The fact that we now have a copy is actually a pretty big deal because now we can get the ball rolling on the next step. Dealing with our social worker at CHS has been very easy so although I'm excited to move onto the next step, I'm also a bit cautious. We now have to deal with..... the when I have questions I will never be able to speak with a real person and our case will have truly been turned into just a number in a large pile. But, it is the next step towards being united with our daughter so we'll do it with smiles on our faces!

We (who am I kidding, we means me) will fill out the I600A application. It's complicated, but the short version of what this form accomplishes is giving us approval to bring a foreign child into the country. This is the very first piece of immigration paperwork for our child-so early in fact that this form will only be tracked by our names and not our daughters' since we haven't been matched with her yet. Once we receive our referral, we then apply for the second part of this application, the I600, which allows us to bring a specific child into the country. Basically, when we apply for the I600A we're asking for pre-approval. That's probably more than anyone really cares to know, but it is the next thing on our to-do list.
What we're really excited about is that as part of the I600A application we get to have our fingerprints taken again. WOO HOO! Not only do we get to have our fingerprints taken again, but we also get to pay several hundred dollars for it! There really is nothing better than sitting in an unairconditioned immigration office waiting room and being the only people who speak English...all in the name of our noncriminal fingerprints which we've had taken countless times over the past few years...those are good times!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Waiting for Spring...

So here it is the middle of summer, a time of year that I absolutely love in Minnesota, and we find ourselves already looking ahead to Spring in our house. About that time, I'm sure I'll be going crazy with anticipation because that's when we're expecting to learn about our little girl! Because the babies in Korea must be 5 months old before they're eligible for international adoption, this would mean that our little princess will likely be born sometime between November-January. Knowing this, I have a rough idea about her size at various seasons which means I can SHOP for pink!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!
We had our home study yesterday and things went exceptionally well. It's so much easier to talk about parenting styles this time around when we've actually had the opportunity to parent! Our social worker stayed for just over two hours and actually spent nearly 30 minutes just playing with Graham! Things definitely feel much more casual this time around. I honestly get choked up thinking about having another little one in our house. It's been a true honor and blessing to have Graham in our lives and we are so full of anticipation to watch our family grow again. We are so lucky!
So, now we wait and most things are completely out of our control. I feel like I've written those words so many times before-"things are completely out of our control" and that's one of the things that makes the adoption process so difficult to weather. We've still got a few "fun" things to take care of in the meantime though-we get to wait for our FBI fingerprint appointment and clearance, which we'll celebrate, then we wait for I600A approval (government approval for us to bring an immigrant into the country) which we'll also celebrate. Yes, we've got a long wait in front of us, but we'll do our best to celebrate each and every step along the way!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In less than 48 hours, it will all be over....

To be exact, in 38.5 hours our home study begins and I won't have the time to be nervous anymore. Instead, I'll be focused on what ever it is our social worker wishes to speak with us about for close to 3 hours. 3 hours is a long time to talk with anyone, and since she already knows us and our entire story, I'm just not sure what sorts of questions she'll have for us this time around. Have I mentioned that I'm very nervous? I'm completely preoccupied, can think of nothing else, and I don't think I'm very much fun to be around right now. I've tried to rationalize with myself-we've been through this before, we know our social worker, everything will be ok... But, the reality of the situation is that it's still a home study, and it really is a big deal. Perhaps I feel like I know too much about the process this time around. I know exactly what is at stake, which is a LOT. Perhaps I'm anxious because Monday will start our roller coaster ride and the length and craziness of the ride is uncertain to us. Perhaps I'm anxious from the ice cream sugar high I've been on all evening. "Ben and Jerry" have become two of my best friends this weekend. I don't think we've been so close since I was riding the roller coaster of Graham's adoption and it's good to have them back in my life. I'm confident that come Monday evening, I will laugh at myself for being so worried about this step in the process. Heck, I'll probably invite "Ben and Jerry" out of the freezer again to help me celebrate! But until then, I'm nervous. After all, we're having a woman licensed by the state come into our home, watch our parenting styles, check out our house, talk about the relationships in our lives, discuss our finances, and generally make sure we're fit to add another child to our family. Wouldn't that make you nervous???

Monday, June 16, 2008

Efficiency at it's finest!

According to the voicemail we received when we got back in town last night, we should be hearing from our social worker at some point this week. I was hoping to hear from her in the first half of the week, but I certainly wasn't expecting to hear from her in the first part of the day today. She is one efficient lady and we sure are glad to have her working for us! Mary, our social worker, needs to come over and talk with us and check out the house and will be doing so on Monday the 23rd. That means that more than likely in less than a week, we'll actually be on the waiting list-WOW!!! Having already been through this, I really didn't expect to be nervous, but I am! I really don't know where these feelings are coming from-we know our social worker, she's already been to our house, we've already had many meetings with her for Graham's adoption, so I really wish I could kick these feelings of nervousness. I think the reality of the situation has finally hit me. We really are, in every sense of the word, expecting a baby!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tonight, We Celebrate!

We learned the first time around, that during an adoption process, it's important for us to celebrate the small victories. Celebrating adoption milestones might seem a bit strange to some- we don't have the opportunity to celebrate ultrasound pictures, heartbeats, and the eventual departure of morning sickness. But, we do have the opportunity to celebrate the government confirming that we are not criminals (fun!), the completion of a second home study (more fun!), and having our fingerprints taken multiple times (most fun!).

On the drive home from the lake today I was telling Jeff that I wanted to call Children's Home this week and find out what was going on with our background checks. We were told it would take at least 30 days from when they were submitted (May 22) to get them back and today is only June 15, but what can I say...I'm impatient. So, imagine our surprise when we walked into the house tonight and heard the message on our machine from CHS telling us that our background checks were in and our file was complete! Judging by the cheers and "high fives" between Jeff and I you'd think we had just won the lottery or something! I guess in a way we are on our way to winning our own personal lottery as tonight's message brought us one step closer to our little girl. This week we should be touching base with our Mary, our social worker, and then the real waiting begins...the long, long wait...

But, tonight we're celebrating!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pink, Pink, Pink!!!

I think we've finally resolved Jeff's improper left turn issue. The resolution involved Jeff making a trip to the police station today and paying for a notarized letter that stated (surprise, surprise!) he doesn't have a criminal past. Now that we've got documentation on a local level, the trick is to get all branches of government involved in our adoption on the same page. Hopefully, with one more letter documenting my lovely conversation with the county court last, everything should be taken care of. So, in honor of this mini-milestone, I thought I'd share the very first gift that Princess Olson received! Grandma and Grandpa Greer picked out a sweet pink outfit and matching blanket and I'm already anxious to have out little bundle all snuggled up in it. I honestly get a high thinking about dressing her up in pink. Not that I don't enjoy shopping for Graham, because I do, but there is something so fantastic about being able to buy pink! Pink polka dots, pink with ruffles, pink plaid, pink gingham...the possibilities are absolutely endless! It's too early for me to enter pleas of "Come home soon!" to our princess because she hasn't been born yet, so I'll just say "Grow big and strong because your family is waiting to see your sweet face!".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It's amazing how quickly the headache of government paperwork has come back to haunt us. Why can't anything be easy!?!?!?!?!?! And all this headache is because of an improper left turn that Jeff made back in 2003. WHY????? The United States Immigration Services (USCIS) requires written documentation of any "legal infractions" other than parking and speeding tickets. Since "improper left turn" doesn't fall into either of those categories I've been going in circles with the local police station that issued the ticket, and also the County Court that processed the ticket. I finally made progress with the police station and they're now willing to supply a notarized letter stating that Jeff doesn't have a criminal record. I've had it with the County Court though. I was told by a very unfriendly Becky (I feel badly for anyone that has to deal with this woman!!!) that they are unwilling to supply such a letter. We went in circles for quite a while with me explaining to her that her office did provide documentation two years ago so why can't they do it again. This very kind lady, basically called me a liar and told me that they never provided such a thing. She then went on to tell me that I have the right to send in a written request for a letter and they'll see what they can do but it might take several months. MONTHS??? We're talking about an adoption here, there is no way we're waiting MONTHS for a letter confirming that my non-criminal husband isn't a criminal. Needless to say I was pretty upset after that phone call and decided to call our adoption agency and figure out what to do. Thank goodness for CHS! Apparently the county I've been dealing with is notorious for giving people a hard time and instead of fighting with them any longer, I should just document the conversation I had with my new friend Becky and send that into USCIS. I guess the moral of my little story is to not make improper left turns into grocery store parking lots....they come back to haunt you!!! End of vent.....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We're expecting a baby!!!!

Yes, it's true....we've jumped back on the emotional roller coaster of adoption and we're ready to share our exciting news with the world!!! Our official paperwork is now in the right hands which means the process is out of our control at this point. Now the waiting begins. It really seems like just yesterday that we were waiting and waiting and waiting for Graham's referral. Then, we waited and waited and waited for his visa so we could bring him home. Now, we find ourselves waiting and waiting and waiting again-this time we're waiting for our little girl, our daughter and Graham's sister, to make herself known to us.

Here's what we know right now. The wait for a little girl is LONG! We've been told it could be a year before we receive our referral. I guess that means my "pregnancy" will be approximately 12 months long! It really does seem like an eternity, but we learned during our first adoption process that good, no GREAT, things really do come to those that wait. So, we wait.

I feel like I have a different perspective heading into the process this time. We know the "ins and outs" of the system, we know the right questions to ask and where to direct them, and most importantly we know that ice cream is the best fix on days when the process is emotionally draining. We experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs while waiting for Graham, and we've got our fingers crossed that the process is a bit smoother this time. Thankfully, the adoption laws have recently changed in Korea and won't be changing again anytime soon, so there shouldn't be any major delays in the process like we previously experienced. With any luck, next year about this time we should be able to announce that Graham is a big brother!

Welcome to our journey and hold on for the ride!!!

Children's Home Society and Family Services in St. Paul, MN....where the magic happens!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Paperwork Sunday!

In order to get our process moving along, we made the decision a few weeks ago that today was paperwork day. Unfortunately, our stack of paperwork isn't any shorter this time around, so we knew we needed several hours to just sit down and get it done. It doesn't get any better than sitting inside on a beautiful spring day answering questions (for the second time) relating to culture and our parenting styles! We've got a weight lifted off our shoulders now though, because our application is done, done, done! WOO HOO!!! Perhaps you even heard our shouts of joy from Eden Prairie about 4:00 this afternoon! As part of our application all three of us are required to have physicals. Jeff and Graham have already had their appointments but for some reason my doctor was backed up, so we've got to wait 2 more weeks for my appointment before we can officially hand everything in. I'm still in shock-we're going to have a baby!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

And so it begins....

We've been waiting for "it" to arrive and low and behold on a very snowy, cold April day, "it" finally showed up in our mailbox. "It" is our official application for us to adopt baby #2!!!!!!!! WOW-I can't believe I actually wrote that! Yes, it's true...we're in the very early stages of bringing home a sibling, a sister to be exact, for Graham and we couldn't be more thrilled! Last year at this time the Olson's of Eden Prairie were miserable to put it mildly. After already waiting for what felt like an eternity, we still had no referral. I would have laughed if anyone would have told me that exactly one year later we'd be a very happy little family of three working towards expanding our family yet again. On that note, we'd like to announce that it's time to start thinking PINK!!!!!!!!!!