Monday, October 26, 2009


Well, it isn't our I-600 approval, but we did get form I-797C in the mail today. It is a Notice of Action and says "The above application has been received by our office and is in process." It then asks us to check the personal information included on the form, if all is correct (which it is), then we don't have to do anything!

I hope this is a good sign. It took a little over a month for us to get our Notice of Action with our I-600a! This time it was mailed on 10/15, received in Texas on 10/19, dated 10/21 and postmarked 10/22! To me that is quick!

So, our paper work should now be on its way to Newark, NJ. Hopefully we will get a speedy approval! And I also think that this Notice also means that all of our forms were completed correctly and we don't need to change anything or submit anything else. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Goal - for B-West!

We got the chance to meet Brian Westbrook today at the Nova Care Center in Philly today! It was really exciting! He is so nice! B-West posed for a few photos with the boys - Justin wouldn't cooperate - and signed Brian's jersey and a picture for us! When Brian met Brian Westbrook, he shook his hand. Then Brian Westbrook asked what his name was, Brian replied, "Brian." Brian Westbrook smiled and told him that it was the best name there is!

As we were leaving Brian Westbrook told Brian to score a goal for him in his soccer game today!

And that is just what Brian did! He had a nice break-away and a pretty goal. He got past the defender and dribbled the ball to the outside and then shot on the opposite corner. Brian was so excited and could not wait to tell Brian Westbrook!

getting past the defender

making his break-away


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Super Soccer Star!

Sean had his last soccer game today. And what a game it was! The score ended in tie 4-4. But the exciting part was that Sean scored all 4 goals for his team!!! His face after the game was priceless. I was forced to fight back tears, it really warmed my heart to see you happy and proud he was!

He is so much more competitive than I thought he would be. He always seems to feel like he is in Brian's shadow when it comes to sports. It was so nice to see him shine this year. And even though he is aggressive and wants to score, he is still a nice player. He doesn't take the ball from his teammates and I can hear him encouraging them on the field when they have the ball. It was a great season! Sean cannot wait for next year!

Goal #1
Goal #2
Goal #3
Goal #4

Friday, October 23, 2009


Licks that is. I don't know how he did without biting, but he counted 128 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop! He was so proud of himself and spent all morning just licking and counting! His Kindergarten teacher would be so happy with is counting skills!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NLCS Game 5 !!!

Last night we got to see the Phillies win game 5 to clinch the National League title for the second year in a row! It was a really exciting game - with tons of hits and even seven home runs! I cannot believe the Phillies are headed back to the World Series!!!

Citizens Bank Park


Phillies win!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kathryn is 7 months....

Happy 7 Months Kathryn!

I cannot believe it! I really hope we get another update soon! It has been almost a month since we have heard anything about Kathryn. We got an initial Child Report with our referral information, and since Kathryn is at her second foster home right now, we should get a second Child Report. But like updated photos, nothing is guaranteed. I also have no idea if she has received her care package yet. Some people get a photo of their child with the care package, others do not. There are so many unknowns and so much waiting!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Little Luigi!

Sean was trying on his Halloween costume today and Justin fell in love with his hat! He didn't want to take it off and kept saying "my Luigi!" I got out his costume and he wanted nothing to do with it. I thought at age two that I could really still pick out his costume. I really wanted him to be Super Grover! He loves Grover, so I thought it would be perfect.

Nope. Wants no parts of Super Grover. He wants to be Luigi! I finally talked him into being Mario, because I think two Luigis is pretty silly. He is excited about being Mario! But still likes to wear the Luigi hat too!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Paper Work Delivered!

Whew! Just let out a huge sigh of relief! Good news! The I-600 paper work was delivered to the Lewisville Texas Facility this morning at 9:10 am! My faith is restored in the postal service. I was so afraid that the attempted delivery on a Saturday would make a huge mess! I really didn't need to add this to my worries, at least it was only for a few days!

Now, I just have to hope this new process is speedy and we get our approval within the next month! Oh, and we need EP (emigration permission) from Korea soon too! I hope to hear about that within the next month too. But for now, more waiting.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why Now?

They say to never expect a smooth ride with adoption paperwork. I don't know why I thought that I would be the exception to the rule. First it took our legals about two weeks longer than expected to get here.

Then USCUS changed the whole system for submitting the legals and I-600 form. Before Oct. 6th, everything got mailed directly to Newark, NJ. Now everyone has to first mail their paper work to a lock box facility in Texas. (I have no idea what a lock box facility is.)They look over the paper work, log it in, and then send it to Newark. I am so confused and not sure why this extra step is necessary! And why do I have to be among the first to try the new process?

I guess things could go really smoothly, but I have nothing to go by. I am like a guinea pig and my mind races with what to expect. And NJ had really fast processing times - most I-600 approvals came within 3-4 weeks! Some states were taking months! If my approval takes longer than a month I may just lose it!

So, I mailed the paper work to Texas on Wednesday. I sent it certified with return receipt so that I could track it and confirm that it got there. The man at the post office said it should arrive in 2-3 days. So, Friday night I checked on the tracking information - nothing listed except that it was accepted at our local post office!

I checked again today. And it said notice left after attempted delivery on Oct. 17th. Um, you would think that the postal system would know that USCIS isn't open on Saturdays. The notice tells them that they must pick it up at the post office within 14 days or it will be returned to me! What!?!?!?!!? I really hope they attempt to deliver it again. Apparently, I cannot get them try to deliver it again. Only the recipient can initiate redelivery! I am trying really hard to keep calm. But if it doesn't get delivered tomorrow......I just don't know what I will do!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hungry Mommy

I was getting Justin dressed this morning and he was giggling as I tickled his bare belly. I laid him down to change his diaper and kissed his belly. He giggled some more. I then pretended to eat his belly and he laughed even harder! I moved onto his toes and started to nibble them. This made him twist around in laughter! He caught his breath, looked right at me and said, "Please don't eat me Mommy!"

I had to laugh first and then reassured him that I would not eat him. Only tickles, no bites! It was so cute!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Day of Firsts!

#1 - Justin pooped on the potty today! We have sort of casually been introducing the idea of going on the potty. And it is pretty much still a fun game more than it is real potty training. Sometimes he is excited and other times he wants nothing to do with the potty. Today, I was changing him right before his nap and he asked to go potty.

He does this every once in a while, so I really didn't think too much of it. Then after a minute or two his eyes got really wide and he screamed, "Poop!" He stood up and I could not believe it! There was poop in the little frog potty! He was excited and kept yelling poop and pointing at it!

#2 - Justin peed on the potty tonight! He was again getting changed - for bed this time. As soon as his diaper was off he asked to go potty. I am starting to see a pattern emerging - stalling bed time by saying he wants to go potty. So, we got the potty and he sat. Then he got up, and then sat some more. After about 10 minutes I saw him looking down between his legs. He had that look and I just knew he had gone.

He jumped up and we looked in the potty! He was excited and kept yelling, "Yeah! Look at the water!" It was so cute and he was so proud! I took him to help me dump it in the big potty and he got to flush. He then walked back into the living room and peed on the floor. About 3 inches from the potty. Baby steps, baby steps...

#3 - Sean has a cold and a stuffy nose. This means that his nose runs a lot, and that he is extra whiny. The only thing that makes up for the extra crankiness is that he is also extra cuddly! Sean is our least cuddly kid. It is so hard to get hugs and kisses from him, but that also makes the ones you do get extra special! He wanted some tylenol before bed. I found some chewable tablets and he chased them with a sip of juice.

He then asked for something to help his runny nose. I could not find any liquid or chewable medicine. Only Brian's allergy medicine. They are really small pills that have to be swallowed. I told him this was not the chewable kind, but that he had to put it in his mouth, take a drink, and swallow. It only took him four tries and he did it! What a great kid!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. A day to remember losses. A day to quietly reflect. A day to be comforted by a united sisterhood. A day to remember that I am not alone in my pain. A day of empathy and understanding. A day to send caring thoughts out to those who have walked a similar path. A day of opening old wounds, so they can be further healed.

It has been almost three years since my last loss. We found out we had lost Justin's twin on December 7, 2006.(To read more about this click here.) This loss came after over two years of fertility treatments and 6 early miscarriages. Justin was born May 3, 2007. The time between December 7th and May 3rd was really hard for me. I was so afraid that I would lose him too.

Even after three years have passed, I still have days that hit me really hard. They don't happen as often now, but still my heart aches for the babies I never got to meet. The losses closed a door for me, but at the same time opened the window to adoption.

I am still affected daily by the pain of loss. Today, most of the anguish I feel has a positive effect on my life. I am grateful for each and every day. Grateful for the good and bad. Because to feel the bad, I have to have once felt the good. I was definitley changed by infertility and loss. Changed for the better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Finally! I feel so much better! We got our "legals" from Korea today! I already had all the I-600 and other necessary forms copied and signed, so I only had to copy the legals and get to the post office! Only 2 hours after opening my mail, they were off to USCIS in Texas!

After October 6th, I-600 and I-600A forms have to be sent to a Texas USCIS office. Before this date we would have mailed the forms to Trenton, NJ - just like we did with our I-600A. Since it is only October 14th, I assume that I am in the first batch to go to the new route! I really hope this new format doesn't add time to our wait. I am very leery of a brand new process.

I do see the need to streamline the I-600 and I-600A processes. All the states varied so much in their processing times - NJ was pretty quick and had I-600 approvals out in about 3-4 weeks, some states were taking months and months. I just hope things don't average out the difference - if my approval takes longer than a month I will go nuts! Especially since we missed the cut off by about a week!

This is our final step in the visa process. It is the last bit of paper work that I have any control of - well, until after we have Kathryn home! Everything else needs to be done on the Korean side!

*For more information on the process or any of the paper work mentioned above, please click on the "What's Next" link below Kathryn's photos on the side bar*

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Springdale Farm Trip!

Sean had his class trip to pick pumpkins today! He was really disappointed by the size of the pumpkins, I think he pictured himself getting a pumpkin so big that he could barely carry it! He did search for the biggest pumpkin for a long time! Sean was one of the last kids to decide on the perfect one!

We took a hay ride around the farm and learned a lot about fruits and veggies. I don't know how much the kids listened to all of it, but I learned a lot! I never knew there were so many varieties of corn or egg plant! I had never seen broccoli growing or knew that it will grow long after the first frost! All the kids had a great time - and apple cider donuts were enjoyed by all after the hay ride!

pumpkin flower
starting to grow
getting bigger
Sean still searching for a bigger one on the hayride!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fire Prevention Week

The boys brought home plastic fire hats from school for fire prevention week. Justin loves the hats and wears them all the time. Tonight he was a comedian, and kept pulling the hat down over his eyes! He finally flashed me a cute smile when he was tired of goofing around!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ravens Game!

Well, the Ravens had a tough loss today, but we still had a great time at the game! The weather was ideal - upper '60s and sunny with a light breeze! After the game, the boys got autographs from Ray Lewis, Willis McGahee, Ed Reed, and of course Joe Flacco! They also saw Haloti Ngata, L.J. Smith, and Kelley Washington - but didn't get autographs.

On the way home, we stopped at a diner with Joe and the rest of his family and friends that went to the game. It was a quiet little diner and Joe only got asked for autographs a few times! And he stopped for a few photos on the way out! I don't think the boys are aware at all that they just got to eat dinner with an NFL starting quarterback! They think it is neat, but to them he is still just their really, really tall cousin!