Thursday, September 30, 2010

NVC In and Out!

Well, now that our I600 is approved, they forwarded our file to the National Visa Center. I called today to check on it's status. I've never called before. Not one single time during the I600 process. Since we received our notification last Friday, I figured I'd give it until Thursday of this week before I called and became "that parent".

Thursdays are always CRAZY busy for me. I take Andrew to preschool, go to church to pull supplies for all the children's classes that meet on Sunday, grab lunch, do school with Robert (today add that we went to Hope Market - a craft fair that we go to each year), pick up Andrew, come home for less than 2 hours, head back to the church to teach my Thursday night class. I feel like I run all day long on Thursdays.

So when we got home, I got the boys settled doing an activity and I got set to call the National Visa Center to check on Zoe's status. Well, I've never called before and I don't know how to call. Um, thank God for Mary Leigh! She reminded me that there were "hints" listed on the Korea forum and I was like "oh, stupid me, of course!!!" and I was off to call the NVC. I read the hints thoroughly 3-4 times and decided I was as prepared as I could be and I dialed the number. Busy. dialed again. busy. and again. busy. Finally, I got through. Listed in the hints, it says "press 1 and then press 5", so of course my finger was all ready to press one.

On the other end of that line was an automated system. It said "For Haiti related inquiries please press 1". Um, no, I don't think so. Did she say 'Haiti'? As in the country? That can't be right. What do I do, what do I do! I don't know what to press. I'm supposed to press 1. Click. So I call Mary Leigh (AGAIN) who this time is totally laughing at me. She was like "yes, they mean Haiti as in the country. New feature after the earthquake since so many people are calling to check on the visas of their orphan children in Haiti." Oh, gotcha. Let's try this again, shall we? Thanks for the help Mary Leigh!

I call again. Press 2 (for non-Haiti related issues), then 1 and then 5 and after waiting for about 20 minutes, a friendly man on the other end confirmed that yes, not only have we been logged IN to the National Visa Center, but we have already been logged OUT and it's been sent to the Embassy. This is good news.

Now our file has been forwarded to the Embassy in Korea for Zoe's passport. Things are moving right along.

I'd feel a lot better about this if we had an Emigration Permit, but for now we wait. We're in the home stretch now and if we had an EP, we'd be in Korea in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, without the status of the EP, we are just very unsure. Either way, it was good news to hear that we had some movement.

This sweet girl is ready to come home! She needs her mama!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Card Making and a Care Package

I have a friend who is heading to Korea soon, so I sent her a package to take to Zoe. I gathered up 3 new fall outfits and 2 new pairs of pajamas, some teething toys and some snacks. I got the idea to have the boys make a card for Zoe to include in there too. Well, let's just say it didn't go as planned, after one child drew a picture of himself spanking his booty and one slip of the marker that looked like a male body part in between his legs, I was ready to draw the stinkin' card myself. Finally, the card was finished and out the door with other goodies for our little sister.

Oh, Zoe, I'm sorry, but your brothers are ALL BOY! It's just you and me sister and we'll try to put up with them. We are excited for you to come home. Robert said he will rock you to sleep. Andrew said he "will not play with Barbie dolls!", but he already goes in your room and plays with your baby dolls, so we know that's not true. See you soon sweet girl! Love you bunches and bunches! ~mommy

1600 Approval!!!

To our surprise, our I600 Approval came on Friday, September 24th and marked with an approval date of 9-20-10! Guess it totally paid off for taking the chance and showing up to that appointment 3 weeks early or we'd still be sitting and waiting.

We're one step closer to this sweet little face!

So officially, everything on the US side is done and we're waiting on Korea. Hurry up Korea! I've got a baby girl waiting on her mama!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well Baby Check!

Today, we've received Zoe's Well Baby Check for September!

Here's the rundown on the girlie:

Height: 73.5 cm (28.9 inches) - 50th percentile
Weight: 8.3 Kg (18.2 pounds) - less than 25th percentile
Head Circumference 43.2 cm (17 inches) - about 10th percentile

She eats 180 cc of formula every four hours. The doctor notes (as always) that she is "cute and fine" and she has 4 teeth (2 on top and 2 on bottom). It is noted that she can now stand alone and walks alone for one step. She's jabbering, imitating speech sounds, and speaking single syllables.

She's assessed at a 10 month developmental level (and she is a 30 week gestation premie, by the way). It's so good to hear that she's doing so well. I can't wait for her to be home (and I wish she'd sit back down b/c she is a WAY early walker!).

Keep growing baby girl! We'll be there soon!!! We love you and we can't wait to take you to see Dr. Christian here at home for your Well Baby Check. You are doing so great and we are so proud of you! We may have missed your first steps, but we have a lifetime of firsts to experience together when you get home! Love, Mama and Daddy

Never Hurts to Ask!!!

We received a notice from the Department of Homeland Security to come in for our I600A. The appointment date was for October 5th. That's another 3 weeks away. So, after talking to other families and a call to our agency, we decided we were just going to show up and ask to be seen earlier than our Oct. 5th appointment.

We showed up and were asked "Do you have an appointment?" by the guard at the door. When I told him yes and handed him the appointment papers, he looked up at me and said "These are for October 5th" and I said, "yes, but we are hoping we can be seen earlier". He asked us to hold on and he went off to talk to a supervisor. He returned with a lady in a suit and she asked if she could help us. We just explained that Michael had a work conflict on the 5th (which he REALLY does, so the 5th wouldn't have worked for us either way) and we were hoping that we could be seen for our appointment earlier. She said she couldn't get us in at that moment, but to come back later in the afternoon at 1:30 and asked if that would work for us. Um, yeah, compared to October 5th, that'll work just fine.

Just goes to show that it never hurts to ask!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I think we're STUCK!

Still no word on our I-600; we still haven't been assigned to an officer that we know of... URG!!! Thank you, US Government for your cashing of our (almost $900) check in a timely manner, yet you can't manage to move our paperwork any further than that! I can just hear them now: 'quick, open those envelopes and put all the checks in this pile and just stick their papers in a pile over there'.
And still no word on our EP submission/approval. I'm guessing we've already been submitted, but just haven't been notified. Oh, LORD, please do not let Korea run out of EP's before we get approval.

So needless to say, I feel like we are "stuck". No movement for several weeks and boy, is it frustrating! I feel like I am on the brink of crazy-town and I'm quickly approaching being a full-fledged CRAZY LADY!

In other news, Zoe just turned 10 months and she took her first 2 steps last weekend. I immediately said "um, she needs to sit back down!"; I'm not ready for her to walk yet!!!

My "Oh Snap!" baby carrier came this weekend while we were at Family Camp. It'll be so good for she and I to be snuggled together getting that one on one contact, eye contact and for her to hear my voice so closely. We have been told time and time and time again that a carrier is one of the best things for her attachment. I have a feeling it'll be PRICELESS in Seoul alone, but I know we'll get lots of use out of it when we get home too. It's way cute and I can't wait to have Zoe in it... it'll be even cuter.

Alright folks, I gotta go educate my kiddos! If you see my EP submission or my 1600 approval, send them home and tell them mama is pacing the floors waiting for them!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Own Child

I've had a few people tell me that we have the best of both worlds: 2 of our own and now Zoe, who is being adopted. Let's clear a few things up...

Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial. ...Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary. Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child. Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.--- Rita Laws, PhD

Now we continue with our regularly scheduled program. Thankyouverymuch.