Tuesday, June 15, 2010

EP Submitted!!!

We found out today that the Korean agency that works with our U.S. agency submitted Wesley’s EP (Exit Permit or Emigration Permit) yesterday 6/14. The agency files this paperwork for approval which will then allow Wesley to leave South Korea and travel to the U.S. so that we can bring him home.

Then, we go through a few more steps at home for 6 months in order to finalize the adoption. Between the EP being submitted and the long awaited TC or "travel call" we’re looking at a 3-6 week wait. Once we receive the TC, that means Wesley is ready to come home. Most of my adoptive mom friends have been receiving their TCs within a month or so of being submitted. Once you get the TC, you finalize travel plans and can travel as soon as the next day depending on your flexibility and availability. OMG!!! We knew this day would come sooner or later, but now that we could possibly be a month away, it seems UNREAL!

We've got a list (spreadsheet for my girlfriends that know me too well) of things that need to get done before traveling. Even with all this time waiting, there are some things that didn't make sense to do until this point. The countdown is officially ON!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

12 Month Photos

We received the photos taken of Wesley the day before his 1st birthday in the mail today (the emailed versions weren't clear enough to post). It still blows me away how much he's grown since the last photos we received. He's becoming such a little boy now versus a baby. He's posing with just some of the goodies we sent for his birthday. Enjoy!

Our "big boy" :)

The look on his face in this one cracks me up!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

7 Months Ago. . .

7 months ago today, we received a phone call that would forever change our lives. 7 months ago today, we read the details about a little boy that we would soon be lucky enough to call our son. 7 months ago today, we saw our sweet Wesley's face for the first time. 7 months ago today, our prayers were answered.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Little Gift In My Email

After being in "the adoption process" for 3 1/2 years now (between China and Korea) there are ups and there are downs. Although we've had a recent disappointment (a big one at that) we've been handling it pretty well and are doing our best to stay positive. However, early this week I've been feeling a bit down just thinking about what we might be doing if in fact we had been submitted for our exit permit. Not a good thing. . . Instead, I tried to focus on the positive things around us.

My adoptive mom friend Jayme and her husband headed out today to Korea (YAY!) to meet and pick up their daughter after a long wait. I thought about my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and niece coming to visit from back east a month or so after Wesley arrives (another big YAY!). Then, as I have experienced a few times before, something wonderful happened this morning. I checked my email (as I frequently do throughout the day checking for some good news from our agency). And, there was this email from one of the gals at our agency. The subject simply said, "enjoy!" It had an attachment. . . My heart started racing. I kind of figured that it wasn't a note letting us know that we had been submitted for Wesley's exit permit, but I KNEW that it was something good. And, it was.

It was a document with 3 photos scanned from a recent appearance that Wesley made at the agency in Korea. His foster mom came down to pick up the care package that we sent with one of our other adoptive moms (thanks K) when she recently traveled. This particular care package was special; it had items for Wesley's 1st Birthday!

So, there were 3 photos of Wesley with a few items we gave him for his birthday including the monkey we made for him from Build-A-Bear (with recorded message). We also received a 1-year progress report. Here are some of the details:

Weight - 28 lbs. (he's gained 2 lbs. since the last report!!!)
Height - 31"
Sleeping - 2 naps per day, sleeping through the night (bedtime is 12 midnight - yikes!)
Activities/other - pulling himself up & walks along furniture exploring the house, says "umma (mama)", "mamma (food)", "Appa (daddy)", has no stranger anxiety, plays peek-a-boo, takes things out of drawers, understands "no."

They also spoke about his 1st birthday celebration. Apparently, for the Dojabee celebration, he selected a microphone which they are saying predicts a future in broadcasting. Which is hilarious considering I had almost 10 years in radio broadcasting. He is definitely our son!

We are waiting for the original photos to come in the mail before we post because the scanned photos aren't that clear, but I can tell you that he is turning into such a little boy versus a baby. We can hardly wait anymore to meet him, but gifts like this make the wait a little more bearable.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wesley's Birthday Celebration Weekend

Wesley's 1st Birthday was last Friday and although he wasn't here physically to be celebrated, he was on our minds and in our hearts the entire weekend. And, he was definitely celebrated! The festivities began Friday night with dinner at our new favorite Korean BBQ restaurant; my parents and our friends Jose and Shannon joined us. I came prepared with a framed photo of our sweet Wesley, party hats, camera and our flip video. Yes, we were going to be THOSE people.
Here is a photo of Brian and me with Wesley's photo placed on the table so that he was "with us" at dinner.

Here is Wesley's photo by itself. . .

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and stuffed ourselves silly with kimchi, bulgogi and all the other yummy dishes that we cooked at our table.

Here is a photo of the group after dinner.

Then, our waiter informed us that although Wesley wasn't here with us, he thought that it would be OK if we spun the "infamous" Birthday Prize Wheel on his behalf. Who was I to disagree? Again, we were THOSE people. With our party hats in tow, we headed on over to the prize wheel and took a spin. It landed on a $10 gift card. BUT, it had a challenge attached to it. I had to perform the "chicken dance" in order to receive the gift card. No problem. I've been to enough family gatherings (thank you Girsch's) and weddings that I could do the Chicken Dance in my sleep. So I (not Brian) performed "the dance" and took my prize.

Here is a close up of The Wheel. So pretty :)

Then on Sunday, we went over to our friends' house (The Torres's) for a Memorial Day Weekend BBQ. Little did we know that there were a few surprises in store for us. Another couple was there as well - our friends Victoria and Chip (along with their daughter Lauren). The adults were outside relaxing, noshing on appetizers, etc. and the kids were playing when all of the sudden the kids ask for our attention. The boys have their guitars and Lauren has a microphone. They explain that they have a "special" performance of Happy Birthday in Korean for Wesley. It took all that I had to not start crying.

Here is a photo of the kids immediately following their performance (the sun was shining on them during the song so that photo didn't turn out) - Lauren, Joey & Jack.

Lastly, after we finished dinner that night, the group (kids and adults) sang Happy Birthday to us and presented us with a lovely birthday cake complete with candles for Wesley. I'm sure you can all imagine what I wished for when I blew out the candles. :)

Here is the yummy cake that Jen made for us. Soooo good.

It was great weekend with friends and family after having a stressful, emotional week with the disappointing news that we weren't submitted for EP. We feel very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives to help us through these tough times.