Wednesday, March 30, 2011

what a mighty God we serve


I am in awe of our amazing God! There is absolutely no explanation for the way Sam has taken to us outside of the Lord's grace!

As we prepare to make our get away in the morning, I ask that you please pray for several things...

First - for us to figure out Sam's eating and sleeping schedule. It's quite a challenge being handed a 9 month old with very little information on those two very important things!

Second - safe travel with no complications. We have a limited amount of time in Chicago between flights and we are concerned about making our connecting flight to Evansville. We are far past the point of wanting to be home right now; by the time we get to Chicago, a missed flight would be painful!

Third - the transition for all of us as we adjust to being a family of 5!

Again...we can never thank you enough for the support all of you have been on this amazing journey which is really just beginning! We promise more videos soon!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

been a hard day

Today has kinda been a difficult day. It has been sprinkled with some fun, laughter and excitement, but the prevailing feelings of the day (for me, at least) hasn't been the best.

I think the jet lag has finally caught up to me - after all, we just finished dinner on Tuesday evening and are getting ready for bed and all of Kentucky is just now starting their Tuesday! I think the adrenaline from yesterday kept my tank full but today I'm nearing empty.

Also, since I've already gone public with personal stomach issues, I see no reason not to reveal another culprit of the hard day - the Korean food has gotten the best of my tummy! :) Thankfully we came stocked up with pepto, so I've popped it today like candy!

What has made my day the toughest though is how much I'm missing my girls. It's hard to explain...I've been away from them before for periods longer than what we've gone now, but there's an intensity of missing them that comes from being on the other side of the world. Even as I type that, I feel sick about how far my precious girls are from me. I was able to Skpe them this morning and although it's amazing to see their sweet faces and hear those voices, it makes my heart sad. My Ellee was crying because she "wants Mommy and Daddy home now" and my Addie got choked up for her sister. Well of course Mimi and I were a mess after that! This whole experience also reminds me of the overwhelming joy that filled our hearts when our girls were born. Like I said yesterday, I'll never get over being a Mommy - I can't get enough of it!!

Tomorrow is an exciting day for us and we can't wait for it to arrive! Because we didn't get to see Sam at all today, we ventured out into the city and did the tourist thing. It would be the understatement of the year to say we stuck out - I'm sure we gave a few people some good laughs. I'll share just a few pictures from the day and let you in on a story or two that shows just how American we are! ( I'm sure Lee will make a great video for you to watch, too. Hasn't he been amazing with all the videos he's done??)

First we visited the Changdeokgung Palace...

This place looked like something right out of Kung-Fu Panda!!

Let me back up! First, we tried to figure out the subway in this tiny town of 10 million! We spent quite a bit of time in the sub stations today and wasted a little bit of money by riding the wrong way on a sub or getting off at the wrong station. Whew!

So after the palace, we found a place to eat lunch. I think eating has been one of the greatest challenges while we've been here. Afterall, this is mostly what we look at when making our meal plans...

We found a place that seemed safe enough and order some burgers. Apparently we ordered the "lunch set" and it came with appetizers. We had several bread and dip options and then a bowl of something we weren't sure of. It looked like some type of seafood. Because Lee is the braver of the two (and has a more stable stomach!) I told him to try it. As he tried to cut the mystery appetizer with his knife, I can only imagine what the onlookers were saying. Turns was a wet hand wipe rolled up nicely to clean your hands with after the meal!!! This had me laughing hours after we left the restaurant.

Later we visited the Namdaemun Market...

One thing I know for sure...there's no one else I'd rather make a fool out of myself with than my hubby! We were talking this morning about how much we love experiencing new adventures together! And tomorrow we'll experience an adventure that will last forever...we'll have our son!

PS - I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has sent us messages, left comments and put things on Facebook for us to read. You will never know how encouraging it has been for us to hear of all the love and support from friends and family. Everyday, as soon as we are somewhere with an internet connection, we anxiously check everything and read all the comments to each other. It's been so amazing and we are humbled by all of you! May God get all the glory!

Off to bed now!! Tomorrow is sure to be a big day!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

grab some tissues...'s the video you've been waiting on!

We've been watching these kinds of videos for years now, longing to have one of our own. It's still hard to believe how far we've come in this amazing journey. We are thankful to the Lord for all our children - no matter how He chose to "deliver" them!

You can enjoy some preciousness here.

Please continue to pray - we still have a long road ahead of us! We will check back later with some specific things we'd like for you to be in prayer for.

For now, we're headed to visit some palaces!

get he is!!

(**This post has been changed...please read here to see why Sam's pictures have been deleted.)

I am shaking as I attempt to type this. Words cannot explain the way we're feeling right now. I don't know that I'll ever get over seeing my children for the first time. With Addie, Ellee and now Sam, I have been overwhelmed with love for a person that you barely "know."

We're working on a video but this will have to do for now! There's so much I want to say and so much I want to share, but I just couldn't wait to show my precious son to you!

insert the pictures that used to be here.. :(

There are several things to praise the Lord for! Obviously for our adorable son that He chose for us. But also, Sam took to us wonderfully!! Our social worker made several comments about how well he did. He never cried or acted scared. He smiled and played with us! That is such a huge blessing! Also, we were told this afternoon that we get Sam Wednesday morning at 10:30!! As I said before, we knew it was likely that we wouldn't get him until we were leaving Thursday, but now we'll have a day with him before we head home. We are praising God from whom all blessings flow!

I cannot wait to get home to my girls and enjoy my family of 5!

Stay tuned because we've got a few videos coming your way!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

we are on Korean soil!

It's 1:43 am Monday morning and we're both sitting here wide awake! That's because it's 11:43 am Sunday morning (Kentucky time) and we're usually in church right now. Oh our poor confused bodies! So here's how the last few hours have gone down...

We arrived safely (thank you Lord!) to Korea around 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon (Korean time) after our 13 hour plane ride. It really wasn't too bad, but I'd be lying if I didn't say we were ready to get off!!

One funny thing that happened on the plane was when the sweet Korean stewardess gave us this yummy looking roll for a snack. Looks like Cracker Barrel, right?!

When I bit into it, I got a little nervous because this is what I found. I have no clue what was nestled inside, but I wasn't expecting it. It cracked me up! And as I type this, I realize now that the "surprise roll" may have only been funny because of the delirious state I was in. So no offense taken if you don't see the humor in it!

All of our luggage made the trip and we went through customs with no trouble. We were able to take a taxi from Incheon Airport into Seoul to the SWS Guest House where we're staying. The ride was about an hour and we got to see a little of Korea.

By the time we arrived at the Guest House, we had been up for over 24 hours straight and were exhausted! (Side note...the Social Welfare Society (the SWS) is the agency handling the Korean side of the adoption - that's the best way I know to explain it. They have a Guest House that families can stay in when they come into the country for adoption or Korean families stay here if they have children in the hospital that is beside us.) Our room meets all our basic needs (no frills for sure!) and appears clean, so we are thankful. After we got settled into our room, we went on search for food. Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much! Eventually we find a place that was an "American diner" and sold hamburgers so we felt safe with that decision. We came back to the Guest House and crashed!!

After sleeping a few hours, we're now wide awake although it's the middle of the night here.

We're not exactly sure what the next few days will look like for us. Our understanding was that today (Monday) at 1:30 pm we would meet our social worker and she would take us to see Sam (chills!!!) at the place that he has been staying. However, the kind Jackie Chan look-alike that greeted us last night thoroughly confused us and kept saying "9:30 appointment in morning." So we have no clue what's going on!

What we do know is that whenever we meet Sam, it will be brief. We will probably spend about an hour with him all the days we're here until Thursday morning when we're leaving. That's when I can take him in my arms and never let go! We are praying that we can get him Wednesday night because we've been told they sometimes allow for that. Please join us in praying to that end.

So as best as we can, we will keep you updated with pictures, videos and play-by-plays. We are overwhelmed by all the love, support and prayers from all of you. It brings me to tears to read all the messages, comments and emails! Thank you for loving us the way you do! And thank you for loving my precious girls that I miss SO much the way you do, too! I'm also told that a few of you have joined in on the band-aid fun. I would LOVE for you to send me pictures of you wearing them! Because our days are a little jumbled, I'll go ahead and tell you that Sunday's goes on the left thumb and Monday is on the right thumb.

Click here for another little video that captures part of our journey yesterday. Enjoy!

PS - Just because so many of you have "stomach issues" seem to be a lot better! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Click below...

First Sam Video


band-aid love!

Sitting in the Chicago airport waiting!! Our plane departs at 12:30 pm and will be Seoul, South Korea bound! It's a 13 hour (ugh!) flight so I'm not exactly looking forward to it. None the we go!! Seoul is 14 hours ahead of us, so it will be 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon (Korea time) when we land. And so begins the sleep confusion...

While we're sitting in O'Hare killing time, I thought I'd share with you one of the ways we stay connected with the girls while we're away...

Each morning the girls will open an envelope and in it will be two band-aids (and another for Mimi) with instructions on where they should wear them for the day.

Lee and I also have band-aids with us and we'll wear them on the same spot. My dear friend sent me a picture this morning with the girls wearing theirs and we've got ours on too! :)

hold on little buddy, we're coming!!!

I can't believe it but we're KOREA BOUND!!!!

Our travel call came Thursday around lunch time and less than 48 hours later, we're sitting in the airport waiting to board our plane. The reality of this is...well...not reality yet!!

We leave for Chicago in about 30 minutes and we'll party in Chicago for 4 hours and then around noon we'll board our plane for our final destination..SAM!!!

So far, we've endured the hardest part of this entire ordeal - leaving my baby girls! From the moment this process began, I've dreaded that part. Now there's not a lot I claim to do well, but I can do Mommy. (And even then, I sure don't claim to be expert!) So leaving my little ones this morning was the beginning of these different kind of labor pains!

My girls are in good hands. Make that great hands! They are pumped about their time with Mimi and I know things will be great back home. We have also been blessed with any amazing group of friends and family who love my girls like their own, so I don't worry. But I'm a mother hen who likes her little ones close by. I love thunderstorms at night because my babies find their way into our bed and I love it! I love hotels because we all get to sleep in the room together. So this hurts.

But now my other baby is across the big pond and it's time to bring him home! I didn't know it was possible to feel so many emotions all at once. I'm excited beyond belief, but scared to the point of stomach pains. So very sad to leave my babies, but so very excited to get my baby!

We are going to do our best to keep this updated so that our friends and family can be a part of this journey. We want you in the "labor room" with us! :)

We ask that you pray. Pray for safety. Pray for peace and confidence in the mighty hand of God. Pray for all my babies! Pray for Mom as she spends "a week in the life of me." Pray specifically that we'll be allowed to have Sam on Wednesday night before we fly home Thursday. Pray for God to be made much of!

More to come later!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

i'm officially a soccer mom!!

Today our family ventured into uncharted territory...the world of "organized sports!" (I use the term "organized" loosely and you'll see why from the pictures below.)

My sweet girls both decided it would be fun to play soccer this season so we signed them up and the fun began today with their first games. I'm going to share lots of pictures from the day because, truthfully, I think they're just too stinkin cute to keep to myself!!

First up, my Addie girl...

getting suited up to be goalie
she was an amazing goalie! she didn't let anything past her!

Next up, my Ellee girl...


With this new "Soccer Mom" title, a part of myself that I didn't know existed has started to emerge. It's the side that stands and jumps and yells on the sidelines. It's the side that feels nervous as the ball approaches her offspring. It's the side that screams (only on the inside, of course), "Don't you push my baby!"

Just when I thought being a soccer mom meant driving a minivan - which I don't - and taking orange slices places - which I haven't - I'm seeing that it means so much more.

And the truth is...I think I like it! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

catastrophic prayer

It's not that I don't care.

Actually the opposite is closer to reality.

When catastrophe strikes and when devastation occurs "around" me, I'm one of those people who sticks their head in the sand, and shuts down to my surroundings. I stop watching the news and avoid the updates.

Some say those of us with this reaction don't care. Others say it's wrong because we need to be "aware" of what's going on in our world.

I care, oh how I care. My heart aches and I feel great sorrow for these hurting people whose faces I will never see. I get choked up watching the horrific pictures flash on the TV screen. My thoughts stay on their suffering throughout the day. My mind's imagination can't escape images of their heartache.

Truth is....I don't know exactly how to process deep devastation. Truth is...I'm not sure what to do with the pain and sorrow I feel for the hurting strangers. Truth is...I need large doses of God's amazing grace in the midst of the catastrophe. Truth is...I should follow the simple example of my 5 year old...

A few days ago, we had to pull over on the side of the road to let an ambulance pass. Ellee immediately noted that something bad must have happened. Her first response...pray!! She quickly began to pray for the person that the ambulance was going to "rescue." In true Ellee form, her prayer was sweet and hilarious. She was convinced that the ambulance was going to a fire and prayed that God would let the people and the dog get out quickly that was trapped inside the burning building!

There's a lot to be learned from this sweet child. Although it sounds cliche, God is teaching this difficult student (me!) that my first response to danger, to devastation and to heartache should be prayer.

Truth is...prayer should be my first response to joy and celebration too.

Truth is...prayer should be my first response to life!!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Thursday, March 3, 2011

oh happy day

Last Sunday was such a happy day when Lee baptized our Addie girl. My heart was just bursting with joy and thanksgiving to the Lord for the sweet site of my husband and my daughter together. Simply indescribable! Here are some pictures from the day...

Addie talking with our pastor on Sunday morning. I adore this smile...

With Daddy and Mommy after getting "robed" up...

Thank you Jesus...

It was truly a happy day that our family was able to share with us...


Today was also such a happy day thanks to a treat from these guys...

I don't typically (ok, I don't ever!) stand at the front door and wait on FedEx to arrive. Today was an exception! Earlier in the week, I was told by our social worker in Michigan that we would be receiving a package on Thursday with pictures and a video of Sam! What?!? A video?? I had no idea this was even a possibility!!

But yes, right on schedule, the FedEx lady showed up this afternoon and delivered a priceless package. I immediately summoned Lee home from work because we had promised each other to wait and watch it together. I moved from my watch-post at the front door to my watch-post at the back as I waited for Lee to get home.

While we waited, the girls took advantage of the beautiful happy day and set up some sort of fort outside with their umbrellas...

Oh how I wish I could share the video and pictures with you, but I can't - at least not yet! Trust me though - Sam is amazing! We are completely in love with the little guy! It was so incredible seeing him in action. We saw him playing, rolling over, crawling, smiling and crying! All records indicate that he is perfectly healthy which we praise God for.

Although I am beyond thankful for the unexpected treat we received today, I admit that it makes the waiting even more difficult. We kept saying to each other over and over again, "We just want to hold him." What an amazingly happy day that will be!!


Just a quick side note. There is one thing that has hindered these happy days of late. Well at least the last 3 days. For some crazy reason I made a deal with my parents that I would give up something very dear to me for the month of March. I'm not sure why I ever agreed to it, but I did. For some, this would be no big deal. Unfortunately, for me it is. Apparently I've developed a slight addiction over the past few years. Who knew?!? I blame Sonic's happy hour and McDonald's $1 drinks. Yes, I gave this dear friend up...

There has been no sweet, just sorrow, to our parting...