Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So much to talk about!!

We're home!! This is going to be a looong post, so make yourself comfortable! :)

So of COURSE I have to start off with the great adoption update that we're finally #4!!!! Number FOUR!! How awesome is that?! I really didn't see that one coming. It's been so slow at our agency lately and then when we never even got an update the week before I thought nothing was happening. I was standing in the isle of the airplane in Memphis waiting to get off the plane when I checked my e-mail and found out. I wanted to jump up and down right there!!

So here's what number four means. Whenever a baby is available, the agency in Korea pulls the files of the first several families on the list and looks at them and decides which family is the best fit for the baby. Sometimes the first family is looking for a specific gender or isn't open to a certain medical condition or whatever, so they move on to the next family. Or sometimes there will be a specific reason why they like a certain baby for a certain family. Our file in Korea lists pretty much every possible thing that anyone could ever want to know about our family. Anyone who reads that file has a pretty complete picture of who we are. So sometimes something will catch their eye that makes them feel like the baby they're trying to place would be a good fit and it's not necessarily the family at number one. I would guess that usually they try to go with the first family on the list, but you never know their reasons for placing each baby with each family.

So what I'm TRYING to say, is that we've pretty much hit a place where a referral could come at any time. Most likely we still have a month or so, or if things slow down it could still be longer than that, but we I think we're at a spot where they're probably at least pulling our file now and it is possible to get a referral even if you're not number one. In fact, the update from the agency said that they got three referrals and two of them were out of order, meaning that the referrals didn't go to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd on the list.

So anyway, it may mean that we're close and we may still have a while to wait, but it feels SOOO good to be number four!!!!!! Four is NOT seven and at this point that's enough to make me extremely happy!! :)

OK, so on to our Memphis trip. We had a ball! I probably already explained what we were doing there, but just in case I didn't, Shawn is a pharmacist and he's the manager so he orders all the medication for the pharmacy. There is a generic drug supplier in Memphis that he orders from and every year they invite their top buyers to Memphis for the weekend and they put us up at a really nice hotel and send us to an NBA game in their sky box. The trip that they pay for is really only for the weekend, but we like to make a longer trip out of it so we stay for a few extra days. We went last year for the first time and really had a great time so we were looking forward to going again!

The kids stayed at Grandmas house. My mom lives four hours away from us, so last Thursday we drove four hours to her house, dropped off the kids and flew out from her town on Friday morning. Thanks to modern medicine I was properly drugged out to make the flight and everything was fine. :) We had a layover in Minneapolis and then we flew into Memphis Friday afternoon.

Going to Memphis is really fun for us because it's a part of the country that we rarely get the opportunity to visit. The western part of the US where we were both born and raised is very different than the South! So it's fun to visit and experience new things. I know I'm in Memphis when I step off the airplane and smell barbecue sauce! In case you've never been to Memphis, they take their barbecue very seriously. :) The whole city smells like barbecue sauce to me!

We stayed at the Peabody, which is one of the best hotels we've ever stayed in. I LOVE it there! I already mentioned the Peabody ducks in another post, so I won't post about them again, but I just can't get enough of those little guys.

Since we already went to Memphis last year, we've done a lot of the big tourist attractions already. Last year we went to Graceland, the Rock and Soul Museum, the National Civil Rights museum and some of the other big Memphis attractions. So we decided this year that we would venture out a little farther and explore the area. We rented a car for the day on Saturday and had a ball driving around all day! Memphis is right on the boarder of Tennessee, so you just have to cross a bridge to get to Arkansas and Mississippi is also just a very short drive away. Since we had never been to either of those states, we decided that it would be fun to cross the boarders, just to say we'd been there.

In Arkansas we didn't really get any farther than West Memphis, which is literally just on the other side of the bridge. Remember once I mentioned that I like to research things and once I spent a few months researching people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes? (I know that's weird. I just like to research things. It keeps my brain working.) I spent a lot of time researching the case of the West Memphis three, who are three men who (I believe) were wrongly convicted of the murders of three children. It's an interesting case and those three men are still in prison 15 years later even though they have DNA evidence that someone else actually committed the murders. Anyway, I've read two books and watched two documentaries on the subject, so it was interesting to actually go there. It's not exactly a tourist town, but I found it interesting. And in case you like to research random things the way I do, the case of the West Memphis Three is quite an eye opener.

Wow, I just totally veered off the road, didn't I? Sorry, back to the story. Anyway, after having lunch in West Memphis, we went back across the boarder and headed over to Mississippi. We vaguely knew that there was an outlet mall somewhere and for some reason we thought we were clever enough to find it.

Fast forward several hours and a scenic tour of rural Mississippi and we DID actually find the outlet mall. If you ever go to Mississippi and want to go to the outlet mall and someone tells you that it's in Tunica, they're a big fat liar. :) NEAR Tunica and IN Tunica are two different things. :) Anyway, there's nothing that a trip to a Gap outlet can't fix, so all in all it was a sucessful trip.

Sunday was the big day I had been looking forward to all year. Last year when we were in Memphis we went to the Gibson Guitar factory on a Sunday and they gave us a tour of the factory when no one was actually working in the factory. That sounds boring, but it was GREAT for me, because there were a whole bunch of unfinished guitars all over the place in the shop that were just sitting there and they were just screaming to have their picture taken. Anyway, I took a photo last year of some guitars and it was my biggest seller last year. It's a HUGE hit at the Saturday Market I do in Boise in the summer. So I had big plans to go back there this year on a Sunday when no one was working back there so that I could take some more pictures.

There is now a big sign there that states that photography of any kind is strictly prohibited inside the factory. :(

HUUUUGE bummer. Really gigantic bummer.

So instead we went to the Hard Rock cafe and had a really good time while I accepted the fact that there will be no more amazing photos from the Gibson Guitar factory. *sigh* DARN!!

Monday we went to the Memphis Zoo and it was beyond awesome!!!! I love the zoo anyway, and the Memphis zoo ROCKS! I could go on for a really long time about all the amazing exibits they have there, but you're probably already bored of my story, so I won't. It's awesome though and if you ever get the chance to visit Memphis, go to the zoo!! I could have watched the monkey's all day long, the Giant Panda was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my entire life we spend forever watching the polar bears swimming. Freakin' awesome zoo.

Monday night we went to the NBA game that was the origional reason for our trip. The drug company has a skybox and they have a chef come in and cater dinner for us while we watch the game! YUM. Memphis was playing Portland, and Portland is pretty much as local as an NBA team gets for us, so we kind of rooted for both teams. Portand kicked Memphis's behind.

Then yesterday was the travel day from HELL!!! We got to the Memphis airport at 7am for a flight that was supposed to leave at 9:15. We had a (not) enjoyable time sitting there for hours looking at the dense fog out the window of the airport. :( They thought we could take off at 9:40, and then 10:00 and eventually it was going to be at noon. I think it was about 12:30 before we finally got on the plane, which meant that we missed our connection in Salt Lake. CRAAAP. I really hate to fly anyway, but if I do have to fly I just want to get in there and get it over with. Sitting in the airport all day with my stomach in knots about the upcoming flight is just not my favorite way to spend the day. I would choose a root canal any day.

To make an extremely long story short, we did finally arrive at our destination, but it was many hours later than we had planned and then we still had to get the kids and make a four hour drive back home. An hour into our drive home we declared ourselves unable to travel for one more mile and we checked into a hotel for the night. We finally arrived home today at about noon. We're all incredibly exhausted and glad to be home.

Anyway, it was an awesome trip full of lots of great adventures and we're glad we went, but it feels good to be home.

Of course I took a zillion pictures, and I'm still going though them, but I do have some to share. They're not in any particular order and most of them are from the zoo. I may have more to share later.



The cool family! said...

YAY, number 4!!!! I read your blog all the time HOPING to see news about the adoption, so COOL that you moved up like 3 spots in a couple of days!!!

Tayva said...

Wendy, I'm so excited for you guys! It sounds like little Clarissa could be coming real soon! Reading your post made we want to book a trip to Memphis. I went to Nashville as a kid, and I think we may have driven through Memphis but didn't stop and hang out. Those pics you took at the zoo are amazing! I'm glad you survived the flying part too! It sounds like the trip was well worth all the anxiety!

Janice and Jessica said...

First things first, a big CONGRATULATIONS on hitting the four spot!!!! I've been following you for about a year now and am super excited for your families new addition.

Second, I totally relate on going over a state line just to say you've been there. Did that when we went on an unexpected trip many years ago to WV, my husband drove us over the bridge into Ohio just so I could say I had been there. Unfortunately, it was just a gray and dirty on one side as it was on the other. Can you tell WV was not my favorite state?

Third, I am interested in those wrongly convicted as well (one reason that I no longer support the death penalty) and I too have read about the West Memphis Three. I can't believe the way that justice is NOT being served in this case.

Last but not least, love those zoo pics. So glad that you had a mostly wonderful trip. Missed your posts while you were gone.


Tracie said...

Love your pictures, especially the two of the men on the street. Love them all! And so happy you are #4.

Minyo said...

LOVE your zoo pictures! Our family loves visiting the zoo often. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is one of our favorites.

Best Wishes as you continue to wait for Clarissa.