Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still alive

Well, another day went by without a phone call from the agency, but I was too busy coughing to think about it much! I'm feeling slightly better today, but not much. I have literally coughed so hard in the past few days that the muscles in my torso are sore. Fortunately with the kids at school all day I've been able to rest a lot. I absolutely have to get over this if we're going to travel next week.

I'm kind of surprised that we haven't heard from the agency yet, but I'm still pretty confident that we'll hear from them in time to travel next week. Most of the people on my Korean adoption board seem to get their travel calls within a few of days after the Visa interview, so I'm expecting them to call any time now. I'm anxious to get travel plans made. I've checked on flights and I think I know which hotel we want to stay at, but I don't want to make reservations or anything until we know for sure that we can go next week.

So for now I continue to wait and cough. I'm hoping and praying that the waiting and the coughing are over soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back from the doctor

I tried to get into my regular doctor, but he didn't have an appointments available until this afternoon and I seriously felt like I was going to die before this afternoon, so I went to urgent care. The doctor listened to my lungs and didn't like how it sounded so they did a chest x-ray and the doctor thinks I've got the beginnings of pneumonia. He didn't think the chest x-ray looked terrible, but it was hazier in one area than it's supposed to be, so he's sending it to the x-ray people to check for sure, but he said the results don't really matter because he's treating it as pneumonia anyway.

So I got antibiotics and stronger asthma medication and hopefully I'll start feeling better soon. I honestly can't recall the last time I was this sick, and coming right when I should be packing for our trip and getting everything ready for Clarissa kind of stinks.

So I'm just going to take it easy today, attempt to breathe like a normal person and hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow.

Off to the doctor :(

It's been a long couple of days. I'm still not feeling well at all, in fact I'm feeling worse. The cold has moved back down to my lungs and I'm coughing like crazy and it's triggering my asthma really bad to the point that I can hardly breathe. I've been doing nebulizer treatments every few hours since last night and it's not helping. I almost went to the ER in the middle of the night, but I HATE going to the ER, so I stuck it out.

So now I'm trying to get into the doctor this morning. Hopefully they can give me a steroid shot to help open my lungs and they can figure out what's going on with me. I'm worried that I have bronchitis or pneumonia or something.

So that's all the news I have today. We still haven't received our travel call from the agency, but at the moment I'm OK with that. Until I start feeling better I'm not going anywhere. :(

Monday, September 28, 2009

No news yet!

I don't really have anything new to report, but I know that people are waiting to hear news, so I thought I'd update anyway. I haven't heard from the agency yet, but it could be any time now.

I've still got the worst cold ever, so today I'm mostly just laying around in a cold medicine induced haze keeping an eye on the phone. I SO don't have time to be sick right now, but I guess if I had to get sick I'm glad that it's now because hopefully it will be gone before we travel. I'm giving myself today to recover and then tomorrow I've got to get back to work whether I feel good or not. I've got too much to do before we leave.

So that's the latest from around here! I'll post as soon as I hear from the agency!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sick again!!

This is NOT a good time for me to be getting sick!! Remember that whole chest congestions/coughing thing I had going on? That lasted for a good two weeks and then I finally felt better for a few days and now I have the worst head cold ever!! Shawn's got it too, it's like we just keep passing things back and forth. My head feels like it's going to explode today, and I just don't have time for this.

We didn't get our travel call on Friday, which is probably a good thing since we're not ready to leave town at the moment. I never ever thought that I'd be hoping that they wait a few days before calling us to tell us to come get Clarissa, but at the moment, I do almost hope that they wait. Aside from being sick we don't want to travel during the Korean Thanksgiving celebration next weekend, so if they wait a few more days to call us it will probably be a blessing.

We're going to be insanely busy this week getting everything packed and getting all the plans made for the trip. I feel like we still have so much to do! There are a couple of things that I procrastinated on for too long and now I'm scrambling to finish things up, and finishing them up while drugged out on cold medicine is not going to be easy.

We'll get it done though and before we know it we're going to be in Korea holding our daughter! Along with my wedding day and the birth of our other two children, this is going to be one of the most important days of my entire life. I know that in a week or two my life is going to change and it's a little scary but SO exciting! We've been waiting for this moment for two years and I can't believe it's finally here. We're FINALLY going to meet our daughter!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

So much to do!

Well, with the time change I assume that Clarissa's Visa Interview is already over, which means that now we're just waiting for the agency to call and tell us to come to Korea! That could happen any time now. I expect it either today or sometime early next week.

I have SOOO much to do and so much running through my head right now! I've got to pack, make travel arrangements, finish getting the house ready, I still haven't bought gifts for the foster family and my Korean friends family, I need to buy a few baby things to take on the plane for lists are endless.

Holy crap, I have to fly on a plane! I hate to fly. :( I've never been out of the country before and I've never flown over the ocean. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it. Thankfully everyone keeps telling me how much fun it is to fly Korean Air. Apparently the service on those flights is amazing. Much different than the short domestic flights I've been on.

I think I'm going to be a nervous wreck until we leave! I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. It really feels surreal. We've been waiting for this for SO LONG. But I think because we've been waiting for so long, it almost started to feel like the whole thing was just made up in my head or something and that it was never actually going to happen. I've gotten so used to all the waiting that it seems very strange to me that the waiting is about to be over!

We started this process in the early summer of 2007. Josh had just turned 7 and Matthew was 3! I've been waiting and hoping and wondering for so long and it's FINALLY here. In a few weeks Clarissa is actually going to be here! I'll finally be able to snuggle with her and kiss those sweet cheeks! The whole adoption process has been extremely long, extremely stressful and extremely expensive. I'm SO excited to finally get to move past that part of our lives and move on to a new phase with all of our children home with us where they belong. I know that there is still a lot more stress to come as we all adjust over the next several months, but it's a challenge that I'm ready to take on. Ready or not, here we come!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

VISA INTERVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH MY GOSH!!! I called the Visa number this morning, fully expecting to hear that nothing is new, and the guy said "OH! It looks like her paperwork has come back and her Visa interview is scheduled for tomorrow!"

TOMORROW!!!! I wanted to reach into the phone and kiss that guy!!! Her Visa interview is TOMORROW!!!! :)

Ok, so what this means is that tomorrow (actually, it's not even tomorrow, it's probably sometime tonight because of the time change) a representitive from the agency in Korea will go to the Embassy and sit down with a government worker and go over here paperwork. Once they do that they'll issue her Visa and usually within a couple of days after that they issue her travel certificate and that's when they call us on the phone and tell us to come get her!!

Oh my gosh, I'm freaking out. :) We're going to Korea!!!!

So here's the only issue. Korean Thanksgiving (called Chusok) is next weekend, which is probably when we would be cleared to go. But everyone has said not to travel during Chusok because it's the big travel day of the year in Korea, all the stores are closed and it's just not a good time to be a tourist there. So I think that even if they call us early next week and tell us to come get Clarissa, we're probably going to have to wait until after next weekend. I'm kind of OK with that because I feel like I have a million things to do before we go, although I think I'm going to go crazy waiting out the next week!

Looking at my calendar, if everything goes the way it's supposed to, I'm guessing that maybe we'll be leaving around October 7th. That's the Wednesday after next.

OH. MY. GOSH. CLARISSA IS COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

OK, I can't stand it!

I HAVE to share her photo!!! It's driving me crazy that I'm not allowed to show her photo, so we're going to do it like last time and I'll just hide most of her face. At least you can see the cute shirt, the bows in her hair and the big grin on her face! I'm just going to leave this up for a day or two and then I'll take it down. One of these days I'm going to be able to REALLY share photos of her, I promise!! :)

New photos!!

Remember the thing a few weeks ago that I talked about and then found out that I couldn't talk about? Well, I still can't talk about it. :)

So on a completely unrelated note (because we're not talking about it), I got photos of Clarissa this morning!!!!!

I've only ever seen a few photos of Clarissa, all taken by the agency for documentation purposes and in every photo she has a distressed look on her face-never a smile.

Well now I have several photos of my sweet girl with a huge grin on her face, with the two cutest bottom teeth ever! :) She's wearing a shirt that I mailed her in her care package, and bows in her hair that I made for her while I was waiting for our referral. She's absolutely beautiful!!!

She's healthy and happy and I can't wait to get to Korea and kiss her sweet chubby cheeks. Today is a really good day. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Toby the Turtle

Well, I guess we can officially announce that our family now has a new member. Toby the Turtle! :)

I spent forever last night researching turtles and I now know more about them than I ever thought I would! Toby is most likely a Greek Tortoise. That's the picture he most likely resembles, anyway. He looks like a cranky old man and I like him. :) We never found out where he came from, but the top of his shell is a little beat up, it almost looks like he skidded across the pavement on it or something and there is grass embedded in it, so I think he's been through some sort of adventure outside.

Today we went and bought him a nice turtle house. He lives in a big fish tank in our den. We figured out the lights he needs and the food he eats and all of that. It is a little complicated at first because his habitat has to stay at a certain temperature during the day and a certain humidity level and he has to have UV light, so we had to figure out heat lamps and UV lights and temperature and humidity gages and all of that. But now that we have him all set up he should be fairly low maintainence. He eats veggies and fruit, so I'm just keeping a bowl of spinich and shredded carrots in the fridge that I can feed him each day, and I also cut up a little strawberry and banana for him.

We also found out that turtles can live for 50 years!! So if all goes well, we may have Toby for a very long time!

He's really kind of fun to watch! The kids are having a good time with him. We're all such soft hearted animal lovers that we get a little silly when an animal shows up at our house. Although Shawn said that if a puppy shows up in our driveway tomorrow he's putting his foot down. :)

I'm going to take photos of him in a little bit and I'll post them on my blog. I think he's been traumatized enough for now, so we're leaving him alone for a bit to get used to his new house before we play with him too much.

So there's the story of Toby the turtle. There's always something exciting going on around here! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Turtles at the White house

It's been a very strange afternoon at our house! The kids went outside for a minute and cae running back in the house to tell me that there was a turtle in our driveway!

We don't live in an area where turtles roam free. How this little guy got in our driveway I have no idea. But being the soft hearted animal lover that I am I picked him up and brought him into the house.

And now we can't figure out what to do with him. He's not like a lost dog that may have traveled a few miles, so if he's a lost pet he's got belong to one of our neighbors, but I don't think any of our neighbors have a turtle. We're going to check to make sure though.

So then we went to the pet store to find some information on turtles to see if maybe we want to adopt him. Apparently turtle care is kind of complicated. They need special lights and fresh veggies every day and they have to be misted twice a day. We can't decide if we're up to turtle care right now.

But on the other hand, he's super cute and we all kind of like him!

At the moment he's in a cardboard box with some shredded lettuce and cucumber while we try to figure out what to do with him. I will definitely keep you posted. :)


Josh got his cast off about a half hour ago! He has been so worried about getting the pins out, but it ended up not being too horrible. He said it hurt, but the doctor did it really fast, so it was over quickly.

He has to go back for a follow up in six weeks and then again in six months to make sure he has full range of motion back and in the meantime he has to do some physical therapy on it, but overall the appointment went well and the doctor said it was healing well.

Josh's arm is still sore and he's probably going to want to take it easy for a few days, but he's thrilled to finally be rid of the cast!

In other news, I called the Visa status line today and there's been no change. I'll start calling again on Monday!


This morning I was talking to the kids about our trip to Korea and thinking about souvineers I said "what do you want us to bring you from Korea?

Matthew looked at me like I was an idiot and said "Clarissa!"

I'll be sure to put that on my list. :)

Josh gets his cast off and the pins out this afternoon. Can you believe it's been a month?? He's REALLY nervous about getting the pins out. I think this is going to be a long, nervewracking day for him (and his mother). Wish us luck! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Say Kimchee!

Today is school picture day at my kids school. This morning they were very excited to get dressed in their favorite shirts and Josh asked me to gel his hair, which he very rarely does. Then I got such a kick out of them standing together in front of the bathroom mirror practicing their smiles. They had quite a discussion on the correct way to smile for school pictures. Oh, and your Korean fun fact for the day is that in Korea you don't say cheese when you get your picture taken, you say kimchee, which is a very popular cabbage dish in Korea. Cute. :)

So today I'm coughing a little less, which is good. I just went to the grocery store for a little bit and it was nice to get out. You know what food I'm obsessed with lately? Minute Rice Ready to serve Chicken Flavored Rice Mix. I was at the grocery store the other day looking for things that I could make for lunch, since it's just me these days, and I came across Ready to Serve Minute Rice. They come in little individually sized cups and you put it in the microwave for one minute and eat it. Yum. It's got a really strong, chicken broth/salty flavor, but I like it that way.

It's silly, I know. I could easily make my own chicken flavored rice a lot cheaper, but I tried one and now I'm hooked. I'm going to have to go to Minute Rice rehab.

Speaking of rice, there's a church activity tonight for our womens group and they're serving dinner and I volunteered to make rice. I'm excited to finally get to use my rice cooker to it's full 10 cup capacity. I have this huge fancy rice cooker and I usually only make about 2 cups at a time. So hopefully my rice cooker handles 10 cups as well as it handles 2 cups, or no one is having rice for dinner tonight. :)

In adoption news, I called the Visa status line again today and nothing is new yet. We're still within the normal time frame, so I wasn't surprised, but still, I keep hoping that some miracle will happen and it will come back super fast. It's normal for it to take up to a month for the P3 to be returned at the Visa interview to be scheduled and it's been about 16 days, so there's nothing to worry about yet. I'll just keep calling!

OH!! And on a completely unrelated topic, tonight is the premier of The Office!! YAY! I've been looking forward to The Office premier for a while. I'm looking forward to snuggling up with Shawn tonight and finding out what's new with Jim and Pam! Sounds like the perfect evening! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cough...cough cough cough cough...cough cough

And that pretty much covers everything I've done in the past week. :)

I have this ridiculous cold that will NOT go away!! For several days I could hardly talk and now I have my voice back but the annoying cough continues. I cough all day and I cough all night. And then all the coughing triggers my asthma, so that I can't breath, which is always enjoyable. *sigh*

So anyway, there's not a whole lot to report because I haven't done a whole lot in the past several days. I've been working on a few projects around the house, but I don't want to cough all over people, so I haven't been out of the house much.

Except that yesterday I dragged myself out and got my hair cut! I cut four inches off of it, and it really needed it. I've been letting my hair grow out for a while and it was finally too long. The lady that cuts my hair has been doing it so long that she's practially a member of the family, so it's always nice to just sit down in the chair and let her do whatever she wants with it. I'm never dissapointed.

We moved to Boise 9 years ago, when Josh was two months old. The first place we lived was a little apartment while Shawn was finishing up pharmacy school. One day I really needed my hair cut, but we only had one car at the time and Shawn was always using it for his internships, so I found a hair salon I could walk to. I walked in and picked the first hair stylist I found and I was so happy with my hair cut that I kept going back. Nine years later she's the only person in Boise who has ever cut my hair. I've followed her around through three different salons. I've been going to her every 8 weeks for as long as I can remember. She gave Josh his first haircut and she gave Matthew his first hair cut. Shawn and the boys all go get their hair cut every five weeks. She schedules them out months in advance. The boys absolutely adore her.

So yesterday I was talking to her about how much fun it's going to be when Clarissa gets here and she'll be able to give her her first haircut. She'll probably be doing Clarissa's hair for her senior prom someday. :)

So that's the extent of my last few days. I coughed a lot and got a haircut. Wow, my life is fascinating, isn't it?

Oh, the other thing I've been doing obsessively lately is calling the Visa status number to check on the status of Clarissa's Visa. Every day I call and every day they tell me the same thing. Her P3 packet hasn't come back yet so they can't schedule her Visa interview.

We're still within a normal timeline for that to happen, so there's no reason to panic, but every day they tell me that nothing is new I get a little more nervous. I'm so worried that we going to get held up for some reason and the rest of this process is going to end up taking a few months instead of a few weeks. Most of the time nothing goes wrong and it's fine, but every now and then I see someone get stuck in the process and I'm always scared that the same thing is going to happen to me.

We are SO ready for this trip to finally happen. I've got my heart set on being there by the middle of October. At this point travel by the middle of October is pretty likely, as long as nothing happens to our paperwork in the meantime. I'll feel MUCH better when they tell me that our P3 has come back. Once they schedule the Visa interview it's usually smooth sailing after that.

So there's my update. Nothing new really. I keep meaning to blog more, but how much do you REALLY want to know about my cold and how much I love my hair stylist? I'm clearly running out of interesting things to talk about these days. :)

Hopefully things are going to be much more interesting very soon. Hopefully soon I'll finally hear good news from the Visa people and then I'll be running around in a frenzy getting bags packed and everything ready to leave town. I can't wait!! :)

Friday, September 11, 2009


I got comments from people wanting to see photos of Clarissa's clothes and the baby shower, so here you go!!

Here are my three sweet friends who planned the party for me:

And here are some photos that I just took of Clarissa's closet! I still have a ton of things that I haven't sorted and put in her closet yet, but here's a sample of some of the things I hung up this morning.
Here's the famous Halloween costume that I've been talking about for the past year! It doesn't look nearly as cute on the hanger as it's going to look on her!

I'm am so insanely, ridiculously in love with this sweater dress! I got it at the shower last night and she also gave me matching orange tights and matching hair clips. Oh. My. Goodness. I can guarantee you that you're going to see photos of Clarissa in this outfit!

Here is THE dress! The dress I named this website after. (If you don't know that story, read the first post I made on this blog.)

I'm still alive!

I haven't updated all week! I kept starting blog posts but then I didn't really have anything to talk about so it just ends up being really boring and I never manage to actually post anything.

But here I am, I'm still alive and things are still moving along!

Last weekend Shawn was a really sick with a bad cold and now I've managed to get it. I haven't felt well for the past several days and today I've almost lost my voice. So I really haven't done a whole lot this week except lay around and not feel well.

Although I did do something fun!! My baby shower was last night!! YAY! Three of my really good friends put together a beautiful shower for me and we had a really good time. Even though I didn't feel super good, I had a great time. I got so many cute baby clothes that I think I'm going to have to change Clarissa's clothes three times a day just to enjoy them all, lol. I've had a fun time this morning putting things in her closet. I'm really grateful to all my sweet friends who came.

This morning I talked to my Korean friend for a little bit. Usually we talk at night here when it's midmorning there, so her kids aren't usually home, but we decided to talk this morning, which is night time in Korea and I got a chance to talk to her kids a little bit more. They are so cute, I get such a kick out of talking to them. I'm excited to get to meet her family when we go to Korea.

Nothing much is new in the wait for Clarissa's Visa. That's normal for this stage though. We're still waiting for her P3 to get back to the embassy so that they can schedule her Visa interview. Hopefully that will happen in the next week or two. I'm fairly confident that we'll have everything done and will be travelling the first part of October but I still get a little nervous sometimes that we're going to be held up by something. So far everything has gone smoothly though and I hope and pray that it continues.

So that's pretty much the update from my house. It's been a fairly uneventful week, but now that I'm starting to get over my cold it's time to go back to the projects! Fun!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Another small paperwork update! I called the Visa status center this morning and our P3 packet has been sent, which is one more step in the process that I can cross off!

If I understand it all correctly, The P3 packet is a bunch of Visa paperwork that is sent to Korea. Korea does whatever processing it needs to do with it and then it's sent back to the US (which takes aproximately 2 weeks) and once they receive it they can schedule the Visa interview, which is the big thing we're still waiting for. Once the Visa interview is complete, they'll issue a travel certificate for Clarissa and then they'll call and tell us to get on a plane and go get her!

We're getting close! It's time to get back to work on all my projects!! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Logged out!

First of all, Happy Birthday to my sweet husband Shawn! YAY! :) He turns 37 today.

Second, I called the NVC again this morning and Clarissa has officially been logged out of their sytem, which is good news! (we also found out that we were logged in on August 28th, not August 20th, like we were told the other day)

That means we're on to the next step, which is getting her Visa interview scheduled.

For my own record keeping, and just for fun, here is our timeline so far:

Initial request for adoption application: Summer of 2007
Homestudy sent to Korea: 11/21/07
Referral: 6/19/09
received Legals: 7/30/09
reveived Emigration Permit: 8/03/09
I600 approval: 8/27/09
logged into NVC: 8/28/09
logged out of NVC: 9/1/09

The only things left to do is the P3 (which is visa related paperwork), her visa interview, and her travel certificate! Her P3 is probably going to happen any day now, and the travel certificate comes right after the visa interview, so the only thing we're REALLY waiting on is the visa interview, which can sometimes take a month.

Next week I'll start calling the DC visa status number to see if her visa interview has been scheduled. I'm planning to call every day until they give me a date! Once we know that date we'll know approximately when we'll be traveling, because once that interview has happened it's probably only going to be a matter of days before they issue her travel certificate and declare her free to leave Korea.

That's a lot of boring technical information, but the bottom line is that we're getting close! A month from now we may be in Korea! YAY! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Small update

I'm trying to keep my blog updated with all paperwork related news, even if it's small, so here's my little update.

Once our I600 was approved, it was sent over to the National Visa Center, who has to process it through their system and then send the info on to Korea. There's a number you can call to check on the status of that, so I called today and they told me that they logged it into their system on August 20th and that it's due to be sent out to Korea any time now!

That's fantastic news, but it's a little odd, because our I600 approval letter was dated August 27th, so I don't know how the NVC logged it in on the 20th unless we actally got I600 approval earlier than we thought and they just waited a week to send us the letter.

Anyway, the bottom line is that our paperwork is cruising along really smoothly. I've been terrified of this whole paperwork process and I keep expecting to run into problems at each step, but so far we've been incredibly lucky. Let's hope that luck continues!

Baby gates and baby showers

Well, now that we're down to the last month of our adoption adventure it's time to all of the projects that I've been putting off because I thought I had so much time to do them. :)

At this point we've been waiting for this adoption for about two years. Over the past two years Shawn and I will often say "you know what we need do before Clarissa gets here?" and then follow that up with something like "install baby gates", "go through the baby toys", "paint the playroom", or one of a million other projects we need to do. And then we always say "yeah, but we've got time." I think after a while the wait go so long that it started to feel like this whole adoption thing was just something we talk about and not something that would actually ever happen.

And now here we are, with about one month left before we go pick up Clarissa and all those "you know what we need to do before Clarissa get here" projects are now piled up in my head and I'm starting to panic a little!

So we're making a list and every day we're both picking at least one thing off the list to accomplish. My job today was to research baby gates, but then I had a moment of panic when I realized that Shawn's birthday is in two days and I haven't gotten him a present yet, so instead I just spend my morning birthday shopping. Then I had a craving for chicken salad on crackers, so I had to go to the grocery store to buy chicken and crackers, and after I ate that (yum!) I remembered that I needed to blog today, and now here I am and I still haven't started researching baby gates. As soon as I finish this post I'm going to start, I promise.

Story number 2 for the day is that I'm having a baby shower in a couple of weeks! Yay! I have three fantastic friends who want to throw a shower for me and I'm just ridiculously excited about it! I'm so grateful for my sweet friends who are putting it together for me. I have so many fun things coming up that I'm really looking forward to. This month is going to be insanely busy getting everything ready, but it's also going to be really fun and exciting. It finally feels real!! We're actually going to be getting on that plane and flying to Korea to pick up Clarissa. I'm finally going to get to see her with my own eyes and kiss her sweet chubby cheeks. I can't wait to bring her home and start the new chapter in our lives. Exciting days are ahead!!