Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now News

Our first meeting with the adoption agency is coming up in a week and a half!! Yay!

We're really getting excited. Between that and the blog.. its all becoming more real to us. Although, it still seems a little like a fantasy or wishful thinking.. not like real-reality yet.
I guess it will become more so after we sign the application, write our 5 page autobiographies, and prepare for our home-studies.
For those of you wondering... WHAT? Oh, Yes... It is true..

One of the many steps in the adoption process is writing our autobiographies. (One for Stuart and another one for me.) Each one must be from 2-5 pages long and include information from early childhood, school years, employment history, courtship and marriage, lifestyle, extended family, and why we want to adopt.
We actually have an outline from the agency that gives us more detailed questions to make the process a bit easier... yeah, right ;)
There will be a ton of reflecting and self-analysis.. Definitely good stuff to know and understand about ourselves, especially as we become parents.

A home-study is basically what it sounds like.. A social worker from the agency will thoroughly read our autobiographies, reference letters, applications, etc. And then come to our home to ask questions regarding what she has already learned/read and any other questions or concerns she may have..
Of course, our home, itself, will be "inspected", as well, to make certain it is child-safe.
Note to self: Clean out garage ASAP.. it isn't even human-safe right now ;)
Overall, there will be 2-3 preapproval home-studies and 3 post-placement home-studies.
Sooo in other words, we will need to keep things tidy for a very, very long time!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another journey to Korea

Obviously, adoption is a very draining process, both emotionally and financially. A fellow blogger, also adopting from South Korea, has a great fund raiser happening right now featuring several Prize Package Drawings.
If Stuart and I can help someone else to bring their baby home sooner....
well, that's a blessing to our family too!

So, if you're interested, the button posted below leads to their blog.
And maybe you'll win something really cool!?

Maybe one of these days/months/years ;), we'll do some sort of amazing fundraiser, ourselves!
Stu and I have a couple of random, fabulous ideas...

Rumors of Kimchi

So we're thinking that we really need to trek into the world of
Korean cuisine.
Its sad to say but we've probably only had it.... once.

Don't get me wrong! We absolutely loooove Asian food!
Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese...
Sushi is a favorite, especially the super-yummy stuff in San
Francisco's China town. Seriously, Floating Sushi Boat
restaurant in SF is a must!

So anyway, we are trying to become more acquainted with
Korean food.
2.13 - Tofu House by gigapod

Unfortunately, Nashville isn't exactly the BEST place for food diversity.
In other words, not everything needs to be topped
with gravy! I'm just saying...

But it does look like there are a few restaurants to enjoy..
hopefully! 5 actually.
Who would have thought? And in Nashville!
The plan is to do Seoul Garden on Edmondson Pike this week.
Maybe it will be a life changing experience??
Of course, we'll post our review. There's never a shortage of
opinions in this house.

We're thinking that we should probably try our hand at
cooking Korean, as well.
Any advice on great cookbooks to try?
Since we enjoy being in the kitchen so much, seems like we
should at least give it a shot.
Although, I have heard horror stories of the smell that blossoms
from a jar of kimchi..
"Like a strong briny pickle, kimchi is an assault in the taste
senses of the uninitiated eater, and is meant to accompany
blander foods.
It is traditionally prepared with Chinese cabbage, red pepper,
garlic, salted fish, ginger and other natural ingredients.
Then, it is stored underground for at least 4 weeks."
So, its very, very, very ripe!
Kimchi is also credited with being a possible cancer fighter..
Not too shabby.

Guess we'll have to just hold our breath and go for it!
Fun with fermentation by kern.justin

Won't it be so cool (someday soon :) to prepare a nice meal for
our little family... perhaps the traditional Korean meal of white
rice, bulgogi, kimchi, chop chae, and melon popsicles??
Ooooo... very diverse indeed.
And the following night, we'll revisit the South...
with something chicken-fried and smothered in gravy..

Its all about balance, baby! ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm being stalked by Patience...

KoreanBaby.jpg Korean Baby image by jzsak

Is it possible to look at this face and not be happy?? Wish I could pinch those chubby cheeks right now! Sooo cute!!

So here's the deal..
Its kinda weird to know that something is so right.. but to also know that there is such a loooong wait ahead of us.. That part kinda sucks! A lot.
So basically, we just have to get over it and relax.

"Patience is a virtue." Right, Mom? :)
No. Patience is a drag.
Its stupid & boring... and often times, tormenting.
Its all in God's timing though. Thankfully He is in control and not us, because we really don't know what we are doing 99.9% of the time... or is that just us?

Stuart and I were just chatting tonight about how quickly all of this seems to be happening now. Truly, we've been hoping and praying for this for years... like 7, probably more like 8.. okay maybe 9...
And. Nothing. Ever. Happened.
So we thought, whatever.. It was a nice dream, coulda been great! Just apparently not for us.
Or so we thought...
As soon as we changed our focus from what we wanted (China) to what God wants for us (Korea)... BAM! The pieces are suddenly zooming together in such a hurry that we are a little freaked out! We're not used to life actually working out! ;) Ha!
Seriously though. What the crap is going on?
Except that for the first time, we are trying (I repeat, trying) to let God lead us to our baby... instead of us telling Him what to do. (That has to be the ultimate in bossiness)
Its almost like when we quit forcing the wrong key into the door & pulled our heads out of our asses, we finally saw that we were breaking into the wrong, stupid house to begin with!
Does that make sense??
Oh but it didn't end there! When we could clearly see that our key wasn't working.. Well, then we tried to break the door down. And when that was a 'no-go', we attempted to squeeze our big ol' behinds through a tiny 3-inch gap under a window. (not a pretty sight)
Yeah, it was ridiculous.
We just didn't trust that God wanted this as much as we do.. We were determined! But He was dragging His feet! C'mon, God!
So we had to figure out a way, with or without His help. Obviously that worked out well.
Ah, yes... and my dear friend, Patience, showed up along the way, of course. Hmmm, seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life..

Funny how we could have possibly thought that our hearts were hurting more than His for the orphaned and abandoned children of the world... wow.
Okay... Clearly rambling on... Sorry... Its late.

Anyway, that's how things are going as of this moment. Still counting down the days til our 1st adoption meeting in less than 3 weeks! Yay!
We'll continue to update you with blogs and posts of random photos & Korean factoids with minimal rambling, when possible. :)
Thanks for sticking around and checking in!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lotus Lantern Festival

So maybe I'm getting a little carried away with "cut" and "paste"...
But admit it, this is pretty.

Lotus lantern festival
Seoul, South Korea

I think I might have to do that in my house!
Fire hazard??


I know you must be wondering about the aforementioned "jujube"!!
Well, here it is!
Red dates.
Fresh ones.

And I was on and off Google in less than 5 minutes.. it was awesome :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Googling and the Godfather..

Sorry for being a little behind on blogging. I've been sidetracked with the ever-hypnotizing power of Google.
Is it just me or does the computer, namely Google, tend to make time disappear?? What the..?
I swear I sat down to check my email really quick this afternoon and four hours later....
Seriously, the Google time-warp drew me in before I even knew what was happening!
So what have I been doing for hours upon hours?? Basically all things Korean and adoption. We've learned a lot. And there are actually a few pretty cool sites.
One of my favs:
Its a Korean culture and educational boutique with super cute stuff. They have beautiful hanboks (the traditional Korean dress) and cute books, toys, pjs.
IMG_3441-700787 by Max Watson.
Two little cuties sporting hanboks.... apparently its a bit chilly, too!

Also found today in our Googlefest Time Vortex...
The Dol and its mondo-importance. Who knew??? Not me.
Dols are apparently a pretty important celebration. And by important, I mean, it had better be a good one because its the best party you'll have for the next 6 decades!
The big birthday celebrations in Korean culture.... the Dol (1st birthday) and the Hwangap (60th birthday). Like I said, livin' it up in diapers to.. living it up in diapers! ;)
Just kidding, Dad! I know 60 is NOT OLD!!
Anyway, the history and process of the Dol party is interesting....
In the past, the death rate for children was extremely high for babies in Korea. Many died before their first birthday. After the age of one year, the survival rate steeply increased, making this milestone a very happy one for the child’s parents. It has also been a custom to celebrate a child’s 100 day birthday (baek-il) , but in most areas this birthday is less important than the Dol and any celebrations are smaller in scale.
Doljabee is a Korean 1st birthday tradition where the baby goes around the table and picks up items that attract her. The baby’s future is predicted according to the what she grabs. The first and second items the baby grabs are considered the most important. Usually Korean parents place the items that they want the child to choose near to the edge of the table. The baby’s future is predicted according to the items:

thread: the baby will have a long life
jujube: the baby will have many descendants
book, pencil, or related items: the baby will become a successful scholar
money, rice, or rice cake: the baby will have great wealth

So, thanks to the miracle of Google, we've all been educated on just a wee bit of Korean culture today. Aren't you wondering what the heck "jujube" is now? Guess I'll have to Google it..
Dammit! See?
Just when you think you're out, they drag you back in. ;)
Now, Stuart will probably get excited about a blog... if we're quoting the Godfather, well, that changes everything! Men are so weird.