Saturday, September 26, 2009

One year ago today.......

I knew.
I knew it was time.

It had been a dream for a very long time, even after having three children of our own. We knew there was a someone somewhere in this world that needed us; and we knew that we had plenty of room in our hearts and home for her.

We knew why this was the right choice for our family; and we kind of knew how we were going to do it financially - but we didn't know where we would go to find her.

Eventually, we stumbled our way through agency brochures and country specifics and narrowed it down to one. Of course, this was over several weeks time. We chose our agency, wrote the first check to mail in and settled down for a three year wait.

Of course, God had another idea. No matter how organized I am and how much research and planning I do; He's always there with that wagging finger saying, uh,uh - not so fast.

That check was never mailed, that agency was never used and that country never picked. You see, we learned later that very next day that the probability of three years had turned to almost five and we weren't willing to wait that long. We felt like the rug had been pulled from beneath us. At one moment we knew where we were headed and the next we had no clue.

Of course He knew. That same day in school I was teaching art to a first grade class, my last class of the afternoon. A little girl by the name of Emily stopped to ask me a question as she came in my classroom door. She talked so quiet I had to bend down in order to hear what she was asking me. She asked- "why don't you have Korea?" I looked up and she was pointing to my multicultural art wall with my many crafts and pictures of different countries and cultures. I laughed and answered - "your right Emily, I don't have Korea up there." I knew Emily's story. I knew she was adopted. I didn't know, however, where from...until that moment in art class. I couldn't help it, I had to ask why. She smiled and quietly said, "because that's where I'm from." And then she turned to talk to a friend.

Needless to say, it was very hard to concentrate on teaching for the next 55 minutes. This was a country we had not considered, mostly because it was one that many local agencies did not work with. I truly believe this was God showing us the way. As soon as school ended I hopped on the computer in my classroom and googled agencies that handled South Korean adoptions. Strangely enough, one popped up a little over an hour away that I had never seen during past searches. Excited, I called my husband and within a week we had our first initial round of paperwork mailed in. In three months we were approved. We're officially headed to South Korea.

Oh, and thank you Emily.

Not the end of the story though. About a month after being approved we learned that that the Commanders job would be transferring him to Minnesota. Would we go? Of course, if we want to to stay gainfully employed in this economy! But being in the middle of an adoption process , having already spent thousands of dollars and learning that you will be moving almost 1,000 miles away from your adoption agency - how's that going to work?

He's got that covered too.

You see, unkown to us, our agency - one of the few that South Korea has allowed to handle adoptions in the US - works in only two states. Maryland and Minnesota. How's that for a coincidence? Of course there are no coincidences, I once read, just small miracles where God likes to remain anonymous.

I like to think He's drivin' this bus, that He's been driving it all along, steering us in the right direction from the very beginning. Even when we get to the bumps in the road like having to move and pay dual housing expenses that have eaten away at our adoption savings. We're confident that He will provide and thanks to the Lord, we will make our destination.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little Gems

Little gems doesn't refer to the little piece of heaven you see here, it refers to those places you aren't looking for when you're looking for someplace else. Does that make sense? Of course! You see, we found this place on our way to finding another place last weekend.

They had the most beautiful rose gardens. While the kids were hurrying to see what was inside the building, I had to smell a few. My second yelled, C'mon mom, hurry up! I made them all come back and spoke to them of the importance of literally stopping to smell the roses. I have never seen so many different kinds in one place. This was just a small example.

It wasn't a very big place, but full of big wonders. Besides the many different roses they had a grape arbor masquerading as a small covered sitting area. In fact, none of us actually realized there were grapes until we walked over to sit down. Not just one kind either, at least three different kinds we tasted.
This was like one of the 8th wonders of the world to my second born. Did you know that on New Years Eve at his Grammy and Poppy's one year he once ate so many grapes that his dad said - "For goodness sakes kid, will you stop eating those grapes? Here, have some chocolate!"
We weren't really sure if we were allowed to pick them, so I went inside to ask. Before I got back however, they had fist and mouthfuls. They turned out not to be seedless. But they didn't mind.
They also had little ponds sporting water Lilly's and another "RMF" (rare Minnesota frog) He seems to be following us.
So we eventually made it inside to find homemade jellies, fudge, caramels, cheese and lots of things made with apples. They even had a special little refrigerated room with some of their best apples and a guy slicing off samples. It seemed like it was 20 degrees in there and the kids each picked out one of their favorites to take home. They were called "Zestars". Give ya one guess whose apple didn't make it home.
Mom had to try the apple donuts, so we bought one for each of us. At 50 cents a piece I should have bought more! They were still hot. All in all I it was a great day at- wait, where were we going again? I don't think it mattered after we found this place!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Keeping the kids busy on the weekends is the name of the game. In this tiny townhouse we all seem to be on top of each other and nerves begin to grate quickly,so we go out.


Where ever we can.

Little trails that seem to lead to nowhere are a favorite.

Jesse James Days was a roarin' good time.

Festival food is always yummy, expensive, but yummy. For $20 we got 2 milkshakes, some cheese curds and an ear of corn. They hadn't had a treat in awhile so it was worth the content smiles.
On the way outta town we spied this. We laughed at first, but being new around here; who are we to question??

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's Rewind......

22 days ago, we set sail for the great state of Minnesota. In 5 days I had accepted a job, found a temporary home, packed 1/3 of the house, jumped in a car with 3 kids and a dog and drove the 18 hours that began a new chapter of our life. Here are some moments before and along the way I've been meaning to post. Enjoy!

Step 1, I just piled everything I thought we should take and stuck it in one room. Apparently Arwyn knew she was going and was sporting her new "winter in Minnesota" ensemble.
Yes honey, I do need to take my Halloween decorations.....and every dvd and vhs we own. Annie will stay at camp Pop Pop and Grandma to be spoiled rotten until we buy a house out here. At 14 and blind, one move is better than two.The night before packing. Darn, I miss those flowers.

Step 2 was loading the trailer. These were just the clothes for the kids, summer and winter. It's was hard to pick and choose what to take; but we weren't making our big move until later so most had to stay.

Half of it was my classroom supplies, materials, files and decorations. The rest of it my new school in MN offered to ship and was sent by UPS.
These guys were master packers; leaving not a square inch of space "un-stuffed". Somehow, they got it all in..........

......with a stow-away - My best friend in the whole world....wishing to come along.

I'm surprised the door even shut!

Then it was time for goodbyes. These are just a few; some I don't have pics of and some I never had a chance to get a hug from, but you know who you are.

Had to say goodbye to our pediatrician...we've known this lady for a looong time and she's definitely going to be hard to replace - along with nurse Kathy who single handedly gave them every shot for the last ten years!

Dennis, our Schwan's man for 9 years stopped by, he will be missed too!

The night before leaving we headed to Pizza Hut - any excuse to not fix dinner.

....and then said some more goodbyes.....

The next morning we piled into the car, fired up the dvd player, said a prayer and headed up north!

The navigator......

The gamer.......

The dozer.......

The dozer....... The dozer......

We think my classroom supplies passed us in Indiana,

and I got this cool shot in Illinois.

In Wisconsin we milked a cow,