Friday, December 31, 2010


I think it is about time we share pictures of Jae!  He turned 9 months old on the 29th.

To help us celebrate the new year, we requested a "Jae update" from our social worker.  So we should be getting more pictures and a little write up on Jae within a couple of weeks. 

Jae's Mom

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Good days while waiting (and a few bad ones)

I have bad days.  This waiting thing sucks and gets very hard some days; but Paul and I choose to focus on the good.  I know I haven't blogged in a few days so here is a quick summary of some of the great people and moments from the last week:

Wednesday night Paul and I ate at a Korean restaurant on the U of M campus prior to a Gopher game.  All the tables were full, but one Korean man had a table of 4 all to himself.  He stood up and asked us to join him.  He then took the time to explain all of the Korean dishes in front of us and their health benefits.  I will be more thoughtful like this gentleman.

At the immigration and customs office on Thursday, there was a gentleman from Egypt that was in the final stages of becoming a US Citizen.  He was on the verge of having a very big moment in his life and all he wanted to hear about was ours.  "So you have a son.  That is wonderful news."  I will help celebrate others' joys like this gentleman did.

The below are the result of one of our agency's worker's husband.  I will share my gifts (although not artistic ones) as this gentleman did.
Herzog in Korean

Jae's new wall art

Jae in Korean

The girls of Owatonna Shoe make us feel like celebrities every time we walk in the door and it is not because of all the shoes I purchase.  I absolutely love that they are part of our adoption story. I will never forget walking out of their back storage room (after hearing about Jae for the very first time) and seeing all their smiling yet tear filled faces.  Thanks for sharing such an important moment in our lives.  I will make others feel like a celebrity as do the lovely ladies of O-town Shoe.

A friend at work that knows how to distract me from the fact that Jae isn't home.  I will always be there for her as she was for me.

And finally, my husband.  I have had some rough days the last few.  But he always helps remind me how wonderful our lives are.  We have a son.  One that is being cared for, loved, and well...spoiled.  Yes, we wish he was home, but we also know he is in great hands.  And when he does come home, it will be better than we ever imagined.  I will always make Paul feel as special and loved as he does me.

There are a lot of good, caring people out just need to know where to look.

Jae's Mom

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Slow day for news

Thursday we will report to the Department of Homeland Security for our biometrics testing (AKA - fingerprinting) but other than that, we probably won't have anything to report in 2010.  Our agency told us a few weeks ago that there will be no more travel notifications this year.  Not surprising. 

But, as I bake my little heart out today...nothing else to do while snowed in...I think a lot about Jae.  Paul and I do a good job decorating Christmas cookies, but I am sure Jae will show us how it is done.  :)

Jae's Mom

Monday, December 6, 2010

A good day

I had a good day today.  No government mail, no social worker phone calls, nor visa approval notices.  But it was one of those days where you realize how cool and wonderful all your friends are.

-One of my co-workers, whom I talk with maybe 2 times a year called and asked how things were going.  She wanted to know how Jae was and make sure he way safe with all this crap going on over there. 
-Another co-worker in my department gave me probably the nicest compliment I have ever received.  Being the mush that I am these days, I teared up right there in the company gym.
-My friend / neighbor / co-worker called and said she wants to take me for a spa day before Jae comes home.
-At spin class one of the members of the Owatonna Bike Club was overjoyed at our news about Jae!  This is the first time I have seen this individual since Jae's referral and I was very touched at how happy she was for us.  Added to her list of daily prayers is Jae's speedy arrival.
-I just received a text from a family member (but also a very close friend) as follows:  "We are watching the Amazing Race tonight and Maya is so excited.  'This is where baby Jae comes from.'  She is very taken with him. =)."
-My boss recommended a bunch of childrens' books I need to buy before Jae comes home.

WOW!  We are blessed. 

Jae's Mom

Friday, December 3, 2010

Any good mail?

Wishing Jae was home so we could make snow angels and snowmen!

This is what I have amounted to, "Paul, any good mail today?  Like from the US Government?"  Since when is mail from the US Government good?  I guess when you are waiting to bring your son home it is.

Jae's Mom

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Waiting Families Meeting

Tuesday night we had a meeting at our agency for all the waiting Korean families.  They talked about the Korean culture, bonding/attachment ideas, and even the recent events with North Korea.  The good news is all the babies and foster parents are safe.  At this time the bombing does not change our wait time to go get Jae.  But again, the sooner things calm down over there the better. 

Going back to the Korean culture piece, one of my favorite parts of the meeting was when the Korean specialist and one of the agency's social workers talked about how spoiled Korean babies are.  :)  They are used to having their every little cry attended to.  Basically, Jae only needs to whimper and his foster mom is giving him a bottle or cuddling him or playing with him or giving him cake (apparently one of the major food groups in Korea).  I love it.  Spoil the heck out of my kiddo.  And if Jae likes cake, he will fit in just fine in the Herzog house.  Another interesting tid bit is how Korean mother's sooth their babies - -by whapping them on the back.  No, not tapping them on the back.  But with a few good solid whaps.  I envision it to be much like burping a baby.  I think it is funny and oh so cute at the same time.

Jae's Mom

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More government mail

A nice little belated Thanksgiving present for the Herzog house - - more government mail!  I just can't tell you how happy we are to get mail from the Department of Homeland Security.  If I am being honest, Paul and I high-fived after opening the mail. :)

To summarize the notices, we have appointments at 8am on December 16th in St. Paul for biometric testing.  If we "fail to appear as scheduled, (our) application will be considered abandoned."  Yikes!  Best not to be late on the 16th...

Jae's Mom

Friday, November 26, 2010


Paul and I have so much to be thankful for this year and Jae is a VERY big part of it.  We have a happy, healthy baby boy.  Last week we received an updated picture of Jae!  That little cutie is getting big and boy oh boy does he have hair!  It was a fun week at the office showing off pictures of my newest love.

This week I am reading as much as I can about adoption and Korea.  I keep switching back and forth between a book about general Korean culture  (did you know the traditional Korean 1st birthday cake is layered with pink, green, brown and white layers?) and a book about toddler adoption.  I would highly recommend (as our agency did) 'Toddler Adoption-The Weaver's Craft' by Mary Hopkins Best to anyone that is looking to adopt a child between the ages of 1 and 4.  It has a lot of good information and ideas on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.  Plus it is just been reassuring.  We are going into this process with the right frame of mind and the appropriate expectations. 

Lastly, keep praying that the North and South Korea return to peace.  Yes, my reasons are very selfish, but no one needs this sort of conflict.

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today's events

Not loving the news out of South Korea today.  Jae is not far from where this is all taking place.

Missing our little guy quite a bit the last few hours.

Jae's Mom

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Every once in a blue moon I can catch Paul is such a good mood that I can convince him that I have good ideas.  Yesterday was one of those days...we decorated for Christmas.  We were in such a good mood from our I-797C notice that he agreed we should put up decorations.  And it is noteworthy that this is our first year with 2 trees in the house.  Santa has lots of room to bring Jae presents this year and next.

But what I loved even more was the talk about next Christmas.  "We won't be able to hang bulbs low on the tree."  "What time do you think Jae is going to get up on Christmas morning?"  "Next year our tree will be covered in homemade Jae ornaments!" 

Jae's Mom

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Government Mail

Funny what makes me happy these days.  Today part of my happiness comes in the form of mail from the Department of Homeland Security!  :)  God bless the US Government and the I-797C Notice of Action form.  And yes, I am being serious.  It is the first notice in our petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative.  Yippee!  It isn't his final clearance to enter this country, but it is a step in the right direction.  It truly is the little things.

Other Jae news:  even though we swore we would wait to purchase a lot of clothes and toys until Jae arrival date is closer; in the last 24 hours a new shirt, hoodie, jeans, books, and rocking chair have made their way to our home.  Oops!  I guess this new Mom and Dad are not as patient as we think we are! 

Jae's Mom

Monday, November 15, 2010

2 months down...

Saturday marked 2 months since we received Jae's referral.  If the wait time does not decrease, that means 2 months down and 6 to go.  Yuck.  But still positive.  Still moving forward.  Still excited to have a happy, healthy son.  Still very excited to have a giant Noah's Ark to play with. 

Lately I have thoughts about how far we go to keep the Korean language in Jae's life.  If Jae doesn't come home until May (which would be 8 months after his referral), he will have absorbed quite a bit of his native language, even at that young age.  Which we think is great!  I would love for Jae to continue to learn the Korean language.  But how much do we push?  Do we find a Korean language school?  Can his parents also join in the class?  Can our buddy, Brian, teach us what he learned from Rosetta Stone?

I really want to bring the Korean culture into the Herzog house.  But big picture, Jae just needs to be a kid.  And I suppose it is like any parent's dream for their kiddo - -a baseball player, a rocket scientist, an actuary...whatever.  But since the Korean language is already a part of him, is it a good idea to continue to push him in that direction?

Not necessarily looking for an answer.  Just sharing my thoughts.

Jae's Mom

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NYC and DC

Paul and I have been busy the last few weeks.  Last weekend we were in NYC for the marathon (Paul finished in 3:28).  We had a great time walking around NYC and shopping for Jae!  At the marathon expo we bought this little shirt:

And at the FAO Schwarz, this adorable Noah's Ark made its way home!  It took up 1/4 of my suitcase!  A thanks goes out to our 18 month old neighbor, Brennan, for giving the Ark a test run! 

After the marathon, Paul and I took the train down to DC for 3 days.  Paul had an actuarial conference where he received his actuarial diploma.  Very cool.  We spent time in the Natural History Museum, the Spy Museum, the Holocaust Museum (which was very not miss), the White House, and the American History Museum.  It was a great 3 days!  Wonderful weather and it was great to walk around DC on some of their "off-season" days.  We had museums practically to ourselves. 

Our time in DC confirmed the thought that we need to continue to travel once Jae arrives.  There is just so much learning to be done outside the classroom!  Our guide around the American History Museum had me hanging on every word!  He described the Civil War like it was the latest news out of People magazine!  :)  I immediately came home and picked up our copy of 1776.  But that is what I want Jae to experience.  I want him to understand life outside of Owatonna...Minnesota...and even the United States.

One last cute tie between Jae and our trip:  in the gift shop of the National Archives was the baby book Paul gave to me when we started this process.  "My Family My Journey.  A Memory Book."  It is basically a baby book for adoptive families.  But a very nice surprise to see it in a gift shop on the National Mall.

A few other pictures from our trip:

The Christmas Tree spot at Rockefeller Center:

The Noah's Ark is in the giant red bag:
 Paul at mile 17:
 Natural History museum:
 This pair would make my collection complete:

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shots, Crib and an Update!

Yesterday I had my first round of what I lovingly call "adoption shots."  Yuck.  I don't know which one took it toll, but I am home sick today.  But the sore arm, headache, loss of appetite, inability to sleep and dizziness are all worth it.  Jae is worth it.  Thursday I go back for blood work to see if I need the last 2 doses of Hepatitis B.  Hope they have more of those cute sparkly band-aids they gave me yesterday...a sucker would also be nice.

The crib came today.  The nursery got a lot smaller this afternoon. 

But the best news is:  we got a surprise update today!  We can request 2 updates while we are waiting for Jae and this one came as a complete surprise as we haven't requested anything!  Nice.  That means we still have our 2 requests to cash in at later dates.  Jae is now 7 months old, weighing in at 16.6 lbs and eating good.  He is starting to get some solid foods and likes sweet potatos, apples and bananas the best.  :)  Pictures were also taken, but they haven't arrived yet.  Our social worker will forward them on as soon as the agency has them.  We will be checking the mailbox a little more eagerly in the next few weeks as a result!

Jae's Mom

Monday, October 25, 2010


I think they call it "nesting."  When mothers-to-be suddenly have the urge to clean, organize, fix, wash, etc. I am there.  Very randomly this evening I decided Jae's room is a mess and needs to be cleaned.  Never mind the fact that their is only one piece of furniture in the room (Jae's crib still hasn't arrived) and my sweet little baby boy probably isn't going to be home for months.  Anyway this is the result:

And don't judge - but I am having a hard time giving up my shoe closet.  But at least I have given up a small corner!?!?!  Sharing the shoe closet is the first step.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More background checks

For those of you that aren't too familiar with the adoption process, a lot of it is proving you have a clean record.  We completed 2 extensive background checks about a year ago - one being the Adam Walsh background study.  On Friday we learned our Adam Walsh study is about to expire so that means another $140 to have it renewed.  At least this one is online only.  No trips to the county jail to get fingerprinted.

Which reminds me of a good story.  It was a little over a year ago that Paul and I went to get fingerprinted for the first time.  Regardless if you need fingerprints for adoption, a security designation or a criminal offense, the place to get this done is at the Steele County Jail.  I am proud to announce neither Paul nor myself had any idea of what to expect inside the facility.  And FYI - for anyone that needs to get fingerprinted, when you first walk into the jail and see no one, please don't assume you aren't being watched!  It took us a little while to realize why the room was full of mirrors.  Oops.  Oh well.
Another helpful "fingerprint" tip - don't ask the on duty officer a lot of questions.  Don't ask things like, "How many beds ya got here?" or "How long can people stay here?" or "What happens when you run out of beds?" or "How much free time to the inmates get each day?"  And if you do, expect a short answer (with a hint of annoyance accompanying the response).
Third, don't touch the large red button labeled, "LOCK DOWN."  I refrained this time, but sure was tempted!  :)

Here's to only going back the Steele Country Jail when we start adoption #2.

Jae's Mom

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jae Miles

Jae Miles Herzog

Miles was Paul's idea.  And yes, the name came to him while he was out on a long run a few weeks ago.  But it had more to do with how many miles we have to travel to get Jae...and how every one of them is worth it.  The more and more I think about it, the more it fits.  The adoption process is not a short one and the name Miles just works.

Today was a rough day for missing Jae.  Rather than retreating straight to my hotel this evening, I ventured to the near-by mall and spent close to 2 hours looking at baby things.  It is hard to pick up clothes that are for 12 month olds and wonder if Jae is going to be too big for them by the time he comes home.  I miss him.

Jae's Mom

Monday, October 18, 2010

Korean, English...and French?!?

I spent the entire day talking insurance to clients and prospects...and then kissing my new locket when no one was looking.  I love knowing Jae is in there.  It is unbelievably comforting to have him with me at all times.

I also did something that could very well confuse my son.  After I got done for the day, I wandered into a discount book store and automatically made my way to the children's section.  It was there that I picked up and purchased something I probably shouldn't use: A board book.  In French.  I was all proud of myself until I called Paul and he laughed and said (I'm paraphrasing here):  "Ummm, Honey?!?  Don't you think it is going to be hard enough for Jae to go from hearing exclusivley Korean to exclusivley English?  I don't think throwing a 3rd language into the mix is a good idea."  :)  I don't know what I was thinking!  I speak a little French and I guess I just had a "pregancy moment" where I thought my child should learn basic French as well.  Poor Jae.  He was no idea what he is getting himself into.

Jae's Mom

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Disappointments and Surprises

Hello from a hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.  I am out on another field trip, my last one of the year and hopefully my last one before Jae comes home.

Yesterday was disappointing and surprising.  Disappointing because the crib didn't make it.  The delivery men showed up with a dresser and a crib converter.  Yeah, but in order to ever convert a crib to a bed, we would actually need a crib first.  Bummer.  I was really hoping to get the nursery in order.

Yesterday was surprising because of my sweet, loving husband.  I received a beautiful silver locket with the word, "Mom" engraved on it.  Paul then helped me place two pictures of Jae inside.  That way, I get to carry Jae around with me this week.  I love it.  I write mostly about Jae (the blog's name is Bringing Home Jae after all), but I hope everyone knows how wonderful my husband is.  I can't imagine doing any of this without him.  Jae is lucky to have such a great Daddy.

Jae's Mom

Saturday, October 16, 2010


First we waited for our 3 year wedding anniversary (Korea requires couples to be married for 3 years before they are put on the adoption wait list).  Then we waited for a referral.  Now we are waiting for a crib and dresser!  The delivery man said he would be here between 3 and 7 pm today.
Last night was my first baby shower!  Thanks so much to Anne Hemann and Leah Fritz for hosting such a great shower.  And of course, thanks to all my girlfriends for all the wonderful gifts.  Paul and I just spent the last 30 minutes sitting on the floor in Jae's room reading books and playing with toys.  Between the "Counting" book (thanks Aunt Holly) and "Counting Puppy" (thanks Tammy) I think Paul was finally able to count to ten without using his fingers!  Good job, Paul! 

A picture of Jae's stuff:

Our favorite onsies (thanks Lisa)

Whoa - the delivery truck just pulled up!  Got to go...

Jae's Mom

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The people that don't know

Paul and I had dinner at the country club last night and got to talking about all the people that don't know we are adopting.  Like, one of the regular waitresses at the country club.  We are on a first name basis with her, but she has no idea we are adopting.  How fun is it going to be to just one day walk in with Jae!  :)  I just can't wait to show him off to everyone.  I picked up our "adoption announcements" this morning, and I have never been so excited to lick 100+ envelopes!  Jae is our world and he isn't even here yet.  We talk about to him to each other, to our family, to our friends, to our pets and basically anyone else that will listen.  My poor dry cleaning lady knows more about Jae that she probably cares to.  This past weekend, I caught myself saying, "Okay, one more thing about Jae/adoption and then I promise I will stop" at least 3 times.

Jae is so loved. 

Jae's Mom

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jae's middle name

Paul and I have been debating between two different middle names for the last few weeks.  And as the Riley family can attest to, I gave Paul the final say.  Paul finally made the decision! 

We just ordered birth announcements, so I am not going to announce the middle name here on my blog just yet.  For close family and friends - keep an eye on your mail.  For the rest of you, I am afraid you will just have to wait.

Jae's Mom

Monday, October 11, 2010

"..and I have a 6 month old!"

This past weekend was really fun, for multiple reasons.  Mostly because it was the first time "Yes, I am a Mom to a 6 month old" came out naturally.  I loved it. 

The flip side is: the more and more I get used to this new role the harder it is not to have Jae here.  On Saturday his room will be basically ready to go and so will his parents.  But that isn't how this game works.  I know birth parents get anxious during the 9 months; but, I would think they also take comfort in the fact that the baby needs to stay in the womb for health reasons.  For us, it is different.  Paul and I try to stay positive and keep moving forward but we are ready to bring our beautiful baby boy home.  Yes, Jae need us.  But on days like today, I think we need Jae much more.

I started my blog for two reason - 1) to inform close family and friends (that I don't get to talk to everyday) how the process is going.  and 2) for Jae.  I want him to read this blog one day when he is older.  This post is for Jae.

Jae's Mom

Friday, October 8, 2010

Running strollers

Now that the crib and dresser are set to be delivered next Saturday, our next most important purchase is a jogging stroller.  And let's be honest, this can't be any old running stroller.  It needs to be a good one.  Thank goodness for Katie and Straight River Sports - because she told us which one we will be purchasing.  All we have to decide is the color scheme.

So in the first round of the 2010 jogging stroller draft...the Herzogs select The Bob Revolution in chocolate and blue! 

Get ready, Jae.  This soon-to-be-purchased stroller is going to feel like a second home.  And no pressure, Jae, but Mom is hoping that pushing your stroller on training runs will help knock her into the sub 4 hour marathon time.

Jae's Mom 

PS - We miss you Grandpa O. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tears from a Social Worker

I got a call from "Jen," our social worker, this morning.  She was just checking in to see how we are doing and give us some general info.  I found out it is time to send our care package - which means we are going sleep with Jae's teddy bear and blanket again tonight before mailing them tomorrow.  If Jae is not home by his first birthday we get to send another care package.  Jen also told me we can request 2 updates while we are waiting.  So in a month or two, we ask for pictures and his most recent doctor's visit report.  Is isn't much, but it will have to do.  Hopefully update #1 will come right around Christmas. 

The best part is after Jen and I got through the info session, she asked me how we were personally doing.  I told her good.  We are staying busy and still as excited as we were on Sept 13th when we first heard Jae's name.  I said it is so comforting to know Jae's out there.  He needs us and we need him....and then Jen got quiet...she was getting all misty on me!  :)  I love that she cares so much about us and Jae that she has an emotional tie to our situation.  Paul and I are so blessed to have such a great support network.

On a less emotional front - Randy Moss - Common down!  And let's go Twins!  Paul scored tickets to the game tonight...hence the early post.

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Busy little bees

First of all...Congrats to Lisa Aus on becoming a marathoner over the weekend!  It was the perfect day for a race and it is reflected in our time of 4:42:15.  I will brag up my friend that passed 616 people between miles 20 and 26.2; while, only 25 passed her. 

Other than marathoning, we have been busy cleaning and organizing.  Jae is getting this house in shape!  The garage has been cleaned, another bedroom painted (see Jae's room above) and sadly, the beloved shoe closet is about to be relocated.  A few older pairs will not make the move - -they will see the inside of the Salvation Army instead.  But, my priorities are already changing and that is a good thing.

No other Jae news this week.  We will just continue to try and stay busy until he comes home.

Jae's Mom

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Marathon weekend!

Today's post is not really about Jae...because it is Twin Cities marathon weekend!  My neighbor, Lisa Aus, and I are running the marathon tomorrow.  It is Lisa's first marathon but she is ready!.  We have spent many mornings up before the 5 o'clock hour for training runs followed by large cups of coffee.  So if you are out along the 26.2 mile course look for us.  I have a very color coordinated outfit:  pink hat, lime green shirt, blue shorts and white and purple shoes.  :)

Next year, those training runs will include a baby jogger with a cute bundled one year old inside. 

Jae's Mom

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Korea?

One of the things Paul and I are commonly asked is: Why did you decide on Korea?

Although we kept an open mind, I think Paul and I were set on adopting from South Korea pretty early on.  Mostly because we knew a few families that have adopted from there.  But there were other things that swayed our decision - No orphanages-Jae is staying with a foster mom being spoiled to bits.  The smooth process-South Korea has been open to American adoption for quite some time.  It is really a tried and true process.  We knew from day one what to expect and roughly when things would happen.  Optional travel-South Korea does not require travel to the country.  Granted, it is something that is strongly encouraged but not required.  In comparison, Russia requires 2 trips.  One to meet your child and then a second trip a month or so later to bring your kiddo home.  Two trips to Russia would get expensive quick. 

But the final decision came when we attended PAC (pre-adoption class).  One of the social workers that lead one of the sessions said, "If nothing else, pick a country that you are interested in."  She went on to say from this point forward you are a American/Korean family or a American/Ethiopian family, or an American/Chinese family.  Embrace it.  And that made complete sense to us.  Which is why we are choosing to travel to Korea.  We want to learn and see as much as possible.  We want to decorate the nursery and house in Korean art.  We want to eat as much kimchee as possible.  We want to buy traditional Korean attire.

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick referrals

Not much today. 

Jae's referral came after only 5 months of waiting.  Today we found out that 3 other lucky families got their referrals last week.  All boys, all from Korea.  Two of the families waited only 3 months and one family waited only 2 months!  And I thought our referral came fast!  Lots of happy "new" families around the Minnesota area.

Jae's Mom

Monday, September 27, 2010

Replacing pictures

Everyone tells you that your life changes after having kids.  Jae is not even home yet and he is changing ours.  In our downstairs hallway we had 3 wedding pictures with a giant "H" hanging above them; only one of those wedding pictures remain and somehow a cute little baby boy appeared in the other two frames.  And for those of you that didn't pick up on it from yesterday's blog...the nursery was cleaned out this weekend.  Jae isn't expected home for another 6.5 months and yet the nursery is "move in ready." 

Monday Night Football is on...Green Bay stinks!   I really want to say "Green Bay S-U-C-K-S"  But I know my Mom wouldn't like it, so I won't.  :)

Jae's Mom

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Turning our house upside down

Jae is already causing the Herzog house to turn upside down!!
1) Cleaned out the garage
2) Moved the Foosball table from the game room to the garage
3) Moved the desk and computer from the office to the old game room (which required dismantling the desk)
4) Re-painted the old office
5) And moved the upstairs guest room furniture to the old office.
6) Which leaves the upstairs guest room available to become the nursery.

It goes without saying that I passed out on the couch last night around 9pm while watching the Twins game.

In other, more Jae specific news, we got our "travel information packet" from our adoption agency.  No, this is not our travel notice, just info so that we are more prepared when the call comes.  The packet includes info on: vaccinations to get prior to travel (NOOOOOO!  I hate shots!!  Jae is worth it.  Jae is worth it), things to bring with, what items our agency will provide, accommodations, transportation, etc.

Something I found really interesting is the fact that we are expected to be in professional dress anytime we are taking part in official agency business.  Which means Paul will be in a suit and tie and I will be wearing a dress (or formal pants suit) when we first meet Jae.  I can't say this would be my first choice in attire, but out of great respect for the agency and South Korea in general, I will be happy to oblige.  The bigger question is:  Do I even bother wearing eye make-up that day?  :)

Jae's Mom


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Already missing Jae

I am ready for Jae to be here.  This is going to be difficult.

Jae's Mom

PS - say a quick prayer for Owatonna.  Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When does Jae come home?

One thing I have yet to answer on this blog is: When does Jae come home? The answer: We don't quite know. Yesterday evening we got an email from our Dossier Specialist (AKA- the agency employee that helps with all the paperwork) saying all of our notarized forms looked great and she is sending them to Korea. Which means the clock starts to tick today. The average wait from from referral acceptance to the travel notification (AKA - the call to go to Korea) is about 7 months.  :(

But don't worry, the giant teddy bear that somehow made it's way home from Target last night will be just fine until then. 

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Am I going to be "that" mom?

This morning I had one of the moments where you realize something about yourself...I am going to be an embarrassing Mom.  You know, the one that dances and sings (even though she can't carry a tune) in front of her child and all his or her friends.  Jae is going to hate it and I am going to love it!  I believe I get this quality from my father.  I have a very vivid memory of Senior Night at Ava High School when he was escorting me out onto the volleyball court.  Unlike most parents that just simply escort their daughter out in front of the spectators, my father proceeded to wave to the crowd like he was in a parade.  I was humiliated!  But now, oh, that is funny!  Plus I am pretty sure all my high school girlfriends secretly thought my Dad was a here's hoping.

PS - This realization came while singing, "These boots were made for walking" while dancing and getting my fall black boots out of the downstairs closet.  Paul shook his head and walked away.

Jae's Mom

Monday, September 20, 2010

Paperwork and Blue Cupcakes

If every signature gets Jae closer to home, he got a lot closer today.  Paul and I must have signed our John Hancock at least 25 times...each one needing a public notary.  We signed documents saying we will be financially responsible for Jae, that we are natural US citizens, that we will have Jae vaccinated upon reaching the US, that we will complete the required adoption follow up work, that we both still have jobs, etc. etc.  Whew.  But, Jae is already worth it.

For our co-workers reading this blog...get ready for some cupcakes tomorrow!  I am baking vanilla cupcakes with blue cream cheese frosting.  I love to bake, and it has been killing me that I haven't had time to bake in the last 3 or 4 weeks (I am Peggy Hunze's daughter after all).  And it was one week ago that Paul and I got "the phone call."  I think that calls for a celebration...just don't expect us to celebrate "the phone call" every week!

Without going too mushy on everyone, thank you so much for the well wishes and prayers.  I can't believe all the wonderful emails, facebook posts, and blog comments that we have received.  Not to mention all the really cute baby stuff.  Jae is VERY spoiled already.  It means the world to us that we have so many people pulling for us.  It has been a long road, but the end is in sight.

Jae's Mom

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jae's care package

Completed Jae's care package today.  It sure doesn't take long to fill up one zip lock bag!

Nothing too new today.  Yesterday we ordered the crib and dresser for the nursery.  But more importantly, we made the big decision to go with the Farm Animals room as opposed to a Curious George room!  

One other cute item from yesterday is a very helpful Dad at Target.  We were looking at strollers when he stopped by (with one of his daughter in tow) and asked if we needed any help.  He showed us how to work the infant seat (which we won't need), told us which ones they have tried, and then made one of the nicest comments yet...he looked at my stomach and said, "Well, you have plenty of time to decide!"  Bless him. 

Jae's Mom

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Craziness and a care package

I have never been pulled in two completely different directions in my life!  I have so much time sensitive stuff to complete in order to bring Jae home as soon as possible.  The only problem is, work is crazy right now too.  Welcome to parenthood, Angela.  Don't get me wrong, I am over the moon that we got Jae's referral. . .but 2 days after we returned from a 2 week vacation makes it hard.  Again, welcome to parenthood, Angela.

One of the really fun things we get to do this weekend is put together a care package for Jae.  Everything must fit within a 1 gallon zip lock bag, which makes it tough.  So far we have a soft blue teddy bear (thanks Danielle O.) a blanket with little monkeys all over it (thanks Katie M.) a soft picture book where we put our own pictures in the book (thanks Lisa A.), a disposable camera, and a teething toy.  Hope Jae likes all of it! We actually bought a 4 pack of blankets and my sweet husband decided that Jae would probably like the one with the monkeys the best.  But the best part is, our adoption agency suggested that we sleep with the bear and blanket before we send it off.  That way some of our scent will be on it for Jae.  That bear and blanket are going to get snuggled tonight!  I haven't slept with a teddy bear in years but I can't tell you how excited I am to put on PJs and grab my stuffed animal at bedtime tonight!  Do you think Paul will give me a warm glass of milk as well?!  :)

Jae's Mom

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jae's name

Jae's birth mother gave Jae his name.  It means "wealth" in Korean.  When we first started the adoption process, we planned on taking our child's birth name and making it his or her middle name.  But, as soon as our Social Worker told us Jae's name, we knew he was meant to keep it!  We are still working on a middle name. . .but so far Jae William is the leading contender.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The first few days.

Welcome to my blog!  I wanted a spot to post information about the new love in my life. . .my son, Jae.

Paul and I spent the last 2 weeks in Europe having a wondful time driking wine, eating pasta and seeing all the sights.  But Italy, Spain, France, Croatia don't hold a candle to the news we came home to...we have a son!  Our adoption agency called at 5:15pm on Monday to let us know that Jae was waiting for us!  What I still can't believe is what we were doing when the call came - shoe shopping!  For those of you that know me best, this is the ultimate sign that Jae is meant to be a Herzog.   

Jae was born in March to a couple in South Korea.  Wanting to do what is best for Jae, they placed him for adoption.  And through an adoption agency here in Minnesota, Jae was matched with the Herzog family this week!  Lucky us!  Jae is a perfectly happy and healthy baby boy.  And from what we understand, his wonderful foster Mom is doing a great job keeping him healthy. 

Our next step is getting the right immigration and visa applications.

Love - Jae's mom