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