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