Sunday, January 25, 2015


I have been very touched the last few weeks with the number of other "in the process" adoptive parents that have started following my blog. Love that I am getting questions about the process and how we have handled certain situations. I like to believe there is some consistency in this crazy (and wonderful) process too.

One question we got was: what are you bringing on your trip? Thought I would list a few things to think about outside of the standard clean socks and underwear. :)

Gifts for foster family - nice set of bath towels, Coach wallet and a Pandora bracelet that has a little girl charm, a letter charm and a red, white and blue charm that symbolizes both Korea and the US. We also buy a nice bouquet  of flowers for custody day when we are there. So foster mom has something to carry away with her.

Gifts for Violet: puzzle with our pictures, stickers, cars, balloons (the best toy that takes up the least amount of suitcase space), bubbles, snacks, and a copy of our favorite book Guess how Much I Love You which is in English and Korean.
Travel stuff like an electronic adapter, Korean travel books, battery alarm clock (as our room at the agency did not have a clock), and small pocket bag that becomes a paperboy bag for purchases we make while out in the city.
And a whole bunch of stuff to keep our almost 5 year old busy on the plane and in court. One really good idea that didn't  make the picture is masking tape. Instant race track for all of Jae's matchbox cars.

Some other things to think about is ordering Korean Won from your local bank. The exchange rate is usually better there than those at an airport.  Plan ahead though because most banks do not have it on hand and need to order it. Also check with your agency on things offered if you stay there. Eastern has a community kitchen with bread, eggs, coffee, juice, etc.available as well as all the pots and pans for cooking. They also have a washer and dryer and as water cooler for filling  water bottles.

Besides small errands here and there and the big last minute packing, I think we are ready. Two weeks from today we will be in the air!

Jae and Violet's Mom

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Dollar Section

Today's mission: purchases from the dollar section of Target. Snacks, busy stuff for the kids and travel size items. It might be the most items purchased at Target for the smallest amount. Success!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Guest Room

Dear any friends and family hoping to stay with us over the next 3 weeks:  Good luck finding the bed.  Our guest room has been temporarily transformed into a the Korea stuff holding center.  The bed is littered with books, presents, flight itinerary, Korean Won, suitcases, maps, travel books, toys, mac-n-cheese cups (yes, mac-n-cheese cups...we are traveling with a 4 year old after all), gift bags, etc.  For the past few months, we have had a small pile of stuff hidden away in our storage room, but it has grown exponentially in the last 48 hours and made its way to the guest room.

Yesterday we knocked out a good couple of lists of things to do/buy before trip.  I know we have 3 weeks before we leave (exactly 3 weeks) but I would like to sleep peacefully at least a few times in those 21 days.  Ever since Tuesday I find myself waking up at 4am unable to fall back to sleep as too many "to do" lists are running through my head.  Sign Jae up for a Delta miles card.  Pick up an extra suitcase from my parents.  Get social worker presents.  Buy gift bags for all presents.  My brain hasn't put in this much overtime since, well, probably since the last trip to Korea.

But man, are we getting excited!  Jae and I made a paper chain to count down the days until we leave and I think all three of us really enjoy the act of  Jae ripping off the bottom link every morning.  In fact, this morning he was super cute about it...he practically sprinted over to the chain.  :) 

Jae and Violet's Mom

Ps - The Herzog Family, along with two other families, hold the new ESWS record for longest wait from Court Submission to Court Notification:  137 days.  The previous record was 130.  Not the kind of record we were hoping to set, but moving on...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Court Date!

Oh happy day!  Finally.

Tuesday morning (Jan 13) at 8:39 we received the long awaited phone call that we were finally assigned a court date.  I was the lucky one to take the phone call...right in the middle of a business meeting with my two bosses.  :)  Paul quickly made his way down to my department where a few tears were shed before we grabbed our belongings to rush over to a local travel agent to book plane tickets.  Although court isn't for another 3 weeks we still needed to rush for plane tickets to guarantee agency housing in Korea.  The first ones that provide their flight itinerary to the agency gets their name at the top of the list for housing.  And if you remember from our adoption of Jae, agency housing runs from $50 to $90 a night and has a kitchen and laundry area.  Area hotels easily run $200+.  We wanted housing for, obviously, the cost savings but also for the familiarity.  We know where it is, the nearest subway stop, grocery stores, and Pizza Hut (don't judge, comfort food is a necessity on this trip).  I think we had flights booked within 30 minutes of getting the call!  Paul and I must have been quite a  site running into the travel agent, professionally dressed and red eyed from crying tears of joy demanding tickets, but it all worked out.

So we leave Sunday Feb 8th at 9am, connect in Seattle and then on to Seoul.  Because we cross the international date line, we will arrive Feb 9th at 5pm.   Our schedule is pretty busy from there on out.  Tuesday we have a visa appointment AND MEET VIOLET FOR THE FIRST TIME!  Wednesday is our only true free day, Thursday is another meeting with Vi as well as lunch with the President of our Korea agency.  Friday we report for court at 9:30 for our 11:20 appointment and then fly home on Valentines Day.  We are also hoping to get together with Jae's foster family and do some site seeing and shopping while we are there.

To be clear, Violet will not be coming home with us on this trip.  We will have to wait 2 or 3 weeks after our court date to receive Final Approval.  At that time just Paul and I will fly back to forever take her in our arms!

And yes, Jae is excited.  Although when we told him we have a surprise he acted slightly disappointed and then asked if he could still get Police Legos.  :)

Now that things are rolling, I will post on a much more regular basis.  For now, back to my excessing list making and contributing to the constantly growing pile of things that need to come with us on the trip!

Jae and Violet's Mom