Friday, February 20, 2015

Pictures From the Actual Camera

I am still at home fighting a cold while the boys are out having a good time at Kids Korner Family Fun Night.   No better time to update the blog with pictures we took on our camera (as opposed to my tablet).

Sharing a snack

Look at her pencil holding skills, better than Jae!

Our first attempt at a family photo...Good job Paul.

Saying goodbye

Love this picture so much

Foster Mom helping with Vi's shoes

The famous Little Red Chair of Eastern.

Jae's Foster Mom and Foster Sister

The Police Museum

That is one good Dad

Jae and Violet's Mom

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Preliminary Approval

At home with a cold today so the perfect time to give an update since coming home from Korea.

First of all, as promised, Judge J gave us Preliminary Approval  (PA) on Monday. We have yet to receive this confirmation from our agency but rather found out via the Korean Family Court website.  It took some work to find our approval as the website is entirely in Korean, but we think we are interpreting it correctly.  Now it is just a matter of time before Final Approval will be granted and we head back to Korea to take Violet forever in our arms. Hopefully the first or 2nd week in March.  The Lunar New Year will set us back a day or two as all offices are closed in Korea today and tomorrow to celebrate.

Otherwise the word of the week in the Herzog house is: jet lag. But instead of waking up super early, we are struggling to go to sleep and stay asleep.  Sunday night all three of us were so wide awake at midnight that Jae watched Elf while Paul and I caught up on some work.  I finally feel asleep at 2 am Monday morning while they boys suffered until 3am. Although Paul and I had to drag ourselves to work, we had previously arranged for my mother to come over and spend they day with Jae giving him a chance to sleep in and have a bit of a lazy day.  Monday and Tuesday nights were slightly better and then finally last night we slept through the night.  Granted, Jae fell asleep at 7 pm on the way home from Ash Wednesday service and Paul and I were a little over an hour later.  Right about the time Paul and I get back to CST, we will get the Final Approval call.  Here's hoping.

Jae and Violet's Mom

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Home Sweet Home

After a two hour flight  delay in Seattle (Dear Delta, next time don't make us all get on the plane if the pilots are not even at the airport yet), we made it to our house about 11 pm. Everyone was asleep by 11:30, and get this, slept until noon today. I don't think I have slept till noon since my college days. But here we are only 8.5 hours later and Paul and I are ready to go back to bed.

Not much in those few 8 hours awake but laundry, unpacking, and a quick Walmart run to pick up some pictures of Violet.

As news come our way over the next few weeks, I will post. Until then...

Jae and Violet's

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Seattle part deux

Back in Seattle and much more tired than when we were here just 6 short days ago.  Crazy to think Paul and I are going to this entire trip again in 3 or 4 weeks.

Spent the morning doing some shopping, mostly stuff for the kids, and packing.  Of those staying at the agency, we were the last ones to leave so we played soccer in the hallway and basically let Jae run a little bit without having to worry that we were disturbing anyone. Took the train to the airport and admired all the very high end shopping that the airport has to offer.  I have never seen anything like it (at an airport anyway), Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, etc.  And the stores were packed as lots of people were taking advantage of the duty free shopping.  Forget 5th Ave NYC, try the Incheon International Airport.

Jae did good on the flight over, sleeping for a large chunk, but I think the fun of airplanes has more than worn off so we will see how this last 3 hour leg goes.

Loved our trip, but ready to sleep in my own bed.

Jae and Violet's Mom

Friday, February 13, 2015

Yesterday's Events

As I mentioned previously, court was good. The Judge asked Jae how he felt when he met his sister, he appropriately said, "Happy."  Judge J also said that he likes seeing kids in his court room, it shows we know how to parent and take parenting seriously. Judge J also asked me about my time in Belgium and what I studied there. He also asked us about the advanced insurance in the European countries. Pretty easy stuff, minus explaining what an Actuary does, in and out in 10 or 15 minutes.

After court, we had a quick lunch here at the community kitchen before heading to downtown Seoul for the Police Museum and some site seeing.


I am just beat and ready for bed but wanted to mention that court went great today. The only hiccup was trying to translate what an Actuary is. :) Bless our translator, she said she is going to need to research the position a little more in case she has another Actuary.

At the end of our session, our Judge promised he will issue his approval on Monday so Final Approval should come early March.

We celebrated by taking Jae to the coolest spot in the city: The National Police Museum.

More pictures tomorrow  (bright and early I am sure)...

Jae and Violet's Mom

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My turn for the 3 am wake up.

Today it is my day to be up at some ungodly hour unable to sleep. What better quiet activity then to blog...especially since I am using my tablet and not pounding away on a keyboard. But I kind of like not fully being on Korean time, it will (hopefully) make the transition back to Central time a little easier.

So one thing that feels very weird on the trip: Paul and I are the parenting/adoption experts. Every other adoptive couple here are first time parents. Calley Paul if you are reading this, I feel like I have stepped into your shoes. Staying in room 410 and giving out parenting advice.  Scary that Paul and I are the experts, and I use the term "experts" loosely.

Yesterday afternoon we met Jae's foster mom and foster sister. They are just wonderful. Seriously there are no words for how sweet and loving they are. Immediate tears from foster mom when she saw Jae. And you should see the gifts they gave us...fruit, tomatoes, muffins, chocolates, Kim (very good/high end Kim..and a lot of it), toys for Jae, and they even had Jae's hospital  bracelet from when he was a baby.  Remember when when I said we would have plenty of room in our suitcases on the way home because of all the gifts we were bringing to Korea? Jae's foster family took care of that.  :)  We met them in a cafe and Paul bought Jae a jar of apple juice, and then foster sister turned around and bought 3 more for us to take with us. So sweet. They even face timed in foster dad who was unable to be at the meeting.  And they told us they figured out who Violets foster mom was and called her to talk about us. We took pictures with them on our good camera which will have to wait until we are home to post. Which is the same as other pictures of Violet. All on the regular camera as opposed to my tablet.

Today we head to court. Our last official business while here. It shouldn't take long, but a very important part of our trip and the real reason we are here. Hoping for a smooth appearance today and followed by a quick final approval.  The sooner final approval comes the sooner we can fly back here to bring Violet home.

Can't believe our week is almost over. Man, that went fast.

Jae and Violet's Mom

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A long/big day

This has never happened before: At about 4:30 yesterday Jae looked at me, said "I need to take a nap." He then laid down and 10 seconds later was out cold. We couldn't even wake him for dinner.  O.U.T.  Good that he admitted  he needed rest and gave into it. Bad that he woke up at 3 am this morning. You have no idea how long mornings are when you start them at 3 or 4 am.

After eggs and toast in the community kitchen, we were at a local play ground basically shortly after the sun was up. It was chilly, but we did not know what else to do.  

At 10 am we met with Violet again.  She sure does like Paul, but plopped herself right in my lap as soon as I pulled out a container of bubbles. Lots more sliding, drum drumming and kitchen play followed. And ps. This child has somehow inherited  Aunt Holly's and Aunt Megan feet's. :)

Off to meet Jae's foster mom. I will post more later...

Jae and Violet's Mom 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our day in pictures

Jae and Violet's Mom 

4 AM

We like to be the early birds here in Korea. Or stated another way, Jae thinks the 4 AM hour is when he should wake up. In his defense, he did fall quickly asleep at 6:30 last night. He was so tired. Knowing he was fading we opted to make spaghetti here in the agency and get him to bed. Turned out to be the right decision as he was falling asleep during dinner. Eyes closed yet spaghetti noodles hanging out of his mouth while he chewed.

Today is our only day where we don't have any agency business. We plan to head into downtown Seoul and visit one of our favorite markets and maybe the Police museum. Once the rest of this city wakes up.

For now, we are eating bananas and watching Korean cartoons and pretending we understand them.

A few pictures of our room:

Notice the lack of a shower curtain. Awesome.

Jae and Violet's Mom

Our First Family Meeting

It went great! Better than expected.  Violet immediately walked over to Paul, called him the Korean word for "Daddy" and gave him a hug. She also pointed to Jae and called him "brother." And then would just simply stare at me. Violet is so beautiful and full of giggles.  We just can't get over how well the first meeting went.

We do have our work cut out for us though. Violet is just as busy and talkative as her brother. We will never have another silent car ride.

The best of the meeting  was when Jae and Violet bumped into each other and Vi said "Daddy, Brother hit me."  Oh boy. :)

Jae and Violet's Mom