Friday, December 23, 2011

Seriously... (that's the censored version of what I really what to say)

I've been putting off making a post because frankly there was nothing to report and it was depressing!  Well, now I have something to report and it's still depressing!  Had I done this post yesterday, after reading the lastest updates on the Korean Program, there would have been a lot of bleeping bleeps so I contained myself and waited until today once I'd calmed down a little!!!

Yesterday, around 4:30ish we got two emails.  The first more shitty news, I'll go into detail in a minute on that, and the second a Well Baby Check on Ty.  The WBC stated that he is walking, playing catch, says Mama, waves bye-bye, takes off his socks, scribbles, and imitates speech amoung a few things.  He now weighs 23.9 lbs. which puts him in the 50th percentile and 31 inches long.  Imagine learning all that about your 16th month old child and then being informed that the wait to get him continues and the process is harder...Seriously!
The program update basically stated there will be two children from Bethany released to the Korean Ministry the 1st of January and those families have been notified.  You guessed it, we weren't notified!  It was the first time in this whole process I lost it.  I immediately got on the phone and called our case worker.  Poor Pat, she listened to me go off!  She then had to tell me that unfortunately she will no longer be our caseworker, for good reasons, and then consoled me.  She gave me some good advise which we put into action today!

Let me go back a little, Here is exactly what the update said...

Hello Korea Families:

We are happy to provide you with another update in the South Korea Program. To be addressed in this message are: Ministry Approvals, Changes in the South Korea Adoption Process, and a December Update.

RE : Ministry Submissions/Approvals:
We are pleased to report that two BCS families will be among the first families submitted to the Ministry in January. These families have already been notified. While this is good news for two families, we know that other families continue to wait patiently for their documents to be submitted. DJ (BCS's assigned social worker) and Holt have shared again that it is not an easy decision making process in who is submitted first, and there are many variables that go into the decision. The variables include: child's health status, Korean heritage families, date of acceptance documents, date of visa approval, foster family's status, adoptive parents age. Progress is a good thing, and we will continue to notify families as we learn the plan for their submission to the Ministry. We are thankful to our Father for the new year, and the continued processing of paperwork. If you have any concerns on this topic, please do candidly share.

RE : Changes in the South Korea Adoption Process:
The adoption law is changing in South Korea. Adoption cases will soon be finalized in the Courts in South Korea and ALL families (both parents) will be required to travel. Holt has also advised that for families who are matched but are not able to travel before June 2012, that these families will also be required to travel to Korea. This new requirement will only affect a few Bethany families, as approximately two years ago we made the Bethany policy change to require adoptive parents to travel to Korea.

Re: December Update:
So far in December Bethany families have received two referrals. We have two families remaining in August & September of 2009 that are waiting for referrals; and 35 active families with home studies in Korea, 6 of which had home studies completed in 2009. Four more children returned home in December, with a total of 40 children joining their adoptive families this year. Praise the Lord and continued prayers for all the children and families who are waiting out the adoption process in 2012.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season, and looking forward with anticipation for joys of the New Year!

Okay, here's what get's Chris and I.  The variablies they take into consideration when choosing children to be released to the Ministry (child's health status, Korean heritage families, date of acceptance documents, date of visa approval, foster family's status, adoptive parents age) are mostly variables we will never meet!  Seriously, when we started this program they knew we weren't Korean and never would be!  Oh, and sorry we are adopting a healthy child (he won't be if you hold him there long enough, he'll be emotionally damaged!) Let's see, forgive us because we are only in our late 30's, I guess we should have started this process when we were closer to 50!  Need I go on or can you sense my frustration with this craziness!?!

This morning Chris and I had a conference call with our new case worker, who is also the program director out of our local Bethany office.  She didn't have much more to share with us because the District Program director from Grand Rapids who communitates directly with Holt in Korea is on vacation until Jan 3rd (we also put a call into her today and expect to talk with her on the 3rd when she returns)  What she was able to tell us is that we are the longest waiting family out of our local Bethany office waiting for submission to the Ministry...Yippee we meet one of the variables!  I asked her a question I have been dreading to ask but finally did, "Is it a matter of if we get Ty or when we get him?"  Her answer was a relief, she said it when not will get him! 

So there are a lot of unanswered questions at this point.  When will we be submitted and travel, will it be an American adpotion or will we be required to go throught the court system in Korea, and when will you stop changing the rules?  This is one of the most frustrating processes I have ever gone through.  It's just not fair to start something so huge and meaningful in your life under one set of rules and guidelines only to have all those changed various times throughout the process (hasn't Korea ever heard of the Grandfather Clause?)  Don't we teach our kids to play by the rules?... Why can't competent adults do the same!?!

I guess this is where I say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Let's just hope 2012 is our year, and sooner rather than later!

Here's some pics of Libby Lu...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...

I'm starting to look at this whole adoption thing as a trip, a trip that never ends!  I'm one of those people that likes to go on vacation, but loves coming home even more.  I'm a homer...a person who enjoy the comforts of home.  So, this adoption trip has been way too long for me, way out of my comfort zone... and guess what!?!, you guessed it, it's only going to get longer!  We found out last week that we will not be submitted to the Ministry this year, we will have to wait until January.  I didn't cry, I actually laughed because it has gotten to the point of sheer absurdity.  The sad thing is Ty is the victim.  Because he has no health problems and because he is in a foster home with no other children they decided it wasn't too urgent to get him to his forever family.  Call me crazy, but urgency is exactly what is at stake here.  Poor Ty has no idea that life as he knows it will someday, not sure when, be ripped away from him and keeping him there longer will only make the process harder for him (and us).  At best he will be 18 months when we get him, so sad to think of all the milestones he has met and continues to meet without us.  The other victim is his foster mother.  Think of how hard it is going to be for her to give him up after all that time.  Is the Korean government thinking of any of these things when they make their absurd decisions? 

So Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years will again be celebrated without Ty this year:(

Monday, September 26, 2011

33 months and counting...

The biggest question we get asked these days is, "When will you get to bring Tyler home?"  Our answer varies depending on our mood, but mostly we say, "We have no idea, hopefully within the next 6 months!"  I feel like we have been saying that for the past year.  So, all this got me to thinking, just how long have we been in this process of adopting a child...the answer is 33 months and counting!!!  IT'S NOT SUPPOSE TO TAKE THIS LONG!!!  

Every year I go on a trip with me college roommates.  Each year we pick a different location and all go for a long weekend.  Last year, while we were in Fort Meyers Beach Florida, I told the girls I would not be going the next year because of the adoption.  I KNEW (silly me)  that our child would be here and the thought of leaving him that soon just wouldn't have felt right!  Well guess what, I'm leaving Thursday night for our annual girls trip, heading to NYC!  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited I'd just rather have been spending the weekend with our little Ty guy! 

On Friday we got 3 more adorable pictures of Ty...such a little man.  He is currently 13 months old, weights 21.8 lbs., and is 30 inches long.  He has 2 top teeth, 3 bottom and a smile that will melt your heart.  My teaching partner tells me his smile is a sly little one and that he is going to give us a run for our money.   I say, "Bring It On!" 

13 Months old

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


We finally got an updated picture of Tyler...ADORABLE!!!!  It's killing me that I can't post it because I want you all to see just how handsome he is. I just figured out how to give you a sneak peek without giving away his identity.  Here is a picture of his cute little body...

Ty is holding the ball we sent him for his first birthday!
The little truck was Libby's and she wanted him to have it.

Now we are just waiting for current medicals and hopefully some good news.  My password for this blog has 2011 in it.  I chose that thinking this would be the year we got him...let's hope I was right!

Off To Kindergarten...

On Tuesday Spetember 6th Little Miss Libby Lane waited anxiously for the bus to pick her up for her first day of Kindergarten...only problem, the bus never showed up and Libby was late for her very first day of school! :(  No worries, we swooped her up, threw her in the car and drove her as quickly as we could to school.  Chris and I walked her into her classroom, where everyone was sitting on the rug with the teacher Mrs. Brian.  Without hesitation Libby walked over to the rug, sat down, and began her Kindergarten year!  We were so proud of her...she showed us she was ready and excited to be in a big school now!  Next question, were we?...Yes we were!

 All Giddy and ready for Kindergarten!
 Cool backpack
 Reggie's job is to watch for the bus...
 Now I'm starting to contemplate this Kindergarten thing!

Waiting for the bus that never came

 Day Two...the bus finally came and Lib was so
excited to be a BIG GIRL and ride the bus!

On the second day of school they held an Open House.  We all treked up to the school and LIb got a chance to introduce us to her teacher, show us around her classroom, and show us her art work.  She was so proud to be a student at Silver Springs Elementary.  She kept saying, mom now we are both in Kindergarten.  She would point out to me all the things in her classroom that were like my classroom. 

 Lib's teacher Mrs. Brian

 Lib's artwork...this is how she sees herself

Lib's cubby at school

An Apple A Day

This hangs on the wall in the sweet!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Ty Guy

Sorry I didn't post on your 1st birthday Ty (August 27th), I was busy celebrating YOU! 

August 27th was on a Saturday and it also happened to be Libby's first hockey practice.  When I got to her practice this lady, who looked familiar, walked up and said "Hi" as if we were long lost friends.  I stood there trying to quickly come up with how I knew her.  Finally I said, "You look so familiar but I can't place how we know each other."  To my relief she was in the same boat, knew me but didn't know how.  To make a long story short we figured out we had been in a moms group long ago with our little ones and coincidently our kids were now on the same hockey team.  The reason I lead with this story is because she asked me if Libby was my youngest.  I began to tell her Libby was my oldest and that we were in the process of adopting our son who was..."OH MY, HE’S 1 TODAY" I yelled!  I think she must have thought I was crazy but at that moment I remembered it was Ty's birthday!  What a surreal feeling, having your child turn 1 and not knowing all the ins and outs of him; what he likes, what makes him laugh, what comforts him...I could go on and on but it just makes me sad!

I have waited all month for an update on Ty and some pictures of him in the #1 onesie we sent him.  Unfortunately, we have gotten neither an update nor photo.  I'm still hopeful they will come but I'm not holding my breath at this point. Our social worker Pat (love you Pat) is putting in a request for an update, hopefully that will help!

Yesterday we got word from Bethany that there will only be 4 children submitted to the Ministry for approval for the remainder of the year.  These 4 families will be submitted sometime in the next few months.  This gave me hope until I read on a little further and it said, "Families with Korean heritage will get priority."  Last I looked we have no Korean heritage in our family!  Yet another hoop to jump through to get Ty home.  Will this process ever end?!?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Watch Out World, Here comes Libby Lu!

On August 19th Little Miss Libby Lu graduated from Northville First Care Preschool; and what a night it was!  Lib and her friends preformed poems, songs, a dance and walked across the stage to recieve their diplomas.  The highlight of the night was the mock elections that the teachers held.  When her teacher started to describe a child who always comes to school dressed in their favorite sports teams clothing; Red Wings, Tigers, MSU, etc. and went on to say this child is very athletic and always ready for a pick-up game on the playgound Libby started pointing to herself saying, "That's Me, That's Me!"  Sure enough Libby got the Class Athlete Award...Chris was beaming! 
It was bitter sweet watching Libby leave preschool.  I know she is ready but man, where did the time go?  At the dinner following the ceremony Libby was playing with her friends and it made me sad to think that she won't see some of these kids again.  I guess that's the way life is but it's still SAD!  When it was time to leave Lib was insistent that she go to her classroom and say goodbye one last time.  It was one of those moments I will never forget.  She walked up to the outside window, waved and said, "Bye Bye classroom, see you again when my baby brother comes!"  Chris and I both looked at each other and smiled, she is such a sweetie and can't wait for Ty to get a chance to go to her school!

Singing YMCA...just kidding!

Lib getting her diploma

Ms. Krystn, Libs head teacher!

Lib, Sam and Mikey

Elaina and Lu Lu, two of a kind!
Megan, Lib and Faith

Mimi and Gigi came so see Lib graduate

Ms. Renee

Mr. Dave

"Bye Bye classroom, see you when my baby brother comes!"
 Unfortunately no news on Ty with only 3 days til his first birthday:)   I'm calling tomorrow to get the low-down and try to get some answers...patience is a virtue but now I'm starting to get downright MAD! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby Emma...

This past week Lib's cousin Baby Emma turned 2!  I guess we have to stop calling her Baby Emma...she is now a big girl. Ty can take over the baby title and we can call him Baby Ty Ty!  Anyway, we had a great time celebrating Emma's 2nd birthday.  Had fun visiting, playing mini-sticks, and eating good food including Aunt Linda's impressive homemade Elmo cake! 

Emma (2) Lib (5)

What did ya get?
Gigi and Emma

Emma supporting her new Red Wings jersey!

Go Wings!
Playing hockey with her new hockey set!

Need 1 more finger up're 2 now!
 Celebrating Emma's birthday made me think again about Tyler celebrating his 1st birthday without us.  Oh well, you can't worry about things that are outside of your circle of influence...thx Stephen Covey for teaching me that lesson; now I just have to learn to follow it!:) 

As I was laying in bed this past Friday night I got an email at 9:45 from Bethany, our adoption agency.  I immediately got excited thinking it was some new info. about Ty's status.  Before I could open the email it brought me back to that very special Friday night in late February when out of nowhere we got the phone call telling us we got our referral, It's a boy!  So while the email was opening I was thinking Friday's are good luck for us, this must be good news telling us that Ty has been submitted to the Ministry for Approval and that we would be getting him this year! was an email telling us that the agency was at a retreat all day Monday and that they would be available to be reached again on Tuesday...pretty exciting eh!  Thx for getting me all excited for nothing!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer's Coming to an End...

Two things happened today that made me realize summer is nearly over... I went into my classroom to begin setting up for the new school year and Libby started hockey!  The first brought me some anxiety, the second much joy!  It is so fun watching little kids (5 and 6 year olds) skate.  However, what brings me more joy is watching the coaches struggle to get them to pay attention and follow directions!  You may wonder why this brings me joy?  Because it is what I do on a daily basis for 9 months teaching's nice to see others experience my pain (I know that's mean!:)

Libby loves playing hockey and has so much fun practicing the new skills she learns.  She is a determined little thing (usually the littlest on the ice)!  She is so excited to find out what team she will be on and get underway with her first mini-mite season.  In no time she will be teaching Ty how to skate and play hockey! 

Who's listening? 
My Mini-Mite
Flirting with the boys! Lib's #126

Moving the puck
Practicing cross-overs

Sweaty after a hard skate

Look at those pretty blue eyes!

Tomorrow I take Lib up to Bay City to stay with my parents for a few days!  She, and her cousin Ethan, will have tons of fun being spoiled and I will have a few fun days to myself (Chris will be out of town as well)!
Hopefully this week we will hear something from Bethany about the adoption as I realize that August is quickly fading and I believe they said the doors for submission to the Ministry will be closing around September...that's oh so close.  More prayers that we hear something soon, something GOOD!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All About Ty...

It's about time a have a post that is All About Ty!  Afterall, little does Libby know that once he gets her it will probably seems like it is All About Ty!  Anyway, I don't have much to share regarding any new news about our continued wait but I do have a few things to report that have happened in the past month.  Currently we are still waiting to see if we will get submitted to the Ministry this year for approval (keep praying!)  This past week we got our I-600 form back from the US government and it was sent to Korea so they will know that everyting has been done on the US side and all that is left is their part...maybe that will light a fire and get them moving, not likely!

The latest medical report was very good:)  Ty is now 20.5 lbs., 29.5inches long, has 2 top and 2 bottom teeth, and is crawling!  It stated that his development is between 10 &11 months (he is currently 11 months)  The last line on every medical report has always said:  "adoptable as a premature."  This is the first month it has said: "adoptable."  That means he has finally caught up and is no longer developmentally delayed on any of his milestones.  YIPPEE!!!  It took Libby about the same amount of time to catch sister like brother!

What we have come to accept is that Ty will celebrate his 1st birthday (August 27th) in Korea and not with us :(   We have spent the last week putting together another care package for him filled with birthday gifts, a photo album, vitamins for his foster mother, and another letter that will hopefully be the last one we have to write.  Here is a copy of the letter:

August 2, 2011
Our Dearest son, Min-Su (Tyler Jeon Lane);
          It is now August, 6 months since we found out you were our son.  We were hoping by this time we would have traveled to Seoul to pick you up.  Unfortunately, it is going to take longer than we expected.  As hard as it is to wait, you will definitely be worth the wait!  We are optimistically hoping that we will be there in the next 2-4 months to bring you home.  Whenever the time is we will be on an airplane rushing over to meet you, your foster family, see your native country, and bring you home.
          Each month we get a report on how you are growing.  Our latest report indicated that you are 20.5 lbs., 29.5 inches, have 2 top and 2 bottom teeth, and are crawling.  Your foster mother must be busy chasing you all around. Soon you will be walking.  You are getting to be such a big boy!
          We were hoping that you would be able to celebrate you 1st birthday with us here in Michigan.  It appears that will not be the case and you will be celebrating with your foster family in Korea.  Our neighbors, who are Korean, tell us that the 1st birthday is very important in the Korean culture.  We hope you get to experience this wonderful tradition.  We wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY and look forward to having a special celebration for you on your 2nd birthday with us!
          We have sent along some special things for you for your birthday.  Enclosed are a few books, toys, and some clothes.  One outfit is very special; it has the #1 on it.  We are hoping you will be able to get your picture taken in it on your next visit so we will have a picture of you for your 1st birthday to hang in our home and cherish forever. 
          Hopefully the next time we communicate with you it will be in person.  Our wait has been long but it is soon coming to an end and we will have the rest of our lives to make up for lost time!  You will complete our family and bring us much joy... We love you very much Min-Su (Tyler)!
Hugs and Kisses,
Mommy, Daddy and your big sister Libby

More Fun & More Waiting...

Still waiting and still keeping busy!  Since my last post we have gone fishing at Aunt Kristin's house, gone to  Jen's cabin, gone to South Haven with our friends Jimmy and Gina from Chicago, and continued with our busy summer activites of tennis, swimming, and chillin' in the summer heat! 

Ethan, Libby & Audrey tubing
Swimming in Woodland Lake in Brighton

Fishing at dusk
 We had a blast with my work friends at Ms. Jen's cabin.  Hanging with the ladies, swimming in North Lake and going to South Haven to jump the waves.  It was so nice for me to have some adult girl time to catch up and relax.  My work friends are great!!!

Lib and Ms. Beth riding on the raft
Holy waves

Lib, Sophia, and Alexa enjoying the sand...
Where are our legs? teaching partner (lucky girl)
Beth...other Kdg. Teacher
Mindy...Early Education Preschool Teacher
 Summer would not be complete without our annual Camp Vaughn.  Camp Vaughn is meeting up with our dear friends, the Vaughn family from Chicago.  Last year we did Chicago in the summer and South Haven in the Fall.  This year we went to their Lake House in South Haven to experience beautiful Lake Michigan in the summer.  In addition we went to the Venetian Festival in Sagutuck with firewords and all! 
Pictures speak louder than words:

Libby and Miriam (3)

Drew (5) and Lib playing catch on the beach

Teamwork to make the city of Chicago

Thanks for not getting my body in this pic!

Miriam, Gina, and Jimmy
Their annual Pic (they take such cute pics together!)

Think you got another stuff Lib?

Jimmy was a trooper...he is getting back surgery tomorrow...
Can't wait to have our lead camp counselor back!


Wow, look at that skyscrapper!
Enjoying the fireworks with Daddy

Nice Bling guys!
Next year Ty gets to expereince Camp Vaughn... always a blast!