Monday, August 31, 2009

Waiting for Jack #1

I wanted to list some things our family has done or accomplished while waiting for Jack. This is my first list.
We have painted Jack's Room. Even John, who hates to paint, helped some.
Here is the color now.
Our daughter has learned how to ride a bike with no training wheels. This is good so that her two little brothers can ride in the bike carrier. For bike rides to the park or pool next summer she can ride her own bike. Not bad for 4 years old!
We wrote a welcome note for Jack on our driveway for the neighborhood to see. Yet I don't think many people did since it rained the night after we did it. But the kids were proud. In the picture was Jack's Korean name written in Hangul, and the South Korean Flag.
Then my daughter wanted to do her own. So this is her (creative 4 year old version) of the South Korean Flag and her brother's name in Hangul. I was very impressed!
My mother and I have gone fabric shopping for Jacks quilt. She has done one for each grandchild so she is getting busy on Jack's. It will be a puzzle piece quilt. These are our fabric choices so far. We will see what goes or what stays or what is replaced once we have a finished product.
I also have purchased some artwork for Jack's room. I fell in love with this print I saw on another child's wall and had to get one. It matches the room so nicely. I do however need to purchase some new glass for the frame. It broke when I was putting the print in. I was so sad since I had just bought the frame with a 50% off coupon that day, but John says glass is easy to replace. That is what I needed to hear. I love him!

Acceptance Paperwork

Our acceptance paperwork is all in. We mailed it on Saturday so it should be at the office in Oregon on Tuesday. There was 110+ pieces of paper. Copies of documents and forms we have filled out. Think... South Korea is actually a country that requires less paperwork than other countries. So I really feel for those who have to do even more. The paperwork part is stressful. You fear forgetting something or making a mistake. There is so much, there is bound to be something missed. It is not uncommon for signatures to be forgotten on certain documents causing things to be done over again. Organizing it all is difficult. But hopefully we are past that for now. We will have more documents to do but they are a few weeks away. For now we wait.
This is what our table looked like while we were filling out documents. Honestly this was at the beginning and it got worse as we went on. The big binder is what we keep and organize everything we fill out in. We have copies of every form and document we have sent in case for some reason they get lost or misplaced by the agency here, or possibly in Korea, or lost in the mail. Most forms require originals so we will have to do them over if they are lost but if we have a copy they will be easier to do. Also we know what we sent where when because we put post-it notes on the outside of every plastic sleeve and put the copies of the documents in that sleeve.
Now we are waiting on Jack's legal documents. This could take a month. Then we get to do more immigration paperwork. A form called the I-600 that we turn in at the USCIS office. Hopefully they will make a speedy approval. Yet a friend of mine who recently filed hers waited a whole six weeks for it to be approved. So honestly that is what I am expecting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Updated Photo!

We received an updated photo of Jack today. I had Allie click to open the pic. We were surprised on how big he looks already. Allie loves his naturally spiked hair.
We are just waiting now to get the acceptance paperwork notarized. It has to be a week after he turns 5 months which is about a week away. All the paperwork if filled out at least for this step, just waiting for the notery date. Just to give you an idea of how much we are sending. There is a total of over 100 pages that we have printed out. Some neede to be filled out. Some are Tax Info, and copies of birth certificates and such. Yet lots to keep track of and fill out keep organized and get noterized.
There will be more paperwork to do in about a month when we receive his legal documents. That is when we start the US immigration paperwork.
That is all for now! Enjoy the picture. The second is the same picture just cropped. Oh and that is a Mongolian spot on his ankle. It is on his medical paperwork, so we know it is not a bruise or anything.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's a BOY!

Meet Jack Gyeong-min Weber!

What can I say. We were not expecting the referral of our new family member until around Chirstmas, but God had other plans. Now we may be a family of five by Chirstmas. PhotobucketPhotobucket

He was born in March at 8lbs 8oz. (I will not be posting his birthday on the blog so I will give family and friends that info later)

We thought we still had four months to wait to see the picture of the child that is meant for us, but we got an early surprise.

We got a phonecall in the car on the way to WI for the Weber side family reunion. Grandma Linda W. was with our family in the car too. In the car we had been discussing with Linda that it may take more time to even recieve a referral since we had been informed things were slowing down as far as the number of children available in the adoption program. But talked about how we were not worried and how we as a family trusted God's timing. We were patient and not in a hurry.
Like I said God had another plan. We were in the middle of a rainstorm not more than an hour or two later and got a call from our social worker, we didn't answer becasue we didnt' know it was her until we heard the message. She just said to call her back. I assumed it had to do with some paperwork we had to update. But it wasn't. I couldn't hear very well what the social worker was saying becasue of the rain. When she told me that our file had been matched with a baby boy I tried to tell her she had made a mistake. I told her that was not possible since our Home Study was not in Korea yet. Our agency had sent an email to me by mistake in the past right after our Home Study was completed that it was in Korea, which I knew wasn't true so I had big doubts in my mind that this was real and not just a mistake.
She reassured me that it was not a mistake and asked if we wanted to see his file. She tried to tell us some things about him by phone but it was difficult to hear and at one point we thought she said that he weighed under 4lbs at birth. This is not the case. It was listed as kg, not lbs. So in reality we have a very large baby by Korean standards since he was actually born at 8lbs,8oz. A good pound larger than our other children.
We were about two hours away from our destination so it was not going to be easy to look at his file. John had his laptop along so we could look at it at the hotel but he also had his blackberry phone that he is able to look at things on. So there I was sitting in the car reading his 9 pages of medical history on John's little phone. I had to zoom in a great deal to be able to read it and it was slow going. I also found it a bit frustrating becasue I didn't know how to use the phone too well and it was taking forever.
We were in TOTAL Shock!!
How did this happen that we got a referral so soon? Well families are asked to fill out a medical checklist as to what conditions they are open to. We were open to quite a few things. We were not in the special needs child program and our boy is totally healthy. It was the combination of three things that the people in line four months ahead of us were not open to. These things were respitory distress.... We were open to this because it can mean so many things. For example our nephew was in NICU on oxygen for 24 hours after birth, so he would be labled under this catagory. He is by no means having any issues because of this start and is acutally meeting milestones faster than his twin brother who never had respitory issues at birth so it is by no means any measurement of future development. A start like this can mean nothing. That is the case with our little guy. In South Korea, especially for children who are entering the adoption system they document EVERYTHING. Once a child has a label such as respitory distress, it can never be taken off even if it never really had an effect. Our little guy did not cry after birth until 2 minutes after he was born. Because of this they gave him a bit of oxygen. After only two hours they decided it was not needed and took him off the oxygen since he was doing so well. That is all. That was his only issue with respitory distress. My neighbor who works as a labor and delivery nurse at Sanford only laughed when I told her they wrote it down as being in respitory distress. She said it is pretty common and not unusual.
South Korea is so complete in documenting the health of children in the adoption system that they decided to do a brain scan as well. His last brain scan at the beginning of June showed no abnomalites so he has been given a total green light as far as hit little road bump of a start goes.
The second thing he had was Jaundice. They did not even bother putting down his levels and did not list it as things adoptable as. So pretty routine minor jaundice. We state we were open to Jaundice on our medical list as well. I had some jaundice when I was born and I turned our fine. A friend of mine who was born and grew up in South Korea is also a family practice doctor and now lives in Sioux Falls. She said becasue of skin tone most babies in Korea start off with some jaundice, so again not an issue.
His last issue was a couple of birth marks. His largest is a salmon spot on the back of his neck that is only 1cm big. Allie has one on her chin. So no big deal with that issue for us either.
So these three things, respitory distress, jaundice, and birthmarks are the tools which God decided to use to move past four months of families in order to bring our Jack to us. We feel God has chosen Jack to be our son and chose us to be his parents. None of these things, according to the medical people we have spoken to, should have an effect on his health in the future.
Just to give you another idea of how complete the South Korean medical people are in thier information, I talked to a International Adoption Physician who's job it is to review medical files of children before parents accept the referral. Once he heard that we were with Holt's South Korea program and he was not in the waiting child (children with more things in their medical history) He told me to save my money and just have my Doctor read it. He said if he was in the regular program he didnt' think he would find any issues. He said if our doctor had any concerns that we could give him a call. She didn't state any concerns and said he looked good!

So off we go on our Journey to Jack! How long will it take for him to come home? Well that is a bit of an unknown. It is stated to take 3-6 months. From when we turn our acceptance paperwork in. We have to wait until he is over five months to do that, Policy in South Korea puts a hold on children for international adoption until they are five months seven days old. They did let his file go out a little early becasue chances were very high he was not going to be adopted domestically because he is a boy and his little bump of a start. So we can not turn it in for two weeks, but consider that we got his referral at 4 months a blessing because we have time to do paperwork not under a time ticker of him growing older. We will have it ready to turn in the first day we can. This is as young as a referral gets and is nice to think best case senerio is that we may have him home a few months before he turns one.
Three to six months is the numbers given to us by the agency. Average over the past year has been 4 months. Yet because of the holiday season I have seen things in past years slow down with friends I have talked to on the HOLT forum boards. Their govenment agencies shut down just like ours do for holidays. Will he be home by Chiristmas? I hope so but there are no garentees. I have been told to possibly expect the later of 5-6 months by the person in charge of the Korea program at HOLT. Which doesn't always mean anything either because they like to be conservitve so you are not dissapointed.
There are things that have to happen on our government's side and on the Korean government side. Lucky most of it can take place at the same time. I have a friend in town who is doing this process a couple months ahead of us so I am now watching her timeline very closely.
Other than that I don't have much else to say at this point other than pray for Jack and his foster family, pray that the paperwork all gets done and gets to where it is supposed to be at the right times and pray for a smooth trasition home.

Oh yes and are we traveling??? Probably!