Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is Jack Like???

We got new info on Jack today! It was info that was gathered sometime between Aug 10th when they have his weight written, and Aug 28th when the report was written by his social worker. So we are going with 6mo old for sure.

What great and awesome info. I feel very blessed because there are some families that do not get this info. They usually do an updated Child report a few months after a child is placed with a new foster family. Jack was born outside of Seoul and then trasferred to a new foster family in Seoul, where we will be traveling to pick him up. He is living with his second foster family since birth. He stayed with the first until he was 4 months old and has been with his second family now since then and will still be when we pick him up. They do an updated report to see how the second placement is going. Since he is now older there is so much more information about him! I cannot believe it! Are you ready??? Here you go!!!

Jack loves to take baths! He is not shy with strangers. He recognizes the faces of his foster family. He also loves to go outside! Feels refreshed and screams in joy when he is carried on back. (I am guessing they mean in a carrier since they are very popular in Korean culture, even for big babies!) It also says he mixes well with peers, seeks out other children and babbles at them. He is described as a cute and alert little boy with a bright and mild character. He laughs loudly when his foster mother covers her face and plays peek-a-boo. He has been healthy and has had no medical concerns since leaving the hospital after his birth.
His foster mother calls him “Gyeong-min-a” which it is noted that he responds to, usually with a big smile. The “a” at the end of a name is common for baby nick names in Korea. Kind of like the way we added a “y” sound to the end of Ethan and called him Ethey.
Right now it says he sleeps from 10:00pm to 6:00am and wakes up twice at dawn for feedings. He also takes two naps a day for an hour each. Likes it dark to sleep and sleeps on the floor with his Foster mother. He often moves around looking for cool places during the night. He has some trouble going to sleep on his own and is usually carried and patted to sleep. Once he is asleep, noises do not bother him and he sleeps well regardless of noise.
If he is laid on his back he lifts up his buttocks high and pushes to his tummy. On his tummy he happily spins in circles and moves up and down by pushing with his arms. It says he sits up briefly leaning against the sofa and keeps standing with good force in legs. It says he puts his fists in his mouth and sucks them while drooling much. Laughs and giggles when he feels good. Babbles much. Does not use a pacifier, a little different than what we are used to. Says he has 2BM’s a day and drinks milk based formula and never spits up, but burps well.
Well as you can see we are on cloud 9 with this information. Loving every minute of it! We also know the ages of his foster family members and who is living in his home.
Things may change when we turn his little world upside down but it nice to have a glimpse at the sweet happy boy that will be joining our lives!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 6mo. Jack!

Jack has turned 6 months old. I was worried about being sad on that day but we had a busy day so it was hard to find time to be sad. It was a great day as well. Here is what we did.
We all went to our daughter's morning soccer game. She had fun this time; she didn't enjoy herself too much the last two games. Dad is the coach so he was happy she was happy. Grandpa came to watch too.
Then we headed to the Olive Garden for Lunch. Everyone was happy, well behaved, and ate a ton of pasta! It was a nice lunch.
Then after the carb load we all headed home for an afternoon nap. After the snooze we went to a block party in the middle of town. My band was playing a show there and the kids had fun playing and running around with the kids in that neighborhood while dad ran sound and mom sang songs. Grandma and Grandpa H. came to listen and help out with the kids as well.
After the show the four of us headed home. Dad and daughter took a jog/bike ride around the neighborhood, while Mom and Son set up blankets and pillows out on the deck to lie down and watch the stars. When Dad and daughter came home they joined us on the deck with telescope, binoculars and a bag of microwave popcorn. We hung out under the stars until bedtime. It was a wonderful evening and a wonderful day!
Happy 6mo. Jack. I can't wait until you can watch the stars with us!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Timeline revisited.

I did write a post a while back outlining the timeline for the process. I think it is time once again to go over what needs to happen between now and Jack!

6) receive legal documents for the specific child (this happened last week)
7) File I600 with immigration (we filed last week, it can take 2-6 weeks for approval)
8) I600 approval goes to National Visa Center where it is logged in and logged out) (this part takes about a week or two)
9) Receive Emmigration Permit,permission from the Korean government for our child to leave the county.(this actually is what is happening in Korea now, we may get this in the next 4 weeks)
10) Embassy requests packet of info from agency to complete visa, also known as P3. (This doesn't happen until steps 6-9 are complete)
11) Get visa interview (Kind of an unkown, maybe a month)
12) Get our travel call(within 2 or 3 days of step 11)

So the steps we will post about are.
EP (immagration permit from Korea)
I600 (permission for VISA US side)
NVC in date (Natioal Visa Center in DC)
NVC out date
P3 (packet 3 that is sent to and completed in Korea, not by us)
Visa Physical
has to happen before Visa interview but can happen anytime.
VI (visa interview) which is not an actual interview for babies but just when their files are processed.

And if you are not confussed now you should be.
So if you print off the above bold list and keep checking things off you will have somewhat of an idea of how close we are getting. All this still needs to happen before Jack comes home. It is quite a bit and it is never strictly cronological as far as time goes. There are too many variables on both sides, too much paperwork to be processed. There are so many steps that something can get lost or mistakes can be made so prayers for smooth processing at this time would be helpful.

Natalie is off to South Korea!

My friend Natalie, who got her referral on May 21'st, got her travel call yesterday! Which means she has the all clear to make travel plans to pick up her little man. I am so excited for her! She is also in my MOPS group this year. We had a meeting this morning and she was only stopping in to drop off some fruit for breakfast before she ran around town to get ready to leave next week. So I ran to MOPS this morning to drop off the care package that she will deliver to HOLT when she goes to meet her son. Then HOLT will get it to Jack. I was bawling when I got to see her. I was so happy for her. To think next time I see her she will have her boy.
I must admit I am sad a little bit only because I now feel I am waiting alone, when before I had someone to wait with. Yet I would not, for the world, want her to wait longer!!! She is going to be so close to where my son is, or at least in the same city. I know I will be in the same situation in a few months! It does make things seem a bit more real. It will be nice to have a friend who has boldly go before us so to speak. She will be able to give us hints and tips on travel and such.
So where does that leave us. Well... We got our referral about 2 1/2 months after her so that could mean that 2 1/2 months from now we could be traveling! But there is no scientific way to know. I will outline the steps for you in the next post so you can keep track a little easier.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Legals!!! and WBC

Yesterday was an exciting day. We received Jack's legal documents in the mail. So we were able to finish our I600 application for USCIS and send it off. We now have to wait for approval for that which takes 2-6 weeks. It did take a full 6 weeks for a friend of mine in town that just recently went through this step so that is what we expect.

We also got a new Well Baby Check (WBC) yesterday Jack is now 22.4 lbs. His physical appearance is described as "cute and smile" We already knew the cute part.
He drinks almost 7oz of formula every three to four hours so that may explain the 22.4lbs, but he is also 28 inches which sounds huge to me. He is rolling over, laughing, reaching for and holding objects, and assessed to be at a 5-6 month level. Right on target!

Our friend here in town who is also in the process we hope is traveling soon. We have asked her to bring Jack a care package for us. She will not be able to meet Jack but can just save us shipping cost by delivering our package to HOLT Korea. We are sending Jack a blanket with a teddy bear head, and a Sassy baby photo album with photos of our family. I am also planning on sending a disposable camera so they can take some extra pictures for us of Jack. We can get the camera back when we go to get him and develop it here, but he may not have many photos from when he is little so this will help some.

Here are some of the family pictures we are sending to him in his baby album.