Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby # 3 update

I haven't updated much on baby # 3 due in March. Things are going pretty well. I am now 29weeks, 3days along and the baby is measuring perfectly in the 40% percentile at about 3lbs.

We have already had 5 ultrasounds so we have a lot of pictures of the little guy. Why 5 ultrasounds you may ask? Well, we had 2 at our regular OB and 3 so far at the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (or perinatologist). We went to see her for the first time about 18 weeks along and everything looked ok. One measurement was a little "on the border" so we were asked to come back at 26 weeks to check on everything. The measurement was of the renal pelvis which is part of the kidney. If you think about the kidney itself as the branches and leaves of a tree then the renal pelvis is the trunk of the tree. It is actually where the urine is stored before it travels down to the bladder. Well, the measurement of this is important and should be less than 4mm. At the 18 week ultrasound one kidney was right at 4 and the other was under. When we went back at 26 weeks the 4mm kidney was now at 7mm and the "normal" kidney was at 4mm. We went back yesterday and the 7mm kidney is now at 7.4mm and the 4mm kidney is now at 6mm.

What does all this mean? Well, we don't know. It could mean nothing and it's just something particular with our little guy that will go away on it's own before birth or shortly afterwards. It could mean that he has something called reflux where the urine refluxes back up to the renal pelvis from the bladder (much like stomach reflux). It could mean a lot of other things that I'm not supposed to worry about right now.

The doctor is telling us not to worry; that we are just going to keep an eye on it right now. 4mm-10mm is considered a "mild" case so he is falling in that range so far. The plan going forward is to monitor this measurement so we will go back at 34 weeks and then 38 weeks (one week before delivery) to check. He will probably need to be scanned in the hospital after birth to see a better view of this (it is harder to see the full picture through my belly). If he does have reflux we will need to see a pediatric urologist and the baby will need to be on a low does of antibiotics for his first year to prevent infection. Hopefully any kind of surgery will be unnecessary.

We are praying that this is nothing and resolves on its own by birth. Will you please join us in this prayer? Like I said the doctor is telling us not to worry but, seriously, how can I NOT worry. I do have a peace that everything will be ok but still worry given our history.

Other than that one anomaly, the baby is looking great. I have now had two 3D ultrasounds done and can tell you that he is a very handsome boy who looks like his dad. His Dad, by the way, does not want to see the 3D pictures so I will not be posting them for you to see. [sorry!]

Here is a video of the baby moving his mouth (you can also see his heart beating) as well as a few pictures!

video





Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

We were stuck inside today due to 8" of snow coupled with 45 mph wind gusts. The result was snow drifts up to waist high in some areas and lots of roads closed. We really didn't have any plans anyway so it wasn't that big of a deal. Brandon did great for his first Christmas home although he really had no interest in opening any of the wrapped presents. There were 3 things unwrapped and he just kept going back and forth between each of them. He got a battery-operated 4-wheeler (from Aunt Janice), a tool bench (from Mimi) and a kitchen (from Nonna and Poppy)!

Here are a few pictures and a video from our day, enjoy!

video

Before:


After:


Brandon on his new 4-wheeler:


Playing with his new kitchen:


His new tool bench (that matched Daddy's big new tool bench)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I know I have been quiet lately, I will try better in the new year!  For now, please enjoy some pictures of our little man Santa!

From our family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Halloween 2009

I'm not too sure that Brandon actually understood Halloween this year but we (Mom and Dad) had a great time! We bought his Halloween costume back in May when we were in Tallahassee with the Erde family, yes we were a little anxious!

Friday morning we got a call from a friend asking if we were going to the Wahoo community Halloween parade. We had forgotten all about it but made arrangements with him to meet up. So at about 4:30 we dressed B up in his cute costume and headed to the Civic Center.

Here he is!







One of the best parts of the night was the costume judging, Brandon came in 2nd place for the 0 and 1 year olds!!!! He got a balloon and a cash prize!

On Halloween night we went to Grandma Virg and Grandpa Rex's house first and hung out there for a while.

Here is B going up to their house (his first house for trick-or-treating).





He did ok until it got dark and there were tons of people dressed in costume everywhere. He started to melt down and we went home...maybe next year he will understand it more and enjoy it as much as mom and dad! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pictures of Madelyn

Because I am missing her so much today and most of you have never gotten the chance to see her, I am going to share some pictures of my first born baby girl, Madelyn.

She had pretty bad facial deformities that I'm not sure everyone would be comfortable seeing so I will save some pictures for another time (maybe).

Here she is:








My first time holding her:


Daddy's first time holding her:


Friday, October 16, 2009

It's been a long time!

I bet you were all wondering where I went. The past couple of months have just flown by and so much has been going on. I don't think I have blogged about this yet but, we are expecting baby #2 in March! Yes, Brandon is going to be a big brother at the tender age of just 19 months. This newest addition to our family was a very big surprise, but very welcomed! I always joke that God must have a big sense of humor!

Brandon is doing so well! He has really bonded with both Patrick and me; we are just so in love with him! I mean, come on, wouldn't you be?



He brings joy to each day, we just love spending time with him. He started walking about a month ago and has just really perfected the skill! Everyone said that we would question why we were so anxious for him to walk but actually I love it! I don't have to carry him everywhere and, he was into everything when he wasn't walking, so it's pretty much the same.

Another new development is that we have moved to the new house! Yes, it finally went through and as of Sept 11th we are the proud owners of a bigger, better house! I love the new house, all the bedrooms (3) are on the same floor and I have a formal living and dining room. PLUS I have a huge eat-in kitchen! Yay! The family room downstairs is where you can find us most of the time. We have the TV there plus the office and a play area for Brandon. It's great!

Today we went to the perinatal specialist to make sure everything looked good with the baby. It went great! I am 18 weeks, 5 days and the baby is measuring perfectly!



Oh, by the way, it's a BOY!!!! Yes, that's right...I am going to be the mom to 2 boys under the age of 2! Yikes, I will be busy! I am over the moon that everything looks good with our little baby boy and just love the doctor we went to. We are going back when I am almost 27 weeks along to check in with the little guy and make sure everything is still looking good. We have such great doctors who totally understand our worry and fear and are doing everything in their power to help us through this pregnancy.

I am feeling pretty good, the first trimester was a little difficult with morning sickness. Actually mine was at night but I guess it's still call morning sickness! :)

The final update is the blog itself. Did you notice I have a new look? I was lucky enough to WIN a blog redesign and we just finished all the changes last week! What do you think?

Ok, that's all for now!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Brandon!

Happy 1st birthday Brandon!

We started off the day with a new tradition, the birthday donut! Brandon and I walked down to the bakery in town and got him a donut (his first)!

Here he is enjoying his donut!


Later that day Mimi, Brandon and I headed into Omaha to pick up some last minute things for his birthday party. We had a Korean birthday cake made for him at this Korean/Japanese store in Omaha.

Here is the cake

The raisins on top say "Happy 1st Birthday" and it looked great! I have to admit that it didn't taste like anything, not good or bad, just NOTHING! It was crazy but it was an interesting thing to have as part of his first birthday party! Don't worry we also had a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for the party guests and Brandon had his own little cake.
On the menu, besides non-tasting cake, was seaweed soup, 2 different kinds of Korean dumplings, fruit trays, chips, punch, and Korean cookies/treats!
Here are pictures of the table.

One of the first things we did at the party was to conduct the Toljabee event. We set up a table with different items on it and Brandon picked the items that he was attracted to. It is believed that the child's future is predicted according to the what he grabs. The first and second items the he grabs are considered the most important.
Here is a list of the items:
bow and arrow: the child will become a warrior
jujube: the child will have many descendants
book, pencil, or related items: the child will become a successful scholar
rice or rice cake: the child will become rich
ruler, needle, scissors: the child will be talented with his/her hands
knife: the child will be a good cook
For the record Brandon picked the jujube first and the rice cake second. So he will have many descendants and will become rich! (Or, as Patrick and I figure...he was hungry!)
Another tradition we honored was having Brandon wear his Tol Bok (Tol is the name of the 1st birthday party).
Look how handsome he is


After eating all the yummy food we sang "Happy Birthday" and had cake.
Let's just say that Brandon enjoyed his cake
After that we opened presents and then said good bye to all our very generous friends! It was a great day and we were so glad he was with us to celebrate this 1st of many!


Monday, August 10, 2009

1 month and 3 years

I feel like I should blog tonight but I don't have a lot of energy so this will be short. Today is a very sad day for me. My precious baby girl died in my arms 3 years ago. My heart just hurts when I think of all the things we have missed over the past 3 years; her first tooth, her first steps/words, seeing her become a toddler and not a baby anymore. I wonder what her personality would be like, would she be a calm child or a little monkey like her brother? No mater how many more children we have she will always be my first and today will always be a hard day.

I have to admit that the day was easier with Brandon to distract me, although he wasn't exactly in a great mood all day. Speaking of Brandon today is also a big day for him; he has been home with us for 1 month! Time has just flown by and, although we still have a ways to go, he has just made such tremendous progress adjusting to a whole new world.

Ok, that's all I can do tonight. Today is just too emotional and I don't have the energy to write all my feelings down (nor do I have enough tissues in the house).

Good night!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Computer is up and running!

I know I have been quiet for the past couple of weeks but, only a few days after Brandon came home, our computer died. After many calls to tech support and 2 on-site visits I finally have my computer back!

Brandon is doing so well, everyday just gets better! Here's what has been happening since my last blog post:

* Turned 11 months old
* Gotten 2 new teeth (total of 6 now)
* Decided he LOVES his baths now
* Doing so much better during diaper changes
* Eats just about everything (except baby food peas)
* Just tonight he let me brush his teeth and didn't want me to stop
* He is sleeping well (in our bed, not his crib yet)
[Goes to bed between 9 & 10; up for a bottle about 5 then back to sleep until 9 or 10]
* He doesn't have much patience and gets frustrated easily
* Still loves his yellow blanket but I had to wash it yesterday and he was ok with that
* Loves going for walks in his stroller
* Had his first haircut and HATED it
* Went to his first parade and liked it
* Met the governor of Nebraska (see pic below)
His Nonna (my mom) has been here since last Friday and we are loving her being here. Such a huge help, we will all be sad to see her go on Wednesday.

Here they are meeting for the first time:
Enjoying lunch time:
Meeting the governor of Nebraska:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Computers and catch up

I bet you all thought I had forgotten about you! Our computer died and, after many hours on the phone with tech support it has finally been determined the our computer is beyond phone help and a computer tech will need to come out to our house to fix it! Frustrating because it is only 8 months old!

Brandon is doing well and it becoming more comfortable day by day! Last night he shocked us by sleeping from 10:30pm until 10:30am only waking once for a bottle and diaper change! We were very happy but don't want to assume the same will happen tonight! We can hope though.

He eats anything we give him but will only sit in his high chair occasionally (and only if we do not buckle him). Don't worry, we don't walk away while he is in it. He loves to take walks in his stroller (we took 3 today-good exercise for me too!). He still hates his baths and diaper changes but will sort of hold still while screaming like we are hurting him. I feel so bad but it is a necessity so I just try to talk to him through it.

We have had some visitors and Brandon has done so well, mostly staying close to me or Patrick. Our good friends Megan and Sean came over last night we their daughter Hannah (who is 3 months older than B). The kids did pretty well playing but I think Brandon scared Hannah at the end by grabbing at her.

I would post pics but I need to get our old computer up and running while we wait for the new one to get fixed. Our old one is on its last leg but at least it has a leg (more than I can say for the new computer)! Hopefully I can find some time to get that going tomorrow but, happily, my time has been spent doing much more fun things lately!

More later!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday

I am still here...sorry for being quiet yesterday! It is so hard to get down to the computer (hmmm I wonder why)?!?! :)

Last night was a lot better then the first two but I'm not sure it will continue tonight. Little man slept from 11:30 until 2:00 and then again from 4:00 until 11:00. He slept in bed with us and that seemed to work for all of us.

He is outside doing yard work with Daddy and Mommy is skyping with Nonna and trying to get a blog post up.

Ok, I'm out of words for now...here are some pictures (that's what you care about anyway right)?

Papa holding Brandon for the first time


Us with our escorts (Lisa and Jenna)


Brandon with Papa


And one more video from our first night:
video

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our little man

Well, we are home and (sort of) rested. Brandon had a rough night but is now sleeping (and has been since 8:30am). It was really hard for us to see him so scared and sad. To know that there was nothing that we could do to take away his pain, all we could do was just be with him. This morning when we got up he was playing peek-a-boo and smiling so that made me happy.

What I know so far...

**He HATES getting his diaper changed (I cannot stress enough how much he hates it)

**He will pretty much eat anything we give him. So far he's had rice, a french fry from Chick-fil-a, cereal, cheerios and sweet potato puffs (Gerber).

**He will not let us put him down when he is sleeping. I held him from 8:30 to 12:30 and Patrick relieved me and still has him.

**His foster mother and family LOVED him a lot; tons of pictures and an awesome diary that she kept for him. It's in Korean so we will have to get it translated some day!

**He is just the most amazing baby I have ever seen in my entire life. I still can't believe I get to be his momma, I am the luckiest woman in the world!

Here is a video from last night:


video

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gotcha Day

8:30am -- Woke up after a not so great night of sleep. Checked flytecomm and saw that Brandon's plane is directly over Nebraska! Should land in Chicago in about an hour!

10:06am -- Korean Air flight 37 has landed at Chicago O'Hare Airport!

12:00pm -- Just left the house! On our way to Des Moines. I am excited and scared, still doesn't seem 100% real. We packed too much but that's ok, we are prepared.

12:49pm -- Entering Iowa

3:00pm -- At the airport. Waiting... 1.5 hours until his flight is scheduled to arrive. Still doesn't seem real but I'm excited.

3:33pm -- Brandon's plane takes off from Chicago!

3:45pm -- Greeter (Trish) arrives with son, sign some papers and wait!

4:32pm -- Flight 7161 from Chicago arrives!

Gotcha Video

video

Adoption Timeline

2008
9/29 - Submitted app to Holt
10/17 - Fingerprinted by State
10/21 - Sent 1st set of HS paperwork
11/10 - Sent 2nd set of HS paperwork
12/1 - 1st call from our SW Bonnie
12/9 - 1st home visit
12/11 - 2nd home visit
12/22 - HS approved; sent to HQ

2009
1/6 - HS rcvd by HQ; officially waiting
1/9 - PIP I & II classes
1/10 - PIP III & IV classes
1/12 - I-600A sent to USCIS
2/26 - I-600A re-sent to USCIS
3/5 - Referral through WC!!!!
3/9 - Official match date
3/17 - Mailed acceptance paperwork
3/31 - Legals received
4/1 - I-600 sent to USCIS
4/13 - EP submitted in Korea
4/18 - PIP V
4/24 - EP granted
5/4 - Fingerprinted by USCIS
5/14 - I-600 approval
5/18 - NVC In
5/20 - NVC Out
5/22 - P3 sent to Holt-Korea
6/19 - Visa Physical [date listed in paperwork, not known at the time]
6/26 - Visa Interview
7/7 - Received travel call
7/10 - Gotcha day!
8/12 - 1st Post-placement visit
10/14 - 2nd Post-placement visit

2010
1/13 - 3rd Post-placement visit
2/17 - Recieved Consent to Adopt paperwork
3/4 - Lawyer filed paperwork with Saunders Co Court
3/5 - Recieved court date - April 12th
4/12 - Court appearance [Brandon is legally our son and a US citizen!]

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Brandon is coming home!

We got our Travel Call today (9:32am to be exact)!!!

Brandon will arrive in the US at 10:35am on Friday (7/10) in Chicago. Then he will catch a flight to Des Moines, IA at 3:35pm and arrive at 4:39pm!!!

He will not be flying into Omaha like we had hoped but Des Moines is only 2.5 hours away so it won't be too bad (I hope)!

We are both so excited and still in a state of disbelief that this is actually happening! We cannot wait to meet him!

Praying for safe travels for our little man!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Brandon's Room **updated video**

I thought it would just be easier to make a video of Brandon's room so, here you go!

Enjoy!

video

Video courtesy of Anna Gottschalk

ps - since I know you want to know, no travel call yet...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog! After 2 unsuccessful tries at starting a blog, it appears I have finally succeeded! This blogs started as a way to document my life as a pastors wife (failed), then to document my life as an expectant mom (failed - details to come) and finally a way to document all the steps we had to go through to adopt our son from South Korea!

I am married to a Presbyterian pastor and we live in a small town in Nebraska. When we got married, we both knew it was part of our family plan to adopt but we tried to start our family the good old fashion way first. In 2006 we lost our daughter due to complications from a rare disorder 14 hours after her birth. We had no idea she was sick and were just devastated. After another unsuccessful pregnancy (different problem this time) we decided to stop trying for a while and sought to adopt from South Korea.

God is good! He not only cleared the way for us to adopt but he brought us our son just 2 months after our home study was completed. We are just days away from the long awaited call with news of our sons arrival in the US!

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you will stay awhile and get to know us!

Jen

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We finally have VI!

After almost 5 weeks of calling and hearing "no, P3 hasn't been returned yet" I finally heard the news we have been waiting for. Brandon's visa interview is scheduled for 1:00pm tomorrow (June 26th). The best part is that is almost right now, as it is already tomorrow in Korea! This is the final step before making the travel arrangements and I couldn't be happier!

To answer a couple of questions I have been getting:

1. No, he doesn't actually have to go to an interview. I believe that some people in charge of the visas sit down with all his paperwork and make sure that it is all in order. At the end of it, he should be issued his visa!

2. It could still be another week or two before we get the much awaited travel call. Our agency needs to find an escort and arrange travel for him so it may take them a while to get all of that complete. I hope and pray that it doesn't take them long, next Tuesday would be nice! ha ha...if only I could request when!

More news as I hear it!

Jen

Monday, June 22, 2009

News, Laptops, Prayers and Help

Just wanted to pop in to say that we have no visa news yet...boo! :-(

On a similar and scary note, 3 families on the Holt BB just had their travel calls put on hold because their little babies are sick. Please pray for their little ones to get better soon. I also ask for prayers that my little boy will stay well and get his visa soon!

Another adoptive mommy is hosting an amazing giveaway/adoption fund raiser. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win an Apple MACBook Laptop, please head over to Sunnymama's blog! Good luck!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My baby is 10 months old!

Today Brandon is 10 months old! It is really hard that he is still not here with us. No news on the Visa front yet but I am praying it will be soon!

I am borrowing this from a fellow blogger and adoptive mommy because it is just so perfect for how I am feeling right now (thanks Rach)!

May you be safe while you are waiting

May you be safe and sleep soundly
through the night
May you be safe as you wake
in morning light
May you feel our love
from so far away
May it comfort and protect you
throughout the day

We will pray for you, our little one
Until our time of waiting is done
We will pray that the Lord
will keep you safe from harm
Until the child of our hearts
becomes the child in our arms

- Anonymous


This is my prayer for you tonight, little man. I cannot wait until you are here in my arms. I really hope you will be home with your Papa and I soon!

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baby shower (March 21st 2009)

I just realized that I never blogged about the baby shower my family and friends gave us when we were in Pennsylvania back in March.

It was an impromptu shower as we had received Brandon's referral less then 2 weeks before our trip but it was so AWESOME! Lots of family and friends came to help us celebrate! Special thanks to my Mom, sister Janice, BFFs Laura and Sharon and everyone else who helped plan such a special day! Sharon made these cute gift bags with lots of Korean goodies in them (we didn't get picture of the finished product but they were so thoughtful and cute)!

Here is the cake my mom had made (yummy Costco cake!):


And the "spread":


This bib was so cute (and true too)! It was part of the enormous gift given to us from my cousin Steph and her husband Dan and her daughter Kate. To say that Steph and Kate went crazy in Gymboree and Target is an extreme understatement! My family is just the BEST (and not just because they spoil my son!)


Me with my God-daughter Isaballa (left) and her sister Arianna.


Brandon's first Phillies shirt from his Aunt Missy!


OK, I won't bore you with the extremely long list of loot that Brandon scored! :) Ha ha! All I can say is a big THANK YOU to everyone, you guys are truly the BEST!

You may have noticed that there are NO pictures of Patrick! Poor Papa was sick in bed with what eventually became pneumonia so he didn't get to enjoy any of our shower! :-(

Up next...picture of Brandon's room!