Thursday, September 30, 2010

I think I'm sliding into home base...

By 11am I knew I wasn't going to get my Travel Call

so I decided to call DC to see if there were any updates. 

It was SUPER FABULOUS to hear that today, 
he made his Embassy Appearance
his Visa was ISSUED

for those of you who think I just wrote in Korean, 

these are the last steps! 

there's nothing else to be done

except get my Travel Call. 


due to some scheduling conflicts, the soonest I can leave for
Korea will be October 12th. But looking at the calendar, I've found 
that it's the 'ideal' time for me to go. 

So once again, God's timing is perfect.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Travel Call

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We've Entered into the Final Stretch

Today is Monday




I'd like my Travel Call to come on Wednesday




Chances are it'll come next week




Regardless, I love this song




And I've been waiting to use it 




For this exact moment




If you hang out long enough, you'll hear a 
pretty sweet electric guitar solo.




Oh, may that sweet sound be followed up
with my phone ringing!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

blond wig + Asian kid = major controversy {who knew?}

*** I just want to say that since this is my blog, I'm taking the liberty to write my own personal views on this. I am not a professional, but I am an adult Korean adoptee. And this is my perspective. *** 

So I'm a part of an adoption forum. As with any type of 'group', there are going to be things you like and things you dislike. One of the great things about this forum is that I've met some really super cool people. One of the lame things about the forum is that I've met some pretty lame people as well. 

Recently (as in a couple of days ago) there was this topic of conversation that was brought up by a concerned Mom. Her 5 year old daughter (who's Asian) wants to dress up for Halloween as a princess and wants to wear a blonde wig. The Mom was seeking advice on whether she should let her daughter wear the wig. She realizes that Halloween is just a time to dress up, but she was worried about whether people would 'laugh' at her daughter because she was obviously Asian wearing a wig. (at least this is how I understood the original question). 

The mass majority of people voted for the daughter to wear the wig. 

you'd think that would be the end of it, right?

um.... no. not even close.

Somehow it turned into this huge debate about how if you let your Asian daughter wear a a blonde wig then as a parent you are promoting the 'American Standard of Beauty' and you're telling your child that the only way they can be beautiful is if they have blonde hair, blue eyes, and a big chest. 

Here's the thing. I totally understand that each parent will have their own conviction regarding what kind of costumes they'll let their kids wear, or what toys their kids can play with. But I take real issue when some adoptive parent (who's not an Asian Adoptee) tries to tell ME how Adult Korean Adoptees feel about being raised in a world of 'white privilege'. 

A comment was made that 'when a white child dresses as a minority character, it is not the same as a minority child dressing as a 'white' character because 'white privilege' automatically has the white child dressing 'down' to a minority - thus being deemed 'okay'. 

I know, pretty psycho, right?

There were also some comments made by a person who said they've taken part in billions (yes, she actually said billions) of adoption 'panels' and all she hears from Adult Korean Adoptees are how they were so miserable because everyone was 'white' and Barbie was 'white' and they didn't feel good enough... blah blah blah

Here is where I take issue again. Granted, yes, there are Adult Adoptees who had a rough time with being adopted. I get that, and I honestly feel for them, and I truly hope that they are able to find peace about it. But not all Adult Adoptees are like that. I've now met quite a few Korean Adult Adoptees (KADs) and most of them share my perspective. Yes, we may do some things differently than our parents did, or wish our parents did some things differently when we were young, but don't we all? Adopted or not? And I don't know of one angry KAD who wishes they were 'white' or has some identity issue with not being able to be white. 

This same person (who has sat in on the billions of adoption panels) when speaking about how awful it is that all these complaining KADs wish they were white, used the example of KADs saying they wished they had blonde hair as proof to their messed up mentality of wanting to be white. 

okay. HOLD UP.

Here is where I draw the line because I told this same person, during a previous phone conversation that I wished I could have blonde hair. Yes. I totally do. I would LOVE to be a multi-tonal blonde. And I've actually tried to get as close to it as I possibly can (to mix reviews of course - haha!). But I've also had black hair, burgundy hair, red hair, brown hair... 

So I take personal offense to this person trying to use my words to support her distorted views of KADs.

What really bothers me the most about all this, is how her words effect soon-to-be-first-time-parents. She freaks them out. If a parent chooses to 'escort' their child vs traveling to Korea, she basically tells them that they love their child less. If you don't keep your child's Korean name, then you're telling them that they have to change who they are to become your child. The list goes on and on. 

What I want parents of adopted Asian kids to know, is that you just do the best you can. Yes, not all parents are going to have the same views or methods, and that's okay! Don't worry that every little decision you make is going to be the thing that screws your kid up. Love your child, foster a relationship that provides open communication, and answer questions with honesty - even if you don't know the answer - it's okay to say 'I don't know, but lets try and find out.' 

I've really tried to examine my childhood to figure out what it was that my parents did that resulted in me being 'totally cool' with being adopted. And here's what I've come up with: 

1) I was adopted with my sister. I used to not put so much stock in this, but now I'm wondering if because we were always together, if the 'change of environment' wasn't as big of a deal because we still had a 'constant' - each other.

2) My parents have always raised us to believe that while we may not always understand why God does the things he does, He knew that for whatever reason, that we would need parents, and they would need kids. We were meant to be a family. 

3) There was never an emphasis placed on our different ethnicities. This is a tough one to explain. Obviously we knew we looked different, but I never really thought about it. My Mom would always comment on how beautiful my skin was, or my eyes, or my hair, but pointing out our differences wasn't something we focused on. It was more matter of fact, rather than 'empathetic'. Sometimes I get the impression that there is almost too much emphasis put on differences. 

4) My parents were honest when answering our questions. And they let 'kid comments' just be 'kid comments'. Thinking back, I remember when I was young talking to my Mom about how many Grandparents I had. I told her I had 5 sets: my grandparents on my Mom's side, my grandparents on my Dad's side, my grandparents on my birthmom's side, my grandparents on my birthfather's side, and Grandma Holt (Bertha Holt referred to herself as 'Grandma Holt' when I was little and she was still alive). I remembering telling her how it was neat that I had so many more than other people. 

Now, she could have freaked out wondering if I was having issues with being adopted, and maybe I was wanting to feel more connected to my birth family, but she just remained calmed and let me have this childish gloating moment that I had 'more' grandparents than anyone else. And then that moment passed and I didn't think about it again until just recently.

So that brings me to my last point.

5) Don't make everything an 'adoption issue'. Granted - I think you'll know if there's some big red flag waiving - and by all means, seek out what ever resources you need. But just because a 5 year old Asian kid wants to wear a blonde wig as part of her Cinderella costume for Halloween, DOES NOT mean that she is rejecting her ethnic make up  and wants to be 'white'. 

If anything, I'd give her an award for her advanced eye for detail. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

NVC in/out

I called this morning and found out that we're 

NVC in/out

which basically means our I600 approval has been wired 
to the embassy in South Korea
(not that anyone actually thought we were adopting from the North)

I'm trying to be really happy about this, but the selfish girl in me
wanted this to happen on Wednesday
so our P3 could have been sent to our agency today.

Oh, and it's technically Saturday in Korea
so I guess it doesn't really matter. And Chuseok 
(a Korean holiday) starts next week and it's pretty safe
to assume that NOTHING will happen next week.

So does anyone have any guesses as to when I'll get my travel call?
Who ever gets it right, I'll give you a prize
(totally not kidding)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

it's all good

Today I decided to nurse my wounds
by doing the only logical thing:

I ate Korean food
went to the Korean Market
and listend to kpop music

Now, I'm a huge fan of pop music. 
{always have, always will}

but I have to say, there is something crazily addictive
about kpop music!
{korean pop music}

there's something about it's
beat that brings a smile to my face.

oh, and laughter to my mouth - as more often
than not there's some crazy use of english sprinkled in. 
{its kinda like stumbling upon 'Where's Waldo' when you didn't even know you were looking.}

I found this mashup on YouTube and it's pretty fun.

So enjoy - and don't worry...
if you like it, your secret is safe with me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

we're all allowed to have a bad day, right?

I feel like complaining, and then I feel guilty for feeling that way. But today is just one of those days. 

I called NVC this morning to see if they have received my I600 and I was hoping that they would say, 'why yes, we received it on Monday and it's already be logged out and on it's way to the Embassy in Korea.' But instead, I got 'I'm not showing anything with your name. When did you say it was sent?'

UGH. I find it frustrating. So FRUSTRATING. Why can't the US Government get their act together? WHY can't things be processed in a timely manner, or in a FAIR & CONSISTENT manner? Or better yet, why don't they require the people who work in those offices to adopt a child BEFORE they start their job... just so they have a better understanding of what we go through... or at least have some empathy for us.

But then I have to remember that things will happen when they're supposed to happen. And stressing over it isn't going to change my timeline. And then I have to remember all the families who work with this one agency that is having MAJOR delays in travel.. like once people are receiving their referrals they have to wait around a year before bringing their children home. So I really can't complain considering there many in situations much 'worse' than my own. 

And if I'm being honest with myself, I still have a TON I could be doing to prepare for Charlie's arrival, so I really have no business being on the computer when my 'To Do' list is a mile long. 

But today is just one of those days. I feel like complaining. And now I have. So I guess it time to move on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Girls Night Out

when you're with your girlfriends
you're guaranteed to have a good time...

even when the car won't start.

To the young lady who's boyfriend gave us a 'jump': 

When you see four women who are obviously much older than yourself and your man, and they're cheering when the car starts because they just want to get home before midnight, chances are they're NOT interested in your significant other in any way, shape or form. So making a bee-line towards him and starting a make-out fest before we can even get into the car was  totally un-necessary. We realize that you were just marking your territory, but this wagon train wasn't even interested in stopping. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Claire's Boyfriends

and yes... that was boyfriends
as in plural.

There are a couple of men in Claire's life
that she truly adores. 

They are vastly different from one another
but they do share one common fact.

they will soon be leaving.

so today was the day I went to 
capture a moment with them. 

*** let me apologize for the poor quality photos. I'll be re-taking them. No Joke ***

This is Bob.
Bob works at the Post Office and much to our dismay
he is retiring soon. 

The Post Office seems like our second home some times and I have to say - the people that work at our Post Office are so kind and wonderful. Really. In fact, I'm having a hard time switching over to online postage because I just love going in the Post Office . 

Anyway, Bob has been Claire's favorite from day one - hands down. 
She loves saying hi to him when we walk in, and will ask for him
if he isn't there when we arrive. 

So a big Shout Out to Bob. 
You're the man. 

This is Kris. 
His parents own our favorite Sushi joint. 

Claire loved Kris from the moment she first laid eyes on him. 
After asking what his name was, she repeatedly would say,
'Kris is so cute, right Mom? Kris is cute'.

She is now known as Kris's 'number one fan'.

But sadly, a guy has got to go to college. 
So while we will miss him, we fully support his pursuit of higher education.

Thank You to Bob & Thank You to Kris

You both have been so generous to my daughter with your kindness
and friendship and we truly will miss you both.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quick Prayer Request

Okay, so tomorrow


Charlie will be having his 


there isn't anything in particular that makes
me worried about this

but it's after the physical that we'll find out
if he needs a 'Class B Waiver'.

which again, isn't anything to worry about, 
but it's mostly seen as another 'time delay'
as you have to receive the form,
get it notarized,
send it back to your agency,
and then have it sent on to Korea.

Another update on our I600:

I found out Friday evening that we have been 
assigned to an Officer. Seems like a 'praise', right?
Well, I guess it is... sorta. 
I found out about being 'assigned' when I received a form
saying that they are 'requesting more evidence' that 
Charlie is indeed an Orphan.
I'll save the explanation, but just know it's yet another thing
about the American Government that is really frustrating.

I just wish that when they decide to make 'new rules', 
that they'd actually THINK through the process  
to see if it's actually 'helping' or 'hurting' what has already
been established (and working perfectly) for decades.

Anyway... my agency has already faxed in some information
and tomorrow I'm supposed to call and see if will suffice. 

oh please, let it be enough!

Friday, September 3, 2010

got Faith?

I just got an email saying that Charlie's 
Visa Physical is schedule for 9/8/10

which is awesome because it means that things
are moving along.

and it's also lame because it means that my 
I600 approval will hold things up. 

I had received an email yesterday (which I thought was days ago, but nope, it was just yesterday) regarding my I600 which basically said "you're not assigned to an officer, thanks for your patience." Ummm... I kinda don't remember giving them any... but I'll try and go with it.

Who am I kidding. I'm want my I600 approval. 

There is something I DETEST about knowing that ONE SINGLE FORM will hold everything up... and this approval... people have been approved in WAY LESS time than I've been waiting. Is it fair? No. Is there anything I can do to change it? No... but...

I can pray about it. 

I'm struggling with it though. Is this one of those things where you earnestly pray to God to perform a miracle? Is it one of those things that if you truly believe God will answer your prayer? But what if my 'answer' is "No Rachel, you have to wait and not just wait... but you have to wait without knowing anything, until I reveal it to you." The thought of getting my hopes up only to be disappointed does not sound appealing.

And if I'm being honest, that would totally stink.

On Sunday our Pastor was talking about Job, and how it's kind of 'unfair' sometimes to use him as an example when he complains because Job is written in the 3rd person - which means there's a narrator. And with that narrator, we can see the 'big picture'. Job can't. Now, please understand that I'm certainly not comparing my wait for Charlie to the likes of Job's trials, but it would be sooooo nice if a Narrator could jump in. Yeah... any time, feel free to start talking!

So what do you think I should do?

pray with the expectation of getting approval?
pray - but kinda expect that it's not going to happen?
go get a piece of lemon cake from the bakery down the street?
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