Saturday, November 14, 2009

Extended Family Visit

My extended family came to visit this past weekend. Thursday evening, the day or our referral, we picked up my cousin, Kristin who flew in from Indiana (where she goes to college), not India (as one of my third graders thought!)

Kristin came to school with my on Friday and got to meet my class and experience PJ day! She helped my kids with their Thanksgiving Turkey Glyph math project. It was great to have her help.

Friday evening we went out to dinner at our family's favorite restaurant.... Red Robin! The rest of the crew (Aunt Cheryl, Uncle Chuck, Kelsey, Grammy, and Grandad) came Friday evening. Kristin and Kelsey spent the night with us. We enjoyed our late night chat/dance party in our pj's.
On Saturday we went to my parents house to hang out. Grammy worked on a few sewing projects. Grandad built some stools for Aunt DeAnn. My dad and I baked chocolate ribbon cookies. Kristin, Kelsey, and I frosted the cookies and everyone ate them! We did a puzzle, played games, and ate a yummy dinner of potato noodles. My mom is an excellent cook!

Kristin had to fly home early Sunday morning. But the rest of the family was still here through Monday and Wednesday. Sunday the highlight of the activities for me was going to Target to buy Isaiah a play kitchen that was on sale. Campbell got to play with it first to make sure it was fun! We also went out to dinner at Claim Jumpers which was good too.

Monday and Tuesday were budget cut days for me so I used them to do grad school homework. Grammy and Grandad left on Monday afternoon. Tuesday I went to my parent's house to help watch Campbell and do homework. Watching Campbell was so much more fun, but I was able to submit my Chapters 4 and 5 of my action research this week. Tuesday evening we met up with the Ayres family and did dinner at the Old Spaghetti factory.

It was great to see everyone. I am excited that Kelsey will be going to college in Portland so we can see our extended family even more!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Referral Story

On November 5, 2009 I woke up fairly early with a full agenda. My agenda for the day included: typing a lesson plan that was due on Friday for my online class, teaching in the afternoon, cleaning house for my neighbor Sarah, watching Thursday evening shows, and then picking my cousin Kristin up at the airport around 11 pm.

After eating breakfast I quickly began working on my lesson plan at our kitchen table. However, at 9:15 am our home cell phone rang and that was the start of my agenda for the day getting altered, but all for the best. Our social worker called to see if we would be interested in reviewing a file of a baby boy who was 11 months old. Previously our social worker had told us that typically they place first time parents with young babies. However, on our original application we had marked we were open to a baby in the 0-2 range. I asked a couple questions of our social worker and then asked if I could call Travis. She said yes and then to call her back.

I tried to call Travis at work, no answer. On his cell, no answer. I waited several minutes tried both phones again. I even looked for him on Skype. I sent him an email. CALL ME KATHIE HAS A QUESTION FOR US! Finally, Travis called back and was able to get a hold of me and I was able to tell him that there was a baby boy that could be ours, but that he was 11 months old. I told him the little bit of the baby's story that I knew at this point.

His mom gave birth to him and kept him for the first five months. However, she and the father were not married and the father was not helping take care of the baby. The mom was living with cousins and was unemployed therefore it became very difficult to continue caring for the baby. Around 6 months the mom contacted the father and asked if he was fine with putting the baby up for adoption. They took him to Holt where he was placed with a foster family and then Holt continued to try and find him a family in Korea for the past 5 months. Since he was not adopted by a Korean family within the 5 months he is now available to be adopted internationally.

Travis quickly said we need to say yes and look at this boys referral. He told me to get off the phone and call our social worker. I did just that, I called her and said we would love to look at this boys file. She said she would email us the document. I called Travis again and we decided I should come get him for an early lunch.

We went to Quiznos for lunch and then we came home to check our email together. We had an email in our inbox. Travis opened the email and the advice from our social worker said to read the file before we open the pictures. We followed her instructions. We read through his 12 page file and we were happy with everything we read. We looked at his pictures and we fell even more in love. We emailed our social worker and said YES, WE WANT TO ADD THIS BOY TO OUR FAMILY!

It was time for me to go to work so I quickly dropped Travis back off at work and went to school. I didn't say anything to anyone. I taught my students and tried to stay as focused as I could with such good news. I left school and went to clean at my neighbors house. When I finally got home neither Travis or I was too hungry because we were so excited about telling our families.

Travis told me to call my parents and see if we could come over. I knew it would be hard for me to talk on the phone so I quickly asked my mom if we could come over and then I checked to she if she wanted go to Safeway with me. We typically go grocery shopping together when there is a spend $50 get $10 off. She said she was up for going to the grocery store so Travis and I made a quick dinner of scrambled eggs and toast.

On the drive to my parents house we weren't exactly sure what words we would use to tell them. We had printed one of the pictures and the plan was to use the picture somehow to tell them the great news.

I think I asked my parents if they wanted to see something cool. Mom said did you get a referral? I showed them the picture and they hugged us and said they love him. Then we called my sister and I said Hi Aunt Elise, but she didn't fully catch it. Then we tried to call Travis's dad, but he wasn't home and his mom was at outdoor school so we figured we wouldn't get to tell her that night. Then we called Kayla, but Josh was in class, and she was super excited for us. Later in the evening we did get a hold of Travis' dad and told him our news. We had to email his mom to let her know. The list of people to call continued, but I honestly don't remember who got called in what order and on what day.

My mom and I didn't end up going to the grocery store, we didn't watch Thursday evening shows, but we did get my cousin from the airport. When I woke up on November 5, 2009 I didn't know I was going to be so blessed. God is amazing. He answered our prayers for a referral. Now we are praying that our baby can travel home soon. We have been told the typical travel call time frame is 3 to 6 months. We can't wait to hold baby Isaiah Luke Han-gyeol Morgan in our arms!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Referral Accepted

Here is our 11 mo. old baby boy!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Weekend Trip to Madras

We went to Madras this weekend to celebrate Travis' mommy's birthday. Her birthday isn't for a couple more weeks, but this was the weekend that we were all available to get together and celebrate.

I had no school on Friday because I had done parent-teacher conferences from 8-8 on Thursday and Travis took off the day so we got to leave town by early afternoon. We stopped by his parents house for a quick hello and then we went to visit Jesse and Amy St. John and we got to meet baby Analise.
Travis had fun holding her. Just before I took this picture she had her hand on her head like she was thinking. Silly girl likes to keep her arms up.
I had fun holding her too. She kind of has crazy eyes in this picture, poor baby is trying to focus on something.
Analise was in a very good mood on Friday night. She was super sleepy, but her parent's say that is her normal schedule! We were so excited when she woke up and we could take pictures of her with her eyes open. She is beautiful!
On Friday evening we gave Travis' mom a really nice set of knives for her birthday. She was very excited about them. On Saturday when she made breakfast for us she tried our three or four of the different knives. I think she liked the gift!

On Saturday we went to Steel Head Falls for a short hike. Here are a few of the pictures I took on our hike.
As we walked down the trail this is what we saw to the right. I loved the rock formations.
A small rapid before we got to the falls.
Steel Head Falls
Travis, his dad, and Sophie enjoying the beautiful waterfall.
Travis and I standing in front of Steel Head Falls.
His parents standing in front of Steel Head Falls.
Josh and Kayla sitting in front of Steel Head Falls.
Sophie giving me a kiss!
Travis and Sophie taking a rest.
There were really any great rock caves for me to climb into and get my picture taken since that is kind of a tradition for me... this was the best I could do in fulfilling that tradition.
Kayla made pumpkin bars for the family. My family is so funny... everyone kept going to the pan and cutting off a tiny bite and eating it. They thought that 100 small bites was different than actually eating a couple bigger pieces. Silly family!
As you can see this was a huge hit... half the pan is already gone!
I made chicken curry for dinner. It was very yummy! It was a great Halloween meal since it is a fairly orange meal!