Faith as Big as a Mountain

 Matthew 17:20 says, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

  That’s one of those verses you read over and over and often gloss right over and then there are those little necklaces with the mustard seed charms… I mean, do people really believe all that? It’s 2011 how many times have you seen a mountain actually move? Or for that matter, have you ever read in a history book about a mountain moving? I haven’t. But, you know what? I believe it could. Crazier things have happened when ones complete faith aligns with the will of God.

There is ONE thing standing between me and my youngest son.

That one thing is an Emigration Permit.

  I have two choices. I can complain, pout, throw myself into a deep dark depression and miss out on “doing life” or I can pick myself up and trust God.

I choose to trust God.

I choose to have faith.

I choose to have really, really big faith!

And if faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain then faith the size of a mountain can surely get Maddox an Emigration Permit this year.

The last news we heard in this regard was that the Ministry of Health and Welfare has stated they would resume processing Emigration Permits in August. 

As I type this it is 9:30 am on the morning of August 1st in Seoul, Korea. My little guy is most likely enjoying breakfast with his foster family, or perhaps headed out for a stroll in the park. It’s bittersweet to imagine exactly what he’s doing at this very moment.

 Over in another part of town the shuffle of papers, and strikes on keyboards can be heard. And it’s there in the offices of the Ministry of Health and Welfare that I pray is a paper sitting on someone’s desk with my son’s name on it. But, even if his name isn’t on a desk yet, even if it will be months down the road until it lands in that building there are many, many families waiting to hold their babies in their arms tonight. Many families  wait with hesitation to see what tomorrow will bring and pray it will bring them one step closer to their son or daughter. So, tonight I lift this request to the Lord that movement of EPs begin. I pray that  each of the families that are waiting to bring home a precious blessing from Korea can exhale a breath that we’ve all been holding for entirely too long. 

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you;  I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’  and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—  everyone who is called by my name,  whom I created for my glory,whom I formed and made.”   ~ Isaiah 43:5-7

Reagan learned how to dance the “Dougie”

That really has nothing to do with this post but it’s really hilarious to watch so I felt the need to document it.

What’s new with us?

~ We got Maddox’s 12 month check up. We actually received it early last week and I’m just getting a chance to post about it. He has 6 teeth,weighs 20 lbs, is still walking while holding on to something, and loves taking a bath and listening to music (just like his mama!). I put in a request for new photos last week so I’m praying we get those soon. : )

~ We are wrapping up our last few weeks of summer. The kids got their back to school letters with their teacher assignments and school supply list. They are both super excited…I’m feeling a small twinge of excitement myself.

~ Today I got a letter from my cousin, Vickie, who is updating our family tree (on my dad’s side). It was the first time I was able to include Maddox on one of those sheets and I got a little teary eyed and then I laughed my head off. You see EVERY SINGLE city line on our sheet said Florence, SC. It’s the city of birth for David, Myself, Reagan, and Dawson. It’s the city we currently live in, it’s the city we were married in…and on and on. So, I get to baby boy and FINALLY got to write something other than Florence. Big shout out to Gunsan City, South Korea. It’s really neat how our little Korean is going to forever change the course of our family tree. : )

~ David is shriveling up. Joking. But my man has been working extremely hard to take off some weight. He has lost 60 lbs since November. I’m not kidding…60 lbs! So proud of him for setting such a tough goal and kicking its butt! He even turned down an ice cream eating contest over the weekend! WHAT?!?!

~ We finally started using Skype! I know…where have I been? One of my favorite people in the whole world, Allison, is in New Zealand as a missionary for the summer and we were able to chat with her while driving down the interstate. Well, I wasn’t driving…David was but, seriously, how neat is that technology? Since then the Braddocks jumped on the Skype train and tonight Reagan and my nieces, Haley and Hayden had a 30 minute giggle fest. Super cute by the way! I even got to show Tracey my newly organized playroom. It was almost as good as having her here with a cup of coffee on the back porch…ALMOST!

~ A fellow AP friend, MaryLeigh, shared a link on her Facebook page last week of some super cute Subway style art. It’s a list of family rules that I just happened to have fallen in love with.We just received it in the mail yesterday and I can’t wait to hang it on the wall! You can find your own here.

~ The kids have had some super fun sleepovers with both sets of grandparents. I’ve heard reports of swimming, rock hunting, puddle jumping,popsicle eating, “Gator” ridin’ fun from them both. Reagan even came home from my mom’s asking if I knew what “puddling” was…. Do you know? I had no clue! It’s when butterflies drink from a semi dried up mud puddle so that they can gain minerals that drinking nectar won’t give them. You learn something new every day!

Well there you have it. We are planning on filling our last few weeks of summer to the brim with fun. Time just keeps slipping right through our fingertips and we want to take hold of every second!

Smile! You’re on Candid Camera…

 

Remember that show? Did you sing the jingle when you read that?  This is what I feel like these days. I’m just waiting on someone to jump out from behind a bush and tell me it’s all a big joke. Oh, we were just kidding, book your flights and go get your baby boy.  I’m starting to believe by the time he is in my arms I’ll be sending him off to kindergarten…or even worse college.

Friday we received new information from our agency that informed us (and the whole Korea program) that the step we’ve been waiting to see movement on in late July will not be moving at all in July.  We know that everyone involved with our agency is working diligently to get our babies home. They are advocating for our children as hard as they can. It’s really just out of our hands at this point.

 I’m trying to stay upbeat and positive. I think I’m doing a good job.  My husband might tell you differently. I don’t know. I’m just doing the best I can.

 The only thing I know to do is pray without ceasing…and stay unbelievably busy.  Well, that and prepare myself to bring home a toddler. Reagan was telling my last night she is so excited to be able to feed Maddox a bottle and burp him. I had to have a whole sit down conversation that even though he looks like a baby in his pictures when he comes home he will be walking, and eating some table foods. She seemed ok at the time but as bedtime got closer she just lost it. Once we got her calmed down she was able to tell us she was upset that Maddox wouldn’t be home by Halloween because we planned to do a family theme this year and he needed  him to be here for it to be a whole family thing. 

 

                                                                                                                                      Halloween  2009

And then she went on (barely able to speak through tears) to say that he can’t have Christmas without us.  It was a nightmare. I tried to stay calm but I lost it too. It’s very hard to tackle these topics with your children when you haven’t made complete peace with things yourself. I never imagined he wouldn’t be home by Christmas and here we are faced with the fact that that might really be the reality of our situation.

 But, there is always a positive way to look at every situation and that is what we plan to do. We’ll keep sending care packages, and looking forward to well baby checks, and hopefully get a few pictures. And we’ll come up with a list of all the great things about bringing home a toddler. 

 We will continue to praise Him through this storm because…really, that’s all this is. A storm. And, just like all storms it will pass. 

 My sister in law, Tracey, shared this song with me when she was home visiting earlier this summer and I just fell in love with it.  

  We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our sufferings

All the while, You hear each spoken need
     Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

 

 So, I’ll leave you with this thought, What if the trials of this life ARE our mercies in disguise?

Sweet, Sweet Summer!

The kids, David and I have had a blast this week! We arrived in Baton Rouge in the afternoon on Wednesday, picked up my rental car and headed to the hotel where we ordered takeout and crashed! On Thursday morning we drove across town and hit up Ambrosia bakery. David has been a few times to pick up King cakes during Mardi Gras for friends back home but I’d never been and OH MY GOODNESS!  Display, after display, after display of bakery goodness! We ended up with pastry sticks, apple turnovers, and a hot, gooey cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

 After that, we hit up Target to stock the fridge at the hotel and then headed over to Chuck E. Cheese for the rest of the morning. Then, David had appointments to get to so the rest of us went back to the hotel and got ready to hang out by the pool for the afternoon. We found out when we checked in that our hotel pool was BROKEN. This was not good news for this mama because I was banking on the hotel pool for daily cheap entertainment for these wild preschoolers! However, being that my husband stays at this hotel at least a week a month he has become friends with the manager and used his amazing charm  ; )to convince him to get permission to use the pool at the hotel next door and so we were saved!  So, we hit up the pool for the rest of the evening, ordered takeout, and crashed!

 On Friday, the kids and I grabbed breakfast and headed out to see Winnie the Pooh. I’ll be honest…I was none to thrilled to see this one but it was pretty cute! Definitely for the preschool crowd though. We then spent the evening back at the other hotel’s pool where Dawson proceeded to throw up!!! I think it was because he swallowed a bunch of the salt water. But, we cut our evening short. Came back to our hotel, hit up the snack bar for ice cream and crawled in the bed!

 Yesterday we headed over to New Orleans. I was soo excited about this. We’ve come to Baton Rouge with David multiple times but never get to spend any time there. We arrived at Audubon Zoo just minutes before it opened at 10 and stayed  until around 3. It was a blast! I honestly just haven’t felt like picking up my camera much during this trip. It’s been nice to just enjoy the moments with the kids and not feel like I’m photographing a documentary of their life. I did take it with us to the zoo though.

The Flamingos are pink just like my shirt! Pink is her favorite color so naturally Flamingos are high on her list of zoo favorites!

 Dawson was explaining to us that this was not a real alligator. “See Mama, is jus’ a statue. It not hurt choo. C’mon!”

 This one on the other hand kept him mesmerized. We had to pull him away!

  Reagan found South Korea on the map!

     We stopped and let the kids play at this neat little play area.

 Isn’t he just incredibly adorable?

  I think chasing ducks is awfully cruel but in his defense he JUST wanted to pet them. Poor guy will never understand why birds, squirrels, and lizards don’t want to hang around and play with him.

 Reagan looking for the Rhino. This was the last shot before, I kid you not, the bottom fell out! I mean it was a torrential rain of epic proportion. We booked it to the reptile exhibit but by that point we were completely soaked!

          SOAKED!

  On the way to the zoo Dawson said he wanted to see monsters. Well what do you know…. Apparently this is what the Louisiana swamp monster looks like.

  We braved the rain again to head over to the Dinosaur Pavilion. Dinosaurs are currently number one on Dawson’s list of coolest things in the world.  Although, it took him a few minutes to warm up to the life-size version.

                                      It didn’t take him long and he was climbing over ropes to get a closer look.  He’s pretty sneaky!

   The rain eventually stopped but the Zoo was pretty much flooded. Thankfully, we got to see most of the animals and exhibits before the rain hit. So, once we let the Dinosaur Pavilion we made our way to the car. We were all soaked to the bone but excited for the rest of the day in New Orleans.  We changed the kids into dry clothes and off we went to explore the city!

 So, I’m pretty sure I embarrassed David by hanging out the window to snap a picture but what other city do you see Mardi gras beads hanging from trees in July? And I don’t mean one tree I mean ALL the trees…there were thousands of beads! It was pretty neat. Too bad the kids had fallen asleep and didn’t get to see it. In fact, they missed most of our site seeing. We drove past Cafe Du Monde and there was a line around the building, it was drizzling, and as I said the kids were out so we found another location and headed over to it.

 Mission Accomplished.  Cafe Du Monde famous beignets, coffee, and  the weather was cool enough to sit out on the patio. I’d say it worked out perfectly.

  First bite

 Dawson never took a single bite.

 He just licked off ALL the powdered sugar!

            Ah, this is the life!

  I have left our schedule pretty open this week so I’m excited to see what we can get into. In Reagan’s prayers last night she told God she missed her home and her real bed and I have to agree with her. Although, I will say I don’t miss the upkeep of the house. It’s been a fun week but I’m excited to start heading home on Tuesday. We still won’t make it back to Florence until Friday or Saturday so hopefully we will be able to squeeze in some fun stops on our way back home.

For a soon to be A*M*E*R*I*C*A*N G*I*R*L!

 Hey guys! I wanted to share with you are really great opportunity! My  twitter friend, Tanya, is having a really fun fundraiser and I know some of you may be interested in getting in on this one!

They are in the process of adopting a daughter from China with special needs. Tanya and her husband, Peter, live in Charleston and so we had an instant connection. Her husband is the Campus BCM pastor for The Citadel and College of Charleston so yet again we had a connection….not because we are affiliated with BCM but because David and I are involved with the college ministry at our church.  And then of course throw in the mix that we are both in the midst of all the craziness the adoption process brings…we’ve got a few things in common. Needless to say I’ve been following their journey and was excited to share with you guys an opportunity to win an amazing prize all the while helping bring their daughter home to her forever family!

So, what is it???

  They are  raffling off  an A*M*E*R*I*C*A*N G*I*R*L  DOLL ! Yep, that’s right! AND, you get to pick the doll of your choice!  Who doesn’t LOVE that idea! Hop on over to her blog to get all the details and be sure to get in on the fun!

http://unrelentingloveforher.blogspot.com/

Happy 1st Birthday, Maddox

     Today we celebrated the very 1st birthday of our precious, Maddox. We didn’t get a picture of him smashing his cake or blowing out a single candle but that’s ok because this is the very last birthday we will have to be apart.

 

  I know our sweet boy had an incredible day being showered with love by his foster family. And in my heart I know it was a good thing for him to spend this first birthday with the family who  he loves more than anything. He was able to celebrate his birthday with a traditional Korean Dol in his birth country and nothing could ever take the place of that. I wonder what item he chose at his doljabee? I can’t wait to know.

   My heart is heavy for his birth mother. I can’t imagine her pain. I’ve prayed for her for the last few weeks that she would find peace about her decision and that she will somehow know that her first-born will be loved and cherished beyond anything she could have dreamed for him. Without her he would not be my son and for that I’m eternally grateful.

“He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.” ~desha wood

 

   Today started out with me checking the tracking on baby boy’s birthday care package. Would you believe it actually arrived in Korea ON his birthday?

Then,we hit the road for what I’m referring to as “The Great Escape”. Reagan starts kindergarten in just a few weeks and they count things like tardees and abscences..the nerve! So, we jumped at the opportunity to go with David  on a business trip. It won’t be a glamorous vacation by any means and mostly involves chasing two wild preschoolers around the hotel pool but it’s a nice break from our normal routine.

 

 So, what this means is we basically spent most of today in the car. BUT, being that it was our little guys first birthday we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate. First stop, an AMAZING Korean BBQ restaurant in Atlanta called Honey Pig. It was the first time the kids had ever eaten a Korean meal and our first time to experience BBQ.

  David and Reagan are checking out the Kimchi and bean sprouts on the grill. I told the kids they were noodles so they would try them…sue me!

                                                             This kid refuses to look at the camera!

                       Reagan was so excited to drink out of her “silver goblet” aka tin cup! She was amazed by the entire place. Honey Pig is adorned with tons and tons of  pig decor. The girl was in heaven. Then she goes into the bathroom. I promise you she thought she was in the Taj Mahal. They had  bowl sinks but underneath the glass there was a pattern of flashing lights inside gem stones. She was squealing with delight. I’m pretty sure she has never spent that much time washing her hands! And don’t even get me started on how you explain to a 5-year-old what a bidet is.

   Throw a little shrimp on the Barbie..oh that was terrible. I love these cast iron lids though! The kids thought they were great too! Not a single burned finger. I call that success!

 Girlfriend has mad chop stick skills! This is a slice of cucumber that was in a delicious bowl of ice cold refreshing soup. It’s called Oi Naengguk and was really yummy and a perfect way to start our meal.

 Dawson was surprisingly good with the chopsticks too! He has a slightly untraditional method but hey, whatever works! He wasn’t as big of a fan of that cucumber soup.

 We ordered two types of meat. Galbi, Korean beef short ribs and shrimp (which I have no idea what that is called). The waiter trims and prepares the meat and places it on the cast iron lid to cook. Then you take your choice of wrap (usually there are several different types of rice cake wraps but they were out of those and only had the radish ones), place the sprouts, kimchee, and your choice of meat. Top it all of with one of a variety of sauces and there you have it! This is Reagan wrapping up a piece of short rib.

            We ate and ate and there was still so much left! At this point Reagan and I were completely stuffed! I was surprised at how receptive she was to all the new veggies, and especially the spicy foods but she was a rock star and even slurped her soup which is of course totally appropriate in a Korean restaurant. It shows you are enjoying your meal. And I know that only because I read it in my culture book.

This shot is totally staged. I stink at using chopsticks. The kids seriously laugh at me. This meal was considerably more tough since there were no forks to use for backup! Reagan did a great job centering the picture though.

Oh, yes I did. I brought Maddox along for the trip. I mean it is his special day. : ) Dawson was overall not impressed with the meal. But he had a great time using the chop sticks as a magic wand, making everyone say cheers and touching glasses, and just to top it all of he has apparently learned how to cross one eye while keeping the other looking dead at you. ONLY a boy! This has become quite a problem when I need to discipline him about something because as I’m speaking he crosses his one little eye and I can not help but to laugh. Who can do that?

 First Korean BBQ experience and we give it two thumbs up. I definitely have a feeling we will be adding Honey Pig to our list of Atlanta favorites!

 Next we headed over to Mega Mart which is a Korean based food market with all types of international food. On the 2nd floor is a department type store. There was an especially eye-catching booth that featured Korea PJ’s in all sizes. I’ve heard these are the best pajamas!

 I didn’t take any pictures in the market but we had a lot of fun! We bought some yummy pastries, picked out a few snacks, and some really cute juice boxes. I got each of the kids a set of training chopsticks. Dawson’s is Pororo and Reagan’s is a generic pink bunny. I figured I could pick up Maddox a set when we go to Korea.

 We really wanted to try some mandoo so we headed over to the food court. I know right, more food?!? But it looked yummy and we could take it to go.When we got there we were informed that it would be quite some time because the lunch rush had cleared out most of the dumplings but David ordered a spicy chicken dumpling. I REALLY wanted to try one but they guy made it clear they all had mushrooms in them and unfortunately I’m allergic so I passed.

 Oh, and I must tell you that Reagan totally blew my mind. A little girl walked past her and she smiled and said, Anyohaseyo! I kid you not. The little girl waved and smiled and from that point on homegirl was on a mission! She said hello to every person we walked by. I’m pretty sure most people had no clue what she was saying with her clearly southern accent but the sweet guys at the mandu counter played right along and said hello back with a great big smile. One of them even called his friend over to say hi as well. : ) I cannot tell you how proud she was of herself and I was really proud too. We haven’t practiced any Korean in several weeks so it completely threw me for a loop!

 And then we loaded back up in the car for a 4 hour ride over to Montgomery, Alabama. It was a very, very long day but we ended it with you guessed it…more food! This time we chose Red Robin!

 And this time not only did we bring Maddox in with us…we broke out the party hats! Don’t let that man fool you he had a hat on too. He just wouldn’t wear one for a picture. ; )

  I LOVE Red Robin and of course we don’t have one back home so we were all excited!

       Maddox rocked a party hat too! I totally stole the idea from my fellow AP friend, Paula who is in Korea as we speak picking up her sweet boy! Granted, she didn’t actually take the frame  with hat out in public but hey…that’s how we roll.

            The kids sang Happy Birthday to…the frame. Poor Rea had a slight case of bed head. It was a tough day in the car!

  For some reason this shot is all blurry but I had to add it because I can’t stop laughing at how typical this is! Dawson is of course NOT looking at the camera and Reagan is seriously striking a pose. LOOK at that hip! I am secretly hoping this is a typical pose for Maddox too because if he is half as busy as his big brother and sister we may never go out to dinner in public again. Can you tell we are shooting for laid back?

   And although today started out with me having a bit of a pity party we had an incredible time. I can’t wait to get our little guy home and have him join in on all our adventures!

 Happy 1st Birthday, Maddox! We all love you from the bottom of our hearts and we are SO glad to know that we never have to spend another birthday apart!

What is a Dol?

 My youngest turns 1 tomorrow! Technically, tomorrow is today in Korea so I thought I’d post a little bit about how amazing baby’s 1st birthdays are in Korea. I’ll save all the sappy stuff for tomorrow! : )

Dol (돌) means baby’s 1st birthday in Korean. Dol is a big event for a baby in Korea and is celebrated with a party called the doljanchi (돌잔치).

 I feel extremely inadequate at trying to describe this celebration since I have never been to one but I will do my best (aka copy and paste). Here are some of the “traditional” aspects:

A Hanbok is worn by the guest of honor during the Dol. A Hanbok is a traditional Korean outfit.

Birthday Table
The parents prepare a special Tol table to celebrate the child’s birthday. The main food includes ddeok (rice cakes) and fruits. Over 12 different kinds of ddeok are prepared, including paekseolgi (white steamed rice cakes), susu-kyongdan (rice cakes coated with rough red bean powder), chapsal-ddeok or chal-ddeok, mujigae-ddeok (rainbow colored steamed rice cake), songp’yeon (half moon shaped rice cakes), injulmi (coated glutinous rice cakes), and gyep’i-ddeok (puffed air rice cakes). Among these, paekseolgi and susu-kyongdan are always included. Fruits can vary according to the season of the birthday. Different colors of seasonal fruits can be prepared and displayed in a row. Also, a bowl of rice, sea mustard soup, and many other various foods can be displayed.


Then there is also a Doljabee. This is when the baby is placed at a  table with various items in front of her/him and is encouraged to pick one of the items up. It is believed whatever he/she picks up will determine his/her future. Often the guests are asked to play a fun game where they are asked to try to guess what the child will choose. Those who guess correctly win a small prize.

Some examples of the traditional items are:

Pencil: Scholar

Thread: Long life

Microphone: Entertainer

Stethoscope: Doctor

Hammer: Builder/Architect

Ball: Sports

Money: Wealth

Here is an example to show you what I mean:

http://youtu.be/PG-t2Y6deLo

 Although bittersweet we are happy that Maddox is getting to spend his first birthday in Korea having a traditional Dol. We will be heading out first thing in the morning for a last minute trip so we’ll be spending most of the day in the car. However, I convinced David to make a quick stop in Atlanta to visit Mega Mart (Korean grocery and department store) and to try our  very first Korean BBQ (and maybe some Mandu) at a very cool restaurant called Honey PIG . I can’t think of a better way to spend our little guys very 1st birthday EXCEPT having him home with us.

I600 approval!

  Last night, during my prayers I seriously said, “Do it, Lord…just have those approvals in my inbox. I believe you can do it and I really need some good news.”  Completely selfish but hey I’m just being honest here. Fast forward to 11 am and I ran out to check the mail and what do I see ? Two letters from Homeland Security sitting right on top of the stack. NO WAY.  I almost danced in the street!

We filed on May 16th

Finger print appointment was scheduled for June 28th

We walked in a week early on June 21st

Approval July 1st

Received approval in mail July 11

 That’s it folks!

The United States citizenship and Immigration Services has “provisionally approved your Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, that you filed on behalf of Jeong-hwan **, child habitually resident in Korea whom you have adopted or intend to adopt” 

  Oh baby boy, you are no longer an orphan to me! I cringe a little every time I hear that term attached to your name.

I can’t think of a better way to start my week or a better step to check off the list the day before his 1st birthday!

Biometrics and Bulgogi

*Just catching up on a few things I forgot to blog.

 David and I were scheduled to go and have our biometrics (detailed fingerprints) taken at the USCIS office on June 28th. Well, we decided to go in early after hearing the Charleston office takes walk ins so on June 20th we packed the kids for a sleepover with my parents and hit the road to Charleston. Road trips with my husband are so therapeutic! Really! I’ve heard my parents tell story after story about being young and just married and how they would stop in town and split a burger and fries and then just drive. Honestly, as a kid I thought that was super lame but now I get it! It’s nice to just get away from everything and talk. We plan for the future, talk about finances, laugh at each other, find a way to create World Peace…you name it! : )  So, needless to say I enjoyed the 2 hour car ride.

 We checked into our hotel and hit the outlet mall for a bit before we grabbed a delicious dinner at the Charleston Crab House. Heavenly! It was late so we headed back to the hotel and rented a movie. I almost stroked out when I saw how much said movie was that is neither here nor there. (Did I really just say that?)

 Tuesday morning we grabbed breakfast at the hotel and headed over to USCIS. I was actually pretty nervous that they would turn us away. I mean this is Homeland Security you never know what is going to happen! You can’t even walk into the office without an appointment notice! But, we walked right in.  I’m still trying to decide why I thought taking a picture of our hands was cute (fingerprints, hand picture??)… Hi, blog readers! Poor David, he just goes right along with it!

We were the only people there for biometrics so they saw us right away. We were in and out in 15-20 minutes! Whew, glad to mark that off the list! Now we are awaiting our approval notification and our we will be officially approved to bring Maddox into the US.

 After the appointment, we celebrated with a Korean Lunch of chicken and beef bulgogi. YUM! 

Then we decided to hit a few antique stores before we headed back home. I guess I’m a true country girl because I had absolutely NO CLUE that something in an antique store that allowed browsing could cost $18k. Yep, first thing we looked at….and I only looked at the price because I thought the thing was SUPER gaudy! EEK! Needless to say we got out of there….quickly!

It was a nice, quick getaway for us and was just what we both needed! I’m so glad we got to go sans kiddos this time.  Yes, dear sister in law in Rockford, Ill… I did just type kiddos! ; ) Big shout out to my parents for keeping up with our rowdy crew while we were gone! I know they had a blast!