At A Loss

I realize I haven’t updated our header, or the fact that we are adopting from S. Korea and not the Phils, or our “The Brood” page (thanks for the comment, Becky!), but I cannot come up with a good new name for our bloggy! I don’t want to include our names in it, but I also don’t think I want the address to be an “adoption” address anymore. I obviously don’t only have Filipino Bambinos. I want our blog to encompass more of our lives, rather than just focusing on our adoptions. Any ideas? I do love having Bambinos in the title, so I was thinking of some type of alliteration with other “B” words that describe us, but can’t come up with any. This darn work gig saps the creative thoughts right out of my brain.


Any ideas??

My Dave

In the beginning of this second adoption, when we were trying to figure out just where to adopt from, we were told “no” to Thailand because of Dave’s health history, “no” to China because he had an organ removed (kidney), “no” to the traditional Korea program because of Dave’s health history. I felt so frustrated about it all. Then we got our “yes” for the Korea waiting child program. When I saw our son’s face, I realized all of that happened for a reason, to direct us to just the right place.

I need to brag on my Dave. He is an amazing Dad. AMAZING. This past week there was no preschool for the whole week because of MEA (a Minnesota thing), when all Minnesota schools are out for Thursday and Friday so teachers can attend conferences/workshops if they choose. During that week, Dave and Eze played their little hearts out. And had a great week together. I got home from work on Thursday and was greeted with this:

Eze and the Puppet Show stage

Dave and Eze had built a puppet show stage. When I got home, Ezekiel put on a little show for me with a moose and Cookie.Monster. This is something that NEVER would have happened when I was home with Eze over the summer. I’m not crafty in the least, nor motivated to try to build something like that. Dave completely shows me up in the stay-at-home parent department.

And this was why I felt frustrated with the “no” responses that we were getting. If they could just glimpse into our life for 2.2 minutes, they would see a dad who is incredibly devoted, active, loving, intelligent. The best role model I could ask for our sons. I didn’t like that they were just looking at a piece of paper and writing Dave off. He’s so much more than his health history.

Last week Dave told me that he overheard Ezekiel telling the neighbor girl, “Don’t worry, my daddy can do it. He can do lots of things. He’s a good man”. Then this week Ezekiel and Dave had had a disagreement. Ezekiel told Dave that he was frustrated with him because Dave had raised his voice at him. Dave apologized, and then Ezekiel said, “It’s okay, Dad. We’re best friends. Will you be my boyfriend?”


Eze and his best friend.

Why Does It Take So Long?

The inevitable question that Dave and I are getting asked this time around is “why does it take so long for you to bring Simon home?” Rewind 3 years and people were only waiting 4-12 WEEKS to bring their children home from S. Korea. In the past couple of years or so, though, the S. Korean government has been trying to reduce the number of children being adopted by families abroad. Rumors are swirling around the whole issue, so it’s sometimes hard to decipher the truth, but what we do know is that they are allowing less emigration permits to be issued each year.

When we first started our adoption process, the wait times were 5-8 months. Completely do-able. A tiny bit longer than a Philippines’ adoption wait time to travel. In the last update we received from our agency, though, we were told the wait times will be 8-12 months, and have potential to be even longer than that. The adoption forums are going a little crazy over it all and predicting an 18 month wait to travel. Disheartening, but at the same time I try to keep focused on the fact that no matter what, SOMEDAY, we will bring Simon home.

After the first of the year, I think we’ll know more about the timeline for travel. But really, you don’t know until that phone call finally comes in saying, “You’ve been approved to travel!” And you better believe that we will be jumping on the next plane out of dodge to hold our sweetheart in our arms. If you’re thinking of us, please shoot up a little prayer that wait times somehow decrease and that we are able to bring him home sooner than predicted. While it’s hard on Dave and I to wait for this little man, I can tell it’s even harder on Eze. At least once per day he tells me that he wishes Simon was home, that he misses him. My sweet big boy.

The Details


This was a completely different process than our adoption with Ezekiel:

June 11 2011: We finally felt like it was time to seriously move forward with adoption #2. With the Philippines setting a moratorium which prevented us adopting from there for the foreseeable future, we had to start thinking about where our next child would be from. Thailand had just opened back up and we were eager to get our application in with Holt to adopt a child from there, feeling it was similar to the Philippines, and loved what we learned about the culture.

June 22 2011: We found out that Thailand is not an option for us, due to Dave’s past health history. I felt incredibly frustrated by it, but after talking with the social worker at our adoption placement agency, we felt that the S. Korea Waiting Child program is another great option for our family. Dave proceeded to call his doctor to get a letter detailing his past health history so that we could send it to S. Korea to get pre-approval before we went any further with the adoption.

July 20 2011: S. Korea okayed us to proceed with our home study! We began gathering what we need and making doctor appointments for the home study documents.

July 24 2011: We checked the waiting child photolisting page on Holt’s website (a dangerous page because it makes you want to bring every scrumptious baby home) and see a new little boy on the photolisting. We read through the brief introduction on the website and decided to request more information about the little boy and his potential needs.

July 26 2011: We sent out the information we received to the University of Minnesota’s Int’l Adoption Clinic to get an idea of what types of special needs we could encounter with this adoption. We also found out that another family had requested information on the same boy, so we needed to make a decision on whether or not to proceed by August 8.

July 28 2011: We received a report back from the IAC and decided that we wanted to pursue adopting this little boy. We received questionnaires from our adoption placement agency that we needed to complete before we could be presented to the selection committee. We found out that the other family was also interested in adopting this little boy. We worked feverishly over the weekend  to complete our questionnaires and requested our home study and post-placement reports from our first (Ezekiel’s) adoption to be sent in as well.

August 1 2011: Our completed questionnaires were sent back to the agency, and we found out that the selection committee would make their decision on August 4, and that we needed to have a conference call with the program director the night before so that she could go through our questionnaires and ask any additional questions.

August 3 2011: We had the conference call. It went quicker than expected, and after hearing our answers to her questions, she emphasized how hard it will be for the family she has to call to telling them that they will not be the parents of this special little boy. We were certain she meant us.

August 4 2011: Dave came home at lunch because he couldn’t focus on work anymore. We laid Eze down for his nap (and he slept that day – thank you God!), then sat down and watched a movie to try and keep our minds off of what was happening over in Eugene, OR (where the selection committee was meeting). Watching the clock was agonizing. At 1:00, I commented that maybe they forgot about us. I went upstairs around 2:00 to work on the computer because I couldn’t focus on the movie anymore. At 2:27 our home telephone rang. I sprinted down the stairs and got into the family room just in time to hear her telling Dave, “Congratulations!!!!! It was an easy choice”. I started crying and laughing and couldn’t speak except to tell her thank you about a thousand times.

August 15 2011: The job placement agency I have worked with in the past for short-term projects called me to see if I’m ready to start working again – they claimed to have the perfect short-term project for me.

August 17 2011: I had the interview, and found out that afternoon that I got the job!

August 18 2011: Dave’s doctor appointment showed he’s healthy except for a bladder infection. The doctor wouldn’t release our home study medical form until it’s cleared up. (grrr — messing with the mama bear).

August 25 2011: Dave’s medical report came back clear. But his doctor was off until the next week, and the clinic wouldn’t allow anyone else to sign off on it. (yet another grrr from the mama bear).

August 29 2011: Dave’s medical was finally completed and sent to our home study agency.

September 14 2011: Our 9-year anniversary. AND the day of our home study (which lasted a long long time – I was ready for bed as soon as it was over. Talking about yourself for 4 hours while trying to also keep your 4-year old entertained is exhausting).

September 29 2011: The first draft of our home study was complete and our home study agency began it’s review of it to ensure it looked complete.

October 13 2011: Simon’s first birthday. And the day that our home study agency sent our home study to our placement agency.

October 18 2011: Our placement agency called Dave at home to tell him that the home study looked great, and we could move forward with the acceptance packet! I worked feverishly all afternoon/evening to gather documents and fill out paperwork. Then nearly had a panic attack when we realized that Dave’s passport was expired. Luckily it is not needed for this portion of the paperwork. Vowed to plant an extra tree to make up for the ridiculous amount of paperwork an adoption produces.

October 19 2011: We headed to the bank to have our documents notarized, discovered there was one document that I filled out wrong (so mad at myself), drove to Dave’s brother’s house nearby to print out a new form and headed back to the bank to have it notarized. Hustled over to the shipping store only to find that I missed the closing time by 5 minutes. Proceeded to have a meltdown in the truck while talking to my mom on the phone about it. My dad called to say another Fed.Ex is open later. Dave drove as fast as he safely and (almost) legally could to the shipping store while I headed home with Eze and prayed specifically that the Fed.Ex guy was running late. Dave made it to the store 5 minutes before the FedEx guy arrived to take the last packages of the night. Many prayers of thanks for that “yes”🙂 OH, and Ezekiel was with us during all of this chaotic running around, being a COMPLETE angel. Everyone remarked at what a great kid he is and I couldn’t agree more!

October 21 2011: Our placement agency e-mailed at the end of the day to tell us the packet had been sent to Korea! We are finally officially waiting to bring him home.

Now  the REAL wait begins! An 8-18 month wait to travel, which will definitely be a super duper hard wait, but well worth it to hold my next son in my arms at the end of it all.

It’s A(nother) BOY!!!

His name is Simon.

He was born in S. Korea and he turned 1 this past week.

We are in love and SO pleased to *finally* be able to share this news with the world! (We’ve been sitting on this happy news for almost 3 months!)

Ezekiel is incredibly excited to be a big brother, and talks daily about his baby brother (whom he still likes to call by his Korean name, which will be his middle name). He told me the other night that he misses his baby brother and can’t wait for him to come home. I told him I know exactly how he feels.

I’ll post more details in another post… for now I’ll leave you to gaze upon the ridiculous cuteness of our TWO (!) sons:

Eze + Simon

Adventures of a SAHD

I tried to get Dave to write his own post but, alack and alas, he decided not to. Since I went back to work last month, and since his landscaping season is (supposed to be) winding down for the year, Dave is now a part-time SAHD (stay-at-home-dad). Some of Dave’s adventures as a SAHD are entertaining to me, frustrating to him.

We’ll start back with earlier this fall/summer… It was the weekend and I think we were supposed to be having people over the next day. Or maybe we were just cleaning for the fun of it. (ha ha, funniest sentence ever written). Dave was vacuuming our 3-season porch which is has windows lining 3 of the 4 walls. Dave decided to take the chairs from the little table/chairs set we have out there and set them up on top of the table. I was cleaning the bathroom when I suddenly heard a loud crash. I ran over to the porch and saw that one of the chairs had fallen off of the table and bounced perfectly into one of the large windows, shattering it to smithereens. Turns out Dave had accidentally bumped the table and the way he described the chair bouncing off of one leg and smashing the window was too much. I started laughing — there was nothing else to do — and Dave was so upset with himself already. No point in making him feel worse.

Fast forward to the week after I started my job. Dave in his inherent kindness decided to get the laundry done. He threw a load of Eze’s clothes into the wash that afternoon. When I got home from work, we had a incredibly long home study visit with our social worker for adoption #2. As soon as it was finished we were heading out the door to eat a quick burger because we were all famished. Dave wanted to switch out the laundry and was doing that on our way out the door. I heard him say, “Oh NO!” I came over to see what it was (thinking a red sock had gotten mixed with Eze’s clothes or something), and saw what looked like teeny tiny cotton ball pebbles all over the wash. Dave picked out a pull up that had accidentally gotten thrown in the wash with all of Eze’s clothes. Dis.gus.ting. Cleaning up a mess like that is something I hope we Dave never has to do again.

Fast forward to the following weekend. I was recovering from an incredibly fun evening out with friends the night before. A night where I had decided that I could handle drinking a can of dark beer. The migraine I developed the next day told me otherwise. Dave headed out to my parents’ house to pick up some meds for me. As he was backing out of the garage, I heard (yet another) loud crash. Dave walked back into the house a few minutes later and I asked him what was going on. Through the swears, I gathered that our garage door (which had been doing this all summer) only went 3/4 of the way up, Dave didn’t notice, and backed out of the garage and that’s when the handle on the inside of the garage door smashed into our back windshield, thus shattering the entire back window and strewing glass about the garage and driveway.

Dave was hanging out with my sister (at a playdate. Oh how I miss playdates with my sister and my Ali), and laughingly told her he was the worst SAHD ever. She replied, “Not the worst SAHD ever, but definitely one of the most expensive!”