Archive for May, 2014


Quick Check in

Wow — have we been home for 10 days?  Seems hard to believe. I think we are back into home routine for now anyway. This morning we made the realization that it had been over a week since our court date – this is significant because we were told that if the judge wanted  or needed to do an extended search for the birth mother, they would call for a “public notice” for 2-3 months, but they would make that decision within one week of court. So, since we have not heard anything yet, we are hopeful that we will have the more “typical” return date of 3-5 weeks after court.  This means we could be receiving travel notice in as little as a week! (Although I am calling our “due date” June 11.)

It still seems a little unreal to be making him doctor appointments and purchasing shoes and language materials. I’m also trying to prepare myself for what is sure to be a crazy summer – but am a little unsure of how to really be ready.

Please continue to pray for:

  • A quick call back for our Visa appointment at the US Embassy
  • that our little guy is doing well, and his caregivers are preparing him for this transition
  • That we are prepared as well as possible for the transition
  • We are able to book our flights easily for our trip (and at reasonable rates)

Court and saying goodbye for now

Today was our last full day in South Korea – which meant it was court day. It also meant that our bodies were finally adjusting and we slept until about 7:00!  We got all dressed up for court – and headed to Holt for our van ride to family court. There were 4 families in our group – one family from PA and 2 families from Norway – we all chatted  – but were nervous on our trip.  When we got to court we did some group photos outside and then headed in. Once in and settled in the waiting area outside our judges courtroom, we found out we were to be the first family to appear. After some waiting and last minute coaching from the Holt staff about some prospective questions, we were called in. We had been told that this particular judge was very friendly, but likes to ask a lot of questions. We were asked a few questions including questions about if we had met our son, some questions to me about my work schedule and how I would manage my work at home hours with 2 boys, if we understood our son had special needs and would require more work, and before we knew it, he was saying “I wish for you a happy family forever.”, and we were on our way. Our understanding is that he has already done the paperwork necessary for notifying birth mothers, so we can expect to return for our Visa appointment in 4 weeks. (We were also told we could have as little as 3 days notice before this appointment!)

After lunch (Korean BBQ – what else?) to celebrate with the other families – we dropped our birth mother letter off at the Holt office, stopped to change our clothes and took the Metro out to Ilsan to see our little guy. He was a bit hesitant to hang out with us today – although once the sticker book and tangrams made an appearance, we were good to go for awhile. We then walked and explored a bit – and one of his friends from the center tagged along. There was some testing and pushing limits as well. We had been invited to dinner at Molly’s House – so went, ate, and visited. All too soon, it was time to take our little guy back to his home and we needed to head back into Seoul. Staff have said they will work on a calendar with him to our projected return time, and I know we will be watching the days as well.

So tomorrow morning we say goodbye to South Korea for awhile – but are hoping to be back soon!

Prayer requests –

  • safe and as hassle free travel as possible
  • that our little guys understands the wait – and that his apprehension for coming home disappears
  • for the staff at Ilsan, working with kids and adults with special needs
  • for our family as we start the transition process and decision making in preparation for little guy’s homecoming

Mother’s Day

If you know me – I’m not big on Mother’s Day – for a variety of reasons, it’s been difficult in the past – and because of that – I can be very aware of how painful it can be for others.   However, although there was no celebration, card, or special packages for me today – it was a very memorable Mother’s Day today for a few reasons.

Church – We went to church at Ilsan today – as we walked though the site on our way to get our little guy (we were running late and he had already gone to church with his house mother and the rest of his house). We were greeted joyfully by residents and staff who were carrying their Bibles and on their way to church. When we arrived – they were already singing joyfully – the chapel was full of people of all ages and all abilities – singing Praises – it was beautiful.  We sang along in English with songs we recognized – but otherwise – just enjoyed the worship. Molly sat with us and translated prayers and the message.  Both were heartfelt, beautiful and honoring to God. I not only want to visit again, but wish everyone could have the experience.

Time with Little Guy – We enjoyed time after church, lunch and a good part of the afternoon with our little guy. We ran, played on two different playgrounds, walked, played with tangrams and sticks. There were some good highs today.  There were also some pushing of boundaries, tantrums, and meltdowns (I got to chase shoes thrown into bushes and up the mountain) While we knew there were going to be some challenges – it got very real today. He is very possessive of us as well – other residents wanted to hold hands, walk or play and he made it very clear that we were there for him. (So we had a chance to work on sharing attention today). We also gave him one of the 4 bracelets we bought yesterday – we wanted to leave him with something that we all had matching to let him know he is part of our ‘Ohana – and we will be back.

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Evening project – All too soon it was time to leave Ilsan for the day and take a train back into town. We grabbed some dinner and coffee and came back to the Guest House – where I needed to sit down and do a project I’d had in my brain for awhile.  I wanted to write a letter for his file at Holt for his birth mother. I’ve had in my mind for some time that I would write it on Mother’s Day – I wanted to have met little guy face to face before starting on it. I know she may never see it – I do hope she does – but either way – I needed to thank her for choosing life for her child , that we are open to communication with her, let her know that we have been, and will continue to pray for her – and share a bit about Moses’ mother and her choices in faith. The text is done – the stationary store was closed – so will pick up stationary and “write” it tomorrow – but hope it still counts.

Thanks again for coming on this journey with us! It continues to be an adventure.

An Amazing Day

Today we were blessed.  First of all, we were finally able to sleep until 6:00. Then we got ready to head to our court orientation and 2nd meeting with little guy. At our last meeting, we had a little over an hour with him and were told it was time to say good-bye – so we were prepared for that today. When we arrived for court orientation, the coordinator asked if we had been to the center where little guy was living, and when we said no, she said she’d make sure we got out there.  Next thing we know, we are being told that when he gets there, we can all go there in the van and we were ok to stay and have lunch with him. A few minutes later – he was there (and gave us both big hugs and a Long story (a little shorter) is that we ended up spending the entire day there – were special guests for lunch and dinner, go to go see the group home where he’s been living, and visit his pre-school as well. (where he proudly introduced us to everyone as apba (daddy) and and uhm-ma (mom). We were able to sit in on some evaluations, visit with a volunteer couple from the states who have been spending some extra time with our little guy, visit with his on-site Dr. and visit with Molly Holt and hear stories about her parents and their work as well as her own passion to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these children and adults with special needs. It was amazing – I can’t wait to come back and volunteer as a family someday. (for a little bit more about Ilsan you can check here http://www.holtinternational.org/korea/ilsan/ )

Our return to Ilsan will be sooner than that though, we were invited to come back and spend more time with our little guy. Picking times wasn’t easy – but since we will have to leave him at the end of this trip – we will plan to go back and spend all day Sunday with him – and attend the worship services at the center. We will return again on Wednesday afternoon after our court appearance and spend our last afternoon with him as well. We are also working on plans to stay at the center we we return. It is in a beautiful setting, built on the side of a mountain with many trees, paths and outdoor space. I have so much more to write about Ilsan and what we were able to see and experience there -so I am sure there will be more posts.

So we are not going to get as much sightseeing done, and I’m ok with that 🙂

And a piece of my heart will be left here on a mountain in Ilsan – and I’m ok with that too – It just means we will have to come back.

First Meeting!

Julie and I both woke up early today because today is the day! We finally get to meet our little guy in person. We showed up almost 30 minutes early and both of us said that we could throw up. After we got the room ready, the next thing we knew we were told, “He’s here!” He was shy at first, but after a little coaxing (and playing with a toy Landspeeder we brought along for him), he warmed up to us. He really liked playing Star Wars Angry Birds and settled right in and even snuggled a little bit with each of us. Julie then went and talked to his foster mom and I kept playing with him. Far too soon, it was time for him to go. Although it was bittersweet to see him go, we are thrilled that the meeting went as well as it did.

Here is a picture of that he took of me – and thanks again for your prayers and support! We could definitely feel the power of your prayers and God’s presence there today.

We made it!

Happy Tuesday from Seoul! We made it after 26 hours of travel with really minimal issues (although, we did do our best Amazing Race impersonation in Tokyo!) Today we are going to get the lay of the land, figure out how to navigate the subway and get our feet under us. Then, tomorrow we have our first meeting with our little guy and are meeting some new friends for dinner.

Thanks again for praying and coming on this journey with us!

It’s the Final Countdown!

Now that I have that 80’s classic stuck in your head, I wanted to say thanks again for all of you who have walked with us along this journey! Tomorrow we leave for Korea and within just a few days, we will have finally met our little man. It will be a whirlwind couple of weeks but we are very excited to finally get this last leg started. Just as a reminder, we will post pictures to Twitter and Instagram (my handle for both is tdcackler) and I will also post a few pictures here, but we won’t be able to post any of our little guy until after our second trip (but we will take plenty on this trip and then share them when we are able to do so!)

Thanks again for all your support and prayers. Pray for all of us – including Lucas and our other little guy. We figure within 6 weeks, we will finally get to be one big happy family!