Thursday, March 31, 2011

day 4 or 5 with annelise

Because of the 13 hr jump with Korea time, I am confused as to how long we have had custody. I think it is 5 days? Lol. Last night was hard. She has her days/nights in a jumble. She screamed a lot of the night. I think I got 3 hrs sleep. Let's just not talk about it. So today she mapped for 3 hrs total. But seeing as how she basically did not sleep last night, I am hoping tonight will go better. She is in our bed because that is what she is used to, but flops and kicks like crazy. I can't wait till I can move her to a crib. I feel like no one has enough room. Queen bed. But today I did see a few smiles out of her. She is still scared and really wants to be carried everywhere. She will play on the floor a little if I am very close by her. Poor baby, I know this is so hard on her. Will try to catch up on posts about Korea and pictures this weekend. Daniel went back to work today, so,I am proud to say I took care of all 3 kids by myself all day. Whew. Praying each day brings her peace and me understanding.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We are home with Annelise! I am just too exhausted to give many details..... but the flight home was horrible. She is sleeping better than expected, but very clingy and scared since we left Seoul. The boys adore her. I am a bit , ok a lot , terrified to have Daniel go back to work tomorrow. I am praying we all adjust to her and she to us. This is all so much to handle. If I sound crazy, sorry, I am jet lagged! She is a sweet baby, and I am praying for us all to feel normal again! Will write more later...... thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

{ DMZ }

Yesterday we went on the DMZ tour, or Demilitarized Zone at the North Korean Border. It was another adventure. Driving to the DMZ was very interesting. I learned much about the tensions between the North and the South. It is quite sad. Our tour guide said the South Koreans very much want unity with the North. They love them and are family to them. But she said the North want nothing to do with them. She said for years they sent rice to the North, only to learn they were selling the rice to buy weapons. We learned another tunnel from the North was found only two weeks ago. There are 5 tunnels now the South has found that the North have dug to try to invade Seoul. They think there are many more. When we started to be able to actually see into the northern mountains, you could see the landscape completely change. There were no trees to be seen. They chop them all down for wood to heat their homes.
Here is Daniel at lunch. There were actually bugs being cooked on stoves. He ordered some type of noodles, but they were ice cold. He also tried some squid, which he said was very good. My lunch consisted of a coca cola and cookies. I am not a seafood eater and none too adventurous.

The Peace Bell. A symbol of the peace the South hopes to have with the North. Beautiful.

Standing with the girl guard. I just have to point out i have not gained 20 lbs. It was so cold I had on warm leggins under my jeans, a turtleneck, jacket, then another jacket over that.

Dorasan Station. The south built this station in hopes of reunification with the North. It is beautiful. Inside the station there is a whole map of a railway line they hope to put into place. They want to be able to take the rail thru China and into Europe. I was quite amazed the South built the station with the North still trying to invade them constantly. It just showes the hope they have for reunification.

{ Seoul Tower }

Day 3 we went to Seoul Tower with our friends Erin and Craig, who are also in Seoul adopting a cute baby boy. It was quite an adventure. We headed out from our hotel around 8pm and took a taxi. The tower is beautiful:

Here is the lock we put on the tower for Annelise. Here you can see her name if you look sideways. We also put March 2011 and our names on the other side.

here we are with her lock

This is the view from the very top of the tower. It was beautiful and Seoul is such a large city. On the way up on the elevator the speaker told us the restroom at the top was the highest in the city. We thought it was a funny thing to point out. They also have a restaurant at the top and a gift shop and coffee shop. Coffee shops are very popular in Seoul, and are on every corner, which I love.

After we went to the top of the tower, we ate Cold Stone ice cream on the main level. ! :) It was yummy. We are all missing American food. The food here is definately different. When we left it was 10pm and we soon realized we could not find a taxi. And it was COLD outside. We kept asking people and we finally learned there are no taxis that come up to the tower that late. So we asked a tour bus if we could catch a ride. We hopped on, paid, and soon figured out we were on a city bus that just had a tour advertised on the side. We all felt really smart. By this point we just kept giggling. We got off a stop not close to our hotel and wandered down ally's and street for a good 2 miles. Did I mention it was below freezing? lol. What an adventure!

Friday, March 25, 2011

{ The airplane ride }

{ I wrote this on scrap paper in the airplane! }

I am writing this blog post at 34,000 feet in the air. We have 388 miles to go to Seoul. 1 hr. 5 more minutes. This is a looong flight. 14 hrs. something. So what have I done? I have watched 3 movies, 2 Friends episodes and 1 everybody loves raymond episode. I have eaten 2 meals, a gazillion snacks (hey, what else is there to do?) drank tons of water and used the restroom about 9 times. The Korean air flight attendants are awesome. Korean Air rocks. They also served us rolls for a snack. I was not hungry, but took one anyway. Oh my, they were filled with this hot beef mixture and were delicious! There are 4 cute Korean babies and toddlers near us and I have watched them most of the trip. I got the flight attendants to teach me a little Korean. Oh, and I slept uncomfortably for 3 hours. My legs are aching but our red carryon we stowed has been "moved" apparently and we can't find it. It has my tylenol and seoul guide in it. grrrrr..
Takeoff was quite scarry. I have not flown for over 8 years. A bit afraid. I just kept repeating in my head "this is for her, this is for her" and I calmed down after we were airborn. 59 minutes to go - almost there!

Pictures of us meeting Annelise!

The three of us!

Me and my sweet baby girl.

Daddy's girl

Annelise Bitna is amazing. We are so in love. On our way out the door to do the DMZ tour, but when i get back, will put up more pictures and blog more. !

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hallelujah, i got into blogger

So sorry for lack of updates. I JUST figured out how to log in in Korean. lol. Oh my we met our beautiful daughter yesterday and she is just amazing. I am going to load pictures on my dad's computer in a few hours for you all to see. The airplane ride was looooooooooooong. :) We were very very tired when we landed and barely slept the first night. Yesterday was full of traveling on the Korean subway to reach SWS. There will be a whole blog post on that. It was not pretty! Then we met Ms. Sun the director of adoptions and she was very very nice. We asked how she matched Annelise Bitna to us and she said she thought she looked like us. :) We took a taxi to Annelise's foster families home and got to see her for the first time. She was very shy at first, but quickly warmed up to Daniel. He held her first. It did not take long for her to start smiling at us. I pulled out a toy phone for her that lit up and got the BIGGEST squishy grin. When she smiles her whole face smooshes up and we laughted so hard! She then started blowing smacking kisses at us. She blew one at Daniel then smiled huge and I saw immediately she had him wrapped around her finger. He was totally enamored with her. It was perfect. She then let me hold her and I blew her kisses. I fed her some gerber puffs and got a huge grin each time she ate one. Peach flavor. Her foster mom is wonderful and her and the foster dad love Annelise very much. They dote on her. It warmed my heart to see just how loved she is. The foster mom gave me a picture book of Annelise from when she got her when Annelise was 6 weeks old. Such an answer to prayer. And she also gave her a beautiful hot pink and yellow butterfly handbok for her first birthday. (butterflies! i saw butterflies everywhere while we were waiting on her referral!) It is beautiful and I promised to send pictures of ANnelise in it. She also gave me her favorite blanket, a big yellow quilt and Annelises favorite baby cookies. The foster mom told our social worker Monday will be very hard on her, because Annelsie is so special. (we take custody of our girl Monday at 11:30) I am dreading taking her away from her fm, because they so obviously love each other. Pray for us all!!!
The weather here is freezing. Seoul women are beatiful and wear high heals everywhere. I gave up looking like i kinda fit in. Today is tennis shoes, ski hat and 4 layers of clothing. Oh and glasses. My contacts freaked out on me yesterday and I am all out of spares. !!!! Anyway, I am shocked at how they don't wear hats or gloves here. It snowed yesterday. I look like an eskimo! :)
Today we are actually meeting up with my dad who lives here part time and works for Korean Air. He is going to show us around and take us to the military base. And buy me a winter coat on the base, thank goodness! I have my raincoat. !
Seoul is amazing, pictures to come very soon, I am so sorry for lack of blogging. I have much more to say... soon!! BLessings to you all and thank you for your prayers~ love, Elisabeth

Monday, March 21, 2011

on our way!

Well the kids are dropped off at grandparents and Daniel and I are heading to our hotel. I can't believe we will board that big blue plane tomorrow. Dropping off the kids was really hard. I have never been away from them this long. I was choked up hugging my baby, Anderson. Jack is a big boy, but how will my baby do? Looking back in the car right o2 I see a pink carseat. This is so surreal. Tomorrow my sweet girl turns 9 months......and I will be on a big plane to meet her. Surreal. I have dreamed of her for a very long time. Praying for her tiny heart, we will be taking her away from the only mom she has ever known. So much planning, dreaming, wishing, hoping, worrying, has led to tomorrow. Has led to this whole next week. all for one tiny baby girl in Korea. One very special heart. Just some thoughts tonight..... sweet dreams!

travel call!

We got travel call this morning! Leaving tomorrow! Already on our way! Staying near airport tonight. Crazy day! See you in Seoul! Annelise we are coming! Thank you Lord for this gift!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

p3 SENT!

Just found out packet 3 was sent from the embassey in Korea to SWS. Annelise is almost ready to travel. We could get tc anyday now!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Whew, this waiting feels like it will never end! And I know I am at the very last step of our adoption before I get the phone call that I have waited for - travel call! I constantly have a million thoughts running thru my head. It is like I am on an adrenaline high. Rest is hard to come by while I am waiting for that magical call. I still have a bit left of packing to do, I need to sign a medical release form for the boys while we are away, make copies of house keys, keep the house clean and keep my laundry clean! AGHHHH.... it is kinda maddening. I feel like it is really hard to explain where I am now if you have not lived it. SOOOOOO excited to go, but soooo nervous about forgetting to something major and worried about leaving my boys. It is very similar to the feeling of right before you know you are about to give birth.... except I have been thru that twice, this is much more complicated. Arranging where the kids are going to be and such is a huge endeavor. I imagine if I were just packing to go to Korea, and Annelise were our first child, some of this stress would be off of me with getting my kids ready to not have us here for such a long time. And also I want the boys prepared for what will be happening to our family soon! I want to get in lots of snuggles and one on one time. I feel like I am under lots of pressure and I may burst! (not saying if you are waiting to travel to adopt and don't have kids, your life is easy street, i know you have just as many things going on, and you also have the added stress of being a first time parent!) So if you would say a prayer for my hubby and I to get thru these last days....... I would appreciate it. The phone could literally ring at any minute saying our sweet baby is ready for us to come get her. MY, this is what I have been dreaming about!! God is good, and I can't wait to get that call!!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011


That's right we are NVC OUT!! WOOOHOOOOOOOO Happy Dance. Happy Dance!!!! The Visa Center forwarded Annelise's papers to the embassey in Seoul today, electronically. SOON SOON SOON. I got really choked up when the visa center told me she is out. Like, as in, I could barely say goodby to the woman on the other end. :) My baby is coming home!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nvc In!

I just talked to the national visa center and Annelise's paperwork has reached them! Praying we are nvc out by early next week! Annelise, we are coming soon sweet baby! After we are nvc out, her visa papers are sent to Korea and we are very close to travel call! Praise God! He knows the very second I will see my sweet daughter for the first time. It is so nice to know He has ordained that meeting for all time. Across the ocean, many miles away, her heart beats. He gave her life, and in that same moment, He gave us a daughter. Forever will I remember who brought us our daughter, and the very brave woman that gave Bitna life. We will be praying her home...... until that wonderful day I will gaze into the eyes of my little girl.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

{ The Nursery }

My Mom found this, love it!

I bought her this doll recently, I love her! She is soooo soft, and I thought she looked like my girl!

These flowers and butterflies are wall stickers. So soft and girly!

Coming in her room....

My Mom gave Annelise this picture frame for Christmas a YEAR ago. Boy was I ever happy to add her pictures!

Sweet Asian Dolls

Friday, March 4, 2011

woohoo...... closer to my girl!

1600 approval today via phone conversation with our officer. This means we are 2-3 weeks to travel! Woohoo! Next stop, nvc in. Hopefully by next week! The national visa center will issue her visa then send it to Seoul. When we are nvc out, we will be a week away from that big blue beautiful plane! Soon sweet baby, soon! Thank you God!


About Me

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We are waiting to adopt our fourth child from the U.S.A. I am a momma to three other awesome children and wife to the love of my life. My boys are homegrown and my daughter is adopted from S. Korea . We cannot wait to meet our next baby!