27 October 2006

Wedding bells

Wonderful news!
My brother, Rich just got engaged! He and Emily will be getting married at the end of next summer. Emily is a bright and beautiful young woman.
She is easy-going yet deeply-grounded. She comes from a large and loving family where she is the 4th oldest of 9 children. My brother has waited a long time to find the right person and we couldn't be more thrilled for the two of them!

I have never seen him so happy and my heart is truly overjoyed that he has found the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Rich is a high school teacher and a phenomenal basketball coach. He has a passion for sports, coaching and children. Emily is studying to be a teacher herself. We can't wait for him to experience all the richness and love that marriage brings. We will have lots to celebrate next year!
Congratulations, bro!

25 October 2006

7 months old









Our girls turned 7 months old this week. We have received some more pictures and they are just too adorable. We can't wait to kiss those cheeks! The program directors from our agency were visiting Korea last week and they got a chance to see our girls and visit the foster family. Their exact words were... "They are absolutely darling! I am warning you... they will be the chicks of California!" Apparently the foster mother and father are very involved in the care of our girls. They are a couple in their late 60's with grown children of their own. The foster mother said that the girls' personalities are almost identical. Our program directors also mentioned that they hope I've been working out because they are about 20 pounds each! We are so happy that our girls are being well taken care of :)
This week, we should get some video footage that they took while in Korea and also some more updated pictures. We can't wait!

Oh, yeah... Faith is on the left of all the pictures and Grace is on the right. Faith is 2 minutes older than Grace. It's easy for us to tell them apart but I guess that's because we've stared at them for so long and of course, because we're their parents!

24 October 2006

Caribbean Vacation

We had a relaxing and enjoyable time on our cruise. A balcony cabin is definitely the way to go. The Caribbean Princess was just built in 2004 and she was a beautiful ship.
We got tons of sleep, exercise, and of course, food! We just had to take a picture of the "Big Wave" Beach Bar in St. Maarten. Enjoy the pics!








14 October 2006

Happy Anniversary

Well, it's been five beautiful years with my beloved. I have known Morgan now for 12 years and life just keeps getting better and better. He brings so many qualities that I don't have (or need to work on) to our marriage. He is gentle, kind, patient, generous, and full of love and support. He is the best partner and team player I could have ever hoped for and I'm so thankful that God has put us together.

I can't wait to see him with his two little girls. He will undoubtedly make the best father. He has been carrying around their picture and showing off his two beautiful babies to anyone who will take a moment to look. He is giddy, joyful, and lights up anytime he talks about them. They will for sure be daddy's little girls. Each day is a gift with Morgan and I look forward to many more years together as our story unfolds.

Cave tubing in Belize a few years ago for our anniversary.
We hiked through the jungle, then tubed through several caves and came out to this spot called the "honeymoon spot." The picture does not do it justice but it was breathtakingly beautiful and serene.

10 October 2006

Cruisin'

Our 5 year anniversary is just around the corner and since my birthday is the day after, we have always made it a point to vacation during this time of year. Some people have said that I got a "bum deal" since the two are back to back. I guess they figure it's like having a birthday on Christmas or something. I've never minded.
In fact, I love it that we can celebrate the two occasions together.

We love to travel and experience new adventures, places, and people. Despite the fact that we lived at the beach, we still enjoy going to tropical destinations. The water is always warmer and clearer than it is in Southern California. To us, if we aren't packing a bathing suit, swimming in the ocean, and having a drink with an umbrella in it, it's not a vacation :)

You'd think that with all that has happened over the last month, we would just spend a quiet night at home or go out to a nice dinner to celebrate? Noooooo, not the case. Morgan insisted a couple of months ago (before we knew that we were going to buy a house) that we book a Caribbean Cruise. The plan was to spend a few days before the cruise in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, then cruise for a week before coming home. After all, he said it was our 5 year anniversary! Morgan, of course, found the best deal and booked the trip. For about a month, we hesitated on booking our airfare, which is not like us. Normally, we'd be making our arrangements right away and have all the details in order. For some reason, I kept feeling like we should wait. Then one day, out of the blue, our whole lives changed. We ended up buying our home and we've been on a whirlwind ever since.

Just out of curiosity, we called to see if we could cancel our cruise. We found out that it would cost us 75% of our already paid price! It simply didn't make sense for us to cancel. So, with that said, we are cruising to the Caribbean! Our ports are St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Barbados. We decided to forego the few days in Florida before the cruise. We managed to use our other airline miles to fly for free so that was a real blessing.

Our lives have never been so hectic before a vacation and this year's trip, (because of our circumstances), crept up faster than any other. Usually, we are counting down the days 'til our trip but now, we find ourselves saying... "I can't believe we are supposed to leave so soon." We definitely need a vacation after all that has happened this last month. We also know for sure that this will indeed be our last getaway before our girls come home; not to mention for quite some time :)
We are very much looking forward to spending some quality r & r time together with no distractions, no phone calls, no appointments, and no contractors. Furthermore, for one week, no decisions to make other than what shall we eat? What kind of spa service should I get? And what beach should we go to today? Believe me, enjoy we will!

06 October 2006

Grace

We never thought that we'd be thinking of another name for a girl so soon but Grace has always been at the top of the list. Again, it's a name that is traditional yet also powerful, meaningful, and feminine. Faith and Grace just seemed to go together. After all, this double blessing is by God's grace alone.

Grace comes from the English origin meaning grace or unmerited favor from God. In the bible it states, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift from God, not of works, so that no man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. In order for us to be recipients of God's grace, the action required on our behalf is faith. Faith that God indeed does work all things out for our good and for His glory. Most of all, our faith in Jesus Christ. God has provided us with a vessel to experience a personal relationship with Him. Whereby we can also experience peace, joy, hope and love in a world that has been broken from the beginning of time. Our belief in Jesus, who He was, and what He came to do for us is the foundation of our faith. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life." It's simply overwhelming to think that a Father would give up his only Son in order to save us...
Now that's grace.

The Sunday morning we found out about the twins, the front cover of our church bulletin said two words... "Experience Grace". Boy, have we ever. We don't think there are any coincidences in life. We are put in certain situations, we meet certain people, all for a reason in the big picture. Sometimes they are good experiences, other times, not so good, but all for a divine purpose.

The English origin of the word Grace is ultimately derived from the Latin meaning gratia. Our gratitude is difficult to express in mere human words. It's something that is felt deeply from within the heart. Gracias, God.

02 October 2006

Home

We packed up everything and moved on Thursday afternoon. We were headed to Morgan's parent's house to spend the night since they live only about 15 minutes away from us and our escrow was scheduled to close the next day.

On the drive there, we got a call from the builder and they told us that escrow had closed early. We were officially new homeowners! We were told initially that escrow probably wouldn't close until 5:00 p.m. on Friday so this was a pleasant surprise! Since we were exhausted and it was late, we decided to pick-up our keys the next morning. We moved in Friday morning and have been working hard ever since. We have pretty much everything unpacked now. We are not used to having all this space and Morgan and I were saying last night that our legs are wiped out by the end of each day. Our last place was so small that we didn't have far to walk. We are now walking about 6 times more than before! My goodness, no wonder! It'll take some getting used to but we're thankful that we have some time before our girls come home.

The painters are starting today and they will be painting all of the rooms for the rest of the week. It's a good thing we don't have much furniture yet. My parents are coming to visit next weekend so that'll be really nice. We are so thankful to God for this house and for His many blessings. He has watched over us in every detail and we praise Him daily for His faithfulness and grace. We can hardly believe that this is where our next chapter will begin.

The sunrises and sunsets have been beautiful here. The sky seems so vast and big. I'll leave you with a picture of today's sunrise from our sky deck.

01 October 2006

So, what's next?

Before we get to travel to pick up our girls, 4 major things have to happen:

1. Receive I-600 approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration office which allows our babies to come to the United States.
2. Receive Emigration permits (Korean side).
3. The girls have a visa physical (in Korea).
4. They are issued an immigration visa at the embassy to come to the United States.

This week, we have to send more documents to our agency. Once that happens, they said it would take approximately 10 weeks before we can go get the girls! They will call us one day and say, "OK, they're ready and you can go get them."
We then call the airlines and make our travel arrangements. From what we understand, we don't get much notice. For a year now, we've been saving all of our airline miles, just so we can fly for free. We pray that all of this will work out so that we can indeed use our miles.

Hopefully, we'll have the twins home before Christmas!

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