Friday, June 25, 2010


the other day, out of the middle of nowhere, it started to rain. like big, fat ploppy raindrops that came down hard and fast. meanwhile, it was still bright and sunny. those are my favorite kinds of rainstorms. those spontaneous, quick, summer showers that start and end suddenly, leaving everything smelling yummy and fresh.

we had to drive to a chantilly's graduation (congrats, sara, sooj, carol, eugine, ellen, solomon, and bob!) and on the way, as the rain started to dissipate, we saw the most beautiful rainbow. probably the biggest rainbow i've ever seen:

can you see it?

rainbows are always a reminder of God's faithfulness and that He keeps His promises. it was a reminder that i needed.

in the midst of all the waiting that seems a bit endless, i needed that reminder to know that God is faithful and that though i might be impatient, He *will* deliver on His promise to bring choi boy home.

we still don't know exactly when that will be, but we know that whenever it is, it will be the right time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


tomorrow is the last day of school.

HOORAY!!! it's been a great year, but this teacher always welcomes summer vacation with open arms. :) after i became a teacher, i realized that summer vacation is just as much for the teachers as it is for the students, if not more!

but, it's a bittersweet day, because as excited as i am for summer vacation, i am sad because i'll be leaving the classroom next year. i'll still be working, but i'll be working halftime, doing only reading recovery in the mornings.

while i am so excited about having more time at home to spend with choi boy, being a classroom teacher is such a huge part of me and i know i'll miss it next year.

i'm sure i won't miss it as much by the time choi boy is home and in our arms, but for now it's a little sad. it's probably not permanent, though, so i'll likely be back in the classroom within a few years so at least i know it's a "see ya later" and not a goodbye.

i'm looking forward to continuing to work as a reading recovery teacher and the good thing is, because i'll be working in first grade, i'll get to see my little kinders next year when they're in first grade!

eek! i feel so old...this year's kinders/next year's first graders were born in 2004! whoa!

Monday, June 21, 2010


just wanted to write a quick update on the snyders' fundraiser at was a smashing success!!!

we were so blessed and encouraged to see how many people were there to support evan and stacey and their little boy. what a testimony of God's amazing love and provision and of how loved the snyders are!

it was so neat to watch evan and stacey look around and see the faces of so many people they love and are loved by. canNOT wait to meet little ezekiel!

and a special shout-out to our buds that do not personally know the snyders, but came out to support them...thank you tom & tina, dihan & julie, sara choe (sorry i didn't actually see you there!), and geoff!

here we are with the parents-to-be! :)

p.s. i got my frosty this weekend! did you get yours? mine was extra delish. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010


i love my daddy. he is an amazing man. if you have the pleasure of knowing him, you know that he is so kind-hearted and loving. one of the qualities that i love most about him is that he is so generous. my dad is always helping others and it is genuinely out of the goodness of his heart. a lot of times he gives anonymously so as not to draw attention to himself, but to truly just meet the needs of those around him.

most people know that my dad owns a chick-fil-a. a wonderfully successful chick-fil-a here in northern virginia. i truly believe that the restaurant has been so successful because of my dad's great leadership and generosity in using the store to help others, whether it be schools, charities, employees, or other families in need.

our friends, evan and stacey snyder (also mentioned in this previous post), are adopting a baby boy from ethiopia. when i was talking to my parents about their fundraising needs, my dad volunteered to hold a fundraising night to benefit their adoption. pretty awesome, huh? i know! that's my daddy!

here are the deets:
on monday, june 21, from 5-8pm at the reston chick-fil-a, a portion of all orders purchased with this flyer will be given to the snyders to support their adoption! extra flyers will also be available at chick-fil-a in case you forget to print one out. :)

come, eat (which i know y'all are exceedingly good at!), meet the snyders and support this great cause! we'll be there for most of the night and we hope to see lots of you there! and please, please pass this info on to your chick-fil-a lovin' friends!

AND if you want to support adoption even more with your eating, hop on over to wendy's this saturday and sunday -- buy any frosty and a portion of the sales will go help foster children find forever families. love it!
*and that will be the last time you see free advertising for wendy's on this blog. i *am* a chick-fil-a princess, after all!

go, eat, support adoption!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


i love the internet.

i know lots of really bad and sketchy things have happened because of the web, but i love the way it has made our world seem smaller and more connected. i also love online shopping; having information at my fingertips (this really perpetuates my love for useless trivia, of which i am queen. really. ask the hubs.); watching missed shows online; and just plain surfing the web.

i also love blogging. i used to do it a lot more regularly during the good ol' days of xanga, but stopped during the rise of facebook. i really love writing and and putting my verbal diarrhea on virtual paper and sharing our story with others.

but i also love reading other peoples' stories. at the top of the page on blogger is this mysterious button that says "next blog". i clicked it one day out of curiosity and boredom and was surprised to find that the blog it led me to was a blog about a family's adoption journey. blogger must be able to tell my preferences from my tags (how smart is that, people at blogger?!) because a lot of the blogs that came up by continuously clicking that "next blog" button (i was really bored -- don't judge!) were blogs about adoption and infertility.

i loved reading through other families' stories of adoption and reading through their journeys which were so similar to ours in so many ways and also so different. i left comments on their blogs saying hello and they commented back on mine sharing their own similar feelings after reading my last post.

i have also gotten several comments and emails from people who have stumbled upon our blog. i love the fact that they've reached out and shared their story with me after reading ours.

even though i haven't actually met these people, it's made this journey through infertility and adoption seem a lot less lonely and it has been great to get some perspective from others who are further along in their journey.

so, hello new blogger friends! and hello old friends! thanks for stopping by and walking through our journey with us through this blog!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


miss    /mɪs/
–verb (used with object)
1. to fail to be present at or for
2. to notice the absence or loss

i miss my son.

can you miss someone you've never met? someone you've only longed to meet? someone for whom you wait everyday?

i'm going to say yes. because that's how i feel. and that's how i know so many waiting parents feel.

we miss choi boy and want to have him home so badly! we miss his face, we wonder what his laugh sounds like, we miss his smile, we wonder what he'll feel like in our arms...

but, we also feel like we're missing so much. we've already missed his birth and the first 9 months of his life and all the milestones that come along with it.

some people have said things like, "oh, you are so lucky you're going to miss out on all those sleepless nights and all that infant stuff." and "you're doing it right -- i wish someone gave me my baby after he turned one!"

i know they don't mean any harm and they are simply trying to make conversation and make me feel comfortable about the fact that choi boy will be about a year old when he comes home.

but still.

how i long for those sleepless nights and craziness that comes with a newborn! before we thought seriously about starting a family, sleepless nights scared the poop out of me because i love is seriously delicious. but after our journey and heartache with infertility, i really longed for that experience because i felt like it was one of those hallmarks of parenthood that earned you a big fat merit badge.

i cannot imagine how hard those first stages of raising an infant are. i am sure that if i was living it right now, i'd be complaining a whole lot and would surely be delirious from having less than 7 hours of sleep each night.

but, correct me if i'm wrong, as hard as those sleepless nights and difficult moments are, they are moments of bonding between parent and child and they are difficult times that you come out of together, stronger for making it through together.

i know that once our little choi boy comes home we will have our own moments of bonding and will have tons more milestones to experience with him. but for now, i have to be okay with and grateful for the fact that he is experiencing all of these milestones with his foster mother. she is the only caregiver choi boy has known and she endured all those sleepless nights with him; was there as he cut his first tooth and for all the pain of teething that comes with it; she is there now as i'm sure he's learning to stand with support and cruise (if he hasn't already). we will forever be indebted to the love and care she has shown our son and we are so blessed that though we have missed these first 9 months, she was there to lovingly experience them with him.

i know all that in my head.

but in my heart?

i miss him so much.

Monday, June 7, 2010


okay, i'm going to very honest here and say that adoption is expensive. it costs a LOT of money. like, a lot, a lot, a lot of money. more money than a lot of people make in an entire year. and often times, that's what deters people from adopting because they just can't afford it.

we were so, so blessed to have quite a bit of help from our family and we were also able to save a lot on our own because hubs is quite the savvy financial planner and was able to work saving lots and lots into our monthly budget.

and still, we felt every penny leave us with every check we had to write.

up until this point, all our costs were paid for except the travel costs and post-adoption costs, which would obviously need to be paid when we travel and after choi boy comes home. we were a little worried about all these costs coming up because we didn't want to totally deplete our savings since we want to begin the adoption process again for a little choi girl shortly after choi boy comes home.

all of this was on the back of our minds, but we never mentioned it to anyone. we thought about doing fundraisers to help raise some of the costs, but again hadn't mentioned it to anyone.

well, last week, peter came home with a mysterious box, given to him by one of our friends. the only directions given to peter were to open it together with me.

as soon as we opened it and saw all the cards, i knew what was in them.

and that's when the tears started. for both of us. although, i will say, peter was able to read the cards out loud -- i couldn't even see the words at this point.

we opened card after card and each was filled with amazing and such loving and caring words and a check for very generous amounts that we know came sacrificially from our dear friends. we were so overwhelmed.

and they kept coming! the next day, peter got another card and just today, i opened our mailbox to see another one from yet another dear friend.

when we sat and totalled the amounts from all of these incredible gifts, it came out to almost enough for two plane tickets to korea!

God is so good and clearly, very clearly, provided so lovingly and generously through our ridiculously loving and generous friends.

it's been a week and i am still in awe and shock. and i think i will continue to be. and as we bring our little boy home, we will be overwhelmed again to think that our friends really had a monumental part in bringing our little one home. it takes a whole new meaning to "it takes a village," doesn't it?

although a thank you card doesn't even begin to show the gratitude we have, it was a start, and i thought, who better to put on the thank you card than the little one they are helping to bring home?

i can't wait to see our friends with little choi boy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

i love my job.

i love being a teacher. did you know that? i feel like it's what i was called to do and as cheesy as it sounds, i love being a part of the lives of the next generation. cue whitney houston..."i belive the children are the future. teach them well and let them lead the way..."

today was one of my most favorite days of the year in kindergarten. we had our annual family reading tea where the children share stories they have worked hard to edit, revise, and publish. we also sang some songs for the parents, with an adorable grand finale of "do-re-mi" from the "sound of music"! LOVE it! that is what happens when i teach your children. i teach them to read and write and also to love musicals. :)

at the end of the tea, i was thanking the parents for coming and concluding our program. then, one of my room parents stepped forward and said, "actually, grace, we're not done yet -- we have a surprise for you!"

it turns out, my room parents had conspired with the other parents and planned a shower for me. even parents of my students from last year came!

that's when the waterworks started.

actually, they had already started when i read this book to all the kids and their families:

have you read it? unless you're a fan of crying your eyeballs out, DON'T. i looked out at the parents towards the end of the book and i saw two of the moms bawling and i couldn't keep the tears away...

so, i was already a bit teary and when they sprung this surprise on me, it was too much. i was all verklempt!

as five year-olds always insist, it was time to open presents! the parents got me a gift card to babies-r-us (yay!) and they each brought a book to start choi boy's library, and i love me some books! the parents of my former students also got me the bedding set for choi boy's crib! it's so cute. i can't wait to show you!

my favorite, favorite thing was reading the cards and inscriptions from the families.

this card was my favorite:
Dear Mrs. Choi
Cragealashons on the baby. You must be very happy that you have a child. tho that you teach 23 children. But I bet you are happy because you have a child of your own.

at six years-old, her insight is amazing...that card really sums up the last 3 years. :)

here's a pic of me reading an incredible inscription on a book from one of my students and his older sister, whom i also taught.

the inscription read:
Dear Baby Choi,
Your mommy helped teach us both to read!
We hope you will enjoy reading these fun stories with her!
With Love,
A and A

after i read that, i made the ugliest ugly cry face (which my assistant captured on my camera) and cried all over again.

it was the sweetest, most touching gesture from my students and their families...throughout this whole journey, we have been so blessed by all the love and support that has surrounded us. and to have that love and support from 23 five and six year-olds is just too many kinds of awesome to count.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


that's all. no words...just choi boy's sweet little face and chubby fingers.

wait, just a few words. i'm a little tired of seeing this same green/yellow outfit everytime i look through the pics we have. it's like fred flinstone's one orange outfit (or i guess any cartoon, for that matter). man, i wish we had some newer photo updates!!!