Sunday, October 4, 2009

Change...


If becoming a family of five wasn't enough of a change for the year, we have added another one - we are now a homeschooling family! We have never been opposed to any schooling option, but have always said that we would take it year by year and allow our family dynamic and the needs of each child to determine our decision. So, as our Brielle has grown and changed over the years we have constantly discussed the best option for her and finally came to the conclusion that six and a half hours away from home each day would be a little much for our sensitive natured girl. So here we are doing kindergarden at home! I can't say that it's been a breeze, but I can say that we have all been enjoying it more than I had anticipated. Elaina has joined right in and her little three-year-old mind is absorbing much of what Brielle is learning!

If anyone is wondering how Titus has been faring in the nighttime hours, we would have to say that we are still praying for change in that area! Things have gotten a tiny bit better since reducing his nap schedule and moving him into his own room complete with a lovely white noise machine and a warm radiator, but we are probably going to have to take away his beloved nighttime bottles before we see more significant improvement - something that we're not looking forward to! Regardless of this little issue, he continues to charm us and seems to be getting sweeter every day. He is quite a proficient walker now, is learning sign language, and will be celebrating his first birthday at the end of the month - hard to believe!

Here are some photos to catch you up on the changes of the past few months. Enjoy...

June brought with it our sweet Elaina's third birthday!



July brought many wonderful visits to our parents' homes and lots of fun in the bay with Papa Bill! My parents live next to the same piece of property where my Dad grew up and where I was also raised - such a blessing to share this dear place with our children!


July also brought a wonderful visit from our friends, the Newtons. Our years in Texas are filled with many sweet memories with these dear friends. Friends who continue to set a beautiful example living an intentional Christ-centered, others-focused life! Thanks for a great visit, John and Darcie!!


August brought the most exciting event of the year, of course - the arrival of our precious son, Titus!

August also brought another cousin into the family! My brother, Billy and his wife, Andrea welcomed Liam to the world on the very same day that we arrived home from Korea with Titus! Two grandsons in one day for my parents! And my brother, Mark and his wife, Heather welcomed Cole in March of this year. That makes three boy cousins within nine months of each other - what a sweet blessing from our good God!

And last, but not least, August brought our ten year anniversary! The day of our celebration came only two weeks after returning from Korea so we happily brought Titus along on our Port Townsend visit. The day was spent eating great food, seeing beautiful sights, and reminiscing about the past ten years of our sweet friendship and God's amazing goodness to us! Apart from God Himself, our greatest joy has been the gift of each other!

We are so thankful to have Uncle Luke and Aunt Karen back in the Northwest! Congratulations to both of them on their graduations from Covenant Theological Seminary!!


What could be better than a ride on Papa's shoulders and a smooth, bald head to rest on? :)

Our twentieth try (literally) at getting a new Goodnough family portrait!
God has been so very good to our family! We are blessed beyond words!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sweet Baby, Tired Parents

It's official - we are completely smitten with this sweet boy! But then who wouldn't fall in love with a face like that?! We have been blessed with a very affectionate baby and we are enjoying him to the fullest. He is now waving hello/good-bye and learning important things like playing "peek a boo" and clapping his hands. He's been taking steps ever since we brought him home, but yesterday (his ten month birthday) he took ten steps all at once! As far as we're concerned, he's practically perfect except for one tiny little flaw - he's NOT SLEEPING at night!! We were told that his foster mom let him fall asleep with a bottle so we finally capitulated and let him have it in his bed (something we said we'd never let our babies do!) but now that isn't even working and he's been waking up about every hour throughout the night! So, if anyone has suggestions for us (especially if you've adopted an older infant) please share! Other than this minor issue of parental sleep deprivation (thankfully the girls have been sleeping just fine), all is well in our household and we are thoroughly enjoying this sweet new addition.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home at Last

It's been just five days since we set foot on American soil with our precious son, but it feels much longer!  For all of you who have been praying for us to have a smooth transition, God has answered your prayers in a wonderful way!  Now lest we paint the picture too rosy, we must say that a nine month old with jet lag (Korea is 16 hours ahead of us!) is not the easiest thing we've ever encountered, but Titus and his sweet daddy have enjoyed some special bonding time between  midnight and 2:30 a.m. for the past few nights! :)  It helps that Ronn is the night owl and I am the early bird so we've been able to take turns.  That aside, we have experienced a joyful transition to a family of five.  Our concerns about bonding have vanished as we've watched his face light up when we walk in the room or we've been able to console him after a fall.  It didn't take him long to attach to us and to feel secure in our arms.  He adores his big sisters and it is not surprising that Brielle has had the most success with coaxing smiles out of him.  Elaina is very good with him as well and seems to have relinquished her position as the baby quite easily.  We are, once again, overwhelmed with gratitude to God for this sweet addition to our family and we thank each of you for your prayers and love!!




Realizing the probability of three smiling faces is slim!





Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wait is Over!

After a tiring and emotional day we are back in our hotel room with a sleeping baby!  Our final meeting with Titus' foster mom was a bit of a whirlwind - finding out all about his eating, sleeping, etc., getting instructions on leaving the country, saying good-bye - all this done in just half an hour!  It turns out that Titus was her 50th foster child so she has done this many times, but there were still wet eyes as we said good-bye and expressed our gratitude.  What a dear woman and what a sweet gift of love she has given to our family!  We are very grateful that he only had two short crying episodes after leaving her. We'll see what happens in the morning when he wakes up to our faces!   

This video is a bit long, but we had the grandparents in mind! :)
video

Monday, August 3, 2009

Our Son!

Today we met our son for the first time!  It was the end of a very long wait and the beginning of a new relationship.  What an incredible day!


video

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Safe in Seoul


Saying good-bye to our sweet girls
We miss them already!

The best airplane food we've ever had - our favorite Korean dish, Bibimbap!  After eleven hours in the air we arrived safely in Korea.

Our first day in Seoul with our personal tour guide - a very sweet college student who took us all over the city.  

Gyeongbokgung Palace built in 1395 


Insadong Street

A delicious Korean meal

We are so grateful to be here and cannot believe that we will be meeting our son tomorrow!  Check back for pictures! 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Six Days from Seoul!!!

On Friday, July 31st we will be on a plane bound for Seoul, South Korea!!!  We are still in shock from the phone call that came Thursday morning informing us that our son is ready for travel! We aren't sure why things changed so quickly, but we aren't complaining.  Our tickets have been purchased and we are thanking God for this wonderful answer to prayer!  We will meet Titus for the first time on Monday, August 3rd so check back for pictures and videos!  Please pray for safe travel, health (especially for Titus), and a smooth transition for our precious baby boy.   

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wait Continues

After being told that we would very likely be getting our travel call by last week, we received the disappointing news that we are actually fifth on the list of families who are waiting for their babies to get passports and visas.  And given that things run at a slower pace in Korea during the summer months, we now have no idea how long it will be before we receive travel news.  Our little Titus will be nine months old on Tuesday and is now pulling himself up to standing which makes the waiting even more painful.  But we are so grateful that God has placed this precious boy in our hearts and we know that He will add him to our family at His chosen time.  Please keep praying!! 

On a lighter note, here are a few pictures of our sweet girls from our family camping trip over the 4th of July weekend.  There were almost 70 members of Ronn's extended family gathered for a wonderful reunion.  The girls thoroughly enjoyed every minute of playing with cousins, building sand castles, swimming, riding bikes, taking walks, watching fireworks, sitting around the campfire, eating smores, staying up late, and of course, getting VERY dirty!  I think we are still finding camping dirt at bath time! :)    




Monday, July 13, 2009

Room Restored, No Plane to Board

After mudding and sanding the terribly damaged walls and applying layers of primer and paint over a lovely shade of pink we have restored our century old office to it's original state!  This project also gave us an excuse to purge the contents within so we are enjoying a new and far less cluttered space to read, write, peruse the internet, and engage in stimulating conversation after our children are in bed.  And just maybe we will be motivated to reinstate an exercise routine on the bike sitting in the newly painted corner. :)  Once we renovate both of the bathrooms we will have redone EVERY room in our ten room house!!  


We derive great satisfaction (too much, perhaps?) from removing years of old paint and revealing the fine hardware beneath.  How could anyone paint over such a great looking piece of metal? :) 
 

Now for the news you're really curious about... according to the timeline we were recently given we should be getting our travel call this week!  Our bags are packed and we are more than ready to meet our precious son, but given the fairly high probability for disappointment, we are trying not to get our hopes up too high.  Please pray that we will get the call this week, but if we don't, please pray that we will be able to be patient and rest in God's plan.  By the way, you are all invited to meet us at the airport if you'd like to be a part of welcoming Titus to our family and to the United States!  We will be sure to let you know when to show up.    

P.S. Family Camp-out pictures are forthcoming.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Home Improvement Project?!

"Why the picture of Ronn working in a pink room?" you ask!  Our pink office has been on our list of needed renovations since purchasing our home FIVE years ago and one thing after another has prevented it from happening.  Well... a couple weeks ago (sorry we're a little late in posting) we found out that our trip to Korea is very likely not going to happen in June.  It seems that the Korean government is a bit less efficient than the U.S. government so now that things are in their hands we have reached a stand still.  Our best case scenario for travel may be mid-July and our worst case scenario may be early August.  So with this in mind, we decided that a home improvement project would be a productive way to keep ourselves occupied as we wait. We would, again, ask you to keep us and our precious Titus in your prayers as we trust God with this disappointment.  Even in our disappointment He is good and His plan is perfect. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Increasing anticipation

Our mail slot has become the source of great excitement these days!  Peeking under it this past Friday revealed more unexpected good news - Titus' paperwork passed through the National Visa Center in record time!  Instead of sitting there for two to four weeks (the standard time frame), it was in and out in just over a week!  The last thing on the agenda now is his visa and passport.  As soon as that is issued we will receive our travel call!  Perhaps we will be traveling in June, maybe even EARLY June!  So... we made a trip to the consignment shop and brought home a fun bundle of 6-12 month size BOY clothes.  After shopping in girls' apparel for the past five years, it is great fun to search through shades of blues and greens!  
 

The drawers are filled, the crib is made, and this lonely rocking chair is ready for a baby!  Please pray that it will be in use very SOON!  


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Faster than expected...

As I peeked under the mail slot this past Thursday I noticed an envelope from Immigration Services.  Given that we were not expecting this for at least two more weeks, I cautiously opened it thinking it must be a request for more information.  But instead I read the word "approved" on the front page!!  I immediately dialed our program director who said that she was as shocked as I was and told me that we may actually find ourselves on an airplane in just one month!!  It seems that God may want our baby boy to join our family much sooner than we had expected!  Please keep praying with us!   

Monday, May 4, 2009

Awaiting Titus

As we wait for our little Titus we are finding ways to help the time pass more quickly.  Something that was very fun for all of us was putting together a package for him.  We held several photo shoots around our house (see below) to get just the right pictures to place in a baby photo album for him, we picked out a soft, sweet lion for him to cuddle, and we wrote a letter to his foster family expressing our gratitude for their wonderful care of him.  
Please continue to pray with us for patience and for things to move along at the expected pace, or maybe even a little bit faster!  His paperwork is currently in the hands of U.S. Immigration.  It takes about three to six weeks for them to process everything and then it will be passed on to the National Visa Center and remain there for two to four weeks.  When it finally reaches Korea we will wait for him to be issued a Visa and a passport.  Once this occurs we will be given a ten day notice to travel to Korea!  We hope to be on a plane by mid-July, but we know that God's plan is better than ours and we are comforted to know that Titus is resting in HIS arms as we wait for him to be in ours.