Saturday, December 29, 2007

Blog Stalking

Ok, so I'm at it again... stalking blogs in search of comfort, info, who-knows-what... I keep reading about other families who are waiting (they have referrals but no travel date yet), like us, that is. They are all about the "i-600" approval. I am SOOOOO clueless, folks. I know next to NOTHING about this process now that I have a baby. I am like on cloud nine and can't STAND the "what ifs", so I have remained blissfully ignorant of the process here on out. However, tonight, while I sit and think about my son turning 6 months old tomorrow, I am STARTING TO GET ANTSY! So, I followed a few posts and came up with this:


The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) and the US Department of State have announced that procedures for submitting the I600 Petition will be changed effective Monday October 29th. The changes will have adoptive parents receive their referral and then mail in their I600 to Viet Nam where is will take approximately sixty days to process the petition.

Details about the change:

~The length of time between referral and travel will likely increase because families will need USCIS approval before they can travel.


This is why we are still waiting, in case you are wondering. We have already turned our new I-600 in (the first or second week in November, actually), so I really expect to hear something soon... I think I'll start a campaign to my agency to get a little more aggressive with finding out where we are in the process, etc. etc. Other people seem to know exactly where they are in the wait, but I remain mercifully, and now obnoxiously, clueless!! Time for me to find out some more info...

It's going to be a glorious day

Wow. Christmas and all is over (I had a v nice one, BTW. Home was everything it should be this year). January is coming right up. January. The best January on record, IMHO. In October we were told we SHOULD travel in January (possibly February), to pick up Minute... And I have never been more ready for anything in my entire life. My holiday was so Minh-centric, the family is SOOOO excited (with one notable exception), we are ready for him (other than I still need a crib...). I have clothes, shoes, toys, a diaper service, a changing table, a dresser FILLED with STUFF... Now all I need is my baby boy.

That said, Y'all will be the third to know when we finally "get the call". My Mom will be #1, Aunty Nikki will be #2... Then, I'll post it LOUD AND CLEAR right here. I imagine it will be followed by many frantic "WTF?" and "Now what the hell do I pack?" posts. And I can not WAIT!!!!

We got more pictures and an update on Minute yesterday, also. I'm not posting pictures yet, but will later, on the other site. They are fuzzy, and not very good, but I don't even care!! They are still cute. My heart breaks seeing him grow up in pictures, but I KNOW, I just KNOW I'll meet him royal chubbiness soon. Until then... I have a nursery to finish!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Misc. Friday

Just some miscellaneous for you on this Friday afternoon (I'm at work, what more can I say?).

Books on my nightstand:
1) Attaching in Adoption (I've started it but haven't gotten very far, should be a GREAT book)
2) Travel Guide to Vietnam - says very little about Minute's City, but has
maps, and is a beautiful book about a beautiful country.
3) Last Child in the Woods - looks like a fantastic read, I plan to read it
soon too!.

I've also just received something WONDERFUL in the mail; a DVD of my son laughing, giggling, and being AMAZINGLY cute. If I figure out how to post it, I will. Some people (Miss Betty!) will get to see it as soon as I get back into town, promise!!

It's been an amazing ride, folks. Last year at this time I was sad b/c we thought we'd have Baby Magic already, and the process had slowed down so much my heart was breaking. I had NO IDEA what this year would bring. 6 months later, my son was born. I didn't "meet" him until October, but I remember the weekend of his birth very well as it was the same time my brother was married! A very special time indeed. This Christmas is going to be a special one, and next Christmas will be even MORE special. Actually, this Valentines' day should be more special, 'cause I do hope to have Minute home by then!!!

So for all of you out there waiting on your precious little ones, know that it DOES HAPPEN, and it WILL happen for you. We don't always know when or how, but sometimes, when you least expect it, miracles just have a way of working their way into our lives. Just like magic.

Happy holidays, y'all. Stick around next month, it's going to be a BEAUTIFUL year!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Checking in

I've been a bad blogger of late. I am so swamped with work, social activities, and life that I haven't been online long enough to post much. So this is a quickie update:

Travel for VN - no news. TRUST ME, y'all will know when we hear something.
China - Latest predictions are us getting a referral 'round about Fall of 2009... It makes me sick to my stomach and I can't even think about it. Forgive me for NOT posting on China recently, but my heart isn't in it right now.
Holidays - I'm traveling Home for X-mas. Looking forward to it this year, but also looking forward to the emotional blackmail that will occur next year. "Want to see your grandson/nephew? You've got to come to us!!" hee hee hee.

Ok, That's about it. Hope everyone is enjoying the season so far. I'm SLOWLY sending out holiday cards, so some of you should be getting them...if I can remember all the steps...some I'd forgotten to address, others had no stamps, today I found a few without return addresses... whatever. They'll get out eventually, right?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And I cried

Through a wonderful twist of fate, you know how life comes at you so fast sometimes, I met a wonderful family who was adopting from China...then they changed programs and adopted twin girls from Vn. I've known J for about a year-ish? and just this weekend I was able to spend some quality time with her, her girls, her husband, and some other wonderful ladies also adopting from Vietnam. It was so wonderful to be around other people who understand my story, a story we all share in one way or another, to see their pictures, and to share the burden of the Wait/Weight. Also, through these ladies, I found another person whom they all have in common but wasn't at the gathering. Today I went to her blog, and found out the most wonderful thing: Her daughter and my son are form the same orphanage. Also on her blog was this U-tube clip (see below). I watched it and cried. Minute is living there with those beautiful children. This is his orphanage.

I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm overwhelmed. I miss my son so much I ache, and I have never even met him. But unlike his birth mother, I will meet him soon, and watch him grow up. I am sad for his family in Vn who will not have that opportunity. I am sad for the children I have to leave behind in his orphanage. Anyway, this is me being melancholy today. So check this out, and go hug someone you love.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

OVER SIGHT!

Miss Kelly, forgive me. I loved my Secret Pal gift!! I received it like a week ago and have been totally wrapped up in my life and forgot to thank you (or post pictures). It's wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to watch the DVD either. It look so cute.

Friday, December 07, 2007

We just received new pictures of The Minute. This time we only got 2, but in each batch we've received he's been held by (what I assume are) one of his nannies. It's wonderful to get to see not only my little man growing up (even though I'm sad he's doing it while I'm here and he's there), but it's so nice to see him being loved. And the last nanny was a tiny thing, and well, Minny ISN'T little. The poor woman looked ready to collapse under his weight... (note to self - begin lifting weights IMMEDIATELY).
Anyway, in one of the pictures, I notice he's wearing a bracelet. Does anyone else think this is odd? Or maybe it's very common... Either way, it looks too small to get off his pudgy little wrist...but at the same time, I think it's really cute. I wonder if he'll still have it when we meet.

Well, that's it for the day. Sorry I've been alittle out of touch. I'm working my butt off at work in preparation for leaving for VN (still no word on this), and with the holiday season upon us it makes me even busier... well, stick around, folks, if nothing else, my life is ALWAYS interesting...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New pictures have come in!!

Tomorrow I hope to put up new pictures of my Minute!! Check the new blog tomorrow. Look out ladies, he is gorgeous!

Friday, November 30, 2007

To follow the "other" blog

shoot me an email with your info (who you are, why you are interested, etc.). Check under the comments section on this post for my email.

Also, I am in the SLOW process of switching over to a PW protected site. Expect that up in the next month or so. I'll warn you before I switch over, and give you an opportunity to come along on that one too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

private VN related "stuff"

posted to my "other site". Anyone intersted in the next few steps in our adoption will want to check this out.

Shower pix (finally)

yummy cupcakes.


This is a friends beautiful baby girl (isn't she a cutie?!!). She's the same age as Minh. I was SOOOO excited to get to play with her, and somehow it made me fell close to my Minute.

Ten girls, and a lab.


Me and the big box...


Thanks again, Miss B. For the pictures, for the day, and for your friendship. You rock!

holiday times

I did it. I ordered specialty Christmas/Holiday cards!! I am SOOOO excited to actually have a baby picture to put on our family card this year! For the past few years, I've done a family/friends holiday letter. I may do one again this year too, I'm not sure. I have much going on, I might just send the cards. But this year, we've had our biggest news yet! We've moved into a new beautiful house, we've gotten our referral, Tod DIDn't have heart surgery... it's been a fantastic year, but I don't think I have the energy it takes to write the letter, comb through my address book, etc. etc. etc. So, I think it's a fair trade off. I DON'T send a holiday letter, but everyone gets a picture of my baby boy! The cards are lovely, and I'll post a picture as soon as I get them in. Some of you out there are even on the list, so you'll get one in person!!

Sunday, Tod and I are putting up our tree, and I am almost 100% done with my shopping...not too bad. Last Christmas was insane with the selling and buying of a new house, plus all the family visits, etc. I don't even REMEMBER having a tree up, although I know we did. And EVERYTHING came down on the 26th 'cause we had less than 2 weeks to move at that point. This year I plan to relax. I plan to enjoy myself!

You know, I started this post with the intention of bitching about my monster-in-law (another post for another day, I guess), but somehow it turned into a nice post... good for me. I still have to post about my MIL, and how awful she's been about our adoption and referral. Do you think there's a support group for adopters who's families aren't supportive? Or just totally suck? I guess in our case it's just the MIL who isn't supportive, and totally sucks... we're fortunate, I guess. The rest of our family is excited, supportive, and well, REALLY REALLY happy. What I struggle with is, however, how to deal with an awful, selfish, and bratty MIL. Actually, I don't struggle with that. I know how to deal with her. What I struggle with is how to deal with her bing like that after we bring The Minute home... I don't want someone like that anywhere NEAR my child. Is that unfair to Minute? To my DH? Anyway, I said I wasn't going to post on this now. I'll post on it later. AFTER I put up shower pictures, tho'!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm alive...barely

I'm still here. I owe like 1000 people emails, phone calls, etc. I am so totally swamped right now, that you will have to forgive me. I've been sick. Oh, and my insomnia is back full force. So that makes me sick AND tired. I've been spending hours at work on weekends. I haven't seen my house by daylight in 3 days. I haven't spoken actual words in a sentence to my husband in like, 3 weeks. Work is absolutely consuming me right now. I have taken some time to go out and have some fun, but MAN does that take a toll too!! Being sick, tired, AND hung-over is NOT helping me get through my day...

I had a great thanksgiving. We had 8 people over to the house. It was a great time. My brother and sister in-law-came. That was great. But we also had company the previous week (note to self: put up baby shower pix), and THAT was also wonderful, BUT, I want my house back. I want to sleep. I want to stop coming into the office and having my BOSS say "you look like shit. You must not feel well..." He's right damn it, but I don't need him to effing point it out to me!!!!

Anyway, I'm surviving. One day at a time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving to y'all. Take a minute, if you haven't yet, to think about what you are thankful for. Me, well, this list would get so tedious if I listed everything. I'll list a few before you fall asleep reading:
  1. Minh, and his double chin...SO kissable!
  2. The nannies taking care of Minh; they are obviously feeding him well, and appear to love him too.
  3. My husband Tod, and my best friend Phil. Two of my three fav boys ever!
  4. Autumn - Our city is beautiful this fall, and I try to spend some time each and every day enjoying the beauty.
  5. All my friends. You know who you are.
  6. My job. I love it. My boss is great (mostly), (most) of my coworkers are great, and the hours aren't too bad either.
  7. My bloggy friends. Thanks, y'all, for reading.

Great Question

I had an email this morning from a friend who asked a great question. (I know you said you were sensitive, but this is a GREAT topic for my blog, and I think it's a wonderfully insightful question, so I'm giving A. full credit for this good topic!! I hope this is ok.).

I've actually gotten this question a few times lately, and have had a long discussion with another PAP (potential adoptive parent) about this very thing: names and adopted kiddos.

To answer the first question many people ask, so kindly (as A. did - "I love his name. I'm glad you kept it".) and others NOT so kindly ("what? That's his name? You're not going to give him a "normal" name?"): Is Minh's name his birth name? Did we change it? How did we decide?

Here's the answer - It is not his birth name. It is CLOSE to his birth name, but we changed it to another common VN name because we felt that we liked the sound of this one better than his birth name (americans can be so awful when pronouncing foreign names!!). However, Tod and I didn't actually PLAN to use this as his first name as we had had another "american" name picked out, but when we heard his birth name, the one very likely given to him by his birth mother, we fell in love with the whole package. We didn't even really discuss it after that!! He was just Minh!!

We had always intended to keep him VN birth name as his middle name, but as I said, when I looked at Tod and told him "We have a son. His name is Minh*" And it was.

I have appreciated when a few of you have emailed me privately to ask "Was this his birth name" or "How did you choose to keep his name". I've always thought (FOR US) it was important to keep some of the birth heritage alive in his name (or in Magic's name too), so that if and when my little ones go out into the wide world, and people see them as Vietnamese (or Chinese), then if they choose to, they will still have their name, to go with their face, their heritage, thier country of origin... Because as much as I hate it, we are ALL judged by others by our face, our skin, our eyes... I've heard other adoptees (from Asia) say that when they were "out in the world" be it collage, or just out and about with friends at the movies, other asians look at them as assume they are "asian"... that they are immigrants with chinese/korean/vietnamese speaking families. That they are EXPECTED to be what people see. Whatever that means...

Anyway, I don't know if this makes any sense. The long and the short of it is this: I wanted my son to have a name that worked in BOTH worlds. I just couldn't bring my obviously vietnamese baby back to the US and name him John. Or Stephen. Or Patrick. When Baby Magic comes home, we have a name picked out for her that we'll use, and it also works in both worlds. She'll get to have her chinese name too. If either of my children at some point when they are older decide they want to change their name back to their birth name, or change it all together, I'll try to be supportive. It's their name. If they want it back, I won't keep them from it.

In vietnam, often times the only information they have in the hospital where the babies are born are the parents names (which are fake, for obvious reasons), and the name of the baby. This, along with her DNA, might be the only thing Minh has from his Mother, and I would hate to take it away from him. That said, we did change his first name a little, and I hope he'll forgive us if it comes to that. But we are fortunate to have his original birth certificate (albeit in Vietnamese and French) but it holds his birth name. I'll keep this for his life book, so at least he'll have that if he wants it.

Anyway, I hope this answers the question in a reasonable way. It was one I personally struggled with, so it is nice to get positive feed-back! A few assholes did ask "But what's his AMERICAN name?"... And as gently as possible I say: Minh. My son's name is Minh.

Bless his heart.

* I'm not giving his birth name here, as I'm not sharing that unless you're family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another day, another chance to get thrown out of the lab

It's sort of become a joke around my house. How many times can Nesh get thrown out of the lab in one week?? Seeing as it's only Tuesday, you'd think I wouldn't have had the chance to break my previous record...and yet, somehow, I've done it. That's right. I'm at home, in my jammies with a dog on my left, and a cat in my lap...while everyone else is still at work. Yup. My mouth got me thrown out AGAIN. Unlike usual, when it's a good natured "get out", today was not fun for anyone involved... but, alas, it does happen. When you get a personality like mine (read mouthy and sassy) and a personality like my boss' (read overbearing and ass-y), well, somedays go better than others. But, for now, I'm home safe and comfy, while my boss is still at work. HA!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Going Down Under, Mates

Just received this today:

I would now on behalf of the AGCSA like to invite you to speak at the 24th Australian Turfgrass Conference to be held in Melbourne from Monday 21 July to Friday 25 July 2008.


This is a major turf-conference in Australia next summer. My boss at Bayer suggested my name a the key speaker at this conference. It's been in the works for a while, but we hadn't worked out all the details until now. My expenses will all be paid, plus they are paying me to speak (a few grand, actually). I guess I better start buying a few new business suits, so I can look the part!!

Woo-hoo!!! Australia, here I come!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday already?!

Well, bloggy people, it's Sunday. My champagne headache/hang over is FINALLY gone... Although, I started my day today with the left over mimosas so I expect it to revisit me this evening. In case you didn't guess, the baby shower was a hit. It was held at Chez Carley so I didn't have to drive, be responsible, or clean up. The fabulous ladies throwing me the party did it ALL. Including mixing me good strong drinks. I had a FANTASTIC time; I have the greatest friends in the whole world. Absolutely WONDERFUL , creative, thoughtful, and fun women. I am so lucky.

Anyway, I WILL post pictures later this week (as soon as I get them), and will fill in the blanks then. For now, I'm going to stay in my PJs all day, drink lots of coffee, and RELAX. Woo-Hoo!

Cuteness for the day: Just finished a little quilt for The Minute Man. Here's a picture of Red Dog "trying out" Minute's quilt.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Busy

Sorry Bloggy People. I've been swamped. I'm STILL swamped. Nothing much to report, actually. Today is some month anniversary of our DTC, I can't bring myself to count how many...I don't read about China anymore; I don't visit blogs, chat rooms, etc. I JUST CAN'T DO IT. I'm trying to focus on the positive, and I can't do it under those circumstances...

Also, I heard interesting news from my agency this week. We will only have 2 weeks notice before we travel to Vietnam. TWO WEEKS!!! That alone makes me crazy(ier). Is that normal?? I figure, 'round about early January, I'll start gathering items for packing, making lists, putting together baby items, buying clothes, diapers, formula, etc. and let it sit in Minute's room until we get the call. I'm fortunate that my boss is incredibly understanding, but what do OTHER people with REAL jobs do?? I can't imagine going to my boss and saying, um, I have that HUGE report due at the end of January, I won't be turning it in b/c I just found out I'm leaving for 2 weeks (or 3 weeks)... EEK!

I'm so melancholy this week... too much going on in my own head. Maybe I'll post about it, maybe I won't. I haven't decided yet. Just don't give up on me!!

I've got a wonderful weekend coming up; baby shower, good friends, babies, oh my!! I am SO looking forward to this weekend you don't even know!!! I'll certainly post pictures for those of you who can't make the shower. Look for them next week though! I have a ton of work to do in the next few days.

Now, back to work for me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New picture is up

On the other site, I have finally posted a new picture of Minute. Again, the picture is awful, but you can certainly tell it's him!! I am stuck already by how much he's changed in such a short time. My heart is sad that I am missing these changes, but know that I will hold him in my arms soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We are NOT with a NOID agency

For anyone out there in the VN adoption community, or anyone researching VN adoption, I'm just posting quickly to let everyone know that while other adoption agencies are having to close their doors (so to speak), our agency has NOT been flagged as a NOID agency. NOIDs are "notice to deny" possible orphan petitions due to "possibly unethical actions" to be able to get out more referrals. I am first going to say that I have a friend who was with one of these flagged agencies, and I have no doubt that she (my friend) is someone that I believe researched agencies carefully, and would never have gone with an agency she felt was unethical. And furthermore, our agency is not on this list (thank god) and I am remaining somewhat ignorant of all this since I can NOT give anymore energy to worrying or speculating. There's enough of that in the China community, and I've tried to remove myself from that as well.

So, I'm not going to make any further comments on this issue, other than to say, our wait has likely extended due to the over-all atmosphere of unethical adoptions, and questionable practices POSSIBLY going on in VN. However, as I have said before, and I will say it again, if I have to wait an extra month to pick up Minh to make dead sure he's a true orphan and NOT a baby taken under unethical circumstances, I will wait my extra month happily. Or 2. Or how ever long it takes. Our case is fairly cut-and-dry, and those of you with whom I have shared Minh's story know what I mean. There is little doubt that he's a "true orphan", and I'll leave it at that.

With that said, I'll put a new picture up something this week, but don't have high expectations. the pictures are awful. But hey, he's my baby!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

new pix of Minute

Ok, in case it isn't obvious, we're calling our little one The Minute Man as a quickie nickname. While we appreciate the other names put forth (while not chosen, the 2nd best included: Minnie the Pooh) this one stuck. So, today (in fact this very hour) I received new pictures of my little Minute!! I'll post one on the other blog later (I'm at the airport, and don't think I'll have time to post here). Look for it tonight. The pictures are actually not very good, but it is obviously my chunky monkey! Yay!! Of course, if you are family (like you, Big Mama!!) you'll get the next email with all the pix!! Lucky lady.

I'll also share the rest next weekend at the baby shower, so if you are on the list, you'll get to see them then.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

VN update...sort of

Our program director is back in the States... Due to technical difficulties on their end, we don't have any news or pix of the Minute Man, but hope to soon. What they did say (in a very general email) was:

...all of the children in our program are well and
thriving and are the most beautiful children in all of Vietnam. Those of you
who have been matched with children will receive pictures soon but please be
patient as we have had some technical difficulties with equipment. Blame
American Airlines for postponing our arrival in Vietnam for three
days and our luggage for five days. We shot video on a borrowed camera but
cannot transfer it to our computers so we will have to wait for the family
to return with the program we need to install. We had to borrow cameras for
still pictures also and are just sorting out which pictures came from what
cameras.

There is also some sketchy news on the I600 debacle, but again, very little ACTUAL info in the recent email. I hope to hear more soon...Of course I'll post pictures to the "other blog" when I get them; but I'll let you know first.

On another note, we fly back tomorrow... a good week, but I wish I were flying home today. I'm ready to see my puppies, Uncle Phil, and my bed, and not necessarily in that order.

The Big Easy

I am in New Orleans... and have obviously NOT learned my lesson when it comes to drinking. Tuesday night (and I mean ALL NIGHT) was spent out and about in the French Quarter - bar hopping and listening to some (strange) good live fusion-rock. A good time WAS had by all, but wow was Wednesday a LONG day. Most of the pictures could be used for blackmail purposes (and have been safely stored elsewhere), so I'm only posting ONE Tuesday night picture (I wonder which one that is...?) and a few other mics. pix from other trips out and about.

I've spent a lot of time in the French Quarter, which is very near to where I'm staying, but I also also spent a morning touring some of the areas that were the hardest hit by Katrina. It was very emotionally draining due to the sadness I felt over the loss of lives, homes, culture, etc., but also amazing to see how the city is slowly coming back. Unfortunately, there are very few "coming back" pictures... since those homes are truly few and far between in much of the worst-affected areas. Pictures include a shot or two from Jefferson Parish, upper and lower ninth ward, the Mighty Mississippi, and other around town shots. As always, the pictures are large, so click on them for a larger and better view. The pictures of the neighborhoods are very typical shots for what I saw over and over and over... Hey, FIMA, you did a heck of a job...who WOULDN'T want to live in that trailer for 2 years?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why oh why...

did I think, at 31, that I could play the DRINKING games I used to play when I was 21???

Ok, some history:
So, back in the day, I went to France to hang-out with my BFF, and lick my very raw wounds from being dumped by my then (ex)fiancee. It was one of those "best times of my life" events in my life, and a LOT of it was spent playing drinking games...One of our favorite movies at the time was Tombstone (for those of you not in the know, it's the story of Wyatt Earp and his crew). We used to drink every time someone would say WYATT on the movie...back then it was fun. Back then, I had very good-looking 20-something year old guys to make sure I got to ... bed safely...

Jump to last night: Phil and I were home alone (Tod was at yogi training) and decided to bring out Tombstone...and the beer. Ok, so, I AM NOT 21 ANYMORE!!!

BTW - would someone turn out the sun, just for today???

Thursday, November 01, 2007

finally, mystery dinner pix

Forgive the lousy quality of these pix, my camera is adequate, but not fantastic... (click on photos to see a bigger version!).




Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My little man is 4 months old today

Ah, instead of having to whine about how long our dossiers have been logged in, I can focus on the positive!! My little boy is 4 months old today... He's been in my life for 25 days already, and it is amazing how my outlook has changed for the better. AND it gives me a LEGITIMATE reason to shop for "stuff" (although to be fair, I haven't actually bought but 2 outfits!! I'm waiting until I get another weight and size check-up!!), AND we're slowly putting the nursery together.

On a related note, I think that while the new CIS regulations are a pain in the ass, our issues seem to be minor... notice I said SEEM... as I've mentioned before, our agency and program directors are in VN right now trying to smooth the transition for those of us waiting to travel (or in our case, likely smoothing our appointment dates, so that we can GET our travel dates). I've already filled out the additional paperwork (just when you think it's over!!) and sent it off to our agency. I'm anxiously awaiting the 5th of November when our directors get back from VN!! By then, we'll know what these new regulations might do to travel dates, if anything.

Also, I'm likely going to be off-line for a few days (although, I WILL post weekend pictures! Have no fear!). New Orleans calls. We leave on Sunday and are gone for a full 5 days. Tod and I haven't had a proper vacation since the summer before last, as we've been saving our money and sick-leave anticipating travel to Vietnam. This is a business trip for me, but I'm staying in the nicest hotel there, and plan to spend A LOT of time "relaxing". Tod's coming too, and while he has work he has to do while there, I think we can work in some fun!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend

Had a nice weekend. Threw a dinner party on Saturday; another Mystery Dinner one. Will post pictures soon.

Annoyed at the new changes to the VN program made by our CIS, and haven't figured out yet if or how we'll be affected and what the F to do about it. Somehow we are ALWAYS ALWAYS in the wrong step at the wrong time... what a hassle. The amazing news for me is still that I am amazingly calm over this. Worse yet I was told it "could" take up to 6 months to travel to the orphanage where M is. Our agency hasn't told us this, so I'm pretending I didn't hear it. However, when I get really sad, or annoyed with the process, I just look at M's picture... (as an aside, is he not the cutest little - ahem, BIG - boy you have ever seen??!!). I have a son. He's my baby. I love him more than anything in the world. I WILL get to him.

I'm thinking of a post I'd like to write on the China process...I've been hearing more and more that pisses me off about the way things are going (how people are having to drop out, etc.)... sad. Anyway, later this week, I'll post on that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

LAME

Ok, face it. I'm uber lame this week. I'm swamped with work, my social life is nil, and I'm SO TIRED I can't sleep... I have another Mystery Dinner this weekend and have been frantically planning. The sad thing is I don't think that most of my guests appreciate how much time these dinner party's take!

Anyway, I'm still here. I'm still so happy to be a mom. And I'm SOOOO ready to go to VN to pick up Minh!!!!

I should have new pictures and an update next week, or possibly, the week after.

On a side note, I'm out of town (again) for a week the first full week in November. New Orleans, baby. I've never been, so I'm pretty stoked. Anyone have any places off the beaten trail that I need to check out?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SP gift - october

OMG - I forgot to post, THANKS KELLY!!!!!!! I received my uber awesome package with the CUTEST little boy clothes!! It helped my closet, since I had only about 4 things for a baby boy!! Thanks so much. I hope your little girl is home safe, and is sleeping peacefully!! Drop me a note and let me know the details, if you have the chance.
Hugs - Nesha

turf grass makes the news


So, I've been busy all weekend working on a turf grass fashion show for the State Fair... yes, you read that right. I sticked grass to the clothes, and then helped the girls get dressed. There aren't really words to describe it, but we did make the local news. (And you can even see the back of my head in the shot of this page...I'm wearing a red tee-shirt...as you can see below.).

Click on the group shot for a better look-see. And yes, ALL that grass is alive...Even the massive fescue coat!



I'll add a few pictures just for more fun:


Friday, October 19, 2007

Good news

Can you STAND any more good news?? We just revived THIS from our program director TODAY!!!

"A brief update to let you all know that Gail and I will be out of the office from Friday, October 19 until Monday, November 5. We will be in Vietnam, going between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Thanh Hoa. While there we will be meeting with adoption officials and orphanage directors and visiting the children currently in our program."

The good news?? Well, they will bring me new pictures of Minh, AND they also TRY to get video too. I have so dearly fallen in love with this little picture, but to have new ones AND video? Well, my cup runnith over.



Not to forget, we just passed our 16th month anniversary of our LID to China... We're still looking at about another full year before referral...which also means our kids could be VERY close in age! At thins point, I just WANT my kids. I don't care HOW old, of course!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The picture is up!

For those of you who emailed me (I hope I got everyone!!), the new site is up. No bells, or whistles, just my little man!

If I forgot to add you to the list, or you forgot to email me, just leave me a comment and I'll get to you later this week. Trust me, he's worth it!! ;->

Sunday, October 14, 2007

want to see pictures? Read below:

I'm back. Can I just say, my trip to Germany was spent in meetings, sneaking peaks at my baby boy, and sleeping...oh, and sneaking peaks at my baby boy. ;->

I'm in such a happy fog right now, I can't believe it. I never EVER thought it possibly that someone could see a picture and truly fall in love. I've heard it happen over and over, but honestly, I was always skeptical... No more. I have 3 (yes, three!!) pictures of Baby V, and I know EVERY picture inside and out. I know his eyes, his hands, his chubby little cheeks... his HAIR!! And I love each and every piece of him. My heart aches to hold his chunky little person in my arms. I am SO absolutely IN LOVE! You will fall for him too! I promise.

Ok, so I'd love to share pictures with my bloggy friends out there, and I thought of a way to do it so that I can honor my agency's request to keep them "sort of private" and still share my pictures with you. So, what I'm doing is setting up a private (and separate) blog this week so that you can email me with your e-address, and I'll send the blog URL to you individually. Just tell me who you are, do I "know" you, and list your blog address if you have one.

On that blog will be the baby's pictures, and some more info (like his name). I'll leave it up for about a week, and then delete it. I'm totally paranoid about giving too much info, so I think this is a good way to do it.

Sound good? There are some very special folks who read my blog (ok, y'all are ALL special, right?), and I think this is a good way to share his pictures without me worrying that everyone and their neighbor could read the stuff I'd rather only y'all knew. So, my personal email is on this post (look under the comments sections), so you can write me with the info. I'll probably put the blog up on Thursday, and take it down the following Monday.

BTW - I travel with tons of pictures, so if you know me, let's grab a coffee sometime and I'll tell you more than you ever wanted to know, oh, and of course, show you my pictures!!!!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

sorry!!

For those of you waiting for pictures, I can't post them yet b/c our agency has asked us to wait. I'm cooking up a way to do it, tho', so be patient, they WILL come. He's too damn cute NOT to share!! It will have to wait until next week, 'cause I leave tomorrow a.m. for Germany for a week. It will be a wonderful trip 'cause I have three wonderful pictures of my new baby boy to gaze at while I fly the friendly skies!

Check back around next Saturday and I SHOULD have the picture thingy worked out by then.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A few more details

DOB - June 30, 2007

Birth weight: 5.9 lbs
(Weight on Sept. 20 th = 12lbs)

Length (on Sept. 20th): 22.4 inches

He's living in an orphanage outside of HCMC.

We are expected to travel in January.

He is obviously being well taken care of by his nannies.

Yes, I have pictures. No, I can't post them yet.

Friday, October 05, 2007

OMG - Guess what

I'm a mom.

We got the call. TODAY.

I'm in LOVE.

He's a BEAUTIFUL baby boy...and he's ours...

more when I get back.

(Have I mentioned how cute he is????)
(And he's ours!!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hey Bloggy People

Just posting briefly to mention I'm out of town at a friend's wedding this weekend, then I leave immediately for "over-seas". I likely won't be blogging anytime soon (unless I can squeeze one in Sunday with wedding pix). I am feeling better today after hearing back from our program director (the little note in green in the last post). And hell, I'm gone a week in October, and then another week in November! That'll keep me from thinking about referrals.

'Sides, the way referrals HAVE been going is that they get them at roughly the very end of the month (or first week or so of the new month). That means I need to just hold out until late October...Maybe early November before I start bitching again. Ok, I can do that. (Honest!!)

Today's also 2 months since our name went on the list for VN. And while I know it's only been 2 months since we officially began our wait for Baby V, we've really been waiting for over 16 months for our first child to come to us. While it makes the wait for Baby Magic easier, it also makes the wait for Baby V that much harder. (Ok, really. I'll stop complaining.)

So, in an attempt to blog about something that isn't The Wait, I had a very interesting dream last night. It was one of those that you wake up form and you totally think it happened (you know what I mean? like one where you had a fight with your spouse, so you wake up pissed at your poor husband who is all like, What I do??... ). Anyway, this one was a totally plausible one where I was at home and got a random phone call from my EX-BFF, Beth. In my dream she needed me for some life-crisis thingy, so we kissed and made-up, and I helped her out. It was so realistic that I woke up and had thought that it REALLY DID HAPPEN. Then I told Phil about it, and he reminded me it wasn't actually REAL... oh, yeah. 'Cause for a minute I was going to call her and be all "Hey, how ARE you?"... but alas, not only do I not have her number anymore, but she doesn't return emails either. (Aha- another dead-horse-topic I kick to death, huh?).

And one LAST thing. Despite all my whining (it IS my Blog after all!!), life is actually really grand. Our house is better than ever (come see it, if you haven't!!), Tod's teacher training is going great, UP is actually (almost) dating (more on this another time!), and we're all pretty happy. I LOVE the Fall.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Slight VN set-back....UPDATED

Well, I wish I had better news to share, but as with everything in my experience (related to adoption) things NEVER EVER go the way we expect. Let me explain:

We were told by our agency that we were on the cusp of the cut off for the next batch of referrals. (This was in August), so I was UBER positive that we would be in the next batch and was so sure that October would be a good month for us (i.e. we'd get our referral!). I can't imagine why I was so damn positive given how shitty our experiences have been thus far, but anyway focus, Nesha, focus... Anyway, I just found this out from our agency today:

We received a group of referrals in late August and another group last week. We do not know if we will be getting any additional referrals before the end of the year, though we are, of course, hopeful!


Ok, so while THEY are hopeful, I'm not anymore. Mainly, I'm so SICK and TIRED of waiting...And I'm sure Y'ALL are sick and tired of hearing about it!!! The only good news is that we should almost certainly be in the NEXT batch of referrals... when ever the $%&# that is.

As a brief aside, I JUST got this this second (After I wrote to say how bloody annoying this waiting is...ok, I didn't say that. I simply said how I understand the program is fluid, and you never know, blah blah blah...

"it’s not that we are not expecting any more this year; it’s that we don’t know for sure...and I don’t want to give our families expectations that cannot be guaranteed. Please do not take provided time frames as set in stone, as (as you said) the process is fluid and cannot always be determined much ahead of time."

Friday, September 28, 2007

TGIF

I am so happy that it's FINALLY FRIDAY!! I have an amazingly LONG few weeks coming up, and I hope to spend a lot of time this weekend relaxing!! So, this weekend I'm going to a native plant sale Saturday morning, then the NC State game*. Saturday night after I get home for the game I have to help Uncle Phil get ready for a ... (wait for it) ... DATE!! (More on this later). Then Sunday is Meeting** , and nothing. No plans what-so-ever. I HOPE to spend it sewing. I have a wedding next weekend for a friend***, then the day after I get back from the wedding, I leave for Germany for a week. UG. I'm looking forward to the trip *mostly* but it is a WORK trip, and low-and-behold I am actually EXPECTED to work! The nerve of these people. (wink).

Anyway, I mentioned before my husband is a pod-person. Briefly, he's doing Yoga Teacher Training (which is awesome), but man are those people he is going to school with an odd bunch. He's sort of like a born-again, but a born-again yogi. He's in class every other week every day/night except Tuesday and Thursday. It's sort of like a cult, too. He's changed his eating habits, his "outlook on life"... don't get me wrong, it's good for him, but it is a lot like a spiritual cult.

Anyway, I need to get back to work. See y'all later this weekend.




*Yeah, State sucks this year, but hey, the tix were FREE, people!
**that's church to all you non-Quaker people out there
*** Said friends' quilt is what I'm sewing on this Sunday...actually just STARTED it yesterday...I'm only about a YEAR behind.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tagged

Since no one is commenting on my latest blog post (hint hint), let me give YOU some info on mememe... I was tagged (sadly it was in August!), on this and I've been putting it off. Now, thanks to a blog-friend at this blog, I am finally accepting the tag. ;->

So here are the "rules":
Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged, you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged & to read your blog!

My middle name is Gita (pronounced Geeta, as in the Bhagavad Gita) So here goes:
G - Gemini - And yes, I do have a duel personality!
I - Impatient - maybe this adoption is god's way of reminding me to be more patient...
T - Tenacious - like no one you have ever met...except possibly my husband, the Taurus!
A - Adoption - duh! A no brainer....

Oh, now I have to tag 4 people. Ok, here goes, Kathryn (sorry friend!), Amy (I LOVE to see your comments on my blog, so here's a fun way to get to know you a little more!), ok, I'm out... pretend I don't count well...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ok, last call, people


I need advice on baby "stuff". I know I've asked before, and gotten a few responses, but this time I need some specific advice. A wonderful friend of mine has offered to throw me a baby shower (I was *almost* struck dumb! I couldn't believe how thoughtful it was and how it meant to me that she offered to do this!!), so she suggested I actually REGISTER! Good advice, but frankly, I don't have a clue about some things!! It'll be WAY easier after we get our referral (fingers crossed that it's soon!) to register for clothes and that sort of thing, but I got stuck on how many BOTTLES there are out there and which ones are good (like I have a clue!!). I think I managed to get like 8 things on there...not too bad, but I am still ... well, unsure. I think my closets are beginning to look like I have a few necessary items (hey, bibs I've got!), but I think now I need to get into the nitty gritty. Like bottles and diapers. Not fun, but will definitely be necessary. So any moms out there, ESPECIALLY parents of children from Vietnam PLEASE put your thoughts down under comments!!! I'm begging and it ain't pretty.

I DID take a Baby 101 class over the weekend. It was a lot of fun, and informative. The mother teaching it was not only a mother of 5 kids (with one on the way!), but one little girl adopted from China. She was able to speak to a few issues APs tend to face more often than bio-parents (like night terrors which can happen in any child, but are more common in a-kids). She covered feeding, diapering, attachment and bonding, carriers, wipes, etc. but she didn't go into specific detail about any single item (well, she did about a few things, but that's not what I need help on obviously!). Want to know a sad secret? I took 6 pages of notes on what she said. The way I figured it, as a parent of 5 kids, she knows what she's talking about!! I also liked her and felt that we agreed on some of the "big" concepts, so I think the advice she gave is good. (as a minor disclaimer - which I am adding as I just got unfairly attacked on someone else's blog so I'm a little sensitive - I KNOW every parent has to make their own way. blah blah blah. Sure, but for those of us who don't have a clue, it feels good to at least have something to start with.)

I've been very fortunate to have a precious few friends lately with little people, including my uber cool SP, and I love getting advice from them on baby "stuff". So, remember, keep the advice coming, and Brooke, I am still counting on YOU the day I receive my referral to take me by the hand and help me collect some other necessary (and cute!!) items.

Ok, I should probably stop baby-obsessing and get back to work... (even though my peanut-to-be is WAY more fun to think about than my dissertation peanuts ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!!)

as a teaser for the days to come... My husband has been taken over by tree-huggers and has become a raw-foodist. Yeah, weird. More to come!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Much needed day off

Took today off work as a mental health day. I was desperate to have some down time. I spent the morning with one of my fav friends, and then did some fabric shopping. Now I'm home. The house is spotless, the dogs are sleeping...and I'm all blogged-out. I think I'll make a cup of tea, and pick up the book I started 3 weeks ago (and am only on page 70!!). Good times.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Home Tour Pix






Ok, NEW updated pictures of my humble abode. Let's see, we've got sewing room (which will become the Baby's room), dining room (with Tod's Great Grandmother's table!!), kitchen, living room, and Master Suite.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What weekend?

I am so freakin' exhausted. We had the home tour this weekend - yes, I have pictures, but not time to upload them now- no fewer than 350 people came through my house. I had to smile and say nice things the entire 3 hours. Tod did finally spell me at 4:30 (with 30 minutes to go!), but I was so tired, my voice was giving out, and I had the bright idea to wear heels (but forgot my pearls). My feet and back are STILL killing me!! However, the house looked spectacular. We go so many fantastic comments and everyone was SOOOOO nice and LOVED the house, it was totally worth it. Other than I have a 12 hour day ahead of me today and I am totally beat! I plan to spend next weekend in bed reading and sewing. Aside from one social event (dinner with friends who helped clean up our yard this weekend!), I'm RELAXING!!! Honestly!

As a side-product of this home tour, we've now been asked to be on a neighborhood hay-ride tour for holiday-decorated homes for this Christmas. I better start buying tacky decor now!!

Anyway, it was great, but WOW it was a lot of work. I WILL post pictures this week. They look great!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quick update...part 2

From our agency today:

"Your dossier is on its way to the Vietnam consulate in San Francisco".


Wooo-hooo!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh, and....

Oh, I also forgot to mention, we received our NEW I-171H for China today. Our fingerprints were taken on July 24th. Now we have (so far) successfully navigated the US Government Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services mine-field... Another (minuscule) victory. Of course, we very well may need to re-do our i-171H for China based on this depressing statistic:

On 8/24/06, the CCAA released referrals for the dates of 7/14-7/22/05. Now here it is over a year later - and they have not yet finished NOVEMBER 2005! So, it took a full year to cover 4 months of referrals.


Now let's see how long it takes them to RENEW our ORIGINAL I-171H (which was for China, but remember we switched it to VN?)... just in time to have it expire. So, I sent the renewal package out yesterday. I think they said it should only take 2 weeks, but who knows how long it will REALLY take??!!

And pppssst. our agency called me to make extra extra sure the original one - for VN- was good through October 2007. You know, so when we get our REFERRAL (!!!!!) it's good to go.

Picture P-rade

I've seen others do this on their blog, and well, either I whine about wait times (I hear that wait times are increasing for EVERYONE in EVERY program), or I focus on the positive. So, whining it is. HA HA, JK. I'm focusing on the positive. I've been happily collecting some baby "stuff" over the last few weeks. Well, much of it has come from my Secret Pal, (as you will see in my pictures, Kelly)! The rest I've been buying piece-meal totally on sale (as in 1.78$ per item of clothing!!) at Target every time I go.

So, for something fun, I thought I'd take a picture of Baby M's closet {that she's sharing with her big brother (?)}. Right now, I have all my baby stuff together since we still don't know if we're getting a boy or girl from VN (95% sure it'll be a boy, tho'). Here's the closet and the dresser for the kids:


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pix of SP gifts

Aren't my gifts the BEST?! Stuff I didn't even KNOW existed, and something that doesn't show up in the pictures are the awesome notes she sends with the gifts! (Oh, and see, I opened the DVD last. It looks like a really cool one. I don't have anything like that, and wouldn't even think to buy one...but you make some excellent points with the concept of using it for some parental quiet time!).





Also shown here is my favoritest puppy dog "helping"me make Baby M's OHGWQ (or, rather, ONE of Baby Magic's OHGWQ's... that's One Hundred Good Wishes Quilts for all you not-in-the-know folks out there). This one is all from June Buggers (Kelly, look on the right side, 4th one down!! I had the EXACT right number with yours in there!!).

I'd like to make one for Baby V (that's V as in Vietnam, not V as in 5, BTW. Not very creative I'm afraid, but we've got names picked out and no we're not sharing.), but haven't felt inspired to do a OHGWQ. I do think I have the nursery "theme" picked out. I don't need to be all matchy-matchy but I think for this theme I'm making a quilt (I have the BEST fabric, will have to take a picture to share), I have a mobile over the changing table, and have bought this bedding. Our furniture is white, so I think this will go nicely!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Advance of the Home Tour

Here's what the Neighborhood Association put out in advance of the home tour coming up this weekend. Our house "highlight" is at #6. I hope to have photos up this weekend sometime. We had "professional" photos taken (actually the Neighborhood Association had them done), but we haven't seen them yet. They will put up poster-sized pictures of our house at the kick-off for the tour on Sunday. The homes on it are supposed to be a "surprise", so the little highlights in this flier are simply teasers! Then, the pictures are supposed to entice folks to visit the houses shown in the giant pictures. I keep thinking "what the hell am I thinking? Allowing total strangers waltz through my HOME." Oh well. It's too late to go back now. Nothing to do but tidy the place, and bake some cookies to make it smell good. ;->

Monday, September 10, 2007

My SP rocks

Ok, I was still at work at 8:00 PM tonight. I walked into a DISASTER at home (the boys were relaxing in front of the TV...). And we have the home tour in less than a week... 300 strangers walking through my house. And it's a total mess. I was freaked out, and grumpy (well, being at work for over 10 hours helped that) and only wanted to go to BED! but, Tod mentioned I had a package!! So I took the time to open this wonderful package from my Secret Pal. And let me just say, as I have before, she is UBER AWESOME!!!! Her gifts are so thoughtful and incredibly USEFUL. I just can't believe how fortunate I am to have the PERFECT secret pal. Thank you thank you!! I'll post pictures tomorrow when I am not too lazy to hook up my camera to my computer! And I'm not falling asleep at the keyboard too. ;->

Thanks again, Kelly!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

OMG - Guess what!??

Ok, so, I've been out of town the last few days visiting fam in D.C. LONG trip, but a good one. That's not what's important. Check this out, and then forget I mentioned anything. On the train on Thursday, we got a call from our agency director. She was calling to make sure we had all our CIS paperwork in good shape. Because, she said "Things are moving fast". She wanted to make sure everything was good through at least October. She said "don't quote me, but you should have your referral in the next 2-3 months". HAPPY HAPPY!!

Now, with that, I promptly went out and started buying baby "stuff"!! I bought this changing table (although it's not shown, this also has an addition to the top that converts it to a book-shelf above, which I also got). Also, while we were at the place buying the changing table, the Soon-To-Be- Grumpa John (that's Tod's Dad, BTW, not Grampa, but Grumpa), bought this cool dragon. Isn't it CUTE?!

We also happened to be picking up some other stuff, including a bunch of my husband's baby books, and a few adorable little items of clothing (including a now-retro bellbottom-onsie! I kid you not!!).

A dear friend is giving us a crib, and my thoughtful bro gave us a stroller/carseat thingy last year, so we're STARTING to look good in the "stuff" department. Now I just need the misc. items like bottles, etc. Oh, and clothes for boys. I have a TON of adorable girls clothes, but I'm positive we'll be getting a little fellow, so I need to do some shopping - but I am going to wait a few months until the referral comes before I do any clothes shopping. Then, watch my dust!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

DTV - 1 month down

Ok, anniversary number 1 with Vietnam. One month down. We still have no more info than we did before on our wait times. Our agency (who FINALLY got back to me after 3 months) told me today to expect our wait "for referral 3-6 months, and 4-5 months to travel". It seems every time we hear something the time lines have changed. I'm so damn tired of being behind. Of not knowing. Of being childless. Of asking WHEN... While the wait for Baby V has only been one month, it feels like it's been years, well, b/c we quite literally HAVE been waiting years. Just not for Baby V, but for Baby Magic. So the wait feels compounded.

Do I sound like I'm whining? Damn skippy. Do I have every right to do so (as it's my blog)? Damn right.

Do I need more sleep? No doubt.

Friday, August 31, 2007

rant! (includes foul language)

So, I just finished reading a blog that I really enjoy from an AP (adoptive parent) of a little boy from Vietnam. Much of the time the posts are thought provoking, well written, and I truly like reading her blog. But tonight got me hot under the collar. While she posted on a topic that makes a lot of people get hot, (and I love a good discussion!), I felt that for the most part she was basically putting-down parents who switched from China (or other programs) to Vietnam. Or parents who make gender choices (i.e. say they only want a girl). Ok, Ok, It was her opinion, so who was I to get upset by it? Well, it may be her opinion, but it make me think hard about it, and, frankly, I didn't really like her view point. I think it sucked. I am basically a "live and let live" kind of person. If you want to adopt a child from say Korea, but then find out you can't because you are labeled "obese", does it make you a bad person if you switch to another country, say Vietnam? No, I don't think so, but it's also not any of my business! I fee that if children who need good loving homes are matched with families that will provide good loving homes for them, then everyone wins.

I also left a long comment on her blog; something I rarely ever do. And I haven't decided if I want to link her blog here or not. I don't know her, and am not a celebrity anywhere, and certainly NOT in blog-land, so I don't feel right linking to her post, BUT, if you are interested in reading her post on "gender selection in adoption", then comment on this post, and I'll email you the link. If you agree with me, or even if you don't, her point/post is a good read. (***I have added her link - down lower- b/c it is a very worth-while-read and a very important issue***)

Also, I have a question for you PAPs or APs out there. When you decide to create a transcultural/transracial family, does that mean you have to LOVE the country your child comes from BEFORE you adopt from that country??? I chose Vietnam in less than a week, when we were choosing our second country for our second adoption. I had studied and loved the history and people of Vietnam in my college days, but hadn't thought much about it in my adult life. We had briefly looked in to VN when we started the China process, but VN was closed. That made the choice easy. China it was. We would have gone to China for #2 IF it didn't look like we'd have to wait another 5 years for that to become a reality. So, with very little forethought, we chose VN. I have since begun to read about the history/people/culture, etc. again. And to fall in love with VN again. But honestly, while we were waiting to START our paperchase for Baby Magic in China, I read anything and everything about China. I read Chinese news (in English, of course!!), I read books, I learned about the holidays, the culture, etc. For YEARS I studied it. And now I feel cheated. China's making selfish political choices to "save face" and my family and my friends are caught in this political stupidity. We are hurting and waiting and are hoping and praying that we get to bring our baby home before China closes the program, or puts it on hold again. I'm MAD at China now. Should we pull out of China b/c I no longer love the political environment? or because I am sick to death of this damn process (where, I might add, we've sunk a ton of money, not to mention the HUGE emotional investment!)? Hell no. Does this mean that b/c I didn't LOVE Vietnam for years immediately proceeding our VN adoption, I'm not going to be a good parent to my Vietnamese-born child? Fuck no. And anyone who says otherwise can f-off.

Ok, I've changed my mind. Here's the post I was talking about: "gender selection in adoption" .

Discuss.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back at it


It's amazing what a little good news will do! I'm feeling human and more like myself today, partly b/c we had such good news yesterday (wheew!) and partly b/c we had a nice adult dinner with friends last night... um, let me rephrase that, as it sounds as though there was some nudity and possibly some naughtiness involved along with the food... no, just 2 professional couples out to a nice meal with intelligent conversation. Don't get me wrong, we have wonderful meals with wonderful people often, but they usually involve lots of alcohol, bawdy behavior, and foul language (my favorite kind)! Last night was a "real" out on the town sort of evening. Tod and I don't tend to spend that kind of money on meals (or anything for that matter, other than the adoption stuff!!), so it was nice to go to a nice place with friends and just chat.

Ironically enough, I've wanted to get out more with friends and just with Tod too, to meals, dinner, a bar, etc. BEFORE we become parents to a new baby! However, with the adoption costs what they are (well, what the TWO adoptions have cost!), we've been pretty cash-poor of late.

Anyway, I'm back. I should be up and blogging about the mundane, the insane, and the lack of rain real soon.

What's coming up next? my rant about agencies that can't bother to answer emails asking for information...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Great News!! (UPDATED)

We're doing great. The appointment went really well. I'll post more later, but for now; Tod's NOT worse (we were afraid he was), there IS a murmur, but it's not to the point that the doc is worried about it now that he's seen the echocardiogram. We've been told to come back in one year. YIPPY!!

Ok, here's what happened: Tod's cardiologist picked up on Tod's murmur at his last (recent) appointment, and was afraid it was worsening, rather than better (which was of course, the point of surgery!! to make it BETTER!). Dr. Jimmy wanted to be extra careful that things weren't taking a nose-dive so he ordered more tests. Yesterday were those tests. He looked at the results, and bada-bing, things are not worsening at all. They are "staying the course".

The bright side, no surgery on the near horizon! Tod won't miss the trip to pick up Baby V. We WILL get to spend a week on vacation in New Orleans this November...

on the down side, it is likely he will have surgery again in the not too distant future. BUT by then, we'll have OLDER kids, not babies, and we'll have some time to prepare both emotionally, physically, and financially! Plus, Baby Magic and Baby V's Grand Big Mamma is now retired, so SHE can take care of the little ones!! ;->

Today's the day

Well, we will have our appointment at 4:00 today. I'm trying to stay positive, and keeping busy. I'll try to post tonight (but our connection at home has been spotty). Otherwise, I'll post tomorrow sometime about how today goes. Thanks again to all of you who have emailed or called with your support. It helps more than you know.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

still here

We're still here... and all in all, we're doing ok. We had a minute amount of good news on the VN adoption front: our referral time line has gotten shorter - whooo hooo! More on this when I know more!! Also, we have just had our house photographed for a Raleigh Home Tour happening in September. Crazy! It looked fabulous for like a whole day!!! The pics are for the brochure the committee puts together before the tour, and entices people to come by. We are expecting anywhere from 200-250 people to traipse through our house. I'll take some photos of the house insides when the time rolls around. We did a "dry run" yesterday (before the photographer came), and the place looked beautiful. My new orchid in the living room didn't hurt either. ;->

Tod's doing pretty well, all things considered. He was in mourning for about a week after his last appointment, but is doing better now. We just need to survive until Wednesday (our appointment is at 4:00, BTW. I'll try to post that evening on how it goes). After Wednesday, well, life will go on. As my wonderful boss said to me the other day "life is just a shit sandwich". Indeed. I just keep trying to focus on the positive. The new baby on the way. Baby Magic, who is somewhere over the rainbow (in a bloody-minded communist country)...

I try to remember to just breathe.

Ok, this is me.
Breathing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Support

Thanks for everyone who's emailed/called/commented to offer support. I am just jumping on briefly to let everyone know we have to wait one more week before we know anything for sure... LONG WEEK, but we're hanging in, mostly. My folks are in for a visit and that is helping a lot. We're having a great time, and enjoying everything but the weather. I'll be back later this week if I have any news.

Friday, August 17, 2007

out of touch

sorry I've been out of touch lately. I've been super busy with work, and worse yet, this week we got some bad news. Tod had his 1.5 year check up for his post-heart surgery, and things don't look good. I'm not prepared to discuss it further, but we'll know more Wednesday afternoon. Until then, I need some quiet family time. Please feel free to email me or call me if you want to catch up, but until next week, I need some "down" time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All over the place

I'm desperately trying to blog with a spotty internet connection, too much work to catch up on before my big meeting this afternoon. I'm all over the place. I've been working hard around the house, with more and more projects I want to finish, the further I get into the projects I've currently working on!

I have been spending some good quality time with some wonderful ladies lately, and wanted to give a quick shout out to J and her twins (thank you thank you for your help. I'd love to get together again soon!), Jen from BFE, Iowa (had a GREAT time sorry you had to leave so soon!), Heather (the garden looks awesome!,)and Kathryn and Chris (always always lovely to get together with you both!!). I've been reminded lately that life is what you make of it. If you surround yourself with wonderful people, then the sad/bad/mad days go away much faster. I love the discussions with friends, I love the "we're in this together-ness" I've been having. I can't WAIT to bring our baby from Vietnam (for whom I still don't REALLY have a good nick name ...)home and into this wonderful community of people.

Work will slow down for me after this week (a little any way!)and I hope to get back to blogging with more regularity. I am also looking forward to 2 full days off from work this week!!! I hope to spend one day with a fellow adoptive Mom, and the next day relaxing and sewing. I can't wait!!

Hope everyone out there in blog land had a nice weekend. I'll be back online soon!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I-171H - Hanoi VN

Got it!! After much confusion, and too many fingerprint appointments, WE FINALLY HAVE OUR LAST piece of the dossier for VN. We're on the waiting/referral list already, but now everything will go to get translated. The final step before being sent to VN.

Sorry I haven't blogged much. My internet is out at home, and I've been OUT IN THE FIELD all week in over 100 degree heat... no time to even check email. I'm back (mostly) now, so I hope to have something to day soon!!

Don't give up on me yet, folks!

Monday, August 06, 2007

For real!

Ok, no time to blog, but did want to mention I did indeed hand deliver our dossier to our agency Friday morning. It was a wonderful experience!! Gail (our program director) even went over it with me so I knew everything was in order!! We are now officially on the LIST!!!

More later.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dossier - DONE!

Ladies and Gents, it is done. Tomorrow, I hope to hand deliver our dossier to our agency myself. Vietnam, HERE WE COME!!!

I have some complaints about our State branch of CIS (yes, MORE complaints), but I don't have time to post them today... suffice to say when once we had NO fingerprint appointments, now we have two separate appointments...when it rains, it pours.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Super Nerd

Ok, a friend encouraged me to post this. Talk about an UBER science dork. Think Pinky and the Brain. Think Bunsen Honeydew and his trusty sidekick Beeker... I'm NERDIER than THAT even!!

Check this out: TurfNEt July 2007

(This is slow to load, so be patient, it's worth it!)

..and oh yeah. That's ME on the cover with my plants....

Monday, July 30, 2007

Online discussion: China's one child policy

I ran across this on PRI (Public Radio International's) website. Thought I'd post it in case anyone out there wants to comment. I found the discussion interesting, and sometimes infuriating...

Online Discussion: China's one child policy

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friends, part V or is it VI?

I just wanted to say that most of the time, I can't give up on a person/friendship even when I should. I'm obnoxiously persistent and tenacious in everything, but especially with relationships. I just want to mention 2 things.

1) For the last 8 months, I've been sending random "make friends again" notes to an ex-friend who I had a falling out with...surprise surprise, she's ignoring me. I got a bite once, but it was only about 10 words long, and was basically a "have a nice life, I'm too (busy? stuck-up?) to be bothered with you" note. Sadly, I keep writing to her...why the f@ck is that I wonder? I obviously can not take a hint.

2) However, the other day I followed up with another person I hadn't heard from for a long time. Same sort of situation (minus the falling out!!), I emailed her a bunch, but didn't hear back... I was starting to think about maybe giving up..."taking the hint" if you will, but I didn't. I kept emailing and trying to connect. Finally yesterday she called me, and reminded me why I kept trying. She simply hadn't been getting my emails, and was very glad I persisted. And you know what? I really really value this person's friendship, and I am so glad I didn't give up on her. It reminded me that sometimes people's lives get in the way, or they just don't get the note, but it is worth remembering that good friends are WORTH keeping in touch with. Thanks again, K.

I guess THAT'S why I can't take a hint. Some friendships ARE worth it...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Progress - on China adoption

For those of you in the know, check this out!!! (Thanks, S for bringing this to my attention!!):


The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before June 30, 2006.


What does this mean?? It means we're finally officially ok to adopt from China. Once the dossier gets to China, it goes to the CCAA. They sift through the family's dossiers to make sure the families/ dossiers meet all China's standards. If they have problems, or questions about your dossier, you have to fix them, or get kicked out all together. Once they have reviewed your dossier, and you havne't heard anything, that's good news. Now, we are cleared for take-off... or at least to sit on a shelf and gather dust until next summer sometime. But hey, at least WE KNOW WE'RE IN!!

The pieces come together (oh, and a RANT)

I had a call from our agency today (our Vietnam agency). They have all our documents checked over, and now all we have to do is take them to be certified at the State level (which as it's right down the street here in Raleigh, I'll hand deliver at 8:00 a.m. next week and pick up at the end of that same day!!), and then I'm hoping to hand deliver it to my agency late next week. The only thing holding me up is that a) I wanted our agency to check over our paperwork before we spent the time and money getting them certified!! and b) money. Sadly, this adopting thing costs A LOT OF MONEY.

People who haven't gone through it can't really comprehend the costs...and not just the money ('cause for the most part, the "old fashioned way" is still free! But if that doesn't work, well, you have to think about other options!) but also the emotional cost. Many folks out there are adopting b/c they can not/are unable to have children "through natural birth" (ok, this is a huge digression, but I hate many of the terms associated with the adopted vs. not adopted child. "Natural birth" implies that the adopted child came to a family via UNnatural birth... other terms used are of course "biological - or BIO - child" again, making it sound like the adopted baby is not actually a biological child but a... a what? not from a living being?? Since the rough definition of biological is: is any natural material that originated from living organisms. Same issue with "real child"... um, no. my kid is going to be plastic... Anyway, you were warned about this digression...)...

where was I?

Oh yeah, the cost. Anyway, I got sidetracked, but I wanted to mention we would have had this turned in sooner but we are about a brand new car shy. That's right. When we turn our dossier in, we also buy a new car...only, we don't get the car. We just get to turn over a ton of money that many people use to say, buy a new car. Oh, and you can't finance this type of expense. If I wanted a car, I could get a bank loan FOR THE CAR and pay over time. There simply isn't anything in place for adoption expenses. So, we're taking out a loan against our house. And living on beans and rice for the next 8 months. One of these days, I'd like to post about the different costs that the agency doesn't tell you about, but for now, I'd like to post something a friend of mine posted on her blog. I think she said it very well. And more importantly, she is very diplomatic. Something I, um, am not. heh.

So, here's what my good friend Noelle's Mom has to say about the cost of adoption:

Dispelling An Adoption Myth

Ok, I have to get on my soapbox for a moment.

This weekend I attended a friend's wedding and of course got lots of questions and comments about the adoption. I appreciated all of this for the most part...until MONEY came up. What is the deal with people asking if it costs a lot of money to adopt (and sometimes asking how much)? We get this question more often than I care to say from people we know as well as from people we don't know! I realize that most people are simply making conversation. I just don't know why this has become the "How's the weather?" question to ask when making adoption small talk.

I never know what to say. Yes, it's a lot of money. But it costs a lot of money to be pregnant and birth a baby these days, too. Nobody talks about that. The difference is that insurance doesn't cover the costs of adoption; however, there is an adoption tax credit, which helps.

I'd like to add that it also costs of lot of money to buy a car and to have and do many things that people have and do in our society - things that are obviously, crystal-clearly so much less important than/not even in the same planetary realm as children. So the cost of an adoption is really small, actually tiny, potatoes. One would think it goes without saying. Furthermore, there are grants and loans out there for people who can't afford to adopt without financial assistance.

But enough about that. The main reason for writing this post has to do with a pretty terrible comment I got (and this is the first time I've actually gotten this one) that started with, "When you buy your baby..." -- this is the MYTH I want to dispel. I really didn't know how to respond to this, and I basically didn't. I've never been quick with words, and I have been feeling very frustrated and regretful ever since that I didn't say something. So I will do my small part to set the record straight, at least in blogger land:

Adoption is a long, complicated process, involving numerous agencies, both governmental and private. Lots and lots of people from the adoption agency, local government, the federal government, and in our case, China, play a role in the process over many months and sometimes years, and of course all these people have to get paid for their work. Some of the specific costs include:

-adoption agency application fee (someone has to review the application and give the initial approval for the family to adopt)
-home study fees (parents have to be interviewed multiple times by a social worker as well as fill out tons of paperwork and write short autobiographies)
-medical costs (parents have to have medical exams done, and the baby does as well before being brought home)
-paperwork costs (multiple copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, background checks, etc. must be obtained, and everything has to be notarized)
-citizenship & immigration fees and fingerprinting (the U.S. government also has an application process to adopt internationally, and it expires after 18 months, so we'll get to do this again - oh joy!)
-certification & authentication fees (all the paperwork has to have official approval from the secretary of state)
-adoption agency fees (usually charged in 2 installments - they do a lot of work on behalf of families to educate us throughout the process, prepare dossiers and facilitate adoptions with China)
-dossier and legal fees in China (processing and finalizing the adoption)
-passports and visas (the parents and the baby have to have them)
-travel expenses, including agency guides while in China (2 weeks for China adoption)
-donation to child's orphanage (covers cost of caring for the child and helps them improve their facility to care for more children - the amount is extremely reasonable, and Chris and I (and I'm sure all adoptive parents) completely support it)
-post-placement home study report (the social worker returns at 6 months and 12 months)

This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it illustrates how many people are involved in orchestrating an adoption and that families are paying for NUMEROUS SERVICES -- NOT FOR A BABY. I really thought our society at large understood this, but apparently not. This was an educated (and by the way, nice) person, who made this comment to me. And Chris had a doctor tell him at a first appointment last year, "Some people think international adoption is buying babies." Would that be you, Doc?

The way to dispel a myth is to talk about it, so hopefully I've reached at least a few people who were in the dark. If others do the same, then little by little, this whole "baby-buying" B.S. will go away. Fellow adoptive parents, I promise to do a better job on the spot next time!

P.S. If you're asking about adoption costs because you, yourself, are interested in adoption, no problem! You might just want to make that known. :)


I couldn't have said it better myself, which is why I let K say it for me!!