Tuesday, January 29, 2008

IT IS FINALLY HERE! the 1-600!

Dear Mr./Mrs. Carley,

Attached please find the Acknowledgment of receipt of your I-600

Kindly forward to us the email that (your adoption agency) enclosed the child's photo
when they referred this child to you.


Adoption Unit

U.S.CIS-Ho Chi Minh City

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Inta-celeb-status and paperwork trauma, oh my

Two posts in one, can you STAND it?? (well, sort of 3 posts!)

So, I became an instant celebrity (by accident) at the nail salon I go to in town today. My on-again-off-again BFF and I were having a mani/pedi (as my usual date is at home nursing a new BEAUTIFUL baby!!) at the place I always go, and I became an INSTANT celebrity at the salon today. I knew the owner and the other girls that worked there were Vietnamese, but I have NEVER said any thing directly about the adoption when I'm there b/c I never know how people are going to take it, and well, I just don't go telling everyone about it (honestly!!). But today I totally slipped up. Laz and I were talking about her upcoming move and I happen to mention that I would be in Vietnam (theoretically) while she is moving so I couldn't be counted on to help. As soon as I mentioned Vietnam the entire salon went silent, then the owner totally comes over and taps me on the should and starts asking me ALL KINDS of questions like "You go to Vietnam?" "Why you go to Vietnam?" "When you go to Vietnam?"... I explained I was adopting a little boy from Vietnam, etc. etc. I just happened to have a bunch of pictures with me - in my handbag (I had his 4, 5, and 6, month old pictures with me), and when I pointed to them, the owner pulled them out and started showing them off - it was like Minh was his kid! He was so pleased and kept saying how wonderful it was. EVERYONE (all the nail techs) wanted to see the pictures and they started passing them around, and cooing, and asking questions. They kept saying how cute he was (well, duh!), how chubby he was (oh, yeah! he is!!), and remember the bracelet? They were all like "if he's a boy, why does he have a bracelet on?" ? Why indeed? Anyway, they had ALL KINDS of questions that I tried to answer in a correct and honest way w/out giving too much info, you know what I mean? Anyway, it was mildly embarrassing, but also really positive. Go figure.

Now, on to post #2: I came home from shopping -after buying my FIRST REAL suit, Jenny Ann where are you when I need you? - anyway, I had a package in the mail box. Minh's dossier! I was really excited until I opened it up. It was really sad. It had stuff in it like "Abandonment Report" and his official birth report (those of you in-the-know know the story. NOT very pleasant). Anyway, the paperwork is all about how my son has no family/when he went into the orphanage/which and what wing of the hospital he was born in/on... anyway, it was hard to read. I've packed it back up and am putting it away for a LONG time... Oh, but a brief follow-up, Tod, and Phil, and I went to see Juno last night. It was so cute!! We laughed, we cried, it became a pat of us... what a great movie!

Oh, one last thing I am meeting with the entire Arnold Palmer GOLF COURSE DESIGN TEAM next week!! (Oh, yeah, THAT A. Palmer). Me!!! I'm in charge of showing them what I'm planning for the course I'm working on with them here at State. Up to this point, my boss-man has been doing all the meetings, but now we have to get into the nitty-gritty and I AM IN CHARGE of that part! So, I've been working like mad to get a portfolio together to show them, and doing a TON of research. And, I also had to buy a suit, of course. So, I am now ready! The only thing I DON'T get to do is go play golf with Arnold (the other 2 guys I I work with ARE playing golf with Arnold, but since I don't actually PLAY golf, I wasn't invited). Anyway, I'm uber excited and very pleased to be able to wear my very first REAL suit to a REAL business meeting (with very important people on a very important project!!).

Anyway, see the picture below ? That's my golf course!!! Ok, so, it's not much yet, but it's MINE!!
(click on picture for a BIGGER version)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

so what does that mean, exactly?

So, once we get CIS (formerly INS) approval, we are cleared for travel. Recent changes in the process has caused a back-log, but the first few travel approvals were coming out and folks were traveling 2-3 weeks later. HOWEVER, some people have been waiting the full 60 days to get their travel approval once they receive the I600 paperwork... So, what does this tell us? Pretty much nothing, OTHER THAN once we receive our official I600 paperwork (should be next week sometime), we will wait no LONGER than 60 days to travel, but as few as say 2-3 weeks. I'm NOT anticipating a speedy travel for any reason other than NOTHING has gone quickly for us (other than our referral!!), so I expect to travel in March. We SHOULD know more next week. When I know it, y'all will know it. TRUST ME!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Can you stand some GOOD NEWS?

Check this out, people!!!! Just in from our agency (btw - this note is "confidential", so please do not copy or share it. Thanks:

Good news! We received Minh's paperwork from our staff in HCMC today. I will put it together and send a copy to you by the end of the week. It will also be sent, by our staff in VN, to CIS in HCMC by early next week. I will let you know exactly when this is sent.

This means that, beginning next week or so, start checking your email (all

addresses) inbox and junk mail box for a letter from CIS acknowledging their receipt of your I600 paperwork. Once you receive this, please forward a copy to me (CIS doesn't always cc me on it). Your receipt of this letter will mean that CIS has your file and has begun their process of issuing pre-approval. They have assured us that this process will take no more than 60 days, after which you can soon board a plane for VN!


Headin' south

Or, rather, heading MORE south. I'm off next week for a full week in Orlando. Lots of food, sleeping in, catching' some sun, watching bad TV (my fav thing to do when staying in a hotel!!), oh, and some professional-type stuff when I squeeze that in. LOL.

I may post some misc. stuff before then. I have been working on Minh's nursery. I have a crib, bedding, etc. I even took a picture or two. I've just been too lazy to post them.

Anyway, don't be a stranger!!

Oh, and you know what?? I'm doing GREAT. Just in case anyone out there is wondering. I'm trying to stay positive, throw myself into my work, and have some fun, and you know what? I'm doin' it, and I'm lovin' it!! Oh yeah!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

China - the dirty word

Ok, sorry. I'm SOOOO over China right now. I've been saying that for sometime, although maybe not so blatantly. Am I still excited about Baby Magic? Yes, very much. Are we going to keep waiting another YEAR before we bring her home? You bet. Can I keep the same emotional attachment to the idea of the adoption, the country, etc? NO way. I've shelved it. Kind of like a really really good friend (hum, am I referring to someone I know?? I wonder) that sort of drops out of your life. Do I think about her? I mean, it - the adoption - hell yeah. Do I sit around pining over the "loss". NOT ANYMORE. Baby Magic STILL has a place in my life, my heart, and our home, but right now she is no longer real to me. I used to think of her as a REAL baby; I would think of her in her orphanage, making friends (do 6 mo olds make friends??), bonding with her nannies, learning to smile... now, when I think of her she is only a dream. I've boxed up all her clothes, her toys, and all the wonderful gifts Kelly gave me. They are all out-of-sight in my attic. I simply CAN NOT keep the same emotional attachment that I had OVER 2 YEARS AGO when we started. We just passed another LID month anniversary. I don't even know what number it is. Sure, I could count, by WHY? Another month, no end in sight. Check THIS out: just got this from our China (only) agency:

As of October 2007, the CCAA has approximately 30,000 dossiers waiting to be matched.
The CCAA received fewer than 300 dossiers from all over the world in December 2007, the fewest in the past ten years. The CCAA also closed over 100 files upon request of waiting families. (This means that families -waiting like us -have pulled out of China)

Our agency also said that they expect more people to pull out of China, and that there will be fewer and fewer dossier SENT to China. The whole bloody situation is so awful. I really feel for families who want to start the adoption process but haven't yet, those who HAVE started and are waiting, and those who would LIKE to do a second adoption, but are unsure of what is happening in the current adoption world. China's wait time is at 3 years, folks. Russia, pretty much closed, Guatemala (#2 for international adoptions) is officially closed with 3,000 kids in limbo (matched but families can't travel and don't know if they will anytime soon)... There are also Vietnam programs closing, or simply no longer taking new applications... WTF??!!!

Ok, well, I do hope to have some good news SOON, so don't TOTALLY give up on me. But it does kinda get old saying the same damn thing over and over.

nope, no news.

No, haven't heard anything.

Yes, he's getting older. No I can't JUST GO AND PICK HIM UP.

No, we haven't heard anything yet.

Yes, I'm tired of waiting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Have I lost you yet??

Just some little tid-bit to keep you around, loyal readers. Here's what I've been working on: Native (as in: grasses and vegetation) landscaping for an 8 million dollar golf course designed by A. Palmer. Yes, THAT A. Palmer.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FINALLY, some good F*cking news

From our agency today:

CIS has begun acknowledging receipt of files and issuing approvals for
families waiting to travel. The approvals are still trickling out, but the
new process seems to be taking hold. Not enough US families have completed
the new I600 process for us to estimate CIS's time frame. Those that have
been approved have been within the 60 day maximum set by CIS. This is all
good news!

We're happy to report that we have a family currently in Vietnam completing
their adoption! Based on their experience, it appears that with the new I600
process the time in country will be approximately 10 days.

What does this mean?? Well, we are almost there, folks!!! ALMOST THERE!!!! Stay tuned.

Thanks Kelly!!

Also, Kelly, I received the UBER wonderful SP package you sent me; what a treat!! As usual everything was great, but I have to admit, while I really like the blanket (and just might sleep with it) and the cute cute boxes, the John Cusak-thingy was the talk of my house!! So cool!! I also loved seeing pictures of you and your beautiful family. I definitely hope to keep in touch, and maybe I'll even make it up your way sometime. I have a BFF who lives not far from you, so we shall see.

big big hugs, and THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!!! ~N.

Sunshine and sand

I'm off to do science-y things at the beach. Woke up today and it is BEAUTIFUL. I took a nice, brief, walk on the beach last night and saw things called stars...they were so wonderful since the sky was crystal clear. I don't think we have stars in Raleigh... Anyway, I'm trying to enjoy my work-get-away and soak up some January sun, some good beach time, oh, yeah, and do a little research on the side. Life is good.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Not the first time I've posted this as a working title to my blog. and likely not the last. I am SOOO not in the mood to blog. I have nothing good to say about our adoption (other than my son is wonderful, but getting bigger. he's already 6 mo. old!!). I'm in an uber funk thinking we won't travel in January. And likely not in Feb either, based on the Tet holiday, and other misc. information our agency is VERY VERY slow to share...but who REALLY knows. I've been so blue about China, that I've TRIED REALLY REALLY hard NOT to get that way over this one, but some days (read: this whole year so far) I just can't think about why we aren't traveling, and how damn long everything takes.

I'm working a lot, playing a little, and sleeping when I can. My goal for this January and February is to finish Minh's room, and stay active. I've got social events planned weeks in advance, and I am also going to try to remain positive...mostly.

As for me, well, I'm excited about a work trip I leave for tomorrow. The outer banks!! Almost as good as a paid vacation!! I'll be schlepping around a few golf courses for research purposes, and spending the rest of the time relaxing at the beach. Rough, huh?? I'll be back on Friday, but likely won't post anything... although I do have my camera with me and might snap some pix. We shall see.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

bitchy in '08

Ok, so I feel a little bad 'cause I neglected to do a 2007 retrospection, or anything like that. Frankly, I'm too damn busy. I've worked a full or partial day of work everyday since December 26th. That included Dec. 31 and Jan. 1st. I have been too busy to think and too busy to do much beyond keep my head above water. Also, I have had some disappointing adoption news and am too heart broken and numb to really blog these days. I may as well tell you, since that's why you come to read, right? To hear about our adoption? Anyway, we were told in October that we would Very likely travel in January...then the new CIS regs went into place...I contacted our agency about our I-600 status, and guess what? It hasn't even been sent over yet. That's right folks, our 60 day wait time hasn't even BEGUN. So, I have decided basically that there is no way I'll travel in January, unless a miracle occurs very soon. I'll have some warning because our agency has to get Minute's dossier in the mail first, THEN they send our paperwork. They claim they will tell us as soon as they have Minute's dossier in hand, so guess what? I'll let you know. Until then, please refrain from asking me: Have you heard anything yet?? 'Cause TRUST ME, when we do, YOU WILL KNOW!