Monday, March 31, 2008

Off for some fun

I'm off to Charlotte today for some NBA fun. Thanks to my big brother, I've got tickets tonight to see the Charlotte Bobcats play Toronto. Uber good seats, and the friend I'm going with is covering ALL the trip expenses in return for a ticket to go with me! Should be fun if he and I don't kill each other on the way to Charlotte. See you on the flip side.

Friday, March 28, 2008

issues - computer related - and Friday miscellaneous

(Taz, in honor of my boss who called me into work on my day off)

this is my third post today. and no, i'm not up by three posts, I'm clearly down one. My computer AND blogger are giving my fits. I had to remove the election poll thingy, and will try to get the link back up if you are interested. It really was a cool poll.

I'm happy to report today WAS going to be a day off. Yes, that's right. OFF WORK, but I got called in by my boss (whom I lovingly call Taz after the loony tunes cartoon character) who cares not for days off. So, I hope to at least have 1/2 a day off as today is my massage and facial. Tomorrow is nails. Last night was shopping for new spring clothes... it's been good. I haven't done shopping if ANY KIND - aside from absolute the bare minimum grocery shopping - for literally 5 months. MY wardrobe is in desperate need of freshing up. And frankly, I could use some new shoes too, now that I'm thinking of it... One thing at a time. Oh, and next week I'm getting my hair done. Crazy! (Just for the record, I got a substantial - to me - bonus at work, so 1/2 the money is going to ME for ME stuff, and the other half is going to the Vietnam trip when-ever that is). Yay.

Ok, back to work.....happy Friday, people.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Still hanging tough

Ok, so, I've been pretty busy. I've been trying to cultivate my sense of "letting go" and have been living in my skin in a fairly happy way. I had that funny "happy" feeling again yesterday. Had a long but productive work day, and spent some time with good people around me. I still have very little desire to talk to anyone, and really don't care if I have any social plans this weekend (which to date, I do not). And most importantly, I am staying away from the whole VIETNAM "thing". I read two friend's blogs so I can see their beautiful girls and remind myself that it WILL HAPPEN, and I've gotten my letters to my congressman and my 2 (republican) senators in the mail...but I can't really do anything else. We are on day 59 of the 60 day wait. All we've heard is what I posted last week (that abominable letter), and I expect to keep waiting. However, a friend recently emailed me to remind me she got her travel approval (TA) on day 61 or so. So I guess we COULD get it any day, but I'm not counting on it. I've moved my expectations to May. I just hope we travel before my son turns a year old. I've also stopped putting off making plans in the future. I did turn down a work trip to Scotland, but accepted a trip to Arizona. My boss is awesome, as I've mentioned before he's an adoptive parent to a daughter from Guatemala, and is very comfortable with our jacked-up time line. I am SO FORTUNATE. I just don't know how people with "normal" jobs and micro-managing bosses would deal with this situation.....

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend this weekend. I've even got an appointment to get a massage and facial. Maybe I'll go get my nails done too. Take some time for myself...What a novel idea.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Lovely Weekend - and thoughts on my state-of-mind

After an absolutely terrible weekend last weekend, I needed a relaxing and good weekend this weekend. What I got was a work-filled (but not at the office!! I'm there now, but only to put in a few hours late Sunday evening!!) but genuinely GOOD weekend. I spent almost NO TIME being social, and in fact, turned down repeated social engagements (almost unheard of from me!!). I spent ALL WEEKEND in my yard doing yard work, and relaxing with my boyz and the dogs. It was great. I need to take some pictures of my yard; it's looking like a REAL yard these days. I'm stiff, and I'm tired, but for the very first time in months, I think I am actually happy. Wait...yup. I think this feeling of calm self-awareness without the undercurrent of the need to sob uncontrollably, yup. I think they call that happy. I scarcely remember this feeling, but sure enough, this might be it.

A very wise woman (my mom, of course) once told me sometimes you have to let go before anything will happen. At the time it seemed utterly ridiculous, and I thought she was crazy. However, then, and now, wiser words have never been spoken. Last weekend I had truly hit rock bottom. I can't really explain what that means, other than I was as low as I've been in 10 years, and had zero desire to get out of bed. I began taking Minute's pictures down, and closed the door to the nursery. I didn't speak M's name for days... By this Friday, I was beginning to understand that I had gone through a process called "letting go". Things will happen as they happen. I HAVE to believe this. I HAVE to stop thinking about my life on hold, and start BEING IN MY LIFE again. Now, I am still sleeping terribly, and sometimes I remember to be sad a little...but for the most part, I'm going on living, and hoping that in time, I WILL TRAVEL TO VIETNAM...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

6 TAs came in yesterday* updated

Our agency has been making waves. Since November, we'd only gotten 2 TAs. Yesterday (the day of the BIG MEETING with David Price, head of Homeland Security) suddenly our agency received 6 travel approvals. And before you ask, no, we weren't one of the families. At least one of the families that got their TA DID NOT get the letter we did, even though their child is from the same hospital. WTF?

But progress appears to be being made....S-L-O-W-L-Y.

*Also wanted to mention that we received information from our agency last night that they were forced to cut their staff back by over 50%. They are an agency that had programs in multiple countries, although Guatemala was their largest program. Now, with the uncertainty in the adoption world, smaller agencies are not only having to make cut-backs, but god-forbid, shutting their doors. It is a scary and very sad time in the adoption world right now.

Good Vibes for Fellow PAP

Howdy, Y'all. Just a quick shout-out to my BFF Kathryn. She has a BIG rough day ahead of her tomorrow, and just wanted to ask everyone out there to take a second and include her and her family in your thoughts/prayers/meditations. We're pulling for you, Girlfriend. Namaste.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

News Article - We've hit the big time

A friend sent this to me today. My agency told us it was coming. Doesn't give anything resembling hope, but at least our stories are getting out there. FINALLY. Check it out:

News and Observer

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's official - officially BS**

Ok, well, today we received the letter I referenced last week. Since this letter was sent to me; I can no post it in its entirety. Grab a beer before you read this. Or a martini. (Get two). Enjoy.

Dear Mr./Ms. ****,

The USCIS office in (Minute's home city), Vietnam, is in the process of reviewing your Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (Form I-600), to determine whether the child qualifies as an orphan under US immigration law.

Please be advised that (Minute's birth -hospital) administrators and Vietnamese officials have prevented the U.S. Government from conducting an inquiry into the status of the child identified in your petition. This interference will add significant time to the processing of your case while the U.S. Government seeks to resolve the problem or find alternative ways to conduct its inquiry. You should know that this interference could result in a determination that the child may not be eligible to immigrate to the U.S. as an adopted child.

In all cases, USCIS strongly recommends that you do not travel to Vietnam until USCIS has provided notification to you that the child qualifies as an orphan. Traveling to Vietnam prior to getting this notice from USCIS will not advantage or prioritize your case, and may result in a prolonged stay in Vietnam. The USCIS office in (Minute's city) will provide you with an update on the status of your case in 60 working days.

If you do not wish to wait until such time as the Vietnamese authorities allow the U.S. to proceed with a field inquiry in your case, you may request a final decision on your petition based upon the incomplete record. Please note that this may result in a denial of your petition.

Alternatively, you may wish to consult with your adoption services provider or attorney to consider the other options that are available in your particular case, including, but not limited to, withdrawing your petition, filing a new Form I-600 after identifying another child for adoption, filing a new Form I-600A and selecting a different country, or filing a written request for a change of country with USCIS. Please note that these options may require a new or updated home study and/or incur additional fees.

Just for the record, this is TOTAL BS. I can't even go back into it....

** I love the comments, people. THANK YOU again. My fav came from Andrea b/c it made me smile! A sense of humor is CRITICAL these days!! The prayers are awesome too, so keep 'em coming.

Friday, March 14, 2008

commentors: thanks!

Just a quick THANK YOU to those of you dropping positive (and even not-so-positive!) comments. I have been too upset to respond to all of you individually, but I did want to say a collective "THANKS!". It truly helps to know I am not alone, and that we are all in this together, in one way or another.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

WARNING - FOUL language imminent

Ok, I feel the f-bomb ready to drop, folks. I'll do my best to keep the post readable, however, you HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Also, as another "read the fine print" note: this information came from our agency. It is not meant to be distributed into the "public" so please, don't post anything that is obviously not my ramblings anywhere else. When we get our letter, I'll post the whole fucking thing and you can post away! For now, please respect that this is a "private" post for your eyes only.

So, just this very second I received a note from our agency (who, BTW, is WONDERFUL, and I can not say enough good things about). It states that they have been told, as have other agencies, the hospital where my son was born "have prevented the US Government from conducting an inquiry* to the status of (insert my kid's name here)". And ultimately, they go on to say that this "interference could result in a denial of (our) petition" (not letting us adopt the Minute, basically). They go on to say that we should "consider other options...including, but not limited to withdrawing our petition".

Seriously? WHAT THE FUCK, people? Hello! Wake up, CIS. Think about what is fucking important here. Is it you bullying these people into believing the US is a great and magnanimous country that must be kowtowed to OR ELSE, or is it the BABIES WAITING TO BE ADOPTED AND THE FAMILIES WHO NEED TO ADOPT THESE BABIES????!!!!!!!!!!

Our agency told us

  • that they won't let CIS get away with this, and we WILL NOT LOSE our referrals. and
  • they are doing everything they can to rectify the situation (and I really really believe them) (more on this tomorrow possibly)
But something that came out yesterday in the conference call, and I can't remember if I mentioned this or not in my post yesterday, is that basically CIS would PREFER that NO ONE adopt from Vietnam. IF they can make it SO VERY PAINFUL (as they obviously have been), then no one will a) stay in the program, or b) WANT to adopt from there anymore. Ok, can I refer you to the above statement AGAIN? WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, this is for you bastards at the CIS in VN, WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT?

I cannot think about this anymore right now. I'm emotionally exhausted. I'm also so angry I could eat nails. If I had someone to punch, I'd actually do it.

* What this means is that our US government - CIS - wants to waltz into the hospital, bother hard working people, question and threaten anyone they want on ANY TIME FRAME THEY WANT, and if they are asked politely to NOT bully nurses, doctors, and residents, then CIS packs up it's toys and goes home to complain that they were "prevented from doing the inquiry". Keep in mind here that we have the hospital's official paperwork on Minute's case, on his abandonment, and even the policeman's name who found him, filed the reports, etc. So I KNOW CIS has this same paperwork. They just don't "trust" it, and wants to do not ONE but TWO "field checks" on the case. Like after 8 months they are going to come up with anything they didn't know before!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Agency conference call RE: VN

BAd. Bad, bad, bad, bad. I can not tell you how bad the out-look in Vietnam adoption is. The only thing I can say with certainty is that things are totally screwed up. CIS couldn't care less about families who are waiting for their babies. If CIS (that's our US government, people) had their way, they'd completely close down the ENTIRE program. So, they are dragging their feet, lying, and out and out being a HUGE pain in the ass.

Right now, families that have waited over the 60 day period SHOULD get their travel approvals (TA) sometime soon-ish. (In fact, our agency had ONE last week. That's ONE SINGLE TA since November). Our case has gone into day 42, I think. Anyway, just over 40 days. That means we are not likely to get our TA any TIME SOON. Not in the next 20 days, anyway. After that, who the hell knows. Minute may very well turn 10 months old before we travel.

Can I just say, it sucks. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. I can't even put into words how sick I am right now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Checking in

Just saying howdy. I'm pretty busy with, surprise, work. I haven't been doing much of anything but work, work, work, think about Minute, work, work, wonder when CIS will get off their butts and let us travel, work, AND work. I worked ALL weekend. I'm tired of the work week and it's only TUESDAY. Friends of mine got together for an all girl-all Vietnam baby/toddler play date. The girls all looked so freaking cute!! I am green with envy. I want one. Not a girl, necessarily, but one of those adorable kids of my very own... Tod's been moping around the house for days saying "I am READY now to be a dad..." It seems like everyone's doing it these days, actually. I'm going through the phase again where I can be around kids/babies and not get too bummed out that I don't have the Minute yet... but it's still hard on me. And now Tod! I am SOOOO sick of this stupid wait. (Can I get a count for those of you out there who say this 1000 times a DAY?) Seriously, people. It STINKS.

Wow, what a drag I've become. I think I need a mental health day. Anyone out there want to go shopping with me this weekend? I promise to talk about how much I hate CIS and the stupid Wait only 5 times an hour.... anyone? I do sound like fun right now, don't I? Ok, maybe not so much.

Oh well, I guess I should get back to.... WORK. Ug.

Jen, where are you when I need a SERIOUS coffee break, girlfriend?!!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

G'Day Mate

Howdy. I'm feeling a bit frantic this weekend with the reminder I received in my email box last week that I have 2 papers and 2 presentations due VERY VERY soon in anticipation of my upcoming trip Down Under. In fact, as luck would have it, my 2 papers are due in 6 weeks. Normally that wouldn't be an issue, as I know my subject and they aren't difficult topics, HOWEVER, I do SOMEDAY SOON hope to travel to Vietnam... which would put a serious crimp in my writing time, don'tcha' think?? SO, I've been working ALL weekend on my first (and more difficult) paper for the conference. Interestingly enough, I am considered one of the leading "experts" in my field of study (totally SCARY!!!), which is why I've been asked to speak at this conference. Anyway, in case you've had your head under a rock, OR simply missed my previous posts on the subject, here's where I'm going in July: AGCSA conference '08.
Hey, Big Mama, how about that? Me following in yer footsteps!! Not too shabby, eh?

Friday, March 07, 2008


new pictures!!!!!!!!!!!! check out the other blog for mucho cuteness. Seriously, folks. VERY worth it!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

An another one bites the dust

So, our agency has sent us an update on Vietnam...and prospects for future adoptions don't look good as of right this minute. If there are any of you out there on the fence about adoption (and adoption from Vietnam specifically), fish or cut bait, folks. As of September 2008, it appears that anyone who hasn't received a referral WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO CONTINUE their process. As a result of this recent news, our agency has stopped ALL applicants into their VN process, as have other agencies. And for those of you not in the know about how these things work, no worries on our end. Our adoption is in ABSOLUTELY NO JEOPARDY. Nor are any that are already paper-chasing, are DTV, or already have referrals and are waiting to travel.

More later...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

China who?

So, in the interest of being fair to Magic, who may one day want to know about the year I never mentioned her name on my blog that STARTED b/c of her...I thought I'd borrow a section off my dear friend Kathryn's blog to post this (since I don't actually pay any attention to China rumors anymore. Thanks for posting this, Miss K!!):

Referrals arrived today for families whose dossiers were received in China between December 28, 2005 and January 4, 2006.

Hey, 2006! We're 6 months away from LID's, although at the rate China's been going, it could take another 2 years to get to June 2006... Best guess? a full year and some change. As far as I see it, the only good f-ing news here? Baby M will have a super cool older brother, and the Minute might even be old enough to remember the trip to China to pick up his little sister...

and if you suspect I am SOOOO over China right now, you'd be right. Do I still dream of Baby Magic? You bet your butt I do. Do I sit and pine away over her? Nope. I figure, she will come when she comes. I just hope I'm not gearing up for my 40th birthday party when we finally get the call...

Another day at the office

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday - coffee, work, sunshine (and some foul language tossed in for good measure)

It's Monday, y'all. I have to admit, I had a weird night last night, and slept in this morning until 9:30 (oh yeah!). Got up, ate breakfast, and instead of going into the office, I took the laptop, and my work and went to my current fav coffee house. I've spent the last 2 hours getting some work done (although, the ability to get online here puts a serious cramp in my writing time!!), and enjoying the sunshine out there... (big windows to look out ALSO put a cramp in writing, but oh well). I'm doing so much at work, and have been for months. I keep telling everyone "it's temporary. Just until we go to Vietnam. Then I'll slow down.". Of course, when I started this break-neck pace in December, I expected The Call in oh, JANUARY. But, once I am on this course, it's hard to back down, so I am working like a dog 6 days a week. This weekend I only went into the office for 2.5 hours!! You have no idea how big that is. I usually spend about 5-8 hours at the office on my "weekends". It's nice bc there isn't anyone there and I can get a lot more done.


Anyway, last week was a bad bad week for me. It ended in a big emotional blow-up, and I thought today would be a good day to re-group. And here I am blogging and NOT working... So, back to work for me.

On one last note: I have been waiting for new pictures of the Minute for 2 weeks. I finally wrote our agency and BEGGED for the pictures. I should hear something back today, although it night not be pictures yet. They will get them to me when they have time, and I understand that. But I am tired of WAITING.... (how many times have y'all hear me say THAT?! heh).

And last but not least, my work project tomorrow: I'm going here. Is that cool, or what?!!