Monday, June 30, 2008

it's 10 pm - no news

No news yet. Maybe by tomorrow morning.... Thanks, Jill for the crossing of fingers and toes. I could use some eyes, arms, and legs too, folks!!

More papework??!!

After completing paperwork for 2 adoptions, I thought we were done!! But, no, I got about 25 pages of paperwork today that needs to be filled out, signed, and notarized!! Hard to believe there is ANYTHING LEFT that I haven't filled out in triplicate yet... and actually, we have to fill out YET ANOTHER I-600. I kid you not when I say I think this will be our 5th time filling that out. I can do that one in my sleep!! However, since this is paperwork that is in anticipation of traveling to Vn, I can not really complain. And before anyone (Big Mama!) gets too excited, NO we haven't heard anything YET. (TAs came out last Tuesday, so fingers crossed!! Maybe we'll hear something tonight/tomorrow) I called MB at our agency the other day frantic b/c I leave for Down Under in less than 2 weeks, and I wanted to get all my ducks in a row BEFORE I LEFT. DH cannot be expected to get the paperwork together, Minute packed, all credit card companies called, etc etc etc. Sorry, but he wouldn't have the first clue how to BEGIN to get this together (mainly b/c I've done everything to-date, and I know where everything is and what needs to be done).

Last night I packed the baby's stuff. So he's all ready to go. DH will take Minute's suitcase as well as his. I will likely pack my stuff for Vn in DH's bag, since my bag for Australia is full of attire appropriate for business meetings in a place that is in WINTER now... then, I will have to pack a whole separate bunch of clothes for Vn, where it is more casual, and SUMMER. This is SOOOOO the way my life goes. I'll probably get to Vn to find out the clothes I packed for The Minute are all too small, and that I have the only freakishly large kid to come from Vn... But, I am also prepared for this eventuality. I will donate ALL the clothes I packed and run out and buy more. There we go. Problem solved.

I have pictures from the mad packing session last night; I'll try to remember to download them tomorrow. I had everything spread out on the floor in a semi-circle around where I was sitting. Trust me, it worked well for me this way. And yes, I have a list of everything I packed... although why, I don't know.

Ok, well, I'm off for now. I have more work to do, and I'm going to try to stay up late enough tonight to check my email again later... HCMC is about 12 hours ahead of us here, so 10 tonight here is 10 in the morning there... I'm hoping that more TAs will come out with tomorrow's emails!!! Trust me, y'all will be the first to know. (ok, that's a lie. I have a list of like 5 people I HAVE to call when we get that email. But y'all will know soon after!!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

More info - barely

I was able to speak with our Asia programs director (MB) at our agency today. It was the best conversation I have had with her since our referral call. Everything was so positive, and since progress IS BEING MADE, it was just great. (Did I mention how wonderful it is to FINALLY have something positive to report?!!).

MB also said that MAR (the Gate-Keeper in HCMC) had attended a working session with some other important people in Vietnam, and that they came out of that meeting also thinking positive. MB had good things to say about MAR, and then of course, we immediately saw TAs come out, so I think that maybe the concerns MAR had about the hospital records etc. might have been (FINALLY) properly addressed. For this, we are grateful. If things are finally moving, that office must be buried under paperwork now, and with any luck, more TAs will keep coming!!

As for other waiting families, many of them received yet ANOTHER 30 day "update" letter from CIS yesterday. We, however, have NOT received that 30 day letter. But since we also haven't received our TA, I'm not sure what to think. Maybe it means we're next up for TA???

I finally have a plan in place for IF we get TA while I am scheduled to be in Australia. I'll post on that after I've spoken to my family about it.

Keep checking back, folks!! Good things are actually occurring!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

tu-du .... un-f-ing-blocked.

Finally.


Ok, it may be for real this time, loyal followers. a number of previously-blocked families (with our very same agency) have gotten their approvals today. TODAY!!! Such wonderful news for those families!!

However, did we? Well, no. BUT, it's great news. And besides. It's too early for US to get our approval. I don't leave for Down Under for another 2 weeks...so when will we expect to get our approval?? Well, if I had to guess, I'd say in about a week and a half.

amazing the way things work, isn't it? Will keep you all posted. PROMISE!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Updates - sort of - plus talk of Australia Hottie!

Life in general: I'm still here. I've been buried under work, as you can well imagine. I am feeling the absolute CRUSH of time these days with my Down Under trip coming up (I leave the 11th of July!!! I'm gone ALL of July, basically). I'm not done with my presentations (well, I only have one to finish, but it's the one I'm less comfortable with!), I have a ton of work, travel, and cleaning to do. Maybe some packing, laundry, and more packing?? Somewhere in there I have to get another paper done, a research program to run, two separate field programs I'm overseeing to keep running smoothly, oh, and there's that little thing that we've ALL BEEN WAITING FOR...somewhere in there HAS to be a trip to Vietnam. Although, frankly, I don't see when I'm going to have the time to shower, much less pack and prepare for a toddler coming home. That's right. Minute is no longer a baby. He's one year old next Monday...and he's not mine yet. Sigh.

Work: Always always good. My BFF Phil (who also works for me) is VERY excited b/c I just signed paperwork for a promotion (and a raise!). Theoretically, I also get my own office (with a filing cabinet!! Thank you, JT!), which means I won't be SHARING an office anymore. We ARE getting a new grad student, and she will take my old desk. It's a totally win-win for everyone. I have also been working on "playing well with others", so things are getting better.

Adoption: We got an email about NOID rumors today. I actually stay off ALL the chat sites these days so I hadn't even HEARD anything about this. The good news is, our agency tells us this rumor is totally 100% NOT TRUE. So, that's good. Tomorrow we have another conference call, as I mentioned. Again, I expect to hear NOTHING new, but hey, if we hear SOMETHING then I'll be surprised in a GOOD way, rather than disappointed yet again.

My Aussie Hottie: Ok, I've only mentioned this once, and only one or two of you even know about him. I have a - hee hee -"boyfriend" in Australia whom I am going to meet for the first time when I get over there. He's actually a friend of a friend, and I was put in touch with him when my friend over here (a work friend) heard I was traveling to Australia. It turned out that Hottie and I had a lot in common, and we've made a date for when I get to Melbourne. Actually, we made 3 dates, so I hope I like him!! He's my date to 3 of the fancy sponsored conference events, so it'll certainly be more fun WITH someone... and even MORE FUN if he's hot (which he certainly is). And before anyone gets all high-and-mighty, or any funny ideas, we are both happily married (he's got 2 kids), and while we obviously enjoy each other's sense of humor, I can't see shacking up with him for obvious reasons! Besides, the banter we have online is more like a sibling sort of thing. Lots of teasing and jokes. Still, I expect he'll take good care of me, and I'm REALLY looking forward to it. Besides, his dog is REALLY cute. I'll take pictures and let you all know how it goes! (Also, for the record, DH has been told of Hottie - DH just rolled his eyes and told me to "have fun, but not TOO much fun".). Sounds like the perfect advice.

Ok, I should get back to work.... will fill in on the rest another day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm still alive - still no news



Behold: As promised, my golf course - sodded!! at least, holes 9 and 10 are. Pretty huh??

I have had a whirl-wind of a week. I somehow went from "nearly caught up" to "way behind" in just one day - at work, that is. ONE DAY! So, anyway, I've been enjoying my weekend (it's actually RAINING!). I spent a few hours hanging out in my yard with my chickens, did some clothes shopping, went to the grocery store, and even made it to the gym (I wouldn't have run the full 3.1 miles if the beautiful young men weren't on the TV trying to get into the Olympic Gymnastics team. Yummy!

Anyway, I am sitting at home on a Saturday night working. Sad, huh? I did call all my girlfriends to see if any of them wanted to grab a coffee or anything, but only one got back to me (she's enjoying sunny Florida, so clearly coffee was out!), and I haven't heard from any of the others. So, I did at least have a little fun (albeit by myself) today. Now on to work. AND BEFORE ANYONE GIVES ME A HARD TIME - I leave for Australia in like 3 weeks, so I have a TON of stuff I need to do before I go!!

Oh, another thing: another conference call this coming Wednesday. We're likely to get as much info this time as we did last time... that is: NADA.

Monday, June 16, 2008

5:30 a.m. - Joan Speaks



Ok, so I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new chickens. I spend a lot of time just hanging out in the yard with them, and talking to them, and well, feeding, etc. them. I love it. It has given me something fun and enjoyable to focus on while I go through this awful adoption process. In fact, until now, I've had nothing remotely negative to say. I've given away eggs to 3 separate families (all of whom really enjoyed the eggs), and I have sparked the interest in city chickens in others around me. All very positive. Until this morning. at 5:30 a.m. (yes, they have one of those IN THE MORNING) when my "chattiest" bird began chatting. And wouldn't SHUT UP. Now, I was a little concerned for my next-door neighbor, but I don't think the chicken woke her up, but the chickens are right outside MY BEDROOM window, so they sure woke me up. Anyway, DH suggested the bird (who is aptly named Joan Rivers) was having some sort of gender crisis. You know, up with the sun is not exactly HER job... but anyway, I found that I enjoyed listening to the chatter after the shock of 5:30 a.m. wore off. and I am back to loving my girls.

As an update for chicken lovers, I only have 2 good layers. None of the brown-egg layers have started laying yet. I've had them a month. I'm thinking they are still settling in (I hope the will start laying soon!!).

Anyway, I'm out to the golf course this fine day. I'll post some new pix when I get back. We've got grass down and it is starting to look like a REAL gold course!! Cheerio!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm baaack

No time this week to post, I'm afraid. I was at the conference, but spend all my time "occupied". We were at the beach, and I barely even SAW the water, much less got to GO to the beach. I was in meetings all day, the wining and dining in the evenings. It was a good time; lots of rubbing elbows with the right people, meeting new people, etc. etc. etc. but it left me tired and I didn't get nearly enough sleep. But over all it was a good trip. I'm home now, but frantically trying to finish the stuff I need to for my Australia trip. I have 4 presentations to do, although really I only have to write 3 and modify the 4th. HOWEVER, I am supposed to go over my work with my boss #1 (Taz) today, and I am uber stressed out b/c not only is it not done, but what is done isn't very good. I am considering 1) joining the circus as a tight-rope walker or 2) running away to New Mexico or Arizona and becoming an accountant. I'm on the fence currently, but I for SURE know I do not want my boss to see this talk today!!!

Boss #2 is supposed to see all my talks on Wednesday. ALL OF THEM. And he doesn't "help get them done". He picks them apart or says they are ok. HE doesn't make them flow better, or help with them at all, so they have to be TIGHT by Wednesday. At least Taz will help "fix" what's wrong with the crappy presentation; the only problem is that I have to give it to him TODAY. EEEK. I am starting to get a little bit stressed out.

I leave for Australia on July 11th. So far, we have absolutely NO WORD about the adoption. We did have a conference call last Wednesday, but as suspected, we learned nothing. I need to reiterate here that our agency is WONDERFUL. The people who are working to help out those of us who are "blocked" are WONDERFUL. However, we are up against one of the biggest, stupidest, most bloody-minded governmental agency in the freakin' world. They are not only jerking US around, but they are even jerking around the offices of the senators who are trying to help, and every agency involved. I will no be surprised, of course, if we get "The Call" to leave for Vietnam the day I'm supposed to leave for Australia. What the F do I do then?? I simply CAN NOT get out of this trip. Besides, I have a first class ticket that my company has already paid for and I REALLY REALLY want to be able to use it! I guess if we get the call while I'm over there, I'll just jump on a plane and fly over, meet The Minute, sign the paperwork, and then hop back over to my conference in Australia. This trip to Australia, this conference, is a once in a life-time kind of thing. I simply CAN NOT MISS IT. But then, so is adopting my son, right? Spending time at his orphanage, spending time shopping/touring in his home city, watching him as he gets to know us....

Well, stressing out isn't going to do anything; I know this. HOWEVER, I think about this every day. I don't know what I'm going to do. Part of me hopes we have to wait until I get back to pick up The Minute. At least then I won't have to worry about leaving everything to DH! And I won't miss a minute (ha!) of meeting The Minute.

Anyway, this topic still weighs heavily on my mind. I'm pretty raw these days. Yesterday, I dropped by my boss' house to drop off some fresh eggs for him and his wife. His wife was there, and she very kindly asked me about the adoption, and how it was going... I nearly started crying RIGHT THERE on the spot. Talk about embarrassing!! She would have totally understood (she's also an adoptive parent), but STILL!!! I AM SO TIRED OF WAITING. I am going to miss my son's first birthday, and I can't do a DAMN thing about it....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Keeping my head above water

I got the cutest email from a dear friend today. She had seen pix of The Minute, and she wanted to know where his second chin had gone!! LOL. He is getting so big, isn't he? And has lost the baby fat (and that second chin...although I may have found the extra fat. It's now on my butt. But that's probably TMI for y'all).

I'm leaving tomorrow for a week (or 3 days anyway) at the beach. It's a work trip, but the trip should be a lot of fun. We have a BBQ (oh, goodie) at historic Oakwood Plantation. Here's a little tid-bit about it:

Oakland Plantation, situated on a bluff overlooking the Cape Fear River in Bladen County was built over 200 years ago by General Thomas Brown, a Revolutionary War patriot. It is one of a few houses of its period in North Carolina still being used today.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Oakland depicts the architecture and skill of the artisans of that period. Bricks laid in Flemish bond were brought from England on sailing ships as ballast, transported up river, and unloaded by hand. The plantation is maintained today with the integrity and vision of it historical past.

In 1970 Oakland Plantation began the Turf business with 5 employees and 3 acres of Tifgreen 328. By 1972, 30 acres were cleared and planted with Tifgreen 328. The first shipment of sod left our farm on May 21, 1973.

Today the Turf business continues to grow with over 1600 acres of sod and clients such as Superbowl Champions, The Baltimore Ravens and the Augusta National Golf Course.


I love my job. Beach, history, and lots and lots of free drinks. Oh, and the guys aren't too rough on the eyes either. I'll take some pictures for your enjoyment later this week. Of the plantation and sod farm, NOT the guys. They are mine and I'm not sharing. ;->


Lastly, we have another call with our agency Wednesday. It's a short one. I'm guessing we'll have nothing new to report. BUT, I'll post if I hear anything worth reporting.


Monday, June 09, 2008

um....oops


Ok, so I have forgotten my password on the other blog. sorry, ladies and gents. I'll figure something out. Here's another picture to tide you over until I figure out my other password!

This isn't the cutest picture ever, but it's close.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

the post where I use "SO" WAY TOO MUCH


My boss is on vaca...AGAIN. So I'm covering his job AND mine. I have been working like a DOG. I am SOOOOOOOOOO tired. My ass is kicked. LONG day. I barely have the energy to type, BUT the psudo-good news is we DID get pictures of the Minute. They finally got him to sit still long enough to snap a few!! (I'll post a REAL picture on the other blog this evening or tomorrow sometime).

About the Minute: I can say 2 things: 1) He is getting SO big. He's standing up on his own. HE HAS TEETH. AND I'M MISSING IT! and 2) My son is the MOST BEAUTIFUL little boy I have EVER seen, and let me tell you, he NEEDS TO COME HOME! I am SOOOOO SICK of waiting.


Oh, and have I mentioned that he is SO gorgeous? Seriously. He is SOOOO adorable. And I'm missing him so much.