Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all

I have to confess. It took me a while to get in the Christmas spirit this year. I got my shopping done fairly early, but I just wasn't as excited for Christmas to actually get here. Maybe this adoption wait is making me a more patient person. Not likely, but it's a thought. I did get a burst of Christmas joy just in time.

We had a wonderful and simple Christmas at our house. My family spent the night. We were up until early morning playing games. It wrapped up with a trivia show down first with my sister and I versus the husbands... then a face off with the husbands. D's parents will be here later in the week to celebrate his birthday. So, our celebration will carry on most of the week. D got me this Vietnamese Madame Alexander doll for Christmas. Isn't she sweet?

I got some good adoption news on Friday. I stopped by the agency to drop off a small gift for our coordinator. She told me that we are still on track to get our referral at 15 months, but it could happen in as short as 12 months. That puts us at April to July for our referral. There have been several referrals at our agency and more coming. It always helps to be reassured that things are still moving along. We are much closer to being matched with our baby. It has been 8 months now since we turned in our dossier. The wait has been hard. Every month that passes brings us closer to our family. I am working on a list of things to do after the first of the year. I will post it on the side bar so I can keep track of my progress. I don't want things to sneak up on me. If you have suggestions on anything I might be missing, let me know ; )

In knitting news, I was pleasantly surprised by the quick success of our Etsy site. I did not expect to get so many orders so quickly. On top of that, I was surprised with 6 email orders from friends of friends of friends. I was still able to make a few Christmas gifts, but I was very busy, I am well over 100 hats sold towards our adoption fund. I need to tally up the exact figure. My goal is still to give away at least as many hats as I have sold. I think I should still be in good shape there. It has been a blessing for the fun that I have had doing it and for how it has helped me with the wait. I highly recommend a hobby for all those anxious waiting families out there.

I think I'll stop rambling now. Merry Christmas! A.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shopping for Christmas

My sister and I have started a little shop at Etsy. We have both always been crafty, just in different ways. She is a graphic artist/art teacher. She is very talented and is currently illustrating a book. She painted some adorable baby shoes. I just started posting them tonight. I hope to have some more added this weekend. I have also added some of my baby hats to the shop. There is a link on the side bar that will take you straight to our site. It's not real fancy just yet, but we are working on it. I think I will ask Hannah' Claire's Mom to help us out with a shop banner. She does such a great job!

I also want to say a big Congratulations to Alexia's new family! A.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December, already?

Christmas is quickly approaching. Back when we first started the adoption process, I never thought we would still be childless this Christmas. It's been hard, but we're hanging in there. The good news is that other families with our agency have referrals coming over the next few months. I'm so excited for them. I'm also eager to follow their travel journals. It is amazing how comforting that is while you are waiting.

It's probably difficult for people who have never adopted to understand how hard the wait is. For one thing, with a pregnancy, you know all along exactly where your baby is. Your doctor never tells you it could be 12 - 18 months before you see your baby. And, you don't usually have to worry about filling out some new form before Homeland Security will let your baby out. I shouldn't be silly. I am well aware that there are a whole lot worries in pregnancy and delivery too.

As far as our adoption progress... there's really not much going on. We just passed our 7 month mark since our dossier was turned in. It will likely be late spring or early summer before we hear anything significant. We are praying that things go well and that the US and Vietnam governments re-sign agreements in March. This is necessary for adoptions from Vietnam to continue past the summer. There are a lot of people working very hard to make sure this agreement is renewed. It will be a big relief when it is signed.

In other news, we were able to scratch off another thing on our "Do before the baby comes" list. D and I took in Infant/Child CPR class this week. The list is getting short. One thing still looming on there is the Nursery. I am hoping to have that to work on after the first of the year. We still have no baby furniture. Once we get that part...I can dive in. I know that working on the nursery will be a big comfort and help me feel closer to our child.

I better wrap this up. I have knitting waiting for me. The sweetest little girl turns 1 this week, and I'm working on something special for her. Stay tuned and I will post a picture. A

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ugly Vegetables

There are lots of things I think about while we are waiting to bring our baby home. We have attended lots of Waiting Families seminars at our adoption agency. These seminars are on all kinds or great topics like travel, medical concerns, and culture. Since we have been waiting a while, we have even attended some of these more than once ; )

It has been a concern of mine that the area we live in isn't particularly diverse. I know it will be important for our future children to be around other people who share their Asian heritage. I want them to be proud of where they come from as well as where they grow up. When we first applied to our agency, we also joined a REACH Asia, a support group in our area for families with Asian children. It is a great group of families and I am so grateful to know them. I think it will be important to our children to have friends who look like them and share their racially blended lives. I have bought a few racially diverse books for our children. I was questioned once if I thought I was over doing it, and if this would just draw attention that our child is different. My thoughts are that our child will be different and we need to make sure he knows he is different in a very wonderful way. All people are different in lots of ways, but they are also the same in lots of ways. If you haven't visited Grace Lin's website or read any of her books, please do. She speaks to children about differences in a warm and wonderful way. Her book Ugly Vegetables is a wonderful illustration of differences.

Our last Waiting Families seminar was on culture. To start out each person was given a cup of pony beads in different colors and a piece of string. Each color was assigned a race. We were asked to add one bead that represented us... our babies grandparents... we added beads that represented the different cultures of art in out home... our friends... the babies future playmates... and on and on. Although, our sting was heavily weighted to our race, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was more colorful than many in the group. This was a good lesson about the environment our child will grow up in. I want to especially thank the little peanuts in the REACH Asia group for adding lots of beauty to our string.

While I don't plan on turning my home into a shrine to all things Asian, I am going to continue to make sure our child's culture is represented and respected in our lives. D and I bought 3 beautiful prints by Cedric Hustace last year. I have yet to get them framed. I'm going to work on that. If anyone is looking for Christmas ideas for me, a framing gift certificate would be wonderful: ) A

Monday, October 29, 2007


This is another one of my favorite hats. For some reason this one makes me smile every time. I have made several intended for our baby, but someone else always wants it. I think the next one I make will go in our baby's closet and wait for him to come home. And talk about closets... Oh, my! This boy has quite a wardrobe. I will try to post pictures later. The strongest comfort to combat "Adoption Anxiety" seems to be Baby shopping. I guess that is wonderful for the stockholders of Gymboree.

Now for the adoption update. There isn't a whole lot of news. We did move up a spot on the waiting list last month. Our agency had a referral of a beautiful baby boy.. Congratulations to E and her family. There are several other families who are very close to getting their exciting news. We are waiting on the edge of our chairs right along with them.

As is pretty much the standard in International Adoption, there have been more process changes. The USCIS department has made a change to the I-600 approval process. The I-600 document is a request to classify an orphan as an immediate relative. Early in the adoption, parents request a pre-approval ( I-600A ). It is at that time that the family is "checked out". (fingerprints, home study...) After their child is identified, families file the actual I-600 request. In this process the child is "checked out". The child's paperwork is reviewed to insure that he/she is truly an orphan and eligible for adoption according to US law.

Previously, the I-600 was filed while the family was in Vietnam after the was adopted. This posed numerous issues when there was a question about a child's status as an orphan. In these cases, the family would have already adopted the child under Vietnam Law, but the US would not recognize the adoption or allow the baby into the country. Now, as horrible as this sounds, it is not something that occurs frequently. The US has now chosen to take steps in favor of insuring ethical adoptions. The I-600 will now be filed right after the referral. This way, the family will not even travel until the US has had time to investigate the paperwork and verify the child is eligible for adoption.

This should not affect us greatly except to shorten our trip a few days. But, it should help to weed out agencies who are not acting in the best interests of children. Unfortunately, the combination of families desparate for a child and families living in poverty combine to make conditions ripe for corruption. Luckily, our agency goes to great lengths to work in a transparent and ethical manner.

So, that's pretty much all the news on that. At last estimate our coordinator thought that we might expect a referral 12 - 15 months from when we turned in our Dossier. That would put us in a April - July time frame. There's always the possibility things could move a little faster... but that isn't something we are expecting.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Home Sweet Home... and Ladybug Beret

It's so good to be back home! I like to travel, but not for too long. It's so wonderful to my own house. The plane ride was pretty uneventful. I didn't want to say to much until we were home... so I wouldn't jinx us. All our flights were on time, we didn't loose any luggage, and we were as comfortable as we could have expected. There was a little turbulence, but not too bad. Now, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to handle the length of our flight to Vietnam. I'm sure it will be much rougher, but it will be a "labor" truly worth it all.

As for Shakespeare, he is doing much better. He's a little groggy from the medication, but the seizures have stopped. The tests all came back normal. We will follow up with the Vet this week It was very hard being away from him while he was sick. But, his Grandma took good care of him, "Thanks Mom!".
And last but not least, Ladybug Beret! I made this one right before I left town, so I didn't have time to post a picture. I love the "Curly Feelers". I will try to post more baby hat pictures soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hello from Texas

As you can imagine, D. is in heaven! He used to live in Houston, so he is thrilled to be back in Texas. The weather is nice. It's pretty warm here. The River Walk is beautiful. I survived the plan ride. It really wasn't bad at all. It's definately better than going by car ; )
Thank you to everyone for the "Well wishes" for Shakespeare. He had 3 seizures Tuesday and 2 yesterday. I'm calling my Mom to get an update. I hope there hasn't been anymore. Thanks for your kind thoughts! A.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


My sweet baby is having a rough day. D called me this afternoon to tell me that Shakespeare had a seizure. He had not had a seizure in over 4 years. D took him to the vet. They ran a bunch of tests and gave us some medicine. Luckily, my mom is taking care of the grand-puppies for us. I have to leave for a business trip in the morning. The timing couldn't be worse.

He had another seizure tonight. It didn't last too long, but it breaks my heart just the same. It's a very helpless feeling.

Shakespeare first had this problem about 5 or 6 years ago. It took a while to get them under control with medication. The vet couldn't ever come up with a cause. The medication helped with the seizures, but it really changed his personality. He was groggy a lot of the time... just not his happy self. I did tons of research on causes. I feel very strongly that you have to be your own advocate... especially in health care. I found some information on poison weeds that I knew we had in our yard. D got rid of all of them. We slowly decreased the medication until he was off it completely. He didn't have another seizure until now. We later found out that the neighbor kids had been playing fetch with him... using the pods of the poisonous weed!!

This time, D noticed mushrooms popping up in our backyard... that are now gone. I'm suspecting that he ate them. I hope that's all it is, but we will keep him on the medication for a little while to make sure.

The timing is really strange. D and I were just talking about this after church on Sunday. The topic was the power of prayer. A family at church talked about their struggle with their son's seizures, up to 100 per day. They told of how a group at church gathered with them and prayed for some relief. Their son hasn't had a seizure in a couple weeks since then. D and I were talking about how awful that would be to deal with... and how we couldn't hardly bear that when our dog went through it. Now, we're going through it again... just two days later. There must be a point here... but I'm too nervous to get it right now.

I need to pack for my first plane ride. I'll tell you all about it ; ) A

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Appletini and Cupcake...mmmmm

I've been a busy knitter lately... churning out baby hats like no body's business. It really is a good way to keep myself busy during the wait and at the same time, raise funds for the adoption. Pictured is my current favorite. The Cupcake "Icing " is the softest chenille-like fluff. It's just Yummy with a cherry on top. I will post more hat pictures later.

OK, back to the wait. We are still waiting to move up on our agency's list. The referrals are coming any day now... for months. I'm trying to stay optimistic, but it's very hard. I have been stalking the blogs of the families ahead of us... and they have spotted me... more than once. That's OK though. They definitely know where I'm coming from. We still have a pretty long wait ahead of us. Our coordinator said she would let us know if things looked more positive later. For now, we are looking at early summer or so for a referral. So, for now I knit.

I still haven't done much with the nursery. I hope to get moving on that pretty soon. I was in there folding and sorting baby clothes the other night. It's starting to feel more like a baby's room, but it will help a lot when we get a crib in there. I also need to find a great light fixture. I am not loving the light in there now. I think it was about the last one we picked out when we were building the house. The lady said "Here's what we usually use in the bedroom". We said, "we're tired of making decisions... that one will do". It is a glass dome light with a pointy thing in the middle. We "not-so-affectionately" refer to it as "The Nipple Light". I really can't see leaving that in my son's bedroom. (insert your own favorite D. joke here, you know he's come up with some) I've been a little discouraged by the lack of selection I have been able to find online for lighting. If you have any suggestions, let me know. The room will be decorated with Jungle Animals.

Now, you are probably saying to yourself, "What about the Appletini... I heard there would be Appletinis".

Be patient, there is an Appletini... and a Mimosa. I got a package in the mail yesterday from Sonny and Shear I've Got Ewe, Babe Yarn Shop, and of course I love packages. Their logo is two sheep that look like Sonny and Cher. Anyway, it contained two hanks of the softest Yarntini superwash merino sock yarn. The colors, of course, were Appletini and Mimosa. I can't wait to knit myself some snazzy new socks.
I guess that's all for now. A

Monday, September 3, 2007

I've been tagged

I am officially a part of the "Blog World". They have invited me to play their "Reindeer Games". I have been tagged by E. The details are, you have to post these rules before you give the facts. 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!

  • M arried to the most loving and compassionate man
  • A vid knitter of baby items
  • R eggae music makes me smile
  • I nternet researcher and adoption blog stalker
  • E cstatic about the arrival of our first child

O.K., so now I tag: Bekah, Jeanne, Angela, Christine, and Candace.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

All is well

I wanted to make a quick post to say that D is doing well. The surgery went as planed and the recovery has begun. He's up and around some, but mostly on the couch with ice packs. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and prayers. A

P.S. I have a really cute picture of him in his hairnet and hospital gown... but I decided not to post it... at least not right now ; )

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Well, I'm on vacation. I had lots of plans for all I would get done, mainly I've just been relaxing. We've spent some time in the pool, and I have almost finished a sweater for the baby. It's my first attempt at a top down pattern. I enjoyed making it and especially enjoy the lack of seaming that it needs. I'll post a picture when it's done.

D had to get an MRI on Friday. He's been having a lot of knee pain. Today we saw an orthopedic surgeon. He will be having cartilage in his knee repaired Thursday morning. Please, say a little prayer that all goes well. They will be doing the procedure as outpatient and are pretty optimistic for a quick recovery. I've already told him he's grounded from sports!

There have been no real updates on the adoption recently. We are still waiting to hear about some referrals for our agency and hope to finally be move up some on the waiting list. It will be a thrill to just have a new answer when people ask how it's going. I usually just say, "Fine, still waiting". What I really want to sayis something like, "Well, one day I'm excited and hopeful, one day I'm weepy, and the next day I'm anxious and nervous... and other days I'm all of those and more... and of course we're still waiting ; )".

I can't imagine how hard it will be when we are closer to getting our referral. I'm over-the-top excited for these families right now.

Best Wishes, A

Monday, August 6, 2007

Vaccinations Complete

Well, we finished the last of our Hep A & C vaccinations today. If you are planning on traveling to Vietnam, it's a good idea to get started on these. The series of vaccinations takes 6 months to complete. D had to get a tetanus shot too. I had one a year ago ... (icy roads, shattered windshield, staples in the head... Yikes) so I was good. Later on we will have to decide if we will take Typhoid and Malaria medications. I'm not sure if those will be needed so we will see what our agency says when we find out which province we will be traveling to.

In other news, one of the families in front of us in line is expecting a referral for their little boy any day now! We are so excited for their family and can't wait to here their good news! A

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Made in Vietnam...

I'm in love. Tuesday, I stopped by our Adoption Agency to drop off my booties and hats for the orphanage. On my way back to work I stopped at Knitwitts, a local yarn shop. I was ready to start a new project. I picked up some yarn and I needed some bamboo needles for sock knitting. The lady pointed out some on the counter that were made of rosewood and all her knitters love them. I had seen them when I first came up and they were very pretty but more expensive than what I normally used. She pointed out that they were made in Vietnam. That sold me. I bought a set and they are wonderful! The are handmade in Vietnam for Lantern Moon . They have some of the most beautiful things. So, if anyone wants to know what I want for Christmas ...
And, in adoption news... today marks the thrid month of our official wait for a referral. A

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lot's of Adoption Stuff...

It's been a busy week in our adoption world. We had a Waiting Families meeting on Tuesday at our agency. The topic was "Post-Placement Paperwork". Can you believe there is more paperwork? Actually, we will be filling out some kind of adoption related paperwork until our child turns 18. In Vietnam adoptions, the country requires yearly post-placement reports until the child turns 18. I personally think that is wonderful. Mainly we will write a little status report on our child an include some pictures. I think it's great that Vietnam wants to make sure their children are doing well. Receiving these reports in a timely manner is a very important part of keeping good adoption relations with other countries.

Friday, we got an update from our agency that referrals are coming! Not for us yet, of course... but for families in front of us. There are babies that have been identified for adoption. There is a process where the baby's paperwork is put in order. There are 2 adds that have to run in the local paper for 30 days each, documentation, etc. All this paperwork is done to prove that the child is legally eligible for adoption. Our agency is very thorough with this paperwork. They make sure it is all in order before giving a referral. So, as the paperwork is gathered for these babies... referrals will be made. I'm very excited for everyone who will be getting that wonderful news very soon. Of course, we will also move up in line as the referrals come in... so I am excited for us too!

Today I took a trip out of state for another Waiting Families Meeting. Dwayne's parents live a couple of hours away from us. I drive over and we attend our agency's meetings together. They will be traveling with us when we bring our baby home. The topic of the meeting was Therapeutic Parenting. It is a very interesting topic and goes along with all the Attachment and Bonding things I have been reading. I have also been reading "The Power of Possitive Parenting". This talks about similar topics.
It's been a long day and a good week. I think I'm going to work on some more baby booties... and get to bed. A

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunflower Smile...

There is a place I pass by every day on my way to work... and I can't help but to smile when I see it. There is a long narrow field of sunflowers on the side of the road. I'm not sure how big it is... but it is significant enough to make an impact. They come up every year. It doesn't look like anyone tends the land. It just looks like someone planted them one year... and now they come back on their own. Every time I see them I think about our adoption and how I can't wait to take pictures of the baby with the flowers. Today, I decided to pull over and snap some pictures.

Thank you to who ever planted that field the first time. It has brought me lots of smiles ; ) A

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lions, Monkeys, and Gators... Oh, My!

I thought I would share the nursery bedding we got for the baby boy nursery. It's a sweet little Jungle animal set in sage green, tan, and ivory. We will probably get a honey color wood furniture. We want something similar to the one in the picture... just not white. (we do want white for the girl nursery... but that's another post ; )

I hope we can get the crib soon. I feel like I can't really put the room together until that piece is here. When we built the house we chose a sandy tan color for the walls and cream trim. It goes perfect with the bedding. My sister is an art teacher. She's going to paint a mural of cute swinging Monkeys and happy Gators on the walls. I'm so excited to get started on it. I know it will be adorable.

Dwayne and I saw "Evan Almighty" at the Drive-In last week. It was cute. I'm not good at quotes, but in one part God(Morgan Freeman) is talking to the mom about prayer. He explains to her that when someone prays for courage they may instead be given opportunities to be brave... and when people pray for patience they may get circumstances that allow them to develop patience.
I'm still in the "developing it" stage ... A

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Congratulations Bride & Groom

My sister got married today. It was a beautiful day and a gorgeous location. They got married in a gazebo on the lake. I did my "tour-of-duty" as Maid of Honor. It was terribly hot out... especially for the wedding party... but if we had it to do all over again I would still want her to have it outside. The scenery was priceless. It was truly a fairytale setting. The only thing missing was my babies as the ring bearer and flower girl ; ) Oh, well

Happily ever after... A

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Baby Stuff...

I love getting stuff in the mail... especially baby stuff. I got the sweetest baby blanket today. I've been searching for just the right one... that's not too girly. For those of you who don't know already, we would like to adopt a boy and a girl. We have requested an infant of either gender so we will probably be adopting a boy first. For some reason families request girls over boys about 4 to 1. Our dream would be to adopt boy/girl twins in our first trip, but that's a million to one shot. We will most likely travel again as soon as we can!

Since we originally planned to adopt from China we were expecting a girl. We have a closet full of girls clothes and other items. The boys room had a slow start, but it is catching up. At first it was not as easy getting excited about little boys clothes. Girly things are so cute. But, I have turned the corner and Gymboree is my new best friend.

Now I've gotten off track... back to the blanket... it's so sweet and soft. On one side is a Blue Asian Silk Brocade. The other side is the softest, fluffiest Minky Rosebud Swirl Chenille. You can't really tell from the picture, but the Chenille actually looks like little rosebuds.
I wish I got a package in the mail everyday ; )
Best wishes, A

Friday, June 29, 2007


Friday is a wonderful thing! At least for me it is... D doesn't have weekends off so he doesn't share my love of Fridays. He says Monday is his Friday... and he's off on Tuesday... so Friday's his Tuesday... it's all very confusing ; ) Anyway, I'm happy that it's the weekend.

This has been a buzy week. I've had something going on every day after work. I've also been doing a lot of knitting. Wed night we had a meeting at church for our Prayer Shawl Ministry group. It's really a neat project. Our women's group knits cozy shawls and prays for the person who will receive the gift. The shawls are then blessed and given out to people who are in need of special prayers for an illness or other hardships. They attach a tag and a cross to the shawl and enclose a card explaining how it was made. The Thank You cards we get from the recipients are so heart warming and I love all the ladies involved. While I was there that night I picked up another knitting task. We had five newborns on the prayer request this week that are in the hospital. I'm making super soft baby hats for them. I will be frantically finishing them up tonight and tomorrow. It's so sad to hear about little babies having such a rough start...

I've also been working on knitting baby booties and socks for the orphanages in Vietnam. Our coordinator will be traveling there this summer, and she has agreed to deliver them for me. I sent hats earlier in the year, so I thought I would try socks. This was my first attempt at sock knitting... and I'm addicted. I rarely knit for myself, but I can already tell that this will be my indulgence. Now I have visions of striped Merino wool socks dancing in my head. I did visit the The Village Knitter today. I couldn't resist picking up some sock yarn for me ; ) They ladies there are so sweet. They invited me to come knit with them... I might take them up on that.

I don't really have any new adoption news except to say that we are looking forward to those referrals coming in August! I know our ticker up there says we've been waiting just over 2 months... but that's not really true. I've been waiting all my life...

Best wishes... A

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Official First Post

Finally, I have gotten around to setting up this site! I didn't want to set it up too soon. I didn't know when I'd have anything interesting to post. I also didn't want to wait until the last minute. If a miracle happens and the stars align... and we get our referral sooner than expected... things will be too crazy! At least... I'll have someplace to babble on while D is sleeping.

Just to get you up to date - My husband D and I are adopting our first baby (or two) from Vietnam. We are officially on the waiting list. Our agency expects our wait to be 12 - 18 months. That is not written in stone by any means. It could be a little quicker... and unfortunately it could be longer. We are praying for the quicker ; ) If you are not familiar with the Ins&Outs of International Adoption you may be confused. Basically, we are waiting in line behind a bunch of other families. As they are matched with their children we move up on the list. It's a lot like pulling a ticket at the store and waiting for your turn. You are constantly watching everyone else... to see who's next. Our agency is supposed to have referrals in mid August. I'm so excited for the famlies. I hope they will travel soon to bring home their little ones.

We got some good adoption news last week. Our coordinator sent me an email saying that our Dossier has been submitted to the IAD (international adoption department of Vietnam). That is wonderful news even though it will be sitting with stacks and stacks of other families Dossiers... getting dusty ... waiting for our referral to come. Maybe my Dossier is rubbing folders with yours... or not.

It's time for bed... Best Wishes, A