Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Blessing

As you may recall, we have two different issues delaying our adoption. One is sign-off of the baby's dossier in the province. The other is the US DNA test required for I-600 approval. The DNA test has been held up because there was no sucess in locating our baby's birth mother. Our first DNA test was scheduled in November, but it did not happen.

Thursday, I was surprised to get an email from our coordinator. She said that our baby's birth mother had been located and they were scheduling the DNA test. She cautioned me that this did not insure that the birth mother would agree to do the test. I was later notified that the test was scheduled for December 22 at 1:00. Again, I was reminded that this was no guarantee that she would participate. Regardless of the warnings, I was thrilled to get some good news. This information renewed our hope. Everytime I seem at my lowest during this adoption, something happens that assures me we are on the right path.

I got confirmation today that the orphanage vice-director, our baby, his
nanny, and his birth mother traveled to HCMC and the DNA test was
completed. We are so grateful that this hurdle has been passed. We
are thankful to his birth mother for making this journey, which she
could have easily refused. We will make sure he knows that she did this
out of love for him and so he could have a family to care for him.

Please remember our baby and his orphange buddies in your prayers as well as the families waiting to bring them home! Merry Christmas! A.

"If you beleive, you will recieve whatever you ask for in prayer" - Matthew 21:22

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Prayer Request

We are still experiencing delays on the Vietnam side of our adoption. There are 24 families affected. Our adoption agency is working diligently trying to resolve the situation. They have limited options left. None of these babies can come home to their waiting families until this issue is resolved. Our families have been waiting for 2-3 years to bring a child into our homes. We have been falling in love with pictures of these children. In our hearts, they are ours already. This additional complication has made the wait torture, especially at the holidays.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help. We need your prayers!
We know that God can move mountains! Please read the prayer request
below. We would love your support. Please feel free to pass this information on!

FTIA VIETNAM Waiting Parents
Prayer Requests
On behalf of all the Waiting Parents: We have put together a list of specific things that our families and friends can pray with us about. Specifically, between now and just after the first of the New Year, we would like to blanket our situation—our children and our forever families—with prayer and fasting*.

Times for prayer
We do, of‐course, welcome your prayers at any time. But we thought we would suggest the following times (regardless of time zones) for prayer over the next 3 weeks so that there will be several periods of concentrated prayer for our children and our families:

Saturday, December 20 – Friday, January 9: 7:00am and 9:00pm
Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve: 11:30pm ‐ Midnight

Specific Prayer Requests
• For the health, safety and care of all of our children
• For peace, strength and health for the waiting parents
• For success and determination for FTIA's director and those he enlists to help the situation
• For the Police and other officials, that their hearts and minds will be softened; that that they will consider the welfare of children above all else
• For USCIS (US Immigration), that they will be reasonable, especially
in regard to the new requirements they are imposing (that they too will put the welfare of children first)

There are 24 waiting families and children. We request prayer for our group as a whole, as this situation has been very difficult for all of us.

Monday, December 8, 2008

11 Months

Today our baby boy turned 11 months old. Another month has passed. Unfortunately, we don't seem to be any closer to getting him home. Our agency director is in Vietnam again trying to make some progress. We are happy he is there. There are 24 families waiting for children from the same province. We hope and pray that there will be a resolution soon, and that all the children can join their forever families.

This holiday season has been difficult. I'm having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit again this year. We do have our tree up, and most of our presents are bought. Our little guy has gifts that will soon be wrapped in festive Elmo paper and placed under the tree. They will stay right there until he is home in our arms. Then, we can truly celebrate Christmas. A.

Friday, November 28, 2008


We have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to!

Friday, November 21, 2008

He smiles a lot!

We were filled with joy when we received the following update from our agency:

(baby) can sit, but can't crawl, he moves around on his tummy. He smiles a lot, eats very well. He can pull himself up. He is quiet. He is curious about strangers. He seems a content boy. He has 2 upper and 2 lower teeth. He is a handsome boy with head full of hair. He eats well.

This little snip of information about our sweet boy means so much to me. These little details bring me closer to knowing him. I am so thankful for this glimpse into his personality. And, of course, I can't wait to see his toothy grin! A.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special Treat

We got a special treat last week. We received a new picture of our sweet boy. He still has a wild hair-do, and we LOVE it!

We were uplifted by the site of his sweet face. It is still sad that he is growing older every day without us, but we have faith that he will be coming home to us. The sooner, the better!! A.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

10 Months Old

Dear Sweet Boy, today you are 10 months old. A big day for a little boy. I hope someone hugs you today and that you feel the love we are sending you in our prayers.

I've been looking at your last picture and wondering how you have changed since then. How many teeth do you have? Are you crawling? How long is your hair? So many questions I don't have answers for. I just pray that you feel our love and that you are well taken care of... and that it won't be much longer until we can be together.
This is no doubt the hardest part of our journey. We love you Dear Sweet Boy...

Monday, November 3, 2008

3 Months

It's been just over 3 months since we received our referral for our sweet baby boy. Unfortunately, our travel to bring him home is still months away. Due to delays on both the US and Vietnam sides, we won't be able to bring him home before the end of the year. We had hoped to have him home before his first birthday in January. It now looks more likely that we will not travel until at least March. There is still a chance it could happen sooner, but it is a long shot.

We are trying to stay positive. It is still very hard knowing our baby boy is growing older everyday without us. We long to hold him in our arms and pray that our delays will be resolved soon. This has been one of the hardest parts of our wait.

I hope to have better news to share soon... A

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Operation Organization

Lately, I have been dealing with our wait with a combo of nesting and shopping. I have been working on the baby's closet this week. As you can see from the picture, I've spent plenty of time shopping... or Gymboree exploded in the closet.

I have been going through everything and sorting by size. The dresser is already full. I have been storing the larger sizes in plastic tubs. I still have more tubs to squeeze in there. I hope he doesn't outgrow all the sweet outfits before we get him home! E, do I earn points for stockpiling baby clothes?

In adoption news, we are currently waiting on DNA testing. This involves waiting for the province to locate our baby's birth mother. Once located, they will coordinate a date/time and travel to HCMC for the test. Hopefully, she has not moved and they can find her easily. I'm not sure when we can expect an update on the progress of that effort. This part of the wait is much harder. There is a lot of uncertainty on how long our next steps will take. The DNA process is still new, and the delays continue in our baby's province. There has been some movement to get cases progressing though. We are optimistic that every one's efforts will be rewarded, and families will get to travel there soon.

You may ask, what the heck is taking so long. Well, once the DNA testing is complete and possitve, we should get out I-600 pre-approval fairly quickly. This is the last major US hoop to jump through. In addition, we still need a few things on the Vietnam side. None of them can happen until the province delays are resolved. We are waiting for IAD Approval, PPC Approval, and scheduling of the G & R ceremony. Then, as soon as we can get on a plane, we will travel to Vietnam for the meeting of a lifetime!

In exciting news, families with our agency are leaving this week for Vietnam. Another group will be joining them later in the month. I can't wait to follow along with their life changing trips! It's the next best thing to traveling yourself ; ) A

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Set Of Wheels...

Baby boy's first set of wheels is on the way to our house. I finally decided on a stroller. D and I went to Babies R Us Sunday after Church. I had been researching them online, but I wanted to try them out a little. I am really happy with how this one steers and folds up. I hope baby will enjoy it as well. He has his own little steering system with sound effects ; ) Thank you to everyone who got us gift cards for the baby shower. They came in handy on our shopping trip!

Now, I'm in the market for his next set of wheels. I really would like to get him a Radio Flyer Tricycle and a wagon for his birthday. I have picked some out and added them to his wish list. Anyone have advice on one to choose?

I have been having fun using Kaboodle lately. If your not familiar with the site, it allows you to build a wish list... sort of like a registry... with any stores. When you're browsing online and you see something you like, you can click Add to Kaboodle, and add it to your list. I love it, because I always see something great, and then forget where I saw it. Now, I can be a much more efficient compulsive shopper ; )

There aren't really any adoption updates for us at this time, hence the compulsive shopping. We hope to hear some good news soon. There are currently delays in our baby's province. We are praying things are resolved soon! While there are no updates for us, there are fabulous updates for our fellow adopting families. Several families are traveling very soon to bring their sweet babies home. We can't wait to follow along with their journey. Good luck to all! We are so happy for you! A.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

9 Months Old

We were happy to get the news this week that our baby boy was released from the hospital Monday. I am so grateful he is feeling much better. We love this little guy so much.

This is the earliest picture we have of him. He is about 7 weeks old, and he has a full head of wild hair. It is really amazing how he can steal my heart from so far away.

He turned 9 months old this week. It's hard not to feel sad for all the days we can't be with him. I think about him all the time, and I wonder what he is doing. We still have a while to wait, but it is so hard. I know that wonderful day is coming!

We will continue to pray for him every day and concentrate on that day when we can hold him in our arms. That will be our happy ending! A.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Busy week

This has been a busy time in our adoption journey!!! Last Friday, our I-600 was submitted. This week, we got our notice of receipt for the I-600 and a request for DNA testing. Those are all big milestones that bring us closer to bringing our baby home. We can't wait to have this sweet baby boy in our arms!!

Unfortunately, we received news Monday that our baby was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Several babies from his orphanage were also hospitalized, and some have already been released. They plan to keep him there until he has completed his antibiotics. We have been anxious, but trust he is getting the care he needs. It is hard not being able to comfort him. I am grateful that some of the Nannies are staying with the babies at the hospital. We have been praying extra hard for his health and protection.

Luckily, we got new pictures of him a couple of weeks ago. He looks good and healthy. Isn't he precious?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Godspeed little man...

A heartbreaking lament to his son, songwriter Radney Foster says the story behind this song is one of the toughest situations in which a parent can be put. Says Foster: "Yeah, my oldest boy, Julien... his mother and I separated when he was very young, and divorced. And things were as good as can be expected in those kinds of situations. We were both trying very hard to be good parents. But she re-married a guy from France, and immigrated to France with my son... to 5,000 miles away. He was 5. Which led to all kinds of things; big court battles, all kinds of things. A big mess. And when I had lost, and knew that there was nothing else I could do to try to keep him closer to home, and he was going, I wanted something that he could take with him, that he would know that I loved him. And so I wrote that little lullaby, and I put it on cassette 5 times in a row. He had a little Fisher Price big button thing that he could listen to at night, and to his mother's credit, she let him. I recorded it in my home studio with just me and my guitar, and I thought that would be the last time I ever recorded it.

"And so I guess about a year after that, my manager and his wife were going to have a baby, and I said, 'Hey, let me play this song that I wrote for Jule, I forgot, I'll put on a cassette for you guys.' And I played it for him and he just wept. He said, 'That's one of the most powerful things you've ever written in your life.' He says, 'You have to put that on a record.' I said, 'Yeah, but it's a kid song." He said, 'I don't care what kind of song it is. It's an unbelievable song. It's got to go on your next album.' And so I did. I ended up putting it on See What You Want To See, the same record as 'Raining On Sunday.' Emmylou Harris sang on it, and that was just a real, real thrill. And then years later, when the Dixie Chicks cut it, and Jule was, I want to say 10 or 11, they had kind of said, 'Will you come by? We're mixing it, and we wanted you to hear it.' And I'd run into one of them in town, and I said, 'Well, Jule's in town, and he would love to hear that thing.' And they said, 'Great.' So unbeknownst to me, they're freaking. They're terrified that he won't like it. So we were all sitting in chairs, and they were behind me, I could see them. We got through the first chorus, and my son got up out of his chair and got over and got in my lap. This is a 10-year-old boy, way too big to be in Daddy's lap. But it was a real, real sweet moment."

Sweet dreams baby boy...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank you

I've been nominated for the Smile Award by Colleen. Isn't that just the sweetest? Make sure to stop by Colleen's blog and congratulate her. She just got I-600 approval to bring little Rosemary home from Vietnam!

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

These are the rules for The Smile Award.

1. The recipient must link back the the award’s creator
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

So, here are my picks for the Smile Award, in no particular order...

Sarah at Journey to Taiwan for Hannah Claire - Sarah is so much fun. you have to smile just looking at her blog and the pictures of baby Hannah Claire. Sarah's blog is full of funny stories and great pictures.

Carissa at Faith, Hope, and Love - Carissa is preparing her self and home for beautiful twins from Korea. Check out her blog!

Kelly at Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - Kelly is the Mom of adorable Lucy from Vietnam. She's also a great photographer. She shares lots of cute pictures and stories about being a Mom. Lot's of smiles here!

Laurie at Pho for Five- Laurie is a Mom of 3 cuties age 2 and under! Needless to say, she has lots of funny Mommy stories. She has also added prizes to her blog. How fun is that? I would have nominated her even if I wasn't one of her winners ; )

Tracy at My Minivan Rocks - Tracy is another "Multiple Mom", to three kiddos age 2 and under! So, like Laurie, funny Mommy stories abound.

Thanks again Colleen! A.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Martha... Good Things, and Good Happenings

I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but I am a big Martha Stewart fan! I just really enjoy her magazines, products, shows, and especially her website I don't know how many times it has bailed me out with a recipe or a gift idea. Now, I know she is not every one's "cup-of-tea". But, you have to at least admire someone who can take the things they love to do and turn it into an empire like she has. Anyway, the whole point of this little Martha tributes is that I got tickets! Can you believe that? I filled out a blogger survey thing on her site a while back. I got this in my email last week,

Dear MARTHA fan,
You’re invited to our “Blogging Show” when the entire audience will be filled with bloggers! The celebrity guest is known to be an avid celebrity blogger so hurry up and RSVP to validate your ticket request!
Now, the unfortunate part is, I can't go. The taping is next week in New York. There is no way I can make it there. My boss is on vacation and I need to save money/vacation time for the adoption. I tried to give my tickets to a fellow blogger who lives in New York, but she wasn't able to make it either. Still, it was nice to be invited. I have decided that I will definitely plan to go another time.

Now, transferring from Good Things to Good Happenings. I got a package today from Laurie at, aka Pho for Five. This blog is definitely a must read for adoptive parents and new parents. Laurie's household is full of stories about her 3 sweet kids. As if there weren't enough reasons to read before, Laurie has recently added product reviews and give aways to her site. I must be on a lucky streak, because I won! I got this great set of Method baby products. I can't wait to try them out on our little one. Make sure to add to your reading list and watch for more give aways to come. Thank you Laurie! A.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dreams do come true... part 2

Since the day we got our referral, I have read and re-read every piece of paperwork we got on our son. We were fortunate to get measurements from each month. I was able to share those with our International Adoption Doctor. I also plotted them out on Vietnamese and American growth charts. I have done research on the area where his birth mother is from. Every little detail is an important part of his story. I don't want to leave out a single crumb of information.

One night, I decided to look back in my email history to January. I wanted to see what was going on for us when our baby boy was born. I know approximately, within a day or two, when he was born. When I found my emails from that week, I found emails between a good adoption friend and I. I was telling her about some dreams I started having about our baby. The first dream was so realistic, I dreamt the whole trip. I could feel myself holding and rocking him, kissing his head,and smelling his sweet baby smell. My friend recalled having a similar dream about her daughter around her birthdate. It was also very realistic. She could feel her baby snuggled up on her shoulder. She joked that maybe our baby was born that night.

My dreams continued for a few days. I had these dreams over the days we now know our baby was born and when he was relinquished. I am so grateful I don't clean up my email box often! I am so happy to have this record. Not only do I know when he was born to his birth mother, but I know when he was born in my heart and in my dreams. A

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dreams do come true... Part 1

On August 1 we got "The Call". Our coordinator called me at home really early to say she had our referral and ask if we could come to the office. Of course that answer was YES! We had been expecting "The Call" all week. Some other families with our agency had gotten their referrals the week before, so we knew we were very close. Each day, we thought it was going to come. Each day, by 10AM I couldn't stand it anymore, so I contacted our coordinator to hear, "Sorry, nothing today". It was a nervous week. With all the talk of Vietnam deadlines, I was worried that some little glitch would prevent us from getting our referral in time.

I was so excited when I got to work, I couldn't concentrate on much. I canceled some meetings so I could meet D at FTIA on time. At FTIA, They have a small conference room where you generally go to talk to your coordinator. The first time I was in that room was when we met with a China coordinator to turn in our application. She informed us that China wasn't a good fit for us because of a minor medical condition my husband has. I was completely devastated. I was numb. We had planned to adopt a baby from china since before we were married. I had been researching China for years. I belonged to a support group full of families with babies from China. I had never looked at any other options. I just sat there and cried. They recommended Guatemala and Vietnam as good fits for us, but I couldn't even consider them at the time.

I got lots of support from my Adoptive Parent friends. I started looking into Guatemala because there were no Vietnam adoptions at that time. A friend gave me a push toward Vietnam. She had a friend who had adopted before the shutdown. As I thought about it, it made a lot of sense. When I was in grade school, our Church sponsored some families that had fled Vietnam after the war. We had Vietnamese children in our school and I was familiar with the culture. It seemed more and more like a great fit for us. I made an appointment with the FTIA Vietnam coordinator at the time. Once again we met in that room. The program was really new, so she didn't have a lot of information at that time. We had a very engaging and long conversation. I cried again, but they were happy tears. I felt God was leading us to Vietnam, and this comfort I was feeling was a sign. When we were done, she told me that I would cry one last time in that room, when we saw our baby's face for the first time.

So, I was prepared for the crying when we got to the agency. I pictured the papers being passed across the table and my uncontrollable burst of tears. It didn't happen quite like that. D met me at the agency. I took a deep breath, and we went in. They paged our coordinator. When she came out, we headed down the hall to "The Room of Tears". Before we got there, she surprised me by thrusting a stack of papers into my hands. On top, was a picture of our baby. It was the sweetest face I've ever seen. My eyes welled up with tears. I didn't cry right away. I was completely overwhelmed with joy. It was like a giant hug of happiness. We went in the room and D and I were able to stare at the pictures. We couldn't take our eyes off this little boy who would be our son. Our coordinator went through all the documents and explained what they were. I remembered to ask the right questions, but my heart was too busy to listen. I don't know if tears ever actually escaped my eyes in that room this time, but there were many times they were so full, I struggled to focus on the pictures.

After leaving the agency, we went to my Mom's work and to my work to show off the pictures. Then, we went to Build-A-Bear and made him a sweet little monkey. D & I each added a heart when he was being stuffed. We ate lunch at the food court and I made lots of phone calls. A good friend was able to meet us at the mall with her kids. Her beautiful daughter (I like to refer to as my future daughter-in-law) was adopted from Vietnam. It was wonderful getting to spend our special day with special friends.

We came home and promptly shared photos online. We had lots of extras printed up. I filled photo albums for work, added photos to D's wallet, a photo frame by the bed, and album in my purse, computer backgrounds everywhere. The little boy who had captured out hearts that day was making his way into our everyday life. The best part was the necklace. I had bought it several months before anticipating our referral. I added two photos to the charm and have worn it next to my heart every day since. I wasn't able to carry this sweet boy inside me, but he will stay next to my heart instead. A

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gifts for baby...

We are so excited! The director of our adoption agency will be traveling to Vietnam very soon. He has offered to take packages to the babies in our son's orphanage. We are so happy to have the opportunity to reach across the world to our baby. We have stuffed a ziploc bag with goodies for him. We included a photo album with pictures of Mama & Daddy, granparents, his new home, and friends/family that can't wait to meet him. I have translated the "who's who" into Vietnamese. I am hoping his Nanny will read to him about all the family he has who are waiting for him and loving him. We are also sending three little outfits, two teething toys, and a Tigger snuggle blanket.

In other news, our sweet baby was also showered with love from friends and family. Good friends from our local adoption support groups threw a lovely baby shower for our little man. How cute are these diaper cakes! The large one has a bottle of Champagne inside! I am so lucky to have met such a great group of people. They have been so supportive through this long process. We are truly blessed in so many ways.

Adoption updates: I don't really have a lot of news on this front. We hope to file our I-600 in the next week or two. Other than that, we are just waiting. We expect we will get a notice of required DNA testing shortly after filing the I-600. DNA testing is pretty new to Vietnam adoptions, but it has been done successfully in other countries for some time. We hope that this process will go smoothly. While it makes me anxious, I am forever grateful for the information our baby will have about his birth mother. I am glad we will have this important piece of his history.

We also hope to maybe get updated pictures soon. I can't get enough of that sweet face! That's all for now... A

Saturday, August 23, 2008

And Then One Day...

My sister wrote and illustrated this as a gift to our family. It is very special to D and I. We had the illustrations printed and bound into a book. I look forward to sharing this story with our precious boy. We are so blessed with loving friends and family! A

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dear sweet boy...

I almost lost my breath and tears filled my eyes... I saw your face today. My heart swelled with joy. More than I can imagine, my love for you already grows. I have stared at these pictures a thousand times. Each time I study every last detail. I am so lucky to have pictures of you over time.
In February, you were so tiny with a full head of spikey hair and almost two months old.

In May, you had filled out some. You have the face of an angel.

In July, you are fussy. I want to snatch you up and comfort you. The pictures are so precious to me, my connection to you. I can't wait to hold you in my arms. Until then I will see you in pictures and in my dreams. I love you dear sweet boy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cháo gà

I am well aware that I never finished part 2 of
Adventures in Pho post. I never explained why. I was hoping to try again with tastier results, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Let me just say that my first try at Pho was unpleasant. I will try again sometime. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Anyway, I tried another Vietnamese recipe tonight. This time I was very pleased with the final results. This newest culinary adventure brought me to Cháo gà (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Chicken). There are many types of thick rice soups found in Asia. The key to this dish is "Comfort Food". Think a steaming hot bowl of chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings, when you aren't feeling well. It is valued for it's healing properties, a cure for what ails you.

It goes by many names and is served with different toppings depending on the country. Check out Things Asian for more information about this traditional dish.

The recipe I used can be found on the blog Halfway Between Ca Mau and Sai Gon. (It just so happens that our son is currently in an orphanage "Halfway Between Ca Mau and Sai Gon") Anyway, I was really happy with this recipe. It was very similar in taste to the homemade chicken and dumplings I make. The texture was different, obviously, but it was very comforting. It was a very simple dish, and required few ingredients. I cooked mine longer as the author suggested. It made for a thick and hearty dish. I have already saved this recipe. I see myself making this for our little boy when he is feeling under the weather.

I highly recommend this recipe. You should especially give it a try if you are expecting a little sweetie from Vietnam. Many babies are fed a version of Cháo in the orphanages. Please, let me know what you think.

Adoption Update - There aren't a lot of updates for us at this stage. It has been almost six weeks since we were matched with our baby boy. Our referral is estimated to take 6 - 8 weeks from the match. So, it could be anytime now, but likely at least a week or two. Our expired documents have been re-done and sent to the Embassy for authentication. We have filed for an extension of our I-600A pre-approval. There isn't a lot to do now, but wait. We did get a dresser to match the baby's crib. I can finally put the finishing touches on the nursery.

I think about our baby all the time. It's particularly hard when I try to get to sleep. I just pray that he's getting the attention and care that he needs, and that God will protect and comfort him. Please keep our little peanut in your prayers. A.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pay it Forward Exchange

I got a great package in the mail this week from Hannah Claire's waiting mommy, Sarah. What a fun little project!

Now it's my turn to play!

So, here are the rules. I will send something special to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this exchange. You must make the same pledge on your blog. So, if you'd like something fun from me and you are willing to do the same on your blog, let me know! Please make sure you leave your blog address and email in the comment. I will email you to get your mailing address.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Family

My head is still in the clouds since learning of our baby boy last week. I'm sure that I will be getting very anxious for the referral soon. Right now, I am just so thrilled to have made it this far. I'm content.

I have been very busy getting paperwork ready. Our fingerprints, police letters, and medical letters have all expired. We also need an update to our home study. Everything is well on it's way to being done.

My other project while waiting for our referral is to gather photos. I found the sweetest baby photo album the day we were matched. It is plush and shaped like a little house. It says "My Family" on the front. I plan to fill it full of pictures of friends and family. I want to send the album to our baby via another traveling family. I want to tag the pictures in English and Vietnamese. I'm excited to put it all together.

This has been a great week for us and our fellow adopting families... lots of matches and referrals! We are glad to share this happy time with the other families and hope to travel with some of them. I hope we will have more news to share very soon! A.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dear sweet boy...

Today I learned of you. I know where you are and about when you were born. The rest is still a mystery. So, I wonder...
Are you smiling?
Is someone holding you?
Does someone comfort you when you cry?
Can you feel Gods hands reaching down to you as I pray for your protection?

Today, I feel one step closer to you. I wait for the day I will see your face and hold you in my arms.

Until now, I have had a dream of you … Today there is a promise of you… and that will have to be enough for now.

I love you sweet, sweet boy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Child's Right Campaign for Vietnam

The Joint Council on International Children's Services has announced A Child's Right Campaign for Vietnam. The purpose of the campaign is to urge he US to work with Vietnam to continue ethical adoptions for children who need families. An end to adoptions from Vietnam is not the answer. The true orphans of Vietnam deserve the love of a family.

A Pending Crisis

The U.S. Department of State has expressed concerns related to corruptive practices associated with intercountry adoption between the U.S. and Vietnam.
In response to their concerns, the Department of State will allow the functional closure of adoptions on September 1, 2008 and thereby end one of the most basic of human rights: the right to a safe, permanent and loving family.

Not only will those orphans eligible for adoption continue to suffer the detriments of orphanage life, so will thousands of other orphans and vulnerable children. This is because the service providers engaged in finding U.S. families for Vietnamese orphans also provide a myriad of services to the most vulnerable of children.

As a result, the end of intercountry adoption with Vietnam also brings the end of social services such as family preservation and counseling. It also marks the end of humanitarian services such as educational sponsorships, clean water programs and many health related initiatives.

End Corruption, Not a Child’s Right to a Family

While Joint Council shares in many of the Department of State’s concerns, we believe the solution is not the termination of adoption and elimination of a child’s right to a family. Joint Council, its Member Organizations, NGO’s including Ethica—a leading voice for ethical adoption, the Vietnamese government and Members of the United States Congress firmly believe that the solution is a rational child-centered approach designed to strengthen services, regulate providers and prosecute violators.

Please, email JCICS at BEFORE May 30. Let them know you support A Child's Right Campaign for Vietnam. Your email will be included in a petition to congress. Let congress know you support the true orphans of Vietnam, and that improving the current system is the right thing to do.

Thank you for your support. A.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Precious Gift

Today I got a special surprise in the mail. I received the most thoughtful Mother's Day gift from a dear friend from out of town. She sent me a wonderful book called
Motherbridge of Love from Barefoot Books. It is the sweetest book and a most thoughtful gift. The book is an illustrated poem about the role Mothers and Birth Mothers play in who an adopted child is. Of course, I cried when I read it. It was so heartwarming. I'm already looking forward to sharing the book with our son. Click here to listen to Amy Tan read the poem.

These last few weeks have been emotional. With even more uncertainties in Vietnam adoptions and the approaching Mother's Day holiday... It's been hard to keep my spirits up. There couldn't have been a better time to receive such a special surprise. It just takes a little nudge once and a while to boost my confidence that this adoption WILL happen, and our baby boy will be home with us in time. We are still in a race to make the September 1 deadline for referrals. We hope to be matched with our baby boy at any time now.

Also in adoption news, it is feared that Vietnam adoptions may close to all of the US due to a small number of "unethical players". Two groups are working for support from lawmakers to help Vietnam adoptions. Ethica has posted information on their website explaining how you can help. They have a sample letter as well as links to websites for your state representatives. Please consider faxing, calling, or emailing them in support of ethical adoptions from Vietnam. Please, show your support for helping legitimate adoptions to continue. JCICS will be launching a similar campaign soon. I will pass on that information as I know more. Here is the response I got from Senator Richard Lugar:

Thank you for contacting me about adoptions from Vietnam.

You are not alone in expressing concerns about the pace of adoptions in Vietnam. In response to many letters from Hoosiers, my staff has contacted officials at the Department of Homeland Security to raise your concerns. Currently there is only one full-time Department of Homeland Security official in Ho Chi Minh City who is assisted by two local staff. However, subsequent to our inquiry, an additional Department of Homeland Security officer has been assigned to assist in the backlog of adjudications. My office has been in regular contact with officials from the Departments of State and Homeland Security to reinforce to them the need to expedite adoptions in Vietnam. I will continue to closely monitor the situation.

As a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I share your concern that the United States remains a strong advocate for fair, transparent, and compassionate adoption policies worldwide.

Thank you, again, for contacting me.


Richard G. Lugar
United States Senator

Please consider passing on this information to your friends and families. Let your voices be heard. It would be a shame for needy children to miss out on having a loving family because the two countries gave up on negotiations too soon.
Thanks for your support! Thanks "Angela Phillpot" for the wonderful gift! A.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Nursery Progress

My sister came up for a visit this weekend, and look what she left behind! She's on spring break, so she stayed for the weekend and painted in the baby's room. I wish I had better lighting for the pictures. It looks even more adorable in person. Some of the colors aren't very true in the photos. The walls of the room are a sandy brown color, and the painting looks so soft and sweet. Now, I just need to get new curtains, curtain rod, and the dresser. I have some shelves and things for the walls. I think it will really come together after that.

I have a tiny smackeral of adoption news. We moved two spots closer to getting matched with our baby. So, there is still progress there. We hope to hear some good news anytime now. Pray for patience... pray for patience...pray for patience... A.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I've been tagged by Colleen. Here goes... Four Things You May or May Not Know About Me:

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1.) Gift Wrap Girl
2.) Ear Piercer
3.) Bank Teller
4.) IT Business Analyst

B) Four movies I would watch over and over??
1.) I'm With Lucy
2.) Something About Mary
3.) Riding in Cars With Boys
4.) Christmas Vacation

C) Four places I have lived
1) With my parents
2) Rented house
3) Apartment
4) Own home... all in the same town

D) Four TV Shows that I watch:
1.) The Closer
2.) American Idol
3.) My Name is Earl
4.) Psych

E) Four places I have been:
1.) Daytona FL
2.) Dallas TX
3.) San Antonio TX
4.) Memphis TN

F) People who e-mail me (regularly):
1.) My Mother
2.) My Adoption Agency
3.) My In-Laws
4.) My Adoption Friends

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1.) Chicken & Dumplings
2.) Bruscetta
3.) Veal Parm
4.) Biscuits & Gravy

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1.) Vietnam meeting my baby boy
2.) Vietnam holding my baby boy
3.) Vietnam rocking my baby boy
4.) Airplane bringing home my baby boy

I) Four friends I think will respond:
1.) ?

J) Things I am looking forward to this coming year:
1.) The Referral
2.) The Meeting
3.) The Travel
4.) Being a Momma

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Special Package

How cute is this! I got this sweet hand-knit caterpillar in the mail today from my "Secret Pal". What could be more special than a hand-made gift for our baby. The package was also filled with other fun baby size toys and books. Thank you "Secret Pal"! Caesar obviously loves it too. He wouldn't stay out of the picture.

I don't really have any adoption updates except to say that our agency says we are still on track to get our referral before the 15 month mark. That is about as good as we can expect to hear at this point. Until we get the news that we are matched with a baby, there aren't a lot of updates available. When we are matched, there are several steps we go through on our way to a referral. Our agency will keep us posted as our paperwork travels through these steps. It will nice to be able to track our progress.

Congratulations to the Vietnamese Ladybug family on getting their I-600 approval. They are coming home soon! A.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Hope You Dance

This is a book illustrated by my sister and written by one of her fellow teachers. I can't wait to get my copy. She promised to autograph mine ; ) Be sure to contact them if you want one too! A.

Teach, learn, and master dance with… The Elements of Dance" and “From Cha Cha to Rumba”. Two Books for the price of one!!!!
The Elements of Dance, describes and illustrates the dance elements required by the Kentucky Core Content, in an easy to remember rhyming format.
The flip side of the book: From Cha Cha to Rumba, describes and illustrates a variety of ballroom dances, in an easy to remember rhyming format.

This soft cover book is a beautifully illustrated 36 page book which sells for $11.95 plus tax - $12.67. Shipping is $5 for up to 5 or 6 books. Order now by emailing : or Get one now, before they’re gone!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Faith and Uncertainties

I feel like I have been put through the ringer this week. First, on Monday the US DOS issued a warning concerning Vietnam adoptions. The warning primarily pertains to families looking to start a Vietnam adoption now. It is an uncertain time. The adoption agreement between the US and Vietnam expires September 1 of this year. The two countries must either sign to extend the current agreement or draw up a new one.

No one can be sure at this point what will happen or how long it will take. I will confess that I was a little short on faith this week. I finally felt like we were really getting close. This just seemed like a punch in the stomach. I gave in and called our adoption coordinator. She reassured me. She really believes that we will have our referral before the expiration. She also believes that Vietnam will continue to work with in-process cases even if the agreement is allowed to expire. This was comforting to hear even though I know there are no guarantees. So, all we can do is pray and have faith that our baby will come to us when the timing is right.

Well... I guess I can pray and knit! Knitting is still a comfort to me. I am still selling a lot of them but not as many as December. I don't think I could keep up that pace. Peas & Carrots are a couple I did last week. I'm knitting more for our baby now. I want to make sure he has lots of light weight hats to cover his little head when we are in Vietnam.

I guess that's all for now. I need to get to work on my Pho post ; ) A.

Adventures in Pho (part 1)

My adventure started at the local Asian market. I took the book with me so I wouldn't forget any of the ingredients I needed. This particular market is narrow and deep. It is full to the brim, taking advantage of every available space. Cardboard boxes were in a row on the floor. They were filled with herbs, fruit, and fish. Yes, I said fish. There were boxes lined with plastic and ice with fresh whole fish on top. I have to say, they were some of the freshest looking fish and shrimp I have seen.

I have been there before, but never on a mission like this. It was crowded that day and I was not sure where I would find my ingredients. The first thing I needed was whole star anise. I couldn't find it anywhere. I was able to find cloves and black peppercorns. For future reference, the Asian market is very reasonable on spices. I easily found fish sauce, cilantro, and rice sticks. Then, bingo, I stumbled on the Vietnamese section. They had all kinds of spice packets for making Pho. Some looked like bullion cubes. Others were an assortment of whole spices, including the elusive star anise. I chose some of each for experimenting. I headed to the counter with my collection. The lady at the counter started checking me out without a sound. Then she said, "You make Vietnamese Pho... very good. You got everything". She gave me an approving nod, I paid my $10 and headed home. More to come later...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

9 Months

Well, I couldn't really let this milestone go without commenting. So, here it is. Yesterday, we reached 9 months "Paper-Pregnant". It's an important hurdle to pass. It's the half way point of our original estimated wait for a referral. The good news is, we may not have another 9 months for our referral. Unfortunately, we will likely have close to that before we meet our baby boy. I am hoping the rest of our wait goes quickly. We still have lots to do in that time! I am still working on my "To-Do" list in the side bar. I was SO very organized during the paperwork phase. I had very specific checklists for myself. Now, I feel a little disconnected. There hasn't been a lot to do adoption related lately. So, once again I am trying to make checklists so nothing gets forgotten.

Now for something tasty. On the recommendation of Ladybug's Momma I purchased the book Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mia Pham. This is a wonderful book. It is full of stories and text about Vietnamese families and their food. I have been reading it for a few days. I think I'm ready to try one of the recipes. I have made my list and I am on my way to the Aihua Asian Market. I need a few more ingredients to make my first batch of pho. The cookbook makes it sound so easy. I hope that's true. Wish me luck! I will fill you in on the results. A

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


We are so excited to be working on the nursery. D's parents got us the prettiest baby crib. It is one that will change to a toddler bed and then to a full size. Later we will get the matching dresser. It arrived yesterday and we couldn't wait to put it together. Isn't it sweet!

I'm so excited to get the rest of the room finished. My sister is already planning the murals for the walls. I will be sure to share pictures of our progress. I really need to work on getting the clothes under control! I LOVE shopping for our little man!

So far, 2008 has been a great year for our adoption. There have been 4 boy referrals so far this month. We are steadily climbing the list! There is a chance we could have our referral in 4 - 5 months. Of course, with adoption, anything can happen. Congratulations to all my fellow FTIA waiting families who have referrals. It has been such a blessing to be able to share you joy. Looking at the pictures and hearing other family's good news... makes the wait easier to take. Thanks so much for sharing. I will continue to pray that your travel comes quickly!
That's all for now, A.