Saturday, December 30, 2006

A to Z

I've seen this on several blogs so I thought I would join in. This was an indirect tag. I encourage anyone else who wants to participate to consider yourself tagged also!

A is for age: Just turned 38 last month!

B is for beer: I usually don't drink the stuff, maybe a sip or two when my husband has one.

C is for career: I am a litigation paralegal.

D is for my dog’s name: We don't have one now, but when I was still at home, the last dog was named Brandi. We want one, but a baby comes 1st.

E is for essential item used everyday: Well other than the expected deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste. Definitely coffee! Unfortunately I am a Starbucks fan: a Grande Skim Vanilla Latte with no foam, please!

F is for favorite color: I like most of them, definitely not green though.

G is for game: Haven't played in a while, but I like Trivial Pursuit: The 80's version.

H is for hometown: My hometown is Western Springs, IL.

I is for instruments I (used to) play viola when I was in 5th grade.

J is for favorite juice: I love apple juice, especially heated up on a cold night.

K is for who’s butt I’d like to kick: No one I can think of.

L is for last place I ate: Other than when we had lunch in the kitchen, the last restaurant was Ne China Buffet, the other night.

M is for marriage: Married 3 years as of last September 27th. Where's the time go.

N is for my name: I was named after my grandmother; different spelling though.

O is for overnight hospital stays: Well, I mentioned my viral encephalitis at 13; I was hospitalized then for almost a month, a week. Also, I had 2 eye surgeries when I was a toddler.

P is for people I was with today: My husband is really the only one today. I did go to the bank, but I don't count the bank teller.

Q is for quote: "Morning just starts way too early." I say or think this when I get up for work at 5:15. Luckily, I am on vacation since last week and don't go back until Tuesday. I'll bet you I'll definitely be saying/thinking this then.

R is for biggest regret: Not sure if I have any.

S is for sport: to watch: Definitely not a big sports fan, but I really get into the college hoops' March Madness tournament. I'm not very athletic, but I use to play volleyball all the time; not that I was any good!

T is for traveled to: California, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, Missouri and I thnk that is it, unless you count the states we drove through to get to some of these places. Within 2 years and hopefully a lot less time, I can add Vietnam to the places I have been.

U is for current underwear: Yes, I'm wearing some and I hope you are too; just don't tell us if you aren't!

V is for vegetable: Raw, I like green peppers, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and lenses. Cooked, I like corn and green beans. Tomatoes are actually a fruit.

W is for wish: To bring our son home as soon as possibl; also to win lots of money would be nice!!

X is for x-rays I have had my wrist x-rayed and when I was in the hospital, I had a CT scan and/or an MRI.

Y is for youthful ambition not fulfilled: Not sure!

Z is for zodiac: Western: Scorpio. Chinese: monkey.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Adorable Baby Boy Adopted From Vietnam - Squealing with Jaegun

Starting on our journey

We met briefly with our adoption consultant. We turned in our contract fee and our homestudy fee. We now have a mountain of paperwork to start working on. We also set up some our 1st homestudy appointment. It will be in their Des Plaines office on the 16th and this one will be with both Kevin and I together. There will be 4 appointments in all, one with just me, one just Kevin, and one at our home. Afterwards we went to dinner with my parents at our favorite Chinese buffet. If any of my relatives are reading this, you know what restaurant I am talking about. We also in February have physicals scheduled for later in the month. I wish they were earlier, but our doctor's office schedules them about 6-8 weeks ahead of schedule. Hopefully, they will have some cancellations, so we will be able to get in somewhat earlier. We also on will be attending on January 20th, an all-day required education class from our agency. Well, I'm going to keep this post short, as I have a bunch of things I need to do, including putting a dent into our paperwork!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Yes, you read that right we have been approved for the Vietnam program at our agency. We are stopping at the agency today to turn in our contract, agency fee (before it is increased after the New Year), and the homestudy fee. As in the words of the tv show, The Apprentice: money, money, money. Luckily the car should be paid off this year, so that will help. Just pray that nothing happens to it once it is paid off, because isn't that how things usually work, as soon as it's paid off it needs major repairs or is in an accident or something. After the agency, we are going for dinner with my parents probably to a Chinese buffet. Not too many Vietnamese restaurants around, especially in the suburbs, maybe in Chicago. But I guess, Chinese is close and China and Vietnam are actually neighbors, with Vietnam being to the south of China

Here is a map of Vietnam:

China is to the north with Laos and Cambodia immediately to the west and to the east is the South China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin. If you click on the map you can see it in more detail.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

We had a great Christmas. We had Christmas at our house with my parents and my cousin, finally joined us this year. My brother and sister-in-law were in Canada visiting some of her family that lives there, so it was only the five of us. Of course with the food, you would have thought there was more. Here are a couple pictures.

Can't wait until the day that there are three of us in the family photograph. Hey, just thought maybe we can use one of these pictures next year for our holiday card! Hopefully, next Christmas will be the last Christmas without a little one in the family. Maybe, I'm getting ahead of my self, since we have not even been approved by the CHI Vietnam program, but we really don't know why not, since CHI China program accepted us and that was without any inquiry about my previous viral encephalitis. After all. that was when I was 13 and since then I graduated high school and college, as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate program in the Lawyer's Assistant Program (Paralegal Studies). I did receive an e-mail from the adoption consultan in our regional office that she received the scanned document from the doctor, so I assume (even though you know what they say when you assume) (LOL) that the Vietnam program director received it also. Please pray that she gets to review it today or tomorrow, since I believe those are the only days she is in this week and I want us to get the contract and fees in on Friday. She did say we can mail it and just date the check before the end of the year, but I would feel better if we could bring it in in person & since it is only 35-45 minutes away, I'd rather we drive it over there.

Oh, one more thing, don't expect me to always post like this, a few a day or anything like that. If it wasn't that I was off of work this week and Kevin is out at a High School Hockey Tournament, I would not get the chance to post as often.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Waiting for approval

Although we were approved for the China program, we now have to be approved for the Vietnam program. Our agency is quite large and they have the adoption consultants, etc. specialize in a country, so you will have employees who know their specific country backwards and forwards, instead of having them have to know several countries. That is when confusion is more likely to happen, so having totally different people in each specific program is a very good thing! But now, the Vietnam program director has to approve us for her program. Originally, when we decided to change, she was on vacation, she got back last week, but then we were informed that we needed a note from the doctor regasrding when I was 13 and was hospitalized for viral encephalitis.

Of course, I was notified of this last Thursday, a day and a half before the holiday weekend began. Since it was nearly, the end of the work day, I quickly faxed my doctor's office about my needed request. On Friday, I called and they had received it and the nurse was looking it over. I figured the office probably was not open on Saturday and if they were, they would be extremely busy. Since Monday was Christmas, of course, no one was there and I was so busy anyways with having my parents and cousin over. Today, we decided that we needed some exercise and since the doctor's office is only about a mile away, we walked over there. They had a memo typed up and were just waiting for the doctor's signature. Since we were there, they checked to see if the doctor was able to sign it. He did and it was a very nice letter/note. and said I was completely recovered and that my past condition will in no way effect my parenting ability. It also goes on to say He feels I am an outstanding candidate to adopt children. Hopefully, it'll will meet the appoval of the Vietnam program director. As soon as I got home, I scanned it in to the computer and e-mailed it to her in St. Louis, as well as to the adoption consultant at the regional office by us. She is suppose to be in tomorrow and Thursday, so hopefully, she will approve it quickly and let us know, so we can send the contract and fee to our agency before the end of the year, since agency fees go up at the beginning of the year.

Boy or Girl?

We originally planned on adopting a little girl from China, who would have probably been between 9 months to a year and a half when we received her. The current wait for a child from China seems to be about 15 months or so from when your paperwork is accepted in China and logged into their computer. The wait for a girl currently in Vietnam is 18-24 months and for a boy it is 10-12 months. Vietnam does things differently from China, so I don't know exactly when that time frame starts. We are still learning about Vietnam adoption. I was following Chinese adoptions for quite some time and was relatively knowledgeable about many aspects of it, but then the meeting happened and everything changed.; wait times have also been increasing in China because so many people were sending in dossiers (paperwork that was needed to adopt), which is probably the main reason the new regulations were passed.

But it seems that our best bet for a child would be to adopt a baby boy. Most prospective adoptive parents want a girl, which is probably why the wait for a girl is so much longer than for a boy. We just want to be parents and will love either a boy or girl, so it is looking much more likely that we will request a boy! In China, it is much more uncommon to have boys be put up for adoption, and if they are they often have some special need. Although, it is niot unheard of to get a healthy boy, just rare.

Adoption Change

We have had to make a change to our plan to adopt a daughter from China. Soon after Thanksgiving, we were approved to adopt from China. Well, a week later or less, there governmental agency in China that is responsible for facilitating adoptions on their end had a major meeting and passed many new regulations. If you want to see what these new regulations are they can be found in this post from the earlier blog: We seem to meet all the regulations, but one -- the length of marriage, if there has been a previous divorce. They are giving a grace period of several months for people to get their paperwork in, but since we have not even started it is very unlikely that we would get everything into our agency for them to go through and process and then send to China, by the necessary date that it must not only be received, but also be logged in by the governmental agency there.

We originally went to an informational meeting at what is now our adoption agency back in October for information about adopting from Vietnam. We decided we really loved the agency and decided to pursue a Chinese adoption. The woman heading that meeting told the group, (I think there were 4 sets of adoptive parents) that although the wait was long and increasing for China, if that is where your heart tells you to go, do not be dissuaded, in the timeline of things an extra 6 months or year is not so very long as compared to the length of time many wait to be parents in the first place. So, we decided to follow our hearts. But after this meeting, another person, there told us that with the new regulations, it would be in our best interest to go with a different country. The other countries they work in for adoption, other than China is Russia, Vietnam, Columbia, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan. Columbia can take years and there are lot of sibling groups that are placed, rather than a single child. Ethiopia is extremely new (they were not even approved in the country until just recently). Russia is Russia still very volatile with adoptions and they like many Eastern European nations have a high incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome from pregnant mothers abusing drugs and alcohol, which can lead to many, many problems. This is something we aren't comfortable with. Kazakhstan is part of the former U.S.S.R., like Russia. Although the country has a much lower incidence of alcohol or drug abuse as the majority of the country is Muslim, it also is somewhat volatile, not to the extent of Russian adoption, plus at the same time, it is also a good deal more expensive than China was by at least $10,000 and also required 2 trips to Kazakhstan (one trip to a foreign country is expensive enough but 2 is even more so as you can imagine.

Vietnam on the otherhand is similar to China in cost, requiring only one trip, and has a very, very low incidence of alcohol or drug abuse. Birth mothers although extremely poor, take care of themselves the best they can during pregnancy. The children are well-cared for and are often in foster family situations. So, our decision to change our adoption plans to Vietnam was not that difficult. We are just glad we decided to go with the agency we are now with, rather than the one we were planning to use. Of course, we liked the agency we were going to go with very much, but had we applied to them about the same time, we would have been in quite a bind since they are not yet approved in Vietnam; we probably would have gone with a Taiwan adoption, but I don't know much about that program, so who knows what the cost is and what requirements we might have had to meet.

Under Construction!

Please excuse this site is not quite ready, but I decided I want to start posting to the new blog. Just in case any of you are starting out here and had not been to our previous blog, here is the link: It will take sometime, but I should get up several links and other stuff like in my old blog and hopefully make it even better.