I guess this is why, one should never go without makeup, they never no who will show up!!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I guess this is why, one should never go without makeup, they never no who will show up!!
This past week has been a week of Asian meals. Last weekend, we went for Thai food. The first time for me and the first in quitew a long time for Kevin. By now, I can't remember what either of us had, but I had some noodle dish, which was quite tasty and not too hot, nor too mild. The day after Christmas, we had chinese. My usual General Tso's Chicken from this one place not far from our house. Then on Saturday night, I discovered a new Vietnamese restaurant had opened in Des Plaines. (For those who live in Northwest Chicagoland) It is call Dung Gia on Miner Street, aka Northwest Highway; it is a very small restaraunt, only 10 tables.) It was very good! I ordered something called Heo Uop Gung Sot Camwith marinated pork in ginger cooked with pineapple, bell peppers, onions, and orange sauce. Kevin got Ca Bong Lau Kho To, which was catfish in a clay pot. I tried it and it was quite tasty. After studying the take out menu better, there were several things I'd like to order sometime. Since Dung Gia is in the same town as the CHI office; we'll hopefully eat there when we go to evening waiting family meetings. It's also right by the train, so I can have Kevin meet me there after work, plus he works only a few miles away. Once the weather gets warmer I really want to venture down to the area of the city nicknamed Little Saigon or New Chinatown, where there are many Vietnamese restaurants and shops.
I also just realized that it was about a year ago today that our application was approved for adopting from Vietnam and we rushed down to pay our fee, so we can get in under our agency's 2006 fee policy.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
We got an update from our agency and although, there were no referrals and our agency does not expect any before the new year, there are 5 families that are currently in Vietnam adopting their children and 2 other families will be leaving next week to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam with their children. There will be a total of 85 adoptions completed in 2007 by our agency; I think in 2006, there was 50-something. I am feeling more positive and hope that 2008 will be our year. At least for a referral, but of course, it would be nice to travel before another year ends, but we'll have to see what is in store for us. I just have to remember that things happen based on God's timing and when it is meant to happen, it WILL! Another family, who got on the waiting list is #109 on the list, so we should be right next to them at either #110 or 108. According to my record-keeping, we are #112, but I could be wrong since there are reasons other than referrals that our place in line could change. I have e-mailed my SW and hopefully she can tell me where we are on the list, currently.
Friday, December 7, 2007
As mentioned a few days ago, our agency received the first batch of I-600 approvals - 7 families in all received their approvals within two and a half to three weeks. 3 families left for Vietnam today and another 2 families will be leaving on Tuesday. The remaining 2 families will leave soon after they receive their G&R (Giving & Receiving) dates. Several of these families have blogs and are listed under the traveling section. So things are starting to look up! Hopefully, there will be lots of good things in store in the near future and in 2008.
On Tuesday, we will be having a home visit from our social worker, since Illinois requires yearly home visits. It's about 2 months early, but I think they get pretty busy at the beginning of the year. Also, I want to save as much vacation as possible next year, in case we are lucky enough to not only get a referral, but to travel also, before 2009.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, here is my favorite holiday video. I wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. I won't even say don't eat too much, because we always do; maybe a happy eating wish to all of you instead. Sorry that I haven't posted in so long, but I will.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
No adoption news to report. The adoption is just not-so-quietly waiting. Well, it has quieted some, but things aren't quite as intense as it was last week, with inappropiate things being said.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The filing of the I-600 at the time of your referral, instead of when you get to the country should prevent future families from being stuck in the country with their adopted child, but being unable to bring him or her to the U.S. by having any investigation done early on in the process. (Most times no investigation is needed after filing the I-600, because there are usually no red flags. Right now, these red flags that resulted in investigations were with only a few agencies that were in a couple of provinces.)
Hopefully, these families pleas in their blogs for people to write letters to the USCIS or embassy (I forget which they asked people to write too) will not cause these organizations to bend to the pressure and end their investigations and let the families return to the U.S. Although it is not these families fault, it is their agencies fault or the facilitator who got them these referrals. If the children were not legally available because of either kidnapping or lying to their birthparents, these children then would have birth families who love them and never wanted them to be given up for adoption. Although it would be terribly painful to the adoptive parents, these children should be returned to their rightful birthparents. Hopefully, if it is proven these agencies were involved in unethical means in acquiring these children, they will have their licenses yanked away and be kicked out of ever working in Vietnam again. Then hopefully, they will allow those ethical agencies to continue working in Vietnam and finding families for the real orphans. Well, I think I better get back to work. I had my say and think I can focus on things that I should be focusing on now. Please keep the future of Vietnam adoptions in prayer for us and all other families, as well as the children who are or will be affected.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
4 families are returning from Vietnam with their new children and 3 families are completing things up there this week. There will be 4 families leaving probably next weekend also for Vietnam. After that, families will have to wait until they receive their I-600, as explained in my previous post. Our agency hopes it won't take too long, but it is possible that it could take up to 60 days more, which would mean not until next year, but hopefully everything will be in order and no lengthy investigation will be needed. Hopefully, we will have some more families travel before Christmas and New Year's.
Friday, November 2, 2007
- File an I600-A, which gives us advanced permission to start an international adoption
- Receive your referral, get your travel date, and after the G&R ceremony, start the process with USCIS to file the I600 (which is permission to bring a specific child- your referred child- into the USA)
- The USCIS makes sure that the child is legally an orphan while you wait in country, and that no improprieties, bribes, etc. were involved
- A visa is issued, and you come home.
Now though, people have to file for an I600 after getting and accepting a a referral. This may add time to the process, but lately a few families were not allowed to return to the USA with their children, until investigation on whether unethical practices were used in getting those children. So hopefully, this will prevent unethical practices from continuing. Although I feel sorry for these families, they are with certain agencies that are having incredibly quick referral times for very, very young infants and in the process, the agencies may be employing certain unethical practices. Many times, if things look too good to be true, they are and it seems now USCIS is catching on.
Hopefully, by having to file for an I-600 before being able to travel, the problem will be nipped in the bud and these agencies that are securing young infants inappropriately will be stopped and will have their license taken away, rather than ending Vietnam adoptions for everyone. Adoptions were closed down once in 2003-2006, let's not repeat it again and punish everyone when it's only a few agencies that aren't playing by the rules.
So if you are starting the process to adopt from Vietnam now, please make sure you research any potential agencies thoroughly. There is a Yahoo Group Adoption Agency Research dedicated to providing you with information so you can make a well-informed choice. Remember if something looks too good, it probably is. Do you really want to wonder whether your child was gotten ethically or if their parents were convinced to put them up for adoption for possibly financial incentives? Remember Vietnam is a 3rd world country and what we might not think is a large sum of money, may have a very different meaning in Vietnam. You could not only be risking things for yourself, but for all of us prospective adoptive parents now and in the future.
I'm feeling a little bit better; not great, but better!
Monday, October 29, 2007
We also have finally had our first couple nights of frost; it looks like we might be frost-free tonight, but being almost November that won't last much longer. We have been pretty lucky as far as temperatures go.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Well to end this, I will add several photos of the wonderful autumn colors that we enjoyed.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Last Saturday, our agency had a speaker talking about attachment, which was interesting and informative. Then we headed over to my parents or I did while Kevin went to a high school football game. We then all went out to eat at Red Lobster, which is probably one of my favorite places to eat. I just love their Mushrooms, Cheddar Bay Biscuits and Shrimp Scampi; probably not very healthy, but oh so.
I just checked my e-mail and was sent the weekly update by another PAP (pre-adoptive parent). Unfortunately, there were no new referrals received, but there were 4 families who left for Vietnam today and there will be 3 more on Monday. I pray there will be some more referrals next week, so we can keep moving up the list, as well as everyone else.
Looking forward to a couple days of pure relaxation, even if the weather will probably be downright chilly up there. Today, the weather was gorgeous, in the 70s. Just a few days ago, it was so cold, but we have not yet had a frost, so I'm not sure if this is Indian summer or if we will be blessed with some more warm weather again. I won't get to check my blogs or e-mail, but that will have to wait until Sunday when we return.
Friday, October 12, 2007
In other agency newss, our agency is now working with another orphanage and in the future, they hope to work with additional agencies. Hopefully, the more orphanages that we work with the more babies and children will be reffered and the more the waiting list will go down. This orphanage is a very large, but has mainly handicapped children, but about 10% are healthy. Of course, there are other agencies who work with this orphanage. But with 6 other orphanages and hopefully a few others added in the future, hopefully we will start moving down the waiting list quicker than we have been.
Lastly. there will be 7 families traveling in October around next weekend, so that will be exciting; so far I have one of the families' websites.
By STEVE LAWRENCE, Associated Press Writer Thu Oct 11, 6:04 AM ET
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California motorists will risk fines of up to $100 next year if they are caught smoking in cars with minors, making their state the third to protect children in vehicles from secondhand smoke.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed a bill that will make it an infraction to smoke in a vehicle if someone under age 18 is present. But the traffic stop would have to be made for another offense, such as speeding or an illegal turn, before the driver could be cited for smoking.
The ban, which takes effect Jan. 1, joins a string of smoking prohibitions adopted in California, including a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces and within 25 feet of a playground.
A Harvard School of Public Health report issued last year said secondhand smoke in cars can be up to 10 times more of a health risk than secondhand smoke in a home.
"Protecting the health of our children is among government's highest responsibilities," said the bill's author, state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, a Democrat. "It is clear that increasing public awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke is the right thing to do."
At least 20 states and a number of municipalities have considered limiting smoking in cars where minors are present. Arkansas now bans smoking in cars with children age 6 and younger, while Louisiana has limited it when children 13 and younger are in the vehicle. Maine lawmakers will take up the issue in January.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Can you believe 4 posts in just over 24 hours??!!??
Answer: Get the newspaper in their underwear.
Now this is kind of disturbing. Hopefully, these neighbors get their paper on their doorstep, because I know in our neighborhood, the newspaper is at the end of your driveway. I definitely wouldn't want to see any of our neighbors in their skivvies and definitely don't want to know if they wear boxer, briefs, or even thongs, god forbid!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I can't believe I have been such a bad blogger. I keep up with other blogs fairly well, although not as well as I had been several months ago. I think it may partly have to do with how much more typing I have been having to do at work. I just don't feel like typing all night, like I've been doing for most of the day. Now if I was a 60, 70, 80, or more word a minute, typist like the legal secretary at my office, but I'm far from that. But regardless, there also hasn't been that much happening this past week adoption-wise. The update from our agency reported that seven families brought their little ones home from Vietnam this week, as well as 7 other families getting news of traveling later this month; no referrals were received, but they hope to receive more soon!
Last week, we started our church's small group fellowships. This is the first year we joined a group and we are really enjoying them. There are 5 couples in our group including us and we are all in our 30s and 40s. For these first 6 weeks, all small groups are studying A 40 Days Spiritual Journey to a more Generous Life. Since when I was a child growing up, my parents never attended church, it should be very informative and enlightening.
I'll end this entry with a few pictures from my mom's garden. I took these few weeks ago and with the weather the past couple days and the weather continuing to be the same, these will probably be the last pictures I get to take for this year.
I'll try to post some more later on!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Also, here is a picture of us that was taken last month at my cousin Amanda's wedding.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Even without this good new, I am in a much better mood. I just needed a break from blogging, but hope to post regularly again.
The other weekend we went to the last county fair of the year here in Illinois. We also saw my cousin and her husband, who live a few miles away. It was great getting together with them. They are going to be opening a coffee shop in their town. It will be the only coffee shop in that town and one of the only meeting places in the town other than a couple bars and an ice cream shop that closes for a good part of the year. We wish them all the luck in the world; although we think they have a real moneymaker there.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The big news, but definitely not the news any of us waiting families want to hear is that wait times have increased. New families being added to the list are being told over 2 years for a girl (this has been so, for many months), but they are now saying the wait times for those waiting for a boy will now be 18-24 months. Our agency does expect the wait times for many people currently on the list for boys to be closer to 15-18 months, but this is just an estimate. Referrals the past few months have really been slow, so they say if referrals continue to be slow the wait times could increase even more, but then if we start getting more referrals, wait times could speed up. Expect the wait to be longer and then if it turns out to be shorter than one can be pleasantly surprised. So who knows we can have anywhere from a year or two wait. This is especially depressing when you are waiting for your first child and getting to be an older parent. The way things are looking I'll be past my 40th birthday, before a child is even a possibility. What's even worse is that since adoption in Vietnam isn't centralized like in China (each agency works with one or several orphanages, so wait times and referrals differ from agency to agency and orphanage to orphanage.) Because of this difference between agencies and orphanages, there is a big fluctuation in wait times. Also, there are unfortunately several unethical agencies, that find ways to get many young healthy infants; thus the quick wait times and large numbers of referrals. Hopefully these agencies will be shut down and not the entire Vietnam adoption program. Anyone considering agencies, please do your homework and if things sound too good they usually are. There is a yahoo group where one can research agencies that are licensed in Vietnam. I do not have the link, but search under Yahoo Groups for "researching Vietnam adoption agencies". Also anyone considering agencies, use only licensed agencies. The Vietnam Embassy requires all adoption agencies to be licensed for Vietnam adoption. Some agencies umbrella or piggyback with a licensed agency and this too is illegal. Sorry for being such a downer today, but I now feel somewhat better.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Not a lot to report adoption-wise, but our agency did receive one referral for a healthy 4 month old infant boy. There are 3 families currently in Vietnam and 3 more families will be leaving this week. So we have moved one more place on the list. We are # 129 overall and #76 for those open to a boy. Come on referrals, e need to make some more progress. A nice leap would be nice! I'm trying to wait until the end of next week to check with our social worker to see where we are on the list. I try to wait at least 6 weeks between e-mails about our current status. I'm sure as we get closer, it will be more frequent, but at this point 6 weeks is adequate.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
2. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged, you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.
4 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!
Here we go:
M - Married - to the most wonderful guy in the world, Kevin!
A - Adoption - How we are forming a family.
R - Reading - Something I really enjoy doing.
I - Impatient - How I feel about this process.
E- Excited about being a mother.
Let's see. I have to tag 5 people. How about Kelly at snips & snails, Elizabeth at Fajitas & Pho, Sue at Waiting for Our Sweet Pea, Jennifer at This Is Now, and Gina at the Leonards at Large
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Those are young kids who ventured out into the water. The picnic bench behind the guys is usually several feet away from the shore.
None of the homes around here that I know of were affected, but there were many homes that were in other suburbs.
Yesterday (Friday), one of my cousins got married in an outdoor ceremony. Unbelievably, it was dry and not really even humid. The wedding was very nice and the weather was just about perfect for August. I had heard the reception was going to be outside under a tent, but it turned out it was inside in a very nice room in the banquet hall.
High school football has officially started; yesterday was actually suppose to be the first game, but with the weather as it had been with more rain expected last night (although it did not happen), the game for the local high school was postponed until tonight. Kevin was quite glad it was rescheduled, since he loves attending high school football games and the neighbor, some friends, and him try to go to all the games. They were undefeated the last 2 years until the quarter finals. A very interesting bit of trivia, the founder of Jimmy John's graduated from the high school.
One more bit of news; this one adoption related. A waiting child was placed, so we move down another slot on each of the list. We are now about #130 overall and #77 for those open to boys. There are also 3 families traveling to Vietnam this weekend to get their children.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
We had our work outing to a Chicago Cubs game. The weather was beautiful. It did not rain at all as they had predicted for the morning. Because of the prediction of rain, the picnic we were going to have in Lincoln Park was instead held in our office lunchroom. It almost turned into a catastrophe of sorts, because we had all the pop and chips and Subway sandwiches on this one table. Well, what haappened was one of the legs broke and everything started sliding down the table. Luckily, the soda had not been opened, otherwise we'd really have had a mess. It seemed to happen in slow motion and everyone just stared increduously while it happened. Luckily, we only lost a few sandwiches and the rest stayed on the platters. The game was great. We played the Cincinatti Reds, who we had already 2 games of the series to, but we started with 4 runs in the 1st inning and by the end of the 7th inning, we scored several runs again in a row and won 12 to 4. I left after the 7th inning in hopes of making my usual train. Iended up having to run a good part of the 8 blocks from the subway to my train station, but I made it. And a good thing I did, because one of the trains after mine hit a pedestrian or bicyclist and some trains were delayed 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
The next day I was off work, so I decided to take the train downtown and go to my parents, where Kevin would meet us for dinner that evening. Well, as I was walking to the train. There was a bunch of police officers and emergency personnel gathered down near the tracks. It turned out that one of the train engineers from an earlier train had reported a body near the train tracks and it turns out sure enough that someone had been hit by a train earlier in the morning. What they were doing at that section of the tracks is questionable, since there isn't a crossing right there. An investigation is still ongoing whether it was a suicide or an accident or what. But the victim's car was found in the parking lot nearby, so I think it looks like it might have been suicide. It turned out the train was only a little over an hour delayed, so I did end up getting on a train, just a little later than expected.
The rest of my weekend was pretty much uneventful, except for all the rain that fell from Saturday night through Monday. On the adoption front, we did move down the list one place. A referral was received for a healthy 9 month infant boy. Our agency also received referral for a few waiting children, a healthy 12 year old girl and 2 healthy brothers, 8 and 14. A family is reviewing the girl's information, but so far the brothers have been placed on the waiting children's page, since no agency family is requesting this age group. They are really cute boys, so hopefully someone will decide to adopt them. We now are #131 overall on the list and for the list of those open to a boy, #78. So we are slowly moving on the list. Hopefully, there will be more referrals over the next 2 weeks. A few more families received travel dates, so their should be 3 or 4 families traveling next week.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Our rabbits ear and if anyone knows the name of deep purple plant, I'd love to know! Even my mom who is quite the gardener has never seen it.
Our mum has just started blooming in the past couple weeks and there are many more buds waiting to bloom soon.
And a cropped shot of our entire flower garden.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. working temp jobs to get some paralegal experience
2. playing volleyball on Friday nights
3. sharing an apartment in Berwyn
4. E-mailing, no internet yet for me!
5. Reading lots!
5 snacks I enjoy:
2. Ice cream
5. Chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookies
5 songs I know all the lyrics to:
1. Numerous songson the Grease, especially Hopelessly Devoted to You.
2. Lots of 80's songs. (I hear you Sue!!!)
3. The Star Spangled Banner.
4. If You're Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands
5. Happy Birthday to You! (I'm getting desperate here!)
5 things I would do if I were a Millionaire
1. Pay off house & adoption
2. Travel all over!
3. Invest wisely!
4. Adopt more kids!
5. Have a housekeeper!
5 bad habits:
2. Spend too much time online
3. Get upset to easily.
4. A little too messy
5 things I like to do:
2. surf the internet
5. Spend time with Kevin
5 things I would never wear again:
2. Anything neon green
3. crimped hair (Forgot about that one, Sue!)
4. (or ever) fishnet stockings
5. a bikini (well maybe if I had the body for it again)
5 favorite toys:
2. DVD Player
3. Digital Camera
Now, who should I tag: Becky over at Our Little Russian Peanut and Christina at Our Vietnam Adoption Journey.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Saturday, was a busy day, we got up and took the train downtown to go to Chinatown, where the local Families with Children from Vietnam group were meeting for the Dragon Boat Festival. There were several waiting families there and I finally got to meet Tommy, who Tara and Doug adopted back in April, whom I met at the FCV Tet celebration in February. He is even cuter in person than on his blog; and you have to admit he's probably the cutest baby ever! I also got to meet Christine & her, husband, who live a couple towns away from us. They have had one heck of a time with their dossier. They are waiting again for another document and hopefully it can be submitted to Vietnam. They also have a blog that I follow.
We also ended up going to the Kane County Fair later that same evening. I'll have to post some pictures, soon. So, we had quite a busy Saturday. On Sunday, we went to church as usual then came home did some cleaning and mowed the lawn, etc. and then had my parents over. We ended up having a delicious meal at Red Lobster. That has to be my favorite restaurant from the Lobster and Crab Stuffed mushroom to the wonderful biscuits they have to the garlic shrimp scampi and grilled shrimp, everything was just wonderful.
On July 19th, our agency was privileged to have a couple of the officials from the Department of International Adoption (DIA) in Vietnam visit on their first stop in their American tour. Interestingly enough, we found out our agency is one of the top five agencies in Vietnam. Also, it was learned that of 43 licensed agencies in Vietnam, only twenty are doing a good job. Here's the story on our agency's blog.
We just received an update from our agency, but nothing was said about referrals or anything. Either we did not receive anything or the Vietnam coordinator is on vacation and didn't send out her personal e-mail or maybe they were just very busy with officials' visit last week.
Tomorrow, our agency is putting on another waiting families forum with a pediatrician who is familiar with adopted children. What is really great is she has an office in two of the adjoining towns! So, there is a good chance, she will probably be the one we take our child to once we get him home and possibly even be our regular pediatrician. Well, it looks like I should call it a night, since I have to be up early for work.
Monday, July 16, 2007
In other agency news, there are 4 families leaving for Vietnam this week. 2 of their blogs will be under the traveling section if you want to follow along for now they are under CHI.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Not much adoption news. I did not receive the weekly update yet from our agency, but according to a couple other bloggers with our agency 2 more referrals were received. I'm expecting I will hear something, tomorrow and will post our updated position on the waiting list then.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Our former co-worker would often sing this, during to paries or other work social gatherings. (of course, at the time sung, he was often the result of some beverages that he was enjoying a tad too much.) But I will never be able to hear this song again without thinking of him!
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
You may be gone, but never to be forgotten!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
The final day before we left, we drove up to L'Anse, where we ended up having the largest cinnamon rolls one ever saw. I also got to see Lake Superior and feel how cold it was, even in late June. Being so far north, it really never warms up.
Before we left I snapped father and son posing by the gorgeous rose bush in their back yard. (Actually this photograph doesn't do the rose bush justice It was just gorgeous!)
It was a real relaxing trip. It was great to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of the U.P.
Our Trip to the U.P. of Michigan
I just realized I never posted about our trip a few weeks ago. We took a couple days off end of the week and went for a long weekend to visit Kevin's brother and father. The weather was great warm during the days, but the evenings and nights really cooled off. I took tons of pictures, so this will be more of a pictorial essay.
Here's a couple views of Pine Mountain. The sun was just starting to set somewhat so we got to see a beautiful sunset.
Here's one of the ski jumps in the area. This one is at Pine Mountain.
I believe this is the peaceful waters of Lake Antoine.