Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weird when I was at my blog, Saturday morning, my web tracker/counter had disappeared off my blog and when I even went to the host site, nothing was showing. But by evening, it was back. When I did check on the traffic to my blog, there was a large gap of time, where no one had visited, but since it was such a beautiful day, it is possible that no one happened to stop by.

No CIS approval yet in the mail. Positive thoughts, wishes, prayers, whatever that it comes this week.

On Friday evening, Kevin and I finally were able to go to this Vietnamese restaurant on the far northwest side of Chicago. Last week, we tried going for lunch after the waiting families meeting and it turned out they were no longer open during lunch time. The food was really good! Although the name of the meals were in Vietnamese, there was a good explanation of each of the meals in English. Kevin ordered one of their daily specials, Con Chin Chin, which is fat noodles with shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts and green onions with roasted peanuts. I thought of also ordering that, but the roasted peanuts kept me away. I just can't stand peanuts. It turned out there was just a few peanut shavings sprinkled on top; next time I think I'll order it and ask them to hold the peanuts. I ended up ordering something called Mi Xao Thap Cam, which is shrimp, chicken, & BBQ pork stir fried with assorted veggies and pan fried noodles. I found it very good; sort of similar to Chicken Chow Mein. We ended our meal sharing a dessert of bananas in a tapioca pudding with coconut milk served very hot; almost like a soup. Boy was that delicious! We can't wait to go back or try one of the other Vietnamese restaurants in Chicagoland. Unfortunately, there isn't anything right near our area, but we don't mind the drive. Now that it is getting warm, it will be great to go to the Vietnamese area of Chicago, where they have lots of Vietnamese restaurants.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

These weeks go by so quickly. It's been almost a week since I last updated the blog. Of course, nothing extremely newsworthy happened. We are still waiting for CIS approval, so we can get on the waiting list. It should be coming in the near future; the sooner the better, I say. The waiting will really be long, but at least we'll be on the actual waiting list, right now we aren't even in line for anything. Our social worker e-mailed me to make sure we had not heard and not let her know. Now, she will be possibly the first I contact. Since I don't get to check the mail for the anticipated envelope, until I get home from work, I may very likely be e-mailing our social worker, while I call Kevin with the good news. He also has started asking nearly everyday, if we've got it in the mail. One of these days (and hopefully soon) I will be able to answer "YES" to his question.

The waiting families meeting last Saturday was pretty interesting. There were a total of 6 families, who spoke about their travels and adoption. Two were from China, two from Russia, one from Colombia and one from Vietnam. Being that several different countries were represented, perspectives were of course different, especially depending on the country and length of the trip(s) in the country. Having a family speak from the perspective of a family recently back from Vietnam was most beneficial.

After it was over Kevin and I decided to go to a Vietname restaurant for lunch, which is only a few miles from where we were. Well, we get there and finally find a parking spot (it's street parking near a residential area of Chicago) and drop our quarter in the meter and wouldn't you know it there's a sign on the door that they are no longer opened for lunch starting on May 15th, 2005!! Yes, you read that right 2005!! (And the hours I find online at Metromix, still has not been updated. I'm hoping that maybe tomorrow (Friday night) we can go for dinner. I'm wondering am I making any sense with this post; I think I am just going to head to bed and go to sleep.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Has Spring Finally Sprung?

Finally, a beautiful spring day! It hit 67 degrees and this weekend should be in the 70s! i'm so ready for nice weather and our gas bill could use a reprieve. Although that means with a lower gas bill, it won't be long until the electric bill inches upwards.

Other than yesterday, I have not posted much. Back on April 7th, Kevin was rear-ended and pushed into another vehicle while he was stopped for a red light. How you do not see a yellow car is behind me, but maybe it was that the guy was bending over picking something off the floor or at least that is according to what the driver in front of Kevin saw. The guy pleaded with Kevin not to call the police, but Kevin did and it turns out this guy had been in another accident just 5 days before for the same thing. Kevin was a little stiff and sore for the first few days, but seems to be fine now. We are just waiting for the other driver's insurance company to okay the cost of the repairs and then he'll get a rental car and the car fixed. the repairs were estimated at about $1500, but the majority of it is labor; he does need both the front and back bumpers replaced, though.

Last Saturday, Kevin took a friend's daughter to her school's Daddy-Daughter dance; her mom is single mom, who adopted from China back in the late 90s. He had only met them once before last summer, so we ended up going over to their house the week before for pizza. Since cances are good, we will adopt a boy, this may be the only time that Kevin goes to a Daddy-Daughter event. They both had a good time and I am looking forward to seeing the picture the mother took of them before the dance.

On the adoption front, we are still waiting for the 171-H from Immigration that approves us to adopt a foreign orphan. It has been 4 weeks, since the homestudy was sent in and about 5 1/2 weeks since our 1-600A application was received. I haven't heard awhat the current wait time is for people receiving their approval, but we were told to expect 6-8 weeks total and possibly as many as 12 weeks. They have sped up in the past half a year, so hopefully 6-8 weeks is realistic, but is it 6-8 weeks from when they received the initial application or from when they received the homestudy is anybody's guess. I'm expecting (hoping, praying for) mid-May, but if it takes longer, I wouldn't be surprised, but if it is earlier than mid-May, I will be surprised.

Our agency sent us all an update, they just received a referral for a 3-month old boy and are expecting more referrals in the next few weeks. 7 more families will be leaving at the beginning of May for their children. Currently, there are 33 families waiting for to travel, 133 families are on the dossier waiting list, and 203 families who have applied and are working on their homestudy or waiting for their 171-H. We are one of those 203. The waiting list is not separated out for those who only want girls, are open to either sex or want a boy, or want a toddler or older child compared to an infant. Fast forward 12-15 months after getting on the waiting list, imagine that we are #14 on the list, of the other 13 families waiting for a referral if 10 of those families are only open to a girl (Remember, over 95% of adoptive families want a girl), and 3 want a toddler or older child. If they get in a referral for an infant boy, then since we are open to a child of either sex, we would get that referral. So even though, we may not be #1 on the list, we may get a refferal for a child before the actual family, who is #1 gets their referral.

Tomorrow, our agency is having a waiting families forum. They are having several adoptive parents, who recently adopted speak. It should be interesting and I am hoping to see one of the couples, we met at our education class and again at the adoption seminar last month, since I lost their e-mail address and would like to better keep in touch. Well, since this is a rather long post I'll go post it and talk to you all again soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

China - 30 Month Wait?!!?

I do not often go to the Rumor Queen website anymore since we are now adopting from Vietnam, but I stopped by to check out what is happening and saw the above post. If this is true, which who knows, but an agency IS admitting it and a lot of the time agencies, do not want to give out such dire news as this. I think the current wait may be 17-18 months, but this has increased over the past year and a half or so. This is very sad and I feel awful for all the families waiting for a referral. The last batch of referral covered only 2 days, that is right only 2 days of log-in dates (LID)!!! I am thanking my lucky stars that we had to change to Vietnam. 12-15 months from when we are put on the official waiting list for our agency until referral seems long, but compared to 30 months, will be nothing. Heck, those people getting their paperwork logged in now, would not see a referral until possibly the end of 2009 or even into 2010; that is unbelievable and I don't think I could handle such a hellish wait as that. I'll post again soon, but need to get somethings done. Evenings and weekends just go by to darn quickly, especially when work seems to often go by slowly.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I've Been Tagged! (I AM UNIQUE!)

Jess of Our Golden Child has tagged me and now I must list 10 things that make me odd. But since this is the 21st century, let's be a little politically correct and say "10 things that make me UNIQUE!"

1) I sleep on my stomach and just cannot fall asleep lying on my back; no matter how I try. I always have to flip over to my stomach if Iwant to sleep, otherwise I will not fall asleep.

2) When I was a little girl, I was flexible enough to bite my toenails!

3) I never got a driver's license. Just never did and for the past 10+ years, I take the train to work, so with the little time that I'd be driving,it really doesn't make sense too get one with the added cost of insurance and another car, which would rarely ever get driven anyway!

4) I nearly died when I was 13!!! I was hospitalized with viral encephalitis ad in the hospital for nearly a month.

5) To go long with #5, the only effect that I still have is that I have a slight speech impediment, but a lot of people think I may be hearing-impaired.

6) I double majored in college in Sociology and Elementary Education in college.

7) While a passenger in the car, I can fall asleep really easily.

8) I am left-handed and am married to another lefty.

9) We have quite a few cow-related items. Kevin loves those bovines amd has gotten me started on liking them, so we have quite a bit of cow items decorating our home.

10) Although, being a chocolate lover is not unique, my husband hates chocolate, so I always am given any chocolate, he receives. Since he is a teacher that is usually more than I can eat, so I'll bring it to work, where they finish it off in no time at all.

Coming up with 10 things that were unique was not easy. Well time to get ready for work, but I tag Kelly and Melanie to list 10 things about themselves that make them UNIQUe, not ODD.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ugh, it snowed overnight and we are supposed to get more during the day at home. Chicago is suppose to be a rain-snow mix. Don't they know it's mid-April and isn't suppose to snow!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wow! Such exciting news. Fellow blogger, Jenn of Long Adventures and her husband decided to pursue a domestic adoption and either picked up their child today or will tomorrow. I don't know too many details, other than what is in their blog. But it sure is exciting!

Equally, exciting is seeing our new friend, Tara and Doug receive their son. Several other people have received their Giving and Receiving Ceremony date and can now plan their travel. The Giving and Receiving Ceremony is a special highlight of adopting from Viet Nam. Often called the G&R, the Giving and Receiving ceremony is the actual event in which your child becomes legally yours in the eyes of the Vietnamese government.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

March Madness Losses and Baby Dreams Do Come True

Quite an interesting title, I know. The team I picked to win March Madness did and actually all my picks did really well. We have an annual pool at work and I would have got 2nd place, which this year would have won me $50. But, as you noticed I used the words "would have", because at the time, I decided not to go into the pool this year for a change. So, now I'm kicking myself for not spending that 10 bucks. I've played every year that I have worked here, I think and some years I did pretty good up until the end, but usually be the end of the tournament, I am never near placing in the top three where money comes into play. But of course, the one year I do great; I don't play . Murphy's law I guess.

Now for some happy baby news. Kevin and I met a couple, Tara and Doug at the Chicago FCVN Tet Celebration in February. They are currently in Vietnam and just met their son. As Vietnam is about 12 hours ahead of us in time, they should now be officially Tommy's parents. Their blog and his cute photo(s) can be found in the margin under Traveling, Baby Gray. CONGRATULATIONS!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Not much has been happening lately in regards to the adoption. It's only been 9 days since the homestudy was sent in and our fingerprints were taken 8 days ago. We probably won't here anything until at the earliest, the end of May. We could get a shock and hear something sooner, but I don't plan on it and would really be surprised to. I'm sure the closer it is gets to that time; the more anxious, I'll get, but it is way too soon to even think about now; chances of winning the lottery might be a higher probability.

Our agency currently has 3 families in Vietnam and 5 more families will be leaving this week. They are expecting to get some more travel dates this month and hopefully more referrals. Currently, 40 families are waiting to travel, 142 are on the waiting list, and 198 are waiting for CIS approval or are in the homestudy phase.

We also found out that Vietnam no longer requires birth certificates from each parents, so that will at least defray the costs a couple hundred between having to order the birth certificate, getting it state certified and then authenicated by the embassy. We will have enough documents that will need to be certified and authenicated, so two less will save us some money, since I believe that although each document that needs to be certified is only $10 there will probably, be well over a dozen documents and then to authenicate the documents, it is $50 each, I think. Of course, by the time we are ready to prepare our dossier and do that, the amount could very easily increase. Hopefully not, but it might! Well nothing to exciting to report, so I might as well pay some bills.