Sunday, December 30, 2007

Santa Is Our Neighbor

I guess this is why, one should never go without makeup, they never no who will show up!!

Our neighbor dresses as Santa every year for different function and also goes to the local hospital (s) to visit the children. Little does our child-to-be know, but he will one day be living right by Santa himself.
Guess I should change my blog colors, huh? Maybe, I'll get a chance Tuesday!

Annual Wrap-Up Update & a Taste of Asia

Our agency sent a final update of the year. It was a very good year. They completed 85 Vietnamese adoptions in 2007 and during the year received a total of 73 referrals. 28 families are waiting to travel after having received their referral. There are 231 families, who are currently on the waiting list , just waiting for a referral. We are #110, so we are just a little past the middle of the list. What's good, for us at least is that there are less people ahead of us than behind us. Now what is scary is there are 174 families who have applications in and are waiting on their home studies and their 171H forms to be added to the list. Depending how quickly referrals come and how quickly people are added to the waiting list the waiting list can get close to 400 families. Now if you were family 400, you could bet unless you were really open to a lot of special needs or an older child, you'd have much longer than 2 years to wait for a child. The wait can get as long or longer than those wanting to adopt from China. Nothing is even definite that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be renewed later this year, which will determine whether adoptions from Vietnam continue in the future. Do they know something that so many of the other agencies, who have temporarily stopped taking applications don't know?

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

Wishing You a Merry Christmas!!!

I haven't posted in a couple weeks; boy how time flies. Last time I posted I was going to find out what our place in line is; it turns out to be #110, but how many people ahead of us are requesting girls only is unknown, as well as how many are open to toddlers or special needs. So knowing we are #110 does not necessarily help a whole lot to know when we are to expect a referral; the best guess is probably the last quarter of 2008, but that time frame could be actually much sooner or later!

We spent Christmas Day at my sister-in-law's father's house. He recently lost his wife to cancer and wanted to host it this year. Christmas Eve was spent asleep on the couch, until we dragged ourselves to bed. Me, sleeping on the couch is rare, but I had a good excuse, since I was under the weather. I had not slept the entire night, just fighting chills the whole night and felt just awful in the morning. Unfortunately, I was one of the few who was suppose to work until noon that day. Since I knew no one would truly believe how sick I REALLY was; I forced myself to go to the train, which was made worse by the fact that the temperatures were in the single digits, (but I had medicated myself with Pepto-Bismol, Imodium AD and Tylenol). The train was rather empty, so I just curled up on a seat and slept until we got downtown. Not long after getting there, one of the attorneys just told me to go home on the first train that I could! Luck was on my side as it was about 8:40 and there was a 9:00 train. I slept pretty much of the day with only getting up for a drink of water or to eat a few crackers. Kevin was super and made chicken soup for dinner, not the canned stuff either. He did get soup starter, but the chicken was of the real fresh variety. I forced myself to eat the entire bowl and then since I was tired of lying in the bed went and lied down on the couch. I laid down before Seinfeld started and never even saw it finish. The next time I woke was a couple hours later and I went straight to bed. Believe it or not after all that sleeping, I slept through the entire night. In the morning, I couldn't believe how much better I felt! But so as not to overdue it, I think I will go to bed early tonight.

Before I go I want to leave you with another Christmas photo.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Over 16,000 Hits!

I've had over 16,000 hits, since I linked to soon after I started this blog on December 26th. I entered the blogging world back in May 2006 when I started my other blog, when we were expecting to start an adoption from China shortly, but oh, how things have changed.

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

Another Referral and Positive News

Another referral was received by our agency; a 2 year old girl in Ho Chi Minh City. So we should have moved up one spot on the list to #112. Hope fully, it won't be too, too long until we are out of the 100s. Our agency is expecting more referrals in the near future, but aren't sure if they'll come this year, since medicals are still needed. Please keep these children in your thoughts and prayers that they will soon be referred to forever families soon. Also keep The Leonards in your prayers, they have been near the top of the list for over a month or so. Hopefully, they will receive their referral of an infant boy very soon.

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


I haven't posted any updates in the last few weeks. But as of this past week, 2 more referrals were received for a two and a half year old boy and a four and a half year old girl. I think about we received 2 or 3 other referrals since I last posted about referrals. We are about #113 on the waiting list. I guess we're slowly, but surely moving ahead, but I just wish it was not so slowly. I just celebrated my 39th birthday; 30 was no big deal, but 40 is looking to be quite difficult! Some really good news is that at least three CHI families got their I-600 approval and will be traveling in soon to get their sons Khai, Jake, and Mattix. It also seems that the Vietnam Summit meeting went well and hopefully the future of adoptions will as well