Friday, December 19, 2008

What A Month

There has been a downpour of referrals this month. 16 referrals since the beginning of the month. 10 just this week. This is such exciting news and the best Chritmas presents all these soon-to-be- parents could have received. Our agency will be closed for the next 2 weeks, but will reopen on Monday, January 5th. Hopefully, with even more referrals waiting!

Also, just this week, I mailed our official country change to CIS (Immigration), received my birth certificate, and sent for our marriage certificate.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's been awhile. I haven't really been into blogging or the adoption thing at all lately, but today, I just got an e-mail sayiong that DCFS endorsed our homestudy. Now, we have to wait for the letter from our home study agency with the approval and instructions for the next step, sending in for the country change with USCIS. We have a ton to do. We need to work like crazy on our dossier and watch the DVDs, from our agency, "Because They Waited". Now there is only 3 days left of vacation and I feel I haven't accomplished much. I relaxed a lot (the cold and infected finger I had did not help anything. I did get a little cleaning done, but adoption stuff is now priority. Guess I should have worked on Christmas cards and that Christmas letter already. And oh, yeah, I have to bake a bundt cake tomorrow, for an Ethiopian adopted kids get-together. Well, I better get to bed, so I won't sleep too late tomorrow, well actually by now today!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Taste of Fall

I decided the blog needed a little change. I actually need to do more, but this will do for now.

On Wednesday, we had our home visit with our new homestudy agency. We really, really liked our social worker. Everything went well, but everything is going to take longer than I had hoped for. Home study update should be written up by the end of this month and hopefully before. Then it needs to be approved by our adoption consultant at CHI and then it can be sent to DCFS for their approval, which may take about a month. Once we have their letter of endorsement, we can send it on to USCIS for our free country change and that will probably take another month, so it will probably be February before we can send in our dossier to Ethiopia. This means we will probably need to redo the couple documents that we already have had notarized and/or certified.

In good news, our agency received 6 referrals this week: 3 girls and 3 boys. The girls were 13 months, 20 months, and 6 years and the boys were 6 months, 11 months, and 21 months. These families waited between 3 and 7 months for their referrals.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two years ago today, we first went to our agency's informational meeting. At that time who would think that 2 years later, we'd still not have a child. The good news is that we have our home visit for our home study update scheduled for October 29th.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Love CVS

My family calls me the coupon queen. I love using coupons to save money and I always surprise my mother with how much I save. Yesterday was my best coupon days. My main things I planned to purchase were a Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit as well as a Sweeper Duster Starter Kit, which were on sale and by buying both of them, I'd receive 5 Extra Care Bucks. I had a CVS coupon for $3 off $15 or more; actually, the cost of these 2 items were just under 15, so I ended up buying 2 containers of Icebreakers mints, which I of course had a $1 off coupon for. All in all just with different coupons, I saved $15.99: that includes the $3 off a 15.00 purchase, $1 off the Icebreakers, $2off from a previous Extra Care Bucks coupon I received from a previous purchase, $1 off for buying a Swiffer Sweeper, $1 off for buying a Swiffer Duster, and lastly a coupon calling for a free Swiffer Duster when you buy a Swiffer Sweeper. I noticed when I got home that she gave me the Swiffer Sweeper free, but since both items were on sale; the Sweeper was only $1 more. Had I paid full price with no coupons or sale, which I wouldn't have done in the first place, I'd have paid about $25 before tax plus 10% tax since I was in chicago, but with all the coupons and sale prices I only paid $4.08. I have to admit, I was excited over that. And this was only a week after paying only about 44 cents for a bottle of Afrin the week before at Walgreens. There they had $2 store coupon in the sale ad that week and I had found a manufacturers coupon previously. Well I better go. I need to figure out my shopping list for tomorrow and get my coupons in order.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I just about died with hysterical laughter when my friend sent me the following picture with the caption "When I get Out Someone Is Going to Die"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good News for a Change

Last week, the wait for our renewed 171-H finally ended when we received the long awaited document. We now are officially in the Ethiopia program. We now have the paperwork for our new homestudy agency, since the CHI branch offices are offices are officially closed. They have since reopened the Yahoo groups; they were closed down for a while due to spreading of rumours being spread and some groups were having people say not-so nice things about certain people.

Some other good news is that the Ethiopian courts, which close for a couple months each year during the rainy season, opened a little bit ahead of schedule. In additio, there were three referrals this week; all young babies, an 8-week baby boy, a 1-month baby girl and a 5-month baby girl. Very exciting, let the referrals start pouring in

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I want to thank Melissa who nominated me for The Smile Award. I haven't been that great of a blogger for the past several months and I really haven;t been in the smiling mood too much lately. But here are the rules for this award.
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 by Mere
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.

Now, I have to pass this award on to 5 other bloggers. This has been going on around awhile now, so I may be naming some one who has already been nominated, but oh well...
#1 Melanie - She has been on this journey to her Kaylee longer than most people and is still waiting to find her. In all this, she has always kept positive and is now going to find Kaylee in Taiwan. Her great love of God is what has helped to keep her sane and positive in the past 24+ months.
#2 Tara - he is the 1st person I met at the local FCVN Tet Party in 2007. At the time, she and her husband just received their referral of their son. I have been following their journey ever since.
#3 Megan - Another CHI blogger pal and one I expect I'll be meeting in person. We just recently "met", but she has especially been helpful and supportive in the past couple weeks as we go through all the changes with our agency. We'll hopefully be adopting from Ethiopia about the same time.
#4 Amber - She was my first internet friend, that I met when I went to her son's 1st birthday. She has the cutest little boy and girl and one on the way.I may not keep in touch the way I should, but I really enjoy following the adventures of Payton and Ashleigh.
Now I have to decide who to put as #5; there's so many whom I enjoy following and help cheer me up on a less than sunny day and there have been many of those lately. #5 for The Smile Award goes to Jess. I can't post the link to her blog, since it is semi private, but I met her through Amber #4 and love watching as Caleb grows.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Depressing Thought

Our local radio station has a segment called "The Impossible Question of the Day" and earlier the question was this:

Q: According to recent figures the average person experiences this for the first time when they are 47.

A: Become a Grandparent
How depressing is that for those of either over 40 or nearing it. My parents are 74 and 80 and they have yet to be grandparents and if we get a child in the next year, we won't see ourselves as being grandparents until we are in our 60's or 70's.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Major Changes Again!

More news and changes have been announced and this time it was from our agency. Friday, I got an e-mail from our social worker - SW that it was urgent that she talk to me. So, I e-mailed and left a voice mail message with the best phone number to call me at. She called me back on my cell and of course, I just happened to be outside at the moment, so I told her I'd call her back in 15 minutes, so I could take notes on what she said. I called her back again and was told that CHI was closing the branch offices and only the main office in St. Louis would stay open as a placement agency. What this means is that since they will no longer have a Chicago office, they will be unable to do our home study update for Ethiopia as well as any of our post-placement reports. So we would have to find a home study agency, they had spoken to 2 local agencies and they offered to accept CHI clients. I ended up calling and leaving voice mail messages at both of these agencies; one called me back a couple hours later and the other called me back that evening. We finally decided which agency after some feedback and just a general feeling and things we knew had occurred lately with one of the agencies.

Now after all of this happened, we also all found out that all of CHI Yahoo groups have been closed. For those who aren't familiar with Yahoo groups;. they are like mailing lists, a kind of chat group exclusively for CHI clients. We all feel a great sense of community and offer each other a great deal of support. We are there for each other in good times and bad. Thank goodness a couple people received the news that the Yahoo groups were closing ahead of the time they were actually closed and were able to create their own Yahoo groups for CHI families and then were able to post the group, just before the group was closed and one was no longer able to post. So, I have joined both the general and Ethiopia groups and hopefully we will get back most everyone, who was in the specific groups.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy New Year!!

In Ethiopia that is!

September 11th is Ethiopia's New Year, the new year is 2001 (Enkutatash.)Ethiopia still retains the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days and 6 days inleap year. The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind between September11 and January 8.

The Amharic word for New Year's Day is "Enkutatash" which means the gift of jewels. History tells us, when the Queen of Sheba returned from her jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her by replenishing her treasury with "inku" or jewels.

The Enkutatash spring festival has been celebrated since the Queen's historic return. As the rainy season comes to its abrupt end, dancing and singing can beheard at every village in the verdent green countryside. Meskerem (the first month of the year) is seen as a month of transition from the old year to the new. Like many Ethiopian holidays, Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Modern Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated - in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers (which is now seen as a more rural custom.) It is a time to express hopes and dreams for the future.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back and in a better place

I'm back and doing much better than I have been in quite awhile. These past few months have been really rough, but I feel as if I'm now ready to get on with my life. Back at the beginning of August I sent in for the renewal of our 171-H and on the 29th, we finally were able to get fingerprinted. Hopefully, it won't take too much longer until we get our renewal in the mail. Last week, I sent for Kevin's birth certificate; it's suppose to take 3 or 4 weeks, since they send it to get state certified also. Actually, I think that it shouldn't really take that long. Last time I got my birth certificate, I took only an hour or less and then when I went to get all my documents state certified, it only took an hour. I'm waiting to hear from my agency's social worker, but next week we should get our home study updated to get ready for when we will be able to formally switch to Ethiopia. Hopefully, things won't take too long.

Frustrated, but it's not what you think

No, not with the adoption, but with clothes shopping. This evening, I went to buy new black dress pants for work. I must have tried at least 6 different styles in 2 different sizes each and I left Kohl's with absolutely nothing, except a feeling of being frustrated. What the heck ever happened with normal trouser dress pants with a high-cut waist. Now, I can't be the only one who does not want low cut hip huggers. Maybe 15 or 20 years ago, I would have worn them, but I no longer have the 20-something body that I used to have; now that I'm quickly approaching 40 later this year. I always have great luck at Kohl's, which is what made tonight even more frustrating then ever.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm still so frustrated and I'm really getting frustrated with CHI. One they should have limited their waiting list. Other agencies had temporarily stopped accepting new applications when they felt their waiting list was getting too big. Also, they allowed way too many people to send in dossiers. Had we not sent in our dossier at the beginning of April to Vietnam and spent all that additional money, we probably would have been more likely to switch countries right away, but we already had even more money invested than we did before submitting the dossier. Others who are working on Ethiopia can work on their dossier while they are working on their homestudy and waiting for CIS approval, but we have to wait!!! We've been waiting over a year and a half from when we first started this adoption and they've had no problem accepting our money, but now when we and they know without a doubt that Vietnam will close, even if it is temporarily and we will be switching countries no matter, since everything is moving at a snail's pace anyway, they just want us to sit and do nothing when there is so much we caould do, if we knew exactly what it was we needed to do. No wonder there atre many people who would love to adopt, but don't one because of the cost and two because they make it so difficult to do so. Well, I'm getting off my soapbox and doing some work, since lunch is now over.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The End and the Beginning

This post should have been posted over a week ago, when I wrote it but I don't really want to rewrite it. It is now pretty much definite our Vietnam adoption wont be happening. Our agency got its last 3 referrals this past week. As of a couple weeks ago, we were down to #78 on the list and now are probably 2-3 positions further down the list, but that probably doesn't make much difference anymore. As of 9/1/08, the dossiers with all the documents we gathered and had notarized, certified, and authenicated, will be sent to our agencies. We've known for over a month or so that we would pursue an adoption from Ethiopia, if Vietnam didn't work, but since we needed to renew some paperwork, we decided to hold off, so we could get our free renewal. We currently are waiting for DCFS to approve our homestudy update, which our social worker did in June. Once our homestudy update gets approved, we can send in for our free renewal with CIS (the former INS). Then we have to wait for an invitation to get our fingerprints retaken (Like they've changed in the past year and a half.) Once we get our renewal approved, we will finally be able to send in for a country change for the adoption. . This should also be free since we renewed the 171-H paperwork first.

Hopefully, once we have the renewal, we will be able to start our Ethiopian dossier. I wish I could start on gathering the paperwork, but they do not want to provide us that information until we are formally in the new program. We want to start on this as soon as possible, because although our agency has had an Ethiopian program for only over a year, it has become very popular and with the closure of Vietnam, it will be even more so. Plus our agency has not yet been Hague-certified. Ethiopia is not a Hague country, so they can work with agencies that are not Hague-approved. (The Hague Treaty is pretty hard to explain, so I won't even try for those of you who have no idea what it is, but as long as our agency isn't Hague-certified the only country new prospective adoptive parents can adopt from are Ethiopia and Russia. Technically, we will be considered new since we will have to start over with another country. Russia is a more expensive country to adopt from with 2-3 trips to Russia that needs to be taken before you finally can bring your child home.

I don't even want to think of what we have spent and much of it has been more or less flushed away. What a waste of money, not too mention time. We started well over 18 months on this, 14 months of which was on the waiting list and for what? NOTHING! We are not getting any younger and I will be turning the big 4-0 in a few months and Kevin is 45. Our parents do not yet have any grandchildren and most likely any child we adopt will be the only grandchild they have. Yes, I am feeling very cynical tonight. I truly feel our agency should not only allow us to switch countries, but but should allow us to get in line ahead of people who have only been waiting a short time. The longest some people waiting to adopt from Ethiopia is 6 or maybe 7 months at the most; that is nothing compared to 14 months and there are many others who have been on the waiting list for much longer. It is one thing if you chose voluntarily to change months ago, when there were first rumors, but now pretty much everyone has to either switch to another country or just wait it out and hope Vietnam allows for American adoptions again in the future. Last time the country closed to the U.S. that wait was almost 3 years, so making us have to wait that long is crazy and is not an option with us either in or about to be in our 40's.

UPDATE: We did get our letter of endorsement from DCFS and I sent for our free renewal on Saturday. We are now waiting for our return receipt notification that it was received and then for the dates of our fingerprinting. And yes, we are now #75 as of 7/24/08, for whatever that's worth!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blogger Problems

I guess blogger had problems, where they had a large amount of blogs that were shown to be spam blogs and they had all of them lockied until the blog owner asked them to investigate. They found out it was a bug in there progrem and are fixing that bug and have also since unlocked those blogs. Since mine was only recently unlocked, I haven't had a chance to post, but hope to soon!

Monday, July 28, 2008

DCFS Letter of Endorsement

We had our home study update done in June and were waiting for DCFS to issue a letter of endorsement, so we could file for our free renewal of the 171-H. Well, our agency, finally received the letter of endorsement and will mail it to us along with the instructions so we can file for our renewal. The renewal can't be filed any earlier than 90 days before the expiration of the 171-H and today marks the 90th day before expiration. So hopefully, we will receive the letter from CHI in the next day or 2 and I'll be able to immediately send for the renewal to CIS. Then our social worker says it takes CIS 2-3 weeks to process it and then a week later, we should get it in the mail. We'll also need to get our fingerprints redone (like they've changed!!!) I will be posting an update soon about our adoption. I wrote it out the other day on the way home from work and just need to find the time top type it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Weird Dream

I had the weirdest dream last night. I was pregnant with twins and then I gave birth to one twin and then the doctor said the other one is not ready, yet and that I cango home. When I asked how long until the other one? The doctor said it could be a day or 2, a week, maybe a month. Weird, huh? No wonder I was so tired this morning; I had a hard night of labor.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Second-Guessing Myself?

Should we stay with Vietnam and hope for a miracle? Should we switch to Ethiopia right away and risk not getting a free renewal? Should we go with a domestic adoption; most likely a transracial adoption? Or even should we try infertility treatments? (We know we are, but we never underwent any fertility treatments) and at just about 40years of age, should I and do I really want to be pregnant? Where is this coming from?? Well, in the past month(s), there have been so many other prospective adoptive parents that have either become pregnant (I don't think I can name overyone, but congratulations to all of you and several who have adopted domestically (congratulation to the latest new parents, Megan and Larry)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Your Support Is Needed

Please go to the link I've attached and sign this petition. It directly affects us, because our dossier is logged in to the DIA. You can read the details, sign the petition, and then log out. You do not have to give a donation for your "signature" to be recorded. Thanks in advance!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Early Morning Meeting

This morning, we met with our new social worker to discuss our 171-H renewal, changing to Ethiopia and home study update. Our 171-H needs to be renewed this fall and we can renew it up to 90 days before, but the orphan officer has recently changed at our local USCIS office and many families who are changing countries and then trying for a free renewal of their old 171-H are being denied. Therefore, the best option was to stay in the Vietnam program and just updating our home study and getting our free renewal , which will be sent at the very end of July and then once we have received an updated and renewed 171-H, we will then file a change of country form and add an addendum to our homestudy for Ethiopia. This really allows us the best of both worlds, since if by chance Vietnam adoptions do continue we will still be in the Vietnam program and we will be able to just continue with it, but if it turns out that Vietnam will not be continuing adoptions with the United States, we will be already approved for Ethiopia. Since we already have our dossier in Vietnam, we will be able to continue the process to adopt, but at the same time once we have filed for a renewal, it will take some time for it to get through the reapproval process (hopefully, we'll get our approval at about the same time we find out if adoptions and the giving of referrals will continue after September 1st.) In the meantime, we might be able to start getting our paperwork together for an Ethiopian dossier. If we won't be able to continue with Vietnam, then at least we may have somewhat of a headstart when it comes to getting our new dossier ready and hopefully, it won't be very long thereafter until we can send off our dossier to our agency and then Ethiopia. In reality, this is the perfect option; more or less, it is a win-win opportunity. If Vietnam continues, we win in that we have not totally dropped out of the program, but if it closes for certain, we still win because we are ahead of the game on the road to Ethiopia. Not everyone will have this option, but since our immigration paperwork needs renewal and our USCIS office is so finicky about the order of renewals and country changes, it works on our behalf.

Also, since our home study was done in March, another home visit is needed and that is scheduled for Monday June 16th. Only one of us needs to meet with our SW at our home, so since I have a couple floating holidays that I must use up at work, I'll be the one to stay home. Plus it is easier since I work in an office to get a day off, then Kevin who works in a child care environment. They need people to cover and one of his co-workers is getting married around that time, so coverage will be limited and they'll need all the people they can get. Well, I've really babbled on and on, so I'll just end this post until next time.

Monday, June 2, 2008


We actually are meeting with our new social worker tomorrow morning at 7AM!!! We have been approved, but are for the time being still with the Vietnam program, because our 171-H is going to need to be renewed. Nicky from the Vietnam program had said if we want the free extension, we will need to renew it while still in the Vietnam program and then submit a change of country form to switch to Ethiopia. We're meeting tomorrow to discuss the different options for renewing and changing countries. Hopefully, I'll have more information tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Changing Directions, New Look

A new look is called for since we are changing directions. We are still adopting, but after the past few weeks, we've weighed our various options and don't see much of a likelihood that Vietnam will continue adoptions after September 1st and since there is no chance that we will get a referral before that time, we have decided that we must change countries. Our two best options were Ethiopia and domestic here in the United States.

With domestic, you are chosen by the birth mother to parent the child. The waiting list for a healthy white infant could be 2 years or more, it really depends on the birth mother if they choose you or not and there are so many other adoptive parents hoping to be chosen. We would be open to a child of any race or mixture of races; now the expected wait there maybe a year or so (much less than for a Caucasian infant), but the birth mother still has to choose you. There's so many legal loopholes, too; although the agency that we looked at has never had a birth parent take the child back after the child was living in your home, there's always a first time for everything.

With Ethiopia, the current wait is expected to be 6 to 11 months. At this time many people are getting referrals at our agency at about 5-6 months after sending in the dossier. Our current agency works with Ethiopia and gets referrals quite often. Just in the past week there were 8 referrals. Some of our money would transfer over to the new program, not a lot but some of it would. The cost for each of the programs would be similar, since the domestic agency is on a sliding scale when it comes to family. All in all though, they really aren't that expensive compared to some other domestic adoption programs.

So what have we decided, you're asking. Well, we are still waiting for approval from the agency, but we've decided to go with Ethiopia and to stay with CHI as our adoption agency. I'm not sure what is taking so long for approval, but it looks like everything will be a go. We'll need to have our homestudy updated, change over our 171-H to Ethiopia with the Citizenship and Immigration and work on a new dossier.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

MIA No More

I want to thank all of those who left comments on this blog or e-mailed me, I apologize if I didn't reply to everyone this has been a very emotional and confusing time. I really appreciate your concern and friendship during this time. Those of you with blogs, I have been following along, although I may not have commented often, if at all.

Those of you in the Vietnam adoption community know what I'm talking about, but for those of you, not involved in Vietnam adoptions, I'll let you know what is going on. Over the past few weeks, Vietnam has announced that they will not be continuing adoptions with the United States. They will continue to accept applications up to July 1st, but anyone who has not received a referral by September 1st will have their dossier returned to their agency. Just before this announcement the U.S. Embassy released a long report on corruption involving Vietnamese adoption. The report makes it appear that corruption is rampant. Yes, there is corruption, but it is nowhere near as prevalent as they make it out to be. It is mainly isolated to a few provinces, a few orphanages and involving possibly a few agencies. The vast majority of adoptions are believed to be ethical and not corrupt. The U.S. is also trying to force Vietnamese parents who gave up their child willingly to take DNA tests in order to prove that they are the biological parents of the relinquished child. Plus there are several other areas that the U.S. government is trying to take control of things that if a foreign government was trying to do in the U.S., they would object to it just the same as the Vietnamese government is doing. Vietnam has just gotten fed up with the U.S. and refuses to work with them anymore. This is leaving many hundreds of families in limbo.

Where does this leave us? If you remember, at the beginning of April, we did send our dossier to Vietnam. But our agency has a very long waiting list and earlier in the year, they were told that whatever dossiers were in the country by September 1st when the current agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam expired, they would still give referrals to any of those families, even if it was after September 1st. But that was then, and this is now. And with how long our agency's waiting list is and the fact that we are #86 on that list, as well as that the number of referrals, our agency is getting is down greatly, we stand no chance at all of getting a referral by September 1st. It has been several weeks, since our agency has even gotten any referrals at all. So the past few weeks, we have been thinking, talking and praying on what to do and researching what our other options are. We are hoping very soon to make that announcement, but until it has happened, we will keep it quiet for now. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and we promise to share things with you soon!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Just wanted to let you all know, we're alive. But after the news the past couple weeks, I just could not get myself to post. I'm working on a post and just need to find the time to type it out.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Has Spring Really Sprung For Good?

It sure has felt like spring with highs in the 60s and maybe in the 70s the past few days. The grass is starting to turn green and some plants have even started growing. After a cold and very snowy winter, we are definitely ready, here in NE Illinois for the weather to warm and for spring to be here to stay.

There has still been no news by USCIS about the new DNA policy for the biological parents of relinquished children. After over 2 weeks, one would think they would make some official announcement. Also, rumors have been rampant about the future of adoption. Many are saying the future looks dim and there's uncertainty about whether there may be a deadline of June 1st; the question is that is that for a referral to be given or for a dossier to be in the country? Our agency has been very good about providing us information, but nothing has been said about the new rumours that have just materialized this week about June 1st. Until I hear something from our agency, I really am not going to worry much about it.

Things have been pretty quiet lately; at least in blogsville. People are just not blogging as much as usual, me included. A lot of the Yahoo groups and message boards discussing Vietnam adoption have been pretty quiet, also. A lot of my blogging buddies and those from the Yahoo groups are taking a little hiatus. I have pretty much unsubscribed at least temporarily from getting any mail from several of the Yahoo groups, except for ones from our agency and local FCV (Families with Children from Vietnam) group and these groups have been quieter than usual or even totally silent.

Last Friday, our agency reported 2 referrals: a 13 month old girl and a 8 1/2 year old boy. Also, another family received I-600 approval and ended up traveling this week with 4 other families to Vietnam, where they were united with their children. One family included one of the Vietnam adoption consultants at our agency, also you can follow Katherine and Drew's blog of their journey to pick up their daughter, Tori. There were no referrals this week though at our agency.

Upon reading this week's agency update, I realize they did mention the June 1st rumour. They are saying that it is merely a rumour and they feel people are confusing referrals with the acceptance of dossiers and that there has not been any statements made by either of the governments. A couple of my blogging buddies have found out their dossier was logged in by Vietnam on April 8th after having been sent and then translated. Their dossier was sent over to Vietnam a little less than a week and a half before ours was, so hopefully we will hear something soon that our was logged in hopefully this past week.

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us; please continue to do so and also for the future of Vietnam adoptions continuing, as well as for a speed up in the process. Things have been really slowing down, especially in relation to adoptions between Vietnam and the United States, compared to other foreign countries, who work with Vietnam. This post is much longer than I expected; I really haven't written this much in a while.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Before and After

Several of you have been waiting to see my before and after haircut pictures. And although, I believe I liked the before haircut pictures better and will be allowing my hair to grow again, I will post the after picture; although I kind of cringe doing so. Remember this picture is also a self portrait which I took. I may be able to take some pretty good photographs of other things, but the photographs are not very good when I take them of myself. Well here goes nothing.



Next time, I think of cutting my hair short, remind me of either this time or even better the short hair disaster of the late 90's. No photo of this awful event will be posted. It is too horrible to see. The memory of this still haunts me. There's a reason I've almost always had long hair (or at least shoulder-length) and hopefully will be able to continue wearing as long as possible.

This weekend was gorgeous. The temperatures were in the 60s or close to it. Being that it was this warm also in the U.P of Michigan, while we were there was quite a treat. I expected it to be in the 30s and was pleasantly surprised. We didn't do much, but it was nice to get away and just relax. Hopefully spring comes back real soon, so I can pull or dig up some of the stuff, I didn't get to before winter set in.

I'm just feeling a little overloaded with all the adoption-related news that has been going on the past month or so. I have pretty much either unsubscribed or gone no mail from most of the Yahoo groups that I belonged to, except for some from our agency and the Chicago Families with Children from Vietnam group. I'll continue to read the many blogs I've been following, but I may not be posting comments as often, but I am reading and following along.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Good News, Good News and Uncertain News

It is almost our 11 month anniversary on the waiting list and over 15 months since we were approved to adopt from Vietnam, as well as a little over a year since we signed on with our agency. We originally had been going to adopt from China, but that is another story that you have probably already heard and is found on our old blog, Journey to Our Chinese Princess.

I'll start with the uncertain news and end with the good news. As many of you know there was an internal USCIS that was leaked or publicly posted or whatever, by another website. The memo from USCIS (Citizenship & Immigration) said that Vietnamese adoptions would now require DNA testing for all children who were abandoned by there parents. This was posted on April 1st, so many of us were hoping this was some sort of cruel April Fools' joke. It since has been announced to be true by our agency, as well as many others. How this will impact future adoptions is not fully known, but children whose parents gave them up willingly for adoption, will now need to be DNA-tested (both the child and the parent (s)). This will probably lengthen the already lengthen the already long wait between referral and travel. The parents will need to be located and flown to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to get tested along with the child. This extra cost will probably be the responsibility of the prospective adoptive parents.

But on to some good news and luckily there is quite a bit to share this week. As of April 2nd, Kevin's and my dossier was sent to Vietnam. It will take several days for our agency representatives in Ho Chi Minh City to receive our dossier, as well as the 11 others that were sent out at the same time. Once it has been received in HCMC, it will be sent out for translation (into Vietnamese) and then will be sent to the DIA (Dept. of International Adoption, I think its called) to be logged in. They expect this process to take a couple weeks. So hopefully, we will hear by the end of the month or sooner that we have been logged in. This is very exciting news, but unfortunately does not mean we are anywhere close to receiving a referral. Just got to stay positive and keep us and the process in prayer.

The other good news was that 2 referrals were received this week, both were infant boys, one was 7 months and the other was 11 months. It has been a couple weeks since any referral was received, so this is news we should all rejoice too for the lucky parents of these little ones. Also, later next week, there will be 4 families flying to Vietnam to adopt their children.

I will be away this weekend in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan visiting Kevin's family, so I will not have any computer access. Last weekend, I also got my haircut, and have a different hairstyle, so next week, I will post before after photographs. Have a great weekend and hopefully, spring will start springing forth very soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools!??!

Yesterday, I received a message that our dossier would be going out on Wednesday. Sounds good? Sure, but Friday, I got an e-mail telling me it would be sent out on Tuesday. Was anyone else from CHI told Tuesday and then it changed to Wednesday?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Soon To Be Vietnam-Bound

The dossier that is, not us. The Fed Ex package was re-delivered the same day. I was then able to scan and copy it and send it FedEx the next to CHI. It arrived at CHI on Friday, but unfortunately, it was not able to go out with the shipment of dossiers that afternoon. I did receive an e-mail that it would be reviewed and sent out on Tuesday, which by the way is April 1st (April Fools Day)! I'm already feeling so relieved that I don't have the dossier to worry about anymore. We've finished our part and now it's totally out of our hands.

Another snafu, we had in this process to complete our dossier was when I took everything to be state certified. I had one of the secretaries in my office notarize my employment letter. That sounds simple enough right? Well when I took it to the secretary of State to be state-certified. I was told that it had to be re-notarized, because the stamp she had, had the wrong expiration date on it. Had she not gone on medical leave for a few weeks, I probably would have had her notarize all of my documents and would have had to start over pretty much. Thank goodness, it happened on my employment letter and not Kevin's, that had taken forever to get. Also, thank goodness, it had happened before the office manager took his week-long vacation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Delivery Problems

When I sent the dossier to The Assistant Stork, I included a return package that was to be sent to the FedEx/Kinkos facility a block away from me down at work. I didn't want it shipped to my home and be susceptible to the weather. When I checked the tracing number soon after I got to work, it was in Chicago and out on the truck to be delivered. About an hour later, I checked and there was a delivery exception listed for an incorrec t address - apartment/suite no. I ran down to Fed Ex/Kinko's and they gave me the Fed Ex toll-free phone number and said they couldn't do anything without the waybill receipt, but to call them. I never had the waybill receipt, it was attached to the packaging I sent for the Assistant Stork to return the dossier to me. So I called the 800 number and they said that usually Fed Ex/Kinko's don't hold package. It also turns out that the Fed Ex/Kinko's had me incorrectly fill out the waybill for address, I should have put Fed Ex/Kinko's and to the attention of "me" instead of just putting my name and their address. But even though, I had put their address, the employees at Fed Ex/Kinko's said they had never even seen a Fed Ex delivery person. They have left a message at the Fed Ex location that delivers the package and that I should call back at noon and that they hopefully will hear back by then. They also said they could not guarentee if another delivery will be made today or tomorrow to get me the package. Aarrgghh!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's on Its Way Back to Chicago

Our dossier was taken to the Vietnamese Embassy last Thursday and the tentative date for pick up was this Wednesday. I decided just to check the Fed Ex tracking number and lo and behold, I discovered that it just left VA and should arrive by 10:30 tomorrow. I never thought it would be here early. If things work out right, we might be able to get it to CHI by Friday. I just have to scan/photocopy the authentication sheet on each of the documents and then after work tomorrow get passport photos taken of us to include in our dossier package. I also have to decide on a photo of us and of the house. There should be some in our file at CHI headquarters, but our adoption consultant said to be on the safe side to include these pictures again. I am so excited. It really feels like we have a good chance on getting a referral even if the MOU is not signed. Now let's just keep hoping and praying that Vietnam will give referrals to everyone, who has a dossier in country, as well as the U.S. doing everything they need to do.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our dossier arrived yesterday at The Assistant Stork and was brought to the Embassy today with a tentative pick-up date of March 26th. Please pray that nothing is found to be wrong with it and that it is ready then.

Monday, March 17, 2008

D.C. Bound

Our dossier has been safely (hopefully) been sent Fed Ex. It should arrive actually in Stafford, VA at the Assistant Stork's tomorrow around noon. I have to agree with people who said once you send that dossier, it feels like you are sending your baby away to college or his/her first summer camp. It feels like a big part of me is gone , that I took such good care of, even if it was for only a brief time. Now, I'll probably have that darn tracking number memorized in no time, since I'll be checking its progress fatefully until it is delivered to Laura's capable hands. Well, I guess I should get some work donesince there is only 2 and a 1/2 hours left of the work day. IO doubt I'll get a chance to post tonight, but you never know! Good luck to anyone else, who's about to ship off a package to Laura or even directly to the Embassy of Vietnam. What a weird feeling it was to write out that money order to0 the Embassy. At least, I can relax somewhat, but until everything is back in my hands and has been sent to our agency and then logged into Vietnam, I won't be TRULY relaxed!!!

Part 2!

All documents have finally been certified!!!! I will post a more detailed post of my experience when I get a chance. One more step 2 go for now!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Part 1 of Our Dossier is Done!!! Only 2 more parts to go!

We have all of our dossier documents and they have all been notarized; next step is to have them state certified at the Secretary of State. They can only be certified at the offices in Chicago and Springfield; thank goodness I work in downtown Chicago, only about 1/2 a mile or so from the Chicago office. I will take my lunch and get them certified, so hopefully, it will only take an hour.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

40 Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life for 2008!

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a DVR, tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:
'In five years, will this matter?'

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!) Hey, I’m thinkin’ of ya!

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

40. Please share this to everyone you care about.

During times like this, these are all things that we need to remember!!! For me, this came at just the perfect time!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sorry if I had any of you worrying about me. In reality, I have been healthy, minus an earache. But for the most part, I've been mainly in a real funk about how long everything has been taking. It has been 10 months since we were added to the waiting list and according to Mindee's blog (she is one place ahead of us on the list), we should be sbout #94. I don't know how many ahead of us only want girls or who want toddlers, instead of babies. Referrals are coming in very slowly, so the soonest may be somewhere near the end of the year and then travel has usually been 4-6 months later, although there have been some who have had to wait much longer. But now that it is March and spting doesn't seem so far away, since the sun is shining more often, I am feeling somewhat more upbeat and happier. The weather is still quite cold, but we have seen a day or two in the 40s and it has been over a week since we had any new snow. It's suppose to be very cold over the next couple days, but a slight warm-up is possible next week. I think maybe even in the 50s, which after this winter sounds almost tropical. Sunday, we start Daylight's saving time, so although we lose an hour of sleep, we will be staying light longer in the evening . It'll be so nice to have more daylight again, after getting off work.

February is always a bad money month with car insurance due and several other big bills. Usually, I have the March work bonus to look forward to and then the April pay raise. But this year they aren't as good as past years and with the adoption, I was really expecting it to help with things. We still have a bonus, but it's just not as generous as any of us were expecting it to be, nor was the pay raise up to the same caliber.. Works has also been extremely busy and hectic and with the bonus/pay raise issue, it's really disappointing and depressing. In the past, the generous bonus was our motivation to work harder, but now that we have and we aren't being rewarded like we have in the past, well need I really say more.

Hopefully, tomorrow we will be getting a positive update from our agency. Hopefully, there will be some referrals to report and other happy news.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I am alive, but I've been very busy and extremely stressed. I will be back to posting hopefully soon.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Impossible Question of the Day

Q: According to a recent survey, 90% of college freshmen said they have never used one of these. What is it?

A: Typewriter

I guessed that right away, but did not have time to call; why can't they have these types of questions on the days I'm off? Of course,. if I'm off work, chances are that I won't be up at to hear the impossible question of the day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Winter that Just Won't Quit

Another 5-9 inches of snow is slated to fall between now and tomorrow morning. I can't tell you how ready I am for spring, it is always either snow falling or extreme cold. The snow hasn't even fully melted at all. Like most everyone else in the Chicagoland, I am just so sick of it!

The other Saturday, the Chicago chapter of FCVN (Families with Children from Vietnam) had their Tet (Vietnamese New Year) celebration. I got too meet several of my blogging buddies and see those that I met last year and meet their new children. Several of the photos I took didn't turn out too well, because of the lighting, but here are a few that did.

On the adoption front, there weren't any new referrals received by our agency. A total of 4 families were in Vietnam. 2 are back home, but 2 are still there. This past week, we both got our employment letters and had them notatized, so one small thing done. As soon as I finish, this blogpost, I'm going to send my adoption worker an e-mail concerning some questions about the dossier. So, hopefully, we can get more stuff done soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Good News!

Today, I came in to work after being off yesterday and found an e-mail from my adoption worker that we can start our dossier. What is funny is last night, I sent off an e-mail to her about some forms we needed to complete and also asked that now that we are under #100, when we'd be able to start our dossier. Too bad, we weren't told this before the weekend, I could have shared this with the people I saw at the FCVN Tet celebration. (More about the Tet celebration in a future post.) Also, just today on the train, the people I ride with asked me how things were going with the adoption. I guess tomorrow, I'll have some news for them Well, I really need to get back to work. Just wanted to share our good news!

JUST ADDED: Because of this, I decided to treat myself to Starbucks (also our coffee maker and hot water dispensed is out of order); well it is getting colder and colder, this morning was not even 5 above and by now it is even colder. I swear it has to be below zero and then if you factor in windchill, it would be even colder still. 1 month and 1 day until spring. Hurry up and get here. March 20th will also be Kevin's b-day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Book Meme (How they came up with this name, I don't know?

I got tagged by Megan at From Virginia to Somewhere and Back. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag 5 more people

The first book I picked up had no words whatsoever on P. 123, and believe it or not the 2nd book didn't have anything on page 123 that I could type since it was a form to fill out for my bible study. So the next closest book was is the Life Application Study Bible. So I guess,I need to use that.

As Egypt. buried its dead, the Hebrew slaves left the country, a free people at last. Pharoah made one last attempt to bring them back, but the people escaped when God miraculously parted the waters of the Red Sea. But on the other side, the people soon became dissatisfiedand complained bitterly to to Moses and Aaron about their trek through the desert. I'm really behind in reading blogs, so I don't know who has done this and who hasn't, so if you are reading this, have a blog, and haven't been tagged consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Double Digits, BABY!!!

The Tet holiday is now over and things are getting back to usual in Vietnam. Our agency received 3 referrals this week. All three were for infants- a 2 monthold girl, a 3 month old boy, and a 6 month old boy. With these 3 referrals, we are now officially down into the double digits and we are now #97. Finally going below the #100 mark feels like such a milestone. Let's pray those referrals keep pouring in!!!

There are currently 2 families in Vietnam with their new children. You can follow Danielle and Barnabas' Jouney to Norah and next week 2 more families will be going to Vietnam and follow along with The Wooley's as they meet "Sweet Caroline".

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winter - A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

I think a lot of us in the Midwest, particularly Chicago can relate to this guy's sentiments. He just put it a lot more creativelt than any of us would have!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We've reached 100!!

The other day, I was reading Mindee's blog and noticed that she is now down to #99 and I know we are right behind her on the waiting list, so I sent off an e-mail this morning to our adoption consultant and she confirmed our place in line was at #100. Although, I don't know when, we can't be too far away from starting our dossier. Last year after we initially got on the waiting list, I predicted that we would start our dossier in the spring and it is looking that, that may come true; it depends on how fast and how many referrals are received, but hoefully in the next 6 weeks or so.

We have 2 families currently in Vietnam getting their children and next week there will be two more. Our staff in Vietnam is now back at work after the Tet holiday. (For those of you who don't know Tet is the Vietnamese New Year, the equivalent to the Chinese New Year. ) Hopefully, the referrals will start rolling in, as well as I-600s and travel approvals.

I also want to thank everone who left such nice comments about my new blog background.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I finally did it! After seeing several others who did it like H at Star Light, Star Bright, I went to The Cutest Blog on the Block and finally decided to snazz up the old blog. I was getting so bored of the way it looked. This is so much better and I think it will be relatively easy to read. But boy was I nervous that I would lose everything, but I followed the directions on her blog and PRESTO, everything turned out fine! If I find it hard to read, I'll just drop on by and find a different background. I want to change around my links on the right. Some of the blogs, I don't follow anymore and since I use Bloglines, to keep up with the viewing of the blogs, I have a bunch of new blogs to add. Leave a comment and let me know what you think so far! If you've never commented on a blog, it's easy. If you don't have a blogger/google acount or a Typekey,WordPress, LiveJournal or AOL/AIM account, you can still leave a comment now or any other post, just click the circle for Anonymous or Nickname (for nickname, you don't need to leave a URL Then just type your comment in the box like an e-mail and when you are finished just hit "publish your comment". Nothing really difficult really!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Digging Out in the Northwestern Chicago Suburbs

Last night, it pretty much just rained, but the snow started in this area just before I got on the train about 7AM. By the time, I got downtown, it was only raining downtown, but the snow continued back home and they predicted 1-2 inches of snow per hour. It really didn't start snowing in downtown Chicago until around noon, but it started coming down pretty hard. Luckily, we goit out of work early. I was able to catch the 2:30 train and got into my train station a bit before 4. A little later than what it should have usually been, but under the circumstances totally understandable. At first, it didn't seem too bad, but as we got further north and west, the snow was heavier and was accumulating. I ended up having to walk home, since although Kevin was let out from work early, he was home shoveling and snowblowing. Actually, it was really quite pretty to see . After I got home, I grabbed the camera and took a bunch of pictures.
We had about 12 inches in all here. Areas further north and northwest had more like 14 inches, but south of us in Naperville, only 2-3 inches.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Another Snowstorm Headed Our Way

This has been one of the snowiest winters in quite awhile. We had an additional 5 inches of snow on Sunday evening and another 10 to 14 inches are expected after 11pm. It's been said they are expecting at least an inch an hour. Hopefully, the snow will hold off to later tonight since it is primary voting in Illinois and the contests in Illinois will be pretty close, plus 2 of the presedential candidates are from Chicagoland. Barack still lives up here with his family and Clinton was raised in Park Ridge. We also have our 2nd Crown Financial Bible Study tonight and I somehow managed to get all the homework done for this time. I think after this time that the homework will be alot more manageable. It would be nice if they are wrong and the snowstorm misses us, but I'm not planning on it. I am so ready for spring; it can't get here soon enough and although spring officially starts in a little over 6 weeks, I don't expect it to be here until April.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Week, Another Winter Storm

As another week is coming quicky to a close. Last week at this time, we were having sub-zero cold, which we suffered through for much of the week. Today, the snow came started around 9Am off and on. They are stating we'll have 3-10 inches in the Chicagoland area depending on where in the area one is. Coming hoime from work, my train was only delayed about 15 minutes or so, but Kevin who drives about 30 miles or so left work at 5:05 and didn't get home until 7:40. He said the roads were terrible and unplowed, although the snow started much earlier than they planned, you would have thought they could clear the roads within all that time. At this pace, Kevin will be leaving home about 6 tomorrow in hopes of getting to work by 8. That leaves me having to walk to the train. Could be pretty interesting since it is usually only a 10 minute walk, but who knows how the roads will be. Forget the sidewalks; I know those will be impossible.

Last week's adoption meeting was cancelled, because the speaker was sick. With the weather way below zero, I'm sure there would not have been much of a turn out anyway. Hopefully, they will reschedule it soon, but they may just schedule it for our April meeting instead. We got our weekly update. More explanation about the advisory issued by the U.S. Embassy. In conversations they have had with the DIA, they were told that dossiers will continue to be given referrals that were submitted before the MOU expired. Our agency staff in Vietnam is currently on vacation until February 12th. It seems like the 12th is a far ways off, but actually it is only a little over a week away. They do expect several referrals after the Lunar New Year and are actually waiting on medical and other reports on several referrals that have been matched to our agency.

It has been a long, busy week and I'm looking forward to not doing much of anything this weekend. The only plans I specifically have is the women's ministry is meeting at Panera Saturday morning. We also started a Crown Financial bible study and although I have been working the past week and a half on the book we have to read there are some other things that we need to do before Tuesday night when we all get together again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You Don't Know Cold...

I woke up a little while ago and checked the outside thermometer, -2.7. Yahoo Weather says it is more like -1, but if you factor in windchill, it's a frigid -20. Better than earlier this week when it was over 30 below, but when you get into the negative double digits, that's just inhumane. Even the penquins and polar bears would be complaining, I'm sure.

I'm doing much better, there was a conversation on the Yahoo group for our agency's Vietnam group and the main Vietnam person explained why their stance is that our agency will continue getting referrals and finalizing adoptions. They have spoken to people in the DIA or was it IAD as well as people at USCIS, who want to at least work on those dossiers that have been logged in. Of course, there is no guarantee, but hearing their reasoning after reading the statement by the Dept. of State and the Ethica's further explanation is making me feel better. Not great, but a little more positive. I'll feel much better, once we can start our dossier and get it logged in. I read somewhere one needs to be at about #92 on the waiting list to start their dossier, so that means about 12 more spots for us to move. Last week our agency didn't get any referrals and they really don't expect any before Tet. Our agency representatives are taking vacation from January 30th (today) until February 12th. Well, I better get ready to bear that cold out there.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Primal Scream

AARRGGHH!! I just needed to do that I've been so frustrated lately with the adoption, work, etc., etc. I guess the term primal scream comes from dead week or finals week during college when many colleges, the night before final exams began, all students would open their windows and let out a "primal scream" to ward off the frustration and stress they have been feeling. Well, I feel much better, so I can get back to work and actually be productive!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tag I'm It

I've been tagged by Lauren

4 Jobs I’ve had:

1. Bank Teller

2. Wal-mart cashier

3. Fast food worker

4. Sales associate at Marshall's

4 movies I watch over and over (I rarely watch movies more than once, but here's what I can think of)

1. Ghost

2. The Breakfast Club

3. Raiders of the Lost Ark

4. Somewhere In Time

4 Places I’ve lived:

1. Normal, IL

2. Western Springs/LaGrange, IL

3. Berwyn, IL

4. Bensenville, IL

4 Shows I watch: ( don't watch much television per se, since we don't have cable or satellite and I can't stand crappy reception, but I've been watching lots of shows through Netflix.)

1. ER

2. Project Runway

3. The O.C.

4. The Dead Zone

4 places I’ve been:

1. California

2. Florida

3. Louisiana

4. Virginia

4 people who e-mail me regularly:

1. Julie

2. Paul, my attorney at work

3. Netflix

4. My Yahoo groups

4 favorite things to eat:

1. Pizza

2. General Tso' chicken

3. Chicken Chow Funn

4. Brownies (I think I should make some today, if I have a a box on hand.)

4 places I'd rather be

1. Vietnam picking up our child!!!

2. Anywhere warm!

3. Australia

4. Greece or Italy

4 things I look forward to this year:

1. Starting our dossier

2. Hopefully getting a referral

3. Possibly going to Vietnam

4. Turning 40 --- NOT!!!!!

I'll tag Melissa, Angie, and Melissa,

Friday, January 25, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland???

I don't think that is how I'll describe it in 15 minutes when I am walking to the train in 6 below weather (that's not counting windchill, they say it feels more like 17 below. It is supposed to warm up to the teens or twenties, but I can't wait until it does. I need to be at work this morning. Usually my terrific friend, Julie picks me up, but this is her day off, since she works part-time. Lately, since Kevin's hours have changed and he starts later, he would drive me, but today he has a big early childhood conference to go to and the lady he was carpooling with picked him up at 6AM. My neighbor did say if I ever need a ride call her, since she is usually upway before this time, but the problem is that I don't have her phone number and I'm not showing up on her doorstep. Maybe she will be going out to for her early morning drive to buy cigarettes or whatever and I will catch a ride with her. Well, I better go blow dry my hair, which is something I never do because it dries out my hair, but I'm not going out with even slightly damp hair and with this weather my hair has been looking awful (even though I had it cut last Saturday) with the hats and scarves and hoods, how could ones hair look good!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Dirt on I-600s

If you haven't read Laurie's post on Pho for Four, you should!

A Good Morning to Stay In Bed

Well, I woke up this morning asnd checked the outside thermometer and it showed -3.6 degrees, plus they are saying with windchill it feels like -20 degrees. I don't look forward to going out there in about 45 minutes, that's for sure. Not much of a warm up is expected. Highs maybe in the single digits, but with windchill it will still feel like below zero. After work, I'll take the train to Des Plaines instead of to my usual stop, because our agency has a waiting families meeting. The topic will be Transracial Adoption. Wewill have a speaker with two adopted children from South Korea and view a videotape with perspectives of adult Vietnamese adoptees. Should be interesting? With the extreme cold, I don't know how big of an attendance there will be, plus it's on a weekday evening, instead of on Saturday morning. The good thing is before the meeting, we will head to this new Vietnamese Restaurant across the street from the Des Plaines train station, Dung Gia. (Anyone have any idea how it is pronounced?) With it being so frigid, I'm thinking of trying pho. I have not yet had any. Oh and also as of Monday, 1/21, we were #104 on the list.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Deep Freeze

The past couple days have been below zero as a high; right now it is a heat wave of sorts with it almost being 10 degrees. The wind chill though is making it feel even colder.

Our agency did not get any new referrals this week, but they did place one of the waiting children. According to my count that would make us 106, but last week Mindy who is right ahead of us in line checked with her CHI adoption consultant and found out she was 103 on the list, so based on that and that they placed a waiting child, we might be up to #103 on the list now; we're gettig close to the double digits. In other adoption news, US Immigration has raised the VISA fee, so the new fee is now $402. Also, hotel rates at the hotels we use have went up $20 a night. I know in Ho Chi Minh City, we use The Rex Hotel, but I'm not sure which hotel we use in Hanoi. They also expect to receive more referrals before Tet, the VietnameseNew Year on February 7th.

Yesterday, we finally went out and bought a new dishwasher. It is a Whirlpool and won't be delivered until February 9th, since it is on backorder. We got a great deal 18 months no interest, free delivery, free installation, free carting away of the old dishwasher and since a built-in dishwasher is thought of as a home improvenent,; there is no sales tax. Since we saved on this, we ended up getting the 3-year service plan.

The bookstore across from my work is going out of business (again). Last year when they went out of business, I bought a few child rearing and adoption books for me: Raising Adopted Children, What to Expect the Toddler Years, and How to Say No to Your Toddler. This time I bought some books for our child-to be.

The first four are cardboard picture books and Dumpy La Rue is a story of a pig who wants to dance. It was a really cute story. If any of you live or work near the Chicago Loop; the bookstore at Washington and Franklin is selling their inventory at 50% off and there's a lot that is still left.

Hotels dirty secret

If you haven't seen this yet, you have to. Yours and your family's health could depend on it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More referrals

In addition to the 2 brothers who were placed the other week, there was 3 1/2 month girl from Tam Binh 2 who was also referred. This past week, there was double the joy, when a lucky family was referred 3 1/2 month old twin girls from Phu My (aka Mam Non 6). I can't wait to find out who the lucky parents were. Vietnamese twins seem to be pretty rare; I don't remember hearing of anyone having twins referred to them. From China yes, but not from Vietnam. We now are down to about #107. Hopefully before long, we will be in the double-digits.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Newspaper Series on Vietnamese Adoptions

An English language newspaper for the Vietnamese community around LA (I think) ran a series of 4 articles: A New Family, Preparing and Waiting, Across the Miles, and Aftermath of an Adoption: Adjusting to the Culture.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What does Basketball and a Backed Up Sewer Have in Common?

Well, it describes this past weekend! We went down to Normal, IL for a basketballgame between the Illinois State Redbirds (my alma mater) and our rivals, the Southern Illinois Salukis I had not been down there for several years and it wasd neat to see all the changes down there, lots of building going on, the local College Hills indoor shopping mall had been transformed into more of an outdoor mall, one of the local watering holes (Rocky's for any former or present Normal townie or ISU alumni) had been torn down and in its place was a children's museum and one of the favorite pizza places was remodeling the adjacent building and move into a bigger place with more seating. We didn't get a chance to go to Micheleo's to see if the pizza was as good as I remember, but we did go to Avanti's, the local Italian restaurant for their spaghetti. It was as good as I rememered it to be, as well as the yummy bread.

We stayed overnight, so we wouldn't have to drive the 2+ hours home. We took our time coming home and when we got home, we really didn't suspect anything. But I decided to put a load of laundry and when I walked into the laundry room I discovered all this dried dirt and who knows what all over part of the floor. Since, it was warm out and all the snow melted really quick, we thought all the snow melting caused the sewer to back up. Well, we decided to flush toilets and run water to see if that did anything. Well it didn't so I proceeded to start the washing machine. Then since my wonderful husband sai he'd clean up, i decided to take a walk since it was so nice. Well, when the washing machine emptied , the sewer could barely handle it, so much of it I guess came up the floor drain. At least that was soapy water which helped clean more of the floor from earlier. Kevin had planned to stay home the next day and get a p,lumber out there, but after the washing machine backed up, he had to call the plumber right away. Of course, it was a Sunday, so the rates were sky high, but this just could not wait. So about an hour later, a plumber came over to grout the sewer between the front yard and inside. The previous owner had told us every few years it needed to be done and since we will be here 3 years in May, I guess this was unfortunately on schedule. It turned out the tree roots had wrapped around whatever it wrapped around and was the cause of the back up, so I guess the roots were cut back and now everything is fine except for having to spend $450 that we had not expected to spend. Don't worry, no pictures of that!

What do you expect, you live in Chicagoland?

The past week and a half has been crazy weatherwise. A week ago, Monday it started snowing & by the next day, we had 5-7 inches of snow and the windchills were dipping below zero. By the weekend the temps were in the 50s and 60s and the snow had, of course, melted. Since Tuesday, the temperatures have been dropping and is close to normal January temperatures, maybe a bit milder than usual. Tonight they are predicting snowflurries and by the end of this coming week, it's suppose to be in the teens. Where else but in Chicago do you have such a wide variety of weather in such a short span of time?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sharing the Good News

One of our agencies' families who have been waiting near the top of the waiting list have accepted a referral for 2 brothers, who are 2 and 4 years old. They originally planned to adopt an infant boy 0-18 months. Check out their blog; these boys are adorable!!!

I'll try to post soon, later tonight or tomorrow hopefully!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, New Post

Hopefully, this will be a quick post, but I want to wish everyone a happy new year! Thanks to everyone in both blogland and the real world for their support over the past year. It has been a little rocky sometime, but a positive word or post can make a big difference. I hope to stay up on this a little better than I did the last half of 2008. I should be able to keep up with everyone's blogs better. I finally signed up at Bloglines and am slowly adding blogs to my feed list, so I can see quicker, when there is an update without having to check each and every blog. I also decided I needed to update the look of our blog. Since the holidays are over red and green are also out.

We spent a relatively low-key New Years Eve at my brother and sister-in-laws. Both Kevin and I had to work. I got off at 1:00 and took the train to the my parents. Depending when we got off, I was either going to stop at their house or take the train directly to my brother's. It turned out Hank was over at my parents, so I as able to get a ride with him, instead of hopping back on the train. We got about 5 inches of snow last evening and another couple inches over night and it is still snowing a bit even now. This had to have been one of the snowiest Decembers that I remember. And with the way 2008 has started, we may be in store for a very snowy winter.