Thursday, August 30, 2007


When we received the referral pictures of our little girl she was wearing pants that had a few holes in them. I decided we would bring over a bunch of new clothes for all of the babies when we went to pick her up. I found a lot of pants for infants on a great sale, have ordered long sleeved shirts (harder to find since the orphanage doesn't use onsies), hats and socks. We have 60 complete outfits. Then I wrote something about collecting things for the babies on a WC yahoo group I am on and the founder of it said that it would be great if we all did something for the chidren that live there permanently. (Great idea, Catherine!) I don't think I had even known there were children living there who couldn't be adopted for one reason or another. I asked my caseworker and she gave me the names and ages of the children. There are 47 children who live there ages 7-18 years old. I asked the women in the local MOM'S Club that I am part of to sponsor this project. I had volunteers to fill a 2.5 gallon bag for each of the children within a week. I included a list of names and ages and a list of suggestions for things to put in their bags based on their sex and age. I also asked for infant blankets.
Originally I had asked for the bags to be delivered by the first week of September, but after being told I would be traveling by then I moved the due date for them to this coming Monday. I started receiving the filled bags a couple of days ago. It is so fun to get them! Like having a secret santa. It seems like whenever we open our door one or two filled bags will be there!
They are filled with things like toothpaste/toothbrushes, hats, t-shirts, underwear, hair accessories, brushes, deodorant, balls, towels, socks, little games, make up, nail polish, blank notebooks, fun pens, stickers, and candy. Each one has the name of the child it is for on the front of the bag. We have just over half of them and they are quickly filling up my office floor. I also asked for infant blankets because in my referral pictures my baby is always laying on old towels and I wanted the babies to have soft blankets. I have a few stacks of baby blankets next to the bags. One of the moms made 22 toggle blankets for the babies!
Yes, it will be hard to pack these all up and kind of pricey to get them to Vietnam, but this is such a great thing. The children are really going to love getting these bags! And it has been a great way to occupy myself while waiting to travel!


I have so many things to do that I cannot seem to be able to get organized. My mind is everywhere at once. I wanted to post a picture of a care package we sent with one of the families traveling to adopt their child (thanks again, Nicole!)a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping we would get pictures of our little girl in one of the outfits. It would have been great to see her in something we had picked out and held and it also would have given us an idea of how big she is. I have checked my email again and again over the last several days, but it looks like no pictures are coming. Being able to send a care package is wonderful. Ray and I went shopping and were able to choose things just for her. I was able to get a lot into a gallon bag! It was fun choosing the things and fun for the next few weeks knowing she would be getting something from us soon. Anything that helps pass the time is great while in this process! You would think that since we are supposed to travel next week it wouldn't be such a big deal. It still is. I don't know how many times I told the people in my family that pretty soon she would be getting her bag and so would the 15 year old girl we are sponsoring. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was my first thought and was my first thought again when I woke up in the morning. It's really the only connection that we have with her right now, so it means a lot.
Our house is kind of crazy right now. you would think it is because we are packing to travel. No, it is just crazy. I need to end this so I can work on the piles of paperwork...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

T R A V E L ! ! !

We got THE CALL from Jenny Friday night while my husband and I were out at dinner. My husband has asked me several times over the last few weeks whether it is possible that we will travel in September. I assured him EVERY time that there was no way that we would be traveling before very late September, but probably not until October. Everything pointed to October really. The last two groups who had referrals from Lang Son waited something like 14 weeks before travel. And I also knew that there were several people who were waiting to travel besides us. There are three other families that we knew of and I would guess that there are a few others who are not part of the World Child yahoo group.
Soon after we received our referral several of us who had babies in Lang Son started writing to eachother. For anyone who is going through this process you know how great it is to have someone else who understands it. The paper chase, the wait to referral, the referral, the wait for travel, the crazy questions and comments you get..all of it. I have to say that being part of this group of women made the wait so easy. Patty even flew to Orange County one weekend and I picked her up and we drove down and met Kim for lunch. It was great. After looking at pictures of eachother's babies we realized that these babies really are growing up with eachother and we want to keep them in eachother's lives. I was sure that Heather and Patty would be the next to travel and that hopefully Kim and I would travel next and meet up with them. I was fine with that and really excited for us all to meet up in Hanoi.
So I got a call from Jenny on Friday evening (at about 9:00 pm) and it went something like this, "Run, don't walk, to get your visas. Your G & R is scheduled for the 10th or 11th." My immediate thought was something like this, "Wwwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaatttttt?" I was trying to figure out how I could be getting this call. THE CALL. Did Heather get this call? Did Patty get this call? Did Kim get this call? Are we all going?
It turns out only Patty and I got the call this time. I felt really badly about it because Heather has been waiting a lot longer than I have. But she is being very sweet about it and is happy for us, which gives me the okay to not feel guilty about it. Which is a good thing because I am trying to concentrate on what I need to get finished here before I go. I do have a million things I'd like to do but the truth is that if they told me to get on a plane tonight, I could make it happen. I have plenty of time. I just need to fill out things on a daytimer so my sister knows what is going on for my older children. I have to figure out things like how to get my two older children to their seperate high schools (one is about 25 minutes away and the other is 15 minutes the opposite way) so my sister can get my younger two to their school and her three children to their school. I am sure that everything will be fine while she is in charge, so that takes a lot of the worry away.
My husband was a little stressed the morning after we got the referral. He had asked me again on the way to dinner if it was possible that we would be traveling earlier because he had just committed to something on the 8th. I think I actually laughed and told him there was no way we would be traveling then. Sorry, Ray. I cried with happiness pretty much the rest of the night after we got the news and then stayed up until 3:00 am thinking about the trip and our baby. The next morning I woke up to a very stressed out husband. He kept firing off questions that may have had logical answers, but I am not a morning person especially after staying up so late. The other problem is that he keeps trying to be logical about every step of this. He doesn't understand that this is international adoption. Logic plays a very small role here. Anyway, as I said Ray is very stressed and I wasn't, which he found very irritating. So did we sit down and come up with a list of things to do, call about hotels and airline reservations, or any other travel things? No, we did not. He decided we needed to go out and buy me a new set of golf clubs. And I should try out a new putter while we were there. I wound up with new clubs (Nike somethings), a new putter, towel, shirts...We went home and started to figure out plane tickets with Todd and then what does Ray think we need to do next? Did you guess it? He thinks we need to go to the driving range to tryout the new clubs. I heard the clock ticking over my shoulder, but I also heard the clubs calling me. The clubs were louder, so off we went.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Still Waiting

If you want to know why I don't write in this very often, it is because writing in this is a little painful. It makes me miss our baby even more than I usually do. I think about our baby all day long, whether it is a conscious thought or just in the back of my mind. I always know that I am waiting to go get her and make this real. My plan to keep myself busy is working really well. I started a new project for the orphanage our daughter is at now. We found out that there are 45 children living the orphanage (aged 7-18)who are not able to be adopted for one reason or another. I was given a list of names and ages of the children and asked the MOM's Club that I am in to help me out. I asked people to volunteer to fill two gallon ziploc bags with things for each child. I wrote a list of suppestions for the different age groups and emailed the members of the MOM's Club. I sent out the email two days ago and already ten people have volunteered to fill a bag for a one of the children. We went shopping to fill two of the bags the other day and had a great time. It was fun wandering up and down the aisles trying to figure out the best things to send. Practical things and fun things.
I am excited about doing this project. It's a great cause especially since we will be able to personally be able to hand carry the bags to the orphanage. I hope we are able to have someone take pictures of the children getting their bags too. That would be great for the people who filled the bags to see. Especially since a lot of the families who are doing it have children who are helping to fill the bags. I plan on doing this for other orphanages as well once we have filled bags for each of the children in this orphanage. I won't be able to hand carry the bags after this trip, but I know at least one of the caseworkers for our adoption agency goes over there four times a year and can bring them for us.
We are sponsoring a 15 year old girl from the orphanage. We received her name, birth date and a picture. She is a beautiful girl! My teenage daughter and I went out and bought her a bunch of things last week. It was really, really fun. We found a pretty traveling bag to fill with things. We were planning to send the bag with another family who is traveling to her orphanage next weekend. Once we got home we realized we had bought too much because the bag was really heavy! We decided to bring the bigger, heavier one with us and filled a smaller bag and sent it to the other family who is traveling. I sent a small purse from Victoria Secret and filled it with a small, really soft, stuffed bear, two pair of cute underwear, a few candy flavored lip glosses, a small eyeshadow kit, sparkly lip gloss, several hair accesories, a necklace, a pretty container with mints, a couple packs of gum, tic tacs, a candy necklace and deodorant. Thank you for bringing it for us, Charisa!
It's been 6 and a half weeks since we got our referral. Of course I asked my caseworker when we would travel seconds after she gave us our referral. She told us we don't talk about travel until ten weeks after referral. The next time I talked with her I asked again and she said that the orphanage our little girl is at moves more slowly than the others. It takes longer before travel and longer once we are in the country. I looked over the list of how long people who have adopted from the same orphanage have been there in the past and 30 days is not unusual. I never would have thought I could adopt from Vietnam if I would have known I would have to be away from my children for a month! How is that even possible?! I don't really know. I'm getting myself mentally prepared to be in Vietnam for 30 days so I won't be going crazy if it happens, but I know it will be amazingly hard to be away from my children for that long. Especially my younger ones. They change so much and so quickly!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm Finally Writing Again!

I cannot believe how long it's been since I have written. I did feel guilty about not writing but I am always doing so many things at once and I wanted to concentrate when I wrote for this. Anyway, want to hear my travel news? Me too. I don't expect to hear anything about travel until the end of September though. I think my caseworker said something like, "We will start talking about travel in ten weeks," when I was given my referral. I am really bad at suspense. Really, really bad. Like I am one of those people who had to find the Christmas presents as a child because I couldn't handle the wait or suspense. Did it ruin the surprise on Christmas morning? Of course it did. But it was fun and it did make the wait before Christmas a lot easier so it was definitely worth it. I didn't jsut do it once either, I did it several times. Until my family members found out and set me up by wrapping gag gifts for me. You think it would have cured me. I'm sorry to say that it didn't. I think this goes beyond character flaw, it's more deeply embedded than that. It's more like one of the things that was determined when my parents chromosomes matched up to create me. It's not any more in my control than my eye color. So, if I can't handle the wait for Christmas and birthday presents (did I tell you the story about how I found out what I was getting on my birthdays?) you can imagine how hard it is to wait to travel to get my baby.
The only real way for me to handle the wait is to keep busy. So I am coming up with various fundraisers in order to bring clothes, supplies, toys and books to the orphanage when we go get our little girl. I am hoping we can raise enough to make some kind of difference. I have several different fund raising ideas in my head and I am trying to work a few of them out. Ray and I have bought over 60 pairs of pants and about 15 shirts. I hope to bring 60 complete outfits (shirts, pants, socks, and hats). I also want to bring things for the children at the orphanage who are not adoptable for one reason or another. I was told there are about 45 children between the ages of 5-18. I have heard that etch a sketch pads, art supplies, books, Polly Pocket Dolls, and math or word game books are great to bring. Now I need to work on getting a bunch of things like these and getting them there. I am also planning to bring money (here is where the fundraising comes in) and buy things like baby blankets, formula, shampoo, toys, books in Vienamese for the older chidren, balls...when I get there.
We got new pictures of our little girl last week. It was a little sad, because she actually looks younger in these than the last ones they sent us. She looks like the flash from the amera startled her. Poor thing! She had been missing hair on the top of her head and it all grew in. We received eight pictures with her referral and just received four more, which is great. I am hoping we get some more in the next couple of weeks since a family from our adoption agency is waiting to travel.
I will write again in the next couple of days. I want to include pictures of the things we sent in the care pakages as well as the first gift we received from our Cyber Shower.