Category — Timeline
We had another great day today. This morning we visited My Son, which is a World Heritage Site and former Champa Kingdom from the 4th to the 13th century with lots of neat temples. After that, we drove to Shane’s orphanage for a visit. Everyone was with us and had a chance to meet our little guy, including his big brother! Jackson was adorable, as always, and gave lots of hugs and kisses…that lasted for all of 5 minutes, after which point Jackson began signing “all done.” As in “I’m finished with that baby, finished with this place, let’s leave now.”
And a high-five for being so sweet with his little brother
Here’s a picture of our little trouble maker reeking havoc in his brother’s orphanage. He just happens to be such a charismatic kid that at one point, 3 of the 4 nannies were occupied with their “oohing and awwing” over Jackson!
Ya gotta love the pink turtle neck they dress Shane in, despite the hot, humid weather. The poor kid was sweating like a little piggy! We’d gotten there today just as bath time was finishing up, which is a twice daily routine at Shane’s orphanage. These babies are SOOOOOO clean and have that precious baby smell I just can’t get enough of!
Here are the promised pictures of the daddy and baby toes - if a long second toe truly is a sign of intelligence, 1) I’m in trouble, and 2) my husband and son, Shane, are two of the smartest cookies! As a warning, if you’re easily repulsed, I’d advise averting your eyes for this next picture (but the second one is cute!):
Shane babbled away again today and Travis even got him to laugh a little while my dad was holding him. It was SO cute.
Then the cutest thing of all…I gave Shane a ba-ba and he passed out on my shoulder after drinking it. He’s such a sweetheart. Today, he was much more comfortable with both me and Travis. He snuggled in close, didn’t scream when he saw my face, didn’t claw at us when his nanny handed him over…all good signs;) Seriously though, he’s just such a calm baby. SO different from Jackson. My mom has informed us that Jackson is an unusually challenging, energetic, wild toddler, which I kind of suspected after seeing other kids at the playground! It’s nice to hear that though - kind of a weird confidence booster somehow. So hopefully Shane will stay easy like he seems to be right now; there’s gotta be at least 1 of the 3 who is just calm and easy, right?
It was really freakin hard to leave Shane today. I have no idea when we’re going to get I-600 approval, but I didn’t think CIS would be this slow. They still have only issued approvals to those families who received confirmation of receipt the very first day CIS began sending that email. We were amongst the day 2 families, and no approvals have yet been issued to anyone in our log-in batch, as far as we know. It’s very frustrating, and depressing. My parents leave the country on Wed., and we’re scheduled to fly to Hanoi tomorrow to show them some of the North. We debated staying here instead, but it’s difficult too, as we don’t want to impose and be a burden on the orphanage staff. The orphanage is also not the easiest place to get to and from each day. After my parents leave, we’ll probably fly back down to Central Vietnam and try to see Shane again. Basically,
at this point, if we don’t hear anything this week in the way of approval, we are not sure if we will come home for Christmas, or stay in-country and continue to wait and hope, and maybe sneak a few more visits in with Shane. It’s hard for me to miss Christmas with my family, especially since my brothers are leaving for Africa a few days after and they’ve hardly spent any time with Jackson, if we don’t even know that our approval is imminent and we aren’t sure how feasible it is to visit Shane all the time while we are here. At the same time, it’d be hard for me to leave Vietnam with my baby still in an orphanage, not knowing if CIS approval might be on its way just a few days later. Ugh, I HATE that we’re in this situation. Not that change didn’t need to be implemented, but there’s no getting around the fact that we were among the unlucky who got caught up in the midst of that change.
On a brighter note, we’re glad we did this trip with our family. No matter what happens with CIS. I am SO thankful to have had this time with Shane, and to have had the opportunity to show our family this incredible country. We’ll just keep hoping and praying for the best and see how things unfold.
I also have to post a few pictures of Jackson and his “papa.” He’s TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, UTTERLY, ADORINGLY, OBSESSED with my dad. To the point where Jackson will cry if my dad is in sight and he’s not in my dad’s arms. I have no idea how or when this happened; he used to prefer anyone and everyone else. But my dad has won him over! It’s really cute to hear him say “papa.”
One last thing before I sign off here…apparently, Belly Baby is a boy. No, we didn’t have an ultrasound. No, we’re not planning on doing so. But so many people here stop me and are so interested in my belly - they ask when I’m due, if it’s a boy or girl, etc. One older woman at the market yesterday stopped me to ask the gender and when I told her we do not know, she sized me up and down and decisively stated “BOY!” So there you have it folks: 3 boys under 2.
December 15, 2007 18 Comments
So much to say, but I’m sure Jackson’s nap will be short and sweet, and I just wrote a very long post that got erased, so I’ll summarize. To answer your questions, yes, I’ve had Braxton Hicks contractions, but they’re sporadic and there are no other signs of pre-term labor or anything. Nothing to worry over; it’s totally normal for 27 weeks pregnant. I’m still feeling fantastic, like I have been throughout this pregnancy. Everyone is really annoying about not letting me carry anything, yada yada. I just feel useless a lot of the time. The cankles are still with me, but have improved since yesterday, and I don’t think a photo could do them justice, but I’ll think about taking one to document it anyway for those who requested that;) Jackson is adjusting VERY well to the time change- a few nights of waking up at 3:30am for us, but he’s now on Vietnam time, which is great! I know we all think our kid is the greatest and all that, but seriously, Jackson is the most versatile, flexible, fun-loving, affectionate, precious little thing and he’s truly the greatest traveler I could ever imagine. Don’t know how we got so lucky! For all those who commented on my resemblance to my mother, my mom had me in her early twenties. She just looks very young, and I’ll tell her you all said that!
On to the Mekong…man was this a different trip from last year’s Mekong excursion! Our previous trip to the Mekong was several days after Jackson’s G&R, and coinciding with the peak of his grieving, as well as the worst day of his skin eruptions (residual scabies lesions and horrendous eczema). We were pretty much stuck in the hottest, most humid place on earth, with a screaming baby we didn’t have a clue how to soothe. We joke about it now, but it was quite possibly the hardest day of either of our lives (and probably Jackson’s too). This trip, however, was different! It was still hot and humid as hell, but I’m pretty sure we smiled and laughed a heck of a lot more!
Here are some fun pictures (sorry, couldn’t pull these off Flickr b/c our internet connection stinks here, but you can click on our Flickr albums on the right side of the blog to see our Vietnam 2007 album with these pictures):
Here’s the snake wine the boys drank - a concoction that brewed for 6 months in a jar with a cobra, several water snakes, and a dead bird thrown in for good measure (why not?!). Kinda glad pregnancy got me out of trying this one:
And for the birds’ eye view (hahaha, I crack myself up!):
After returning from the Mekong, we attempted to fulfill my mom’s wish of eating at a Fodor’s recommended restaurant. We walked for what seemed like HOURS to find this French place, only to finally reach it and discover we needed a reservation! The funny part is where we ended up: a total locals’ restaurant that Travis and I ate at back in 2003 while backpacking. Travis suggested it to my mom, but when she looked it up in Fodor’s and read its description as “smoky, noisy, and chaotic, but a locals’ favorite” or something like that, she shot him down REAL fast! Anyway, after feeling exhausted, defeated, and starved from our journey to Le Gardin, we totally stumbled on Bo Tung Xeo afterall, and no one had the energy to contend with Travis’ incessant pleading. Ok, if you’re up for an adventure, want to try something off the beaten tourist path, and have a strong stomach that likes to try new things, you HAVE to eat here while in HCMC. Last night, we ate cricket, kangaroo, crocodile, and beef. I have to say, the cricket was quite tasty.
My little sister Angela even tried it and agreed it wasn’t bad, although she claimed to have burped up a piece of its “shell” awhile after eating it! Admittedly, we had to bribe her to eat it - Trav gave her 100,000 Dong ($7). Here she is in action:
With her reward money, celebrating her victory:
This morning we hopped on a plane to Danang, and we’re now settled into our beautiful beach resort in Hoi An. Too bad it rained all day! Travis and I have arranged to visit Shane tomorrow, and we’ve decided to do that alone for the first visit. Saturday we’ll go back again with Jackson and our families. Tomorrow though, Jackson will stay with his grandparents and play in the pool and beach while Travis and I go visit his brother by ourselves just to make sure we really get to spend some time there and we don’t feel torn between keeping Jackson content at Shane’s orphanage, while trying to get to know Shane at the same time. I can’t believe that’s only 15 hours away. I can’t even describe all the emotions we’re feeling; they’re are a lot of them. Everything from excitement about meeting our b
aby, guilt over Jackson having to share his spotlight, worry that we don’t have it in us to love any kid as much as we love Jackson, stress over the I-600 situation, and the eagerness to hold this baby we’ve been thinking about since we saw his face months ago. I guess the 2 prevailing sentiments are the excitement and the nervousness. The nervousness is largely about Jackson and how he’s going to respond, and then also how we’re going to manage both babies and their simultaneous emotions. Not that it’s gotten easy by any stretch, but we’re very comfortable parenting Jackson and working together when he has his tough moments (which really are few and far between; the kid is a champ). Not even thinking about what the hell we’re going to do when Belly Baby comes along and we’re outnumbered, but how will we even deal when there are just 2 of us (like after this trip) and 2 babies whose needs are so significant.
We’re not second guessing anything, this is just us, the night before we meet our second son and our world changes again, considering all the ways that change will impact each of us. It reminds me of our thoughts right before we met Jackson! Don’t misunderstand me; we are so anxious to meet Shane, so excited to be growing our family, and still so confident that this is our family: crazy, busy, challenging, and worth every second of that challenge. But of course we have our fears too. We’ve spent so much time lately, staring over Jack while he sleeps, talking about how much it’s going to hurt us to watch if he has a really hard time adjusting to having a new baby (or 2!) around. And I’ve read this is a normal parenting emotion, but honestly, neither of us can imagine loving another child like we love Jackson. It brings up guilt to think “what if I can’t love Shane this deeply,” and more guilt over “what if Jackson feels less loved when Shane joins our family?” I’m so afraid that we’ll lose our patience more quickly with Jackson when there’s another baby to care for or that he’ll feel robbed or that there just won’t be enough of us to go around. I am so glad we have family to help us right now. Jackson is getting so much love and so much attention, and there are PLENTY of hands that are always calling dibs to hold him, plus a kid aunt and a kid uncle always there to make him laugh…right now. Problem is, it doesn’t look like we’re going to have Shane before my parents have to fly back to the States for Christmas because of this I-600 delay, so that will all change when the entourage disbands and we stay here in Vietnam waiting for Shane. At least Jackson will still have his Granjoe here, but it will still be harder for all of us. Please cross your fingers for our I-600 to come, like tomorrow!!
I know myself, and I know Travis. Most likely, our emotions will flip flop from “holy crap” to “I can’t wait,” back to “holy crap” again, then to “oh my gosh, can it just be morning already so we can get there,” and on and on…with a few sprints to the bathroom in between the emotional swings!! It’s just how we operate!
Phew, so much for a summary. Speaking of running to the bathroom, that was some serious verbal diarrhea! Tomorrow is going to be a BIG day, and I can’t wait to meet this kid…holy crap! Hahaha.
December 13, 2007 16 Comments
Cankles here. Can I just say that I freakin love this country? The food, the people, the land. It’s just amazing. So we’re in Vietnam now - we actually arrived here exactly 1 year and 4 hours after we did last year on our way to our little Jackman. Pretty wild.
We visited Jackson’s former orphanage in Vung Tau yesterday and were happy to see his nannies recognized him and were excited to see him as well. Interestingly, Jackson didn’t have much of a reaction to visiting his old orphanage either way. I was worried he’d have a meltdown, but he just wanted to play with the 2 toys in the infant room and get outside on the swing set. We spent awhile in the infant room, the place Jackson spent the first 5ish months of his life. There were ~7 babies at the time of his adoption, and there are now 12 in there. The scabies are still alive and well, unfortunately, and one gorgeous baby was just crawling with them and it broke my heart. It reminded me of all Jackson’s skin issues coming out of there last year. A few babies in there were SUCH tiny little newborns (as in weeks old), and every baby was just so precious. We all took some time to hold and love on as many of the babies as we could while we were there, and my mom just sobbed with each one she picked up. I think it brought up some tough emotions for my little sister too, but she’s doing a good job working through those. The happy part about visiting the infant room is that barring a shut-down, it’s pretty much a sure bet all those babies will be adopted out of the orphanage. Not so for the bigger kids.
I was hoping for some answers regarding Jackson’s paperwork and info, but sadly, I got none. The orphanage director has retired, and the nannies and right hand man of the new director didn’t know anything helpful to our case. I don’t feel any closer to closure, just sad and frustrated that I cannot do more to get this info for my son. I realize there is the possibility that the story we got is truthful, but still, there is no information in it that can help him understand his background when he’s older if he wants to search. We did learn that Jackson spent a week in the hospital with a respiratory infection of some sort just prior to our arrival - that would have been good to know, had our agency cared to share that info with us when it happened. I do remember the director learning we were “doctors” and saying “Oh, I’m so glad because your baby had a terrible cough. Maybe you can give him some medicine.” That’s all he said about it, and Jackson never had a cough, so I didn’t think too much of it, other than he may have had a minor virus before we’d gotten there.
We ate the most DELICIOUS lunch on the ocean in Vung Tau after the visit to the orphanage. I have never seen such huge prawns in my life - these things were WHOPPERS:
My parents and Travis’ dad are also all adventurous eaters, which is awesome and makes them a blast to travel with. Here are some lunch pictures:
Oh, and we grew up in S. Florida, so sea turtles were always sort of a big deal. Well, the restaurant we went to had 2 in a small cement pond as pets. When I told someone that they are endangered and highly protected in the U.S., he threw his head back in laughter and responded “we eat those here.” For the record, we abstained from sea turtle.
Other than that, my ankles swelled up HUGELY again tonight. Travis has had the unique opportunity to hone his physical exam skills and experience 3+ pitting edema in the absence of a heart failure patient! Geez. I don’t think anything is wrong; my blood pressure has been fine, I have no worrisome symptoms, or anything like that. We’ve just spent a LOT of time sitting in planes, trains, and automobiles lately and I haven’t been great about elevating my feet when I’ve had the chance. Last night my mom and I got foot massages, and that seems to have helped return some of the fluid to its rightful body parts!
The Mekong is our next adventure! Still no word on I-600 approval, which sucks, but what can I say? Not much we can do but wait and enjoy our travels here, so that’s the plan for now! I think if we don’t get it by Friday, there isn’t much chance of us making it home for Christmas, so Travis, Jackson, Joe (my FIL), and I will likely be spending the holidays here. Oh, and in case you’re eagerly awaiting the part where you get to see another baby with us…we are too…and we are expecting to visit with Shane on Friday at his orphanage if all goes as planned! Stay tuned.
Here are a few more pictures from yesterday:
Swimming in the hotel pool
And just as one last funny side note, I got this bathing suit on sale for $15 before we left and was so excited about having it in Vietnam. It’s this red and white plaid pattern, and when I came out to do the “ta-da” thing, Travis informed me I looked like a giant picnic table! Like that was going to stop me from wearing it or something;) I came outside in it yesterday and Travis called for everyone to get their peanut butter & jelly sandwiches out. Nice.
December 11, 2007 20 Comments
Well, I have a lot to tell. First of all, we got a picture update of Shane today and I cannot believe how big and healthy he looks! It’s so amazing to me how much babies change at young ages, and Shane is no exception. His features have softened, his nose has changed shape, and he just looks so sweet and precious. I cannot wait to meet him and hold him in person.
That brings me to my next announcement…we are leaving for Vietnam on Friday, Dec. 7th. No, we do not have I-600 approval yet. We decided a few weeks ago that regardless of our I-600 status, we were going to spend the holidays in Vietnam. Our situation is complicated, but basically, this will be our 3rd trip to Vietnam. We have spent months backpacking through the region, and had the chance to travel through the country again when we adopted Jackson. In essence, we are comfortable traveling there. The big concern for us has been having travel delayed to the point where I am not able to fly anymore because of pregnancy. It would just kill me to not be there with my husband and Jackson when Shane joins our family. Trav and I have been so fortunate to share just about every major moment of our adolescent to adult lives together, and for me to not be there when Shane enters our world, physically, would be missing out on one of the 2 most important and memorable moments of our entire lives (obviously meeting Jackson was the other most memorable!). So I was determined to find a way to be there. The other thing is that Travis is out of school after this week (actually, he’s taking a test early to do that, but still), so we’d just be sitting around, twiddling our thumbs, checking our email, awaiting CIS notice anyway. We decided we’ll travel and wait for approval in the part of the world where Shane is living.
We’ve decided to bring our families along to Vietnam to show them our sons’ birth country and the place we’ve been obsessed with ever since our first trip to SE Asia. Here are a few pictures from our trip in 2002:
My mom, dad, youngest brother (5), youngest sister (9), and father-in-law are all coming. We’ll see Hong Kong for a few days, then spend some time in Southern Vietnam visiting Jackson’s orphanage and the Mekong. After that, we’ll head up to Central Vietnam and show them our favorite town in all of Vietnam, Hoi An.
Hopefully, while we’re in that region, we’ll get to visit Shane in his orphanage for a few days. We don’t know how it’ll all play out, and we’re hoping by that time we’ll have I-600 approval, in which case Shane will be with us for the rest of the trip. If not, we’ll take our families up to Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, and maybe even Sapa, depending on time. My parents and siblings will fly home for Christmas, but the rest of us will head back down to Central Vietnam to spend it with Shane in his orphanage if we are in Vietnam and still without I-600 approval at that time.
Whenever I-600 approval does happen, obviously the plan changes and our focus is completing Shane’s adoption! Until then though, we are not expecting anything and have asked nothing of our agency, although they are aware of our travel plans. This is just us traveling through Vietnam, hoping it works out so that our approval comes through while we’re over there anyway. In the event that it doesn’t, we’ll come back home after Christmas, around January 2nd. Travis would then have to travel by himself to get Shane when approval does come through, while I stay back with Jackson (and Belly Baby).
The craziest part of our whole plan is that not only are we scrambling to leave for Vietnam in 4 days, but I had to cram my Step 2 boards in before we go; that’s just not something I want lingering any longer and I’ve been studying my butt off in every hour of spare time these past 2 months. In my typical fashion, I waited until the last possible minute to schedule my board date, only to discover every testing site in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah is full through mid-January. So, on Saturday, after a serious meltdown, I booked a frequent flyer ticket for me and Jackson to fly to Florida tomorrow morning (have to leave at 5:30am!), where there was 1 test spot left on Wednesday. Step 2 is a 9 hour exam, so Jackson will be with his Gramma all day, which will mark the longest stretch (by far!) that he and I have been apart. Thursday, we’ll turn around and fly 4 hours back to Colorado so that we can leave again the next day with Travis to LA - Hong Kong - and eventually Vietnam! Phew. It’s been one hell of a week already, and I think it’s only going to get wilder! I am pretty sure Jaxman is going to be BURNED OUT on airplanes after this next month, but we are so excited about all that’s going on (minus my boards;).
Anyway, I will of course be updating the blog when I can. Cross your fingers for us and we’ll keep you posted. I hope we (and everyone else out there waiting for I-600 approval) get good news really soon! The first wave of approvals just went out, so hopefully we’re not far behind.
December 3, 2007 44 Comments
Well, I think we were ALL caught off guard last week when CIS announced its new I-600 policy would go into effect pretty much immediately. Unfortunately, we were one of the families hoping for travel between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it looks like this just might affect our timeline. We have no idea how, which is the hard and stressful part, just that our case is probably going to fall into the transition period. All those with G&R’s before Nov. 17 will sneak on through before the new procedure takes effect, and probably those whose travel wasn’t planned for after the holidays anyway might not be affected since the kinks will be worked out by then. But for us? Who the hell knows; it’s anyone’s guess. Sure, I’m still holding out secret hope that we’ll get “the call” and get in before the deadline, but I’m also trying to be realistic. This could potentially mean really depressing things for us, like I won’t get to travel at all. Based on my due date, I really shouldn’t be traveling after mid-January. And if I were going to deliver a premie, I don’t really think I’d want that to happen en-route to Vietnam, or in Vietnam at all for that matter. I just cannot tell you how devastated I will be if I am not able to meet our son for the first time WITH my husband in Vietnam. I’m already so paranoid and concerned that poor Shane is going to get short-changed with this delivery on his heels, and my mom reminds me this worry may stem from growing up a middle child myself. It’s a tough spot to be in the pecking order sometimes, and maybe I am feeling sensitive to that. But seriously, that first moment of meeting your child is SO huge. It’s huge for the memories, the re-telling of the “how you joined our family” story, for the bonding that happens those first few weeks. I just cannot imagine missing out on that, both for myself and for our son.
I guess I’m also a little annoyed because I do see this policy change as a step in the right direction for Vietnam adoptions, but it’s only necessary because of the agencies doing really unethical things, many of which have recently been resulting in the issuance of NOIDs. Since I have NEVER been concerned that my agency would ever be in the NOID boat, it’s just irritating that all this might affect us just the same. That said, I am hopeful that this process will expose all agencies that are involved in unethical behavior, but have not yet been issued NOIDs. So, even though it’s really untimely for our case specifically, I do think this new process should apply to every agency across the board, NOIDs or no NOIDs (yet). I’m just curious in case anyone out there wants to answer this: how many NOIDs does it take an agency to be issued before PAP’s will be dissuaded from using them? Because 1 is too many for me, personally. I don’t care HOW an agency wants to explain it away, a NOID is a NOID is a NOID. Oh, and while I’m on this rant, having an agency lie about who they are affiliated with in-country, even if they then retract that statement later and claim that person as an employee, is a big enough red flag to me even if a NOID has not yet been issued to them. Call me crazy though. There sure are some good PR peeps working in VN adoptions these days!
So life has been a tad stressful this past week, with the move, studying for boards, and now this adoption hiccup. But, there was one VERY wonderful surprise that totally cheered us up this week. It was a care package from our friends (through blogging), Jenn, BJ, and their baby Amos. I will post pictures this week of some of the many adorable goodies they sent us for our babies. They also sent Jackson the CUTEST Halloween costume, that he happens to be sporting at the moment, actually (we just went to a Halloween party), that I will also unveil this week. We were just so touched by their thoughtfulness and absolutely loved our care package!
And about the move…our new neighborhood is just AWESOME. We had a block party yesterday and can I just say, I cannot imagine a cooler group of people? Not to be agist, but everyone is late 20’s - mid 30’s, and the oldest kid on the block is 4. There are something like 20ish houses on our block, and among those, there’s another 16 month old boy, a 13 month old girl, a 10 month old boy, an 8 month old boy, a 4 year old, three 2 year olds, and 3 pregnant couples (us included). There are several couples in the “getting ready” to start a family phase. It was pretty funny b/c we hung out with everyone outside from like 1-6 yesterday, and at some point in there, one parent of every family went missing to lay a kid down for a nap. The funny part is we all have the same baby monitor system, so we each laid claim to our preferred channel! If anyone were to walk down our street with a monitor, they could check each station and pick up conversations from almost every house on the block! Hahaha. One of our neighbors offered to collect everyone’s email and phone numbers to start a yahoo group just for our block, so we can organize poker nights, block parties, playdates, etc. How fun is that?! By far, the hardest thing about becoming a new mom for me has been meeting other new moms I can really connect with. After yesterday, Trav and I were so excited because there are several couples we just really hit it off with. So, I’m hopeful I’ll make friends and feel a part of a community out here afterall!
October 28, 2007 16 Comments
Remember this T-shirt I had custom made for Jackson by Mandy’s Moon?
Well, that’s our Shane in the dream bubble. Stay tuned…
Also, I have a string of very personal posts coming up. While I like having a public blog and understand sometimes people like to read without commenting, there are some big things I’m planning to share, and I’d just like to know whose eyes I’m sharing it all with. So, I’m still not 100% sure, but I’m considering password protecting the next few posts. If you want access to those, I’m happy to give it if you just leave me a comment telling me who you are, why you read, and where you are in the process (if you’re adopting). If I *know* you (or you’ve ever commented in the past), just drop me a quick comment so I can include your email address when I send out the password. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment, feel free to email me in private for the password. Thanks for understanding, and I promise this won’t become too regular a thing…but I think you’ll understand my concern when you see the posts.
September 11, 2007 112 Comments
So lots of people have been commenting that my husband, Travis, looks like John Krasinski from “The Office.” We rarely watch TV (the fuzz is painful), but THIS show? This show we do watch. So whatcha thinnk? Here they are in long-haired pictures side by side:
But how ’bout this instead…our friend, Brad, once sent an email saying he discovered why I’m so attracted to Travis. Brad discovered on a fun website called www.myheritage.com, that his celebrity look a like is Gael Garcia Bernal!! “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and “Motorcycle Diaries,” to name my favorites. Here’s another site out that doesn’t require registering if you want to see who your celebrity look a like is: http://findmycelebritylookalike.com/. Apparently, Jackson looks like Jet Li. Pretty bad ass!
We just posted some adorable videos of Jackson. Just 3 days ago he woke up and decided he could walk. Not that he couldn’t before, but he just wasn’t interested. I guess when you become World’s Fastest Crawler at age 7 months, you just can’t justify wasting the time or energy learning to walk when you’re 13 months old. But for some reason, something just clicked and all-of-a-sudden, crawling was for babies. So now he walks, and flops, everywhere. He sticks his little bird chest out and pretty much just runs most of the time. I have to find this kid a helmet for everyday wear. The second video was during Daddy’s storytime with baby. For some reason, probably that he was so overtired and slap happy, he was cracking up to Pop Goes the Weasel. If you want a good chuckle, check it out.
On other, very exciting news…our agency emailed us to verify our contact info, as we’re currently #1 and the next phone call that’ll go out when they have a boy referral, as long as the DIA matched him with us. They think it could be as soon as a few days (but you know how that goes:)!! We’re really excited and I’ve never moved so fast as I did today when the phone rang…but it was just collections again calling for their money.
August 18, 2007 12 Comments
Thank you for all the input on names! You’ve given us lots of fun stuff to think about, and we will most definitely keep you posted on our decision when we get our referral. We’ll also keep the voting poll open until then. Speaking of referrals, we are DTV this week!! Way to go agency! We hope to hear something in the next 2-3 months, but ya never know.
So, I’ve already mentioned that our son is quite the bruiser. You can’t honestly tell me that he doesn’t look like he’s the hitman for the Baby Mob Squad in this picture.
I’m mean seriously, it looks like a mugshot that might’ve been taken after he’d beaten up the new kids at his playground. Yeah, they showed up and didn’t know any better, gave some little squirt a lollipop, when suddenly our little Franky showed up on the scene and beat the snot out of them. He was yelling something like “Doncha know this is my playground?! I control this block. And NOBODY, I mean NOBODY, gives out candy at Franky’s playground. Except Franky. Maybe you’ll remember this next time, now getcher no good keister outa here!”
Anyway, this happens to be his new passport photo taken a few months ago! I guess it might be a slight improvement over his Visa picture from Vietnam. In this one, he looks like he’s being chased by the Baby Mob Squad! Check it out:
If I hadn’t been there to see this picture taken myself, I wouldn’t have believed this was my son either! The guy looking at our ID’s at customs and immigration actually stopped to grab his buddy so they could share a good laugh over this photo. Poor little guy - this was his “dear in headlights” pose. He wore that look of utter shock around for about the first 3 days we had him. Thankfully, he’s settled in and now has a smile on about 80% of the time!
So this post was inspired b/c we’ve got our passports out and are heading down to Peru for the start of our public health project tomorrow. It’s absolutely amazing how much crap is required to travel with an infant. Honestly, the last time we were out of the country for this long, we lived out of backpacks for 2 months. Gone are those days. 2 of our 4 checked bags are full of ONLY Jackson’s stuff. The pack’n'play, formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, the baby medicine cabinet, toys, clothes, baby hiking backpack, you get the point.
I’ll be frequenting internet cafes to keep up with Hotslings orders and blogging, of course. But you may not see me as often in comments even though I’ll be checking in with my best blogging buddies while we’re away. For all of you who are waiting, I hope to see some exciting news in the next few weeks. For all who are holding tight to pictures of your new little ones, I cannot wait to follow your exciting adventures to Vietnam and hear what it feels like when you hold your babies for the first time.
June 1, 2007 14 Comments
After our I-600A had been in for 10 weeks, we finally received our I-171H just now!! I am so happy I could make out with the mailman (not really; he’s kind of old, bald, and chubby - not really my type…except when he’s carrying a highly coveted adoption document!). Since it only took 8 days after I-600A submission for Jackson’s adoption, we realized how badly we took the ease of his process for granted.
May 9, 2007 11 Comments
So, Travis and I have some big news we’d like to share…
We hope to add a 4th member to our family. Yes, through international adoption, and yes of course, from Vietnam. We have considered the fact that this will not be easy, but after many discussions and prayers, we are confident this is the right decision for our family. I know I do not have the full support from my family yet, and there are probably many others judging whether or not this is a smart choice, but then again, most people had huge reservations about us adopting Jackson in the first place…and thank God we didn’t listen;) Just know that we would not be proceeding with this if 1) Jackson was not attaching well to us or 2) we were not attaching well to him. Our social worker, who sees us regularly and is very aware of our situation, is extremely supportive of our decision.
Our situation is extremely complicated because we are both in the very early stages of our medical careers. Yes, we have TONS of debt. Yes, we will have crazy schedules as residents in a few years. Yes, we are young and, in many ways, have no idea what we are doing:) But we do know what’s best for us and what we want for our family. As my dad said after we adopted Jackson, “you’ve just done a high dive into about 4 feet of water!” Well, I guess the pool has now been drained and we’re going to attempt an even higher dive?! Don’t worry though- we’re still young/dumb enough to believe we’re invincible;)
There was a period of time when Trav and I said we wanted a very large family made up of a few bio kids and a few adopted kids. Every aspect of that has changed. We have chosen not to pursue having bio kids, and we no longer want a huge family. This may be it for us, who knows. Because so many of our dreams involve travel and living abroad, a smaller family is a better fit for us. We feel strongly about having our kids be close in age - again, goes with the lifestyle and future plans for our family. Plus, how fun is it to have 2 kids about 1 year apart. You can remind me I said that in a year from now:)
It is also extremely important to us that our kids share the same birth country / culture / race. I have no idea how long the program in Vietnam can sustain itself, but there is a lot of speculation it will be closed again in the next few years. Who knows. We have researched agencies very thoroughly this time around, and are confident we have chosen one that is ethical, has an excellent reputation, and is a good fit for us.
This is the longest stint for the next 10+ years that Trav and I will be able to be home and focus on family. Residency is not ideal b/c time off for a new baby would = 6 weeks. After residency, we’ll be working to payoff the crazy debt we’ve been accruing, which will probably take 10 years. What I’m saying is that this is the best time for us to create our family because we have the luxury of TIME!
Because I have decided to take a year off before starting intern year, Travis would be a 4th year med student when I am only in my 2nd year of training (family medicine is a 3 year program). That means, he’d either have to train at the same residency I choose (which doesn’t give him any freedom to pick his program), or we’d have to be in 2 different places for a year (obviously not going to do that). The way to avoid that, and maximize our time home with the babies is for him to take a year off, following my year off. Complicated, I know. Here it is plainly:
Adopt again and most likely travel to get baby #2 fall/winter 2007 (we’re already a ways into the process!)
Laurie will be home with babies through June 2008
Travis finishes 2nd year of med school March 2008
Travis and Laurie home together with babies March-June 2008
Laurie starts intern year end of June 2008
Travis stays home with babies through April 2009
Basically, this means Jackson will be home with mom or dad until age 3, and baby#2 will be home with mom or dad for his/her first 1.5 years after adoption.
So that’s our news. We’re actually pretty far along in the process. Our I-600A has been in for 7 weeks. We were fingerprinted 6 weeks ago, our homestudy has been in for 4 weeks, and we’re just about finished compiling our dossier. We expect our I-171H to be issued any day now. We feel like our anticipated travel season will allow us to maximize our bonding time with Jackson, while still allowing me to have time with our new baby before starting intern year. Things will move quickly for us again b/c the waitlist for a boy is still very short (with our agency anyway). If we were requesting a girl, we’d probably wait close to 1 year for a referral alone, plus 4 months to travel! We did not specify gender, which pretty much garauntees we’ll get another boy b/c for some odd reason, still mysterious to me, >85% of PAP’s want little girls!
Well, there it is. Wanted to share it loud and proud. We’re VERY excited to be on this wild ride again, and thrilled to be en route to a family of 4.
You’re probably wondering how in God’s name we will afford another adoption. Well, that’s a separate post entirely (not that we have all the answers to that question yet, but we’re working on it). Stay-tuned!
April 16, 2007 22 Comments