"Take an action each day that alleviates suffering in the world. Bring light into darkness."
-Angeles Arrien


Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't.
--- Richard Bach

I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody [to no one]
--Mother Teresa


We were not separated at your birth.
It was the moment at which we began our journey toward each other
.
-Nancy McGuire Roche

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We are home!!!

Well the flight from Hell is finally over and we are home safe and sound in our cozy home. We were thrilled to see our family and they were thrilled to see us and the new arrivals. The babies took to everyone and were on their best behaviors even with the time change and jetlag. We are so happy to be able to start our life as a family of seven. We missed our 3 older children so much. A month was way to long to be away from them.

It is so strange to leave Hanoi and return to the US after almost a month. It gives you a whole new perspective on your life. I am somehow humbled by the whole experience. I wonder if some of you BTDT have also felt this way?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Leaving Vietnam

All 3 Lang son families are leaving Hanoi today. Rich's flight leaves in the afternoon and it seems Kent switched to our new flight this evening.We are very lucky to have been able to catch flights out before the Holiday rush. The babies have all grown so much in the past few weeks and all seem to be attaching well.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hanoi Vietnam November 1st

Our Angels


Sweet as an angel when he is sleeping! Problem is getting him to sleep.



Our beautiful Meliah!



Cutest little bunny!



Do we look like TWINS??



Yes Mommy, I am sharing my toys with Sissy!!

Visa approval

Well good news, All Lang son babies got approved for their Visas today. This is a relief. Bad news is our flight was scheduled for tonight but the embassy refused to expedite our Visa so we could get home to our other 3 children waiting at home. This was very disappointing but really about what I expected from the embassy. They sure don't seem to go the extra mile for us adoptive parents. It did not really phase them we could be stuck here an extra week because of flights being booked because of the Holiday next week (Costing us a couple of thousand dollars extra). Is it so much to ask for a little compassion? I guess so when we are dealing with the US government.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Introducing Khai Baylen Nguyen Thompson and Meliah Oriana Tran Thompson

We are so busy with our excursions and both the babies that I find it very hard to blog on a consistent basis. When they go to bed between 7-8:30 I fall into bed soon after. I know (GASP) hard for you that know this night owl to believe. While I was waiting on the children I would have to force myself to sleep at 3:00 in the morning. They have cured me of that. They are finally both napping at the same time, on day #13, so I stole a second.


Sunday for about 4 hours we toured The Museum Of Ethnology Museum. (http://www.vme-org.vn/) Something to put on your to do list. They had the actual Khin and Tay (Both my children's ethnicity) houses rebuilt on sight. The children were absolutely beautifully behaved. Today we did the The Temple Of Literature. Beautiful buildings, Lilly pad ponds and gardens. They did wonderfully today too. Vietnamese people stop us and want to know how long we have had them. They are so surprised the children are so comfortable with us in less then 2 weeks. The people actually stop us and take pictures of our son. They tell us he is very handsome by Vietnamese standards. Both the children will draw a crowd almost anywhere we go. Today I saw this crowd swarming around the benches and wondered what was going on. Only to find Mark and our Daughter at the center of the crowd of 15-20 people. Him answering all kinds of questions about our children. Now I know what the animals on display at the zoo feel like. I never expected this kind of attention. I only wonder what kind of attention we will draw back in the states? I can not imagine it will be more then this.

Saturday we finished up our shopping for the donations from the fundraiser. It was a shopping trip from hell. We went across town to humongous mall with a Big C. Kind of like a knock off Walmart. We drew such a crowd we could not walk down the isles. I filled 2 baskets with all kinds of goodies for the babies back at the orphanage. Here is my list:
- Baby Walker
-5 baby Bunting sleeping Bags
-4 Head pillows
-6 Sweaters with matching booties and hats
-4 Button up sweaters
-5 winter Hats
-6 Fleece Pant and shirt sets
-4 puzzle Mats
-3 Large Boxes of Infant rattle toys
-Many bags of Balls,Toys, Rattles
-4 XL Johnson's Head to toe wash
-5 Prickly Heat Johnson's powder
-5 XL Johnson's Baby shampoo
-3 XL Johnson's Baby Bath
-3 XL Johnson's Baby soft wash
-4 L Johnson's Baby powder
-2 XL Johnson's Baby Powder Blossom
-3 Large Washcloths
-5 Johnson's Baby Deet free Anti Mosquito Lotion

Officially we have decided on names for the children. We have been calling him Tai (TY) up until now because he responds to his name and he has had a little bit harder time adjusting. Luckily one of our picks is surprisingly close to his birth name. We would like to introduce Khai (Ka-EYE) Baylen Nuygen Thompson and Meliah (Ma-LEE-ah) Oriana Tran Thompson. Quite a mouth full. We incorporated both their Vietnamese last names as a second middle name. Since they are both relinquished we thought this would be a nice way to honor their birth families. I can not express in words how very honored we are to welcome Khai and Meliah to our family. They have grown in our hearts over these past months but they are now finally part of our family forever. We can't wait to introduce them to their brother and sister's waiting at home.


Khai
Khai is a male name with
Vietnamese origins.

-Emperor Khải Định (啟定) (Nguyen Buu Dao) was the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam.

-Phan Văn Khải (born December 25, 1933) is a former prime minister of Vietnam. According to Vietnamese custom, this person properly should be referred to by the given name Khải. He was elected to the position on September 24, 1997, and was re-elected in August 2002. On June 24, 2006, he announced his resignation

Kai is also a
Hmong male name that is sometimes spelt "Khai".

-In Hawaiian, Kai means ocean or great water. The sea.
-In Latin, Kai is rooted in the word Gaius, which means earth.
-In Welsh and Scottish, Kai means "Keeper of the Keys", after Sir Kay, from King Aurthur's Knights of the Round Table

Meliah

Meliah or Malia means peaceful and calm,gentle waters.. It is of Hawaiian origin.

Oriana

Means "from the east" or "sunrise"




Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday November 8th

First set of donations for orphanage donated by Magazine Fundraiser



As you all know I decided to take my blog private. I was reading the Embassy statement about increased NOIDS on Adoption Integrity and the Embassy mentioned PAPS BLOGS. It gave me a unsettled feeling to think about the possibility that the embassy could be following our blogs. With all my paperwork problems I decided it was better to play it safe.

We headed to the big mall here because I wanted to go shopping for my fundraiser donations. I am so glad I decided to bring the money to Vietnam and shop here. The money goes so much farther and I did not have to mess with transporting the items overseas. I am happy with my first purchases. I got 5 sweaters, 20 pull on pants, 25 button up shirts and 5 winter hats. I hope to clear the citimart out of baby bath, lotion and shampoo tomorrow.

We went on our daily evening constitutional tonight. One goes in Mark's backpack and the other in my front pack. Like I said we were invisible before on the streets of Hanoi until the babies came along. 2 babies must be very rare and very lucky. People here make such a big deal about 2 babies. They want to touch us and the babies. Makes you feel like a celebrity. We got lost on or evening walk. Mark took us down a back alley and for about an hour we got lost in these residential back alley ways. I thought we would never find our way out of these mazes. We walked until way past dark. Imagine us, 2 Americans with babies strapped to them walking down these thin alley ways where foreigners are probably ever rarely seen. We actually caused a traffic jam. They were running out of their houses to see us. Kind of interesting to see how the people really live. Not the part of town the tour guide would bring you to.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wed November 7th- Passport & SOS clinic

Got babies passports today. SOS clinic checkup was today. No wonder it feels like I am lifting 35 pounds because I am. She is 17 lbs and he is 18 lbs. DR said very good size for 7 months. He only had world growth chart not Vietnamese and he said they are both 50 percentile for the world. He kept asking if we were sure about our sons birth date. He was born in the hospital and relinquished so we are sure. DR was very surprised how advanced he was. He was surprised he could sit unassisted and crawled. Very unusual for baby institutionalized for 7 months. He was also surprised our daughter could sit unassisted. A week ago she barely could but we have been working on it. They are both very intelligent babies. Our son was so steaming mad during the checkup. He screamed. They kept asking if he was hungry. They always think baby is hungry if they fuss at all. No he is just pissed off. You should see him at night time. He has quite the temper when he is not getting exactly what he wants. She was a little angel. Not one whimper or tear. He has been vaccinated and she has not. Weird for being in the same orphanage and being the same age. He has the vaccination scar . I wonder how they decide which kids to vaccinate or not?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday November 6th






Embassy Interview

Another busy day. I am so glad to have this first embassy interview behind us. I was of course a basket of nerves and we ended up being second to last. I expected some grumpy old mean embassy guy but it was really a pretty young girl behind 2 inches of glass. She was nice enough but I knew she held the fate of our family in her hands. I was told to keep my answers short and to the topic. That I did. Here are some of the questions that the embassy asked while I remember them-

-When did we arrive in Vietnam?
- What day was our G&R?
-How long was the trip to Lang son?
-When was our referral date?
- Was the day of G&R first time I saw both babies?
-Did I see referral pictures of these babies with my referral?
-Was referral first time I heard of these babies?
- How much of the orphanage did I see and to describe it?
-Did I see other babies or babies rooms at the orphanage?
- Did I ask to see other babies?
- Was I told the circumstances of my children's relinquishment?
-What exactly was I told about each child's situation?
-Did The birth parents attend the G&R ceremony?
- Did the birth parents speak to me?
-What did they say?
-How did my Daughters birth father act when we met him?

She said it was good that both sets of birth parents attended the G&R because this showed they were aware the children were being given up for adoption. This is good. She pretty much said it should be 4-6 days if they do not investigate but again she said the birth parents attending was a good sign. I am pretty relived. All the appointments out of Lang son went well.

Unfortunately the other families with us from the other province were pretty much told they are going to be investigated. They are the first family from this province and all 4 children were abandoned within a week of each other. They said the officer said this threw up a few red flags. I wish them the best of luck. I know this is a very hard position to be in.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday November 5th In Hanoi- Lucky Turtle



Our sunshine!!!


Waiter at restaurant. They love Babies!!

Our Grumpy Head!!


We had a busy day today. We have finally braved going out with the babies. Sunday was our first real outing to the ceramic village. It was really beautiful stuff. We spent $170 mostly on tea sets. Was nice to see the other families we have not seen since the G&R. It seems the babies from Lang son were a lot better cared for then the babies from Bach Ninh. Bach Ninh babies had scabies, abscesses and respiratory infections. Only our son from Lang son had an ear infection. All theWC babies are adorable .

Babies get up at 5:00 to start their day. We have been taking long walks around Hanoi everyday with the babies. Today we headed out with our carriers. I have been looking for lantern street. I want to hang different color and shape silk lanterns above the babies crib at home. I found about 8 beautiful silk lanterns in many deep colors. I am thrilled about my purchase from my children's birth country. A little something to remind us all of Vietnam.

We then walked home past the lake from Lantern street. There was a big fuss at Lake by the temple. Crowds of people and motor bikes stopped everywhere. Police were trying to control traffic. We noticed everybody pointing over towards the temple in the center of the lake. Finally we realized there was a humongous turtle beached in the grass around the temple. This supposedly is a very rare sight. Mark read online they have not spotted a turtle in those waters since 2002. It was obviously a very huge deal. We took some pictures but not sure if you can tell it is a turtle. Will post later.

We have our USCIS interview tomorrow. I am very nervous after hearing about more NOIDS issued lately. This time to relinquished families. I have decided worrying is not going to change the outcome so I am trying to stay in good spirits. Wish us luck. We really will be devastated if anybody try's to separate our new little family.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daddy's Girl and Boy. Aren't they cute?

Out for our evening constitutional in Hanoi.
Look at matching outfits. Daddy's Girl and Boy

Holding Hands

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Names???

Today was a good day. A lot of you are probably wondering about names. Right? Well they already know their Vietnamese name. We want to change them but are not sure how they will adjust. Reminds me of a story about our dog. When we got her she was 3 months old and HER name was Larry. Yes a girl named Larry. It was a family tradition. Her mother and grandmother were both named Larry. We tried to change it but she would not respond. So now 17 years later we still have a GIRL dog named Larry.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Still alive

I just wrote a LONG post and it disappeared. Not what I need with such limited time.

We finally have the babies on the same eating schedule but not sleeping. They are still waking 2-3 times at night to eat. They eat a lot. They are little piggies.

They got up today at 5:00 Am ready to go. We are all getting used to each other. We decided to head out for a walk to find a little bakery. They really like the double stroller. They kind of zone out in it. It is fine on the streets near the Hotel and early in the morning. We were out before the shops opened or the street vendors were all over the place. It was nice to get out and walk. We ended up at the Melia Hotel to eat. We had our first experience with someone just taking the baby out of our arms. The waitress really liked our son and just walked over and took him right out of my arms. She stayed within our sight but I did not like it. He really likes the Vietnamese ladies. I think they remind him of his birth mother. The language is also familiar to him. When we were heading back to the hotel a flock of older women surrounded us. I thought they were going to yank the pacifier out of our daughters mouth. They cooed over the babies and tried to take them out but they were strapped in the stroller. As we went to leave the one women leaned down and kissed our son right on the mouth. I freaked out. I have no idea where her mouth has been and she had a mouth full of rotten teeth. It was disgusting but there is nothing I could do. Why do people feel they have the right to touch them? This incident makes me never want to leave the hotel again.

They babies are really starting to bond with us. My daughter looks at me with the most adoring eyes. They are filled with love. It melts my heart. She is a perfect little happy girl. My son is onary(SP). He has a VERY strong personality. When he is happy he is all smiles and personality. When he is upset you will know and he demands all your attention right away. He will not fall asleep by drinking a bottle. I have to swaddle him in the Moby carrier and walk the floors for hours. He will usually wake up when you try to lay him down. He seems to be a little less fussy today with the switch in formula. He picks on his sister. He will take the pacifier right out of her mouth or bop her on the head. She is so sweet and just adores him.

They both reached for me today when Mark had them and they got upset or hurt. That was such a great feeling that they are looking to me for comfort. We can just not get over the fact that these 2 perfect kids are ours forever and ever. We love them so much. I can not imagine life without them. How did we ever get so lucky???

Our first embassy appointment is on Tuesday the 6th. A little later then we hoped for. Sos clinic and passport on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

48 hours as a family

Sorry to keep you all waiting. This is the first time in 48 hours I have had a second to write. I barely got that picture on yesterday.
I am trying to get the babies on the same schedule. This is the first time in the past 2 days where they are actually sleeping at the same time. They have had the totally opposite schedules. They have not been sleeping very well at all. Up 3-4 times a night and both at different times. Naps have also been very short.

The G&R was one of the most emotional things I have ever done. Very hard with the birth parents there. I am not prepared to talk about that right now. I will give you details later when I have digested it. Just know it is a very hard, emotionally draining day. No matter how hard you plan nothing goes as planned and you never have enough time. That first time seeing the babies was magical to say the least. So many emotions all rolled into one. So much joy and at the same time so much sadness. No way on this earth to prepare for such a thing.

The babies are great. He has definitely been hugged and cuddled and pampered more then her. He has a terrible ear infection. We suspect his eardrum may have ruptured. He has a very thick mucus draining out of his ear. We are treating him and the infection seems to be getting better. We are not sure how it is affecting his personality. We also could not find the formula they said the babies got at the orphanage so we got the most recommended kind. He does not seem to be adjusting well to it. He is very gassy and cranky since we switched. We just found out from Kim tonight the correct formula they use and I am switching him back to see if that calms him down.
I never would have thought it would be this hard to come into a babies life at 7 months. When you have a newborn you grow together and at the same time you get to learn the babies likes and dislikes just as they are starting to learn what they like and dislike. Problem is my babies already know what they like and dislike but I have no idea. They can not tell me . It is like a guessing game. There are so many things I do not know about them. When they cry I am not sure how to comfort them. I try what I know but I am not sure if it is what they like best. We are all starting to get used to each other. It is a lot harder then I thought or imagined.

Our Daughter is a very good baby. She is content most of the time and very easy going. I feel bad because she is not being held by me as much as my son because he demands more attention. He wants to be held and walked around all the time. He definitely seemed to be mourning yesterday. We feel so bad for him. We are doing our best to help him adjust.

They both love the sling. Problem is they both love to be in Mommy's sling and I can only hold 1 at a time. They get jealous and mad when they see the other one in the sling. We went and got a double stroller today. They both seem to enjoy it and it helps them sit up better.

G&R Pictures


Our first glimpse. Thom and her Nanny Huong

Thom Mommy and Daddy


Thom our Daughter


Thai our son and Daddy

Long waited family photo. We look HAPPY!

Here they are!! Happy Halloween!!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Out G&R is tomorrow!!!

We leave for the Lang son at 5:00 Am. The G&R is scheduled for 8:30 am. We have a 3 hour drive through the mountains on a rough road. The next time you hear from me I will be the proud new Momma to 2 of the most beautiful children. Can you believe it??? We will be getting to know each other tomorrow. It will be quite the day. A day to remember!! I have waited a long time for this day and it is now only hours away. Unbelievable!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

1st full day in Hanoi

Well things are looking up today. We started out this morning early. I did
not sleep well on the rock bed last night so I was up and ready to go. We
decided to take a walk to the other side of town to the Somerset to beg for a
room. We stopped on the way and bought Mark a "Rolex" watch. OI
am trying this haggling to get better at it but not much success today. I saw a
cute little quilted dragonfly Jacket for my 4 year old but she would not move on
the price. I must have picked the wrong shop. She let me
walk away. I heard they mark up their wares 100% when they see an American and you should only pay 25-50% of their first stated price. Oh well, I guess I better keep practicing.

It was a nice walk past the lake. Very breathtaking today with
the mist. Pictures do not do it justice. I was very nervous about crossing the
street but I did fine. The old quarter of town is quite an experience. Something
you definitely have to see. All the people right on the middle of the sidewalk
doing their thing. I thought we would be more noticeable but that doesn't seem to
be the case. People just seem to look right past us. I feel like we are blending
in.

When we got to the Somerset they said they did not have a room come back
tomorrow. I kept pushing and he eventually came up with a 2 bedroom executive
suite. We don't need something that big but it is great. It feels like home.
Definitely somewhere I can bring the babies back to comfortably. Now I feel more
settled and ready to go get them.

We met a family adopting from Bach Ninh through WC as we were checking out
of the Hong Ngoc. Shoot, I can't remember her name. Their G&R is on
Monday. Their are a few families going to Bach Ninh.

We also got a call from Kent and her Husband Frank. They are the
3rd couple adopting from Lang son on Tuesday. They are adopting a 4 1/2
month old little boy. They came over to out apartment at the Somerset and we
visited with them for a while.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We are in Hanoi

We are in Hanoi. They lost all our baggage between Bangkok and Hanoi. WC booked us a suite at the Hung Ngoc and we are not the least bit pleased. Every surface including the bed is as hard as nails. How did any of you stay here with a baby? Supposedly all other hotels are booked but my Husband went on a search tonight and we will hopefully be moving tomorrow. I can not bring my babies here and my back will be torn up from this bed. When they say 2-3 star rating believe it.

Talking about babies, We met today with Kim & Kenny from WC. The G&R has been moved again to Tuesday the 30th this time. Hopefully my stomach is feeling better by then. I have still not recovered from this stomach thing I have had since I got off the plane on Wed.

I don't have much to say about Hanoi because I stayed in our room because I was not feeling well. My Husband went out walking about 6-11PM and came back absolutely astonished. He could not believe the way people live. Two things really got to him. He had a pregnant woman jump off a motorbike and grab his arm. She would not let go. She said she was so hungry. She asked him if he "Wanted a GOOD time?". She was about 7 months pregnant and it appeared to be her boyfriends of Husbands motorbike she jumped off of to pursue my Husband. Another girl about our daughters age(12) tried to sell him bootlegged CDS . She said she was starving and had not ate in days. He did not buy cds but gave her money for food. Can you imagine being so poor and hungry you will do anything? I am not sure I am going to be able to handle this. I have the biggest bleeding heart. I might be in tears this whole month.

I only saw a little on the drive from the airport to the Hotel. The landscape is absolutely beautiful. The traffic is a insane. I had to close my eyes some of the way. Did not help my nausea any. My husband said I will never cross the road because motorbikes and cars actually brush against you. I will not usually cross without a crosswalk. This should be interesting.

I looked out my window of this Hotel right in the middle of the old quarter today. People next door had 6 whole ducks or chickens strung up on a rack all day in the hot sun and then cooked them in the evening. Girls were washing their hair in a bucket right next to these raw chickens. I could not believe it. I think I am suffering from a bit of culture shock.

Hopefully things turn for the best tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Still in Bangkok, Headed to Hanoi in few hours

We are still in bangkok for about 2 more hours. It is 3:30 Am but I can not sleep because I am so nauseous. Stomach is a bit better but not 100%. I have such a sensitive stomach I knew this would happen but I expected to at least make it off the airplane before it started.

Today in Bangkok was nice. We hired a tour guide for a 3 hour tour of the Buddhist temples . In Indonesia 95% of population is Buddhist. We saw a huge cement Buddha that was moved from the mountains and during transportation cement was cracked and they found solid gold Buddha inside.We also saw the largest reclining Buddha. It was inside 7 huge pagodas all put together. I could barely get a picture of the entire thing. Thailand people are so nice. They want to know why we do not adopt baby boy from Thailand. I said maybe we come back in a few years. "Nancy" our tour guide kept trying to get me to rub a fertility symbol. She thought we were adopting because we could not conceive. I kept telling her NO we choose to adopt. She did not understand why we would adopt 2 babies if we could conceive. I finally told her No we adopt lots of babies but no more birthing babies for me. She kept insisting but I would not touch that symbol. I said NO WAY. So many children in this world need homes no need for me to conceive more.

My Husband had a double breasted suit,6 shirts hand, and 2 ties made by a tailor. It was really cool. You would never get that kind of service in America. They were measuring him then 10 hours later the Suit and shirts are ready to go. Beautiful workmanship. He got to pick the material and colors. Fits like a glove. Only $411. I figured we did not pay the extra $1000 to upgrade airplane seats so we deserved to spend it. I wonder what I will get with the extra $$$????

We are on to Hanoi in a few hours. We have just got confirmation G&R will be Oct 31st not the 29th like I was originally told. 2 more extra days of waiting before I see their sweet faces. I can barely stand the wait. We did not get either of the Hotels we wanted. I am really bummed about this. Hopefully something will open up.

All these changes to the I-600 have me worried. WC says don't worry they will not effect us but I am not so sure. We will not beat the Oct 26th deadline. I heard a lot of agencies had stopped sending clients until further notice so I questioned WC before we left but they said everything was pretty much rumor and they had not been advised to stop sending clients. I hope this turns out to be the right choice on WC part.

Next time you hear from me I will be in Hanoi. This is so unbelievable. I do not think I will truly believe it is going to happen until I have them in my arms. I hope the next 4 days fly by.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We are In Bangkok !!!

Well it is Friday 12:00 midnight. We arrived in Bangkok at 6:00 Pm on Thursday. The flight on Thai airways straight from JFK to Bangkok was very nice but LONG. I thought it would never end. Not looking forward to that flight home with the babies.

We had decided to stay in Bangkok for the night before finishing the rest of the Journey to Hanoi. I am so glad we did because something I ate or drank so far did not agree with me. After a hour Taxi ride from the Airport we made it to the The royal orchid Sheraton on the canal. Beautiful 5 star Hotel on the canal. We I walk in the door and run to the bathroom and start throwing up and haven't stopped. We did not even get to leave the room and go get dinner or see any sights. It is now midnight and I am not feeling quite as queasy. I am hoping to recover by morning. We are scheduled to go sight seeing to the Buddhist temples in the Morning. We are trying to extend our stay in Bangkok a day or two. First the Agency told us all the hotels in Hanoi we wanted are booked and second we have been told our G&R will not take place until Tues, Wed or Thursday. I was originally told Monday. Not sure I can be that close to the babies for so long and not see them. Anyways Bangkok looks so exciting and it would be nice to do some sight seeing.

Better go now stomach is turning again. Thank god I made it past the flight and Taxi.

I just want to remind any of you who have not participated in the magazine fund raiser but wanted to that I am almost in Hanoi. Please place your orders now. We have reached 77% of our goal. Remember they have Adoptive families and Hundreds of other magazines. Send some as a Christmas present. People will love them and it will also benefit the children left behind in OUR children's orphanages. Please show some compassion towards these children that are not as fortunate as our own and will not be returning home with a forever family.
http://www.magfundraising.com/Adoption_of_Thompson_Twins

Saturday, October 20, 2007

5 days to Go !!!

We almost have our plans finalized. We had to push them back 1 day. We will be leaving Tuesday evening and taking the Train into NYC. We will be spending the night in NYC then flying out of JFK early Wednesday morning. We have a 17.5 hour flight straight to Bangkok. We will arrive in Bangkok on Thursday evening. We plan on spending the night in Bangkok. We hope to see some sights. Early Friday we will get up and finish the trip from Bangkok to Hanoi,Vietnam. We should arrive in Hanoi Friday evening. This will give us a little bit of time to recover and shop for the other children in the orphanage,with the proceeds from our fundraiser, before we head to Lang son to get our children.

We were told our G&R would be Monday the 29th but another family was told Wednesday the 31st(Halloween). I did pray all along we would have them by Halloween. Of course that was supposed to be all of us home for Halloween with the other children. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I am really going to miss Halloween with my 4 year old this year. It is a shame, In order to get one child you must also leave another. My heart breaks to leave my other children for so long.

It is now 5 days until we are on our way. Unbelievable. It was so long waiting but now I can't believe it is actually happening.

I am a nervous wreck because of all the NOIDs issued lately. I am trying to get in the right mindset but it is hard. It makes me so nervous. I just want to enjoy my time in Vietnam but this is like a dark cloud hanging over our Journey. The possibility that after a year I will finally get my babies and then someone could just as easily in a few weeks snatch them away again is terrifying. How are you supposed to bond under these circumstances? Heck, How are you supposed to breath?

I had the best dream last night. I had my son. He was beautiful. He was smiling and we were playing. He was so happy and so was I. I do not know where my Daughter was. I think they gave him to us a couple days in advance. It was one of those dreams you think please don't wake up.

I found out the circumstances of my children's relinquishment by their birth parents. It was very heart wrenching. I cried and cried. It became very real when I read those words. 2 totally different circumstances for each child but still the same outcome. The 25 year old unwed Mother I understood but the 40 year old Married couple is the one that got me. In order for me to gain these 2 children somebody had to lose them. Imagine. The day of the G&R is going to be so hard. To meet those birth parents and see such sorrow and loss while I am feeling so much happiness and gain. What a emotional situation. I honestly do not look forward to it.

I am so humbled by this whole experience. I expect more of that in the next few weeks. I am learning many lessons through this experience and I know I am growing as a human being. I will be a better person on the other side of his journey, no doubt. My life will be changed forever.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Insta-Attachment and Other Adoption Myths

Why the dreams we hold on to while waiting for our child can sometimes prevent us from seeing our child's reality clearly.
September 12, 2007/ Dawn Greer Choate

I let out a long, deep sigh as I re-read the words in my inbox again and again. It’s not that it was the first time I had heard those very same words. It’s not that I judged the family who spoke them, knowing I would have written the same a few short years ago. But the pang I felt in the back of my heart and the lump in my throat was for the little girl they were describing. Despite the words of bliss, despite their descriptions of a perfect adjustment, my heart sank as I could envision her face before me. I knew what her eyes would look like if only I could see them. I knew what expression she would have on her face. I knew because I have seen it before. And now I know what it means.


I had received the glowing report in my inbox from a friend of a relative who had just come home with their beautiful new daughter only 7 weeks prior. “She is bonding with everyone! Family, friends, neighbors, people at church! She is just adjusting so quickly and bonding to everyone she meets!” This particular report was really quite similar to many I hear early on. She was doing “so well”, “adjusting great”, and was “better than they could have ever expected”. It is the report our families, friends, co-workers, and even agencies hope and expect to hear from us. Everyone is waiting for the “he/she is all we ever dreamed of” and “it is as if he/she has always been with us”. These are the words everyone waiting to bring a child home reads on the blogs of families who have gone before and prays they will be able to write.


Insta-Attachment. Psychologists and anthropologists have noted for decades that our society is especially vulnerable to the temptations of insta-everything. We are used to it, after all. Everything is fast, easy, convenient. We hate waiting in lines, despise slow drivers, and adore our internet as long as it comes in high speed. We think we are immune to that constant drive for speed and convenience in the adoption world because we wait so long through endless paperwork to bring our children home. We herald the “lesson we have learned in patience” as we agonize through the trials of the paper pregnancy. But that is where so many draw the line. Once our child is home, that is the end of the waiting, right? They are going to be placed in our arms and our waiting is over! Hurray!! The end of our trials and tribulations and now our joy can begin!


The problem is that for your child, they are not in the joyous epilogue of a long novel finally reaching the glorious conclusion as you think you are. They are still in the introduction of a brand new book, one that includes chapters they have never heard of called “Living with a Family”, “Welcome to a Mom and Dad that Look Nothing Like You!”, “A Few Strangers in Your Life Would Now Like to Kiss and Hold You Endlessly” and “So This is America??”. In the midst of all of this is the greatest myth of all. Insta-attachment.


Children do not bond in a week. People do not learn to trust in a day, a week, or even a month. A child who is living in a strange land with strange looking people who speak an even stranger language cannot possibly learn in a short period of time what it means to be loved by a family, what a mom and a dad even are there for, what it means to be a sister or brother, and that all of these strange people can be trusted to never leave them again, never harm them, and navigate them through the twists and turns of life. We want so much to believe in Insta-Attachment because, truthfully, it makes us feel better. The wait has already been so long for us, we sacrificed so much to get here, and the last thing we want to face is the possibility that our work is not done once we reach what we thought was the end of the road, the fulfillment of the goal. Sometimes we are willing to accept a few hours of grief, a few days of the child’s emotional walls, a few weeks of sleepless nights. But we certainly don’t want to face the chance that perhaps those few tears, a night terror or two, and the struggles with sibling relationships might last longer than a week or two. Or, even harder to face, is the possibility that even though our child seems to be doing well, their actions may be masking the true grief and trauma that so many adopted children hide deep in their hearts.


And this is where the temptation to ignore the unspoken signs of trauma and grief in our children steps in. We want so much to believe they are adjusting quickly that we interpret signs that actually are warning signs something is not right as signs that our child is doing really well. When our daughter reaches her hands out and lets anyone hold her, we beam with pride that she is so social. When our son falls apart on the floor because we asked him to do a simple task, we say he must be really opinionated. When our kids run around at an event, wandering in and out of strangers without concern for the location of a parent, we say they must really like parties. When our child plays alone on the floor for long periods of time without a need to be entertained, we are grateful we got one of the “easy kids”.


Attachment is not instant. Bonding takes time…a long time. And even if your child is pleasant and calm with you from day one, plays with you and hugs you, lets you hold her and seems to get along with everyone, it is simply a matter of common sense that what the child is experiencing in those early months is not and cannot possibly be attachment to you. Even if the child has the opposite reaction and cries every time you leave the room, it is still not defined as true attachment. When we were in China picking up our second daughter, she cried the first time I tried to hold her but by the next day she screamed if I was not in her sight. This was not because she somehow miraculously attached to me overnight (though that would have been nice to believe!). She simply had figured out a major change was about to happen in her life and that I somehow was the next person in line to provide her some tiny amount of security so she was going to latch on and not let go! This does not mean she suddenly loved me, trusted me, or even liked me for that matter. It was a matter of survival. Her instincts kicked in and she knew that her safety and future depended on clinging to me.


We are now weeks away from bringing home our 5th child, our 3rd adopted child. We have had the privilege of visiting him twice. Though by week’s end on both visits he was clinging to me and watching my every move, I am not fooled. My heart would love to believe this baby has decided I am his mother, thrown himself in my arms and shunned all others to choose me. But I have seen his eyes. I know what his eyes say that his actions sometimes belie. He does not trust me yet. He does not love me yet. How could he possibly? Though my heart wants to believe I can spend the months and years to bring a child home that will run into my arms and realize I am their family forever now, I am now a little more cognizant of the impossibility of that expectation on a child.


So how do you create attachment in a child if it is not instant? You build it, one brick at a time. Sometimes you even have to break down the faulty foundation that was created before you ever received your child, and then build a new foundation one brick at a time. If your child seems content, seems “okay”, seems social, seems to “fit right in”, look past the surface behaviors and do not let the survival instincts of children fool you into thinking their past has not affected them and that they are rubber balls who can be bounced around yet simply bounce right back. Do not just move on with your life as if your work is done. Stay with your child. Give some things up. Spend time playing, holding and talking to your child. Do not let your child push you away, manipulate you with shallow behaviors or place any other friend, relative or caregiver above you. You have the right as the parent to ask questions, challenge your child emotionally, and insist on being the first love of their life.


You are not a failure as a parent to admit your child home for even a year still does not show preference for you. Your child is not “less than” other adopted children because he does not appear as adjusted as other adopted children whose parents glowed, “This was a perfect adoption!” Do not believe in Insta-Attachment. It is a fairytale that ultimately prevents you from really seeking out the deepest part of your child’s heart and searching for true healing instead of proper behaviors. It is worth the search. It may take much longer than you had hoped for, your emails to family and friends may be lacking in the instant gratification. But the long, slow simmer of true attachment in the end is stronger, more deeply satisfying, and more healing. Do not look for the easy path. Look for the road less traveled. Be willing to take another journey of patience even after the paperwork is done and your child is home. Do not close the book. Begin a new one. It is worth the effort. It is worth the wait. Your child is waiting for someone who is willing to take the time and energy to write it for them. Insta-Attachment is one fairytale your child can do without.


Dawn Greer Choate and her husband are the parents of 5 children, including 2 daughters born in China and one son born in Guatemala. In 2005, the Choates launched Healing Hannah, a resource to educate parents on issues related to attachment and emotional healing in the adopted child. Dawn is an ordained minister, author, speaker, and a co-owner with her husband of a computer/software business. For more information, please visit www.healinghannah.com and www.fishersofwomen.com

Rainbowkids.com

Monday, October 15, 2007

WE GOT THE CALL

I just got the call to get our Visa for G&R Oct 29. I am so happy. This is a long time coming. Thank you all for your thoughts and support. This is positive that things are still moving along in light of all that has happened. Please keep is in your thought and prayers as we continue on this Journey.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Boost morale

I decided I better get my butt in gear. If I am going to travel at the end of the month I should get my call to get visa this week. I finally ordered a crib and assembled it this weekend. I also went and bought 2 rocking recliners. One for upstairs and one for downstairs. I will post pictures after I get it set up they way I love. I wonder how I got through having 3 kids without these things? They seem like a necessity this time. I guess it's different when your having two. Oh my gosh, I am having two!!!

I had to boost my morale this weekend. It has been a crappy week. It felt good to do something to prepare for the babies. It makes it seem a little more real. I tried to imagine them sleeping in the crib but I still can't imagine it. I hope it is soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sad, Sad Day

I am totally disgusted today. Some pretty bad things have gone down lately. Some people are being truly hurt by this thing we call International adoption. Adoption should be a wonderful thing right. It should be about adding a child to your family and the extra bonus is your helping that child escape from a life of extreme poverty. Right? That is what I thought. I thought this would be such a wonderful journey full of wonderful moments; well not so. This has been a Journey full of one disappointment after another. A journey of heartbreak and censorship. I thought I was doing something good for the world and our family but I am not so sure anymore. That is all I wanted to do was something good for my family and 2 orphans. Why must this be so hard?

All of you considering International adoption think long and hard. If you decide you are in for the roller coaster ride of your life, Choose your Agency CAREFULLY. You will shed more tears then you could ever think was possible. You will reach all time lows that will hopefully end in all time highs but who knows, nothing is guaranteed. What a screwed up system.

I have no idea what lies ahead of me. I have hope that my children will be coming home at the end of the month. I have been been waiting almost 19 weeks so you would think so right? Not so. I am definitely not as sure as I was 2 weeks ago. A lot has happened in these last 2 weeks. I will never be the same if my children do not come home. I can not even think about that. I will never rest if that happens.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wash clothes before wearing

Thanks Blog Buddy for this little bit of news.


Poison found in kids' clothes from China By KAREN ARNOLD - Sunday Star Times Sunday, 19 August 2007

Poison in children's clothing is emerging as the latest health risk from China.
TV3's Target programme will this week detail how scientists found formaldehyde in woollen and cotton clothes at levels 500 times higher than is safe.
It questions why there are no New Zealand safety standards for clothes.
National Poisons Centre spokesman Dr John Fountain told the Sunday Star-Times the testing had highlighted an area where little was known in New Zealand about the effects tainted clothing would have on people.
However, international research supported by the World Health Organisation shows exposure to formaldehyde in concentrations of 20 parts per million (ppm) can cause eye, skin and nasal irritations, respiratory problems, asthma and cancer.
The European Union limits formaldehyde residues in children's clothes to a maximum of 30ppm. The chemical is used to give a permanent press effect to clothes.
Consumers are advised to wash and air all clothes before they are worn for the first time.
Target producer Simon Roy said a variety of new clothes were tested, including a girl's top, school shorts, a Spiderman T-shirt, and pyjamas. Adult clothing was also tested. Roy said the results were so astounding the AgriQuality scientists thought they had made a mistake. "Our results were shocking, ranging from 230ppm to 18,000ppm.
This is almost unbelieveable. Some of the clothes Target tested have a reading 900 times the level that actually causes harm."
But the potential harm wasn't limited to formaldehyde or clothing made in China.
Four children's garments were tested for their ph level, which measures acidity or alkalinity. Levels outside 4 to 7.5 on the scale can damage skin. Two items, a pair of pants and a girl's top, had ph levels above 7.5. Roy said garments made in New Zealand with imported Chinese fabrics also contained chemicals such as harmful dyes that did not wash out or wear off the way formaldehyde did. That included clothes from top-end designer labels. Buying Kiwi-made or expensive brands was no safety net for consumers, he said.
Europe had banned 22 aromatic amine dyes which were known carcinogens. But Target investigations showed 10pc of clothes tested in China contained them and, once again, New Zealand had no regulations about what it accepted into the country.
Auckland mother Raewyn Rasch said the findings were horrifying.
She told the Star-Times her son bought four pairs of trousers labelled 100pc cotton. But even after washing, each pair caused a rash round his middle. Rasch thought formaldehyde could be a cause after she read about toxins in clothing. "What really annoys me is that, for mothers, kids are always coming up with scratches and marks and rashes. You ask them what they've been eating and where they've been. You wouldn't expect it to be the clothes they're wearing."
New Zealand consumers deserved protection and needed to know about the dangers they and their children were exposed to, she said.
Details of the unsafe clothing and its risks follow a global recall this month of millions of Mattel toys, also made in China and deemed unsafe. Sanitarium is now getting its peanut butter made in Australia rather than China because of consumer concerns, and last month a toothpaste made in China was recalled after it was found to contain a toxin used in anti-freeze.
Green MP Sue Kedgley said New Zealand risked becoming a dumping ground for unsafe imports, some of which China itself regulated against.
"I believe it is so serious it demands a parliamentary investigation of our complete lack of consumer protection for most products in New Zealand. Technically they are supposed to comply with the Consumer Guarantees Act but how would anyone know if it's being systematically breached when no one is looking or doing any monitoring?"

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Help me bring the children HOPE

Please help support my fundraiser for the children of Vietnam. It is a Magazine (Renewals and New Subscriptions) fundraiser. 40% of each magazine purchase will go directly to the children in Vietnam. Win/Win situation, You get your favorite magazines and the children get the basic necessities that they are lacking. I personally am going to take the proceeds to Vietnam in a few weeks and I am going to purchase much needed items for the children. I will deliver the items to the children in the orphanages. I will take lots of pictures and post them so everyone who participates can see what a difference they have made. $15-20 is not much for us but it can make such a difference for a child in an orphanage in a third world country. Sometimes oppurtunities like this are all it takes to give a child hope. I would love to see HOPE on the faces of these children. Please help me bring these children hope.
Here is the link:http://www.magfundraising.com/Adoption_of_Thompson_Twins

Monday, October 08, 2007

Tips on Bonding with an adoptive child

From ABC123VN(via L)
Dos & Don’ts for Family & Friends
Do
1. Offer household help (running errands, preparing meals that can go right from the freezer to the oven, etc.) so the mother can spend more time holding the child.
2. Trust the mother’s instincts. Even a first time mother may notice subtle symptoms that well-meaning family and friends attribute to “normal” behavior.
3. Accept that attachment issues are difficult for anyone outside of the mother to see and understand.
4. Be supportive even if you think everything looks fine to you.
5. Allow the parents to be the center of the baby’s world. One grandfather, when greeting his grandson, immediately turns him back to his mom and says positive statements about his good mommy.
6. Tell the baby every time you see him what a good/loving/safe mommy he has.
7. When the parents need someone to care for the baby for a night out, offer to babysit in the child’s home. (After the child has been home for a substantial period of time.)
8. As hard as it may be for you, abide by the requests of the parents. Even if the baby looks like he really wants to be with Grandma, for example, he needs to have a strong attachment to his parents first. Something as simple as passing the baby from one person to another or allowing others, even grandparents, to hold a baby who is not “attached” can make the attachment process that much longer and harder. Some parents have had to refrain from seeing certain family members or friends because they did not respect the parents’ requests.
9. Accept that parenting children who are at-risk for or who suffer from attachment issues goes against traditional parenting methods and beliefs. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.
10. Remember that there is often a honeymoon period after the child arrives. Many babies do not show signs of grief, distress, or anxiety until months after they come home. If the parents are taking precautions, they are smart and should be commended and supported!
Don’t1. Assume an infant is too young to suffer from emotional issues related to attachment. Babies are not immune.
2. Underestimate a new mother’s instincts that something isn’t right.
3. Judge the mother’s parenting abilities. What looks like spoiling or coddling may be exactly what the child needs to overcome a serious attachment disorder. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.
4. Make excuses for the child’s behaviors or try to make the mother feel better by calling certain behaviors “normal”. For example, many children who suffer from attachment issues may be labeled strong-willed by well-meaning family members. While being strong-willed can be seen as a positive personality trait, this type of behavior in an attachment-impaired child may signify problems.
5. Accuse the mother of being overly sensitive or neurotic. She is in a position to see subtle symptoms as no one else can.
6. Take it personally if asked to step back so the parents can help their child heal and form a healthy and secure attachment. You may be asked not to hold the baby for more than a minute. This is not meant to hurt you. It is meant to help prove to the baby who his mommy and daddy are. Up until now the child’s experience has been that mommies are replaceable. Allowing people to hold the baby before he has accepted his forever mommy and daddy are can be detrimental to the attachment process.
7. Put your own time frames on how long attachment should take. One mother was hurt when she was chastised by a relative who couldn’t understand…after all, the baby had been home six months. It could take weeks, months, even years. Every child is different.
8. Offer traditional parenting advice. Some well-meaning family members will tell a new mother not to pick the baby up every time he cries because it will spoil him. A child who is at-risk or who suffers from attachment issues must be picked up every single time he cries. He needs consistent reinforcement that this mommy/daddy will always take care of him and always keep him safe.
9. Fall into the appearance trap. Some babies/toddlers with attachment issues can put on a great show to those outside of the mother/father. What you see is not always a true picture of the child. Even babies as young as 6-months-old are capable of “putting on a good face” in public.
10. Lose hope. With the right kind of parenting and therapy, a child with attachment issues can learn to trust and have healthy relationships. But it does take a lot of work and a good understanding of what these children need.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Don't quote me

I just asked my caseworker if we would be in Vietnam for Halloween and this was her response. "We are hopeful you will be going by the end of the month.
Don’t quote me…as you know anything can happen and change….but we can send out those positive vibes for sure! "

Why must it be so hard?

We are starting our 18th week from referral waiting to get our children.

The final police investigation was supposed to be done the middle of last week but I heard on Friday it was not completed. This puts us even more behind schedule. On top of it Vietnam is being hit with Typhoon Lekima and they are experiencing the worst flooding in 20 years. http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/07/2053010.htm?section=justin I feel for the people of my childrens birth country and pray that my children will be safe until I can get to them. Do you see why I have problems sleeping every night? How can I sleep if I do not know if my own children are safe? I worry about them constantly. What if they have to evacuate and the caregiver forgets them or doesn't notice they are missing? Parents are suppose to protect their children. I have no way to protect mine. Vietnam is getting hit with a typhoon and I have to sit here and wait for some official to tell me all is clear with some paperwork.

The world of International adoption is so messed up. All I am trying to do is adopt 2 orphans. Why must it be so HARD?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Update

I got some more news the middle of the week. They just started the final police investigation into my children. That should take about a week and then there are a few last steps. I have been told two and a half weeks. Possibly a call to get my Visa before then. To quote the email "We are getting very close now." I am having a hard time getting excited because this whole process has been one disappointment after another. I don't want to get my hopes up again to only be shattered.

I did ask for and get some official documents showing that my children are still legally referred to me. After I was told some info I was getting very doubtful one of my children was still at the orphanage and still referred to us. I could no longer keep going on faith that everybody was doing what they told me. I spent 12 weeks trusting the system to work and it got me nowhere. I needed to start seeing some proof. These documents did set my mind at ease but they also upset me. They were the agreement to release child for adoption. They were dated Sep 10th. That was 3 days after I was told about this huge mess up. Almost 14 weeks after my referral they decided to agree to release my children for adoption. Remember I was supposed to travel in 8-10 weeks. This just proved to me how far behind my paperwork was. Someone really had not done what they were supposed to. Now a mother and her 2 children have to suffer because of it.

Emotionally this whole process has been hard to say the least. Those of you not adopting probably will not understand. The only thing I could probably relate it to is your pregnancy going 3 months overdue. Except worse because you have to see your child grow up in pictures without you. The minute I saw these children they were mine. I would have never thought I could have such strong feelings but I did. They are no different to me then my 3 bio children. It feels like someone has taken my children against my will and refuses to tell me when, if ever, I will be united with them. I don't know if they are being loved or held. Is someone responding when they cry? Are they getting encouragement with very milestone. Do they feel wanted and loved? Safe and secure? These are all the things that run through my mind a hundred times a night and keep me awake until 3:00 in the morning. I am so worried about them. Nothing eases that worry. Telling me 3 more weeks is like saying wait a lifetime.


When I finally have them in my arms I am never going to let them go. They are my babies and they are so wanted. I hope they will always feel that and understand that. Below is how I imagine I will be someday.


" I know a woman well in her 70’s, with five sons. Three adopted, two by birth. She shared with me that when they would sit around the dinner table there were times she would forget who was homegrown and who was adopted, and she had to search back in her memory to see if she remembered giving birth to them or not. I love that story because it exemplifies for me the way families weave themselves together into tidy little quilts, and sometimes you have to take a pretty close look at the stitching to see how they came together. "

Monday, September 24, 2007

We have News

Well I finally have news. Not good news,but news. I really don't know if I should go into detail because I have been asked "NOT TO DISCOURAGE" the masses. We have been told to HOPE to hear positive news about travel in about 3 weeks or so. Yes,I did say another 3 weeks until I even have a possibility of getting a travel call. So about POSSIBLY 5 weeks until I even have a chance of seeing my children. Notice that is only a possible time line. That will be 21 weeks post referral for me. I have to say I am VERY disappointed. To quote the email " Although this can happen to anyone, it is unusual, and it is unfortunate that it happened to you." Yup, SUCKS to be me.



P.S. Please keep the prayers coming. Miracles can always happen.

Friday, September 21, 2007

No News!!

I am very disappointed. My coordinator said she would have an update for me by the end of this week. I have been patiently waiting for this day. Hoping they would have something positive for me. Well you guessed it,Nothing. Not one word from my coordinator. I sent a reminder email and still no response.I know she is in a different time zone but I actually expected to hear word early because they are 12 hours ahead of us. That would mean the end of the week came sooner. See these desperate measures I am resorting to.THIS STINKS!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

44 Million Orphans in the World.We can make a difference for two. How about you?

THE STARFISH POEM

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking
on the beach
before he began his work.

One day he was walking along
the shore.
As he looked down the beach,
he saw a human
figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself to think
of someone who would
dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster
to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw
that it was a young man
and the young man wasn't dancing,
but instead he was reaching
down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently throwing it
into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked,
why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out.
And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that
there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another starfish
and threw it into the sea,
past the breaking waves and said-
"It made a difference for that one."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Coincidence or fate?

“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.” ~ Goethe


I have a kind of unbelievable story that occurred during the adoption wait. Something that proved to me that this was what we were being called to do. I was thinking about it today and thought I would write about it.

Before we ever started any paperwork for the adoption I earmarked $50,000 for it and stashed it away in an online savings account. I pretended like this money no longer existed so we would not be tempted. Everything was going along good until about 5 months into the adoption my wonderful Husband got this idea to leave the company he was working for and start his own company. It was a hassle enough to update our Home study but on top of it my Husband did not prepare financially in advance for branching out on his own and left about $20,000 in expenses uncollected with the prior company. Needless to say in the next 5 months my Husband basically worked for a few start up clients but none had the resources to pay him yet. Every month we expected to get paid and every month we were told we would have to hold on a little bit longer. I expected the $20,000 in expenses to also get reimbursed but that never happened. I ended up having to spend about $35,000 of our adoption fund to pay for our living expenses. I started to get really nervous knowing as soon as our referral came we would owe our agency this money. My Husband kept saying his clients would pay very soon. It got down to the wire and still no money. One night, right after we completed our Dossier and had been told by our coordinator our referral was coming, we had a humongous blow up over this $35,000 we still needed but did not have. I went to bed in tears that night and didn't know what we would do about the money. I knew I some how HAD to come up with it because my children out there somewhere were waiting for us and counting on us. I had such a bad migraine the next day I could barely lift my head. Around 4:30 pm, I decided to check my email; right after the stock market closed (Most of you who know me know I started to trade stocks about 2 years ago). I had an alert on one of my stocks to notify me if it went up over a certain amount. That alert triggered but I could not believe it. I pulled up my brokerage account and found out a little pharmaceutical company, that I had bought on a whim and kept buying because it kept falling, had shot up 305% that day on what didn't even seem to me like very big news. I could not believe it. I had been deeply in the hole on this stock. I knew it would recover but I thought I would have to ride it out another 2 years while they repeated their clinical trials. I was up $90,000 in ONE day. Now here is the weird thing, I had recovered a $55,000 paper loss that day PLUS a $35,000 gain. Exactly $35,000 dropped into my lap the day after we had a humongous blowup over where we would get $35,000 to complete the adoption. Coincidence or fate? You tell me? (Buy the way the stock now 5 months later is back down 300%).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Devastated

I think I have finally composed myself enough to post. I have spent the last 2 days in tears; totally devastated. 6 emails to my coordinator and still no answers. No farther then I was 2 days ago. She has no answers for me. I have been basically told that WC is not privy to any information. Basically they have been told my paperwork is screwed up but nothing else. I was told they will not have an update for me until the end of next week. WHAT??? I have been sitting by this phone everyday for a week expecting to get a travel call. Expecting for this problem to be fixed. Now I find out I have no hope of hearing anything much less a travel call. That will be 15 weeks since referral and still NO travel call. I can not believe this is happening. Babies please cry and wake me up from this terrible nightmare.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"They say God's timing is perfect, never early, never late."

We found out yesterday their is an issue with our paperwork. It is on Vietnam's end not our agency. A lot of finger pointing is going on in Vietnam and WC is trying to handle the situation delicately because they have to allow them to save face. Nothing is wrong, It is just a filing error that effects dates ( Yuck didn't want to hear that!!). JJH is trying to get a current update on timing so she can get us over there(Yeah!!). She is working on it and I feel a little better knowing the problem has been identified. JJH was very apologetic and sweet (As usual). That's all for now that we know.

It was really weird. Right now I am being taught a humongous lesson in patience. I am really working on it. I know life hands us lessons and we can choose how to take them. So I am going shopping today and what do I pass. A huge sign that says "Be patient, God's timing is perfect. Never early, Never late." Wow!! So I go on about my day pondering this. Then what do you think happens? I never listen to the radio but this day I have no kids and my Husband left his Sirius receiver (Love that Sirius) in my car. So I tune it to the coffee shop channel and what is playing but some song about us trusting that God's timing is perfect. Huh!! WOW!!

Waiting is one of the hardest things for some of us to do (ME!!). I need to trust that for some reason we are meant to wait just a little bit longer. I might never find out the reason why but I have to have faith that the timing will be right. No matter how much I want this it is not meant to be right at this moment. Never early, Never late, Just right!!! WOW, This really is a tough lesson.

P.S. Did you see my last post with my beautiful children's updated pictures? Do you see now why this lesson is so hard?? Who could wait to kiss those cheeks????

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Our Daughter - September 7th- 23 wks old

Still no smile but she likes to stick her tongue out. Look at those cheeks.
Look Mom ,I told you it would grow back. Just not as thick or as dark.
Here I am with my tongue out again and my serious "I am going to cure cancer" look.
Her hand appears so small next to her caregivers.