Thursday, December 27, 2007

more new pictures of my munchkin

I was surprised with two new pictures of my munchkin today.  One is of her on a white blanket on the floor.  There are two tiny hands on the bottom right side where it appears another munchkin was trying to sneak into her picture - how cute is that?

               hands cropped

She is wearing the cutest red dress in the picture.  Don't you just love the belt? 

dress cropped

The other picture is of her being held by a different caregiver than in the other pictures I've received.  She is holding her in front of a small Christmas tree.  It's things like the tree in the background or the mobiles in the background on the last set of pictures that really make me happy.  You think orphanage and decor and homey don't come to mind.  It's nice to see that she's not in a completely sterile environment.

The only bad thing about these pictures is that she still is not smiling.  What I wouldn't give to see my munchkin smile.  She looks healthy and seems to be thriving.  They tell me she now weighs 14.3 pounds and is 26 inches long.  Obviously I love getting new pictures but it is also depressing to see how much she is growing and changing and I'm missing it all. 

Friday, December 7, 2007

a holiday gift for my baby girl

Look at the ADORABLE outfit my dear friend E got for my baby girl.  I'm definitely taking this one with us to Vietnam.  I have the best friends!!!

12.07 pics 006 12.07 pics 007


Thursday, December 6, 2007

momma is happy!

I got what may be my last big Hanukkah gift from my folks (since it is soon to be all about the munchkin).  No, it's not an iPhone, but an iPod Touch.  I already have a phone and a digital camera so the iPhone seemed a little wasteful.  Plus, I would have had to change service providers and blah, blah, blah.  Now I do have an iPod (I actually got it free from the Ellen De Generes show during her first year of 12 Days of Giveaways), but I really wanted this.  It is so beautiful!  I've put my current favorite music on it (Linkin Park, OneRepublic, Vanessa Carlton and Dave Gahan) and all of the munchkin's pictures.  I haven't tried it outside of my house yet so I have no idea how hard it is to find Wi-Fi, but I still love it! 

12.07 pics 008

bailey is happy!

Bailey has been my baby for the last 12 1/2 years.  When my baby girl arrives, it's going to rock her world.  So, it's nice to know that I can still make her happy.  I think it is safe to say that Bailey LOVED her Hanukkah gift!  It's a Scratch-O-Rama mat with catnip and sisal.  She proceeded to rub her face on it and scratch at it for about 15 solid minutes.  I took a video of her enjoying her new toy but it came it so dark.  So here are some pics of my furry baby. 

bailey happy

bailey happy 2

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

new pictures of my munchkin have landed

I got a very pleasant surprise today in the form of an email from my agency. The subject read "Update" so I assumed it was an agency update. But no! It was updated pictures of my munchkin. I can't believe how much she has grown since her referral picture. Her hair is a lot longer (past her ears on the sides) and her face is longer. As a result, she's losing her adorable chubby cheeks. She looks like she has a stuffy nose...poor baby. After staring at the pictures for hours I noticed a couple of things. First, there was a colorful mobile hanging over the cribs in the background. This made me so happy! Also, the same caregiver from her referral pic was holding her. In the referral pic, the caregiver did not look happy. In the new pic, however, she is smiling down at my little one. You could tell she has affection for her.

It kills me to see how much she is changing. I hate to think about everything I am missing. Please let me come get my baby soon!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

crib shopping

The weekend before Thanksgiving my mom and I went crib shopping.  Good grief...what an adventure.  Who knew there were so many options?   After looking throughout the store and catalogs, I decided on a crib and dresser (with a changing table on the top) by Morigeau Lepine.  

Here's the crib:


Here's the dresser:


I think they are so pretty.  And the crib converts to a toddler bed so my baby girl can use it for a few years!  Both pieces should arrive mid-January!  I can't wait.

Monday, November 26, 2007

another contest win!

I can't believe it but I actually won another blog contest.  The funniest thing is that I won from the same blog I won the onesie from.  This time I won a toddler size Baby B'Air.  It sells for $34.95.  It's a flight safety vest for the baby to wear that attaches to your seat belt on the plane.  Could come in handy if my munchkin is fidgety. 

 baby b'air

Sunday, November 25, 2007

thanksgiving dinner....yummy!

Well, my mom still wasn't back to normal but we went ahead with thanksgiving dinner.  It was quite the accomplishment for me.  I usually make dessert and cranberry sauce and my mom pretty much makes the rest.  I help with the side dishes when I get to the house, but she handles the turkey and stuffing all on her own.  Well, this year, she just couldn't manage it so she seasoned the turkey and put it in the oven without the stuffing.  I did all the rest.  I made stuffing, yams, vegetable casserole and a yummy appetizer I saw Paula Deen make on tv that morning.  Everything was great!  I'm hoping we can go back to the old way of doing things next year though.  Especially since I'll likely be chasing a toddler around the house all day!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

no turkey but still thankful


Unfortunately, my mom wasn't feeling well today so we decided to postpone Thanksgiving until tomorrow or Saturday. Sadly, I didn't get the call until I had already completed one of the desserts and the cranberry sauce and had cracked all the eggs for the pumpkin pie. Now I'm home with two yummy desserts trying to restrain myself from having a little taste.

My dad and I were planning to go to the L.A. Auto Show this Saturday, but now that we had nothing to do all day, we decided to go today. We hadn't been in years. There were far more people there than I expected for Thanksgiving Day. After the show we thought we'd try to find a place to eat but every single place we tried was closed. I get that it's Thanksgiving, but you'd think you could find one place open. Not us.

Despite the unorthodox Thanksgiving Day I still have much to be thankful for. #1 on that beautiful daughter. I can't wait to get my hands on her!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

blog contests....gotta love 'em

So I mentioned in a past post that I have new routine when I get home. I turn on the computer and check numerous adoption blogs, parenting blogs and shopping blogs. More and more of the blogs these days are having giveaways. Not one to shy away from giving out my email address, I have entered many. Well imagine my surprise when I received an email telling me I had won one!

I won this darling onesie from

smitten onesie

It is made of 100% pima cotton and is embellished with genuine Swarovski Crystals. It retails for $35.99. Not a bad win, huh?

It's from They have other cute items as well. In fact, I love their bottles. I'm thinking about picking these up for my little one.

pink bottle cowboy bottle

They're a little pricey at $13.99 but style doesn't come cheap, right?

Monday, November 12, 2007

a place to lay her little head

So much to do. I don't have a crib yet, but I saw this bedding a few weeks ago and decided to buy it before it is no longer available. I'm going with a pink and chocolate theme for the nursery since I already have a brown futon in the room. Plus, I've always liked the colors together. Not too girly or bright. I've seen cute crib sets for $200 and $300 which seems stupid to me since she'll likely be in the crib for just over a year. I mean, if you can afford it, go for it. But I need to be a bit more frugal. This set is from Walmart and it's very reasonably priced. I hope it's as nice in person as it looks in this pic! I want a white crib so it should look a little lighter.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

letter of acceptance

So the next step is to accept the referral by signing a letter, scaning it and emailing it back to my agency. I don't have a scanner so I had to go to Kinko's. Let's just say it was an adventure but I got it done. After scanning the letter I went out to run errands. I looked for treats for my baby girl but for some strange reason had a hard time finding anything I really liked. So, I went to the bookstore and bought her a few books: First Book of Sushi, I am a Bunny and Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World. So cute!

After the mall I went to Best Buy to buy some things for my new computer. While looking at the external hard drives my cell phone rang. Again, I was quite surprised to see my agency contact's number at 5pm my time. Gail wanted to know if I had a chance to email the letter yet because it was the next day in Vietnam and they were hoping to send my signed letter to Hanoi. (I can't believe how things are moving along!!!) I told her I'd be home in less than an hour and I would get the letter to her asap. I quickly finished shopping, ran home and off went the letter.

I have no idea what happens next...


Oh my gosh..... So, I'm having a lazy, boring Saturday. I didn't leave the house. I just laid around, watched the Tivo and cleaned a little. Can you imagine my surprise when at 6pm my phone rings and I see the name of my agency contact on my Caller ID. Keep in mind that she is in North Carolina where it is 9pm on Saturday night.

I answered the phone and she asked if I was home and could talk. I said yes and then she told me that she was looking at a picture of a beautiful baby girl that she thinks will be perfect for me. I started to shake and cry. She asked if I was near a computer and I told her I was running downstairs to turn it on. Of course my brand new laptop (long story for another time) wouldn't connect to the internet so I couldn't get to her email. She wanted to hear my reaction when I opened the email so she stayed on the line while I tried to figure out what was wrong. In the meantime she told me that the baby was born on May 25th. She is in Ho Chi Minh City. She told me that all of her tests have been negative and her exams have been normal. She weighed 6 pounds 7 oz at birth. She now weighs 11 pounds 9 oz and she is 23 inches long. I'm freaking out at this point because I still can't get online. All I want to do is see my little girl! When it just didn't look like it was going to happen, she offered to let me go and asked me to let her know when I receive the email.

I immediately called my mom and told her what was happening. Now both of us are freaking out. Finally, I was able to get online and find the email. It had 4 attachments: 2 pictures and 2 medical reports.

I don't know how to put into words what it felt like to see the first picture. Just writing about it now makes me cry. She is the most adorable baby girl. She has tons of dark hair that sticks straight up on top. She has big, beautiful dark eyes and gorgeous lips. I immediately start counting her fingers and toes.....all there! She looks really healthy to me.

Her medical records are in Vietnamese but between my dad and I we figured out that the blood tests were run in August and were all negative.

After my mom (who still has dial-up) was finally able to download the pictures we just sat on the phone in shock. I can't believe it. This baby is my daughter.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

4 months, 3 weeks and 1 day!

That's right! I recieved my referral tonight. Details soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

swap meet treasures

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Y and I went to the Head to Toe Women's Expo in Orange County. They had some interesting booths. We bought tea and Y got a cute t-shirt. After that, there wasn't much else that we were intersted in. However, just outside the Expo, was a huge swap meet. Neither of us knew what to expect but we decided to give it a shot. Well, what an experience. We were there for hours in the scorching sun. We went up and down every single aisle. We had sausages and ice cream to keep up our energy : ) Y bought a cool apron with cherries and skulls on it. In the same booth, I find this darling bib.

Instantly, I knew I was in trouble. After buying the bib, I started seeing cute baby stuff everywhere I looked. I ended up leaving the swap meet with the following goodies:

bib and diaper/wipe holder with scottie dogs

terrycloth and cotton burp cloths

silky blanket with Day of the Dead skull pattern (too cool!)

darling asian style dress with butterflies

I can't wait to go back after my baby girl gets here!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

baby girl's first piece of furniture

It's official. The first piece of furniture has been purchased! I was looking at cribs online and decided to go to Pottery Barn Kids. One of my friends got her baby furniture there and it's so cute so I thought I'd look at the current styles. Well, I fell in love with this bookcase and when I told my mom about it, she offered to buy it for me. Yipee! It should arrive sometime next week. Then all I have to do is put it togehter. Oy. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 5, 2007

agency update

I decided that it had been a while since I bugged my agency and I was starting to wonder if the 6 month wait for a referral was still reasonable or if I should start preparing myself for a referral next year. Six months would put my referral around Christmas. So, I sent an email to my agency and the response I received started with:

"It is very likely that you will receive a referral soon (before Xmas)"

This has me very excited. It actually made it a little more real for me. To think that I will have a picture of my baby girl before the end of the year is just amazing!

Friday, September 28, 2007

another year older

Well, it's official. I'm 39. Where did the year go? It was exactly a year ago that I decided to pursue an adoption. I knew that if I didn't go forward, I would regret it the rest of my life. About a week later, I filled out the paperwork to get on the waiting list for a baby girl from China. The rest, as they say, is history.

Friday, September 14, 2007

still waiting...

Well, next week will be 3 months waiting for my referral. They told me it would likely be 6 months so I'm halfway there. I'm still really hopeful that I'll get my referral before Christmas. I've started thinking a lot about the in country process. What exactly do I have to do? When do I get to meet my little girl? What do I need to take with me? What am I going to eat while I'm there?

My agency just started a yahoo group for families adopting from Vietnam. I can't wait to hear from other families using my agency about the process. I'm sure they'll be a valuable source of information. I don't think any of them have travelled yet so they may not be able to answer all of my questions, but I think I'll ask. I'll also send an email to my agency contact, Gail. I hate to bother her but I'm sure she's used to it. What else can a girl do but think while she is waiting for the most important call of her life?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

the scary thoughts that pop into my head

Today, driving home from the grocery store I started panicking about when my baby starts school. I was honestly stressing about who will pick her up in the middle of the day and where will she go. I've got daycare all set at my work until she is school age, but then what? When I got home I had to tell myself to get a grip. I haven't even received a referral yet. There is no baby yet and I'm worried about 5 years from now. I don't know what made me think of it but I stressed myself out good. Wait until I have real things to worry about. Oy!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

blogs i love!

I have a new habit. Every night when I get home I turn on the computer and check my favorite blogs. Most are Vietnam adoption blogs...some are parenting blogs. Here are a few of my favorites!

The first blog I found was This blog belongs to a single guy who just adopted the CUTEST little boy from Vietnam. I found his blog when he was preparing to go to Vietnam to pick up his son. He posted while in Vietnam which was so great. I learned a lot about the in country process from him. Now I love hearing about all the amazing things his son can do.

Another Vietnam adoption blog is This blog belongs to a couple in NC who are waiting to adopt a baby girl (Lulu). I started reading this blog when they were waiting for their referral. Everyday I would check to see if today was the day. In addition to blogging about adoption, the blogger is an amazing photographer. I love seeing the pics of her dogs, gifts for Lulu and other things. They recently received their referral and are now waiting for their travel date!

Another Vietnam adoption blog I love is I actually found this blog days before the couple traveled to Vietnam to pick up their beautiful little girl. They posted during their stay which was exciting and educational! They are now home and adjusting to life with their little one.

One other blog that I visit every day is This is a parenting blog with great information and items. I've already found several must haves from this site and even ordered 2 shirts for my baby girl from I ordered the Audrey Hepburn and Lloyd Dobler (from Say Anything). They have fun giveaways and links to many other interesting parenting sites. I LOVE this blog!!

Well, that's all for now. There are at least 5 other blogs I check daily. I'll blog about them another time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

i HEART harry potter!

So I just finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Shadows" and I'm a complete mess. No other book has ever made me cry like this one did. It wasn't just the story but knowing that this is the last Harry Potter book. These books are so amazing! I love that they take you to another world. They introduce you to new words that you're just not sure how to pronounce - I didn't know how to say Hermione until I saw the first movie. Now what am I going to read??!!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

retail therapy

A few weeks ago, things at work took a turn for the worse. I love my job and most of the people that I work with, but my workplace is pretty crappy these days. So, after a miserable week, I ducked out of work early and went to a craft show at the Santa Monica Civic Center that one of my volunteers told me about. It was a lot nicer than I expected. They had beautiful art, jewelry and other things. I bought some darling silver mermaid earrings, a pink crocodile passport cover (too cute) and a lilac sachet. I saw a mezzuzah that I considered buying for the baby's room, but passed.

After the craft fair, I went to the Santa Monica Place. I honestly don't know what got in to me but I decided to walk in to Gymboree. I really hadn't bought anything for baby other than the items from Europe. I wasn't looking to spend a lot of money so I went straight to the sale rack. I started looking through and couldn't believe my eyes. There was this darling dress with little pictures all over it. I looked closely and it said Spanish Steps. I looked again and saw Gelateria. The dress had little pictures of landmarks in Rome. Having just returned from Rome, I loved it. I bought this darling jumper and the matching dress.

Well, shortly thereafter I lost my "I can't buy too much too early" sense and it's been a blast. After buying these pieces I went to Ebay where I found the dress in a larger size and a matching blanket. Oh my goodness.....I love this line!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

random thoughts...

I've still got more adoption process to blog about, but it has occurred to me that eventually I'm going to run out of adoption stuff to talk about. So, every now and again I'll take the opportunity to discuss random topics. Here is my first "random" post...

Last weekend I watched the Concert for Diana and this weekend I watched Live Earth. Being a huge music fan, it was fun to see some of my favorite acts performing live. Actually, I was surprised to see so many of the bands from the Diana show playing again this weekend for Live Earth. Then I got to thinking...if I was going to plan a big benefit concert, which artists/bands would I want to include? So just for fun, I came up with my top 10. They are (in no particular order):

Depeche Mode
Justin Timberlake
Rick Springfield
Duran Duran
Damien Rice
Goo Goo Dolls

I'm not sure what my taste in music says about me. Gosh, at first glance I'm thinking....where are the women? And what year is it for crying out loud? I think to a certain extent I'm still living in the past. I mean, how many women my age are still gaga for Rick Springfield? I don't just remember him fondly from high school, I have all of his cds and see him live every year. Come to think of it though, my friends E, K and Y all like him too! My friend E even pinched his behind when we saw him at the House of Blues a few years ago. It was one of the funniest things ever! I can't wait to tell her daughter all about it one day.

Honestly though, there are tons of other artists that I love. For what seems like forever, my mom and I always go to tons of concerts every summer. I guess I should enjoy this summer since it will probably be my last, huh? At least until my baby girl is old enough to come along. I can remember seeing Barry Manilow with my mom at Universal when it didn't have a roof. We also saw bands like Styx and the Doobie Brothers. I truly don't know how I got her to take me to see Adam Ant one year. She still has not forgiven me for that. I must have been very persuasive. Anyway, I hope my baby girl loves music as much as me and my mom do. It will be such a fun thing for us to all do together.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

when in rome

So, I did all I could for my home study and then my mom and I went to London and Rome for two weeks at the end of April. We had a FANTASTIC time. I took over 800 pictures. I think the reason I took pictures of practically everything I saw was because I'm afraid it will be MANY, MANY years before I get back!

So far, I hadn't really bought anything for my baby girl. The only exception was in February, while in Monterey for work, I bought a children's book and small otter stuffed animal at the aquarium. They were just sooo cute!

I decided that while I was in Europe I had to buy a few things since I won't likely be back for a while. I have to say it was so much fun shopping for her. We started our trip in London where the first thing I bought was at Harrod's. I found this cute pink bear and bib.

The next purchase was at the London Eye. We found this darling children's book called Little Lillie Visits the London Eye. It's about a little girl named Lillie who has a magic basket that transports her to magical places. I loved that it was about the place we just visited. I looked in the back of the book and found that there were others. While at Windsor Castle, I bought Little Lillie Visits Windsor Castle. We scoured London for the other books, but no luck. Sadly, and oddly, they're not available on their website. Oh well, I'll keep looking.

While trying to find the other Little Lillie books, we found these darling Katie Books: Katie in London, Katie and the Mona Lisa and Katie and the Sunflowers.

Then it was off to Rome. I found this great Pippi Longstockings book that was in Italian and my mom thought I was crazy for wanting to buy it. She talked me out of it but I did buy this Little Mermaid board book in Italian. My girl is going to be so worldly! (p.s. I found the same Pippi book in English on Ebay when I got home!)

Last, and most certainly not least, my mom bought my baby girl this beautiful rosebud dress. *Thank you grandma!* We bought it a little big (about a 2T) so it will probably be a while before she grows into it. I'll definitely save it for a special occasion. I can't wait to see her in it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

journey abroad

In accordance with the Hague Convention, all prospective adoptive parents are now required to complete 10 hours of "adoptive parent" training. It must be completed before the home study can be finalized. Vista calls theirs "Journey Abroad." It was held over 3 Wednesdays. The first two classes were 3 hours and the last class, which included a potluck, was 4 hours.

I was definitely apprehensive about the classes. What if there were no other single parents? Who would I connect with? What were we going to talk about? What if it is boring? Well, when I walked into the class the first night, one of my biggest concerns was realized. I was the only single parent. There were 4 couples and me. Oh boy. As the night went on though, I realized that they were a great group of people. At that point I hadn't decided to adopt from Vietnam; I was still thinking about Guatemala. Each of us was adopting from a different country - China, Haiti, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Our facilitator was nice as well. She was a little off the first night (she forgot our manuals) but she was very supportive and provided great information.

We discussed various topics over the three nights including: why we were adopting, what we were worried about, what we hoped to learn from the classes, developmental milestones, institutionalization, common behavior issues, adoption gains and losses, discipline, attachment, medical issues, culture and handling post adoption questions. A lot of the information was common sense and a lot I knew from my social work days, but believe me when I tell you that it was extremely valuable to discuss these topics with others. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives, concerns and plans.

For the second class we were asked to bring an item that connects us with our culture or religion. I really struggled with this. What is my culture? I'm a Caucasian American. My grandparents were born abroad but I don't know much about their ancestry. Basically, I couldn't come up with much. So, even though I'm not very religious, I ended up bringing a wooden dreidel. I can't tell you how surprised I was to find that 3 others in the group were Jewish. Two of the others brought mezuzahs and the third brought a Kiddush cup. It was interesting to hear everyone describe their items and what they meant to them.

The last night was a potluck. By that time I had switched countries to Vietnam. Each couple (and me) were supposed to bring a food from the country we were adopting from. Well, I am not a great cook. I mean, I make a mean brisket, lemon pasta, pasta carbonara, honey mustard chicken and ribollita. I am also quite the baker; my daughter will never want for cookies or cupcakes. But most nights, since I'm single, it's pasta, soup or take out. So, coming up with a Vietnamese recipe was no easy thing. I searched for hours online but found that most recipes were for fish and I'm not a big fish eater. Also, I knew there were vegetarians in the class. I just didn't see myself making egg rolls, especially on a work night. Some of the desserts actually sounded pretty good, but didn't seem very authentic. So, I wussed out and ended up finding a Vietnamese restaurant, Le Saigon, nearby. I ended up ordering Cha Gio (vegetable imperial rolls) and Goi Cuon (shrimp spring rolls). Of course, when I got to class, I discovered that I was the ONLY one who didn't cook. In fact, one of the husbands actually made these Pierogi type things that were delicious. In the end, my rolls were a big hit. In fact, some of the "vegetarians" even ate the shrimp rolls. Everything was yummy!

I have to say that I loved the classes. I so enjoyed getting to know the other couples and it was nice to talk with others who were going through the same process. On the last night, I brought my camera and we took a group photo for prosperity. We left the last class promising to stay in touch and some of us have. One couple even had a dinner party for the group. (I could go on and on about how amazing their house in Glendale was, but I won't.)

So that was my "journey abroad" experience. I can assure you that the learning does not end there. I've been reading up on Vietnam and am planning to read "What to Expect in the First Year." I have a feeling I'll be learning for the next 18 years.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the home study

Well, the first big step towards becoming a mom was picking a home study agency and getting started. My friends L and D both used Vista Del Mar for their home study. I had worked with them as a social worker and child advocate and I knew they had a good reputation. So, on February 1st I sent off my application (and a check) to initiate my home study.

In return, Vista sent me a packet of paperwork. I had to write an autobiography, which honestly, up to this point, has been the hardest thing for me. I had to summarize my life in 4 pages or less. I'm 38 years old for crying out loud...what do you include and what do you leave out? Somehow I managed to get it done in 4 full pages, double spaced. The rest of the stuff was pretty easy - criminal record statement, fingerprinting, medical exam, employment verification, tax returns, bank statements, birth certificate and a bunch of agency forms. I also had to ask 4 dear friends to write letters of recommendation for me. Thankfully, they were all more than happy to do so. (My friends rock!) I finally finished everything and dropped it all off to Vista on March 14th. The next day, I was assigned a social worker.

I was nervous about my first visit with the social worker. I just didn't know what to expect. The visit took place in her office on March 28th. It was pretty casual really. My sw was very friendly. She asked a bunch of questions about me and my family. A few, I'm embarrassed to admit, I couldn't about my family ancestry. We spoke for a little less than an hour and then we were done. Needless to say, I went home and immediately starting researching my family history. I didn't want to look stupid in the second interview.

My second visit was on April 4th, again, in the sw's office. Again, it was pretty casual. We discussed the information in my autobiography. We also talked about why I chose Vietnam and my parenting style. The final visit, a home inspection, was scheduled for the following week.

This part made me nervous. I cleaned my apartment like it had never been cleaned before. I actually unpacked boxes that I'd had in the closet since I moved in 3 years earlier. I threw out old magazines even cleaned out the fridge. I bought fire extinguishers and had flowers out on the table. I even moved the cat's food off the dining room table and down to the floor where normal people feed their animals. *side note* I keep bailey's food and water on the dining room table because I had a horrible ant problem a few years ago, and this was an easy solution. Since I'm single, I rarely eat at the dining room table anyway. And when I do have guests, I just move everything. I know it's not normal!

When the sw arrived at my place on April 12th, she had a draft of my home study with her. She asked me to read it over and mark any errors. I can't tell you how it felt to read the last page where it said I was "approved and recommended for the adoption of one child." The sw stayed for a short while and really wasn't interested in the nooks and crannies of my place. She didn't open a drawer or closet. She just wanted a quick tour and then we sat on the sofa. When we were talking about baby proofing, I had to bite my tongue when she told me I'd have to find a higher place to keep that cat food so the baby can't get to it. I told her I'd see what I could come up with. We talked about what my next steps would be and about the vacation I had planned. I was going to London and Rome for 2 weeks and she told me I could start buying things for my daughter-to-be.

And just like that, the home study was done. All that was left was for her to print the final copy. Then it had to be signed by her supervisor and notarized. I was going on vacation so she told me I could pick it up as soon as I got back.

We got home from Rome on Monday, May 7th. I took the 8th off work to recuperate and picked up completed home study on May 9th! Now that was one thing I could check off my list!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

the decision to adopt

Last year, on my birthday, it hit me that I was another year older and still single. I wasn't just single, I wasn't meeting new guys or dating anyone. I have always wanted to be a mom and I realized that at this point in my life it was more important for me to be a mom than to be a wife. So, I decided not to let the fact that I'm still single stop me from being a mom.

I pretty much knew from the get go that artificial insemination was not for me. I didn't want to be pregnant alone. I also knew, thanks to my years as a social worker and child advocate, that adopting thru the foster care system was not something I wanted to do. I don't think my heart could take it. There was something about International Adoption that felt right. With the complete support of my family and friends, I started looking into it.

I knew a couple of people at work who had adopted from China so I decided that I would start with them. I soon learned that not one, but two of my co-workers were in the process of adopting from China. I called my friend L and she was so amazing. She shared all the info she had and offered to help any way that she could. Before I knew it, I was on the waiting list for a baby. All I had to do for this to happen was fill out one page and fax it to US Asian Affairs. Then, they said, I had to wait until I was high enough on the waiting list to start my paperwork. Sadly, little time passed before it was announced that China was closing to singles. My friend L had been in the process so long that she was just waiting to be matched. My other friend, D, was on the waiting list like me, but she was high enough to still qualify. I was too far down the list to proceed. Bummer, I thought. Now what?

I have some friends who adopted a little boy from Russia so I started looking into that. Everything sounded good except the travel. You have to make two separate trips which total over a month and I knew there was no way I could take that much time off from work before I even had the child.

I remembered that my best friend E had a friend who had adopted from Guatemala several years earlier. We got in touch via email and she talked me thru the process. Actually, Guatemala sounded great because the babies are younger, it's a short flight to Guatemala, you only have to stay for about a week and the wait times didn't seem too long. I started researching agencies and found one that I liked that is located in NC. Then I joined a few listserves for people adopting from Guatemala. It was then that I learned about all of the turmoil going on with Guatemalan adoptions right now. I decided to start my home study with a local agency that I used to work with as a social worker and at CASA. (More on this in a future entry) Eventually I came to the decision that the process of adopting is stressful enough and I didn't want to deal with the country possibly shutting down to adoptions so I decided to choose yet another country. Since I had already signed with a placement agency, I had to look at what other countries they had available for singles. That's how I got to Vietnam.

Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't consider Vietnam in the first place. Probably because I didn't know anyone who had adopted from there. Now, however, thanks to the good ol' Internet, I have a huge circle of cyber friends who have either adopted or are in the process of adopting from Vietnam. They are a great source of information and support! In fact, if it weren't for them, it never would have occurred to me to start a blog.

So, that's how I made the decision to adopt and to adopt from Vietnam.

Friday, June 22, 2007

gotta start somewhere....

So, I've been saying for a few weeks now that I wanted to start a journal. It was something that my social worker recommended when she came for my home visit. Really, it sounded like a great idea. I could write about all the things I had to do and go thru to finally become a mom. I even bought a cute little book, but just couldn't get myself to start writing in it. Then I started thinking. I'm on the computer ALL THE TIME. And, I've been enjoying reading the blogs of others who are in the process of adopting, so I thought I'd start my own. Not only will it be a record of the process for my baby girl to see one day, but it will be a great way to keep my friends and family informed of my progress. it is. My blog - "and bailey makes three." Anyone who knows me knows that bailey is my cat.

And when my baby girl gets here, there will be three of us. Hence, the name.

Well, I'm gonna leave it at that for this first post. This weekend I'll start writing about my adoption journey so far.