Saturday, February 23, 2008

rollercoaster of a week

What a week!  I've had highs and lows galore.  The week started with my mom FINALLY coming home from the hospital Monday night.  She's still struggling with some pain, but is able to eat more and is getting her strength back.  When you talk to her, there is no question in her mind that she will be making the trip to Vietnam.  Hooray!

On Tuesday I received an email from USCIS about my I600.  I don't really want to get into it, but I answered their question and had a bad feeling that that wouldn't be the end of it. 

Thursday I got word that the plans for my Family Leave at work were pretty much finalized so I can stop worrying.  The day ended with what I thought was a great "Lost" episode.  WTH is Kate doing with Aaron?!

Friday was not one of my best days.  I got to work and found an email from my agency saying that I have to re-file my I600.  I then proceeded to call my mother and sob on the phone for a good 20 minutes.  Sadie is going to be 9 months old on Monday.  She was abandoned in the hospital when she was 3 DAYS old.  How is it OK for this process to take so long?  At this point I'm not convinced that she'll be home before she is one.  This breaks my heart. 

But today, Saturday, things started looking up.  I received  2 new pictures and measurements.  Sadie is now 26 inches long and weighs 15.4 pounds.  She's not any longer than she was in December, but she's put on a little weight.  The new pictures are so much better than the last ones.  She's not smiling, but she just looks happy.  I can't explain it.  There is a twinkle in her eye. 

sadie eyes

She looks so healthy.  Her skin is beautiful!  In one picture she is being held by a smiling nanny and in the other, she appears to be standing in her crib.  I LOVE THESE PICTURES.  And if these weren't great enough, I am told I will get more pictures and VIDEO when my agency director returns home.  : )

The day just got better from there.  I went to the mall to return something from one of my showers and ended up buying lots of treats for Sadie.  First I bought her a bib and plush play set for her first Passover.  It's so cute I could die!  Then she got a onesie, a sweater and a little outfit from Macy's.  A dress, nightgown, socks and a tee from Gymboree.  And the cutest bathing suit EVER, from the Gap.  It is navy blue with cherries on it.  It went on sale a few weeks ago and I've been looking for it ever since.  I found it in her size (I hope!) tucked away on a shelf, behind some other items.  It was meant to be. 

Here's hoping next week brings only good news!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

tiny prints

I can't believe it, but I won another blog contest.  One of the blogs that I read each day is Celebrity Baby Blog.  It's got fun stories about pregnant and parenting celebrities.  They even mentioned the hospital I work at recently because it has become quite popular with celebrities!  They also have frequent contests.  About a month ago, they had a contest to win a $100 gift certificate to Tiny Prints.  This is a great online shop for photo cards, announcements and invitations.  I've looked around their site a few times.  I would love to get my adoption announcements from them.  Well, looks like the $100 is going to come in very handy! 

I just have to say how impressed I have been with Tiny Prints.  After I won, Jenny from Tiny Prints sent me an email congratulating me on my adoption and contest win.  I emailed her back letting her know how excited I was about the win and using Tiny Prints for my announcements.  Well, Jenny wrote back and thanked me for the positive comments and said they were looking forward to being a part of my adoption journey.  How nice is that? 

Then, to top it all off, when the gift certificate arrived, it was accompanied by a handwritten note again congratulating me on the win and my adoption.  I can't wait to place my order!!!

tiny thanks

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

care package

I got a great surprise this week.  The director of my placement agency is going to Vietnam next week and she offered to deliver care packages to the children.  I was told that I could send whatever I could fit in a 2.5 gallon ziploc.  The catch was that I had just a few days to get it to North Carolina.  So, yesterday I left work early and went to Target to buy my munchkin some goodies.  I know it's ridiculous.  I've had 2 huge baby showers and have a room full of stuff, but I was warned that she may not come home with the items that I send so I didn't want to send anything that someone special had given her.  So, I went to Target and had a blast.  I bought her a little fleece blanket, a little butterfly toy that lights up and makes noise, a teether shaped like an apple, a plastic book, a little silky blanket with a giraffe head, a disposable camera, a cute purple dress, 5 onesies and 4 pairs of pants.  I got everything home and did my first load of baby laundry.  It may not seem like a big deal, but it was quite the moment for me. 

I bought an adorable stuffed turtle at the gift shop in the hospital where I work and also had a cute little cotton blanket with cherry blossoms on it.  Finally, I had a "Who Loves Baby" plastic book which I filled with pictures of me, Bailey, my folks, their dogs and my grandma.  I was up until 1:30am trying to print pictures off my computer with very little success.  I finally ended up going through old pictures and pulling originals out of photo albums.  Unfortunately I didn't have time to make labels in Vietnamese (or English for that matter), but I'm thinking it will be pretty clear who is who.  I did, however, think to write a note to the caregivers which the ladies at the nail salon near my work were more than happy to translate for me.  The woman who helped me, however, doesn't like her handwriting so she wrote it out in Vietnamese and I had to rewrite it.  Do you have any idea how many little marks, accents and dots there are in that language?  Oy!  Not easy.  I just thanked the nannies for taking such good care of my girl and told them that I hope to meet them soon.

Anyway, here is all the stuff I sent!

feb 2008 002

feb 2008 004

Somehow I managed to fit everything into the ziploc and sent it on it's way this afternoon.  I also sent a notarized release of information so that my agency director can speak to USCIS about my case while in Vietnam.  Not sure it will help, but it can't hurt, right?

I love the idea that Sadie has things from home.  I truly hope that she is able to come home with one or more of the toys or blankets that I sent.  It would definitely be nice to have a transitional object that she is attached to!


Thursday, February 7, 2008


I was driving home from work one night this week and I heard George Michael's "Freedom" on the radio.  I can't remember the last time I heard that song but it instantly made me happy.  I cranked up the radio and started singing.  It totally took me back!  Isn't it amazing how a song can make you feel a certain way?  I know I've blogged before about my love of music.  I can't wait to share this passion with my little one.  She already has her own MP3 player, thanks to her "auntie" W and her mom, K.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

mom update

Well, my mom is still in the hospital but they FINALLY let her try to eat and drink today and she kept it all down.  Hurray!!!  She had some broth, jello and apple juice.  This is the first she's eaten and kept down in weeks.  This is a very good sign.  They want to move her up to solids slowly so she'll be in the hospital a little while longer, but she is definitely feeling better. 

This makes me VERY happy.  I don't want to sound selfish, but I want and need my mom to come with me to get Sadie.  I can't explain it, I just do!  It just wouldn't feel right without her there.  My dad and I went to dinner last night after visiting with my mom and I asked him if he was ready to make the trip with me alone if need be.  Thankfully, he said he would.  So, I know I won't have to go alone, but it won't be the same without my mom.  Thankfully, she seems to be on the mend.  And since my I600 approval will likely take many more weeks, she'll have time to regain her strength and gain a little weight back.  I never thought I'd be OK with the slowdown at USCIS.  I guess everything happens for a reason.  : )

Friday, February 1, 2008

one year ago today

I just realized that it was a year ago today that I signed with my home study agency.  I can't believe it's been a year already.  In the realm of International Adoption, it is pretty amazing that I am where I am today after one year.  Some families have to wait a year or more for their referral.   Does this realization mean I'm going to chill out and handle the wait better?  Heck no.  It just makes me realize how blessed I truly am.

acknowledgement received!


I have NEVER checked my email before going to work.  For some reason, I decided to check this morning.  Well, there it was!  My acknowledgement from USCIS.  I guess the positive thinking in yesterday's post paid off.

Unfortunately, the good news came with a bit of bad news.  There's a hiccup with a date on one of Sadie's documents, but my agency tells me this shouldn't be a problem.  They've written a letter and I sent an email explaining as well.

So far, every aspect of my adoption has gone smoothly and taken less time than expected.  Please let Sadie's approval come quickly and smoothly.