Monday, April 28, 2008


88 days since I received my I600 acknowledgement email

59 days according to CIS' amended acknowledgement date

44 days since I received the Tu Du block letter

Zero new information

After reading article after article about the state of adoptions from Vietnam I feel sick.  Every day brings a new article with more damning information and accusations.  I don't know what is going to happen now.  I  want to believe that everything is above board in Sadie's case and that her adoption will be completed, but I don't know for sure.  I am not going to apologize for being invested in and attached to this child.  It has been nearly 6 months since we were matched with each other and I have thought about her and what our life will be like every day since.  Just the thought of letting go of that future is devastating to think about.  I want her adoption to be ethical but I also want it to be completed.  It's selfish, I know, but it is how I feel. 

Friday, April 25, 2008

doubly sad day...

Today the official announcement was made about the future of adoptions from Vietnam.  Vietnam will continue to accept dossiers until July 1st and only cases with an official referral by September 1st will be completed.  This doesn't really effect me since I already have my referral but it leaves so many waiting families with little or no hope.  My heart aches for all of the families waiting for their referral and for all of the children who will grow up without a forever family.  Everyone knew it was coming, but it doesn't make the official announcement any easier. 

As if this news weren't bad enough, the US Embassy in Hanoi also issued a Summary of Irregularities in Adoptions in Vietnam on their website.  To say that it is awful is an understatement.   

another special day missed

11 months

Sadie is 11 months old today.  She should not be in an orphanage today!  She should be home with her mommy and her family.  What is it going to take to make that happen?  Tell me CIS and I'll do it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

new traffic...

No adoption update.  Horrible news article on Vietnam adoptions.  Sadie turns 11 months old tomorrow.  Despite all of this, I am going to post a happy post.

Strange how things happen.  Just this week I added Feedjit to my blog.  It allows me to see where my readers are coming from.  Since I haven't given my blog address to very many people, I don't have a ton of readers, but I thought it would be fun to see where the few are coming from. Imagine my surprise to see that readers were coming from Celebrity Baby Blog today.  What?!  How did that happen?  It seems that CBB blogged about my post about winning the beautiful blanket from them and they linked my blog.  (did you follow that?)  It was quite fun to see my name and 4/12 post on CBB, even if they did say I am adopting from China.  Oh well. 

So, I thought I'd post about the beautiful blanket that actually arrived last week.  It is more beautiful than I imagined it would be.  It is so incredibly soft and special.  It arrived in a box wrapped with green tissue and a ribbon.

april 2008 007

Then, when I opened the box, here's what I found.  Isn't it lovely?  Sadie's gonna love it!

april 2008 009

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

i love pippi


Freckles on her nose

diddle diddle di

a girl came riding

into town one day

diddle diddle

she was quite a sight

it's pippi longstocking

say ho ho ha he ha ha

it's pippi longstocking

there's no one like her

happy as can be

diddle diddle

pippi tells you stories

you just wait and see

tra la la la la

she's quite a girl

she's got a house

an old and funny house

a monkey and a horse

a suitcase full of golden coins

and you will never ever ever find

another girl so strong

and always generous and kind

pippi's world is fun

diddle diddle di

she makes kids happy

her make believe may stun

diddle di

the grown ups here in town

pippi's quite unique

diddle diddle

with her smile disarming

she is such an imp

tra la la la la

you'll love her too.


*I can't wait to share my love of Pippi with my girl some day!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

another week of waiting...

Well here comes another week.  Oh joy!  (Can you hear the sarcasm?)  My agency is having a conference call tomorrow but I don't expect any information about how much longer I am going to have to wait to bring Sadie home.  There is absolutely no way of knowing.  She turns 11 months old on Friday.  Another milestone I am missing.  I received new pictures of her on Friday and they make me so sad.  I don't even want to share them with anyone.  She looks so unhappy.  Not just bored or not smiling, but truly unhappy.  I had specifically asked for a picture of her with something from the care package I sent her some time ago, but that didn't happen.  I was truly hoping for a picture of her holding my picture.  I know many other families have received a picture like that but not me.  Honestly, I have no idea if she ever received anything that I sent to her.  The only bright spot in these new pictures is that it shows her sitting up on her own on the floor.  So now I know that she can stand up in her crib and sit up on her own.  

I hate how this mess with the I600 has changed me.  I hate that I am constantly complaining and crying.  I am not a negative person, or at least I didn't used to be.  I know there are families that have been waiting for approval longer than I have but I think Sadie is older than a lot of their children.  Granted, it's only by a few months, but every month counts.  When I started this process, I was told to expect that my child would be about 6-9 months old when she came home.  At this point she'll be over a year old.  I know age is just a number but I hate thinking about all the things that I have missed and that she has missed out on.  Am I ready for a walking baby?  I can assure you that Bailey is not.  One of my volunteers told me some time ago that it doesn't matter how long it takes to bring her home because we will have a lifetime together.  I am really trying to hold on to this this thought.  I know she's right.  People say I'll forget the wait once she is home but I just hope I can forget and let go of the anger and frustration that I'm feeling.  I know I'll have stress, but it will be new mommy stress.  I'm OK with that.  I'm actually looking forward to that.  I'm just worried that this mess is going to change me forever; and not in a good way. 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Researchers find rare turtle in Vietnam

AFP via Yahoo! News

Thu Apr 17, 12:36 PM ET

HANOI (AFP) - US researchers have found a rare giant turtle in northern Vietnam after a three-year hunt -- a find sure to thrill both scientists and locals, who consider the animal a mythical creature.

The Swinhoe's soft-shell turtle was believed to be extinct in the wild. Only three of the turtles are known to exist in captivity -- two are at zoos in China, and one is in Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi.

But US and Vietnamese researchers recently focused their search for the world's largest freshwater turtle to a lake west of the capital, after local residents claimed to have spotted the animal there.

The turtle -- which can live to be more than 100 years old -- was photographed on the lake's surface, announced the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which sponsored the search along with the Cleveland Zoological Society.

"This is an incredibly important discovery because the Swinhoe's turtle is one of the most critically endangered species of turtle in the world," said Doug Hendrie, Vietnam-based coordinator of the zoo's Asian Turtle Programme.

"This species has legendary status among the people of Vietnam, so this is perhaps an opportunity for the legend to live on," he said in a statement dated Wednesday.

A Vietnamese legend says that a 15th century farmer-turned-rebel leader, Le Loi, used a magical sword to drive out Chinese invaders and found the dynasty named after him.

When Le Loi, by now the emperor, went boating on Hoan Kiem Lake one day, a turtle appeared, took his sacred sword and dived to the lake bottom, keeping the weapon safe for the next time Vietnam may have to defend its freedom.

The turtle -- which can weigh up to 300 pounds (135 kilogrammes) and measure up to 3.5 feet (one metre) -- has come under threat mostly from hunters, who kill it for food or to make traditional medicine from their bones.

Pollution and loss of nesting habitats along major rivers have contributed to the animal's demise, the Cleveland zoo said.

Efforts are underway to bring the male and female turtles from the China zoos together in a bid to reproduce, the zoo added.

"This is one of those mythical species that people always talked about but no one ever saw, so it's hugely significant that we found this lone turtle in the wild," said Geoff Hall, the zoo's general curator.

"It gives us some hope for a species that truly is on the verge of extinction."

*I'm documenting this special story for Sadie's baby book.  I hope to find a book about the legend while in Vietnam*

Thursday, April 17, 2008

day 77

It's scary quiet out there on the listserves.  No news of referrals or approvals.  No new block letters either, which is the only good news!  What the heck are they doing over there?  Come on CIS...let us bring our children home.  

Monday, April 14, 2008

so much for staying positive

Well, here's the latest.  I received a call from the caseworker in Senator Boxer's office today.  I was so happy to hear from her.  She proceeded to tell me that they finally received a response to their inquiry into my case.  She said that CIS said my acknowledgement date was March 3rd (um, no) and my case was blocked on March 17th.  That's it!  It seems that CIS has decided to change my acknowledgement date with no notice to me.  They are now counting 4 days AFTER they received my second I600 as my acknowledgement date.  The second I600 had EXACTLY the same information as the first.  Not one single thing was changed.  They didn't like that my first was one partially printed and partially typed and this is how they are going to make me pay for that!

I told the caseworker that basically she didn't tell me anything that wasn't in the 4 page letter I wrote to Senator Boxer.  How is that helpful?  I  waited 3 weeks for my Senator to tell me my acknowledgement date and my blocked date.  I want to know what she is doing to help.  Does she think what CIS is doing is OK?  Does she care that my daughter is languishing in an orphanage? 

I honestly don't know what to do now.  Senator Feinstein's office never even bothered to respond to my letters.  Congressman Waxman's office offered to help but are they going to do the same thing Boxer's office did?  I really thought Senator Boxer was going to be able to help.  She is very aware of the current situation and has helped California families who received denials bring their children home.  What a disappointment. 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

baby celebration los angeles

Today my friend Y and I went to Baby Celebration Los Angeles at the Convention Center.  When I first heard about it a few months ago, I figured I would be going with Sadie in tow.  When it became clear that that wasn't going to happen, I figured my mom would tag along.  Unfortunately, she's still struggling to get well and is no where near healthy enough to venture out in the 90+ degree heat we had today, let alone walk through the Convention Center for hours.  So, I asked my friend Y and she quickly said yes!  (I just love her!) 

I had a great time!  They had tons of booths with all kinds of goods and services.  I walked away with a couple of tees, a pair of pants, a dress and a baby sign language book for Sadie.  I talked to the girl at the gDiapers booth for a while and really think I'm going to give them a try, at least at home.  We'll probably do disposables at daycare though.  I also tried a couple of organic baby foods that were quite good.  I might try them every now and again but don't think I can afford to do it all the time.  It would be great if I had the time and energy to make my own baby food, but I just don't see that happening at this point.  I could be wrong.  Maybe its easy.  I'm going to allow myself some time to get used to the whole single parent thing before I try tackling making my own baby food.  It was nice to be out surrounded by tons of mom and adorable babies. 

Tomorrow starts a new week.  I'm expecting new pictures of my girl and hopefully some news about Dr. Long's visit to Tu Du Hospital.  I could really use some good news right about now.  

Saturday, April 12, 2008

another cool contest win

In February, I found out I won another blog contest.  This was my second win from Celebrity Baby Blog.  I previously blogged about my Tiny Prints gift certificate.

This is such a special prize.  It is a custom made, personalized blanket and it is huge.  It is 36" by 48".  It is valued at $178!!  That's some fancy blanket.  I chose cocoa plush with pink ribbon and pink and brown stripes.  It will match her room!  The best part is that it is personalized and because she has a relatively short name, both her first and middle name fit.  So it will look just like this, but will say Sadie Hieu.  Cute, huh?  It should be here next week. 


Friday, April 11, 2008


I wish it was January 15th again.  That was such a happy day.  I got to file my I600 and I was so excited.  I knew that was the last thing I had to do before I could go get Sadie.  I figured I'd be traveling in February or March, at the latest.  I started buying smaller baby clothes because most of what I have is 12-18 months and larger and my girl is such a peanut.  I bought some small toys that would pack easily.  I started looking for a cat sitter for Bailey.  I was on cloud nine. 

Boy how things can change.  I've pretty much stopped buying things now.  And when I can't stop myself, I buy 2T and 3T.  I haven't bothered with my travel shots or meeting the pediatrician yet.  I had the baby proofer out for a survey, but haven't had them back out to get started yet. Her car seat is sitting in the middle of my living room and I haven't even taken her stroller out of the box. 

In my nightly blog checks I've seen several lately where the families just filed their I600 or just got their acknowledgment and they have already packed their baby's suitcase.  I wish I could be that excited and hopeful again. 

I'm at the point where I am preparing myself for her not to be home for her first birthday or in my arms on my first Mother's Day.  All of this sadness and anger is eating away at me.  The stress is not helping my migraines.  I need to refocus and find something to be happy about.  My friends and family are so great, but when I'm home alone, I'm a mess.  There are 3 families from my agency who have been waiting over 130 days for approval.  I honestly don't know how they are coping at this point.

This weekend, I am going to make myself blog about happy things only.  No stressed out or angry posts.  At least till Monday. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

day 70

Nothing.  No word on Tu Du Hospital.  No word on whether her orphanage is really "blocked."  Nothing.


Monday, April 7, 2008

day 67 and nothing

I've read on a couple of blogs that some families who have been waiting 90+ days just got letters stating that USCIS needs more information to make a determination on their case.  I haven't received anything like this and hope I don't. 

My agency is hopeful that Dr. Long's trip to Tu Du Hospital will prove fruitful.  Here's hoping USCIS is able to get out there and complete my case very soon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

what a treat!

What a lovely day I had.  (Can you believe it?!)  I decided to take the day off....just because.  I slept in and then, at 10am my time, 7pm her time, I actually got to talk to K from 3 Continent Family on the phone.  I found her blog some time last year and so enjoyed her photography and following her adoption story.  Then, we both realized we are with the same agency.  Since then, we've been emailing back and forth.  After my 3/30 post, she emailed me asking if she could call me.  She has been such a great support and friend.  She's a wonderful cheerleader!  She won't let me lose hope or get too bogged down in the negative crap.  It was so nice to actually talk to her.  I hope one day we'll be able to meet and show off our munchkins.  Since we got our referrals on or about the same day, I had hoped we might actually be in country at the same time, but with things the way they are now, who knows. 

Later, I went to lunch and shopping with my friend Y.  (We always have fun together!)  Then home where I watched not one but two movies: In the Land of Women and Sweeney Todd.  Now that it's time to go to bed, it feels great knowing I still have the whole weekend ahead of me.  Here's hoping next week brings a slew of approvals!!