Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Small update

We got our 'invitation' for fingerprinting today. We should be able to go next Tuesday to get fingerprinted. There's a small glitch in that our address was wrong on the invitation-hopefully we can get that fixed without slowing us down. It was close enough that our postman got it to us.

The impatience is kicking in

I'm tired of waiting. Yes, I know my social worker just got back from vacation yesterday, but I want my homestudy write-up NOW! She's supposed to send me a rough draft so I can check all the details (names, address, ssn, etc.), then send it to corporate for a final check, then get it notarized and send a copy to CIS. I'm still waiting on an invitation to get fingerprinted from CIS, too. Once they have my fingerprints processed (not sure how long THAT takes) and have my homestudy in hand, it supposedly only takes 4 weeks. That's what THEIR sheet said. They sent me a sheet and a receipt for the money I gave them last week. But no appointment yet.

I was reading some posts about VN adoptions and saw mention of vaccinations. I checked with CHI's director and she said yes, go ahead and get started on those. I'm hoping if I hadn't mentioned it, they would tell me soon to do those! One of them (Hep B) takes 6 months to complete the series. I have to have Hep A & B, polio, tetanus/diptheria, typhoid, MMR (done long ago), and malaria (only if we are assigned one of the two outlying orphanages). So, I called my doc and asked if he could do these for me. Nope-call the health department. I called the county health department. They rudely told me they don't handle international vaccinations and I needed to go to the Venderbilt Travel Clinic. I called them and they don't take insurance, but what choice do I have? I just hope my insurance will reimburse me. They couldn't even tell me prices. If it weren't Vanderbilt, I'd think it was shady,'s Vanderbilt! I called a couple other places, but they were just doctors offices and I'd feel more comfortable with Vandy. When I asked them how much the shots were, they said they couldn't tell me specific prices, but they range from $2 to $500/shot. Nice. I hope I don't need that $500 one!! Our appointment is May 12. Fun times!

Oh, and I think we've decided on a name. But I'm not sure yet, so don't hold me to it. Dylan Alexander. I've only told mom so far and she knows a little boy with the name and he's a terror, so she's not too fond of it, but maybe I can change her opinion of the name with my sweet little boy!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I found this on another CHI Vietnam family's blog.

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.
Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.
-- Unknown

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Two down, two to go

We've gotten two of our four approvals. The adoption agency officially approved us, and our social worker approved our homestudy. Once it's sent to CIS (which will be end of next week because our social worker is now out of town until next Tuesday), they will hopefully hurry up and approve us. Then our mad paper chase starts with all the notarizations, certifications, authentications. Sounds like a lot of stamps. Then once Vietnam approves us, we get our baby!!! We're SO ready for this. I would leave tomorrow if I could.

I went ahead and ordered our birth and marraige certificates. Our SW said this would be ok, so I hope we don't have to do this again. It's not free! We're going to go ahead and get all the other papers together and not date them. That way when we get word from CIS, we can just get them stamped up. Hurry up and wait. This is going to be a LONG 6-12 months.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Running in circles

I feel like everything is happening SO fast! We were locally approved Wednesday and had our first meeting with the director of the agency Thursday. They still have to send our file up to corporate headquarters for final approval, but they didn't see any reason why it wouldn't be approved. We went ahead and mailed our I-600-A, which is the government's form for adoption. It can take 3 months for them to do their part. Here's how it all should work:

The government (CIS) gets my request for adoption. In the meantime, I get my homestudy done (a couple interviews, an in-home visit, lots of worksheets and papers to gather), they send it in to CIS to go with my request. CIS sends us an 'invitation' to get fingerprinted downtown. Then they send me a 171 approval form. Once I have that, I compile a stack of paperwork called a dossier. I can't start working on the dossier yet because nothing can be dated older than 6 months, and CIS may take 3 months from now before they get their part done.

So, once I have my dossier compiled, everything has to be notarized. Then I have to send it all to the Secretary of State and have it certified. Then I have to send it to D.C. to have it authenticated. Once everything is notarized, certified, and authenticated, I send it to CHI and they send it to Vietnam for translation. Shortly thereafter (weeks), we get a referral. This will consist of a picture of the child they have chosen for us, as well as medical information. If we accept, we will travel 3-4 months after that to pick up our baby!

To speed things up, I requested they start our home study ASAP. No problem! We have our seperate interviews on Monday and our in-home Tuesday morning. For the home study, we have to have employment letters, police records, medical statement, financial statement, copies of tax return, life insurance, medical insurance, auto insurance, and many other things. So, it's been hectic.

I spent yesterday visiting our doctor for a statement of health, the police department for a criminal background check (and since Chris wasn't with me, I couldn't get his!), then pawing through my files looking for all the necessary paperwork. We stayed up until 10pm filling out worksheets. We got up at 5 and started working on our autobiographies. Mine took about 4 hours and consisted of 10 pages (single spaced). Chris hasn't finished his yet. Then we took the dogs to the groomer for baths and haircuts. Then we spent the rest of the day cleaning the house. It's sparkling now. All we have to do is keep it that way for 3 days. Tomorrow, we work on the yard (just mowing). Tomorrow should be much more calm. We're pretty much done with the paperwork, except a couple things that have to wait until Monday.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nursery pics

Many of you have seen these pictures, but we've been working on our nursery off and on since last November. Here are some pics.


I'm not sure what it is about adoption, but I noticed something today. I was never one to say things like, "God showed me that adoption was what I was meant to do," or "God led me to Vietnam." Yet, I've heard myself saying (and meaning) these very things lately. Even just the past few days, I've felt myself grow closer to God and my faith grow stronger.

When I was TTC (which JUST ended yesterday, so it's not like it's been that long), I was angry and thought God was punishing us for something. But now I feel like this whole journey was part of His plan. When we finally have our child, I will appreciate him/her more than anyone ever could who accidentally got pregnant, or didn't have to really 'try.' (Before anyone flames me, I'm not saying I will love my child more than others who didn't have to work for it, I'm just talking about appreciation.) I will realize every second is a gift from God and I can't say I would've felt that way had I gotten pregnant 16 months ago. And I also think there's a very special child that may or may not already be in existence that was made just for me. I never thought I would be traveling halfway around the world to meet that child, but I guess we never know God's plan, do we?

There's my deep thought for the day!

Monday, April 10, 2006

And so it begins

After 16 months of unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant, enduring tests, blood draws, procedures, bad news, more tests, surgery, donor inseminations, and month after month of negative pregnancy tests, we've decided to end our TTC journey. We realize that maybe God has different plans for us than we thought. The more and more we thought about it, the more we realized adoption was our chosen path. We will now begin down this path with hope in our hearts and a lot of love to give to our forever child.

We mailed our application off today to Children's Hope International. We selected Vietnam as our country of choice. There are a few reasons for this. One, you only have to make one trip to the country. With some countries, you make an initial trip to meet your child, then come back without said child, then go back a few months later to finalize the adoption. Two, the age of children adopted out is younger, on average. There is no minimum wait in an orphanage, so we could get a very young infant (2-6 months old). Three, they're just so darn cute! LOL. Ok, that's not a real reason, but they ARE really cute! Four, looking through the choices, we just felt something in our hearts pushing us towards Vietnam.

Now we just wait to hear back from CHI that our application was accepted. At that point, they'll send us some paperwork and tell us what we need to start getting together, as far as documents. They'll assign us a social worker to begin the homestudy and we'll get to endure a stranger examining every tiny aspect of our lives. Luckily, there's nothing bad to find!

As we begin this journey, we'd appreciate all thoughts, prayers, vibes, etc., that this goes quick and smooth and that we can come up with the money, or raise it somehow. It's going to be a long journey, but every second will be worth it when I hold that baby in my arms.