Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's good!

The dossier is in my agency's hands, fully authenticated, and complete. Instead of mailing it to Hanoi, they are sending it with their facilitator, who's going to VN in 2 days. That way, it gets hand-delivered even quicker. They expect 10-14 for translating and logging it in with IAD (international adoption department). Everything is moving so fast, it's wonderful!! Every day saved is an extra day with my baby! I would love to be with him for his 8-month birthday on November 26. That's pushing it, but it's possible!

Oh, and the 'rule' about adoptions needing to be a year apart was just my old agency, not a VN law, so we could start Zoey's adoption now if we wanted. If we had the money. We'll have to look through the budget and see how quick we can get it going.

I'm impressed!

I checked FedEx this morning and my dossier left last night and arrived in Ohio this morning. The agency should get it by 10am! That was quick! I was expecting a week. This just means I'm that much closer to my Dylan. Speaking of, another VORF client is in DaNang right now (as of about 1am today, 1pm VN time) picking up her daughter, and promised to try her best to get pictures of Dylan for me and hold him. She won't be able to send the pics until she gets home, but she should be able to let me know soon if she was able to get any pics. I'm so excited! I hope she got lots of pics of him. I don't think I'll ever have enough pictures of my baby until I can see him in person. If I could afford to live in VN for the next 3 months, I'd do it (if Chris could come, too-otherwise, I'd probably end up in the wrong country with my common sense if I went by myself!).

I'm just so excited my paperwork was authenticated easily. At least I hope it was. Hopefully, they didn't send it back so quick because there was a problem. Now I'm worried about that. I suppose I'll hear from my agency today, though. If all is well, it will be sent to VN for translation, then to the adoption center in VN. This is going way too smooth. Please pray it continues to go this smooth. The quicker the paper moves through, the sooner I can hold my precious baby boy!

On another note, I have a good friend that's leaving in 8 days to pick up her son in Russia. She already went there once to get his referral (it works a little different than VN) and she hasn't seen him in FIVE MONTHS! Can you imagine? Holding your son, then having to leave him in another country! It's been very hard for her to wait, but it will all be worth it in less than 2 weeks! Good luck A!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dossier is being authenticated!

My dossier left VORF yesterday and will be delivered this afternoon to the VN Embassy in San Francisco for authentication. They expect this to take no more than a week. Then it goes back to my agency and immediately to Vietnam for translation! We're getting there!

In the meantime, we're trying to fill our time with projects. We made a mai tei, which is an Asian baby carrier. It's a rectangle of fabric with four straps, one coming from each corner. The baby gets snuggled up against you (front or back), the two bottom straps go around your waist, and the two top straps go over the shoulders and wrap around to tie under the baby's bottom. They look cool and I've heard they're the most comfortable carriers because they distribute the baby's weight evenly and don't hurt your back or shoulders. I haven't taken any pics of it, but if I can remember, I'll do that. Next up is the adoption scrapbook. We've never scrapbooked before, but we want to do one of the adoption process, along with our 'wishes' from a quilt square swap we did. Mom W. is making the quilt for us. We want to do another book of the trip itself, then of course, a baby book. I have an adoption journal to fill out for Dylan with info about us, our families, how we got him, etc. We're planning on making a shopping cart seat cover as well. We have the pattern and fabric already. I also have to start working on a packing list for the trip. I think all that will keep us busy at least a couple weeks. Maybe. Any ideas for the other 3 months???

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Letter to my son

August 24, 2006
My dear sweet son Dylan,

I saw your picture for the first time 2 days ago and I immediately loved you so much it hurts. I can’t wait to meet you. I’m so proud of you and have been showing your pictures to everyone I know. I can’t imagine the pain your birthmom must have felt having to place you for adoption, but I know she loved you very much and only wanted the best for you. I can’t wait to bring you home. Your room is all ready. Your Daddy, Nana, Papa, Grandma, Aunt Tessa, Uncle Cuna, Aunt Jo, Aunt Susan, Uncle Randy, MaSam, Aunt Pat, Granny and Papa House can’t wait to meet you, too. Along with hundreds of other friends and family. None of us have met you, but you’re already loved so much. You’re my son and you’re the light of my life. I just saw your picture a couple days ago, but I’ve felt you in my heart long before now. You’re the answer to so many prayers and so many dreams, especially Mommy’s and Daddy’s. We love you so much Dylan.



Still on cloud nine!

I just can't stop smiling. I have a sinus infection and feel like crap and even that isn't keeping me down. Dylan is just SO beautiful and I love him so much it hurts. I never thought seeing a picture could make me so happy. We faxed in our Acceptance of Referral yesterday, so it's official.

I went home sick yesterday and went to the doc. Then Chris took the afternoon off and we went up to the county clerks, then to the sec. of state. We got it all mailed today. Two dossiers (one certified), notarized referral acceptance, extra passport pictures, agency contract, and a check. CHI will be refunding most of our fees we've paid to them. They're only keeping the application fees. I don't even care. I'm so happy right now, it's worth every penny. It's worth every heartache I've been through. It's all worth it for him. My precious son. I love you Dylan!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Dylan Alexander (born Trung Vinh) was born on March 26, 2006 in Danang, Vietnam. At 6 weeks old, he weighed 10 pounds, 2 ounces. I'm so excited, happy, and absolutely in love with him. He's the most beautiful, healthy baby I've ever seen and I can't wait to hold him! We're hoping to travel around Thanksgiving.

Now, you're probably wondering how in the world this happened. Well, let me tell you. I was reading on a Yahoo group where someone posted they had switched from CHI to VORF (Vietnam Orphans Relief Fund). I contacted her (Susan) and asked why she switched. She told me the wait was just getting too long. I agreed and said I was thinking of switching. She said she thought her agency had 3 little boys available and no approved families that wanted a boy. I contacted them immediately and it was all a blur from there. Somehow, in 3 days, I've cancelled my contract with CHI, signed up with VORF (though not officially since they just overnighted me the contract yesterday and I'm faxing it in to them tomorrow), and got a referral. It's been crazy. We started our dossier yesterday, which consists of a VN application, a commitment letter (we are required to send yearly updated to VN until Dylan is 18), police record checks, verfication of employment letters, medical clearances (no contagious diseases), our coveted 171 CIS approval, and the homestudy. We finished today and are taking it tomorrow or Thursday to the county for certification. Then we take it to the state, then our agency sends it to the VN embassy for authentication. Then it goes with our referral to VN and they start working on translating and getting everything together for Dylan's dossier. It's going to be a wild ride!! We hope to have him home by Christmas.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Yard sale

We decided not to use that parking lot for our sale. Although the traffic would be great, putting it together would be a logistical nightmare. We can't take the stuff ahead of time, so we would be making several trips the morning of the sale. We couldn't just drop it off and go back for more-one of us would have to stay with it. And the driving from where we're keeping everything to this place would take hours for all the trips we'd need to make. So, we're having it at our own house, on a Friday and Saturday. Sept. 22-23. Anyone who is local (family) and would like to help, please do! We're going to need lots of help. Amazingly, we have MORE for this sale than the last one. The stuff keeps pouring in (which we're so grateful for) and it's going to be a lot of work. Between now and then, we're going to bring the stuff over to our house a little at a time, make sure everything is priced, and just store as much as possible in the garage. But it almost fills a 2-car garage right now. This is going to a great sale. We were going to make this the last, but since there's SO much (and over half of it wasn't in previous sales), we'll probably save it for another sale in October or next spring, before we get Dylan.

So hard

I never thought anything in life would be as hard as infertility (other than loved ones' deaths, but those we've experienced are quicker to recover from at least-this just keeps going). But adoption takes the cake. This is horrible. I have avoided saying anything because I don't want to paint a negative picture of adoption. I hear it truly is a wonderful experience. After it's all over, of course. Because that's when you have your baby. Which I don't. I'm miserable. It's only getting worse. I am not handling this wait very well at ALL. It's killing me a little bit at a time. I cry at least once a day. I try to hold back until I get home, so poor Chris has to deal with an emotional mess every night. He's my rock, though. I don't know how I'd get through this alone. We have an incredibly strong marriage, and this process is making it even stronger. It's not exactly how I wanted to strengthen my marriage, though. I really feel like I'm losing my mind sometimes. I was watching an old Friends rerun and one of them found out they were pregnant. I busted out crying. Stupid commercials for birthing suites at a local hospital make me cry. Walking into Dylan's room makes me cry. Seeing a pregnant person upsets me. I can't do baby showers. I tried to go to one last weekend and had to disappear after a few minutes. I just can't handle it. I can't attend my good friend's shower this weekend. She's pregnant after infertility, so she totally understands. I don't think most people understand. And that's ok. I never would have, either, had I not gone through this. I actually had a breakdown at work last week. Talk about embarassing. And once the tears start, there's no stopping them. Chris wants me to mention it at my doctor's appointment this week (I'm going because my stupid insurance company no longer covers the heartburn meds they made me switch to a couple years ago). I really don't want to go on anti-depressants again. Not that there's anything wrong with them, I just don't want to feel like I have to be medicated to feel normal. But at the same time, I can't go on feeling like this. I know I'm no fun to be around. It really scares me that I'll get PAD (post-adoption depression). It's very real and mimics post-partum depression. I try not to think about it, though, because I don't want to talk myself into getting it, you know? It's just something I have to watch out for-a history of depression makes me more prone to it. Another bad thing is being upset has the opposite effect on me with my diet. Most people stop eating. I'm an emotional eater. I'm struggling not to gain a lot of weight. I've already gained 10 pounds that I worked so hard to lose. It only took a couple months to gain that much. By the time we get Dylan home, I'll be a blimp if I'm not careful. Especially with all the delays.

Being the OCD person that I am, I've made a spreadsheet that keeps up with every referral coming through, my current spot on the list (#19 for a boy), and the time elapsed. It automatically calculates the average number of referrals per month (2.3 boys) and estimates when I'll get my referral based on that average and my number. It also calculates my current spot on the list when I add new referrals. Anyway, at the current rate, I should get a referral on 4/29/07 (travel is 4-5 months after that). I did hear rumor there was a referral last week, but it hasn't been announced yet (we get regular updates from the VN coordinator with our agency). If it was a boy, that moves our date back to 3/16/07. So you see, either way, we're screwed. We are still being told 4-5 months from when we get on the list. That would mean we should get a referral in Oct. or Nov. They have had 17 boy referrals since VN reopened to the US in January through my agency. That was EIGHT months ago. And they expect another 19 in the next 2-3 months?!? I don't see it happening. And I just can't make it through another Christmas without my baby.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Off topic update

I had my wisdom teeth out on Monday. Apparently, I am recovering quicker than anyone can believe. I only took 2 pain pills the day of surgery, and went back to work the next morning at 6am. I'm a little sore, but I'm eating normal foods.

We spent all weekend building our veiled chameleon a new 5' cage. We're really proud of it. It looks awesome. It's a wood frame with mesh on the top half and plexiglass on the bottom half. We designed it ourselves. Tell me what you think!

Here's what we built the cage for (he'll grow into it!):