Sunday, December 24, 2006

Home, Sweet Home

We made it! We got in around 11:30pm Saturday, after 28 hours of flying, layovers, and running through the airport (we almost missed our LAST leg from Dallas to Nashville, but ran on the plane with about 3 minutes to spare). We had a large group (about 15) cheering us on as we left security. It was awesome.

The flight was not fun. He did fine on the first leg (2 hours). Then we got on the big plane (12.5 hours). We had the bulkhead seats with a bassinet, which was just a little basket not tall enough to contain him unless he was sleeping. He cried the first 3 hours. I don't think anyone could understand how long 3 hours can last until you're stuck on an airplane with a screaming baby. He would drift off to sleep, then we'd try to put him in the bassinet and he'd start screaming again. The seats were uncomfortable, but at least we had some leg room. We got about 2-3 hours of sleep on that leg (not near enough). The next leg was 3 hours and he slept for most of it. The rest of that leg he was fine. The last leg was hard. It was only 1.5 hours, but he was wide awake and very active. He wanted to jump and play, which is difficult in an airplane seat. Luckily, the flight wasn't full and the person next to us moved so we could have the row. All in all, it wasn't the worst experience of my life, but I'm definitely not ready to do it again anytime soon.

We're trying to get settled in. I'm completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have to unpack, and coupled with no sleep, we're having a rough time adjusting. There are suitcases everywhere, dirty bottles, clothes, toys, and I really really want a nap! Last night we had Chris' mom stay the night to help us with him so we could sleep. That didn't work. He didn't want to be held by anyone other than Mommy or Daddy. Which is a great sign for attachment purposes, but it makes it very difficult. I ended up sleeping on the couch with him on my chest for 3-4 hours. We both got some sleep, and so did Daddy and Grandma, so it worked. Now we just need a few more hours...and then we can think about unpacking...and then there's Christmas tomorrow...I need some sleep!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Interview is done!

And we were worried about THAT?? We went in the interview room, which looked like one of those rooms you use to talk to someone in jail, with the bulletproof glass and a microphone. We had to raise our right hand and swear that everything in the file was correct to the best of our knowledge. Then he asked if the child was healthy, we said yes, he said ok, that will be $380. Our facilitator will go back tomorrow at 4 to pick up Dylan's visa and we'll be flying home on Saturday!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wednesday-new pictures

I've finally caught up on the pictures. Everything is uploaded to

Today was uneventful. We stayed in the hotel all day because of my knee. It's pretty painful, but not swollen or bruised. I've been keeping ice on it, which helps.

We did talk to our facilitator. He said we'll be home for Christmas!! Yay!! Our appointment is Thursday at 3pm (Thursday 2am at home, so it will be over by the time everyone gets up on Thursday). Dylan's passport is done and we got to see it. It's a Vietnamese passport. We should get Dylan's visa by 4pm Friday and leave for home at 11am Saturday. We'll be home at 11pm Saturday night, which is 25 hours of traveling. We're quite nervous about the longest leg of the flight (13 hours) and the 4.5 hour layover in LA. But by then the worst will be over. Until we get home and try to get over jetlag, that is.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Perfume Pagoda

We had quite the adventure today! We signed up for a private tour of Perfume Pagoda. All we knew is we would ride in a car for a couple hours, in a boat for an hour, then visit a pagoda. We left out at 8:30am today (Tuesday) and just got back to the hotel at 5pm! It was our longest outing with Dylan and we were definitely not prepared. We almost ran out of formula and forgot to bring any toys! But we made it and we're all happy now.

The car ride there was interesting. We rode out of the city and into the countryside. We saw lots of cattle and everyone had a dog (as a pet). There were cemetaries in the middle of crop fields. They were growing rice, corn, squash, and peanuts. You would see rows of squash, then a grave (above ground, like New Orleans), then more squash. And a cow walking around in it all. It was very odd. They also had some cemetaries with lots of graves, but they were all facing different directions and almost piled on top of each other. Our guide said they bury the dead in wooden coffins for 3 years, then dig it up, collect the bones, place them in a small concrete coffin and worship it. We saw lots of these concrete coffins in shops along the way and they looked like baby coffins.

We ran over and killed a dog on the way, which was very upsetting. The traffic isn't as bad in the country, but they drive the same way. One of the roads was under construction, so it was all torn up and gravel-covered. It was a very bumpy ride. Dylan slept most of the way. He loves movement.

We got to our stop and were pointed to the restrooms. This was not a great experience. Their public restrooms are just holes in the floor that you squat over. Enough said.

We went a few yards and saw our boat. At this point, I was ready to go back to the hotel! It was a small metal boat with a little wooden bench in the middle. Big enough for half a butt cheek. Now, imagine riding this way, with a baby strapped to you, screaming the whole way, your legs falling asleep, for an hour. Yeah, it was not a great time. But Chris was wearing Dylan on the way there (I wore him on the way back). The scenery was beautiful. We were on a small river among some beautiful limestone mountains. I'll try to get pictures posted today or tomorrow (I did get caught up on posting pictures this morning, so there are lots of new ones).

We came to the island where the pagoda was and I was so glad to get out of that boat! I won't go into little details, but we walked and walked and walked and finally got to a temple. This wasn't THE pagoda, but just a small one along the way. It was beautiful. The pictures don't do it justice. Then we walked up a LOT of stairs, some very steep sandy, rocky slopes, and more stairs. And when I say stairs, I'm not talking about like the ones in your house. I'm talking about big slabs of rock that really work your thighs. We will not be able to walk tomorrow. Then we got to the foot of the trail. It was gruesome and we were just now at the foot of the trail?!? It was incredibly steep and I don't see how ANYone climbs it. It honestly would've been a hard workout for the most physically fit person, which I am not! So we hopped on the cable car and rode to the top. We had planned to do this all along, so all the walking and climbing prior to this was a shock.

The cable car ride was incredible. We were hundreds of feet in the air, over mountains and valleys. It was scary, but beautiful. Again, the pictures do not do it justice. We got to the top and found out this pagoda is actually a huge cave! I love caves, so I was excited. It was 120 steps (slabs of rock) down to the entrance. Had I known this adventure would have been so strenuous, I probably wouldn't have gone for it! But we're glad we did it, now that it's over. Anyway, there were worship areas around stalagmites and stalactites in the cave. There was a pure green marble Buddha statue from the 14th century. This pagoda was from that time, and the statue was the original. Our guide was Buddhist (as are 80% of Vietnamese people), so he stopped to pray to the statue. Then we had to climb back up the 120 stairs. I had to stop every 20 steps (yes, I counted them ALL) to breathe. My legs were quivering with exhaustion.

We made it back out and it was all downhill from there. The cable car ride back was full. We had another family in the car with us and I'm sure we were pushing the weight limit on that thing. Dylan was wet by this point and his diaper leaked, so Chris' lap got wet. We got to the bottom and had no where to change him, so I had to use my portable changing pad on the GROUND to change my son's diaper. Hopefully that's the last time I'll have to do that. Poor baby had wet clothes and a wet carrier, and Chris looked like he wet his pants. Then we had to begin the many steps, slopes, and sandy trek back down. It was so slippery and we kept slipping. This is when the 'accident' happened. Luckily, Chris was wearing Dylan, so he was fine. My foot slipped out from under me on one of the steep slopes and I went down hard. My right foot stayed in place, so I came down on my knee, which hyperextended, then fell over on my hip. I thought I had broken my leg. My first thought was, "Oh no! We can't get hurt or we'll have to stay here longer!" Luckily, I was back up and limping down the mountain within 5 minutes. I'm still limping and it's hurting, but I can walk and I'll be fine. I think I gave Chris a heart attack, though!

The boat ride back went much like the ride there. Dylan crying, our legs cramped up (except now my knee was hurting), and the wind whipping harder than we expected. We didn't have enough clothes on our son-just a romper. He's ok, though.

The ride back in the car was uneventful and Dylan slept most of the way. Now we're back safely in our hotel room, hoping for a full night of sleep because we're exhausted!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sunday's update and random details

We're in Hanoi! This hotel is 100x nicer and the room is 3x bigger. Literally. We have a mini-suite, which is good since we'll be here at least a week. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it looks like there's a small chance we'll be back on schedule to come home on the 23rd. We may not know until the 22nd, but keep sending up prayers and thoughts for a speedy process!

I'm still feeling much better. The antibiotics must have done the trick. I still have some stomach issues, but with my history (Crohn's), that doesn't surprise me. I can deal with that-it was the constant nausea that was killing me.

Dylan is doing SO well. He was a real trooper on the 2-hour flight up here. He's such a happy, adjusted baby. He'll say mama and dada and reach up for us. He likes to sleep laying on my chest. He doesn't like for us to feed him, though. He has to be laying flat on the bed or in his crib to drink his bottle. He'll let us hold the bottle, and he'll play with our fingernails. He's teething and likes to chew on his thumb. He doesn't suck it, just chews. I think his 9th tooth is coming in. Other than being fussy when he's sleepy or hungry, he's always happy. He has the funniest laugh and I can't wait for you all to hear it.

I'm going to work on uploading our Cu Chi Tunnel pictures today.

We got his abandonment report a couple days ago. He was found outside the gate of the orphanage on 3/26. They estimated him to be about 3 days old, but we're keeping 3/26 as his birthdate, as that's what his birth certificate says. He weighed 6.5 pounds when they found him. They posted a notice in the paper for any family to claim him and no one did. So we'll never be able to get any information on his birth family. We knew that was a good possibility going into this, so we're ok with it.

We're in the homestretch now and can't wait to come home and see everyone! We decided to extend our work leave until the 3rd or 4th week of January, so we'll have time to get him on a schedule, visit with everyone, and get him used to being in his crib. He seems to adjust really well to new surroundings, so we're hopeful about that. We're really worried about the 13-hour leg of our flight and we wish we were in business class. But we've made it through all this, we'll make it through that!

Have I mentioned the traffic here? It's unbelievable. 90% of people drive scooters, or small motorcycles. The rest drive bicycles or cars. There are lines on the road and for the most part, people drive on the right side, but they completely ignore the lines. It's total chaos. I've never seen anything like it. Crossing the road is a nightmare. They just part around you-there's never a break in the flow. You can't get scared and stop, or you'll get hit. They anticipate where you'll be by your pace and base their driving on that. We did see one accident, after the fact. It was horrible. Big truck with a bicycle under the front tire. I saw a flip flop. The driver was already gone. I have a feeling he/she didn't make it.

They don't have carseats here. One of the pictures I have is from the ride home from Cu Chi. Dylan was sleeping on the seat between Chris and me. No seatbelts, no carseats. I bet he won't care much for the carseat when we get home.

I wish there was some way to show the traffic flow. It's truly incredible. Very scary. And there are no stop signs. A few major streets have stop lights, which count down until they turn green (wouldn't that be nice?), but most streets are just open and you have to cross when you can.

The weather in Hanoi is much milder than HCMC. It was in the 60's last night. It felt GREAT.

There are lots of people on the street trying to sell stuff. They carry these sticks across their back with a basket on each side, full of fruit or souveniers or coconut milk. Some disabled people sit on the sidewalk and hold out their hats for money. Everywhere you walk, you hear, "Sir! Ma'am! Come in, come in and look." They all want you to come in their stores. Sometimes they get rather pushy, but overall it's ok.

The waitresses in the restaurants like to hold your baby while you eat. It's actually really nice. I never thought I'd be comfortable with it, but they always keep them in your sight, and it makes it possible to eat. Anyone who has gone out to eat with an infant knows how difficult it is. That's how EVERY meal is here! Ha!

You'd be amazed at the things people carry on their scooters. We've seen up to 4 people (2 adults, 2 kids) on ONE scooter. We saw someone carrying a desk and office chair strapped to their scooter. We saw two scooters driving side-by-side carrying a plate glass window!! If you could see the traffic here, you'd know how amazing this was! Oh, yesterday I saw someone with a ladder strapped to their scooter. The babies on scooters usually have mosquito net-type things over them and the adults all wear cloths over their nose and mouth. But we rarely see helmets. We asked our facilitator if there are ever any accidents and he said all the time. The morning news tells how many deaths and injuries there were the previous day from traffic accidents. It's really crazy.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Sorry I haven't updated in a couple days. We don't have an internet signal in our room here in HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City-same as Saigon), so I have to sit in the lobby to email. I haven't felt like doing that, or anything else for that matter. I've been incredibly sick. So sick that I started my emergency antibiotics yesterday. I don't think I've been that sick in years. I couldn't eat anything until lunch today. I'm finally feeling better, though. It sure was making the trip miserable. Chris is being an awesome daddy, taking Dylan out so I could rest. I guess the antibiotics worked because I'm feeling 110% better.

We're leaving tomorrow to head to Hanoi. I'm ready for a new hotel (and hopefully a bigger room). But that room wasn't quite so small once I was feeling better.

Today, we went to the Cu Chi Tunnels. That was an amazing experience and I'm SO glad we did it. I almost didn't go because I was still sick this morning, but it passed by the time we got there. Cu Chi tunnels were used during the Vietnam War for the guerillas and the Cu Chi people to hide from American soldiers. It was so weird walking the ground where US bombs were dropped and soldiers were killed. Very spooky. We went in one of the tunnels and I can say that I do NOT want to do that again. You had to crawl through this dirt tunnel and your back and both hips were rubbing against walls. That's how narrow it was. Poor Chris was carrying Dylan, so he had a really hard time. Luckily, it was a pretty short tunnel. They had longer ones we could go through if we wanted, but we really didn't feel the need. Ha! We got lots of pictures, but I don't have time right now to get them on the site. Hopefully, we'll have internet in our room at the next hotel and we can update more often.

We sure are ready to come home, but things aren't so bad now that I'm not sick. We ate at a pizzeria today and it was really good. Well, we have to go to the market for more diapers, so that's all for now. Love to all and thanks again for all the emails!


(This is from Wednesday)

We're in HCMC! And we already had our immigration appointment and got Dylan's picture taken for his visa. Tomorrow morning he has his medical exam (required for the visa) and we're leaving on Saturday for Hanoi. We'll wait there the rest of the time for our final immigration interview and then we'll get Dylan's visa so we can come home!! Still no word on when that might be, but it shouldn't be too long after Christmas.

Dylan had his first airplane ride today. It went really well. He drank a lot of his bottle during take-off and landing, so he had no ear problems. He slept most of the flight (it was only an hour). We kept him awake from then until our CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) appointment at 3:30, so he would nap through that. It worked! Now he's wide awake, playing with Daddy, and having a ball.

We had a really hard time when we first got here at the Rex Hotel. Our room was the size of our bedroom (not very big) and had two twin beds and no crib. I called our facilitator and he talked to the front desk to get them to change it. Now we're in an even smaller room, but we have a king size bed at least. And a crib. The cribs here would NEVER pass US inspections. It's crazy. We'll be lucky if he doesn't hurt himself in these things before we get home. Anyway, we got to the second room, I was feeling extremely sick (as I have for 3 days now...uh oh), and our internet wasn't working well, so I couldn't even talk to anyone online. I just about lost it. I think it would all be better if I weren't so sick. It comes and goes. If I don't eat, I'm fine. I went with a 'safe' lunch of mac and cheese, and felt like I was going to die afterwards. We didn't realize how good we had it in Danang. I was sick there, but the room was a suite, and it was easier to be sick in.

We are SO ready to come home. We're trying hard to enjoy the country, but we really miss everyone so much. We miss our pets. We miss McDonald's! No, they don't have one in this country. We just miss home. I can't wait to be able to drink water without boiling it, letting it cool, bottling it, refrigerating it, etc. And brush my teeth with tap water! What a novel idea.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas card. Dylan and I were wearing our traditional Vietnamese outfits that I had made and Chris was wearing a hand-embroidered shirt. You can't see the details in the picture, but it's beautiful.

We are looking forward to going to Hanoi. We may be there a week or two, so I hope we like it. It will be cooler, so maybe that will help with the nausea. And if we have a small room, I will be upgrading! We tried here, but they're booked solid. We've run into lots of adoptive families here. It's pretty cool.

Thanks everyone for all the emails. It really does help hearing from people back home, even with the mundane day-to-day details. It's those little things you miss.

Merry Christmas!

(this is from Tuesday)

Since it looks like we won't be home for the holidays, we wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christman from Vietnam. Please enjoy the photo, and send it along to anyone else who might like to see our first family Christmas picture.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Update on Travel

(This is from Monday, 12/11/06)

We will be leaving Danang tomorrow morning at 6am (Wednesday), flying back to HCMC. We have to be interviewed by immigration either at CIS or the Embassy (one is in Hanoi and one is in HCMC), so we're opting for HCMC since Hanoi is so backed up. We are hoping for an appointment on Thursday, then will get approval on Friday or Monday. Then we still have to fly to Hanoi to get Dylan's Visa and Passport to get him out of the country. There's still no way we'll be home by Christmas, but New Year's isn't out of the question.

We're starting to get a little homesick and miss our families and friends. Dylan is great, but when he's fussy and we're both sick, and everyone we know is on the other side of the world, it makes it a little difficult. He's still such a miracle and I wouldn't trade a second of time with him (well, except maybe the many seconds that he cries before naps! Who wouldn't? Ha!). Anyway, he seems to be attaching really well. He reaches up for us from his crib and he LOVES us to walk him around in our carrier (mei tai). He's pulling up and walking the perimeter of his crib a lot. He'll be walking on his own in no time. We expected him to be delayed, but he actually seems a little ahead of schedule, or right on schedule for his age.

If anyone wants to email us, we'd love to hear from you. It's so nice to hear from people back home, especially when we're cooped up in a hotel room most of the day.

Saturday's adventures

(This is from last Saturday-I forgot to post it)

First off, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!! Hallelujah, we have an angel! We put him down at 10pm and WE woke up at 3am. We wanted to hold him, so we did. He barely woke up while we changed his diaper, then went right back to sleep. We woke him up at 6am because we wanted to go have breakfast. He's eating a lot now, and we can switch from breastmilk to formula with no problems. Today, we had quite the adventure.

There's a city near Danang called Hoi An. It's the oldest city in Vietnam and there's an 'ancient Hoi An' part of town. We told our facilitator we wanted to tour it and he arranged for a driver to pick us up at 1:30. First we went to the silk factory. This place was amazing. They were breeding silk worms and getting the silk from the cocoon, then making beautiful lanterns, scarves, shirts, outfits, suits, etc. from the silk. It was truly amazing. We got to see each section. Oh, and they had these beautiful silk screen pieces of art. It looked like it was painted. Each one was handmade. The workers had to train for 2 years to make them, and one piece took days to make. We bought 2 pieces at $12 each!! The prices of the items that are made here are really cheap. But a CAN of coke is $2! So not everything is cheap. I had an aoi dai custom made, to be delivered tomorrow morning. It's a traditional Vietnamese outfit. All the women wear them. It's pants with a top that has a long piece of fabric in the front and back that drops past the knees. It's so elegant and classy looking. I can't wait to get mine tomorrow! Babies wear them, too, so I got Dylan one. Boys' are a bit different, but it's still a traditional VNese outfit.

After the silk factory, we went to ancient Hoi An and went on a guided walking tour. It was 2 hours of walking, non stop. And I had a 17-pound baby strapped to my chest. Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end. And this was after a couple hours at the silk factory. My feet are tired, but I'm still the happiest momma in the world. My little man fussed most of the time because we were both sweating, but he fell asleep on the way back to the hotel, and then we played for a while and took a bath. He's really an angel. He doesn't mind a bath. It's probably the first one he's ever had in a bathtub. He loved splashing the water. Anyway, ancient Hoi An was incredible. The Vietnamese culture is just so cool and we got to experience it first-hand. This is the experience of a lifetime and I'm so glad that we're lucky enough to enjoy it.

We're not really too upset about the delay in travel plans. We'll still have our family Christmas at home after we get back, and he'll get to wear his First Christmas onesie then. We're just so blessed to have this angel in our lives. We love him more than anything in the world.

Well, it's 8pm on Saturday, and we're extremely exhausted, so we're heading to bed. Dylan just went down a few minutes ago. Love to all!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bad news

The meeting was bad news. We won't be home for Christmas. :-( There is a backup at the embassy where they would be processing Dylan's visa and passport. But at least we'll have him through the delay, and we'll be spending Christmas with our son. I'm still bummed about it, though. I was given a special onsie with First Christmas Dylan embroidered on it and I didn't bring it. I suppose we'll just be celebrating Christmas a little late this year.

He's ours!

Let me start with yesterday where I left off. We walked down to the beach, but stopped at the sand. Then we went and swam for a bit in the resort's pool. It was really nice. Then we walked to marble alley. Danang has marble mountains, where they mine marble and make sculptures. It's really amazing. This alley is a short walk from the resort and it leads up to the mountain. Down the alley, people are hand- and machine-carving the huge chunks of marble. The finished products are beautiful. After that, we had dinner then went to bed early. We figured it would be the last night for a while that we sleep through the night!

We woke up at 4am because we were so excited. We got the gifts ready for the orphanage caretakers, sorted out the diaper bag, ate breakfast, etc. At 9am, our driver came and took us to the orphanage. They were waiting outside with Dylan. Megan's baby was asleep inside. I got Dylan and he started crying! I suppose I would cry, too, if some stranger came and grabbed me away from the people I knew. I felt so bad for him. But apparently it was time to eat. This was interesting.

They brought out the bottle with a spoon attached to the end. They would squeeze out glue-looking stuff and shove it in his mouth, even through his cries. They sang to him and rocked him a lot. He eventually stopped crying, finished the whole bottle, and they handed him back to me. He was zonked out within seconds. They asked if I would change his clothes, which I was wanting to do, so I pulled out his outfit I got for the G&R. It was a 6-9 month outfit. It fell off of him. They just kept laughing about it, then got rubberbands and tied them through 2 beltloops on each side to help keep his pants up. After several minutes, they told us it was time to go. We weren't sure where we were going, as we thought the G&R was at the orphanage. They all said bye to the babies and it was so sad. The caretakers really love the babies and it shows. They didn't want him to go.

We went to the taxi and drove to their version of city hall. It was a conference room with one table and about 10 chairs. There was a man and woman that came in after us that were really dressed up. We thought they were the officials. Turns out they were a wedding couple. We sat there and watched them sign the marriage certificate. It was odd. Then we waited for about 45 minutes, sweating, nervous, no idea what was happening and no one to translate. People kept coming in and out, lots of paperwork was piling up, and it all looked very official. They asked for a document but we had no idea what they wanted. We finally figured it out and I accidentally gave them a copy. They said it wouldn't work, at which point my heart stopped. Then they said, "copy, copy", so I looked and sure enough, I still had the original. We went on to sign about 10 things each. I have NO idea what they said, but I wasn't about to question it!

Finally, at 11, THE official walked in. She was the one that would grant or deny the adoption. By this time, our facilitator was there, and he could translate. They called Chris and I up to the front of the room first and shook Chris' hand, and handed us a piece of paper. She was saying something, then Binh translated for us. He said the committee for the city of Danang had granted our request for adoption of Trung Vinh. They asked that we send regular updates to the city and visit if possible. We promised to send said updates, and they said congratulations, you're parents. At that point, I cried again. Of course. Then they did the same to the other lady that was with us. We then had to make a statement to the orphanage officials (thank you, you took great care of Vinh, he was loved very much, we promise to take care of him, etc.), then we left. We went to the grocery store for formula and diapers.

Dylan has not had any formula since the bottle during the ceremony. He's had two small bottles of breastmilk, which he seems to love. We haven't tried to nurse yet. He needs to spend more time with us first. Oh, and during the ceremony, he wet his diaper, so afterwards, while they were going through papers, I had to change him right there, for the first time ever, on a chair in front of some very important people. Talk about nervous! The whole experience was terrifying, honestly. I was emotionally exhausted afterwards and couldn't even get excited. I was just fried.

The first half hour in the hotel was rough. He was crying and wouldn't stop. He was dry and fed, so we just walked him around. We figure he'll have an adjustment period for a while. He fell asleep at the orphanage and woke up, never to see the only people he knew again (at least not for several months until we come back). Finally, though, he fell asleep. We laid him in his crib and he slept for about 45 minutes, then woke up. I got him up and laid him on my chest on the bed, and he fell right back asleep, so he went back to his crib. He slept a total of about 2.5 hours! Then we walked down to the beach together (with Daddy wearing the carrier!), then came back to the room. We've just been sitting on the floor together playing. Now he's asleep again. It's kind of early (6:45), but he'll be up soon. We have to meet Binh (facilitator's partner) in an hour. We have no idea why, and we're really nervous. Why would he come to the hotel at 8pm after telling us this afternoon he'd see us on Sunday? We're both very nervous, but I guess we'll find out in an hour!

I'll try to get more pictures loaded. I have lots of great ones now. You can view them at

It may be tomorrow before I get around to it. I'm exhausted!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We met our son!

We got to HCMC (Saigon) on Wednesday around 11am. We had someone pick us up at the airport and take us to the hotel. They tried to put us in a room with 2 twin beds, but our guide that GT (our facilitator) hired told them we were on our honeymoon, so we got a free upgrade to the honeymoon suite. Too bad we didn't get more time to enjoy it. We were hungry, so we ventured out in search of food. We found the open-air market and did a little shopping. You have to bargain a lot with them (Dad, you'd love it!). We got to the food part and turned around. I really didn't want to see any skinned dogs hanging. Plus, it smelled bad. We walked around the city (within about 3 blocks of the hotel) and bought a few little handmade trinkets for souveniers. We're getting lots of souveniers for everyone, but don't expect too much. We only have so much room to bring stuff home.

We got back to the hotel around 3pm and tried out the restaurant in the hotel. I wasn't feeling brave, so I got a burger. It came with a fried egg on top, which is new to me, but it was good. Chris got some Vietnamese dish with beef (we hope). We walked down to an indoor mall, but all the shops sold the same items. It was strange. We went back to the hotel and crashed. We were asleep by 6pm, since we had to be up at 3am.

We got up this morning at 3 and left the hotel at 4. Our flight was at 6. We got First Class, which was really nice. It was only an hour flight. I wish we could afford First Class for the ride home!! Breakfast on the plane was interesting. It was a pastry with some meat in it. Like a sausage or something. It reminded me of beef wellington.

When we got to Danang, our driver loaded us up (Chris and I, Megan and her dad) and took off. He called Quoc, who assists GT. Quoc wanted to talk to us and told us that we were headed straight to the orphanage. Talk about butterflies in your stomach!

We got to the orphanage and the driver pointed us towards the door. We all walked in and there were 2-3 caretakers playing with babies. There were more babies in cribs. There were about 6 babies in this room. We didn't really know what to do, and since it had been 6 weeks since I got a picture, I wasn't really sure which one was Dylan. So I said, "Trung Vinh?" (his VNese name) and they all started smiling and pointing at the most beautiful creature I've ever seen. He was on the floor, so I sat down and put him in my lap. I couldn't stop crying. Or stop kissing him. His tiny hands, his cute nose, his chubby cheeks. He's perfect.

We stayed there about an hour and a half, just holding our babies. It was really amazing. Dylan has 7 teeth already. Four on the bottom and 3 up top. I think he's gotten another haircut since the pictures we got 6 weeks ago. Two haircuts before 8 months old! He's got a bald spot on the back of his head, but I'm sure it's just from sleeping on his back.

We then went to the hotel. This hotel is absolutely beautiful. We're in a deluxe room with a sitting area, separate shower/tub, 1 and a half baths, etc. It's really nice. Oh, and did I mention it's a resort right on the ocean?? We went downstairs to eat lunch and we both got VNese food. It was excellent. I love the food. Danang is gorgeous, at least the part we're in right now. The way to the orphanage was really run down, but it's not a rich city. The culture is so cool and the people are extremely nice. I just can't wait to hold my son again!!

We're off to walk down to the ocean! More updates tomorrow!

Here's a picture of Daddy and Dylan:
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