Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy happy joy joy

We got new pictures last week, plus a weight. She's up to 15 pounds, which is great! She's right on track for her age. And she's catching up to Dylan QUICK! He's only 22 pounds. We also found out today our adoption is moving along, but still no approval. We're hoping for an approval before Christmas, but who knows.

We also got to send her a care package. We sent some scabies medicine, though the newest pictures show some improvement there, a blanket, a couple footed sleepers, some toys, and a few other small things. We had to fit everything in a 12x12 ziploc bag. It was STUFFED, but we got it.

Dylan is not doing too well health-wise. He has strep for the 5th time in 3 months. We saw an ENT last week who put him on 20 days of an antibiotic (he didn't have strep at that point-just trying to knock out any remaining strains). Sunday morning, he woke up with a fever. Monday, still a fever, so we went to the doc. Amazingly, he had strep. He caught it while on antibiotics. He also has a nasty cough. I think his tonsils will be coming out soon. :-( But it will have to wait until we get back from Vietnam. I imagine we'll be there over Christopher's birthday (1/15). Sooner would be better, but that's a realistic expectation, I think.

Madison turned 5 months old Monday. Happy month birthday, little girl! We love you and can't wait to meet you!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Still nothing and 1st Forever Family Day

No new pictures, no new measurements, no news at all. We submitted our I600 under the new process a month ago and haven't heard a word. It's not looking hopeful for travel in early December. In fact, it definitely won't happen. Once we get approved, it will be about 2 weeks before we go. Since today is the beginning of December, if we get approved now, it will be mid-December before we go. But we really have NO clue, which is more depressing than knowing the date and it being a month away. As it stands now, it COULD be February before we go. I certainly hope not.

We were so excited about getting Maddie at 5 months. Dylan was 8 months old when we adopted him. He was already crawling, and started walking a week after we got home. We were just hoping to go through some of those earlier phases (sitting up, crawling) with Madison.

On a happy note, a week from today will be our first forever family anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been a whole year. At the same time, it feels like we've always had him (in a good way). We're planning on taking him out to eat (maybe Chuck E Cheese-we've never been there) and giving him a present (a dump truck-shhh...don't tell him!).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Possible delay

I'm trying not to lose it here. As you all know, the wait between referral and travel is approx. 3 months. We're almost 2 months into the wait, so a month from travel. Probably closer to 5-6 weeks away.

USCIS just announced yesterday that there will be a change to the processing of adoptions in Vietnam. Instead of going there and filing the I600 and having 2 interviews with USCIS in Vietnam, parents will have to file before going. This will incur a 60-day wait. It's effective Nov. 1. So if we don't travel before then (which we won't), we'll have to file our I600 now, and wait at least 60 days.

This is SO not fair. It's going to affect dozens of families with referrals who are waiting on travel. I'm waiting to hear more from my agency on how to proceed. I have the form ready, but even if I file now, we won't be going this year, probably.

My baby is sick. She has a bad case of scabies. She's so young, and so miserable (I'm sure-because of the scabies) and I just want to get to her ASAP. All this red tape crap that changes with no notice is NOT cool. I don't know if I should write my senator, start a petition, wait it out, or what. I'm really distraught over this and trying not to get too upset until I know more.

We have one of the best facilitators working for our agency. Please pray/send good thoughts/whatever that he can make this happen quickly and our adoption won't be delayed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Getting closer!

Still no news on travel, but we did get updated pictures of Madison last week. She's so beautiful. I wish I could post pictures on here, but I'm not allowed until she's officially ours (G&R). No updates on weight, though. She does have a bad case of scabies, so she's probably miserable. I wish we could just go on over there and give her the medicine she needs.

Dylan is doing well. He's getting over strep (3rd time in 6 weeks). We hope to keep him well until after we travel!

Our travel partner, my sis-in-law Susan, had an accident and broke her leg badly, so she won't be going with us to Vietnam now. It'll just be Chris and me, with Dylan and Maddie. It's going to be tough, but we'll make it.

We're estimating we'll go around the same time as last year-December. We're so ready to go NOW! Well, except we haven't packed. But we could do that quickly. LOL

Dylan is learning so much at his new day-care. He can sign 'more' and 'hungry.' So even though he's not talking well, he can communicate. But the past week or so, he's been talking up a storm. Mainly just repeating words we say, but he's doing so well. It's like nothing happened for months, then the words just started coming like an avalanche.

We're loving cloth-diapering. It's expensive, but he seems more comfortable and SO cute! We also do wool, which works like a diaper cover over the 'fitted' diapers that aren't waterproof. Here are some new pictures.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


And she's beautiful. She's 2 months old and she's in the same orphanage Dylan was in. We're so excited and proud. She weighed a healthy 11 pounds at 6 weeks. I can't share photos online until after the G&R, but most of the people that read this saw pictures last week.

I did ask for reasoning on this restriction. For one, she's not legally our daughter. I wouldn't want people posting pictures of Dylan without my permission, so I can see that. Two, there have been shady facilitators in the past that 'bought' referrals from orphanages after seeing them posted online. Or agencies that complained to a province that another agency was getting more referrals and the province would take the referrals away and give it to the 'squeaky wheel.' Therefore, if I post pictures where these type of people could access them, I risk losing Madison. And that's a risk I don't want to take. Obviously, it's ok to email them to family and friends.

Now begins the LONG wait to travel. Hopefully, it will be in December again (or earlier). We're ready to bring her home. The nursery was finished a couple weeks ago. Did I post pictures of that? I can't remember. Here they are again.

And here's some new pics of Dylan:

At his baby dedication Sunday:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Very scary moment

So, Dylan has had a little cough for a few days. Nothing big, no fever. Friday morning, it was 99, but that's not very high, so I took him to daycare. They called me at 4:30 (right before I was heading out to get him) to tell me his temp was 101 and I needed to come get him. By 6, it was 103 and he was really clingy and tired.

At 7, he had a seizure. His eyes rolled back in his head and his lips turned blue. I just started sobbing and Chris was panicking asking what do we do. I knew it was probably a febrile seizure, but when your baby's lips turn blue and their eyes roll back in their head, you lose it. I didn't even think about 911 (which they told me later I should've called instead of driving). I got in the passenger seat with Dylan in my arms and Chris drove.

The seizure had stopped, and he was breathing, but not very well, and he was not staying conscious. His eyes kept rolling back and I just kept blowing in his face to keep him awake, me sobbing the entire time.

I ran into the ER and they called back that a non-responsive baby had come in. A nurse comes running out and grabs him from me. At that point, he woke up and looked at her. They found a room and got his stats. His blood oxygen was low, so they had to put an oxygen mask on him. His temp was 105.

We were in the ER for 3 hours. Long story short, he has strep throat and pneumonia. He got a shot for the pneumonia and we have to start antibiotics today, along with Motrin every 6 hours and Tylenol every 4 hours.

He still has a fever this morning, but not too high. They said once a baby has a febrile seizure, they're prone to more, so we have to treat every fever instead of riding them out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22-a very important day

Two things make today a very special day. One, it's been exactly one year since we got Dylan's referral and I first saw my baby's sweet face. Here's the post I made last August 22.

Two, today marks the day when Dylan has been with us longer than he was in the orphanage. He was in the orphanage for 257 days, and has been with his mommy and daddy 258 days. What an amazing coincidence for both of these things to fall on the same day.

I've been thinking a lot today about how lucky we are to have Dylan as our son. How blessed we are to be such a close, loving family of three. And how excited we are to become a family of four.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Painting and Brownies!

We had lots of fun this weekend. We painted Maddie's nursery during Dylan's nap times and after he went to bed at night. We got that part done. Next weekend we'll do the trim (chair rail). It's starting to look like a little girl's room!

Yesterday, Dylan and I made brownies. It was so much fun. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Today is Dylan's first day at his new daycare. He did really well this morning. I had to stay a little while, but once they brought in breakfast, he jumped right down off my lap, ran to the table, turned to me, waving and said, "Bye-bye!" LOL. Food will distract him any time. The boy is an eating machine!

His teachers seem really nice and I'm waiting on the webcam to start working. I'm excited about that.

More miscellaneous pictures:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We're almost there!

August 22 will be the one year anniversary of the day we got Dylan's referral. Ironically, it will also be the day that he has been with us longer than he was in the orphanage. That's pretty awesome.

Things are going well. We're loving the cloth diapering. Daycare is doing it, too, without a problem.

We're still #8 on the list, but we're hoping for a referral within a month or so.

Our vacation in Gatlinburg was a dream. It went so smooth! He fell asleep easily and slept all night, right between us like at home. We went to the aquarium, Ober, and walked around alot. He really enjoyed it.

Here's some new pictures!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Our new venture

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I have some exciting news. We're going to start cloth-diapering (CD'ing)! I've ordered several diapers and plan to start as soon as I get them all in and washed.

So now you're thinking, why in the world would you cloth diaper?? Let me tell you. The biggest reason is comfort. Dylan has never gotten diaper rash, but the plastic really bothers him. He's always scratching at the elastic around his legs, and his lower back. I want to make him more comfortable.

Second is cost. Start-up costs of CD'ing is pretty expensive ($200-$500, depending on the 'system' you go with), but long term it's cheaper. Add in another baby in diapers, and we'll be saving big bucks on disposibles.

Third, they're SO cute! And they're not that much more trouble than 'sposies. People imagine a rectangle of cloth and pins. Well, that's certainly an option, but most CD'ers use pocket diapers (with velcro or snaps and an absorbent insert with a waterproof outer layer), all-in-ones (insert is built-in), fitteds with a cover, or pre-folds and a cover. We're trying a few of each, but I imagine we'll like the pockets and AIOs best.

Lastly, it helps the environment. Those who know me, know I'm not big into the whole environment thing, but it does help, so there's a reason to CD.

Everyone wonders about the poop factor. Here's the deal-for solid poops, you just roll it into the toilet and flush. For more messy poops, we have a toilet sprayer (like the sprayers on kitchen sinks, but next to the toilet) to spray off any sticky stuff. Then it just goes in the washing machine. Easy as pie (so I've heard-I hadn't had to do it yet!).

I'm not sure if I can convince daycare to use them yet. He starts his new daycare on Aug. 21, so I'm not even going to bother with trying it with his current provider.

On another note, we're going to Gatlinburg this weekend for one night. We need to test the hotel issue again and get him used to it before we travel. He had quite the difficult time with sleeping at home over the past few weeks, but we've gotten that under control now, so we're ready to give the hotel a shot. I'll have lots of pics from this weekend, I'm sure. We're planning on visiting the aquarium, and riding the sky tram to Ober.

Here are some pics, including the cloth diapers. Never in my life would I have thought I'd be a co-sleeping, breast-feeding, cloth-diapering, baby-wearing mama. I'm really loving the mom thing even more than I ever imagined.

Dylan playing with my brother's puppy that is actually a friendly stray:
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Bedtime (the dog moves when I come to bed):
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What Dylan thinks about his new diaper:
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Checking out our new lizard (bearded dragon):
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Monday, July 02, 2007

15-month appointment

19 pounds, 15 ounces (1st-3rd %tile), 29.5 inches long (10th %tile). He's not growing much, but he's healthy as a horse. Everything was just fine and he did really well with his shots. He's so tiny, he's wearing 3-6 month clothes. We had to go buy some new summer clothes because all the ones we had were too big! Everything is going fine, and I have tons of new pictures and videos to share. I'll have to get them uploaded later. He's getting cuter by the day (if that's even possible!).

Oh, and we got our 171 (adoption approval) this weekend. It's a big deal for most, but since our old one wasn't expired yet, it doesn't change anything for us. We already had our dossier done, so we just have to hold onto this one in case we travel after the old one expires, or if we get twins. We're still hoping for a referral around September/October.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Six months!

Friday marked 6 months since Dylan became part of our family. So much has changed in 6 months, as it always does with new babies. He's so amazing. I love rocking him to sleep every night. He is so calm when I'm singing to him. It always settles him down, no matter how hyper he is. I usually sing "Lullaby" by the Dixie Chicks. It's the second song on our video montage I posted.

We did have a small setback last weekend. We went to a hotel in Knoxville and apparently, it brought back memories of his last hotel stay (in Vietnam, with strangers-us). He really freaked out and screamed for 1.5 hours the first night. He screamed for an hour the second night, so we went home. It was just too much for him and we were all exhausted. Poor guy was just SO scared. You could hear how terrified he was in his voice.

We talked to an adoption therapist and will be going to see her next week. She'll be able to give us some pointers and advice on how to deal with adoption issues. Even though he won't cognitively remember the first year of his life, he will have implicit memories, stored in his body. Certain things will set it off and we will have to work through those. We know we have to handle some things differently due to his history, like discipline (e.g., we can't isolate him in time-out because of his abandonment issues).

We had our 6-month post-placement homestudy done and that went well. We also had to write our own report and submit pictures to send to Vietnam. I plan on sending it all to our agency this week.

We're still #9 on the girl list, though we're ok if it goes slower than planned, since we have the hotel issue to work on. We couldn't handle that every night for 3 weeks in Vietnam, plus a new baby! We'll have to visit a couple local hotels for practice and to reassure him that we'll be there with him all night and when he wakes up.

As always, here's a couple pictures.
At the jungle gym at the zoo:
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In the hotel pool:
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In his new stroller:
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Sleeping with his sick mommy:
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Playing at the Splash Pad:

At the water park:
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