Thursday, December 27, 2007

New beginings and new Promises!




Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Richard and I sure did.

We split our time between Mississippi and Memphis to spend time with my family and his mother. We were even able to slip in some time to see my favorite girls.






All of my friends have little ones. Richard and I are the only ones with no children so when they were taking family photo's someone came up with a clever idea so we wouldn't feel so left out...



Pretty funny.

Well, we have been on the list for more than 200 days now. Wow. That seems like a really long time, but I have a feeling it will easily be another 200. However you never know what the new year will bring so I will remain optimistic =)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a blessed New Year!!

Love,
The Dortches

Monday, December 3, 2007

Spreading Holiday Cheer!

Christmas is around the corner! I can't even believe it! This year has gone by so incredibly fast!!

Wow. Well, we have been on the waiting list for about 6 months. It seems unreal that it has been that long in some ways. Other ways it feels like we have been waiting much, much longer. But I have to say it feels good to put half a year behind us. That just sounds like a significant amount of time. Even if we have a year and a half left. Slowly but surely, we are getting there =)

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Ours was wonderful.

I just love, love, love this time of year!

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's been a while!

Wow. It's been a while since I have posted, hu?


No updates as far as our adoption goes other than we have now been on the list for 5 months. How many more to go? Good question. According to CHI 's current estimated wait time for referral we have about 13-19 months. If I may be frank, I am actually worried if there will even be a VN program at all in a year and a half. With all that has gone on it makes me very, very nervous. I am not going to get into a long post about it because I feel like it has been talked about and debated so much that I would probably just be repeating what someone else has said at some point. The one thing I would like to say is that I am proud to be with Children's Hope International. I feel they are a good, solid agency and the ethics which they operate on have never been a concern to Richard or myself. But still I am beginning to doubt whether or not we will be bringing a son home from Vietnam. So what now? Do we stick it out? Do we hope against hope that as we get closer and closer to a referral the doors aren't slammed shut in our face? Do you come up with a plan B? What country would we adopt from if Vietnam is no longer an option? These are all questions I feel like Richard and I need to discuss and resolve right away. My sweet husband does not. He wants to wait it out and see what happens. Which, really is all we can do. I just hate having such uncertainties. I should say I am so grateful that I have someone like Richard in my life. He truly is my rock. He keeps me level and focused. It's such a blessing for me that I have him to lean on. I truly, truly love him.

In other news I am driving to Mississippi this weekend. My friend Julie is having a party for her birthday. It will be nice to see everyone. Then of course the next week is Thanksgiving. Gosh this year has really flown by.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The longing for love and the search for Knowledge

"Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind]."
---Benjamin Jowett

We attended an adoption workshop at Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital this past Saturday. I really enjoyed the speakers and found the information very interesting. We attended a class at CHI back in August (I think it was August) and we have another class at CHI we are attending in October. We have also completed the Because They Waited series and read Adoption Parenting. Richard and I want to attend as many workshops and classes as we possibly can. I don't think there is such a thing as being too prepared. Gosh, let me tell you I was not as eager about 'learning as much as I can' in school. I guess when the subject is something you feel so strongly about and it will personaly affect you in such a big way, you want to do all you can to gain as much knowledge as you can.




Another bonus about going to these classes are the great people you meet. We met a couple from Knoxville, Michelle and Eric who are also adopting from CHI. They are adopting from the Russia program. I also met a very nice man named Jerry who is adopting a son from VN. He is also going thru CHI. He had recently received a referral for a beautiful 4 year old boy. He was so proud to show his referral picture. He is anxiously awaiting a travel date.

Okay, it seems not even a threat of extended wait times will keep me from shopping for our little Sam! I just can't help it! I really can't!! I can't remember the last time I bought myself something. I would rather put that money towards all the cute things I can buy for Sam. Some people may think it is a bit premature, but the bottom line is it makes me happy and puts a smile on my face. So, I will continue to shop for little boy clothes. I am thinking ahead though only buying things that are 12-18 months. So at least I know they are things that if they don't fit, he will grow into.





Tomorrow starts another work week. I have to say I love my job and the people I work with, but I never look forward to going back to work!! The weekends are just too, too short!! Oh, tomorrow also starts my hard core diet :( Another thing I am not really looking forward to. But since healing from my foot injury I haven't been able to find the motivation to work out like I have always done and to make the best choices when it comes to food. I used to work out at least 5 days a week for at least an hour a day. I have done this for years, but I simply have just not felt the drive. Oh, and the food situation is out of control. So, tomorrow is the day. I plan to get up at 6:00 am to work out. If I can get on a daily work out routine, the healthy eating will fall into place more easialy. Wish me luck!

I hope everyone has had a great weekend and has a great week to come!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

10 years ago




Wow. I can't believe it was 10 years ago that I graduated high school. Crazy.



This weekend was our reunion. It was fun to see people that I went to school with so many years ago. Everyone looked great. My close friend Amanda did most of the work pulling the reunion together and she did a really, really good job. It was a great turn out and a successful event.


I haven't written about the news from our agency regarding the extended wait times. I am going to be completely honest and say I did not deal with that news very well. I was very upset and in tears for a day or two. I know everything happens at the right time and in the end it will all work out and bla, bla, bla, but at this moment I want Baby Sam and seeing the silver lining isn't easy. I also know that there are so many families who feel the same way I feel and are just as desperate to bring their child home. I just can't come here and write and pretend that I am not devastated by the extended wait times. One big fear I have with the VN program being so overly taxed is I worry about stability of the program. It's just that so many things can happen and change in two years. It's scary. I do have to say that I feel very secure knowing that we signed with CHI. They have always been very honest and fair. I would be a little more worried if we were with another agency.

It's been hard and disappointing the past couple of weeks, but I know that one day we will bring our little Sammy home.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

The end of a long weekend.

Don't you love long weekends? I mean just the one extra day off really seems to make a difference. 3 days off is like heaven. And even though we did have an extra day off and even though this is going to be a short week...I DO NOT want to go to work tomorrow. Urgh. I hate when weekends come to an end. Long or short.

Okay. Enough complaining. We had a great weekend! We finished Sam's crib! Let me just say I am pretty proud of how it turned out. It was much, much more difficult than painting the dresser and it took 2 whole days to finish. We had fun, though. Hummm, what can we paint next? ;)

Okay-So I wanted to take a picture of Richard and I to capture the excitement we had about finishing the baby's crib. It turned out to be just a really goofy picture =-)
This is after one side had been primed.
And this is Richard setting up the crib in our dining room.
And here it is all finished! I really do love it! Right now it sits in my dining room. My mom is coming in town on Friday so I will leave it up for her to see and then the next week Rich can take it down so we can put it in storage. Our lease is up early next summer so we are moving into a three bedroom. Yay! Right now the two bedroom is perfect, but it will be exciting to finally have a nursery!!

The bedding is the bedding they gave me when I bought the crib. It looked beautiful on the maple but I didn't think it would look very good on the black. I have to say I am surprised. It looks much better on the black crib than I expected it to. What do you think? Are the colors too neutral for a black crib?? I am still on the look out for bedding that I love. I haven't found anything yet. Luckily (or un-luckily) I have time.

This is what our Saturday night revolved aroundUT Football. Richard is a HUGE UT fan. I mean HUGE fan. He was not happy about the outcome. Oh well, we always have Memphis basketball.

Okay, I am going to try and psych myself up for the start of another work week. At least it is only a four day week and my mom will be here Friday so I have that to look forward to.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

My first Tag!

Yay! Okay, this will be fun :) Thanks, H at Star Light Star Bright!

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged, you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged & to read your blog!

Janelle-

J-June. June is the month Rich and I were married.

A- Anticipation. My aunt Denise used to tell us on Christmas Eve the best part of presents was the anticipation. My mom says anticipation is what makes good moments, special moments. I don't think the anticipation will be the best part about this process. The best part will be bringing Samuel home.

N- Not laid back. I like to worry. I don't actually like to worry, but I do worry. A lot. I just want everything to be perfect.

E-Easter. I was born on Easter day. I was born in March so Easter has only been on my birthday twice.

L-Love. Love the idea of being a mommy!!

L-Laughter. My favorite thing to do is laugh and luckily I am married to the funniest guy ever!

E-Eat. I love, love, love to eat. Also, Exercises. With all that eating, I have to exercises!

Okay- I am supposed to tag 7 people. I think H has tagged most of the people I would have tagged so I will just check their blogs to see what they wrote :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Welcome Baby Margo!

3 weeks ago Richard's cousin, Caroline and her husband Aaron brought home their beautiful daughter, Margret May. We were able to visit them today and all are doing well. Margo is the most beautiful little girl and has a head full of hair. This is a picture of me and my mother in law admiring her beauty.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Project!

This Saturday Rich and I painted Sam's dresser black. It was a big job and took us all day!! But it was lots of fun. This was our very first home improvement project so we learned a lot. We didn't have time to get to the crib so I hope to do that in a couple of weekends.

This is the before shot. Well, minus the hardware and feet. We had already taken them off before the picture was taken but you can get the idea.
And this is the finished product! It's not exactly perfect, but we are very pleased and look forward to painting the crib:)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Weekend Update

Hi! We had our Pre-Adopt class today at CHI. It was very interesting. We had speakers on the medical aspect as well as attachment. We are super glad we went. And for attending we got a nifty certificate showing that we completed 4 hours of class. The certificate is a photocopy of a computer print out. Very official :)
Later that day I ran by Macy's. I had a gift card for them that I had never used and thought I would look at stuff for Sam. I bought two cute pair of camo shorts (a boy can never have enough camo shorts) and a cute hoodie. I took a picture of the small amount of things I have for him so far. A sock monkey, shorts, snoopy socks and a really, really cute shirt from my bff, Samantha.



I have mentioned the shirt before but took a pitcure so everyone could see. So adorable!

"Get your own Mom. This one is mine!" Love it!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What's in a number?

Hi. Just a quick update.

I sent an email to CHI yesterday just to get our updated number on the list. I know the number doesn't really mean anything because the referral time is still the same, but it had been 2 months so I was curious to see where we were.


We are now 164 on the list. We have moved up 12 spots in 2 months. It sounds like a lot of movement, but does it really mean anything? Does it really matter seeing as how the referral times have not changed? She did mention that the wait times for boys have not been extended, but that they could be. I hate hearing that. I know that is the case, but I hate hearing it just the same. I know they haven't been extended yet, but the uncertainty is nerve racking. Did I actually just say that? What did I expect from international adoption?? Uncertainty is what it is all about, right? I guess I still have a lot to learn and a lot to get used to. And I better get used to it fast because it is WAY too early for me to start getting panicky.

I know everything will happen in it's perfect time. In God's perfect time and not one day past due. I just have to keep reminding myself of that every day.

Monday, August 6, 2007

2 Months and counting...


Today has been 60 days since added to the waiting list. Gosh, we have so much further to go. At times I don't know how I will be able to make the wait. I am already so preoccupied with thoughts of Sam. I just can't wait to have that little guy in my arms.



In reality Rich and I actually need the next year to prepare for Sam. 1st I have no idea where we will even be living. Rich will obtain his PhD by next May. Then depending on whether or not he decides to stay in academia, we will be moving. Moving out of state unless he accepts a position at Vanderbilt. We haven't decided yet what we want to do, but the idea of moving is exciting to me. Before it really scared me to think that we would probably move even further away from the Memphis area and all my family and the majority of my friends, but now it seems like a great opportunity to move and travel and to live in and experience as many different cities, states as we can. I may be changing my mind once we have a baby home with us and no family in driving distance to lean on. On the other hand I love Nashville and would be happy to stay. It's only a 3 hour drive from my family and friends. That is a huge comfort. At this point we really have no idea what is going to happen or where we will end up in the next 9 months. But I do know we will land exactly where we are supposed to be :)



Oh, I almost forgot! We purchased Sam's nursery furniture a couple of weeks ago!! I work for a new home builder for the greater Nashville area and whenever a community sells out, we close out that model. When a model closes my company will have a model home sell, usually in the form of an auction. Well this particular model was staged with a nursery in one guest room. I was so thrilled. It is maple and just beautiful! We got the dresser (which can also be the changing table just by adding the padding) crib, mattress and bedding for $275. We don't have a truck so we had to fit everything in our wagon. It took us 2 trips and we had to diss-assemble the crib to get it home. Richard is so super sweet he agreed to put the crib back together in the dining room so I can dress it with the bedding and take pictures to show everyone before it goes back into storage until we move into a 3 bedroom. I will also post pictures of them here. I hope to have the pictures taken this week or this weekend



The bedding is originally just what I wanted. Soft, comforting colors. Greens, blues, beiges. Very pretty. But I knew I wasn't in love with it. I thought it was pretty enough though and having it would save us a lot of money. Yesterday we went to Babies R Us for fun to just look around. We saw so many cribs and it confirmed what a great price we got!!! But, I kept looking at the black nursery furniture and loved it the more I looked at it. I didn’t mention how attractive I thought it was to Richard. Out of the blue he said "Ya know, I really like the black. It looks really modern" He suggested we paint the maple and we can add brush nickel handles/knobs. I love the idea!! With black I think it will also be easier to add pieces if we need/want to in the future. So, now that we have decided to paint the nursery furniture I HAVE to have new bedding =-) I mean the colors of the bedding simply would not do on a black crib. I am now on the hunt for beautiful bedding. I must be very, very picky because it is really hard to find something I like for a little boy. There is so much for a little girl, but I haven't really seen anything that just screams out to me yet. The hunt continues and Lord knows I have a while to look.



Here is an example of one that I like the most so far...


Today I finally got rid of the crutches (Yay!), but I am still in a soft cast and walk with a very noticeable limp. Can you believe it?? My injury happened on the 21st and I am still not healed. Christina (the culprit who pushed me ;)) feels just horrible. It's okay, Pancake. I know it was an accident =-P


I went back to the doctor last Wednesday and she put me on a cycle of steroids and then told me to wait a week. If still not better she will have to send me to see my orthopedic surgeon. Last February I had to have a bone tumor removed in my wrist. Very painful and I was with just one hand/arm for almost 2 months. It was so very tuff and I can't imagine being with just one foot/leg for much longer. I know if I do go back he (Ortho. surgeon) will surely not be expecting to see me back again so soon. But I have seen some improvements since I started the steroids. Again, I am off the crutches so that is a start. I really hope to be out of the cast by the end of this week. Finger crossed!!! Silly, freak injuries like this really make you thankful for your health and well being. I think of people who live their lives on crutches or worse and I feel so bad to complain that I have not been 100% mobile for a few weeks. I am truly blessed in so many ways. I have no reason to complain about a temporary inconvenience and I work really hard to remind myself of that!


This weekend we are going to a Pre-Adopt Class at CHI. I am really excited about it. It is so wonderful they offer these classes to waiting families. It reminds you that you are and expecting mommy and daddy :)! I love to say that…Mommy to be:)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sun, pool, friends...and an injured foot??

Two of my favorite people came to see me this past weekend. My dearest and oldest friend since childhood, Christina and my long time bff Samantha. It was so nice to have theme here. I swear we laughed the whole time!! These are two of the funniest girls, ever!

Somehow though we all managed to injure ourselves. Samantha got off easy with just a scratched up knee. She fell when trying to gather too much of our stuff when we were leaving the pool for the day. Poor Christina was trying to do water gymnastics and lost balance and fell...on her face. Ouch! She has a cut on the bridge of her nose and a cut right above her lips. My injury landed me in the emergency room. I was playfully pushed in the pool. However it was the shallow end. Only 3 ft deep. I landed hard on my right foot. Really hard. I knew my foot was broken. Turns out it is not broken, just a really bad internal bruise. It hurts so bad. I have to wear a special shoe and walk on crutches for 7 to 10 days. That is why kids, you don't horse around at the pool :)


They are so sweet. They had gifts for me when they arrived on Saturday. Christina brought me some Peach Jelly (there's a story to that) a cute magnet for the fridge and a really pretty frame for a super cheesy picture she and I had made together when we were about 13 years old at Walmart! It's just too funny! Samantha brought me something for Sam. She bought him the cutest little pair of khakis that can be rolled up as long shorts or rolled down to pants. So cute. Then she got the cutest little shirt I have seen. It says 'get your own mom, this one is mine'. Love it!!!

We have had a busy summer so that's good. It will make time go by a bit faster. Sam and Christian left yesterday and my MIL comes in today. I think she is staying just until Tuesday, then she is leaving for Atlanta to visit Rich's sister, Sally.

We are about 6 weeks into our wait for our little boy. We have SO much longer to go, but I just keep thinking that time will go by and before we know it we will be looking at his picture.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Best Time Spent...



Is vacations spent with family. And here we all are at our best. Err, well maybe not our very best, but here we all are together just the same (well, minus my cousin Michael who was missed!)

Every year for as long as I can remember our family all goes to the beach to spend a week together. At first (when we were all much smaller) we would rent a condo. The grown ups would get a room and the kids would be scattered through out. Some of us even would sleep in closets! As you can see we have grown and I don't think many of us would fit into closets anymore so now we all share a big house on the beach. I look forward to it every year!

This is me helping my grandmother cook( I know, really bad pic of me!). Actually all I did was stir. She along with my mother and my aunt did most of the cooking, but it was fun to pretend I was helping ;) Cooking for all of us was a really big job! But it is so fun to have everyone gather in the kitchen at dinner time. Nothing brings people together like food!

This was our entertainment for a couple of nights. My cousins and my brother singing and playing guitar while we all listened and sang a long. Good times!



My cousin Lindsay has two small boys. Edward is about 16 months and Luke who is about to turn 3 in August. Now I know I may be bias but these are two of the cutest boys you will ever meet. Lindsay and her husband Brian are so good with them. They definitely keep them buys.

This is a picture of Edward playing in the sand. He is the happiest baby and he just loves everyone. He is so adorable!This was taken 4th of July. We were outside on the beach watching fireworks. Luke and Edward don't look too thrilled about the having a picture taken, but they had a really good time.

I was hoping to hear about more referral news when we got back but no such luck. Oh, but I did see the new baby added to the waiting child list. He is so precious. I know someone will scoop him up really quick!!

Yesterday Rich and I finished our Because they Waited series. The last test were essay questions. I have to say that the questions on Richard's test were much harder than mine. I found the last module to be the most interesting. They mentioned a technique called "holding" when a child is in the middle of a sever tantrum. I have never even heard of "holding" before. Well, there is a lot I have never heard of before. I have a lot more reading and research to do, but I have plenty of time to do it. One month down, possibly 14 more to go!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Moving is not fun!


The above print is of Vietnam. My MIL bought this for Rich and I and gave it to us last week while she was here for her visit. Isn't it beautiful? I especially like it because it is a black and white print. Now, we just have to find a room to hang it.

Urgh. Work this week has not been fun. Our office is moving so it has been very hectic. Most of my files were packed away by a temp last week, so it has been so hard to find what I need. My office is a disaster and nothing is in order. I am a very organized person and can be a little anal when it comes to cleanliness and organization. I can't keep my head straight while working in such a mess. It's distracting. Oh well, It will all be over Monday. I will have to finish packing tomorrow and then I am working all day Saturday to make sure files are put away in their proper place. I am not looking forward to it. I cherish my Saturdays because that is usually the one day that Richard and I can spend together. Oh well, it's really no big deal. It's just one Saturday so I need to just get over it, right? I know. I am being a baby :-)

On a much brighter note, Richard and I are leaving Tuesday afternoon to meet my whole family at the beach! We all (about 17 of us!) rent a big beach house in Gulf Shores. We have been doing this since I was about 2. It's so much fun and really the highlight of my summer.

I am keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer that our agency gives us a big referral update tomorrow!! Now that would make for the start of a great weekend!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Welcom, Friday Morning!

South VietNam in Mytho. I love how big their smiles are! They must really be having a great time!

I am always glad to wake up to a Friday morning!! My mother and Robert came into town on Wednesday and left this morning to go back to Memphis. I have seen her almost every week since summer began and I love it. The time we spend together is so special to me and I want to take advantage of our time together because in the next year who knows where Rich will take a job and how far away we will have to move. Right now it is just a three hour drive. Next year we could very well be a plane ride away.

The visitor's keep coming!! This afternoon Richard's mother is supposed to come into town to stay with us thru Sunday. His cousin is having a baby shower on Saturday and I can't wait. It is her first baby and really the first baby for Richard's side of the family. Everyone is so excited!!

We got an update yesterday from our agency. 2 new referrals. Yea! 1 for a healthy toddler boy who is 3 1/2 and the second was a 7 month old girl from the waiting child list. Also, 8 families got travel approval. Congratulations to all the families!!

They hope (We hope!) to have more referrals next week. Let's keep our fingers crossed!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Glad it's Friday!

These are Bang Lang Flowers. When they are in blossom, it announces the coming of summer. Summer is definitely here in Tennessee.


I am so happy to finally be at Friday!! This weekend should be really nice. Other than dinner reservations we have nothing major going on. This is good.


Tonight we are having dinner with friends. Really casual. Tomorrow I plan on cleaning, laying out by the pool and then Richard and I are going to celebrate our anniversary that was on Monday. It's just no fun to celebrate on a Monday.


I am hoping for an update from our agency today. Gosh, I would love to see some news about referrals!!
Oh! I have found a song that I am in love with. It is Lullaby by the Dixie Chicks. It's so sweet! If you haven't heard it, you really must listen. This link will give you the lyrics. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/dixiechicks/lullaby.html
--
UPDATE: Well, we got a program update from CHI. New travel dates were given, but no new referrals. It is disappointing that there are no new referrals, but great news for the families who are traveling to get their little ones. It seems like it has been a really long time since any referrals have been received. Maybe it just seems that way to me because now I am actually on the list and these new referrals will affect our placing. Oh well. Maybe next week?? Congratulations to the families who have received travel dates!! I am excited for you all!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

2 Years ago today...

I just wanted to write a quick entry today because it is our 2nd year wedding anniversary. It has gone by so fast! I feel so blessed to be married to Richard. He is such a caring person. I realize not every man would agree to adopt when he has no reason to believe we could not have a biological child. It means so much that he is willing to open his heart to a child in need. My life so far with him has been filled with so much joy and happiness. I love him to no end. I am so excited about our future and I am in love with the idea that our family is growing! It has been a wonderful 2 years and I know our lives will continue to be blessed. So...Happy Anniversary, Richard! I love you!!!





Sunday, June 10, 2007

When I was walking in Memphis...



We went back to Memphis this past weekend. Richard's 10 year high school reunion was Friday and Saturday and we planned on going. After some thought Friday on the way back to Memphis, he decided not to go and that we would visit with his friends with out attending the reunion.

I really wanted to get in touch with my friends but decided this weekend would be dedicated to Richard and his friends. It was originally going to be all about him anyway and I thought I should keep it that way. He is so busy with school it is a really big task for him to even take a weekend off and travel to Memphis to visit friends. I am able to get away from Nashville much more often so I really was happy to help him take advantage of this rare free time.


Friday we just spent time with his mom and had a nice quiet evening. Saturday he attended the Fed Ex Golf Tournament with his friend Matt. I was able to see my mom and visit with my aunt who is visiting from California. Later that night we met up with some of Rich's friends and my cousin downtown. We all met at some one's beautiful apartment 11 stories up with a roof top view of down town Memphis. The view was beautiful.

Everyone is really excited that we are now a 'waiting family'. It sounds so official! =) We received our I-171 H on June 5th ( a day after my Daddy's Birthday) and we were put on the list Thursday, June 7th. I found out Friday we are number 176 on the list. That number sounds really, really big. BUT, I am praying for a flurry of referrals to our agency so that number will quickly shrink! I have faith. Everything will happen in it's perfect and right time. But I have to be honest,the waiting will be hard and we have only just started.

Rich's mom has already bought Sam several really neat books. She is an elementary school teacher, so she will make sure Sam never runs out of books to read! I can't wait until I can read them all to him!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wait one, over!!!


This is what we have so anxiously been waiting for....

Our I-171H arrived! It came in the mail yesterday and when I saw it in the mail box I could not believe it!! I was so thrilled. I called Rich who was still at school and told him to come home. We had something to celebrate!! We had some champagne in the fridge for this very occasion and we went to dinner at a local Mexican Restaurant. It was a good day.

Today I had a community service project I was working on (NOT court ordered, by the way!) so I wasn't near a fax machine and I didn't have time to run by CHI. I am faxing it to Sara first thing in the morning and we will be on the list! Yay!! Another thing to celebrate and one step closer to our little one. This makes me smile =)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Weekend Therapy

Well, we are at week seven with no approval from CIS =( I am practicing patience. Let me just say it is hard. I know it will come....but when??


I was able to go home (Mississippi) this past weekend for my dear friend Amanda's birthday. The best therapy is time spent with best friends.


I swear, I have the greatest group of friends. I feel so much support from them. I don't know what I would do without them!! They are so excited for Richard and I and are just as ready for us to bring Sam home as we are. And they never get tiered of hearing me talk about the adoption. I love them and I always have the best time with them. We started the night off with dinner at the Happy Mexican ( I LOVE Mexican food) and then ended the night with some music and dancing. There were lots and lots of laughs all thru the night. It was just what I needed.



Oh! My bff from high school, Samantha, bought Samuel his first pair of swimming trunks!



Too cute, right? We went swimming Saturday with our other friends and everyone had their little one. They were all so cute. Samantha has a 13 month old girl, Emerson. The cutest little thing. And she LOVES the water! Adorable!

Hopefully I will update tomorrow saying that we finally got our I-171H. My fingers are crossed!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Here is to lazy long weekends!








Hope everyone had a great Holiday weekend!! We have had a really nice weekend of not doing a whole lot of anything.

My mother came in to town on Friday and stayed until Sunday. We had a great time. It is always so nice to have her here.

Rich and I just watched another section of our adoption videos and took our tests. A 100% each!

My fingers are crossed that we will get our I-171H this week!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nothing really to report today. Just thought I would add a quick entry as I wait until it's time to leave work for the day.

Saturday was a month since we sent in our Home Study to CIS and had our finger prints taken. We should (hopefully!) receive our I-171 H approval any day now.

I am so consumed with thoughts of the adoption and the baby. We have such a long way to go. If this process teaches me about anything, it will be about patience.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
1 Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Waiting

Not much to report on the adoption front. We are still waiting for our I-171 H so that we can be added to the 'list'. It will be a month May 19th since everything was sent in to Immigrations. Another family that is adopting from VN and who lives here in the Nashville area received their 171 H in about 4 1/2 weeks. If we receive ours around that time, that should still put us on the list by the end of May, very early June. I really, really hope by May. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!! Once we are on the list that is considered a paper pregnancy in the adoption world. I think that is cute. I might even get a shirt that says Pregnant on Paper, I'll be so excited! I saw another shirt I liked that said Pregnant with Love for my son in Vietnam. I don't want to be too corny, though. I guess if anything I could get it and just wear it around the house. It would make me smile =)

I'll update soon. Hopefully to announce that Rich and I are finally on the list. Then everyday that passes gets us closer to the referral of our son.

Love,
Shannon

Monday, May 7, 2007

Adoption Education

In order to adopt, it is a requirement that you have 10 hours worth of adoption education. We have 4 dvds to watch and a huge book.

Yesterday Rich and I watched the first dvd and took our test on line. We both scored a 100% =) I have also gotten half way thru the adoptive parenting book. It is full of very interesting and useful information.

We are still waiting on our I-171H form. No surprise, it hasn't even been a month but I have a feeling we will get it by the end of may. My fingers are crossed anyway.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Home Study Complete!






We finished our Home Study April 13. We went and had our finger prints taken today and Sara mailed a copy of the home study to CIS today! So, it possible we could have our approval and be on the list by June! At the very least we should be able to make the list by July!! Needless to say, I am very excited about how quick the first part of this process has gone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Making Progress

The interview yesterday went okay. She just asked a lot of general questions about me and my family. Describe your parents. What were you like as a child? Are you close to extended family? What is your relationship with your brother? Then she moved into questions regarding Richard and I and our relationship. Our views on child rearing, discipline and such. The interview lasted just over an hour.

We can possibly have the home study done within the next two weeks, as long as all the referral letters come in. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that everyone sends them in soon so we can put the home study under our belt and start the wait for the 171-H form. We mailed in our I-600A form certified mail today! Sara said we should get an invitation to get our finger prints in a couple of weeks!

We have really done a good job and I am scared to say it because I don't want to jinx it....so I won't say it, yet.

What we have left to get before completing the home study

Medicals for Richard and I
Richards letter of employment from his advisor
local background checks
pass port photo page (still waiting!)

Richard has his interview tomorrow and then we will schedule the home visit for next week.

I am coming home(Memphis/Mississippi) this weekend for Easter. I am so excited to see all my friends and to see Luke and Edward. It will be a nice break.

**I just checked on line and my passport is being processed! I really hope I get it before the end of April...we'll see.**

Monday, April 2, 2007

Interviews

My first interview with our social worker, Sara is today.

I have a lot of paper work to turn into her today as well. In fact it is almost everything we need. The only things I am missing are the medical forms, Richard's employment letter from his advisor, local background check and oh yes, the photo page of my passport. It has been like five weeks since I applied and I am getting anxious to get it. I don't think we can finish the home study with out it. I am not sure, though. I'll check on that.

Good news! I have all the documents needed to send in our I-600A form to C.I.S. in Memphis! I am going to take everything to Sara this afternoon and have her check it before we send it. Hopefully in about 4 weeks we will get a letter inviting us to have our finger-prints taken.

I am hoping that by July we have the coveted 171-H form. This is when we will officially start the wait for being matched with our baby. I will celebrate like never before when we finally get this form!!

I'll update later and write more about the interview. Wish me luck! =)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Social Worker

Today we were assigned our social worker. Luckily it is also our Country Coordinator. That means we have one person we have to go to for everything. I am really glad it worked out that way.

We have to write a 5-6 page autobiography. I have started on mine. Rich has been too busy but promises he will have it done by next Friday. When the Autobiographies are done we will email them to Sara(our S/W) and then we will schedule our first meeting.

I really want to send in the I600A form. We have everything to do it except for one form that I am trying to gather. I hope to be able to get it this week. My fingers are crossed!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

First Class

Tonight we have a Home Study class at CHI. The class is from6:30-8:30. As excited as I am to get a running start and to learn and gather as much as we can, I am really tiered today. Hopefully it will be a short 2 hours.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Okay, here we go!


We did it!! We turned in our application to Children's Hope on Friday!!!
That's me filling out the application =)

CHI is directly across the street from my office, so Friday Rich dropped me off at work and was going to come by the office at 4:00 (CHI closed at 4:30) and we were to then turn in our app. together.

Well, 4:00 came then 4:05, then 4:10, then 4:15...I knew he wasn't going to make it so at 4:20 I walked outside and watch the road and after a couple minutes found myself walking across the street to turn in the application. I have waited for so long I was SO ready to get started!! No way was I waiting even two more days.

I called the receptionist for my office and told here that if my dear husband came looking for me I would be across the street.

When I walked in the door the receptionist was on the phone, so I just stood there for a second when another woman greeted me. I told her I was dropping off our application and she answered with an enthusiastic "CONGRATULATIONS!!!" Just then the receptionist hung up the phone and also congratulated me and gave me her best wishes. Now I know they probably are supposed to react that way, but it really seemed genuine and it really made me smile. They were really excited for me.

The woman who greeted me (Who's name I have forgotten with all the excitement going on) is the Vietnam Director for CHI(The one persons name I should remember!) so she was just the person I needed to see. She briefly looked over the application and asked if I had any questions. As she started explaining the process Rich walked in. I was really, really glad to see him. I really wanted him to be there and be part of it. I was also glad I could introduce him to the Vietnam Director and visa verse. She seemed pleased and was very nice.

Turning in the application was a really big step for Rich and I. It was a pivotal moment in our lives and we have just set into motion a process that will change the entire dynamic of our family and of course totally change our lives!! They were really happy for us and just made me feel that much more confident in our decision to go with them.

So now what? Our approval packet should arrive in 2 weeks. We then start the Home Study which involves gathering documents, back ground checks, getting reference letters, physicals and having several interviews with a social worker including a home visit. I of course hope to FLY thru this process. We are going to the beach with my family(another Yay!!) on July 4Th, so I am hoping to celebrate that we have finished the Home Study by then. It would be a great group of people to celebrate with!!! And of course, the sooner we are on the Waiting List, the sooner we get a son!

The 'waiting' period will be a little longer with CHI than maybe another agency, but for Rich and I the timing will be perfect! It will be around that time he will be graduating and we will almost certainly be re-locating (Memphis!? I hope!).

So, Yay! We have taken the first step!! It feels so real now! We are going to have a son...we will be a little family!! It may be a year, year and half, but we are going to have a son!!!





Tuesday, March 6, 2007

New Beginnings

Friday we turn in our application to Children's Hope to adopt an infant son from Vietnam and I am absolutely thrilled!!