Saturday, December 30, 2006


Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Ours was way too hectic for my taste. We will have to do something about that next year--hopefully with Miss Buttercup. Everyone will just have to understand that making 4 different family gatherings is too much for anyone, let alone an infant! I'm still trying to recuperate myself. We are off to the mountains for a little much needed R & R with our friends and little god-daughter for the New Year holiday.........

Well, I finally got around to downloading some recent pics from my camera. Look at that sweet little face. This is from Thanksgiving week of my Niece D on the shoulders of her daddy, my brother. Love that little sweetie pie--wish we could see them all the time whenever we want, but, alas, they are 3000 miles away....that is such a bummer, huh? She is so funny!

....and playing in Buttercup's room...

And we can't forget little D's mommy, my lovely SIL, who is carrying our little nephew (aka Wally, the

Wow, I just realized they are all color-coordinated! What a fine looking family! :) Love and miss you guys!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thoughtful Friends & Christmas Tree Cuties

Well, I received these precious little Vietnamese boy and girl ornaments today in the mail from one of my online adoptive mom buddies. Thanks, Kristen! Three of us met for the first time in person this past Saturday for lunch and just had the best time just hanging out and talking some serious adoption talk. The weather was beautiful and really warm (like in the mid 70's!), so we sat outside and enjoyed the unseasonable weather. Before we new it it was 4 1/2 hours later. It is so great to have friends to talk to who just get it all. I so appreciate the support and friendship that they have given--it means a lot when this wait gets you down. Thanks, girls! I hope we can look forward to many more opportunities, especially after our girls are home...and these cuties are just simply adorable!

Baby Stuff Shopping and feeling wierd..

Well, we (I) finally started our registry at the baby store online. For those of you who haven't experienced it, adoptive parents feel really wierd shopping for baby stuff. (Not that it's stopped me as far as clothes, though!) Figuring out when to register feels wierd. When you are in the store it feels like you are pretending and a buzzer is going off somewhere in the store and everybody knows you don't really have a baby yet. I fully realize it's all in my head, but I have talked to other adoptive moms and they say they feel the same way. And probably dad's too, since every time we are at the store, I say we could go ahead and register, I guess. We are paper pregnant...... and hubby always says--it's too early, we have a lot more time for that. I think he feels the same way as I do. Wierd. (So, no, it's not just me!) I just figured since we had figured out some of the stuff we wanted to get, I might as well get it on the list before I can't remember or find it later. Plus some other parent's have said you start to get lots of good coupons after you start a registry (always a good thing!) Ya don't have the buzzers go off when shopping online either, so it's safer from the wierd feeling! We will definitely go and continue the full registering in person at some point--it's a rite of passage! My eyes go glassy and I get overwhelmed when I go to the store though--there is so much stuff! What do you really need? My very good friend is having a baby girl soon and we shopped off her registry for her baby shower recently and I really thought, hey, I'll just copy hers! She's probably done all the research already. ha.

I *am * happy to report that we finally found a model of the stroller we want to actually try out. I found it online and wanted to inspect one in person before deciding for sure. I had no idea how hard it was going to be to find one! The big stores don't carry it and I could only find it online. Well, we had to go one town over to locate it and figured they wouldn't actually have it (they didn't aswer the phone) and it was a long shot, but we turned a corner and there it was---in the color we want and everything!! It tested out fine, so that is the one. We almost got it, but decided to order it instead. What is so special about this stroller, you ask? Well, I'll tell you-beside the really cool colors, it has a reversible handle so you can have the baby face you or the world. I think Buttercup is gonna need some serious face time with her new mommy and daddy.....and I just want to be able to look at her while we stroll!! :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

....and down comes a little ray of hope....

Two posts in one day?! Why, yes! I forgot to post earlier that we got some very encouraging news from our agency on Friday when I called to check in--she said that they were expecting to get quite a few baby girl referrals in the next couple of months and that it looked like our wait may be cut a little shorter as we will hopefully be moving up the list at a nice pace. Let's just hope and pray this will all happen as they predict--especially for those on the top of the list who have been waiting on pins and needles, I'm sure, while no referrals have been coming for the last couple of months! She even said we should even plan on starting our dossier in Jan sometime, so that's good news!!! Just when I was thinking this might never really happen......a little ray of hope! :)
P.S. and I can happily report that the Christmas tree is now fully decorated, and with wrapped presents underneath too. Things are looking up!

Playing Hooky Meeting Some EXTREME people

Well, just wanted to post some pics and share a brush with TV we had in our city last week--Extreme Makeover Home Edition was in town most of the previous week and a half or more rebuilding a home in our downtown area for a very deserving family. The mom is a SW who works with kids at a charter school, her husband is blind and they have two kids. Whenever I watch the show I always get teary at the end. The whole city was caught up in the bewildering process where they completely demolished the house and rebuilt it in one week. Now, being in the industry of design and dealing w/permitting, I know this had to take months of coordination to get approvals and inspections lined up in such a short span of time. (And quite frankly it has always made me wary about the quality of the finished product!) The City officials must have pulled through though and the house looked pretty sturdy. It turned out very nice and I was happy that they made an effort to make it look a little vintage like the rest of the neighborhood, however, a bit fancier. One of my coworkers got caught up in the excitement and talked a couple more of us into taking a few hours off work in the middle of the day to take a shuttle to the house and help yell, "MOVE THAT BUS!" It is very near our office and we figured we wouldn't often get this opportunity, if ever again. It was quite a circus over there at first--there were thousands of people there to cheer them on. It was so interesting to see some of the process of producing the final moments of the show.........let's just say it is very slow and the move that bus is yelled quite a few times throughout the day to get as many versions as possible, as well as the crowd, over and over again. After the family was inside, (which we unfortunately missed that actual moment, due to some transportation issues, darn it) most of the cast of designers and carpenters were outside shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pics--except Ty, it seems he causes such a frenzy, he can only keep a distance and wave at the crowd or people just lose their minds! Whenever he looked out at the crowd, everyone started cheering and the girls were screaming! Too funny. My favorite is actually Ed, the carpenter. In fact Maggie and I got our picture taken with him and he was EXTREME-ly nice......and adorable-love the accent! okay, I know, I couldn't help it! Heh, heh! P.S. the episode is supposed to air Jan 21!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's beginning to (slowly, very slowly) look a lot like Christmas...

Well, we finally got our tree up--but not decorated yet! Ha, ha. It has lights, but no ornaments yet. You could say we like to savor it, but really we just haven't been able to get that far yet (or perhaps we're just being lazy about it!), but wanted to get it all sparkly at least. It's pretty funny, though- we had to put the tree up in Buttercup's room thanks to our tiny, make-shift upstairs living room. We are living on the upstairs level of our house while completing the renovation of the downstairs level (which is not going very forward at the moment, unfortunately, due to some trouble getting a contractor to come over to give us an estimate on plaster removal). Our upstairs has a kitchen and basically is set up as a two-bedroom apartment. Since we haven't put up a crib yet, her room is the only room with a spot for a tree. We can see into her room from our mini-living room, so it works! The cats are loving it as a nice nap spot underneath. Hubby said we should take a pic, but then thought she may want the tree in her room every year if she sees it. Hopefully we can resume the big tree downstairs in the real living room next year and have a baby tree in her room too. :) No news on the adoption front. We are still at the same place on the list that we have been since we got on the list and hoping for some news this month on moving up a couple notches, unlike last month. Urrrgggghhhhh. Happy thoughts.....happy thoughts.......
This is what Buttercup is getting for Christmas this year. (notice the proximity of the peeking tree branches :) ha) ...A litttle asian dolly, a cute pink and green knit beret and matching pink socks. We may even wrap them and put them under the tree because she will be with us in spirit as we celebrate this year. They will be waiting for her when she finally gets home. I hope and pray it is by Christmas next year.

I think this doll has the sweetest little face! This wait is hard.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Funk is Finally Fading

I'm finally back--For some unexplained reason, I just have been in an adoption-related funk this month. I just was in no mood to think about it, much less blog. Sorry for the lack of activity (again!) It just seemed to be so far away still and very out of my reach. There has been no news from the agency this month regarding any referrals and we have not moved at all on the list. This sign hangs in Buttercup's room, and I admit it is more for our benefit to remind believe that this will actually happen, just not on our schedule. Right now, I have to admit it doesn't seem any closer. But visiting with lots of family over Thanksgiving that is very excited for us and getting to see my brother and SIL and my niece (and the new little bump) in from CA for the week was very nice and helped a lot. We had lots of good food and did a lot of visiting. We also got the news that this little bump will be a baby boy! He is due to be born in late May/early April. I told my niece she was going to have a baby brother just like me! (she's 20 mos old, so I didn't expect her to get the concept, which she didn't! ) :) Well, we are very grateful that this pregnancy seems to be going along smoothly so far. I even got to feel him kick a few good strong ones. My SIL is very excited for us and said we are "pregnant " together-me on paper of course. She brought up a good point that I hadn't really let myself think of I guess. She said "we are praying for Buttercup's birth mommy since she is probably already pregnant too." I guess that is most likely true! I had never really looked at it that way, unfortunately. That's a nice thought. I am very thankful to her and I hope she is okay is taking care of herself and Buttercup. We will keep her in our prayers.
This is Buttercup's new little rocker that my dad and stepmom bought for us. They found it at an antique store and gave it to us a couple weeks ago. It is a very sweet addition to her room and I can't wait for her to rock her babydolls in it..............Until then I'll just keep trying to believe it will really happen someday!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ocracoke Island & the Outer Banks

Ferries, Lighthouses and Sand, Oh My!

I've been meaning to post about this- We celebrated our 6th anniversary on Oct. 14 by spending a beautiful weekend at the Outer Banks in NC (home of the famous lighthouses). Amazingly, this is actually only the second time I have ever been to this area. It used to take about 5 hours from where we live so we usually go to the beaches that are closer, but they have redone a bypass that gets you there in around a zippy 3.5 hours. We stayed in a very friendly and lovely B & B called the Thurston House on Ocracoke Island, which is only accessible by a ferry that you can drive onto. I can't remember ever taking a ferry, but I sure made up for that on this trip! The weather was gorgeous and we had lots of yummy food. I think we even decided on our real name for Buttercup (it's the one name we keep going back to and seem to agree on), but we don't want to decide for sure until we see her little face. (Sorry, Mom!) We bought a handblown glass fish to hang in the nursery window, and a signed children's book by a local author- "Pelican and Pelicant" (such a cute story!). We'll definitely be visiting more often.......a very family-friendly place for when Buttercup joins us!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween to all !!!!
Hope all have had a fun Halloween--It's one of my favorite holidays. As my brother calls me, I'm a "witch baby" (due to my arrival being so close to Halloween, of course!) I look forward to trick or treating with our little one next year, if all goes as predicted. :) We've been saying that a lot these days--next year at this time our little Buttercup will be with us to so-and-so.....That's a nice thought.

Speaking of my brother....turns out I am going to be an aunt again!!!!! Yay! My SIL is due in early April. They waited a while to tell everyone--they are halfway there now! She had a very difficult pregnancy with my niece, so we are hoping this one goes without complications. So far, so good. They haven't decided whether they will find out the gender of the baby beforehand this time. I am a big fan of knowing. There are too many unknowns as it is......If you are one that prays, please keep them in your prayers for a safe delivery for my new little niece or nephew!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Surprise, Surprise!! It's my Birthday!

Well, I just had to share that my wonderful husband planned and threw me a surprise birthday party Saturday night. It was held at my mom's house, and I was drawn there under the guise that we were going out to dinner with our parents to an Italian restaurant to celebrate my birthday with them. When we got there the house was filled with my close friends and family with lots of food and balloons........and a big cake with a huge, black 4-0 on it, thanks to my mother-in-law. Yes, this is a big one. Today is my actual birthday. Happy Birthday to me! 40 definitely isn't as old as I once thought it was, that's for sure! :) It was a great party and I was so touched that everybody came and helped me celebrate. It was nice to share with everyone that we are finally officially on the waiting list after having no news for over 3 months waiting on the 171H. My best friend since elementary school made a DVD of my life in pictures and video with music from "the day". We had a lot of laughs watching that one. Who wore a blue and white vertical striped jumpsuit (not pinstripes, mind you--WIDE stripes!) to school? Evidently ME!! Wow, my fashion sense was a lot more cutting edge in the 80s!! I got 5 differnt bottles of wine as gifts--do you think that is sending a message? Ha,ha! I will enjoy them all! My hubby is indeed a sweetie and I love him to death for going to all that trouble to make a birthday I have been dreading special! He said it was stressful and weird keeping it all from me for so long. When I thought he was out shopping Saturday, he was at my mom's slicing pork loin and icing down beer and wine. Tonight we celebrate with dinner, just the two of us. Can't get too wild on a Monday night! I will try to post a pic or two when I get some back from my mom........Happy Halloween Eve Everyone!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We've Made the List...

I talked to our agency today and they verified that we are officially on the list. Nice! We debut at the lovely #19. They say it should be around 7 months until we should see a referral..... I'm hoping for sooner. I'm ready to see that little Buttercup face! We were able to celebrate with a yummy dinner tonight with our cousins. Ahhhhhhhh! :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

THE Form is Here!!!!

I have been the worst blogger lately, I know, I know. I have the best of intentions and I will try to do better. I have been a really good blog reader, but not so great a blog writer. BUT......WE HAVE THE FORM!!

The envelope we have been waiting the last 98 days for finally arrived yesterday!!! It is the I171H--the first required document for all International Adoptions--you can't go forward until you get this little unceremonious little piece of paper............And we finally have it. So you know what that means? Yep, we can get on the waiting list at our agency. We have just been hanging around in limbo worrying about when this thing would be in the mailbox. I had an idea it would be soon since a couple of my fellow NC adopters (who are also adopting baby girls from Vietnam), Emily and Kristen got theirs recently and they were a bit ahead of us in our log-in date. I have been sneaking out of the office in the late afternoons to go check my mailbox...... ha, the neighbors are probably wondering why I've been driving into the driveway, checking the box and then leaving again without going inside. Good thing I work very close to home! Unfortunately, the mailperson has decided to start delivering our mail at the last possible route of the day so all I ever saw was an empty box. I was really getting bummed! Now I can relax. (yea, right!)
Yay us!! Woohoo! I have faxed a copy to our agency, but since it was after hours and no one was there, I haven't talked to them yet to make sure they got it and to see where we are on the list.
I'll keep you posted........... :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fun with the Girls

Happy October!! (October just happens to be my birth month, so I have always been a big fan.)

I got together with some college friends this past weekend for some long-needed girl time with a few of my old college buddies. We met at one of my friends' house near our college town (who's husband was out of town golfing and daughter was spending the night at a friend's--woohoo! Partay! Ha!) and pretty much just had a grown-up version of a slumber party! :) We had some catch up time with some margaritas and then went to visit our college campus to see how much it has changed lately (A LOT! Our dorm is now coed..... even within the floors! Boy, that would have made dorm life quite different back then! It was Homecoming weekend, but we missed most of the festivities....) We also checked out the bricks in the Graduate Walk that one of the friends had done as a surprise gift for us a while back, so our names are emblazoned for posterity (or at least for a good while!) in a brick on a walkway thru one of the treelined park areas. It's nice to know we have left our mark, so to speak!
We then had a nice dinner and went out for a couple of drinks at the newly gentrified and trendy downtown area of our college town. Then we went back to the house to have some big laughs over a scrapbook that one of my friends made of all the goofy-stuff and memories from our years at school. It was fun to see them all at the same time again. We used to see each other at everyone's showers and weddings, but now we are all married (some of us twice!) and they all have children except me (they can't wait for me to join the club!), so it is hard for us all to get together often and it usually has to be a planned event. Of course there was all kinds of big talk about having a wild time, but it ended up being pretty tame-ha,ha. Looks like we are all talk and not as young as we used to be! We did stay up way into the wee morning hours, but for once we were all pretty sober at the end of the night! I hadn't seen one of my friends since a baby shower about a year and a half ago........We mostly all live in different towns, as is usually the case with friends you meet in college, I guess. We got up and made a big breakfast, drank coffee and chatted until we had to make a hasty departure to pick up kids, get to a grandmother's 80th b'day party, relieve babysitting dad's and the like....back to our committments of daily life.

Do you have that friend who is really good at keeping up with everybody and basically does all the work? Yea, that's not me....... It is my friend, Cindi, and I realize I do rely heavily on her to keep me in the loop. I do love my friends and have a great time when we get together, but it seems I suck at regular corespondence. Luckily, Cindi and I live in the same city and we have been friends since grammar school, so I believe she has accepted the burden--hee, hee. It's definitely in her nature and she couldn't help it even if she tried--she lives for keeping up with almost everybody she has ever known. It's really amazing, actually.

Overall, it was a fun time.......even though it reminded us a little that we aren't those crazy college girls anymore.........a sobering thought to this much-too-soon-to-be-turning-the-Big-4-0 at the end of this very month. Yikes. I'm much too young to be this damn old! :)
P.S. That's me on the far right

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

We've Been Printed!

Well, I am happy to finally post that we have finally made the journey to Charlotte to the BCIS assistance office to have our fingerprints taken. Woohoo! Finally a small step! It is not really what you would picture...and no, it doesn't feel like you are being arrested. (Well, at least not this time-when we got our prints taken locally for our homestudy clearance it did feel like we were being man-handled a bit and it was complete with the ink and all....) It is all done electronically on the federal level--pretty cool actually.

You put your fingers on this little flat glass panel and they show up on a computer screen (they show up as big as your head!)--they can keep re-doing it until they get a perfectly clear print because it shows the person if there are any areas that aren't aligning. Sometimes your finger can slip as it is rolled and it gets a little off. Hopefully they were good enough and we won't have to go back an do it again. Basically no news is good news and we went on Thursday (9/21) so I think we're okay. It was basically a big room where we and people from all different countries sit in little plastic chairs all in a row, fill our a form and show ID and then they give you a little paper number (like at the deli!) and you wait for your number to be called. You go up and they take your prints and, voila, you can go home. It's also where all immigrants go to get their green cards renewed and stuff like that.

Hey, in this process, even a little paperwork feels like progress!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

And it begins.......(the blog, that is!)

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!!
This is my first post. I have been meaning to start this for a while and I figured today was a good day. I am hoping to keep you updated as we wait for our little one from Vietnam. We have known we would adopt since we started dating, as I have known since I was 17 that I would be unable to ever become pregant. It was just a matter of waiting until we knew the time was right, unfortunately that took a little longer than originally anticipated.....

We officially started this journey at the beginning of July, 2006. We sent in our I-600A to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) the first time :) on July 7 along with a bunch of other required documents, but it was sent back because, of all things, we forgot to sign it--DUH! Not a great start, I admit, but hopefully it was a learning experience! What a letdown when we got that envelope in the mail, all excited that we were moving forward, and then all our stuff was back to us! Anyway, we mailed it right back in and it was received again by CIS on July 18. This is the first step in our state since the application process takes SOOOOOO long. Then we sent in applications with fees to our agency soon after (which was the hardest thing to pick)--it is so confusing and stressful to decide who to trust to lead you through this journey ethically as well as quickly. FYI, in case you didn't know, Vietnam has just reopened to adoptions with the US in January of this year after a two and a half year moratorium-- due to some questionable practices-- and it is of the utmost importance that the adoptions remain on the up an up or we risk problems, and besides, it is just the right thing to do....

So back to my catch-up....We selected our homestudy agency (since our Adoption Agency is located in Ohio, we have to have a different NC licensed agency do the homestudy) and we mailed them a whopping check. We started our homestudy with our first meeting on Aug 8 and finished with our third and last meeting at our house on Aug 14--was worth every penny of the extra expedited services fee to get it done quickly, as USCIS requires this to complete the processing and it got it out of the way. Also, for so long we have worried about this part, as we are currently in the process of renovating our 83 year old house and it has taken us a few years to get it to a point to even pass a homestudy!! That, I'm sure we will cover at a later date, as it is a subject in itself..... Oh, and yes, it went well and we received a favorable report by the end of that week and they let us know that they had sent it along to CIS to join the rest of our stuff.

So, now we finally have received the long-awaited fingerprint appt. to go to Charlotte to get our fingerprints taken, which is the last piece of the pie that USCIS will need from us (hopefully) and we will just be waiting (this is the theme, as you can tell! :)) until our turn comes for them to process. Which I am told will not be until the end of October or early November!!!! Yikes! What we are waiting for exactly is the coveted I-171H form--this is formal approval for us to bring a foreign orphan into the US to be ours forever and ever :) and at this time I think I will consider myself "paper-pregnant"! You really can't do anything else until you get that piece of paper ! So that's it for now, I think! We wait....I know some of you may not be quite as knowledgeable about the process we will have to go through, but I will leave that for another time..
Until next time!