Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
**Us celebrating with Tea at the hotel after the interview**
**When she's happy, she is so happy!**
**Riding in the Cab, she is snug as a little bug in the carrier. She usually is sleeping****Naptime--She absolutely loves this little duckie named Emmit from Miss Niki--she sucks on his beak like a pacifier (which she will not have anything to do with) when she is trying to go to sleep and snuggles up with him--we have got to find another one for back up when we get home, just in case! **
Posted by ~Kim at 1/25/2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
We left Saigon this afternoon after spending the morning packing all of our junk up again--it took hours, again--and now we are in Hanoi, the capital city in the north of Vietnam. We had a little drama, after finding out the van didn't unload our carry-on bag that has all of our paperwork that we were told to bring and have shclepped halfway across the world and drove off with it!!! I almost had a coronary. Quoc says he doesn't think we need it, but I didn't care--that paperwork has been my life for the last 20 months, and anyone who got hold of it could probably assume our lives!! Crisis averted, though--they found it and the guy brought it, and another family's bag who was also left on the van as well, back on a scooter (of course) after some phone calls from Quoc. Whew--nothing like a little scare! We have kept a close eye on it, believe me, it was just some last minute shuffling to get people on the van, and it got stowed at the last minute--won't let that happen again, however that is probably the last time on this trip that all six families and all of their luggage will be loaded up at the same time. We are an unusually larger group than they are used to dealing with on these trips and we are quite the circus!
So far it seems really different than Saigon....much cooler,which is nice, and from what we saw on the way in from the airport, I think we are all in agreement that it just looks like a beautiful city. Saigon was interesting, but it was much more chaotic and crowded and while there were beautiful areas and the people were so nice and helpful, the city view we experienced does not compare to what we have seen in one drive through Hanoi. We have heard the attitude can be different here, and not quite as inviting, so we will see........we have our interview at the embassy tomorrow afternoon and Quoc says we should have visas by Monday! I will post more picures and update about the interview tomorrow--haven't really unpacked everything yet here and I am bushed! Gotta sleep some while the little munchkin drama queen is asleep--ordered room service again here tonight--
By the way, We went to the best vegetarian restaurant at one of the Buddhist temples down the street from our hotel last night with Dianne, Joe and their little Ben. Probably the best food we have had so far. (Em, Dianne said we will get you the name and address!--she has it written down--all I can remember is Viet Cay) We just let the waiter suggest things and we all tried everything. Very yummy! The temple was so peaceful, which was surprising since it opens up to a four lane road with honking traffic and neon. I wish I could have gotten pictures, but it was too dark and using the flash would not have done it justice anyway. The juxtaposition of things in Saigon is so interesting--there is definitely a melding of all kinds of culture. I am curious to see more of Hanoi in the light of day and close up--more tomorrow! I promise more pics too when I can get them downloaded....We are staying at the Horison, which is very nice, but we have to Pay for internet!! Bummer, man!
Also--Thanks for all your comments! I can't reply to everyone, but it is great to see all the support while we are on our journey! Thanks also to all of you back home keeping our fur-balls and keeping things in line! We just couldn't have done this without you and your support! Can't wait for you to meet our little Drama Queen! It has been confirmed, she is the loudest of all 6 of the babies here. Yay, us! :)
Love and hugs from Hanoi!
Posted by ~Kim at 1/24/2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Will post more later, but just have send a shout out to say how happy I am that my buds Em and Kristen got their I600 approvals---FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go get your girls, my dear friends!!! See you on the other side of motherhood! :)
Big, HUGE hugs and congratulations to you--I will deliver them in person as soon as I can!!
Also, Cindi's little guy, Hudson is home from the hospital!! Good news all around! Yay!!!
Posted by ~Kim at 1/23/2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Posted by ~Kim at 1/21/2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Anyway, like Em posted, we had the Giving & Receiving ceremony on Wed, so buttercup is officially our daughter! Woohoo! She behaved wonderfully, and fell asleep right up until it was our turn. She said goodbye to all the nannies who I know will miss her and she them. She was all dressed in her fancy duds (which then got put in a ziplock to suffocate the critters!) The next day, Thursday, we left Danang to fly back to Saigon, so she had her first flight in Business class. There we learned our buttercup has some good lungs and knows how to use them! Man can our girl scream! I am really looking forward to that 11 hour leg of flight home! Not! I finally got her to sleep--it was only an hour flight, thank goodness. She will not take a pacifier, so we couldn't get her to ease her ears that way. I never understood a baby not taking a pacifier until now, if we try to stick it in her mouth, she gets mad and screams louder! Ha, ha. She is getting us trained, I guess.
We are doing good and all getting to know each other. We spent that night getting settled and figuring out we didn't have the easiest baby in the world, evidently--she must have been pooped that first night because it was a breeze to get her to sleep then--check out the new pics of the sleeping angel. Last night the benedryl that helped her itching the night before didn't work so well, so it was a little battle of the wills to get her to sleep....The next morning, yesterday, at 8 am sharp, we all met Quoc in the lobby to pile in two vans to go apply for the babies' passports, get the babies' medical exams done for the visas, and to have their passport photos taken. All went well--we are in good hands with Quoc. He left yesterday and will meet us in Hanoi. We have until next Wed to wait for the passports to process, so we finally have a little downtime to get out and explore. After we got back fromt the appointments yesterday we did just that--we went to Pho 24 to eat---what else, but some Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup), one of our faves--with Bethany & Kevin and their daughter, Leah and then we braved the traffic to cross to the little mall to do some shopping at the "Big C" store. It is like a smaller Vietnamese Super Wal-Mart. There is everything from groceries, to shoes, to electronic appliances. It was really neat and I love that everyone is getting ready for Tet and is so festive--liken it to shopping right before Christmas for us. We managed to buy Buttercup enough fancy red envelopes to celebrate Tet for a few years to come. This is where we found the adaptor that saved the day and is allowing us to charge all of our stuff now. Whew, one crisis averted. We shopped our little hearts out, going down every aisle and bought some food for the room, so when Princess M is sleeping (or screaming) we have something to munch on. We got some interesting different fruits to try--it is really a mystery because everything is really all in Vietnamese there. Most places tend to have English translations on the signs, but not in there, so it's gonna be mystery fruit! The little bananas they have here are so good! They are really tiny and sweet--I stock up at the breakfast bar in the morning.
We all relaxed and had coffee at Highland Coffee (for those of you that didn't know, Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee and it is so rich and good here) before braving the traffic to head back to the hotel. The traffic here defies description--it is absolutely insane. I had heard all about it, and still I am utterly amazed. Picture 1,000 motorbike/scooters and a few cars and vans in a constant stream of traffic that never lets up, just jockeying for position and passing and weaving around each other (it's scary enough riding in a car/van from that view) and needing to cross to the other side. Well, the method is to just pick a moment and step off the curb into it and they will just swerve around you as you walk (hopefully)--the trick is to keep a steady pace so they can anticipate where you will be to get around you. I just keep my eye on the other side and keep walking--imagine that with a baby strapped to you! So far, so good, we have crossed twice! On the way back another dad had joined us in his trip for supplies and he got video as we were crossing--I hope to get a copy to show later. Don't worry everyone--that is just how it is done and you see young kids carrying toddlers across in the same way. I guess they just have to be very aware of what everyone is doing around them--it must work, surprisingly we have seen no accidents at all!
Today, after Breakfast we took little Miss M to the International Clinic to have her looked at because she is still really uncomfortable and itchy and it gets worse at night and makes it hard for her to go to sleep (not hard to scream though!) and we noticed a little wheezing when she lays down. One of the other families who have a son from her orphanage took him in this morning, as his scabies is causing some major skin issues and he ended up having a slight fever and upper respiratory infection--we thought we'd better get her checked. The doctor said she had no fever and didn't seem too concerned, but told us to stop the benedryl (it will dry her up) and gave us prescriptions for an antibiotic/anti itch cream for the couple remaining places on her and an oral antibiotic to combat any infection. All that for a total of less than $20 (with no insurance!). Hopefully she will get some comfort soon--we go for a recheck on Wed. before we leave for Hanoi. She was pretty good for the doc (who was very nice, but a little hard for me to understand), and the nurse asked how long we had had her, and when we said three days, she was surprised and said she looked like she was more familiar with us--a good sign! After we got back, she played a bit and took an almost 3 hour nap, so we have been nap-trapped for the day just hanging out in the room (and spending hours uploading pictures with the much appreciated, but very slow/low internet connection--So enjoy!). New pics on the Flickr site--I am trying to slowly, but surely catch up.... Here she is getting weighed at the Visa Medical Exam--7.5 kgs and 69 cm long!
Will try to update tomorrow--hopefully we can get out and explore a bit more-hope things are open on Sundays!
Love to all! We are doing well and are loving getting to see and spend time in Vietnam-These are some of the nicest people in the world-I will try to post a pic or two, but since connection is slow, it may not work, so check out the flickr site!
Posted by ~Kim at 1/19/2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Emily here posting for Kim.
So, I think we would all agree that Kim has kept us waiting long enough, right?
Well, it turns out that she has had a lot of trouble getting into her blog. And she blew out her adapter while drying her hair. So Auntie Em to the rescue!
Here is what she had to say:
Just let everyone know that we just haven't been able to post yet, but everything is fine, and we have our daughter and she is wonderful! She only woke up once last night --went to bed at around 9, woke up at 12:30 am and we gave her a bottle and then she was fussy and I think itchy,so it took us about an hour an a half to get her back to sleep--she finally fell asleep on my chest and I moved her on the bed between us and she slept until 6:30 am! We all got up and took a shower to wash off the scabies cream and she ate and then went to sleep for a nap and has been asleep for 2 hours! I think we will have to wake her up to grab breakfast before we leave.
They have already had their G&R and will post those pics as soon as she can. Here are
pictures of the new family!
Posted by ~Kim at 1/16/2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
We made it to Taipei and are just waiting to board our flight to Saigon--We are at the Hello K*tty gate-it is pretty adorable. Hello Ki*tty everywhere and complete with a store and a playground. This is the first airport we have found a good internet connection. We are doing well--our flight was very long, but the service was great and coach wasn't too terrible! That is about as long as I ever want to stay on a plane, though! We are still wondering how it will be with a baby on our laps though--very different, I'm sure. I don't think any of this has quite fully set in yet--I think it is beginning to......We are with most of our travel group, so that is really nice. Well, better get back to the Hello K*tty gate and get ready to board for our last flight for the day! We are almost there! One more three hour flight and we land in the long awaited Vietnam....Till then, love to all!
Posted by ~Kim at 1/13/2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Well, did you wonder where I went??? Well, it kinda started because of the new I600 policy--I was so devastated by the news of more delay and red-tape that it was kinda like "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything". Well, I haven't had a lot of nice things to say about this wait since then.......and then I just got superstitious--I just decided to myself that my next post was going to be the absolute best news.....
AND WE FINALLY GOT IT!!! Yes, that darn coveted and longed for I600 approval was in our email box on Tues night!!! I had convinced myself that our paperwork was lost or fell off some one's desk. We never got the email from USCIS confirming receipt, and my email to inquire had gone unanswered-we knew our agency had submitted it on Dec 3, but after that, nothing-and well, I am that glass half-empty type of person who assumes the worst--I was just at the point that day to beg anyone to help me get information, and lo and behold, M runs up the stairs to ask me if I have seen the email (he had it open on our other computer)--what?? the email that I just checked for the 2000th time 10 minutes ago? Perhaps not--so I open our email (again!) and there IT is. We stared at it for a second, and M asked, "is that what we are looking for?" There is was--we were so floored. I can't believe with how long we have been waiting, we continue to be surprised when these things actually happen. It is a wild ride, this adoption thing......
Now we continue to be shocked and amazed, as our agency has been able to pull off a miracle and get us all travel arrangements to get this completed before the Tet holiday--YES, we are leaving THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!
We are still just overwhelmed and making lists and trying to figure out how we will be ready in time, but we can do it! We are having to make pet accommodations, pack, set up for the renovations to our house to keep rolling along in our absence, etc...... all with 3 days notice!!
Please send good thoughts our way that we can pull it off--I don't think I will believe it until we are actually in the air, or maybe even when we land! But we are almost on our way!! I will do my best to be a good blogger while we are traveling and keep you all updated on our adventures. (I know I don't have a good track record--sorry!)
We'll keep you posted! Buttercup, we are coming to get you!!!! Sorry it took us so long! :)
Posted by ~Kim at 1/10/2008