Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas everyone! What a wonderful day to celebrate our Lord! I am thankful for all that I have been given, all that I have experienced, and for all that I have.

2008 was a very emotional year with lots of waiting, lots of ups & downs, and lots of smiles & tears. I know it was my path and I chose to walk it....

Obviously, I hoped to have my baby home by Christmas this year but it wasn't meant to be. Not much going on in the Vietnam adoption world. Many families who recieved official approval before Sept. 1 are finally bringing thier children home-which is wonderful for them and thier families! I am happy for them.

Also, many families that I follow have chosen to switch to other countries. I am happy for them too...I hope they soon see their child's face. There are too many orphans in this world. Let's give them homes!

As for me, well... my paperwork is all still current and my USCIS paperwork was recently updated. Of course, it does seem pointless right now. I am all current for a country that is closed. That seems very wierd to me.

I just keep hoping that some miracle will happen and the US and Vietnam will come to some sort of agreement. However, no official talks have occured at this point (so I've heard). Joint Council has a new campaingn underway to encourage our senators to sign a new letter to be sent to Vietnam. Please log onto thier website and learn all about it. Every phone call, letter, etc helps since it brings awareness of the situation!! There are children in Vietnam who need homes, there are families here in USA loving those children-let's get us all matched up-PLEASE!

Right now, I am chosing to "wait" out Vietnam. I know it could be several years so I am looking into another option as well. If this other path works out, I will let everyone know--but for adoption....my heart belongs to Vietnam. I have really tried to explore other countries and cultures, but I am just not ready to commit to another country at this point. I fell in love with Vietnam and at this point, I can't imagine any other country. I know this may change later-God may direct me somewhere else, but for now--it's only Vietnam alive in my heart.

I hope Vietnam and US begin inter-country adoptions soon. If not soon, then I hope it begins eventually. Whenever that day comes, I'll be ready. Depending on when it is, what happens between now and then, and where I am in my life-I hope to eventually bring my Vietnamese princess home!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Update (sort of..)

Well, Sept. 1 has come and gone and I don't really have anything new to report. Officially, our dossiers have not been returned from Vietnam....is this good news, is it bad news, is it no news? I honestly don't have an answer.

According to JCICS, Vietnam named someone to begin negiotiations on a new MOU. Will this happen anytime soon, will it "grandfather" dossiers that are currently still in Vietnam, will this person be pushing towards Hague Convention??? How long will that take? What happens in the meantime? I don't think anyone has any definite answers.

For me, I'm just waiting. It is hard. Actually, it is beyond hard--it is all-consuming! When I accepted the referral on March 7, I was told it would be around 4-6 months until I traveled to bring her home. Now, it has been those 6 months and I have nothing....no referral at all....and a country that has officially closed to US adoptions.

How can I accept that? I just keeping thinking that I was supposed to be home with my child by this time---or in Vietnam right now---or at the very least getting ready to travel to Vietnam. It is beyond my comprehension that I am here in the US in absolutely no better position than when I began this process almost 2 years ago.....something just doesn't feel right about any of that.

I know that God can move mountains and I know that He has a plan for me. I trust in Him to follow that path. I just wish I knew where it was leading me.........All I can do is have faith. I'm trying really hard. I believe in Him and I believe I will meet my child one day.

I have researched some other options but I am still not ready to close the door on Vietnam just yet. I just can't accept it yet. I refuse to believe it truely is over. I feel such a strong pull to that country---I really do believe my daughter is there somewhere.

On another note, that beautiful little baby turned 1 year old this week. I pray that she spent her first birthday in the loving arms of a family! I hope she didn't spend it alone in a crib in an orphanage.

Here's hoping and praying for some news soon!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Is it really over?

Well, I have been watching the clock tick down to this day. While it is a fun-filled Labor Day for most of America, for many of us in the Vietnam adoption world it is a sad, sad, day.

It looks as if my Vietnam adoption is over for now. It doesn't look good for any "grandfathering" of dossiers. I still have a lot of faith and pray that I am wrong though. According to the article below it is over for me and many other people.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jp1qmvyR1pqc_TliypfenNxy6wJQD92TTMR80

I haven't heard any "official" word from my agency....but it doesn't look so good. Is "no news good news". I hope so, but I am doubtful.

What do I do now? I'm not sure. I have thought about some of my other options but I haven't truely explored them in depth. I didn't want to give up on this adoption. I still don't want to. If US and Vietnam are truely not working together anymore, I pray a new agreement is reached in the future. I have completely fallen in love with the culture and the country. I have spent the last 2 years learning about it and dreaming of the day I will visit and bring home a child in need of a loving home. I will hopefully one day do just that. I guess my Vietnamese child just may be my second child instead of my first.

I don't know what God has planned for me..but I choose to follow his path. I know His timing is always perfect. I trust in Him. As sad as this day is for me, I can only cling to Him for comfort.

This adoption has definetly taught me a lot about faith, believing, and trust.

I am still learning...I feel angry, sad, disappointed, hurt, and so much more. I researched agencies, I waited, I accepted a beautiful special needs girl when others turned her down, I lost her, now it looks like it is over. I am jealous of all the families who chose other agencies, started after me and are home with their babies. I shouldn't feel that way, I know that. But, I am human....I have a heart and it is hurting. I'm angry, I want to blame someone! I know that is not right. I pray for these feelings to go away. I guess in time they might.

I will probably not blog for a while (it is just too hard). Please know that I appreciate all of you for supporting me during this process. Please continue to pray for the orphans and for US and Veitnam to quickly make the right decisions.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I refuse to give up....

Each passing day moves me closer to Sept. 1. Gosh, what a dreaded date that is! I really only have 2 slim chances of completing this adoption:
1. I receive another referral and by some miracle the referral is made "official" before Sept. 1
2. An agreement is reached to "grandfather" all of us logged in by July 1 to complete an adoption

Both seem pretty unlikely.....BUT, I refuse to give up hope or lose faith. God can move mountains! If this is meant to be, it will happen!! I have to believe that

The DIA in Vietnam recently stated their intentions to have 50% of the logged in dossiers (some 1,700 American dossiers total) receive "official" referrals by Sept. 1. You do the math--that is approximately 800 families!! While that would be great and I admire the DIA for being so optimistic--I just can't see where it will actually happen. Are the orphanges/provinces even still giving referrals to American families....it really seems to have slown down.

After losing my referral (exactly 1 month ago today) I was told I was "next on the list". That is great, but if the orphanges/provinces are reluctant to refer to American families, I might as well be "last" on the list.....

Oh, I'm getting negative again...that is what happens to me all day long-every day. One minute I am positive and full of hope and then the very next minute I am negative and full of worry and doubt.

Please God, let this happen! I can only trust in your plan for me....

On another note: I am updating my homestudy. Kind of weird, huh? My paperwork expires in November and it is time for me to resubmit my paperwork to USCIS for my 1 time free extension. So, I need my homestudy updated. It almost feels like a waste of time, but if I do happen to get a referral I don't want ANY reason for this not to happen! I want everything on my end up-to-date!! If anymore delays happen, I certainly don't want it to be something I could have fixed!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How do you say thank you?

I cannot say thank you enough for all of the support I have gotten over the past 2 weeks. My family has been wonderful, my friends have been wonderful, and my blogging buddies have been wonderful. It is truely amazing how many people care! It really does mean so much to me.

Most importantly, it means so much to know how much God cares! I know that He knows my plan and He knows what is right for me. I trust in Him fully that I will be lead down the right path.

When I begin to worry and/or get angry, I feel His presence. I know that He is guiding me in the right direction.

I love you all so much....thanks for all your support!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hardest post ever...

This is the hardest post I think I will ever type-but I feel I need to let you know...

On Tuesday, June 24 my world was turned upside down. I recieved a devasting call from my agency. I lost the referral of my beautiful Janie. There are lots of questions, and unfortunately not a lot of answers. Apparently there must have been some issues with her Vietnamese investigation and the orphanage director decided to take her referral and re-assign it to a non-American family. She is now going to a French Family. My only guess is that something would not have "passed" thru the US I600 process but it would with the French Government guidelines. I understand and I respect all the decisions made but it is so hard to wrap my brain around...

I am crushed. I am devastated. I am empty. I have emotions and feelings that I just don't know how to explain. I have completely fallen in love with this little girl. My heart KNEW she was mine. I don't know how to let her go. I don't think I ever can....Should I remove her pictures? I can't! Should I pack away her clothing? I can't. Should I try to stop thinking about her? I can't.

I can't get past that I will never hold her, see her smile, hear her laugh, wipe her tears. I will never meet her. I can't imagine that. She is the first thing on my mind each morning and the last thing before I fall asleep. And, she is in my thoughts every moment in between.

I am grateful that she will be adopted by a loving family and not spend her childhood in an orphange. I just can't believe she won't be with me. Every September 22 I will think about her birthday. Every March 7 I will remember seeing her face for the first time. And, every June 24, I will remember the heartbreak of losing her.

I have lost grandparents, friends, and students. But this is by far is the hardest loss I have ever suffered. I know God has a plan for me and He knows who my daughter is. My head knows that--my heart is just having a hard time feeling it.

My agency says I am "next on the list" for an infant girl. And while I am grateful to that, I am also full of worry. I worry tremendously about the September 1 deadline. I worry that if I get another referral, will I love her the same? I'm sure I will, it is just hard to picture any other baby! I want time to greive, to take a step back from it all--but I can't. The clock is ticking....and each passing day the hope seems to fade and fade and fade.

Please join me in prayer for that precious little baby girl! I hope she has a wonderful life and becomes the woman that God intends. She is loved from all over the world. I will love her everyday. My family will love her everyday. My friends will love her everyday. I will miss her everyday.....

I kept her photo private and not on this blog. Here is the beautiful little face that I have lost....



May God bless you Janie! I will always love you.....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

9 months today!!

Happy 9 months sweet baby girl! I wish I was there to hold you on this special day! I pray someone is giving you lots of love today (and everyday)!

I can't wait to meet you!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New worries....

As most of you in adoption land already know, the DIA in Vietnam has stated that any family not receiving a referral by Sept. 1 will not be allowed to complete an adoption. They have also stated that they will stop accepting dossiers as of July 1.

How does that affect me and Janie? Well, Janie's paperwork is still be collected by her province and the DIA in Vietnam. I have been told that paperwork from her region can take as long as 4-7 months to be completed. The way I understand it, when this is complete Janie's referral will be "official". Right now, her case is only considered "preliminary". This scares me!!! If you do the math, 4-7 months puts me right at Sept. 1 and possibly later. Does that mean I won't be able to complete the adoption?? I don't know at this point. No definite answer has been given regarding what defines an "official" referral. This would definetly affect me and lots of other waiting families.

The DIA has said they would CONSIDER allowing the completion of adoptions from families with paperwork logged in by July 1. Please sign the below petition letting the DIA know you wish for this to happen! This would definetly cover Janie and so many other orphans in need of homes!

Grandfather All Dossiers Logged In by July 1st 2008"http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Grandfather_All_Dossiers?eI

It's free and takes less than a minute of your time

Keep up those prayers for Janie and all the waiting children in the world!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Still waiting....

I am still waiting on the DIA in Vietnam to complete their investigation so I can file the I600 with the USCIS. Once that is filed then I wait approximately 60 working days for the US to complete thier investigation and give me approval to travel. I have heard of families waiting as little as 9 days and others waiting as long as 175 days (and everything in between) . Please join me in prayer that I get to file soon. I miss my daughter.....

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step....and mine was towards you!

I can't wait to meet you sweet baby

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hope

I hope my baby is warm and comfortable (right this minute)....
I hope my baby is happy....
I hope my baby feels loved....
I hope my baby knows how much I love her already....
I hope my baby knows how much I want to be holding her right now....
I hope my family knows how much thier love and support means to me....
I hope my friends know I appreciate how much they care....
I hope I get to file my I600 soon....
Once I file I600, I hope it gets approved quickly with no delays....
I hope all the waiting families and children are united soon....
I hope September 1st is not the end for US and Vietnam adoptions....
I hope God hears all my prayers....

Just a few things I am hoping for right now

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

8 months old.....

Tomorrow Janie will turn 8 months old (of course Vietnam time she is already 8 months)

Below are some typical milestones of 8 month babies. I wonder how Janie is developing???

The 8-month-old's motor skills include:
* Crawling and pulling on furniture to stand
* Needing help to get down from standing
* Sitting without support for 10 minutes
* Pinching with the thumb and forefinger

The 8-month-old's language skills include:
* May say "Ma-Ma" and "Da-Da" but not specifically to parents
* Understanding simple instructions
* Shaking head no

The 8-month-old's mental abilities include:
* Reacting quickly to situations
* Showing interest in cause-and-effect relationships like making wheels turn or bells sound
* Anticipating events not related to own behavior like meeting Mom or Dad at the door
* Solving simple problems

The 8-month-old's social traits include:
* Shouting for attention
* Pushing things away that are not wanted
* Biting and chewing toys

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too cute!!

I found this on another blog and thought it was so cute....




Thursday, May 15, 2008

Still waiting...

Hello, nothing new to report. Still just waiting. Next week Janie will turn 8 months old! Oh how I wish I was with her for that day. I keep praying--I know it is God's plan and not mine. But as any adoptive parent knows--that is much easier to say than to live. Waiting it HARD! The phrase "worth the wait" must have been written for adoptive families!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2 months ago...

2 months ago I saw my daughter's beautiful face for the first time! It seems like it has been so much longer than that. I'm still just waiting, waiting, and waiting some more.

I keep reminding myself that each day of the wait is not a day I have missed - but instead it is one day closer to holding her!

I have faith that God will unite us in His perfect timing....Hang in there baby girl!

Please continue to join me in prayer for:
1. Janie, that her paperwork and investigations will be done quickly and she comes home soon
2. All the Vietnam orphans
3. All the waiting families affected by the uncertainty of Veitnam right now

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Overwhelming news

As most of you in the Vietnam adoption community know...what we have all been worried about seems to have occured....

"On April 25, the Government of Vietnam announced that it will allow adoption to be completed in cases where prospective adoptive parents have been matched with a child and received an official referral prior to September 1, 2008. It further stated that in accordance with Vietnamese law, the DIA will suspend the acceptance of new dossiers on July 1, 2008. On September 1, 2008 any dossier that has not received a referral will be closed and returned to the Adoption Service Provider. In view of the processing time required in Vietnam from placement to the Giving and Receiving Ceremony, an adoption process begun now cannot be completed before the current Agreement expires."

What does this mean for Janie? Well it really all depends. I am exremely blessed to have found Janie. But even so, there are no guarantees in international adoption. Hopefully the DIA will get all her documents in order quickly so I can submit my I600 soon. Then I will wait and pray that the USCIS approvals her case and I can travel to bring her home!

I am thankful to have seen my daughter's beautiful face and just pray that I have her in my arms in the near future. However, my heart is heavy for all the families still waiting to see the face of their child. My heart is heavy for all the Vietnamese orphans that will be greatly affected by this. Please join me in prayer for all the waiting families and children.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

7 months old!

Janie is 7 months old today! I pray she is getting lots of love on this special day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Perfectly described

OK....I admit I found this on another PAP's website--but it perfectly describes how I feel while waiting to bring my child home! It perfectly describes how it feels going thru an international adoption with all the waits, delays, and rumors.......




This beautiful beach above is my destination. I feel like I’ve been driving to this beach. It’s a fair distance from my house, on a twisting and mountainous road, with frequent delays in one spot because of traffic. That doesn’t really bother me, though, because I know that when I get to the beach it’s going to be sunny and 71 degrees with just a very light wind.




Suddenly, and without warning, I come upon a barricade preventing me from getting to my destination.

It seems there’s been a landslide from the development on the mountainside. I know they’re going to remove the debris from the landslide and fix the road eventually, but I don’t know when that will occur. Today? Tomorrow? In 30 more days? In 30 more working days? What’s a “working” day? I’m angry, frustrated and confused, wondering why didn’t the people responsible for this foresee this problem. Why isn’t someone doing something to fix this problem? Don’t I pay a bizillion dollars in taxes to have people to take care of this? Can’t additional resources be found to fix this?

All the while, traffic behind me is piling up. Car after car now waiting in line, the other drivers wanting to get to the beach, many of them honking their horns and yelling, making me want even more to get to the beach so I can experience the peace that I’ve been anticipating. Even more upsetting, periodically I see cars on the other side of the barricade, creating even more confusion. How in the world did they get there? Weren’t they behind me just a minute ago?

Out of all the frustration and confusion one simple thought comes through clearly.....
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, FIX THE FREAKIN’ ROAD, GUYS!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Referrals!!

It seems like it has been a while since my agency received any new referrals! But it happened! 3 beautiful girls were referred to waiting families last week. I am so happy for them! I know exactly how they felt when they got that call and saw the picture! I wish each of them fast travel.

No word on anything updated with me yet. Janie is still waiting for me-and I'm waiting for her. I guess her province, orphange, and DIA is still gathering her paperwork so I can file my I600 and then I can wait some more for travel permission.

USCIS or DOS has not released any official information on new DNA procedures. We are all still just speculating at this point.

For now, I just pray that my little girl is happy, healthy and getting lots of love from her nannies!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Please pray

OK...I know my last post was a little harsh and I sounded a little "crazy". I really do just want the government to do what is best for all these children in Vietnam.

I know in my heart that this is my child. I know that the people at USCIS and DOS are humans-they must love children. I trust they will be guided to do what is right.

I ask each of you to pray for Janie and all the orphans of Vietnam. Pray that they will be united with thier forever families!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New worries

OK.....Can one week go by and a new Vietnam adoption hurdle not occur???

For those of you in the Vietnam adoption world-I'm sure you have heard the DNA rumors.

Nothing "official" has been announced. Lots of rumors/speculations. I have heard and read so much that I don't even know what to believe anymore.

All I know is that many babies need homes--and families are finding it harder and harder to adopt from Vietnam. I'm sure that somebody somewhere has the "reason" for this.

But all I know is this:
I have a beautiful little baby girl who is waiting for me. She was born at a hospital, given up, and is now in an orphanage waiting for a home. Come on US Government, that sounds like a true orphan to me....is DNA testing really necessary? What if her birth mother can't be located--does that mean I can't complete her adoption?

It is frustrating. I feel like I am doing all the right things to build my family-but I feel the US is saying "nope, sorry!". Can someone please just give me an honest answer as to why these babies have to go thru so much to be adopted by US citizens.....loved, cared for, and raised by US citizens.....ultimately growing up as a legal US citizen.

While other people can just cross our borders whenever they feel like it, get government assistance, etc.?? I know I sound angry and offensive-but I am honestly tired of this!

I just want my baby home!! As adoptive parents we are doing everything the US asks and they still throw road blocks at us-why?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Updated pictures

Last week my agency sent me 4 new updated pictures of Janie! They are soooo cute. She is still very alert and chubby (both great signs). AND, she is a thumb-sucker! She is sucking away on her right thumb in 2 of the pictures!! Too cute! I am glad she has something to soothe her. Poor thing has so many rough days ahead of her--maybe that will help calm her some when her little world gets turned upside-down...

Also, a friend I met in the adoption blog-world sent me a website of pictures from Janie's orphanage. A wonderful group travels to the orphanges for dental screenings, work, volunteering, etc and I found a picture of Janie there too! I just love seeing her little face. Of course, as all adoptive parents know already--it is hard to watch your child grow in pictures.

For those who don't already know, I am naming her Janelle Phoenix! My mom's middle name is Jane so she is named after her. Her Veitnamese name translates to "Phoenix" in English. A phoenix is a mythelogical bird that is said to regenerate itself if hurt or wounded--thus making it immortal and invincible! How great does that describe my little girl! So Janelle Phoenix it is--sounds like a movie star!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

BIG NEWS!

As many of you know, I have been involved in the process of international adoption. I have been anxiously waiting the referral of a baby girl from Vietnam. Recently, with all the Vietnam controversy, I began to think my adoption would never happen!

Well I have officially joined the world of blogging because I have some really big news!!

I have accepted a referral of a BEAUTIFUL little girl. She is 6 months old and at an orphange in Ho Chi Minh City. I really don't feel comfortable sharing any other information about her on the internet until she is in my arms forever!!

I really hope to have her home by her 1st birthday--but I know it's all in God's timing! And his timing is always perfect. So for now, I will just stare at her picture and dream of the day she is in my arms!!

Her referral came into my life at just the perfect time! Without going into major details, I can just say that God knew she was my daughter--and His hand is in control to make sure we are united!!

I really haven't told too many of my friends/family about this blog. I really just wanted it to be available for them to read while we we are in Vietnam.

Please continue to pray for my little "Janie" and for all the orphans of Vietnam. Pray that they will find their way home to their forever families!!