Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!


Lauren over at The Long Journey Home said my blog was fabulous! That's my first award! Thank you, Lauren! I'm afraid I haven't been a very good blogger lately because my posts have been infrequent. Maybe this award will give me some encouragement to post more regularly because apparently I'm actually being read by more people than just my immediate family.

Now I’m supposed to pass this onto five other blogs that I know are fabulous. Boy, that is hard! I have a long list of blogs I love, so it's tough to narrow it down to just five. First off, I wish I could vote for Lauren because I LOVE to read her blog, but obviously hers has already been picked. There are also several other favorite "Vietnam baby mama" blogs I practically stalk, but they've already been nominated too. Fortunately there are still plenty of really great blogs I love forward to reading.

Here's my list of some really fabulous blogs:

1. Beth at Pharmommy. She's a fabulous blogger and an equally fabulous photographer. I love to see her gorgeous photos of her very photogenic son, Lucas, and I enjoy her blogs about politics, Lucas, work, her dogs and juggling it all. Beth doesn't live too far from me, and I am lucky to have met her in real life.

2. Mayme at McGowan Moments. Mayme and her crew live in the same small town as us, and we've known her and her husband, Bo, forever. In fact she used to babysit for our now adult children before she was ever married. Now she's a mom of three. Her newest, Emma, recently joined their family from China, and she's a real cutie!

3. Mary Kate at Why Yes, I AM Crazy. Thank You for Asking. Mary Kate is the mom of five. I always enjoy her interesting posts that vary from family life to Oprah to Weight Watchers to Facebook. I especially loved her post, "Yes, You Heard Me Correctly" about her lifestyle. I think we're kindred spirits.

4. Kim at Musing, Rambling and All Around Blathering. Kim is another mom of twelve. Not only that, but she has seven girls and five boys just like us. Her guys range in age from twenty-four to one. Our guys range in age from twenty-five to one, so could you get closer than that?

5. Beth at The Pan Clan. I am in awe of Beth. She and her husband are the parents of fifteen children and are in the process of adopting a sibling group of five. They will soon be the parents of twenty children under the age of twenty! Beth is a homeschool mama, and she lives in what looks like the coldest spot in the continental United States.

I also have to post five of my addictions, so here they are…

1. Our lake cabin. Our cabin was built in the 1960's and started out as a four-room house on an unfinished basement. It has managed to grow a bit larger with the addition of a glassed-in porch, a second bathroom and a large den in the basement. Still, even though it's nothing fancy, it's my favorite place to be. We spend nearly every Thursday night through Saturday night there no matter what the season. It is so peaceful, I feel my stress floating away by the time we turn the car off the interstate. There's no phone service, TV service or internet. There's nothing to do but remodeling projects, which Ben and I both love, and playing with the kids. It's the perfect spot for some great family time. In the summer we laze around our slough on floats, putt around in paddle boats and sea kayaks, fish and waterski around the main channel. In the fall we rake leaves and jump into the piles and roast marshmallows and weenies over a fire. In the spring we play in the yard and plant lots and lots of flowers. In the winter we do crafts and science projects -- making paper flowers, candles, jewelry, volcanoes, gummy bugs and growing crystals to name a few.

2. Books. I could read non-stop. Once I start a book I will stay up all night until I finish it. When we built our house, I had the cabinetmaker put floor-to-ceiling shelves on every wall in our library. Yes, we have a library and study instead of a living room and dining room. Priorities, ya know? Anyway, the shelves even go over the doors. The cabinetmaker laughed and said I'd never fill those shelves. Well, those shelves are filled, each of the children's bedrooms have a bookshelf, and I have to donate some books before I can empty yet another box of books currently residing in my bedroom closet.

3. Home schooling. I love seeing my children learn. I have love teaching them to read. I love reading their wonderfully creative essays with equally creative spelling. I love seeing the middle school kids move into independent learning and developing their own special interests. I love the challenge of teaching my high schoolers and the debates with my very opinionated teenagers. I love going on really cool field trips. I love the bonding moments that have happened because I've had the opportunity to spend long periods of time with the kids. When a teenager suddenly wants to bare his or her soul at midnight, I can stay up until dawn if necessary without worrying about how that child will function at school that day. Sometimes those mom-and-teen chats just have to take priority over a math lesson.

4. Bicycling. We live down the road from an amazing bike trail called, "Rails to Trails". It's a trail made from an old railroad bed and runs 4.5 miles on one side of our road and about 3.5 miles on the other side down to a campground. The trail is gorgeous, runs along the river and passes over it on scenic wooden bridges in four different places. Ben and I each have two-passenger bike trailers for the four little guys, and our older guys pedal under their own power. We try to bike the nine-mile round-trip path several times a week. Sometimes the whole crew goes, but sometimes it's just alone time for Ben and me.

5. My husband. He is the best husband and father in the world. He always puts the kids' and my wants over his own. He helps home school the kids, helps with the housework and does the lion's share of the cooking. He's a fabulous cook! Besides that he is a mechanic *and* a talented do-it-yourselfer around the house. And he doesn't watch sports on TV. How could anyone be more fabulous than that?

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Referral Picture

Referral Picture

Adoption Timeline

  • 2006
  • November 8 - Application Mailed
  • November 22 - Accepted
  • November 24 - I-600A Mailed
  • November 27 - Delivery Confirmed
  • November 28 - Receipt of I-600A
  • November 30 - Fingerprint Notice
  • December 15 - Home Study Update
  • December 21 - Stacey Fingerprinted
  • December 28 - Added to List (#116)
  • 2007
  • January 24 - Home Study Mailed
  • January 25 - Ben Fingerprinted
  • February 8 - Waiting List (#111)
  • February 20 - Waiting List (#109)
  • February 27 - Waiting List (#105)
  • March 8 - Waiting List (#101)
  • March 22 - Waiting List (#99)
  • April 19 - Waiting List (#98)
  • April 25 - Dossier Authentication
  • May 2 - Delivery Confirmed
  • May 2 - Added to SN Wait List
  • May 3 - Waiting List (#97)
  • June 7 - Waiting List (#86)
  • June 25 - Dossier Translated
  • June 28 - On Waiting List Six months
  • July 9 - Waiting List (#81)
  • August 6 - Waiting List (#4 SN)
  • August 8 - Waiting List (#76)
  • September 7 - Waiting List (#70)
  • October 8 - Waiting List (#67)
  • October 22 - Waiting child -- OURS!!
  • October 23 - Official Referral Date
  • October 25 - Letter #1 Submitted
  • October 29 - Referral Receipt - CHI
  • 2008
  • February 5 - Fingerprint Request
  • February 7 - Proof of Delivery
  • March 1 - All Fingerprinted
  • March 3 - I-600 Application Mailed
  • March 5 - I-600 Acknowledgement
  • April 17 - I-600 Approval!
  • May 2 - Original G & R Date
  • May 3 - Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
  • May 5 - MEET EPHRAIM!
  • May 6 - Drive to Kien Giang
  • May 7 - G & R Ceremony
  • May 8 - Medical, Apply for Passport
  • May 12 - Fly to Hanoi
  • May 13 - Visa appointment at USCIS
  • May 14 - Pick Up Visa, Fly Home
  • May 15 - Arrive in Nashville!
  • May 23 - Certificate of Citizenship
  • June 12 - Re-Adoption Filed by Court
  • July 3 - Tennessee Birth Certificate

G & R Day

G & R Day