slide show

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Need Help PLEASE-for my own sanity

Could you PLEASE help me retain the last little bit of sanity I have left?

You see, we COMPLETELY, expect to receive the now infamous "block letter." You remember, that's the one from the USCIS that says something kinda like, "We're sorry but we can't investigate your case, and we think you should think about starting the entire process over in another country." So far EVERY adoptive parent of a baby that was abandoned in TuDu hospital has received one. The last one was received as recently as last week. We assumed, and were assured by our agency, that by the time we got to this point in our adoption, that this situation would be resolved. It is VERY possible that when this letter comes, I will approach the edge of the cliff and think about jumping from the edge!!!!

Therefore I was HOPING you could help me out with a little game I created to make this moment of gloom a little more bearable-

Please Play-
"Guess the Block Letter Day!"

Please pick the day you think we will be receive the awful block letter from the USCIS! (Just click on comments to say which day you are picking.) And YES there will be a fabulous prize for our winner!

Some facts to guess by-

The USCIS says most cases will be determined in 60 days.
The USCIS claims the average wait is 45 days.
The last block letters were received on day 6, 18, 28, and day 29.
The notification is always sent via email from VietNam directly .
Some block letters have been received only HOURS after the acknowledgement letter.
The longest it took someone to receive it was 77 days past the acknowledgement letter.
Our acknowledgement letter was May 29th, thus we are on day 2 currently.

Dates already guessed-
Day 12 -Papa's guess
Day 30 - Sunny's guess
Day 22- Livy's guess
Day 28 - Boo's guess
Day 66 - My guess and also the Little Man's birthday!!!

Yes, I KNOW how crazy this line of thinking is! But for some reason, I think it will help. Maybe it's a sure sign that there is no sanity left!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day #1 & I-600 acknowledgement

Today we received our I-600 acknowledgement. This is basically a receipt that says the USCIS received our i600 application. It's kinda pointless since we know no progress is being made on ANY of the cases from TuDu. Never the less it arrived.

This pic is from early May, but the blog was looking pretty sparse. See the Little Man sitting up all on his own?! See those beautiful fat cheeks & double chins?! Looks like he is in dire need of a zillion mama kisses on those sweet chubby cheeks! See the mosquito bites on his arm? See a mama half way across the world over-analyze every little detail in the photos?

I'm trying to get there Little Man! Hang on!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good news-Bad news

We received good news today. The Little Man had some follow up medical testing and he looks healthy and well taken care of. He was examined by US doctors and recieved new "shoes" as he had outgrown the old ones. Additionally, our documents and adoption received final approval from the VietNam adoption office, and that pretty much completes the Vietnamese portion of the adoption. The only step left is to have a Giving and Receiving (G&R) date assigned (the actual date the Vietnamese gov't would "give" the children to us and we would "receive" them.)

But the bad news is that the progress on our paperwork is pretty pointless! Our agency is now holding on to our case and not letting it proceed to the final step until the US gov't makes a determination on the babies' visas. It just doesn't make sense to get an appointment for our G&R if we don't know if the US gov't will ever let us bring them home. So it's now official... we're stuck in limbo and at the mercy of the US gov't who is bound and determined to make a political statement and prove its might while little babies are forced to grow up in orphanages unnecessarily. (Now who put that soap box right there?!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

This is just a little heads up for my family and friends about where things stand-

Things are not looking very good right now for our adoption. There are several areas in VietNam that are "problem areas." TuDu is the hospital that our babies were born in and one of the "blocked" areas. Thankfully for many families that have waited far far too long, several of the blocked areas are starting to resolve their issues and things seem to be moving forward for many families. But sadly for Sunburn and the Little Man and us, the standoff between the officials at the TuDu hospital and USCIS investigators in HCMC seems to be at a standstill. A correspondence between a congressional aid that has been working on the problem, recently stated that, "there was nothing they can do and holds out little hope in reaching a resolution." Our agency is optimistic the the Vietnamese will work things out eventually. But seeing as how the US gov't holds all the cards, I'm doubtful that the Vietnamese's willingness to do anything will change the stance of the USCIS.
I'm not saying that we are giving up yet, but things don't look good right now.
We're heading up to the mountains for Memorial Day weekend. Surprisingly, it is snowing up there! I'm hoping to take my mind off this for a few days.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Prayer Request Please

As a part of the adoption process in VN, the orphanage releases all the documents pertaining to the child. Included in these documents is the baby's original Vietnamese birth certificate, hospital reports detailing the specifics of how the child ended up in the hospital without a birth parent, names and address of birth parents if known, public advertisements and results of police records looking for birth parents, public advertisements describing the baby that are looking for a Vietnamese adoptive family...
I knew these documents would be coming to us eventually, and I was so excited and anticipating getting them. I expected that I'd be SO VERY interested and excited to learn even more about the babies and learn more about the process that will unite them with us. Today these documents arrived in my mailbox.
These documents probably contain the remainder of all the information we will ever know about our children. And those things are very interesting and invaluable. It is Sunburn's and the Little Man's connection to their birth family and their culture and their past. So I immediately got the kiddos busy with projects, locked myself in my bedroom, ripped open the envelope, and poured over the paperwork to learn all I could.
That's when I was blindsided by an completely unexpected emotion... grief. Instead of excitement, this overwhelming sense of sadness came over me and hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a sense of loss and sadness for the birth family. I don't think I can even come close to imagining the fear or sadness the birth mother felt. I wonder what circumstance she found herself in that led her to decide to leave her child in someone else's care forever. I can only imagine that her decision was made not only out of sadness and grief but also out love for her baby. I found myself mourning for her loss and sobbing. Half a world a way, shut up in room with paperwork scattered all over my bed, I cried for her loss and felt a tiny portion of her pain.

My prayers will certainly be with her tonight, and I'm sure many many more nights the rest of my life, asking that God give her some peace about her decision and that he look after her. And I will also ask for His guidance should I be entrusted to call her baby my own someday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fortune Cookie Fate

We got fortune cookies after dinner last night and mine is the bottom one! The other one is my son's, but I think the powers that be, actually meant the message for our entire family. I certainly can't ignore the obvious signs from fortune-cookie-fate that says we are going to be getting good news ANY DAY!!! Wow, just in time too, cause I've been particularly snarky and pessimistic lately.

I wonder what this good news will be???

Well... our I600 application has been filled out and sent to our agency reps in HCMC! All the babies' documents have been released from the orphanage to our agency and are being translated to English to be included in our I600 application. And with some luck this will all be gathered together with a mountain of documentation, stuffed in an envelope, given to the courier , delivered to HCMC USCIS, and we will get our acknowledgement that they received it via email soon.

For family and friends that aren't as entrenched in the world of adoption, the I600 approval is the Holy Grail of adoption. After final approval from the Vietnamese gov't, we could travel and legally adopt both babies, but we have NO WAY to bring them home. USCIS approval of the I600 application allows for the children to get visas to enter the United States.

So I'm hoping that this good news will quickly come via email and will be the acknowledgement receipt of our I600 from USCIS.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New pics!

I have to honestly say that when I received the pictures this morning it was so so much more emotional than I had imagined! I bawled my eyes out for a while. It means so so much to this mama that is half a world away.
And as always, the pictures reveal a little bit more about their personalities. We notice that in all these pictures and the ones last time too, Sunburn is always touching the Little Man in some way. Reaching out to grasp his finger, or touching his arm or face. I wonder what this means about her personality. Will she love having her back rubbed like our youngest son? Will she reach and touch me when I come to take her home? Time will hopefully tell.

In one of the photos, we finally get to see Sunburn smile. And it's one of those smiles that scrunches her whole face up! It's so beautiful I can't stand it!

The Little Man is sitting up all on his own! He's so strong and sturdy, and I'm so proud it's really quite silly.

And take a look at this beautiful tongue- Yes, I'm proud of her tongue! Yes, I'm actually showing it off!

OK, I better go now. I've got to keep staring at the pictures for a while.

Care Packages Recieved!!!

Remember those care packages we sent the babies way back when? (Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to see them when I sent them.) Well take a look at the shirts that Sunburn and the Little Man are wearing! There they ARE! The babies are actually wearing them! She is wearing size 3-6 month, and he is wearing a 6-12 month. And in the pictures, she is still more petite than him. Lucky girl! I've always wanted to be petite!

I have to honestly say that when I received the pictures this morning it was so so much more emotional than I had imagined! I bawled my eyes out for a while. The thought that they have something I picked out and touched means so so much to this mama that is half a world away. The thought that they have seen our pictures in the photo albums, even though have no idea what they are seeing is so touching.

And as always, the pictures reveal a little bit more about their personalities. We notice that in all these pictures and the ones last time too, Sunburn is always touching the Little Man in some way. Reaching out to grasp his finger, or touching his arm or face. I wonder what this means about her personality. Will she love having her back rubbed like our youngest son? Will she reach and touch me when I come to take her home? Time will hopefully tell.

In one of the photos, we finally get to see Sunburn smile. And it's one of those smiles that scrunches her whole face up! It's so beautiful I can't stand it!

The Little Man is sitting up all on his own! He's so strong and sturdy, and I'm so proud it's really quite silly.

The teethers are a BIG hit and the pictures show them gumming and chewing on them. They were a last minute thought and cost all of $1. I'm so glad I threw them in at the last minute.

And take a look at this beautiful tongue-
Yes, I'm proud of her tongue! Yes, I'm actually showing it off! The other toys are a little music toy, a rattle, and a picture album we sent.

OK, I better go now. I've got to keep staring at the pictures for a while.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're at a big step in our adoption. We are turning in the application for visas (I-600) for both Sunburn and The Little Man. This step in the process is completely controlled by the US government, and is by far the scariest part of the process. It is the part of the process that could fail the entire adoption.

So while it felt so so good to actually "do" something other than wait, like fill out forms, sign papers, and get things copied in triplicate, it is actually the most unpredictable part of the process and so very frightening.

The best predictor of the future is what has happened in the past, so here's the run down of families in our exact situation that are before me. These families (about 20 of them with 25 children in the balance that I know of from 3 different adoption agencies) have submitted their I-600 and pretty quickly there after (sometimes only hours later) received a "block" letter from the USCIS (who is in charge of conducting the investigations necessary for approval of the I-600) stating that that the TuDu hospital and/or orphanage officials will not cooperate with their investigation. The letter goes on to state that the process will be significantly delayed and adding insult to injury, suggests potential adoptive parents consider getting a new child and/or changing countries. To date NONE of these families have seen progress on their case. Many have gone against US recommendations, traveled to VietNam, adopted their children anyway, and have no way to bring their baby home.

I'll keep you updated, but this is the most difficult part and we could use all the prayers you can offer up.

I'll leave you with the most recent picture of Sunburn in her very pretty dress getting ready to crawl.


Friday, May 2, 2008

DC update

The DC trip is still postponed, maybe indefinitely. This doesn't surprise me, but I so wish it could have played out.

The person that was coordinating the trip to DC, also was the same person with a personal contact in Vice President Cheney's office which was making the appointment a possibility. They got sudden good news... they finally and unexpectedly got approval from the US gov't for their adoption! This is wonderful wonderful news for this family! They are currently in Hanoi, VN, getting their daughter. Another baby who needed a family has been united with a family that wanted a child! Hurrah! This is the way it's suppose to work out and even though this baby languished for extra months needlessly due to the continuous roadblocks from the US gov't, they are finally united! I am so so happy for them! (and a bit jealous too)

Once they return home, they'll be in no position to travel with an new baby, and without their contact to the VP's office, I doubt if the visit to the VP will be a possibility.

I know it's not much, and I feel like such a tease, but it's really all I can share for now. If you see me in person, ask to see the whole picture and I'll gladly show you all the pictures until you say uncle.
So here is Sunburn holding on to the The Little Man's thumb. Surly you can tell who is who by that pretty frilly dress. It's the first picture I have of them together. They may not have any parents, but they have one another for now.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Design by Deluxe Designs
all rights reserved. 2011