Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend Recap

We've given out the blog address to a lot of folks in the last few days, so let me just say "Welcome new readers!" Also, please post - its very exciting to read other people's comments. As for our end, we'll try to keep you both informed and entertained as we move through this process.

This past weekend, we visited Janie's family and got to talk to them in person about the adoption. We had a great time and (hopefully) answered everybody's questions. The entire family was very supportive and interested in the process. Thank you, Mom & Marty!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Over There!

Janie talked to Rachel (our coordinator) today and she told us our dossier arrived in country yesterday and is off to be translated. Another hurdle crossed and one less reason for worry. So far, I have to say I'm a big fan of Fed Ex!

A couple of little hints for those of you still working on dossiers:
a) sign in blue ink
b) use your full legal name
c) make sure your notary paragrah is correct
d) double check everything (if possible with the agency) before you send it off to the consulate
e) relax - ok, try to relax

Now that our dossier is out of our hands, we have embarked on a new adventure - learning Vietnamese. We found a deal through a local library where we can get free access to the Rosetta stone software. I would highly recommend it, though the learning-through-immersion approach can be intimidating at first. However, after a few sessions, things start to click. Janie is a pro already, I have enough vocabulary to say "there is a blue cat" - you gotta start somewhere.

And of course, once I master Vietnamese, there are 28 other languages to tackle, including Mandarin, Arabic, and Swahili!

In other news, we will be out of town for a few days visiting Janie's family. We are looking forward to good food, family, and filling everybody in on our favorite subject.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Saturday Baby Bazaar

Friday night my best friend Curt calls up... "There's a mom's sale up by us this weekend. They have lots of clothes & other baby stuff. We are planning to go, would you like to join us?"

"Sure," I reply, " we're always up for a little baby stuff shopping and it would be nice to see you guys. Is this thing like a garage sale?"

"A little larger", Curt replies, "oh, and they take credit cards. It starts at 9, but we'd like to get there 15 minutes or so early, if that's ok with you."

"See you then", I answer and think to myself 'do we really need to get their early?'

Fast forward to 8:45 Saturday morning - location, a nearby Elementary school. This is when I realize this sale is definitely NOT a garage sale. First clue - the school parking lot is full. Second clue - the 400 or so people waiting outside. Third clue - people were bringing laundry baskets to carry their purchases.

After waiting in line for a few minutes we get inside. The ENTIRE elementary school is filled with baby and kids stuff, including the gym and cafeteria. The people, while determined, were remarkably well-behaved. As for the shopping, both couple did very well. As did the other 500 individuals we were there with. I would highly recommend attending one of these if they have them in your neighborhood.

After shopping, we had lunch and the wives decided to go shopping. The husbands stayed home and watched football (so stereotypical) as well as Curt and Shannon's one-year-old girl. This, of course, led to some interesting conversations "Did you see that touchdown??" "Do you see the duckie?" Everybody had a great time, though, and we can't wait to see them again!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

D T V ?!

Just heard today from FTIA - they reviewed our documents and everything is fine!!!!! On Friday they will be off to Vietnam. Once in country, they'll be translated and given to the IAD (International Adoption Department).

I am so relieved to be finished with the "paper chase." Its also strange that now there is nothing for us to do but wait. We have a lot of activities scheduled to keep us busy, but its still going to be less stress and excitement that we've had in a while (I'm not saying thats a bad thing).

Now that we've hit this milestone, I'm going to 1) celebrate and 2) update this blog!

Cats in Cradle (Crib Actually)

Not that we're surprised, but our cats are in love with the new crib. We've found all three napping there at different times. Sometimes we even have our camera handy and take a picture. Here are a few of our favorites:

The nursery is complete!

After many nights and weekends of painting, and repainting and clearcoating we finished the mural. This, of course, prompted a mad frenzy of moving furniture, buying curtains, and putting up wall hanging. We also ordered our crib and crib mattress and waited patiently until it came it, then spent late last Friday night putting it together.

The result - our nursery is complete! I am attaching a couple of pictures for everybody to see. Please note the black cat who is testing out the crib!

For those who are curious, here's where everything came from:

Crib - Simmons Highland Park - Baby's R US

Bed, Dresser, nightstand, bookcase, desk / changing table - existing furniture - everything really matches, how cool is that?

Stuffed Animals - Janie's old Beanie Babies

Shelf - unpainted from Michael's - Janie did the paint & design

Window treatment - Walmart

Crib set - John Lennon Musical Parade pattern. Its no longer in production, but you can still find sets at speciality stores, second hand stores, and Ebay. if you like the safari / zoo theme, there are plenty of other ones currently made.

Mural - paint by numbers. There are several websites that sell patterns. Ours is from

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Weekend Update

Ok, I apologize for not update the blog as often as I should! But I will try to be better in the future. This past weekend was very busy (why I'm just getting around to writing about it on Wednesday) with our crib showing up on Friday, my Mom's wedding Saturday, and trying to get all the normal weekend chores done Sunday in time to watch the Bengals game (23-10 victory over Kansas City - Who Dey!)

So I get home Friday after work and there is a very large box on the front porch - the crib we've ordered. Like two kids on Christmas morning we're dying to open the box and put it together... of course, we also need to be at my mom's to help her make last minute preparations for the wedding. Not to worry, we were good children - Janie and mom made flower arrangements for all the women in the wedding, Roger and I stuffed 64 gift bags with mints and Hershey's kisses, and we tied up the loose ends for the wedding. Then, at 11 pm, we got home and started on the crib!

I'm happy to say Mom and Roger's wedding on Saturday was a really nice event. The location they picked was really cool and the caterer was awesome. We got to spend a lot of time with both families and everybody had a great time. Here are a couple of pictures: Janie and mom getting ready for the ceremony and mom and Roger. We wish them many years of continued happiness!!!