Friday, June 27, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

In honor of my Brother's birthday this week, I thought I would share some good times we have had with him this year. Here's a pic of Dad, John, and Scott at the University of Tennessee before a football game. That was a great weekend. He will also be running the Peachtree Road Race with John and I. He got suckered into it by John too! Lots of training lately and I have lost anotoher 10 more pounds- whoo hoo!

That's all for now- no adoption update but we have not lost hope and know the time will be right when we are meant to continue our journey.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 23, 2008

not so favorite photo...

This is what we woke up to this morning. I noticed it as we were pulling out of the driveway to go to the gym. Terrible. But, it all came off with some goo-gone. Gold spray paint and one police report later, I was headed to work. Thought I would share the pics. They think it is some sort of gang graffiti. We live in a wonderful neighborhood. All our neighbors were stopping by and were very upset at this outcome. Oh, goes on. But you better believe I will be watching out my window for any little noise to try and catch the suckers if they even think about doing it again!!!

No news on the adoption front. I have taken a little paperwork break. Need a real vacation as work has been extremely stressful lately with no time to blog. Also, I have been training very hard every morning and (drumroll!!!) 9lbs shed later...I'm still alive. We are looking forward to our journey picking back up real soon.

Congratulations to ALL the referrals this week and last- gives me such inspiration and hope to see this progress for the children and the much awaited families.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Just Busy

It has been a crazy couple of weeks! I am under the gun with less than 30days until the Peachtree Road Race. SOOOOOO- I have been training- very hard. It is more like a Running boot camp now. John and I have been working out every morning at the track and at the gym and starting this week we will add some swimming. Does anyone see the trend here?!?! I am working my way to a triathlon!

Although I have not signed up for anything yet. I feel the urge to train right now. Given that our adoption is a little slow. We are still paperchasing...again. Plus, the courts will be closing in August and we don't want to risk our paperwork being out of date. So, for now ,we are slowly gathering the information and pushing our "dated" material for later in the summer.

Last week, on Saturday, Wayne Gibson III was welcomed into the world! This is my friend's first child and I was there at the hospital with much anticipation to witness the little guy. HE Is Adorable! The week prior, her sister, Shea also had her 3rd baby boy- Turner! So, it was a big time for celebration, and recovery for my girls. I love them all so much and am grateful I am a part of this precious time in their lives. Can't wait to see these two grow up together...Tripp and Turner :)

Headed out to work. Have a Great Week Everyone. I will post some pics later.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi There!

Looking forward to a great weekend. John has a Half-Ironman this weekend in Macon. Go Johnny Paycheck :) Here's a pic of my girl Chris and I at dinner last Friday night. We had a great time with a group of co-workers. We have been together since the beginning (of banking) and have decided to never take our friendship for granted!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Do Over!

Well, my biggest fear(about paperwork)came true last week...

We get to do our Home Study ALL OVER AGAIN! Oh boy, I have read of others struggling or should I say drudging through the piles and mounds but I truly felt we were ahead of the game given we had a completed homestudy less than a year old. should actually only be 6 months old-dagumit! In 30 days it will meet that age. So, I will have to admit, I did have 2 maybe even 3 days of self-talk and motivational ideas to try and get me started. Thank goodness it was a long weekend, right?!!?

Well, count me in- I sent out 3 items today to our social worker. Working on the next baby step and hoping to set deadlines that are attainable. Here we go...grow...AGAIN :)

John and I celebrated(however small)last night by going out to eat. We dined at Touch of India and then visited Whole Foods for some Gelatto! That'll get me going :) We did work up quite an appetite doing lots of yard work on Memorial Day(pic below).

Also, Friday night I went out with some work friends to celebrate a promotion. Saturday, we had a block/cul-de-sac party. First one ever! So much fun to get to know our neighbors. We have a VERY diverse community here and I treasure it so much given our addition on the way and how important it will be to us!

Needless to say- way to much good food this past weekend!!! That's alright. I am headed back to Boot Camp tomorrow. I will post some more pics later in the week. So, that's it for now! Back to paperwork pregnancy...whatever you call it:)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Ready for vacation anyone?!?! Okay- Well, maybe not a real vacation but how 'bout a 3DAY WEEKEND? Works for me :) I hope you all enjoy the end of this school year, and the true beginning of SUMMER! Cannot wait til this time next year.

Here are our two babies- one Lamb and one Lion. Can ya guess which one is the LION? Looks like a wolf in sheep's clothing if ya ask me :) Much Love.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Family Resemblance

~~~On my lunch break at work and had to post this excerpt I just read. It was a resource from Toni. This is very true and wonderfully enlightening and I can definitely relate to the experience. Thanks so much! Enjoy.~~~

Family Resemblance in Transracial Adoption
by Jana Wolff

At our wedding, friends assured my husband and me that we would create good- looking kids. And we believed them. It's that cloning fantasy: that our future children would be miniature versions of ourselves, inheriting only our favorite features. Not only did I picture a child with my green eyes and his olive skin and thick, black hair; I also assumed she'd have a winning personality and intellect to boot. My dreams left out the combined product of our worst features: big nose, freckles, a long second toe, and a proclivity toward constipation.

So many of our dreams (and fears) got shattered along the way: all that talk about how pretty our kids would be... and it turns out we couldn't even have any. Once we started seriously considering adoption, I wondered if I could feel like a mother to a child who didn't resemble me or my husband.

Much as we all like to think of ourselves as consumed with thoughts more lofty than the issue of appearances, looks play into the emotional process before and after an adoption takes place. Adoption is like a blind date in some ways...a permanent one. Early in the process, both birth parent and child are faceless to potential adoptive parents. Adoptive parents worry that their child will be either ugly, or a dud, or both. They care about looks not because they are hopelessly superficial, but because would-be parents desperately want to fall in love with the stranger who will become their child.

Whether or not you like your own looks, they are familiar, and there is something safe about that. It's almost as if looking alike will ensure a degree of family cohesiveness. Look-alike families are assumed to belong together, but families like ours-who don't match-are seen as curious groupings of individuals. A White woman holding the hand of a little Black boy prompts guessing: His social worker? His baby-sitter? His Black father's White girlfriend? His mother? (No, couldn't be that.)
Parents who choose transracial adoption are willing to become part of an unmatched set, but this does not imply that they have disengaged from the issues of appearance. Once adoptive parents have made the tough decision that they could parent a child of a race different from their own, they've got a more brutal decision to make-this one so distasteful, it's often avoided - a shameless discussion about skin pigmentation: how dark is too dark? Many who cross the color line are willing to do so on a continuum of palatability that often reveals an unspoken yet unconscionable preference for yellow over brown, for brown over black, for light over dark.

So even within a transracial adoption, it seems as if we try to minimize the differences between ourselves and our children. There are many more Asian than African babies adopted by Caucasian parents, as if the yellow-white combination is less transracial than the black-white one. Some of us involved in transracial adoption think of ourselves as somehow superior in the discrimination department, but we demonstrate our colorism by preferring brown children (whether Latino, African American, or mixed race) with European features that look familiar to us, over Black children, who share none of our physical attributes. Bizarre as it sounds, White parents of non-White kids remain wishful about family resemblances.
That opposites attract seems to apply more to personality than appearance. Lots of couples share physical attributes; some even look alike. Blondes gravitate to blondes and brunettes gravitate to brunettes. Does the wish for transracial matching follow a similar dynamic-where like seeks like-or is it outright racism?
I felt like a bigot when I first laid eyes on my son. "He's so dark," I thought, and felt ashamed for thinking it. My racist gut reaction was fueled by gut fear. I was pretty sure I had taken on more than I could handle. Adoption of a White kid would have been enough of a stretch, but we had to go for a baby that not only came out of someone else's body but out of someone else's culture. What were we thinking? What kind of pseudo-Peace Corps types were we pretending to be? All I could think of was that we were too White to be the parents of someone this Black.

Since that unfathomable start, our lives, as members of a transracial family, have grown to feel exactly right. Though no one will mistake the boy sitting next to me as my offspring, he certain feels like my son. A brown child has become familial, so brown children are now familiar. Pink kids look bland to me in comparison to some of the beautiful mixtures we see in children of color, both adopted and not. Is it possible that mixed-race children, like our son, are more beautiful than the population at large? Or does it just seem that way? There may be some kind of reverse preference that occurs in transracial families, but it is not very different from the earlier preference described for brunettes by brunettes. If we perceive our family as a beautiful blend, we see the beauty in others' blends. Or, put more simply, we are attracted to ourselves.

In the first stages of being a family created by transracial adoption, we were aware of how different from our son we looked. As time has gone on and the emotional cement of family has become hardened, we feel unified as a mixed family (even though the world does not always see us as belonging together). Looking nothing like my child is cause for questions and looks, but holds no charge as a threat. We are family. Having said that, it is also true that we take great delight as we encounter the ways we resemble one another. When people say that my son and I have the same smile, my smile gets even bigger.

Even though I was a closet pro-cloner when I first got married, custom designing the image of my offspring, I ended up with a child who is much more beautiful than the one that his father and I would have made. When I think back to my pre-adoption fears - "Could I love a kid who doesn't look like me or us?" and "What if he or she is ugly?" - I know the answers now. I know for certain that you can love a child who doesn't match and that that child will be nothing short of beautiful to you. I also know that you will sometimes forget that you don't look alike.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adoption Friends

Yesterday was full of adoption! Some good news and some very bad news. We are praying for both of these families. I work with them and have witnessed their journey. In fact, I mentioned adoption to them as they were struggling with infertility. They researched and ended up sharing that they were adopting too! This all happened at different times during the last 6 months. However, yesterday I was happy and extremely upset for both of them.

My girlfriend-B at work just returned home from her mother's passing. This was a very unexpected death. Her mother was just here for her 30th birthday celebration. During her time here, B actually received her referral for a little Russian boy! It was so exciting. They even received a pic of the little guy. Instant love, of course. I remember our phone conversation. I should have been working but received the email and my day was shot! I was so elated for B. They have been struggling for so so so many years of infertility. Her mom in the background cheering with excitement as B and I discussed how cute he is.

So yesterday, B called me. It was her first day back in the office after 2 weeks of grieving. I had left a card on her desk about hope and an overall uplifting card. She thanked me for the card in a very unlike B tone. We talked a bit and then I thought I would ask about any news on the adoption front. She rec'd her referral on April 6th, I figured she had some travel dates. This is where my heart literally broke into pieces...

"Nope, we lost the baby". What?!?! Oh B! "Yep, I lost my Mom and Baby all in the same month. Yeah, I came into my office to his picture this morning and spent half the morning crying over that. So, What's next? I know that's a terrible thing to say but how do you get over this? We are over the adoption and have also spent so much money already". What about another region? I asked. "That costs money to change and I can't fathom doing that right now". I said "B- Just walk away, take a break, and wait for a sign". You need time as I know you must be exhausted. So tired-she said. "I just have to accept that fact that we will be childless".

I CANNOT BELIEVE THE PAIN SHE MUST BE SUFFERING. Words of encouragement are good but only time can heal this wound. She has been on my heart and in my prayers ever since. God will hold her in his hands, I know he will. If you have a second to pray for her and her family, that would be so appreciated.

There WILL be another chapter and I will let you know when that occurs. For now, the healing must take place. UGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Then, later that day, I have a call with one of my partners. He told me that they received word this weekend that they will be the parents of TWINS!!!! Yes, Twin GIRLS! They were discovered through his wife's hairdresser who knew of a young lady that already had one child and could not care for 2 more. The birthmom and her mother came over to their house for a visit and to discuss the situation.

On the way home, the birthmother called them to let them know she has made her decision and she is so happy to have them as the NEW PARENTS!!

WOW- 'how bout that?!?! Too cool. Elation for my buddy S. He said he came to work on Monday with a totally new outlook...Gotta Work Hard, 2 girls through college and 2weddings,,,ain't that the truth!

So, a VERY adoption filled Monday to say the least. This is a clear example of the roller coaster we are all on when it comes to adoption. It also shows us that we are not always in control of the outcome. FAITH IS THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE! It will happen, in God's time. Hard for me to get, but I do- just a little impatient, that's all!

I hope you all have a Great Tuesday! I am talking with our agency today to get working on our paperwork. I just love having a "coach" to keep me on target!!!
Take Care.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday & UPDATE :)

Hi Gang,

Man, am I glad to see Friday this week! It has been crazy at work and I have been working diligently on our adoption plans. R U READY?!?!?!

We have some exciting news around our country. We have been accepted to Ethiopia and feel in our hearts that we were meant to be there ALL THIS TIME! YEAH! I am so excited :) I spoke with the director and we had a great discussion around the reality of being a truly bi/trans-racial family. John and I welcome this and are learning more about it everyday to be sure to provide the right environment for our child. The process in Ethiopia is also something I love. See, they work directly with the orphanages until a referral is identified. There is a transition home called "House of Hope" for CHI. The children are happy and healthy and well cared for- this is a big plus for us!

We are in the process of amending our Home Study and will be submitting to CIS shortly. I cannot tell you HOW LONG we have waited to do this. But then again, you know by our painstakingly long timeline. Whew!

We are truly at peace and are comforted to know that God is directing us down this path. I am in love with our child already- strange, I know. We have opted for boy or girl, infant up to 12 months. The infants are usually around 2-3months old on average. We've been studying about our country and the beautiful people. That's just my style- Go Big or Go Home!!! More to come on this journey!!! I feel that I actually want to blog now, can you believe it?!?!- it has been so painful up until this week- I do apologize for the boring blog. Watch out folks!!!

So, Here's a pic of John and the boys at church cooking up a storm! Well, actually it is spagetti for some 150 people. We had a fundraiser for our youth pilgrimage trip and had a wonderful time playing Parish Family Feud! Good times. He asked me where HIS picture was from the fundraiser. Too cute. So here it is...

Have a Fabulous Weekend!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Baby Shower Frenzy!?!!?

Well, 1/2 of my girls are expecting. See if you can pick them out :) I'll make it easy for ya- they are all on the same row! I have been to 3 baby showers and have another couples shower this weekend. I think the Lord is testing me. However, I am holding up just fine. A little tired, but emotionally, all good. Enjoy the beautiful Ladies!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Alot of friends and family read this and I want everyone to understand why our hearts are committed to adoption.

You see...Adoption isn't just what people do when they can't have "their own" children, it isn't plan B. Adoption is a true calling. It's knowing that your child is out there somewhere. It's yearning for him or her to come home where they belong. This is true for John and I. Even if we were to have our own children, I would still plan on adopting a child. My heart is full of ache for this little one. There is something about it as these children are orphans.

We have not found our country yet, but there are many more to choose from! We have learned so much in one year about other cultures through our research. I absolutely love this knowledge. We will find the right spot for us and further investigation is required. So, please know that I am not some crazy woman on a mission to get a child. We are simply following our hearts. If it is meant to be, it will happen, and we will all be together. I don't care how long it takes. We are at peace knowing that when the time is right- we will be able to provide a loving home to someone who desperately needs it. It goes both ways :)
Matthew 18:5
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me"

Thanks to all of you for your love and support.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Here is a pic from dinner last night. We ate at Lil' River in Downtown Lawrenceville- the food was to die for or slap yo mama good :) Whatever you say :)

Becka and Alex were up from Florida and we enjoyed a couple of days together. We went to Stone Mountain for the day and got plenty of exercise. Thank goodness because we went BIG at dinner!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Brother...

Okay, I had to post the photos of my Brother's Spring Formal in Charleston. He is a Junior at the University of Tennessee. This is the FIRST time he has ever shared information about "his" girl with the FAM!

Her name is....are you ready???....Heaven! Yes Heaven! He has been holding out for this girl for a long time and it has finally paid off!

Is it wrong to be a proud sister when your brother has a girlfriend??!?! Maybe just weird. Who cares, Whitney(the other sister)and I are so excited for him to say the least. I won't even go into John's elation. I thinks his exact words were "holy snikies, that's my dog".

Anyways, my little brother is all grown up. We look forward to his Senior Year at UT. He is such a sweet boy- I mean, man, and any girl is lucky to have him. Enjoy :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi There~

This time next week I will be with my best friend Becka! She is coming up from Florida with Alex- married in December. John and Alex will finally get to meet and we can enjoy the weekend together. It is amazing how one of your best friends can live in another state and that does not keep you from remaining close. Here's a pic from the week of her wedding (we were at dinner) and being good girls:)

John and I checked with our agency about adoption from Colombia. We rec'd word yesterday that it is not possible as we have not filed our CIS paperwork already.
This is getting frustrating to be brutally honest. We feel as if God is definitely telling us that we should be heading down another path. Here we go again...

Headed out to dinner with a group of people from church. We have a fundraiser tomorrow and will be cooking spagetti dinner for 150 people. Then a game of family feud! WE are such dorks but we sure do have a good time! Sunday is church and my friend Misty's baby shower. I think there are about 5-6 couples/baby showers thru oh my! Have a great weekend Everyone :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi Gang,

Here are some pics of our dear friends Amy, Ronnie, and Miss Lindsey! We go way back-yes, to high school :0 We can't thank them enough for the role they have played in our adoption journey. John and I are blessed with wonderful friends and family that have contributed- mostly by writing letters and tremendous support. We went out to Mexican last weekend and had a great time!

Oh, I almost forgot...I SHAVED 40 seconds of my 1 mile run today at Boot Camp. This is huge for me. Lots of blessings :)

Love to you on this Friday Morning! Take Care.

Don't you just hate tan people...geez!

The girls after their Florida visit to the beach...wouldn't that be nice right about now...

Okay, these two have an incredible bond-can ya tell?

The Fam :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

TGIF! Here are some Baby Room pics. There is a before and after-not much difference- we sold the bed and vanity months ago. John and I are not buying anything "baby" until we are much closer to actually having one :) Cannot wait for the day. Happy Friday!

Before (already hung the art decor I made and still working on the stencil art on the walls...)

After (could really use some love in this room!)

Goodies from friends and family- just enough to keep the hope alive! Notice the pink girly items- that's Grandma sending a message for a little girl. Gotta love it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

an actual post...

Well, I find myself posting on this Sunday evening as John has been called out for a riot in Dekalb County. Yes, just another day in the life of a police officer- much fun, ey?

I wanted to give everyone an update(not much of one) on the adoption front. We are kind of in a holding pattern. We are pursuing some different options as of today. Domestic and International,(we only have an agreement with Int'l-just to be clear for all the other agency families :) So, no news is just part of the process and it sure feels like a long time since we had any news. However, we rec'd a very strong sign this week and we are awaiting another! This journey is truly an adventurous struggle with joy and pain every single day. It is also known as LIFE though, right?

Well, I am off to bed as Boot Camp starts back tomorrow morning! That's right folks-I didn't give up just yet. This will be my 3rd month. I haven't mentioned any results since the first month as I have not measured lately. Feeling the plateau hitting me and it is time to give it a swift kick in the ?$#!

OHHHHHH- I almost loving husband(wink,wink) signed me up for the PEACHTREE ROAD RACE. Lots of prayers people-I mean lots please :) Time to put my game face on now...this is getting serious. I will have to admit I am looking forward to the challenge.

Hey, don't they also serve beer at the end of the race???? :()~

All for now...Good Night!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Just a little inspiration for this Friday! Lots of prayer and lots of faith this week. It is all in God's hands and we truly feel his presence.

Enjoy your day! Thanks for checking in.

Hopefully we will have some exciting news soon :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi All!

Here's a recent pic of John and the pups. Welcome Spring! We were "training" Kessy at my Grandma's house for fun. John would hide the items throughout the backyard and Kessy would always find 'em! Then she gets her toy. Tad seemed to enjoy the game too. Not that he would ever make it on the Bomb squad, but he tries:)

Well, these are our kids yet, so we just "baby" our doggies! We do hope that changes one day. For now, we are good giving them the much deserved love.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday..or Saturday

To say this Lent season has been difficult would be an understatement. The Lord has brought us to new paths and thoughts throughout this time. I am thankful for the learnings both John and I have endured. As a time of reflection, I felt this picture was appropriate. It is the Ironman swim start in the ocean. It is the beginning of the longest journey in many peoples lives. However, the journey usually begins much earlier. We are often unaware of where we actually are on our own journey.

At the end of March, we will make another decision about our adoption country. With the pending closure of Vietnam's program, we are already discovering different opportunities. It has been a time of peace for us though. WE know this is NOT in our hands. We have faith and trust in God for his direction.

More to always!!!
Happy Easter.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

A Celebration of February Birthdays! John, Katy and Sue in the last pic are the guests of honor. We went to my Dad's house last weekend and my brother Scott and sister Whitney were both in town. Good Times! Happy Friday!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Vietnam Update

Dear Vietnam Family

We are rejoicing with 5 families who received their travel dates this week. CIS approval of the I-600 still seems to be taking 5-6 weeks for our families from the time of submission. We still hope more families may travel in the month of March to Vietnam.

Previously, I stated that TB testing was now required for families adopting children over the age of 2 years old. Now the Cho Ray hospital has informed us that this will not apply to adoption visas. So we don’t have to worry about this additional tests for the kids.

Pam is diligently working on the March newsletter. It is late going out and she hopes to have it out in the next week or two. I know everyone looks forward to receiving the month E-newsletter. We are considering doing this every other month just due to the time involved in getting it out each month. Please continue to send us your stories, ideas and pictures for the monthly newsletter to Pam.

Nothing new to report on the MOU. Joint Council currently has a group in country meeting with both the US and Vietnamese governments. We are still uncertain if the MOU will be signed in September or not. If there isn’t written exchange between the two governments by the end of March stating that each side will sign it, then it will not be signed in September. Written exchange between the two governments is required 6 months prior to the signing. If we hear anything new regarding this we will pass the information on as soon as we receive it!

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi All,

Last weekend John and I spent time with some of our friends from high school. Yes, we still hang out together! Amazing, isn't it?!?! I love my girls! We also did the Hunger Walk on Sunday with our Youth Group. Much fun and a great cause. Oh, AND John WON the Alpharetta marathon...can you believe it? I am so proud. He didn't even know it as he had to get home for church. We are so blessed...and so busy. I hope you enjoy the weekend!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi All!

Forgive me for being a slacker! I have not blogged much lately. Well let's see- John and I caught the nasty flu bug and we were down for the count about 1.5 weeks.

Then, we went to Gatlinburg Tennessee for our Church Ski Trip with the Youth Group. I could write forever about this one!!! John and I enjoyed being with the teens and experiencing a new adventure together. We stayed at a wonderful house on the river and truly became closer to nature.

So.....Here's a couple of pics from last weekend. We love these kids :)

Vietnam Update

Dear Vietnam Family

Two families completed their adoptions this week in Vietnam and are returning home with their children. We did not receive any new referrals this week but hope to in the new few weeks. We expect March to be a big travel month for families. We are just waiting for some families to receive CIS approval and/or their G&R dates from Vietnam.

Nothing new to report about the MOU this week. I do know that several groups, including a group from the US department of state as well as Joint Council (JCICS) will be going over to Vietnam in the month of March to meet with Vietnamese officials. The JCICS has come up with a Standards of Practice for Vietnam. During the November meeting in Washington DC, they discussed and we revised what this would include. JCICS has sent out the Ethical Standards of Practice to all licensed adoption agencies working in Vietnam and asked if each agency wishes to sign onto this standard or practice. Just this week CHI did notify JCICS that we would be participating in the signing of these new standards. The Standards have not been officially signed off on, but the idea is that each agency working in Vietnam will sign this and actually practice what they have signed. We will give you more information on this once it is available and you can also follow it on the JCICS web site at:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Yeah! Julie, Merritt, and Kessy made the Blog! Kessy is practicing for baby. She did very well with Mr. Merritt. He is such an adorable little boy!

Thanks for coming by to see us Tim and Julie :) We look forward to hanging out again.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Hi Ya'll,

Not doing so hot...I have the Flu! Went to the after-hours care facility last night with a fever and body aches. This is the strand the flu shot is not catching. Needless to say, I stayed home today and will stay home tomorrow. I have a big week at work coming up so I need to rest. John and I were planning to run a race this weekend- Ronald Reagan fun run for me (1mile) and the half marathon for John (13miles). Oh well, I am going to cheer him on from the sidelines or from the comfort of my own bed, we shall see.

Happy Valentine's Day to Everyone!

Enjoy your loved ones :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday!

This is what I would like to be doing today! Tad and Topper look very comfy. Love you babies :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Good Morning All,

It has been a long week already. YES, I am still attending Boot Camp every morning at 5:15am :) This week has been exceptionally painfull as I have also travelled to Buckhead the last three days and attended church the last 2 evenings. No wonder I am feeling exhausted! However, John and I are both in good spirits!

Today I ran the 1 mile timed run for the kickoff of February's class and shaved off 1minute...50seconds to be exact. Not going to reveal my time yet though!!! Have to reduce it further before I announce those results :)

Wanted to still "mention" our adoption as I know there has not been alot of exciting news lately- sorry. But, that is the life of an adoptive couple. HURRY UP and WAIT! Argh!

John and I are meeting with another possible option tonight. We will reveal our decision with you all shortly. With Vietnam's program potentially closing, we have to pursue other avenues and be prepared to act when the time is right.

I will tell you that it does not involve International adoption...More to come!

Hope you have a great day! Hugs and Kisses to YOU!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Skiing a couple years ago with our friends Ronnie, Amy, and Miss Lindsey! We always enjoy spending time with them. John and I will be headed to another skiing trip on Feb 22nd-Feb 24th. We will be chaperones for the Senior Youth at our Church. Watch out for those pics...should be fun!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Actual Results!!!

Good Morning All! Sorry for the delayed post. It has been a fast moving week. But I have still managed to make it to Boot Camp 4days this week! It has been an entire month since I started. For anyone considering becoming a healthier you...this is the way. Here are my results after 4 weeks...

Weight: Lost 12lbs! UNBELIEVABLE!
Body Fat: Lost 3.0
BMI: Lost .7
Waist: Lost 1.5 inches
Chest: the same (thank you Jesus! :)~
Hips: Lost .5 inches
Arms: same...shucks!
Thighs: Lost 1 inch
Calf: same

Great results and I am so excited! I am signing up for February and plan to continue for as long as possible. By summer, I will be proudly walking along the beach :) Sorry for the over-gloating this morning but I have come a long way. My diet has been restricted but I have not cut out carbs so there are still more options. I am in this to become physically fit and feel good. My stamina both physically and mentally have been incredible.

Now I am going to be ready to carry a little one around! That is also a goal of mine. We are continuing to pursue our options as Vietnam does not look promising for us. No one can say for sure what the future holds for this program and I completely understand. It is all in God's hands. I will post the update from CHI. They are very good at keeping us informed and I am very thankful for that.

Have a Fabulous Day!

Dear Vietnam Family Update #2

Here is an additional update from our Vietnam Director this week:

Today, Friday, the Department of State held a telephone conference with all agencies working in Vietnam. They wanted to let the agencies know that they are going to be making an official statement and warning about Vietnam adoptions. There is NO NEW information that they will be posting. However, they are warning new application families about the MOU expiring in September and the fact that they might want to reconsider choosing to start an adoption from Vietnam right now. The State Department still does not know whether the agreement is going to be resigned in September or not. However, they are just putting out a warning to new families who might not know about the current situation with Vietnam adoptions.

Please do not stress out about this or get worried. We have updated you all along on the current status and will continue to update you if any new information comes to our attention. But we did want to warn you in case you start seeing this warning on other chat groups or Emails or through the state department web site. We expect the announcement to be made on Monday at the earliest!

Here is the web site for the US department of State

Dear Vietnam Family

Here is the latest update from our Vietnam Director:

As most of you know, their was a quarterly meeting at the US embassy in Hanoi with all adoption agencies. Thuy, our main representative in Vietnam did attend the meeting. She reported that mostly the new I-600 procedures were discussed during the meetings. There are still a lot of agencies that have not even submitted an I-600 under the new system so many agencies still have many questions. Thuy stated that the MOU was very briefly discussed but there wasn’t really any new information for us. There will be a group of US officials that will travel to Vietnam in March to discuss the MOU once again with the Vietnam government. In March, written letters need to be exchanged between the two governments stating they want to resign the MOU agreement that expires this year. If the written letters are not exchanged in March, then the MOU will expire on September 1st, 2008 and we will no longer be allowed to submit new dossiers after this time. So it looks like we will know for sure one way or another come March. We really don’t have a feeling one way or another if the agreement is going to be signed. I really feel it is a 50/50 chance at this point.

What does this mean for families? We truly don’t believe If the MOU is not signed that there will be a very long standing moratorium. Even if the MOU expires in September, we feel that the two governments will continue to discuss it and an agreement will eventually be reached. I don’t think it will be closed for years like it was prior. Also, our goal here at CHI is to keep at least 100 dossiers submitted at all times at the DIA. The DIA in Hanoi will continue to process the dossiers that are logged in prior to September. So CHI will continue to receive referrals, families will continue to travel for at least another year or longer. So hopefully if there is a short moratorium, it will not affect our families too much and another agreement could be signed soon.

There were no new referrals this week received by CHI. We are not sure that we will receive any new referrals before the Tet holiday. Our staff in Vietnam will be taking off work from January 30th, 2008 until February 12, 2008. However, we will continue to send our weekly fed ex package to Vietnam. Therefore, all dossiers and other important paperwork will still be sent during the holiday. We are able to do this because our office in Vietnam is in the same apartment building as Thuy, our main representative. So she will still be home to accept packages.

There were 3 families in Vietnam last week and they finished their adoptions this week. All 3 families are already home or on their way home as we speak!! Everything went very well and fast for the families in country.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

The Ladies! Here is a pic of Sue, Nana, and myself over the holidays. My grandmother is my best friend :) Going shopping today together.

No news on the adoption front. John and I are reading and praying alot these days.

I am very thankful that I have completed my 3rd week of Boot Camp. Woo Hoo! Dogtags next week. Leaving tomorrow for Raleigh NC for a work meeting on Monday. Talk to you next week.

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend! Take Care.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend Snow!

Here are a couple of pics from the Snow in Ga! It doesn't happen often. We all enjoyed the quiet time together!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

This is a pic of my sister and I. I miss her terribly these days. She now lives in New York- such a Big Girl! Can't wait to come up and visit :) Love you!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keep the Faith...

Good Morning!

John and I are doing great this week and keeping the faith as we continue our Journey. We have found a wonderful church and priest through St. Edwards Episcopal Church in Lawrenceville,GA. Father Paul is a former Fulton County Police Officer and that alone was enough to draw us to this church! We met with him last night and instantly felt connected. John and Fr Paul were trading stories and it was amazing to watch. He was also very sympathetic and supportive towards our completion of our family with a child. This adoption journey has brought us closer to God than I would have ever imagined. I know others feel the same. It is all in God's time and I am actually okay with that?!?!

We have changed countries 3 times and I know that there are still changes ahead. This journey alone has made both John and I better people. Our relationship has strengthened and we are much more aware of LIFE.

Our next step with the adoption is to send our Home Study to CIS for our fingerprint appt. I will let you know when we submit. Wishing you all Happy Tuesday and a Fabulous Week!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

A year ago today we were on a Cruise enjoying time with co-workers and friends. We had no idea that we would be on such a journey in 365 days! This is one of my faves as John and I had a great time together and it will be the LAST time I get on a ship again. Took me weeks to get over the ocean in my ears :) Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Referrals for the New Year!

Here is the latest update from our Vietnam Director:

Happy Thursday to everyone!! I hope everyone is doing well and taking care of themselves! We are delighted to announce that we received a referral this week of twin girls. They are 3 ½ months old and from Phu My orphanage in HCMC. This is the most recent orphanage we just started working with. The family is thrilled and couldn’t be happier! We are also happy to announce that we placed the sibling boys that were available last week. Congratulations to that family as well!!!!

3 Families are leaving this weekend for Vietnam!! YEAH! Our first group to travel in the New Year. They finally received approval from CIS and things seem to be moving again. We hope to have more families travel before the Tet holiday! All 3 families are adopting from orphanages in HCMC.

There is nothing new to report regarding the MOU. There is a quarterly scheduled meeting at the US Embassy on January 24, 2008 for all licensed adoption agencies. Our representative in Vietnam, Thuy, will be attending the meeting. We are not sure what the agenda will be or if the MOU will be discussed but I am sure it will be on everyone’s minds. So we will have to see what comes from that meeting in a couple of weeks!

We released over 75 families to begin preparing their dossier this month. So all of our offices are very busy going over the dossier preparation with the families. As we receive more referrals throughout the year, we will release more families to begin on their dossier. Families are asked to begin working on their dossier based on the sex and age child they are requesting. All families on the list up to family #92 regardless of what they have requested have been asked to begin on their dossier. Then after #92, families were asked based on the sex and age child they were requesting. We do receive many more boy referrals than girls so this is why we are having more boy families begin on their dossiers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Latest and Greatest...

Good Morning!

Our Adoption Agent is moving! We will miss her greatly. I really liked the fact that their was an in-state employee to assist us. But, I want what is best for her and wish her ALL the best!

On the Adoption front. We will be receiving our Home Study today! Finally :) Our social worker is awesome. She is with Options4Adoption and I recommend her to anyone who is in the HomeStudy phase. We love Kelly! Now, we will submit our I-600 to CIS/INS for our fingerprint appt and approval. This usually takes about 3 months to gain approval. So, in 3 months or so, we will be placed on the waiting list! Baby steps...but this is a big one. It actually begins the countdown and gets us closer to finding our child.

There is one concern. That is the MOU (Memo of Understanding) that should be signed the same time we are placed on the waiting list. This is the agreement between Vietnam and International Adoption. If it is not signed, adoptions in Vietnam will cease. This could not be good for us, but we are committed to ride this roller coaster of adoption and can only travel with faith. We are not in control, God is. He has led us through different paths and we trust his guidance.

That's the latest. I will keep you posted.

Oh, and I almost forgot...I have survived 3 complete days of Fitness Boot Camp!!! Whew Hew! Only having difficulty walking, sitting, driving, and can barely make it up or down a flight of stairs. But it is ALL GOOD. Cannot wait til the pain stops and I see my waist again:) I love it and think I have finally found the motivation and strength to get in complete shape. Very fun and great people to network with at 5:15am every morning.

Take Care and Talk Soon!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Boot Camp

I have completed my first day of Boot Camp today!

Yes, I am still alive. Whew, it was painful. 4days a week at 5:15am and only 29 more days to go. John is very proud to say the least :) I am so excited about getting healthy and getting ready for motherhood. The pain will set in shortly as the first week is the most difficult. I will definitely keep you posted!

Here is our website at North Atlanta Boot Camp.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Vietnam Adoption News from CHI

Dear Vietnam Family

Here is the latest update from our Vietnam Director:

Chuc Mung Nam Moi – Happy New Year!!! The lunar New Year is not until February 7, 2008 this year but our staff in Vietnam joined us in celebrating our New Year as well!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and got some rest!!! Things in Vietnam are gradually beginning to slow down. Usually during this time of the year, we do see things slowing down as we approach the Lunar New Year holiday. It is a VERY big celebration in Vietnam and everyone begins preparing during this time of the year.

We are happy to announce that we did receive referrals this week. The first referral is of a 3 ½ month old little girl from Tam Binh 2 orphanage in HCMC. The other referrals we received this week were of sibling boys. The boys are 2 ½ and 4 ½ years old. If you are interested in these sibling boys please Email or contact your branch contact or Nicky for more information. I will wait until the end of the day on Friday to decide which family these boys will be offered to. I will go in order as the families are on the dossier list. Please remember that you must be approved for 2 children both in your home study AND on your I-171H approval form in order to adopt these siblings. They are just adorable and in need of a home.

We do hope to receive more referrals before the Tet holiday. There are not currently any families in Vietnam, but we are hoping some will travel soon. Several families already have G&R dates but are still waiting for their CIS approval from USCIS in Vietnam. The new procedure of filing the I-600 in country before the family travels seems to be taking longer than originally estimated by USCIS. The first families did receive their approvals in about 3-4 weeks but now we have some families that have waited 6 weeks and still doesn’t have their approval. We have been told by the USCIS that they have received so many I-600’s and they are understaffed and not able to process them as quickly as previously. So this is holding families up from traveling. We hope after the holidays they are able to catch up and once again process them in a timely manner.

We did release more families to begin on their dossier this week. The list was sent out to all branch directors and adoption consultants. So your local office will be contacting you if it is time to start on your dossier. Please remember that just because you are putting your dossier together, this doesn’t mean that a referral is coming in the near future. The wait times remain the same but our goal is to keep about 100 dossiers submitted in Hanoi at the DIA this year at all times. The next family in line for an infant girl has waited 19 months and for an infant boy 17 months. We do expect these wait times to continue to increase in 2008.

We are looking forward to a busy and productive new year!!! We are looking forward to continuing to find many homes for those children in need in Vietnam!!!