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!!!