Monday, December 31, 2007

Ha Long Bay

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friday & Saturday, December 28th & 29

Friday, December 28th
We sleep late! Kaden is doing very well. When he was at the Center, he took 4 ounces of formula every three hours. Now, he is taking 6 ounces without taking a breath. We have been able to spread out his feedings a little bit. He now gets more during the day and is sleeping longer at night. Last night he woke up a couple of times but went right back to sleep, so we slept better as well. We decided to head downstairs for brunch. We had French toast and blue berry pancakes, so we were in heaven. There is a grocery store on the first floor, so we stocked up on essentials and snacks too. We also did a little shopping for Kaden some clothes, since some of the clothes we brought are too small. We had a nice relaxing day and caught up on some laundry. Then we had a dinner with the others from the group and made plans for our big outing tomorrow to Ha Long Bay.

Saturday, December 29th
We scheduled a tour to Ha Long Bay for the day and the bus picked us up at 8 am. We had hoped that since we had 9 people in the group we might have the bus to ourselves. However, the people that pack the buses full to make money had a different idea. The bus was completely full and we had a 3 ½ hour drive to make it to the bay. It was a very long drive but we made it. When we arrived at the port there were tons of boats all crammed up against the dock at least four boats deep. Our guide pointed to the first boat we saw and told us to get on. All the boats looked old and well worn and I tried not to think about whether they were sea-worthy or not. We were instructed to walk to the back of the boat and that’s because this was not our boat. We then climbed from this boat to the one behind trying not to lose our two girls, baby boy, diaper bag, wife and other important items all the while saying, “we sure are glad the girls Grandmothers aren’t here to see this”. We repeated this procedure one more time and then we were told that this would be our boat. It was an amazing sight just to see all these boats working out of this mass of jumbled boats to actually get moving. Soon enough we were off and very shortly we could begin to see the islands. Ha Long Bay is a spectacular sight of 3,000 islands standing tall out of the bay. Some of the islands are small rock formations and others are very large with huge rock cliffs. Many of the islands have caves at the base and in fact, we stopped for part of our group to take a closer look at the caves by a smaller boat. Then, later in our tour, we were able walk through a large cave in the hillside. There are groups of people that live on the water in floating houses. Many of them make their living by catching fish and others by selling fruits to the tourist. There were several times that women would row their small boats up to ours to show us the fruit they had to sell. We stopped at a floating fish market. As we walked around their dock, we could see large catfish, jumbo prawns, cuddle fish (which I am told is a type of squid), crabs and other fish that I couldn’t begin to name. We wondered aloud if some of these would end up as our lunch. Then we sat down for a seafood lunch on the boat. Although I was concerned, it turned out to be very good. Kaylin and Kathryn have been real troopers throughout this trip and they did eat quite a bit of the lunch. I couldn’t get them to try much of the squid (which was really good) but they did eat some of the fish even though it was still looking back at them. We cruised around for about 4 hours and had a very nice afternoon. The water was very calm and was actually a very relaxing ride. Then we loaded back on the bus for a loooong ride home. Throughout the day Kaden was very good and only fussed when he was sick of being in the hip hammock while on the bus. By the time we arrived back at our hotel, it was about 8:30 at night and we were all very tired. We ordered a quick dinner and headed to bed.
David

Friday, December 28, 2007

That's My Boy!

Playing with Kaden in Hanoi

December 26th and 27th

What do you do the day after Christmas? Go shopping of course! Wednesday was a free day, so we decided to go shopping at the Ben Thanh Market. It is a four block walk from the hotel, so we took in the sights on the way. I was offered everything from sunglasses to underwear by the vendors. The market is a large building with everything you could image buying from clothes to candies, tea, and jewelry. The aisles are only about 1 1/2 people wide and very crowded. We found some very nice things and the more we bought the better the deals got. After a few purchases, we were old friends and they offered everyone a place to sit down and relax. Later, we found a nice bookstore with pictures of Vietnam for our coffee table. We also found some nice art work as well. We had a nice break back at the room and surprisingly, the girls wanted to go shopping again. Kade and I consented. After shopping we stopped for a snack at Highland Coffee. It was a surreal moment as we listened to Randy Travis sing of the baby Jesus along with other country stars as I sipped a vanilla latte (that wasn't so bad) in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City. The girls had a Brownie drench in chocolate and Shelly had a muffin. Kaden just enjoyed looking out the window. That night we had dinner with the Dillon staff and enjoyed a nice Vietnamese meal.

Thursday, we began packing everything up for our trip to Hanoi. It took some time, but everything fit. We had some KFC for one last time and headed to the airport. Kaden did great until we got on the plane. We sat on the plane a long time without any air flowing. Kaden got very hot and fussy. But finally we took off and he had a bottle. Shelly held him as he slept most of the flight. Except for Shelly's arms getting tired, Kaden did great for his first flight. Of course that flight was only about 1/10th of our flight home! We arrived in Hanoi and met our guide for a 1 hour bus ride to our hotel. We arrived at our hotel and it is great! We actually have a 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment with a kitchen. It was great to be in a place where we could relax and unpack for a little while. I will try to post some more pictures soon. Now, we wait for our I-600 approval and U.S. Consulate appointment. Once we receive that, we can plan our trip home! Thanks again for your prayers.
David

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! After yesterday, we needed a good night’s sleep. We slept pretty well since we were so tired, but Kaden is on a 3 hour eating schedule so he wakes up a lot. So far we have been able to stretch him to 4 hours and encouraged him to take a little more formula so he might sleep a little longer. First thing this morning we took the babies to get their passport photos. Kaden did very good and it actually turned out to be a good picture. Then we went to buy our airline tickets to Hanoi. We will travel to Hanoi on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 27th. After those appointments, we went shopping in the large department store next to our hotel. It’s like a multi-level mall with a small grocery store as well. We picked up some water and snacks for our room and went to lunch. Our family decided that we would celebrate Christmas day with comfort food. For the most part, the food has been very good, but some of us have not been very hungry the past few days, so familiar food sounded good. We ate lunch at KFC and left nothing but bones on our plates. It was so good and I can finally say we are returning to normal or close to it. That afternoon we had our medical appointment for the babies. The doctor was very nice and Kaden did great. The doctor told us that Kaden weighs almost 19 lbs. He also said that Kaden was very healthy and cleared him to travel. That night we completed our Christmas celebration with a trip to Pizza Hut. It was great and everyone loved it. Kaden is doing great and he is a lot of fun. He smiles a lot and laughs when he plays with us. He can turn over from either side and he can get up on all fours and rut back and forth. Christmas was certainly different this year but it has also been a wonderful blessing as well. Merry Christmas to you all, especially our girls back home.
David

Ho Chi Minh traffic at night

Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Longest Christmas Eve of our Lives

First, thanks to Karis for posting for us while we were both unable to and too exhausted to do it our selves. Your description of the day was very good and it is good to have you helping us by posting and at home with your sisters. I love you and appreciate you very much.

Christmas Eve was a huge blessing as we did get to have our G&R and we now have Kaden. That's right, our family of five girls now has a boy! However, the day was also very difficult as well. Let me try and explain.

As you know we saw Kaden twice on Friday, once on Saturday, and then we were told that our G&R would likely be on Monday in the morning or afternoon. Our guide told us to be ready to leave Monday morning at 8 AM to go to the Center to see the babies. We spent about 2 hours with Kaden, all the while hoping that we would receive notice that the G&R would be that morning. Then we were told it was time to head back to the hotel for lunch and checkout of the hotel with the hope for an afternoon G&R. We arrived back with the babies and once again they were very glad to see us arrive. It was beginning to seem a little mean to come visit and love on them like crazy, rock them to sleep and when they woke up, we would be gone. We were told that we would hopefully leave for our G&R at 3:00. We have learned quickly that schedules are written in pencil and likely will change, so be prepared for it. However, when 3:45 rolled around we were getting antsy that the G&R might not go off as planned. At 3:50 the Director of the nannies got the call and she jumped in to action. She was running around and hurrying us and the nannies to get ready to go. We jumped on the bus to head to the government building where our G&R would take place and practically ran into the building. We later realized that the office closed at 5:00 and they were trying to make this happen today. As Karis mentioned, our family has been hit with a stomach virus that seemed to persist in me and Kaylin. Please don't worry because we are doing much better today (12/25), but yesterday Kaylin was not feeling well at the G&R. The office was very hot and she didn't feel well so I gave her some medicine. We were both worried about the 4-5 hour bus ride ahead of us as soon as we left that office and the medicine would help her sleep. The bus ride was rough, I mean really rough as in the road. Kaylin slept because of her medicine and I did fine. The babies slept mostly or ate and were perfect angels. We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City around 10:00 and the roads were very crowded. Apparently, they celebrate Christmas Eve by going to church or cruising downtown on their scooters. It had been a long emotional day and we were all physically drained, when our guide announced that the roads were too crowded for our driver to get the bus near the hotel. She said he would stop and we would walk the rest of the way, about 15 minutes. We were shocked and tried to make a case that we had babies and luggage and the walk would be too hard. Eventually, we decided we didn't have any choice and we wanted to get to bed. I wish I could explain to you what that was like. The hotel sent two bellman with a luggage cart and a wheel care. We had told our guide that Kaylin was too sick to walk, in order to get her to make him drive us to the hotel. When Kaylin woke up and saw the wheelchair she was afraid that we might be taking her to the hospital so she woke up quick. So we used the wheelchair to carry luggage. Now, imagine a bus dropping your family off a few blocks from Time Square at midnight on New Year's Eve. Then imagine being told that you will need to help cart your five bags of luggage with you across Time Square, walking in the street against traffic and 90% of the people are on scooters. The scooters are so close they are practically touching on all sides and we were "swimming up stream". The exhaust fumes was intense and so was the stares. I grabbed as much luggage as I could carry and Kathryn's hand, while constantly watching Kaylin, Shelly and the baby. By the time we got to the hotel, I felt like we had reached the "promised land". We fell in to bed, then we remembered that we now have an infant that slept the whole bus ride! We slept some, at least we weren't on the bus any more.

Kaden is awesome. He laughs easy, and loves playing with his sisters. The funny thing is he hasn't even seen half of them yet! He has been an excellent baby and he is a big guy. Six month footed sleepers are little too short on him and after a while of carrying him my back reminds me that I'm 40 years old. What an incredible day. Although moments were stressful and full of drama, we will never forget this day. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes. Christmas Eve gift to all my family. We were told that our "paperwork glitch" has been submitted. Please pray that we get i600 pre-approval soon. We fly to Hanoi on Thursday.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bad Day

As you know Mom and Dad already had their Christmas. And it wasn't their favorite day ever. There's a bug or something going around and well they got it. Dad hasn't been feeling well and Kaylin isn't doing very well either. Kaylin is so sick they had to push her in a wheelchair. Mom and Kathryn are doing fine. Mom had the "bug" for about thirty minutes and Kathryn hasn't been sick at all.
They rode on a bus for four hours to Ho Chin Min. And when they got there it was like New Year's Day and the bus couldn't drive them the last few blocks to the hotel. So they had to walk the rest of the way to the hotel. Now, let me just say that it's very hard to carry a baby, luggage, and push a wheelchair. But that's just what they did. Somehow they made it to the hotel in one piece. But they were very tired.
We got an email today and found out that they need a certain paper that they don't have. I don't know what it is called but I know that it is important. The office they get it from is closed until Wednesday. And I don't know when they'll get it. So please pray for my family that they will not be sick anymore and that they will get the paper that they need soon. Merry Christmas!!
Karis Cline

GNR COMPLETED!!!

That means they have Kaden. Shelly asked that I update as they are in route (by bus 4 hours) with their NEW SON to Hochilzminh City..They should arrive there about 10pm (their time).. I talked to David while they were on the bus and he and Kaylin were not feeling well. Shelly was feeding a very happy Kaden a bottle. The director had rescheduled their GNR several times but finally they at 5pm they received "their son"..on Christmas Eve..WHAT A GIFT.From Granny and the girls.. We Wish you all a Merry Christmas,,,,,

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Now it's my turn

Well, I thought I would catch everyone up on some things going on here. We can't actually view our blog so and I haven't been able to read Dave's posts so sorry if I repeat!
Dillon business:
Leslie and Kerrie, I gave to photos to the Director of Nannies pretty quickly during our Friday AM visit (supposed to be our only visit) because I was afraid I would forget. She immediately called the nannies out and they circled up and began smiling, laughing, and kissing the pictures! I took a picture of their reaction for you. It obviously meant a lot to them. I pointed to the picture of Sang and his buddy on the medicine cabinet and told the Director that the boys were doing well. I also explained that we only had a few days notice til travel so I wasn't able to get more pictures of the other children. It was a lesson to me to also send a few snapshots of Kaden back with travelers.
Texastomkins: I'm sorry that I can't view your blog or email you but we had a great time playing with this little baby just a little younger than Kaden. We payed a lot of attention to the older babies there on our first visit and snapped a few photos of the kids. (Leigh concentrated on the infant room since DoriGrace was in there.)But when we went back for our second attempt at GNR on Friday afternoon, our girls kept making faces at the babies and playing peek-a-boo with them. Finally the nanny brought the other babies out and laid them on the quilt for a little "tummy-time". They allowed us to play with all the babies. Everyone just seemed to gravitate to certain kids (there were only three). One little guy looked a lot like I remember Lewis looking but I didn't know his birthday. But just in case I snapped pictures and took some video of the little guy we named "Smiley". He just would grin and kick his feet at my girls. No matter what we said to him, he grinned. All the babies there are pretty happy and easy to smile, but he especially enjoyed their undivided attention. We got to play with the babies for quite a long time. ( We have spent probably about 8 hours total at the center.) As we were leaving, I asked our guide to find out his name. She wrote on a piece of paper "Khang"; sound familiar? I called my and had her check your blog to see if it was Lewis and sure enough, it was him!!! I am so sorry that I can't send to pictures to Jynger from Can Tho. We can't view blogs or the Dillon forum, or send outgoing email. But I did get pictures and I think one video of him. As soon as we get to HCMC I will try to send them to Jynger. I hate that you are having to wait, but know he has received a lot of extra attention the past two days. If I remember right, (trusting my memory is scary) you have one child already. Lewis loved my girls so be ready. Some practical things to know: ALL the babies seemed to be on the same schedule of eating 4 ounce bottles every three hours. The general populous are on Simulac Advance (milk based). However, I do know they adjust if a child needs so this doesn't apply across the boards. Their care is very individualized. He isn't too much smaller than my Kaden. I wouldn't mess with three month clothes! Kaden is definitely in six months and maybe some nine. I'll update you on that after I try some clothes on him. They gave me Pampers M for Kaden (which is 6-ll kgs).
while Leigh and Stacy and I were doing so much sitting around, we were coming up with good gift ideas for these particular nannies. They all have very long hair, so some fancy ponytail holders or barrettes would be great. Also, they wear flip-flops so some fun bling flilp-flops would be good. They seemed to be around size 8 or so!
I know you have heard this before, but the babies are very well taken care of. I feel bad for them because they keep getting the babies all ready for GNR (and preparing themselves for goodbye) and then it doesn't happen and they have to get the beds ready again and everything. I can't think of anything more right now. Feel free to email me. The blog comments come to our email so I do get them.
Family:
Rebs, I"m so glad to see the Fellowship Santa is making its rounds this year. I'm sure he will enjoy the quiet at April's house; he is old you know. Let's see, after a year there, he should know all the states and a multitude of languages!
Congrats Bailey on graduating! We are all very proud of you. Now your mom is ready to retire and live off you and your horses!
Tam, happy late birthday! Do you really have a daughter old enough to be graduating from college?
Enjoy Christmas everyone! It was very non-Christmassy here (hot and humid). We do hear Christmas music and see a few Christmas trees and Santa suits here and there. There is actually a manger scene out front of our hotel. Maybe I'll post it on Christmas morning. I noticed it was blowing snow and lower 20's at home so maybe this isn't so bad after all!
Karis: thanks for holding down the fort. Karis you missed a menu of crocodile, frogs and snakes at our restaurant yesterday, yum, yum. I've yet to see PB&J on the menu here....well, it could stand for something else! Mixed meat always make me go "hum"!
Kenna and Kiley: we miss you and are glad you are being good girls! Have fun with Gran and all the parties you seem to be having. Kaden will be very happy to see you.
The plan:
This past few days have been filled with emotional ups and downs but everyone is handling things very well. We have a great travel group and enjoy each others company. Everyone time we hear No GNR today, we try to think of positive things such as an easier attachment for the babies since we are able to spend soooo much time with them be for we get to leave with them (we tell ourselves that at least), and we have all been able to get our body clocks adjusted before we take on our babies. It has been nice to be in the same hotel for a few days because the first four days were spend in a different place (country or city) and hotel every night! That will wear you out. My girls finally gave up trying to figure out the time difference.
Luckily we had prepared ourselves for a delay of GNR. This province seems to always delay it some. Every day is a new plan. The current plan is to go to the center at 8 0'clock tomorrow morning (our Christmas eve) and wait an hour and a half for the decision if GNR is going to be tomorrow afternoon or not. We were disappointed after being put off over the weekend (and not being able to visit today) and thought Monday was a sure thing. We were told not to check out of our hotel yet so it seems pretty ify. The director said she would do her best to have the people in charge (I don't' know who that is) rush it for Monday PM. If that is the case, we will have the GNR Monday afternoon and then get on the bus to head over to HCMC. If there isn't a post on your Monday morning, that is a great sign that we are on the way to HCMC. We would love to wake up Christmas morning in HCMC with our Kaden with us!
Kaden:
Speaking of Kaden, I haven't talked much about him because I know Dave probably has. He is the sweetest little guy and so much fun to play with. On our first visit to see him we were very quiet and calm with him. We just kind of sat and held him and let him chew on his toys we brought. When we went back on Friday afternoon, he was all grins to see us. He started kicking his feet and waving his arms and grinning ear to ear. We began to tickle him and bounce him around a little; he loved it! He quickly figured out that if I laid him on his back for a little break (my old bones ache sitting on the tile floor for hours!) he could make a pouty lip and get picked up quickly! Also much to our surprise, he can roll over from back to tummy! He is very strong.
When we got ready to leave the first time and I put him in his bed, he began to cry so I picked him up. He stopped crying and I gave him to a nanny. The second time when they told me it was time to go, same thing. On Saturday I just went straight to a nanny and said I didn't want him to cry! He is ready to be leaving with us! of course after a six-hour bus ride back to HCMC he may change his mind!
Well, I can't imagine that I left much out. you can post me questions if I missed something. We are all feeling better and I think are entering Sonic withdrawal stage. Dave said today that he would even pay full price for a drink and not wait until happy hour right now! Well, I'm going to close my longest post ever!
~Shelly

The video says it all!

Saturday visit with Kaden

Friday, December 21, 2007

Saturday, Dec. 22

Hey Everyone,

Just a quick post to let you all know that have had a few computer issues, so bare with us. We can not view our blog here in Can Thon, so if we add pictures or video, we can't tell if they are up and working. I have been trying to upload some video we took from our visit with Kaden but I was told it was not loaded as a video but a picture. So I am working on it and hope to have videos for you soon.

This morning Shelly and Kathryn are off to visit with Kaden and the other babies at the Center. Last night we were very tired so we stayed in and rested. We all got a much needed good nights sleep. Today, Kaylin is feeling a little under the weather so I stayed back with her and we are watching TV and working on loading pictures. We plan to take today easy and stay around the hotel. Hopefully we will be able able to go touring tomorrow. There is no indication that we will be able to see Kaden tomorrow. The plan is to have our G&R on Monday afternoon, then take a loooong bus ride back to Mo Chi Minh for Kaden's first road trip! We will post more later for Shelly to tell you about her visit.
David

Video from our visit with Kaden

Photobucket Album

Pictures from our visit to the Center

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Visiting The Center

Today was finally the day. Kind of like Christmas come early. Our plans for our G&R (Giving & Receiving Ceremony) have changed but we did get to go to the Center to see Kaden. We arrived mid-morning and were able to stay for over 2 hours. When we arrived we headed upstairs to the babies rooms. As we topped the stairs we saw the three babies that were to be adopted by our group lying on a bed spread on the floor. We knew immediately these were our kids, so I looked for Kaden. I knew he would likely be the biggest of the three since he is the oldest and we were last told that he weighed 17 lbs. There he was lying on his stomach between the others. We recognized his face and as we approached him, he started crying. Shelly walked over and picked him up and tried to soothe him. He stopped crying very quickly as he looked us over. He was taking us in and soon he seemed very content with us. The girls brought over some toys that we had brought for him and he began to chew on a teether. Kaden doesn’t appear to have any teeth yet but he is really gnawing on everything. We sat in the floor taking turns holding him and he smiled at us several times. Kaden appears very healthy and yes, I think he does weigh 17 lbs. He has really big hands and feet, and his arms look stocky. He is very strong. We laid him on his stomach and he would put his arms down and push his body up. Kathryn said she taught him to do pushups. We played with him for about two hours and then it was time to leave. At first, we were told that we might have our G&R this afternoon, but it didn’t work out. Our guide told us to wait in the room to see if she could work out the G&R. She came by in mid-afternoon and said we should go back to the Center to wait and see if we could get approval for the G&R. So we went back to the Center and played with Kaden and some of the other babies. We got lots of great pictures and enjoyed playing with the babies. We laid Kaden and some of the other babies on the floor to play with them and to our surprise several of them turned over on there own. One little boy kept us laughing as he would climb up on his hands and feet, and arch his back in the air. We stayed again for a couple of hours and Kaden fell asleep on Shelly’s shoulder then he cried when she laid him back down. After five kids, she still has the touch! Our guide informed us that our G&R was postponed until Monday afternoon. We will be able to visit the Center again tomorrow and then likely spend Sunday resting or possibly take a tour. We are all very tired and ready for some rest. Seeing Kaden was great and we can’t wait to have him with us permanently. Thanks to all our friends and family praying for us back home. We will post again tomorrow.

David

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Cline Clan has arrived!

Posted by Granny
Shelly, David and the girls arrived at Can Tho and got a good nights rest. They called at our dinner time tonight and it is their am (13 hours ahead of us). They were getting dressed to go
to the center and see Kaden for the FIRST time. The girls are doing great and enjoying every minute. G & R (getting Kaden) was suppose to be 9AM on Friday but that has changed. Not sure when that will take place. Pray that it will be soon....At home Karis, Kiley, Kenna and I are having a fun time and WAITING..Hopeful Shelly will get to post soon...Granny

Monday, December 17, 2007

here's the scoop..

We leave early tomorrow and fly through LAX. We spend the night in Tai Pei (sp)on Wednesday. We flight out Wednesday AM to HCMC. We get on a bus and right 4-5 hours to Can Tho. We will crash and have our GNR on Friday morning around 9 or so I think. We stay in CAn Tho for Friday night and then head back to HCMC Saturday afternoon. All this is written in pencil of course.
My understanding is that our Internet will be slow in Can Tho and very frustrating. I am removing all possible stress by saying that we might mot be able to post until Saturday in HCMC. We will be contacting home by phone and our computer coordinator, Karis (thank goodness for teenagers!) will update our progress if we have trouble.
Off to bed for a few short hours. Our precious early-morning valet will be here at four. Poor Aunt BB gets the early AM shift every adoption...we love you BEA!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm dreaming of a 92 degree Christmas!

We have tickets and leave early Tuesday morning. Kathryn and Kaylin will be going with us and they are thrilled beyond words! Kathryn can't stop smiling. It works perfectly with their school schedules and everything. Karis, Kiley and Kenna will stay here with Gran...hooray for Gran! We are scheduled to return on Jan. 10th.
By this time next week VN time, we will be on a bus heading to our little man! (There is a 13-hour time difference.) I made one BIG Target run today and bought blue; that was weird! The only thing I haven't managed and didn't get done in time was having his blanket and diaper cloths monogrammed. I was waiting til January when monogrammers weren't so busy. Friends assure me that he'll be fine with a plain blanket, I'm still not sure he'll truly feel loved until his name is on his blanket. So don't leave me any nasty comments on my blog about his plain ole' white diaper cloths! Well, off to make my list for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can't post much cuz' I'm too busy packing!!!!!!!!!!!

Got the call and we are going to VN next week! Our GNR is next Friday the 21st! God is so good..all the time! We are working on flights and will let you know more as it becomes available! Pray there are flights and they are reasonable.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby!

Ice Storm 2007 hit on Sunday. Dave and I love watching the weathermen get so excited about storms; they always come up with great names and dramatic music. Well, this time it involved us. For the first time ever, we lost power around 8:00 last night. The funny thing was we had called my mom earlier in the evening and begged her to come over and spend the night (she had been iced in for two days) and she agreed. So as we were having a great evening by the fire watching Deal or No Deal...by the way, who won the winner-take-all anyway......the power didn't blink, it just disappeared. Being the adventurous camping family that we are we just brought all the sleeping bags and blankets down and piled in the living room floor. We all had fully charged all electronics for just such trauma. Dave watched a new movie on the DVD player (bought for the plane to VN), Karis watched her IPOD (bought with her own babysitting/birthday money), Kaylin watched her brand-new IPOD she purchased Friday night with her own money (luckily Dave had loaded it already for her), Kathryn played her game boy and I caught up on some Prison Break episodes on Dave's IPOD (bought for prior China trips). Like I said we are adventurous campers, I didn't say we rough it! I remember telling the girls to really think about spending all that money on those items before they bought them. Boy was I thankful last night. This morning we found out mom's power was still on so we drove the two miles to her house! I'm so glad she moved here. She reminds me that her bed here was warm all night long! So now my kids are piled up watching Jon and Kate plus 8. I like Kate, she makes me look like a non-screamer low-key mom AND really five kids in not that bad. I tell my girls, see you could have six biddies and not two!!!! Before you think we are a very disconnected family, we had already had stocking buddies,worship center and made reindeer cookies (thanks Paula).
We are thankful for the warm bed offers we have received. Most of our friends are in the cold with no Mom Resort, so we can't complain.
As far as the adoption, no new news! It's getting tiring and we are ready to travel. There are three families that are traveling today. They get their babies on Friday. Pray that they have an easy transition. There are still two other families (that I know of) that received their referrals the same week we did that haven't traveled yet (girl families). Hopefully our time is coming soon!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Height and Weight update

We received a height and weight update on Kaden today. He is weighs 17.6 lbs! I might need to forgo the bottles and pack a knife and fork! I am debating hard on what size of clothes to take. I am about to say forget it and just buy clothes there!
I know our travel is getting closer. Three of the families that received referrals when we did found out on Monday that their GNR is on next Friday the 14th...they leave on Monday! I am so excited for them. They are in a different province so no updated pictures this round:(
I sent in for our visas earlier this week and did my paperwork for travel. As the time gets closer, please pray that we can get flights during this busy time of year and they will be at a rate that we can take Kaylin and Kathryn.
Kaden turned six months old yesterday. We received our referral of him five months ago last Sunday. It's been a long road and I am ready to hold my little guy and kiss his face...of course Dave may be even a little more excited than I am believe it or not....and the girls are very pumped. EVERYONE Kenna meets hears about her new brother, even the waitress at Pizza Hut who just wanted her drink order.
Please specifically pray that we will get our I-600 approval (in a nutshell, US approval to bring adopt Kaden and bring him back to the states) and our GNR (the Get and Receive ceremony...the day he becomes ours.) We have to have both to travel. Keep praying.
I am trying to learn how to put video from my camera on here for our travels. Here is my just-turned-four year old saying The Pledge. (Obviously I need to work on the darkness factor.) Enjoy. I'll post We Wish you A Merry Christmas from Kiley tomorrow!

Monday, December 3, 2007

To wait or not to wait, that is the question...

First things first...I won!!! DHL will refund my money for the package I originally sent to the Consulate. Today was Day 21 of the 21-Business-Days-For-Resolution phase. After the first three people told me it wouldn't happen, finally the fourth (and an hour later) said I should have my reimbursement within a few days! First the offer of "free shipping for a new package" was thrown out. I might consider using them now if I need to mail a package next door or something! It's all mainly the principle of the thing: they didn't care!
I got my travel packet out over the weekend and actually started on the paperwork. One quick trip to Kinkos and we'll have it completed and ready to go. I have a huge box that I have been putting things in as I buy them for our trip. I know when we actually get the call/email that we are traveling, I will make one quick run to Target and be ready to go! We are planning to pack VERY light this trip since we are hoping to take two of our girls. When we packed up our summer clothes they left our a few outfits so I guess you could say they are packed.
Now to the question at hand, to wait or not to wait. I am trying to decide about Christmas cards. We send out a family photo card every year to friends, family, and Dave's co-workers. I am still holding out the slimest ray of hope that we might be getting Kaden by the end of the year so I would love for him to be in our card. I know friends who doctor their cards (I won't mention her name but her initials are S.A.) and I can add him in even now! As a matter of fact, we could make one and pretend we are already there! Oh well, I'll just put it off a little longer and do them at the last minute I suppose.
I'd better get back to the closet I am putting off organizing by blogging! Hope you enjoy the beginning of this wonderful Christmas season. We are going to savor every moment and take it easy. Stress-free is my goal!