Thursday, November 15, 2007


I finally talked to my agency today and all of our paperwork is in Vietnam...I think we were officially DTV(dossier to Vietnam) as of 11/08!!!! YEAH!! They said in 4-6 months we should have a picture of our little girl. I am SO relieved to have the paperwork behind us, but now it is almost harder to JUST WAIT!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One More Stop!

Today we got all of the paperwork back from Tallahassee with everything signed and sealed. Tomorrow it will all be sent out to the Consulate and then on to our agency. This is all happening so much faster than expected...and it is really starting to sink in. One of the best parts for me is that my sister, Heidi, is due with a little girl the end of February. I know a couple of years ago neither of us could have imagined having another little girl in our is so cool, and God is so good! We are truly a blessed family!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Paperwork Milestone!

On last Thursday, the 18th, we received our I-171H in the mail...the last piece of paper from US immigration granting us permission to adopt internationally. YEAH! On Friday, I had all ten documents that were notarized sent out to Tallahassee. I should get them back by the end of this week, then to the Vietnam Consulate, then to our agency and to Vietnam! I'm hoping that by mid-November we will be DTV(dossier to Vietnam) and be officially on the waiting list:) Whoo-hoo, all the paperwork is almost finished! Our agency tells us we should have a referral in 4-6 months from DTV, which means a picture and medical records. After the referral, we wait to get 'travel dates' which are typically 2-3 months after the referral. We are ALL very excited!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


We went to the immigration department this morning and sat in a LONG line to get our fingerprints in the system! One more step down. Now, we get to wait for our I-171H to arrive. This part of the adoption process is a lot like the first trimester of a pregnancy...the most important things are happening(as far as the paperwork), but it feels really slow and there is nothing to show for it:) (at least I'm not gaining weight)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fingerprint Appointment!!

I finally got a letter in the mail yesterday from US immigration with a letter stating they received my information and that our fingerprint appt. is set for the ONLY Saturday we will be out of town! So after I got over my frustration, I emailed them and they told me that we can go on any Wednesday we want....yeah!! Next week we will head over to the local office and get fingerprinted(10 days earlier than our scheduled appt.) and be one step closer.
And, by the way, for those of you who have asked, we did NOT pick one of the names that Camdyn and Charlie suggested, although they were all beautiful. She actually will already have a Vietnamese name which we will most likely keep as a middle name for her. As for her English name, we promise to reveal the name selection as soon as we decide, which at this point may be on the plane ride over.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I had a chance to use my newly learned 'adoption lingo' yesterday. I was talking to someone when she mentioned that she heard we were adopting and asked if we had children already. I answered yes, we have three. So she said, oh, so you already have children of 'your own'. And I said, well, we already have three biological children. I think some people are really surprised to find that adoption isn't necessarily a 'plan B' (as one agency called it) and that families actually DO adopt even if they aren't infertile. I believe that however a child becomes a part of a family is 'natural' and they are definitely 'your own'. And I also believe with every part of my soul that before this little girl was ever thought of by us, God knew she would need a family and we would need her. We are hoping and praying that wherever she is, we will find each other soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Still in paperwork waiting mode

The good news is that our homestudy is complete! The set back is that after waiting for fingerprint appointments from US Immigration, I had my I600A returned on Thursday because I paid with a personal check....arrrrg. So, I re-sent in the application with a money order. I really didn't see anywhere in ALL of the instructions on filling it out that a personal check was an issue. Now we wait again for fingerprint appointments and then for our I171-H which is the final approval we need to send everything to Tallahassee to get state certified and then to the Vietnam Consulate to get authenticated....and then to Vietnam! ....and then, of course, more waiting for a referral.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Adoption Lingo

I just recieved two big notebooks from our agency. One contains all the information needed for more paperwork....what needs to be notarized, certified by the state and then authenticated by the Vietnam consulate in California. The other notebook is full of articles on adoption issues, especially the correct 'language' to use. For example, since we have other children and this newest one will obviously be adopted, they point out that we may get a lot of attention and questions from strangers. So one suggestion is that when someone asks where the new little one is from, we should reply, "She was born in Vietnam, (pointing to our other kids) and her brother and sisters were born in Tampa."(that one cracked me up).
One of my friends has a daughter from Korea and an older son who looks very much like his mom and dad. She says that quite often her daughter gets much more attention and her son often pipes in that he was adopted too. She also said that someone actually once asked her how much her daughter cost. That is just unbelievable to me, but I guess it is better to be prepared for all the questions now.
As for an update, I am waiting for two more reference letters and the homestudy will be complete!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's in a Name?

Just for some laughs, here is a list of names for little sis that I received from my daughters: Josey, Aainna, Deney (Denee), Lacy, Ruby, Nema, Amerea (Anna Maria), Sprena (Sabrina), Kairna, Jewl, Marla, Bella, Amy, Zoey, Jesca (Jessica), Elesbith (Elizabeth). I won't tell you which one I picked, you'll just have to wait until we get home:)

Home Study

We had our home study yesterday and it was basically a lot of hype for a tour of our home and a question and answer session. She talked to us a lot about bonding issues our daughter will have at the beginning since we will obviously feel bonded to her already and she will have no idea who we are and why we are taking her out of her routine. She even gave us a sheet titled 'Why Grandma can't hold the baby' so if our family doesn't believe us, we can give it to them:) With that part out of the way, we should have our home study completed by mid September and then we submit it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Department who will issue the 'magical' form to let us know we are approved to bring home a baby. So just a little more paperwork for now and then we wait.....and as one of my friends pointed out, it is a lot of paperwork, but at least I won't have hemorrhoids(thanks):)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What can Brown do for you?

I got to school today and was told that Charlie went around yesterday telling 'everyone' our news. She had quite a lengthy discussion about it with one of my friends while waiting in car line.
I wish I could remember the entire converstaion but this is the best paraphrase....
Char-'My mom is getting a baby'
Teacher-'Really, is she pregnant?'
Char- 'No, you don't even have to get fat to have a baby anymore'
T-' then how is she getting the baby?'
Char-'they are going to give her one in the mail'
C-'yes, the UPS man is bringing us one'
T-'he is?'
C-'Yes, he is bringing it from China'
T-'who is taking care of the baby now?'
C-'well, you know how they take care of your mail, they can take care of babies, too'
And apparently, as she was getting into the car, she said 'remember, you don't have to get fat to get a baby, just get one from UPS'

So now the joke around school is, 'What can Brown do for you?'

Monday, August 27, 2007

Paperwork Stinks!

As I have told many of you, the amount of paperwork required for this, I'm sure, caused the demolition of a small forest. Where was all the paperwork and the questions from social workers the last three times?....HA, no where, that's where. Although, with some of the parents I've seen, there should have definitely been a social worker stopping them right at their bedroom door:)


So I have to admit that it really took me awhile to let the reality of our adoption sink in....I definitely hadn't let my head connect with my heart at all. I was afraid if I really sat and thought about all the ways God has moved in our lives, I would be totally overwhelmed....and I am. It is definitely overwhelming to think that literally half way around the world, my daughter could be born, or almost born, and living I have no idea where.....I am overwhelmed at the thought that she probably isn't getting even half the attention that my other three did as infants, I am in constant prayer for her and her caregivers until we get there.....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our blog title

Earlier this year, actually I remember exactly what day it was, on our 12th anniversary, January 21st, we were invited to a fundraiser by some good friends of ours. They were raising support for a new orphanage in China. Steven Curtis Chapman was there and shared that he, too, had three biological children and used to joke that he had Eeny, Meeny, Miny and didn't need no Moe. Anyway, I thought it was really funny, and just like his family changed, ours is too!

Where to start....

Ok, so I've been asked when and how Joe and I started to think about adoption....and I guess it really started at the beginning of our marriage. We always said we would love to adopt if we were ever 'rich' enough. And, honestly, at that time we were strictly speaking of money. Over the past 12 1/2 years of marriage, God has shown us over and over again that our 'success' in His eyes has little to do with what is in our bank accounts or how much room we have in our home.
After having three wonderful, amazing biological children, we thought our family was complete. And to back up a few years before that, after having a son and a daughter, I guess we felt our family may have been complete back then, too. But, thankfully, God has better plans for us than we could ever imagine and we have been blessed with a son and two daughters, so far.
So about two years ago, I started to feel as though adoption was really supposed to be part of our family's plan, but Joe thought I was a little crazy.
After much prayer, many 'family meetings', research, and a trip to China, we decided as a family that we are more than 'rich' enough in all the areas that really matter. So we have begun our journey to the newest member of our family....a baby girl in Viet nam.