Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fun at the Park

Le loves to slide!
Sweet sisters
When Le Le gets thirsty, she curls her tongue in a swirl shape like this:
Le curls her tongue in a swirl shape when she is thirsty
Big sister is always quick to get help her sissy get a sip :o)
Sissy is always quick to get her a sip :o)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More fun at the Lake

Saturday we went to Lake Ouachita for the first time this summer. It was such a beautiful day! The girls had fun swimming and cruising around the lake. Hillary Ashton had her first experience with seaweed. Honestly, I really don't like swimming in the lake. I just hate the feeling that a fish, turtle or Lords know what will touch my leg without my consent! She has continued to talk about how she didn't like seaweed for several days now.

One of my favorite times at the Lake is about 20 minutes after we swim. Hillary Ashton and Sophie Le always (I am probably jinxing myself) fall asleep while we are driving around. It is the sweetest thing in the world. Sophie Le was so tired that she feel asleep sitting up. After a few minutes, she just plopped forward and stayed in that position while she finished her nap.

Click on the picture below for more pics of our fun:

So sweet!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

CIS Fingerprints...DONE :o)

We had our fingerprints done in Fort Smith last Tuesday! Yea!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vietnamese Heritage Weekend

Our family traveled to Tulsa this past weekend for our very first Vietnamese Heritage Camp! Dillon organized a fun-filled weekend to allow families that have adopted from Vietnam and families currently in the process to join together for fellowship, fun, food and cultural festivities! We were so excited to meet up with our travel buddies, the Brodts! We just love sweet little Noah and his family. We have a picture of Noah on our refrigerator at home. Hillary Ashton loves getting the picture down and asking Sophie Le is she remembers Noah. She'll say, "Sissy, this is Noah. 'Member him? Sissy, do you member Nooooah? He is from Vetnom too. He's sooo cute. Do you memeber him? It's Noah, sissy. Sissy, can you hear me?" I wish you could see it, it is so funny.

I was also so excited to finally meet many families we have come to know through the blog world. It was so wonderful to finally meet so many of the sweet families we have watched grow through adoption over the last few years. The children...oh my goodness...they were all just so precious! It was so neat to see the children in person...the children we have watched from the first referral pictures, to the first meeting with their families in Vietnam and now, at home with their forever families. I would have loved to have more time to talk to the moms, but when you are chasing around a very, busy 19 month old and a very, outgoing almost 4 year old that doesn't leave much time for chit chat! I am with Dianna, there needs to be an adult only time next year :o)

We were also able to meet our adoption caseworker. She was an saint during our process. Always willing to talk to us even if there was nothing to say :o) I am not sure where her patience or energy comes from, but she seems to have more than an abundance!

On Saturday, the kids stayed in a large room together (a VERY large room) while the parents attended a workshop next door. I wasn't sure how Sophie Le would do being left in a new place, but I handed her over to Nadra (PLEASE pray that Nadra receives travel approval soon, she has been waiting way to long!!) and she did fine :o) I knew Hillary Ashton would do fine, I was just nervous that she would make herself too at home! The first night we were there, Hillary Ashton walked up the stairs just as the festivities began and stood by the person making announcements on stage...oh my! When I met our caseworker, Jynger, she reported that Hillary Ashton volunteered several times Saturday morning to repeat Vietnamese words into the microphone...hummm! Oh goodness. I am not sure if that child has a shy bone in her body!

We were pretty concerned that sleeping away from home was going to be a problem, but Sophie Le did GREAT!! It was such a relief, much better than our FL trip last fall! The girls had a room to themselves...don't worry, it was a suite :o) Hillary Ashton thought the pull-out sofa was the greatest thing and Sophie Le couldn't have been more happy to get into the crib. So happy in fact, that when we got home I put the front back on her crib. She is one happy camper!

I can't believe I didn't take more pictures than I did! I am so glad we went and I am already looking forward to next year!

Here are the few pictures I took. Thankfully there was a professional photographer taking pictures, I am looking forward to seeing those pictures! I will share them if possible.

Monday, June 9, 2008

An addition to the nursery...

Hillary Ashton was never much of a rocking baby. She enjoyed it when she was newborn until around six months and then she decided if she could move, she would. At almost four, she has finally slowed down a bit and will often want to cuddle/rock at night. Sophie Le on the other hand has been a BIG cuddle baby from day one. Definitely an answered prayer ;o) You can hold her like a baby and she will let you rock her as long as you wish. I LOVE IT (so does Daddy)! We have been using a glider rocker that my parent's had in their house many, many, many years ago. We recovered it for each of the girl's nurseries and it has definitely served its purpose. However with a new babe on the horizon, we have decided to upgrade :o) We ordered a super comfy rocker from Pickles and Ice Cream over the weekend (a birthday present from my sweetie!). I am super excited.

Here is the rocker:

The material will be a soft, green color with a circular design. Here is the pattern in red.

It is suppose to arrive in about five weeks and I am looking forward to rocking some babies :o) We have also decided to redo the nursery for the new babe, so stayed tuned for pics :o)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Have you seen these dvd vending machines? I am sure there are a few of you living in big cities think this is old news, but it is new to me :o) We just got a Redbox at the Supercenter down the road from our house and WOW! I am in love. You can rent a movie for just $1 a night and if you want to keep it for an extra night...only $1! Keep it 25 nights and it is yours to keep. No late fees, no making a special trips to the video store. The box works just like a snack machine. You choose the movie you want, slide your card and it shoots out your nightly entertainment. The return is just as easy. It just sucks the movie into the same slot it came out of. It is so convenient, so inexpensive and so GREAT! N just left to take back Atonement and a "Rental Confirmation" email just came through that he rented Michael Clayton :o)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We are approved :o)

One of the (many) differences between Gladney and Dillon is that you don't receive your approval until the program assistant receives your homestudy. So I am ecstatic to report we are officially approved :o) We should receive our homestudy by Fed Ex tomorrow. If we get it early enough, we plan on driving to Ft. Smith for our fingerprints tomorrow as well :o) If not, hopefully Monday. My minds works like an accountant (from my pre-mommy life as a cpa), it drives me crazy to have paperwork unfinished. I like to have everything accounted for...haha! I will feel so relieved to be able to send everything to Gladney and be done with this paperwork phase, although I do secretly love filling out all of the forms :o) I guess it's not a secret anymore!
We are getting so very excited to see the
child or children God has chosen us to parent :o)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yes we can...but why would you?

I have to admit, I am deeply disappointed in the unofficial nomination of Barack Obama. He stands in stark contrast to what I believe regarding the most important issues. Sure there are many of his stances that I could learn to live with or even support regarding the economy, social security, foreign policy, etc. However there are two deal breakers in my book. My book being the Bible. Abortion and Gay Marriage. I am in shock that there are so many people in this country that support Obama's stance on these two very important issues. I do understand that not everyone is a Christian, but what about your moral conscience? Abortion...that is KILLING a baby. A baby is a baby, inside or outside the body. Obama supports abortion and as horrible as that is, he also supports partial birth abortion. Do you know what that is? Click on this link for graphic images. Just a warning, it is graphic, but obviously Obama doesn't think it is unconstitutional to kill a person in that way. Partial birth abortion is abortion that occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy. The baby (and yes, it IS a baby) is delivered half way (feet first), the doctor then inserts a pair of scissors into the back of the baby's head and twists the scissors. That is murder, plan and simple. Just because half of the baby is still in the mother's womb does not make it okay.

People act appalled when a teenager hides her pregnancy, delivers the baby in private and then throws the baby in the trash. These same people attend rallies, raise money and proudly tell their friends and family that they support Obama. Where is the rational there? Just because the murder of the baby is done in a medical facility does not change the fact both situations are MURDER...against the most innocent members of our society.

I completely understand that there are RARE medical circumstances that require that the mother be induced into labor to save her life. I also understand there are RARE times in which the baby has a grave medical condition that almost guarantees that she/he will die shortly after birth. These circumstances in no way condone partial birth abortion.

If the mom is in grave danger unless the baby is taken from her body, she should deliver the baby. Babies are born prematurely everyday. What is the difference in the baby that is in the sick mama's belly and the baby that it is the well mama's belly that goes into pre-term labor? One baby will be partially delivered, stabbed in the head and discarded. The other baby will be delivered, rushed to specialists and watched day and night in the NICU. Why should someone decide for them that their life should end? If the baby isn't going to make it, let God decide, not a pair of scissors!

What about the baby with a grave medical condition? This baby should be killed and never given the chance to fight for life, be held, rocked or cuddled? Why, if they are going to die in your opinion anyway, not be given a moment of love? Would we just stab Aunt Sue in the back of the head if she was diagnosed with a terminal illness? No, of course not, that would be inhumane. Why would people rush to support a person who wants to not only give the okay to people to do this, but also have all of us taxpayers pay for it?

Did you know that babies are aborted and then left in soiled utility rooms to die if they aren't instantly killed in the process? They are put on shelves, no one there to hold them. Why is this okay with so many people in America?

In February 2004, Michelle Obama sent a letter to supporters claiming the ban on partial birth abortions was "unconstitutional" and asking for support. She also made several confrontational remarks while campaigning for her husband, but when the media reported and commented on that, Obama told them to "lay off my wife." Obama was declared a GREAT MAN and A DEVOTED HUSBAND. Here is a direct quote from Obama:

“If they think that they’re going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful, because that I find unacceptable — the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family,” he said.

Michelle Obama made herself an issue in this campaign. She has campaigned like crazy for him. Why is she off limits? She wants it to be legal to KILL BABIES, yet it is "unacceptable" to criticize her? There is a definite lack of judgement in that train of thought.

I understand that many people criticize Bush over his decision to enter into this war. In hindsight, it may have not been the best decision. In hindsight, we are all brilliant and insightful. I don't like war, I wish there was no need for it, but I do think it was the best decision at the time. I am heartbroken for the families that have lost their sons, daughter, mothers, fathers, etc. On the same side of the coin, these brave people CHOSE to fight for their country. They died and people cried, I haven't known any of them, but even I have cried for them. They were loved in their life. They were given the chance to make their own decisions. Obama is outraged at the death count as the result of this war? What about the innocent babies that are killed everyday? No one gave them a chance to love and be loved. No one gave them a chance to live.

The other major issue I have with Obama is his support of gay marriage. It should come at no surprise that I know that marriage is intended to be between a man and a women. With the support of the president, I can't imagine what will happen in the coming years in regards to gay marriage. It has already gotten to the point that I can't turn on HGTV without seeing Ann and Sally looking for a house or Bill and Ted designing their outdoor living area and don't forget about Deborah and Irene taking care of their new baby on TLC. It hurts my heart to see this on t.v. It actually pains me to think about my daughters seeing this on t.v. They are growing up in a generation that not only accepts gay marriage, but proudly flaunts it with parades and celebrations and sitcoms.

Another thing, it is so unbelievable that people are so excited about the fact that Obama is African American. I have watched so many people on t.v. that couldn't be prouder of our country for nominating an African American. Whole news segments devoted to this fact alone. It just irks me to hear people say this. What about the issues he stands for that you support. He had no control over the color of his skin. Why would you support him for that reason? Hello, this is the very reason racism exists!!! Just because he is African American, doesn't mean he deserves your blind support. I am all for the best person running our country, whatever the color of their skin.

Okay now I am done. I will be praying for our country and I hope you will do the same.

Oh Worms! Wiggly Worms on Toast!!!**

I checked the mail today and still nothing (to fully disclose we had a phone bill), more specifically, no homestudy!!! Just to reiterate, we were told to expect it in about four weeks. We are closing in on EIGHT. In international adoption, you are constantly reminded to expect changes and delays, but I never thought that applied to the homestudy phase. Ugg! I was pretty hopeful when we were told it was mailed a week ago today, but still nothing. I am holding out hope for tomorrow :o)

**Btw, that is one of Hill's favorite phrases to use when things don't go her way. It is from a children's book, Clean up, Grumpy Bunny.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Breaking News...

It's "officially" down to Obama and McCain. I wonder if Hillary Clinton will run as Vice President? Hummm, this will be interesting.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hillary Ashton's 4th Birthday Party

Saturday, we celebrated Hillary Ashton's birthday. Technically her birthday isn't until June 29th, but we live in Arkansas and she wanted an outdoor party :o) She was so excited that so many of her friends were able to make it. Her party was at Funland. After the party, we went out to eat with some family and then back to the house to play some more. She had a good day and slept good Saturday night :o)

Here are the invitations we used this year. She LOVED posing for the picture :o)

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the party:

doing a little birthday dance
Doing a little dance!
Hillary Ashton and a few friends waiting on the train. Her friends took up the entire train :o) She LOVED that!
Waiting on the train, M, R, Ally Grace, Hillary Ashton and K
Hillary Ashton and K

Click on the below image for more pics:

Adoption update (well non-update, really)

We have had our dossier ready for a few weeks now with the exception of our homestudy and our 171H (we need our homestudy before we can apply for this form). We thought we would have our homestudy at the beginning of May, but it hasn't happened yet. I did get confirmation that it was mailed from Ft. Worth last week so it should be here any day, God willing. I think I only made about 10 trips to the mailbox today, I am trying to be patient :o)

We got an email from our agency today informing us that the MOWA (the Ministry of Women’s Affairs) is conducting an investigation at one of the five orphanages that our agency works with in Ethiopia. I pray that the investigation goes well and that there isn't any irregularities.

Here is a quote from our agency as to why the orphanage is being investigated:

It is our understanding that the Ethiopian government is investigating the orphanage in order to promote and conduct ethical adoptions. International adoption can be very unpredictable and at times the government can begin to conduct investigations that we are obliged to comply and be patient with. Our understanding is that the investigation is about the orphanage and does not distinguish between specific types of cases (for example, relinquishment, abandonment, or both parents are deceased).

On a much lighter note, a HUGE congratulations to my fellow Vietmoms in their I-600 approval and impending travel to pick up their sons, Liam and Sam (who is from the same province (Ninh Thuan) as Le Le!). Sam's family has been waiting since SEPTEMBER for travel approval!