Friday, September 29, 2006

What a Week!

This has been the most amazing week of my life. I stare at Lucy's pictures pretty much all day long. I took a picture on my phone of one of the pictures and now it is the wallpaper of my phone. I sleep horribly most of the time, so now I wake up in the middle of the night and open my phone just to make sure that she is still there and still real. I can't get enough of her precious little face and her expressions. She is amazing.

Today is my 27th birthday. The best part is that I am with Justin, who has been out of town an insane amount of time recently. We are in Birmingham, AL because he is working here tonight. I don't care where we are. I am just glad that we are together. We have looked at Lucy together a million times. This has been my best birthday ever! I am so blessed.

Thank you all so much for all of the support and comments that you have given about Lucy. We appreciate them more than I can express and it will be so awesome to share them with Lucy some day. You guys are the best!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SHE'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The best early birthday present in the whole wide world came yesterday at 4:45. Our agency called and said that they were hitting the send button right then and Lucy was on her way to my email account. I stayed on the phone with our agency to verify that we got the emails. While I was waiting, N from our agency said, "She is really really cute!" I was shaking out of control and trying to keep myself somewhat composed. I hit the refresh button on my email about 200 times in a 30 second time period and then all of the sudden, it was here. I clicked on the email, scrolled down and found 7 pictures of the most perfect, expressive, beautiful, and amazing baby girl. I am not allowed to publicly post a full picture of her until our Giving and Receiving Ceremony in Vietnam, but here is a sneak peak. I know they are a little blurry - it is from the cropping and attempting to resize. I am not so good at this.

I called Justin immediately, of course he is out of town. I was on the phone with him as he opened her pictures for the first time. That was as good as it could get, and it was really special to hear his reaction. He said, "She sure is sweet and absolutely adorable." He is right, adorable doesn't even begin to describe our girl. She is PERFECT!!

Here are some fun facts about our Miss Lucy Elise:

1. Her birthday is August 1, 2006 - some of the guesses were really close, but Sarah was closest with July 30th birthday and a Tuesday referral. You really were very close. Jenn, you were not far behind with August 4th. I am still in shock that she is this young!! Today she is 8 weeks old. Not one person picked that she would come yesterday except for my mom! She tricked most of us.

2. She is in Quang Nam - honestly, I know nothing about this place and have some major research to be doing.

3. She has a HEAD FULL of gorgeous black hair - it sticks straight up on top. The crazy thing is that Justin and I always said that we would love for Lucy to have the crazy, spikey, wild black hair. WE LOVE HER HAIR!!

4. She has the longest fingernails - they desparately need cut. Really, they are way longer than mine have ever dreamed of being. I can't believe she hasn't cut up her little face, but there is not a scratch on it.

5. As the pictures progress, she is all content and alert and calm at the beginning. She starts to get more and more annoyed as each picture passes. By the last picture she is screaming her head off!! We can tell that she has quite the set of lungs on her. Her expressions are priceless. She is so alert.

6. She is wearing Winnie the Pooh pants! They are so funny to me.

That is your six fun Lucy facts for the day. I just got an email from my agency saying that right now the average time to travel is 3.5 months for her province. That breaks my heart because they said that there was likely no way we would travel before the end of the year. Let's all pray for a miracle. I had really hoped to travel in December. I am not going to let this get me down - at least not today. Oh yeah, and thanks for all of the baby suggestions from yesterday. They were so so helpful.

--Kelly (Lucy's Mom)

Monday, September 25, 2006

This is OUR Week

Unless our agency is trying some sort of new torture technique on us, we should get our referral this week. WE WILL SEE OUR LUCY!!!!!!!!!!!! This is somewhat unreal to me. The anticipation is killing me. I just live out the moment in my head over and over and over again of what it is going to feel like to see her for the first time. My agency called me on Friday - when I saw it on caller ID I freaked out. I couldn't answer because I was on a work phone call. Then the agency called my office - still couldn't talk because I was still on that darn work call. By this point, I am shaking and my heart is racing and I know that they are going to say - WE HAVE LUCY!!! I talked to our agency a few minutes later - I was pacing out in the hallway. They said that we should get Lucy next week. At this point, I have been let down in so many ways and so many times, that I am just not going to believe anything until I have the picture and the medical records in my possession. Our agency seemed quite confident in the fact that we should get our referral this week! PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!

Before and after I talked to our agency, I went straight into panic mode. I mean serious panic mode. At one point I thought I was going to throw up. All I could think of was how unprepared I felt all of the sudden. I am the kind of person who has wanted children for as long as I can remember. I would have had kids the second we got married, but am now glad that we waited a couple of years. The point is, I am so close to my dream and I totally freaked out. I think this might be normal, based on what others have told me, but I honestly could not believe how panicked I felt all of the sudden. We need SO MUCH stuff and it all depends on the size of our baby. We have her nursery set up and we have a closet FULL of clothes, but they are all size 12-18 months. Nothing smaller since we didn't know how big or small she would be. We don't have any of the baby things that people usually have. WHAT DO WE NEED?? I need some help. Any suggestions on what you think we DO NOT need would be great. I don't want to buy anything unnecessary. Here is the great news, my sister has a 1 year old and we can use most of his baby stuff - bouncy seat, swing, exersaucer, etc. The thing is, I don't even know if she will be small enough to ever use this stuff. On top of clothes and baby gear, we need all of the medicines that they suggest to take to Vietnam, and let me tell you, it is a lot! I just feel like we have so much to buy.

So, I feel unprepared from a "stuff" standpoint, but also a little unprepared from a parenting standpoint. I have been reading book after book about raising an adopted child, transnational adoption, transracial families, attachment, etc. It is not like I am going into this blind, but obviously every situation and child are different. Is Lucy going to have a hard time with attachment? Is she going to totally freak out when she leaves the orphanage? Is she going to resent us for taking her from her native country? Are we going to teach her enough about her culture? There is so much racing through my head that I think it my blow up!!!! I expect her to have trouble in some way with all of my thoughts and concerns. It is only natural. My concern is, am I going to be able to adequately help her with her feelings and problems? All of this is made worse by the continuing bizarre and scary adoption dreams I keep having. The latest dream was that I had literally no idea what to do with our baby - not even hold her. Justin had to save her because I kept almost dropping her. Now if that isn't scary, I don't know what is.

In a final thought, my birthday is this Friday. I kind of hope that we get Lucy on that day - can you imagine?? What a birthday gift. Also, one of my very best friends in the world is due to have her baby on Friday. If she hasn't had her by Thursday, they are going to induce. I would LOVE for us to see our baby girls on the same day for the first time. It would be so special. So, lets guess which day Lucy will be here and her birthday. I am going to guess Friday and that her birthday is June 23 (that is my mom's birthday). Please play this game to entertain me while the minutes tick away............

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Still Here, Still Waiting

I thought for sure by this time I would be announcing our referral - no such luck. We are still waiting and waiting. It has overtaken my life and is all that I can think about. I have dreams almost every night about getting "The Call". Usually in the dreams I am woken up at 5 in the morning with a call from the foreign rep of our agency (whom I have never spoken to, by the way), and he says, "Kelly, we have your referral." Then I say, "OK, thanks." Then I just hang up. That is it - I don't ask her name, her age, her weight, where she is located. I ask NOTHING. I wake up from this dream in a panic and check every phone in the house just to make sure that it wasn't real. Of course, it never is. I will tell you this, we have been told to expect our referral in September and the month is rapidly coming to an end. There are not that many days left in September. I have emailed my agency this morning, so hopefully I will at least get some sort of update today.

The other day as I sat and thought about the amount of time we have been waiting, I started to get really down. I then thought about how when we do get our referral, a new wait begins, and this time we know what our Lucy looks like and where she lives. The wait for travel will be agonizing to me. The wait for referral sucks, but to me the anticipation of travelling to actually get our baby seems worse. Hopefully that won't be the case. I have A LOT to do before we bring Lucy home - so I am praying that a referral will motivate me. The waiting at this point seems neverending. Lucy, where are you honey???

To lighten the mood a bit, my little sister showed me this video the other day and I must admit it is awesome!! It makes me smile. I am sure many of you have seen this, but if not, watch it. It is greatness. We are talking about an insane amount of practice here. It paid off for these guys - they got to do this on the MTV Video Music Awards.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Not Psychic After All

Well, I am very sad to report that my predicted referral date of September 14th has proven itself to be incorrect. BOO HOO!! The good news is - I am over it. I am ready to think that maybe today is the lucky day. My chihuahua Bianca woke up about an hour early today and was pouncing around all over the bed. She was ready to start her day way too early. I told myself that maybe today was the day and Bianca was really excited about seeing her sister for the first time. See how dilusional I have become? I try and make everything into a sign that today will be the day. Of course, I am sure that poor little Bianca really just needed to go outside and use the bathroom, but whatever. I really think it won't be until next week or maybe even the last week of September. My birthday is September 29th - it better be here before then. I will say that the wait is starting to wear on me. The anticipation of seeing Lucy's face for the first time is almost too much at times. Here is Little Miss Bianca - she is a baby in this picture, but could she get any cuter? I don't think so.

I am off to Arkansas again this weekend - this time to Little Rock, which is where I grew up. I am so excited because all three of my sisters are going to be home too. I wish I was there already. My eleven month old nephew is there and I haven't seen him in a couple of months. Remember how cute he is??? I cannot wait to kiss all over those big ole cheeks!

That is about it for me. I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

World Vision

Many people have been asking about the adoption and where we are now that we are back, so I thought I would catch everyone up a bit. We are literally expecting our referral any day!! We have pretty much been told that it should be in September, and we are almost half way done with September now. I decided a while ago, that I thought that September 14th would be "our day". That is tomorrow. I sure sure sure do hope that I am right. I actually don't think that it will be this week, but we will see. I can always dream! Don't worry, I will definitely post our news when we get it. I PROMISE!!

On a very serious note, today at lunch I saw a commercial for an organization called World Vision. It was a commercial where they show orphans of the world, the very severe conditions that they are living in, and how you can help. We have all seen many of these commercials before, but this one was different. It showed the saddest children I have ever seen. Most of them were literally bones with some skin covering the bones. You can see on the website what I am talking about. This commercial struck something inside of me. I know that there is so much more that I could be doing to help out - even if it is just financially. I am vowing today to start giving monthly to this program. Some day I hope to be able to donate lots and lots to these organizations that help these children. It absolutely kills me that this is happening so prevalently in our world. It is just not right. No one deserves to go through what these abandoned, starving, sick children live through every single day. No one.

I guess another thing that hit me so hard was how often I forget how fortunate I really am. When I think about the enormous amounts of money that we have spent on Lucy's nursery, her clothes, her stroller, etc. it makes me feel guilty after seeing this commercial. So much could have been done with this money. Don't get me wrong, obviously she will need things as well, but we have really gone nuts shopping for her. I know that this is wrong, but part of me feels like we need to "make up" for her time spent in the orphanage. Again, I know this is not right - I have read or am reading all of the books about adoption and they touch on not overindulging. That doesn't make the feeling go away though. I know that we WILL make up for her time spent in her orphanage through our love for her, not through fancy clothes or baby items. It is just easy to go overboard for your first baby.

I am not saying that I am going to stop buying stuff for Lucy, because I know that would be untrue. What I am deciding is that I can do SOMETHING today, right now, to help the suffering children of the world, and I am going to - I have already signed up. Hopefully some day I can do a lot more.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I had a wonderful time in Arkansas this past weekend. It was so great to see so many of my friends that I rarely get to see anymore. I miss them all dearly. The Razorbacks lost, which was not good at all. Of course, we were playing USC, so most people didn't ever think that we had a chance. I absolutely LOVE football season, and I am so happy that it is that time of year again.

It rained the whole drive home, which was no fun at all. I HATE driving in the rain. It is really the other drivers who scare me so badly. It has been so miserably hot in Texas all summer, that the rain was such a nice break - once I was safely back at home. We had 20 days in a row of 102+ temperatures, and it feels so awesome outside now that it has cooled off some. Seriously, the low nineties feel like fall since it has been so stinkin hot.

For those of you who remember about the stray cats in our alley that I have posted about, I thought I would give you an update. The people at the non-profit organization have been SOOOO busy right now, that we have still not been able to get them to let us borrow the traps to catch some of the adult cats. So, we have just been continuing to feed them. We knew that several had had their litters, but we didn't know where the babies were or how to find them. Well, on Thursday of last week, one of the itty bitty babies was caught in a chain link fence. We got him free and he is now the precious pet of my neighbor's mom. He is SOOO little and he has to be fed with a bottle. It is seriously the cutest thing to see this pumpkin drink the kitty milk from the bottle. He is doing SOOO well and now he doesn't have to grow up in the alley! YEAH!!

So that was success story number 1. Well, Monday, my neighbor calls and says that she just got back in town, and that one of the mommas has had a litter between her fence and her neighbors. One of the kittens was out in her yard. She could only see the mom's head under the fence. She put the baby back by the mom, because this kitten was so young - only a few days old, eyes still closed. It was pouring rain, and the mom didn't move the kitten so my neighbor brought the baby girl in to her house. Now she too is drinking out of a bottle and thriving. It is amazing to me how well these baby baby kittens can do with a bottle and some human attention. So now two kittens are going to be in homes and spayed or neutered instead of living a wild life in our alley. I am feeling pretty happy about this. I will take some pictures tonight if I remember. Now, if we could only find the other kittens. We looked forever in the rain for the momma cat and her kittens, but she moved them when we were inside with the little one that we caught.

I wanted to say a major CONGRATULATIONS to Mrs. Broccoli Guy!! I am thrilled for you and the approval of your son's dossier. It was about time!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!