Sunday, December 31, 2006


HI!!!!!!!!!! I have been DYING, and I do mean dying, to get on here and be able to update you all myself. It has killed me that the internet has been down. I hope that I can get this posted without any problems. I have so much to say, so this is going to be a long one. It is 8:45 pm here and Justin and Lucy are both fast asleep. I was praying that this would work, and looky here, it appears to be!! Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments. I finally got to check my email today and read every single one of them. They made me cry. I am going to make a list of the things i have wanted to say and about some of the things you all have commented about.

1. The Visit to the Orphanage - On the 27th, we got to go to Lucy's orphanage. It was a 1.5 hour drive from Danang. Half of the road was on country roads and I seriously thought that the wheels were going to fall off of our van. The drive there felt like a million hours. We finally get to Que Son and see the orphanage. None of us knew a thing about the orphanage going into this, so it was all new. First of all, it is a very small orphanage - 7 babies total and 2 of them were brand spanking new. One got there that morning. I know one of the little bitties was a boy, but am not sure of the other one. We walk up to the orphanage and standing in the doorway is one of the nannies holding Grace, Sherri's baby girl - who by the way is absolutely adorable and a wonderful baby. I love me some Gracie Girl. We are all squealing about seeing Grace. We get to the entrance, and on a little bed is the main nanny holding Lucy. I was seriously speechless when I saw her through the window. She had on a red hoody, no pants, and a diaper. She couldn't have looked any cuter. The nanny was hesitant to hand her over, but she finally did. Holding her for the first time is something that I cannot put into words, it was simply amazing. She just let us hold her and she stared at us. She watched everything so intently. After a few minutes, the nanny came and took her back from me. She walked outside with her and was crying and kissing on her. It was almost too much for me to process emotionally. It was heart wrenching. The babies in Que Son are so loved and adored by the nannies. I felt so calm and reassured about the first 5 months of Lucy's life. She has had it great. The nanny finally handed her back over and I just held her and cried because I was so emotional about the love that the nanny had for her. We got to stay at the orphanage for about 2 hours. In the 2 hours we were there, Lucy was fed 3 times. That's right folks, 3 times in 2 hours. It was crazy. She would eat about three sucks of each bottle, but any time any of the babies would make a peep, they would put a bottle in their mouth. The 5 older babies were each in a cradle. I would give anything for a cradle at this point. The girl misses the rocking. They would rock the babies so high I thought she was going to fly out, but of course, she never did. We hugged and kissed on those babies for as long as they let us, but then it was time to go. I actually felt good about leaving her for one more night. The nannies still needed to say their goodbyes. She never cried or fussed a bit the whole time we were there - none of the babies did.

2. The Giving and Receiving Ceremony - It was short and to the point. When we pulled up to the city hall in Tam Ky, there is Lucy, bundled in a huge red sweater, a ski/snow hat, pants, and socks that were like hose. Heaven forbid that she got cold in the 85 degree weather. I have to say though, she looked adorable. I was hoping that they would let me keep the clothes that she came in to let her see one day when she is older, and I didn't even have to ask. Changing the babies into a G&R outfit was never even an option. I am so happy about getting to keep her clothes - they smell like women's perfume. I think it is neat that she stayed in her own clothes. It was another emotional overload situation because 2 of her nannies were there and they were all upset again. I had a really difficult time with all of this. After the ceremony, we took care of the babies passports and that was it. Another 1.5 hour drive to get back to the hotel. The babies all did great. She just sat in my lap and took 2 cat naps. No crying at all.

3. Once we were back - We get to the hotel, come up to the room, lay her down on the bed, and come to find out that this girl can move. She rolled all over the place and even laughed for me when I tickled her. We thought that she was just the easiest laid back baby in the world. We stripped her down and let her play naked for a while. She LOVED it!!! Then we thought we would find out what she thought about her bath. She REALLY LOVED the bath. We could not believe how much fun she had in there. All of the babies enjoy their baths, so that is great. We got her changed and went down for dinner. She still has not fussed at this point one little bit. Once we get back to the room, I think it started to hit her that things were different and maybe not going back to normal. She starting crying around 8 and cried solid until 10 or 10:30. She would settle down and then work herself back up. It was so hard to see. We just held her and let her cry. She would barely eat a thing. Once she got to sleep, she slept pretty well. Each day she seems to mourn a little less, but she has definitely had a rough time. She hates to be bored in the room. She will play for about 20-30 minutes, and then she is done. We have to keep her moving around. This is getting better each day, but poor little angel, she misses her nanny. I know it is a good sign, but it is heart breaking to witness as a parent. I wish I could make her understand that we love her as much, and more, than her nanny did. She is finally starting to eat a little better. She is a tiny little thing, and a lot of time she just doesn't have time for food. She is just not that interested in it. And the funny thing is, the nannies instructions to me were this exactly: She needs to be fed all day long. She eats all of the time. Don't just feed her 4 or 5 bottles, she needs a whole lot. Well, that is not how she eats for me unfortunately. She is getting to the point where I think she realizes that we are here to stay. She smiles and coos for us. She is very serious a lot of the time though. I have gotten her laughing several times though.

Now I am just going to comment on the fun stuff.

1. The hair - Her hair is beautiful. She has some bald spots in the back, but they will go away. She loves hats, which is great since you saw the hats we have brought!! I got the flower hat on ebay, since several people have asked. We copied off of one of Lucy's friends - Liberty Mai for that one. Sara and Liz, we will take pictures of her in the precious barettes you sent. Don't think I forgot them. The hair she has is pretty thin right now, so I don't know if they will stay yet.

2. The clothes - as my sisters said, she prefers to be naked, but that has not stopped me from trying. Most of the stuff we brought is too big. She fits best in 3 month clothes, and they are even a little big. Most of the stuff I brought is 6 month+. Oh well, she still looks very stylin every day. Her personal favorite look is a diaper and a big hat!! Kate, I know you are lovin the fringe on top!!

3. Eating - she eats about every 3-4 hours. We do a big time happy dance if we can get three oz. down in one sitting, but it is usually more like 2. We know she needs to be eating more, but it is going to take some time. She eats a little more each day. Formula is stinky and gross to me. I have tried to give her a little rice cereal. She thinks it is funny and likes to mostly spit it out and then laugh.

Okay, I know I have rambled on and on, but I have been dying to update you all. We love and miss you all. Thanks to my sissies for the great posts. We greatly appreciate it. Any suggestions on how to get her to eat more are welcome. She was dehydrated when we first got her, but some pedialyte helped her out. Seriously, thanks for the love and support! Y'all are the best. We head to HCMC tomorrow, so pray for more regular internet from here on out. I will post pictures as we go.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Hey everybody! We have some new pics of Lucy from Kelly. She was able to upload some to Flicker, so be sure to click on that Flicker icon to the right & watch the slideshow. SHE IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! Movie star beautiful. Ohmigod, we are all dying. Even prettier than we knew she would be! I'm going to post some on here, as well!

I apologize for the spacing on the pics. This is all brand-new for me! What a little angel!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Just IM'd with Kelly

Hi everybody! It's Holly again.

The entire fam just had a big chat with Kelly & Justin over AIM. The Internet is still crazy - they confirmed it is because of the earthquake in Taipei. We are only able to Instant Message with them. They are going to be in Denang until January 1st - when they leave for Ho Chi Minh City. I'm sorry if I spell any of this wrong! Apparently, Lucy is not crazy about the hotel room, and she does much better when they are up & about. They bought an umbrella stroller, and she loves strolling around the hotel. Unfortunately, the weather has been terrible, so they haven't been able to do much trips to the beach or into town. Kelly said they were hoping to get to go into town today. They just ate breakfast & were talking to us from the lobby. Lucy had just fallen asleep in the stroller! So cute.

This is going to be kind of rambling, but I want to fill everyone in on all that she told us. Kelly told us that she thinks Lucy is having the hardest time adjusting out of the four babies in their group (one other girl & one boy came from the same orphanage as Lucy; I'm not sure where the other is from). They really think it is because she is so attached to her caregiver. Their first night, Lucy cried for two hours straight, but then she slept for six hours straight...which I thought was really good! She hates the metal crib in the room, and she is sleeping in the bed with Kelly & Justin. Kelly said she slept much better the second night & got lots of sleep. She was dehydrated at first, as well, and she wasn't wanting to take her bottle, but she is already doing much better with that. They gave her some of the kaoelectrolyte drink, and Lucy loved that...and since then, she's been taking her bottle every 3-4 hours. Kelly said Lucy took a bottle at 8 last night, was asleep by 9, took another bottle at midnight & at 4...and then slept until 6:30. They thought that was great!

As we all know, Lucy has more clothes in her closet than I probably I asked her about how many outfits she has worn. This is the funny part - Kelly said that Lucy prefers to be naked, so whenever they are in their hotel room, they let her play in her diaper! She said it figures since she has so many clothes! So, not that many outfit changes! She says that a lot of the clothes they brought are too big, and the three-month outfits fit the best. They do say that she likes all of the hats she has been wearing. Her hair is longer & still the cute mushroom!!!!! Kelly said her hair was crazy & so cute! Lucy has been smiling and cooing at Kelly & Justin, but they say she has also been really fussy - missing her nanny a lot. No bows yet - but she thinks they will try a barrette today!

Kelly also said she thinks Lucy will totally be a daddy's girl. She said she loves Justin so much and that his whiskers don't even bother her. He walks her all around the hotel, and she just loves it!

One last thing...we asked about the G&R ceremony. I'm just going to paste in what she said about it: "The G&R was really quick and over before we knew it. They told us to take good care of the babies and always teach them about Vietnam, etc. Then they called each family up one at a time and handed you the baby and that was it. We cried because the nanny was there and she was crying her head off. She kept taking the babies back and loving on them. It was seriously heart breaking." This nanny seriously breaks my heart; what an amazing woman!

They haven't tried to speak any Vietnamese yet, because she said it is so hard. Everyone at their hotel pretty much speaks English.

Okay, I think that is all I have to report. Just wanted to keep everyone informed. I told her how everyone was going crazy for an update, and she wants me to keep updating for y'all! She sends her love to everyone! She really sounds so happy! OF COURSE!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Update from Kelly's Sister

Hi everybody! This is Holly & Amy - two of Kelly's sisters. The Internet is currently down at her hotel in Vietnam, so she asked us to post an update to her blog. She doesn't think she will have Internet access until the 1st of January.

THEY HAVE LUCY!!!!!!! She is perfect in every way. Here are a few details that we thought would be fun to share.

Kelly & Justin went to the orphanage on the 27th. They weren't sure what to expect, but it was a very small orphanage...only 7 babies! And, they had three amazing caretakers. The caretakers were hesitant to let Kelly & Justin hold Lucy at first, because they are so attached to their precious charges. They finally did let them hold her, and Kelly said it was amazing. Kelly said she didn't even cry. I think she was just overwhelmed with joy! She said they got some wonderful video. Kelly & Justin had received a picture of Lucy with one of her caretakers, and she looks so kind - this caretaker is particularly attached to Lucy. She took Lucy outside & completely broke down & wept. Kelly said she & Justin totally lost it when they saw this happen. She obviously loves Lucy so much, and she is going to miss her. This really touched me, because it meant Lucy has been getting awesome care from people that really love her. I can only imagine how hard it would be to care for these precious babies every day & then have to give them up. There are two other couples in Kelly's group, so three of the seven babies are already adopted! This day was just a visit, and Kelly said it was very hard to leave Lucy after they met her.

The next day they met Lucy at the courthouse for the Giving & Receiving Ceremony. After that, Lucy got to stay with them! I don't have many details about this, but Kelly said that Lucy did great on the bumpy ride back to Denang (1.5 hours!).

Some fun tidbits:
Lucy is rolling all over the place! She seems to be right on track developmentally!
Kelly said she wished she had a cradle, because Lucy & her fellow friends at the orphanage all slept in cradles & loved to rock.
Lucy loved her bath! Kelly said she was splashing & kicking all over!
Lucy has a bit of a runny nose, so they were giving her some medicine for that.
Kelly said that the orphanage had Lucy dressed in a long-sleeve shirt & a red sweater with a hood, so she was very hot! It's in the 80's, so she was sweltering!
They put some PJ"s with legs on Lucy, and Kelly said Lucy wasn't sure what to think about that, because she's never had anything on her legs.
They say Lucy is still little, but a very healthy five months. Kelly is guessing she's around 14 pounds!
Also, they have gotten some good smiles out of her already! Lucy's claim to fame at the orphanage was that she was the "laid back" one. How precious is that?!?!?!

Basically, everything is going great! Kelly & Justin sound great! We are interested to hear how their first night went with the baby. We'll update more as we hear from them. They are just so happy to have their little girl!!!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

At the Sandy Beach

We made it to Danang. The flight was very short and sweet. We get to travel First Class for all of our in country flights and it was very nice. We are in our room at the resort. It is dark, so we can't see the beach or anything until tomorrow. We got to meet the 3 other families in our travel group. It looks like we have a wonderful group of people to take this journey with. Everyone is adopting an infant and they are all around 4-5 months old. We saw all of the pictures today, and they are so cute. Lucy has the most hair!!

In very exciting news, we leave at 8:30 am to go to visit the orphanage tomorrow morning. I just pray that I can get some sleep tonight to pass the time quickly. Can you believe that in about 16 hours we will be holding our girl?!?! I can't. This is all still a little surreal to me.

Also, while we were waiting at the airport, Quoc, our in-country facilititor, started showing everyone the pictures that he had on his computer of our babies. There was a whole set of Lucy that we never even got to see. It was from the time between her referral pictures and the second set of pictures that we received. She is smiling in several of them and clearly laughing in one. They are so adorable!! She has some big ole dimples!!!!! He forwarded the good ones to us, so luckily we have them now. Once we have our G&R, I will post her referral pictures on Flickr.

I am about to upload some of our trip pictures from thus far. Be sure and check out the purple noodles. Just in case you have never used Flickr, click on the link on the right. I think that the easiest way to see the pictures is by clicking on my name. Then it will pull up all of the pictures.

Wish us luck in meeting Lucy tomorrow. We are soooooooooooo excited. The moment we have waited for for so long is finally here. We miss you all.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Feeling More Human Again

Well, I think that we have officially gotten ourselves turned around sleep wise. We crashed last night at about 7 p.m. We tried to stay awake as late as possible, but since our day started at 3 a.m., it was not easy. I woke up a few times during the night, but only for short periods of time. Justin woke up around 3 am, but was able to fall back asleep after an hour or so. We slept until about 6 am. That means I got at least 10 hours of very much needed sleep. I feel much better.

We ate at the breakfast buffet today at our hotel. It was actually pretty good. Food is going to really be an issue here, especially for Justin. I cried I was laughing so hard at him on the flight from Tokyo to Vietnam. You should have seen the meal they brought us. It was so gross. There were acutally purple spaghetti type noodles included - they were called pickled plum noodles. The sight of it was almost too much for Justin. We both ate a few bites of rice and some of our bread. Then we had to look at our trays for about 45 minutes until they finally came back around to pick it up. Justin was gagging. I have some hilarious pictures. I can't post pictures yet since I am not on our computer. We should have access from our room in Danang, so we will be back in business later this afternoon.

We did get to watch the Cowboys/Eagles game this morning. It was pretty great to be able to see it. Justin was so excited he could barely stand it. Too bad we lost, but it was great to see the game.

We cannot wait to get settled in Danang for 5 nights. We have been lugging around our enormous amount of crap for several days now, and can't wait to just get unpacked for a few days. By the way, here is what we ended up travelling with - 3 checked bags, 2 of them are as big as me. 1 rolling carry on, 1 diaper bag as a carryon, Justin's computer bag as a carry on and our camera bag. Yes, you heard right, we have been travelling with all of that stuff. It actually hasn't been too bad. We have gotten a luggage cart at all of the airports so it hasn't been a big deal.

What did everyone get for Christmas???? I hope you all had a merry day!!! Our hotel has a huge Christmas tree set up so it feels a little bit like home. Love and miss you all.

We should meet Lucy tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still won't be able to post pictures of her until after the G&R, but you all will get to see us together soon. Please pray for her as she goes through this enormous adjustment with us.

More from Danang...........

We Made It!!!

Hi guys. This is going to be quick. We don't have internet access in our room, so we are in the business center. We made it to HCMC!! The flight from Tokyo to here was 6 hours and it seemed longer than the 13.5 hour flight yesterday. I have to say, we have had the easiest time with our travel though. We have gotten our bags and flown through customs both in Tokyo and HCMC. Both of our flights were on time or early, so we have really lucked out.

When our in-country facilitator picked us up at the airport today, he commented that our baby was very nice and cute. He is the one who has taken all of her pictures. We can't wait to get her in 3 short days.

We fly to Danang tomorrow afternoon. I think we will get there around 5:30 our time. Then the next day, we should be able to visit Lucy. YEAH!!!!!

It will be Christmas in the US when you all read this, so Merry Christmas. I can't believe that we are in Vietnam for Christmas. This is the first time in my life I haven't been with my family for Christmas morning, and I am going to miss it so much. But, this is worth it!!! Talk to you all tomorrow from Danang.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hello from Tokyo

Well, we made it safe to Tokyo. We are very tired. The flight was no where near as miserable as I thought it would be. It went relatively quickly until the last hour or so. It is 6 pm Japan time and we are about to go to bed. Mom and Dad, we tried to call you but it said that your phone won't accept any unknown callers. So, now you know that we are here safely and will be off to Ho Chi Minh City in the morning.

I didn't sleep at all on the flight. I can't turn my mind off. I think that the enormity of what is happening is all sinking in. I just keep thinking about the first time we lay our eyes on Lucy. What an amazing moment it will be. Despite my lack of sleep, the man next to me on the flight took some sort of miracle sleeping pill and slept literally the entire flight. I was so jealous.

Okay, next time you here from me will be from Vietnam on Christmas Day!!!!! We are so blessed.

Friday, December 22, 2006

And We're Off

It is a zoo around our house right now. Of course, we have had a long list of things to do before we travel, and most of them have gotten done. But a few haven't. One very important thing was making sure that our video camera would download to our computer so that we could post videos on our blog. Well, guess what? This hasn't been done until now and we are missing some docking station that is required for our camera that is a couple of years old. Justin doesn't know where this station mysteriously disappeared to, so he is currently at the store getting us a camera that will work. So at 7:40 pm the night before we travel, this is getting taken care of.

Justin travels a lot, so packing is no issue to him. He has basically not even started packing. It is making me crazy, but he is cool as a cucumber. I have all of my clothes laid out and am waiting for him to get his ready so that we can try and get both of our stuff into one bag. It is never going to happen. Lucy's bag is packed. It contains all of the baby stuff and the gifts and her clothes. It weighs 65 lbs and 70 is the limit. We are going to have to pay the fine for it being over 50 lbs, but at this point, who cares?

I feel like our gifts for the nannies, directors, etc. are totally inadequate. We are trying to show our appreciation to these people for caring for our daughter for the first 5 months of her life. Does scented lotion and pen sets really show that?? It doesn't to me, but we are just trying to go off of the "suggested gift list". I just don't like our gifts. Did any of you who have already travelled feel this way???? Ugh.

I am going to miss my dogs so much it breaks my heart. I have been loving on them all day. They totally know that something major is going on. They are really needy and any time I have my shoes on they about kill themselves jumping on my leg trying to get me to pick them up. They are staying with my parents while we are gone and they will be very well cared for. I am just going to miss them so much.

Okay, the next time you hear from me will most likely be from Tokyo for our overnight layover. We leave Dallas tomorrow at noon and fly directly into Tokyo. We spend the night and then fly into HCMC the next morning. We spend the night in HCMC and then are off to Danang on the 26th. I can't wait to post pictures of us holding Lucy. Our G&R is scheduled for December 28th. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our little family of soon to be 3!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Preparation and Sickness Don't Mix

I am sick again. I had a sinus infection a couple of weeks ago. I took antibiotics and felt fine and then wham, it is back and worse than before. Since Tuesday, I have felt awful. I have another antibiotic now and I sure better feel better by next Saturday. I know that I will. Justin is sick this time as well. I am very very thankful that I am sick now and not right as we are going to be travelling or in Vietnam. I had a lot of plans for this weekend to get us closer to being ready to travel, but I have only been able to do a few things and then I have to get back in bed. Not good. By the way, this time in exactly one week we will be more than halfway to Tokyo!!!! Isn't that fun! One week and we are on our way to get our girl!

Here is a problem we have - we will be in every part of Vietnam on our trip. Lucy is in central Vietnam, then we will have an appointment in Ho Chi Minh City (southern Vietnam), and we will finish in Hanoi, which is in the north. The temperature varies widely right now in the south and the north. So, in my mind, we have to pack so much more because we need clothes for warm weather and cool weather. I am getting concerned about the amount of stuff we are taking. Any suggestions on how much to take for each climate? It is inevitable we will have way too much stuff, I know that. My thinking on it is that I would rather be prepared because it gives me peace of mind knowing that we have everything we will need - with the exception of diapers and formula - those will have to be bought in Vietnam.

One more thing, to anyone with Beta Blogger, I can no longer comment on your blog. I hope they are fixing this, because I really like to comment, but it will not let me log on. So, don't think that I am not reading, because I am. Okay, I am editing this post because I can comment again, Yeah!!!

Big Happy Birthday to my other little sister, AMY!! Sorry I am a few days late on posting this. I have not been able to accomplish much the past couple of days. Love ya!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sheer Craziness

Life at our household has been a bit out of control for the past week or so. First of all, a total surprise came when I was told that there is a new set of pictures of Lucy. I live for these pictures, so I was simply ecstatic to get them. I didn't even request any new pictures, they just surprised me!! Wonderful. She still looks so
healthy and chubby. I can tell that she is getting longer. She has on the same little Winnie the Pooh pants that she was wearing in her original referral photos. At the time of referral, they were pants, and now she has grown so much that they are shorts. In one of the pictures, she is looking up to the camera so innocently and sweet, and from this picture, I now call her my Baby Bird. In the picture, I think she is saying, "Are you my Mom?" It is taped up in my bathroom and melts my heart every single time that I see it. Her hair has gotten really long. I think that she had just had a bath because it was all fluffy and full on the sides. Honestly, she continues to amaze me each and every day. She is our Baby Bird!

The whole booking plane tickets has totally stressed me out in a way that I had no idea that they would. I was just convinced that there was going to be no way that we could get to Vietnam because all of the flights were booked. I was wrong and we got some AWESOME flights. We insisted upon flying American because we have a friend who is going to upgrage us to business class for free!!!!!!!!!! How awesome is that?!?! This will make the flights quite a bit more manageable and not so miserable. Also, we get to fly from DFW straight to Toyko and then to HCMC. One stop both ways!!!!!!!!!!! It all worked out perfectly. We are leaving on the 23rd and returning home on the morning of January 13th. We will be in HCMC for Christmas day!!!! We won't get Lucy until a couple of days after we have been there, but I think that the time to adjust to the time change will be great. Maybe we will be at least a little bit rested once we get her. Or maybe we could visit her a day early. I don't know. They are still warning us that things could change. Let's all pray that nothing changes!!!

This is my last week of work. I have so much to do before we travel and wish that I had this week off as well, but it will all get done in due time. I know that. We are leaving in less than 2 weeks!!!!

I want to give a big ole Birthday shout out to my baby sister, Katy!! She is 20 years old today, which is just nuts. Happy Birthday Girl!!!!!