Wednesday, January 30, 2008


So, like much of the Vietnam adoption community, I've been processing this latest salvo from the state dept. If you are in process you already know what it says but for the rest of you I'll summarize, No one knows what will happen after September when the current agreement between the US and Vietnam will expire. Cases in process will continue under the current rules but future cases are in limbooooooooo.

Well bite me.

We switched from Guatemala because the system was imploding. We had begun with an agency and it was raided. The children were confiscated and placed in various foster homes and and the nightmare begin and continues for the families. (The agency has since been vindicated but that won't be making the international news.)

So, after much research we found our new country and our new agency. My fingerprints are done and I'm waiting for my I-171 and then my dossier will get certified and blah blah and then submitted to the Vietnamese embassy. I'm all in. I have to think that the two countries will work this out. There is desire on both sides to help the children and the corruption doesn't seem nearly as pervasive as in Guatemala.

I think this will work out. Sometimes you have to jump off the diving board and commit..... now it's just waiting for that splash.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Subtle Subtitle.

I came across this Japanese potty training video. I think this is what my blog should be about, sharing Japanese potty training videos with hysterical subtitles. Are those squat toilets common in Japan? Be afraid.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Securing our borders

You can't walk into the USCIS office, you have to make an appointment. I set mine up for 10:30 and arrive 20 minutes early. I'm not familiar with the area nor was I sure where to find parking. I've brought my book (The Golden Compass, quite good actually) and my journal that I got myself for X-mas. Some 90 minutes go by before I get to approach the window to hand in my I-600a to the Helpful Customs Agent (HCA).

I hand in my application and say "The instructions say copies are ok. Can I give you a copy of my homestudy?"
"Your agency is supposed to send that in."
"But I have it right here, can't I just give it to you?"
"Usually they send it in."
"Well I can ask them to mail it to you if that's what you want."
"Let me check." / HCA leaves by a door in the back behind all the bank-teller like windows.....
"We can take it. Do you have an original?"
/ha ha I think! "Sure I brought an original too. Also here's my birth certificate."
"We can take a copy of that." / why is that copy ok? I have no idea.

We stare at each other.

"Anything else?" She has that why are you still here look.
"Don't I need to be fingerprinted?"
"Yeah, we need to set that up."

We stare.

"Can I do that here?"
"Yeah, we can set up that here if you want."
"Okay that would be great. It would save me another trip down here." I smile and pretend I'm walking along the boardwalk on Rehoboth Beach.

We stare at each other some more. I wonder how thick the glass is and if I hit it would it crack? It's a good thing the glass is there.

"Do I set it up here?"
"Yeah we'll do that for you."
"OK, that's great."
"You can pay for both the application and the fingerprinting together."


"You can have a seat."
"OK!" I chuckle a little trying for a ha ha, I'm such a goof.

I'm thinking I have no number, no receipt, I'm not sure what I'm waiting for. I scan the faces behind the windows. No one is looking for me. There's no activity....

Finally my name is called by HCA. "Here's your receipt take that with you to get your fingerprints."


"Is that here?"
"It's across the street."
"Does the building have a name?"
"It's in the Bank of America building."
"Do I walk in and talk to a guard?"
"Just walk in and it's on your left."
"Do I need an appointment?"
"Hold on, let me check." She steps back to confer with HCA2. "They take walk-ins on Monday."
"Great. Thanks so much for your help."

Making my exit, I see thankfully the building is indeed across the street and oh thank god there it is right when you walk in.... only... It's closed. Not a soul is inside. There is no contact number on the door either. I see a security guard in an office directly across.

"Um is that the fingerprinting office?"
"Yeah that's it. It's closed."
"Will it reopen after lunch maybe?"
"No it's closed every Monday."

/ head exploding

Friday, January 11, 2008


Hello all!

I'll be submitting my I-600a next week! Hopefully the approval will come 4 weeksish after that. The important thing is that paper is moving. I hate those still times when I'm waiting for someone else to finish something. I have one more document outstanding but at least I have other things that I can work on over the interim.

E's been fighting this cold all week so he's been waking up intermittenly coughing. He's fine during the day but the drainage really affects him. So, Daddy has not been getting a lot of sleep either. It's really wearing on me today. I'd put my head down on my desk right now if I thought I could get away with it.

Project Runway was terrible this week wasn't it? Still we have Rami. mrwor.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Just got word that the final draft of the homestudy was on its way to me.

/ hoping that all of my corrections were captured

/ eeeee

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I dream of Vietnam. How much of it will prove to be real and how much is fantasy I don't know, but images come to me. I picture heat and palms and traffic. There are children selling, selling, selling and people honking and rushing with all kinds of goods stacked Suessian high on motorbikes. Papers swirl around me waiting for governmental stamps and ribbons of approval. I'm stopped by the deep, dark eyes of kids. Their's is a timeless, knowing gaze. Is he there? Is she this one?

I hate the waiting. I want to go the office and slam my homestudy on the desk and say "Here, take five freakin minutes and review this document."

I try to breathe in and think of Vietnam... Guatemala invades and morphs the countries into a rainforest mix. There's E waiting for me and there's a brother or sister, I can't see. It's all too distant and there's so many papers to go, so many offices to visit, so many miles to travel.

Right now, there's dinner, and bathtime, and play. The night will come, morning will rise and I'll make another call. Put on your happy voice and nudge things along, sooo sloooooowly

as a breeze hits the palm tree

and the insects sing

for you my little one

waiting so far away.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Hello all!

I'm back. Catching up on some work projects and getting back into the groove. We had a fabulous Christmas and week off. aaaah.

sidetopic rant:

Can I just say how sick I am of hearing about Iowa and its freaking primary. I really don't care what that solitary state has to decide. Why should that little select group have so much undue influence on the election. Move all the freakin primaries up to the same day and be done with it!



Glad to see you all again, B