This is my blog in which I talk about everything. But if you are interested in just the adoption story click here on "Ethan's Story" or see below under "other blogs" and you can see his blog. This blog contains the same information (my side of the story) but the other one is in a simple form and easier to follow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's all official

It's official. The CIS said we could come and file our paper work under the old rules! So we will be driving to Cheyenne Wyoming (8 hours from here) to my parents house on the 9th. We will leave Evan with them and fly out of Denver, which is pretty close to my parents, probably on the 10th. We will then spend Thanksgiving there and leave around the 27th or 28th. We don't have tickets so the actual dates may be off a bit.

I have a lot to do today to get ready for Awana but it is so hard when all I want to do is pack!! On a side note, the poor lady who covered for me at Awana while I had pneumonia is now sick with pneumonia herself! I'm hoping she will feel better by the time we leave.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

General Update

We have new pictures of Ethan that a friend sent us! They are cute so you'll have to go to Ethan's Story to see them.

I'm feeling better and finally getting over the pneumonia. I'm still coughing and yesterday coughed so hard I threw up. But I'm feeling much better...now I just need to get rid of this cold I have! I just keep catching things! :)


We ordered visas yesterday and now are waiting to buy tickets until we have conformation from the CIS that we can do our paper work in Vietnam. Otherwise it's back to waiting for us.


I've been cleaning and cooking all day and now I'm just waiting for our guest to show up. The Mick's are our Village Missionary Representatives for the area (in other words, Tyler's boss and his wife) and they are coming for dinner tonight and a meeting at the church. They come every 6 months and it just happened to fall after I've been sick for 2 weeks and 1 day after I get the "call". I'm excited to see them but feeling just a little unorganized.


Well there's a quick update from me. I'd better get going and study for Awana tomorrow while I still have time.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Here we come Ethan!!!

We got the call!!!!!! We are going to go to Vietnam in 2 weeks!! The CIS is making exceptions for families who travel before October 16th and our G&R (Giving and Receiving Ceremony--when Ethan becomes our officially in the eyes of Vietnam) is the 13th so we can still make it! We will be allowed to file our I-600 and get permission to bring Ethan back while in country. I'm really excited and have a TON to do. I can hardly type much less think so I'll post more later. For now we have to go to town and send our visa application! YEA! Thank you God!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I-600 is off...now we wait

Well, yesterday we received the I-600 form that we have to fill out before going to Vietnam. We overnighted it back and today our agency received it from us and it's on it's way to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) in Vietnam. Whenever we here back from them (could be up to 60 days!) AND we get our G&R date (Giving and Receiving Ceremony--when Ethan becomes officially ours in the eyes of Vietnam) from the Vietnamese government we will be able to go!

We should be in the next group to get a G&R date. However, with the changes in the CIS we really could be in for a long wait still. Although the CIS is allowed to take up to 60 days they think it will be more like 3 weeks. Probably the soonest we will travel at this point is mid to late November.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Paper Work!

Well...we are getting very close to travel! I got a call today from the Vietnam Coordinator. The CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) has recently changed their policy in how they process they I-600 form (this is a petition to classify an orphan, in this case Ethan, as our immediate relative). For those who are already lost...it's ok. All that really means is that there is one form that must be filled out and approved BEFORE we go to Vietnam instead of WHILE we are there. The only concern is that we are very close to travel and we can't go until we get approved. The CIS has the right to investigate Ethan's case, if they wish, to determine that everything is legal and he is truly an orphan and this can take up to 60 days. But I'm hoping for a quick approval.

SO, with all that said, we will be working as fast as we can to get this in order. Nicky, the VN coordinator, thinks we'll be in the next group to get travel dates. If all goes well, and we get CIS approval quickly, we could be in Vietnam around the middle of November! Nothing is official but we are moving along!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pneumonia

Well, for those who have been concerned for me...I went to the doctor today. It started off with flu, but then, after a little over a week with a fever of 102-103, the noticeable loss of weight (very bad when you start off under 100), and a cough that was only getting worse, I decided it was time to go. Yep, I have pneumonia! She gave me a strong antibiotic and an inhaler, so hopefully I'll be feeling better in a week or two. I look really bad in the mirror...sort of like a skeleton covered in skin! But I actually felt much better today.

So there is an update on my health. My dear mother and grandmother took care of me all of last week and this week Ellie went home with them. Evan has been so easy to take care of. I sometimes forget how fun that kid is. Ellie is so dominating (mainly because she can talk and doesn't stop) that sometimes I hardly notice Evan during the day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Sweet Evan!

I meant to write a post about Evan on his birthday but all I really did that day was lay around with a fever. So, Evan is now 2 and I thought I'd share a few things that make him such a special little guy!

Loving--Evan is very sweet and is never short on kisses. He comes with his arms spread saying "hu, hu" when he wants a hug and is never content kissing just one cheek.

Gentle--Even though he's a boy he loves to cuddle his baby. He rocks it gently and will "sing". If he finds Tyler or I trying to take a nap he will bring us the baby as well as a blanket and tuck us in.

Crazy--That kid loves to do this funny walk with his hands up and growl. Other times he runs in wild circles making loud unrecognizable sounds while wiggling his head, arms and body.

Mimic--He loves Ellie so much and wants to do everything she does. At the table he'll side glance at her then copy the position of her hands. He'll look again and copy the position of her fork. And then he'll check a final time and copy the rude behavior we were just correcting!

Smart--Although he took a while to talk compared to others, I'm still very proud of him! At 18 months he only had a handful of words, almost all of which sounded like "da". But then, almost overnight, he began to copy everything and now has a vocabulary of over 40 words. He also knows many signs.

Imaginative--This is good for a kid who just turned 2! He pretends he's eating out of an imaginary dish, or will run from invisible bad guys then point and whisper when I ask what he's doing.

Fun--This word probably describes him best. He is full of energy, smiles, laughter, and is just a lot of fun!

I love that kid so much and can't imagine life without him! Happy Birthday kiddo! I wish you could always stay this age...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pictures!

We got pictures of Ethan with the album and monkey we sent him! I'll post one here but the rest you'll have to go to Ethan's Story to see.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where to begin...

I have had the flu since Sunday. I'm now over the worst of it (except for a nagging cough and inability to talk with out hurting my throat). However, now I'm very weak because, with my 103 degree fever, I have only eaten a cup of yogurt, a few small items a fruit and a very small milk shack since Sunday afternoon (today is Thursday). Now I'm having a hard time adjusting my body back to eating. Eating has never been a favorite thing of mine so I'm trying to take it slow.

My family (Mom, Dad and Grandma T) came to visit Monday. Dad left on Wednesday and left my mom and grandma here until next weekend so they could "nurse" me. This was decided once Tyler began to show flu symptoms as well (poor Tyler has very bad aches, among other things, today). It has been wonderful to have them here. We have been able to rest and let my mommy take care of the kids and the house!

THEN, today is my sweet little Evan's 2nd birthday!! I have this post I was working on for him but now that I have been out of it all week it will have to wait till later. But Evan is such a wonderful cheerful little guy and I want to wish him a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We celebrated on Tuesday and he loved the cake with dinosaurs.

Today is also the first anniversary of my Grandpa death. I think Grandma is having a hard time with it but she seems so strong. My Grandpa was a wonderful and Godly man who is greatly missed.

And finally, I got new pictures of Ethan! However, my stamina is quickly disappearing so I'll post them to Ethan's Story later. Sorry.

I'm going to bed...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Video at last!

Hey! I've been messing around and I just figured out how to upload video...I know, it took me long enough. Well this was taken a long time ago but I love it. Evan went through a period of time in which he was terrified of feathers (I have an old feather pillow that produces many of these terrifying objects). He acted like they were spiders, which is probably what he thought they were. Well, I'm proud to say he finally conquered that fear and now chases other people with feathers. Yes, I know I'm being mean and teasing my poor little boy in the video...but he's just so cute!

video

Family Night

A couple of weeks ago Tyler and I were on a date and the topic of "family night" was brought up. We decided to start having a family night ever Friday starting the next day (it was Thursday). So we bought some pink M&Ms and an inexpensive movie that we thought Ellie would enjoy. The next night, after dinner was cleaned up, we all sat around with popcorn, M&Ms and watched a movie. The kids loved it!

This week we had pizza, made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies together, then sat in our jammies eating cookies and watching a movie. When we made the cookies we put the mixer in the middle of the table with all the ingredients and let the kids take turns dumping. It was lots of fun...but as usual, my camera didn't make it to the event! Sorry. Maybe next time I'll have pictures.

I always feel like I spend to much time telling the kids "not right now". Well Friday nights have become a night I look forward to and has really helped me become more aware of the time I invest into my kids, not just on Friday, but the rest of the week as well.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Meet Tyler...

The other day my grandma called to tell me how much she appreciated my blog and how she felt it helps her to get to know me better. Then she said she would like to get to know Tyler better and brought to my attention something I'd never thought about before...I don't ever mention him! When I mentioned this to Tyler he said "no, you don't". Talk about a guilt trip, so here it goes.



Here are just a few things about Tyler that I love:

He knows me and my deepest insecurities, seen my craziest moments, heard me cry over the silliest things (including previews for Disney movies), dealt with my complaining, put up with my nagging and listened to my endless talking...yet through it all still loves me and actually wants to be with me!

He supports me, comforts me, protects me (sometimes from my own self-criticism, other times from that huge spider lurking in my bathroom), and encourages me to be the best I can be.

He will take turns changing the diapers, even the dirty ones! Now, I have to say, I usually get called for the blow outs but he'll still stands there and look helpful. :)

He is very thoughtful and sensitive. He still takes me out on dates (we just went a couple of nights ago...thanks sweet heart!), brings me flowers or other gifts just because, winks at me from across crowded rooms just to say I love you, and opens my car door...when I'm patient enough to wait! He also left a short love note on the computer today...how sweet!

He casually says "ok" when I say "hey, lets adopt next" and then calmly sits back and lets me run with it. He's even coming around to the idea of 20 kids (just kidding).

He is a loyal and loving husband, father, son, brother, friend and pastor. He is friendly, outgoing, and seems comfortable in any group or situation.


He can cook a meal when I don't feel like it and he makes a very good cup coffee! This probably comes from his time as manager of a coffee shop.

THEN...there is the procrastinator, the guy who loves his sleep, and the total electronic geek that loves playing video games, surfing the web, finding new deals on anything electronic...and some how convinces me that a new lap top, new video camera, new digital camera, etc, are all VERY necessary for our adoption trip to Vietnam.

AND...he is great at multitasking. Right now he's suppose to be working on his sermon but is MSNing (instant messenger on the computer) me constantly and I can hardly finish this post, arg! To make matters worse, he's flirting with and teasing me and won't leave me alone! Yes, we get along just fine, why??

Yes, these are all a part of the man I love. Thank you Tyler for putting up with me these past 5 years!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Doctors and Such...

The Lord always seems to work out the smallest details without us even realizing it until it is all said and done. A while back I had been talking to a friend about pediatricians and she highly recommended one in particular. At this point our whole family goes to a family practitioner but with Ethan's hydrocephalus, and any orphanage delays, plus any international issues (immunizations, etc), I felt a ped. would be better suited for his needs. However, for insurance purposes we have to work with doctors in our network. I was amazed when a search in our network turned up only two pediatric Doctors in Salina and she was one of them!

We met with her today and loved her. She not only seemed confident with the hydro but has worked with lots of internationally adopted kids! Up to this point I have been really nervous going into this special needs adoption because I hadn't even found a doctor to look at his medical. Today was the first time I had shown it to anyone with a medical background. She was VERY optimistic about his information and the pictures she saw of him (plus she thought he was cute...of course)!

What a relief today has been. I can put the medical concerns behind me for now. When we get back I'm suppose to call her and we'll be able to get him in within a couple of days. :)

Totally off the subject, I'm in a really good mood right now because my kitchen has just been reorganized! We had a terrible time with bugs last week so I had to throw away ALL my beans, grain, pasta, pancake mix, etc. Anyway, today we picked up these nice plastic containers (plus spent a ton on replacing food) and my lazy Susan looks so nice and neat now and I can fit so much more without everything falling out...it makes me smile. :) Haha, call me crazy but these things make me happy.

Kozy Moments

When we first decided to adopt we thought we could do it without going into debt. However, because we accepted a child with special needs our time frame for raising the funds was cut in half. We are now, not only in debt for the first time, but also we are anticipating surgery for Ethan once he is home.

With that in mind, I have decided to start selling baby slings. These are great for those of you who are adopting (we were actually discussing them on the yahoo group a while back). They would also make great shower gifts. :) At this point I have only made one and I'm working on a second. As I finish them I'll post pictures on a new blog I have. I'm only going to start off with a few to see how well they sell. So if you are interested please click here on Kozy Moments or click on the picture. Also, I would love it if you could spread the word. If they sell well I'll make more!