Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
(OK, not new hair, Bosco is taking a nap on her head)
Grandma Toni and Lo
Friday, November 23, 2007
update*** The story ran tonight. Here is the new link:
here are two new photos -
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We don't look like much, but we are finally back home.
House-sitting & airport pick-up duty has its perks - Wags gets the coveted "first hold"
"What the hell was all that talk about a 'land of opportunity?' I've been
here 5 minutes and i think im going to be squished to death."
All for now. We'll sort through the ample stock of photos and post some more later.
Lots of love,
Mark, Tallia and Lola
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
very tired, and not smart. hope to update w/ more photos and travel stories after doctor appt. tomorrow morning (everyone is healthy - just standard post adoption visit)
- - - update - - -
we just found out that the story ran on the news tonight. here's the link:
We successfully got onto the plane in Hanoi -- upon arriving at the airport, we learned that if we upgraded to business class we would secure our seats to Taipei, so we snapped up that opportunity so as to avoid the stress of 'stand-by'.
Sure, it was nice riding in the fancy seats and sneering at the commoners in economy seats through our little curtain, but mostly we are just so excited to know that we are officially on our way HOME! (* note: if the sarcasm wasn't obvious, i should mention that we'll be on the other side of the class curtain on our next, longer flight. ho hum)
Little Lo's health seems to be holding up well, and she was fantastic on the plane. didn't cry once, no smelly surprises. i'd go on more, but don't want to jinx flight #2.
Once again, our joy gets deflated a tad with exhaustion from long days and stress, but we are super happy. can't wait to see everyone back at home.
we arrive in sf tomorrow afternoon and then visit the nice folks at US immigration (apparently this can take up to two hours!) one last time.
again thank you for all the love and support and the wonderful comments on the blog. It kept us sane for 16 stressful days in Hanoi!
Love to all! Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 19, 2007
we're gambling again. this trip has been one long sequence of irrational, risky decisions, so we figure, why stop now? we seem to be on a hot streak, so we're gonna ride it out.
Were heading to Hanoi airport and hoping to get on a plane with our stand-by tickets. hopefully the gods will continue to be amused by our lack of common sense, and will give us one last little gift - 2.5 seats on a 747.
we'll update the blog in a few hours -- either from Taipei airport with good news, or from some Hanoi hotel. cross your fingers. - mt&l
Thao, a very nice assistant with our agency just delivered these from the US embassy. Feels great to have them in hand:
Inside of passport.
Jack-pot! These things are like the Holy Grail in
our hotel. And Little Lo's got hers! So, so, happy to have this.
p.s. - Carol, if you are reading this, please tell Bosco and Pali hello and we will be home soon. we miss our little pups very much.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
That's pretty much what we keep telling ourselves as this trip gets frustrating for little things.
Lo has been having a tough couple of days -- started having trouble sleeping on Saturday night, then last night (sunday) she developed a fever and really seemed to be uncomfortable. A little Tylenol got her fever down for the night, but we took her in to the doctor this morning (monday) and they diagnosed an upper-respiratory infection and bronchitis.
It sounds bad, but that's pretty much par for the course with all the adopted kids in our hotel - they've all had it, but Lola's just came on later. So she's got medicine now to help her, and is finally getting in a good nap, which she really needs because she's had a really hard time sleeping.
For the first time, Little Lo is actually crying -- like, actually "im in some pain here mom and dad, please help me" kind of crying. For the first week, she'd given a token fake 'cry' when she wants to eat. We all know its fake, but since it seems to be working for everyone, we just go along with it. kind of like the 12 year old that still 'believes' in santa, since believing in santa has some nifty perks. anyway, the 'real' cry is pretty much the worst sound in the world; our heart breaks when it comes on, so we hope to get past this illness fast
Also, our travel plans aren't progressing as quickly (or, more specifically, concretely) as we had hoped. Its still possible that we could get home tomorrow, but we are relying on "stand-by". and by 'stand-by', we mean 'stand-by in the Hanoi airport with a sick infant'. good times. there are a number of back-up plans like flying down to Ho Chi Minh City and then to SF, but its time consuming to arrange - for some reason, the airline needs to contact the SF office to make changes, and the SF office is closed during business hours here. so its a lot of leaving messages and then hearing back 24 hours later. we're trying to be positive, but the possibility of thanksgiving in Hanoi is feeling moreso each hour.
finally, our Hanoi family -- the others in our travel group -- all leave this afternoon, so we're losing the local 'support group' that we've gone through everything with. we've all gotten to know each other well over the past couple weeks, so it will be hard to see them go.
With that said -- although there is a lot of stress going on, we still bump into other families here at the hotel that are stuck here indefinitely and not certain about their adoption status. All things considered, we're in pretty good shape and are so happy to at least know where we stand with Lola. She's our little angel for good, even if we are stuck in Hanoi with runny noses for a few days more.
We will learn more tonight, when our travel agent contacts the airline's SF office at 8:30 pacific time, 11:30 at night here.
anyway, to summarize, today has been lame, but overall we are super lucky and a happy family gettin' through it together.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
we travel to the embassy at 2:45 today for the second interview (which is more of a formality) and should be able to pick up the Visa on Monday, and travel home soon after.
needless to say, our heads are spinning and we are ecstatic. we'll try to organize our thoughts and post something that makes more sense later, but for now we're just gonna sit and enjoy life.
thank you SO much to everyone that prayed, sent good vibes and thoughts... it helped in many ways.
** update -- we went to the Embassy this afternoon, and its official: we have been approved. we pick up the Visa on Monday afternoon, and will hopefully travel home early Tuesday (or possibly late Monday night, but that's a longshot).
We are SO relieved and excited. We travel out to Ha Long bay tomorrow for fun, and it will be much better knowing that we will be back home soon.
Tomorrow night, we'll have photos of the bay to upload and might have a more clear travel plan. should be a very thankful thanksgiving!
For now, here's some footage of awesome parenting.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
We're expecting word soon-- our agency rep Thao is probably going to call to check in tomorrow (Thursday, VN time) with the Embassy. At the first interview, they told us to expect a decision late this week or early next.
Our hotel is full of families that are adopting -- so we all bump into each other in the hallways/restaurant and get updates on what is happening with other people. so FAR, we keep hearing good news around here...lots of approvals, and very few NOIDS (the dreaded 'notice of intent to decline', not the villain from 1980's Domino's pizza ads)
So we all have managed to stay pretty positive. Doctors appointment went well yesterday -- the Dutch doctor looked at her for about a minute; poked, shined a light, wiggled some limbs, and said "this looks like a very healthy baby." so that's good.
also, Lola was given her Vietnamese Passport, which is cool. however, the agency people have held onto that for us. so we cant take a picture of it yet, as planned, but its cool to know she has it.
All for now.... We will immediately relay news from the embassy once we hear something.
Only one new photo today: we thought it would be wise to slowly introduce Lola to terry-cloth hoodie jackets, so she doesn't go into culture shock when she gets home and sees mommy's closet. she seems to be doing pretty well - no apparent allergies or fear of this particular blend of terry, nor hoods in general. she will fit in well at 28 loma linda.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
In spite of that, we have FINALLY landed on a name that fits. After cycling through the final candidates over and over, we agreed that the name that most perfectly stuck was Lola Elizabeth Bodenhamer. The "Lo" is the name of a river in Tuyen Quang, so we are pleased that her new name lets her sort of keep some 'water' symbolism to honor her original, Vietnamese name. Plus, we just think its pretty.
Little Lo seems to enjoy her new name, and probably just likes having a name. She was having a miniature identity crisis, but that's all over now!
Our excitement over having a name for her ALMOST makes us forget how bored we are getting here in Hanoi. There are little things to do here and there -- medical appointments, gatherings with the group, etc.
But there is a LOT of down time. Our room seems to get a tad smaller each day, and its not just because we keep hitting the "shopping district", although that doesnt help either. Everyone is really ready to get back to the US. Its getting closer to the time when we should hear from the Embassy, so we're keeping our fingers crossed for good news.
We finally found a restaurant that has that one thing - - 'good food'. Perhaps you've tried it? needless to say, the three-pack of families have eaten there a lot since we found it.
that's all for now. we hope to have news soon regarding the Visa!! here are a few photos from the past few days:
After a long day in the fields
Even her feet are cute.
Monday, November 12, 2007
No new photos today -- lent our camera's USB cord to another fam in our group.Spent today shopping, went to dinner and had baby's first experiment w/ rice cereal. She got a little down, more on chest. Tomorrow, we get Vietnamese passport (still no word on the U.S. Visa) and visit the doctor.
thanks again for kind words and support - the comments keep us from going completely crazy.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Up and running with the blog/photos again, now that we're both feeling better (see previous post)