Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Letter To My Baby

Last night I wrote a letter to my baby. I didn't want to post it on here. I wanted it to be my personal words just for her to read someday.  I confessed how I say good morning to her every night and good night every morning. I wondered out loud if she has received her care package yet and seen our pictures. She's so young and yet on some level I hope she knows we exist. I want to believe they have the CD I sent and she hears my voice singing to her with all my heart. Sometimes the tunes randomly pop into my head and I love to fantasize that maybe she is on the other side of the globe listening to them at the exact same time. I pray she sees our photos and is interested and wondering who these people are called Mommy & Daddy. I hope she looks at the pics (and hears the bark and meow) of our cat and dog and is amused or at least curious. Maybe she holds the little blankie and it gives her some comfort. Maybe she plays with the doll or pink stuffed doggie and it gives her some laughter or joy. I like to think that it does. It helps me to sleep knowing that maybe, just maybe, it does. 

I wrote on and on and expressed so many things that I want her to know someday and it felt so good to get it off my chest. I prayed hard that somehow she would know she was loved. I went to sleep in confidence that it would be taken care of and slept deeply.  Today, I couldn't stop singing. All day just a-humming or singing along. I was in the happiest mood and I couldn't even quite put my finger on why. I guess I just have renewed faith. I feel connected to her and feel like my prayers were answered. I released it to the Universe and feel she's going to be okay. We are going to be okay.  And we are all going to be together soon.

Love is a beautiful thing and does miraculous things. It can move mountains and travel across the globe and touch a life. I believe in peace and love and all things good. I believe Thailand will soon be at peace again and that I needn't worry. And I believe that our beautiful daughter will soon be home with us. Having hope and something to believe in is a very good thing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Poetry of Thanks

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." ~Thornton Wilder

I'll be honest. I woke up this morning not feeling particularly grateful. I was bummed to be working in Orlando today at the auto show instead of at home having a great dinner with Jeff and our family. It's been quite a whirl-wind tour from city to city and I am tired. I was up late last night watching CNN and what happened in Mumbai. It is so incredibly sad. Then of course, there is the political strife still going on in Thailand. My prayers this morning are for all those families affected by both crisis.

It really makes you realize how lucky we are and not to take a single moment for granted. So I shook off my woe, grabbed some Starbucks and headed outside. I sat in the sun and called my Mom, my Dad, Jeff (of course), my brother, and some friends. Jeff is heading to Harrisburg now to have dinner with his family so I will get to talk to them later when he gets there.I am so lucky to have all of them. We are blessed with a beautiful child that will soon be coming home and we will have many Thanksgivings together. So I have to work today. So what? I am lucky to have a great job in this fledging economy. I am working with really nice people and the auto show is even supplying us with a turkey dinner during our break. 

I sat by the pool (it's about 70 here today) and took account of the many reasons I have to be thankful on this day, even all by myself. The sun is shining and warm. The wind is blowing through the palm trees gently. I am alive and healthy. I have had a lot of great bookings and travel to great cities that have made this month fly by. It has occupied my mind and kept if off the least a little less. And most importantly, I have the love of my family and friends. I wish that everyone out there has a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving and a wonderful day with your families. Special prayers to those families in Thailand right now trying to get home with their children.

I leave you with this beautiful poem of thanks:

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Get's Eaten in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Wouldn't that be nice? I'm thinking maybe they need to revise the slogan. It would really appeal to women everywhere! We had a great time and some seriously incredible meals. When we first got there we were kind-of like "what were we thinking?" What are we going to do here for 5 days? Neither of us gamble except for a few coins in the slots and the first night we could hardly stay awake until 11pm! Too funny. 

We got in the swing of it the next night and had dinner at Tao then saw an incredible show called La Reve. Really magical. The best dinner was  Saturday at Caesar's Palace at a place called Bradley Ogden's. All organic. All amazing! My birthday dinner was at the Pampelmousse, a wonderful and romantic little French restaurant off the strip. We had a Lava cake at the end that was to die for. Tao was really good, too. Not as good as the one in NY, but still great with the most awesome atmosphere. (Pics to follow. I brought my camera, but forgot the cord to download the pics onto the computer! So disappointed. Will have to post next week.)

To balance out all the fab dining, we walked MILES every day. I wasn't going to blow my whole routine in one weekend! So we walked. In the gym, on the strip, in the mall, through the casinos...We covered a lot of territory! We went to see the Dolphins and Secret Garden at the Mirage, too. They had the cutest tiger cubs, a 3 month old baby dolphin, gorgeous white lion and tigers, a panther, a leopard, and a few more. You could really see them up close too. We both just kept thinking how cool it will be to take Ruby to the zoo sometime soon.

Jeff found the CUTEST thing for her at Fashion Show Mall. Disney makes these CD's that you can personalize with your child's name. I had been on the phone and then walked over to the stall where Jeff was standing looking rather excited about something. I heard Happy Birthday Ruby and then a Princess song of sorts singing to her by was so precious I burst into tears. Yea, I am doing that a lot lately. Needless to say we bought it. Jeff is getting as bad as me! So now we have a personalized Disney CD for our 19 month old baby who will probably listen to it and know who the Disney characters are in about, say, 3 years from now! 

All in all, a good trip. I got all that wining and dining and high heel wearing out of my system for awhile. It's now time to get back to my healthy diet, exercise, reading, and catching up on some sleep. Gee, I really AM 40 aren't I? Yikes!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Got up early this morning to do try to do a week's worth of posts since we are going out of town. So much to talk about. So little time. Jeff & I are headed to Vegas today for a long, romantic, and fun weekend. Our last official couple vacation before baby....they call it a "Baby Moon". Staying at The Venetian. So pretty..always wanted to stay there.
I am not taking my laptop and will quite possibly have withdrawal! I will have my phone with me if anyone wants to email, but I probably won't write much until we get back. Have a great weekend! 

Pink Fever

Piggy Puppet that oinks! Will will take this with us when we go to Thailand.
Cute little sponge for bath time. (Didn't I say somewhere I am obsessed with pink piggies?)
Rocking horse that I actually found at the Rite Aid! (I can shop ANYWHERE. It's a blessing and a curse! LOL)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What We Know

Well, our agency is back from Thailand, but wasn't able to find out anything about our girl this trip. I don't know why and was VERY disappointed, but I guess they were very busy with all the new kids Wacap was able to see, so they couldn't discuss our case. I have to believe they had good reason for it, but I was bummed because this means we just sit and wait now until Dec or Jan for our referral to come in. And for those that don't know what that means, it is our official paperwork saying yes, she is yours and you will travel soon. However, after that referral you still have to wait approx. 2-8 weeks before you get to go over.

If it wasn't for 2 wonderful moms that have gone there in recent months, I would really be dying right now. But by the grace of God, I found these two and found out the following about our baby and the orphanage.

She is being well taken care of by nannies that care and work very hard.
They work 24 hour shifts and then have a day off in between.
In every pic the place looks spotless clean with new hard wood floors and new pink cribs.
The kids and babies all look clean and dressed well and have nice new toys.
She is being fed rice with chicken or pork and veggies. So glad she is getting veggies!
She still gets 2 bottles a day. One in the morning. One at night.
She is still in diapers and probably will be when I get her.
She is still sleeping in a crib. Glad we bought one!
I was told her teeth look good and most of the kids there have good teeth.
She has gained weight since the last pics so she is being well fed.
She has just started walking, but not talking yet.
She is cuter than ever!

It may not seem like much to go on for those of you who are not adopting. But for us, this information is like GOLD. It helps so much to have a little glimpse into her world and also to be more prepared for her. Last but, not least, we know this fact: SHE IS GOING TO BE VERY SPOILED! Not forever, but surely in the beginning!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Pics, Random Joy

A few pics I have wanted to post and talk about and didn't have time... each with a little story.
This is my cutie pie little brother, David. Oh, how sweet he is! This was taken on a recent visit and as you can see he is quite fond of his Winnie The Pooh. Evidently I got it for him (he told me I did) which I have no recollection of. It was at least 6 years ago..maybe even 10! He remembers EVERYTHING whereas I can't really tell you what I had for lunch the other day. LOL! He just kept hugging it and saying "Look Sissy, I'm kissin' on it!" Too cute.

This is my hubby holding the most gigantic leaf I have ever seen. It was almost as big as the pumpkin! It was taken a few weeks ago before the cold came in and took all the leaves and pretty color with it. Ah, well, we still have the photos!

This is my gorgeous cat Max with some white "Peace" roses from my garden. Now the funny thing is that they JUST BLOOMED. I took the photo today, but also had a few bloom before I left for FL. I went out this past Spring to find (for the first time) 5 whole rose buds. I maybe got 2 all last year and here I was with 5 flowering roses at once! So I was really excited by this and pulled out my gardening tools and rose food to prune and care for my dear rose bush. I was determined to really keep up with it and make it better than ever. WELL, it seems nature does a FAR better job without my interference! I killed the poor thing! A few branches died and it didn't bloom again until until the last few weeks. It has few leaves and is just a few tall stray branches. But, low and behold, there are some roses at the end of them! Unbelievable! I just had to tell someone...I mean look at the state of this bush (below) and how it is still blooming. See that? Miracles happen every day. And it could also said that less messing with nature may be least in my case! LOL.

Weekly Inspiration

Today I went searching for a quote on TRUST. I have been feeling much better the last few days. Nothing like the sun and sand and ocean to make a girl remember how vast and amazing this universe is. I remembered to TRUST in a higher power and the system in place. I remembered how disappointed I was that my singing career didn't go as far as I wanted it to and I gave up so easily. Then I thought about how strong my marriage is and how my constant traveling and fame might have put a strain on it. I thought about my struggles with getting pregnant, the acupuncture, the fertility drugs, the hope, the disappointments...only to realize how absolutely perfect it all worked out for us. I can't imagine myself pregnant now and going through that. I can't imagine loving a child more than I already love our precious girl..even before meeting her! We are both so glad it turned out this way and we are going to be this beautiful girl's parents!

One quote I have always loved is: What would you do if you did not fear? And another I love is from a paper weight a dear friend gave me...What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? My gosh, the possibilities would be endless! And so I add to those: What would you do if you actually trusted that God will work it all out? Trusted that you are in exactly the right place where you should be and that this will all make sense later? What if you remembered that everything you dreamt of is just around the corner and all you have to do is be thankful, patient, and trust that it is coming?  So I didn't find any other TRUST quote on the net to share with you today. Nothing said what I felt exactly so I give you only the random thoughts pouring out of my head and heart. Hope it is inspiring!

Oh, and PS: When I start whining or boo-hooing again in the coming months (cause I'm sure I will) please refer me to this post!!! :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Evening With Myself

After a fun and busy week of both work and socializing, I decided to break off on my own. I just wanted a quiet night away from all the noise of Miami and the constant chit-chat that goes on when you have a dozen women all working together 8 hours a day and then going out together, too. Not that it hasn't been fun - it has been - but last night was just for me. It was such a breath of fresh air to have no schedule or anyone else to coordinate with. Just me, myself, & I. In jeans, a casual top and flip-flops. A welcome relief for my swollen feet! Didn't I used to wear heels for hours? Do my feet know I'm turning 40, too? 

A bunch of us went on the town the other night and hit the famous Delano Hotel. Nice, but highly over-rated. Still, it was fun and I can say I saw it. The Shore Club was a few blocks down and we went there, too. It was beautiful! Little couches and chaises all around a huge pool with candles everywhere and white gauzy fabric hanging from cabanas, blowing in the balmy breeze. Great DJ playing songs from the 80's. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one from our group that remembered the tunes! LOL. 

So back to my quiet night...I casually strolled down Espanola Way and immediately stumbled across an art gallery. Both the art and poetry was amazing and the artist was actually there so I got to have a nice conversation with him before buying an art and poetry book for a good friend of mine. He has been to Thailand so of course I tell him we are adopting and ask if he has any sketches from his trips there. He did. So that is the small book I got for my friend that is from Thailand. I thought it might be nice to have something to remind her of home. I also picked up a very cool print for my mom. Think she is going to love it! I walked on and eyeballed the stalls of crafts and things for sale and found a little Indian-style store that had the yummiest smelling lemongrass incense. I picked up one for me and one for my friend. Then I found this great little restaurant at the end of the street. It wasn't crowded yet and I asked the waitress to seat me in a corner somewhere, but outside. It was so great. I could people watch and read the poetry book and have a nice dinner all to myself. So nice and relaxing!

I got back to the room early and got a great night's rest. I am ready for my last morning power walk and last day in Miami. Tomorrow I head home. It will be chilly, but I get to see Jeff, Chloe (the dog) and Max (the guard cat).  Looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shopping Habit

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping! After my last post I figure I better put something lighthearted up here! Thank you all for the kind emails and comments. I seem to be getting more and more sappy, the closer we get. All the excitement and anticipation mixed with just plain old wanting her home so bad. Anyway, I am trying to snap out of it and enjoy myself here in South Beach. A new pair of shoes never hurts! :-) Picked up these yesterday along with a cute pair of black ballet flats. Hey, I got one practical pair, right?

In and around my emotions, I am actually having a nice time down here. The weather is perfect and balmy and I am loving my morning walks on the beach. So much so, that I ditched the Bikram yoga plan and am power walking with my girlfriends every day instead.  Eating light, reading my positive book, enjoying time with my friends, and getting a tan. Today I don't work till 5 so after my power walk I'm going to hit the beach for a few hours. Can't wait! It's been nice to be able to see another friend of mine down here that is a fellow adoptive mom and also hang with my auto show friends. Thank God for my husband and my friends!

Jeff came down from Ft. Lauderdale to see me last night with our friends Jen & Mike. Mike and Jeff are business partners. Jen is my childhood best friend who grew up a block away from me. We had a really fun night. Went to a great restaurant on Ocean Drive and then walked around South Beach and found a place with live latin music. Miami is like it's own country in some ways! There is Latin flavor everywhere, great food and music, and you can barter in the stores as if you are in another country. Jeff had to go back with them, because the guys had to work early this morning, so it was fun to just have a "date" with my husband. 

Gotta go. The beach is calling...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An Incredible Hug

I got the most amazing gift today. I was working at the auto show when I say hi to a family with an adorable little girl from China. She looked around the size our daughter may be when we get her home. Maybe a bit bigger. I wonder to myself if she is the same age as my little girl. The mom seems nice so I ask her. She's 3. I say that we were adopting a girl from Thailand and we begin sharing our stories. She is so kind and open, I was touched. She didn't know me at all and yet we had this great connection through our daughters. Her family was waiting for her in another booth by now so she gave me her email and we parted ways. 

I go back to working, still in awe of this nice break in my day when she comes back 5 minutes later with her daughter. She brought her over to me and said I want you to meet Mommy's new friend, Jen. I squatted down to say hi and her mom said something to her and she came over and hugged me! It was so sweet. Now I have hugged plenty of kids before, but this felt like something I can not describe. She had her hug me one more time before they went. It was as if this mom new this was exactly what I needed today. This is going to sound really stupid, but I have never hugged a little Asian girl. Especially not one so close in age and size and big brown eyes like Ruby's. It hit so close to home to me that I couldn't fight the tears.

I have often dreamed of what it will feel like to hug my little girl. I have tried to imagine it and the picture just wouldn't come. Now I know what it feels like. I said a quick goodbye and thank you and made a bee-line for the restroom. I overflowed with tears. Tears of joy and comfort, tears for my baby I can't hug yet, and tears of gratefulness that this mom shared her precious little one's hug with me. My heart now knows how great a hug from my daughter will be and how it will feel. And it's gonna feel, really really great. Oh, how worth the wait that hug will be.
I can handle the wait for that. I can handle anything for that kind of pay off!

Thank you, P, for that incredible gift today. You can't imagine what that did for me. Then again, I guess you can.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hello South Beach

Flew down to Miami on Thursday. I'm here for work, but that doesn't mean I won't get to have a little fun, too! Working with a good friend, have a couple friends that live here, and Jeff is flying down this week. Should be a fun time and I hope to hit some of the many great restaurants down here. I'm staying in the heart of South Beach. Fun, warm, lively, a bit rowdy (think Spring Break), but a nice break from the norm. I brought earplugs for sleeping!

The weather and the beach are great. Took a long walk on the beach today and it was just wonderful! Oh, how I love the ocean! I might have walked a bit too long, though. Thinking that an hour and a half power walk before working an 8 hour shift requiring me to stand in high heels was maybe not such a good idea. (I am working the auto show). I also think I need to invest in another pair of black pumps that don't kill my poor feet! Ouch! Perhaps I will just take a good book and lay in the sun tomorrow and rest the tootsies for a few hours.

I have 3 good books with me that I could read. Each a completely a different kind of read. Wasn't sure what I would be in the mood for. The first is and adoption attachment book that I started a month ago that I need to finish. The second, is a beautiful, positive and spiritual book called The Power of Now by Eckard Toile. I read about half of this book a year ago (and loved it) before shelving it for all things adoption. I'm thinking it will be the perfect thing for me to read while relaxing by the pool and beach. I also am eager to re-read and finish it so I can read his newest book, New Earth, when I get home.

 The 3rd book I'd like to get to I borrowed from my cuz, Lauren. It's a diet book of sorts called Skinny Bitch.  Actually read a bit of it and the writers are a hilarious and very direct.  I was vegetarian plus fish (and  dairy) for about 3 years and want to get back to it. I'm not that crazy about meat anyway. It's okay once in awhile. I am curious to see what exactly they are eating and how many times a day they are eating it. I'd love to drop just a few lbs. but find myself starving between meals when I only eat veggies. So we'll see how that goes. I think The Power of Now will be my first read. 

I am down here for 9 more days and am going to sign up for a week of Bikram yoga on Monday. Did it in NY last year and loved it. Well, I should say I get to love it after my body gets used to it. LOL. It's hot yoga and kinda grueling, but you feel so good afterwards. Empowered, pure of toxins (because you sweat them all out) and lighter somehow. So hoping to pick up some better eating and exercise habits while down here in buff city. It's quite inspiring, even the seniors are in fabulous shape! Maybe I will do that power walk in the morning after all. :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weekly Inspiration (Supplied By Mom)

Words to live by! These beautiful little plaques were a gift from my mom for Jeff & I's anniversary. So thoughtful...we just love them! (Yes, we know they are Chinese, not Thai but it doesn't matter. The message is what matters.)  Mom and David came down for a little impromptu visit. After dinner, Mom and Jeff watched the election countdown while Dave & I made a CD of songs he liked from my iTunes library. He was so cute. He would light up when he recognized a song he knew! We were just a-singing away in the kitchen for a couple hours. It's a wonder Mom & Jeff heard anything! We did manage to quiet down by the time the polls started to close. I think "Santa" may drop an iPod nano into Dave's stocking this year. He just LOVES music. 

So this year's election goes down in the history books, for sure. I don't usually get too political, but this is different. More voters came out than ever before. McCain's speech was pure class. I was very impressed by his graciousness. Whatever side you are usually on, we all DO have to work together. For ourselves, for our children, and for a better world. I'm so glad my child will grow up in a country where equality really is practiced and a person is judged by their character and not their color (to quote MLK's "dream" speech). I'm not naive to think my darker skinned child will never encounter prejudice, but I believe those walls are coming down. Slowly, but surely. Finally. I think Obama will make a great president. Time will tell. He surely has a lot of work to do. For now, I am happy the election and campaigning is over and we can all get back to life as usual.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yin & Yang

Today my husband & I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We've actually been together for 16 years now.  Met in April of '92, moved to Philly together 6 months later, got engaged shortly thereafter, and well, the rest is history! Through ups and downs, good and bad, sickness and health, busy careers, PMS, fertility, and adoption...he has been there for me and vice verse. He is my best friend and the first person I go to in times of great joy and equally in times of bad news or stress. We don't always agree on every topic. He is voting for McCain today and I am voting for Obama (as much as I tried to sway him). He is more of a homebody while I love to go out do things more. He is more cautious and practical (thank God) and I am more spontaneous. He's good with money, and, well, if you read my blog often you can tell I would spend it or give it all away! The thing is we are the yin and yang. Two energies that couldn't exist without the other. Two people that give something to the other that wasn't there before. Intertwined and interdependent, each giving to each other in turn.

Jeff brings me back down to earth when I am going off on one of my newest "great ideas" and I get him to loosen up and do something spontaneous (like a weekend in Vegas we have coming up!) and have more fun. Together, we balance each other out and work through life's big and small crisis. Sure we clash now and again. What couple doesn't? But he is my heart and soul and the one I could never live without. He's an incredible person and is going to be an amazing father. (Happy Anniversary, honey! I love you with all my heart!)

PS: We got an email back from the USCIS office stating they have our approved I-600A and that processing can take 14-30 days. Okay, well at least we know it's there and we can plan for the extra days. And 30 days is much easier than 60!

NOTE: I am adding an amendment here because there has been some confusion on the post script above. Both our parents asked if we were getting our daughter in 14-30 days (we wish) and a few of you have congratulated us. Not that is isn't good news, but I think I worded it wrong. What I meant is just that the USCIS office in Bangkok emailed us back to confirm they received our approved I-600A form. That just means it got to the office and will be waiting for us when we get there. The 14-30 days is the time they are allowed to take to process our documents once in Thailand and after the board meeting there. Most cases aren't taking that long, but it's good to know so we can plan for it...just in case!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baby's Got Gear

Well, a few more things off the to do list! Got our gear, stocking the medicine cabinet, learning more sign language. Our stroller and car seat came in and we LOVE them!

The Bugaboo Bee is everything I hoped it would be. Super cute, extremely easy to fold and unfold, turns on a dime. You can have the baby facing you or away (which is also easy to do), there is a storage area underneath, and it's sturdy, yet lightweight. We are thrilled with it. Been drooling over it for nearly a year. (Yes, I went from drooling over bags and shoes to going ga-ga for strollers! MY how things change!) Okay, truth be told, I still go crazy for a great pair of shoes.

We also love our Recaro car seat that exactly matches with the interior of my car, however we will see how giddy we are when we have to actually install it! LOL. I think I might be busy that day. (And no, we did not just choose the Recaro because it matches. I did loads of research on safety, reliability, reputation, etc. The look is just a plus!) Jeff got himself a nice Daddy carrier, too. I love my fashionable Hot Slings, but I must admit the Ergo Carrier looks WAY more comfortable. We might be sharing that!

I am focusing on all the practical stuff now. I made a list (and consulted friends) on all the little things I will need. Got a couple more diapers. Check. Need some hemp liners. Need to wash all new diapers a few times. Have to pick up Pedialite, Children's Tylenol, and a big thing of 7th Generation wipes. Waiting a little longer to get that stuff since it could expire or dry out. Need to get a Davies Gate Boo Boo stick yet. My friend Sonia swears by it. She also recommends Resistance Builder drops by California Baby. California Baby bath stuff is great, too. I have actually used it myself for my super sensitive skin. Have a lot of the other sensitive stuff, but this one I like the best. So I got a couple for the baby's bathroom and also ordered some all natural teething gel (Hylands Homeopathic). If anyone has some great products they love (especially natural remedies or organic) I would love to hear from you! 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Today is A New Day

Well, there has been a lot on my mind the last few days. While the last few weeks have been about good news and updates and people getting their referrals and traveling...this week has been about the USCIS and the delays over there with families trying to get their kids home. Evidently, the office in Bangkok that has to approve of your child's visa to get into the US has been backed up and it's taking longer than usual... causing some stress to the families over there now.

I started a post yesterday complaining about it and even published it.  Then thought better of it and took it down. I am not going to let myself worry about it anymore. If there are delays, we will handle it. We will do everything in our power to have the right paperwork when we go and make sure we dot the "i's" and cross the "t's". I have to have faith that it will all work out. And ya know what? It usually does. In my fortieth year of life (b-day fast approaching) I have found that most things I worry about never happen. I just worry that they might. I also noticed that everything tends to work itself out and when I try to "fix" it, I just expend all this energy for nothing. So I am moving on from the subject, taking precautions, but trusting the it will all be just fine when we get over there. The most important thing is getting to meet that beautiful little girl of ours and loving her with all our hearts.

As far as precautions...we did do some homework. Jeff researched for hours the other night and found out the USCIS office in Hong Kong closed in August and after September 2nd all I-800A forms have been forwarded to Bangkok. That could be one reason for delays. Then there is the Hague Convention and the switch from the standard I-600A to the I-800A form and all the added paperwork and delays from that. We are lucky that we got in before April and are grandfathered in with the I-600A...or are we? Not sure which is a better process yet. Guess we will have to wait and see. From what we can tell, it seems that the biggest issue is the USCIS being satisfied that the child does indeed qualify as being an orphan. So we will have to do more homework on that and check and DOUBLE CHECK with our agency to ensure this is taken care of - BEFORE we get there. Jeff also found an email for that office in BKK where you could ask them if they received your application (I-600A or I-800A). We are still waiting for a reply to see if they have your form in.

When we get our travel dates we are going to go to Thai Consulate in NY and will get ourselves a tourist visa for $30 each. You can travel to Thailand and be there 30 days without a visa. However, getting a tourist visa guarantees you a stay of up to 60 days without needing an extension. The other option is if you are there for 30 days and then find out you need an extension, you can fly to a nearby country like Cambodia (or drive there), Vietnam, or Malaysia and get an extension from the Thai Embassy there. Personally, I'd rather get that taken care of ahead of time. To get a tourist visa you fill out an application at a Thai consulate office. You present them with your passport, a copy of your airline ticket and itinerary and you get a 60 day visa. One thing less to have to worry about. 

We are both VERY fortunate to be in a position where we could stay away that long if we really had to. If it's a more than a month, Jeff may have to go back for his work, but I could stay as long as necessary.  Another thing is we will try to book our tickets on Thai Airways. I have to check if it is still the case, but I remember them being much more flexible with changing dates then other airlines. I don't think I even had a change fee, but then, that was an in-country flight. So I will have to check around and see what would be the easiest way to go. 

We are also going to take every shred of paperwork we have on the adoption with us - in triplicate!  Not leaving a thing open to chance. We will have extra copies of everything and will not even leave it in the hotel to risk it being accidentally tossed. Making sure we have our bases covered sets my mind at ease.

And who knows? If we are tied up there longer, maybe it will be a blessing in disguise. A whole month in our childs homeland where we can completely submerge her in her beautiful country and culture would be great way to start out our lives together. The more I think about it, that would be a really unique and wonderful bonding experience for the 3 of us. Hmmm. I guess there really is a silver lining to everything. 

So yes, today is a new day. And I am going to be grateful for it and know in my heart in will all work out and we'll have our girl safely home soon!