Yayyyyyyyyyyy! Just two more sleeps until we're on our way! The packing is pretty well done, but of course there are always a few million little things to do before we can head to the airport.
The room didn't get finished. Honestly it's not even close. The electrician punched 3 big holes in the ceiling and I think he's got two more holes to go before he's done, so that needs fixing before any other work can happen. My Mom is going to be staying here and cat wrangling for us, so we're hopefully going to set it up so that someone will come in to do the drywall repair, baseboard installation and painting that it needs while we're gone.
For those of you putting away the crib after your first child, hoping to use it for a second, a word of advice... Tape a bag containing all the hardware TO the crib pieces, so that two years later you aren't left with some pieces of wood that can't be put together to make a cozy place for a baby to sleep... Grrr....
So it looks like because of the big measles outbreak in Hanoi, the baby will have to just stay in the hotel and anyone who goes out will be taking off their clothes and having a shower before they're allowed a cuddle. We'll be taking baby girl for a vaccination her first day with us(poor wee thing), but immunity develops over two weeks and because this is the first shot and not the booster, it will unlikely be full immunity even after that two weeks, but at least it should be better for getting home. How our trip will likely shake down is that baby girl and I will be stuck at the hotel while David and Adeline have a lovely time exploring Hanoi... Oh well... the only really important thing is to get that girl home safe and sound and we can go back for a real holiday in a few years.
We won't be taking a laptop to Vietnam with us, so while I might be able to type up some blog posts at the business centre at our hotel, the only photos I'll be able to post here are ones taken with my tablet, so they might be pretty poor quality, but I'll do what I can, as I know there are LOTS of silent (and not so silent) supporters out there cheering our little family on! Once home there will be an avalanche of cuteness on the blog - I promise!
Two more sleeps! I'm so excited!
Adeline has loved Elephant since she was a tiny baby. First she called him "Ant" and he cuddled with her when she had her bottle or if she was sad. Then she called him "Edewant" and he went to bed with her every night. Now Elephant's a girl and her name is mostly "Ellie" and just lately Adeline is needing her ALL THE TIME. Bedtime. Walking to school. Violin practice. Traveling in the car. Almost continually while she's playing. Watching her while she has a shower. Snuggling with her on the couch for increasingly large portions of the day. Everywhere and all the time. Adeline has even said that she wanted to leave fun places like the park because she was missing Elephant. Now if this had started after we told her about getting a sister and traveling to Vietnam I could understand it, but it actually started a few weeks before that. I thought nearly-five was an age when most kids were moving away from their lovies, not being more attached to them than ever. We're going with it, but do have some limits. Elephant can come in the car, but she can't go into stores or any other buildings. Elephant can walk with us to school, but I take her home with me. Elephant can watch violin lessons only if Adeline doesn't talk to her or want to hug her.
Of course Elephant is coming with us to Vietnam and it will be a HUGE DEAL if we lose her along the way.
My Mom and I took Adeline to the toy store to pick out a special stuffie for her sister and she REALLY wanted to choose an elephant just like hers. Adeline said that they are the cuddliest and the most special and she wanted her sister to have one. While I agreed that Elephant is the cuddliest (she really is!) I finally talked her into a giraffe, which is made by the same company as Ellie. It has the same squishy body and extra soft fabric and seems like it will make an excellent lovie...now hopefully her sister will like it. What finally sold Adeline on the giraffe was that it had a "twiddling tail" just exactly like Elephant. She is sure her sister will like to rub it between her fingers just like she does.
I'm a worrier. It's sort of my thing. So, you can understand how in a situation like this I might find a few hundred a couple of things to worry about.
Here's a very partial list...
Oh yes, I could go on and on, but those are the big ones for me right now.
I don't know if sharing helped unburden me or just made my worries seem more real...
No surprises, really, but now we've been delayed a week. We had a tentative date for the adoption ceremony for the 28th which was panic-inducing but manageable, but then we were given a firm invitation for the 24th, which was IMPOSSIBLE - we couldn't even get visas to enter the country with notice that short, never mind organize David's leave of absence or get packed. We asked to please keep the ceremony on the 28th or 29th, but were told that all the government offices are closed for a week's holiday and we now have a still-tentative date of May 5th or 6th. The tentativeness is driving me crazy...I can't book flights or a hotel without a firm date. While I recognize that this extra week gives us time to get more things done, I'm disappointed that our girl will be spending extra time at the orphanage and I really feel like I just want to GO.
But we wait...
As soon as we got our proposal I started doing some crafting for my girl. It's a way to keep my mind in a happy and hopeful place rather than giving in to worry. I also wanted our second to have some special things that were made just for her and weren't hand-me-downs from her big sister.
I knit an "In Threes" baby sweater. Such a fun and easy knit which worked up super quick in a few evenings of television watching. Even without a sweet baby modeling, it looks extremely cute. And sleeves are always my least favourite thing to knit, so being short sleeved is perfect. Hopefully it will fit this spring through the fall.
I also sewed up a sweet-as-sugar reversible pink rosebud bonnet. Love love love the peekaboo bonnet pattern - so clever, so well written, so logical and it makes SUCH a cute finished product. I NEVER pay for patterns, but this one was worth every penny. I even conquered my fear of piping and now want to use it in every project I make!
Now I just need a sweet-smelling baby noggin for this bonnet! Soon, baby girl, soon. Your Mama is coming.
Even though it came at a time when I was still in panic mode and thought we were leaving in less than a week, we needed to take a deep breath and celebrate Easter with our big girl. Adeline has been buzzy and spinny and excited and very emotional this last week - just like her Mama. It was good to have some fun and not think about the big trip or the big changes ahead and just focus on our little family of three.
Egg dying is always one of the highlights for Adeline.
We also went to a community Easter party which was great fun, despite the drizzle. Last year was sunny and there were WAY TOO MANY KIDS, but this year a lot of people stayed away so Adeline could find some candy at the Easter egg hunt, jump in the bouncy castle as long as she wanted and not have to wait for an eternity to get her face painted. There were crafts and other things to do, but Adeline was really into the bouncy castle and spent most of her time there.
At home, the Easter bunny had hidden eggs in nearly every room of the house and had filled Easter baskets for both Adeline and her sister, which was VERY exciting.
This is where photos of all those fun activities would usally go, but there's not time for me to get those into this post. Trust me...cute cute cute.
Next year...a nearly 6 year old and a nearly 2 year old... I can't even believe it...
...am I blogging at 12:43 a.m. on a Tuesday night? Because we've had news that we might need to be in Vietnam NEXT WEEK. This is ALL GOOD as I can't wait to bring our girl home, but...SO MUCH STRESS. We were expecting June and hoping for late May, so the end of April is crazy awesome, but we have NOTHING ready. NOTHING. No shots. No entry visa - my current freak out. We won't be able to send the application off until Thursday, which is cutting it WAY TOO CLOSE to get it back in time, especially with the holiday messing things up.The so-called nursery is still David's junk awesome-collection-of-stuff room. It's stuffed full of junk treasures, painted eye-popping orange, it has no heat, no baseboards and no curtains and certainly no crib or lovingly chosen decorations or even anywhere to put away clothes. We have done no baby proofing anywhere in the house and until this morning all the baby clothes and assorted stuff was packed away in the basement. We have no car seat. I have to pack for four and buy plane tickets and book a hotel. Buy the smallest sit and stand stroller I can find. Buy out the drugstore. Make a million lists. I'm usually a super organized person who researches everything and I'm absolutely NOT enjoying this whirlwind in which I'm having to do all this. David hadn't even told his boss yet that we were adopting, so it's come as a total shock to them - luckily they're supportive. Of course we don't have a firm date for the adoption ceremony yet, but it's looking likely for the 28th and we'd like to be there by the 25th so we can recover a bit from the travel, buy the things we'll need and have at least one visit with Khanh at the orphanage before she is ours forever.
I wish I could sleep, but my brain just won't shut off.
I admit that I stayed up until midnight last night and woke up and checked my email at 5:38 this morning, but finally after stalking my inbox all morning, right after I got back from dropping Adeline at preschool, THE EMAIL arrived. Oh, and it was GOOD. Our girl is happy and healthy, growing and developing, has just started to push through 2 little teeth and is described as being very responsive and having a sweet personality. She just has a little tuft of dark hair on top and she has some of the most gorgeous eyes I've ever seen. Khanh appears to be a big baby - although there is possibly something wonky with her updated measurements, so we can't tell for sure. There are four pictures and in one of them she is smiling and in the other she is laughing hard. Laughing!
Right here is where I wish I could show them to you...
Our agency representative returns to Canada over the weekend and she has promised to send us more pictures and A VIDEO next week.
A VIDEO! I didn't dare to wish too hard for a video as I thought it was impossible. But it exists and will be sent to us next week!
I hope she's laughing in the video.
The short version is, we don't know much, but here is all we know about our beautiful baby girl (yes, I think we've picked a name, but no, we're not sharing it yet. Thanks for all your great suggestions!)...
And that's it. That's all we know, beyond a very basic medical report that the international adoption Doctor we consulted with said had no red flags and lots and lots of green ones.
BUT! BUT! On Friday - THIS friday - someone from our agency is going to be VISITING OUR GIRL! She will hold her and tell her we're coming just as soon as we can, she'll take some pictures and she'll ask Khanh's caregivers some questions about her development and personality. We're hoping for new measurements as I have absolutely no idea what size clothes to bring and I can't rely on what size Adeline was at her age. My secret wish is for even 30 seconds of video, but I know that's super unlikely to happen.
Seriously - I am SO excited. I'm counting down the hours until Friday and I can't seem to keep my mind focused on anything for very long. Of course things could go wrong and this visit and update could not happen. I'm going to try not to let that crush me, but... As we wait I've got so little to hold on to - just two pictures that I've memorized every detail of and a few sentences. I need more! C'mon FRIDAY!
Then once Friday is over, my next worry/preoccupation/obsession will be travel dates. Mid-May is the earliest we could get our invitation, but June is more likely and July isn't impossible. I want to go NOW NOW NOW, of course.
So how do I cope with the stress and keep happy hope in my heart? Crafting, of course. So far Khanh has a crocheted blanket, a shrug and a sweater and I have plans this weekend to sew a couple of blankets and a bonnet. Pictures to come soon!
... or does everyone find choosing a name to be the most stressful part of having a baby?
This is seriously keeping me up at night, so please bring on your suggestions! We mostly like vintage old lady names that sound pretty and fresh, but we're open to any and all ideas. We like names that are recognizable, but still unusual. Names that you don't hear called on the playground again and again and definitely nothing from the top ten most popular names. Although in our neighbourhood things are a little different. I don't know any children in our 'hood with a top ten name. We live in a hipster/hippie kind of place, so anything goes when it comes to names. For example: I don't know anyone named Olivia or Emma or Ava but I've met at least four girls named Sequoia.
Last time we had to choose a name, Adeline had already been with us for a couple of days before we finally gave in to peer pressure and picked a name from our list of twenty possibilities. She had temporarily had three other names before we finally settled on Adeline, and we've had bouts of namer's remorse off and on ever since. This time we would really like to settle on a name soon and be sure of our choice before we travel. This time is already different though - we have two names we both really like. Neither of them seem exactly right, though. One of them is a fairly popular name - a classic you hear a lot - and while we both really like the name, we HATE the nickname it inevitably comes with. The other one is a total old lady name and doesn't appear anywhere on the charts, but it's a pretty and cool name with a nickname I love. It's not as unique as Adeline though, as other hipsters in our neighbourhood have already discovered it, and I've met a six year old and a three year old with the name.
People talk about having those "lightning bolt" moments when they just KNOW the name for their baby or talk of the names that they have had chosen for their children since they WERE children, and I wish it could be that easy for us.
Our girl is BEAUTIFUL and I want her to have a name as lovely and special as she is.
This morning Adeline and David were having breakfast together while I got a few extra minutes of sleep. She told him "I have the perfect cats and the perfect house and the perfect Mama and the perfect Daddy and the perfect name" so I guess we did okay the first time!