Archive for April, 2009

First Giggles and Smiles

April 30th, 2009

It’s been a few days now with Tuan and he’s still loving mom best, but he’s starting to warm up to me more and more. Tonight while we were out walking I asked him if I could hold him and he got a big smile on his face and hid behind mom (he was afraid I was going to grab him).

All and all he’s been a great kid. I really can’t say enough good about his orphanage/ nanny and how on target he is with other kids his age. He can play on his own, flip through books, and even use the TV remote all on his own (I think they had him pretty much potty trained too, but we’re not risking that one). He is very sweet and cuddly. If he wasn’t a whopping 24 lbs I’d say Susan’s got it easier than I did with Gem (carrying little Gem around for 3 weeks was cake where she weighed 17 lbs). Anyway, we’ve been in the hotel room quite a bit the past few days, but hopefully tomorrow we’ll start sight seeing again.

Happy Birthday Gem: We Got Him

April 27th, 2009

Yesterday we got a bit of a surprise. Just as Susan and I were walking out the door to go to a Vietnamese cooking class for the day the phone rang. It was our agency cordinator here in VietNam and she said that our giving and receiving ceremony (the part where Tuan is made ours on the VietNam side of things) had been changed from Tuesday to Monday (Which happens to be Gem’s Birthday back home).

Here’s some information about the trip you might want to know. We are here with 3 other adoptive Families who are adopting through our adoption agency (Pearl S. Buck International). From Tuan’s orphanage there are 2 kids. Tuan and Chau (to be named Morgan) being adopted. The other little girl being adopted is from another orphanage around Hanoi.

walkingWe pulled up to the POJ (I have no idea what that stands for but it’s the government entity that we have our giving and receiving ceremony (G&R) at). The kids were already there waiting outside on the grounds with their care givers.

Tuan’s orphanage is pretty unique. It’s part of a larger women’s correctional facility (I don’t think it houses major offenders mostly drug and prostitution related crimes), but we do know that because of this the ratio to care givers is much higher than your typical orphanage (2 to 1 it seemed compared to Gems 10+ to 1). Women who want to be involved with the the orphanage go through training and then become part of the staff and care givers at the orphanage.

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The photo above is Tuan and his nanny. She told us that she’s been Tuan’s nanny ever since she became part of the program, which was about 2 months after Tuan had been left at the orphanage gate. All the photos that we’ve received before travel usually had Tuan being held by this women. As you can imagine the two of them are extremely close. He held on to her the whole time we had to wait around. I don’t think I can express enough my gratitude for this women, and how lucky we are to have had her to care and mother our son while we’ve had to wait to make him ours.

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Above is POJ building. The G&R is pretty uneventful and having to sign papers and such I needed to put the camera down.

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After the G&R we went outside and of course had to wait a few minutes for more paper work to be finalized. This photo is extremely awkward as the families wait with much anticipation and the Nannies dread the turn over. It’s was really difficult. You wanted nothing more than to go up and hug the nannies and express your gratitude, but cultural and language barriers held us back.

home1The transition of course hasn’t been the smoothest. Tuan has cried a bit but not near the amount Gem. I have yet to hold him as Susan won’t give him up for the life of her. Which is fine by me right now. Having had Gem attach to me and then be physically attached to me for 3 weeks I will be happy to be the supportive parent (though it has it’s headaches too). Anyway I just wanted to share some of the details. The next few days we’ll be mostly in the hotel room working on getting Tuan attached to us (there’s nothing worse then taking a kid around and having him reach out for every brown woman he sees).

And finally “Happy Birthday Gem”. I really wish we were at home with you to celebrate. I feel like a terrible parent having missed half of your 4 birthdays. I’ll make it up to you with a car on your sweet sixteen.

Tuan’s Orphanage

April 26th, 2009

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Yesterday was quite the experience going out to Tuan’s orphanage. All I can really say is that if your kid’s going to grow up in an orphanage Tuan’s is top notch. He is loved by so many care givers and nannies.

It was really fun to see our little boy, but just as we thought he wanted nothing to do with us. Which actually took a lot of pressure off and allowed us to enjoy being around him and all the other orphanage kids. It was a very good day. Tomorrow he’ll be ours.

We Arrived in Hanoi

April 25th, 2009

A while back we saw some comedian a on a late night show talking about airplanes and how people complain and his punch line was, “but you flew through the air in a chair.” And I know the miracle of flight is not to be taken lightly, but after being in airports and airplanes for close to 30 hours the miracle starts to fade, and is replaced with tiredness and and a desire to be back on the ground where you can hear and stretch your legs. But with all that said now that we are here and a day has gone by it’s worth the flight. Today has been our first full day in Hanoi and we love this place. It’s similar to most Asian cities I’ve been to, but has a romantic old world charm too. I guess that’s why the french call it he Paris of the east. Infact our plane form Hong Kong was filled with mostly French people and I just kept thinking of the Flight of the Concords song and saying “Girard Depardeaux” in as French accent as I can.

We have yet to meet our son. Tomorrow morning we’re actually going to head out to the orphanage. We’re very excited even though our Agency rep. said yesterday that he doesn’t let anyone hold him except his nanny (here we go again, Gem was the same way).

Anyway, here are a few photos of our morning trip to the “temple of literature”.

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Good Bye, Leggy Blonde

April 21st, 2009

As far as songs from the Concords this one is my favorite. Maybe it’s because Murray sings. Also you’ll notice when you play the video that there’s a new video player. Yes that’s right I went a head and built a new one for the FlashDen. It’s available for purchase (finally, they take some time to get files published).