Friday, November 30, 2007

The Writing Of The Home Study

Got word from Judy that she is writing our home study and hopefully she will get that finished today. As soon as that happens she will send it to the Holt HQ in Eugene, OR for preliminary approval. At this point we are getting some vital records together like certified birth certificates and marriage license which will be submitted to the USCIS (formerly the INS) for immigration. To obtain our child's visa there is a three step process.

Step 1) Filing the I-600A which is the application for advanced processing of orphan petition along with supporting docs like the birth and marriage papers and home study. After we submit this we complete the FBI fingerprinting process for Tricia and myself. Jonathan does not have to do this since he is only 17. The USCIS then sends us the I-171H which is the Notice of Favorable Determination which is the long name for "Yup your I-600A is good to go". Totally waiting time is around 60-90 days to get the I-171H .

Step 2) Filing the I-600 which is the petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative. We complete this once we get TA (Travel Approval) and the actual form is filed in Hanoi with our baby's legal docs.

Step 3) The visa petition interview at the US Embassy in Hanoi. These documents for the interview are our home study, birth certificates, marriage certificate, I-600A & 600, employment letters, copies of our W-2, and tax returns, and vaccination waivers.

Whew... sound like alot? Well I guess so but really it is submitting the same documents over and over and over again! So we just go with the flow and take baby steps closer! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just a Friendly Nudge

Judy from Holt is waiting on two families to complete their reference paperwork. PLEASE, PLEASE send this in! It is the only thing that is holding up her writing our home study. We thank those, Greens, DeLeones and Walkers for being prompt !

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We had a nice time. Tricia's Mom, Dad and Brother were in town, as were my Pop and Stepmother. We had a nice crowd at the house with great food compliments of my awesome wife :-) .
Well I thought it might be fun to add a forum to the site. It is still work in progress, but feel free to sign up and we all can chat! Just click HERE

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hang Those Stockings By The Chimney With Care.....Hoping That Baby Belz Will Soon Be HERE!

Mom likes to needlepoint and has made tons of cool belts for me (hey Mom...time for another please after this...I am getting too fat for the others), pillow for T and various other things. For all of her grandchildren she does HUGE Christmas stockings. The picture does not do the size justice, but once we find out if we have a son or a daughter, his/her name will go up top. This is stocking number 7 and if God's plan works, we shall have it hanging with ours for Christmas 2009!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Day After.....

We had our first home study last night with Judy. It was actually really fun. We already knew her from originally finding our about Holt 3 yrs ago and a few months ago at an informational session. We had great talks about being parents and just about how we were raised by our parents, plus general things about our marriage and some chats about T's cancer battle which as you all know has made us so very strong! Jonathan was also interviewed for about minutes since he is living with us.
The plan is to have Judy swing by on 11/23 which would complete the visits. She then writes the home study report. It is then sent to Holt HQ in Eugene or approval and translation into Vietnamese. Then, off to Vietnam for approval. Hopefully we can have all this completed by the end of the year. THEN the long wait of 6-12 months for the referral of our son or daughter.
We kind of sit and wonder if our child is already born? Yes? No? Wondering so many things. I have been reading Tricia's book Finding Katherine. Truly a wonderful read. We are studying so much about the country and the rich history there. So many of us only see Vietnam and the people through movies and photos centered around the war. Given all of that, it is interesting to find out that the citizens of Vietnam LOVE Americans and treat those in country like celebrities. "The Tall Americans", is how they refer to us. Vietnam is a beautiful country with a huge tourist industry. Sporting some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, Vietnam is for sure a hidden gem of Southeast Asia. Looking forward to the experience of being there! Have a great weekend all! We are off to stalk the pesky whitetail. Tricia too. Just for kicks and giggles, here is a pic of T from last year's deer season!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Home Study Begins Today

For some odd reason I was awake, bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 3:07 A.M. Not sure if it was excitement or nerves, maybe a little of both, but honestly we are not nervous, except I think we told Jonathan about 186 times since Monday to have his room 100% spotless. Most of you know he doesn't have anything better to do with his "spare time" until next Friday :-)
Judy will be here at 4:00 P.M. I am sure it will be a LONG day waiting for the clock to move.

Also looks like we reach 1,500 unique visitors to the site too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mommy 2 be thoughts!

Hello all! Finally the soon to be Mommy has time to post something! While we were on vacation I had plenty of time to read and catch up on my thoughts. I read the book "Finding Katherine" by: Dr. Ellen Fitzenrider. I found myself caught up in each page as Dr. Fitzenrider shared her journey of adoption. She did not leave out anything. I could actually see myself in Vietnam experiencing the culture of this beautiful country. I find myself wanting to know more about the country - I craved the knowledge these books have to offer. I never wanted to learn so much about anything in my life. Dr. Firzenrider fills in all the lines with beautiful colors of adopting through Vietnam. I am more anxious now than I have ever been. I can not wait until Hank and I get to experience this. This vacation was exactly what I needed. I was able to regain focus on what is important in life. I am more focused on my job and why I get up each morning- it's to prepare for our child. I work and strive so I can take care of my family. Every decision I make seems to involve our child. Today we are one more day closer to Vietnam and our baby. Our home study has been set up for next Thursday! Things, for the first time ever, are falling into place. coincidence? I think not! Until next time--Chúa troi Ban phúc Tình yêu, MommaB

Monday, November 5, 2007

Back To Reality

Well we are back home :-(. Despite Tropical Storm Noel which provided some high winds and very sporadic monsoon downpours on Sunday and Monday, we had another great time at the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus. Photos will be uploaded soon. But here are a few to tide everyone over.
And.....on the adoption front, we received our invoice for the home study while we were playing in the sun! Time to start writing the big $ checks now! Judy will be our social worker. She is also the Branch Director for the Kansas/Missouri Offices.