Monday, July 28, 2008

Back At It!

Back home after a nice vacation. No news while we were away, which is good! We just hang here and wait it out and keep on preparing things for Sophie! We are working on our hotel choices for Saigon and Hanoi. There are a ton of options, but we need some room to stay for two weeks, so the serviced apartments in both cities are looking good! Showers are being planned, in September and October for St. Louis and in Tulsa (Tricia's family is there). So, that is about it! A few photos from the trip are below:

We spent a great day with the Hognon crew (My sister Diehnee's family) minus Sarah!

TSB, Spicy, and HB

Epworth sunsets at the cottage....something special

The Walker family who joined us this summer!

BIG BOAT!! MORE FUN!! She crosses to Ludington 2x daily from WI.

Another spectacular sunset seen from the porch.

The cottage in our family since 1956. I have never missed one year since I was born.

Ludington lighthouse. Our cottage is to the left on the beach.


Thursday, July 17, 2008


We head out at O'dark:30 for Ludington, MI. A little gem on the shores of central Lake Michigan. We will be back after a while or so :-) . In the meantime, you all take care, hope to see MANY new approvals and hopefully some new referrals for those families that are waiting.
We will try to post, but hey its vacation and we have better things to nothing, and enjoy our last vacation without Sophie. Next year she will be able to go with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Trish received an e-mail today from Holt letting us know that our dossierhas been approved by the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and will now be en-route to the Binhh Duong Deparment of Justice (DOJ). MOJ is the federal level of government whereas the DOJ is the provincial government where Sophie is now living. Even though our dossier has be in VN since March, approvals did not begin until after we were matched with our little girl.
Next steps will be:

1) Holt Viet Nam office submits our I-600 with the required child documents from the DOJ to the CIS (US immigration) in Viet Nam.

2) The MOJ receives Sophie's dossier from the DOJ and approves it.

3) Local People's Committee gives approval.

4) Wait for CIS approval of our I-600.

To say the least it is so refreshing to see this progress faster than we had anticipated when we started. Here is praying for continued quick approvals so we can jump on that westbound plane to hold our precious Sophie!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

All Quiet.......

Relatively speaking it is. Right now no news is good news as we await the approvals on our dossier and Sophie's from the MOJ in Ha Noi. We did get word from Holt on Friday that our Special Power of Attorney was rejected by the MOJ due to something that was illegible. We are not sure what that is, so we have to redo that piece, have it notarized and state certified again which means another trip downtown where if your meter expires for one minute, the cops are like buzzards waiting to put a ticket under your wiper. I have receive TWO there. One each time. One was expired for 2 minutes, the other 5 and this time I was coming back down to feed it again. Oh well. I will bring a roll of quarters this time. Anywho, we will do this on Tuesday and FedEx it back to Holt. They said it should not hold up anything with our approvals if we get it back this coming week.
So for now we are looking at hotels in Saigon and Ha Noi, budgeting that is fun. Looking at the Somerset Ho Chi Minh City in Saigon and either the Ha Noi Elegance 3 or Somerset Grand. The Somersets are apartments basically with 2 bedrooms, kitchens, laundry living room, etc. But REALLY nice. If you have one here it would be $300-$400 / night easy. Look em up. They are really cool. So for now that is all!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Your Voice Makes a Difference!!!

We wanted to share that today we received and e-mail from Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri regarding the campaign we asked everyone to participate it. Akin included the letter to Secretary of State Rice which contained 130 signatures from members of the Senate and Congress in support of the Child Rights Campaign and to expedite the signing of a new MOU between the US and the Vietnamese Government. This is a HUGE step and we hope it is the door opening that will allow adoptions to continue between the two countries. There is a TON of work to be done still, but it is a glimmer of hope in moving forward to ensure that children like our Sophie will be able to join loving FOREVER FAMILIES through ethical means. At this time, the two of us would like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to everyone that participated in this campaign. We may need help in the future as we look to add to our family through Vietnam in the coming years. I have attached a screen shot of the letter that the 130 people signed to Rice as well as a link below to the entire document that holds the names and signatures of those elected officials who see the urgency and importance of moving forward. Also note those officials from your state that you might have contacted, received communication that they would support this initiative and see no signature. For us, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is missing her signature from the letter even though we received communication that she would sign the letter. Rest Assured that I will be on the horn at 8:00am tomorrow to her office to find out why her signature is not to be seen. If you have received similar e-mails etc and you see no signature, use your voice and contact these people. They work for us. We elected them to represent US and if they are not acting accordingly it is our right to find out why! Again, thank you from us: Hank, Tricia and Sophie. God bless you all!!!!!

Here is the link to the full document. Click HERE

~Sophie's Pop

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Preparing For The Princess

We spent a good part of the afternoon at Babies-R-Us doing the registry thing. Did anyone else feel like they should have one bar code that you should be able to scan that adds the whole store into your registry? There are so many things to get. Wow! So the paint colors are picked out and her bedding, so we needed to get the furniture pattern too. Below is what we have so far.
Off-White Furniture with a convertible crib that turns into toddler bed, day bed and double bed

Her bedding with matching window treatments

Accessories galore!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!!!

Celebrate the freedoms that we as Americans are so lucky to have. As always, thank you to our soldiers who fight everyday to keep us safe and free. God bless our veterans and those who paid the ultimate price to ensure our liberty.