Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Projects Move Along

When God made me I think he forgot the home improvement skills. I can do simple things like paint but nothing like the good man (my brother-in-law Tim) at Riley Contracting Inc. He owns a home improvement company and does a great job, so he is finishing up Sophie's room today and tomorrow with the chair rails and then he is going to do the paint while he is at it! THANKS TIM!!!! So we can scratch that of the list. Just pick-up the remainder of the furniture and presto! Room almost ready!
Also, yesterday I walk in from work and see this scene going on in the front hall. A cat in a box and my wife with tools putting together the high chair/toddler chair that the Hognon Clan (My oldest sister Diehnee and her family) got for Sophie! THANKS AUNT DIEHNEE, UNCLE CHRIS, SARAH, CAROLINE, PETER AND JACK!

Peaches, what's up my man?

Kind of a challenge eh?

Finished and ready for a little girl!

New clothes!





We are getting ready for miss Sophie to make her appearance and of course she needs clothes. So I'm buying a few outfits here and there. As Hank stated before I will post some pictures of her little outfits. Sunday is my baby shower in Tulsa so be prepared for more pictures on Tuesday!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gotcha Day for 3 Families

A wonderful day for three fellow Holt Binh Duong families, who were united with their beautiful children today. Gotcha day is the day that all adoptive parents work towards. It is the day that you legally have your child. It is what Trish and I have been dreaming about for the past 4 years since we began our adoption journey. We want to extend a special congrats to Thomas and Cathy, Jack and Johanna and Eric and Joelle who now have their children! Below are pix from T&C site with their little girl Emma. They are from OKC which is 100 miles southwest of Tulsa were Tricia's Mom and Dad live. We hope to meet T&C and Emma this winter sometime when we head to Oklahoma so the two girls can be life-long buddies! Make sure to visit all three families sites over the next 2 or so weeks for the remainder of their beautiful trips!!!
Sophie was not at the orphanage, so no new pictures of videos at this point. We are at a very difficult part of our adoption. We are now on pins and needles waiting for the next approval e-mails to roll in from Holt regarding Sophie's dossier approval by the MOJ and People's Committee approval. We are expecting to have the first any day now to keep us on track with that late October or early November travel. Currently we are on business day number 16 of our I-600 approval process. We still religiously change the number on the ice box each day! We know that there is so much to do before we head across the Pacific, but we are ready to go on a moments notice! Hang on Sophie, Mom and Pop will be there soon!!!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Extreme Home Make Over - Belz Addition

Saws and other power tools ran into the late hours at the Belz house this past week installing the new floors. Four days and the downstairs is now almost back to normal. What a difference it makes. The animals and still trying to figure it out though!
Coming this week is the finishing of Sophie's room with the crown and chair rails and the paint. The rest of her furniture is in, and we will go get that as soon as painting is complete. We are headed to Tulsa this next weekend for Tricia's shower there with family and friends. Should be a good time! Tricia is busy getting clothes to take with us for our girl. Some really cute outfits. I know she will post pix as shopping is a passion of hers!
Make sure you start looking at the three family blogs that have IN VIET NAM by them. They will be doing their G&R tomorrow as they are safely in Saigon! We hope to see pix of little Sophie too! T&C, J&J and E&J we are waiting on pins and needles to see those first precious moments!!!

Living Room - can't wait to kick on the fireplace!

T and her morning cup o' Joe

Front hall of the Belz Centre!

Peaches still checking things out


From the kitchen

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Weekend..........

This weekend we will be attending our parents in process (PIP) classes. These are required for all Holt adoptive families before they travel. Classes are all day long today and half day tomorrow.
The purpose of the classes is to educate us about being adoptive parents and some of the challenges that we may face. Certain issues like attachment and grieving are highlighted but it is more of a what to expect class for us.
Side note, we have another Binh Duong Holt family that has received travel approval and I-600 approval! They will be leaving for Viet Nam in the coming weeks for arrival on October 4 for their Giving and Receiving Ceremony on the 6th! CONGRATS JESS AND JOE!! We are excited for you all to go get Quinn!!!! From what we know (of those Holt Viet Nam families) we will be two of the last to travel in Viet Nam to complete our journey. Kind of scary and somber but it will be a VERY exciting trip!!!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bon Voyage Binh Duong Families!!!

A very exciting time today and tomorrow. We have three fellow Holt families leaving for Viet Nam to be united with their children in Binh Duong, the same province that Sophie is in! The fun thing is that when children are united with their forever families, the foster families bring all the boys and girls back to the orphanage for a going away party, and Sophie will be there! Hoping to get some great pix from those traveling.
Jack and Johanna, Eric and Joelle and Thomas and Cathy, we wish you safe travels and a speedy return home with your beautiful children! We will be watching your sites religiously for pictures of these joyous times for you and all PAPs in the Viet Nam program. Please give our little girl a big hug and kiss from the both of us and tell her we will be there soon! Again, Thomas and Cathy, thank you for taking Sophie our little gift bag. We miss her more and more each day and look forward to being in Binh Duong before to long. God's speed and blue skies to everyone!
~Hank & Tricia

Friday, September 12, 2008

UPDATE DAY!! WOOOOOHOOOO!!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! We just got our quarterly update from Holt and WOW! Another tear jerking moment opening up the pictures and there she is holding our picture! We see that she has some of the items we sent her like the Animals book and some of the clothes (the jeans and a few of the onesies)! She has grown 2" and gained just about 2 pounds since early May. She is also almost walking on her own. Things she is able to do? CRAWL OUT OF HER CRIB! She listens intently to conversations around her. She starts to understand the meaning of “Khong” and “dung” (means: “no” and “stop”). She says “khong ma” to refuse to do something when requested. We also see she likes bright colored toys and enjoys her bath time. Also see that she is sleeping soundly at night and goes to bed easily (we shall see about that). At the end of the update is is nice to see "formally assigned to the Belz in Jun. 2008". So enjoy all the photos! A GREAT start to our weekend! WE LOVE YOU SOPHIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLDING OUR PIC!

STANDING ON HER OWN!

Those big beautiful eyes!



With her foster mother sporting the jeans we sent!



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What is Going On Around The Belz House?

One royal mess! Basically everything downstairs minus the kitchen bathroom and my "man cave" are totally destroyed living on sub-floors until the guys come to install our wood floors next Monday. Upstairs, Sophie's room is in the works, furniture is arriving and we are getting ready to do some chair rails and paint. We did the gift shopping and have all that ready to go in one of the other 3 bedrooms upstairs.
We have our parents-in-progress classes next weekend, and then off to Tulsa for a shower the following weekend. Good Lord I am looking at the calendar and there are not many weekends left! I have this guy feeling we will be in Viet Nam come
late October now instead of November. With adoptions now closed, the amount of incoming paperwork will be less and hope to have it all completed soon! Regardless, there is a ton of things to get finished before we bring our little princess home and life as DINKs (Dual income no kids) comes to a halt. Which we are so excited to begin a new chapter in our lives with Sophie. Hoping to have news from Holt on Sophie's dossier approval this week :-)





Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I-600 Received!

CIS E-mail came in early this morning that they have our I-600. So from the date on the letter of August 29th, they estimate around 60 business days to verify Sophie's orphan status. Other families have seen around 45. This will be the final approval that we receive (comes after Sophie's dossier approval and People's Committee approval) before our travels! A GOOD day today! Countdown is now underway.
Also a little, kind of childish thing we can have fun with is to "change the number on the ice box" game! Each day closer to CIS approval we add a digit! Wow, are we desperate for things to do or what?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Sad Day Has Passed

A sad day for all families in the Viet Nam program. The September 1 deadline has now passed with no new agreement between the US and Viet Nam. We are sad for the children that are now caught in the middle of this and for those families that are in process without being matched with a child. We were praying that something would come out but it looks as if it is not going to be so. Not yet. We will continue to pray for those families that look towards new programs or sit and wait to see if new agreements can be agreed upon with the best interest of the children in mind. We know of a few fellow Holt families that are without a referral and please know we are thinking about you all and praying that this will work its way out.
On our front, we are good, with the DIA affirming that we have been formally matched with our little angel Sophie. So we continue forward. Hoping to see an e-mail each morning from the USCIS in Viet Nam that they are in receipt of our I-600 and the process begins, or that Sophie's dossier has been approved. In the meantime we have a disaster of a house on our hands. Everything on the first floor is ready for the new floors. We also purchased Sophie's crib this weekend-THANKS TO TRICIA'S PARENTS!!!!THANKS GRANDMA AND GRANDAD SMITH!We will post pix here soon. As with life, we change courses and and decided on a different furniture color than white. Stay tuned..........News at 11!

~ Sophie's Pop