Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

BOO! To everyone! Nothing new to report as we end another week and move into November. Day +44

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A Big WELCOME HOME to three Holt families that have just been united with their children. Mark and Carol with Josiah, David and Cheri with Jacob, as well as Rob and Christel with Honour!
We have enjoyed following along during your weeks in Viet Nam. WELCOME HOME EVERYONE!!!!
Day +41..........

Friday, October 24, 2008

Navigating Through the Waters of International Adoption......

Another morning of disappointment. I really think the best way to describe the feeling is running downstairs on Christmas morning and seeing that Santa did not leave any presents under the tree. Not only that but he took the tree, stockings and ate all the cookies and drank the milk. That is the feeling we get each morning no e-mail arrives from the CIS in Ho Chi Minh City.
Frustrating to say the least, because we have absolutely ZERO control over the process. Trish said that it is so hard because "She is right there" and we can't do anything to help move things along. We wait on the USCIS and the Vietnamese provincial government. Its not like we can walk down the street and use both of our great negotiation skills (Tricia is the best sales person I have ever met). So many people ask "When are you going to Viet Nam?" WE WISH WE KNEW! But we just say "Don't know." CIS says average processing time for I-600s is 45 business days. Lord grant us the patience to endure another weekend. COME ON MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found the below prayer which is fitting:
Gracious God, it’s so hard to wait. To wait for new things to happen in my life. To wait for you to answer my prayers. To wait for the open doors that may lead me into a new way of being. During the time of waiting, it seems that all I can think of is having what it is I am waiting for. At times I feel weary of asking and waiting, and I wonder if you really hear my prayers at all, if you are ignoring me, or if you are simply refusing to give me my heart’s desire. A part of me knows that you want my best, and that your time is not my time, but Lord, it is still so hard to wait. Deepen my trust, O Lord, during the times when my heart longs for what can only come in the fullness of time. Give me a calm assurance that your will for me is grander than anything I could ever imagine. Still my mind and heart in your love so that I am mindful of the grace you are draping around me every single day, every single moment. I ask this for the sake of your love.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where In The World?

One of the questions that many ask us is where is Sophie from in Viet Nam? Well the answer is Binh Duong province in the South. Looking at the map to the left it is just North of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) by about 45 minutes. Relatively speaking it is a new province, formed in 1997 from the Song Be province. Many familiar companies to us Westerners call Binh Duong home and have contributed thousands of jobs and growth. Nike, Adidas and McDonald's have major facilities here. In 2004 the province was home to over 800,000 people.
So just a brief geography class this morning. Day +37

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rack of Lamb with Peaches

Sounds nasty yes? Well obviously Peaches the cat thought different! We are sitting in my office downstairs, Trish is doing photos from her shower. From the kitchen this crashing of something and sounds of paper bags with two cats. Well, Mr. Peaches has decided to get into a leftover bag of rack of lamb that was on the counter. Little did he realize that his head would get caught through the loop on the to-go bag and he is running around the house with his sister Puck our other cat in hot pursuit. It sounded like two bulls in a china shop. Upstairs they go, Peaches still with the bag around his head...yep....where does he end up....Through Sophie's room, lamb ribs flying out into the upstairs loft, under our bed, Sophie's crib. So finally we get him and below are the pix! Kind of a great way to laugh things off on a Monday night at the Belz Centre!!!

mmmmmmmmm lamb!

Oh yeah, and this is NOT the first time that this has happened. Another time was a plastic shopping bag, sorry no photos of that, but this one takes the cake..... You write your own headline and story to the below shot of Peaches the cat.

"Son? Is that a panty on your head?"

YEP!! SURE IS!!!!!
Taken about one year ago!!!

Great job Peaches....can't wait until the next gut buster!!!

tick... tick...

Follow up to HB's post... seriously! I can honestly say "THANK GOD IT'S MONDAY"! So here's the scoop.. Friday we had a great dinner with Libby, Tim, Betsy and Kevin for LIB's 40th! We came home went to bed. Now always when I go to bed I get so excited because I'm going to wake up tomorrow and another day will have passed. So I wake up at 3:00 a.m. thinking I hear Sophie, so naturally I tell Hank to go check on her. I guess reality hit when he said "she's not here". Well that really woke me up. I laid there until 4:20 thinking about her and wondering why I had this dream. Is it a sign? So I get up 2 hours later and I have nothing planned for the day (which never ever happens). I'm watching Hank fly his plane on the computer, drinking my cup of coffee wondering what can I do today? Hank, knowing my faces asked me.."what's wrong Trish, your bored?" Well duh, I'm not a relaxer. I have to be doing something all of the time. Thinking to myself.."I have 14 more hours until I go back to sleep, so what can I do? The answer was nothing.... I had to figure out something. I got it, I'll go pack Sophie's suitcase, that will take at least 2 hours..... uh no, more like 30 mins. After that, shopping. Then I'll go see our nephews (who are so awesome and make things always better), then I'll go home and watch football. Finally Saturday is OVER! YEAH! So the point of my babbling is this.......... Mom and Pop are running out of things to do. I swear I'm going to paint that bathroom myself Saturday, just for something to do. I'm sure our friends and family are tired of us calling them in hopes that they will want to take our mind off of things for a bit (that's a joke ya'll have been great)! So here it is Monday and I have that feeling again.... this will be the week! Until then... tick tick tick.....

Day +35

Right now as I type it is 7:00pm in Viet Nam. Another business day has passed, marking day 35 waiting for the I-600 approval. Even though it is fall we should normally see shorter days, well not for us. Days are VERY long and drawn out. Work weeks are good (did I just say that?) because we are both super busy there, weekends tend to drag on though. My sister had her 40th birthday party Friday, Trish packed Sophie's suitcase Saturday morning, I worked outside and went to the Blues game Saturday night (SORRY CHICAGO...IT IS STILL CHOKE-TOBER). I guess we just hang tight like we have been doing for the past 426 days. Its hard. Really hard. Now we understand what other PAPs said that THIS, this wait is worse that waiting to me matched with a child! is. Worst wait we have ever been through. Our hearts are with and we do not know how the Dong Nai families cope. God bless you all! Hoping day +36 will be that day!
If you all look in the Holt family links there are some new family sites that have been added. Some are in Viet Nam with their children, others are in the same boat we are.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Well it might not be Christmas just yet, but with this load, some children in Viet Nam will have a great time. This evening we packed the "gift" suitcase which contains all of the presents that we will be giving to the children at the orphanage, orphanage director as well as staff, her foster family, and the MOJ Officials. While that may not seem like a bunch, keep in mind that there are about 23 children, 17 or so staff members, and 3 MOJ Officials. It is amazing that all of the things we bought fit into one suitcase! The nice thing is that this will be empty and we can fill it with great trinkets that we will purchase while over there!
It is just one step closer to that day we have been dreaming of, where we board the plane at Lambert and head over to be united forever with our little girl. Honestly it is wearing a little thin, and we are running out of things to keep us busy. When I get up in the morning, I go down stairs, check my Blackberry to see how many work e-mails I have from over night. If there is ONE, I know it is not the day for I-600 approval, as we get one early morning e-mail which is kind of like our morning news at work. If there are TWO or more, my heart skips a beat until I open it up hoping one will be from the USCIS in Viet Nam. We shall see what tomorrow morning holds. We now sit on business day +32 waiting on that e-mail.

Will it all fit?

Yep! Now will it zip?!?

~Sophie's Pop

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sophie's Shower Part Deux

Sophie's St. Louis shower was this past weekend. Around 30 friends and family joined in on the food and fun. Special thanks to Libby and Ann who hosted! Below are some pictures from the day!
When Hank got home, we wrote a little note to Sophie on a balloon from the shower and let it go!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here we are at the OSU/MIZZOU game Saturday! Wow what a great game. It was even better because the POKES beat down the Tigers! We had a great time! The shower was also this weekend and I will post pictures tonight! Until then......O-S-U!

Friday, October 10, 2008


A home divided as the #3 tigers battle the Pokes...I know Tiger nation will be in full force at "The Zoo" tomorrow. So, with that said.


GO GET EM!!!!!!


Tomorrow is the OSU vs MIZZOU game and I could not be more excited. OSU and MIZZOU have not played in over 5 years! Both team are undefeated so we are hoping for a good game. About 85% of the people here in St. Louis love MIZZOU, so I'm looking forward to my family coming her and sporting the orange in a sea of black and gold. So good luck COWBOYS!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oh What A Feeling!!!!!

Some great news and forward progress today! Holt e-mailed Tricia to let us know that the MOJ has approved Sophie's child dossier! We had expected this a week or so ago, but that is what we get for trying to map out a time line of events based off of previous families from our province. So a BIG sigh of relief as we now are down to just TWO...count 'em TWO approvals. The local People's Committee approval in Binh Duong and the mysterious I-600 approval from the USCIS in Hanoi. In that arena we have just finished business day #27.
We are getting there Sophie! Mom and Pop will be there as soon as we can!

Friday, October 3, 2008


We would like to say WELCOME HOME to Thomas,Cathy and Emma, Eric,Joelle and Alex, Jack, Johanna and Sam. We really have enjoyed the posts and pix from your sites while you were in Viet Nam!
Hey the newspaper even had your pic from Ha Long Bay! :-).
Rest up! We look forward to chatting again in the coming days!
To Jess and Joe. Hope you are safely in VN! We will be watching you three as well! Everyone have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shower.....Paint.....Almost Ready

Tricia had her Tulsa shower this past weekend. A great group of family and friends joined her to help prepare her for Sophie. Thanks to the ladies that helped organize the day for her.

We are also a few more steps closer to getting her room finished. Some wall things, window coverings and a few more furniture items and we can cross that off of the list!