Friday, February 27, 2009

Missing Viet Nam....Looking Back

Yep. You saw it. We miss Viet Nam. And not because it is 80 there and supposed to snow here tomorrow..... I got up this morning and went back to watch old videos and view pix from when we were in Saigon and Ha Noi. Wow, how our little girl has blossomed. I watched the first video we shot of her at the CWC in Binh Duong and compared it to her "running" through the house today. It is amazing at what 11 weeks has done to this little lotus flower.
We go back re-visiting all of the wonderful and special moments, the ones that take your breath away and just marvel in the experience that we had. It is now really a complete circle. God led us (all three of us) down the path to what has brought us together as a family. Me meeting Trish, her having cancer, and then the knock-down blows from other tries at adoption and then Holt who matched Sophie with us, the love of our lives.
We miss Viet Nam and we know our girl does too. All the great times we had with the Ducker family, it just is like a dream that we never want to wake up from. We even have a beckoning cat for Sophie, while it might not be a Vietnamese thing, it sure brings us back to that one restaurant in Ha Noi and the wild goose chase the street lady led us on to find one (long story but go into the December 2008 posts and you will find it!). We miss the special people in Vietnam. We miss the Holt staff and the whole was just simply fantastic. For those that have ever considered foreign adoption or are in the stages of doing it, there is no other way to go than Holt. Period, end of story. We hope and pray that someday the red tape is cut and we can have another child from this beautiful country that WE are so lucky to be matched with. We are still told how lucky Sophie is, but it is the complete opposite. WE are the lucky ones to have her. WE are the ones that thank God every night as we stand over her bed and pray, just marveling at the peace, joy and love we now have.
We are very excited to be re-uniting with Jackie, Rich and Mya over Independence Day. A dual trip to meet my oldest sister Diehnee and her tribe in NJ and to let these two angels (Sophie an Mya) from Viet Nam spend their first 4th of July together. We could not think of anything better.
Sophie is doing so very well and bonded with us both 100%. The anxiety she showed in the past for me is now long gone (Thanks for the words of support Thomas!!!) She KNOWS we are her forever family and we have so many people to thank for the gift that they have given us. I just do not know how to express what this one little girl has given us. She makes us complete. We love you Sophie Lee-Nguyen Belz.... With all our hearts!!!!!!

The smile and expression from Tricia that I so longed for. My two girls!!!

Two special girls...Mya Grace and Sophie Lee. Friends forever.

Sophie and Mommy, their first moments on Gotcha' Day. 12/9/08. A sad & happy day for all three of us as well as a foster family and the Holt staff in VN...

The first picture that we every took of our daughter. The lady pictured was her primary care giver when she was at the CWC in Binh Duong.

The special foster mother (and her family) who we still think and pray about every day. Some day we hope we can re-unite. We send them pictures and letters via Holt so they can know how well is adapting with her forever family. God Bless them all!

One of the first videos of Sophie.......look in the background on the bench. That is a member of her foster family, that we can only assume is an older foster brother as he is in other pictures we have.

The newest citizen of the United States...Wheels down @ LAX.....

One of the very special people we met while in Viet Nam. An employee of The Vine in Ha Noi. Such a wonderful place.

One of the priceless photos...if only we knew what they were saying. A picture is worth MORE than 1,000 words......

The flight to the rest of our lives.

The sign on the CWC in Binh Duong... I can only imagine that it says "FINDING FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN" under the logo. That they did....that they did!

Proof that yes, you CAN carry 541 birds on the back of a motor bike :-)

The Belz family outside the Department of Justice in Binh Duong after our G&R ceremony.

Hoping you all have a great weekend!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dinner and FOUR Movies!!!!!

Sophie has been getting cooking lessons from Mommy. Now we are into the pizza pies! Hailing from Binh Duong, Sophie brings some Asian zing to the pizza here we go with dinner!

First of you HAVE to have the Chef's hat. (Courtesy of Grandpa Jones)

Now, you make sure everything is jussssst right....

Once the pizza is in the oven, you have a meltdown..
and then, a temper tantrum! :-)
We had rented a Redbox move last week and needed to take it back, so I hit the EJECT button on the PS3 and heard nothing but nasty clicking noises...Well come to find out that Ms. Sophie (or one of the animals) had jammed three additional DVDs into the 4 DVDs! I have no clue.....but after the extraction, the wonderful gaming/BlueRay/DVD is now nothing more than a paper weight. 3 of 4 DVDs.......Thanks Sophie!!!! We still love you, just going to have to garnish your allowences for about, oh 10 or so years :-)

"O" Turns One and I'm The DJ......

Been keeping busy! Sophie has been contracting germs like a magnet lately. She had a nice cold the past week but is getting better. We also had a doctor visit last week. Sophie gained just over 1 pound in a month, so we know she loves the food! New teeth are rocketing into her mouth and she loves to slobber and suck on her hand to help. Only thing we have been experiencing are a bout of night terrors that wake us every once in a while. Some nights none (like Friday night she slept 12 hours straight) but others 2-4 times were she screams and you go in there, she is sleeping soundly. We just wake her and she looks at us like, "DUDES! I am sleeping here!!!"

We went over to the Walker's house yesterday for Olivia's first birthday party. We had a great time and Sophie enjoyed playing with all the other kids there. She is shy but opens up after a while. So happy 1st birthday to "O"! - That is what Sophie calls her.

One of Sophie's FAVORITE things is to sing to any type of music. Her crazy side comes out too when she sings and dances. Below is a video of our little DJ, scratchin' and rappin'.....

Olivia and Sophie at the party...Olivia, NOT happy about the photos....


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Art and Randoms

Well here is a brief summary of the past events. As those in the Midwest know, temps have been up and down. 78 to darn right stupid cold. When we get the chance Sophie is begging to go outside. Thanks to Aunt Diehnee and the Hognon clan, Sophie can motor around in her Cozy Coupe! We hit the neighborhood last week and she had a blast with push help from Mommy and Poppa.

Sophie is just loving her school. Last week she followed Mr. Andrew the cook around until he gave her a 'high-5"...Nice job Sophie Lee!!! Still not too fond of gym class though. She is walking so well now and beginning to semi-run. Most of these kids were held so much in Vietnam that they are late walkers. Sophie is one, but is doing great! Language is moving. She can through together two words like "Up please". It may not sound 100% but we know what she means.

Valentine's Day was fun. Sophie gave Poppa one of her modern art masterpieces. Titled "Kiddie Camo" it now hangs in Hank's man cave along with all of his dead animals. Actually it is the best looking thing in the whole room!!! The three of us hit Pho Grand for our V-Day dinner and gorged ourselves on great VN food! All is well with the three of us. Everyday we thank God for this little angel that he has blessed us with.


BEEEP!! BEEEEP!!! BEEEEP!!!! Vietnamese traffic style :-) Her poor little legs can't touch the ground yet!! LOL

At work on Poppa's painting.

The final piece....

"Poppa's Girls" ready for a night out on the town!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A quickie, more this weekend

For all of you faithful blog ya go! Sophie has her first Valentine's Day party at school today and I had to take pictures of her and her snazzy outfit.
We have been having a great time. Sophie loves school, but is still getting used to the fact that Momma and Poppa leave most days. She cries a little in the morning, but when she gets to school she is ready to go. She has a best friend already, besides me of course, her name is Jordan. Jordan is actually smaller than Sophie, but is a firecracker! She is so cute. Sophie and her hold hands throughout the day and they even hug bye! It's so fun to walk into school and get a quick peak at Sophie playing with her friends. However, when she sees Momma or Poppa it's drop everything and run. She loves to see us when we come to pick her up--Thank God!
I have posted some other pictures of Sophie with Jacob and Kim- very good friends of mine. We had lunch with them last week and Sophie LOVED AUNTY KIM.. and she wasn't shy with Jacob either.
We took her to Incredible Pizza last Saturday--obviously people do NOT go there for the food. Incredible Pizza gave Momma and incredible stomach ache! But Sophie had fun... pictures to follow soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Living Life At Warp Speed

We know, we know! Been bad about the updates! We are doing well and Sophie is just having a blast. So much going on as of late too!
School is fun for Sophie, she really enjoys it and especially the creative arts and music classes. Not to fond of gym class since A) the teacher is a guy, B) she just can't run yet like the other 2 year old kids. But all-in-all the teachers love her and says she is just a joy.
We had a few parties to go to, including a double header with our friends the Schapers and then the Dorris family invited us over for wonderful pot stickers and a belated birthday celebration for Sophie, complete with a cupcake tower, and all.
We had our first significant snow last week and Sophie was in awe. She went to the window and just gazed out pointing. It was the same day that she also help Mommy with her first batch of those yummy chocolate chip cookies.
We also have some late pix from Tricia & Sophie's Tulsa trip. Enjoy!

Thanks to the Dorris family!!

Eating my cupcakes... YUMMY!

The Tower

At my first college hoops game with Poppa. She had a blast! Nice look with mouthful of raisins.

Trish in Tulsa with her friends and their little ones.

Innocent look....

Riding the carousel at the Schaper's party

Hey! I remember how to do this! Sittin' on the hog with Uncle Bub.

Making cookies with Momma.. The hat? She wanted to wear it.