Monday, December 21, 2009


If Duc and I had an anthem it would be this song, Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours". As I've said before, I felt Duc presence long before I ever saw his photo or held him and this song became my mantra and every time the lyric "It's our God forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved" played I would tear up. I do prefer his live version because he has since changed it to God-given right which sounds much better.

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's gonna to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some
But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours
Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment, maybe sing with me
All - ah peaceful melody
And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved
So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short

This is our fate, I'm yours

Thankfully, Duc loves this song. It was one of the first I played for him and every time he hears it on the radio a peaceful expression takes over his face and he grooves to the music.

I found this video today and I have to admit, the boy looks like an older version of Duc! Given the number of times Duc has heard the song I'm sure he will be able to play it before much longer, AND he will know the words!

Friday, December 18, 2009

“At this very moment one year ago…”

I have begun many a sentences this week with this opener. It was been such an emotional week for me and I have shared it with family, friends, co-workers and strangers alike. You see, I am extremely grateful for this day. It was exactly 52 weeks ago today that Duc and I became a family (although if you are truly a technical person, we met on December 18th and our adoption was completed on December 19th, but for me, that Friday was it).

Words can not describe how grateful I am. Grateful for the opportunity to be his mother, grateful to the woman who gave birth to him, grateful to Vietnam and the orphanage that took care of him. Grateful.

IMG_0968 Friday, December 18, 2008 Making it official at our Giving & Receiving Ceremony


IMG_0982_edited-1 Later at the hotel getting to know each other.

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My post from last year:

We arrived last night. Our flight was delayed by over an hour because someone had a late connecting flight. I think Korean Air is the best airline in the world! No kidding–I watched 3 recent released Hollywood movies during the flight and slept the remaining, oh, 18 hours. I also slept last night after getting settled in.

But that isn’t why you are reading, you want baby news, right? Well, at 2:45 pm my life was forever changed. It was quite the experience. We are staying at a really nice resort and less than a mile turned off the road onto some rickety looking lane. We turned once or twice more and drove up to his orphanage. The road leading to his orphanage was very narrow and the road had lots of broken bricks and was very rough. The level of poverty here is unimaginable. It is truly heartbreaking, but that is a post for another time.

We arrived at the orphanage and the very first room we entered is the baby room and his crib was just a few down from the door. When I first found him he was kind of crying and looking upset. As soon as I picked him up everything changed. He put his hands on both sides of my face, patted my cheeks and began smiling and laughing. The moment could not have been more perfect. He is very bright, very alert. He LOVES to be held, loves to cuddle, loves to be tickled. He sits up really well and the nanny attempted to show off his crawling skills by taking the toy I had brought and tossing it 18-24 feet away. The little guy hustled right over to it and picked up his book again! He can push his butt in the air with his feet and hands on the ground. The nanny would show off his balance by standing him up, letting go, and catching him as he began to fall. He will be a little dare baby! He loves to be fake dropped–like a roller coaster. He is very quiet, but if you really get him tickled he will laugh. When the nannies would take him from me or when our guide took him for his passport photo he would reach for me and try to find me. Even when Oma was holding him he seemed to know that I was mama. I’d heard that they know that somehow and always thought it sounded silly, but I am beginning to think that they do indeed know.

It was a beautiful moment, a beautiful day. As I told my mom, he is heaven on earth.

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This afternoon my mom and I had a few minutes together as Duc woke up slowly against my shoulder shaking the afternoon sleep off of him. She told me she had watched the local religious station most of the day and several verses stuck out to her. She had plenty of time to reflect on the last year and the miracle of it all. I still view Duc as my miracle child and as I reminded my mother that we were within one DAY of never knowing him. I cried. I can’t NOT cry when I think of how close we were.

About a month ago I ran into a former colleague in the hospital cafe. She, like most people that know our story, asked about him and I was more than happy to share all the great things that he is doing. She smiled at me and said, “every time I ask about him your face just brightens up and you can’t stop smiling.” I hadn’t realized that, but I believe she is right. And there are also many times that my eyes mist with tears as I talk about him because I am ALWAYS aware of how fortunate I am to know him.

Happy one year together, baby. Everyday you are my little piece of heaven on earth.

Monday, December 14, 2009


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I’m not sure what other moms do, but bath time always creates a little stress for me. If I shower while he is napping he will wake up early and demand attention. But if I do it while he is awake I have few options:

  1. Shower with him
  2. Place him in a jumperoo that he outgrew many many months ago and hope he doesn’t flip it
  3. Let him wander around my bathroom

Showering with him is a hassle. He wants me to hold him the entire time and as most of you know, wet babies are slicker than snot. We are an accident waiting to happen. Last weekend I left him free to wander the bathroom and you can see the destruction in the picture above. He dumped the trash can’s contents all over the floor.

So, yesterday I put him in the jumperoo and he had to watch me towel off. As I was leaning over he poked my breast and said “boobie!”. Yes, my precocious child learned what boobies are before learning where his nose, ears and eyes are. Needless to say, I taught him about noses, ears and eyes in the event he says it at daycare. I don’t want people thinking it is the only body part he knows!

I don’t often talk about Duc’s development for a number of reasons. I decided long before I became a parent that I was never going to compare him to any other child. I wanted him to be his own person and not feel he needs to stack up to what little Timmy is doing. While I am proud of all his accomplishments, it does not impact me as a person or his mother. These are his accomplishments. Having said all that, I’ve known from the beginning that he was advanced for his age and the longer I am a mother and more I am around children his age or younger I realize just how advanced he is. Developmentally he is at the level of a 3 year-old child which is twice is biological age. Lately it is becoming more and more apparent. I see him around children in his class or with other children and I realize that being locked out of the house (see my last post) is only the tip of the iceberg. I really need to stay ahead of him and I think that will prove challenging to do.

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This is an emotional week for me. I can barely comprehend that it has been a year, a year, since Duc entered my life. Fifty-two weeks ago on this very day I was nervously packed. Michael offered to take me to my sister’s house since she lives near the airport we were leaving from. We left earlier than planned because an ice storm had hit and he was worried we wouldn’t be able to get out if we left later. We stopped for lunch at Long John Silver’s (there is a joke there that I’m not going to both explaining, but it has sentimental value to me) and I remember thinking that this would be my last meal out before becoming a mom.

I barely slept that night. We had to be up at 4 am because we had an early flight, but it didn’t matter. I flopped around on my sister’s couch counting the hours. Literally, every hour or so I was refreshing the count in my head. 96 hours…94….82….and so on.

Wow, I never could have pictured this a year ago. I never could have hoped for anyone better than Duc. We have been blessed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baby Mama Drama


I knew when I saw the scene above that we were in trouble. This was on Monday. On Tuesday night he insisted on sleeping with me. In fact, when I finally consented and started to put him in my bed he nearly cheered. You see, we are not one of those families that co-sleep. Before Duc, I was all for it. After I spent our first night co-sleeping in DaNang, and especially when I attempted it once we returned home I knew it was never going to work.

So Tuesday night we co-slept for the first time in nearly a year. He was happy, but it didn’t help his cough and congestion one bit. He didn’t get better and he didn’t get worse.

Until this morning. He woke up screaming. For those of you that don’t know him, Duc is not a screamer or a crier. He screamed and big wet tears slipped down his purplish-red cheeks. He writhed around arching his back and kicking. He wouldn’t let me hold him or comfort him and it brought back the feeling of absolute powerlessness that I first experienced before we left HaNoi and our first few days home before I knew just how sick he was.

I was finally able to pour some Motrin down his throat in between screams and ultimately decided to call the doctor when the screams didn’t abate.

Double ear infections. I suppose we have been lucky that this is the first time he has suffered this. I mentioned to the doctor that we have had to deal with all kinds of funky illnesses that most kids never have or never have this young and now all the routine toddler crap begins.

If this morning wasn’t traumatic enough, this afternoon got worse. Sometimes I marvel at how much Duc has grown and changed and advanced these last few weeks and months. Truly amazing. Until your kid locks you out of the house. I stepped out to retrieve the grill cover that had blown off. I intentionally left the sliding glass door open so Duc could still hear me. When I looked back at the house I discovered he figured out how to get the door shut (it’s a really heavy door! Even I have trouble making sure I get it shut just right to lock it) and locked. I was locked out of the house while wearing only flip-flops, t-shirt and pajama bottoms in 30* weather. No cell phone and no key.

Honestly, I really wanted to cry. I didn’t, but I wanted to. I kept hoping he would figure out how to unlock the door, but no such luck. I went to a few neighbors’ houses and no one was home. I finally went to the neighbor’s house that I often have issues with and I am glad I did. I was able to call Michael and in the meantime my neighbor loaned me her coat and some socks. I went back to the door and stood there talking to Duc. He kept saying “mommy"!” and reaching for me…it was so hard. He went in the other room and gathered his blanky. He came back to the door, laid down with his hand against the door. Michael finally arrived and was able to get me back into the house. I’ve been concerned about Duc getting out, but I never really considered he might lock me out.



(through yet another door)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


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I think this is one of my favorite photos from our day with Aiden and Ellie. You have to keep in mind, the littles had not had naps OR had a lunch.  You can imagine how much fun the mommies had!  Is it just me or is Aiden a little poser?  Looks like he is used to having his picture taken!

IMG_0893 copy I love this picture of Aiden.  Look at the sweet expression on his face.

IMG_0903 copy Miss Ellie isn’t too shy either.

IMG_0913 I will never get tired of peek-a-boo.  This is my favorite game ever!

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We had a blast hanging out with our friends, but Duc was totally WOUND up the rest of the day.  The little stinker slept for only TWENTY MINUTES the rest of the day. 

Hopefully we can get together again really soon ladies and next time I will get my camera out a little bit more!

Monday, December 7, 2009


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I’ve been feeling rather sentimental lately. I have been working on a couple of projects which have kept me from much computer time, and especially from blogging, but they have allowed me some time to reflect on the last year. It was a year ago Thursday that I learned that I finally had travel arrangements. The joy of hearing that was overwhelming. I attached a sign to my door at work with a photo of a jet in flight with a post-it note of how many days remaining until travel. I was so excited and scared and overwhelmed and that feeling didn’t disappear until I finally held my son.

I can’t believe I have been a mother for nearly a year. The things that I thought would make me crazy, haven’t fazed me a bit, and the things I never expected take my breath away. On Friday evening I finally got a night out. Michael and I dropped him off at my friend Laura’s house. I could tell he was unsure. He looked around, the expression on his face tugged at my heart and I told Michael later that if he had cried I would never have been able to leave.

I’ve been looking at photos from last year in Vietnam. It saddens me that it has already been a year because it still feels like yesterday, despite how much he is growing.

DSC_2378 copy This photo was taken the day after our G&R. I will be forever grateful to Chennie for being there that week to record those first moments. I wish we had the opportunity to see her more frequently! When Duc met me for the first time, he placed his chubby little hands on each of my cheeks and held my face and giggled. Those first few days together he would just stare at me and I knew he was memorizing my face, “imprinting” as my mother said. Even now he still holds my face like this when he wants to tell me something important (well, important in his mind, I still can’t understand half of what he says).



About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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