Thursday, April 15, 2010

We Are The Truth - Adoption Blogger Day

Today, families across our country are blogging about their successful adoption stories. We want the world to know that, unlike the recent, highly-publicized incident, adoption works. While adoption, and certainly international adoption, isn't an easy road, it is a process that should still be available for children and families.

Our family is complete through adoption -- this is our TRUTH!

Funny, this blog was created to document our adoption journey. I'd never really considered blogging until, well into our adoption process, I stumbled upon words from others like us...waiting for Vietnamese children. My family story is contained in my archives, with the highlight being our trip to Vietnam in December 2007.

While I can't define the moment we decided to adopt and I can't really even explain how we ended up being drawn to Vietnam, I can tell you that those choices have brought undefinable love and happiness to our lives. We'd been blessed with one biological child and realized that another pregnancy just wasn't in the cards for us. But, as is often the case, we weren't done.

We were drawn to a daughter.

We were drawn to Vietnam.

And, she was there...

(Adoption Referral Photo-the first time we saw her face.)

I remember the panic and nervousness like it was yesterday. What if she doesn't like us? What if she isn't happy? And, my (secret) biggest concern...what if I don't love her as much as the boy? I mean, what if "adoptive love" is really different, really not the same as "biological love". Intellectually, I believed it to be the same, equal...just as powerful, but inside, I was scared. I'd heard others profess that your children are your children, no matter how they come to your family. And, I wanted desperately to believe it because I just couldn't live with myself if I loved "one" more than "the other." It was my silent battle for months.

I can't begin to explain it, but the moment her picture arrived in my inbox, I knew. I knew, for sure, 1000 percent. This.was.our.daughter. This marvel of hair, this teeny-tiny being across the ocean was..."us". It is terribly cliche' and corny, but...we were meant to be. I believe that. I KNOW that.

(His connection to Her was immediate. They were drawn to each other in an instant.)

And now, I don't remember the emotion of waiting. I don't remember the longing for her. For just like labor and delivery with the boy, I've forgotten the bad parts. (Although I'm sure those archives contain a fair amount of whining ;-). Our lives are not perfect, we've had our issues; but we are complete and that is OUR TRUTH.

(Message in orphanage book, Christmas Eve 2007)

We were drawn to a daughter.

We were drawn to Vietnam.

And, now, she is here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Phone pictures

I've never been much of a picture taker with my phone. I'm sure this is probably because when I first got a mobile phone, the quality of the pictures was so poor. Whatever the reason, I generally just don't think to use my phone as a camera.

When I broke down and got an iphone a couple of months ago, I started to change my tune a little. There are tons of free (and inexpensive) apps that can help improve the quality of your pictures. In fact, there's a whole section in your app store! (Another blog that I read was discussing this very subject yesterday...I wish I could remember who so that I could link you to it.) At any rate, one app that I use quite often is PS (Photoshop) Mobile. It is super easy to adjust your exposure (making your photo lighter or darker), adjust the saturation (making your photo brighter, giving it a little pop), turn it black and white, rainbow, and/or add a frame. It's a great little app for on the go. I also hear good things about Shake it Photo, although I don't have it.

Now that I've talked about iphone apps for photography, I'm going to show you photos that I took with my iphone, but that I DIDN'T edit with my iphone. BAWHAHA! I gotta keep you guessing! (See, the whole blog topic is about using the dang phone to take pictures and I did that, OK?!)

When I picked Sister up today, she wanted to stop at the fountain and get a drink before we left. I was standing there, adoring how perfectly sweet she looked as she tried to get that stream of water in her mouth. The light was reflecting beautifully off her amazing face and I thought..."Oh, I wish I had my camera." So I reach into "my business" to pull out my iphone. (Yeah, now you know, I carry my phone in my bra like a common jail bird! And man, is it difficult to hide that since the ole' reduction, but I digress. It's a topic worthy of its own day!)


This picture is straight out of the camera. I didn't adjust anything, I just added a frame. (Cause I like things to be cute like that, you know?) The reflected light helped this turn out to be a decent "camera phone" picture.

BUT...since the BIG win yesterday, I've become totally obsessed with these! I quickly edited this picture using my new loot...and WOW...Can I just tell you how much I LURVE, LURVE, LURVE these!!!)

So, I guess not having a picture for my post isn't an excuse not to blog. Who was gripping at me about that recently, hum?? (But that's just because she's all fancy and doing a 365-thingy;-)

Oh, and Emily, thanks for your comment...I love comments. That isn't my beautiful girl in the photo yesterday. She belongs to Shana Rae, the creator of Flora Bella Collection. She is precious though, huh? Check back the second week of July though, cause I am TOTALLY gonna copy that photo with my girl!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I won! I won! I WON!!! (Yea me!!!)

I recently discovered the Flora Bella Collection. It was love at first sight. Like I mentioned a few posts ago...I can just see DoriGrace like this at the beach this summer!

(We won't have any trouble getting her to be that sassy, will we???)

I entered a contest at I Heart Faces (an incredible blog that everyone should follow regularly) to win the Flora Bella Collection. A beautiful collection of textures and actions that I can.not.wait to get my hands on! I heart faces is such a great blog...for those who photograph, those who want to photograph, or simply those that love pretty pictures.


(Now, I gotta finish all these household projects so that I can take some pictures!!!)

Adoption Timeline

  • 01/01/08 - Home at Last
  • 12/24/07 - G & R
  • 12/18/07 - Travel
  • 12/7/07 - Travel Packet/VISA Authorization
  • 12/06/07 - I-600 Approval
  • 11/16/07 - I-600 Received for Review
  • 09/26/07 - Referral
  • 03/23/07 - Log in Date
  • 02/23/07 - Dossier to Vietnam
  • 02/08/07 - Dossier to Agency
  • 08/08/06 - Switched to Vietnam Program from China Program