Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day Drew

One year ago today we became Drew's parents FOREVER. What a glorious day. That day was long and full of lots of raw emotions. The only home he had ever known and the only people he had ever known were suddenly replaced by these crazy people who just wanted to kiss and hold him. I will always wonder what went through his little mind.

The day started with us going to the orphanage to pick up Drew and Layne Nhi (the Perkins' little girl). When we arrived, Layne Nhi came right out with her nanny to meet her mommy and daddy. Charlie and I climbed the staircase to get Drew. Once we were upstairs, we found Drew and his nanny, Thao, in the room beside the little kids bedroom. It was like a storage room for the extra cribs, supplies and such. She was holding him and talking to him and crying....sobbing. Her little heart was breaking. We stepped out onto the balcony for a few minutes to give her a little bit of time alone with him to say good bye. One of the older nannies came in and talked to her. She turned around, kissed Drew one more time and gave him to me. I tried my best to say thank you in Vietnamese. She ran from the room crying. We walked into the bedroom so I could take a picture of his crib. She came in, put him in the crib so I could take the picture. She loved on him a little more and then left the room. It was such a sweet moment. You could tell that she truly loved this child.

This is Thao with Drew shortly after we arrived at the orphanage. As you can see her little eyes are red and puffy.

After we said our good byes upstairs, we headed downstairs to meet with the Director of the orphanage. We had a brief meeting with him, the assistant director and the social worker. Then it was time to head to the actual Giving and Receiving Ceremony. As we packed up the van to leave, Thao ran downstairs with a bottle for Drew.

This picture tears at my heart. You can't see it very well in the picture, but Thao is on the other side of the window and Drew has his little hand pressed against the window. Such a tender moment.

It didn't take long to go to the Justice Center. We arrived, walked upstairs and sat down. Drew fell asleep and slept through the entire ceremony. The officials came in, reviewed the paperwork and we signed some more papers. They they asked Charlie and Andy to make a statement.

The ceremony wasn't boring....just tiresome to a 1 year old. I loved holding my sleeping baby.

Phoung (Dillon Staff) with the orphanage director and the Justice official.

After the ceremony we headed downstairs. During our ceremony, a group of about 12 students came in. They were studying to be social workers. They were there to observe the ceremony.
Our travel buddies, Jill, Andy and Layne Nhi Perkins along with the social work students immediately following our Giving and Receiving Ceremony.
After the photos, it was time to get back in the van and go back to the hotel to check out. We still had a long drive back to Ho Chi Minh ahead of us. But, honestly...that didn't really matter. We finally had Drew. The long was to get him was over.
After we checked out of the hotel, we drove the 7 hours back to Ho Chi Minh. That's a long drive. Layne Nhi did great and so did Drew. He slept quite a bit, played some and was really a trouper. He was so tired by the time we hit a traffic jam just outside of Ho Chi Minh. He cried and cried and cried. Threw up...cried some more.....threw up some more....cried. Finally, he fell back to sleep. When we arrived back at the Rex, we got into our room and I tried desperately not to wake him. I even changed his diaper and clothes while he was lying on his tummy. That was a first for me.
The day finally came. We waited 10 LONG months from the time of our referral to travel. Not as long as Julie and Scarlett waited though. But still a ridiculously long time. We couldn't believe that it had finally happened and that we were almost completely finished. Just a little more paperwork and we would be done. We LOVED Vietnam. Let me say that again. WE LOVED VIETNAM. It's a beautiful country with beautiful people. I'm trying to put a slide show together of our time in Vietnam...hopefully I can get that done soon.
On July 31, 2008....God completed our family when a little boy from a small town in Vietnam became ours forever.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Day...One Year Ago....

Our first "up close, in person look at Drew." year ago today. My heart melted and still melts when he looks at me with those sweet eyes and pouty lips. One year ago, my heart skipped a beat and today my heart is full. God is so good!!!!!!
Here is our Drew in his 2 year old pictures. Almost exactly a year from the day we met him in his orphanage in Vietnam. His little life has changed so much in a year....and so has ours. God has blessed us more than we could ever deserve.

The next couple of days will be filled with emotion for me. Thinking of the day we met Drew to the day he was placed in our arms forever to the day we arrived home....such a joyous time in our lives. So much to say, but it's 2am and our sweet Drew is now finally asleep. He's had a rough night. Not sure why, but he's sleeping soundly for now. It's time for Mommy to go back to bed. More posts, pictures, thoughts and memories to follow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sweet and Sour

I think naps for Ian are about to become a thing of the past. Especially on the weekend. I don't know if it's because I'm home and he just doesn't want to nap or if he's getting ready to give up his naps. Today...for the second Saturday in a row...he "wasn't tired"..."wasn't sleepy"...etc. He was a mess all afternoon...quite cranky this evening.

Amidst all of the crankiness comes some sweetness.

Ian and I were snuggling on the couch and he said "hey mommy, can I have a girlfriend"? Hmmmmm...where did that come from? I said "well, someday you can Ian.".....He went on to say "mommy, I want you to be my girlfriend, ok?" So sweet. This boy has stolen my heart a million times in the 3 short years we've been a family.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Job For Ian

I love talking to Ian. I mean seriously, I love talking to Ian. His little imagination is just flourishing and some of the stories he comes up with are pretty large and funny.

His latest is about his "job". On Wednesday evening, we had a lengthy conversation about his "job". He told me he works at the tire shop. I asked him what the name of the business was and he looked at me with that "duh" kind of look and said "mommy...I told you...Tire Shop." He went on to tell me about fixing tires for monster trucks and how he has a drain in the floor and how the car is up but the tires are down. I asked him if he made a lot of money at his job and he said "yes." So, I proceeded to ask him how much money he made? He said "six dollars". I then ask him how long he worked each day. "Three minutes". six dollars for 3 minutes...not too bad I guess. He just gets so serious and talks like such a big boy when he's telling me his stories. He told his daddy the same story on Thursday evening.

Who knows what the next story will be. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Year Ago

We received the coveted email from the US Consulate in Vietnam saying we had pre-approval to complete Drew's adoption. It was the most joyous email ever. We had been waiting TEN LONG months to travel. The agony fades once you have your child in your arms...but you never forget. Just like we'll never forget the 11:15pm phone call from Jynger saying CHECK YOUR EMAIL. She said she had never called a family that late before, but she knew we'd want to know. We wouldn't have cared if it had been 3am. Did we sleep that night? Heck no...too excited to sleep. In a little over two weeks we'll celebrate our first Gotcha Day with Drew. What a year it's been.

Andy, Jill and Layne Nhi....we're so glad you were on this journey with us in Vietnam. Hard to believe it's been a year. We love you guys!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Drew's 2nd Birthday Weekend

Happy Birthday Drew!!!
It's been a great weekend. We have celebrated all weekend long. This is Drew's first year home with us on his birthday and boy was it fun.
We started our weekend on Friday evening with a trip to Incredible Pizza. Ian has always loved to go there, but this was Drew's first time. He ate a good dinner, drank his lemonade and then we were off to play games. His little eyes got so big when we first walked in. He didn't know quite what to think of all of the lights and noises but he quickly adjusted. We finished the evening with some dessert and then headed home.
Saturday evening we went to the splash park in Broken Arrow. Both kids love this place. It was a hot evening and they had so much fun. The first time we visited the park, Drew was a little hesitant...but this time...he jumped right in. We were there about an hour and a half. Both boys were tired when we left.
Today we had Drew's party. I was so excited that we would be able to have an "outside" party since Drew's birthday is in July. WHAT WAS I THINKING? It was 102 degrees here today. Fortunately, we had a shelter in the that helped. Lots of our friends came out to help Drew celebrate. Even though it felt like 152 degrees to me....we had a great time. Drew loved playing in the park, his cupcake cake and his new presents. Charlie and I laughed because we don't know which is worse...8 inches of snow on Ian's birthday or 102 degrees on Drew's. Oh well...eventful none the less.
While we have had a fabulous weekend, my heart has been a little sad. I think about a young women on the other side of the world who chose life for this baby and placed him where he could be found. We may never know her name or anything about her, but I do know that she loved this child. She will never know the gift that she gave us. Drew was meant to be our child....that was God's plan. I am so very thankful to his birth very thankful. I pray that she feels some sort of comfort...even though she might not know why she's feeling it. I pray that somehow she knows that he is loved and cared for.
Happy Birthday Baby Drew....we love you very, very much!