Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adjusting after a few days

I'm not sure if anyone is checking the blog any more since we are back, but I thought I'd update it just in case.

We (Emelia and I) are still jet lagged. We are trying to switch over her days/nights. It's been a little hard, but she's getting better. She's still a happy girl!

Some pictures from my last day in Hanoi.

Emelia and Sadie - both were "Worth the Wait" as noted on their t-shirts.

Miss Em and Mom on our last day in HanoiWaking up in the bassinet on the airplane.
Here is a video of her waking up in the bassinet. She was so cute, because she kept popping her head up.

Emelia and her Pop.
Jimmy continues to be a great big brother.

Dressed up for the halloween parade - a Ninja and a Ladybug.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We are home!

Emelia and I arrived safely and on time this morning. Emelia was great on the plane. She slept for a total of about 14 or so hours. The guy next to me said she's "a great baby." (I know that, thank you very much sir!) He was very impressed with her. I didn't sleep too much. I was able to lay down a little, as the plane wasn't crowded. Ray, my father and Anne met us at the airport. Emelia did NOT like the car seat. It was the first time she was restrained in a car seat. We had to take her out on the way to my father's house. On our way to my house we had to let her cry it out. We felt bad, but she has to get used to the seat. We're in America now, not Vietnam! I can't have her on my lap when I'm driving!

We were met at the house by Natalie, Marty & Rita on the porch. They had balloons on our mailbox. It was a really nice welcome home. Thanks! My father came up this afternoon to help too. Emelia fell asleep on him tonight. I slept a little this afternoon and so did Emelia. Jimmy and his friend Sean came running home off the bus to greet her. She was asleep so they had to wait just a little bit until she woke up. Rita brought her kids over as well. All this time was I sleeping, so I missed it all. Anyway, all the kids agreed that she's the cutest baby! So there, that's it, you didn't hear it from me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My last night

This is my last night in Vietnam. It feels a little weird that it's finally over. I will be glad to get home. I received Emelia's passport and US Visa today and all sorts of papers on the adoption. I had not received any papers before that. It was a little strange taking her places when we didn't have a single piece of paper to prove she was ours. It feels good to have it all now.

We went shopping again today. My back is killing me. I walked with her in the carrier for about 3 hours again. Two days in a row now and I am feeling it. We also relaxed by the pool for a while. It was really hot today, but not much sun. Miss Emelia didn't sleep enough today and so now she is asleep since about 6:30 pm and so I'll probably be up at 3:00 am with her. Oh well. She did the same thing last night - went to bed around 7:30 and then I was up with her at 4 am, but she went right back to sleep until about 7:30.

The many happy faces of Miss Emelia

Those could be the last pictures I post. And here is probably the last video.

Good night, from Vietnam!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two more nights

Unfortunately, I could not get on tomorrow's flight. It is full on the Hanoi to Bangkok flight. I am confirmed on Wednesday's flight. So at least now I know for sure and there is no more wondering. We will finally be home on Thursday morning.

I had the 2nd "interview" today. It's not an interview at all. I paid the visa fee and then waited to be called and just looked over some paperwork and signed it. That was it, but it took 2 hours! There were 5 families ahead of us on what was I think their 1st interviews. So, that took time. After that I had to go to Thai Air to confirm my flights.

How much does Jimmy love his sister? This much!

Emelia is probably not having as much fun since her daddy and brother were here, as you can tell from these videos.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

They're home

Ray and Jimmy arrived safely at home this morning (some of you may already know this).

Emelia and I had a nice first day alone. She slept most of the morning actually. We didn't get out until the afternoon. I went looking at jewelry - there is so much it is a little overwhelming. Especially since this is the first day I really looked at any jewelry. I did see something nice I may go back for tomorrow or Tuesday. I also want to look downstairs in the hotel to see what they have. I walked for about 3 hours with Emelia in the baby bjorn carrier. Those things are great, but my back was bothering me after that.

Emelia and I went to Little Hanoi for lunch. I met another Irish couple - this one happened to be from Tipperary. Of course as soon as Ray leaves I meet someone from Tipperary - Nenagh. There were 5 families from Ireland in our hotel when we first arrived and another 9 arrived last week. All adopting. After that I went by the pool and just read some magazines while Emelia napped. I ordered room service for dinner. It's so easy and it only cost $10.

Tomorrow morning I have to go to Thai Airways to see if I can get on the Tuesday night flight. I have my appointment at the US Embassy at 1:30 pm. Since Ray left prior to this interview, he had to give me power of attorney, which we actually took care of at the 1st interview.

For those of you who may be coming to Hanoi soon - we highly recommend Thai Air. The service was great, leg room is great. We have no complaints. The flight here did not feel like it was 16 hours and I never thought I would say that. Now the flight home is a different story - with a baby it could actually feel like 40 hours!

We also recommend the Somerset Grand Hotel. This place is great. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with a kitchen and washer/dryer, pool, gym. We always felt at home here, which I nice when you have a baby. We were always very comfortable. Jaspa's restaurant has very good food and they are the restaurant that delivers to the rooms. Downstairs in the mall there is a Citimart (small supermarket) that has food, diapers, wipes, formula. We recommend it highly.

Anyway, I didn't take any pictures today! That's because I didn't have my helpers with me!

Here are 2 videos of Emelia from tonight. The 2nd one might not come up right away, but it will eventually.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Ray and Jimmy are now on the plane about 10 hours with 7 1/2 hours to go! They will arrive JFK at 7:10 am on Sunday morning.

I hope to find out tomorrow when I will be leaving. I am on the priority wait list for Tuesday and confirmed for Wednesday. If I cannot get on the Tuesday flight, I will definitely leave on Wednesday. The problem is with the Hanoi to Bangkok flight - it's full. The fact that Jimmy and Ray left yesterday, gives me a better chance of getting on the Tuesday flight, because I'm only 1 person instead of 3 of us trying to get on that flight. So, even though I didn't want them to go and they didn't want to go, it was the best thing for all of us. I will go the Thai Air office tomorrow morning first thing to check on it.

Emelia did great again last night - she sleeps all night. I hope that continues at home! She woke up this morning around 7:15 and had her bottle and was back asleep about 8:30. It is now almost 11:00 and she is starting to wake up. I've been organizing myself a bit here to get ready to leave. Ray and Jimmy took all the stuff home that we bought, so I don't have to worry about all of that. It's just my stuff and the baby's stuff I have to worry about and anything I might buy over the next few days!

Friday & Saturday

Yesterday we received the good news. We had a celebration dinner with the 5 other families who also received the good news. We were all so relieved. We had dinner in our favorite restaurant - Le Cyclo. They have such delicious food - Vietnamese & French. And it was so cheap - anytime we went there it was never more than $50 (including drinks). This was our 4th time there. It was everyone else's 1st time. They all seemed to like it too.

Jimmy and Ray's last day in Hanoi

We had a great time while in Vietnam. We really enjoyed every day. A lot of families adopting that we have met here - and we met A LOT - really just concentrate on how fast they can get home instead of enjoying themselves. We really made a point of enjoying ourselves while we were here and we are so glad we did. We loved Vietnam and we will miss it.

Now I have a few days on my own. I plan on looking at some jewelry to buy for Emelia and give to her when she is older. I am going to look at some pearls and jade, both of which are very popular here and not expensive. I haven't looked yet, so I'll let you all know if I get any bargains. We found an embroidery shop today which had beautiful little summer dresses for $10. I didn't buy anything today but I am going there tomorrow. We at lunch at another restaurant that we liked a lot - Little Hanoi. Very good food, very cheap.

Emelia and I took a cyclo ride, while Jimmy and Ray took ...
A motorbike ride
We finally gave in to Jimmy. This was actually his 3rd motorbike ride. Thursday night Ray went with him, Friday night I went with him; and Ray went with him again today. It was a lot of fun and I'm sorry I didn't go more than once. After all, it only cost $1.
Last day in the pool
She's a happy girl.
We really took advantage of the pool. We were at the pool just about every day.Jimmy and his friend from New Zealand. Jimmy met kids from all over the world and had a ball.
The best big brother ever!!!!!!!!!
Pictures just before they left for the airport. It was very sad to see them go.

Ray and Jimmy - Emelia finished the bottle after you left and fell asleep just before 7 pm. It is now 9 pm and she is still asleep! Just thought you'd like to know that. Emelia will miss her Daddy and big brother, but we'll see you in a few days!

A few pictures from a night out at Le Cyclo Restaurant

Not unusual sights in Hanoi

Thursday, October 18, 2007


We heard from our agency today that our case has been approved and we will have our 2nd interview on Monday! We should get Emelia's Visa on Tuesday and will be able to go home.

We are now working on getting flights home on Tuesday night. If we can get them, Ray and Jimmy will stay here and come home with me and the baby on Tuesday. If not, they may leave either tonight or tomorrow night. We're just not sure yet. We will post more when I find out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lots of talk

Emelia is talking so much now, it is so cute. Here is a sample.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No news

It looks like we are not going home tomorrow night on our original flight. We did not hear from the Embassy yet as to when our 2nd interview will be. We had our 1st interview last Wednesday, Oct. 10th. They told us they would contact us within 10-14 days, and it is only day 4. They usually contact people in 4-6 days. So we are waiting until Friday, which would be day 7 and then we are going to contact the embassy if they have not contacted us by then. And I think Ray and Jimmy may go home on Friday night. I would stay until we get the Visa. I am not the only one here whose husband has gone home, so I am not worried. So I hope none of you worry either. I feel very safe here. Remember, they did say to plan for 3 weeks and it'll be 3 weeks that we are here on Saturday.

Here are a few pictures.

We ate at a great Vietnamese restaurant last night called Quan An Ngon. There’s a big outdoor area under huge tarps and it s set up with long tables that you share with other people. The kitchen was right next to us – open and all outdoors. The food was really good – there were 4 adults and Jimmy – we had 8 beers, and lots of good food and the bill came to $34. We plan on going back maybe for lunch.

Yesterday, Jimmy got his massage. Kris bought it for him for his birthday. He loved it. It cost $10 for about 25 minutes. How funny is that! A 7 year old getting a massage - only in Vietnam!

The weekly food shopping trip.

Pretty girl at the pool

I bought a bunch of DVDs the other day – all new ones – Music & Lyrics, The Queen, the Pursuit of Happyness, The Simpson’s Movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Evan Almighty – all for less than $6.00.

Today we went to a village called Van Phuc – it is known as the Silk village. It is a big silk production village. It was not as interesting as we thought it might be. We went on a tour and paid $63 and all the guy did was take us to stores and get a cut if we bought something. The selection in Hanoi is much better and nicer. We were disappointed and do not recommend doing a tour, instead get a taxi – I would say it wouldn’t cost more than $10. Oh well, live and learn.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


We didn't do much today. Emelia is definitely feeling better although she still had a cold and cough. She is not on the nebulizer any more. Hopefully we won't need it again.

We went shopping in the morning and had lunch at a small cafe called Little Hanoi. Very good food.

Jimmy and I had a cyclo race with Ray and Emelia. They won.