Thursday, May 31, 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star....

We just posted a small video clip of when we first held Thuy on May 28th, Monday. You should be able to see the link on the right side of the blog. Due to Internet malfunctions here in Hanoi, or at least at the Hong Ngoc hotel we are unable to view the blog. I can post, but can't actually see the blog page, so hopefully it is on there. This was the very first moment I saw Thuy and got to hold her, Bill was filming so he wasn't in the clip.

We went to the silk factory today and saw how they make silk and then proceeded to the shops where everyone enjoyed some shopping. We've spent our afternoon putting our gifts for the officials, birth mom, and caretaker in bags with tissue paper, etc. And packing Thuy's bag and arguing over the easiest way to mix the bottles. For all you who can remember your first bumbles as parents, you can appreciate the challenge of being a new parent on a trip to a third world country, and receiving her before a 3 hour bus ride back to your hotel. So Thuy's bag is packed.... one pacifier, 3 diapers, wipes, 2 bottles, water to mix the bottles, a toy, and an outfit. Let's hope we've got everything we'll need for our first few hours as parents. Bill's been busy helping all the other parents with their questions as new parents such as formula questions, possible earache symptoms and treatments, etc. He's promised to give a quick exam to everyone's kids when we get back to the hotel.

So, this is our last post before our GOTCHA DAY.... I can barely believe after all this waiting....its finally here.... we bring our baby home tomorrow to her forever family! Happy Happy Birthday Cindy and Jeff! We love you both and wish you a happy & blessed day! I'm so excited our GOTCHA Day will be shared with these two very special people and Thuy will be excited to share her day too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Packages Delivered

To Charisa, Kari, & Karen, wanted to let you know I delivered your packages to Martin the in country coordinator for WC. I even took a picture of the exchange so you'd see your items made it to VN. Kenny, our other coordinator delivered them when we went to visit the orphanage on Monday. They didn't allow us to take any pictures of your little ones or see the inside of the orphanage, but they did say they would be taking some new photos, so hopefully you'll get some soon.

And for many of us, we became friends or have met and supported each other through this process on line. Many people I feel I've had the pleasure of getting to know I've never met in person. But here is a picture of Bill and I with Chi & Wim, ...friends we made on line. While we were eating breakfast one morning Wim said, "Are you the ones remodeling?"What a small world all of a sudden, right? The online community has been such a big part of our process. I don't know how people adopted before without the Internet.

Just can't wait to meet Melissa & Olivia in person, as well as hoping to have Pho one day in VN with Donna and Phoebe Jade.

Hair cut for Nugget!

Getting a hair wash

Bill's blending in

Sharing our Gotcha Day with Cindy & Jeff

Today we started with a bit of shopping again. We headed to pick up the formula the caregiver told us they were feeding Thuy, via Mom interpreting. They kept telling us she was taking Lilac. So we went to the Intimex to find Lilac. Well, there was no Lilac, but there was Enfalac, Dielac, and Frisolac. So which one was it? We stood there forever trying to decide. Saying who knows what she's been getting and if they were even mixing it correctly. But I just couldn't let go of being told by everyone not to switch the formula till we were back home. So I was really worried about choosing the wrong one. Here we are intelligent people and we can't pick a formula. There was a VN lady in the isle who kept pointing to the Enfalac and saying "#1, #1 Mead Johnson." So we just gave up and left in frustration feeling like parenthood is already hard if we can't even choose a formula correctly. But we did cheer ourselves on the way back to the hotel buy purchasing a neat lamp for Thuy's bedroom. Mom then met us at the hotel with Similac in hand and told us that was what the caretaker was telling us. So, who knows. Maybe we can take the can and make sure that's right. If not, worse case scenario we'll switch her to Similac now, that's what we have waiting at home in HI anyway. Any diarrhea should be cleared up in the 2 wks before we leave, right?

Mom took us to eat lunch today on the sidewalk as we call it. A lunch of noodles, veggies, and grilled meat all for about .75cents each. And it was absolutely delicious.

We called our coordinator this afternoon to find out if he'd heard anything definite about our G&R. He said it is scheduled for Friday June 1st!!!! Yeah.... we have a date!!! And this is Aunt Cindy & Uncle Jeff's birthdays that we'll be sharing our Gotcha Day with and we couldn't think of better company to share our special day!

So to get ready for our big day we hopped on the bus and went over to our Aunty's neighborhood and she took us all to have our hair washed and face massaged for .60cent. It was a lot of fun and felt relaxing too, not to mention the cool water felt nice. And Bill got his hair cut at the local barbershop, which is really just a salon chair outside on the corner of a building, but very cozy and still had that fun local barbershop vibe. Bill also bought some new duds since he didn't pack enough clothes. I teased him he's trying to blend in better. Although our family told us they can't bargain well when we're around.

Tomorrow the agency is taking us to the Silk Factory which should be a lot of fun and help us pass the time till Friday morning at 0500 when we head to Lang Son. So our hair is washed and our hair is cut, we're ready for you Thuy, .....can't wait to take you home forever!
Here we are at our anniversary dinner of authentic Hanoi catfish. Just like our rehersal dinner, but Hanoi instead of Brunswick, GA. Ha ha :-)

I was just thinking how nice for our 3rd anniversary we will beome a family of 3!

Anniversary Day Pictures

Here's the pictures from our day. For some reason, its hard to do the post with pictures on the internet here, so that's why its seperate. But here we are eating with the family, pottery barn in VN with the sales clerks

Happy 3 Year Anniversary!!!

Yesterday, May 29th, marked our 3rd wedding anniversary. We started our day with the hotel buffet breakfast than a stroll to do some shopping. I discovered a great shop called Maroon off of Hang Gai street, which I now like to refer to as Vietnam Pottery Barn. They had great place mats, table runners, bed spreads, pillow covers, etc. It was definitely the linen area of pottery barn and everything looked so nice with deep reds & greens. I bought a few items and lots of red to decorate the dining table for Vietnamese New Year celebrations!

We were then picked up by Mom & a large group of our family to be taken out for lunch. The restaurant had small rattan type tables and we sat at squatting level while we dined on fried tofu, green vegetables, spring rolls, and VN pancakes. We had a great time. Our entire day consisted of shopping, going to the hotel to cool off, going out to eat, then back to hotel to cool, then out to shop, .... a vicious cycle all day of eating, shopping, and cooling off. It has been terribly hot. Thank God for air conditioning in our hotel room.

Mom took us out for a nice dinner for our anniversary celebration. We had authentic Hanoi fish cooked at the table in a small skillet and served with fresh vegetables. Come to find out the authentic fish is catfish, so the South Georgia girl in me felt right at home.

It was quite an enjoyable anniversary minus the heat. When we said I do 3 years ago on Jekyll Island Georgia, I never dreamed we'd be in VN 3 years later, just days away from having our baby home forever. Couldn't think of a better way to start our next year of marriage!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

While We Wait.........

While we are waiting for our G&R ceremony, we've been keeping ourselves busy by visiting with the family and shopping of course. I've been filling my belly up with all the good cooking of our Aunty who lives here in Hanoi. My favorite things to eat are a vegetable called rau muong which Americans may call anchoy. Its very cheap in VN but expensive in USA. I also love the fruit chom chom, and I'm crazy for banh cuon which we call VN pancakes.... they are delicious!!! I've already eaten them 3 times since i've been here.

I've added a picture of a dish our aunty cooked which is bamboo & chicken. Can you find the chicken head in the bowl? The bamboo is quite delicious, but I did skip the chicken head. Last night we dined on squid stir fried with vegetables and we've also had fried tofu quite a few different ways which is Bill's favorite. We also enjoyed some sugar can juice in the street made fresh. It was delicious and refreshing. And today with lunch we had corn juice which actually tasted very sweet too. I was a little nervous about the ice cubes, but so far so good. But we have had one person in all the families having an upset stomach already.

This afternoon we bought a few VN dishes and had quite a load to carry back to the hotel. Looks like some of you can expect a Vietnamese Christmas present this year. We all passed around the box saying we were practicing carrying the baby.... got to get my arm strength up!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Aloha Baby Moore

Hawaiian Princesses

and Thuy makes Three!!!


We arrived in Hanoi late Saturday night, and unfortunately right now, at 1400 on Tuesday is the very first time the Internet service has allowed me to open up blogger. I've tried a million times to do an update, but this is the first chance the Internet has given me. I was able to send an email yesterday to friends and family but no blogging, but so glad I can get a post up now.

I'll start with the most exciting news first.... WE GOT TO SEE THUY YESTERDAY. Our G&R date, which we originally believed would be monday or tuesday has been pushed back to thursday or friday. We are ok with this, because thanks to all my previous travelers I was expecting this to happen. So, the fact that we only got pushed back a few days is doable.

Since the G&R was moved our in country coordinators arranged for us to take a nice greyhound like bus up to Lang Son province yesterday which was Monday. It was a good 3 hour drive. The first hour is just trying to get out of Hanoi due to all the traffic. The drive is beautiful once you're out of the city, very green with local Vietnamese in rice hats (conical hats) in the fields gathering the rice, and water buffalo all along the side of the road. It was quite picturesque, but not easy to take good photos out of the bus window, too blurry. As we drew closer to Lang Son it became more mountainous.

The orphanage was located right in the middle of town or edge of town I guess. I had always pictured it in my head to be out by itself. It was a large campus like sort of place with different buildings for babies, older kids, housing for the Nanny's etc. They took us, the 4 groups of parents plus Oma, to a room to wait. We all had our donations for the orphanage. I was so nervous. Nervous she would cry when we held her because she would feel how nervous I was inside. One of the other dads said, "I see the babies." He saw them approaching outside the window. My heart was beating outside of my chest.

And as the second baby was brought in the Caregiver said, "Hua Thanh Thuy," that was us..... I could hardly believe it. We stood up and greeted them. She handed Thuy to me right away. I could not believe this moment so long awaited was finally here. She was beautiful, and alert, and happy. She has the cutest dimple when she smiles. I could just gush on and on about how wonderful she was. Of course we were already saying how smart she seemed because she was so alert.... what new proud parents we are, right? We took videos, and loads of pictures. More photos than you've ever seen of one baby in an hour and a half. We read a book that Aunt Liz sent and had loads of fun with Oma putting flowers in her hair.

Her caregiver was a very very sweet gray haired older VN woman. She had given Thuy a bracelet from her family to wear. That was the bracelet I had been seeing in all the photos. We thanked her repeatedly for all the love she had given Thuy. She will be coming to the ceremony when we have the G&R and we'll give her gift to her then, the silver turtle necklace. She did tell us she doesn't think Thuy's birth mom will be coming. But we'll see. I'm still holding out hope.

I was ok with waiting till later this week for the G&R until I saw Thuy. Now each minute seems likes forever. We should be out enjoying our last days without kids, free to do as we please, but all we can do is think about our sweet girl.

We still don't have her name yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we do. Today we found a great store for birth announcements, i'd love to buy those, so i must think of a name quickly so we can get them.

So, that's the biggest news here in Hanoi. We've already looked at all the pictures and videos a million times. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have such a wonderful husband, family & friends, and now the sweetest baby life has ever given!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I Love Kim Chee

Well, we're on our layover in Seoul Korea. Just 2 hours till we leave for Hanoi.

I must say Korean Airlines is my new favorite airline. We had a nice blanket, pillow, and bottle of water waiting for us when we sat down. Then we were given a nice little zipper pouch with a sleep mask, toothbrush & toothpaste, and socks. And it all matched my sweater I was wearing. How fashionable I am! We then had a very delicious lunch of Bi Bim Bop with a glass of wine. I took a very long nap to make up for all the sleep we've missed trying to get ready this week. We also got the baby name book back out and are trying to make some progress on our name selection. There was a cute little Korean girl next to us who looked about 5 years old, and we were saying our name choices and looking at her to see if it was a good fit for a little Asian girl. But the good news is Bill's choices are improving, or either he's wearing me down.

On the flight I watched closely the other people with little kids and couldn't help but think next time that will be me! Next time I fly i'll have my own little biscuit to hold. And I even checked out the baby changing situation in the bathroom. Its a very large bathroom with a nice changing station. Unlike my friend Sara's flight recently where the flight attendant told her to just change the baby on top of the toilet, which she politely replied thanks for the suggestions, but no thanks. Bill even put on some of the free cologne in the bathroom. We're not usually so country come to town, but we're so excited we can't help but even get excited over the little things.

But I did wake up from my nap and realized i forgot my pajamas. I was so consumed with everything for Thuy and the gifts, I must have just left it right off my packing list. At least that can be easily corrected.


Alright guys, its our final post before we head to VN. We have a 9 hour flight to Korea, then a layover for a few hours, then on to Hanoi! I'm very proud of our luggage status, 2 checked bags, 1 carry on, and a small backpack for each of us. One big bag has all of our orphanage donations and the other bag has everything for me, Bill, & Thuy all in one. Quite impressive for those of you who know me personally and know what a big packer I am. The suitcase that now travels for 3, is what I took for myself when I was in VN in the fall. There was a 50 lb wt limit which we were over on the donation bag, but we payed the over charge, and we're on our way. The other bag was 49.9 lbs, very close, but I made it!

I bought some of those space saver bags at Walmart, and those really helped. Bill, Thuy, and I each have our own space saver bag with all our clothes in it. I must admit Thuy's bag is the biggest. Sad when you think how much smaller her clothes are than ours. Its hard to pack for a baby, when I've never had a baby, and don't truly know just how many outfits they need, and how much is really necessary. I had all my travel lists from my adoptive friends on what to pack, thank you to you all for your help.

Thank you Melissa for the big care package, Thuy will be modeling some of the beautiful outfits. And thank you Liz for all the diaper bag goodies, very helpful.

So, we're off, next time we blog...... Vietnam!!!!

traveling lightly

Here's a picture of the space saver bags we used for our clothes. Very useful to my surprise. This little bag right here is all my clothes for the entire trip, minus the forgotten PJ's of course!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


For Thuy's primary caretaker at the orphanage we wanted to get her something very special. After all she has taken care of our precious baby through these earliest months of her life and kept her safe, fed, and well cared for, and for that I am eternally grateful. Lotion again didn't seem to show my appreciation, but then really what does? After much thought and wondering around, I chose a sterling silver necklace for her. It has a silver turtle and a small baby turtle in gold on its back. I thought it was so symbolic of what she has done for us. And I hope she'll understand how grateful we are to her for all the love she has given Thuy during her first few months. The turtle also represents our Hawaiian home and will help her remember where little Thuy's new home is across the ocean.

And lastly on the subject of gifts, is the necklace we chose for Thuy's birth mom. What do you give to the woman who has allowed you to raise her child as your own? What could I possibly give? Everything I could think of doesn't seem just right. Our agency told us that something gold is always nice. So, I chose this necklace with a Plumeria charm. There is a plumeria tree in our front yard, just outside the window from Thuy's nursery. These flowers are so fragrant, I love to walk through our front door when they are in bloom, its like heaven. I will share about the tree with Thuy's birth mom and I hope the necklace will be a reminder to her of the warm safe place where Thuy is growing up with her adoptive family.
Along with the picture frame of Thuy I posted about earlier. I made her birth Mom a small album of all the pictures I received of Thuy during the adoption process for her to keep. I also made a small album of our home/life to share with her. I thought she would like to see what our life looks like. So I have pictures of our home inside & out, of our families, our friends (if you were at our wedding you are in the book in the group shot) and our co-workers. I hope this will help her understand and be comfortable with the life Thuy will live and the family she will have.
My dear friend Kelly who is an adoptive Mom also, gave me the following poem that I will share with Thuy when we talk about the day she became part of our family forever.










Okay, so other gifts...... We were also told to bring gifts for the government officials. American cologne or whiskey was told to be an adequate choice. I wasn't so sure about the alocohol, but after talking with Liz, we decided, how much cologne can you really go through if you're getting these gifts often. The alcohol will kind of take care of itself. So, I went to the local store and asked the man, "What's the most American whiskey you have?" He said "Jack Daniel's is the most famous all over the world from America," so, Jack Daniel's it is.

Of course I know you don't need a bottle opener, but I didn't want the men to be left out on a Hawaiian type of gift, so I bought these hawaiian bottle openers. This one is a turtle, we've also got a ukelele, and a flip-flop/slippa.

By the way, there are a lot of Vietnamese people working at the Swap Meet. I heard several owners talking at several tents and inquired, "Are you Vietamese?" They said yes and I quickly shared we were leaving for VN friday to adopt a baby. They were excited for us, and then quickly shared how very HOT we were going to be in VN. One lady asked if my husband was Vietnamese, I said yes, not caring to go into explaining Bill is Happa (that means mixed for you non-Hawaiians). She then said, "Oh, you're Vietnamese, I give you better price." So I was very happy walking out of that tent with my very white self, being called Vietnamese! Just wait till I have that adorable Thuy with me, then i'll really be able to bargain well!


We were told by our agency that we'll need small gifts for the 20 Nannies who care for the children at the orphanage, which of course we are very happy to do. Items suggested were little goody bags containing small lotions, cosmetics, lip balm, chocolate, etc. And of course we wanted something special for Thuy's primary caregiver. All of these people help care for your child, but usually there is one primary Nanny or caregiver who cares for your baby.

My objectives for gift selection are to have something small, light, and when you're buying 20, reasonably priced, and something that would not melt in our suitcase during our travels. As I pondered over what to get, I thought these ladies must get tons of lotion and snacks. Every month there are at least 4 families traveling to Lang Son, all bringing gifts. How much lotion can you really use?

So, I headed to the local Swap Meet here in Honolulu yesterday for inspiration. For those of you who have never been to Honolulu, or are planning to visit in the future. Never buy your souvenirs downtown or in Waikiki. Always head out to Aloha stadium for the huge flea market known as The Swap Meet open Wed & weekends only. They've got tons of Hawaiian treasures, just like in the higher end touristy shops, but reasonably priced, and there's always the option of haggling.

We've been told by previous travelers that the Vietnamese people love gifts that from America or represent one's state such as hats or t-shirts with your state on it. So the first thing I purchased was 16 Hawaii t-shirts to give to people who help us along the way like our van driver to the orphanage, helpful hotel staff, etc. I want to make a good impression on the people of Vietnam and show our gratitude, even in the simple form of a t-shirt from Hawaii. There are many families who will come behind us, and we want the impression we leave behind to be of a family very thankful to the people of Vietnam for the opportunity to adopt a child.

For the Nanny's I selected these beautiful change purses (or whatever you want to put in them). Hawaii is well known for its beautiful quilts. The designs always represent something like family, loyalty, or just the beautiful plants and pineapples of Hawaii. When Bill and i got married for my wedding gift he got me a wall hanging quilt that means "Noble Beginnings." So i thought the change purses would be useful, different from lotion, and represent Hawaii. I also purchased ponytail holders, clips, and barrettes with Plumeria's on them. These are very fragrant and popular flowers in Hawaii. And lots of local people wear these kinds of clips I even have one. And many VN ladies have long hair, so I thought the clips would prove useful. And then I purchased candy to go in the change purses too, stuff like nerds and laffy taffy. I plan to assemble the change purses with all the goodies in them in our hotel room in Hanoi.
There's these commercials on tv, newspaper, etc that say "Lucky you live Hawaii." And I was definately feeling this way today as I drove off with all my treasures!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


In January, While I was back home visiting family in Georgia, two of my girlfriends met me to catch up and have some lunch. They surprised me with an impromptu baby shower at Grandy's! Grandy's is a restaurant in Brunswick Ga that has the world's best fried chicken, baked beans, and french fries. Every time I go home to GA me and Papa go on a tour of "All things not Honolulu." That means we eat only things that are not in Hawaii like Grandy's or Krystals or my favorite BBQ spot, Mack's BBQ. I just wanted to thank Pam & Gayle for the wonderful surprise baby shower! Your support and love have meant so much during this whole process!

Tuesdays with Mandy

Last night we got a lot of work done on the house, got the couch back in the living room along with a few other pieces of furniture. We still have a ton of dust to remove from everything, but we've definitely made some progress. When you wipe off the dust as soon as the item dries, you can see there is still a dusty film. And every time you sit down on the couch, out comes a little cloud of dust. I hope Thuy isn't sick when she gets here from her dusty new home.

We got the crib put together, but still aren't finished with the nursery. We were sailing along putting it together and suddenly when we got to placing the springs, (thing that holds the mattress), it just wouldn't fit. We turned it, tightened it, and it just would not adjust to the proper height like in the picture, it would only go to the lowest setting. So after quite a bit of frustration on our part, we discovered the manufacturer placed the original screws in the wrong hole, making the bed unable to be put together properly until we took out the original screws and put them in the correct spot. I'm sure this is hard to follow, it was for us too, but we got it. But just the same putting together the crib was loads of fun and I think our buttery yellow walls look great. Tonight hopefully we'll get the nursery finished.

This afternoon I go to meet with our pediatrician for our "prenatal visit." We've been so busy with everything else that this morning I had to sit down and figure out my questions. Mostly just wanted to cover what tests we need to do when we get back and what ailments internationally adopted kids may be prone to. Dr. Brian Tanabi is who we chose, he works with Bill and they play basketball together, which makes it very nice.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Sisters are the best. My sister, who is actually Bill's sister, but I have taken over complete ownership, has been such a great supporter during this entire process. When speaking of other Moms to get advise from, Liz is a winner hands down. First of all she's my sister, which makes her a great source of comfort and very easy to talk to about anything! Second of all, she has 3 kids, I'd say that makes her very qualified with all the plethora of new Mommy questions I have. Thirdly she is a pediatrician too, so that means she really knows what she's talking about. And if she hasn't experienced something, she knows other Moms who have.

My cousin Cindy is my other sister. She and I are 9 months apart, and have always had a sisterly bond. This is us at Christmas together with me sporting my paper pregnant t-shirt! She is someone I can always count on. I have known her my entire life and don't know where i'd be today without her. She has two older boys and will be able to look ahead to the future challenges we'll face like with Thuy, like when Thuy comes home telling me someone offered her a cigarette. She always loves me, no matter if i'm grumpy, sad, at my best or my worst, and a friend like that is hard to come by. She and I are both experiencing big life changes in June, we did always like to do things together. Must be all those gifts Nanny bought us just alike when we were little.

I just wanted to say thank you to these two fabulous sisters of mine! I'm very blessed!


Wanted to give the Monday morning update. I just finished my 4 day run of shifts at work. I'm so excited that all I have in front of me now is putting the house back together and packing for the trip. Today when I left after night shift I got lots of hugs and good wishes. Can't believe next time I go to work I'll be a Mom! I even got to turn in my request for 12 weeks of FMLA today, Yeah!!

We haven't got much done in terms of putting the house back together yet because I've been working so much these last few days, but Bill got the kitchen put back together yesterday and it looks great! It was even clean enough today that I could open the refrigerator door and was able to eat a bowl of cereal, O Happy Day! He also got the ice maker fixed, facucet replaced, and garbage disposal repaired! What a good husband I have!

We are traveling on Korean Airlines to Hanoi. From Hawaii we fly to Korea for a layover and then on to Hanoi. We actually have less flying time than most other families from the mainland. But on the way back we've got a 13 hour layover in Seoul Korea. Almost all flights we checked had such bad layovers because Hawaii is a top honeymoon destination and flights always leave late to Hawaii, or that's what several travel agencies told us. But last time i returned from VN I was in Japan on layover over 17 hours, so at least I'm improving.

Mom flew to VN today to get ready for us to get there. She was so excited she wanted to go ahead of us.

Well, I need to go to bed and recover from night shift, so I can wake up when Bill gets home and we can start working on the nursery. Hopefully I'll have a picture to post of it in the next few days.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


As you know we are in the middle of a big renovation. Thought you'd like to see a few pictures of Thuy's future room. I've shown the "before" picture and "right now" picture. This room had 4 different kinds of wall, such as wood paneling, plastic cork board wall, a what I call 1950's florida home wall, so we tore all this out and have drywalled it all so it looks nice and consistent. We have a friend doing this for us. I'm certainly crossing my fingers that there will be an "after" picture before we go to Vietnam! While other parents are putting together cribs and arranging cute baskets with diapers for their nursery, we're sanding and mudding, and I'm only dreaming of all the cute things to go in the room when we finish!
The room is now painted a nice yellow and today Bill started putting in the lights and I started trying to organize closets. But I'm right in the middle of my 4 day shift run and now I've got a terrible cold too. Hopefully we'll have Thuy's room together by Monday, that's our goal. I'll post a picture of it when we finish.
We heard from WC, the G&R date may be pushed back a day or two, but that's not a surprise, this has happened to quite a few families before us. I was expecting it. But we'll still be leaving for VN this friday the 25th!!!! This time next week we'll be in VN!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

VISAS, Don't leave home without 'em

Well, just got home from a 16 1/2 hour shift at the hospital and my feet are exhausted, but wanted to share our surprise in the mail today, WE GOT OUR VISA'S!!! I wasn't expecting them till next monday or tuesday at the earliest.

Sometimes it still doesn't seem real, but..... the plane tickets yesterday, visas today, we really may be holding our daughter in a little over a week. I woke up this morning worried,... what if Thuy doesn't like me, what if she screams for the entire first meeting, what if she screams the whole first week, what if I can't figure out what she wants, what if she doesn't like the bottles we chose. I guess these are all things new moms are worried about, I felt so worried my stomach hurt. Bill, assures me it will all be fine. Its good he's the even tempered one, we balance each other well, but I would prefer to be the one who didn't worry so much.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

She Wore an Itsby Bitsy Teen Weeny

Tomorrow is back to work for me to start a stretch of 4 shifts in a row, so I have to take my head out of the clouds for a bit and back to the reality of ICU. But we've got our tickets, we've got some baby bottles, the house is still a mess from the reconstruction, but come next Friday, 8 DAYS FROM TODAY, we'll be on our way to Vietnam and I couldn't be happier!

In my earlier post I left out that as soon as I dropped Bill off at work today and made a few more phone calls to airlines, I did the next important thing and bought Thuy a bikini! She must have one to swim in while we're in Hanoi. My friend Leslie sent us the cutest one a while back but it won't fit for a few more months. But a Hawaiian girl can never have too many swimsuits! So, yes, I'm shopping for a 4 month old a swimsuit when I should be purchasing diapers, but I'm a first time mom, I'm allowed!

Then I got home and was reading about our hotel and realized it was the other hotel option given by our agency that had the pool, oh well, maybe we'll make some friends at the other hotel. And if not, she'll have fun wearing it to build sandcastles this summer when her favorite Moore cousins Norah, Katie, & Lauren come to visit, as well as her new pal Hailey coming to visit in August! And by staying at the hotel without the pool, we'll be saving money for college.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Things are certainly in full swing around here. Last night we stayed up till 2:00 gathering our adoption paperwork to take with us, trying to download all our electronic equipment to the laptop, and so on. And this morning we awoke at 6:30 ready to go again, reviewing what had to be done and making a game plan while we brushed our teeth.

The first thing I did was check my email for any updates then we were off, calling travel agencies in the car trying to book our flights to Vietnam. This afternoon I felt like we were on wall street. We went to Bill 's office after he finished clinic and he was on one phone and I was on the other and we were calling agencies left and right, comparing notes, trying to talk over each other on the phone, searching the web, trying to get those flights booked. I've included a picture of Bill hard at work. We're writing everything down in my spiral notebook to try to keep organized. We're about to be parents, we've got to get our act together and be on top of things!

So, all our hustle was for good cause, we got our tickets! We're flying on Korean Airlines. We leave Friday, May 25th and arrive in Hanoi May 26th at 23:30. We will have a day to recover then Monday the 28th should be the day of the G&R, gotcha day, the day Thuy will legally become our daughter forever!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Big news in the Moore family, the biggest news.... our G & R date is May 28th!! This is the day Vietnam will officially recognize us as Thuy's parents. This is the day we sign the magic book to become this little angel's parents forever! We were told yesterday to apply for a visa to enter the country May 25th. These things always change and are usually a little later than we expect, so we were thinking we'd really leave a week or so later for Vietnam, but lo and behold we received the sweetest email tonight that said we had to be in Vietnam by 27th at the VERY latest, because our G&R is the 28th! We are now in overdrive around here. Running around, getting things done. All this time I'd been pacing myself, trying not to get too excited and buy too much, but all of a sudden we've got a To Do list a half mile long. Its not easy becoming new first time parents on an international trip.

Today we are copying tax forms, gathering our necessary adoption paperwork, downloading the camera CD to the laptop so you can see pictures on our blog while we travel. We also purchased an advent bottle with drop in liners to make it easier to carry formula while we fly the long distance back to Hawaii, and are thinking about things like Ziploc bags to pack so if she pukes all over her clothes while flying, we'll have an easy way to contain the messy wardrobe.

Fed Ex delivered a cell phone to us today that can be used in VN. A very kind fellow world child family, Ed & Peggy, who recently returned with their TWO babies from Vietnam, are allowing us to use theirs. This will come in handy when we're waiting to hear about embassy interviews in VN. This will keep us from having to wait around in our hotel room for hours on end just waiting for a phone call. So thank you again Ed & Peggy, we really appreciate it. And thank you so much Marci for helping us coordinate the mailing.

Okay, got to run, got more To Do lists to make.

Monday, May 14, 2007


In honor of our recent Mother's Day, I thought I'd use this opportunity to talk about Bill's Mom. As many of you know, Mom is from Vietnam, which is how we easily came to decide on Vietnam for our country of choice for adoption. It will be great for Thuy that we already have the Vietnamese culture or at least some of the culture in our family. Besides, I think Thuy will like growing up around her Oma (grandma) speaking Vietnamese and having someone in the family she somewhat resembles in terms of being Asian.

Mom will be coming with us to VN to get Thuy and she is very excited. There's not a time when I talk to her on the phone that she isn't asking if its time to go yet. She even has her visa ready. We thought earlier she may be on a cruise during our trip and she even made sure she'd be able to jump ship and meet us in VN.

Mom can't wait for the day we're out shopping, eating dinner or something and someone says to us, "Oh, Thuy looks just like her grandma!"

We're very fortunate to be able to have Mom travel with us, it will mean a lot to Thuy one day to know her Oma was there to welcome her to the family, as well as helping us translate with the birth family if possible. The only problem will be deciding who gets to hold Thuy more, us or Oma!

Mom took me to VN this past fall for the very first time to visit with family and experience Vietnam. It was just the two of us and we had a great time. I was goo goo eyed over every beautiful VN baby I saw. Mom even arranged for a group of mopeds to take us touring. I'm sure Thuy will look forward to the day that she and Oma go to VN together! Here's a few pictures from our trip.
And for the other two great Mom's in my life, my Mother and Nanny who are now with me in spirit, I know they will do their best to keep Thuy safe till we arrive in Lang Son to bring her home.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


This past Thursday at work I was given quite a big honor by my hospital. I was named employee of the month. I was at work and my manager came by to say she needed me to go with her to the Magnet Champion meeting. Queen's is striving for magnet designation and I am the person starting the movement for our unit. She said she had someone to cover the unit while I was gone. So, as she and I are leaving the ICU, I see my favorite patient ever, coming down the hall! He is 16 years old and this is the first time I've seen him since his accident last year. He told me he had just came by to visit the unit. This is not at all unusual, we have lots of patients that come back by to say hello after they have been to rehab. Kawehi, my manager, tells him we're running late for a meeting and just to walk with us. So he and I start catching up as we take the elevator together to the meeting 5 floors up. As we approach the door to the meeting, Kawehi just starts walking in and I thought, "Hey, I need to say goodbye to my favorite patient, i just can't leave him out in the hall." And then I hear "SURPRISE." There's a large group of people all yelling surprise holding up popsicle sticks with my head on them. I said "Surprise for what." Employee of the month for Queen's I was quickly informed. The CEO & CNO of the hospital were there to congratulate me and present me with a nice letter of appreciation, $200 dollars, and a one month pass for parking (which is a highly valued prize), not to mention they invited my very favorite patient to attend. He had been part of it all along. They really suprised me. We then preceded to have a great party with tons of delicious foods. They even arranged to have Bill there as a surprise.
I was given 16 Leis total (i counted them) and a gorgeous haku made by Kawehi's husband. A haku is the beautiful headpiece I am wearing. I felt like an absolute princess! I told Bill let's get married again and I'll wear a haku. It felt so magical and special to wear. I must tell you this was such an honor. I work with such a fine group of people, our nurses, doctors, and of course our beloved secretary Yo. These people work so hard everyday and have such compassion for the people they care for it is truly amazing. Queen's is my very first nursing job. I have learned so much from each and every person I work with. To be honored by such an amazing and fine group of people is truly an honor, and I feel very blessed to be a part of their Ohana.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The news is, there's still no news....

HI All,

Wanted to let you know we talked to our agency yesterday and the news is, that there is still no news of when we will travel. We're now crossing our fingers for the last week in May. Makes me laugh now to think we actually thought we might be leaving in late April, how optimistic was I?

I can't even bear the thought of thinking of not leaving till June. I keeping my optimistic heart set on May. The waiting is hard of course, but what I hate the most is knowing Thuy is starting to do things like make noises and track things with her eyes much better, and we're missing it.

Hold on little Thuy, we'll be there as soon as we can! We promise!

Monday, May 7, 2007


For those not part of the adoption community, while in Vietnam we will be participating in a ceremony known as the G&R or Giving and Receiving Ceremony. It is a ceremony in which the country and government will legally recognize us as Thuy's parents forever more. We will be making a speech to some government officials and signing a book. I think of it as a magical book, because any book that I can sign and become this sweet baby's mother must be magical! In the adoption community this is known as "Gotcha Day." It is a day we'll celebrate yearly with Thuy for the rest of our lives. We may make it a big night out for Pho' and maybe give her a small gift we purchased in VN on the trip to adopt her, or just invite some friends and family over for cake and ice cream. We'll play it by ear each year.

As you may know Thuy was relinquished to the orphanage. That means we know who the birth parents are. The birth parents are invited to this ceremony. They may or may not attend and we have no way of knowing until the day arrives. I think it will be very hard to meet Thuy's birth mother, but I so desperately hope she will attend. I would like to talk with her (with a translator of course) and be able to tell my daughter one day that I did meet her birth mom and at least try to answer some of the many questions she may have about her. I also hope I can take a few pictures of Thuy with her birth mom. I think these photos would be very precious to Thuy one day.

We are putting together a picture frame with a picture of Thuy in it as well as a very small album that has every picture we were ever given of Thuy in the adoption process. I would also like to give a small gift to Thuy's birth mom, but what do I give? I am still pondering this to find just the right thing. She may not even come to the ceremony, but I want to be prepared for this meeting just in case.

Bill and I are not sure at this time how much of what we know about Thuy's birth family we will share with others. This is Thuy's own personal story and we want to leave it up to her on what she decides to share with others. So, please don't be offended if some of these details are kept private, we want to honor that this is Thuy's story to tell and we must wait till she is able to tell it for herself.


We purchased this sling form of a diaper bag on our shopping spree last week. I wasn't quite so sure we would find it useful, but Bill was convinced it was a great thing. So we got it. Last night I was practicing putting my cellphone, car keys, and wallet inside of it. Not so sure I'll be able to hold Thuy in one arm while pulling my wallet in and out with the other arm, but we'll see. I'm about to greatly improve my upper body strength, right? I thought you'd enjoy my model demonstrating the bag to you. My complaint is it only came in blue/pink/black with gray. What happened to green or yellow? What if we want it for a son later? The blue wasn't too cute in our opinion, so we got the pink. Its not too much pink and Bill has no problem sporting a bag with a little pink. He is even ok if I want the girliest diaper bag in the world. He is such a good husband! He doesn't let a little pink or flowers take away his manliness!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


As you may know we are currently in the middle of a huge home renovation. I've included a before photo of our living room/kitchen and a "now" picture to let you share in what a complete and utter mess we have been living in for the last 2 months. We have been living out of just our bedroom, the only sane room in the house. We hope to have the construction done by May 10th, and be able to start cleaning it all up and putting it back together just in time to leave for Vietnam. If only that phone would ring to tell us when we're going to Vietnam!


I told myself that I was NOT allowed to anything for Thuy until we had a travel date. We were allowed to purchase things such as travel shaving cream, but no baby stuff till we had a travel date. When we lost our first referral Quynh, it was so hard to see all the baby things we had bought for her around the house. So, I wasn't going to allow myself to do that again..... but alas, I broke down this week and started shopping! I just couldn't hold back anymore. I tried to have a goal for myself, but who can resist those cute little outfits. I'm suprised I made it this long. Bill & I started shopping together. And I must say we had a terrific time! Shopping as first time parents is such a mystery, "what do i need, or REALLY need, do babies really need that many bibs, will I really use a diaper bag a lot, what size, what kind, Bjorn or not to Bjorn?" We're having a lot of fun trying to figure out the answers to some of these questions.

I've included some photos from our shopping. I bought Thuy her first pair of jeans. Aren't they adorable? Yes, I've been warned that 4 month old do better in just onesies, but I've also been informed in Vietnam the Vietnamese prefer every inch of the baby covered, see I'm buying it to be culturally appropriate while traveling (anything to tell myself a 4 month old does need cute pants)!

Our rabbits, Bynx, & Barabus bought their new baby sister a onesie with a rabbit that has a close resemblance to Bynx. Bynx, is always a vain shopper that way! The adorable purple dress with whales is for Thuy to wear when she visits Oma & Opa in San Juan and Opa takes her whale watching. She wants to see the whales up very close Opa! And what a funny bib, maybe it'll help us keep our sense of humor when she's crying because the rookies parents are moving way to slow with the bottle.