Thursday, August 31, 2006

Its Complete!!

You may have guessed from the picture above, but I want to say it anyways - WE ARE FINISHED WITH OUR DOSSIER!!!! (pending Agency review, of course). The whole package goes to FedEx tomorrow and off to FTIA!

Let me just say the Vietnamese Consluate was FAST! They got our documents Monday and sent them back to us Wednesday. For some reason I checked the front porch at lunch today and there they were - we really weren't expecting them for another week.

So tonight we made final copies of everything and got all the documents ready to send. They are safely stored in an undisclosed location right now - after all this work, its hard to let them out of your sight!

Forgot to mention the shots last week

I had promised some folks I would write about the travel shots experience and Janie just reminded me that I never did so. Now that my arms no longer hurt, I actually feel like typing.

For traveling to Vietnam you need a nice array of vaccinations - Hepatitis A and B, Tetnus, and Typhoid. Last week was Hep A, Tetnus, and Typhoid at the local Board of Health. Luckily for me, I have had a Tetnus shot in the last few years, so I got to skip that. (Of course, when I was sitting in the Emergency Room two years ago, I didn't realize my good fortune!)

All I can really say about the shots are that they hurt - not so much at first, but for the next day or two. I know everybody reacts differently, so hopefully everybody else has an easy time. The thing to remember is that the day of feeling like crap from the vaccine is nothing compared to all the nasty things the actual disease does to you.

The Mural is Done!... Well, almost

We finished the mural last night with a flurry of painting and re-touching. Though I'm sure we could do touch-up forever, we are satisfied with the results. The only thing we have to do is put a nice layer of clearcoat on top of the painting - you know how kids are...

Of course, we went to Walmart and bought a quart of the clearcoat for $15... then today we noticed a can of the same product sitting in our garage... thanks previous owners...

Anyway, without further ado, here is our finished mural. Actual size is 6 1/2 feet wide by 5 feet tall.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Off to the Consulate...

Well after a very busy last two days, our documents are off to the Vietnamese Consulate for authentication!! We spent the day in Columbus where we got our State Certifications, shipped the documents, picked up a birth certificate, and I even had time to attend a business meeting - whew!

For those who are not in the process of adopting - this is a big step for us - once the documents come back from the consulate, we will make copies, do one more certification, and be ready to send our entire Dossier to our Agency! So, the document chase is almost over (knock on wood).

For those of you who are adopting - here are my helpful hints / observations. The Secretary of State's office is in the Borden Building at 180 Broad Street (almost across from the State Capitol Building. When we arrived (around 9:30 am) there were several metered parking spots within the block. I would try these first as they are less expensive than the lots. The authentication process only takes about 20 minutes - however, we were the only folks there. I would hate to see the office busy, as there is very limited seating.

If, like us, you can't wait to get your documents in the mail to the Embassy, there's a staffed Fed Ex in the Huntington Building. Its about 3 blocks from the Borden Building on S Main St. The Fed Ex is on the second floor when you come in. We shipped standard overnight, as it will get there by 3:00 Monday.

Another suggestion I would make is to create a personal Fed Ex account before you mail the documents. You can do it online, its free, and all you need is a credit card. This way you can create a return mailer without having to know the exact amout it will cost. Its also way cooler and I think you get a discount (don't quote me on that though!)

Also, if you need a copy of your Ohio Birth Certificate for any reason, the Bureau of Vital stats is only about 3 blocks North of the Borden building (definitely a driving destination, though!). If you don't live in Columbus, its nice to get many things done at once.

If you don't mind some walking, you could also park at City Center Mall, walk to the Sec of State's office, walk back to Fedex, and do some quick shopping or eat a meal. The City Center garage is only $1 for the first 3 hours.

Mural Sneak Peak

Here are some pictures we took of the mural in progress - more to come (soon hopefully)


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Exciting news- as you may have guessed from the title, we received our 171-H form from CIS today. For those of you who aren't familiar with all the adoption lingo, the 171 form is the permission from the U.S. government to adopt an orphan from another country. This is a big step in our process!

Of course, getting the 171 sent us on an evening of dossier work - finishing the new forms, making copies, stapling forms together. We are looking to travel to Columbus on Friday to get our state certifications, then send the dossier documents off to the Vietnamese Consulate for their authentication.

In other news... We had a great time with the other adoptive parents we met last night. Janie and I both had a great time and we look forward to seeing everybody again soon... tomorrow is our rescheduled appointment for travel vaccinations at the Board of Health - I can't wait! I will update everybody on how it goes in case you need to have it done.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weekend Update

Its been another busy weekend for us. We had a 3 hour adoption training session Saturday morning. The nice thing was that we got to meet some of the folks we've been communicating with via email. Its always nice to be able to match faces with names. It is awesome that there are so many other folks from our area going through the same process.

Also Saturday, we went to the Cincinnati Public Library book sale. Its an annual event for us, but this year we actually looked at (and purchased a bunch of) the children's books. Our daughter will have quite the library when she comes home.

Today's mission - paint some more of the mural. I will try to post some pictures (a sneak preview) of our progress so far.


Photo of us for the bio

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Getting Started...

My wife and I were looking for a way to keep our friends and family updated on our adoption process, so here we are. This certainly beats trying to remember who you have told about the most recent developments.

A little about us - we live in Southwest Ohio (go Reds and Bengals) and are in the process of adopting a child (our first) from Vietnam. We have requested a girl as young as possible.

For those of you familiar with international adoption, here's where were at in the process. We have our homestudy completed, have most of our dossier together, and are waiting on our 171 from CIS. We are also working on the baby's room by completing a large paint-by-numbers mural. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I'll share our progress.