Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We are having the time of our lives. I love the country of Vietnam. It means so many things to me, but the most important one is because of our little guy! We have a little firecracker on our hands, but we are slowly leaning what works best for us together. He doesn’t do well at meal times. The last two meals we have had were successful. He ate his rice in the room with yogurt for breakfast and rice and sausage for lunch. We then went out to eat as a group afterward (with the two other Holt families) and didn’t have a melt down! As long as he goes to a meal full, we seem to be fine. Last night was the culmination of all big meltdowns into one. I ended up taking him back to the hotel room early and giving him a bottle and he went to bed at 6 p.m. He has trouble eating while we are out where there is too much stimulation. Yesterday he drank two six ounce bottles about 4 French fries and a small 4 oz milk box. That was about it besides drinking lots of water. We are doing much better today!
Dave is out booking a trip for us to Halong Bay. The other couples and our family will be going for an overnight cruise. It is very reasonably priced. I hope that it doesn’t mess up little man’s schedule too much. I see that the photos are gorgeous and with all that I have seen in life, I can’t imagine that it isn’t 5 times more breathtaking in person. I can’t wait.
Tomorrow we take him back in to pick up his passport. I think he has his medical exam and then we file for his visa to come home. We have his visa preapproval, we just need the final OK after the medical exam. After the visa is approved, we will be free to come home. I am anticipating that to happen on Friday, although it will be earlier than on our itinerary. We have our trip to Halong Bay on Saturday and Sunday and we fly out on Tuesday! We are getting really close to the end of this. I know that I will miss being in Vietnam. But more than that, I miss our girls and can’t wait for them to share in this joy of a little brother. It will be quite an adjustment for us, but oh so good. Adoption is a miraculous thing. It is so much more than I can describe in words. Please ask God what your part in adoption should be. Weather it is financially supporting orphans or for your family to adopt their own little one. You will truly be blessed. I don’t feel like this little guy is any different than my biological girls. He is fitting right in.
I haven’t had the access to a computer, like I would like, so I know that I have forgotten to write so many of my thoughts. I hope to backtrack and get them on here soon.
Nathan continues to be a funny guy. He calls me mommy in Vietnamese….over and over and over. At first we weren’t sure what he was saying, but figured out it is his version of mommy. When two year olds talk they sometimes have to have mommy interpret. It doesn’t help that we have two language barriers!
He continues to have success with potty training. He stays dry during the day and is able to tell us when he has to go, but we quite often miss on the potty chair and have had lots of laundry sent out to be cleaned. He stays dry through the night, sometimes and sometimes not.
The pollution here is awful. The noise is never-ending. I have been waking up to a sore throat for the last couple of mornings because of all of the pollution. I look forward to getting back to my nice clean ocean breezes! There are horns continually honking. I’m not sure that even a video can describe it. I’m not the best videographer. The one that I did shoot of me crossing the street was so bad, that I couldn’t even stand to watch it replay once. I’ll have to try again. I have leaned to not make eyecontact. You don’t look… just step out and cross. It is treacherous! I’m learning. I need to have nerves of steel and I don’t!
We are going to try to get the other Holt families together to go to the zoo soon. We also don’t want to miss the water puppet theater. Dave and I spent yesterday and this morning walking around the city. We got a lot of walking done. The streets are so interesting and have something new and exciting on every one of them. We have shopped quite a bit, but still have so much more that we want to get. I’m not sure that we are going to get it all finished up.
Nathan is a local celebrity. We stick out with us being white and he being Vietnamese. Everywhere I go we are asked “Vietnam Baby?” and we say “yes” and then they tell us “black” meaning that he is darker than most of the Vietnamese babies they see…..that’s because he was from the southern part of Vietnam. He is darker….I love it. He will be even darker after a few more months on Guam!
One of the sagas of this week was our hotel room safe. I didn’t want to share it, because I didn’t want to have to face the fact that I was going to freak out if somebody else allowed me to . We had our visa interview documents in the safe…for safekeeping, along with some of the cash that we have not exchanged for Dong. The code on the safe never seemed to work, so the staff gave us the key to be able to unlock the safe. Well, about the second day here, the key became stuck in the safe and it wouldn’t come out. We called the staff up to look at it and they were not able to get it free. They called a locksmith the next day and THANK GOD we were able to get our stuff out of the safe. I wasn’t so worried about the cash, I could go to the ATM. I was concerned that I would have to hire somebody to carry the safe to the visa interview with us and explain that we do have the documents; they are just in the safe! I became a little concerned when the locksmith showed up with a rusty tool box and an old hammer that I probably would have found in my grandpa’s tool box. I stood in the back of the room just praying. Sure enough, the paperwork appeared. Dave explained to me later how it “went down.” ….if you stay at the Phuc Loi….don’t use the safe in room 301  The locksmith pounded out the lock and released the safe and in order to fix the safe, he placed a nice professional looking sticker right over the top. I think the safe may work with a key code now, but believe me, I haven’t tried it. Our paperwork goes everywhere with us in Dave’s backpack! Oh, and our military id’s were in there too….do you think the us govn would care if we lost our military id’s in a communist country?
The hotel staff is wonderful and I have no complaints about the price. I wasn’t able to get our first choice of hotels (next door at the Hanoi Elegance) I even gave it another shot yesterday…still booked. I don’t like being “stuck” in the hotel room with tons to blog and not being able to connect to the internet! It was fixed the night that the computer guy was called in and hasn’t worked but one time since then. It is a battle that I am not going to fight. I don’t want to pay twice the price and go through the hassle of switching and then being in a different hotel as our other adoptive families. So now I am blogging on Word and will transfer it over when I can run downstairs without the little man. I’ll try to get some photos here too. Not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner!


Annette said...

I am so glad that the locksmith was able to get your paperwork out safely!!!! Thanks for the update on your trip and on Nathan.


Anonymous said...

Sorry you couldn't get into Hanoi Elegance. In Saigon, Matt plugged in the adapter and we heard a loud pop, then smelled smoke. His hand was blackened! He was happy he had not fried our laptop and I was happy I didn't have to give him CPR!