Sunday, October 14, 2007

11 days 50 minutes

We have had some really surprising phone calls this adoption, and the TA call was right there with our call telling us Vu would be our son. It was awesome because Eric was off that day and he answered the phone. The kids also had a school holiday so most of the family was here to celebrate.

I was just getting ready to step into the shower when the phone rang and Eric answered. At first I thought it must be a friend of mine and then I heard Eric's voice get VERY excited and he said, "Wow! That's GREAT news! Unexpected, but great news! (pause) Wow! That means we will be leaving in two weeks!"

I knew at that point it was Holt and then we had a bunch of jumping up and down and clapping and excitement in our household! I picked up the other line and Eric and I talked to M. at Holt together.

After I got off the phone my mind flooded with all the things we would need to do before we leave. I looked at Eric with a crazy smile on my face and said, "The next two weeks are going to be a really great nightmare!"

I am a listmaker, not because I am organized, but because I am not. Without my lists I have no brain.

Here is a short list of my five-page list:

Get cash--esp $1 for tips and $100 bills for a better exchange rate in Vietnam.

Call Mastercard and tell them we will be out of country using our card (important to do or credit card companies suddenly see international charges and think the card is stolen and then block the card. Don't want that. Too much to buy.)

Find passport holder--Kim uses it as a dog leash for her stuffed dogs.

Get Cipro prescription from doctor--in case we get a bad case of Ho Chi Minh's Revenge while traveling. Finish putting together medical supply kit.

Work on list of questions to ask orphanage staff (about Vu's past, likes and dislikes, special stories they remember about him. Note to self: make sure we have his caregivers give him permission to come to our family--video tape it. I cry just thinking about it! This will be important for him to bond with us.)

Make photo album of Vu growing up for Vu's favorite caregiver.

Store away half the toys in the playroom. I don't want Vu to be too overwhelmed. I am esp. putting up all the battery operated lights and sounds toys. We'll start with the classics.

Type up medical release for each of the kids staying home--please pray they don't get sick! And pray Will doesn't get hurt in football. I am SO sad we will miss his last two football games as a senior. All locals, if you're bored on Friday night, please come cheer for Will!

Arrange all the care arrangements for said children--and dog. I feel sad just thinking of leaving my sweet boys for almost three weeks! I don't know how I will do it! I think they will be okay--but I won't!

Get more allergy medication for Patrick--and teach caregivers how to use inhalers. This makes me nervous. It will make the caregivers even more nervous.

Bathe the dog--he stinks! He always stinks but we love him anyway.

Massively clean the house. My parents are coming to watch the kids for part of the time and I want things to be as easy as possible.

Get new brakes on Will's car so he doesn't have an excuse for using Eric's car the entire time we are gone.

Put Vu's bunkbed together (I was planning to re-varnish it but vetoed that-no time.)

Make James and Sara a cake in the shape of a house--they just bought their first house!!! Congrats James and Sara!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finish shopping--I keep thinking I'm almost done and then start a new list. The list includes underwear for Vu. I am wondering if he will like underwear as much as Patrick :-) VN children do not wear underwear so it is a new experience! (Patrick is VN at heart.)

Cancel dentist appts--our dentist will love this as we had five appts all in one day! Sorry Dr. A!!!

Move hair appt to this week--ask Michelle to work a miracle on the hair color and make me look younger so Vu won't think I look more like a grandma than a mom. (Do I have time for a facelift? Newsflash! Stress DOES cause wrinkles!)

Oh, and one teeny tiny last thing. LEARN TO SPEAK VIETNAMESE! It is SO hard! Yesterday I did learn to say, "I know you're scared but it's going to be okay," and "I know you're sad but it's going to be okay." My heart aches for the trauma Vu is about to experience losing everyone and everything he has ever known. One of the ironic things about losing Joe is the preparation I now have for understanding the grief Vu will experience.

I also learned how to say, "I love you." I love you Vu! It seems too good to be true that we are finally coming for you. In some ways, I find myself in disbelief that something this good can really happen after all the sad things that have happened in the past year. I'm beginning to believe it. Thank you God!

In exactly 11 days and 50 minutes we will be stepping on the plane to bring our sweet son home. Maya Tung Vu! Mom loves Vu!

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