Monday, November 27, 2006

The Sam-mobile

Dear Sam,

Well, it's official: Your Dad and I are no longer carless. After five years of not caring about gas prices, becoming way too familiar with CTA, renting cars for out-of-town trips, and being able to feel superior for not adding to our country's dependence on foreign oil, we have now joined the ranks of automobile owners. Our #1 reason: You. Although we admired Jenny and Jon, who trekked their kids around on bikes, we realized it would be more practical to get a car once we have a child.

Thankfully, your Grandma and Grandpa helped us out. They also care about the environment, so they bought a new Toyota Camry Hybrid, which gets 40 mpg in the city. Then they sold their 2001 (non-Hybrid) Camry to us, at a very good price. Then they fixed everything on it, and even had it detailed. It feels like a new car to us.

This is their new car, in the sparkly blue color, with lots of cool amenities. We'll get to ride in it when we visit them, which we will definitely do a lot more often now that we can drive up there so easily.

We're still adjusting to the weird feeling of freedom of having a car. We drove to church on Sunday and did a big grocery shop, but when I went to the thrift store tonight, I still took the el and walked home with my big heavy bags. I hope we will still be cautious in how much we drive places. But we're glad we'll be able to drive you where you need to go, including to Grandma and Grandpa's in Wisconsin.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Daddy practice

Dear Sam,

Last night your Dad and I got some practice at parenting, when we babysat for Lincoln, the 6-week-old son of our friends Jon and Kristin. Your Daddy held, fed, and burped him. I did the diaper change. He was such a good little baby, slept most of the time and only cried and fussed a little. I hope you're so easy!

You also got a present yesterday, from our good friends Jenny, Jon, Grace and Nathan. Aren't those the cutest shoes? (They're Squirrel brand, which I suspect are really nice kids' shoes.) The card said, "Dear Sammy, Here's a little something to help you make your first steps easier. We can't wait to meet you!" We are so lucky to have the Shemwells in our life, even though they went and moved to California right before you joined our family. We miss them a lot.

When it rains, it pours

Dear Sam,

I have been reluctant to post this more good news, because I didn't want to jinx it. But I think it's pretty sure now, so I'm happy to announce that Lutheran Social Services has decided that we will most likely now travel with their first group, rather than their second group. YEA!!!!

Mostly this is because, since it took so long for their license to become official, we caught up to the other three families in the first group. As of last week, our paperwork had returned from the embassy in Washington D.C. Now a few extra documents will be rushed through the embassy, then our dossier should go to Vietnam soon, most likely next week.

I had hoped that our DTV would be sometime in November, and it looks like we might make that. There is some hope, perhaps overly optimistic, that we might have our referral by the end of next month (the best Christmas gift!) and would try to travel before the Tet holiday, which is in early February, but again that is just an estimate, and like I said, a very optimistic one. But even February or early March would be good. :)

Can't wait to meet you!

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's even more official!!!

Lutheran Social Services has been added to the U.S. Embassy's official list of agencies licensed for Vietnam. Click here and scroll down to #31. YEA!!!!!!!!!