This post is kind of long. FYI.
We had our monthly meeting for waiting parents this past Tuesday evening at the agency's offices in downtown Baltimore.
Our friend Erin and husband Kevin brought their newest addition, Emma, with them. She came here in mid-January from Korea. She's been home for just about 3 weeks now and is full of spunk! Erin said they are exhausted and sleep-deprived but happy to finally have her home with them. Emma was laughing and smiling at all of us the whole time. She has very little hair but Erin still managed to get a small tuft into the tiniest little ponytail on the top of her head. Adorable! Erin and Kevin, as well as another couple, were there to share with us their experience and to answer any questions that we waiting parents had. As well as to show Emma off! It's always good to get the story straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
Then a very experienced nurse who works at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Travel Medicine (or something like that...who knew that such a specialized place existed???) spoke to us about which vaccines people will need if they are traveling to their child's country (vaccines for the adults, not for the kids). And she also addressed general guidelines (e.g., don't drink the water, bring certain meds to care for yourself as well as your child [one of the most common ailments is traveler's diarrhea...ugh!]). This clinic is a one-stop shop for all things travel-medicine-related; you can go there to get everything taken care of before you travel. Nice to know that such a place exists. And this woman has been working in the field since the 1960s and knows her stuff! And she has an adopted daughter from Vietnam (14 yrs old) who happened to be there and talked to us about her own experiences as an adopted child (my favorite line was "...and I've had no troubles with school, so don't worry!"). She and her mom have traveled to Vietnam three times and they seem to have a very close relationship.
I talked with at least three couples who are ahead (but only by a few months) of us on "the list" for Korea. So they will serve as guideposts, so to speak, as we get closer to our referral date (e.g., when we hear that these couples have gotten their referrals, we'll know that we're getting close!). There may be others who weren't there that night, but I know that we are slowly moving to the top of the list. I can feel it! Most people who received their referrals are waiting about a year, so it looks like our referral won't happen any earlier than June (our paperwork was in Korea officially as of early June 2008).
So keep the prayers and good thoughts coming!
The nursery is coming along nicely. I've washed, folded, and put away all the clothes that Jeff's brother Joe gave us from his son, Tristan, last weekend. We got so much stuff! I am lovin' it! We got an unused pack-n-play, a rarely-used stroller (full size, not umbrella), and tons of toys (one is a motion-sensitive screaming monkey whose battery shall be promptly removed--Joe threw that in on purpose, I just know it). Joe's also going to help us get the house kid-proofed (there are several safety-related things that the agency wants us to do before we bring our child home). Luckily for us, Joe is a contractor and knows his stuff. He's a great resource, and we're thankful for him!
Anyway, that's our latest news. Parenthood is in sight, for sure!