Friday, May 30, 2008


Well we got the news we have been waiting for this morning, approval of our dossier (paperwork) by the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice. This is a very big step in the adoption process. Our time frame said the approval would happen about mid-June so we are two weeks ahead of schedule. Now Emma's paperwork at the orphanage is being sent to the MOJ where they will review and approve it. We anticipate this will take eight weeks, so we are saying August 1 (hopefully sooner). Hopefully this will bump our travel time frame up to early September. Thanks for all the prayers, keep them coming!

On a lighter note. Here is a video of our son Austin long boarding on our street with our Yellow Lab Dawson. It's how dawson gets his workout!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No New Pics, But Some Good News

We found out through Rebecca and Anthony that Emma has been placed with a foster family until we can bring her home. This is a positive thing as it will allow her to get the one on one care she needs and develop some skills that otherwise would be difficult to learn at the orphanage. The bad news is they were unable to take any photos because she was not there. The orphanage reassured them that the package we sent would get to her. We are getting ready to send her a doll and a few more pictures this week.

If you have not done so, please, please, please take a minute to contact your congressman and senator as requested in the previous blog. It is very simple and only takes a minute. If we can get a large group of unified people, it would make a huge impact. We are praying for MOJ approval any day. Thanks for all your support!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nothing New This Week

Hello everyone. I know many of our friends and family check the blog regularly. Unfortunately there really hasn't been any new developments in the past week as far as the adoption goes. We are a tad frustrated that we have not received MOJ approval by now. Two other families who submitted their paperwork at the same time received approval over two weeks ago. It's just hard to be patient and understand why ours has not been approved. Last week we sent Emma a toy, outfit, and some pictures. We have purchased her a small doll and an Elmo. We are going to send the doll this week and the Elmo later on. We buy two of everything so when we get he home, the same toys she had in Binh Duong will be here. We have been told the toys we send her do not come with her when we bring her home.

School is out for Cathy and I. The busy pool season started for me on Saturday, although the preparations started over a month ago. It is an extremely stressful time for me as we now have 18 commercial pools and almost 100 part-time employees. Believe me summer is no break for this teacher! I want summer to go as fast as possible. One, to bring Emma home, and two for pool season to be over. Teaching 9th grade is much less stressful than running the pool company! I couldn't do it without our daughter Abby, she has taken a large role in the business. Also, Adria Smith, Eric Wright and Brian Beale have taken on supervisory positions with our company. All three of them are good friends and teach with us at PC North. They help us out alot and we couldn't do it without them.

Cathy has been working around the house. We have been going to the gym in the morning. Emma's room is slowly taking shape. Everyone asks if there is anything new, but unfortunately there is nothing as of today. We do think we'll get new pictures and an update at the end of June. There is a couple over there right now that picked up their son from Emma's orphanage. They graciously took a package to her from us. We are hoping they were able to take a few pictures of her while they were there. We are all just craving new pictures and information.

Well that's all for now. Please keep our family in your prayers. Candice has taken a job in Japan and is moving there June 3rd. Say a special prayer for her. Thank you for your love and support. Hopefully our next post will be about MOJ approval!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Okay, we want to say thanks for everyone that voted in our middle name poll. We carefully considered all the names listed. We also looked at several Vietnamese names, but couldn't seem to find anything we really liked that went well with Emma. Cathy recently came up with a new name that wasn't on the poll and we both loved it! Her name will be EMMA REESE KELLER.

On another note, we hope to have some news soon regarding the approval of our dossier by the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice. Right now we anticipate travel in mid to late September. However if this approval comes in soon and our orphanage can quickly get their paperwork to the Vietnamese government, it could possibly shave some time off. We'll keep you updated.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Abby fixed lunch for the whole family at her new house. Candice just recently took a job in Japan and will be moving there in June. We are very happy for her and she is excited about a career change. She won't be here when we bring Emma home, but she might be able to fly to Vietnam for a long weekend while we are over there. We are also planning a family vacation in March to Maui so we'll get to see her then. Thank you kids for making this a very special Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


This is a very cool collage made by one of Cathy's students! It has all the pictures we received, Cathy getting the call from our social worker, Thomas telling his mom, and our two dogs!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Greetings family and friends. The past ten days have been quite an emotional rollercoaster! On the 21st we were matched with our beautiful daughter. On the 28th, Vietnam announces they are closing adoptions September 1st but will process folks with submitted paper work and a referred child (which we have both). Yes, it's a little scary, but both Cathy and I and our agency feel good that our situation will be okay. We have been busy with tons of paperwork and preparing our home to welcome the newest member of our family. The pictures reflect some of the new purchases and items we have sent to her in Vietnam.

We have gathered all the documents (minus one) we need for our I-600 application and sent it to Holt. We should get that last document, the homestudy update next week. This paperwork goes to the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam. Right now, our power of attorney document is in the process of being translated and sent to the MOJ in Vietnam. As soon as they receive it (in 3 or 4 weeks), they will start the approval process. That should take 3 to 3.5 months. At the same time, the U.S officials will investigate (called the I-600 process) her specific case to verify that she is indeed an orphan. That should take 60 days more or less. Once the U.S. approves the I-600 and Vietnam approves the the paperwork, we will shortly thereafter be approved to travel. We will have to go to both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

So the way we look at it, the earliest we would travel would be August, the latest November. However we think it will be in the middle, September or October. Keep this precious girl and all these beautiful children in your prayers.