Welcome to our Blog!

We started this blog to keep friends and family updated during our adoption process. We will post adoption news, fundraiser reminders, and tidbits of our life while we endure the long wait. We hope you enjoy following our journey to our daughter in Vietnam.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Pictures

Just sharing a few pictures of Zion's summer activities. Parker refuses to let me take his picture...so just Zion for now.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adoption News

Well, we have adoption news...but not the news that I wanted to share. We thought that by now we would be sharing the news of a referral of a beautiful Vietnamese daughter. As we all know, adoption is a very unpredictable thing. A lot has taken place over the last few months with the Vietnam program, too much to write about here. In a nutshell, the Vietnam adoption program will be closing September 1st. What does that mean for us? When we first began this adoption, the wait for a referral was estimated at 6-9 months. As we approached our 9th month the waiting time changed to 12-15 months. September 1, will be during our 14th month. If we haven't received a referral by then, our paperwork will be returned to our agency and our money invested so far lost. It is possible to receive a referral since we are in the top 5 on the waiting list, but there is also the chance that we won't. There are also some more things to consider other than just getting a referral by then. It looks like families that receive their referrals by Sept. 1 will be allowed to complete their adoptions, but there are still so many unknowns. There are lots of new regulations that could slow down the process between referral and travel. There is also the chance that we would not be allowed to finish the process after referral due to problems with the DNA testing and other complications. We've been there done that! I don't ever want to experience that again. I know the pain of falling in love with a child, watching her grow through pictures for 16 months and then not being able to bring her home. I feel as though I'm having a reoccuring nightmare.

So now what??? Our agency is looking into each one of their cases right now on an individual basis in order to present each family with their options. We made it so far only to have our dreams shattered once again. We started this adoption 16 months ago and have been on the official waiting list for over 10 months. Even though we knew from experience that something like this could happen, we really didn't think it would happen to us again. We are sitting on pins and needles right now waiting to here what our options are.

The one thing that we do know for sure will never change in the adoption process is that God is in control. I can't imagine not having the assurance and faith that there is a plan for us. It's what gets me through each day. Maybe our child is not in Vietnam but somewhere else. Maybe our next child is meant to be another boy. Maybe our two boys are the only two children we are meant to have. We just pray that we will know what to do and make the right decision for our family. Please pray for us during this time, but especially pray for the children that will be left in Vietnam with no family of their own.

I'm ending this post with some pictures showing just how much I have to be thankful for...God has truly blessed us. I refuse to let our adoption process bring me down and keep me there. I've shed some tears, been angry, but now I've made my mind up to remain strong, positive, and to enjoy every moment God has given me with my family.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saying Goodbye

This past Sunday my 96 year old granny passed away. She was still remarkably healthy for her age, so her death was unexpected. She lived alone and was able to take care of herself, which was amazing considering she would have been 97 years old on the 8th of this month. She lived next door to my parents and my dad took her newspaper to her every morning. Last Sunday, he found her laying across her bed. We are so thankful that she passed peacefully. She was such an amazing woman. She was smart, funny, and known for being spunky! She played such an important role in my life. I lived next door to her all of my childhood. I had a bicycle trail beaten through the field to her house. I remember spending many hours playing dominoes, shelling peas, fishing, or just talking with her. I will always cherish the memories I have of her and I'm so thankful that my boys were able to know her and spend so much time with her...I just wish she would still be here to meet our daughter someday. Her family was so important to her. My dad was an only child and he only had my brother and I, so we are a small family. We all live within 7 miles of each other, so we are together constantly. It is going to be so hard not having her here. Just last night we sat down to eat at my parent's house and it was difficult seeing her place at the table with her not there. She taught us a lot...how to laugh, love, and live for the Lord. We are really going to miss her.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth

I know many of you think I have fallen off the face of the earth, but I haven't....I'm still here! I have been so incredibly busy that this blog has taken a backseat to all of my other projects. I have had several people asking for updates, so here it goes:

We have now been in this adoption process for one year. Our first application was mailed on December 11, 2006. We are getting closer, but I still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. The average wait for a referral from the time a family is placed on the official list is 6 - 9 months. We just hit the 6 month mark. We are really hoping to have a referral by March, so we could travel during the summer. That would be perfect, since I'm a teacher. We are in the top ten families waiting on a referral. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we don't have to wait over 9 months. We have been a little nervous and anxious lately. For those of you that haven't heard. There has been concern that the Vietnam adoption program could possibly close again. It closed in 2002 due to corrupt and unethical practices. It reopened in 2005 when a bilateral agreement was signed between the U.S. and Vietnam. This agreement would be in force for three years and then both countries would have to sign it again for adoptions to continue. There has been some concern lately that this agreement may not be renewed. What does this mean for us? We don't know yet. As of right now, noone is really sure what is going to happen. We are hoping that something is decided before we are presented with a referral. I have been through having a referral and then not being able to bring that child home. I don't know that I could bear that again. For now, we are just trying to remain positive and hopeful that everything will work out. Please pray for this situation and for all of the children and families that could be involved. I have faith that God has a plan for us and we must continue to wait for it to be fully revealed.

One of the main things that has been keeping me busy is fundraising for the adoption. I have tried to do one major fundraiser each month. It has been sooooo much work, but well worth it. When we started this adoption, we really didn't know where the money would come from. We dove in head first and immediately began planning our fundraisers. One year later, I'm happy to report that we have raised, earned, saved, or had donated to us over $18,000!!! We still have a ways to go, but we are very glad that we are this far along. We are very thankful for our family and friends and for all of their support, but most of all to God who has made all this possible. If anyone is interested in some of the ways we have raised money, just let me know and I'll be happy to share. The following pictures of Zion were from my last fundraiser.

Well, the hope of being in our new house by the end of the year is gone. I'm still hopeful for January. I'm having a hard time right now with colors. It was easy to pick the color of paint for all the rooms because I have known for a long time what I wanted. The carpet, tile, laminate, countertops, etc. is a different story. The more I shop, the more undecided I am. I'm a very visual person. I need to see the entire room. I can't visualize what my kitchen floor will look like by holding up a 12 X 12 piece of tile!!!! I guess I should just start knocking on doors of new houses and asking if I can take a look at their colors and decor...ha!! Robert has told me that my time is up! I have one week to decide..ughh! (I wonder if he has taken into consideration that it is Christmas???)

The boys are doing great! Parker finished the first semester of 7th grade with straight A's. We are so proud of him. He is playing basketball and is loving it and of course so am I. He has had a growth spurt and is now as tall as I am. He has decided that he is sick of wearing glasses and now has contacts. He is growing up way too fast. As he gets older, buying Christmas presents for him gets more difficult (and expensive). Zion on the other hand is still easy to buy for. He wants anything and everything he sees! He is counting down the days until Santa comes! I love watching his enthusiam and excitement. He is still very much into trains. He was a train engineer for Halloween....and a very cute one I might add. As busy as we've been, we have still had the time to work in some other family activities. Both boys were in my niece's wedding in October, we spent the night at the Governor's Mansion on Thanksgiving, and welcomed our first great-nephew into the world in December. We had a little fun this year decorating for Christmas. We were disappointed that we weren't in the new house yet, so we decided to do something silly in our rent house, We hung our tree upside down from the ceiling. The boys love it! I'm sure years from now they will be telling their children about the year their parents went crazy during Christmas and hung their tree from the ceiling...ha! Making memories....even if they are silly!! We are still having the great name debate for our daughter. Zion's latest idea...Maney John Bakerham! Where did that come from??????

Wow, that turned into a novel. Hopefully everyone that is interested in "Life with the Loyds" is up to date on what's going on in our world. Stay tuned for the next chapter...hopefully it won't take two months again.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Are We Crazy????

Sometimes we feel that some people think we are absolutely crazy! Are we? Well maybe so! I guess it just depends on how you look at it. Why would people think we are crazy? Because of the fact that we are building a house and going through the adoption process at the same time. Both are very time consuming and costly. There is actually a good reason behind all the madness. At one point after Zion came home, we thought our family was complete. We were living in a tiny house that was really too small for a family of four. We had lived in that house for almost 16 years. We had refinanced the house a few years earlier to pay for our Guatemalan adoption and for Zion's adoption. Our house payment was double what it was when we bought the house. We sat down and weighed our options. After much discussion, we decided that we could build a house twice the size of what we were living in for not much more of a monthly payment, because of the earlier refinancing. We put our house on the market, sold it, and moved into our present rent house; still thinking that our family was complete. Over the next several months, we couldn't get the thought of adopting again out of our minds (mostly my mind, but it didn't take too much convincing for Robert to get on board). We both felt like it was what we were meant to do, so we started the process again. We redone our house plan, cut some major corners, and are doing a lot of the work ourselves to save money. Thank goodness for my dad and Robert's dad. With the use of dad's equipment (backhoe, dozer, etc.) we were able to do all the dirtwork without it costing us anything. Robert's dad has built numerous houses and his experience has helped in many ways. They both have spent many days (and nights) working on the house. We wouldn't be able to do it without them!! It is taking us longer than previously planned, but we are hoping to move in before Christmas. We can honestly say that this house will have our blood, sweat, and tears in it!!! So as crazy as it sounds....it is going to work. We will have a house large enough for a family of five and it not cost us much more per month than our tiny little cracker box that we were living in. We are still fundraising like crazy to come up with as much of the adoption expense as we can. Therefore...our lives ARE crazy even if we are not. That should explain, why I don't have more time to post to this blog!!! I can't wait to have a normal life again.....well as normal as life can be with 2, soon to be 3 children!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Zion's "Gotcha Day"

Four years ago today Jeong, Min Tae was placed in our arms. All the time we spent anxiously waiting his arrival was over. This chubby 21 lb, 4 month old boy changed our lives in such a huge way. We cannot imagine what it would be like without him. He is the sweetest little boy who freely gives hugs and kisses and has a smile that can light up a room. It still melts my heart to hear "I love you, Mommy" several times a day. On the other hand he has always been very strong willed and determined. We call him our high maintenance child! He brings us many challenges as well as rewards. He continues to amaze us each day. He is like a little sponge....absorbing the world around him. He is changing so much and growing up way to quick. I love watching him grow, learn, and become such a unique individual, but I sure miss that chubby little baby. We continually think of his birthmother and hope that she knows how grateful we are for the sacrifice she made. We also hope that she knows how much joy he has brought us and how we love him beyond measure. We are truly blessed to be his parents. I thank God every day for sending me this beautiful little boy.

Zion wore his hanbok to church yesterday in honor of his special day. Today we are celebrating by playing at the park and have cupcakes (his request) with his grandparents tonight. Happy "Gotcha Day" my little man.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stepping out on faith

Well...so much for blogging every week!! Maybe I should set my goal for once a month..ha! We just enjoyed a week of camping at the lake with the whole family...parents, in-laws, and my brother's family. We had a great time. After returning home, I just realized that I only have a little over one week of summer break before I go back to work with inservice and getting my room ready for my new class! Where did my summer go? At least time is passing quickly now. I'm sure it will seem to slow way down when we get closer to a referral.

Since this blog is mainly set up to document our adoption journey, I wanted to share some thoughts about stepping out on faith. That's what we did with this adoption. We knew we wanted and needed to adopt again, but didn't know how it would be possible. We just took that first step and had faith that it would happen. Since then, God has proven to us that he is in charge and we give him the thanks. Lately we have talked to several people that wanted to adopt, but didn't know if they could afford it. So for those that have thought about adoption, but have been discouraged by the cost, I want to share a little of our story. After Zion came home, I knew that I wanted to adopt again someday. It didn't take too much to convince Robert. His only concern was the financial side of it. Although we have the money to care for a third child, the $25,000 - $30,000 that it will take to bring that child home was really scary to us. We just did a lot of praying and discussing the possibility. After about two years, we decided to go for it. We had no idea where the money would come from, but had faith that if it was meant to be God would provide. We knew it would take a lot of hard work on our part. We immediately begin doing various fundraisers. I kept a record of every dime that we raised, saved, or was donated to us. I also kept track of all the money that we spent. Five months into our process, I sat down and added both lists. The money we spent was within $20 of what we had raised!!! Somehow, we managed to raise over 7 thousand dollars. That same week, we needed to mail our agency $250 and we received a donation a couple of days before mailing it for exactly $250. We are still a long way from having enough money; but somehow, every time we needed the money it was there. We are now 8 months into our adoption and have managed to raise enough to pay for the next step in the process. We are still a little concerned about where the rest of the funds will come from, but we are working hard and have several more fundraisers planned. We have had so many people help us by volunteering at our fundraisers, donating items for our yard sale, donating money, etc. We are grateful to many people, but most of all to God. With him all things are possible! So, if you are considering adoption, please don't let the money stand in your way. Where there is a will...There is a way!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Thoughts on Waiting...

Hopefully now that summer school is over, I'll be able to keep my blog updated. I had every intention of posting at least once a week.

This was an exciting week for our adoption agency and all the waiting families. There were several referrals of boys and girls this week. I caught myself trying to count how many families were waiting for referrals, how many received them, and where we could possible be on the "list". I suddenly realized that I was doing all of this in vain. It doesn't matter if we are #1 or #100. Our time will come and it will be the perfect time. For those of you that don't know, we have a lot of experience with waiting. One thing I've learned about waiting for a child...you can accept the dreaded wait and move forward and make the most of everyday or you can whine, whimper, and live in your misery (which is what I did during our first adoption). Either way...your child will come to you at the right time. I will share our story of how I know that with those of you currently in the process of "waiting". Before Zion came home we were in the process to adopt a baby girl from Guatemala. One of the reasons we chose Guatemala was the quick process..ha! We didn't have to wait but for a few short months for a referral of a one week old beautiful baby girl. The long wait came after we saw that precious picture and accepted her into our hearts as OUR DAUGHTER. We were hoping to have her home around 6 months old. We received monthly updates and pictures for the next 16 months! We hit one bump in the road after another. Looking back we know that was God's way of telling us we were not the right family for her. We watched her grow and change through these updates and pictures. It was terribly agonizing and hard. I traveled to Guatemala to visit her when she was 16 months old. I spent a few days with the sweetest most beautiful baby girl that I had ever seen. The hardest thing I have ever done, was walk away from that orphanage empty handed and broken hearted, not knowing if I would ever be back. We were unable to finish this adoption. Even though our hearts still hurt and I think of her daily, God had another plan for my family and for this precious little girl that we loved dearly. If her adoption process would have went according to our plan we would not have Zion today. We would have never started the process for a child from Korea. I can't imagine our lives without him and can't fathom the blessing we would have missed. We went through some hard times, but good things came from it. We have more faith, more patience, more understanding for things beyond our control, and the most amazing 4 year old son!! If the timing would have been different by 1 week, 1 month, or even 1 year, we wouldn't have the son that was meant to be ours. The timing was perfect even if we couldn't see it! I spent those 16 months in misery...trying to do things MY way and take control of something that I had no control over, which made me more miserable.

This time around, I can honestly say that the wait may not be easier, (and I'm sure I'll catch myself whining and complaining a little) but I won't dwell on the time it takes to bring my child home but rather make the most out of the time that it is taking for God to send us the child we are meant to have. I will play a little more with my children, spend more time with my husband, and pray for our future daughter during the next few months as we wait for him to reveal his plan to us. As I've said before the scripture at the top of this blog has been and hopefully will continue to keep me focused.

I don't want to sound like I am preaching, but I know a lot of families that are struggling with waiting and thought this might be of some help to them. It was always helpful to me to know that I was not alone and others could understand what we were experiencing. The ups and downs of adoption can only truly be understood by someone that has been there.

On a lighter note...the boys and I have been spending a lot of time at the pool while Daddy is working. Parker is of course swimming like a fish and Zion is still a little afraid of the water but has been going under a couple of times without crying. I, of course, am just happy to be out of school..now if we can just figure out how Daddy can have summers off also. Oh, BTW if you see Robert tell him that Ella and Emma are beautiful names for a little girl...ha!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Officially Waiting

We can finally say that we are on the waiting list. We just heard this past week that we have been placed on the official Dillon waiting list. We know that we have a long wait ahead of us, but it sure feels good to say that we are now officially waiting on a referral. We just hope and pray that the referral times don't increase, but we are prepared that things can change at anytime. We have been discussing names for our little girl and the only thing we agree on is that it is probably a good thing that we have the long wait ahead of us because it will take us that long to agree on a name!! Zion thinks he has the problem solved and has been talking about his sister "Baby Sally" for a while now. (He is a huge Cars fan, and the girl car is named Sally..ha!) It may take the entire time we are waiting on a referral to change his mind..he is a pretty determined little guy.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


We have officially decided to join the "blog" world. Actually I have decided to start this blog and although Robert thinks it is a good idea, I'm sure I will be the only one posting anything to it. I really enjoy reading other blogs and thought it would be an easy way to keep family, friends, and others in the adoption process informed about what is happening with our adoption. Things will probably be pretty boring for a while since we are still so early in the process. Hopefully I won't bore everyone too much with our day to day activities in our little world. The good thing about blogs...if you are bored or don't like reading...just log off. We also thought this would be a good way to record thoughts for our future daughter. Someday she can read and it will help show her how much we we wanted her and loved her even before joined our family. So we welcome any comments, as they too will become part of her story.

A little about us for those that don't know us. I am an elementary school teacher and Robert is in sales. We have been married for 17 years. The Lord has blessed us with each other and our two wonderful sons. Parker is 12 and will be going into the 7th grade. Zion is 4 and will be starting preschool this fall at the school where I teach. We adopted Zion from South Korea in September 2003 at 4 months old. We can't imagine our lives without our children. They are true gifts from God. We can't wait to add a little girl to our family!

We started this adoption process in December 2006. We have completed the long, time-consuming paperwork (Pre-application, Application Part 2, Homestudy, Dossier). It has taken us over 5 months to do this and we are still not officially waiting. Our dossier has been sent to the consulate. When they are finished with it, we will officially be on the waiting list. Right now the wait for a little girl is 6 - 9 months for a referral and then 3 - 6 months before we can travel to get her. Of course, all of that can change at any time. We are probably looking at another 12-15 month wait. Sounds like a long time, but from our past adoption experience (more on that in another post) we know that no matter what happens the timing for her to join our family will be perfect! One thing we realize is that we should turn everything over to God. Sometimes easier said than done. The scripture at the top of our blog has become my source of strength over the past 5 years. I decided to put it there so every time I make a post I will see it and be reminded of who is in control. Hopefully, it will keep me from whining too much during this process..ha!

Here is a picture of our boys. It's not the most recent picture, but it is one of my favorites. To see more pictures of our family click on the link "Our Photo Site" on the side. We have posted our pictures there since April of 2004.