a day early even!

As you can see by the earlier picture, we have picked up Emmett a day early!  I took most of the photos, so that is why Ren is in the one here (she always looks better than me).  When we talked to our facilitator Van yesterday, she arranged for us to get to the orphanage early enough to do the G&R today.  So here are our other updates:

TIMELINE

We will apply for our Vietnamese passport in HCMC (hereafter called Saigon) tomorrow morning.  Van thinks that we can expidite it to get it back on Friday and Ren and Emmett can head to Hanoi on Saturday.  If the physical exam and US visa go smoothly next week in Hanoi, Ren could be leaving as early as the 30th.  I will be heading back to the UK this Saturday the 23rd regardless.

PHYSICAL UPDATES

We knew coming out here that Emmett had a heart defect that would require surgery, and there was the possibitility of some other physical issues.  We know now that the orphanage was preparing for him to get surgery this month, so he will probably be ready for surgery soon after he gets back to the UK with Ren.  That all depends on what our doctor says about his VSD when she gets back.  We also know that he has some issues with his penis.  The skin on the bottom and sides of his penis is connected to the area of skin closest to the area.  It appears to me that it is primarily a cosmetic issue and not a plumbing problem, but would probably require some type of surgery to correct.  He also has a slight problem with his lower eyelids that keep his lower eyelashes folded under.  Ren thinks that is correctable with surgery as well.

This brings us to our major concern that maybe there is some type of syndrome going on that we are not aware of.  He only weighs about 10 pounds (at 5 months), so is very skinny for his age, but he seems to be alert and cries when he is hungry.  He will also hold eye contact, smile, and grab things.  He is a gift from God and we already love him very much.  Please pray for us to have courage and wisdom in making decisions and dealing with these issues.

The other minor (I think) physical issue is race.  It is not an issue for us, but I wonder how he will handle it.  He was abandoned at the orphanage so we have no information on his parents, but all the Vietnamese ladies working there are pretty certain that Emmett is half Vietnamese and half ‘foreigner.’  He has much lighter skin than the other kids in the orphanage.  I’m not sure how that will affect him as he grows older, being biracial in a white family.  I figured it would be hard enough for him to make any connections with his Vietnamese heritage, but now I think it will be very difficult.  Anybody got any advice?

That’s about all I’ve got for now.  We are very happy, but a little concerned and are thankful for your prayers.

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8 Comments

Filed under adoption, While in Vietnam

8 responses to “a day early even!

  1. I am so happy for y’all. What ever Emmett and y’all are facing the fear is alway worse than reality. Take it from someone who has BTDT. 🙂
    Christy

  2. Phimosis? Is that the penis thing your talking about? Quinn has that, too. From what I’ve read it apparently can self correct, or require surgery, or just not be a big deal either way. Time will tell, most likely. I’m so happy for you guys that you have Emmett. My advice about the race issue: don’t worry too much about it right now. He is a baby. He has no clue about race right now. Just take care of him and love him and, if you must worry (which of course you must, because you are parents!) worry about the immediate medical issues at hand, worry about the normal stuff you would worry about if race weren’t an issue. As he is older and begins to notice things like race let him be your guide. It may be a big issue for him, it may not. Let him know he can always talk to you about wahtever, do what you can to be prepared to help him make connections with his Vietnamese heritage, but don’t project your worries about race on to him. Just love him and let him be a kid, not a “bi-racial” kid, just a kid, until he starts to notice and wonder about it all. Hmmmm . . . did that all sound preachy? Wasn’t trying to . . . you did ask for advice . . . 😉

  3. Beth

    Thanks so much for the update….it’s so great you got to see him one day early!
    Hang in there. I’m sure all of the issues will have resolutions.
    Keep us updated and post more pictures!

  4. wow, i bet you guys are ready to get the little guy home and to a doctor. i pray that eveything goes well and that God gives you peace and wisdom as you make your decision…it sounds like you have a lot ahead of you.

    enjoy your time in vietnam and please share more pictures!!

  5. Christina

    He is adorable! I’m so glad you have him in your arms already. Everything is pretty overwhelming at first – meeting your child, being in a new country, all the adoption paperwork – add to that his medical issues and it’s easy to get a little freaked out. (I did, both times!) But just remember that it gets a little easier every day and things will feel much more manageable when you are home in your own comfort zone. Don’t stress about the race issue now – he may or may not be mixed race, some Vietnamese are much lighter than others. And at 5 months old, I seriously doubt he cares. 🙂 Race is a very important issue for all adoptive parents to be aware of and prepared to help our children deal with… but it can wait for now.
    Praying for you and thanking God for His perfect timing!

  6. congratulations. he is so sweet.

  7. I was so surprised to log on and see Emmett!! He is so darn cute! I have read that kids with heart problems do not feed well, so I am sure his size will improve after his surgery. Plus, now he will have a new Mommy and Daddy to make sure he is eating around the clock! Surely the other issues will be easy to treat. I wish you the best. Hugs! Oh, as for the biracial thing…from a teacher’s standpoint, I can tell you that most kids don’t notice race until around 1st or 2nd grade. My kindergarteners never mentioned it at all. I have had biracial kids before. The main thing that they had issues with was other kids saying “that can’t be your mommy/daddy because they don’t look like you.” This will be easy for you to talk to him about by then! There is a great book…Black, White, Just Right. It’s about a black/white biracial girl, but it has a great point to it. You might check it out later. 🙂 We’ll be watching for updates! Congrats!

  8. myminivanrocks

    Many Vietnamese people tell us that our daughter is not “all” Vietnamese, too. They say her eyes are too big. It’s important to remember that there are more than 50 ethnic minorities in Vietnam, so it’s possible that he is 100% Vietnamese, but has the characteristics of one of those minority groups. Still, we are curious, so we have considered DNA testing (you can Google “DNA test for race” – there are several companies that do it). As far as I can tell, none of the tests would be able to identify ethnic groups within Vietnam because the sample size of Vietnamese people tested thus far is not that large, but it might be able to show if there is any Chinese or European ancestry in addition to the Vietnamese. I think we will do it eventually, but she’s only 20 months now, so there’s no hurry.

    Also, our daughter’s eyelashes turned in on her lower lids, but it has corrected itself over the last few months.

    Congratulations!
    Tracy

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