We celebrated Christmas Eve by opening gifts from us to our children. Then on Christmas morning we opened the gifts from Santa. Tori wasn't sure about what was happening, but she quickly got the hang of opening gifts. She wanted us to open every box immediately so she could play with the new toys. Here are a few photos.
Merry Christmas to all our family and friends...This will be an exciting Christmas for us to celebrate as a family of five. It will be so fun to have a little one in the house again. That is sure to bring the magic of Christmas. We will be spending Christmas morning at home, then head to Charlotte, NC. We will return home and on the 27th head to Buffalo, NY. The weather has been rough there lately. Mike, Nick and Ashley will be driving and Tori and I will fly. We hope the roads stays clear for the drive.
Hope you all have a happy holiday season and good health in the new year! We look forward to seeing many of you while we are home.
Tori has been communicating with us for months using sign language. She picked it up watching Baby Einstein First Signs. She uses some of it daily. I finally got some pictures of her using her sign language. She even used it at day care so her teacher started teaching the other children some sign language. I truly believe it helps her to cry less since she can tell us what she wants. Here are some pictures of her signing.
Tori's Version of Daddy...She is suppose to be pointing her thumb to her head, but her version is much cuter...
On December 15th, Mike and I went down to the Fayetteville Courthouse and filed the necessary paperwork to readopt Tori in the US so she can have a North Carolina Birth Certificate and officially change her name to Victoria Nguyen Nagowski. It can take up to 90 days, but we are hoping it will come sooner. Then we will have to get her a new Certificate of Citzenship and a new social security card and passport showing her new official name.
We also sent off our first Adoption Report to Vietnam. As part of our adoption, we need to send bi-annual reports for the first three years and once a year after that until Tori is 18. It is an update of how Tori is doing including a few photos of her.
Happy Anniversary to Us...Tori has been with our family for six months.
Today I filled out the paperwork to readopt Tori in the United States. We will take it the the Superior Court Clerk on Monday to start the processing which can take about 90 days. This needs to be done in order for her to get a US birth certificate and officially change her name to Victoria Nguyen Nagowski. Nguyen was chosen as her middle name to honor the province she came from, called Thai Nguyen. Her Vietnamese name is Ngot Thi Nguyen.
1. She can say lots of new words like: shoes, socks, cookie, coo coo (her bum), stinky, duckie, doggie, fishie...we are adding new ones each day...she is in copycat mode
2. Can say animals sounds for horse, cow, duck, snake, sheep, goat, dog, cat
3. Has not had a bottle in 5 days...although I think she still wants it...She drinks well out of a straw
4. Climb up the slide...not using the stairs...literally climbing UP the slide. Her teachers are not going to be happy...she's a rule breaker already.
Her favorite thing to do with dad...Eat with dad (even though she already ate dinner earlier). Her favorite thing to do with mom...read books...lots of them! Her favorite thing to do with Ashley...watch Disney movies Her favorite thing to do with Nick...play rough with him Her favorite thing to do TO Kailee...crawl in the dog's bed and kick her out of it
Last night, Nick wrestled his first Varsity Match for Jack Britt High School. He wrestled in the 171 pound class and pinned his opponent in 5 minutes 15 seconds. Nick took wrestling up when we moved, since they don't have an ice hockey program. Nick previously wrestled in 8th grade. We are very excited for his first win as well as his teams first win of the season. Congrats Nick!
Today Tori celebrated her first Halloween. Tori had a small party at her school. Then we carved her pumpkin when she came home. She seemed interested and was kissing her pumpkin. Lately, Tori kisses just about everything...pictures in books, photographs, puzzle pieces, and many other odd things.
Tori was dressed up as Raggedy Ann. I had these overalls made for her and I even found the doll and book about Raggedy Ann. Kailee was dressed as a pumpkin!
We only made it to three houses when Tori fell asleep in Mike's arms at the third house as we were chatting. This was odd since it was only 7:00 and she normally is up until at least 9 pm. I guess the excitement of the day tired her right out.
One year ago today, we got the call from our adoption agency and they sent us a file with these referral pictures of Tori. In the first one, she is three weeks old and in the second one about two months old. It is hard to believe that she has been in our hearts for a whole year. We can't imagine life without her. She has truly been a special gift to our family.
Yesterday we applied for Tori's USA passport. We had to give them her original Certificate of Citizenship and our Adoption Decree. We get them back with her passport. We will be on pins and needles until they come back since they are our proof that she is our daughter and it won't be easy to get new ones...especially her Vietnam Adoption paperwork. We were told it will be about 3-4 weeks. Then we can do some traveling outside the US. We are planning a trip to the Bahamas for Spring Break.
Nick is playing on a fall travel baseball team called the "Stars". This weekend they played in a tournament where Nick pitched a total of 10 innings and had 20, yes 20!!! strike outs during the three games he pitched part of. What an amazing accomplishment for him. His team won the tournament also as they went undefeated.