Sunday, December 6, 2009

Homecoming pictures

Grandpa seeing his granddaughter for the 1st time!

Isaac seeing daddy!!!

Everyone was SO excited, we couldn't get out of the van right away

Isaac saying 'hi' to mommy

Isaac checking out his new sister

Drew checking out his new sister (she seems pretty excited!)

Finished family at last

Drew feeding Keira (his expression was funny, he was impressed that she ate!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last day in Delhi pics

Red Fort in Delhi

rickshaw ride

which wire???

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Taj Mahal Pictures

Colin & the big-bellied bhuda at the Indian Museum

on the way to Agra

The Taj Mahal (yes, the actual one!)

the kids & I


Rod, Colin, Keira, Michelle & I at the Taj (the guide took the picture, that's why its crooked)

miss cutie pie

brother & sister

beautiful in-lay work

Colin the maharaja

Kolkata pictures

Shopping in the market

Colin waiting patiently

Mother Teresa

Hope Home Calcutta - an orphanage that we visited (Rod & Michelle's church supports several children in this home)

one of the classrooms

a concert that the children put on for us

Colin singing his own composition during the concert

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gotcha Day pictures

walking into the orphanage

holding Keira for the first time (proud big brother!)

drive back to the hotel from the orphange

politcal rally that made the trip back to the hotel twice as long

her first dinner with her family

sitting pretty in her new dress

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pictures of our time at Corbett National Park

Tiger siting

Monkeys playing in the road

Our guide holding Colin up to see the tiger in the brush

Colin & I at Corbett

Awful Elephant Ride (don't let the smiles fool you!)

Rod & Michelle sent their laundry out. Colin & I found it drying by the river!

Corbett Falls

Colin driving us back from the Falls

Friday, November 27, 2009


I am home!

We left Delhi at 1:35AM on Tuesday morning and landed in Chicago at 4:45AM. (Go figure it was a 14 hr flight, that landed in 3 hrs, 10 min.) I, thankfully, was able to use my American Airlines miles to book my flight so I flew back in 1st class. I didn't realize I had slept very well on the flight until I looked my watch and realized there were only 5 hrs left of the flight! I thought, OK, I can handle 5 hrs. Thankfully it was an uneventful flight and we landed in Chicago almost 30 minutes early.

We all made it through customs & immigration (Keira is immigrating) very quickly, found our bags, and met Dad very easily. We left the parking lot at O'hare by 5:50. Keira did well in the car seat. She & Colin had each only slept the 1st 4 hours on the flight and were awake for the last 10 hrs. So, they both slept in the van on the way to Mom & Dad's house. She cried a bit, but then fell asleep. When she stirred, she'd let out a cry, reposition herself and fall back to sleep. I was ridng up front with Dad and after she cried a few times, he said with a smile, "That's a baby girl cry!" (This is the first baby granddaughter! He's quite a proud grandpa) I think we were all expecting her to be older acting than she was. Since she's a year old, I think in my mind I had more of a toddler expectation, but she is still very much a baby, just not a newborn. (Her older brother Isaac is 2 and he was the last baby, so I think my point of reference was set for a 2 year old, not a 1 year old.)

We made it to Mom & Dad's house by 8:30 Tuesday morning. Mom had Drew & Isaac out on the front porch swing when we pulled up the driveway. The boys started jumping up & down and Isaac ran to the van when Rod opened the door and just screamed "DADDY!!!!!" Both little boys were very excited that their parents were back.

They both jumped into the van to meet Keira for the 1st time. They were so excited we couldn't take the time to get everyone out of the van first. It was quite loud, but super happy. Drew peeked at his litte sister first and just said "aw, she's so cute!". Isaac looked at her and said "Keira!" They're all going to be (and are) great big brothers for this little princess!

It was quite a reunion in Mom & Dad's living room when we all got in the house. Drew & Isaac took a closer look at their sister and touched her hands and ooh'ed and aah'ed at her. Then they realized that oldest brother Colin was home too. Isaac said "COLIN" and ran and gave him a big hug (twice). (SO CUTE!!!!) Drew, just kept saying how cute his sister is and he's so happy they adopted her. It was a great scene to get to witness. I was snapping pictures the whole time.

We stayed at Mom & Dad's until this morning to be able to stay and celebrate Thanksgiving. But, I'm home now and needing to unpack and relax. Jetlag has kicked my butt. I woke up at 2:10AM on Thanksgiving and then didn't nap all day (I went to bed at 7:30 last night). Then this morning, I was up at 3:55AM. But, since Rod's family were leaving by 7AM this morning, he, Michelle, Colin & Drew were all up and in the kitchen by 5AM. So, we still had a couple hours to spend with them before they left. (The whole house was up by 5:30 at the latest so we could all spend more time together.)

It was an incredible trip. I have a ton of memories, experiences, and bonding moments to keep in my heart and share with Keria when she's older. I'm glad to be home too though.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts in this whole process. I truly appreciate it and was glad that so many were interested in this.

(Now that I'm home, I'll try to add some pictures - supposedly takes forever, so check back in a bit.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Final Post while in India

On Sunday, we went to the Red Fort and a mosque in Old Delhi. The Red Fort was beautiful and had a ton of history that was still evident. The inlaid marble at so many of the monuments is just gorgeous.

As we left the fort, we were offered a bicycle rickshaw ride so we took the man up on his offer. Michelle, Keira & I rode in one and Rod & Colin rode in another one. They took us through the main street of Old Delhi and then several side streets. It really is amazing to people watch in a place like Delhi. There's such a wide variety of life going on, its quite interesting. One thing that was just crazy to me (crazy as in "I don't understand how that can work" type of way) was that the electrical wires are just a hodge podge running between buildings and down the streets. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

We then headed to a mosque in Old Delhi which is supposed to be the largest in all of Asia. I wasn't very impressed. But, that could be because I had to leave my shoes outside (there were bird droppings everywhere) and had to wear an ugly yellow mumu because I had worn short sleeves. So, I felt a little ridiculous and grossed out walking barefoot, but otherwise I'm sure its a very nice mosque. I just didn't seem to notice at the time. Needless to say, when we got back, the first thing I did was wash my feet!

When we left, our bike drivers took us where we could catch a taxi. We decided to take an auto rickshaw instead. It was a bit of a tight fit for 5 people, but it was fun. Colin was quite popular along the route. He would wave at the neighboring vehicles whenever we'd stop. At one stop, there was a little boy in the car next to us on his mom's lap. His dad opened a bag of candy and told his son to give a piece to Colin. (it was wrapped, but it was chocolate - which Colin doesn't really like). He's always so excited to meet new people and make new friends.

Today was out last day in India and we started out slow and quiet. Knowing that we have a 15 hour flight ahead of us has kind of dictated what we wanted to do. So, we lounged this morning, checked emails and Rod & Colin went swimming. Then had an early lunch, I had another massage and then we headed out to the Zoo. Wasn't too exciting as it is a bit dated, but we did get to see a white tiger (2 actually) and a leopard. We also found the reptile house, so Colin got to see a cobra while in India. (Rod asked at the hotel where we could find a snake charmer, but he was told that its now illegal for charmers in Delhi.)

We headed back to the hotel and all went swimming. It was Keira's first swim and she did VERY well. She clung to Michelle at first, but was then fine. It was a bit cold out of the water, so I held her wrapped in a towel for a bit. She just sucked her thumb and watched her daddy & brother play in the water.

We're now just packing everything up and then heading toward the airport in a few minutes. We'll be back in Chicago tomorrow morning, then heading to Mom & Dad's for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Signs throughout India

We have gotten quite a few laughs from various signs we've seen throughout the country. Here are a few that I can remember:
  • Construction sign: "Upgradation street lights"
  • Public Service sign along highway: "Hell or Helmet, Choice is Yours"
  • Construction sign: "Deep Sewer Rehabilitation" (as opposed to the shallow sewer?)
  • Sign at Delhi airport on tarmac area between terminals: "Marging Traffic"
  • Public Service sign along highway (but you have to turn around to see it): "Lane driving is safe driving"
  • Restaurant sign: "Sandwitch"
  • Sign at Delhi hotel when we arrived: "National Toilet Day" (Apparently the hotel is hosting a spa convention - we think its a bathroom supplier convention)

I'll add more as we see or remember

Back track to arriving in Delhi

The morning of the 19th, we flew back to Delhi as that is where Keira's US visa will be processed and they have go to a doctor w/Keira prior to going to the embassy. So, we were up VERY early and on a 6:30AM flight to Delhi (original flight was almost 9AM, but it got cancelled a few weeks ago and we were automatically moved to the early flight). We landed to quite a bit of smog, but I've noticed that the smog seems to be much worse at the airport and after dark (driving back from the Taj Mahal was like driving in a fairly think fog).

Colin found our driver (thankfully all of the airport transfers have been perfect and we've always found our drivers) and we headed to our hotel. We purposely planned our trip that each leg is an upgrade from the last. So this hotel is a 5-star that I was able to get a great rate for thru my company's corporate rate. We got checked in fairly quickly, but missed the breakfast buffet by less than a 1/2 hour. It was almost 11AM anyway, and with having gotten up so early, we decided lunch was just fine. We dropped our bags in our rooms, then headed down to the 24/7 restaurant for lunch. I got a burger which I must say was probably one of the best tasting burgers I have EVER had. I was certainly not expecting that in India.

Rod, Michelle & Keira headed to the dr's office for her appointment, and Colin & I went up to the pool and went swimming for the first time this trip. Once they came back, Rod stayed swimming with Colin and I headed to the spa for massage & steam. (I'm heading back for another massage later today or tomorrow). Keira had to get 6 vaccinations as her 1 year shots were not up-to-date. The dr said that was too many for 1 day, so she got 3 that day and then told to come back the next. She was asleep by the time they got back to the hotel and took a great nap the rest of the afternoon.

The next day, Rod, Michelle & Keira headed to the embassy to start the visa process and then had to go back to the dr's for the rest of her shots. Once those were finished, they had to go back to the embassy to finish up, but luckily the whole process only took about 4 hours. Colin & I stayed at the hotel and worked on his journal his kindergarten teacher sent along. He also got some Animal Planet watching in too. I was able to instant message with my parents for a bit (and then called them from the hotel). It was good to hear their voices and catch up briefly.

Colin & I grabbed some lunch, then headed to the Indian Museum. We were going to go to the zoo, but after checking that yes, there is a zoo, we found out that it was closed that day. So, we went to the museum instead. It was all about the history of the country. Colin is usually more into museums with animals & dinosaurs, but he did great. We had an audio tape guided tour so we made it through the first floor before Colin (me too) was finished. When we got back to the hotel, we went to Rod & Michelle's room to get Colin's swimming trunks to find that they were already back. We all expected the embassy to take ALL day.

That late afternoon, we headed out to fixed prices shops. (Michelle & I both agree that we don't care much for bargaining for our purchases.) Colin was the star everywhere we went. He has a knack for finding friends anywhere he goes.

We then headed to bed early as we left very early the next morning to drive to Agra.

I already wrote a bit about the Taj Mahal, but it truly is a magnificent structure. Our guide explained that the writing around the entrance has the appearance of being the same size from bottom to top. But, because the top is obviously farther away from where you're standing, the letters are gradually increased from bottom to top. The top letter are 2 1/2 times bigger than the letter at the bottom. INCREDIBLE. The four minarets at the corners of the structure are built slightly leaning outward. They were built that way on purpose so in case they fell over, they'd fall outward. There is also a mosque on site and to keep the symmetry, there was an identical building built. They used that as guest house. Rod asked our guides if the fountains are ever turned on. He was told that yes, but only for dignitaries and we didn't rank in that category. Our guide was also very protective. Many of the Indians were staring at Michelle & Keira and asking if she was her child and what happened to Keira. He kept telling people in Hindi to basically "mind your own business."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taj Mahal

I have a TON to catch up on, but a quick update on today. Drove to the Agra to see the Taj Mahal. 5 hrs there, 5 hrs back - LONG DAY!! But, the Taj Mahal is absolutely amazing. It was intricately adorned and the symmetry is something I don't know that I've ever seen. Our guide then took us to a shop where the artisans make inlaid marble items. A lot of the same stones used in the Taj are used by these artisans. One of the stones, the Cornelian, glows when a light is shone on it (or some underneath the marble). That stone is native to India only and makes the piece that much more special. There are about 25 families that do this type of craft and they are so quiet about the technique that the guide said that at times, they will marry a 1st cousin in order to keep the technique secret. (Out of 25 families, I'm not sure why a 1st cousin would be the last resort - just my initial thought.)

My brother will be posting pictures on his blog of today, so be sure to check his site.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rest of Calcutta Portion of the trip

(apparently has some problems with pictures, so check out my brother's blog to see pictures of the trip.)

The evening of the 16th, we went to dinner at the Oberoi Grand Hotel which was across the street from out hotel. It was great to have a quiet place to just sit and not have locals waiting outside the doors for us.

The morning of the 17th, we just relaxed in the hotel and played with Keira. We weren't sure how she would respond to us, so we took it easy. Later in the afternoon, we went out to do some shopping. I bought some scarves, but feel like I had 'AMERICAN' written all over my forehead. I am no good at the whole bargaining for every shopping items. I spent way too much and then felt sick to my stomach that night when I thought about how much I had spent and knew that I could have bargained a LOT less. My only consultation is that scarves really are beautiful and as Michelle reminded me, I'm helping provide for the families of the shop owners.

We then spend the evening in the hotel room. We ordered room service so we didn't have to go out again and to give Keira some quiet time. One of the things we need to be aware of is if she's getting too much stimulation. As the only time she's been out of the orphanage prior to us picking her up was to get her passport picture taken, everything in the world is brand new to her. When dinner came up, Colin took a bite of his sandwich and said "DAD, this is the BEST sandwich I've ever had!!!." (He's a pretty picky eater, so for him to rave about something is rare.) After a few more bites, he declared "we HAVE to get this recipe!!!" :) (It was just a grilled chicken salad sandwich)

On the 18th, we went to Mother Teresa's home. We saw the room where she spent most of her life and where she died. We walked through the little museum room that documented her life. And then walked past her tomb. It is truly amazing what 1 person is capable of. She truly cared about people and taking care of their needs even when she had nothing herself. It was pretty emotional to see the pictures of her doing her work and reading about what she went through over the years. What an amazing woman!!

We then headed to the outskirts of Calcutta to Hope Home. This is an orphanage/school that is partially supported by Rod & Michelle's church in CO. The home has 24 children currently and has room for more kids if necessary. The school has about 60 additional kids from the area that come in each day. We met with the kids and the people who ran the home. Dev is the guy who started it and he has been to CO and Rod had met him before. The kids ranged in age from 7 - 17. The two 7 year olds were in kindergarten and not in classes at the time we were there. So Colin played with the kids and made new friends. The girls were just enamored with him (as were all of the children). We stayed for lunch (they had Chinese delivered) and then a concert that the kids put on for us. Colin even participated. He's quite imaginative - she sang 2 made up songs. One about Jesus (he accompanied himself on a violin for that one) and a 2nd song about wildlife. He's a funny little boy. We then headed out and the kids all said goodbye and shook Colin's hand.

We then headed back to the hotel to get dinner and pack for our very early flight back to Delhi the morning of the 19th. (FYI - the best time to travel in Calcutta - about 4AM!!! - very little traffic)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gotcha Day

The 15th is pretty much just a travel day. We had about a 6 hr drive from Corbett to Delhi, then had to fly from Delhi to Calcutta. Once we landed (to VERY high humidity), we had about an hour drive to our hotel.

The 16th was "Gotcha Day". We had an appointment to pick up Keira at 12:30, so we went and did a bit of browsing in the markets close to the hotel in the morning. We grabbed some lunch and headed to the orphanage.

The orphanage has two buildings and we weren't quite sure which one Keira was at, so we went to the 1st address on the list. It was the home for the brand new infants and the special-needs babies. We were able to meet the Ayahs (caregivers) who took care of her when she first arrived at 1 day old and saw where she stayed for her first little while there. We were also able to get some pictures of kids waiting for their families to pick them up and could send new pictures back home to mommies & daddies. The kids were very cute!!! The newborns were tinny-tiny. One of the infants was still in an incubator and another was on an IV. Others were just 1.5 kilos (3 pounds) or about that size. Rod said "I'd take one of these home too." (Me too) It was VERY evident that they were being well taken care of.

We then headed to the other location to pick up Keira. One of the Ayahs rode in the car with us with a little boy whose parents were picking him up after us. In the car, he was all smiley and kept saying "oma" (Mama). He's 2 years old.

We walked up the stairs at the 2nd location and Michelle went first. An Ayah was holding Keira so Michelle saw her as soon as she was high enough up the stairs. She was surprised that she'd get to see her immdiately. We all made it up and immediately started snapping pictures.

Michelle went right up to Keira and Keira was completely fine. She wasn't smiling, but she also didn't cry. Michelle waited a bit before picking her up, but when she did, Keira was just fine. She just looked at her mama and inspected this new person. We then all headed into Mrs Roy's office to do paperwork. Michelle held Keira on her lap and she eventually fell asleep.

After all the paperwork, we headed around the rest of the cribs and took more pictures of babies for other parents. All of them are SO cute. We area where Keira had been staying had 3 big cribs with 3-4 kids per crib. As we watched the kids, it made sense to have them in larger cribs with kids to interact with to help with socialization. Again, they were all very well taken care of.

We got into the car (Keira was still asleep) and started back to the hotel. As we got close, the driver said that a street was closed. It took more than hour to finally get back to the hotel as it turns out that police had closed streets for a political rally. When we got back to the hotel, we saw the hundreds of thousands of people in the street for the rally. Thankfully, Keira slept the whole car ride.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rest of Corbett Trip

Day 3 in Corbett started with a elephant ride at 6AM. All four of us rode and the first little while was fine. About 45 minutes in, the elephant started misbehaving and the saddle shifted a bit. At that point, we told the "driver" to go back, he said "ok, no problem" and turned the elephant around. We thought we were heading back, but as it turned out, he just took us to a different path. We were quite relieved to get back to the rode. At the end, he jumped off the elephant and asked for a camera. He took several pictures, but then backed away from the elephant. We were all ready to be done.

The rest of the day was fairly relaxing. We drove up to Corbett Falls which is about 35 kms from Tiger Camp (we were all very tired of riding in cars and anticipating the 6 hr drive the next day, so we don't think we would have gone there if we'd known ahead of time how far it was). Once we got there, it was beautiful and the views along the way were great.

On the drive back, the drive stopped the car and reached back for Colin and said to take off his shoes. We weren't sure what he was doing. Then, he pulled Colin onto his lap and had Colin drive back!!!! We were a little shocked and again, lost in translation, he ended steering the car for quite a while. Now understand, that there are very few traffic laws in India, traffic drives on the opposite as the US and people walk right along the road. When Michelle said "Enough", the driver just said, "OK, no problem" and Colin kept driving. Thankfully we all made it home safely!!

Back at Tiger Camp, we took a walk to the river that runs behind the camp. One of the laundry people walked back with us and signaled to another worker to bring something. The other guy brought over a bag of bait and started throwing it into the river. There were HUGE mansheer fish that blended into the rocks on the river bottom. They swarmed the food and jumped to the surface. Colin LOVED watching them and hadn't realized that the fish were there at first.

(I'll try to add pictures later, so check back again for pics -internet still spotty in this hotel)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Corbett National Park

So at Tiger Camp, we had all our meals included and the restaurant was an open-air thatched roof building. The whole place was beautiful and very relaxing. We're all glad we decided to go there for a few days to get over jetlag and vacation a bit.

While at Corbett, Rod & Colin took an elephant ride. Michelle & I had punjabi suits made - quite an experience with a lot getting lost in translation, but we figured things out. We all took a jeep safari our 2nd morning. We were up at 6AM and got into the Bijran portion of Corbett around 6:30. Our guide had been working there for over 18 years so he was very helpful in explaining what we were seeing and what to listen for in finding the tigers.

About an hour into the safari, we stopped to watch some monkeys & deer playing. Then we headed up the road a bit and saw some samba deer. (The Samba is one of the main food sources for the tigers.) We stopped for a short bit while our guide relieved himself (quite common for all men to do anywhere they feel like throughout India) and he came running back to the jeep and said he'd heard a warning scream from one of the animals. Our driver put the jeep in reverse and zipped back up the trail where we just were.

Another jeep was heading down the hill above us as their guide had heard the same warning. We back tracked up the road a bit and stopped and just listen for anything. After a few minutes, the guide from the other jeep pointed up the hill about 50 yards up the road and said the tiger would be coming down the hill. Sure enough, a big male tiger appeared and mosied across the road. It was very exciting to get to actually see a tiger as that was the whole point of the safari. Our guide said that in his 18 years, he averages a tiger siting about once a week. We were quite privileged to get to be one of few who saw a tiger. It was a highlight of the morning.

We headed back to Tiger Camp for breakfast, then went into Ramnagar (small town about 3 kms from Camp) and did some shopping. Michelle & I bought some material and had some punjabi suits made (explaining that we needed a tailor and needed the clothes the next day was a "lost in translation" experience). While the tailor was measuring Michelle & I, Rod & Colin saw some local kids playing cricket and went over to watch. The boys invited Colin to play with them. He was VERY excited as he claims that he loves cricket (even though he'd never played before).

All of this happened before noon! We napped the rest of the afternoon and worked on that jetlag.

On to Calcutta

Well, we have made it to Calcutta and we're picking up Keira today. I'll try to post updates in small batches to catch up what we've done so far as the internet can be a bit spotty.

The flight here was VERY long, but we made it and were quite glad to land. We spent the night in a little hotel that if in the states would have been easily mistaken as an hourly place. But, there its considered a 3-star hotel. We was fine to just have somewhere to sleep for a few hours before heading northeast to John Corbett National Park.

We woke up about 4:30AM on the 12th and met our driver at about 5:45AM to drive 6 hrs up to Corbett to Tiger Camp. We were glad to leave that early before traffic got too bad. But, traffic here is always crazy as there really aren't traffic laws. The line in the center of the road is more of a suggestion than a guideline for people to stay on their own sides of the road. Cars pass 3-wide and zip around. It really is a constant game of chicken when on the roads.

More to come...

Friday, November 13, 2009

We made it

Short one - using front desk's computer. We landed after a 14 hr flight. Traffic is like playing chicken times 10!!!! At national park, saw tiger on safari this morning.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm leavin' on a jet plane

We're flying out this evening! It's finally arrived. I was talking to some friends at the office today about how long its been, but now that its finally here, how fast it seems to have gone. It has gone fast (with hindsight) but at times it seemed to have dragged along. But, it finally here and I'm sure will fly by while we're gone.

Keira is 1 year and 1 week old today and we'll be seeing her for the first time this time next week. (With the time change, we'll actually already have picked her up!!)

So, I'm off, thanks for following my journey and I'll keep you updated on all the fun, exciting, interesting stuff along the way.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Now that we have the passport, I can officially tell you. We're leaving Tuesday!!!!! We're going to vacation for a few days before getting Keira, but will get her on the 17th. I'm so excited I can't hardly sit still

There is a passport!

I spoke to my brother this morning and they received an email saying that the passport is in the hands of Mrs. Roy!!! HOORAY, we can bring her home!!!!
The last few days have been a bit nervewracking in waiting for this. I can honestly say that as of this morning, I am officially excited to take this trip.
Thank you to everyone who prayed that this passport would be issued. Those prayers have been answered!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Still no passport

The passport office in Calcutta is having computer issues, so Keira's passport is still not issued. We're praying REALLY hard that it gets done next week. The timeframe for passports being issued used to be about 2 weeks (which would have been the end of Sept). Rod & Michelle's caseworker told them in mid-Sept that due to delays, expect about 6 weeks (which was Friday, Oct 23rd). So, we're now done with week 7 of waiting for the passport and are REALLY, REALLY hoping that their systems are up and running and they can get it done ASAP on Tuesday (Monday's an Indian holiday so that office is closed).

Someone from the orphanage has been going to the office daily to check on getting these finished. They're even asking for the passports to be done manually or for the documentation to be sent to another office for processing. Both requests are being refused. :(

Please pray, we're all ready to go and are tired of waiting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How my adventure began

I'm going to India! Yes, I really am, I just can't tell you when. You may be wondering "why?" Well, let me tell you...

It all started about 10 years ago, but I'll jump ahead because that part of the story is my brother's, not mine. You can check out his blog about the trip for his part of the story at

My part of the story starts about 2 1/2 years ago when I was in Colorado Springs visiting my brother Rod and his family. We were sitting around their kitchen table just talking and enjoying a quiet afternoon. There was a Travel + Leisure magazine on their table that I started thumbing through that was featuring Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The pictures were absolutely stunning and I commented that I'd love to go there someday. I said "I'll travel anywhere just for the experience of going."

My sister-in-law, Michelle, then said, "we're going to be going to India to get Keira, do you want to come along?" I said "Sure!" And that was the end of the conversation.

After I got home and was telling my parents about the conversation, I thought, were they really serious about me coming along? So, I called my brother to make sure and he said, "Yes, whoever wants to come along can, the more the merrier!"

And so began the vague planning for my some-day trip to India.

Jump ahead 13 months later to March of 2009. My parents went out to The Springs for the month and while they were out there, I went to visit for a long weekend for Rod's birthday. While there, Rod, Michelle & I got talking again about our trip to India and Michelle said, "At this point, we're so far down the referral list I really don't foresee that we'd travel before Feb 2010 if not later than that." So, I went home figuring I had just under a year to be saving for the trip.

Within a day or two of getting home from The Springs, Rod called (he had just called about 10 minutes earlier for something not related) and said "We have a referral!" (For those who aren't familiar with adoption, a referral means that they were given a profile and picture of a child and asked if they would accept the child.) I said "WHAT??? How did it happen so quickly?" Well, God knew who Dipa's (Keira) parents were supposed to be and somehow they jumped from #7 on the referral list to the top and they prayed about it that night and called their caseworker the next day and accepted Dipa's (Keira) referral.

Its now been 7 months since the referral and we're down to the very last part of the process before we can travel to pick her up. We're waiting for the Indian government to issue her passport. This used to take 2 weeks, but their processing is taking longer than usual so we're currently in week 6 of waiting for the passport. When Rod & Michelle get the call that Mrs. Roy (the orphanage coordinator) has it in her hands, then they'll call the US Embassy in Delhi and make an appointment to get her US Visa issued. We will then book our travel. It is literally down to just days before this should all happen.

That's the story of why I'm going to India and why I've started this blog. I've had so many people tell me to email them while I'm gone that I decided that this will be an easier way to communicate with folks who are interested in the trip. Welcome to my blog and I hope to update again soon!