Liem's Story

Jeff and I were married in 1999 and knew that we wanted to be "young parents". So, we decided after one year of marriage that we would go ahead an try to start having kids. We did fertility treatments (pills & 2 in-vitro attempts) for 2 1/2 years. We did our first round of IVF in May 2002. I just knew that it would take and that I would be pregnant. Well, obviously it didn't work out and Jeff and I were both devastated. All of our friends were having families and we were hurt and confused. We decided to try IVF again and after the 2nd round, our doctor simply told us that our plan is not always what God wants. He continued to tell us that he felt it could be a dangerous pregnancy if I was ever to conceive. That day is when we started talking adoption. We both knew that we would adopt internationally, but we didn't know what country we would adopt from.

It seemed like everyone we talked to referred us to the same couple in Fayetteville that runs an adoption agency. We felt after 2 weeks of what seemed like everyone telling us, that we had to call Marvin & Carol. We called them and set up an appointment to talk with them. We reviewed their programs & Vietnam was the only one we qualified for since I was only 23 at the time. We applied with the agency in November of 2003 and got a call on December 13th that there is a little boy abandoned at the hospital and he is ours if his tests come back as healthy. They told us it would probably take 10 days to know for sure. On December 16th Carol called me back & said that he is ours! So, our whole "process" thus far had been 1 month. She asked if we wanted to see a picture & I said sure, but knew we didn't care what this child looked like. Below are the first pictures of Liem. He was born on November 30th 2002, so he was only a few weeks old!

We had a delimma...Vietnam was closing for adoptions on December 31st 2002. We had to finish our dossier and get all paperwork done and fly out of the country to be in Vietnam before the 31st. Jeff and I took off work and drove to Little Rock to get state seals, etc. We "expedited" everything that we could. We even had to call in for some reinforcements via our Representative John Boozman. It was the most stressful time ever! We managed to get everything done & were in Vienam on December 30, 2002. We drove down to Liem's town of Vinh the next day, saw him and "signed the book." We were the last people that signed the book that day. Technically, he was the last child out of Vietnam before the moratorium. Here are some pictures of the day we met him, wearing his beautiful PINK hat!!!

We didn't get to bring Liem home with us then. At the time, you were required to make 2 trips to Vietnam. We promised our facilitator that if he would get us back before their New Year, then we would bring him a camcorder. He came through for us! We were home for 2 short weeks and headed back to get our sweet baby boy! (Thanks to the help of Mike & Naomi, we finished the baby room just in time to leave for Vietnam again!) Our 2nd trip was very stressful. With Vietnam's adoption laws, a child must be 30 days old before he can be available for adoption. The day we signed the book for Liem, he was 30 days old. We told them that we came in hopes that a child would be there for us. They accused us of trying to steal him...I.was.devastated. Here I am in a hotel room in a 3rd world communist country with a 6 week old baby, no family with us and Jeff calls me to tell me that they won't let us have Liem. I remember so vividly being in that room with Liem and Lynn (wife of couple that traveled with us). We just held each other and cried. He and Ryan came back and we made some calls to Marvin back home (it was the middle of the night here). Marvin talked to the poeple he needed to & the next day we got a call that we can go home! The guys went and finished the paperwork and we packed our bags! We finished everything there as fast as we could & got earlier flights home!

Liem has been the most amazing blessing to EVERYONE that meets him! His smile is contageous, he loves people and people love him! He is beautiful (sorry sweet boy, but it is true), brilliant, funny, athletic, caring, compassionate, friendly, entertaining, a fabulous big brother and most of all he loves God! As I type this, I can't help but think that this November when he turns 8, he would be moved out of the orphanage in Vietnam and left on the streets. Boys there aren't allowed in the orphanage once they turn 8 years old. I love this sweet boy more than life itself & I am so blessed that he calls me mom!

If you are reading this, please please please consider adoption. It is the most rewarding experience you will ever have! There are approx 147 million orphans in the world that need homes. If you have questions or want more info please ask!