Many of you have asked questions in my comments, via email, etc so I’ll try to answer those now. If I miss something, drop me a line or comment.
1) Ear Tags: Addison was born with preauricular skin tags on both ears which are extra growths of skin that are on her face near the opening to her ears (on her tragus). She has them on both sides. They are basically just cosmetic growths of skin that can easily be removed back home although hers are more extensive and probably will involve general anesthtic and so she may not have her’s removed until around age 2. They are usually inconsequential but in a small number of cases they can be a sign of an underlying issue such an a renal issue, a hearing or sinus issue or a chromosomal abnormality. Ear tags are pretty common in Vietnam but also not acceptable. We have had a theory that Addy’s birth mother could not afford to have her tags removed and that contributed to her abandonment. Of course we will never really know.
2) The Many Fashions of Addison: You are right, I packed a TON of outfits for Addison. BUT! If Vietnam had shared the same climate as Michigan (like originally anticipated when we thought we would have a referral and travel by summer), I would have packed a third what I did. But I bought all these tiny sweet dresses, mostly to keep me busy and happy during our long wait, and now it is freezing back home in Michigan. So if she did not wear the outfits on this trip, she would not have ever been able to wear them. And also….I have 3 boys! Need I say more?!?!
3) Return Flight: This is still up in the air. At this point the boys and I are returning as soon as possible. Tony will stay with Addison until he can get a flight out – probably the 18th. I know the boys will be disappointed to leave early as am I. But a situation has arisen that has forced my hand. It really sucks but life just keeps on happening I guess, travel or not.
4) My Ear: Is clear! It is soooo nice to hear Hanoi and be able to talk to people finally and hear them talk back! I am sooo happy to be able to hear again. It still is working out it’s issues. I am struggling with the clearing by way of sinus headaches and sometimes it plugs back up but I can clear it pretty fast now. Likewise Noah seems like he is on the mend.
5) Places to stay: Others have asked about places to stay. I love it here at the Sedona but it is so far away, I would not recommend it for that reason. I would prefer the hustle and bustle of downtown, even with all its noise, pollution and chaos. If you like quiet, sedate, calm and secluded and price is no object, the Sedona is for you. I did visit the Lucky 2 hotel and it seemed really nice. We could have reserved an entire floor (2 bigger rooms, 2 small rooms) for way less than what we paid to stay here. Of course we would have gone without some of the luxuries that have made life more simple – laundry, kitchen, etc. I have heard the Somerset is pretty nice. I wish I had more info on good hotels but that is all I have.
6) Places to eat: I think I’ve covered this before but my favorite place we have ordered from is Hua Sua. It is sooo nice, the food is awesome, cheap and the staff are adorable (they are all homeless/underprivileged youth in training). It is totally far away and off in a tiny corner so you would not stumble upon it yourself. But any taxi should know it right off. The Cyclo restaurant was ok but way overpriced, the food was not all that great either. Al Fresco’s is a place a lot of Americans love – it has pizza, nachoes, Mexican, etc. We ate there a few times but I didn’t care for it at all. We had a lot of good Thai food and some decent Indian food from Tandoor, too.
7) Transportation: We use “Hanoi Taxi” exclusively. They are cheaper than others and always honest. You don’t have to barter a price up front, they don’t try to sell you stuff or tours. They just get you there, fast and cheap. If you can’t find a Hanoi taxi when you need on, ask at any nice restaurant or hotel and they will page you one.
8) Formula: There are a lot of options here and I think about all of them can be found at the Citimart in the Hanoi Towers. There are no disposable bottles here so stock up before you come. There are a plethora of other baby supplies, however.
9) Am I still planning on moving? YES!!!!!! Resoundingly. I am seriously considering flying into Houston instead of Detroit but there are some things that need to be attended to at home. I will probably stay through Christmas and then we’ll see. I can’t see staying in Michigan beyond the end of this year but I have learned to never say never.
I think that covered it all! I tried to write this before but blogger crashed and I lost it all so I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things. Just let me know!