Can it really be this good?

This is Darren again, doing some freelance blog writing for Nicole. We have been going at about 100 mph every minute since we got here, and now it’s starting to hit her pretty hard. She’s getting some shut eye, trying to avoid coming down with what she thinks she’s coming down with…

Our head facilitator and his wife have moved on to Danang (we’ll meet up with them again in Hanoi and we still have other facilitators that are with us so we are far from alone), the babies’ passports are secured, and our US Consulate appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday. Now is when the heavy shopping fever kicks in, and I start wondering if I should have budgeted a lot more money for this trip. Meanwhile, I’ve been soothing myself with the incredible buffet breakfast at the Duxton. Everyday my eyes end up being bigger than my stomach, but I just can’t help myself. If you stay at the Duxton, you CANNOT miss the buffet breakfast.

We leave Saigon on Sunday afternoon, and all we have is the consulate interview next Tuesday in Hanoi. We’ll see how things go, but we’re contemplating taking a little trip to Sapa from Hanoi. We’ve heard that it is beautiful there, and I want to distract Nicole from the potential shopping in Hanoi.

I was We were pretty worried about parenthood before this trip. How do you even know how to be a parent? What if she didn’t want to have anything to do with us? What if I just break her? (That was mine.) Well, it turns out that most of our worries were for no real cause, because you just shoot from the hip and do the best damn job that you can. So far, Nicole and I feel like we’re in some kind of wonderful dream with Piper. She is an absolute angel. Does she cry? Sometimes. Does she poop? Unfortunately. But one little smile of hers, she can make Nicole and I start babbling. We probably look like idiots, but that’s okay. She’s way better than sliced bread.

We’re prepared (we think) for her to go through a significant grieving stage, but as of yet, it hasn’t really hit. She looks us in the eyes all the time, and talks constantly in the gibberish that only she knows. She is constant smiles, except when we perform the dreaded wiping the nose routine. She has been an absolute dream thus far, and if we can carry this right through the teenage years, then we might just survive.

We do have pictures of some additional children from the orphanage for the families that asked us to take them, and Nicole promises to have them to you tomorrow. She feels really badly about not staying up tonight to get them out, but if she doesn’t get some sleep, she will be in bad shape. Being a parent is absolutely tiring.

One last thing for this post. I referred to Piper as my ‘daughter’ to someone at the hotel yesterday, and oddly enough, I think that that is when the gravity of what we’re doing hit me. Yes, I know that I should have been ‘hit’ long ago, but everyone is different.

We have posted TONS of new pictures here, so take a look if you have a few minutes. There will be many more to come. Here are some of my favorites:

First day at the pool

Making her getaway...

Two girls at the Ca Mau Orphanage

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15 Comments on “Can it really be this good?”

  1. Kristin Says:

    What a beautiful post, Darren! I’m so glad that Nicole is able to get some rest tonight…

    I thrilled that things are going so wonderfully for the three of you! Can’t wait to see more!

  2. Stacie Says:

    Darren, thank you for “taking over” as guest post-er for Nicole while she gets some rest! You’re post was fabulous. I am so happy to hear Piper is adjusting well. She is so cute and smiley!!!! The pictures are terrific. Enjoy your time in HCMC and safe travels to Hanoi.

  3. Jocelyn Says:

    What a beautiful family!

  4. Mr Lady Says:

    Not a writer, my butt.

    She’s gorgeous. Thanks for the update.

  5. Kelly Says:

    That is so great that she is doing so well. She is really really adorable and am so glad that we have gotten to see a lot of pictures.

  6. pam Says:

    I’m new to you guys so BIG congratulations. What a beauty! Who are the two other girls. I’m so happy for you when I read the words about your being ‘hit’ by the daughter thing I started bawling like a big ole baby. And about sailing through the teen years, sorry not 😉

  7. pam Says:

    I just went and looked at all the pics. It’s amazing, there’s one with daddy and baby sleeping and your lips have the EXACT same expression.

  8. Ken and Marlene Says:

    Hi Darren and Nicole,

    What a beautiful baby! We can’t wait to see her. We are so happy for you both, have a safe trip home. Sounds like you’re on the road to being great parents.


    Ken and Marlene

  9. Kelli K Says:

    Love all of the pictures. Piper is so adorable and I am happy to hear she is doing so well!

  10. NiCole Says:

    What fantastic photos! It looks like you are having the trip of a lifetime. Piper is just so cute! Wow, you are really in the home stretch now–just the embassy appointment left. Enjoy your last few days in HCMC!

  11. emily Says:

    that is how we felt. it really is THAT good. so happy for you all.
    and thank you for the photos of the nannies looking at updates photos. it brings me peace to know they know can see how happy she is!

  12. Adam, Kim + Linh Mai Says:

    Hey…love the pics. Thanks for passing on the photos to the nannies. We want to go back! Piper looks so happy. I hope it’s all going well…and remember try, just try to stop and soak it in. You’ll be home before you know it.

  13. Christine Says:

    What a great post, Darren. Nicole, I hope you are feeling better. It is aweful to feel sick when so much is going on. You uys look like you are having the time of your lives. Make sure to live in the moment, which is hard to do when you are so busy.

  14. Zoe's Mom Says:

    Darren, you are becoming quite the blogger! Awesome post!
    I love it!

  15. CableGirl Says:

    She’s gorgeous and adorable!

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