Hanging Out at Home & Pictures

So, Scott went back to work today, and it’s just me and Elise at home. We are doing good; I can’t complain. Elise was considerate enough to take an hour and half nap this morning after breakfast, so I could take a shower. Then after her nap and a bottle, she was so exhausted from playing and reading for an hour and a half that she had to nap again. Elise did this, so I could eat lunch. She’s such a thoughtful girl. 🙂

Here are some pictures from our first week home:

And now, nap time’s over…

Hanoi, Danang, and back again

Here are some photos of our hotel in Hanoi, the Somerset Grand Tower, sighting seeing around Hoan Kiem lake. The view from our hotel in Danang, the orphanage in Danang, the Giving and Receiving ceremony, and this morning with her cute little bow!

Houston Baby Shower

My sister and one of my cousin’s threw me a shower in Houston. Some highlights were…homemade spring rolls, getting a glow worm which was a total blast from the past, getting a Bitty Baby with almond eyes from American girl, and we got the carseat which was a big relief. (As an added bonus, Scott didn’t like driving my Xterra to and from Houston, so he took me to get a Toyota 4Runner today. Now we have a little nicer ride for our future family trips. Yeah.)

Homestead Winery

My sister-in-law, Ashley, and one of my friends, Jennifer, threw Scott and I a coed baby shower at Homestead Winery in Grapevine, TX. It was a lot of fun. The hostesses asked everyone to bring their favorite childhood book, so we got lots of great books. We played a game of Vietnam trivia, and I topped off the event by spilling wine all over the already opened presents (Watch the glass at the edge of the table in the pictures). So now, some books have red wine stain on them. Oh well, we will always remember how they got that way! 🙂


What countries border Vietnam?

What body of water is south of Vietnam?

What is the population of Vietnam?

What is the capital of Vietnam?

What is the largest city in Vietnam?

Name a Vietnamese food dish.

Describe the Vietnamese flag.

What is the name of the Vietnamese currency?

How long is the flight to Vietnam?

What is Baby McClellan’s full time (first, middle, and last)?

And now for the pictures…


Scott came up with the idea of making a t-shirt, and then he drew some sample designs. We decided together on which design and font we wanted, and then I suggested the colors. Then we launched our fundraising efforts. We started with cash and check sales from which we got 11 orders. About two weeks ago we started our online sales, and we have received 39 orders making a total of 50 shirts. We are half way to our goal and couldn’t be more pleased with the support we are receiving from friends and family. We have even received two generous donations to help us with our fundraising efforts. It has been pretty exciting to see people support our journey. We are currently 37 days into our 60 day wait for Elise’s visa approval. We still don’t know when we will get our approval, but we do know that everyone is rooting for us. Thank you so much!

Also, on October 3, Scott’s company threw a baby shower for us. Below are the pictures of the festivities; thanks Stacy for being the photographer.

Callier Shower

My school threw a shower for me today. It was a lot of fun; they stenciled fabric squares which will be sewn into a quilt. Scott was able to come and meet my co-workers. Here are pictures of everyone working hard!

Baby Presents

We really enjoyed the baby shower that Scott’s company threw for us. I don’t have the shower pictures yet, but I took pictures of the presents Scott’s co-workers’ wives made for us. I also included a present that traveled all the way from England. Miffy is the present from England. A burp cloth was made for us. A onesie got the addition of fabric, and a hoodie got the addition of teeth and eyes. Everything is so cute. We also got an ‘E’ that was decoupaged. I took all the pictures on top of the quilt that matches our bedding, so you could see the bedding pattern which was the color inspiration for the room. Enjoy!


So we ordered our crib over Labor Day weekend, and it took a week to come in. When it came in, Scott unpacked the crib and found that the left headboard didn’t have threads for the screws. Luckily you could order a replacement part free of charge. The replacement headboard finally came this Thursday, September 18, so Scott and I put the crib together. As we were almost finished, I noticed that the new left headboard didn’t have any track for the drawer, but the old left headboard did. After switching the track from the old to the new left headboard, we finally had a complete crib. It was a bit of an adventure, but Scott thinks it’s a rite of passage for your first crib. Here are the pictures, so now you can see the bedding with the crib and the bird pictures hung and how it coordinates in the room.

The Hoover Dam

Originally posted August 10, 2008 on our old Vox blog.

Let me start by acknowledging that I did not want to travel to Las Vegas for our vacation. I wanted to go to the beach, but the Vegas trip fit our budget and came with poolside time. I also had no interested in touring the Hoover Dam while in Las Vegas. You can see that I started the trip with a great attitude. You are probably wondering if I was pleasant at all. I was pleasant, and I did enjoy our trip. I even found the Hoover Dam trip interesting.

So the Hoover Dam is a triumph for the American people. It was built in the 1930s in record-breaking time. The Dam took 24-7 labor from thousand of Americans, and it is massive. The mountains that the Dam spans across support it. The Dam is incredible to look at especially when you realized they built in the 1930s. I wasn’t even born then. I can’t imagine what it was like. For all I know, everyone was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, so I’m just impressed that someone was smart enough to plan the construction of the Hoover Dam.

When I stood at the top of the Hoover Dam, it made me queasy to look over the edge. There is a lot of space between the top and the bottom. Two days after our Hoover Dam trip, we were on a plane back to Dallas. Wouldn’t you know, I saw the Hoover Dam from the plane, and it looked incredibly small.

The Hoover Dam is surrounded by a mountain range and desert. I saw how massive Lake Mead is, and then I saw this tiny trickle of the Colorado River heading south from the Dam. It struck me how minute the Hoover Dam is. So thousands of Americans created it, big deal. Everything surrounding the Dam God created. All the creation around the Dam dwarfs it, but I would never have gotten that perspective if I had only seen the Dam from the ground. (As Scott said, “The Dam is huge when you’re standing on top of it.)

I don’t mean to diminish the accomplishment and hard work of those thousands of people in the 1930s, but for what purpose did they build it. Did they build it to receive accolades? Did they build it to prove the ingenuity of man?

I tend to focus on my accomplishments and immediate surroundings, so when I finish a major task (like the Hoover Dam) I want all the praise and acknowledgement. I want people to know how great I am because I accomplished this major task. I did it by myself. In reality, my accomplishments are fleeting.

I also looked at the Dam a different way. Remember how small and insignificant I said it looked from the plane? Well, imagine that the Dam represents the loss of our Vietnamese adoption. I am so focused on that loss that I can’t see or hear anything else. I can’t see what surrounds or supports us. I can only think of what I can do to make it better or make it end my way to accomplish what I want.

I don’t know what this loss means for me or my husband. I don’t why we had to experience it. I don’t know who our child will be or where our child will be from. I do know that if I focus too much on what I can do, then I will miss everything God created around me. I’ll miss what this experience can become.

As much as I wish I could go back in time and give our adoption process a storybook ending, I know can’t. I can continue to trust in the God who created my baby and me. And I can wait until He says its time for us to meet, though I do hope it’s soon.

Keeping Busy

Originally posted July 30, 2008 on our old Vox blog.

We still haven’t heard anything from our agencies. We will let you know as soon as we hear something.

I decided to post the pictures of the rooms we painted. Overall the painting was easier compared to other projects we’ve done. Even better, we used left over paint from our master bedroom, so we didn’t have to buy that. There are still a few more things I want to do with the living room and dining room like curtains and a rug for the living room, but it’s mostly finished. Our next big project will be painting the other half of our downstairs (kitchen, breakfast area, bathroom, utility room) and hopefully redoing the floors. We will keep you posted on that project, too. 🙂