The everyday little things that make our life perfect.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's a Girl!

Hannah Jane is on her way! Our doctor's visit last week revealed all is well, and we have a girl in there! The "Level 2" sonogram was able to show details we have not seen before. From counting fingers to brain size, Hannah is perfect. In the picture to the left, she is scratching her face. She happened to scratch right as the camera was on her, so we got to see that as well. In the picture to the right, she is showing off her long, "Sneed" legs. I know they are from Joni's side (Sneed) because my family is not where the tall genes come from! Her left leg is bent at the knee, and her right leg is stretched out. The doctor said that all is well, and she is a bit ahead of schedule in terms of size. We are so excited, and we've finally got the nursery cleaned out so that we can get to the walls to paint. Joni has chosen "Ladybugs" as the theme, and I know it will be as cute as can be.

We go back in a month or so, and I'll try to update here more often. The past few weeks have been insane, and we have other big news to post...but I won't steal Hannah's thunder.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Back to Real Life

Well, the vacation is truly over. We're back home and trying to catch up to real life. Lots of stress around here from work, but in the midst of the stressful moments, we remember the joy we are going to feel in March!

We got to hear the baby's heart beat again on Wednesday, and the next sonogram should be at the end of the month or beginning of November. We are very excited to find out whether it will be a boy or a girl! No preference...excited either way.

Friday, September 7, 2007

My, How You've Grown

This past Wednesday, we got to see the baby again. It was time for another sonogram and everything is looking great. I think the sonogram has got to be one of the most amazing experiences that technology has to offer. And, I still say that anyone who can look at a sonogram and not see the incredible creativity, power, wonder, etc of God is missing the big picture.

Like I said, the baby is doing great. We laughed when the technician said that it appeared that the baby was ahead of schedule by several days. Joni's family has a history of birthing big babies, so we assumed it was no different with her. Joni is also feeling much better now that she is entering her second trimester.

We leave for Walt Disney World in less than 2 weeks for Disney's EarMarked Conference for Authorized Disney Vacation Planner travel agencies. After the conference, we are spending another week just hanging out and enjoying the parks. We are very excited!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Ok, so I've heard people talk about it...seen pictures...but nothing could prepare me for seeing our baby for the first time. At 9 weeks pregnant, both Joni and I had assumed that we really wouldn't be able to see anything on this first sonogram. Wow, were we wrong! I've posted some pictures, but they really don't show the level of detail that you can see on the screen.

It is purely amazing. I can even describe my emotions at the time. I knew we were pregnant, but to actually see the baby...and to hear the heartbeat. The amazing technology of modern medicine. I think it hit me...that's a LIFE in there. I was speechless throughout the whole process, and feel so fortunate that we live in an age that allows us to see the gift of life in such an early stage.

Joni's next sonogram is in a few weeks, and I'm sure I'll be blown away, again. She is feeling okay, but very tired. We are both still on cloud 9, and can't wait to see our baby, again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Sorry it has been awhile since the last entry. We have been very busy, and tired from the crazy pace of life for the past few weeks. I know, I will only get busier with kids. Yikes!

We were able to get away a couple of weeks ago for a short vacation. We chose to go to Denver to see Disney's The Little Mermaid the Musical. It was incredible, and we got to see the Broadway cast during the "preview" run. Tons of fun.

Well, back to life...Joni's first appointment is next Wednesday, so I'm sure we'll have more to report then.

Friday, July 20, 2007


We're pregnant!!!!!!!

I thought it would be better to blurt it out than to hold you in suspense. We have been trying for over a year, and were beginning to think it wasn't possible. We found out this weekend that it very much is possible, and that Joni is 5 weeks pregnant. We are super excited!

We still plan on going through with our adoption plans after our first baby arrives. Our agency has been great about this change in plans, and is willing to put everything on hold for us until we are ready to continue. We still have a heart for our baby in Vietnam, and while our trip there will need to be delayed, it will happen one day, God willing.

So, we're looking forward to March, 2008. Thanks so much for your prayers, and we ask that they continue as we head out on this new and exciting journey.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Paper, Paper, and more Paper

Well, it has officially begun. We're gathering what seems to be every piece of that could possibly have to do with us in order to start the home study. It seems like a long trail, but there does seem to be a light in the distance...maybe we'll actually get this all accomplished soon. We're planning on using July 4 to write our autobiographies and make copies of important documents...glad there is an extra day off!

Our education DVDs have arrived, and we are excited to learn more about the process and about adoptive parenting. Our agency had a few more referrals this week, and several families are traveling. We can't wait to get on the list! (once our US government approval is in)

On a side note, for those who were curious...I know I was...CIS is accepting a "name-only" background check for me as I do not have fingers to fingerprint. Glad to know that someone has walked this way before, and there are policies in place to make this go smoothly for us.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Welcome Packet - Starting the paper chase

We received the welcome packet in the mail today. It has a ton of information, and our heads are spinning. Fortunately, we live very close to the Texas branch office of our agency, and so our coordinator is going to come over on Tuesday and go over all of the materials with us. We'll get started after that meeting with all of the paperwork gathering. We're so excited!

Friday, June 15, 2007

We're approved!

Well, I mentioned earlier today that we had not heard much...until now! We just got an email saying that our application for adoption has been approved by our agency. We are so excited and will keep you up to date on our progress! Thanks for the continued prayers!

Vietnam Adoptions on the Rise

The following is from our agency's blog:

According to the government update, 780 children have come home to U.S. families since Vietnam reopened in January 2006. In April 2007, 120 children were placed. "I think this is the largest number placed in one month so far. Adoptions are really taking off in Vietnam," says Children's Hope Vietnam Program Director Nicky Losse. Link

That's great news for us! We haven't heard too much since the last post. Our application is being reviewed and we should hear back any day now regarding our approval.

Friday, June 8, 2007

First Post and Welcome

Welcome to the McDoniel Family Blog. My name is Chet McDoniel, and my wife, Joni, and I started this blog to share with family, friends, and anyone else who cares about our international adoption.

Joni and I have been talking and praying for several months, and we have decided to adopt a baby from Vietnam. The agency we have chosen is Children's Hope International, and they have already checked to make sure that my handicap won't pose a problem for us.

For those who don't know, I am limb deficient in that I do not have arms, and have shortened legs. I use an electric wheelchair to get around long distances, and type, drive a van, etc with my feet. Our agency was very efficient in letting us know that this would not be an issue at all for adopting from Vietnam.

So, our application was mailed on Wednesday, and we are now waiting to hear that they received it. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates, and we welcome you on our journey.