Friday, April 30, 2010

Money, money, money, money..

The good news is...I think we have a visa appointment (although I can't be 100% sure from the wording of the email from the Embassy) on May 11th. YEAH!

Of course, that brings up a very tricky issue....we need money! Yes, like most people I jumped into this adoption with part of the money and a dream....now I still have part of the money and a dream...haha.

So please...share with me how your family raised money for your adoptions. Yes...it is true...we may be down to the wire...but I am curious! If I had actually....you know... planned better...I could have had a bakesale at church or sold tshirts....147 million orphans has a page on their website about fundraising. I think we are really close to being able to do it. If the girls don't actually come home until after I finish my residency - there will be no problems...but if they come home any sooner....let's just say it is going to be close!

Spill it...who has a rich uncle they want to loan me!?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sandra Bullock

OK...I knew I liked Sandra Bullock....and not just because she had the vision and desire to be in the move The Blind Side! Now the truth is out that she is an adoptive mom..ok...not exactly.

Someone familiar with domestic adoptions...can you tell me how she has had a little baby boy living with her since January but the adoption isn't complete yet? I thought maybe it was through foster care...but it seems highly unusual to actually be able to adopt a baby through foster care and what about redoing all of the homestudy stuff? I suppose there is actually a lot of flexibility in domestic adoptions...it just seems odd to me.

Just curious if there are any domestic adopters that can straighten me out on that one.

In any case....what a surprise and what a total jerk Jesse James is.

Visa Appointment request

In one minute I will be sending an email to the Embassy in Ghana requesting our Visa appointment for the girls.

I know that this endeavor - bringing our girls' home happens in His time...when they are supposed to be with us they will be here...please God let it be soon. Please let the good people working at the Embassy work quickly and with confidence that our paperwork is correct and our girls are ready to come home.

Time to send off this visa appointment request...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My sweet little girls...

There is a family picking up their little boy at Beacon House right now...we sent a photo album to Alex with pictures in it from our visit and a note from each of us. So....they have seriously been on my mind the last 2 days....did she get the photo album, what is going through her mind - is she sad, excited, hopefull? I don't know...I can't even begin to empathize. So I thought I would post a couple of pictures of my girls that came to us from a woman who was volunteering at BH for a year (who has now left). What a blessing these photos are!



This picture was when we were there and gave A her doll!


A softball prodigy? maybe...I know a dad who likes to play ball.









Our POA will be picking up our visa packet on Wednesday around 2pm (6am our time) and shortly thereafter we will start discovering what will be involved in getting the visas....




Friday, April 23, 2010

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts

I am watching the Insights and Gifts video's done by Karyn Purvis this morning as I kill time waiting for a meeting at 11. I haven't watched them all...I stalled out on the one that I have posted at the bottom of my blog....I can't figure out how to embed..sorry!

This post is about the 4 general ways of parenting...I am too much of a power monger...I am the Fidel Castro of parenting...or Daniel Ortega. Well...I may also be exagerating a little bit.

We walk a very fine line with our children because good manners and respect are so important to us. We want the children to respect everyone and be senstive to the feelings of others. We show respect to each other, the children, and everyone we interact with, really. We are big on the golden rule in our house and we try to be role models in that respect for our kids.

We are not oppressively dictatorial (I hope) but we have rules the kids have to follow and we are serious about the rules for all of the kids. They know what they are and we are very consistent. I am struggling with how to powershare with the children in a way that doesn't undermine the structure and the clearly defined house rules.

I have a lot of things to think about and a lot of books to read.

How do y'all "powershare" with your kids? Do you "powershare"? What exactly does that mean anyway?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Come on Visa appointment

Well our I600 approvals have officially been logged into the Embassy in Ghana. I got an email today that Romana can pick up our visa packet next Wednesday at 2pm....yeah!

After she picks up our packet, then we email a request for a visa appointment. I have no idea what will happen next! We may get an appointment, we may not...they may request that our girls' biologic uncles come to the visa appointment, they may request DNA testing, they may just call the uncles on the phone and that's it. I have no idea....no one knows.

I am sure whatever happens will be for the best though. I am excited that we are moving forward. Although, I have to say that it took longer for our approved I600's to make it from Atlanta to Ghana (29 days) than it did for us to get our I600 approval (23 days). That is ridiculous. Although I am not complaining because who knows how long it is going to take to get visa's....I need to save up my complaining in case it takes a looooooong time!

In the meantime, I have signed up for a board review course on May 6-9 in Dallas...so I will get to travel...just not to Ghana! This will be good for me...I definitely need to study more.

I have to post some pictures! I will do that tomorrow....I am on call tonight and will be off tomorrow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Zebby Zebby...

Zeb has exploded into such a character. His speech has improved about 100 fold in the last 2 months. He is hysterical and soooo completely sweet. Out of nowhere he will flash a super cheesy smile and point at me dramatically and say..."I love YOU mommy!" It is sooo funny.

He also will make binoculars out of his hands and say..."I haaaaaaave biiiiiiNOCULARS hAHAHAHHA" laughing an evil villain laugh. I think this must be from a cartoon of some sort...but it is hysterical.

Today he said..."Mom...I'm a superhero" he turned around in a circle and said "I have a lot of work to do" and ran off out of the kitchen.

If you ask him something like...Zeb are you thirsty or Zeb are you sleepy....or anything like that he says......."No....I'm Zebby Zebby".

I am so lucky - Zeb just totally rocks!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Is it wrong.....

To blast Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benator while you are baking....and recreating the dance sequence in the kitchen for your 20 month old son who is held captive by his high chair...

Not that I did that this afternoon....I am just wondering?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Volcano....


So the flight that Keith and I were looking at to go to Ghana was on Lufthansa...through Frankfurt. Does anyone see the biblical irony in a volcano erupting and spewing forth hellish fire and ash and all of the flights to Frankfurt being cancelled?
We have at least a week for it to clear up...but still...
We are not afraid to take Delta again...even if it is inconvenient I don't think there are any erupting volcanoes in the flight path!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Carter's online...

OK...I love Carter's and osh kosh b'gosh....now they have an online store. I know...who could believe that in 2010 there is a company that didn't have an online store yet. But it was true. I got some emails a few weeks ago....come to our new online store.

There are such cute clothes there! Lilianna still wears a light pink princess dress we got there almsot 2 years ago. Now I get to replace it! Yeah! Of course now they only have hot pink...but such is life.

It is a very good thing I am on buying anything else for Alex and Zoe until we have visa's!

so check out the new carters/osh kosh online store. There is not a terribly huge amount of items on it...but the ones there are sooo cute and sooooo cheap compared to all of the fancy kids clothes...and I think we can all agree how well made and cute Carter's is!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Bushel and a Peck

I follow a blog called "A Bushel and a Peck"...it is over there on my list and recently the blogger changed her design and now it is more than a blog (in my opinion) it is like a little magazine with articles on adoption, trauma and attachment, homeschooling, large family life.

I love this blog so much. She shares so many tips on trauma and attachment that have worked for her family. This is a place to go online that chronicles an adoptive family trying tips from professionals and telling you how it works...it is well written and easy to navigate.

I was just reading over it...as I kill some time at work....and thought to myself how just totally fabulous this blog is and wanted to shout it to the world! haha...here is my shout!

YEAH!!!!

Our I600's made it the NVC on Friday and were cabled today. Now we get to wait some more...YEAH! I do believe we are in the homestretch.
1. We are waiting for the I604 approval and Visa appointment
2. We are waiting for the actual visa from the visa appointment
3. We are still waiting for our adoption reimbursement money from Keith's job

One step closer!

I still optimistically have my eye on a lufthansa flight on April 26...I know it is very, very, very optimistic.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More delays....

Our I600 approval - we were approved on March 23 in the Atlanta office of USCIS and somehow...our approval hasn't made it to the national visa center in New Hampshire yet. I have talked to customer service at the NVC 3 times and they say they can't do anything to help me I have to talk to the customer service at the Atlanta USCIS office....they have an 800 phone number and say there are agents available to talk but there is no option to actually talk to someone! I have sent emails every 3 days for the last week and a half and haven't heard back and on Friday I called on of our Senator's offices and they sent an email to them. I will be making more calls tomorrow. It is just so frustrating when we have the approval but it is apparently lost in the mail.

2 weeks ago the process was....the NVC cables the approval, our POA picks of the visa packet and 4 days later voila...visa and travel plans baby.......

As of last week......there is now a field investigation that could take up to 6 weeks before you get a visa. So from being excited about maybe travelling at the end of April...we are back to the standard international adoption answer of "I don't know when the girls might come home..."

So....we NEEED our stupid I600 approval to get to Ghana so we can start waiting for another indeterminate length of time. The bottleneck should not be getting our approval from Atlanta to New Hampshire!

Beacon House has a website...it is over in my links...there is a new post with a picture of the new area near the baby house that is going to be a little toddler playground. It is really exciting and will be a really great addition. There is a picture on it of a large space that is fenced in like a little toddler play area...there aren't any toys in it yet. There are some children in it and I am pretty sure my little Zoe is sitting in the far corner...I couldn't zoom in...but there is just something about the way she is sitting and the little profile that just reminds me of her.
OK...I totally lost it when I saw the picture....which, of course, made me extra frustrated at the whole lost I600 approval thing! You know how it is when you are tired and sick and it just takes one little thing to totally lose it....that was me Friday night.

Our saturday was great...and I am about to write about it in another post....cuz this one is getting tooo long!

Friday, April 9, 2010

To Russia with apparently no love....

OK....you don't send back you babies. That's all I have to say. Disruptions might need to happen in some cases and I DO NOT pretend to know what it is like to have to disrupt an adoption...I am prayerfull that I will not have to walk that road ever. But they do happen...and there is a right way to do it..if it has to be done.

What shouldn't happen is putting a child on a plane back to their birthcountry with a note. It is wrong for the child, the family, and all of the other families in process. Boom...all the families in process...maybe even in Russia right now to adopt are totally hosed.

I am very disheartened to say the least about this family's actions. How FRUSTRATING!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kyrgyzstan

Zeb is from Kyrgyzstan (duhh), but there is another little boy in Kyrgyzstan that we are hoping to someday bring home...Aaron is 6yo and thankfully away from the hullaballoo.
It is hard to watch the unrest in Kyrgyzstan though.

I am sure anyone that reads my blog that has a vested interest in Kyrgyzstan also reads John Wright's blog...but if you haven't peeked in on it this week...it is very moving. He is in Kyrgyzstan now and ventured out yesterday to view Bishkek to visit the maternity hospital and to hold a baby girl who was born and abandoned during the violence.

Here is a youtube video of clashes at the "White House".

My understanding is that the violence is now over and there is a new government...where this leaves international adoption for Kyrgyzstan...I don't know.

We are so blessed to have our new daughters, we will keep waiting for Aaron.

Later: I was just blessed with a facebook chat with John who let me know that the area Aaron is has been quiet. I got some other tidbits too that were interesting....but how totally lucky am I that I know there isn't any violence where this little 6 year old boy is living. Thank you so much John!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The shopping continues...

Oh the horror....the shopping continues. But this is the last thing I am buying until the week before we travel...seriously.

Oh yeah...Easter was good tooo...more on that later!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shopping....


Yes the time has come for me to shop uncontrollably. Fortunately, for us all....we don't have a credit card that can take my insatiable nesting desire to shop for really not very necessary items. However, I was able to talk Keith into a few things...Oh I mean one thing...ummm Keith can I buy this too?
This is grape bubble bath, grape lotion and mathing grape lip balm that comes in a little purple draw string pouch...cute! It is from Treasured Locks... I wanted to have some fancy lotion. I am going to bring some fingernail polish too! FUN.


This is Uncle Funky's Daughter's Curly Magic. Ok...I just like the name...but I have read good things about it. Alex and Zoe have such short hair I know...but still...I am excited.
OK I am spreading things out on the bed to pick what we are going to bring whenever we finally get to go (like 3 weeks away).
Do you think I should bring new dolls for the girls? It is likely the dolls we brought 2 months ago are long gone or destroyed.
Ok back to my bed covered in a TON of clothes for little girls!

Last Saturday....

Last Saturday we had the camera with us....this Saturday...not so much. Last Saturday was exhausting for Dad and his baby....

We had adoption playgroup and E from Kazahkstan came with his mommy. He and Zeb are the same age and they play good together...although Z was kind of a temper tantrum machine.

I finally cooked something from my Kyrgyzstan cook book....Roll Kuchen is what it says on the recipe...basically it is a donut or a funnel cake....yumm. They are rolls...but I threw some powdered sugar on them and made them a dessert snack. Fried dough just should have sugar on it..that is all there is to it. Although Z like it better with cinnamon and sugar instead of powdered sugar.

I also spent a couple of hours using my Global mama's cook book and whipping up some Peppe sauce (ouch was it hot), Fried chicken, and fried rice. i actually had ot substitute serrano peppers for the jalepenos because walmart was out of jalapenos. It was really good though.




We had a great day and i am looking forward to whipping up a few more recipes before we travel.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why am I so antsy at this stage....

Ok...I am like a woman obsessed.  For some reason during the last 6 weeks I had some serious calmness kicking.  It could be 6 weeks it could be 6 months or more...I was OK with that.  I was thinking about homestudy updates and extensions if they weren't home by October...I was calm and had some perspective.
 
That is gone.  Now I am freaking out because my approval hasn't made it from one government office to another one in 8 business days.  Come on Michelle...get a grip...it is a government office!
 
Even if we had our visas by next friday we can't travel until the 24th at the earliest...so why am I soooo totally  freaking out.
 
Lilianna is sick today...she threw up at school and I had to go pick her up...so I cleaned the house and wanted to start sorting through clothes for Zoe.  The clothes are in the attic and I couldn't get them down and had a total freak out about that. 
 
I also haven't had any coffee in almost 2 weeks in a futile effort to save money...maybe I just need to chomp on a bag of ground coffee in order to relax!

How long....

Our I600 approval is dated March 23.  The national visa center still hasn't logged in our approval - much less cabled it to Accra.
 
I just talked to a man at the NVC today and he couldn't help me.  I know it has only been 9 days...but the clock is ticking!
 
How long should I wait before I start calling my Senators and Representatives?  I am going to give them until next Tuesday and then it is on.....unless y'all have any calming words of wisdom.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power