Sunday, September 25, 2011

Empowered to COnnect

We spent this weekend at the Empowered to Connect conference in Nashville. There is good news and bad news.....We really got our money's worth....that is the good news AND the bad news! haha. I would have felt a lot better if we had gotten there and discovered that we had actually been doing everything right for the last year....(un)fortunately, that isn't what happened.

I think the child that is going to be the most difficult in terms of implementing these techniques is going to Benjamin. He is a little dictator with his father's stubborn ness and hard head and a budding napoleon complex and an IQ probably higher than mine already as a 3 yo. He has some control strategies down. Is he our child from a hard place....ummm...no he is just a little control freak!

The conference was full of hope which I loved. We took Violet with us and left around bedtime Thursday night - arriving in Nashville at 3am. Then we hit the conference full force on Friday and Saturday and left to drive home at 5pm (central time) on Saturday. We finally got home at about 2am early this morning.

So far so good. Violet started social smiling this weekend...so cute. I am pretty sure she is going to be a redhead...although there isn't a whole lot of hair right now. I love seeing these little guys turn into big kids...so fun!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It is always something..

The last week or so has been a very trying week to say the very least. I was off of work last week to theoretically study for my oral hoard exam. however it turned into a week of advanced parenting that required my attention. It was exhausting. Then on Saturday I headed to salt lake city for the exam...which I took this morning. I am pretty confident that I will have the pleasure of retaking it!
Although it has been an emotionally exhausting week...it has really been a great week for painfully cleaning out a lot of things in our life that just hasn't been altogether right for a while.
1. We have 4 mortgages....ouch. We had a family friend who was renting one of our houses...and I use the term loosely because she was paying half of the agreed upon price occasionally. So we finally agreed she should move out and we would put the house on the market. Keith visited the house this weekend and our trustworthy family friend had trashed our formerly beautiful home. It hurt and it will be expensive to get the house ready to sell...but at least we know, they are out and we can move forward. God put a trustworthy acquaintance in Keiths path while he was there and we have someone who can supervise repairs...blessing!
2. We had an incident an over the top incident with Alex that made us realize we had become complacent with getting her everything she needs to be happy and well adjusted. It was quite an interesting night that I am not ready to share all up in this internet! As a result we are now able to go to the empowered to connect conference in Nashville this weekend and I am sooooooo totally excited about it....blessing!
3.I just finished me oral board exams...yeah. Sure I might have to take them again but I don't have to worry about it until I find out if I failed in November!

I have all day today to relax in salt lake city because I couldn't catch a flight home today. It is a beautiful city, the weather is beautiful and I know this week will be Aton better than last week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Bus...

Today, I drove the bus. Yes, I have been putting it off. I was almost able to get out of driving it today too. I had pink eye yesterday...don't know where it came from...but it was the the worst case I have had since I was 5 yrs old! Ouch. Then I woke up this morning and it was basically gone...so I had no excuse.
I loaded all the kids up in the bus and headed out. Benjamin kept saying "did we hit anything yet?" and I kept saying Not Yet. Amazingly, the bus was very easy to drive. Marking that off my list of irrational fears..haha.

Now to talk about something that I haven't really talked about a lot. Aaron, the little boy in Kyrgyzstan that was referred to us for adoption 3 years ago. He had just turned 5yo when we got his referral. The country shut down before we could get him home. We have had friends in Kyrgyzstan visiting him, following him from orphanage to orphanage as he has been moved. He is 8yo now (he is one month older than Lilianna) and started school last year. Theoretically, there is someone teaching him English twice a week arranged through the super cool John Wright.

I bring this up, because I am feeling very optimistic about us actually being able to complete his adoption. Although, I have been optimistic before. When Keith and I decided to start an adoption from Ghana, literally the day after we decided to do it, we got a call about hurrying up and submitting a ton of certified paperwork to the Kyrgyzstan embassy(which we spent like a thousand dollars on) only to have it never even sent anywhere.

So now, we are optimistic again. There were new regulations that were finally signed by all of the many powers that needed to sign it. Agencies have to be reaccredited and we have to redo our dossier (yeah we are talking about $4K). We still have to submit our I600 too. We have been working on our homestudy since like January...but we always kind of felt so pessimistic about it we didn't really haul butt to get it done. We are picking up the last piece of our homestudy on Monday so then we start throwing money at this adoption again.

One of the reasons I think things might happen is because we are soooo broke. haha! The new process looks alot like Kazahkstan's process was before they shut down. We would have to travel for 10 days before court, then go to court. There is a 30 day appeal period before you can travel outside of the country. It is unclear if one of the parents needs to stay in Kyrgyzstan with Aaron for that 30 days. Obviously, it would be easier if someone didn't have to stay in Kyrgyzstan for 30 days...duh...but it is something that we could conceivably do ..Keith would stay with Aaron and whatever other kids went...if my parents would take the kids to school for me and be back up Keith's...haven't asked them yet! Surprise! Haha...of course, we have no timeframe. We were thinking Zeb and Lilianna might like a trip to Kyrgyzstan. Lilianna has been working on her Rosetta Stone Russian...she and I are about tied for the pathetically small amount of Russian we know!

I figure that we will get the go ahead when we have less than the $143 we have right now, and we will have to travel in the dead of winter. However, I will take it.

I look at one of the pictures we have of him ...one that was taken after we had sent him a care package that had our family picture in it. It just breaks my heart that he probably thought we were going to come for him like the other parents had been coming for some of the other kids at his orphanage and we never showed up. UG!

Anyway, in the past couple of years, we had been actively building our family...you know researching and seeking out adoptions and having bio kids. Now we are in passive family building mode! haha. Just getting our homestudy current and do whatever it takes to be ready for Aaron to come home. If he doesn't...I don't have any plans of finding a use for the homestudy! However, I heard someone speak at an adoption conference that said..."we always have a current homestudy because my family is open to whatever God has planned and we want to be ready for whatever blessing might come our way".

So, we are finishing our homestudy and will be submitting our I600 next week. We are skipping the I600A step and going straight to I600 because there is a special USCIS Kyrgyzstan representative and options. We are waiting for Adoption Alliance to get their Kyrgyzstan accreditation. There is some discussion on how long this will take. Elisabeth at AA has sent us an update that they have a bunch of paperwork ready and the in country rep has copies of it all and they will be ready to submit it as soon as they get the actual official requirements. Then we will need to get the new official dossier requirements that we will have to power through. Then the rematch, travel, court, immigration...it sounds easy doesn't it?! I feel like if we actually can get through the first step of agency accreditation then the other steps might happen too. Like I said cautiously optimistic!
We have a bus with a couple of open seats..we will have to get creative with seats at the table and bedrooms...but we are creative people.

Right now the kids are playing outside..they have been playing outside all afternoon even through a brief rain storm (with no lightning!). I just love watching them play outside.

I know it seems like we have a lot of kids but it doesn't seem that way to me. It isn't "our 7 kids" it is just O, Lilianna, Alex, Zeb, Ben, Zoe, and Violet. They aren't overwhelming when you look at them running around in the front yard....maybe a little at bedtime since no one wants to go to bed haha! When we go to adoption conferences we are the lightweights with only 7 kids haha (wimps). There are a lot of dishes and laundry and peanut butter sandwhiches - life is good.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power