Saturday, April 30, 2011

A friend and I got together last week so she could teach me to bake bread. This led to some googling on the internet, which somehow led to the plan that our two families were going to have month of May be "processed free food month"

yep, for the ENTIRE month of May we are not going to eat any processed foods. For sure we will have the exception of milk, because we do not live near a dairy farm where we could get unpasteurized, and there may be a couple of other things along the way. But this means essentially nothing canned or jarred, no cereal (oh how I will miss that!) no store bought bread, mac and cheese, candy, ice cream, juice, sugar, etc.- you get the idea.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and that was a tad overwhelming. Pretty much nothing from the inside aisles of the store. Not to mention that I spent a fair amount of money on all of that fresh produce.

My kids are greedily sucking down the remainder of their easter candy today, and everyone in the family had the last chocolate cereal that was in the cupboard.

If anyone has any good tips, recipes or websites to make this easier on us I would appreciate it. I am mostly worried about lunch where we tend to grab fast things from the pantry, but when you aren't eating anything processed, fast is not an option. I need to sit down and seriously come up with a plan.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


So we have hit yet another snag, that tends to be our game. This time, the national visa center said that when we tried to set up our embassy appt. that they had us on file for adopting one child out of Ethiopia. I tried to tell them that I was physically holding our approvals for two out of DRC. But no dice. We can't move forward until they receive physical evidence from USCIS that we are indeed adopting two out of DRC. The visa center should have received this a year ago when we switched countries, but apparently it didn't happen.

Hopefully this will not be too long of a delay. Until then we can't even request an embassy date. The visa center should be receiving our I600 approvals some time today, and hopefully they can then see that yes we switched countries, change that in their computer and off we go. We'll see. What seems so simple for me may be a whole lot harder for the government.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I600 approval!

We have our I600 approval! Yeah! And the best thing is it only took 3 1/2 weeks to receive the news that we were approved. The hard copy is yet to come in the mail, but I am okay with that!

Next step- embassy appointment. I know that this has been taking quite awhile to get, as well as the visa following it, but I am staying positive and praying a lot that our process will move supernaturally fast. I know that if God wants us to move quickly it will happen. Our agency actually requested the appt. but apparently the National visa center hasn't received the hard copy yet either, so we weren't technically in their system and they were a little confused. I called USCIS and the woman that I talked to said she doesn't understand it, but after you get approved it takes about a week for the papers to move out of the building and onward to where they should be. I don't know if this will delay us a little bit if they don't let us request an appt. until the visa center gets our approval our not. Regardless, it shouldn't be too much of a delay.

So pumped to be at this point. May 1st officially marks one year in this program, and having our I600 approval is a good place to be!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seriously people- we have baby chickens. I never in a million years thought this was going to work. So much so that we didn't buy the things necessary once they hatch, like a heat lamp, and food and all that stuff.

Last night about 8:00 Chris says "I think I hear a chicken." No you don't, the window is open, it must be a robin. because in my mind I am thinking that these eggs spent some time at 108 degrees, which isn't supposed to happen, and we basically fried them before they even had a chance. We heard it a second time and ignored it then too. But when we put the kids down for bed we peeked, and unbelievably there was a chicken!

We hatched 3, but I am not sure one of them is going to make it. I had to help him out this morning after he spent 14 hours trying to come out on his own and didn't make it. Still no idea what it is that we are going to do with chickens IN THE CITY. And really hoping our city officials don't see them because technically we are not supposed to have poultry where we live.

Should be interesting.

Monday, April 25, 2011

So I hung up on USCIS today. Last Friday I talked to our caseworker about where we sat with things, today I decided just to call and speak to the people who answer the phone before transferring you. The woman I spoke to said that it looked like our
I600 was done but that our officer hadn't updated the status yet. So then she transferred me back to our officer, that's the point that I then hung up the phone. See, I don't want this poor woman to think that I am some sort of crazy adoptive parent (even if it's true!) and since I just talked to her, I decided the best option was to hang up! I wonder at what point this week it would be okay to call her again.....

On other news, the house next to us has people moving into it. It has been empty for almost two years after the family before went through a nasty divorce and left it. I have mixed feelings about getting people finally. I know that it's good if we ever want to sell our house to have people actually living in the homes next to us. But it has been so nice not having anyone near us on that side, plus our bedroom window faces their house, so now I have to be concious of when I am dressing and all those things.

We haven't had a chance to meet them yet because it appears that they are moving slowly into the house and aren't spending the nights yet. Chances are probably pretty good that they are nice people. But I still worry about those so called neightbors from he**. I have many friends with lots of wonderful stories about those types of neighbors.

Yet another reason I want to move out into the country. But we knew by adopting that we would be staying put in this house for quite some time.

I keep telling Chris we need to put up a privay fence, but our yard is huge and it's just not a financial priority right now. Plus Chris tells me that I am being anti-social by doing that. We'll see what happens when the kidlets get home and we are trying to contain two one year olds on our own! (Not to mention the other two kids who spend most of their outside time in trees)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Talked to our caseofficer this morning about Chris' prints. Everything looked great and she said that she would be giving our case to her superior for a final look through today. yeah! I am not planning on the superior being able to look at it and approve it all on a Friday, but if that should happen I would be ecstatic. Realistically, I am still thinking next week. Our officer said she would email as soon as she got the approval to let me know so I didn't have to wait until it came in the snail mail.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You know that panicky feeling you have when something big is happening and you are afraid it is going to go wrong? I have that. Yesterday Chris and I went to get our prints redone. Mine turned out perfect- at least that is what they told me. But Chris had to have several redone while we were there, and I am beyond paranoid that they somehow won't be readable and USCIS will call us and say he needs to come back in again. This would be a huge bummer, but also really is something I shouldn't be worried about. But I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. If there is something to worry about in this adoption and at this point, I am going to.

I am giving myself to Friday to allow for the whole 48 hour thing to get the prints to our case officer and then I am going to call and make sure they turned out okay. I know, I know, I am obsessing big time about all of this. I have a feeling that could be how I roll the next few months!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

trees and a chainsaw

We have 9, yep, 9 trees in our backyard. This may not seem like a lot to those of you who actually have land, but we live in the city on a mid-sized lot. (We also have more trees in the front just for your info.) I have a love/hate relationship with these trees. Love them because they remind me of the country, hate them because they block most of the sun and our backyard is almost all shade- read lots and lots of mosquitoes.

Anyway, about 2 years ago one of the trees basically split in half, it didn't pull apart of fall, but there is this huge crack in it. We don't own a chain saw and basically were too lazy to get around to doing anything with it. This year I decided to be proactive and call one of our friends who has a chain saw.

Long story short, Chris managed to have part of a tree fall basically straight down on him while he was in the tree, and also cut his leg with the chainsaw. The good news is, is that while it sounds all horrible, it wasn't as bad as it actually sounds when you read it. The chainsaw got caught up in his pants and boxers, and so spared anything serious with his leg, and the wind unfortunately blew the tree crazy and it fell straight down. From the window, where I was watching, it looked like the tree hit him smack in the chest, but in reality actually missed him completely.

I gently reminded him that we are going to be bringing home the kidlets soon, and that perhaps we should up his life insurance policy if he continues to find himself in those circumstances! Of course I was the one who said here's a chainsaw, let's cut stuff down!

Now that we have had a chainsaw in our hands, I have been fighting the crazy idea to just cut a couple of the trees down- it would let some nice light into the backyard for us. But then we would see more of the neighbors house, and at this point that is what is stopping us. We'll have to ride it out and see.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Update of post below

So our officer called back. And it sounds pretty good to me. Basically she said that our file looked good and that there wasn't anything more that she needed to request from us. (Apparently people often need more evidence/documents at times), and that as soon as our prints were taken and she got the results within 48 hours, she could finish processing our I600. we get our prints taken next Tuesday- I don't think I have ever wished for a weekend to pass so quickly before!

Sooo, I am thinking that next Friday, or early the following week we will hopefully have an approved I600!! (It will still take time to come in the mail to us..) Of course, I am going to try not to anticipate that too much because it is easier to think later and be happy when it comes faster. but still, it seems like things are moving on forward!!

And just for those who may be intersted because after all, this is supposed to be an adoption blog, regardless of my life ramblings, IF it comes not next week but sometime during the following week, that would be 4 weeks with USCIS- much quicker than the 10 on their website. Say a little prayer that this all happens!
I made it to today before calling USCIS! But I did call them about 5 minutes after they opened!

We have a caseworker!! And they said those magic words- "Do you want to talk to her?" Yes, please! Unfortunately, she didn't pick up, but I did leave a message so hopefully she will call me back and then I can ask how things are going, and how long it may take, and talk to her about our fingerprints being redone next week.

Maybe we are the only family assigned to her right now and all of her time will be focused on us- wouldn't that be fantastic!? And probably a pipe dream, but I am okay with that.

In the mean time, yesterday I decided that I had to repaint the bathroom. It was absolutely vital to my sanity to change the color. It had been the same color for almost 7 years. A lifetime in my case, remember? My kitchen has been 8 different colors in 8 years, so the fact that the bathroom made it that long was almost a miracle. I will post a picture later, it's too bad I didn't do a before and after shot, but oh well, I am impatient and just started going to town!

Chris came home from work and just sort of ran with it. After 10 years of marriage and countless paint colors, it doesn't really surprise him anymore. I lucked out that he is so relaxed about it. I definitely have friends whose husbands would not be so calm!

Other than that, we are supposed to have SNOW this weekend. Such a four letter word in my book- especially in April. Ugh. I haven't had the heat on in the house most of the last week and a half, and now back to winter. Oh well, it could be worse.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So I ended up talking to USCIS last Friday anyway because I saw a post by America World Adoption basically stating that if the govt. had shut down, it would more than likely affect adoptions, and so I once again started panicking about our soon to expire prints. The woman who helped me was awesome. I know some families have really gotten some intersting people when calling them, but she was fantastic. She looked up our case for us and we haven't been assigned to an officer yet, but she did say that they are moving through them pretty quickly, so hopefully the 10 weeks that it says on their website isn't true. I am going to try and make it to Friday before I call again and see if we have an officer assigned to us.

Besides that, I have been going through a serious nesting phase. As in, I am getting anxiety about all sorts of things- the mess in the basement, what their nursery bedding should be (I have changed my mind a million times and it is quite hard to do a nursery for both a boy and a girl together, you can't be too girly or too boyish), the fact that our yard is overrun with creeping charlie and moss, which doesn't have a single thing to do with the adoption but is still bugging me anyway!

I'm also anxious about not really knowing when we will go and get them. If USCIS is fast it could be June, if they are slow, end of August into September. It kind of feels like a big spread of time to me even though in the scheme of the total adoption we are only looking at a few months difference. Still, at this point, any delay seems like years, and our kids just keep getting older in the pictures we receive.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Non-Update Update

Nothing new really going on at the Nelson household. Still waiting on our I600, hasn't even been two weeks, but I am desparate to call and see what's happening with our application. However, I will wait the full two weeks and not call until next Monday or they might just think I am insane. I continue to turn our eggs twice a day. Super exciting stuff. They are due to hatch on Easter, which everyone but myself thinks is the sweetest timing. I am paranoid because we are supposed to go an hour away for lunch and the rest of they day after church, and I have no idea if I should be at home "helping" baby chickens hatch. Our cat jumped out of our open living room window and landed into bushes and snow. She was not happy and spent who knows how long mewing under the window desparate to get back in. If I am completely honest, I have to admit that I thought it was kind of funny. Had a conversation with Owen that went something like this- I don't want to get married when I am grown up because then I will have kids and I don't like kids because they have slobber. I then told him that he could still get married if he fell in love with a girl and they didn't have to have kids. To which he said that he still probably wouldn't get married because babies come out of women and he just didn't want any. Then he asked me if he could marry a boy if a boy liked him because boys don't have babies come out because they have penises. Que the conversation about how God intended marriage to be between a boy and a girl, and that really, truly, they don't have to have babies if they don't want them. I have no idea where his paranoia of slobber has come from, but he sure has given it a lot of thought on how to avoid baby slobber! Sorry about the total run-on paragraphs, for some reason, blogger isn't letting me have my spaces that I put in, if anyone knows how to fix this I would totally appreciate it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just call me Mother Goose

Ava and Chris got the super fantastic idea to hatch eggs. They got eggs from my parents, and an incubator from my brother. So for the next 21-30 days we are running a little experiment in the Nelson household. Did I mention we also have a cat who should find this extremely exciting? We are incubating and hopefully hatching eggs inside our home because we don't live in the country and have a shed or barn that we could do this from. I have been frantically googling how to incubate eggs, and let me tell you, there is all sorts of advice. First thing against us- we are going to try two different types of eggs at the same time, chicken and goose. It sounds like the temp. is the same but humidity levels are different. But according to some websites, the humidity isn't necessarily that big of a deal if you can keep the temp. accurate. Oh, and I also get to turn the chicken eggs at least 3 times per day, and the goose eggs 2 times. Plus keep a 4 year old from opening the door all of the time. And what, you may ask are we going to do with chickens and geese this summer? Good question! I have asked Chris that myself and have yet to get a satisfactory answer. (Did I mention we live IN town?) I was thinking maybe collect eggs, but turns out your chickens have to be like 7 months old before they lay eggs. Chis is already planning, ahem, thanksgiving, goose anyone? Of course, this idea leads Ava to make horrified expressions, and to suggest that we bring to them to grandma and grandpa's farm when we are done. I think this is fair considering they gave us the eggs. Chris thinks it's going to be all adorable because the geese will imprint on me and I will literally be mother goose. He's witty that one!