Monday, February 28, 2011

We got the court docs.! About 5 minutes ago! And they are CORRECT!!! Can you hear me screaming and jumping around?

But... we are missing one document. I know our country coordinator has it, but it needs to get to us and get translated. Hopefully we can still get it this week. I am almost sick with the idea of being so close, I would pop that I600 in the mail tomorrow if I could, but just one document away.... I almost can't handle it!

Pray for speediness in the document getting to us so we can get this show on the road!
Still haven't received our new court docs. I am trying not to freak out, but I am pretty close to that point. Come on already! We have known about our son since last August. It is beyond time to bring him and our daughter home.

Of course, the weekend that we had did help me put a few things in perspective. On Friday Owen and I spent 2 1/2 hours in the urgent care for an ear infection. Poor little guy. By the time he was seen he went from no fever to 102. Then four hours later I ended up in the emergency room. I developed out of nowhere a raging case of extreme vertigo. Every time I moved positions I would throw up everything, I couldn't walk without help, it was one of the worst things I have been through. After 4 hours of trying to wait it out we ended up going in.

The moment I got back into the ER room I threw up again. They ended up putting in an IV because I was so dehydrated and giving me all sorts of different types of medicine to treat the symptoms because they can't treat the vertigo. We spent a long night in the ER with them trying different things to help me.

When we finally got ready to go home and waiting for the nurse to come with discharge papers, an ambulance came and an old man was put into the room next to me. This man was dying. We could hear everything going on in his room, from the paddles they used to recesitate him, to the machine that was breathing for him, to everything the nurses and doctors said. When I was wheelchaired out to leave we went right past his room and there was 3 or 4 nurses and a doctor in there. It was one of those moments that felt so surreal. I had vertigo, and it sucked big time, but here was this man who quite possibly didn't make it that morning. I don't know anything about him or his life. But it just made me pause and think about my life, and the things that I complain about or take for granted.

As much as I hate that our adoption has dragged out this long, there are worse things that could be going on in our lives. It was a very good reminder that life is short, and we don't know what will happen.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My hubby came home earlier this week late after bowling with his men's bible study. I was already in bed asleep when he came in- you know since it was 9:15 pm, waaay past my bedtime! I vaguely remember him saying something about how he hurt himself. I pretty much grunted a response and then rolled over back to sleep.

The next day I called just to chat with him at work and he said that he was really having a hard time walking. When I asked him what he did he said, remember my bowling injury? Now, I love my husband, don't get me wrong, but I snorted so hard with laughter that I almost peed my pants. A bowling injury? Is that even a real thing- or just something he made up to get extra attention?

Turns out it is a real thing- apparently he works with a guy who is on a bowling league, and the type of injury he sustained (snorting again with laughter) is more common than you may think. Still, I have to laugh that it happened to Chris, who never really bowls, but one has to assume that this was not your average game of bowling. I would be willing to bet there was a little competition going on.

Poor Chris has been sitting on blankets with ice the last few days. Remember when I posted that Chris may have a slight issue with aging gracefully? This isn't helping! But it sure is funny to watch!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Very Hopeful Timeline

So, being who I am, and that I have a tendency to obsess about oh, almost everything, I have laid out a timeline below. Sort of a best-case-scenario timeline. It depends on our new court papers being correct, and the previously mentioned missing documents to be with the new court paperwork. (This would be a miracle!)

Friday Feb. 25th- review new court paperwork

File I600- around March 7th, this would give us one week to get all those forms filled out

Approval- I am shooting for one month from filing, mostly because the last family through our agency got their approval in a month- it took two weeks to get assigned a caseworker, but then she emailed her caseworker every two days until approval. That is my current plan- annoy the caseworker with my frequent emails so they will get our approval done fast to just get rid of me! (Hoping it works this way as oppossed to them taking a long time to process our application to spite me because I am annoying and bothersome!)

Apply for embassy appt.- this is taking about one month, so that would put us at the beginning of May.

Travel- mid May

3 weeks in country and then HOME!

So in my best case scenario story, we should be home with our kidlets in May/June. Really don't know if this will happen, but love to imagine that it will move smoothly and fast.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Eagle has landed.....

We just found out on Saturday that our court papers are back in the US and are at the translators! We should hopefully have the new docs. to look at by the end of this week. Praying super hard that everything is correct and we are good to go. We are also hoping that our two remaining certficates are in that bunch of paperwork. If they are, and if everything is correct, then we can file our I600 here in the US- the last big "American" hurdle to our kids!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The above letter from our daughter was slipped under our door on Valentine's Day. I don't know if you can read it or not because she wrote it as fast as possible. Normally this girl has handwriting I am jealous of.

Anyway it says:

Please read this!
We are not having a fun time. You guys are boring. It is valentines day so we have fun. You guys shut the door on us so we are going to sit and do nothing. Boring ing ing ing!

I know what you guys are thinking- we shut the door on them. And it's totally true, but not for the reason you all are thinking! Our kids were playing "baby" and they were making the worst baby noises known to mankind, more like dying animal noises. So we shut the door, and inside the room we were folding the 5 or 6 loads of laundry that have been hanging around all week. We had literally been getting dressed by going through the baskets since there weren't any clothes in our drawers!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Still no news. I am exercising restraint by not emailing our caseworker. It's only Monday, and even though the country doesn't appear to operate on a M-F schedule, even I am aware that I will probably not get any new info. on a Monday. (I italicized it like it was a bad word- if it was Tuesday I would have emailed her like 5 hours ago!)

But I still check my email around 20 times a day. You just never know.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I have a confession to make and it is going to make me sound horrible, but please don't hold it against me.

Yesterday we learned that all of the children were being moved to a new orphanage. A nicer, bigger, all around better situation for all of them. Due to this, there has been nothing to do with court done this week. Selfishly, (here comes the confession) I am so tired of delays preventing my babies coming home to me that while I was happy for the kids- and believe me, I am- I am also so disappointed because it is one more thing stopping them from coming home.

I have wrestled with how could I possibly feel negative about something that is so good for all of those kids? And yet, the disappointment lingers.

I have honestly considered booking a flight over there and parking my butt at the courthouse until our paperwork is finished. Not that it is the best situation for me to do, but I am getting to the desperate point here in our journey. I will do whatever it takes, as long as it is legal, to get them home.

Owen and I went to Target today and they had diapers on clearance- when do you see diapers on clearance? I was so tempted to buy some, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Everything seems still so far away. And I still have a lot of fear that this is all going to be a pipe dream- that these beautiful and already much-loved children will not become part of our family. I know that I need to fight those feelings, but honestly, it is becoming so hard.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My son is so much like my hubby it is almost scary. He looks just like him too. In fact, there is very little, I would say almost non-existent evidence that I am his mother. For the record, my daughter also looks like him. (In a good, completely girl way.) I have made my peace with this.

This past weekend Chris decided that he was going to sort through his fishing lures. Owen was all about this. They bonded over fishing in the basement for what I swear was hours. Later Owen came upstairs to show me his very own tackle box, with his very own fishing lures. You know, the kind with the hooks still attached. And then he says "Dad says I can play with these anytime I want to."

Maybe no other couples have the issue of not seeing eye to eye about everything like Chris and I do. Call me crazy, but I just don't think 4 year olds need to play with lures with sharp hooks. I tried to explain how this may not be the best idea- that I envision trips to the ER because of hooks imbedded into the skin. Chris tried to explain how Owen has been "playing" with hooks since he was 2 years old, and that it's practically in his blood. (It's sort of true- that kid eats, sleeps and thinks fishing, along with every other male on Chris' side of the family) So I agreed to supervised fish lure playing. He takes them out on the wood floor and honest to goodness, plays with them. As in they are each their own fish and he makes up stories with them. I will admit that it is adorable, but I do believe that this will remain "supervised play" for quite a long time.

Somewhere in Africa there is the sweetest little boy who has no idea whatsoever the "legacy" he is about to inherit. Sometimes I will tease Chris and ask him what will happen if his new son doesn't like fishing. Aside from the look of horror he gives me, Chris has assured me that there is no way his son won't like fishing- in his own words "why wouldn't he?" Owen has great plans for his new brother. Daddy too.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I was looking today on the net trying to figure out if the 2011 adoption credit is going to be refundable, and it looks like a yes. Insert big "heck yeah"! Plus, it is around $13,300 for each child, we are adopting two, so our refundable credit would be $26,600. Dear Lord- pretty please let my research be correct and it indeed be refundable!

Anyway, several years ago Chris and I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class. It was tough, but ultimately we were able to save up thousands of dollars. If you haven't heard about Dave Ramsey definitely check it out. Currently, we have zero credit card debt, but do have a car payment and student loans. I will admit that I don't think a whole lot about the student loans because the interest rate is about 1.5%, but still, there is interest that we are paying and it is costing us money. My big plan with the adoption refund is to once again start the Financial Peace wagon. My number one debt to knock out will be the car payment. We currently pay $323 a month for our car. (Is it bad to admit that on a blog??)

We needed a car 2 1/2 years ago, and gas was approximately $4 a gallon. After doing 8 million calculations (I am married to an engineer after all), we discovered based on mileage, wear and tear, and gas, and several other things, that although the new car would cost us $323 per month, it was in reality only costing us a little under $100 per month, for a brand new car that gets between 38-40 miles per gallon. My hubby drives 80 miles per day just going to and from work, not including any mileage for work, so for us it made a lot of sense. However, we would love to get rid of this debt, and never have to go into debt again for a car. (The idea being that we would save up money by not having any debt other than the mortgage, and thus be able to pay cash again for anything/everything we need in the future.) Gas went back down, so our savings ended up being less than what they thought they were. Another bonus to not going into debt for things that we need.

So that is my big plan. We have been busting our butts saving up for this adoption, so it won't really be any different, but we will be able to knock out the debts that we have instead of it going towards our kids. I am excited and hopeful. Even if the adoption credit isn't refundable, this is still our plan, and it will become even more important because we won't have the extra income from the govt. to kick start our debt payoffs. I am trying not to think about the increase in health insurance, our huge high deductible health plan, along with two babies in diapers..... but I do know that God DOES provide for all of our needs, and I am trusting in Him for all of this to work.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My hubby and my son had a birthday recently- both on the same day. Owen turned 4, and I won't share Chris' number because he may have a teensy problem with aging "gracefully"!

Poor Owen. Four apparently isn't all it is cracked up to be. On the morning of the birthday we ripped down the last counting chain, but he looked at me and said "I can't be 4 mom, I haven't grown anymore and I am still the same size." I tried to explain that you don't automatically grow more on your birthday, but he was almost distraught that he wasn't larger, so he couldn't be 4. We finally got him convinced and when he went to his well-child exam, he promptly told the doctor, that he was 4 but just the same size. And also that when he grew up and became a daddy he would still be named Owen. Oh, and that his dad killed 1001 deer this year. The doctor pretty much ate him up with a spoon! The thing that kid says! When we had the cable buried in our yard for internet, he sat outside on the picnic table watching the man put it into the ground, then he told the guy "I don't think my dad is going to like that you are doing that to my yard." I've tried hard to write down all the things he says, but there are just too many.

No news on the adoption front. Soon as I know something I will pass it along. You know that just keep swimming song from Nemo? I hear that in my head over and over again. Only with the words "just keep moving forward", only it doesn't sound as good as the original. Good thing I am not a Disney movie.