Thursday, March 31, 2011

Okay, just so I don't start an unnecessary panic, I called USCIS and asked about what would happen during a government shut down. Our fingerprints are set to expire May 7th, and we have a new fingerprint date of April 19th. I wanted to ask them what would happen if we couldn't go to get our prints taken. But have no fear, this morning USCIS told me that they are a fee based part of the governemnt and would not get shut down. HUGE sigh of relief. Last night I lay awake thinking we might somehow lose our orphan petition if things got shut down and we couldn't get our prints redone. But according to them, we are in the clear. Whew.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well, our I600 is officially file with the govt. And while I am excited, I am not looking forward to 10 weeks of waiting, and that's assuming the US govt. doesn't shut down. I am quite certain that adoption applications are not going to seem "vital". I know when there have been shut downs before, passport applications don't continue on during that time. Trying to stay positive, but not really excelling at it. Unfortunately, I tend to be more of a pessimist in general, so you toss in govt. shutdowns and longer than expected wait times and it's hard to be a glass is half full type of person. I know, I need to work on it. This cold is kicking my butt. Monday I was awake for a total of 5 hours during the day. My eyes were burning and felt like they were going to explode along with the rest of my head. My fever has finally gone away after 5 days, but I still am having a hard time breathing, and a cough to beat all else. Not fun. My poor hubby is praying that he doesn't get it. I told him he is more than welcome to sleep on the couch to avoid it- but he hasn't take me up yet! I think he misses me. I layed down to take a "quick" nap today and woke up 4 hours later! Good thing my in laws are watching Owen and Ava was at school. I think I might hate being sick more than I hate winter. At least I am not throwing up (see? I can be optimistic!) That would be the ultimate yuck in my day. Sorry for the post of misery, I need to go to bed and it's not even 8 yet!

Monday, March 28, 2011

USCIS confirmed it- 75 days to process the I600. We are now looking at September to travel. 6. months. away.
My heart is breaking, I am in tears.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Every year, without fail, I get a whopping cold of some type in the transition from fall to winter, and winter to spring. 2011 is no exception. :( My daughter had a cold last week with a fever. By day two she was rocking and back to normal- not so with this momma. I don't think it was possible for me to use anymore soap and hand sanitizer. But still, it wasn't enough. Hoping for this to be my last day. On the adoption front, I heard a rumor that USCIS is now taking 10 weeks to process the I600 instead of the 4 that was happening just last month. I am calling tomorrow to see if they can give me any validity to this. I saw it on a blog, and actually when I went to the USCIS website, it does say 2.5 months and that "update" was given Jan. 31, but when I talked to them last month they said 4-6 weeks. Hopefully when I call tomorrow it will be good news. IF it takes 10 weeks, then we are looking at traveling possibly as late as September, maybe into October. All I know is that it's an election year, and that happens in November, we definitely want to be gone before that happens- African elections aren't exactly known for their smoothness.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Second day of Spring?

I have posted before about how I am not exactly a winter type of person. This is unfortunate given I live in the North. It's rubbing off on my kids too. Owen often walks around the house saying "I hate winter". Chris tells me I need to be a better example to them in the winter months! I usually give him a dirty look when he says that.

Yesterday, our yard was about half way empty of snow. We had several 50 degree days and it was gorgeous with a capital G. Last night we were supposed to get 2 inches of snow. I was okay with that- it's not too much, and will quickly melt.

Woke up this morning to the following:

Does this look like 2 inches of snow to you? And it is still snowing, oh, and we could get up to 7 more inches today. I heard on the radio that down in the cities an egg truck tipped over and dumped 40,000 pounds of eggs all over the road. I guess I should be thankful I only need to clear the driveway of a foot of snow instead of all those eggs.

I'll probably still be slightly depressed because I read the facebook posting of a friend who lives in Georgia, the country, not the state, with her UN fiancee- they are headed to Rome for 10 days. (I might be slightly bitter!)

The good news is that we got our last piece of paper required- for reals this time- it's still in French, but I am hoping to have it filed with USCIS by the end of next week max. Here's a new time schedule:

I600- filed by April 1st.
approval- hopefully end of April
Embassy appt. requested
Embassy appt. end of May
Visa approval- end of June, sadly, this has been taking families one whole month after embassy appt.
travel- mid July
Home- early to mid August

Not as soon as I was hoping, but the end is in sight- sort of!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pee stinks

you can tell by the title of this post that I am not so super excited about pee. we moved Owen in with Ava on their bunk beds to give some adjustment time to the new arrangement before the kidlets get home. Our plan is to build Owen a bedroom this summer, but until then they get to reside together.

This morning Owen came in completely distraught- he had an accident. I was hugely surprised. He has had only one other accident in his life, and that was shortly after he was potty trained 2 years ago. But, I do understand. He is downstairs, where we don't have a bathroom yet, and a new environment. Poor kid.

So I am the lucky person who gets to google how to clean pee out of a mattress, because now he is in a big bed that didn't come covered in plastic. (I know you can buy those plastic covers to go over bigger mattresses, but I didn't think it was necessary!) Oh well. My awesome hubby completely cleaned the bathroom yesterday- lucky me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I want to scream

Just found out today that our I600 hasn't been filed by our agency. We are missing something called a parental authorization. Both of our children have birth mothers who cannot care for them, and they need to sign a release of some sort. I am frustrated beyond belief. We have already passed court, our 30 day non-appeal period is months over. If I had time to break down and cry I would. This isn't a document that I have even heard of in all of our conversations with our agency. It's not on the sheet that tracks our adoption.

All I can do is keep moving forward even though I am currently feeling like I am stuck in a sink hole.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Had to share- Ava saw, not one, but TWO robins under the pine tree in our backyard. Que spring! We still have tons of snow, but hey, Robins aren't dumb (really I have no idea how intelligent they are- but I do know that they do not come back this far north unless spring really is on the way!)

I am trying to be content with spring while we wait for our I600. I even have the windows open to circulate the air a little bit. Mostly because Owen threw up last night, and it's good to get all the yucky germs out, but the fresh air smells good, and feels nice, and really does make me think spring, even with all of the snow.

Of couse, March tends to be one of our snowiest months, but I am not going to think about that right now!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I know I haven't posted a lot. But there truly hasn't been a whole lot going on, combined with my laziness they just aren't a good combo! I really want to be one of those people who continues to blog about their adoption experience after they get home so people can see how it really is going, but I honestly don't know if I have it in me! I could never be a blogger who got her income that way!

Chris is winter camping in the boundary waters this weekend and for the last two days. CRAZY. Every year he asks me if I want to go, and every year I say no. No thanks to concentrating on just staying warm for 4 days straight. No thanks to spending most of the day catching fish and then eating said fish for all meals. No thanks to sleeping in a bona fide igloo you made by scooping up snow into a pile, letting it settle for a night and then carving out your sleeping space the next day. You have to wait a day so the snow settles and it doesn't cave in and suffocate you and you die.

Any takers? Yet he always manages to convince people to go. He should have been a politician instead of an engineer!

Waiting on our I600 approval- USCIS told me 45-60 days over the phone, but I have spoken to several different families who got it around one month- please let us be one of those families!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


It finally came! The last piece of the puzzle- admittedly it is still being translated into English, but I can live with that. It's here in the US and we should have it by the end of the week. Our I600 will go out next week. Hopefully we will travel in 2.5-3 months. Bring it on!

On a side note, Owen and I were at Taco Bell for lunch today. It is quite small inside. When we sat down, Owen pointed across the room and said very loudly "Hey Mom, that guy is black, he must be from Uganda". I turned around slightly embarassed and explained to the poor man that since we have travled to Uganda, Owen thinks that every black person is from there. He didn't seem at all offended, but I still felt embarassed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nothing yet

Not much to say. Still no last document. We have our I600 all ready and filled out just waiting to go in the mail.

Watched a few more gotcha videos. Probably shouldn't do that. My kids always wonder why I cry when I see them.

Wonder how annoyed our caseworker is at us- I have a tendency to email her every 3 days asking if she received it yet.

Calculated travel time for a worst case scenario assuming we get our paperwork this week (also assuming that 8 weeks is worst case time for approved I600): looking at mid to late July. Halfway through summer. :(

Just might be getting heartburn with self-induced stress about this whole situation.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Soon they Say...Soon

Soon, that is when they are telling me we will get our last piece of the document puzzle. But I know enough about Africa that soon does not necessarily mean soon, as in the American idea of soon. So I am trying to patiently (okay, who am I kidding?) bide my time.

In that case, I have decided to make a list of things about me, that annoy me, or things that I love in an effort to keep from blogging about how impatient I am now that we could be so much closer.

1. I am a huge Science nerd. Like the type that reads Science articles for fun. You know those annoying people who always seem to know some type of bizarre and obscure information on things that never really matter all that much? That would be me.

2. I am married to your typcial engineer who needs a list for his list. I, on the other hand, tend to be a fly by the pants type of girl- almost always leaping before looking. So, I guess it is good that we balance each other out. Although, admittedly I can get just a teensy bit annoyed while he thinks about all the various angles to do something. Just make a decision! Preferrably mine!

3. When we got married, I never really wanted kids. After we had our daughter I was "done". The good news is that while I was praying for God to change Chris' heart about having more, God changed mine instead! (Honestly I never saw that coming!)

4. I took Russian in college. It makes me feel all CIA type-ish. Which, by the way, I would still love to be. Along with a cop and a firefighter.

5. Totally wish I could be an amazing artist. Fact is I am pretty crappy at it.

6. We butcher chickens every summer and shoot deer every fall for food. I help with all of it, but still need for the food to be frozen at least a week before I can eat it. Helps me remove some of the realities of where meat comes from.

7. The more sugar in cereal, the more I love it. I would eat it 3 times a day if I could!

8. Due to a degree in Microbiology, I have some issues with germs- should have seen me in Uganda. At times, it was my own personal germ hell. I eventually got over it! P.S. I just read an article that fecal bacteria shows up on 50% of shopping cart handles, can't you hear me gagging?!

9. I am paranoid that our adoption country will shut done before we can get our children home.

10. I play the trombone. And yes, we will make our kids play an instrument through middle school. The can quit in high school if they want. My hubby cannot sing and clap at the same time, so they have to play mostly so that doesn't happen to them.

11. I have never gotten a speeding ticket, knock on wood.

12. My favorite type of food is anything spicy, or shrimp/mussel/clam related. And if it's covered in cheese- Bonus!

13. I absolutely can't stand ticks. Once tick season rolls around I lay in bed and every itch leaves me frantically trying to find it. And if one is in my hair, oh Lord, I can't even think about that right now!

14. I bite my fingernails. I know, disgusting habit. And I should know better with all the germs on peoples hands, but I mostly do it under stress. Sounds like an excuse to justify it, and probably it is!

15. Can't make a cup of coffee to save my life.

16. Don't own a dishwasher, never have. Can I tell you how much I hate washing dishes?

17. I have 3 tattoos. I love them, I would get a sleeve on one arm if my hubby wouldn't freak out, and if my arms were skinnier. If you are going to get a sleeve, you really need skinny arms.

18. Italy is number one on my list of places to go. Followed by Greece and Bangladesh. Plus I would love to go back to Africa and do a safari.

19. Almost always go to movies by myself- Chris isn't really a movie type of guy.

20. Wish my kids were still little. Ava is almost 8 and no matter what I do, I can't seem to make time slow down!