Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Luv You, Mommy!

***WE FINALLY recieved our Finger Print Appointment - February 9th!!! ***

There are real fat tears running down my face... as I write this. My precious darling has said those words... for the first time tonight! We always say night night, love you baby - before we close her door and tonight as I was leaving she said "Night Night, Love You Mommy!"


I was called at about 12:30 today to come collect her - as she had vomited all over one of the other kids... (and that's frowned upon?) so we had an afternoon together. She stayed awake a bit - then really needed to sleep. I suppose she has one of those viruses again. No other real symptoms though. I could tell she was happy to see me when I arrived to pick her up. It is a relief actually that she is so happy to see me - even when she is feeling poorly. I hear we have some snow in the forecast... great! I have class tomorrow, work piling up and a sick kid. Does the FUN ever end? There are times I wish there were more hours in the day, more money in my wallet, fewer lbs on my butt and less housework to complain about... LOL At the end of the day though - it's all about the Love You Mommys!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Because THEY said so that's why!

We are just swamped at the moment. Our road to DD/DS #2 is not going as smoothly as we'd hoped. Everything is, as usual, done. We are waiting for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (also called USCIS) to process our I600A Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (no seriously that is what the form is called!) and we have hit a real bump. The USCIS has apparently received a flood (avalanche, landslide, large pile) of requests for Advance Processing of Orphan Petitions for GUESS WHICH COUNTRY!!!?? Give up... rhymes with SCHMINA! Oh, AND rhymes with SCHWATAMALA! See a pattern here!?

I can't really speak to the Guatemala problem - except that it seems likely that the Hague Treaty will finally be ratified here in the USA and then unless Guat. complies that Americans will be barred from adopting from there for the foreseeable future. Hence, the rush to get papers in before the ratification closes this extremely popular program.

It is not really different for China - it's those of us who were waiting in the lobby - trying to make up our minds, or wait till our children were a little tiny bit older, or wait till we had unpacked from our last trip, saved more money to pay for a second,.... and on and on, and suddenly the door to seems to be closing in our faces before we even had time to make the decision. I am not, by any means, the only one (well that was obvious wasn't it) the room is apparently quite crowded. And the door is about to not just close but, slam shut.

We filed our form (with 1/2 inch of paperwork in supporting documentation) and so did many many others and now we are waiting - and the US Gov. is estimating that our processing time will be 11 weeks and we will miss the cut off. If this is true I have no idea what the likelihood of our being accepted by China after May 1, 2007 could be. I am not really upset - not yet anyway - I guess there is still an optimist somewhere in me that says this will happen. That we will not be shut out completely. Now that we have started - not to mention invested time and money - I want another child. I don't mind waiting - but I would like to know that there will be another so I can focus on the one we have.

On the domestic front - the bullet we dodged in having our China HS dated 1/9/07 and on its way to USCIS on 1/10/07 means we did not have to worry about getting FBI fingerprints BEFORE our HS is certified and complete. The law in NY changed effective 1/11/07 and there are a ton of International parents caught between a rock and a (really FBI) hard place. It can take the FBI 12 weeks to process these requests. No HS - No USCIS, it's all really tough. Well - the bullet is still ricocheting around and bit us in our Domestic butt. Our foster care license can't be processed until we (Did you see this one coming?) get our fingerprints done by FBI!! So I wrote to our caseworker to find out if they would accept our 171H as proof of our FBI check having been completed and approved. We are waiting to see what she says.

Dumplings, Three tagged me so here goes: Six weird things about me

1. I don't like (I mean really don't like) when food boxes aren't opened properly. I like the boxes to be neat and not all torn (which can also make things inside the box stale).

2. When I misplace something I can not do anything else until I have found it - including sleep or eat. I should just misplace everything.......

3. I buy three different toothpastes every time. One is for the Empress, but the other two are for me and DH. I can not share toothpaste with my DH. HE is a squisher, cap leaver-offer, dry-crusty-paste-leaving-in-the sink sort and I am decidedly not. He is also a minty-fresh and I am a cinnamon or vanilla mint (but only if I can not find cinnamon).

4. I have a pile of books near my bed and I am usually reading all of them at the same time. Same for mags, and a few periodicals.

5. I can not sleep or actually do anything without lip balm nearby. I seem to have perennially chapped lips and must have balm or lipstick on and available to reapply all the time. I have been known to get out of bed and go downstairs to restock. I also can not retire for the evening without a bottle of a particular brand of spring water (Schmoland Schpring). There is actually a really funny story about this that has to do with almost costing me my graduate degree! Someday I will write it up.

6. I do not like to drive my car without my little seat belt adjuster. I am short (5') and the seat belt chokes me if I do not use one. My old one broke and so far the replacements have fallen short of my expectations... I use them because I must - but it is cramping my Super Mom Mini Van-ness to have to use the substitutes until I find the right ones.

If you are reading this AND you blog.. consider yourself tagged!! BTW Dumpling's Mom - I totally would have put your second item: Sleep all day and stay up all night - but I do not consider that weird!! LOL

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Why I am happy to be waiting again..........

10. Because waiting to meet my next child is simply the most amazing place to dream, plan and speculate.

9. So I have another reason to attend Waiting Family Meetings - cuz I am waiting!

8. Because kids are like potato chips - you can't just have one... (Okay you can have just one! That is ok also!)

7. OOH - More shopping!

6. Because now everything is doubled.. the wait, the times you have to apply for your 171H, the wait!

5. Because I know that at the end of all this one more amazing child will be here with us - with a Mommy and Daddy all his/her own!

4. Did I mention there would be shopping?

3. Because anything worth doing once is certainly worth doing again... and just as well!

2. This time we will be surprised when we are told we have a daughter/son!

1. Because of all the things I have ever done or ever been called - MOMMY is the BEST OF ALL!!!

On a side note - someone I love very much could use some prayers. Please say a prayer for my friend that she regains her usual strength and optimism. Friend, I love you and I will continue to pray and believe.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Can I get some faith?

In a rather stunning departure from our regularly scheduled program - I am asking, no begging for someone to tell me how to get the faith. Pedex does believe our package was delivered and that we will have proof eventually. Meanwhile I can not find out for certain till next week. I sent our home study out anyway and hopefully they receive them both and put them together.

Where I am missing the faith is - that I often feel this was a rash decision on my part. With DHs help of course. We are just about where we need to be in order to pay for this adventure (knowing that we have a long wait helps - but there is a big chunk to be put away for the trip and last bit of expenses and thankfully we have a plan - it's almost like the IRS knows this will happen the tax credit for one pays for the next....) but there are a few gaps and a few gasps. If the time to referral should speed up - we would be in big trouble. How could we afford two in daycare. I suppose we would have to find someone who would sit the kids here or a family situation. I get worried about that - almost panicky - in the reverse of how it was last time. Last time I felt our referral could not come soon enough and with this one - well. 2 years would be ideal, closer to three even better. Though of course my heart is ready now. Our finances are not ready - but our hearts are.

So how do I reach out to believe that this will all work out? That this decision to leap WAS in fact a leap of faith and not a leap into financial ruin for all four of us. I wish I had that sustaining belief that nothing happens without a reason, I have been known to believe that. I do in a way.. and I know that last time it all worked out beautifully. I couldn't ask for a better baby. We are so happy that she is here. It is so hard to be worried that whatever decision I make - sibling or no sibling will not be the right one, yet I feel that in spite of how hard it is going to be to afford - we really need to do this. Oh wow.

Then there are the new regulations about adopting from China. I mean who am I to argue with a whole country. Should I have taken the hint that we would be excluded under the new rules to mean that we should not be trying for a second child? Or was it meant to do what we ultimately chose - to go ahead and pursue our second adoption. I honestly can't say for sure. I just hope that if I keep praying to the universe that all will be well - that it will in face be well. That the money will be there when we need it, that this child will be in our family, that the daycare situation will be ok and that EFP will be happy to be a big sister.

Cute baby stuff ahead: She has started yelling "Mommy" just to see if I will answer!! I love that!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When it absolutely, positively, has to be there in the morning!!

DON'T depend on PEDEX!!! I am flipping mad at the moment because our precious I600A application is lying on the floor of some smelly delivery van (IF its not lost completely!!) and we are supposed to hope it gets there expedited tomorrow AM. I suppose I am unreasonable at being so mad about this because frankly this is the first snag and it may prove to be a small one - if everything gets where it needs to go tomorrow. Meanwhile someone is checking into the possibility of our being expedited through the fingerprint process and now I am going to look a little silly if they make the call before my paperwork is even there! UGH!

In the meantime - the last other docs we need came today (Good Conduct) and we are hoping to see our notarized HS shortly. So the setback by our overnight fiasco is hopefully going to resolve tomorrow. I am so anxious to get our paperwork out the door at this point.

Meanwhile - EFP is still pretty sick and DH sounds pretty goopy as well. So the two of them have been housebound. I am going nuts because nothing is getting done around here. I mean I am shopping, cooking, medicating, checking and arranging but the plastic stuff is all over the place. Her speech has improved tremendously of late. She is positively chatty!! And I can understand her much of the time these days - though she is still doing that fabulous baby babbling thing where she carries on her side of a fairly intense conversation but not one word is (currently) unintelligible to her Mommy and Daddy. We just nod a lot and say "Oh, really!? That is interesting."

I can't post more because I have to go set up the crockpot for the fabulous chicken and potatoes I am making tomorrow. Wish us luck with the Chicken and the overnight people.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is.... What? 70°

Yes, it has been unseasonably warm around here lately. When I think of what the weather was like this time last year, how we lived in fear of the big blizzard that would delay our flight to China.. yikes! Now, it is so warm that germs that should be annihilated are hanging around with unfettered access to our poor defenseless immune systems. Isn't this a lot nicer than saying that both EFP and I are sick again!!?? I knew I was sick again and yesterday I suspected that she was also and today it was confirmed. I am almost positive she has a sinus and ear infection. We had a rather enjoyable day yesterday at Auntie Ren's and EFP was in her glory... how not? She was the center of attention and decided to go and get herself an Italian Noni! Auntie Ren's obliging (oh and indulging) Mom has become the person of the week! EFP just adores her. Come to think of it - whats not to adore! My favorite friend and her Mom who is a dynamite cook and baker!! Yum - we got to go home with Banana Bread AND Pesto! Well EFP seemed OK yesterday except for a little cough at nap time - but by 2 am I could tell there was a brewing problem and sure enough - the fever, the pukes, the whining.. and the late afternoon nap all clear indications we are in sick baby mode again. DH has already been nominated to stay home and take her to the MD where we will once again be given useless meds and a few anxious days.

I give up. We are progressing on other fronts. Seems our Homestudy is complete. I am waiting for the final final version and then it needs to be notarized and then I can send it off to USCIS to get our fingerprint appointment. We are looking pretty good timeline wise - but unlike last time, this time there can be no ramped up countdown to referral. Things are so volatile in this arena. This time, however, I am fully prepared to wait and frankly, the longer the better. This is not a popular sentiment and I completely understand there will be lots of people who can not see it this way - just as I could not when we were on the agonizingly long wait for EFP. It will be best for us if there are at least 2 years to wait. I can live with that - live with the knowledge that we will most surely be granted a second child and our family will not have to go bankrupt to pay for 2 in full time daycare. I also have still some hope that our bid to become foster parents may bring us a child also. For obvious reasons the less said about that the better - but it is something we have been preparing for. It has always been my intention to foster children and knowing that only some would be available to be adopted we would still like to help out. Somehow this will all be fine in the end. I have been feeling totally different about the whole process this time - a little more relaxed and yet still anxious a bit. It seems the HS has gotten a little more rigid this time around and there are a few more steps to take. Again we have been fortunate that our agency is willing to work with us and allowed the work that we had already done for our Foster Care License to be acceptable. Honestly - I enjoyed the classes but if I had had to sit through one more repeat I think my head would have burst open.

Now is the hardest part -allowing all this hard work to be placed in someone else's hands and having almost no control over it. We wait for other entities (mostly governmental) to do their part and in the words of the late great Tennessee Williams "We depend on the kindness of strangers!" I know we were incredibly lucky last time that our papers turned around so quickly. I hope so again just for peace of mind sake. I am revising our letter to USCIS to make sure they understand that we really need to be granted a quick fingerprint appointment and I am not above sending a picture of the child they helped us bring home last time! That should do it - if my usual eloquence fails to.

This adorable blanket was purchased from two dear friends who have decided to leap into the fray of the business world with just the cutest things ever! Aside from that the quality of the items as well as the cute factor make this one of our favorite shops! As they say - shop early and shop often! Here is the site A family's Heart

Monday, January 01, 2007

Goodbye 2006!

Talk about a basket of Cheer!

Tonight we said goodbye to our happiest year yet! The year our little family expanded to include so much joy! Our little bundle decided she too wanted to ring in the New Year and was up way past midnight. We are not sure why she couldn't sleep tonight of all nights - but it was OK by us. We made the rare exception and our darling danced in the New Year. 2007 bodes well for our family. It is true that we stand to wait a lot longer for our second child, but that is OK. Our first is so loving and loved that we are more than happy spending lots of time being her devoted parents.

Tonight she was in fine form - and EFP-A-GO-GO was back! Dancing on the ceiling, eating chips and spinach dip and in her most surprising turn yet......... herring in cream sauce! Don't ask - but for whatever reason it is a tradition to eat that just before midnight - and we always have. All in all - there is nothing I like better than staying in with my honey and my baby and tonight there was more than enough love to go around. I know that when our family is really complete it will be more sweet - but I am not sure I can be any happier than I am right now!

May all your dreams come true and every wish be granted!!

Empress Fussy Pants

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