Monday, March 29, 2010

Life Update - Road Trip

 This past weekend we made the trek down to Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit our friends Scott, Kate and Steve Bro.  Scott and Steve moved there two years ago and Scott has since met, married and procreated with Kate resulting in an oh-so cute baby.

We arrived on Thursday night just in time for dinner.  Kate cooked, which she is very good at.  Our dinner was delicious and we ended the night with March Madness basketball.  You see, aside from visiting friends, the main reason for our trip's timing was March Madness.  Eric and Scott are childhood friends and also grew up playing basketball together.  Therefore, it is only natural to want to watch the most anticipated college basketball event with the person you most enjoy playing the game with.

This is how we spent most mornings and evenings.

Even baby Emery got into it.

 When the weather is nice, it's only natural to drink beer on the roof.  And then ask your wife to run out in to the middle of the street so he can get a picture ;)

I must insist that we did more than watch basketball.  Friday, we went thrifting, which was loads of fun.  Scott and Kate took us to Southeast Salvage, which is like a warehouse-sized World Market.  I was in heaven could have perused the isles all day long.  But after two rugs and a lamp, we headed out.  Friday night we stayed in and made sushi.  We have never made it ourselves but always wanted to try.  Its actually easy and if you know me, you know it really is easy :)

Saturday, the boys played basketball while Kate and I took a walk in the park downtown, wandering into a few shops and got lunch at their organic grocer, Green Life.  The afternoon was splendid with beautiful weather.  Saturday night we went out for dinner to Food Works, which I personally enjoyed.  I have a soft spot for Cobb salad, particularly when avocados are involved.

Our trip ended as every night there did, with basketball and video games.  Two childhood friends' dream come true :)

Going, going, gone!

Finally!  I just returned from the Post Office where I mailed our I-600A application to immigration.  Now, we wait 8-12 weeks for approval.  Between now and being approved, immigration with contact us with a date and time we need to get our fingerprints taken.  I guess this usually happens between weeks 4 and 6.  You don't have any say about when it is and there is no option of rescheduling.  On top of that, it's in Detroit.  I guess we'll just have to make a day out of it. Maybe we can even make an Ikea pit-stop :)

We received our home study this weekend, but I wasn't able to mail it to immigration since we were visiting friends in Tennessee.  More on that trip next.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Not Much News

So, I didn't get our home study finalized this week.  I guess we'll just hope for this week.  I emailed our social worker and she is getting things done, but she's also at the mercy of our agency's home study director.  Despite the time it's taken, I am so thankful for our social worker.  She is working so hard to get this done. 

We are taking one step further in our adoption education though.  We have scheduled our phone conference for April 1st.  Hopefully this won't need to be rescheduled at all and we can complete this stage of the process.  I am so close to being done with my book and the phone call will just wrap it up.

This week hasn't been too back.  I actually haven't thought about it much, which I will take as a good thing.  It helps the time go by faster when I am not thinking about it night and day.

Sorry there's not much to report, but that's how this process works.  Run, run, run then wait.....

I will update as soon as I hear something about the home study.  Which like I said, we are hoping for this week.  Thanks for all the love and support.  I'm now off to our second fund-raiser meeting, I will let you know how it goes.

Just know to mark your calendars for May 1st at the Homeschool Building in Wyoming.  More details will be coming soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Own Home-Ec Class

Before I update about our ever-changing paperwork, I wanted to show you what I did yesterday.  I spent a lot of the evening making things, specifically food.  I made a few more batches of granola, which I am getting pretty good at and is now has a permanent stop in our cupboard.  But the big hoorah is for the pizza crusts I made.  I got the recipe from my wonderful friend Carly and made them from scratch, SCRATCH.  My mother will probably fall out of her seat when she reads this :)  If any of you know me, which I'd confidently say that you ALL do, you know that I am not very good at being the homie wife.  I really never make meals, but watch our Martha, here I come!

I almost didn't take any photos.  As we were putting away our leftovers Eric said, "don't you want to take photos for your blog?"  Apparently, he is way more on top of things than I am.  So, here are some photos taken after our delicious, homemade pizza dinner.

This was our dinner, we each got to make our own.

I actually made two batches thinking I had screwed the first one up.  I spent time after dinner making the crusts so they'll be ready for next time.  I obviously made a mess and ended up kicking Eric off the counter.

Aside from my excitement about the successful pizza crusts, we have finished something for our adoption and then found out there is more paperwork.

In order to adopt we have to complete 10 hours of adoption education.  This is a Hague requirement, which means no education, no kid.  Anyway, we must complete an essay/questionnaire about the Congo, have a 2-3 hour phone conference with our agency's education director and do some independent studies.  I started the essay/questionnaire a while ago and Eric just finished it up (that is what he is doing in the photo).  For our independent study we are each reading a non-fiction adoption book and then must submit a book report.  And when I called the education director originally to set up our phone conference, she asked that we wait.  Well, I guess the waiting is over.  We are trying to nail down a time that we all have a few hours to talk on the phone.  As soon as we complete our phone education and book report, our education phase is done.

Yesterday, when I found out we could schedule our phone conference, I also found out that there are three more federal forms I have to complete for our Dossier.  Thankfully we only need one copy each and they do not need to be notarized.

Note to anyone who is considering adoption, find someone who is a notary and become very good friends :)  Almost every single form you complete has to have two originals and both need to be notarized.  I just found out that our accountant that comes in to our office once a week is a notary.  She will probably wish she never told me when all this is said and done.

We're still waiting for our home study to be finalized.  I know that our social worker has been corresponding with our agency's home study guru and hopefully we can get this squared away soon.  I just want to get the immigration form in so it can start processing.  Maybe by next week, but I am trying not to get my hopes up.  Hopefully we will be able to update that its been sent soon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Non Paperwork Filled Weekend

As of Friday, I heard back from our agent about our home study, WOOT!  Five days instead of 7-14, but there were a few changes that we had to make before finalization and print.  I sent the revisions to our social worker Friday afternoon and am still waiting to get the new, adjusted copy.  Mondays are usually spent responding to everything from the weekend, which is no different for our social worker.  I am really hoping to get the adjusted copy to our agent before the weekend to they can get started reviewing it.  Maybe I can even get it to them by Wednesday.

I will let you know what happens.  As soon as I get the finalized version from our social worker, it's off to immigration via our I-600A application.  Reminder, this is the approval that will take us between 8-12 weeks.  I just want to get it sent so a) I don't have to think about it anymore and b) it will be off and start the 2-3 month wait. 

Without having paperwork to complete, we got to spend the weekend doing other things.  Friday night I picked Eric up from the airport.  He was in Miami during the week for work.  We pretty much went straight from the airport to an adoption fundraiser for our friends Kate and Doug.  They are adopting 3 boys from Ethiopia.  Yes, you read right, THREE!  It was a successful event, which we are so happy for them.

On Saturday afternoon, I met with several people to start planning our own adoption.  Some amazing friends of ours approached us to plan something for us.  We really just have to show up.  I went to the meeting so I could let them know how much we appreciate this and also to offer any input.  Good times were had at good 'ole Grandville Panera.

Later on Saturday, we headed over to our friends Brook and Aaron's.  We always love spending time with them and their cutie Gavin.  The boys played video games and Brook and I watched Grease and made more earrings.  That girl has got me addicted to making jewelry.

**Side note:  I was just on Facebook and saw a skirt that Tifani V made and it was SO CUTE!  We may have to graduate to clothes pretty quick here, especially since warm weather's coming.

Sunday was the usual, church and my parents' house.  In the evening, we tried to set up our television to received normal channels without any luck.  We ended up just watching them on illegal channels online.  Because of Eric's traveling this past week, he got tired early and we ended up missing Best Actress, Best Director and Best Picture.  Yes, we missed the only categories you stay up to watch :)  Oh well.

Holey-moley, I was pretty long-winded today.  Sorry about that folks.  But I guess that's a look in to our lives when adoption paperwork isn't at the forefront.  Hope your weekend went well, at least there was sunshine!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Craftiness....and a mini-update

Hello All!

First, I just want to thank you all for following us through this journey.  I know that it's been a whirlwind of paperwork which usually isn't the most entertaining topic.  But, it's all part of the process so we talk about it.

There is not much to report on except that the few remaining pieces for our home study are in.  That means I am just waiting on our agent to review everything so we can get a finished copy and send it off to immigration.  These are the times that I need to be patient, which I think will be the hardest.

So, instead of a lengthy post about adoption updates or lack thereof, I thought I'd show you some of my craft skills (they are not that extensive :)

I get together with a few girls every Tuesday to watch Project Runway and Biggest Loser but thanks to the Olympics, Biggest Loser hasn't been on.  During its hiatus, we decided to do a little crafting.

Here are some things I made.


I made a couple of hair clips, including a brown one, which isn't shown.

These earrings are made from buttons, how CUTE!  I made two pairs total, but only have photos of these.  The other pair are brass with a sweet design on them.  They are my new favorites.  You can't beat homemade accessories.  No one will have anything like them :)

Another small piece of fun news is that our new camera came in.  Actually its Gorilla's camera, but it will remain at our house for a significant amount of time.  We have definitely spent some time already learning all of the new features.  We have mostly made videos.  I will have to post one for your enjoyment.  Its a Canon EOS 7D.

I am pretty reliant on Eric to show me how things work, but I should get the hang of it in no time.  Then, watch our world, Teresa has a new camera!  It will be a goal of mine to use it a lot, I am not usually good about taking photos but with a kid coming I am going to try to do better.  I guess we will just have to wait and see if it actually happens :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Viewed Our Home Study Draft

Last night I got an email from our social worker.  She has already finished the draft of our home study.  Eric and I spent some time reading through it and filled in some blanks.

This morning, I was able to send it back to our social worker and also send it along to our agent.  The agency always looks it over before it's finalized to make sure that everything they require is included. 

Once everything is finalized, I put it all together (with lots of supporting documents) and send it off to immigration to await approval and our appointment for fingerprinting.  I was so giddy about it this morning, about how fast and smooth everything is going.  But I got a buzz-kill.  Our agent said that is takes 1-2 weeks until they are able to review the home study, which means it will be at least that long until I am able to get the finalized version.  Sad day.

It's a little frustrating, but I have to remember that it's only been 2 months since we started this journey.  We personally know people who waiting 3+ years, so I have to make a conscious effort to keep that in perspective.  And, just because it's going smooth now doesn't mean we won't have problems further down the line.

It's a difficultly that comes with being someone who needs instant gratification.  I think that the time I spend waiting, not having anything to do will be excruciatingly hard for me.  Thankfully, I should be able to focus on getting the nursery ready during that time.  I hear its always worse the first time.  Once you've done it, you know what to expect and you'll also have a child at home to help keep you busy.

On a lighter note, I think I decided on bedding.  I like the polka dot pattern (listed below) and I would use it for either a boy or a girl.  It's Dwell Studio from Target and actually listed in the boys bedding section online.

Taylor came again this morning and is almost done hanging the drywall.  Next, he's on to windows and mudding.  It's always crazy to see a room transform, once its done I almost always forget what it looked like originally.  It's so hard to imagine something so nice being so blah.

Well, have a wonderful Monday.  I will update soon with more news or lack thereof :)