Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sometimes I Just Want To Punch People

Warning:  I just have to express my frustration a moment.

I like to check out CNN for news updates and whatnot.  It's actually our homepage.  I was going through the news stories when I saw one titled "Parents Sue Over Russian Adoption."  It was actually a video, so I watched it.  Then I read the comments that were left below.

Oh dear Lord, I really could punch someone!

Summary: A family adopted a Russian boy when he was two.  They had a bunch of problems.  Now he's eight, they tested him and he has fetal alcohol syndrome.  He is now in an institution.  The parents are sueing the adoption agency. 

First off, they went six years with their son home without finding out he had fetal alcohol syndrome which was causing all of their problems.  No matter where you are adopting from internationally, one of the first things you do is take them to a doctor and have them examined as soon as you get home.  I think it's really adoption "common sense".  

Second, they adopted from Russia.  Now, Eric and I are adopting from the Congo where fetal alcohol syndrome isn't an issue we have to worry about.  But I knew about the likelihood of FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) with Eastern European children.  If you are adopting from a foreign country, I would think that it's smart to do some research.  If you are not comfortable with the possible issues, then don't adopt from there.

Now, I am not saying that the adoption agency is faultless.  They probably did things they shouldn't have and told the families things that didn't happen.  But still....

When you make the decision to adopt, especially internationally, you accept the risks that your child is not going to be perfect.  Conditions in most countries where adoptions are done are very poor.  A lot of times medical records are minimal if existent at all.  It just makes me so mad that this family is blaming everything on the agency instead of owning up to the fact that they have a child with FAS and aren't able to handle it.

I feel like we do a lot of research when we buy a new car.  Don't you think we should be doing 10x more research when we want to bring a child into our home from another country?!  Ugh, it just makes me so mad.

And to top it off, the comments were awful!  One man said, "The Russian Government needs to be held accountable for adopting out their un-adoptable children. This little boy is not the only child adopted from Russia with severe psychiatric disorders. American citizens pay thousands of dollars to adopt these children and are being lied to as to the severe trauma they've suffered and their psychiatric issues."  UN-ADOPTABLE CHILDREN?!  Just because they suffer from physical and psychiatric issues due to their parents and environments (which they have no control over) doesn't mean these children don't deserve loving families!  Agh, this guy...I REALLY want to punch him in the face.

So many comments were made like this and many were anti-international adoption in general.  It just breaks my heart that people can be so a) ignorant b) stupid enough to make those comments and c) selfish enough to verbally recommend that these children don't deserve to be adopted.  My God, I about threw my computer through the window by the time I finished.

I just hope that they encounter a wonderful adoptive family and see what amazing things can happen through adoption and realize how backwards their views were.

Thanks for letting me rant and rave.  I am finished :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Projects Galore!

With the absence of adoption paperwork in dire need of being done, I have decided to complete a lot of the decorating that still needs to be done here.  Just to forewarn you, this is a picture heavy post but the pictures were not taken with a very nice camera (you've been warned :).

Alright, here is what I have been doing over the last couple of weeks.

When I first started this project I wanted to fill my walls, but had only gotten this far:

One afternoon, Eric and I headed over to St. Vincent DePaul.  This is the most amazing thrift store ever.  I absolutely love going there and could easily spend hours rummaging through the isles.  This particular day I only found one item.  I wall shelf to hold chalk for the chalkboard.  It cost a steep $0.29.  Yep, $0.29.  I never find deals like this so I was super excited.

I decided that, although beautiful as is, I was going to paint it and hopefully make it look old and worn.  Well, I painted it and put "crackle glaze" on it but no crackling.  So its just going to hang 'as is' which is still great!

Eric left for a night and I woke up to that sweet note....awe!

Then, one Sunday Eric's Grandma Johnson gave us a photo.  It was her military photo.  She was a nurse in WWII and met Eric Grandpa through the service.  This is what inspired the wall to fill with photos.  So all the thanks goes to Gma J!  She is coming over tomorrow so I am so happy I was able to get everything done in time for her to see.

The first step to completing this project was to find all of the frames.  Since I wanted all used, vintage frames this wasn't an easy task.  But thankfully a local thrift store, Coat of Many Colors, had a whole bunch and I kind of went crazy.  Every time I go in there he asks if I am looking for frames.  Which I bought three more today ;)

Once I collected enough, they went up on the wall without photos or glass.

Thanks for my wonderful husband and amazing friend, the finishing touches didn't take too long.  I got the photos today and it is complete!  Let me know what you think.

Now it's on to projects of decorating our bedroom and living room.  I will make sure to photograph things as I go.

I hope to see you all on Saturday for our dinner.  I'm looking forward to hanging out and eating good food!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fingerprinting Times Two

As you know, we got our appointment for our FBI fingerprinting last week, woohoo!  In addition to that, we have to be fingerprinted by the local government in order to get a State of Michigan background check done.

I actually went online and was able to do a background check via ICHAT (Michigan's online source for these sorts of things).  How easy and convenient right?! WRONG.  I had no problem finding mine, but Eric's on the other hand, not so much.  His record is clean, but ICHAT decided to flag someone with the name Eric Johnson, same birth year but different middle name and birthdate.  They put this record on his form, just in case.  So even though Eric's record is clean, the form I printed out had a lot of red highlighted words.  I don't think that would look very good if you're the Congolese government.  So I had to call the Michigan State Police directly to find out if there was another way to do this.

Yes there is, and it only takes being fingerprinted, sending a bunch of things in and waiting three weeks.  So that's what we'll be doing tomorrow morning, getting fingerprinted so we can get fingerprinted again May 6th.  Oh the joys of adoption.  And the best part is, this all expires after about a year so if we want to adopt again we may have to do this all over again.  Don't worry, I am still very excited about adopting in the future, its just that I'm the one who does most of the paperwork so I have the right to sarcastically 'complain'.

Honest moment: I have been bugging Eric to bring the camera home so I can take some photos.  I think photos make posts so much more enjoyable and if I think that I should provide some.  So, hopefully you will be seeing some photos.

I want to get some of the attic before it's finished since its coming along wonderfully.  And I am also going project crazy!  Lots and lots of things to do this week and I'd love to show you.  We'll cross our fingers that Eric remembered to bring it home today :)

And...our dinner is coming up, May 1st!  Make sure to come and hang out and also eat some good food!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Meeting #3

Tomorrow is our last meeting before our adoption fundraiser.  As you saw in the earlier post, it's May 1st from 5pm-8pm at the Homeschool Building.

I feel pretty accomplished with what I've done.  I completed the tax deductable envelopes, the business cards with our blog address, the instruction sign for tax deductable donations and I am almost finsihed with our timeline.  This wasn't something we all agreed I'd do, but Eric suggested it and I took it on.  My boss is going to print it on his poster printer which I think will look pretty cool.  I hoping for it to be about 4 feet long.  But there are a few things I am still doing to make it a little more colorful.

As this fundraiser gets closer and closer, I get more and more nervous.  Now, I know my fears are completely unwarrented but I really can't help the sinking feeling that no one is going to show up.  Please, don't think that I would be sad because we did not raise a boat-load of money because you'd be very, very wrong.  I think what makes me hate this thought is the lack of people.  That's my biggest fear.  We could have 200 people and only raise $500 and I would be great.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Sorry, no photos for this post.  Eric brought the camera to work so it is not here for me to take the always interesting pictures of paperwork :)

This is just a recap before I get into the letter I received today.  We started and completed our home study fairly quickly but was delayed because of the back-and-forth that took place between our social worker and agency.  This was frustrating since I could not submit our I-600A application to Immigration until everything was complete.  Well, we finally received our finalized home study in the mail on March 26.  Unfortunately we were out of town that weekend and weren't able to mail it until Monday.  So, the actual day I express mailed our I-600A application was March 29.  This started a 4-6 waiting period until we received our fingerprinting appointment and then another 4-6 weeks for approval.  Well, I received our fingerprinting appointment today!  Actually, its not until the beginning of May but still!  I am uper excited!

This letter made me get all anxious about the rest of our paperwork.  We are doing pretty well when it comes to our Dossier, but I went into panic mode thinking we needed it done yesterday.  Either way, I am going to get on to doing the things left on the list.

Along with this great news, we had our adoption education conference over the phone last Thursday.  Brooke was very nice and fun to talk to, thought two hours did seem long after a while.  But I got our certificate via email and we can check that off the list too.

Man, its crazy all that is needed for this.  One thing that isn't required but we're excited for is the dinner our friends/family are doing.  May 1st is coming up and I am looking forward to seeing a whole bunch of people.  I love parties :)

Well, I am off to fill our more paperwork for adoption grants and to do homework.  Have a wonderful Monday night! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser!

As I've said before, our incredible friends and family have decided to put together an adoption fundraiser for us!  We've had a few meetings, hashed out some details and now here are the details:

Friday, April 2, 2010


Almost at the very beginning of this process, Eric and I had to fill out a French Adoption Application for the Congolese government.  You may not remember this, but we surely do.  Well, last week our agent emailed me asking for another, different application to be completed in place of the one we originally did.  It isn't terribly hard.  We just weren't excited about having to redo it, since it was finished and sent to our agency in January.

Since we had to fill out the French version, our agency sent an English copy for reference.  The whole application process remained pretty lighthearted because of some less than perfect translations.  For instance, "Do you have some movable or immovable where?" or "All things being equal, do you after death the child will be kept as you'd hoped.  If yes, by whom?"  We definitely got a laugh out of those as we completed the application.

But alas, that's how this process goes.  Eric is much better at keeping that in perspective than I am.  He definitely has to talk me down on occasion.  Okay, maybe more often than not :)

The application now is completed, we just have to sign and notarize it and then it is off to our agency.  We're crossing our fingers that we completed it properly and won't need to make any corrections.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.