Tuesday, September 27, 2011
It's interesting how I can now justify certain purchases or actions, now that we'll have a half dozen boys in the house. For example, since there will be six boys soon, it's definitely worth it to invest in an air hockey table and a full size drum set!! And last month, I started mowing the front field (3+ acres) so that the kids will have a soccer sized flat field on which to play. Our rolling 3 acres that we already mow just isn't enough anymore, and the front field is flat, flat, flat. I'm already used to cooking for a crowd. It's rare that I don't make enough food to feed a family double the size of ours. In fact, on Friday night we are hosting 6 boys from NYC(overnight) so that they can run in the McQuaid Invitational race on Saturday. We do it every year, and we still often we end up with leftovers! We have four banquet tables permanently set up in the hot-tub room, lined with crockpots etc., just so that we can quickly set up a buffet anytime. Underneath the tables are five coolers, filled with assorted drinks, waiting at the ready.
On another note, we received an email from Elizabeth saying that when WACAP called the CCCWA about our file on Monday, they were told that our application letter wasn't in the file. Grrrr. Eventually, they straightened it out, but Elizabeth is fairly certain that we WON'T be able to travel in December. I'm not losing hope, although I'm already working out plan B. In fact, in my typical fashion I'm trying to see the silver lining. We won't be away from the children on Christmas. The weather will be much nicer in April. Austin will be at the Olympic Training Center for at least one week in April, which makes it easier to find someone to host him for a visit. We will not have the boys on our cruise in February. Yes, this is actually a little bit better for the children, we think, because KangChao and Tong might have motion sickness, other illnesses, or adjustment issues that will not be desirable on a cruise-ship. The trip can be one last hooray before we add to our family again. The airfares are significantly less expensive in April. See? I can look on the bright side, and ignore the fact that we will not get the tax refund we were hoping we would get. Everything works out for the best. Truly. Mine task is not to question, only to put my faith that God has a plan.
Monday, September 26, 2011
This week is our last hope to get our Letter of Confirmation (also called LOA) in time for us to travel in December. Even if we DO receive it this week, we'll be cutting it pretty close. In church this week I wrote our special intention in the prayer book, lit a prayer candle, and lifted our anxiety up to God. Now, all I can do is trust that things will work out for the best, either way, since the matter is in God's hands. This week John and I compiled a photo book to send to our sons in China, and John wrote in Chinese on the back of each photo. John also translated a letter to another boy, Kang Zhu, that one of my email friends is adopting from the same orphanage as KangChao. We "met" in a yahoo group, and we've been chatting almost daily about our adoptions. We might actually get to meet in China; if not in China, we will plan to meet with our sons (who are friends in the orphanage) in the summer. Yesterday, David and Ben hung up curtains in the new bedroom. I do not miss having an office one iota, and the new wall/doorway looks like it's always been there. I'm so pleased! I originally ordered bedding and curtains that had lions, tigers and cheetahs on it, but the set is back-ordered for two months, so I ended up going with a simple striped bedding from Walmart for now. When David came home and saw how the new bedroom looked his first comment was "This room is so big, we could easily put FOUR boys in here!" Too funny!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Yesterday, I mailed the referral paperwork back to WACAP. One of the 100 documents we had to sign has us promise that we would NOT post our children's photos on the internet or anywhere else. Consequently, I removed from this blog all the photos of the boys. I'll put them back on this site later, when the boys are legally ours! I see blogs with photos of children awaiting adoption daily, but, now that I signed the document, I feel that I need to follow the official rules. The referral paperwork took about two hours to complete. One advantage of all this paperwork is that I'm getting quite familiar with official forms. When it comes time to fill out college applications for Austin, I'll think it's a breeze!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
As I mentioned before, I've been listening to Chinese lessons on Cd in my car. I was consistent and making progress last year, when I had to drive the kids to school everyday, but I didn't study at all over the summer. Now, I'm again trying to learn at least a little Chinese. As I was listening to the lesson on how to ask and tell time, I suddenly realized that the number six is "liu" pronounced similar to the name Leo.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Lately I've been the tiniest (or maybe even a little bit more than that) jealous of other families who seem to sail through the adoption process. I follow a blog of a family that has adopted 4 children in 18 months from China, and they are about to travel for two more little ones. They somehow managed to complete their paperwork and travel in 8 to 9 months! For their pending adoptions, their log in date is several weeks after ours, and they already have their LOA! In addition, they have received tons of photos of their children, and have been able to write and send presents to them already. I know it's rather petty of me, but I can't help but wonder what I could do to make things go faster. We are still just hoping and praying that we receive our LOA for both boys next week. If we don't get them by the end of next week, our chances of traveling in December are slim to none. As I've mentioned before, we need to travel during a school break if we are going to take John with us. That means December or April. I know lots of people have no trouble taking kids out of school for a few weeks, but JP struggles to keep up as it is. If he misses a day of school, he spends two weeks trying to catch up. Of course, he has only lived here 16months and his reading and writing are not yet at 9th grade level. After having a summer reading tutor four days a week, he can now read at a fourth grade level. We want him to be able to come to China with us, and it's important to him, but if we receive our LOA in October then our travel date should be in January. Ugh. It's so hard to plan anything when adopting!
Friday, September 9, 2011
I finally received an update! We do NOT have to create a whole new dossier to adopt Dang, Tong, and in fact, we have already received our Pre-approval for him!!! The CCCWA does want us to rewrite our adoption application letter, indicating that we are adopting two children, and have that notarized and authenticated. What I found hilarious is that the WACAP agency rep. came right out and said for us to go ahead and write it (and yes also get it notarized and authenticated), but the CCCWA might very well forget they even asked for it and just issue our Letter of Confirmation (also known as Letter of Approval-LOA). So again I jump through hoops for no apparent reason, just because I want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to expedite the adoptions. Maybe, just maybe, we will be able to travel in December after all. I've been in email communication with another family who is adopting a friend of Logan's, and they are at about the same place in the process, with the same agency. It would be awesome if we got to meet in China! This morning I spent 2 hours completing the I800 (petition to classify convention adoptee as an immediate relative), DS230 (application for immigrant visa and alien registration) and the I864W (intending immigrant's affidavit of support exemption) forms. I should be receiving another big packet of paperwork to fill out (in our referral packet) sometime next week. I am really getting excited! I have a contractor coming today to see about building the wall to close in the room that was my office, and what will be a bedroom for the three little guys. The bunk beds are all set up, and Ben and I have been surfing the net looking for the perfect bedding. At the moment, Ben likes the idea of lions, or tigers. Maybe we should go back to the name Leo for KangChao and use a lion theme for the room?
Monday, September 5, 2011
We are on day 47 of our wait for our LOA, and we still don't know if we can use our existing dossier to adopt Isaac too. Fortunately, we have a busy and active household, and time passes fast. The 3 youngest boys are starting school this week, and I'll be able to get back into the gym. We had some friends over for a Labor Day cook-out (after we all ran a 5k race together!) and it was great fun. The photo is of our boys, plus our friends' boys, playing some type of rescue mission. It was quite the diverse crowd, with our Spanish speaking friends, Norwegian friends, and Chinese speaking sons. We had 7 boys and 5 dogs, plus 7 adults, for dinner, and it was exactly how I like it. LOUD, Busy and active!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
As usual, I spend quite a bit of time the last few weeks of the summer taking the kids for dentist and doctor appointments. When I scheduled their next appointment for a cleaning, I actually made appointments for all six boys!! I'm hopeful that by spring, when they are all due for their next six month cleaning, we'll have Logan and Isaac home with us! So, for the very first time, I said their names in an official capacity. Does this mean that we can't change their names yet again? No, not really. But one step closer to being "set" on their names at least. On another note, I finally printed up 275 photos of our trip to China and put them in a photo album. I had a computer "scare" (thought I had a virus) and that incident reminded me that I never back up my data. I can lose all my word documents and not be too upset, but if we lost the photos of our adoption trip I'd be heart-broken. I ended up printing over 700 photos total, and created 3 different photo albums. One for the China trip, one for taekwondo photos, and one of everything else. Looking at the China photos reminded me that I haven't heard from WACAP for awhile. We are still waiting to hear if we can use our (reused) dossier to adopt both boys at once. If CCAA says no, then we'll have to create another whole new dossier for Isaac. That will be a big bummer. Obviously, we will cross that bridge when we get to it. In the meantime, I'm of the opinion that no news is good news. School starts in 5 days, and we are counting down the days.