Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Our dossier....barring any further ridiculousness or totally off the wall hangups...like the Chinese consulate running out of stickers or something like that....will be going to China on Friday!!
Now we bounce pass the ball into China's court and wait for them to do their thang.
A couple of things you can expect me to be jumping for joy about that comes next in the adoption process:
1. We will (hopefully) soon receive our LID after our dossier gets to China. This is our Logged in Date. It's the date at which the CCdoubleA has recorded our dossier and logged it into their system.
Shortly after our LID the BIG question will be asked in relation to kiddo #6! This will be a big couple of days as we wait for their decision. Expect lots of nervous posts, and for pictures of me 20lbs heavier because of the enormous volume of ice cream I will be inhaling whilst I wait.
Sometime after our LID we will receive our Letter of Approval or LOA in adoption lingo. This is China's final approval for us to adopt Joey. We are praying for 2 LOA's!!!
So that's what on the horizon. I can't say what a relief it is to have it out of our hands and in their hands now.
I am happy.
My Fed Ex man is not.
On another note, It's been over a month now that Joey received our care package. I have purposefully not sent anything else yet until we find out if his foster brotha is coming home with us. There are 8 children that live in that home. 5 of which(that I am aware of) have families that are on their way for them.
Can we just stop a minute and think about how those other 3 feel?
It. Is. buh-raking this momma's heart.
To think of our son(kiddo #6) sitting there watching those cakes and packages coming in and nothing for him. Not to mention the other 2 besides him that do not have families coming for them yet. With this in mind I have gathered some things for all 8 of them to send in every care package from here on out. And better believe if we are fortunate enough to visit the foster home we will be lavishing them with love, attention and some gifts just for them.
I hate, hate, hate that #6 has no idea at the moment how in love with him we are and how hard we are working to get him home with his best buddy.
This journey has unfolded in ways that we never would have expected and I cannot wait to see how this ride ends....
or is it just the beginning....
Sunday, June 27, 2010
We have been having a tremendously fun summer thus far! We've been able to go to a few places here and there already but for the most part we have most enjoyed
No early wakeups, no packing lunches, no homework and school projects(can I get a witness?)
Well, we Just Be in front of the Wii often because it is such good family fun.
As I was making breakfast the other day the twins decided to spice it up a bit and make a fort from which to play the Wii from.
I'm down with that.
With all of these boys in the house cushions and pillows everywhere does not bother me in the least.
But then it happened.
My eyes roamed from the fun of the game and watching them giggle...
And I'm going to go ahead and stop now to warn you
there are inappropriate images ahead.
So consider this your last chance to look away...
Can't believe I'm about to show this to you.
See that udder filth and disgustedness that the twins managed to unearth simply by removing the cushions?
The...hey look! The DVD remote!!
I am so ashamed.
Please, please, I beg of you. Tell me that I am not alone.
Tell me that yours looks like this too.
Tell me it anyway even if you have to lie to make me feel better.
Please! Please consider posting the contents under your cushions to soothe my weary, weary soul.
If you are unsure if you can recover emotionally from the previous images, I understand.
If you feel as though you can never again visit this blog, I understand.
If you need to borrow my DVD remote because your couch too looks like this and it has been lost for 6 months, I really understand.
And finally, I know that you will understand that after I saw the mess, I went back to making breakfast, the twins finished their game...and then returned the cushions to their place.
So 3 days later....here I sit.
On clean cushions...
masking a hidden wasteland underneath.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Just wanted you to know that our flight arrived and we are here and unpacking! We leave to meet the boys in a couple of hours! We CAN'T WAIT!!
maybe not. As I sometimes say to the boys when they say something totally off the wall:
"What do you want for breakfast when you wake up from that dream?"
I'll take waffles please thank you.
Ahem. So no, we are not in China. We are not near going to China but man alive was that ever fun to write!
I took our home study and our corrected immigration approval downtown today and said hi to the Secretary of State. And I'm not kidding...I'm not making this up....
...she printed out one form, put the gold seal on
....her printer died.
No kidding. I could not make this stuff up.
Then the other lady that she shares an office with tried.
So they called their IT guy.
They call again.
It was so ridiculous it was funny.
Alas, after sending that form to the printer no less then 10 times it finally, for whatever reason, kicked it out.
Ha, too funny. So everything is now on it's way to the consulate via the courier who will then pass the final two documents on to our agency.
Can I tell you I felt like a million bucks walking out of that Fed Ex office?! I had no idea the true level of stress and anxiety the last couple of weeks had brought but man alive! I feel like myself again! I was even just reading through my last few blog posts and yikes...that. was. no. fun.
Lastly, have you ever wondered just how quickly USC*S can work when the error is on their part?
allow me to illustrate.
arrived to me today. Totally out of the blue.
That is not my overnight box.
I did not pay for that overnight box nor the contents of it.
I caught the mistake on the form Wednesday early afternoon.
The corrected form inside this box arrived here..at my house..Friday morning.
Our worker was a human. So mistakes happen. It's all good.
Did I mention I feel so much better now that all of that paperwork is out of my hands?!
This calls for an ice cream sundae
because though I am feeling so much better...I may or may not have worked myself into some type of massive warm chocolate with cold vanilla ice cream addiction.
Does this warrant a home study update?
"Mother. Addicted to chocolate."
Oh dear, this could get ugly.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Oh how I love a good non-drama filled normal day.
Home study notary certified...in literally 35 seconds....after driving an hour and a half...but I digress...
and then we walked across the street to a cute little bistro across from the courthouse for lunch.
This, I should clarify...was not lunch. But is Justin in his element digging for dinosaur bones at the Children's Museum.
Where we had such a phenomenal time that I ended up paying an additional $40 to get the family annual pass.
The family pass that allows 2 adults
Do you know that I actually got to write new kiddos names on the form and that they each have their own pass? Yep.
Such a little thing but such a big, big thing.
Joseph Samuel and J.....ahhhh, wait. That J name isn't for sure yet. We could have one very confused little boy come his first trip to the museum if we don't end up going with that name...but hey. I had to put something down on the form.
I don't think I could have been smiling any bigger as I was filling in their names.
What a neat moment.
(do people say neat anymore? How bout a radical moment?..no, that sounds too 80's. Groovy moment?...no...slightly before my time. Beast moment?...no, that sounds like my 13 year old. Hmmm...I think I'm gonna have to stay with neat.)
(PS If it's against some type of rule to write their names on a membership pass before you even have actual approval for them I don't want to know...please keep me in ignorance. :) It's the small moments that keep you going right?!)
On another note, perhaps one day I should write a post about why all the J names...less people think we are trying to imitate a certain large family that all start with J.
Yes. Yes I think I should.
J name post coming soon to a blog near you.
John, who has been home for a month now, in between the end of his previous school and the beginning of his next hung out with the older boys today..which included going out for the Mighty Meaty pizza.
Guy stuff I guess.
And that's it people. No problems, no setbacks, no unexpected turns that made me want to hurl.
Ahhh, love that.
Here's to more normal days ahead....Here, here!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I think I went from one end of the emotion spectrum to the other.
And I have the crying headache to prove it
Remember that adoption roller coaster we talked about. Well I can hardly imagine that there is a better adjective to describe what this process is like.
Well buckle up. Here's my story of today.
Today as 8:30am approached I was sitting in view of my front door with my coffee waiting and waiting for our friendly Fed Ex man to arrive with our immigration approval.
Just as I was beginning to let it sink in that our form may not show up today dashing all chances of our dossier going to China on Friday, he showed up a little after 9:30.
If I weren't married I would have ran up and hugged him I was so happy to see him and his purty little envelope...but I am married. Thus I don't make it a point to hug other men...especially strangers. It's not really recommended. Don't mind me honey, the Fed Ex man and I were just sharing a moment out here on the grass in my pajamas...it's fine. You can go back to bed.
Yeah. Not cool.
Anyhoo, so I dashed up the stairs,threw some clothes and makeup on and sat down at the desk to check over everything one last time. And that's when I noticed a small error on our approval form. With panic rising I called our totally rockin dossier coordinator who assured me it was fine.
I swallowed the panic and headed out to make copies of our home study that my equally awesome friend Liz picked up from our home study agency on Monday while she was in their town(an hour and a half away)and copies of our immigration approval.
I arrived at the copy place, skipped through the parking lot....ok
I didn't really skip
(grown women look funny skipping
unless they are holding the hand of a child
then it is nuthin but precious.)
I didn't have a child with me because really, running errands with mom at their ages is just
So as I skipped(in my head) through the parking lot and up to the door I walked in and as I was standing in line I began checking through everything...
And then it happened.
Ya know that little line under your name and your husband's name that has their fingerprint expiration date?
Well, John's fingerprints....according to the approval form.....
expired on the day he was born.
Yep. Right there in black and white under fingerprint expiration date was his birth date instead.
So I stepped out of line and outside and called our dossier coordinator again...and this time....
it's a problem.
She, in all of her wisdom, had some great fix it solutions and she said she would work on it and call me back...to which I tried to thank her for before bursting into tears...but I didn't make it. Sorry Jessa!
So I had my little breakdown in the parking lot, drove home and waited.
Turns out our immigration officer had a sick kiddo this morning so through Jessa's perseverence, she managed to get a hold of her and success! Looks like we have a solution and we are still on track!
So I had to wait a bit more for some things to come through but then there it was and I was off yet again. Made copies, and then arrived at our county clerk's office to get the notary signatures county certified before taking it 2 blocks north to the Sec. of State's office.
No go. Our home study was notarized by a notary from a different county other than our own.
Totally my fault. Since all other 538 documents that we have had notarized are from our county it did not even cross my mind. So here I am at 3:00...been at this since the doorbell rang at 9 and the other county clerk's office is 1 1/2 hours away.
Not a chance I am getting back here before 5 when they close.
At that point...through tears. All I could do was laugh.
Sometimes you just see the hand of God at work. We tend to claim that through the good times but eventually you see that He is working on our behalf even when it looks like nothing but road blocks as we try to ram our way through to make our own imposed deadlines. Who the heck am I to tell HIM when this should all be taking place. Who the heck am I to know what is going on half way across the world that may warrant our delay. Who am I?
So I am throwing in the towel.
I'm done until tomorrow when we make the 1 1/2 hour drive to the other county's office.
I'm going to pack up the kids and make a fun day of it. A little Children's Museum, a little Barnes and Noble and hopefully, a whole lotta laughter. I am sooo looking forward to that right now.
You know all those scripture references that tell us that His timing is perfect? Well, I don't have a clue why on earth we have had so many ridiculous delays. But what I do know is that He is up to somethin. His timing is perfect. And if the crumminess of today taught me anything it's that I have finally surrendered to it. He's there. I know it. I believe it. I can feel it.
I'll do my part and wait on Him...with my hot fudge.
Thanks for taking the time to listen to my dribble. This adoption road is a rocky one for sure and my aim is to be honest. And to be honest. Today. Was. Not. My Favorite Day. But alas, tomorrow is waiting for us.
As for our dossier. Let's go with NEXT Friday.
...and if that doesn't turn out to be the case.
It'll be ok. But it will take me a few days to emerge from sucking my thumb in the corner. But I'll get up eventually. Because those two sweet precious boys are so, so worth it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven
PS I do think I figured out why we keep getting delayed. There is a rumor going around that beginning next week if your name is Sonia you will be able to bring home as many orphans as your home can hold and you can leave to pick them up next week. Anyone else hearing this rumor? No? Is it just inside my head? Oh. Ok. Thanks for clarifying.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sometimes you just gotta back away.
Last week was a rough week but alas, hope is risin!
I spent last week drowning my sorrows in hot fudge and home movies. Now that I'm on the other side of that I can attest to the following:
*Your pants will get tighter when you eat aforementioned hot fudge nearly everyday.
*I looked a whole lot younger in the home movies from 10 years ago.
*Watching home movies of your newborn twins will only serve to make you want to have newborn twins again.
*Once you emerge from your hot fudge coma you will remember the enormous sleep deprivation from said newborn twins. So you will quickly snap back into reality. And for that your husband will be grateful.
*Watching home movies will make you want to videotape every waking moment with your children because you see how quickly they have grown.
*You will consider signing up for your own reality show just so that you can document their growing up years....but then you realize that you would need to get out of your jammies before noon on these lazy summer days to be on previously mentioned show...and that sounds like a lot of work...so you scratch the reality show idea.
And that concludes Sonia's lessons learned from last week.
It's looking like our dossier will make it China this Friday!!
oooo, that sounded so good I think I need to say it again...
It's looking like our dossier will make it to China this Friday!!
Whew, ok. I feel better now.
Lots of moving parts from lots o' different people all need to come together to make it all work so we covet your prayers for all of this to go smoothly!
Sooo, if our dossier jumps on a jet plane Friday....
that can only mean that....
the QUESTION....is coming soon.
Ahhhh, can't wait for that. I better go stock up on hot fudge either way.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Then we decide to follow the Lord's command to care for the orphan and adopt.
now people are really going to think we have lost it.
Cuz we be..
and now homeskoolers. ;)
and this child
who are not near this little anymore but I love flipping through the oldies..
will be educated by yours truly for this upcoming school year. All of us are crazy excited about it.
The twins will stay where they are and when Joey and player to be named later join us they too will spend some time learning at home before we decide where and when and if they will go to school.
So here's to a new chapter!
I'm off to find my protractor from high school....or wait....maybe I don't need it.
Certainly there is an app for that.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
But today is a new day and His mercies are new each morning.
Praise God for that.
Cuz I be needing lots and lots o' mercies.
I was pretty bummed yesterday. I found out that we received a
request for evidence
My new three least favorite words.
Funny how you don't think that these types of things will happen to you.
There was a hiccup with our home study.
I hate the hiccups.
They give me a headache.
Soooooo that means we wait.
Lots of mad scrambling yesterday and part of today to get things on the path to fixedness.
Been told it could take as long as 4 weeks
....at which point I almost put my head through the wall.
But alas, I am hopeful that it won't be that long.
I serve a BIG GOD...
Like real big.
So I still have a shred of hope that we may be DTC next Friday.
I'm claiming it.
I'm believing it.
And I'm praying for it.
Do I know that this is all for His purpose?
Bet yer booty I do.
I am fully aware.....
(after my emotional tantrum of yesterday)
that my piddly lil human self has no idea what He is orchestrating for us.
So I'll wait.
I'll be prepared.
I'll pray and wait on Him.
Ahhh, I feel better already.
Now off to the store to replace the box of Kleenex that I used up yesterday.
Busy, busy busy!
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:10
There is a great post about our reliance on God over on the No Hands But Ours blog, go check it out!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
A distracted parent.
In case you think I am actually here
I am not.
I am already in China.
My heart is there.
My head is there.
Every thought and feeling is there.
Yep. I packed up months ago and moved there.
And to have the rest of me still be here,
I am completely distracted to my everyday life. I stalk my mailbox and my email more times a day than I will admit. Spend hours on the computer late into the night sobbing with joy over the journey's of others, I'm tellin ya. It ain't pretty.
And don't even get me started on those Gotcha Day videos...those things are like crack to waiting parents
I've never had crack
so I don't really know
but I'm just assuming.
I am a wreck.
A happy wreck,
A sad wreck.
An excited wreck.
A nervous wreck.
You name the emotion and I'm there.
I cry at the drop of a hat, good, bad, whatev, doesn't matter.
Sappy commercials make me cry
tucking my kids in bed at night makes me cry
I'm not much of a shopper or spender but man alive retail therapy has sure helped!!
Kiddo #6's first care package is all ready to go.
Totally premature I know.
But tangibally being able to do something for him...
ahhhh, makes this momma feel better.
Their first joint care package...
also ready to go.
Ahhhhh, feeling really better now.
#6's care package is identical to Joey's. I think having matching things(though he has the Toy Story version and Joey has the Cars version) will on some level cement that they(possibly, hopefully, please Lord move this mountain) get to be brothers and best friends forever.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Though I do live with 5 boys so puhlenty of that goes on I'm sure..
I just don't want to know about it.
I'd rather live in denial.
Went pickin blueberries today.
Which frankly is both an activity
and a food source.
a direct line to their hearts.
Stumbled upon a kah-ute little farm thanks to
(if you've never tried pickyourown walk...nay run to your pc and find a farm near you, it's good fun.)
Now all I need is a recipe for some blueberry cobbler
We got plenty!
What we didn't have was lunch.
So on the way home we of course had to counteract all that naturey goodness with some
because someone in this family was dying to try their new spicy chicken sandwich!
It was a great day!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
One of the staff members of the agency that has his file(and that has agreed to release his file to our agency) sent me an email this morning with some thoughts on him. She had the privilege of meeting him and wanted to share her thoughts.
The following is an excerpt from her email:
During my time with XXXX, although short, I did not notice any cognitive delays. Nor did I notice any issues with his hand.
Unfortunately the disk in which XXXX interview was recorded on was damaged. I am utterly frustrated by this because I lost info on so many kiddos. All boys at that. Not sure if you know but boys are harder to place than girls =/ Not sure why cause I have 4 boys that are fabulous!
Anyhow, I do remember thinking that he was a smart boy. He lets you know what he likes and doesn’t like. He doesn’t like dogs by the way =) But he does like fish. I also remember having his file open and some other ladies in the room saw his picture. They started asking him “Is that you?” Then they would ohh and ahh and tell him how handsome he is. He smiled proudly and said confidently “I know” LOL
I think that we were able to salvage the video of his talent show. We have some professionals working on it. I should have it back the middle of next week. I will send it to you then.
Ahh, my baby. She is talking about my baby. It continues to amaze me how you can love someone so much that you've never met.
Course I am madly in love with my Lord and I've never "met" him either. At least in that sense.
And I loved my other kids when I was pregnant with them though I'd never met them either....even if they did make me barf periodically...
and made my ankles fat....
and stretch my stomach to ridiculous proportions...
and, well, never mind.
So I suppose it should come as no surprise that these two boys have a large chunk of our hearts and we've never met them either. Gracious how we can't wait to pour out that love on them.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
on summer camp...
when you have boys.
If you are the mom.
Allow me to illustrate:
This is not ok with me.
Had I been there to witness this in person I would have been thrown into some type of massive cardiac arrest.
Instead, I stumbled upon these pictures a few minutes ago sitting peacefully on my couch with a couple of smelly twins on my lap reviewing pictures from their camp.....
where my husband was with them.....
taking pictures of their high-flying stunts....
FROM THE SAFETY OF THE SHORE LINE.
Exhibit B if you will
Has he not ever seen A Christmas Story?
Does he not know that you'll shoot your eye out kid?
Does he not know better than to let my babies handle a BB Gun?
I think we have some re-training to do.
I mean come on!
This is actually my kind of summer camp.
Exhibit D I have no photos of...
so the story I will tell.
John texted me the day before they arrived home to say that Justin got a little dehydrated but that he was ok.
Cuz I'm the mom.
It's what I do.
I tossed and turned last night, couldn't sleep, worried that my baby was lying in hot stuffy bunk bed cabin thirsty.
But then I remembered.
"A little dehydrated"
"but he's ok."
So I managed to go to sleep....some.
Then Justin came home and the first story out of his mouth is how he threw up cuz his stomach hurt really bad and he got to ride in the special cart and go to the conference center and get medicine and lots and lots of water from some really nice ladies.
"A little dehydrated."
The following I will refer to as Exhibits E, F & G.
A little less on the giving me a cardiac episode scale but nonetheless...
So there you have it.
that if you are the mother of the boys....
don't go to summer camp.
Send the father...
just be prepared to drive 85mph to get your baby when he becomes "a little dehydrated."
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I got nuthin.
And we wait.
And we wait.
And...well, never mind.
Feeling a little blech. But I know it's coming soon. Our USCIS approval will come soon.
Our answer to kiddo #2/#6 will come soon.
I've just gotta hang on.
In other news it's been a karazy week around here.
Jordan made the All Star team, Jason is still in his regular season, which is great but we are now once again held hostage by baseball practice. We can't really go and see and do much because we have to have him on the field everyday by 5:45.
All Star season will end 2 days before John starts his new program and about 4 weeks before school starts up again.
So it looks like I will be vacaying with the kids myself this year. But that's ok, it's all good. John will soon be incredibly busy so it will be fun for us to get out and good for him to be able to fully focus.
John had his official graduation yesterday so that was a lot of fun.
Until we had to race out of there to run home and grab the twins and send them and John(who is one of the counselors) off to summer camp.
Here are some pics of the twins getting ready for their first ever sleep away camp:
Aren't they cute?:
I am lame.
I have failed.
If you really want to know what that moment was like it looked a bit like me throwing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, water bottles and bananas at them for the trip all the while saying "I love you!"
"Mommy will miss you!"
"Don't forget to brush your teeth at least once while you are there!"
as I chucked Goldfish their way.
Not exactly a Hallmark moment.
All of that coupled with so many tough goodbyes this week.
Goodbye to Australia.
Goodbye to Jack's BFF Kaden.
Goodbye to nearly everyone that we have come to know in the last 11 months has left me somewhat weary.
So I'm ready. I'm ready for a new week. I'm ready for a renewal. I'm not ready to start all over again with meeting new people for the next 11 months.
But that will come.
Our answers will come.
Our kids will come.
And my funny blogging mo-jo. Well, hopefully that will come back too.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Something about my kids.
They are rarely clean..
....all at the same time.
When trying to find some snapshots to send to your son that is living half a world away, this fact makes things difficult.
Sure you may get one or two that are presentable
But inevitably one of them typically looks like this
while another like this
while another may be in pajamas at 1:00 in the afternoon.
So I have discovered that if I can corral all of them for 6.2 seconds as we are heading out the door to church every Sunday that my odds of capturing four decently clean smiling faces increase exponentially.
This is a good thing.
Our hair may not yet be brushed.
Out buttons may not yet be fully buttoned.
The sleep crusties may still be in their eye.
They are clean.
And with the promise of pancakes being dangled before them...
Good photos yee shall have.