Jacob and Joey home on January 29th, 2011.
Joshua home on September 24th, 2011.
The realization of that escapes me often.
I think at some point when we are out of this season I will look back and wonder
But for now?
It just feels like us.
It feels just like our family.
It just feels like I cook for 9 people every morning and every night.
And wipe an inordiante amount of pee off of the toilet seat.
And if you are thinking to yourself, "Wow. She sure talks about pee a lot."
It's my reality.
My pee-pee reality.
I'd say our biggest hiccup has been Jacob
our ridiculously smart and talented kiddo
feeling very responsible for Joshua.
As if he feels the need to take care of him
and to keep it real
boss him around periodically in Chinese.
And in case you didn't know....
I don't speak Chinese
but I want them to.
So I have learned to compensate for my Chinglishignorance by being tuned in to tones, facial expressions, body language....
all cues that someone is being a tad bit....ahem....bossy.
All 3 are once again fluent.
They speak English during the day at school
but the moment that bell rings and they are reunited once again it is Chinese
They amaze me how they can be talking to each other in Chinese and then turn to me
flip that switch
and speak to me in English.
I wan 2 bee dat smart win i groww up.
Medically Joshua is doing amazingly well.
You would never
ever ever evah
look at him and know what he has been through.
He has been cleared by his cardiologist until after the new year which will be our longest period of time without a checkup...nearly 5 weeks.
His brand spu-anking new pulmonary valve will last anywhere from 1 to 3 to 7 years or anywhere in between.
Every valve wears out at different rates for every person. Impossible to predict.
So we watch.
Adopting Joshua has been such a different experience than it was with Jacob and Joey.
They came to us hurting.
Having been through more than any child should
their scars were evident
This made for some challenging days when they first came home.
And to see them now
nearly 1 year later
the healing is remarkable.
The wounds are there
but they are slowly being covered and buried by love.
Joshua came from such a different place.
One day I will sit and write out my thoughts on adopting from a foster home vs an orphanage.
The difference in our case has been incredible.
All the same age.
But from 2 different situations.
It's a whole new ball game.
Joshua is much more innocent.
Much more unaware.
And in a lot of ways
I'm not sure if that's what has made this transition go seamlessly
or if it's what he went through that first month in America
that caused him very quickly to rely on us and gave us a big opportunity to care for him in very real ways
or if it's my off the hook parenting skillz bahahahahahahaha that was sarcasm. Just so ya know.
Or if it's just his happy go lucky personality,
I just don't know what it is.
homeslice is happy to be here.
and eats and he pees on the toilet seat.
So that's the scoop on wassup with us.
3 new stockings hanging by the tree
3 boys that have never experienced Christmas
and one special kiddo with an 8th birthday coming up on December 17th.
They either fall through the cracks of the dishwasher and get seared/partially catch fire on the heating element
they fall partially through the cracks and then snap in two when I ever so impatiently ram the dishwasher door closed.
Oh, If I may interject. I beg of you not to suggest that I hand wash them.
I don't hand wash nuthin.
Or dry clean
I better not let out too many of my housekeeping secrets.
I am a forgiven sinner madly in love with my Savior and mother to many somewhat smelly boys who recently returned from China with our two latest additions Jacob & Joseph. Orphanage mates from infancy, 7 months apart and teaching me daily what real love is. 3 months home with Jacob and Joey I found Joshua. Blue, sick, dying and needing a family. 4 months later he was home, healed and leaving me in awe of the healing hand of God. Glory. To. HIM.
May 25th-June 14th 2011 - New Home study June 14th, 2011PA June 16th, 2011 - I-800A sent July 1st, 2011 - I-800A APPROVAL! July 8th, 2011 - DTC! July 11th, 2011 - LID August 1, 2011 - LSC! August 12th, 2011 - I-800 Approval August 19th, 2011 - NVC Cable August 26th, 2011 - Article 5 September 6th, 2011 - TA September 19, 2011 - Gotcha Day!
Questions? Comments? Encouragement? Want to know more about one of these kiddo's? firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Made the final decision to adopt after months of prayer
Friday, February 12, 2010 Signed contract with adoption agency and contract to begin home study
Saturday, February 13, 2010 Announced to friends and family that we were adopting through a really fun guessing game on Facebook. :)
Wednesday, February 28, 2010 Precious boy #1 File Locked! LOI sent in!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 First Home Study visit(though 99% of forms needed for HS completion are already done including requesting all state clearances....all 8 states....thank you Air Force!)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Second & Third Home Study visit
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 PA! (17 days from LOI)
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 Fourth and final Home Study visit and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate!
Thursday, April 16, 2010 All dossier docs county certified and Secretary of State authenticated! Just waiting on the home study!
Monday, April 19, 2010 Home study done! It's at our agency getting reviewed!
Friday, April 30, 2010 Fingerprints released from fingerprint purgatory(8 1/2 weeks for FP processing)
Monday, May 3, 2010 Final draft with prints sent to agency
Monday, May 10, 2010 Home study officially approved
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Drove to home study agency to pick up completed home study and overnight-ed I-800A to USCIS!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Found out Joey and another precious boy that we fell in love with months ago are in the same foster home and are best friends. Sent 8.2 million emails.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 All dossier docs except Home Study and Immigration clearance sent to Chinese Consulate for Authentication.
Thursday, May 20, 2010 Agency #2 says yes, they will release kiddo #2's file!
Monday, May 31, 2010 Found out all of our dossier documents were rejected at the C.Consulate. They don't take Fed-Ex right now.
Wednesday, June 7, 2010 Our dossier documents finally return to us. We decide to use a courier for the Consulate this time. It worked, over $300 and a week later we had all of our dossier documents sans the home study and I797-C forms authenticated!
Monday, June 14, 2010 am Sent our dossier sans the home study and I-797C forms to our agency for review.
Monday, June 14, 2010 pm Found out that we received a request for evidence. Our dossier isn't going to China this week. This was a hard day.
Monday, June 21, 2010 Request for evidence resolved! Our I-797C is on it's way to us and we are trying to get our dossier to China this Friday!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Everything that could go wrong. Did go wrong. Our dossier is not going to China this week.
Monday, June 28, 2010 Home Study and immigration approval are with the courier! Our agency should receive it all on Thursday, dare I say we may be DTC Friday?!
Friday, July 2, 2010 DTC!
Thursday, July 8, 2010 LID!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 6:01pm Received a phone call that we have verbal permission from the CC*AA for the dual adoption. Cried like a baby.
Friday, July 30, 2010 After 9 days of both agencies working out the deets, we submitted the required paperwork to have his file officially transferred to our agency.
Monday, August 23, 2010 8:11am Received a phone call that the CCAA is skipping PA for Jacob and moving right into LSC "asap"!
Thursday, September 23, 2010 LSC X 2! (ASAP in Mandarin apparently means 4 weeks)
September 27th, 2010 I-800 mailed
October 27th, 2010 I-800 approved(adjudicator called to let me know, we haven't yet received it in the mail however)
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 I-800 approval arrived in the mail
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 Cabled!
Friday, November 5, 2010 NVC letter/DS-230 & LSC's back to China!