This is the ongoing story of faith, love and family as we walk through this life with 3 sons, one daughter, one daughter in law and one grandson

Friday, April 29, 2005

One Step Closer!

I met with our social worker today over lunch where we exchanged paper, me giving her a check, her giving me..... OUR HOMESTUDY! She showed me the documentation that she did indeed send our paperwork to the USCIS/BCIS/INS (I've been informed that I keep calling the government agency by the wrong name but nobody can seem to tell me what the real name of the week is) so I will refer to it from now on as the agency that will send us our 171H-the only document that we are waiting on now. I am so excited!
We are one giant step closer. I ended up missing 3 days of work this week due to illness so I didn't take today off to get the other documents certified as I had originally planned. It turned out to be for the best since had I taken the day off, I would have been getting the other documents certified and would have missed the opportunity to pick up my homestudy. So my new plan is to take a day off sometime next week, get all of those documents certified then sent to the Chinese Consulate to get authenticated. Once I receive the 171H I will expedite that one document. It really looks like we are going to be DTC in May! If everything continues like it currently is then November will be when we receive our referral. Today was definately a good day.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


I received a message on my answering machine this afternoon from our social worker letting me know that the draft she had sent in to our adoption agency had been approved so we now need to set up a time for me to pick up the printed official version from her! Oh happy day!! After I listened to the message twice, I started feeling bad about how much I have vented regarding the lag in getting the homestudy completed. When I really sit down and put this into perspective, we started this process at the beginning of February. It is now the end of April and I will have my homestudy within the next day or two. Still not to shabby for timing, it's that control thing that I talked about in my previous posts. Any time I am not in control of a situation I lose my comfort zone. So, I am now back in love with my social worker. She really is a cool chick and I have learned a ton from her regarding China adoptions. Watching her with her adopted daughter has been wonderful, like giving me a small glimpse of what is to come for our family.
Speaking of love-I love Steven Curtis Chapman. I have been listening to a particular CD of his every day for months because of the song he wrote about adoption. He and his wife have adopted three daughters from China and the words to this song move me.

When Love Takes You In-by Steven Curtis Chapman

I know you've heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You've heard about a place called home
But there doesn't seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream

Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in

And somewhere while you're sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be

And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever cause this love to lose its hold


Aaahhh, I love that song. I can't wait until this love we have for her takes Koli in and she really knows that she belongs here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Is it a homestudy?

I am very scared to post this for fear that I will jinx myself. I received an email from my social worker today telling me that our homestudy should be in the hands of the USCIS today!!!! I'm a little scared to believe it since we just went through the whole*you will have your home study tonight but not really fiasco* but if this is true-holy cow!!!! So I have tears in my eyes, fear in my heart (that it maybe didn't really go out like she said)and overwhelming joy at the prospect that we may be so close to the end of the great paper chase and edging ever closer to the big "wait". I can take the "wait" I think better than this cycle that we are in. At least with the "wait" I can pretty much know that it will be 6 months at the earliest before we know who Koli really is.
Who Koli really is....what a statement. I already know her in my heart. She is my daughter. What joy that gives me to write s-h-e i-s m-y D-A-U-G-H-T-E-R!!!! I may not know what she physically looks like yet but I feel that on the deepest level our hearts are already connected.

Monday, April 25, 2005

It's a Two-fer

Some days I can't bring myself to post anything just because there has been no activity to report. Other days (like today) I feel like I have so much to say that I could post twice. So that's what I am doing. I sent an email to my social worker to see what the status of our home study was. She responded by telling me that she has not been able to open up the rough draft that I had emailed her last week. I know that she successfully opened it last week because I was on the phone when she did it. So the wait continues...
My family is getting me so excited. I love to talk to my older sister about Koli. She seems so genuinely interested and happy for us that I wish I could wear my cell phone permanently attached to my ear and talk to her continuously. She really is one of our biggest cheerleaders and it makes me so happy! She lives halfway across the country from me but you can bet that I will move heaven and earth to get her home to meet Koli once we return from China. L keeps telling me that if he is unable to make the trip (depending on the time of travel vs. his work schedule) he wants me to take my sister. She is very crafty (in the true sense of the word craft, like making craft-like items-not in the icky sense of the word like sneaky crafty) and I have no idea how she creates all of the really cool things that she does for her children. For a time she lived close to us and I can remember being so envious of her children for having such a fun mom.
My mom and I were on the phone today and I approached her about the idea of having her travel with me and Koli when I have to go out of town for my job. She was very supportive and enthusiastic about the idea which made me so excited. I don't get enough time with my mommy (my own fault) and the thought of being able to experience new things with both her and Koli just puts a smile on my face. How fun to be able to look forward to making my travel for my job not just a job but an adventure! I think my heart would be ripped out if I had to leave Koli with L (not that he wouldn't do a great job) but the boys were old enough to understand what I was doing when I first started going out of town on business and I never want to do anything to make Koli doubt her level of security and well being from her mommy and daddy before she can understand it all. Besides, I'll help her rack up her own set of frequent flyer miles (and my mom) which will enable us to travel to see W more often wherever he lands for his permanent duty station.

Camouflage and Ballet Slippers

We are still waiting for the ever elusive final home study to be completed. L&I decided to go ahead and get all of the other paperwork certified and authenticated while we are waiting and we will have the home study and USCIS approval expedited (read pay loads more money to get done quickly)once it finally arrives. If we do this if there are any errors or anything that needs clarification in the rest of our dossier we can get those corrected without holding up the process by waiting to send the whole thing together. Besides, this makes me feel like I am still moving forward which makes L happy because he does not like it when his half crazed wife with glassy eyes stares at him at 3:00 am wanting to know how a home study could be so complicated as to hold up the process as long as it has. So, I will be taking Friday off from work, driving to the Great Seal then sending the documents via courier to the Chinese Consulate next week.
L is leaving soon for a two week trip which involves hunting large scary bears. We decided to take a trip to Cabela's yesterday to pick up any last minute items he needed. In my mind, last minute items fell into the -great I can spend time with my husband, get a free breakfast and lunch out of the day and be home in time to cook dinner-no way, no sirree. Not on the same page as my husband at all, heck probably not even reading from the same book. We had to SET THE ALARM to be sure that we were awake by 6:00 am on the road by 7:00 am then proceeded to spend the entire day in that store-we did not leave there until 5:00 pm. If the amount of money that we spent on "last minute items" really was for things he thought of at the last minute then I am probably very glad that I have no idea how much he spent really getting ready for this trip.
Anyway-while wandering the store for hours we began talking about Koli. I started telling him about how excited I was that we would be able to buy a pink Barbie Jeep(this topic came up on one of the lists I visit so I was pretty geeked) for her to ride around in instead of the big blue Monster Truck that the boys had when they were small. He looked at me as if I had grown a third eye and calmly began telling me that there would be no pink Jeep, that they now make gas powered mini-4 wheelers (in camo color of course). Which started a whole huge conversation about how we were going to decorate her room-in my minds eye I can envision ballerinas and princesses and beautiful tones of pinks and purples and greens, while having this conversation we are wandering through the home furnishing section of the store when all of a sudden L stops, his eyes begin to bulge and he can hardly speak, so he points. My eyes follow his pointy finger to see what has him so dog gone excited. His finger is pointing towards a very small child size recliner and couch-in camo!! His words start tumbling out very quickly something like this "I'mexcitedIcan'tbelievetheymakethisstuffsosmallshecanhavetheseinherroomitwillbesocool" What?! I have parented three boys into men, had to look the other way when they wanted to decorate their rooms in posters of pin-up girls, placed permanent room deodorizers in half of my house, pretended to love listening to the heavy metal bands that I cannot for the life of me understand the lyrics to and now L thinks that Koli should have her very own camo colored 4 wheeler and camo colored furniture? I have no idea how I am going to incorporate camo and ballerina slippers into a decor that works but boy am I glad that I'm going to get the opportunity to try.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Someone Let Me Off This Crazy Ride!

Remember in my last post when I described my life as a roller coaster? Well, I was not kidding. Our social worker made it a point to call me yesterday just to let me know that she was finishing up our homestudy and that I could expect the rough draft later that evening. Loaded with anticipation I stayed up LATE waiting for its arrival. Finally I had to make the decision-stick tooth picks in my eyelids to keep them from closing or go to bed. I chose the less painful of the two options and then checked my email this morning. Still no homestudy. So I emailed our social worker who then left me a voice mail at my office telling me that she should not have told me that she would have it done yesterday, that she has had some scheduling conflicts come up and she does not know when she will have it done. @@#%&*!!. Why make it a point to call me to let me know that the report would be done only to pull the carpet out from under me? I think I'm back on the roller coaster and I want off...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

One Step Closer

We had our final meeting with our social worker last night. She had me pretty freaked out the night before we met, she couldn't find one of the reference letters and thought she was going to have to send it out to have it completed again. I was about beside myself all night long thinking about that possibility. Fortunately the next morning I received an email from her letting me know that she had found it. She called me once the morning of our meeting to ask me a question then called again a couple of hours before we met to continue asking me questions. She was typing our homestudy as we were on the phone. Unfortunately she did not complete it in time to bring to dinner for us to approve so I am once again waiting for her to finish it. Once we receive the rough draft we have to look it over and if there are any discrepancies we have to let her know (please pray that everything is complete and correct when she sends it to us) Once we have reviewed it and approved it she will send the final copy to the USCIS and to our adoption agency. I am really hoping that she can get our rough draft done this week. If she does, there is still a possibility we could be DTC in May!
This is such a roller coaster ride. Half the time I feel like I am at the top of the roller coaster hill, looking down at everything feeling absolutely on top of the world. The other half is spent in sheer terror-you know the kind-where you are rushing down a coaster hill, through a loop, entering darkness and feeling like you are going to throw up. That is my life right now. I need some more time on top of the coaster hills.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Princess Breakfasts & China

We just returned this afternoon from 10 days in Florida. We love to camp at the Disney campground and this year, with friends in tow, we tackled the campground again. This camping at Disney thing has turned into quite the tradition, we have been doing it for the past 8 years. Last year I found myself thinking about the fact that I would only have two years left of enjoying the boys in these surroundings where they are so happy and carefree. This year was completely different. I had never attended the Princess breakfast before (for some reason I could never get L and the boys to agree to go) but this year two of the families that camped with us had little girls so I made reservations for all of the moms and daughters (I took D's girlfriend). I was awestruck. The whole experience was wonderful. As I was eating my food, watching the interaction between mothers and daughters and princesses, it suddenly occurred to me that by this same time next year I will have Koli. I will have her to experience all of the magic and wonder of new experiences with. In a few years I will dress her up in the princess costume of her choice, invite her Daddy to dine with us, and watch the sparkle in her eyes as Princesses she will have only known from books and movies suddenly come alive.

I needed this vacation so much more than I even realized. It was wonderful interacting with the boys and L (and D's girlfriend) without the usual time constraints on our family that we are held to at home. My family made it a point of visiting Epcot where we spent an unusual amount of time in the China pavillion. It was almost like without speaking the desire, we all wanted to explore this pavillion, speak to the workers, eat the food, do everything we could to feel a little closer to the country where our daughter and sister will be coming from. No one wanted to leave, we bought souvenirs from the store then laughed at ourselves at the fact that we were buying things made in China when we would actually be traveling to China early next year. It was a great experience and I am so thankful to have witnessed the interest that all 3 boys displayed in learning everything they could about their sister's homeland.
The time away did alot to help with my frustration levels as well. I am back now and this Friday we will meet with our social worker, it seems much more tolerable now than it did three weeks ago when I first found out about the delay. From now until Friday I am just going to keep reliving my vacation-going to my "happy place" in my head and reminding myself that this time next year, we will have our own sweet princess.

About Me

I am a Christian woman, the wife of an outdoorsman and mom to a computer loving twenty something guy, a Marine, a Sailor and a three year old Princess who rules the roost and has all of us wrapped around her little finger. Add into the mix a daughter in love and the cutest grandson in the world and you have our big old house of love