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

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bursts of Joy

Our corrected I-171H form came back to us last week. I took Friday off and drove like a mad woman to the Great Seal to get the document certified. On the way back into town I stopped at the bank and got a money order then stopped by my office to make a copy of the certified I-171H. I then had lunch with my social worker and proceeded to pop all of the documents that needed to go to Chicago to be authenticated into an Express Mail envelope and send them on their way. All day on Friday I was giddy. While lunching with my social worker she filled me in on what is happening with her personal quest to adopt her second daughter from China. As it turns out, she sent her documents to be authenticated one day before me! She then let me know that there are 7 families within a 60 mile radius that are at the same place in this adoption process, using the same adoption agency and so we are all planning on getting together and getting to know each other over the next 6 months. After I left her I was just so over the top happy. When I stopped by the post office to mail my documents, I had to ask the postal clerk if she would be willing to take a picture of me holding the Express Mail envelope (so if anyone was in the post office at the same time as the crazy woman holding up the line posing for a picture while laughing and crying at the same time, I apologize.) I want Koli's journey to be as well documented as possible. I want her to know that even before we knew her face, we loved her and felt it important to chronicle the entire process of bringing her home. Once I left the post office I called L on my cell phone and just burst out crying. He was so worried until I could blurt out that I was crying tears of happiness and explained that I had just mailed all of the documents to Chicago. Then he became excited as well. We are so close to the end of this paper chase. It should be at the end of next week that we receive our authenticated documents back, the next day we will Fed Ex our entire dossier to our adoption agency. So a June DTC date is looming ahead for us. While doing the calculations from that point forward, we should receive our referral in December. I want nothing more for Christmas than to be able to hold a picture of my daughter and know that very soon after that we will be holding her. Ever since Friday I will just be suddenly filled with bursts of joy. I break into a huge grin and feel so good. Our paper chase is almost over, we are only a few steps away from having our documents in the hands of the Chinese government. I think I am finally going to be able to start breathing again.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

It's Finally Here (well, sorta)

Our I171H, the final piece of paper that we were waiting for is here! I tore open the envelope on Thursday afternoon so fast that I was afraid I ripped the form itself. After being so depressed that day, I got home from work to find it in our mailbox. I had to really make a genuine effort to keep my excitement to a minimum because it was W's high school graduation and the day really belonged to him. So I made arrangements at work on Friday to come in late on Monday so that I could take the document to the Great Seal to be certified on Monday. Today I was really looking over the document and realized that there is a potential error on the form!! The form states the day the request was received in their office (March 2005) along with the date the request was authorized (May 2005) only our form does not state May 2005-it states May 2006!! So I don't think I am going to be able to have a form certified that looks like it should not even be in existence for another year. I have emailed our adoption agency and will wait to hear from them tomorrow morning. We are sooooo close to the end of the paperchase that I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight while I worry myself to death over whether or not this is going to push us back. The form also has us approved for two children. Great to know but we only requested one. I tried to talk L into changing our letter requesting that we be allowed to adopt a baby to asking to be allowed to adopt twins but he's not budging on that one so I'm not pushing the issue. Keep your fingers crossed that this all gets worked out quickly so we can get these documents sent to China soon!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

What a week!

This week has been frought with different emotions. Tuesday was the one year anniversary of my dad's death. To say the day was difficult would be an understatement. I know he is in a better place but I have had such a range of emotions running through my body this week that it has been pretty incredible. My poor family probably thinks that I am becoming a multi-personality individual. I am comforted by knowing that he is in Heaven but I am so sad at the same time. Tonight is W's high school graduation. I am absolutely thrilled and very proud of W's accomplishments and can hardly wait to celebrate tonight, I am sure he will feel his grandpa and grandma's spirits with him as he walks across that stage tonight. So joy and sadness are combined in my heart right now.

The clock is still ticking on the ever elusive and I do mean elusive 171-H. I'm beginning to think that it may never come. There is no joy in that statement that's for sure (sigh)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Clarifications and sweetness

I got an email from our adoption agency yesterday that was quite timely for me. I had been very confused as to what to call the agency that issues the 171H and they just happened to decide to provide everyone with a glossary of terms. This helped clear up my confusion on a number of different fronts. So the agency that will be issuing the 171H is now called the USCIS-formerly known as BCIS-formerly known as INS. So, now I'm up to speed on that one.
Our agency does not issue a DTC and Log-In date. They consider the date that your document is logged in to be your DTC date. So that means that we cannot be DTC in May. No matter when we send in our documents now our DTC date will be in June because it takes about 2 weeks once the documents get to China to be logged in.
So this takes some of the pressure off of my being out of town next week. I realized that I could not have my mom get our 171H certified if it came while I was away because we need to have a notarized statement along with a copy of the 171H to be certified. Since L is still hunting large scary bears out of the country, it would be impossible to move forward until he comes back home. So the Jeopardy music plays on in my head.
I have been so blessed with having some terrific friends. They listen to me whine and complain, share in my joy and always watch out for me. Koli's favorite aunt (actually one my best friends)is so dear to me. She has one of the purest hearts of anyone that I have ever met. She constantly amazes me with the care and compassion that she showers on all that are around her. She is one of those people that others are instantly attracted to. She is beautiful on the outside-and I mean drop dead gorgeously beautiful, but the beauty of her innermost self dwarfs her outer shell. She gave me my first Mothers Day gift from Koli. I drove home crying after receiving this gift because I was just overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness and caring I receive from her on a daily basis.
So today I have my sane hat back on. I realize that the timing of having our 171H certified is going to have to wait until L gets back anyway, assuming that it comes next week. I think I can handle this now but I apologize to all of you if when I come back from my business trip next week I still don't have the document. If you thought I have whined alot already, watch out. :)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Jeopardy Music

I now have the music from Jeopardy playing in my head. All of the time. You know the little ditty that they play while the contestants are writing down their answers to the final round question? Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-do...you get the picture. I feel like Alec Trebak (sorry if I spelled his name wrong) is going to jump out of one of my closets and ask-when will your 171-H come? And my answer certainly wouldn't put me in the category of Ken Jennings (is that the name of the guy that set the record for number of consecutive wins?)I would have to reply-I DON'T KNOW!!! I realize that it has only been two weeks but I want it NOW!! I took the rest of my documents to the Great Seal this morning so everything else is certified. I'm in the process of playing a silly game with myself-do I Fed Ex these documents to the courier and get them authenticated now or do I wait until I have the 171 and get them all authenticated at the same time? I keep trying to figure out which way would work best and coming up with what if scenarios. Like-what if I Fed Ex all of the documents to the courier to have her get everything authenticated and my 171 comes while I am gone? Should I ask my mom to get my 171 certified, have the Fed Ex envelopes and additional check made out so that she could pop them in the mail to get done on an expedited basis so that everything would be waiting for me when I got home? What if I waited until I got the 171 then paid to have everything expedited? Ugghhhh, I can't make a decision.
My poor son is now used to me calling him at home when I am on my way home from work. Every day. For the last week. He now answers the phone, Hi Mom, nope it's not here yet. Poor kid. But I am very fortunate he has such a good heart. He never used to get the mail but since L has been gone and he knows we are waiting on this one last document he took it upon himself to retrieve the mail everyday, hang around the house until I call just to give me an update. You know what the sad part of this is? By the time I am in my car driving home and he actually gets home from school, I am 20 minutes away from home. Is that anxious or what? I can't wait 20 minutes? I have to get a grip...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Come on 171!

I am so impatient. As everyone knows we are only waiting on our 171H to complete our dossier. Our homestudy was sent last Monday to meet up with the rest of our paperwork, it has not even been two weeks yet and I am already crawling out of my skin. I feel so much pressure to get this form ASAP because I leave to go out of town next Tuesday. I will not be back until Saturday night. If the form comes while I am gone, I will not be able to take it to get certified until the following Monday. If I have to certify it that Monday then send it to get authenticated, we may not make it under the wire to be DTC in May. I think I will cry buckets and buckets of tears if that happens. I keep reminding myself that this will happen in the time that it is supposed to happen but it is so hard to be in this holding pattern.
I am back into the cry at everything mode right now as well. L has been out of town for a week and will be gone for another 10 days. I miss him so much it hurts. This is the longest we have been apart since our days in the Marine Corps. I am so used to being able to express my fears and anxieties to him and having him make me feel better that not having him here right now is tough. So come on 171!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Love and Heartache

I have been thinking alot lately about the people that I have loved and lost. The one year anniversary of my father's death is fast approaching. I miss him so much. He is the one missing piece in our journey. My dad LOVED kids. His grandkids used to love to spend time with him and I am so sad that Koli won't be able to experience the silliness that was so much my dad. He used to do things like make up silly songs with words like -If I had a nickle, I'd buy you a pickle and if I had a dime, I'd buy you a lime which would cause any kid in his vicinity to fall into fits of laughter. He would have been such a supporter of us and I really miss his presence.

My mother in law would have been right there with us as well. It might have taken her a while to get used to the idea but I have no doubt that she would not have already been planning on her and my father in law traveling with us to China so that she could meet her newest grand daughter.

I have also been thinking about M alot. With W, his twin, getting ready to graduate from high school, I can't help but reflect on all of the what might have beens had M lived. I remember feeling as if someone had physically ripped open my chest and pulled my heart out of its resting place when M died. The feeling of imbalance and overwhelming sadness that enveloped me for months and in some ways, years after M died which was only softened by the knowledge that I will see him again in Heaven where we will be together for eternity.

While thinking about M, I started thinking about the kind of sacrifice Koli's birth parents were forced to make. I cannot imagine having to make the choice that her birth parents had to make. I think about how I felt when M died and it hurts me to the core to think that her birth parents are experiencing that same kind of pain. All of the hopes and dreams they must have had while carrying her, then having to make the life altering choice to leave her somewhere where they knew she would be found. Having their hopes and dreams then change from what their family would be like to hoping and dreaming (I'm sure) that she be found and placed with a family that would love her. Forever. The love and heartache that they must be experiencing is mind numbing.I pray that they are given peace somehow in knowing that her forever family will love and protect her. She will hopefully one day accept Christ and join us in Heaven as part of the real forever family. While we have her here on earth we will never forget the love, pain and sacrifice her birth parents made and how it was because of them that we were given this most precious gift, our daughter.

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