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Here’s to Hope…

Well, we are DTV as of today! It would have been sent of with our agency’s Wednesday batch, but they received 20 finished dossiers this week (!), so it took a while to review them all. Everything was fine with ours, so it was sent off this morning! Now we are just trying to remain hopeful that this is really a step forward.

I know there has been a lot of panic all around because of the new DNA testing requirement and the way it is being implemented, but I am trying to remain hopeful about that as well. We already know the the MOU will not be resigned in September, perhaps the new DNA requirement is evidence that the two governments are still trying to work out an agreement? They could, after all, have just given up and stopped accepting new Dossiers. It seems like an awful lot of work and bother to implement such a change right before an anticipated extended shut down…. just a thought. And as frustrating as it can be when changes like these are implemented without warning, if there is any way that this requirement will help make sure that adoptions are taking place more ethically, that is definitely a good thing. Ethical adoptions of legitimate orphans should always be the primary concern, and I sincerely hope that that is the goal of UCIS with this new requirement. I am certainly not condoning UCIS’s lack of communication with/treatment of PAP’s. It is simply inexcusable. I am sure there will be MANY kinks to work out, especially given the abrupt nature of the announcement, and I really do feel for the families whose wait to travel will be even longer now, and the children who don’t deserve to spend another second in an orphanage. I can only imagine how difficult the ever increasing wait must be.

Wishing everyone involved in this crazy journey peace and HOPE.

PS:
No shears yet as of today=( but they are coming all the way from Nevada. Looks like Buddy’s haircut will have to wait until next week. We’ll probably take advantage of the beautiful (not rainy!) weather we are supposed to have tomorrow and go hiking instead. With all the rain we have been having lately, I am anticipating some nice waterfall pictures =)

Favorite photo friday

Homemade banana nut bread, still warm from the oven and slathered with butter. It just doesn’t get any better than this…..

Oh, and our Dossier arrived back from the Embassy today. It only took 7 days to process (and that is without expediting), but express mail ended up taking 3-4 days both ways. Ahhh, well. As soon as I can get some copies made, I will send it off to our agency. Probably not until tomorrow morning because I am babysitting again today and Baby A doesn’t behave too well in public. (We had an interesting time at Hobby Lobby this morning!) I can’t imagine him sitting quietly/still while I tried to copy all those pages! Our agency only sends Dossiers to Vietnam on Fridays, so I see no reason to rush as there is no way I could get it to them this afternoon anyways.

I guess I am supposed to be all giddy and excited that this step is nearly over, but I am having a hard time feeling like it even really matters…. Hopefully it does. We’ll see.

Right now that banana bread is calling my name……

Less than 24 hours….

…and I will be relaxing in a hammock in Texas with my sisters. No phones. No computers. No bad adoption news update emails… just relaxing. I need it.

I already have the car packed and ready to go. All I need to do now is get some homework done so I don’t have that hanging over my head and make sure Stephen has some food to eat while I am gone=) Toby can tell I am about to leave, and has been trying to stow away in my duffel bag, the cooler, the picnic basket…..

He’s definitely a mama’s boy, if you hadn’t noticed=)
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I really am feeling much better about the adoption situation, and I know that this weekend will help even more. (Thanks to all of my blog and real-life friends for all of your encouraging words- you have no idea how much they have meant to me!) I think that the loss of any feeling of control is what really got to me, but after calming myself down and talking with Stephen about our plans/options if Vietnam does indeed close, I am starting to feel a sense of peace about whatever lies ahead. The more we discuss and research foster-adopt, the more excited we get about it. This is something we already decided we will pursue at some point, it just seems that now it may be sooner rather than later=) We still definitely feel a connection to Vietnam and the children there who are waiting for families, and we sincerely hope that we are able to complete our adoption, but having a plan just in case is reassuring. (We are going to go ahead and submit our dossier since it is in D.C. right now getting authenticated-we’ve come this far right? but I am really feeling that it is unlikely….)
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I think another factor that contributed to my freak-out was the year that I felt would be lost if we have to change directions, but I now feel at peace about that as well. Stephen and I have both grown and changed so much over the past year. We have had the chance to spend precious time with one another. We have studied, learned, and listened, and are beginning to understand some of the deeper issues that surround adoption; of loss, and pain, and inequity, and guilt. In many ways we were so naiive when we started this thing. We have also learned from many of our new adoptive family friends the amazing healing power of love and family. Along the way I have continually reminded myself that the wait is part of the process, and now more than ever I am seeing that the wait is not wasted time, it is helping us to become the parents that our child needs us to be. I don’t know the answers, I can’t see the end right now, but I know that there is a child out there somewhere waiting for a family. For now, we will just have to trust that the “when” and “how” will work themselves out.
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Oh, and on a somewhat lighter note we have also decided that if we haven’t heard any positive Vietnam news by this summer we are going to go ahead and sell our house and make a move out to the country! We have been wanting to move for a while now, even have some land picked out, but have just felt like there are just too many unknowns to make such a big decision right now. What if we got a referral? How would it affect our homestudy? (there is no house on the property-yet- and since we want don’t want to add to our current mortgage debt, we would be living in an airstream trailer until we could build something!) We really want our kids to grow up in the country, not a subdivision, so I really hope that we can eventually move to this beautiful property (although, I would still rather finish our adoption first if at all possible!)

Anyways, enough rambling for now. I still have a lot to get done and I am planning to leave for Texas bright and early in the morning so I better get busy! Hoping all of you have a restful Easter weekend!

Snow day!

Well it was a far cry from the 6+ inches of snow that was forcasted, but we did get a little bit of the white stuff. It was enough to cancel school anyways (which doesn’t take much in the south=). The best part? The day off work will give me a chance to get all of our documents ready to send off for state certification now that I HAVE MY EMPLOYMENT LETTER!!!!! I just got it back from my principal yesterday, and I guess 3rd time is the charm because everything appears to be correct this time! (I emailed a copy to our contact at the agency to double check=) Finally, some progress…

And for anyone interested in news about our little nephew, he has been out of ICU for a couple of days now and should be home by the end of the week. They are just basically keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t regress. Definitely much better though!

Must.Keep.Busy…

Not that I need a new hobby or anything, but I decided the other day that I wanted to learn to spin yarn. I do, after all, have an angora goat now who will need shearing soon. (Buddy is doing very well, by the way. He has learned how to defend himself against the pesky St. Bernard by headbutting, which I find hilarious=)

Anyways, I decided to go the really old-fashioned route and give drop-spindles a whirl since they are way cheaper than spinning wheels. I ordered a $15 kit on etsy and it arrived in the mail today. Woo Hoo! I am spinning yarn!


Yes, the tongue helps me concentrate=)

Here is my first attempt at handspun yarn

I am handling the wait just fine. really. can’t you tell?

In adoption related news, I did talk to my boss Tuesday about getting yet another notarized employment letter, and she was really great about it. I should get it on Monday, which would mean-gasp- we will finally (hopefully!) have all of our re-notarized and CORRECT documents ready for state certification! It is times like these that I really wish we lived closer to our agency’s office so I could just stop by and have them check over our documents whenever we get one ready. That would be much easier than faxing, scanning, (or like I did last time when the scanner was being uncooperative) photographing and emailing them…

Employment Letter, take III

Banging.head.against.wall…

Yes, it was one of those days.

I finally got my employment letter back (again) from my principal. I wasn’t too worried about it taking a little while, she has after all been sick with the same flu bug I have had so I can totally empathize… The notary is now done correctly, but alas, as I looked over the letter I noticed that when she reprinted it, she left the original date. Which doesn’t match the date on the new notary signature. Should this be a problem? I wouldn’t think so. But will it be a problem? Most definitely. Sigh.

Now I must ask my very understanding boss for a THIRD time if she will make me yet another notarized copy of the the employment letter. I really hate to bother her again after she has already gone out of her way so many times and she is a very BUSY woman, and we don’t have a notary at my school, and I know she is just recovering from the same flu that I have had which means she is probably completely exhausted, and it is such a silly mistake in the first place….

We MUST get this dossier done before it drives me completely insane…..

Toby is SITTING ON OUR DOSSIER!!!!

Yes, this is the Turd himself sitting on most important documents we will ever have to gather in our lives. The documents that have had us running franticly around town for the past two weeks. The documents that mean we are one step closer to our son or daughter. I wanted to take a picture to commemorate finally gathering the last document (minus the notary changes we will have to make), and when I went to get my camera, I returned to THIS! Of course it describes him so well; he absolutely MUST be the center of attention at all times. Even if that means making himself comfortable on the Dossier. Maybe he senses that the time is coming soon that he will no longer be the only spoiled-rotten-center-of-our-attention little guy around here….

Dossier progress (or lack thereof)….and a new kiln!

Good news:

The marriage licence actually came last Thursday but Stephen put it in the pile with the JUNK MAIL! Fortunately, I found it before I took it to be recycled on Friday, and it is now safe and sound with the rest of the documents. Other than a minor meltdown upon finding this precious piece of paper with the trash, I am doing fine as well=) We also finally received our home study addendum in the mail today which means we now have the final piece of paper that we need to send off for state certification.

Bad news:

I am afraid that not all of our notaries were done correctly. I really know nothing about notaries so I just assumed that they were fine as long as they included the stamp, signature, and date, but I got an email from our agency today to check and make sure that the full state affirmation was included. Not quite sure what that is, but I am pretty sure it is not on either of our employment letters or our Doctor letters. This means that three different notaries didn’t do it correctly. grrrr! And I didn’t know any better, I mean, it’s not like I have documents notarized every day. I guess this will set us back a bit, but at least we learned about this before we actually got the documents sent off. And since we already have a place on the waiting list with our agency, I guess it is not too big of a deal if it takes a bit longer than anticipated. Still irritating though!

I’m not sure if having our Dossier logged in to Vietnam will actually make me feel better, or if I am just trying not to let myself completely freak out about the DOS advisory… I am just to tired to think/blog about that right now.

I hate to leave this post on a bad note though, so a bit more good news before I head off to bed:

  • I got a kiln! It has a few problems, but it is better than what I had before (no kiln!) and FREE! I am so very thankful to my friend Laura for passing it on to me after it was passed along to her. Hopefully someday, when the adoption expenses are behind us and/or I am selling my work like crazy, I will be able to upgrade and pass it along to some else as well! By the way, thanks Laura for the tour of your pottery- I think I am experiencing a bit of studio-envy!
  • I am totally exhausted, but the art show tonight was a huge success! We must have had more than 300 people show up (and we only have 450 students!) We even ran out of refreshments at one point and resorted to raiding the teacher’s lounge for snacks. The kids were so excited and proud of their work. Although it was A LOT of work to hang something by each child, it was well worth it to see their eyes light up when they found their artwork on the wall. My goal was that each child feel like a “real” artist for the night, and they sure did!
  • And because nothing softens the blow of bad news like new hand knit socks: