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Archive for March, 2012


I love roller coasters. Amie, not so much. She doesn’t mind them, actually, but they bother her neck. She goes to the chiropractor enough as it is..

Most of the ride is spent going uphill, slowly. The anticipation grows as you slowly get higher. Unless you are riding the Hulk coaster at Universal Studios. Then you get shot up the hill so you’re going about 50-60 mph when you crest it. Once you crest that first hill, the ride hurtles through the curves, loops and more.

Adopting a child is like riding a roller coaster. It is sort of like Space Mountain, where you can’t see how close to the end you are, without the countdown. You just aren’t sure when the car will crest that hill and everything become a blur.

We experienced this when we adopted our son. We waiting for any number of things to happen, and then suddenly it all happened. After we our request for a referral was approved it happened so fast we weren’t really prepared. We actually got our travel dates while we were on vacation, and had to come back early so Amie could pack, get re-fingerprinted and leave on time. It was crazy.

Hulk!

We have now crested the hill. Life is about to be a blur for the next 2-3 months. At least. The adjustment often goes like a blur too. But we got our parental authorization, as noted in the previous post. Yesterday we got the travel information. Not our dates, but some of the important information you need to have before you go.

For instance:

  • No monetary gifts to the birth parents. You don’t want to do anything that can be construed as trafficking.
  • The capital city is not a tourist trap. There is nothing touristy to do, and it isn’t the safest city in the world. So, resist the temptation to bribe officials to expedite the process.
  • Beware of cabs. Hire a car from the hotel instead. The hotel wants to keep getting international business. The cabbie wants to max out the fare (think Crocodile Dundee).

That is just a sampling of things gone thru my odd mind. But the process is now gaining speed. Life is about to get blurry. There will be sharp curves and loops (note where the ground is in that picture). We may be hanging on for dear life.

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I know how that sounds. It sounds like mom is allowing me to go on a field trip or something. It is important if you want to go on the field trip. No form … no trip.

When it comes to international adoption, no form … no adoption. A child has to be declared abandoned, with a failed effort to identify the parents (ads in the paper, for instance). This is the case for our son. He was abandoned, and no one knew his parents were.

Things are a bit different when a child is dropped off at an orphanage by the parents. Or parent. There is a legitimate concern about human trafficking. Legal authorities want documentation. The USCIS wants “parental authorization” that the parent(s) has revoked their parental rights permanently. The statement has to be clear.

This can happen as part of the court document- the Certificate of Non-Appeal.  In our case, it didn’t. So we needed to wait for the Parental Authorization. This is what we’ve been waiting for far longer than we wanted to wait. Amie has turned into Mama Bear. Some of this is cultural, I’m sure. Our culture is far more time sensitive than other cultures. And the agency reps have had plenty on their plates. You try to be patient, but as my earlier post said- we’re getting restless!

But today we learned that our PA has come in. Amie can put away her bear suit.  This means we are probably 2-3 months away from travel. We hope. Keep praying. But the PA is just awaiting translation. In a few days one copy will go to USCIS and another to us. We are a big step closer, so we better keep painting!

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I’ve been working on a SS series on Revelation lately. Too much.

We’ve been working on getting the house ready, as many of you know.  This weekend we painted the room the girls will be in. Our friend and renter is now on the other side of the world.  The room has been cleared out, the closet organizer will be installed tomorrow. So we painted. The walls here just seem to soak up paint. Crazy, I say.

We bought 2 adapters for the bed frames since the head boards Amie found on Craigs List had the old fashioned slots. So, I put both frames and head boards together and moved Jadon’s bed into the room. We still need a mattress for Micah, but we purchased a Living Social deal to cover that.

We’ll be moving a small chest of drawers we have between the beds to act as a night stand with additional storage. But you can get an idea of how things will look in there. We may start over with wall decorations. Tough question- do we put up baby pictures of Jadon? Would that bother Micah? Eli was much younger when we adopted him so it doesn’t seem to have been an issue for him. And they didn’t share a room. Something for us to think about.

On a slightly different note, Eli had his eval at the Shriners’ Hospital in LA. He will be having another surgery soon. This is one of the things you can’t always anticipate with adopted kids (and biological ones too). We knew he was a “special needs” child and anticipated medical care. We have heard from other adoptive parents whose kids have needed lots of care, especially dental care, upon coming home. The kids were not “special needs”. So we need to be prepared for the possibility of high medical expenses in the next year.

Tomorrow we head in for our fingerprints for DHS. Yes, they can’t just run them again because I might have changed into someone else. That’s me, a shape shifter.

(more…)

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I just couldn’t think of anything. Please don’t throw rotten items of food at me.

This is a little bit overdue, but that’s okay since we got some good news today.

We have had our finger prints for AZ and the FBI done to make sure we haven’t committed any crimes since we began this process. Amie’s were rejected for being poor quality. No, no crimes. Just a lousy tech. So we had them redone. It took two trips as the line was moving way too slow the first time and we had to be somewhere.

We have our appointment for our fingerprints with DHS later this month. We had our home study updated to reflect Bill’s departure from the home. He’s on a one year contract in Afghanistan. So, we still haven’t been able to apply for our I-600.

Another delay is due to some paperwork their mother needs to sign. We need this to move forward. I’m not sure what the problem is, but this has to happen (cue to pray!).

We put together a photobook for the kids. We’re sending it over with a family that is getting ready to head over. The kids will be able to see the house, their new family etc. to help give them hope and hopefully get excited.

We continue to prepare the house for their arrival. We put down a deposit on a closet organizing system, or whatever they are called. Not California Closets, but a local guy. We’ve been painting things like there is a shortage coming. Soon we’ll paint the room and move Jadon into it. Then we prep the boys’ room and move Eli in. Thankfully we’ve got time for my body to recover from all this painting. I’m thankful for my docking station with speakers so I can listen to my iPod to ease the pain.

On the bright side, we heard back about the latest grant we applied for. We received the grant, and a significant one. Not as big as the one from Show Hope, but quite helpful. So, we are pretty thankful. It has been exciting to watch the Father provide. Very different from our previous adoption. Just because he did it one way the first time doesn’t mean he use different means this time. If you are embarking on this process, there is nearly no limit to the possible ways that he can use to provide what you need. You need to be responsible, and trust him. Last time we didn’t get any grants. I am amazed that it looks like we won’t incur any debt for this adoption, again. We are amazed!

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