Friday, August 25, 2006

9 Days????

I am so excited to see everyone's referrals. I would have been a bit more excited had they done more than 9 days worth. Hopefully everyone read RQ today as she had the unfortunate pleasure of passing along how the CCAA sees the wait for waiting families. Since I may be mean in my paraphrasing I will share it as it was posted:

"From a European Agency
One of the European agencies has posted that the cutoff would seem to be July 22, that this is not official but that the “sources are sufficiently trustworthy”. They note that they will post when they get something official.

They then talk a little about the delay, repeating the current party line of too many applicants and less available babies and that it is not possible to give a concrete time since there are so many variable factors.

They then state that the CCAA insists that it is necessary that the families have sanity and tranquility and patience while they wait, that this is essential for future happiness, and that this will demonstrate the capacity of people to face problems and difficulties that life always creates.

And then comes the kicker. We are told that people who are not able to handle the pressure and understand these simple points are not welcome." Rumor Queen 8/25/06

I find that very hostile on their part. Tranquility????????? Are you kidding me? How can anyone feel tranquail about waiting 2 years-2 1/2 for most if you include paperwork. Has something happend to make them hostile towards us? I am really confused. I thought this adoption process was good for everyone; great for the babies, great for the families, great for China b/c of the revenue IA produces-Great all the way around as I see it.
I just know that I feel deflated, and disappointed. This all seems to be a dream, and it will never REALLY happen. I think it is time to move along with my life, and put some of this on the backburner(if possible) and someday, somehow, someone will call and say "we have your referral for you" I will be so patient, and tranquil in the asylum that I will respond with "referral? what referral?"

Well again to everyone that did receive your referral CONGRATULATIONS!! To those that just missed it, my sympathies to you- Hopefully you will be next!!
I am just going to go take a nap, and recover from the disappointing news.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Action Jackson is turning 5!!

Okay kids, I am going to be gone for the rest of the week. Off to Kansas to celebrate one of the cutest little boys alive fifth birthday. Jack is the apple of my eye, and so I will spend the week with him and my best friend, and one of the cutest little girls around; Miss Katie-who already owns several pairs of squeeky shoes/and could possibly dress so cute that you might think she has a stylist.
I am already anticipating withdrawal from bloggerland-I mean I am going to come back, and everyone will have their TA's, and I will have missed it-what's a girl to do? I am sure I will sneak a few peeks at the computer while I am there. Anyway, I will have some pictures, and some other fun stuff to share when I get back, I mean the party is at Pump it Up-and it doesn't get any more fun than that... Looking forward to the cake-white cake no less. I am a connoisseur of white cake it's the only reason I go to weddings and birthdays-so if you invite me you better order a good cake. So disappointing to wait around for the cake to be cut and then it's no good-party is a flop in that case. Well as least as far as I see it. My best friend feels the same way about cake-so no doubt this will be an incredible cake,and she will order it extra big so we have some for the whole weekend-now that is something to look forward to, and so will my thighs.
So good luck to everyone awaiting their TA's, and hoping I come back, and I have missed all the referrals-cause that would be great if they came out this week too, and we will be one week closer to getting our LID. Hip Hip Hurray!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Empty Nesters

As promised, here are our pictures from moving Connor to college. Let me start by saying I did a really good job of not sobbing like a baby during the move or even when we did FINALLY leave. I did however have a big breakdown prior to leaving the house-Connor wrote us the nicest letter ever, and I do mean ever. He just told us what great parents we are, how much he appreciates us, how it is okay that we are a little strange...? that he didn't mind that we often nagged him to clean his room, and constantly reminded him that school is his top priority. It was really just the nicest, sweetest letter a parent could ask for from a child(well except for the reference letters he and Taylor wrote for our HomeStudy) Anyway, that letter made me boo hoo like a BIG OL' BABY, but I was able to pull it together and act like a big girl, in big girl pants once we got on the road.
Moving was HOT, crowded, HOT, fairly quick, oh did I say HOT? B/C if case you don't frequent the weather channel everyone in the state of TX except for far W. TX haven't had rain or a cool day in about 16 years-We are friggin burning up down here. I feel like I have lived a lifetime in hell this summer-it just won't end. It was 106' the day we moved him in-OZONE LAYER people!!!!Anyway, you can see a quick snapshot of his room that he overtook-his roommate didn't have a fighting chance-we moved in first(fortunatly guys are different from girls, and he didn't seem to care, and even seemed to like the set up) I know you can't tell that he picked out a superman bedspread, he has been excited about since we bought it-but then he says "you don't think people are going to think I want to be superman or think that I think I am superman do you?" gosh Connor I just don't are 19!!! Anyway, you can see he and David headed up the hill from buying $600 worth of books-oh don't you remember book-buy-back days at the end of the semester?-it was your $$$$$$$, and it was crisp one dollar bills-didn't matter that you were only getting a tenth of what your parents had spent on the books. Then you see a cute pic of the three of us right before we left-see all smiles-Connor was headed to the river to float with some Fraternity guys that he had met the night before, so really he couldn't get us to leave fast enough. Then one of David and Connor in the LOUNGE area of his room.
Then finally you will see the top picture-well let me just say that is not just a landscape picture-those little black clouds in the sky are bats-millions of bats-and anyone from TX who has been to see the bats will understand when I say we are not crossing the Congress Ave. bridge. This is North Austin-and the bats were just streaming out! The bats at the Congress Ave bridge in Austin are quite a site. A must stop along with the biggest ball of twine. So we were shocked to see another bridge with the insect eating little critters. We have the largest bat colony in N. America. right there in Austin, TX.
Anyway, Connor is moved, he is settled, and he is not missing us yet. Right now I am not missing him either-he left a HUGE mess in his room that I will need to pick up in the next few days.
We are wishing Connor success, happiness, and a ton of fun in college-but not too much fun :)
I have no idea what that red headband is on his head, nor do I condone the fashionable black wife beater t-shirt he is wearing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Waltz Across Texas with Me!

Okay boy's and girl's, just as I promised I am taking you on a tour of Texas. With my minor disaster at the consulate I toured a little more of Texas then first anticipated. With almost 850 miles on my car since Wednesday, I am well equipped to be in charge of carpool when our daughter goes off to school.
I would have labeled the pictures, but not really sure how to do that right now. Don't have a ton of time on my hands-have been gone since Wednesday, and now we are in the mad dash to get Connor ready to move to school tomorrow. This is a very emotional rollarcoaster ride for our family right now-dossier headed for China, and Connor leaving for college. Kleenex please.
If you know how to label, please offer some instruction or advice.
1.Here are all of our documents ready to be put together to form our dossier-Yeah!! 4 1/2 months later!!
2.Here is such a lovely picture after being in the car all day-but we were leaving with our dossier to take it to our SW-Stella-what a feeling, never thought this day would arrive.
3. Here is our dossier all tied up in it's lucky red ribbon.
4.Here is the Sam Houston Memorial in Huntsville-he is REALLY BIG!!!
5.This is halfway between Austin and Houston (LaGrange)They claim that they have the best kolache's, but West is still my favorite.
6.This was a rainbow I saw on my way back from Austin(2nd time)thought it was profound after the day I had had.
7.Remember I told you about Czech Stop in West,TX? well here are my 2 fav's cherry kolache, and chocolate macaroons(these are to die for)Yes, that is my really cute Cythnia Rowley purse in the background that I got for the summer-just love that purse.
8.State Capital of TX-isn't she a beauty? Right across the street from SOS
9. The road to Houston
10.The Chinese Consulate in Houston-spent way too much time here this last week.
Well as I said we are off to San Marcos(south of Austin) to move Connor to school tomorrow. Should have some interesting stories from this adventure.
Update to follow.
Wish me luck that I don't boo hoo too much in front of the new roommate that enjoys symphonic music-
I don't think he and Connor will be a match made in heaven, I am pretty sure.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Houston we have a problem: The Sequel

Wow, here we are and it's Saturday, and I am still in Houston. Yes, that's right...Still here. I know I should have been back yesterday to drop off our documents to our SW, and she was to Fed Ex them on Mon to St. Louis. Well in my little world of adoption nothing seems to be easy, or go as planned. So kid's grab your bag of doritos, and a pint of Ben and Jerry's because it going to be a long bumpy ride. I made it to Austin and Houston on Wed, dropped our I-171-H off at the Chinese Consulate, went to my in-laws had a lovely visit with them, and planned to pick up the stack of documents from the consulate first thing Friday morning, and then head for the hills. Well, arrive at the consulate, she slides my BIG stack of docs under the window, and there is a note on top that says they could not authenticate two of the documents because of.... So I can feel my heart start to race, my palms start to get clammy as I investigate why this is happening. The first being "D's" birth certificate-I had ordered it off the internet, and then sent it to the Sec of State myself to be certified back in April, had never really looked at it since-well they were saying it was a color copy-okay-why would I make a color copy of a document I have possession of??????????????? Especially when I know that the adoption police need all original documents. The other issue was, they were saying notary was a copy not the origianl stamp on the I-171-H-it's not, but whatever-that is easily fixed. But the birth certificate is not easily fixed. After talking on the phone to a person at the consulate who could only say "photocopy" I was getting no where and time was of the essence. So jumped into the big rig (gas guzzling SUV) and headed for the Houston Dept of Health and Vital Statistics. Let me just start by saying it was lovely spending an hour and half with Houston's finest citizens. Once I got to the window presented my problem to the very nice man behind the glass window-he took what we now know is a color copy of my D's birth certificate. He talks to a supervisor, and gets everyone behind the window worked into a tizzy that someone has committed FRAUD! So in the mean time I figure out that I am going to have to drive back to Austin(yes, that's right 167 miles there and back) and I need to get there by 4:00/and to the Sec of State by 4:30 before they close for the weekend-and I spend the weekend in Austin by myself-let me just point out that it is 1:20 at this point, and haven't left the city limits of Houston. They become so focused on the fraud that may have taken place, and not the problem at hand-I need my husband's birth certificate and it certified, and I need it NOW!!! So I jump back into the gas guzzler and head for I-10 on a Friday afternoon-which is like a parking lot. I will spare you the part where I was sobbing on the phone like a little girl to "D" who is the middle of a meeting and I am driving 80 mph-saying I am never going to be able to make it-along with some other choice words that I will spare you. If anyone has questioned that there is a God, or divine intervention-never question it again. I am living proof that it exist. I must send out a BIG thank you to Steve Elkins who is the Deputy Registar of the State of Texas-because he did everything in his power to assist me with my catastrophe. I explained the whole story to him, and he said he would do what he could to help, and that he would look into why this happened. Then "D" was mapping my trip so I would know exactly where to go, and how to avoid the most traffic in Austin(as I would be arriving at prime rush hour) then he called the Sec of State's office and convinced a very nice women "Dawn" to stay until 5:00 so that I would for sure make it. Well as I said, it had to be divine intervention, b/c otherwise I would have never made it there. I arrived at the Dept of Health in Austin at 4:05, walked out with the birth certificate at 4:10-TX Dept. Of Health you Rock-I didn't even have to pay-which was good because I didn't have any way to pay them-oops. I then walked into the Sec of State at 4:25 and arrived in Dawn's office to be greeted with "you must be...." I didn't even have to have her stay late. So I have the documents ready to go first thing Mon morning-I will pay the same day fee, and pick them up Mon afternoon, and then start the 5 hour drive back to Dallas. "D' is meeting me at the SW house, and we will hopefully turn over our docs and be done with it all. We are still hopeful that we will be DTC on Friday the 18th. But I guess that remains to be seen. I will not feel relieved until I probably have picked up the docs from the consulate, or maybe after we have dropped them off with the SW, or maybe I will feel better if she will give me the tracking number so I can check to make sure it arrives, or I know, I will feel better once I know the plane carrying our docs have made it across the ocean without crashing our 5 months of work into the bottom of the sea. Shoot, I don't know when I am going to feel better. I hope it is soon. So I will update you when I get back to Dallas, and have recovered from this crazed, obsessed, mad episode.
I have to tell you when I arrived back at my in-laws, by MIL had turned my bed down, had the towels out ready for me to take a shower, and sent me to bed. I'm such a lucky girl:)
P.S. I have pictures to follow this tale-Why?? I don't know, I started to take pictures before I knew what a nightmare it was going to be:(
P.S.S. I forgot to mention that I have spent enough on gas in the last 5 days on this journey that I could have bought a plane ticket, rental car, and probably a nice hotel.
Note to self...need to trade the big rig for a Prius.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's Here, It's Here, Finally, It's Here!!!

Okay, for anyone out there that has adopted or is ahead of me in adopting(not hard at this point) You will know the feeling I had when the mailman(not my usual mail lady) handed me the best piece of mail I have received to date as an adult. Our I-171-H arrived today!!! Applause!!Applause!! It involved shaking the hand of the very sweaty, confused mailman-as I told him he had answered my prayers-well he at least brought the answered prayers.
I have already been to the bank to notarize it-still a little confused on who is getting what-but I will get that figured out, I have the money orders ready for the consulate, I have called all the appropriate authorities(all my peeps), posted it on all the message boards, and now just getting ready to use my streets and maps software to highlight my trip to Austin, with a stop in West for Kloches(duh)(if you have not done this before-you must if you drive from Dallas to Austin stop in West-at the Czech Stop for their amazing little tasty treats) and then onto Houston to the consulate before they close. I will pay the expedited fee for one day service-but will pick up all of the documents(remember SIL/MIL dropped the others off on Mon) on Friday morning and make my way back to Dallas. My SW is expecting me at her house Friday afternoon, she will review them over the weekend, and they will be Fed Exed on Mon to St. Louis-and then drumroll please...............
We should be DTC on Aug 18th, and with any luck at all we will make our LID before the end of Aug. BREATHE, BREATHE. Okay, everyone has been so nice today-I really am over the moon. "D" is on his way back from Colorado-so can't celebrate with him until he arrives at 9:30. He will be very excited-because hopefully the crazed, obsessed woman will go away-yeah right:)
I will update you when I get back. Until Friday

Monday, August 07, 2006

Enough Already!!!

This is going to be short, I have had enough ALREADY!! No INS approval again today. I really thought for sure it would come, but nothing-absolutely nothing in the mail.
My In-Laws did make it to the consulate today-they have dropped off the majority of our documents to be authenticated, and they or me depending on what happens will pick them back up on Thur. Only one hiccup-I made an extra set of copies because the website said they had to have a Xerox of each document submitted, and they apparently don't need the Xerox, and it only confused the situation. I had also forgotten that we have an extra medical letter for "D" that I had not accounted for-SIL says that they said there were 12 documents-but for the life of me I can only account for 11?????????? Who am I to argue.
So we will sit and stalk the mail-lady again tomorrow. We really need it to come, because "I" have had enough already!! Plus, "D" is ready to have his wife back, and not the crazed and obsessed lady he is living with right now.
I will work on this while he is out of town.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Houston, we have a problem

As we all know, we are just waiting on that little piece of paper from the INS. I had made the executive decision that we would wait on our I171 to come-I would drive it to Austin to be certified(everything else has been certified) and then drive on to Houston to stay with my awesome In-laws while getting everything authenticated. I knew I could pay a fee for expedited service at the consulate-so figured we would pay the fee, and have them do it in 2-3 days instead of the general 4-5 day turn around time. Well in my state of anxiety for this approval to come I have gone over the dossier check list about 10 times this week, have made all my copies, gathered all the pictures needed, and reprinted the directions for getting the authentications done-WELL, in participating in that little exercise I realize that the expedited fee is per document, not per package. So $30 per the 11 docs(we had to have some other docs done at other consulates) I have to authenticate on top of the $20 regular fee. $550-that would be crazy right????? So people listen up-if this situation arises for you-This applies to you if you can drive to the consulate-okay maybe not...hear me out. I have now put my package together for the authentication process for the Houston Consulate, Fed Ex'd it to my very generous in-laws who are going to walk our documents into the consulate and drop them off, and then go back and pick them up-that way when this silly little piece of paper from the INS shows up I will continue with the plan of action, and take it to Austin to be certified, and then on to Houston-where now I can pay the expedited fee for just one-yes that is right- just one document(as everything else will be done at that point) saving us about $210 from the original plan. So Great Big Thank You to my MIL, and SIL who are helping more than they know. We owe you a BIG ONE!! Wish I had thought of it sooner. *This would work for you if you use Fed Ex to send the majority of your documents to the consulate, and then after you receive your I171 you could do the courier route, and pay the expedited fee-since it will be hand delievered. That would still save time and money.
I am still holding out hope that the I171 shows up today!!! Update to follow.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Go Postal, Go Postal

Okay, I love Fridays because it is the end of the week, but since we started our paperchase I have found myself not longing for them. The reason; it means there is only 2 days left of the week to get mail. When I am waiting for something in the mail,and Friday rolls around I just feel the disappointment that the week is ending, and there is only 2 days of hope that something will arrive. I had promised to not stalk the postlady until Aug 10th for our I171-H, but sorry to admit the stalking has already started. I am dying here, and it seems she gets here later and later in the day. So come on let's say it together now...Go postal, go postal, we need our approval, we need our approval, let's do this, let's do this. Okay, well let's just hope it comes today or tomorrow. I feel it in my bones, it is going to arrive any day now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

CCAA has updated their site-well sorta

Okay, the CCAA(China Center for Adoption Affairs) has finally updated their website. It now reflects that they referred children to their families who had submitted their dossier to the CCAA before July 13, 2005. That means to the layman out there that the waiting list is about 12.5 months right now. They have not updated their site to reflect if they have indeed progressed on the reviewing of dossiers for Nov,05. Hopefully that update will happen very soon.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Adoption Bible!

Okay, this is a permanent fashion accessory for me at this point-it looks great with everything I wear. It has become a really big joke in our house, because I don't go anywhere without The Bible or The Book. When I come downstairs in the morning it comes with me, when I go upstairs to go to goes with me, you get the point. You just never know when the house might catch fire, and which case it is important to know that I will be grabbing my purse, and The Book-and probably not in that order. I tell "D" all the time that in that case he and the dog are on their own...a girl has to have her priorities(okay, just kidding) but I would make sure the book made it out safely. I know I am worrying subconsciously about the security of the book, because the other night I had what I would call a pretty darn scary nightmare. I dreamt that we had gone somewhere in "D's" car, and I left The book in the backseat, and once inside I realized my critical error, so I grabbed the keys to go back to retrieve "The 8th wonder of the world", and while walking back to the car a man came towards me with a gun, and was carjacking me!!! Okay, are you kidding me? I kept telling him that he could have my husband's car, and I would be happy to throw in everything inside, and I could even give him my address to go by and pick up my car as well....BUT, there was just this silly little notebook in the back seat that I must have, and if he would let me have it, there would be no problem with stealing our car. But if not, he needed to know that I was an adopting mother, and couldn't be held responsible for my actions, and I was just going to go "ninja" if he didn't give me my notebook. In my dream the guy just kept looking at me like I was freakin crazy( well...I am, I have been paperchasing for 4 months) Well, then I woke up in a complete sweat, and woke "D" up to tell him about the terrible nightmare I had just had. His response to me was..."J" you are really starting to worry me. You need to add some other interest to your list. Okay...he is not getting the magnitude of this constant worry. Not sure what I will do once everything is in China, I suppose I will find the CCAA losing my "book"
I guess I will have to retire my copy of The Book to the safety deposit box for the next year for safe keeping. I really think this process should come with therapy, because I think it is making me CRAZY!!! At least CRAZY with worry.