Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Patience is a Virtue Part TWO

Wow..can't believe I haven't blogged (you should know I just typed the word 'typed' and replaced it with 'blogged' because that's just how techno I have become!) since last weekend. We have had some very busy times, though, and they don't seem to be slowing down. One of our great friends from years ago is a Blue Angel, and their family came up for an airshow last weekend and we got to visit with them. It is amazing how those special people you know God put in your life for just the right times never seem to age and we fall right back into where we left off. We also had a wedding rehearsal, a wedding, Memorial Day, end of school cr*p and still getting over the crud. Oh, and friends coming in again tomorrow for the weekend. So, in essence, not really a lot of time to blog anyway.

Good thing, since there is not a lot to blog about. Turns out that most people only had to have 10 hours of training for their adoptions. Yep, good old Maryland needs 21. Soooo...guess what we spent the weekend doing? Money-making, I know it is...However, that is done, and all I have to do is get the certificates and our pictures to our SW and Home study should be on its way to USCIS. I am ok with the fact that out dossier won't be submitted until July 16 or 17, but I wish it was different. Ally has been great about checking in on me and letting me know she will help with whatever, so that makes me feel supported, and I guess that's a big thing to me. I know John would say, "Ya think?" Oh yeah, he, of course, is not home. I know he doesn't deploy like some people deploy, but these in and out trips here and there all the flipping time are frustrating! I won't complain, though. We are very blessed with his work arrangement and I thank God for it every day.

SOOOO many babies are coming home these days--I LOVE it. It makes my wading through the masses have a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm going to start throwing out names to try them on...some we (ok, I) have been tossing are: Clare Grace, Emma Grace, Emma Jane, Gracie Jane, Abigail Jane (but would probably call her Abby Jane) Caroline Grace, Hannah Grace...hmm, that's all I can think of right now. Any comments?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Patience is a virtue...

Well, it seems as if we probably won't be starting our 'official' wait until after July 15. The only things missing from our file for the home study are the training certificates. We did all our training online, and the certificates haven't come yet and may not be here for another 2-4 weeks. That's NUTS! I didn't realize that would be the case, otherwise, we would have probably done something else. In any event, our social worker, who again I have to reiterate is WONDERFUL, goes on family vacation and won't return until the 28th of May. Even if the certificates come (or I can get them faxed, which may be an option) and the home study is done, we will very likely not get the I600 approval until after June 15--and that's when I leave the country for a month. I guess at this point, my hope is that I can get all other dossier documents (pretty much done) to Ally and have her check them so I can at least get them all authenticated before I leave (remember, I live in the fabulous state of Maryland, where we have an EXTRA step in our Authentication Process) and then have them ready to turn in the second I get back into the country--July 16. The USCIS paperwork should certainly have plenty of time then, as I've heard it can take up to a month (though Betty told me it was averaging a week to two, once home studies were sent in) but I hate having something so important coming in the mail when my mail is going to be put on HOLD for such a long time. Oh well, guess the post office is a fairly safe place to keep it while we're gone, since that's sort of what they're in the business of. I read on the boards about people who are still waiting for their appointments to go and get their fingerprinting done. I don't know if there is just something else we didn't do and don't know it yet, but I have to say that about a week after we sent the app in, we got a letter telling us to come WHENEVER they were open--no appointment necessary--and it took less than 10 minutes from start to finish. Maybe I'm not giving Maryland enough credit after all...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So much for thinking we were fast!

Well, apologies to all who think I brought on these rains we have had lately!!! Our power was out for the better part of the night/next am, and mom's basement flooded...who knew? I just wanted to have my allergies clear up some. Which, I sadly cannot decipher because this bronchitis just doesn't seem to be getting much better, or could just be getting better and masked with allergies....I don't know. I sure would like to be able to breathe again, though.

So...thought we were pretty fast with our homestudy, did you? Yeah, me too. Except now we wait...for child protective services. Our SW can't complete the report without them. And, since they are not necessarily known for their speed and efficiency, we wait. Which puts everything else off. Which means that I may NOT have our dossier in to AA by June 14th. Which would SUCK because I will be out of the country for a month and wouldn't be able to get in until July 17/18 at the earliest. Which means our official wait may not begin for who knows after that--translation, authentication, etc...So, the 3-10 months that AA gave as a time frame, if that still stands, puts me into gosh...mid-summer next year, maybe, before we may even make a first trip, much less a second. John doesn't see the huge problem with this, but I told him I was one step away from quitting and standing behind the counter at McDonald's if I had to be at school ONE SECOND longer. I know this summer will be a nice break, and that next year's kids won't be as challenging (dear Lord, I hope) so it may not be as bad as I am dreading, but I really and truly had my heart set on having a baby girl this time next year. I just hope that CPS gets a move on and the report gets done quickly. Then I pray that USCIS gets done quickly. At this point, it seems doubtful, but I am not done holding out for my June dossier submittal just yet. Not yet.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Lord giveth...

Well, ask and ye shall receive. We have had rain. I forgot that rain also forces indoor recess, which, might as well be one's own personal little hell, but I am still thankful for the rain. It makes everything so nice and green, and saves me from the pesky job of watering everything while John is gone.

I do have bronchitis, though, so, as expected, allergies may have started the whole misery I have been dealing with for the last week, but those little infection buggers took over. The medicine seems to be helping, but much more slowly than I would like. I am thankful for weekends so I can rest and recover, but feel so pressured to get so much done, I'm torn.

We got a very personable and fairly informative update from our agency. It seems as if lots has been going on and our caseworker's emergency leave was for the bringing home of her own little girl from Uzbekistan. I am very excited for her, and find it kind of funny that she may have been going through a lot of the same things I have. Although, she obviously has a little more of an 'in' than I do! After this last email , I feel a bit better, as if they are understanding of the fact that we are all seeming a bit uneasy and they want to make things better. Not to mention, I still am hoping that the multiple ties my agency has with the culture of Kyrgz and the whole Eastern European bloc, for that matter, might still be the advantage I thought it was in the first place. Of course, that's my own theory, and that plus $3.79 will buy you a gallon of gas...

And the Today show, with their Favorite Mom contest? Categorizing moms, and putting adoptive moms in the "Non-mom" category??? What the heck's up with that? I fired a letter off to them and the rest of their sponsors. Along with, apparently, enough other people to get the category changed to "Adopting Moms," though I'd still prefer no categorization. But, whatever...ignorance is ignorance, on a big or small scale, and sadly, exists. And always will. So, in baby steps, I will fight it as I can.

Boy, do I love the comma. In rereading this, and other posts, I find I use it a LOT. Then again, I have always been told I write like I speak. Apparently I live for pauses. Ask John, and he'll tell you that they are dramatic pauses. He's right.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How will I know???

Rain, rain, rain...please, please, PLEASE Lord, send rain. If the misery I am in right now is due to allergies, clean it up!!! If not, thank goodness I have my official dossier medical exam tomorrow and will actually see my wonderful doctor. I made this appointment a month ago, because that's just what you do with military health care. Who knew that I would have the ailments from which I am now suffering and the timing would be perfect? I know, I know...God did.

So...Lord, how do I know when/if I back away from this program/this country? As I've noted, we haven't gotten much information from our agency about what's going on in Kyrgz with the program. Now, I totally believe each agency has a different relationship in-country and within DC and each agency has different requirements and each agency will share different pieces of information based on its knowledge. The fact that mine hasn't shared much doesn't truly alarm me all that much because there just may not be much official to share, and in that case, I'd rather know the certainties than the possibilities. That's why, when we didn't get an update on our program from our weekly agency note, I didn't freak out too much (ha ha, refer yourself to previous posts if you want to see what a liar I apparently am :) and sent a little email on Sunday asking our agency whether or not the exclusion meant anything serious. No answer Monday. Hmmm...not even an acknowledgment of my email. "Okay, Okay," I tell myself...probably busy on Monday, let's give a full 24 hours...though I REALLY did not think an acknowledgement was that much to ask for, but whatever...So, yesterday, when I get a call from another fellow Kyrgz and agency friend, telling me that she heard from someone else that the embassy was back up and running, I was excited! That soon turned to a sick feeling, though, when I also find out that our agency had emailed her that day, but no mention of this had been made in that email. I was not upset that our agency hadn't mentioned anything about that news in their email, I was upset that I didn't GET that email. Nothing. Not a response to my original email from Sunday night (now Tuesday late afternoon) nor simple acknowledgement. My friend said that it seemed as if the email was sort of generic, just to our agency's clients, so she assumed everyone had gotten it. Novel idea, right? All clients getting it? So, I RE-SENT my original email from Sunday and asked if it was received, as I was about to send my dossier and was a little worried I'd heard nothing. Within FIVE minutes, I got a reply. FIVE. It was generic, just that there was no official news, some rumors, and there should be something more definitive on Monday. Still didn't get that first email that my friend had, though. When my friend sent it to me, asking if I really hadn't gotten it, I couldn't believe it. It really was a very generic letter, that was simply addressed to "Dear clients," (a group, might I add, based on my last bank statement, I AM a part of!!) and had a brief update. Why did I not get this generic letter? I understand that our caseworker is on emergency leave, and as a result, her fill-in is probably pretty deep in cases, but for PETE'S SAKE...if I can be emailed in FIVE minutes when I voice my concerns about sending my dossier (and $$) why, oh why, can't I be included on a generic update letter?

Am I crazy? Are my expectations too high? Am I just highly sensitive right now and need to chill? It isn't like when my caseworker WAS in town I felt much more informed!!

Lord, are you trying to tell me something? And if so, what?

(And while You're at it, could you maybe get me some renters for the end of this year?? Okay, okay...I know I gave that one to You already...I'll stop!)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amazing timing...

So..after posting last night, dreading going to sleep, what do I do but look at yesterday's devotional...and here's the verse that goes with it:

Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. Psalms 55:22

And Maria sent me more today.

So, Lord, here they come! I apologize in advance for their festering status. I'm pretty good at that!

Amazing how He talks to me even when I'm not doing such a great job of listening.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

That time of the week again...

Sundays are so bittersweet for me. I love that it is the Lord's day. I love that it is another day that John and I can just be together. I love that it is a day I DON'T have to go to school!

On the other hand, though...Sundays always seem to be like ticking time-bombs for me. Gotta get all the laundry done. Gotta clean the house up. Gotta do LESSON PLANS! Worse, countdown to Monday. Which means I am back at school and back in the day to day to cycle of waiting until the weekend so I have time to do the things I don't get done in the week. And all that equates to the fact that I seem to be just wishing my life away...I hate that.

John told me I have to stop worrying about things, especially the house. (Hey, John, how about tell me to grow while you're at it?) He wonders why I worry about things so far out. Well, here's why--in my mind, worrying now inspires me to do things to fix it now. Then I can stop worrying about it! (And, of course, move on to the next worry) Sadly, that's not how it works, though. What happens is that all the worry turns into more worry which just makes me sick to my stomach, and that's exactly what happened on Friday. I went home early, because I had stomach cramps so severe, my school nurse told me I needed to go to the doctor. Who, lucky for me, told me to go to the ER. And guess what? At the ER, I could help myself to all sorts of fun tests and exams, and enjoy a stomach CT to boot. Realizing that I suffer from IBS (though I haven't had too many problems in the last couple of years) I decided that I would do all I could on the home front before I subject myself to the ER. I know, I know...people die when they decide to go against doctor's orders. In this situation, though, I have a little bit experience of what stress can do to my stomach and truly felt that this was all a result of stress. And, I am thankful to say, it is. I feel better. Not completely back to normal, but WAY better. And I am glad that I held out on the ER, because some of those tests would have been uncomfortable in a normal situation, and would have probably been excruciating on Friday.

Which leads me back to today, Sunday. And that pit in my stomach that says it all starts over. John had to go to Ft. Worth for a few days, so it is just me and the dogs. We've all agreed...we will not stress, we will not stress, we will not stress. We won't.

Even if our agency sent out the weekly update on programs and completely left OUR program out of it. Nary a word. As if it doesn't even exist.

Don't get me started...