Monday, March 31, 2008

Feeling reenergized!

Woohoo!! Some helpful news!! Apparently, when you get fingerprints or a background check in our state, you get a letter stating the results also. Soooo...even though we trekked to LaPlata, we don't need to send in the finger print cards AFTER all and can use the letter of clearance we received when we did our homestudy--just have to have it notarized (and certified, and authenticated at the state and so forth...) AND--since we have several official cards with our fingerprints just waiting to be mailed to Pikesville and cleared, when /if ours expire now, we just have to pop them in the mail and wait for the new letter--which has historically not been too long. AND we got our authenticated/gold sealed marriage licenses today! We only need one, but you know me, I have FOUR! A back-up for my back-up back-up! AND we had to have our Florida Driver's certified records for our homestudy--normally $3.85 (if you live in Florida and can get to your local DMV) and thought we were going to have to pay $50 a pop for me AND John, but when I talked with the lady tonight to give her my credit card info, she said that they felt bad that we were going to have to BOTH pay $50 each when the records were going to be overnighted to the same address, so they gave us a discount--$75 for both!!! Unheard of! AND--our water samples passed--which basically confirms the thought that the sample taker, though nice enough, was not as sanitary as could be and may have been the culprit for the initial 7 of 51 vials developing bacteria. AND John got a hair yesterday and painted the family room in a couple of hours--looks great. AND there are only 47 more school days. AND this is a 4-day week and I have already knocked one of them off. AND...whew. That's all. But hey, that's PLENTY for today!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tired continued...

I don't know what to say about my zeal for doing adoption things lately other than I am just tired by regular life and hating my lack of energy for 'extra-curricular' This week has been SO exhausting! Getting back to school after break is tiring anyway, but then this week also was the week that our county's math textbook adoption committee met--for 3+ hours, in the evenings. The after-school program I am part of is just frustrating and poor John's birthday was yesterday and I didn't have time (or energy) to do anything for it. (He says he doesn't care about fanfare for birthdays, and while I admire that --and was grateful for it yesterday-- it's not MY style! I TOTALLY love the fanfare!!) Throw in the fact that the poor little foster pup got spayed yesterday (and was coughing through the night--maybe anesthetic upsetting her??) and Dixie (the almost 2-year old Diva pup) was absolutely OBNOXIOUS from 11:38 pm to 1:47 am (last time I checked the clock) and count me as just done! I got home from school today and plunked myself on the sofa and fell asleep for several hours. I still feel so groggy, though, that I think I may head on up to bed.
My goals this weekend: Get fingerprints in LaPlata for our Statewide police clearance tomorrow am. Clean up house! Organize the adoption folders a bit better (that's the OCD anxiety!!) Get lesson plans done (and not at 8pm Sunday night) and try, somewhere, to squeeze in a nice, celebratory dinner for my poor husband's non-celebrated birthday. I'm tired just planning this weekend! Which is why I am glad that I am just doing to do what I can and not stress over what I can't.

A couple of Easter pics--lovely day! We joined our church Easter Sunday, and I was reminded again about the joy of Resurrection. Lord, continue to help me remember that, when I feel so weary. You know more than anyone about weariness on one's soul!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Just plain tired

I hate this part. I know it sounds bad, and I will probably rue the day I type this, but all the stress over all the documentation has just given me migraines for the past two days. We did get our fingerprints done for our I600A today, so that's something nice. John said he's found a notary willing to 'go with us' should we need that for different documents. My doctor had no problem giving me a copy of her license, and telling me the blood work and medical forms should be the least of my worries (they are now, thank you SO much, Dr. C!) and things are chugging along.

We need a CPA, however, and our water failed--well, of the 51 vials of water, bacteria was found in 7--which is really not a big deal and probably due to the fact that the guy getting the water sample was not necessarily the most sanitary, but still...add that with all the stuff we still have to do, and well, I think I would rather just 'wait' than stress over paperwork. Enough of the stressing, though, right?

We found out that friends of ours just got their referral for their 2 year old little girl from Ethiopia--Maria--after 2.5 months!! I'm so happy for them!! They already have a little boy, who is JUST precious and will be a wonderful big brother. They are wonderful parents and I can't wait to be in their shoes. Hmmm...maybe I am not going to be a good wait-er after all!!

Happy Easter to all...Lord, thank you for sending your precious Son to save us all. It is because you live again that my mother and John's dad WILL see and know our sweet baby girl one day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lots accomplished!!

WHEW! What a great couple of days for getting things done! Amazing how when I DO let go and let God--He sure does some nice work! We got the letter from the USCIS office on Saturday that they had our application and we had to go in and get fingerprinted. There was no appointment, just said to come in within 120 days. I called today to be sure about that because the website says you need an appointment, but after talking to Gina (who gave me her badge number) and emailing and getting a response from someone at the Fallon Building in Baltimore telling me I DON'T need an appointment, we are heading up there this Saturday! Yesterday I ran all over the place with errands (LOVING SPRING BREAK!) and paid the Environmental Office for their inspection. On my way there, I got a hold of the Fire Marshall's office, who did have our application, and lo and behold, had an inspection scheduled for this morning in my very neighborhood--did I want him to come that quickly? You betcha! Then, today as I was driving to school (yes, I went a lot done that I wouldn't otherwise) the environmental office guy called and asked if he could come tomorrow mid-day!! When I paid the lady yesterday, she said I probably wouldn't hear from him until the end of the week at the earliest! Ha ha. Little did she know! The best part of all the checklisting is that yesterday, I went into DEERS to have them sign the paper saying KGB would be covered when adopted. This was one I was really dreading. Now, I won't lie and say I didn't have to drive all over (and off and then on again) the base to find the building, but when I did, it took LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES to get the paper signed and I was done! HOORAY! That's practically unheard of.

Now...for the obstacles. I did call our caseworker because the checklists have been less than easily deciphered and M and I wanted to get a better picture of what we were supposed to do. So, I clarified several things and even alerted her to the fact that she did not send out some paperwork she kept telling me she had. Only when we sat in front of our computers, simultaneously, and looked at each email to and from her, did she realize she hadn't. I have to say that I feel a lot better because M and I thought we might be going crazy looking for that paperwork. We also talked about the medical. The dreaded medical. We have to do medical bloodwork and paperwork for the homestudy, but she advised us to WAIT until we had our homestudy done and sent in to USCIS to do the agency medical and bloodwork because it expires after 6 months. This means that there is a good chance we will have to do the bloodwork again ANYWAY, or hope our doctors will just freshen dates. I don't know how I feel about asking my doctor to do that, but our caseworker says that they do it all the time. A little sketchy to me, but if my doctor will, great. If she won't, I am ok with her having that integrity. If we have to do it again, we will.

The foster pup has certainly been adjusting well. She's a sweetheart. Princess Dixie is feeling a little bit put out. She's still number one baby girl. For now, that is :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Our new baby

Okay, okay...she's not Kyrgzystani but she sure is cute, isn't she? We are fostering a 9 month old golden retriever while she finds her furever home. She's a doll. Poor baby, she was bred by the Amish and kept in a crate for 8 months. Her family that adopted her gave her up after only 2 weeks because she MAY need a hip replacement in a few years and they don't want to pay for it. It's a lot, so I can understand, any event, she's a cutie but VERY skittish. John says it's like she's learning how to be a dog, since she was crated outside for her whole life (not to mention during COLD months!!) -- Our dogs certainly can show her just how to be a dog. In fact, this picture is Dixie showing her the good life on the sofa. She sure does like the sofa now. She's cuddly, but very slowly and shyly learning how to ask for affection. And boy, does she SNORE! Several times I woke up last night to her snoring. At least she feels comfortable!

Got the birth certificates on Friday--and one of them was even gold sealed! I think I may even be able to drive to Richmond and have them ALL gold sealed while I wait! That would be great because for John's, I have to send it to his county clerk of court, get it back, THEN send it to his secretary of state. Ughh...Virginia sure does make my life easier! Of course, we know great things come from Virginia (ahem, ahem) so it doesn't surprise me.

Tomorrow, the checklist. It's a nightmare, but today's message in church was just GREAT! It was a Palm Sunday message--about the triumphant entry and the town being so excited that Jesus was coming because they were ready for Him to overthrow the current government and set His own up. Jesus, on the other hand, knew that HIS plan was to come and die for our sins, and so it was solemn and somber. The point was basically one of perspective and impatience--and the lesson was that God never bends to our demands and timeframes, but fulfills HIS will on HIS own timeframe. So, letting Go and letting God not only makes sense, it's about the only thing we can do because trying to control the situation won't change one darned thing. That, believe it or not, is SUCH a burden off my shoulders! Stressing won't make it better because it will happen when it does. And though I CONSTANTLY say that, for some reason, that passage and those words hit home.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Well, I asked for it...

Crud. Ask and ye shall receive! Don't like waiting? Here--fill your time with NINE BILLION different things you have to compile and have certified and notarized and authenticated (and so on and so on....)

The Kyrgz checklist came to me and it is a nightmare. I am really nervous about the medical because it is going to be the equivalent of asking my DOCTOR for HER firstborn! She basically has to sign her name in blood, and those of you familiar with military healthcare already know how hard it is to even SEE your doctor, much less get all this stuff done. THEN the paperwork says to put the medical as one of your last things since it expires in 6 months. Ha ha. I can't even get into SEE her for 6 months!!'s where "Let Go and Let God" steps in. I am just going to put together a list of these things I need to do, and in the order I should, and then tackle them over spring break. Sounds like a plan, right?

The Department of Homeland Security sent us a note saying they sent our I600A form to the Baltimore office...which stinks, because Baltimore is further (miles and time) than Fairfax is but because we live in Maryland, we have to use the Baltimore office. The Fairfax office says it's a Washington Metro area field office, but obviously not. Those Northern Virginia snobs sticking their nose up at us Marylanders!! (Ha ha, I can say that because I grew up as one...and only a NOVAian can understand--you just didn't go to Maryland if you didn't have to!) hopes of getting fingerprinted next week probably won't come to fruition either. Maybe I'll call the Baltimore office and see if I can get it to happen anyway. In the meantime, I have lots to do!

John, by the way, was inspired to work on things last night. See...all goes well if he just does as I say!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hating waiting...but I won't complain!

Ha ha..I am hardly waiting for anything right now. Imagine me when we are REALLY waiting! Another mom going through Kyrgz just got their I600 confirmation and we haven't. That's a little worrisome to me because we sent ours of a couple of days before. Hopefully in the next day or two. Next week is my spring break, so if I have to trek out to Fairfax and visit the office myself, I can (and will) do so. Homestudy paperwork is the lovely tests for HIV, TB and drugs yesterday, and see my doctor next Friday and then the Homestudy medical paperwork (my part) will be done. I think for the agency, it will be more specific and need more credibility, but for now, I am happy to at least be moving through the homestudy. I know that all the paperwork the agency needed to send out has been, and most has gotten back. Now John, on the other hand...well, I'm a little concerned about things he is in charge of. He keeps telling me he needs a list. No, he doesn't. He just needs to do what I tell him. (If it was that easy...) There are very few things I need John to do--namely the medical and mail things I put together for him. Both seem to be difficult for him. The other things he needed to do for homestudy--a questionnaire about himself and draw a floorplan for our house--he said he would do on the boat. I doubt they are done. So...we may be having a 'come to Jesus' (as I like to call them) talk about doing things we say we are going to do when we say we are going to do them. I am certainly not without my own procrastination tricks, mind you. I just don't let them affect the status of a several thousand dollar / human life project.

That's all I am going to vent about that right now. Just call me Forest. Forest Gump.

I like Nanci's quotes at the end of her posts. I think I will pick that up. So, here's the first one.

"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried." Don't know who said it, but applicable nonetheless.

And on a sidenote, my dear, sweet and very loved and missed grandmother would have turned 95 today. I lost her 9 years ago in July and have never spent a day that I didn't miss her. In our family, she was quite the matriarch--opinionated, stubborn, critical and outspoken (nut didn't fall far from the tree, huh?)--and though she was all those things, to me, she was my Grandma Gosnell and she loved me. I'm talking LOVED loved me. Possessive, almost. Infuriated my mother, but sure did make me feel special. Happy Birthday, Grandma...I have no doubt she is exactly where she lived her life to be.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nesting already

Ha ha, don't be misled by that title. I just decided that I would make something to put in the crock pot since John is coming home (hopefully) tomorrow. I figure the more dinners I make, the easier he will be with the whole 'one income' concept. We have a bit of time for that, but I am ok with starting to be Betty homemaker...I actually like to 'home make' when I am not exhausted at the end of every day from the drain that comes with teaching. So, John will be enjoying homemade beef bourguignon tomorrow and I know he will be shocked. He even got a baguette to go with it...and anyone who knows us knows how much he loves his baguettes with dinner. Love daylight savings time, but bedtime sure does seem to come, not as much as I wanted to get done before he got home, but house is clean (relatively), dogs are still alive and have been exercised and fed duly, and John will have dinner that he doesn't have to make, so I am going to treat myself to early bedtime with a magazine bought at the checkout counter. Splurge!

Oh, and my wonderful uncle figured out how to make our picture less ostentatious and more down to size. THANKS! I feel better without my nostrils being larger than life for all to see. Of course, I couldn't have felt too bad since I kept it up there until he sent me a smaller one!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Forty is the new thirty, right?

Okay, while I realize that I am not 40, turning 35 today is basically the downhill slide to 40. WHICH, I need to say, is NOT OLD. Period. I remember when it WAS, but it isn't anymore! In fact, I think that 40 is the new 20, if you look at some of our 'idols' who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and older. So, with that said, when my mother-in-law asked me if I felt middle-aged, and I said, "Yes," it is only because I'm at the age when my mom started saying she was middle-aged. But, I certainly hope I am not!

Speaking of my mom...sad day for me. Birthdays since she died have been. I don't care how old you are, you just never get over losing your mother. Poor Nanci took me to dinner (a million thanks--I LOVE CD Cafe!) and got a big bawl-fest from me because I was having a pity party about not having my mom around to give me the birthday call. There's just something cozy and secure about the unconditional love of your mother that, without your mother, you feel terribly and horribly alone. I don't know of any other way to put it. It's a hole in your heart that time may help soften the edges of, but just never closes.

John sent 24 balloons, and let me tell you how a big bouquet of balloons riles up a class full of second graders!!!! I also got a lovely, lovely arrangement from "my kids," as well as a gift card for Barnes and Noble (LOVE TO READ!) and a gift card and a special lunch treat from my 2nd grade teammates. I have been so blessed in the last several years of teaching with the immediate teachers I have gotten to work with. My team in North Carolina is still family to me, and I'd lose my mind without my team here in Maryland. The Three Musketeers, or so we have been called by several colleagues. I'll take it. Life is too short to work with people you can't count on, and as I said, I have been blessed with so many people on which I can count.

I also have heard from my dear Pensacola girls, and again, family is the only word to describe them. My dad and sister called, as did all my North Carolina family, and so as I go to bed tonight still missing out on that birthday call from my mom, I can so easily and readily see how alone I am NOT. I thank God for all the beautiful, wonderful and compassionate people I have in my life, and for their love they give to me. What a wonderful group of people my little KGB will be able to call family as well.

My cup runneth over.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Medical, shmedical

Oh my gosh, did I start this day off grumpy! I tried to get the appointment to see my doctor (a military doctor) and can't even begin to think about getting in until April 3. For Pete's sake. I HATE military healthcare sometimes. My doctor is WONDERFUL, but the system is flawed. So, thankfully, I called her directly (she gave me her direct line) and explained I need 3 dumb tests, not worried about TB, drugs or HIV and all she has to do is order the tests and sign the forms. She was great. I get the tests on Tuesday, and see her March 21. Just fine. The bigger issue is that I apparently have to have all this done again for our agency, and it will be more in-depth and a bigger pain. Moreover, I have to basically threaten to call my senator just to get someone to work with me and help me get the paperwork saying we have (or will have) insurance coverage. Another military family with AA said that they are now having a hard time getting their child on DEERS (Dependents something, eligibility, something, system --or something like that) which is basically enrolling them as a beneficiary. This is all ridiculous, and I am grumpy.

Then again, I am so fortunate that I have all the things I do. Nanci (of Nanci's Nikes) had a terrible run-in with a tornado the other night--the night raindrops were falling on my head--and it's such a miracle that she and her girls were ok. Here's the link if you want to see some of the damage.

She emailed me the next day and I couldn't believe what happened...I just thought it had been a bad storm and I was dreaming about chasing a train. Who knew it was my arch enemy and worst nightmare--a tornado?! Again, thank God it was not worse.

And where are our husbands in all this? On the boat, somewhere in the Atlantic off the coast of NC testing. Bad enough we go through all this stuff alone, but then when the agencies and services that are supposed to be our *benefits* act as if they could CARE less and you are bothering them when you are simply trying to get help with healthcare or anything else--well, it just puts a bad taste in my mouth about the freedoms people take for granted--at our expense.

I'm off my soapbox. I am just grumpy. Poor little KGB, at least when she comes, I won't be alone anymore.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"One is the lonliest number..."

I got an email today from our caseworker and she told me that adopting siblings is rare (unless they're older) and in Kyrgz, non-siblings at the same time is not usual. So, we would basically have to do concurrent contracts to have two non-siblings and again, at $40K a pop, not workable right now. I was even looking into waiting foster children here in the US, but nothing really panning out for what John and I would be able to tackle together. At this time, at least. So....A said we would work on our referral for one and see what sibling options exist at that time. Okay. I am content with that, as maybe that's just what we are supposed to be doing anyway.

The boards were HOT today! People arguing about insensitive comments, boy / girl..whew! I love, though, that people are posting some of the comments they have heard that are just appalling when being said, but as pre-adoptive (or adoptive) parents, in hindsight are just moronically funny! "How much did she cost? (She's priceless, thanks!) "What do you know about her real parents?" (Um, we are moving hell on earth to bring her home--that's all we need to know about her REAL parents) My all-time favorite? "Just wait, you'll get pregnant now, just watch." Even my allergist (whom I LOVE) said that. Ha ha. The way I figure it, none of the costly, painful and futile treatments that we put ourselves (myself, ha ha) through didn't work when my eggs were young and pretty. Why should they work now when I'm older, more tired, more stressed, and frankly, not the least bit interested in morning sickness? Seriously, do people even think before they speak anymore? Heck, along the lines of insensitivity, I speak personally! How many times have I heard, "What are you? (An insulted human, thanks so much) or "What are you mixed with?" (Nanci, loved "not a chemistry set!) My flesh, blood and bones mother looked entirely and totally opposite of me and my whole flipping life people thought I was the cute kid she must have been babysitting. I've dealt with ignorance my whole life. In a way, I do worry about international adopting because in truth, I know how much those little comments hurt (and build up into big hurts) and I feel sort of bad purposely putting a child into the very same situation I've dealt with. On the same note, who better to help a child cope than one who knows?

For the record, I have learned a new term from an Oprah show--donor conceived. That's what I am now calling myself. Do I know anything about the donor? Yep. He was of Indian descent, and a jerk. (The two are NOT mingled, just putting it out there for those who want to know but are polite enough to NOT ask) Now, about my dad. I look just like him. How's that for irony?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Raindrops are falling on my head...

Tonight we are in a flood watch. Of course. That means we will probably have indoor recess tomorrow. It has been a long day, and I anticipate tomorrow will be longer with our standardized testing (6 days worth) starting and an observation and an after school program...I'm tired just thinking about it. If it weren't for me needing (ha ha) to watch American Idol tonight, I would just go tuck myself in right now.

I DID get our marriage licenses, little thanks to UPS. We also got our checklist from Adoption Ark and I am happily checking little things off the list. Talked with A from Adoption Ark and found out there are 25 families (of which we are one) in the Kyrgz program with them. When we get our dossier in, she will be able to give us a frame of where we are , etc...still have a little bit of time, though. I also asked about the reality of siblings, usually one is much older. I'm pretty torn about that, only because I really believe in the developmental milestones in those first pivotal years, so I don't know how willing I would be to tackle things I didn't have to tackle. I know that it's never a guarantee for ANY child, regardless, any event, A said we would keep the more than one child path open. She said lots of people do back to back adoptions. Don't think that will fit in the budget. KGB will have to go to college one day and it may be her fund that we'd kill if we did back to backs! So...checklist, here I come!

Monday, March 3, 2008

"You and I were meant to be"

Fun day at school--always love celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday with Read Across America Day. I lost a student today, but gained one immediately, so our class load is still the same. The student I lost, however, was the same who told me I needed to say please, so I am hoping for a little less confrontation on a daily basis.

Another blogger on nearly the same trip as we are made the comment that I may be paying a bit too much attention to some of the comments on the blogs I am reading and she may be right. I have to say, though, I still just think more and more about what place I have deciding who is right for my family. Especially as I am listening to the music from M's blog and the words talk about how "you and I were meant to be"--isn't God amazing with what He tells us and even more when we actually listen? Our homestudy social worker prayed for us when we went for the initial interview and I have to say that I cried and cried as she talked about the choices we would have to make and the wonder of this child that God is creating JUST FOR US! I still tear now as I think about the depth of that statement--God is creating our child, just for us. The ONE designed specifically for our family. Who am I to insist that He do that, just as long as she's a girl? Uggghhhh...friends, feel free to lift us in prayer. I said it yesterday and still think I feel it today--a girl is my heart's desire, but a precious little boy...I think of my nephews, of the sweet and loving little boys I teach...I still am so torn! Today one of my SWEET little boys was in the cafeteria before school started. He is a VERY lovey little boy, and just a doll. I walked by him, and as I did, he called my name out and blew a kiss. I blew a little one back, told him good morning, and kept walking. As I walked away, I could hear him tell his friend, "That's not my mom, that's my teacher. She's just as good." That made my morning. Imagine that every day coming from my very own?? Here's praying that siblings or a girl AND a boy are available. We put two children on our I600A. John freaked out about how much more that would cost, and who can blame him? We'd make it work, though. Period.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Okay...thought I would put a picture on, but WOW! Who knew we'd be so big! I don't know how to fix day we will replace the picture with a picture of KGB. Maybe then, she'll have a more ladylike name!

Decisions, decisions...

Okay, since this is just my humble thoughts and opinions, I can't lie and say that I have not been looking at other blogs of people who have done this all and I am seeing SO MANY sweet boys! The Kyrgz yahoo group has recently been having conversations about boy vs. girl, and I am starting to feel torn! There is a point--biological pregnancy does not allow you to choose. Then again, biological pregnancy doesn't cost me an arm and a leg and make me promise my firstborn (almost literally) just to bring her home. I figure if I do have a choice, then why not take advantage of it. Then I think about how sad I would be if I never had a little boy and wonder if I am making the right decision about a girl. I can't imagine not having a little girl, but then again...I can't imagine not having a little boy. John, bless his heart, is really and truly not particular either way--which sort of makes it harder! We could have a boy here a LOT faster, and who else is going to carry on our last name? Uggh...I guess we will continue to pray about it, but stick with what we have. In my heart of hearts, I think John will be just thrilled beyond belief with a little girl, and I know I will, so...KGB, we're still waiting!

Oh, and I changed the site a bit to make it easier to read...I hope...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Chugging along

Well, I had the first of I hope not many adoption scares this week. I got an email from someone going through the similar process. The email said that there was hold on the Kyrgz program for baby girls with most agencies, including my own. Talk about freaking out. I was at school, and thank God my kids were in specials because I called our caseworker, emailed her, called again, emailed again...cried some, then emailed again. When I got home (3 hours later) I immediately called again and got in touch with her. She assured me that we were on target, things were fine, etc. I get the feel that they aren't really worried about us right now because we are still in the homestudy process so we have some time for the issues with the program to get worked out. That is just fine with me. I just want to make sure that when we ARE ready, we're on target. I still feel that way, and that's all I am concerned about.

My principal wrote a very lovely letter of reference, and I got goosebumps as I read it. Just reading these things makes the whole process seem so much more real. I know several friends have gotten their reference letter as well, and it's sort of frustrating that John goes on the boat for a week because that's a week we lose in him getting things only he can do done. I guess the lesson God is teaching me through all this is patience. Funny how He knows what I need to work on anyway, huh?