Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home Study Home Stretch

We are getting there. We have completed medical forms. Bek's pediatrician just called and said his is ready for pick up. Education is complete. CIS appointment is in place. That leaves Taxes and CPR training on the to do list!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Important Milestone!


We got our notice from the Dept of Homeland Security / USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Svcs) for our biometrics appointment. It comes on this very official thick paper with THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA emblazoned at the top. And biometrics is just USCIS speak for fingerprinting. Yes, more fingerprinting. This is the response to the I600a form we filled out (and dropped $860 for) in mid January and allows us "advance processing of an orphan". It's an important step, one of those during the process that makes you realize that this is real, it's happening, and it's starting to sink in! So on Wednesday March 4th at 9am we'll head downtown to the Federal Building, get our fingerprints and be one step closer to Baby Girl!

In other news - we had our medical appts a few days ago - blood draw for Hep, HIV and injection for TB test. Today I had to go back to show them that I did not develop a bubble at the injection site, proving that I did not have Tuberculosis and therefor confirming by yet another seemingly senseless step that I am fit to be a parent. Even though I already am one. Via adoption. Yeah, already did all these steps and paperwork the first time...but still have to do em all over again. But I look at Bek, and look back on doing all this the first time...and it all goes so fast....that before you know it you've got a 5 and a half year old standing in front of you, saying 'just take a breath mom, it'll be ok'. Where does the time go?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Moving Along

Well the 1st homestudy visit came and went relatively painlessly. Turns out she did NOT do the safety audit/walk thru, so all my mad cleaning was for naught! Although it was nice to bask in the cleanliness, even if it only lasted a day. Once we finish up what's left - CPR training, 10 hours int'l adoption education, child abuse registry clearance letters, medical statements (appt w/ dr is on weds 2/18), taxes, family photos and proof of residency for the last 5 years - then we will have our final visit, to include the walk thru, submit all paperwork, and she will write up our homestudy. It will get handed over to our placement agency, Catholic Social Services out of Charlotte, NC, and it will become part of our dossier. Dossier preparation includes more paperwork and lots and lots of notarizing and apostilling (sort of like a state level notary to ensure the notarys are cool). The Dossier is extremely important and is sort of like our representation to the Russian Powers That Be. Not only is the content important, but the accuracy, such as having all signatures the same (this can be tricky for me, i tend to write different alot of the time, according to a handwriting analysis this makes me genius or insane) and the organization of it is very specific. All t's must be crossed exactly as they want them. My timeline is to have the dossier ready for submission by the end of March/early April.
Last night I took an online course titled Attachment and Bonding, it was really good. It was all material I'm familiar with, having read tons of books on the topic in preparation for Bek's arrival, but it was a good refresher and reminder on what these sweet little things go through before we even get there, and what the road ahead will most likely bring. I took another one this morning called Your Child and Emotions. So that's 4.5 hours towards our requirement of 10 hours. Brad will read all the material as well, though I am the designated test taker!
So...things are moving along, even though it feels like paperwork will never end. I know I should be grateful for this paperwork to keep myself occupied, because after it's done, it's just wait, wait, wait.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mrs. Clean











Today is the first homestudy visit.
I am getting coffee'd up to begin my mad day of cleaning. The goal is to have the house looking clean enough, organized enough and safe enough to house a baby! I have to dig out the safety gear, wrangle up loose cords, clean up Bek's sun room which is filled with an uncountable number of tiny choke-able unsafe parts. I need to get her room to be in more of a 'baby's room in progress' looking state instead of the random junk storage space that it is now. The basement, oye. I'm leaving that to Brad and am hoping he'll be home by 4ish so that he has time to work on that before she arrives at 7pm. Then of course there is the regular vacume, sweep, mop, dust, scrub toilet, windex all surfaces, general de-clutter/put away type cleaning. Oh I have to make cookies at some point too - nice to have them to offer and also fills the house with that oh so homey smell!




Even though I've done this before, and know it's mostly a formality, albeit a very important formality...I'm still anxious about it. I'm anxious about the questions and about the house audit. I know it will be fine (it's that one part of my brain taking over again), we'll pass, the house will be clean & safe, etc. But thanks to that other part of my brain, I still can't help but be nervous, excited, freaked out and neurotic.




On that note - I should sign off and get moving. Those dust bunnies aren't going to hop away on their own.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fire!

The Fire Dept was here for our inspection for the homestudy! We passed! One more thing checked off the list. Also I got our marriage licenses in the mail yesterday from the Canadian govt. Of all the things I've mailed out waiting for a return item, this was the first to come back. Oh Canada! I knew I could count on you for efficient & excellent service. When I told Bek the Fired Dept was coming today "to make sure our house is safe for your baby sister" he said, "then after that can we go get her tomorrow?". Ahhh if only that was all there was to it. "So, we see you have smoke detectors. Great job, Sale Family, you are now approved to fly to Russia and pick up your baby!". But...we are making progress. The first homestudy visit is next Monday, 2/9 @ 7pm.
And any day now the coveted reciept for our i600a should be arriving in the mail. I was like a postal stalker yesterday waiting on Mr. Postman and wouldn’t you know there was no mail even up to the time I left for work at 3pm. It’s an approval from the Department of Homeland Security, allowing us to bring her into the US. It is a BIG milestone. The actual approval takes up to 3 months, but we should be recieving some sort of notice that it's in process, and give us an appointment for INS/BCIS fingerprinting (yes more fingerprints). The bad part is this approval expires after 12 (or is it 18) months, so should the process take much longer, we’ll have to apply (and pay) again. *sigh*…but we won’t think about that until we have to.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Look Inside My Brain

I keep having these moments where it’s like another level of my conscious has just opened up and speaks to me. Lately it’s the hippy mommy one with crazy hair and Birkenstock clogs…she says to me, “you know that this is all really happening, right??”. All the others (and there’s many up there in my brain) just turn around and stare at her.
See, we’ve started and stopped the process so many times, I’ve been researching so long, seriously for probably 3+ years, that it’s hard for my entire brain to realize it’s real.
There’s another part of my brain though, the one that’s wearing a fabulous black suit with hair slicked back into a chic French twist, this part has grasped it since day one. She got out her blackberry organizer and began calculating tasks and procedures immediately, she made phone calls, scheduled home studies, did paperwork (and made copies and filed them according to stage of the process, damn she‘s good!), she’s began purchasing clothes at cost effective prices, researching nursery colors, she’s ON IT. When hippy mommy posed the above question, she whipped her head around and took off her glasses (because of course she wears glasses) and says in her best bitchy executive voice: “of course we know this is all happening, man. We’ve been working on this since the second the husband said Go. It’s time for you to Wake Up, smell the patchouli, and get to work!” But sadly, bitchy (but uber productive) executive doesn’t always show up, sometimes it’s these other ones on duty up there, like today it's lazy lame hippy mommy. I don’t know how they organize their schedules but it’s not easy to get things done with so many different management types in charge!
Disclaimer: the above is a complete fictional work and any resemblance it may bear to real bitchy executives or real hippy moms, was totally unintentional, coincidental, with no offense intended.