Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shooting Stars

All paperwork is out of our hands and in the hands of the states. We are just waiting on KY, TN and Butler County OH to send our items back all certified, I should have them by early next week. When the Butler County items come back to us we will have to send them to the State of OH and wait for them to come back again. So all in all we are looking at around Sept 10th having all paperwork in our hands, IF everything goes quickly in Ohio.

I think my mom is going more crazy than me with the waiting. She makes all the grandkids Christmas Stockings and Eater Baskets, but doesn’t want to start on anything until she knows the gender. Even today she was talking about Christmas. I always host Christmas at our house, I LOVE CHRISTMAS! But mom said she or my sister would host it, that Eric don’t need the extra stress of hosting Christmas while we are preparing for the kids. I told her that the stress is over for now, the paperwork is done. If we travel before Christmas we will know in Nov. The Colombia system shuts down at Christmas till the new year, so no one travels the weeks of Christmas to adopt. Anyway, it would be a true miracle for us to receive a referral so quickly, as early as November! The more likely possibility is next spring (My fingers are crossed for a miracle…NOV!).

Last Friday night I was really struggling with how we were going to finance the adoption and how to make it happen quickly. All day long God showed me different things in other people’s lives that he had taken care of and in His timing. It was really amazing and I knew, once again, he had not forgotten us. As I am writing this, I am realizing I have not shared the many testimonies I have witnessed to this point regarding Him showing me that this was all in his timing and working according to his plan. Anyway, I worked late that night and arrived home around 10:30 pm. I went inside to grab the dog and take her out to potty. When we got outside I realized how clear the sky was, it was a beautiful night full of stars. (I recently was explaining the kids that Colombia is on the same time as us, but the do not follow Daylight Savings Time. I was telling them that if we look at the moon and the stars and if in Colombia there is a clear sky, that our kids there can look at the same moon and stars we do and at the same time. They thought that was cool.) Anyway, as I was standing there with the dog I started thinking how long it has been since I saw a shooting star, probably back in high school was the last time. I said a quick prayer that I would like to see a shooting star again. No sooner than the prayer left my mind, I saw not one, but two shooting stars! One for each of the kids we are anxious to bring home. God quietly reminded me that he hears our prayers and is still in control.

Time to run out and try to beat the kids home from school.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Slight Hold Up

I recently learned that Eric and my birth certificates are too old to have authenticated. Does that make us antique?? I had sent Eric’s to the KY Secretary of State, they called me and told me that it was old and I would have to get a new one with a current date in order for them to authenticate it. I have to do the same for mine. So I ordered Eric’s and should have it by mid week, next week. Then I will re send it to the KY Sec. of State. I went this morning and waited in line to get mine, same day service. Also, one of our notaries we were told was registered in Ottawa County. The County called me and said she was actually registered with Hamilton County. So they are sending me that form back and I will have to send it to Hamilton County.

We still have several items to be sent to Butler County but are waiting on the approval of the Psychological report. The main person over the Colombia program from our adoption agency is checking over it. This is a very important piece that is looked at and must be just right. As soon as the Dr. gets the approval it will be notarized and we can send it off. Again, once all of our OH items are back in our hands we will send it to the Ohio Sec of State. So by the time all of the paperwork is sent off and returned, I still anticipate another 3 weeks at least before we are able to send everything to be translated.

Our representative from our adoption agency emailed me this week. I have copied part of her correspondence for you to read. It reads as follows: “You are well on your way. I looked over the psychological and it looks very good; I am having Julie in the Oregon office look it over to verify that it is okay and will let the Doctor know ASAP. We are very, very close!!” (These were exciting words for us to hear!)

I had a mini breakdown this week, just feeling overwhelmed with life and knowing our children are so far away and we just have to be patient. I always have a mini breakdown in August, with the kids birthdays and them going back to school, I just hate it. Before we know it they will be off to college, then starting families of their own. Time flies…but yet I am having a hard time with patience. Ironic! Anyway, I guess I just let my emotions flow, having to wait on these items to be apostilled seems to be taking forever. Once our paperwork is in Colombia and we have to wait, the wait is a bit more exciting, and I will have so much to do here to prepare to help the time go by. Not to mention that Aug – the first part of Nov is crazy busy with Football and Cheerleading. Those months fly by.

One last note on the positive side, things in Colombia are moving very quickly for families who have there paperwork in Colombia and are waiting. Colombia has changed their process in how they release orphans from their country. This is great for all of us on this end, because people currently waiting are receiving their referrals. Basically that means it will be a shorter wait time for us who are getting ready to send over our paperwork because there won’t be as many people ahead of us.

Patiently waiting, for now!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Photo Pages for Colombia

I was finally able to upload the photo pages. The captions are in Spanish. One of the Assistant Dean's in my department here at work is a native Spanish speaker from South America. She was happy to help me and check my Spanish grammar. We wanted to caption the photos in Spanish so our children's caretaker could read it to them. They are kind of hard to see, but you can get an idea of what they look like.

Your House
Your Home
Your Family

Look Inside

Your Family Forever

Your sister and brother enjoy...

Where we live sometimes it hot, sometimes it cold

Love, Hugs, and Kisses forever

Eric just called to read me the results of our personality test from the psychologist. It described us perfectly! Amazing how over 350 questions about unrelated things can tell so much about you. Here are a few examples of the questions. Do you like to read mechanic magazines? Would you like to be a librarian? Do you avoid stepping on cracks? Our results showed that we are are in good mental health, and I even answered yes, that I avoid stepping on cracks :) HA! The test gave great detailed description of our personalities too.
Adios for now

Little by Little

Little by little we are getting back the items we sent to be authenticated/apostilled. Once we get everything back from the counties in Ohio, we then have to send them to the Secretary of State in Ohio for final authentication. We have not been able to send our items notarized by Butler County yet, because we still do not have the PSY report back. It is written, but we are waiting for the adoption agency to check it over to be sure nothing needs added. I was hoping that it would be ready to notarize today, but no luck. The PSY report will be notarized in Butler County, so we have to wait. I imagine by the time we get it, send it to Butler County Clerk of Courts for approval, wait to get them back, then send all Ohio items to the Sec. of State for approval and wait to get them back again, we may be looking at the end of August or early September before we are ready to send everything of for translation.

The items will actually be sent to Colombia to be translated. The cost of translation is $750. I just found out this week that I am expecting a check from a raise I didn't know I was recieving, and the back pay check will equal about $700. God is Good!

So, I guess this is where I learn more patience. I have done all I can do for now and must be patient and wait. In the meantime, I need to start making a list of what I will need between now and the time we travel. I need to get a larger memory card for my camera and want to research a digital video camera to take with us. We have an older video camera that takes the small VHS tapes. Taking a smaller video camera that uses a small CD would be ideal. I also want to put together a photo album of family, friends, pets, activities etc to take with us to share with the kids before we get home. The photo pages we sent them are a brief look at our family, but nothing extensive. I want to buy some bubbles, and other small toy items that will be handy when we go too that are good for kids of all ages.

I will try to post the photo pages we are sending over soon. I uploaded the photos, but the computer I am on will suddenly not let me post pictures on the blog. It is blocking it for some reason. Eric and I will be out of town until late on Tuesday, so maybe Wednesday night I can put the photos on.

Thank you for the emails you all are sending. You are all so encouraging.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

All In Due Time

First of all, what about this heat??? Poor Nate is practicing in full equipment at football and has been sick with a terrible bark like cough, but still loving every minute of practice. 104 degrees yesterday…gee whiz!

Okay, first I realized that I have a spelling, pronunciation and grammatical error in one of our paperwork steps. I have been using “apostillized” it should be “apostilled” …oops! And it is pronounced entirely different than what I thought. Live and Learn : )

This week we are beginning to send off all of our notarized items to be apostilled. We will have to send each item to the state it came from, for example, Eric was born in KY so we have to send his birth certificate to KY. Ohio is a bit different. You have to send each item to the county where it was notarized. So all together we will be sending items to 5 different places. The Psy report is being finalized as we speak, so hopefully by the end of the week we will be able to have it notarized and sent off by early next week. It will take up to two weeks to get everything back into our hands.

Shucks, I have run out of time. Maybe more tomorrow.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Time Flies

Sorry for the hold up in adding another entry. Is time just flying by…wow!

Jeanie, my sister, asked me if we made our August 1st goal…yes and no. We have several items to be notarized, but we have been waiting for the Immigration Office to send us our final approval, the 171-H, because it too will have to be notarized. Just this morning before I left for work the phone rang. It was a lady at the immigration office calling to congratulate us. She said she just completed our approval and will put it in the mail today!!! How awesome is that?! I would have thought the immigration people would be crabby and hard to deal with. Our experience has been just the opposite. When Eric and I went in to be fingerprinted they were the nicest, most friendly, people! Then they call us to congratulate us…imagine that! Kudos to the Cincinnati Immigration Office!

So now we will wait for that to arrive and take the remaining items to be notarized. The Psychology report will also be finished by the end of this week. Our agency is going over our paperwork with a fine tooth comb in the next week to be sure we have dotted every “I” and crossed every “T”. Then we will send things off to be apostilled (have our notary seals approved), then to be translated and sent to Colombia….I just got chill bumps thinking about it. Breathe…Breathe…Breathe!

Another question that has been posed is ”Will re-name the children or keep their birth names?” Our answer is “It Depends.” It will depend on several things, but in the meantime, we are working on names. If the name is completely Spanish and not easily translatable to English we will use their given name as their middle name and give them a new first name. We want them to keep as much of their heritage as possible and would love to keep the name, but not at the expense of making it hard for them here in the States. So, we’ll see. We will decide on possible names so we are prepared.

It was a lot easier to agree on names when it was just Eric and I. But now that Emi and Nate have a say, it is much more difficult for all of us to agree. Emi really liked Lilly, but the rest of us said no, so she named her new baby bunny Lilly instead. Nate is completely indecisive on girl names, he says he has to see her picture to know her name…good point and we all agree, so we have started a list of boy and girls names that we like. For a boy we all like the name Elijah and call him Eli, Samuel is another option. I liked Ross but it is very American and Eric doesn’t like it because, my siblings and parents live in Ross OH. The boys names seem to have been easier to agree upon than girl names. Nate likes Gabriella, but Eric doesn’t like Gabby for short. Emi chose Arianna, which is lovely. We talked about Leah, Moriah, Allison and Tori too. Hopefully the given name and the photo, when we receive it, will make the decision easier.

Another issue we have been talking about is the fact that we will need a van. I have/had an SUV but it won’t seat all six of us. Plus, I totaled the SUV last Monday in a car accident, luckily the kids weren’t with me and I was not hurt, but the vehicle is totaled. So I am now driving our truck while we prepare to buy a van.

I am glad the paperwork portion is coming to a close. Football and cheerleading have begun and school will start soon, so extra time is hard to come by.

So much to do, so little time!
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!