Embassy Clearance!

I don’t know why I’m surprised.  When God moves, nothing can stop him.  Our family is on our way out of town to attend Matt’s grandmother’s funeral.  Of course we would receive travel clearance today.  After nearly 3 years waiting for my little Mente, my boy is coming home.

Big Girl Bed

We moved our sweet girl to her new bedroom tonight.  I’ve let her play in it some, and we’ve talked about her new room and her new bed quite a lot recently.  I was surprised at how quickly she took ownership of everything in her room.  When Teme tries to climb on the bed, she yells, “No!  My bed!”  I’ve been asking her all week if she wants to sleep in her new room.  Sometimes no, sometimes “oh?”  Tonight we decided to give it a try.  I am amazed by this little girl.  We laid Teme down in his bed and gave him kisses, then walked Lulu across the hall to her room.  She climbed right into bed, laid her head down, and whimpered just a little like she does every night.  I kissed her, told her to rest so we could play in the morning, and left the room.  She’s not made a sound since.  I was sure she’d try and get up ten or twelve times before she settled for the night.  We are so blessed.

**Update**  It is now 7:26 am, and my girl is still sleeping soundly.

**Update #2**  I went in to photograph my sweet sleepy girl and found her snoozing on the floor next to her bed.  I’m surrounding it with pillows tonight.

Anniversary

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary.  I do love my man.  He is brilliant, my voice of reason.  He spends evenings on the floor with the kids building rather intricate towers out of megablocks even though my kids immediately destroy them over and over.  He kisses boo boos, refills milk cups, wipes squished strawberries off the kitchen floor.  He serves our family, makes dinner from empty cupbords when I work late, brings me water and snacks after the kids go to bed.  He’s willing to try anything.  He’s followed me to Zambia and Ethiopia and back, and when I dream of raising our kids for a little while in Ethiopia, he doesn’t silence me, even though he’s not sure about it yet.  He tutor’s my brother’s girlfriend in calculus in the evenings on short notice and doesn’t mind loaning our extra bedroom out to anyone in need.  He trusts Jesus.  He doesn’t worry.  He’s such a good man.

We spent the evening on our anniversary at one of our favorite local restaurants eating sushi and fried rice.  We stopped by the mall to return my Mother’s Day November earrings and found an October necklace (to match my October earrings) on sale.  We ended up at Wal-Mart for a few things for Lulu’s room.  Romantic, I know, but it’s so so hard to go to Wal-Mart with the kids.  One of the things I love about our relationship is that we just enjoy each other’s company, even at Wal-Mart.  We have not picked up our annual tradition yet, a Cold Stone ice cream cake.  We’re saving it for the weekend.

For our anniversary, Matt gave me a Bring Love In t-shirt and bracelet.  If you aren’t acquainted with Bring Love In’s incredible ministry, I suggest you check them out.

ok, so maybe I am a little anxious . . .

Would you join me in praying that we receive our court date soon?  We would LOVE to be with our little man before the courts close (and maybe get through Embassy in late August or September).  Only God can make that happen.  I know God’s plans are best, but I still want my boy home.  I really would like him home before his birthday in early October.  He’s spent enough birthdays away from home.

DTE?

We are supposed to be DTE today.  I don’t know if we are actually.  I didn’t want to be a nag, so I waited until 3:30 this afternoon (4:30 eastern) to email our family coordinator.  She wrote back quickly with this response:

“[Agency Representative] is sending out the DTE email to you right now as it should be FedEx’d to Ethiopia this weekend!”

I never got that email, so I don’t know if that means we are DTE and didn’t receive the email or if something happened and my dossier is sitting quietly on someone’s desk in Virginia.  I’m trying not to worry.

In other news, USCIS has cashed our giant check, but no fingerprinting appointment is in sight.  I overnighted the documents to Texas (as instructed) where they cashed the check and then mailed the documents to the USCIS office in my home town (please wait 7-10 days for delivery).  I think I could have just delivered it myself and saved a step, but that’s not how it’s done.  

While Waiting

So, here’s my list of stuff to accomplish while waiting for #3

1. Prepare Lulu’s big girl room.  I’m not ready for her to transition out of her crib, but it’s almost time.

2. Go to cool big city for fingerprints and do fun stuff.  Stop for Ethiopian food afterwards with the kids.

3. Take the kids to the zoo.

4. Go to a play.

5. Read books on adoption book list.

6. Read a book just because I want to read a book.

7. Clean the refrigerator.  Lament the fact that it will be filthy again within weeks.

8. Touch up paint in my boys’ room.

9. Take the kids to play in the fountains at JV park.

10. Find an attorney to complete our readoptions; find the money to pay for it.

11. Find a new home for the photo albums currently living in Lulu’s room.

12. Make a tomato basil tart and pistachio torte.

13. Have a long conversation with a friend on the back porch.

14. Remove clothes from the kids’ closets that no longer fit.

15. Sell all my extra stuff in a garage sale.  Convince friends to help.

16. Get Lulu’s hair cut for the first time.

17. Refinish the deck.

18. Take more videos of my kids.

19.  Have Lulu’s hair professionally braided.

20.  Buy clothes for my big boy.

21.  Spend a weekend in our hometown.

REFERRAL!!

Okay, maybe it is silly, but I am ecstatic!  Today we received our referral, a sweet 2 year old boy called M who was referred to us for the first time on March 19, 2010.  It is so, so good to see pictures of him, to see him clean, dressed, and gaining weight.  I hope he feels safe now.  The poor little guy has bounced from orphanage to transition home to orphanage over and over again.  It’s nice to know that this is the last place he will live before he comes to live with us.  I so hope that our dossier will arrive in time for us to get a summer court date.

Where is our home study?

Well, the home study is currently in the hands of our family coordinator, who must proof the document and determine whether it is everything it needs to be.  If it is worthy, it goes back to our social worker who signs and notarizes 3 copies, then rushes to meet me somewhere in Springfield so I can have my recently-sanitized hands on it as quickly as possible.  I’ve thought about leaving work for this.  We still also have  this little matter of the post-placement commitment, a document that the agency signs promising to provide post placement reports on our family following the adoption.  I asked for that item weeks ago, and it must be signed by the director, who lives in St. Louis.  Shall I kidnap a notary, drive to St. Louis, and stalk this dear woman until it is properly signed?  After that, we still have to seal all of the documents before we can mail them.  I’m thinking this needs to be done on Thursday if it will be done at all this week.  There could be a few hiccups with the sealing as well. If the notary isn’t perfect at her job, the documents will be rejected, and we have to have them done again.

If signed and sealed, I can mail them on to Ethiopia.  I really want to do this done before the end of the week!  I also am waiting on one document in addition to the home study for our I-600A application.  I don’t think I’ll rest until we have a more solid timetable (i.e. a court date).  Pray for us and little M.

Waiting

This is the point when the paperchase leaves my control.  We are waiting on a notarized copy of our home study and a notarized post placement agreement, both of which must come from our agency.  That’s all I need.  Once I have those documents in my hands, we can have them authenticated and send them on to Ethiopia.  Hopefully, a court date follows shortly after, and we’ll be on our way to bringing our third child home.  I want so badly to get these documents mailed so that we have some chance, though slim, of passing court before the courts close in August.  The six weeks that the courts are closed are agony for those of us who are waiting.  I want my boy home.

Another little thing

We learned yesterday that our agency will allow us to send our dossier to Ethiopia without the I-171H.  This means our dossier can go to Ethiopia so we can start the court process without having to wait on USCIS for approval.  We will still have to have the I-171H prior to our court date, but that isn’t often a problem.  I’m hoping we’ll be DTE by the end of the week!