Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm getting angry....

Ok, now I'm starting to get a little angry.
Maybe *angry* is too harsh....upset? anxious? nervous?.....hmmm...no, I think I'm getting angry.
We have been sitting here, twiddling our thumbs, waiting for our social worker to write up our homestudy. She said it should take her "about 2 weeks" to finish and then we would recieve it for final approval before it is sent off to the many people who need to have it.

That was 4 weeks ago.

4 weeks and 1 day ago, to be exact.

What the heck?
I know, I know. I said we are waiting until Feb to go on "The List" anyway. Ok, I lied. We were "supposed" to wait until April but we moved it up to Feb because of the increasing wait times. (For those of you who don't know, Ryan is back in school and wants to try to time things with his graduation since it would be difficult to travel during final exams)
BUT, at the rate our social worker is going......we'll never even get on the list by Feb!! Arrrgghh!

I know, this is a practice in patience (which I'll need more of when I have kids) and probably a part of someone or something's master plan.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

NEW BLOG!!

Ok, so I am switching blogs again! SORRY! I was having a very hard time with wordpress, I was becoming frustrated to the point of almost smashing my laptop......so, here we go again!

I transfered all of the posts over from the other site and now I will start fresh! I apologize for being such a pain...I guess I have blog commitment issues!

all posts from wordpress...ugh





There Is No Me Without You November 17, 2006


I finally finished reading Melissa Fay Greene’s new book, “There Is No Me Without You” and I am just speechless. It was wonderful and heart-wrenching and really opened my eyes to what is happening in Ethiopia, as well as in other parts of Africa. I never really considered myself to be a naive person, but after reading this book, I just can’t believe I was blind to what is going on in countries other than my own. I can’t believe that more people in this country aren’t concerned AND outraged with the plight of not just the AIDS orphans but also the adults living with HIV in Africa. The numbers are just astonishing! This book really opens your eyes to truly how lucky we are. It rips my heart apart to think that any of the children’s stories in this book could very easily be that of our child.
I recommend this book to everyone!!!!




paper pregnancy November 16, 2006




Now that we are “waiting” to be waiting I started thinking how this whole thing is kind of like a pregnancy. The 1st trimester for us was endless paperwork, classes and visits with our social worker-and before every visit I was SICK! NAUSEATED!! Not to mention, I was also crabby ALL the time
I think that now we must have moved on to the 2nd trimester. Things seem to be going smoothly and I definitely feel better. I feel like we have made it over the first huge hurdle and we have some waiting to do before the next. Yeah, we have some more documents to gather for our dossier and we have to endure the endless USCIS wait but, since we are waiting until February to be put on the wait list any way, I feel like some of the pressure to hurry things along is off.
The 3rd trimester will be when we are “officially” waiting for a referral. When we finally have that tiny picture of our baby in our hands and are waiting to travel. I will be ANXIOUS (that’s an understatement) and nervous and worried (again, understatements) and I’m sure that I will just want everything to be over with! From what I’ve heard from friends, that is exactly what happens in the final months of pregnancy.



Well……..at least I can still fit in my skinny jeans!



homestudy complete! October 31, 2006

So, it’s finally done….We had our last visit with our social worker today (the actual homevisit) and let me tell you, my house has NEVER been cleaner!! (and probably never will be again)It was totally anti-climatic- she was here for 30 min and barely looked around. All of the dogs were freshly bathed and on their best behavior and she didn’t even want to meet them.
That was it…done….finished.She said we should recieve our copy of the homestudy in 2-3 weeks. We celebrated by heading on over to our local INS office for more fingerprinting (thank God we’re done being fingerprinted!)Next up…..compile dossier and wait 10-12weeks for USCIS



our trip to the county slammer October 16, 2006

Ryan and I took a trip today over to the lovely community of Waukegan to get fingerprinted (2/3) and receive police clearance. The woman who processed us was soooo nice-it was probably a relief for her to print someone who actually wanted to be there ;o) I promptly ran over to the post office to mail off the goods to the FBI. We should hopefully hear in about 3 weeks whether or not we are wanted criminals (I’m pretty sure that we aren’t :o) and I guess then we wait to hear from The Dept. of Homeland Security when we need to get printed for our 3 and final time-WOOHOO!!! Next stop…….HOME VISIT!!!!!



WE ARE (almost) DONE!!!! October 6, 2006



Yesterday we had our final interview with our social worker and it was a breeze! She had lots of questions about our “parenting plan” and I told her that we honestly don’t really have a plan. Our only plan is to be consistent….or try to be consistent. She did tell us that DCFS has recently changed their rules and as of Oct 1, 2006 they require 2 sets of fingerprints….so, we have to get fingerprinted a total of 3 times…RIDICULOUS! We were printed 1st for the State of Illinois and then will have to be printed 2 times for the FBI. I just don’t understand why their computers can’t talk to each other…it is actually rather frightening if you think about it in ways other than pertaining to adoption.
So, today I finally sent out our application to the Dept. of Homeland Security (USCIS- I600A) along with another FAT check. This application will open a file for us and the government will send us a date and time to get fingerprinted for the 3rd and final time. I have heard that USCIS is extremely backed up and we should expect it to take AT LEAST 10 weeks to process :( I guess it doesn’t matter too much, since we are asking CHSFS not to send us a referral until mid April at the earliest. I took a photo of the envelope before I sent it off into the depths of the US Postal Service……..
It’s crazy to think that maybe this time next year we will be parents!!!!!




education? check. September 11, 2006



YAY!!
We have finally completed all of the required courses for our homestudy!! It was a whirlwind 2 weeks where we attended 3 classes-and in the theme of my life-we took them all backwards. The 1st course was “Parenting an at-risk child” and was given by a fabulous child psychologist (Dr. Dan!!), the 2nd class was a geared toward the medical problems that we might expect when we recieve a referral of a child and finally, the 3rd class (which was supposed to be the 1st class) was “Adoption 101″. It was an all day course to help us decide if adoption is right for us. Of course, we have already decided that adoption is right for us and are already started in our homestudy so it was more of a formality but interesting nonetheless.
We both have our individual interviews this week and then plan on celebrating my birthday this weekend at the Ethiopian Diamond (mmmm….can’t wait!)



P.S.
HAPPY ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR!!!




…and the homestudy creeps along…. August 25, 2006

So, we have finally scheduled our next set of interviews with the social worker-everything seems to be moving at a snail’s pace. I have mine Sept 12th and Ryan has his Sept 14th. These are our individual sessions and last about 1 1/2 hours each (ugh) I’m a little nervous about being on the “hot seat” for so long and can’t wait for it to be over. After these sessions, we will meet with her again in October prior to her coming into our home to poke around. I would just like to hurry up and get all of the paperwork finished and jump through all of the hoops and start the waiting portion. It’s very stressful to have all of this paperwork hanging over our heads!!!!




Our Ethiopian culinary experiment August 11, 2006


So, here it is. Our (ok, Ryan’s) first and somewhat successful attempt at Ethiopian cooking (I know, it doesn’t look too pretty!) We made “Beef stew in a spicy berebere sauce” and it turned out really good, and really spicy. The fake injera (the bread that you eat with) was made using buckwheat pancake mix and biscuit mix and was definitely not as good as the real deal but it got the job done. I have heard that you can purchase pre-made injera, I just haven’t found out where yet. All in all, it was very good and hopefully, by the time our baby comes home, Ryan will be an expert!




Quick Facts August 9, 2006



Here are some quick statistics about Ethiopia:
Population: 72.4 million (UN, 2004)Capital: Addis AbabaArea: 1.13m sq km (437,794 sq miles)Major languages: Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, SomaliMajor religions: Christianity, IslamLife expectancy: 45 years (men), 46 years (women) (UN)Monetary unit: 1 Birr = 100 centsMain exports: Coffee, hides, oilseeds, beeswax, sugarcaneAccording to the U.N. 1 in 10 Ethiopian children are orphans.
HIV/AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty and dire health conditions leave 4.6 MILLION children without parents and 1 in 14 women will die during childbirth.



Hello World! August 8, 2006

In Late April-early May 2006 we made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia. We decided to start this blog to keep family and friends up to date on the many twists and turns on the roller-coaster that is international adoption.
We just switched blog sites- the other one was a pain in the butt, so we’ll see how this one goes! So, here is what’s new on the adoption front. We met with our social worker in July to get the homestudy process underway. She wanted us to complete some online courses and write our autobiographies before meeting with us again. We still have to meet again as a couple, then individually, and finally, she comes to the house to check everything out and meet the dogs. It’s a long process but then we move on to the big stuff- preparing our dossier, more background checks and finally more waiting…and waiting.
I know it will all be worth it in the end.