Sunday, February 26, 2012

I600A & Care Packages

Early Thursday morning I checked my email before work and found out USCIS has received our I600A and now we can wait for them to appoint a fingerprinting. Now remember, Matt works for the FAA and I teach, so we are both cleared of any criminal misgivings through work background checks. We also were cleared again with the state and the FBI checks in December for the dossier. I know it is a formality, but really? Don't our passports and driver's license prove who we are? So, we wait again...    

On another note, our agency is letting us send care packages to the girls, even though our stuff is not in the DRC yet...I so wish I could be there to see their beautiful faces when they get them! Everyone loves to get things in the mail regardless of age. It is a big responsibility giving them things to nourish their cognitive and physical needs in a gallon sized baggie! But, actually a lot fit in.

Here is what we came up with:

For Sara:

For Nahlya:

I also put a small bag of Oreo mini cookies in each for good measure (I figure even if they get crushed, they will still be yummy). For now we are keeping the packages generic- no photos or anything personal until they know they will have a family. We also made sure there are enough stickers for all the kids in the orphanage and vitamins to share as well (Google translated into French, there isn't any Chiluba dictionary to be found).

I am so happy we can do this every month until they come home! In a small way I feel I am taking care of them and strengthing a bond I already feel from so far away. Of course, now I can start planning the one for Another cute dress? Ideas welcome!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paper Pregnancy

Personally I have never actually been pregnant. I assume I can be, but it has never been anything I really want to experience. Don't get me wrong, I am sure a kid with Matt's curly hair and my blue eyes would be adorable...but that's not important. What's important is raising a kid to contribute to the world, what's important is the daily love and struggles a family has; not how the baby came to be on this earth.

I have heard through pregnant friends that pregnancy brings out the true emotional state of a woman, well, my friends, this must be why they call adoption a paper pregnancy! There are some days I can't stop looking at Nahlya and Sara's pictures, and there are some days I don't want to for fear they won't be ours for whatever reason.

I want to start getting their room ready and really personalizing the house to be theirs too, but at the same time it seems a bit early. When does a truly pregnant couple start these steps? We are about 5 months out until the birth of our new family (I hope, if not sooner!).

Adoption, just like pregnancy, is a waiting game full of unknowns. Both are emotional, and in both you  must go through daily motions assuming everything is fine and the kid will turn out perfect. I "borrowed" this picture from another blogger, and it really represents how I feel...

So,while I don't have any crazy cravings or morning sickness, I do have the other symptoms and feelings of an expectant mom... reading everything I can about what to expect, imagining how they will fit into my arms and what they will be like, going to the doctor for health checks, and probably bugging Matt a bit too much about the whole thing. Not to mention that if the agency is right, our family will have been born in about 9 months from start to finish, and we knew it was two girls at about the 4 month mark.

It is perfect, a paper pregnancy...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Parenting Classes Done!

We just finished 16 hours of parenting classes in two days. If every parent, biological or not, had to take these we would have a totally different world, for the better! We learned how to bond and form attachment, how to answer the tough questions about birth families, the best discipline principles and, perhaps the most interesting, brain development.

Here is an image from class:

Image Detail

What is it? A to scale brain scan of a normal 3 year old boy and a to scale brain scan of a boy who was neglected. Now, the neglected boy was almost feral for his first few years, and I don't imagine Sara and Nahlya are that bad off looking at their pictures (please God don't let them be!), but I don't believe they are constantly cuddled and nourished either. It is freightening to see the results of neglect!

The good news is a child of neglect can have much of the damage reversed with attention, love and sheer patient will-power from the parents. I look at the road we will have to travel once home and wonder if we are strong enough to pull this off. I feel as ready as I can be knowing I will never really be ready. BUT, I want them here like yesterday and know we will do everything we can and more to see the survival and health of the girls flourish. Someday we will be amazed how strong we were and how far we came...

Now, I may start looking into getting my own brain scan, and Matt's and Mystic's and .... doesn't it make you wonder???

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some updating...

Good morning! I find myself in a good mood today, and not for any particular reason....of course maybe an unintentional three-day weekend has something to do with it due to a snow storm that actually closed work on Friday. Snow days are as great now as they were when we were kids! Here is Mystic enjoying her favorite weather:

I realized this weekend that I haven't been keeping everyone totally up to date on the adoption. There was a brief moment a few week ago when we thought we would bring home both a boy and a girl, but that was not meant to be. Now we are getting 2 girls, and we couldn't be more thrilled. The girls are living together and they are exactly 2 years and 4 days apart in age.

I have been gung-ho on keeing the girls original names. I love that their names have a history and help them belong to someone before they were ours. But, that was before I heard "little sisters" name. Unfortunatly, in English her name sounds a bit too much like and STD- although I am sure in Chiluba it is great! Needless to say we had to change it, and we are not going to even let it be her middle name- the unltimate humiliation that would come with it is so not worth keeping. We are keeping her last name though, so she will have that piece of her history. Sara is keeping her entire first and last name and then just adding our family name.

The paper trail this week is that we will file our I600A document. This paper basically preapproves us to bring an "immigrant" orphan into the country. We also should be able to get the dossier into the DRC very soon. All in all I think it will be late June or July before we can really meet the girls and bring them home.  

We will begin working on their room around Spring break. We have enough money to pay for all the adoption fees and  get them mostly set-up here in the house, but we don't have enough to actually go and get them. We are taking a huge leap of faith that somehow it will all work out. I have to believe that one wouldn't go through all the papers, emotions and money to not have it ultimately work out.

So that's it this Beautiful Sunday. I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful week ahead!