Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Packages and more packages

Our agency emailed again today to let everyone know that "the package" I mentioned in yesterday's post was, in fact, not full of referrals. They apologized for getting everyone's hopes up, although they never said they were sure the package contained referrals. They said that they "hoped" it did. I know, not being in this batch it is probably easier for me to not be annoyed. There may be others who are annoyed, but I hope that doesn't last long.

The agency email went on to say that the CCAA had mailed another package yesterday and one more today and, again, they REALLY hope that one of these contains referrals. These packages should arrive this week, so hopefully that means referrals will arrive this week.

Folks, I don't know what I'm going to be like next month. I may need assistance completing my daily errands, etc. Hopefully I'll be able to drive from point A to point B without taking out pedestrians or other cars due to my distracted state of mind. Carrying on a meaningful conversation may be right out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Referrals MAY Be On Their Way

No one is quite sure when referrals will arrive. There are rumors that they have already been sent, but the CCAA is not confirming this.

Our agency sent an email this morning saying that the CCAA would not say whether referrals had been mailed (remember that policy change from a couple of months ago?). Our agency did say that there was a package on the way to them from the CCAA, but they receive a package from the CCAA every week. The are cautiously optimistic that this package contains referrals, but they can neither confirm nor disconfirm this.

Hopefully, the package does contain referrals. If so, they should arrive tomorrow or Thursday. Hopefully we'll be seeing pics of babies soon.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What Will the Day Bring?

There are no rumors yet on when referrals will be sent. All hope is that they will arrive this week. It's possible they won't be mailed until Friday, which would have them arriving next week. (By the way, next month at this time, the above sentences will look something like this: slosd' ifl ijhweljlskdj hblah jjd dsijflj *#&@ oiej ejrlje duh, drool)

There still isn't a firm cut-off date. Still just speculation. It isn't looking good for referrals going through 10/17/05 LIDs, but they should go through sometime in the teens.

When I know something I'll post it.

Meanwhile, P went for testing on Friday at the school she's going to attend next year. She was there for 2 hours and did fine, I'm sure. Personally, I was nervous the whole time. We'll go for a family interview on Wednesday of next week at which point we'll see how she did. As I said, I'm sure she did fine. It's not the SATs and she's pretty smart if I do say so myself.

Over the weekend, the cleaning continued - in a "it gets messier before it gets better" kind of way. We totally rearranged and cleaned out the office - cause that's where the new baby will be spending sooo much time. I know, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it feels so much better in there now.

On the red tape front, we received a notice from USCIS asking for an addendum to our home study update. The upside of this is that they are actually processing our documents. The downside is our social worker apparently didn't indicate HOW she got the updated information from us. It seems odd to me, and a little picky, but hey. She's on the case and will get that sent off to them in the next day or two. Hopefully they will be satisfied and we'll receive our renewed I171H shortly. Last time around, they asked for an addendum 2 1/2 months after receiving our application. This time, it was only a month. So that makes me feel a little better. Not as good as not needing an addendum, but good.

So, how you doin'?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

For Your Entertainment

Rumors and Expectations

Well the rumors are starting to swirl. The referrals are expected next week. They are expected to go up to LIDs somewhere between October 13, 2005 and October 17, 2005.

Our agency sent an email this morning saying that their next batch of referrals should include the 2 LIDs before ours. I don't know when the official cut-off date will be, but for our agency the batch of referrals that arrives at the beginning of February will go through October 11, 2005.

Yes, we're next .... Weeee're so next! Our referral should arrive in March. Chinese New Year begins February 18 and usually the CCAA is closed for a week. I don't know how this will affect "our" batch of referrals. Last year, the CCAA actually sent 2 batches in January - one at the beginning of the month, and one around the 25th; then one around the end of February. There is speculation that there could be another batch before Chinese New Year, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Either way, I'll probably be a babbling idiot around this time next month, just wondering when, when, WHEN??

Thursday, January 18, 2007

No News Is...Uh, No News

Well, it's that time of the month. That quiet time right smack in the middle of referral batches where no one has heard anything.

This week has really been an odd one. Monday, P didn't have school because of the holiday (not to mention hazardous roads conditions). She went to school Tuesday. Then, no school again Wednesday, this time JUST for the ice on the roads. Today is Thursday. P went to school. I was going to IKEA with S. After doing carline at P's school, I called S - she and her chilluns are sick. No IKEA. So, home again home again. What shall I do with all this alone time?

Nothing. P's teacher called around 10:15 and said P wasn't her usual self. So, P's at home. Again. Today. She's disappointed because she was supposed to go to a friend's house after school and now that isn't going to happen. I'm trying to force her to rest. She really doesn't seem that bad.

Anyhoo, there is nothing to report on the referral front - although I DID have a dream the other night that Homeland Security asked us for a monthly income sheet in order to process our documents. That's not actually something they need in the real world. I guess I just need a little worry. The thing is that I keep thinking we really will be in the March referral batch. That will make everything a little less stressful on the form processing front. If we're in the February batch, I may stress about when our new form will arrive. See, the US Consulate in China is now requiring agencies to verify parents' expiration dates for their I171H AND their fingerprints. We won't have that information until we receive the new form. I just don't even want to worry about whether we'll have that info when needed by the Consulate.

Here's an idea: I just won't worry. (HA) What has worrying gotten me in the past? Nowhere.

NO Worries Here... That's me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Let the Cleaning Begin!

Last night we FINALLY got the Christmas decorations out of the baby's room and put back into the attic. Heaven help us, I don't know where we are going to put the storage boxes, etc. during Christmas next year. We'll figure that out when we get there.

Today, I cleaned up the rest of her room....Mostly. I have maternity clothes that I loaned to a friend's daughter that I need to go through and sort. Some will go to a friend and the rest I will bag up for the local charity. Apparently, I won't be wearing those again. But, that's ok.

I made a short list of things that I need to do to get the room presentable. Kind of a first round of cleaning/decorating. Then we'll see what needs to be done from there. Maybe I'll finally get some pictures up of an almost completed nursery.

I keep eyeing the refrigerator, the pantry, and the junk drawers (still haven't gotten to those) as things that need to be cleaned out. Why the sudden need to go through and toss expired medicine? It's not something I've set aside time to do before. P's closet, the playroom, MY closet, the OFFICE (yes dear, I know)...the list goes on and on.

And it must all be done now.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

OK, I Hadn't Thought of That!

I've been cruising along with no expectations (really!) of getting a referral in the next batch.

Now some smarty pants on one of my Yahoo groups had to go and remind everyone that in October 2005, as with every October, the CCAA was closed for a the first week for a national holiday. Here I am thinking, "Oh there are 3 weeks' worth of LIDs until they get to ours. There's no way we'll be in the next batch." Now you take the first week of October out of the equation and it gets the mind wondering (and wandering).

Again, September 29 last year was a big day, so that will affect things, but is it possible....

Let's not fully go there. I'm still keeping my sights on the batch after the next one, but this does raise some questions for me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Say a Prayer

I'd like to ask anyone who regularly reads this blog to say a little prayer for the Holland family. Fr. David is our priest. His wife, Gina, passed away Saturday evening after a short fight with pancreatic cancer.

She was such a wonderful person with a laugh that filled a room. She successfully battled breast cancer about a year and a half ago. She faced it and came through it with grace. She also faced this battle with grace and strength facing what she knew were tough odds.

We will all miss Gina and her laugh, her strength, her courage, her giving spirit.

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Magi at Kaffe-Klatch, so I thought I'd play along. She probably thought I wasn't playing, but I've just been a bit under the weather.

A - Available or Taken: Taken
B - Best Friend: Sue
C - Cake or Pie: Pie - Something chocolate and gooey
D - Drink of Choice: Water, Bailey's, Guinness
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday: Computer
F - Favorite Color: Purple
G - Gummy Bears or Worms: Gummy Lifesavers!
H - Hometown: Grew up in Longview, Now Highland Village
I - Indulgence: Shoes & Purses
J - January or February: January - wedding anniversary!!
K - Kids and Names: Phoebe, 5 & Little sister TBD
L - Life Incomplete Without: Family and Friends
M - Marriage Date: 1/7/89
N - Number of Siblings: 1 brother
O - Oranges or Apples: Oranges
P - Phobias or Fears: Small spaces
Q - Favorite Quote: Sometimes destiny doesn't give us what we ask for so that it can give us more than what we ask for.
R - Reason to Smile: My Phoebe girl
S - Season: Fall
T - Tag 5 People: Heather, Judy, Terri, Krista, and Erin
U - Unknown Fact About Me: I'd love to get paid for painting pictures.
V - Veggie You Don't Like: Lima beans
W - Worst Habit: Not taking chances
X - X-rays: ?
Y - Your Favorite Food: Snickers, Pasta
Z - Zodiac: Virgo

Saturday, January 06, 2007

You Just Keep Thinking That

Only a slight annoyance?

Since I didn't get a response from CIS about whether we really needed to go get fingerprinted for a third time, I decided that I wasn't going to slow down this process by waiting on them for a response. This morning, we went down to the same fingerprint location where we've gone the last 2 times.

The first time, in June 2005, I seem to remember taking a while. The last time, in September 2006, was quick. It lulled me into a false sense of .... something. Anyway, today we got there just before 11am. They are open on Saturdays 8-2. We were given our numbers. Allen was 611, & I was 612. 11am - They're on 595. That doesn't seem too bad. 12 noon, they're on 610. Not bad, not bad.... 1 pm - They're on 610. Bad. Very bad. Apparently, and I can't necessarily prove this, at 12 noon, everyone in back that was doing the fingerprinting went to lunch. Sure when their lunch hour was over at 1, there was only another hour that the office was open, but darn if they didn't enjoy that full lunch hour anyway!

Like I said, I can't prove they all went to lunch, but they didn't call a single person back during that hour. We, of course, were not allowed any food or drink while waiting. 1pm comes around, they start calling numbers again. Nobody in the chairs waiting in the back for printing. They call enough numbers to fill up the chairs. There were 2 people working/waiting to start taking prints. Allen mentioned to his guy the seeming lunch break and of course his guy said nobody took a lunch break. Of course over the course of the 15 minutes we were getting printed, 4 or 5 employees came in with to go cups looking like they'd gone to lunch and a few of them went "back" to work.

I know people gotta eat. Heck, I was pretty hungry myself! It would have been nice if they had just come out and said, "Hey look, we're not going to work for an hour. If you want to walk next door and grab a bag of chips and eat it outside, you're not going to get skipped." But for some reason, I guess they thought we wouldn't notice.

So we finished there around 1:30. Somehow.

Then, we went to eat. I could have eaten our table, and almost thought I was going to have to. For about 10 or 15 minutes we thought we were eating at an establishment where everyone was taking a lunch break. Long story short, we ended up with a floor manager and 2 waiters looking after us. Low blood sugar makes me, uh, assertive.

Anyhoo, what a day. Now there can be no delay with CIS processing our documents - unless of course they happen to be reading this.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Overall, It's Only a Slight Annoyance

We received a letter from Homeland Security today. Hmm. What could it be? I know they haven't already processed our paperwork. We've already received a letter acknowledging receipt of our paperwork. Surely, it's not....

It is. It's a fingerprint appointment letter. Huh? OK, so maybe I haven't been paying attention. Maybe I've been ignoring things said on various yahoo groups. Apparently, even though we had our fingerprints renewed in September, and they expire in December 2007, they are acting like we need to have them done again. SURELY, we don't really have to go have a fingerprints taken a 3rd time (3 months after the last time). Surely not. Hey, don't call me Shirley (sorry, I couldn't resist)

I sent an email to the Dallas adoptions person at the CIS and hope to get a response tomorrow. Our agency told us to send a copy of our old I171H with our renewed fingerprint date on it, so that they would know that we have valid, current fingerprints. We did that. Hopefully, this letter gets automatically generated and we don't really need to be re-re-printed.

We shall see. It's not a lot to get worked up about. It's just spending Saturday morning at the immigration office, maybe grab some tasty Mexican food afterward.

It's Official

The CCAA has updated its website. The official cutoff was indeed September 27, 2005. So, that leaves about 3 weeks worth of LIDs until ours! I'm NOT, NOT, NOT getting my hopes up for our referral to be in the next batch. I'm NOT. I AM hoping for the batch after the next one and will probably be very disappointed if it doesn't come by then. What can I say, I don't want to set myself up, but REALLY it shouldn't take them more than 2 months to get through 3 weeks of LIDs. REALLY.

OK, breathe. We really are getting close.

Here are some more pics of babies with new families.
On our way to China
The Story of Gracie
Gleason Journal
A Daughter
McFees Girl
Journey for Maggie
Journey to Zoe
(Music) We Cross our Heart

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Baby Pictures Are Arriving

Referrals are coming in for this month's referrals. The official cut-off date is still not clear. September 27, 2005 LIDs are included, but September 29 LIDs are not. Not sure about September 28.

A lot of people are upset that the CCAA didn't cover more LIDs, but hey, I'm just excited they made it almost to the end of September. The covered about 20 days. It seems like it's been a while since they covered that much time.

Here are some links to people "expecting" in the current batch of referrrals:

Sink or Swim
My baby Ava
An Invisible Thread
Waiting for Emma
Our Journey to Margaret
Miah Miah Miah
Our Family Journal
Our Journey to Marlee
Adopting Mia
Goliath Family
Our Journey to Mylia
Journey to Grace
Journey to Elizabeth

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Here We Are - In 2007

Happy New Year everyone. It will be an interesting year.

As we near the 2 year mark of starting the adoption process, we are so close to actually receiving our referral! The rumor update today is that European agencies are receiving referrals for LIDs at least through September 27, 2005. The only LID our agency has in September is September 12. The next LID at our agency after that is October 10. Hopefully, we'll find out an official cut-off date soon. But maybe they'll make it all the way through September. The 27th is pretty darn close!

I still don't expect our referral at least until the March batch, if not after because October is so big. But, Good Lord, we're getting close.

2 kids....what was I thinking?!