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Archive for August, 2009

The Finish Line

I had a post all ready to go Thursday afternoon before I hopped on a train and with one key stroke it disappeared on me and I had no more time to write anything else. Ah, the joys of technology.

Anyway, what I wanted to share on Thursday was… (drum roll, please…)

I mailed our dossier to WACAP!!!

Provided everything is in order, we’re finished this phase of the process. It’s hard to believe.

We are now waiting for our I797C from US Immigration, and when we get that, we’ll officially be on the waiting list.

I went on to have a fabulous weekend in New York, which I’ll write more about very soon.

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Closer and closer

Time for a little update…

We received a “congrats” email from WACAP today — they approved our home study and welcomed us officially into the Ethiopia program. Yay! (This surely means another big invoice is on its way. Not yay!)

I picked up all our dossier documents last week from our notary and this afternoon we brought them to the circuit court of Baltimore County (outside the city), because that’s where our notary is registered. The clerk wouldn’t certify three of our documents because of some small oversights on the notary’s part, so we had to drop into the notary’s office again on the way home and get that taken care of.  I have to go back up to the court offices tomorrow morning. Oh well.

We had planned to drive to Annapolis tomorrow to have the dossier documents state certified, but we’ll see. We do work for a living. Besides that, we just have to get our passport pictures taken and then I’ll head to Fed Ex, make the staff swear on their lives that our packet won’t be lost, and then wait for WACAP to approve the dossier.

With every step, we are closer to being finished with this phase. Can we get it all done before I go to New York on Thursday? I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll keep focusing on that finishing line.

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Home study… check!

IMG_2513

This arrived by mail today. We had to chuckle… It’s a certificate that says we’re now  officially approved to be an “adoptive home.” (Do people actually frame these things?) This piece of paper means allelujia we finished our home study!  It’s now been sent to U.S. Immigration and to  WACAP.

In the next five days we’ll get our fingerprints done, passport photos taken, visit the county courthouse to get our dossier papers certified, drive to the state courthouse in Annapolis to get everything certified, and mail it all off to WACAP next week.

After that, we wait for the piece of paper — the I797C (known as the 171H in other states). The date on that piece of paper will be the official beginning of the wait for our children. We’re awfully close now to finishing the chapter of this first major phase of the adoption process.  Whew. If we can get everything sent off, we’ll toast this big milestone while looking out at the Manhattan skyline next week when we’re in New York for my brother’s birthday celebration.

My husband returned home this evening tired and hungry after a very long day of driving, but all in one piece. I’m grateful.

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Bugging out

Our visitor

Our visitor

This is Frank. Or maybe Gerry. I don’t know which, it’s hard to tell them apart in photos.

As I’ve mentioned before, we live in an old house.  And somehow there’s enough room under our side door for two little slugs to pay us regular visits. No other bugs come in, just these slugs. One big and one smaller. And being slugs, you’d think they’d be sluggish, but no… they can really move their butts. They’re also predictable — they only come in late at night and they always head for the back room, where there’s carpeting and TV. Which is weird.

At first they grossed us out. I mean, they’re slimy looking slugs. But now we find them entertaining. We even named them — Frank and Gerry. Each night they come in and each night we put them back outside. Most people take their dogs out around here, we take our slugs out. It’s become a comic routine.

Speaking of bugs… I get very freaked out over the camel crickets who show up occasionally in our basement. I don’t know what it is about them. I’m okay with bugs generally — I grew up in the country, after all. But these crickets are like ugly giant spiders that hop fast and far on long, spindly legs. And they seem to know I hate them.

Usually when I see one, I scream and run away like a little girl and insist my husband come to the rescue. Brian can kill anything within 20 feet with a solitary elastic band. No joke. He learned it as a youngster working late night shifts at a bakery that had way too many flies. Bored stiff much of the time, he learned to take the flies out one by one with rubber bands. Little did he know how much this skill would come in handy. I’m not one who likes to kill anything, but I make exceptions for mosquitoes, flies and now, camel crickets.

So, anyway… we haven’t seen one of those cricket monsters in a long time and yesterday I opened to door to the basement (where we do our laundry) and there, half way down the stairs, was the biggest, ugliest, blackest camel cricket I’ve ever seen. Waiting for me. So, of course, I couldn’t do the laundry. There was no husband here, and I realized right then that if I’m going to do the four loads of laundry I’ve got backed up, I may have to face this cricket down before Brian gets home. Not sure how I’m going to do it, but if that thing hops on me, I’m going to have a heart attack.

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Missing a part of me

My husband left today for Kentucky. I miss him already. We’re complete wimps about being apart — especially me. I’m good for about one night; then I start feeling a little anxious, like my world is not quite right. Part of this is probably because we’re never apart. We like it that way.

Brian and I are very different, but we’re perfect companions. Complimentary in our traits and gifts, similar in our worldview, we don’t have to do much to be having fun. We’re truly best friends who enjoy each others’ company. Usually, we’re also cracking up — we’re utter goofballs and often remark that we’re so glad people can’t peer into our house and witness the insanity in here. At the same time, our lives would make a good sitcom.

My in-laws retired to northern Kentucky, just outside Cincinnati, where Brian’s mom was born and raised. Her siblings live close by and she and my father-in-law like it there. Unfortunately, it’s an almost 10 hour drive, which prohibits frequent visits. It’s a  pretty ride though, winding through the West Virginia mountains, and Brian loves to drive… give him an open road, good music, and coffee the way he likes it, and he won’t complain. Me, I’m not the most relaxed person in anything motorized. My preferred mode of transport is a train, but only if it’s not crowded and doesn’t stop in long, dark tunnels.

The only thing I look forward to about Brian being away is not having to think about what’s for dinner. Although Brian is the better chef, I cook most of our regular meals. For the next six days, I can throw together a few leafs of lettuce, a fresh tomato, grilled peppers, some cheese and crackers, brown rice… whatever I can find in the fridge and pantry if need be. This simply wouldn’t do for my protein-needy husband. So, I can remind myself to at least be be glad for the treat of having only me to feed.

The other thing going on here is that although I’m very independent, I don’t do so well alone. This comes from being a major extrovert who was raised in a huge family. If I need time alone, I go for a walk. That’s about all I need. It’s not so much that I can’t be alone, I just lose my energy when I’m by myself. I don’t enjoy it and I’m less productive.

I’m also a bit of a worrywart, so I won’t relax until I know Brian has arrived safe and sound tonight. Now that an iPhone has showed up in his life, that’ll help. He’s not a phone guy, but since the iPhone is really more of a can-do-anything-Star-Trek device, he’ll be keeping it close. Which means I can bug him.

Did I mention I miss my husband already?

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Well, we got all the way to the immigration office this morning (which truth be told, is not far from us), only to discover we had no change for the meter, no cash to even make change, and no time to do anything about it because of other commitments. We abandoned our plans. Since Brian leaves tomorrow for Kentucky, we have to wait until next Friday at this point.

Bummer.

Just when you think you have everything planned out perfectly… I think it’s just that we’re so close to finishing this paperwork insanity, so close to being on the waiting list, I’m feeling very impatient.

At present, I’m typing this from the iPhone again — in the car. (Don’t worry though, I’m not driving).

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I am writing this from my husband’s new iPhone. Pretty crazy, this thing. I’m even typing with my thumbs, which I didn’t think was possible. Did I mention that I’m a fiscally irresponsible wife for saying yes to an iPhone right now? It’s a business expense — and tax-deductible — so we can justify it. But still.

And did I mention that though I hate to admit it, even this quasi-Luddite thinks it’s beyond cool? (Sorry, Mags.)

Oh, and because my husband is both a budding historian and a confirmed tech-geek, his iPhone wallpaper is a mosaic of the sixth century Byzantine Empress Theodora.

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