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Monday, January 23, 2012

A Little Makeover

We have been looking for new furniture for Rylee's room.
But aren't having much luck.
We really haven't found a desk and/or dresser that we really like.
But it's getting ridiculous. 
Her room is a total hog because she has no place to put anything. 
In fact, we haven't even moved a lot of her stuff yet because there is just no point in leaving boxes sit around.

So I found this desk on a classifieds site, and it happened to be a friend of mine selling it.
I bought it for $7
and it looked like this

(Almost forgot to take pics!)

Nail polish and scratches on the top



I spray painted it black (thinking I need an outbuilding for spray painting in the winter--the garage isn't the greatest place for it!)
Rylee picked out some cute fabric in the colors of her room, I put some new knobs on, and slapped a piece of glass on top.



Good as new!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

CNY

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Today we celebrated Chinese New Year at our house!
We have always acknowledged the holiday, but this was the first time we have actually celebrated and it was so much fun!

I printed off several activities for the kids to do:  some coloring pages, mazes, dot-to-dots, bookmarks, etc.  We made paper lanterns and paper fortune cookies too!



I made orange chicken, fried rice, and crab rangoon.  My mom brought egg rolls and the kids made "sushi" (None of us eat sushi, so we made the dessert version!)


After dinner we read "The Runaway Wok", a Chinese New Year tale

and the kids loved it--especially when Tyson sang in his Chinese accent!

It was a fun day--now we just need a little Chinese girl running around here!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finally!!!

We finally received our State Endorsement!
YAY!!!!
Our social worker called me at 2:00 this afternoon and said everything was ready to go.
I had to wait until 3:30 to leave because I had to get the kiddos from school. 
(Agency is about a 40 minute drive from home, so I couldn't make it and be back in time).
Picked kids up, drove to agency, then darted over to FedEx to send homestudy, I800A, and all other documents to USCIS, filled the gas tank and made it back by 5:00 pm for Rylee's volleyball game.
(Please don't do the timing/math on that trip.  It may or may not indicate a violation of the speed limit!)
Whew!
But I feel so much better! 

What exactly is the importance of this State Endorsement, you ask?
It is basically the State of Illinois approving our homestudy.
And we can't move forward without it.
It must be included in the next step in the adoption process, which is the I800A application.
Simply put, it is us asking Immigration permission to adopt a foreign born child and bring her to our country.

 
So what's next?

Now we wait a few weeks to receive a letter notifying us of where/when to get fingerprinted. 
Then continue to wait for I800A approval, which is running about 2 months right now.
In the meantime we continue to prepare our dossier (a compilation of about 17 documents).
Shortly after we receive I800A approval, we will be DTC (dossier to China!)
Which is HUGE!!!!

Clear as mud, huh?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quick Update

Still no State Endorsement.
Last Thursday I sent our social worker an email politely asking if she would contact the State to find out the status of our letter. 
On Friday, she emailed me and said she had a voice mail and an email in to the lady, and she would let me know as soon as she got a response.
First thing this morning, she sent me another email saying she was still waiting for a response and will let me know.
About 15 minutes later, she forwarded me the email response that said the State received the paperwork they needed from our agency and our letter would be completed today.
*Here's the kicker*
She also stated that she received the paperwork from BAAS LAST MONDAY!!!! 
Has it just been sitting on the desk for an entire week?
Had I not insisted on requested an inquiry, how long would they have let it sit there?

But, the good news is that our endorsement letter should go out either today or tomorrow,
and as long as there are no problems with the US MAIL (Ahem...Kristi!), then we should have it by
the end of the week. 
I am really praying it comes Thursday so I can FedEx it that day and it will arrive at the lockbox on Friday.
(No one there to receive it Saturday).
So...HOPEFULLY....we will be on our way again!

(By the way, that means we will be on to the next wait!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Growing Up

This weekend was the Winter Formal at Rylee's school.
She was so excited!

She went with some friends (because as she says "boys are just weird").
True dat, sista!
They announced the date of the dance on the last day of school before break, and she wasn't at school.
She told me WEDNESDAY that the dance was FRIDAY!
So THURSDAY night we headed to the mall to try to find a dress. (I work best under pressure! ha!)
We went to every single store in the mall.
The racks were practically empty.
The dresses were too skimpy.
Rylee is 12, but is super tiny.  (65 lbs soaking wet.)  She really needs a 4T for size, but obviously they are too short. 
She wants to shop in the big girl stores like her big chested built friends.
But it just ain't happening for this chick!
Our options: 
Trying to find a dress in the juniors section, praying for a size 0 that I can take in or pin a little, that isn't strapless or barely covering her tiny hiney, that doesn't cost a fortune might be a bit tricky.
OR
We go to the little girls section, where we are more likely to find something that fits, but doesn't look like it's made for a 6 year old and comes with a matching purse, that doesn't cost a fortune.
Plus, she had a definite style in mind that she wanted.  (No added pressure, of course!)
So after about 4 hours, we found 2 dresses in 1 store.
She pretty much hated 1 of them.
The other was OK, but she wasn't loving it.
Tears were shed. 
Finally, she decided it would do.  (Although I didn't want to spend $50 on a dress she didn't love, didn't feel confident in and I knew she wouldn't wear again).  But the mall was closing in 30 minutes.
So as we were in line paying for this dress, we ran into another girl from her school (and her mom).
She said they had just found their dress at another store in the little girls section.
(We had already been to that store, and totally forgot to check the little girls!)
So we paid for the dress, went to the other store, talked to the sales lady, and she gave us a few options.
They had 4 dresses that were possibilities.
Rylee hated 2 of them.
So she tried on the other 2, absolutely fell in love with one of them.
The look on her face when she came out of the fitting room was worth all the agony of the night.
She was smiling! Beaming! Glowing!
So we got the dress (and a headband!) and it was less than the first dress, which we promplty returned.
Whew!

So after a rough night of pressured shopping, here is what we ended up with....





Thursday, January 5, 2012

You Gotta Be Kidding Me!!!

So we are on day forever waiting for state approval of our homestudy.
It came today.  (That's the good news).
The bad news:
The state won't release our endorsement to our agency because some random form (ok, I'm sure it serves a purpose) they need on file from our placing agency in California expired LAST WEEK. (When Miss Homestudy Approver was off work!)
Seriously?
I called our placing agency, they are getting the form resubmitted.  They won't release the endorsement until they have the hard copy in hand (cannot be faxed or emailed).  Not sure if they are overnighting it, but even if they do it will probably be Monday at best before we can get our homestudy. 
Ugh.

What was that word again.......?

Oh yeah. 
Patience.
*sigh*

Monday, January 2, 2012

Patience

Happy New Year!

It is a new year, and I am so excited!
There are a lot of BIG things happening around here, which should (hopefully) all come to fruition this year!
I am not a person who usually makes New Year's Resolutions.
Instead, I prefer to set some goals for myself. 
Last year's goal list went pretty well.  We checked off almost every item on our list!
This year, with so many things happening, I think I am better off choosing 1 word to focus on.
So this year, my word is PATIENCE.  And for me, that's a biggie!
I am not a patient person by any stretch.
And I am learning that this year especially, I have to work on that.

I have to be more patient with my children.
I have to be more patient with my husband.
I have to be more patient when I drive.
I have to be more patient when I want something.
I have to be more patient with my weight loss.
I have to be more patient with paying off debt.
I have to be more patient when I wait in line.
And probably, most importantly, I have to figure out a way to be more patient with our adoption.
The entire process is long.  It's a bunch of "hurry up and wait".
It's a LOT of waiting.
And more waiting.
And then, you wait some more.
And frankly, I am just NOT good at that.

I am trying really hard to be patient this week, but so far, it's not going so great (and it's only Monday!)

We are still waiting on our State approval of our homestudy.  It usually only takes about a week, but the person who does the approvals took off the week between Christmas and New Year.
She should have received our HS Tuesday or Wednesday (Dec. 20/21), so I am *patiently* hoping and praying that we have it by the end of this week. 
 (Chanting to self: I will be patient, I will be patient...I...will...be....patient....)