Busy Bees

Three MD appointments: check
Blood work: check
4 individual interviews by social worker: check
List of questions emailed to dossier specialist: check
Grocery store: check
Read to the kids: check
Played with the kids: check
Made a yummy summer meal: check
Pre approval paper waiting for me in my email: NADA!

All in all, a lot accomplished for one day. As long as we are moving forward and not at a stand still, we are doing well.


Summertime Fun

We had some summertime fun with friends at a local water park. Great place and family friendly. The kids will sleep well tonight, baby!

They had a blast going down all the water slides over and over and over......

Great day, but would have been better if I had gotten my PA


The Birds and the Bees

Sometime ago, I realized that it was about time to have "THE TALK" with the girl. We are talking basics, people. When we were discussing the possibility of an adoption and a new sibling with the kids, she asked me what country she should go to to get her little boy or girl. Hmmm....I am really glad that we accomplished the goal of having our children see adoption as a normal way of coming into a family. You know, either you are a boy or girl and either you are bio or adopted. There's just two normal choices. However, I think the girl may have missed what the bio choice entails. Will have to work on that this summer.

On the adoption front, I had my state police fingerprints done a few days before Eric. He received his notarized letter within just a few days. It has been two weeks, and I hadn't received mine. When I called yesterday, the woman that typed the letters said she did not realize mine was an international adoption so she did not send me a letter. Kindly, she typed and notarized one and put it in the mail that day. So glad I called! Eric's birth certificates came too. I've been spending evenings going through paperwork I need for the dossier and doing the 10 hours of parent education. It is all put on a CD. That is 400 pages of mind boggling, eye straining work. So not fun! We have now been waiting 10 days for our pre approval letter. I will be feeling great when we get that!


God Made Me That Way!

Eric can't stand the "dumb" questions we have to answer while doing a home study. You know the ones, what would you say if ........ (fill in the blank). Now that we are an "interracial" family, we have actually had a few of those scenarios actually happen. I found it amusing when a little boy in Grant's Tae Kwon Do class kept saying Ne Hao every time he saw him! Grant just looked at him like he had 3 heads! I had to explain to Grant that he was saying hello in Chinese AND I had to explain that Grant was Kazakh, not Chinese. The little boy seemed a bit confused by the fact the Grant only speaks English. Answering the home study questions again, I realized the progress we have made over the years. First of all, I really don't think that people in our community see our family as different any more. I really don't. We are active enough in our community, school, and kids' lives that people just see us as the Wood family, not the "family with the adopted kid". I remember when Grant was three years old. Allyson, Grant, and myself were walking into the mall, and he said, "Mommy, why do I have to be brown, and you and Ally get to be peach?''. OUCH! My stomach literally fell down to my toes. I was so sad for him in that moment and felt like I had already screwed him up. From what I have read, adopted kids can have low self esteem issues. We talked about how everyone has differences and how God purposely made everyone differently. We talked about the differences in each one of his family members and what characteristics he has in common with each of us. Fast forward to today. If you were to ask Grant, "Why are you so handsome?" or "Why are you so smart?", he would most definitely say, "Because God made me that way". He is very matter of fact and is very confident of himself. Success? I hope so, but I realize this is a work in progress. I think for Grant to have a little brother that mirrors his almond-shaped eyes, his dark hair, and brown skin will be an added bonus. With our new addition, no one person will be "different" or the "odd man out". I am blessed to have a family created in different ways!


Catch Up!

Boy do I have some catching up to do in every way! We are home from our vacation. The girls had a wonderful time at camp. I'm almost caught up on laundry but behind on everything else. I have been working feverishly to finish up the home study so I can submit the I-800a. I am concerned that it will take too long to process and would take longer than our 3 month time frame. I don't even want to think about that! I've also been working on getting the dossier together. Our medical appts. are next week and I need to find a notary to see the MD sign our forms. We had a second visit from our social worker and will have a third next week. I need to finish and mail Grant's yearly post placement TODAY, pay bills, get the dog's rabies license corrected, among several other errands.....TODAY! Yikes, I wish I was back on vacation. I really hate this part of the adoption. I would rather be finished with the paperwork and have it submitted. Yes, "the wait" to hear anything back once your dossier is in is aweful. I'd just rather be done with "my part".

The kids really enjoyed fishing at the lake. When I say "kids", I am including my husband in that. He would get up before anyone and head down to the lake. Grant caught a "large mouth bass". We keep asking him what he caught because it sound so cute when he says it. Ally did everything she could at camp: land trolley, water trolley, 300 ft water slide, lake water slide, tubing, hiking, canoeing, swimming, rifle range, archery, frisbee golf..... the list just goes on. I'm so glad she went, and so sorry she came home with her WET clothes stuffed in her pillowcase!

On another note, we took the kids to see UP last night. It was such a great movie. If you haven't gone to see it yet, you need to go. Great story line, great comedy, great characters! We definitely enjoyed it!


What every boy needs.......

Allyson and the girls are off at camp, and we are having a wonderful time here in North Carolina. We have seen 4 beautiful waterfalls, ate real BBQ, visited the Indian village, mined for gems (what a tourist trap), and have just been enjoying time with Grant. Tomorrow the guys want to go fishing and then maybe tubing. We'll have to see what we feel like. At the tourist trap, I mean, Indian reservation, Grant found some real souvenirs. Every boy needs a slingshot, a real Indian flute, tomahawk, and a cap gun at some point in his life. Now it sounds like we are raising a very violent little guy, but he has been fighting off the "bad guys" ever since lunch. With his new summer mohawk and tomahawk in hand, he is fierce!


It's a Boy!

We received a referral on Friday afternoon of an adorable little boy. He is a little younger than we originally pictured for ourselves, but he is cute. He is only two years old in the pictures they sent even though he is now 3 yrs and 2 months old. He will be four by the time we get him home, plenty of time to adjust and learn a new language before kindergarten. I don't think this will really hit me completely until we are closer to getting him or at least out of the "first trimester". We will be waiting 4-6 weeks for a pre-approval letter. During this time I will be working at lighting speed to get all the documents gathered that I can for our dossier. Time is ticking and I have 3 months to get it all in including translation time. Yeah, no stress there!

On another note, we are in the mountains with the kids and my cousins girls. They are having some good summertime fun and making memories they will probably remember forever. The girls haven't bickered once. They took showers upstairs after slopping around in a waterfall and stream. Our nice quiet mountain wasn't so quiet. The cackles those girls make are ear piercing, a seriously dangerously high decibel.


Both feet first!

So we've jumped in both feet first! Adoption is always such a huge leap of faith especially for someone like me who HAS to know what will happen next and when it will happen. We finally decided on China Special Needs program through Wasatch International. I am hoping that any day now, our boy will pop up on my computer and that by next year this time we will have him home. If I think about all that could go wrong, the air just sucks right out of my lungs. So I'm not thinking about it. I will learn once again how to completely rely on God.

On another note, today is the first day of summer vacation for my kids.....and it's raining. That's okay because we have to do some shopping to get Allyson ready for summer camp. Surely she's not old enough yet, right? Grant graduated from kindergarten, sigh! Surely it was just yesterday that I walked off the plane with toddler in tow after a very long trip from Kazakhstan. How time flies!


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