Tuesday, September 27, 2016

USCIS, Here we come!

I know you're wondering what I have been up to. Here's the long answer:
First week of September: Bother the home study and placement agencies everyday while they revise and edit and notarize and mail. They did get it done pretty darn fast, so squeaky wheel and all that. Plus, I have been totally blessed by my agency workers so far.
Second week of September: Celebrate my husband's birthday and get ready to go on an anniversary trip to Dominican Republic that we prepaid for with our income tax refund back in March. Quite honestly, if we had not already paid for the hotel and plane tickets, we would not have taken any vacation. It's just another indication that God is sovereign in His timing and in the details. While on vacation, Grandma gets home study in the mail and sends in the USCIS copy with all the application stuff I have already put in a Fed Ex envelope for her.
Third week of September: Get back to regular life, but mostly struggle with some nasty stomach problem I brought back with me from the DR. Also, we got royally screwed by Expedia and had to pay extra to the hotel. It made for a stressful time, and I bent over backward fighting it. But it was almost as if God was saying, just pay it, just let it go. That was very hard for me, but I figured God's glory would just be bigger because of it. All this made for a dark week back from vacation. Then our main computer died. Then my trunk door had the hydraulics go out (the things that hold the trunk open, so it takes two people now, one to hold the door up and one to load/unload the groceries). Then the dog ate the vacuum cord into seventeen separate pieces, and I love that vacuum! Oh, and the insurance denied coverage for our blood tests last month, so our credit card got charged $500 by the lab. I had a revelation though. We have been reading George Mueller's biography and finished it, but I finally got it this week. George never plans ahead, never saves money, total opposite of me. He just prays for what they need, then for what the orphans need. Every day, sometimes just day by day. And they never went hungry, not once. God always provided, sometimes at the last minute. And every year they were able to take in more and more orphans. How can I worry? Also, I'm out of energy for worrying. We had a fun day trip to the capitol to get some state certifications and we stopped at the visitor's center for a little learnin'. We figured out that it was cheaper to drive there than pay FedEx overnight shipping, go figure.
Last week of September: My stomach seems to have sort of remembered how to digest food today, so I think there is hope. I think. This is day 10 and I'm sick of it. I'm sort of better but only because I only eat bread, eggs, fruit and vegetables now. Too much caffeine, sugar or grease and I start all over. I have no idea what I got in the DR but I'm petrified of something similar happening while we are in China. Stomach viruses knock me out! Anyway, this week is looking up, let me tell you how: my genius husband replaced the hydraulics on my trunk door and then on the same day he took apart the vacuum and rewired a new cord from Home Depot. And we got a special needs grant from our agency. It's not massive, but we have never gotten any kind of grant before so it was huge to me! Just the fact that somebody picked us is amazing! It was a wonderful sign to me that even in the dark times, God is watching over us. I also realized this week that I neglected to mention my husband's college expenses in any of the grant applications we filled out. Kind of a fat expense to forget, right? Oh well, it's all in God's hands anyway and He seems to be taking care of us.
Well, I am sick of talking about money and my stomach. This week I am eagerly anticipating our fingerprint notice. Like super eager. Of course, this is the week we have a new mailman and they are bringing our mail when the sun goes down.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Still Waiting for the Home Study...

Yes, we are still waiting though it is not the fault of our home study agency. My social worker is a rockstar and she had it to me last week for proofreading. The home study agency had sent it to my placement agency by last Friday. No, I am waiting on my placement agency to approve it. I am itching to have it in my hands so I can send in our I-800A application. Seriously, I'm twitchy, antsy, fidgety, and totally restless. I am physically restraining myself not to call them every single day. I have been given estimates of one week up to three weeks for them to approve it. I understand it has to go through certain channels and may need more edits, but if I can do all the paperwork, background checks, doctors forms, visits, etc. for a home study in four weeks, then they should be able to edit it in less than two. I love my placement agency, but three weeks is totally unacceptable. I NEED it back next week. Otherwise I won't be nearly as impressed with my agency as I used to be.

Kiddo Update: Child #1 is doing awesome academically... on the days that he is motivated. Quite a deep thinker, that kid. He is running 5Ks with his dad and he is doing a race with middle schoolers this weekend. He is making plans for building a computer. Child #2 is still busy reading and writing comics. His drawing is still a little rudimentary but the creativity is off the charts. Math is getting better. Still working on his frustration levels. Child #3 is smart and energetic and still incredibly independent and bossy. She is running with the others now and she loves to wear workout clothes all the time. Child #4 is still very much like a butterfly, flitting here and there and light as a feather. She is clever and learning to read more everyday. She is Amazing at running. She can ran long distance races and come in right behind my son and husband. She is great at gymnastics too, but as I told the girls, no money, no gymnastics. So that is on hold for the next year I think. I feel awful, but until we can pay for the adoption, gymnastics is too expensive. But we are doing the running as a family, so that has an added bonus.
Until then, I leave you with ---- PUPPY!...