Sunday, February 26, 2006

The checks in the mail

We sent four money orders to be exact. Why four? Because the only place that was open that makes money orders could only make them out in increments of up to $500.00 dollars. It was a last minute dash to get them off .
I got paid by a contractor that I work for at 12:00 on Saturday. We thought that Mailboxes ect. didn’t close until 3:00 on Saturday. So we went home to get the papers we needed to send with the first payment to our agency. We checked the mail when we got home and got a wonderful surprise. The U.S. department of Homeland Security in Memphis, TN had sent us an Orphan Petition Fingerprint Referral Notice. That means when our home study is done we can go get fingerprinted to get the ball rolling on our I-171-H. A very needed and priceless document to people adopting internationally.
After reading through the mail and getting the papers we needed we headed off to mail boxes ect. When we got there I saw on the door that they closed at 1:00 on Saturday. That was in five minutes, (just in time I thought). When I asked if they made money orders they said NO. Then the mad dash was on. I ran out to the car like a mad man and told Lori to go inside and get started on the Fed-Ex forms. She asked me what address to mail it to? That was when I realized that I didn’t bring the address with me. Stall them I said to her as I jumped into the truck. I drove home, got the address, went to the grocery store to get the money orders, and by the grace of God the person behind the counter knew what they were doing. I made it back to Lori and the poor girl that had staid after to help at 1:05. She was very understanding and I told her that I would remember that they closed at 1:00 on Saturday from now on. The first payment will be there at 3:00 on Tuesday and that is good because we need them to give us the dossier guide that shows how we need to right up a finical statement because we will be meeting with our accountant on Wednesday morning. Then we have to get our financial statement done by 4:00 that afternoon for our last home study visit which is also that same day. I’m looking for word to Wednesday. I have needed that dossier guide for awhile so that I could start sending out documents. We’ll see if everything works out, or if the entire thing I have stacked up falls like a house of cards...

Friday, February 24, 2006

One down one to go

The first home study is over and it was a walk in the park. It took about two hours to do the first part of it and there wasn’t even a tour of the house. She asked us some questions, and gave us some advice as to what to do for some of our paper work.
All in all it was more like we were catching up with an old friend that we hadn’t seen in awhile. She had asked if she could bring two students with her to the interview, and we said sure they were nice to. So the unevent I was hoping for came true.
She has to come back on Wednesday when Brandon is out of school to interview him about his home life, discipline, ect.
When he got home from school today we told him that she needed to interview him. He immediatly said something about being beaten daily with bricks in a pillow case. That kid kills me, he is to sharp witted for his own good.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

How long has that been there?

The big home study is Friday the 24(tomorrow) we have cleaned the house from top to bottom form the bed room to the laundry room. Wile doing such a detailed cleaning I found myself asking how long has that been there. I even put up some new light fixture here and there .I know the home study is not all about the house but like they say in one of my favorite movies “A Christmas Story” Moments before zero hour even the most profound scoffers don’t take any chances.
The person doing our home study called today to see if we can move the home study up from 4:00 to 2:00 sounds good to me lets get this thing over with. I’m hoping it is rather uneventful but we will have to see.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Connecting with our daughter

From the time we first decided to adopt Norah we have been picking up things for her when we are out. This helps us make a connection with her. One of the first things I bought for her was this security blanket. It wasn’t expensive but it means so much to me when I see it, I know that it is her security blanket.

Lori went out the other day for her first taste of freedom after school. She stopped into Mardels and found Oki she is part of the groovy girls collection they have dolls that represent a lot of ethnicities.

She also found this lady bug dress with maching bloomers that is adorable and let’s not forget the cute mouse hat with puffballs and matching tights. All these things are Norah’s they belong to her. We get down Norah’s a plastic container in Norah’s room and add Norah’s things to it as we pick them up.
Do you see how picking up a little thing here and there is the only physical connection we have to go off of?

I came across this poem and thought I would share it here.

Dear Sweet Daughter

As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday.

My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.

But now my dreams have been transformed.

New visions fill my head.

Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.

And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round. Now in my dreams they’re
almond shaped and colored cocoa brown.

And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas.

They reach half-way around the world to hold you close to me.

As you grow in your mother’s womb, carefully knit together, you’re also growing in my heart, where you will stay forever.

And in my dreams the moment that your mother says good-bye, be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.

Our features may not look alike; we’re different as can be. But still I know the Father has created you for me.

And though I’ve not seen your face, or held your tiny hands, and though we’re half a world apart in very different lands, I’ll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows. But ‘til He says the time is right, I give you this vow.

I’ll pray for your protection every day on bended knee, for God to hold you in His arms, until you’re here with me.

-Gayle Leubecker

Thursday, February 16, 2006


There is now. Lori passed her state boards to become a registered nurse, she took the test Tuesday but didn't get the results until this morning. She has been working on a temp liscence since she graduated from school. So now I get to have my wife back. During these last couple of years she has shown the kind of dedication to her school work that most people will never know. I'm happy for her, she can finally have time to, well do just about anything that she wants. Plus I get to have my wife back. Anyone who has had a spouse go threw an intensive period of school work will know what I mean. It's all school work all the time.
In the adoption part of our life we got our birth & marriage certificates from vital check. Wow that was fast, we had them fed-exed to us. I just ordered them from three different places two days ago. I heard from our home study person today. We're still on for the 24th but I have been working so much to pay the fees that I have done Nil on the home front. I will have to make some progress on Sunday or replace all the 75 watt light bulbs in the house with 5 watts so she can't see anything. I'm hoping to send the first agency payment out on Mon or Tues threw fed-ex. I will not be using the usps, they loose packages. Then our agency will give me the code to the dossier area which will tell me what to do with the certificates that I just ordered.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

REORDERED! Our Birth & Marriage Certificates.

Yes, I had to reorder them from vital check. There’s a link to them in the side bar, because last year I was trying to find a way to do at least something to get ahead of the game on our adoption so I figured I would order our marriage license and birth certificates. Bad idea that early. About a week after I ordered them I found out that they expire one year from the date they were made, ours were made on Aug. 16 of 2005 which makes them already 6 months old at the start of our paper chase. These are the documents that need to be certified, authinticated and sealed and since I don’t want to risk them expiring before our dossier is finished and we are LID in China the dates on all documents except fingerprints freeze in time at LID “log in date”. Finger prints are only good for 15 months so be sure that you get your dossier done and sent to China ASAP after fingerprints are done on you.
Lori took her big RN test today she has know idea how she did but I know she passed. I married a smart woman.

Monday, February 13, 2006


We Fed-exed our I-600A (advanced petition to adopt an orphan from another country) today with a sizeable money order to cover "fees" and fingerprinting for my wife and myself. Don't forget to put copies of your marriage & birth certificates in ther to.Make sure that if you need one of these, you order the I-600A from the USCIS, not the I-600. Alot of USCIS offices let you file this form before your home study is completed so that they can get a head start on beginning your file. I've been told that it takes awhile to get a fingerprint appointment from Memphis, but we'll see how it goes. We tried to call the fingerprinting place in Fort Smith, but not only were they rude, they were not even willing to discuss it. We also got all of our agency contract agreement paperwork notorized and should be ready to send it off with the first payment installment by the end of this week. I'm happy with the way things are moving along so far. My wife takes her NCLEX-RN tomorrow. I'll be glad when it's over and she's passed so that I can finally have my wife back after 4 years. (She studies ALL the time!)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A Home Study Date Has Been Set.

Well ready or not we set up a date with our home study agency. It's 2/24/06 there's still alot of things to get done around the house before then. I know that we knew this day was coming a year ago but we have been working on this house for years and there's still things that need to be done/finished. Like take the photo to the left for instance. That would be our son sitting in his office, yes I said office. He used to be in the room right across the hall from us when he was young. That's where he (and we) felt safe, but now since he is 2 inches taller and out weighs me I figure that he's ok at night being 1 room further away from us down the hall.
With the new baby coming he decided to move to the room down the hall so that she could fell safe and make it easier for us to check on her. It was not a far move but still I didn't want him to fell like we were kicking him out, so what we did is create him a teenagers paradise to move into. I took the coat closet from the living room and sealed it off, then put double doors on the inside of his new room to help detuor his new little sister from getting into his stuff when he's not home. We got him a nice soft office chair to sit in, and under counter lights so he can see what he's working on. For intertainment we put in a control unit that lets him play any game system that he has without unhooking everthing, and a dvd player with surround sound to boot. For Christmas he got a new laptop because he worked all last summer and saved his money for his old one that I bought on ebay used and it fried after 1 year. We felt so bad for him because he really worked hard for that laptop, so we got him a new one for Christmas with warrenty. Only problem is now we have to pry him out of his room to spend time with us. I can remember when I was his age my room was my sanctuary too. Where was I going with all this, oh yea, home study because I sealed the door off in the living room there now a place that has to be painted you can see it in the left of the second picture. And you can see there a roll of carpet that matches the rest of the house that has to be put into Norah's room after we paint it.,What's that dog doing down the hall. He knows he is not supposed to be on the carpet. Anyway, nothing huge needs to be done, IT JUST NEEDS TO BE DONE. I hope there are other people out there that do projects on their houses and get them 99% done, then move on to the next projet. Because that's the way we have done stuff around here for years.
Me and Lori have been transforming this house as we have had the money out of pocket so it has been a slow on going projet that we have picked away at even when our income got cut in half when she went to school. She takes her state boards for her RN on Valentine's Day, then she will have a license, right now she is working on a temp. license that she got when she graduated. I'm so proud of her but she needs to get her life back it's been nothing but study, study, study for over three years. I will post pictures of our progress if there is any progress.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Please turn off all cellphones inside the theater!

Well the three of us went to the movies today and as a curtosy to everyone we turned off our cellphones. Well we actually put them on vibrate. So the movie just starts and my phone starts vibrating in my pocket, so I stop it by squeezing it. I figure that I will call whoever it is back after the movie. The three of us are together so I knew everyone was ok. Then my wife's phone starts vibrating she looks at it and the hands the phone to me. I see the number of who called and I reconize it as our agency. We had sent them the last thing they needed for them to approve us late Friday. I leave the theater to go try to call them back, but this is Sunday after noon so all I got was an answering machine. I left a message to call back when they get in the office not really knowing what the call was for, but hoping that it was to tell us we are approved. My mind kept thinking about it while I was trying to watch the show. We went straight home after the movie hopeing that they sen't us an e-mail and they had . We are officially approved! Here's the kicker, they sent an attachment with it and my Outlook express flagged it and would not allow me to open it. I know it's early in this and that this will probably seem small in comparision to other challenges that lay ahead.

Friday, February 03, 2006


This adoption prosses is going to be a real lesson in patience for me. We have been looking forward to starting this process for a year and now that we are on our way I'm doing everything I can to help things along but there are things that are coming up now and will come up as we go along that I will have to deal with. For instance, I found out today from the person that is going to do our home study that our back ground checks from Child Maltreatment have not come in yet. They usually only take 2 weeks to process here. So I'm going to have to call them on Monday to find out what happend. We had to have our doctor write a letter amending some information on our physical form that our agency said China would want more information on. It took about a week to get the letter and we just faxed that to the agency late today. I'm hoping that is the last piece that we need in order to be approved.
I guess that I will just have to leave my beloved instant gratification to things like mulching the yard. We ordered15 qubic yards of mulch and spread it in one day. That is about 100 wheelbarrows full. It looked so good when we were done, now that's instant gratification.

My Koi pond