Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Surprise! It's a Girl!

I bet you thought it was the referral:-) Not yet, but hopefully soon. This post is about my wonderful friends-they are the best! They lured me to our favorite coffee stop (not too hard to do) for a surprise shower.

My mom was in on it too and it's hard to believe that she kept the secret. We all give her a really hard time about her inability to keep secrets, all in good jest.

Here's a picture of all the loot. Not only are these ladies good friends but they have excellent taste in gifts. Baby Jones received a bumbo seat, some really cute onsies and a sleeper, bibs, toys, a blanket, and photo albums. My friend the photographer has offered to fill up her photo album with family pics when we get home-YEAH!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm not sure where the week went. R and I have been busy, busy, busy trying to get our service plan done for the agency. Think grad school dissertation type reporting but student aged 40+ and too old, and too tired to do the all night study sessions.

Seriously, I seem to work better when the house is quiet and everyone is asleep but I find that I can't do it nearly as long as I used to.

I'm starting to get a little anxious that I haven't gotten some type of notice back from USCIS (that's US Citizenship and Immigration Services for all the non-adopting folk) regarding fingerprint appointments and change of country on our I-600A. They've cashed the check so I'll take that as a positive sign that somebody, somewhere is processing something.

G had her preschool graduation pictures this past week. WOW! Where did the last couple of years go????? The photographer had all the preschoolers put on a royal blue cap and gown and then they got to do a fun "what do I want to be when I grow up" picture as well. G wanted to dress up as a mommy. She was the cutest little mommy there! A sweet little floral dress and a pair of my heels and a big purse. I really didn't want to burst her bubble by telling her that most mommies are in sweats and tennis shoes :-)

And the saga continues..........

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Close to referral???????

I sent an email to our agency yesterday just asking if they had a ballpark idea on when we might receive a referral (not that we're anxious or anything-LOL) and her exact words were "in under a month I suspect". That was at 8:00am yesterday and I'm still trying to get focused enough to make a list of everything that I need to do.

Of course, being my glass half empty kind of self, I go between not wanting to believe that it could happen this quickly to just about panicked thinking of everything that I need to do to get ready. I know, I know, how can I not be ready after an almost three year process???????

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Paper Process-1st, 2nd, and 3rd time

In retrospect, our adoption process for G was incredibly easy. (I'm not saying the wait was easy, just the paper part of the process.) We were working with one agency and they handled our homestudy, the placement, travel arrangements, and our post placement. The entire process from initial application to placement was 13 months long.

At the start of our second adoption, we were using the same agency, same social worker, and most of all the same forms. There was a feeling of comfort and familiarity in putting the dossier together. That all ended with the first homestudy update. Now we were in uncharted waters and that feeling continued as we had to renew fingerprints and immigration paperwork. Come on people, do fingerprints really change?

Moving on to our second adoption, but our third dossier. It is now two years later than when we submitted our dossier to China for our second adoption and lots of things have changed in the international adoption arena. The Hague Treaty has gone into effect, countries have shut down (Vietnam, Guatemala) and/or tightened their requirements, and we've gotten a little older. The programs that are available to us seem to be pretty few and far between.

One night while reading RQ-that's Rumour Queen for all you non-adoption folk-someone made a reference to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and a quick google search provided the name of our new agency. The great thing about this program is that you can get "on the list" while you are doing your homestudy and putting your dossier together, unlike China where everything has to be completed and submitted and then you are assigned a Log-In-Date.

We actually got on "the list" and started the paperchase in January 2009. The placing agency is out of state so we had to have our homestudy done by a separate agency (also out of state) and they had a social worker that lives close to us do our home visits. So a little more confusing this time because instead of one agency doing everything, we've got two agency and several different people involved in our process. I am happy to say that after a couple of rounds of review between the placing agency and the homestudy agency, it has all worked out and the homestudy has been completed.

This time around we had to complete an additional 10 hours of adoption education and there is a lot of additional reading. I'm not sure if this is an agency requirement or if this has become the standard with agencies who are hague accredited. I remember doing a little education class that was required by the first agency while we were waiting for G but I don't actually remember much of it. These new classes were very informative and very pertinent-we got so much more out of them this time around. R and I both agreed that it was most likely because our perspectives on parenthood have changed so much since we actually became parents.

There is one piece left to complete for the dossier and that is to change the country and to renew our fingerprints (hopefully for the last time) on our immigration paperwork. Because the Marshall Islands process seems to be moving along so well, we are allowed to submit our dossier while we are waiting on the immigration update. I am happy to report that our completed dossier left yesterday and is now making it's way to the Marshall Islands.

Monday, April 13, 2009

In the Beginning

I set up this blog approximately 2 years ago and thought that as we were getting closer to a referral for our second daughter that I'd post to it and then use it as a way to keep in touch while we were traveling. The 18 months that our agency quoted as the wait time passed us by a long time ago, as of this past March, the official wait for a referral from China has reached 3 years and based on our log in date we may see a referral in 2013.

Here is a little background from our story-We started our adoption to bring our second daughter home from China in July 2006. We collected all paperwork and our dossier was logged into the China Center for Adoptive Affairs (CCAA) on December 20, 2006. At the time our agency was saying it would be 18 months to referral. Which we thought was awful since our process for our first daughter was 14 months from time of application to the day we got her in our arms in China. So we waited, and waited, and kept on waiting. While many waiting families with a December log in date switched to the special needs or the waiting child program we were not eligible for those programs because our agency had been denied Hague accreditation.

This past November we finally started to accept the fact that we were going to have to be proactive if this adoption was going to happen within a time frame that we thought was suitable for our family. Our original thought was thought our girls would be 2 years apart, then it was wouldn't it be nice to have both girls at home for a year together before the oldest one starts kindergarten, and now we are looking at wouldn't it just be nice to have this part of the process over so that we can be a family of four.

This past January we opened our minds and hearts to adopting from another program from another agency. We've left our file in China for now and our new program seems to be moving right along. We may see a referral before the end of the year-YEAH!!!!!!!

I'm making my new resolution to post to this blog at least once a week so keep checking back for an update on the Jones family adventure.