Jan 23, 2007

Moving forward

OK, so today Cackie went to school again. A lot less arguing than yesterday, so that was a good thing.

I had received approval on the documents that I was worried about, so that felt great. All our dossier documents are now prepared and ready to roll. Margaret at my office was wonderful enough to notarize what needed to be notarized, so one step down. Then I called the County Clerk and gave them the list of all our notaries that we needed certification for. At lunch I went down to the Clerk's office and had all our documents certified!!! Yay! Step two of five, done!

Then, I got all my copies made, etc. and prepared everything to go to Nashville. The package went off this evening! Hopefully I will have the documents back by the end of the week.

More progress!!!! We have a new dishwasher and this one works!!! Michael picked it up this evening and installed it. Hooray!!! I love my new dishwasher!!!

The only downer the last few days has been that we miss Guinness. We look out into the backyard and feel such a loss. We probably weren't always the best to him, but we loved him and we really miss him. I asked Michael to go out and move his bowl, just so I don't see it an expect him to run to it. Funny, how sometimes things just hit you and you feel sad.

Well, I couldn't help it... actually I don't know why I did it, but on Sunday I checked out the dog listing in the classifieds. There was an ad for Welsh Terriers, they look just like Airedales, just smaller. They are about 15 inches tall and 20 lbs. The perfect size dog for us. I told Michael about them and then didn't think about the ad until Monday. On Monday I went online to the newspaper ads and there was a more detailed description with pictures. I just about lost it when I read that the puppies were born on 11/25. That was Guinness' birthday!! Is this our doggie red thread??

Well, I called about the ad on Monday eve and found out that some puppies from the same sire live here in our neighborhood. Another red thread??? I gave Michael all the details to let him decide what to do.

Tonight he made his decision....
One of these sweet little guys will be ours on Saturday!!! I called the breeder and we'll meet her on Saturday morning to bring home our new puppy. We just can't deny it. We're dog people and we need another doggie around the house. We're still mourning Guinness, but maybe having a mini-guinney around will make it less painful. Cackie will get to grow up with a puppy, something that we wanted. Hopefully it will all be great, stay tuned to find out more.
That's it for now, if it's not enough for you.... sorry! lol!

Long overdue update

OK, so it's been a few days since I've updated. Be thankful. Last week was just a crappy week, if I had posted it would have been really depressing!

Here's what's happened since my last post...

Friday, January 12

We met with our social worker, got there a little late due to a flat tire on my car... grrr, we approved our home study and had our social worker send it off to our agency. Major, major progress here! In less than 30 days we have completed our homestudy! Whoo hoo!!

We also decided to go ahead and have the house listed back in the MLS (the listing had expired on 12/31/06). Not sure what we'll do if it sells, but we figure we'll give it a go and see what happens.

Saturday, January 13

Not much happened. Went out ran a few errands and hung out around the house.

Sunday, January 14

Went to church and then met Cackie's friends at the Memphis Symphony. Yes, the symphony! They have a wonderful program to introduce children to the symphony and all the girls had a great time. After the program we all went to Huey's to hang out and eat. The girls had soo much fun and all the mommies & daddies got to hang out & relax.

Monday, January 15

Cackie & I were off for the Martin Luther King holiday. We had someone come see the house that morning, but we were home in the afternoon. Had a scare driving around town, came way too close to getting run over by a black Volvo, but we survived and were able to go home and get some rest that afternoon.

Great news! CCAI has approved our homestudy!! We're oh so close to getting fingerprinted!

Tuesday, January 16

Back to work and school. Cackie was a little warm this morning and we were worried that she was coming down with something. My mom came to town this evening and totally enjoyed visiting with Cackie. For some reason we lost power twice tonight??? Of course, it happened while we were cooking dinner. Thank goodness we have a gas stove and Michael had just installed the gas logs in the living room! Cackie was still this evening and I'm really worried.

Wednesday, January 17

Mom stayed home with Cackie in the morning while I went to work. Her fever was right around 100.5, but totally abnormal for her and I wanted to keep her home and see what was going on. After I came home and Cackie laid down for nap I called SEARS to find out about our dishwasher. Nothing had been done about... I couldn't find one person who knew anything about what was going on! GRRRR! Finally I was able to find someone who would order us a new dishwasher. It's supposed to be in on the 22nd, we'll wait and see. Cackie's fever shot up this evening. Something is definitely going on. This is only her 3rd fever since she's been home, so I really don't have a lot of experience with this. We keep treating the symptoms and see what happens.

Thursday, January 18

Cackie woke us up at 4:30 am, crying with a fever around 102. I get up to take care of her (Michael has to get Zack to work in W Memphis by 7am, so I let him sleep a little longer). I give Cackie some meds and make up the futon downstairs so that I can lay down with her and give her some loving. Michael decided that it would be best for him to lay down on the futon while Cackie and I lay down upstairs uninterrupted. We laid down for a few minutes, just got settled when Michael came upstairs. He sat on the bed and told me that Guinness was dead. Guinness was our 8 year old Aeirdale Terrier. Last year, just before Christmas, he was very sick and had a mass on his spleen. We had his spleen and the mass removed to find out that it was a very agressive angiosarcoma. He was given 3 -4 months to live. He made it 13 months and 1 day. We are devastated, really no way to explain the loss that we feel. Guinney was our protector, he stunk and was way too hyper, but we loved him with all our hearts. We'll never forget you, "Guinney the Face".

So, I tried to go back to sleep, but it's hard at 5:30 in the morning when your doggie just died. Cackie and I got up and went to the sick clinic at her doctor's office. Just a virus, but it was good to have her checked to be sure.

We stayed home until just after noon, just resting and watching movies. After lunch Michael came and picked us up. We went and picked up our home study and then went and got fingerprinted. Quick and painless! Yahoo! Another step taken care of.

Friday, January 19

Cackie still has a fever. Along with runny nose and cough, we're having a great time!

Michael stayed home with her most of the day so that I could get some work done.

Animal control came and picked up Guinness today. I'm glad I wasn't home for that.

Saturday, January 20

I had to go into work for an ITS issue. It was planned, but still too long and I didn't want to be away from home. I did get some time to work on our dossier documents, so not completely unproductive.

Cackie still had a fever, but was feeling better by the end of the day. I wasn't feeling so great and actually fell asleep on the couch!

Sunday, January 21

Cackie is feeling better! I was REALLY starting to get worried about her.

Our realtor called this morning and someone wanted to come see the house this afternoon. We busted our butts to get the house clean and get out in time. Not much the rest of the day. Cackie feeling much better! I did email one of our documents to CCAI for their approval, just waiting to hear their response. I also prepared our birth certificates to be sent of to the Secretaries of State in PA & TX. Will do that tomorrow.

Monday, January 22
Cackie went back to school!! Yahoo!
Mailed off the birth certificates, hope to have them back ASAP.
Is the dishwasher in today? Didn't have a chance to get over there. We'll do that tomorrow.

That's as far as I'll go in this post. I'll talk about today in another post...

Jan 11, 2007

Major Progress!

Wow! Has it really been almost a week since my last post? We have made a lot of progress since then. Here's an update...

Friday we had our labwork taken. Then we went to the health department so that they could administer our TB tests. It was GREAT of our doctor to order these for us in advance of our appointments with her. Definitely helped to speed things up.

Saturday we took the two cats and the big dog to the vet for their shots. After that we ran errands and tried to get some chores & organizing done. It was early evening before we realized that there was a message waiting on the answering machine. It was CCAI telling us that they had finally received our application and all they needed to approve us was a doctor's letter for Michael. Whoo hooo! What a sense of relief!

Monday morning we went to the doctor and she filled out all our forms for us. I faxed them off to CCAI as soon as I could. I also faxed copies of all our newly completed documents to our social worker to help her complete our home study.

On Tuesday Michael went downtown and got our Tennessee recognition of Cackie's foreign birth. We still need to apply for a copy of her birth certificate, but the big part is done. That evening when I got home there was a message waiting from CCAI. We are officially approved and the agency forms, etc were waiting in my email box! Then just after Cackie went to bed, our social worker called to confirm a few items for our home study. The last item that she needed from me was our personal financial statement and I got started on that immediately. Our home study is now complete and we meet with the social worker tomorrow to review it and give it our blessing.

Yesterday we had all the CCAI agency forms signed & notarized and sent it all off in a FedEx package with a nice big check! They recieved the package today at 8:44 am and as soon as they process it we should get an email telling us how to access our dossier guide. Yay, more work to do! lol!

Tomorrow we get a look at our homestudy and then our social worker will fax it to CCAI for their approval. Once we get CCAI's approval we can get a final copy of our home study and go have fingerprints taken. The Memphis USCIS office says that they are taking approximately 8 weeks to process the I-600A and issue the I-171H. If we get fingerprinted next week, 8 weeks would put us around March 16 to receive our I-171H. That is plenty of time to have everything ready and get it to CCAI before their deadline. Whoo hooo!!!

Now, if just some of the other stuff in our lives would come together so well. Two days before Christmas our dishwasher died, ugh! On the 26th we ordered a new one from Sears. It was available for pickup on the 2nd and we got it on the 3rd. Michael started to install it last Thursday, but it needed a special part, etc. Thank goodness Home Depot is just down the street. He didn't get to work on it again until late Saturday afternoon. We were soo excited when he finished installing it.... we loaded that sucker up and turned it on. It was just as quiet as in the store... after running for a few minutes we opened it up to see how it was doing.... NOTHING! There was no water getting to it! Long story short, the repair man came Tuesday and said it needs a new control panel! We'd never even used it and I wasn't going to accept such a major repair on a brand new appliance. After going around and around with Sears they have ordered us a new dishwasher and when it arrives (not soon enough!) we'll take back this one. Hopefully the new one will have no problems.
Then, do we sell the house and move... or do we stay and do more renovations & add on? We're having a heck of a time finding a house that suits us and has owners who will wait for us to sell ours. We've already lost the house that we really loved because ours didn't sell before someone else came in and snatched it away. We really would like to have a bigger yard and that is the downside to staying where we are. We don't want to sell and then live in an apartment until we can find a new house. That would not be a pretty sight! We're still hashing through this one, hopefully an answer will present itself soon!
That's all for now!

Jan 5, 2007

I not mean

We've been hearing this from Cackie a lot lately.
First, let me admit that we have always know that she is a very strong-willed little girl. From day one that was very obvious! Lately we have had our share of power struggles and recently for the first time she got "punished" and had to go stand in the corner.
Well, apparently she is exhibiting this same bossy, mean, "I want my way", "get out of my way" attitude with her friends at school. Her teacher and I have talked some about it, helping me stay up to date with what's going on, etc.
Well yesterday, one of her favorite teachers had to pull her aside and have a talk about being nice to her friends and her Mommy & Daddy. Cackie really loves this teacher, so I'm sure it sank in pretty well.
I asked her about her talk and she said "be nice to friends and Mommy & Daddy" (remember though, this is the same kid who admitted to my sister that she washed her hair in the toilet!), no problems admitting it, follow through is my worry. So, we had a long talk about being nice and good & bad. Explains why she keeps telling us that she's not mean... apparently she has been and the other kids have told her so!
Usually she gets pretty affectionate after she gets put in her place, which I took full advantage of. I love it when I say "I love you Cackie" and she says "I love you Mommy". I asked her if she would give Daddy a hug and tell him that she loves him when get got home from work. So, wouldn't you know that little squirt does just that! Get's up from watching Dora, runs to Michael and says "I give you hug Daddy". I almost had to mop up the puddle on the floor that was Daddy!
We're hoping for a good report from school today!


Yesterday we were able to get our police clearances knocked out, yay!
By no means was it a pleasant experience, go thru security and the jail waiting area... wait for our "NO WANTS" form... go to the building next door (in a good steady rain)... get sent away because I had more than one electronic device in my purse (my cellphone & my small camera, well cameras are not allowed... but, duh! both of our cell phones have cameras which were no problem??!!)...back to the car in the rain to drop off the camera... up to the office to get our notarized "no criminal history" letters... but wait, Michael's "NO WANTS" form is dated 2006, grrr! So, I waited for the nice lady to process our letters while Michael goes back to the jail to get a corrected form... he comes back with it and we go on our merry way! At least that part is now over!
We don't have Dr. appointments until Monday morning, but we were able to get the Dr. to order our lab tests and we'll go have those done today. The results should be back to the Dr. by Monday, so hopefully then we will have completed medical forms.
Tomorrow we take the pets for their vaccinations, so that will be another thing completed!
Then on Tuesday, Michael is going to go and get done the stuff to file for Cackie's TN birth certificate. Now, if I would only hear from CCAI about our application! If I don't hear something in the next few hours I'm going to call and leave a message. They had referrals yesterday, so I know that is where all their resources were focused.
Things are looking up today and I feel some relief. There's still a chance that we can get fingerprinted next week (keeping those fingers crossed!).

Jan 3, 2007

No progress

Well, no progress today towards our homestudy. One setback, though. I got home tonight to an answering machine message that our Dr. needs to reschedule our appointments that were set for tomorrow morning. They called at 9:55am and had Friday appointments available, but I didn't get the message until 5:45pm. GRRRRR! Can I just say that I am majorly PISSED????!!! Why couldn't they contact us at work? Isn't that why I spend 30 minutes filling out paperwork each year at their office? So that they can have my other contact numbers???

Don't worry, when I call tomorrow I will definitely suggest that they call us at work next time! Now it's just another day longer that it will take to get our test results back so that we can get our homestudy completed. I'll also be calling our SW tomorrow as soon as I know when our Dr. appoitments are.

And when I left work I thought it had been a boring day! Go figure! I'm beginning to think that it wouldn't hurt to start praying to Buddah to get this all finished in time! Maybe I'll just pray for ladybugs... We'll be praying for ladybugs to get our referral, so I figure why not pray for them now to get our dossier finished!
Keeping our fingers crossed that we can make April 13th!

Sobering thoughts

I'll admit, I read the Rumor Queen website a lot. I don't always believe the rumors there, but at times she is at least on the right track. It was on her website that I first heard about the proposed changes by the CCAA and then again when the rumors were true and the changes were definite, I found out from Rumor Queen. Learning about the news there gave us a few extra days to contemplate a second adoption before our agency gave us official word. Those few extra days were very beneficial!

She does a lot of analysis on her website and that is where I gain the most benefit.

The other day she wrote a
post related to how long the wait is and how long it could get. Now that a new batch of referrals has arrived I wanted to do my own update of her thinking...

According to her figures, on October 3, 2005 (just 4 months after we got home from China) the CCAA had referred families with log in dates (LID) through March 15, 2005 (our LID for Cackie was 9/21/04). Today is 15 months later and this batch of referrals goes through LID of 9/27 or 9/28/05.

Here's how I think of it... On March 15, 2005 I take a leave of absence from work, but the whole time I'm gone work keeps piling up on my desk. I go back to work on September 27, 2005 after being gone for 6.5 months and all my work is there for me and I have to process every bit of it before I even look at the work that someone handed me as I walked in the door that morning. So, I dig in and start processing... processing... processing. Finally, I finish up with all the work that came in while I was gone and I look at the calendar... it's January 3, 2007 and I've been back at work for 15 months! It took me 15 months to process the amount of work received in 6.5 months. That's a lot of work!
What does this all mean for us, just starting our second adoption? No doubt, we will have a very long wait! My rough calculations... If our LID is 4/30/07, there will be anywhere between 580 (worst case, no more referrals between now & 4/30/07) and 529 (continue referring at current rate) LIDs ahead of us. Which comes out to a wait of 41 months! Sobering, isn't it?
All I can do is get our paperwork in ASAP and pray that things speed up!

Ladybug alert!

Referrals have arrived! Families whose dossiers were logged into China on 9/12/05 will receive phone calls tomorrow. Congrats to all receiving referrals!

Jan 2, 2007


So, here we go again! We are in the paperchase for our second daughter from China. We are very excited and can't wait to put at least one part of this behind us.

We started working with our social worker on December 19 and to date we have had 3 visits with her. I've been gathering paperwork like mad to send to her so that she can get our homestudy completed. We are still lacking the following items:

1. Police clearances - Thursday or Friday, hopefully

2. Medical reports - Dr. appointments are Thursday morning, hoping that the results don't take too long

3. Pet vaccination records - the cats & Guinness are due for their shots, so we need to get them to the vet

4. Michael's employment letter

5. File for Cackie's TN birth certificate - Friday, maybe

The biggest thing that we need is our application approval from CCAI, our agency. We mailed it to them back on December 20 and they got hit with the big blizzard starting that day (they are located in the Denver area) (great timing, huh?) I did speak with someone in the office that evening and she estimated that they would receive it in the mail on their first day back from the holiday on the 26th. But, the storm was much worse that we thought it would be, so who knows when they got their mail. Then with the 2nd storm last week, another holiday and a National Day of Mourning for President Ford, it hurts to think about it!

So, today I sent them an email to see if the application has been received. Hopefully I'll hear something tomorrow and will have a better idea of where that stands.

We are soo hectic here, trying to get everything done and work at the same time. It's looking like Thursday and Friday will be our big days to check off some of these items. keep your fingers crossed!