I haven't written in a while! Things have been a little crazy around here, but as of right now, I feel really, really good. A couple of things make me feel that way. First, our stuff is officially off to Homeland Security as of last week. Now we just have to wait for the coveted I-171H form (up to 3 months). Besides that, here is what still needs to happen to complete our dossier:
1. One more reference letter
2. All three reference letters notarized
3. Cover letter stating our intent to adopt addressed to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in Ethiopia
4. A new marriage license (since the one they recently gave us has my name spelled wrong!)
5. RE-fill out the financial statement form and have it notarized (I messed up in one spot...and I just don't want to take any chances!)
6. Two passport sized photos each of Karl and I
7. Photo pages including 2 formal photos of immediate family members, at least 4 of family life, 1 of the front of the house, 1 of the back, 1 of each main room in the house. (May not exceed 8 pages)
8. Authenticate our agency recommendation to adopt by the Virginia Secretary of State
9. Authenticate the other dossier documents by the Indiana Secretary of State
Then, we're done and the dossier will head over to Ethiopia (after America World takes everything to the US Embassy and translates/authenticates everything)!!! Currently, I'm pulling that stuff together (my goal is in the next two weeks) as well as applying for three different grants. We also are deciding (again, hopefully in the next two weeks) on our t-shirts--thanks to everyone that voted! It looks like number four, although we're making sure we can't do North America and Africa in white in the middle with the number 4 font. If that doesn't work, it's definitely four. As you can see, after a relatively uneventful couple of weeks, we're back in the saddle again. Laurel said there's definitely a chance the I-171H could come in earlier than the 3 projected months, so if that's the case, I want to be ready.
So, that's life around here. Oh, another thing: my old high school friends' mom does an in-home daycare mainly for teacher's kids one street over from us. Last year when I carpooled with Braden, I would drop his little buddy Drew off there. Well, I've been thinking of it off and on for quite some time that I would love a daytime babysitter I could pay when I have something that can't/I don't want to involve the kids, and maybe even someone I could take the kids to on a weekly basis. Since I'm subbing one day a week, this would give us the discretionary spending that I could actually justify it (even though I basically feel guilty for spending any money since I know it could be going towards the adoption!) I called Linda yesterday, and she was all for it! SO, today as a trail run, I took Kole and Owen to Miss Linda's for two hours. THEY HAD A BLAST! Praise the Lord. As I sat in the quiet house finishing my plates and making some relational phone calls I thought to myself, "This is so nice!" With Owen in the THROES of two, it couldn't have come at a better time...and she's as affordable as imaginable!!! So, we're going to give it a try on Tuesday mornings and see how things go. It may be the best $16 of subbing money a week I could ever ask for!
I will leave you with a Kole and Braden story:
The other day, I got impatient (go figure) and Kole reminded me, "Mom, remember the verse!" "What verse, Kole?" "Do unto others what you would rather them do to you." "You're right, Kole, I wouldn't want you to be impatient with me...thanks for the reminder."
We usually "rub" the boys as we pray before bed (think light massage/fingers just brushing ths skin). Braden said that he wanted to rub me too instead of me always rubbing him. As he got ready to start he said, "(Sigh) Now let a professional do the job!"
Parenting is the best....even if it is the hardest job you'll ever do!