We're outta here

We are headed to the beach early tomorrow a.m. for a few days vacation, meeting up with Jonathan’s brothers, their wives, kids and his Mom, who have been there all week. We are staying here, which is less than a mile from their house, so it should work out well.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

A Child's Right

Click on the sweet face for an amazing slideshow of this organization's recent trip to provide clean water to several orphanages in China (as well as trips to Nepal and Thailand). What a wonderful cause for something we all take for granted! And to think, Lily Kate may be one of these children...


We're approved (again!)

Today we received our updated I-797 from the USCIS. Actually, I went to pick it up, since it's been two months in the making and I didn't want to chance it getting lost in the mail, which is apparently what happened to our recent letter to them.

We received a letter on June 4th, stating that our application was approved pending confirmation from us regarding the number of children we were requesting to adopt. Seems our home study and application didn't match and they needed us to clarify. I put down 2-3 for the number of children and we had been recommended for two. Now, let me say that I copied exactly what I we had listed on the first I-600A, and 2-3 includes two, but whatever, I'll play along if it gets me to China and Lily Kate. When we put down 2-3 originally, we wanted to allow for twins and maybe another (ha! funny us); bottom line - we wanted to leave our options open. I immediately drafted a letter saying two was fine and waited for the approval to arrive in the mail.

I realized after I sent it that I may have put too little postage on the letter, as it had just recently increased (curse you USPS), so I emailed the address listed on the web site to inquire if the letter had been received. After a couple of emails back and forth I was somewhat tersely informed that they had not received the letter, even though two weeks had passed and we were in the same zip code! Again, whatever, I play nice and I wait a few more days before I check again, only to be told it still isn't there. In the interim I have (duh!) misplaced their letter, but decide to send a follow-up letter and attach the one I sent two weeks prior.

Today, I emailed asking about the status of our file and was told that they sent us a letter, but had not heard from us. I explained what happened (this is the same person I might add) and said a letter was en route, but could I fax her a copy in the meantime? She said, brace yourselves, "Oh, just email me if two children are fine and I'll approve it right now" Why in the name of all that is holy did she not just tell me that in the initial email exchange??? We both could have been saved aggravation and unnecessary emails, etc? She then asked if I wanted her to mail it, or would I rather pick it up? I wasn't going to make the same mistake again, so told her I'd be there at lunch to pick it up, and that's where I have just returned from. So, we are good for another 18 months (although our fingerprints expire in April '08) and pray that we get there before then. I don't think I can handle another series of these updates!

**Update: When I got home last night, I found my original letter returned to me marked postage needed - it was stamped 6/5/07 and needed .02. I think the post office spent more than 2 cents returning that letter to me, don't you? And took almost 3 weeks to do so...that's crazy.


Guilty Pleasures

My current show to watch is So You Think You Can Dance on Fox. I actually got hooked on this last summer, but never found one other person who watched it. My husband actually made fun of me for tuning in, and I figured the only other people watching were teenage girls, who make up 90% of the studio audience. This time around, I have actually discovered a few other devotees (what’s up E?) and I admit to being completely hooked on this show, in all it’s cheesiness – these kids can really dance.

Other current faves are both Bravo shows - Top Chef: Miami and Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List (love her). I can watch pretty much anything on Bravo (Project Runway or Actor’s Studio anyone?), but if there’s nothing on there, I can always find an episode of Law and Order on somewhere to watch - SVU, CI or the original are all good with me. Just biding my time until Lost comes back in February...sigh!


Success is sweet

I am happy to say that I have reached a big milestone in my Weight Watchers journey - 20 lbs! I was hovering around the mark for the past week or so and was thrilled when I got on the scales yesterday. I now have less than 2 lbs to reach my WW's goal (but I'd actually like to lose 5 more after that, if I can). I can then move on to maintaining that weight until China, and beyond!

Hmm, I think it's time for some clothes shopping...



Today we pass the 17-month mark since our dossier was logged-in at the CCAA. Although we don't know when we get our referral, I was slightly encouraged after speaking to our agency on Friday, as they believe we will get our referral and travel to China this year - I just hope they are right.

I have started work on the nursery again and thought I'd post a picture of the progress.
The walls are painted, but I want to paint something else on the bottom half, either stripes or some other design. Our plan was to do bead board on the bottom, but we have decided to simplify things a bit, as we are building a beautiful new house! We will hopefully start in the fall, and I will wait to put all my creative energy into the new rooms!

Jonathan has been working on the house plans for some time now and finally finished this week. He is also designing the house next door for our friends Derek and Marcia, so our great neighbors will be moving with us! There will be more to come on this in the weeks and months ahead - a nice big project to keep us occupied until we go to China!!


I don't really know what to say

I am happy for those families that are receiving their referrals this week - it's always great to see those adorable baby pictures and share in the joy and excitement. We, however, are inching our way to a referral, so slowly it's driving us crazy! But, we are still moving, so that's something I guess.

When will it happen? Your guess is as good as mine. All I can say is keep praying people - for us, for all the families in wait, and for the babies. We need all your prayers and positive energy.

Thanks for all your love and support thus far. When our day comes, you will hear our shouts of joy no matter how far away you live, and we can't wait to share that moment with all of you!