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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sim number received

Yeah!  I got the text and email this morning with our SIM number from our I-600A for our I-797 from USCIS!  If you understand that, you know too much about international adoptions!  I continue to work on the process meticulously, daily, and prayerfully. Speaking with our program director at our agency seems to be a weekly occurrence as I plow through the dossier. Yesterday, I conversed with her about timing the receipt of the I-171H with the completion of the dossier and she shared a bit with me about her recent trip to Honduras. What a kindhearted woman we have helping us! It was exciting to hear her perceptions of what our children will most likely experience before arriving to their forever families in the United States.  Happily, it sounds like the individuals working in the IHNFA are very concerned with doing what is best for children-- I could not ask for anything more.

Beyond adoption, dates with my lovely husband (last night we went to wonderful Thai restaurant and played cards with friends), excursions to the gym and local trails for running (I have a 5K this weekend) and grading school papers (they seem to be reproducing FASTER than a box of bunnies) fill the other hours of our days.  Life is not too exciting at the moment, but we are enjoying the simplicity of our days.... y felizmente, cada día nos lleva al momento de reunión contigo.  Le pido al Señor que esté dándote su protección y la nutrición que necesitas para crecer.  Cuídate bien ángelito... ¡Te queremos mucho!  XOXO

Friday, April 15, 2011

Adoption paperwork and psych evaluation

I don't want to spend a lot of time going through all the paperwork that is essential for international adoption, but since it has become like my second job, I thought maybe I should mention it.  Of course, it varies by country with all kinds of strange requirements for each one.  For Honduras, all forms must be signed in black (NOT BLUE or some other pretty color) ink. Our dossier (which is the application that Honduras receives) should include a recommendation from a government official, a recommendation from our church, a recommendation from a member of the community, a psychological evaluation, our homestudy conducted by the social worker, a police background check, fingerprinting, copies of our birth certificates and marriage license, a picture book of us and our home, a psychological evaluation of each of us, and some other stuff that I don't remember right off of the top of my head.  Every day, I am satisfied with myself if I make some progress on the paperwork.  It does not have to be a huge step, but I do require myself to do something daily.  Today (yesterday by the time this is posted), I mailed off the I-600A form to Homeland Security petitioning the US government for the opportunity to get an appointment for fingerprints and permission to bring a child from Honduras into the country and make him/her a US citizen.  It was exciting to submit one more form!  (Really I don't mean that sarcastically-- everything we send off gets us closer to our goal).  Then... this afternoon, I had an appointment with the psychologist in Webster Groves.  I have a degree in counseling, so I am familiar with the MMPI (personality test) and I realize that this is nothing to really be that worried about (I may call myself crazy, but I don't think you can find a real diagnosis for me in the DSM 4).... I suspect that the test will determine that more than anything, I am an anal retentive perfectionist with a great eye for details, as revealed by the fact that I changed my clothes 4 times this morning so as to make the right impression.  (You never know.... wearing black might make me look like I am grim or dark-- a bit above the knees might suggest that I am promiscuous-- too casual looks like I don't care-- a spring green dress looks fresh and cheery-- my favorite color--  surely that is the color of sanity).  Anyway, all went well... although I am not sure what the good doctor made of the inkblot test.... then came home-- a recommendation from Deacon Tom came in the mail (beautiful) and a failed attempt to request a new copy of our birth certificates and marriage license (can't be over 3 months old) came in the mail with a request for us to notarize the paperwork (notary requirement is new).  So, you can see what doing adoption paperwork is like... ups and downs... steady progress... with an eye to the goal. It is doable as long as you don't feel compelled to do it all at once.  We have to view this as a marathon instead of a sprint.  So.... my mind drifts back to Honduras and the baby that waits for us with the knowledge that even when we cross this finish line, we are really not done.  Then, a new life and a new journey begins.  Antes de regresar a mi vida cotidiana, tengo que decirte que tu papá y yo te esperamos con mucha ansiedad y mucho amor.  No sé como hemos tenido tanto suerte en nuestras vidas-- en algunas maneras somos muy diferentes (por la diferencia en nuestras edades, las diferencias en nuestras experiencias y talentos, y diferencias de personalidad también).  Sin embargo, somos la pareja perfecta.  Tenemos una vida tranquila y sencilla....y estamos completamente enamorados.  Cada mañana, mi primer pensamiento es un pensamiento de gratitud a Dios de que nos hayamos encontrado.  Ahora, te incluyo en mis agradecimientos y me siento completamente bendita por tenerte en nuestras vidas.  Espero que ya puedes sentir nuestros abrazos calurosos a pesar de la distancia.  Hay una canción que dice que «el corazón no tiene cara» y aunque no hemos visto tu cara, ya tenemos consciencia de tu corazón y ya te consideramos parte de nuestra familia. ¡xoxo!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First entry

I keep postponing starting this blog because it is so hard to know where to begin.  In a nutshell, Mike and I want to start a family.  We have been married for 5 years and dated for 5 years before that.  Our home is warm.  Our life is comfortable.  It is the right time to embark upon this new adventure together.  We have made attempts to start a family the ´old-fashioned way´, but with no luck.  So, since we are not quitters, we decided that we needed another approach-- hence adoption.  Don't think that this was an obvious decision.  There were times of self-doubt, and I sometimes wondered why God would not want us to have children.  Would Mike and I not be good parents?  Were we just supposed to keep giving ourselves to teaching and working out without any real change in our lives?  Was there any sense in our lack of success?  Now that we have been through so much of the process, our perception is very different.  Yes, this is a long journey.  There are no reading lists or lengthy paperwork involved in having children via childbirth, and perhaps that seems unfair.  (Maybe the world would be a better place if these things were a requisite for all).  This approach is complicated with a lot of hard work upfront, but after traversing a piece of it, Mike and I feel like it is NOT that we are not good enough to have children.  Rather, it is that we are even BETTER than good enough.... we are good enough to be adoptive parents, with all of  the paperwork, psych evaluations, criminal checks, and financial scrutiny... and amidst it all, we still enjoy life and anticipate the day when we (me, Mike, the cat, and our más 1) can all be under one roof together.  You may also be wondering... why Honduras?  Good question and I have an answer.... but that will be for another day.  ¡Qué estés soñando con los ángeles, bebé!  Estamos pensando en ti con mucho cariño todos los días!  Ya tienes un lugar especial en nuestros corazones.  Besos......