School starts for Paige and my high schoolers on Tuesday and we will start our first home school year with Samantha and Garrett on that same day. We have been back to school shopping, figuring out what we wanted to learn this year, and moving bedrooms around in the hopes we will get a referral very soon after all our paper work gets to Ethiopia.
Our home study agency still has not gotten me the two forms we need. The secretary actually called and said they would need $30.00 for notarization fees. Excuse me? These forms were all suppose to have been done months ago and included with the other forms we paid them $2,000 for. Lets just say I let my displeasure be known with the agency rep. If I don't receive them in Tuesday's mail I may go ballistic. If I don't post for a while you will know I have been arrested for inflicting great bodily harm upon someone.
OK, I'm only kidding. I think.
Anyways, life is crazy busy so if I am in and out for the next couple of weeks please bare with me.
Hopefully I will have some exciting news to tell you all about in the not to distant future.
I was going through some paperwork this morning and found our original adoption contract with our agency. We signed the paperwork on September 12, 2007. Almost a year ago.
When we signed those forms we thought it would take us six months max to get all the paperwork together and the home study done. I kind of laugh at that now. I would be thrilled if our dossier was off to Ethiopia by our anniversary date, which is a real possibility, so I am going to definitely be praying for that.
When I look at our time line, though it has been frustrating, I can see God's hand in our delays. Paige is in such a better place to welcome a sibling than she was even 3 to 6 months ago.
I feel so much more confident about bringing new children into our home. I feel like God has really worked on my entire family over this time and we are all much more ready for this wonderful and exciting experience than we would have been six months ago.
God's timing really is much better than mine. How come I always seem to have a hard time remembering this?
Our agency has a yahoo group and on the board their is an "unofficial" waiting family list where people post their names and the age of children they are hoping to adopt. I got on there a few days ago and noticed that most of the families are asking for children 12 months or younger. There were only a couple asking for children as old as ours (4 or under) and I don't think any were asking for siblings in that age group. Some might say something like 2 children four and under with one child under 12 months. The problems with a request like this is that if the agency has 2 children available for adoption and one is 15 months old they cannot offer you the referral. The children have to be the exact age you requested. I believe this is a newer rule and unfortunately has caused some families, like my friend Lisa who is off meeting her two little ones right now, to have a longer wait than they initially thought.
I have a feeling, and yes it is just a feeling, that we may not have to wait that long for a referral since we requested ANY children (a boy and a girl) four or under. Only time will tell, and ultimately we will wait as long as we have to, it will just be interesting if my feelings turn out to be true.
Thanks for encouraging me through this slow and frustrating time. All of your kind comments and emails have been very appreciated. As always, I will keep you updated on our progress.
The lady bug "tea cup" ride was a big hit in A Bugs Land.
Every ride is themed around the movie A Bugs Life and the area is made so that you feel the size of a small bug walking around in the grass. Very fun for all ages.
We had a blast and I think we will go again on Sunday after church. I'm planning on getting my money's worth out of these year long passes.
Adoption Update: Our home study agency was closed today so I was not able to talk to anyone about the missing paperwork. However, I spoke with our adoption agency social worker and she calmed me down and let me know this would probably only delay our dossier going to Ethiopia by a week. I am feeling much better. I just hope our home study agency can get there act together and produce the paper work quickly. Thanks for all your kind words.
It was reviewed today.
I am told it is missing two pieces of paper from our Home Study agency.
I am totally frustrated by this because I had been told previously that all was OK with that end. I actually believe they have the two forms they are looking for but they were not State Certified. I had been told before they did not need to be state certified.
I didn't get on my computer at all yesterday or earlier today so our agency is already closed and I can't call our social worker.
Hopefully it can all be fixed tomorrow.
I'm going to go and have a good cry now. I was soooo hoping that we would be on the waiting list by Sept. 1. That probably won't happen now. Sigh.
Practicing his Barber skills.
This guy was definitely having a bad hair day.
After lunch they went in the pool. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that.
This is what it is suppose to look like. Note to self: Never buy a round puzzle again. The pieces will DRIVE YOU CRAZY.
I have decided that TiVo and the Olympics might be the BEST. THING. EVER.
I have been taping everything and then watching every wonderful minute of it (minus the commercials).
Yesterday I told myself it was OK that I was sitting on the couch watching TV all day because I was going to fold laundry while I did it.
Want to know how much laundry I folded?
Not. One. Piece.
My house could seriously be falling apart by the time this thing is over.
Do you think there's a medal for best couch potato during the Olympics?
Seriously, if there is, I already have it all locked up.
Labels: Mom Stuff
Well, when our paperwork came back (there are 21 pieces of paper in all) they were all authenticated but one. It seems our home study agency got the copy of there license notarized but no one bothered to sign the form. This paper was looked at by three people before it was sent off and none of us caught this mistake.
I was disappointed but not to worried. I called our home study agency and they apologized profusely and sent me another copy (actually signed) that same day. We got it in a couple of days and Dave took it to Fed Ex and overnighted the form to the California Sec. of State.
That was three weeks ago.
We have heard nothing.
The other 20 documents were authenticated and sent back to us within one week.
I have been freaking out a little about this.
I am trying to remind myself of this verse on a daily basis.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
I know that God is in control. I know he knows where our children are and who they are. This journey we started last October was suppose to take 3-6 months to get all the paper work done and sent in. We are now on month 10.
I feel at times like Satan is taunting me. I look at those other 20 documents all stamped and pretty with foil seals and know that without that one last piece of paper they are useless. Am I being tested. How much patience can I have? Can I really give this entire process to God and trust in Him?
I am really trying, however, this week I have been struggling. Tears have been near the surface all week. Frustration has been gripping my soul. I want to scream at who ever will listen that I. Want. My. Children.
So, in the middle of my doubting and temper tantrums God sent me some comfort and hope. He sent me affirmation that what we are doing is His will.
Tyler (14) was watching the discovery channel and he called to me . "Hey mom, they have something on here about making Ethiopian food". I went to the other room to watch it with him and it turns out they were featuring a restaurant in Los Angeles only about an hour from us.
We decided to get on the computer and research the restaurant thinking we would make a trip there to eat some real authenticate Ethiopian food.
I had heard that Los Angeles had an Ethiopian community but, I have to be honest, I had not researched it until this day. What we found made me so excited and happy.
There is a section of Los Angeles called Little Ethiopia where Ethiopian transplants have opened stores and restaurants. They celebrate Ethiopian holidays and speak Amharic. Here is the sign that greats visitors.
Here is the restaurant that was featured. It is said to have the best Ethiopian food in this country (that's what the guy on TV said).
I love how the restaurant is decorated in the colors of the Ethiopian flag.
Here is there sampler plate.
Ethiopian food is spicy and I am kind of a wimp. However, all the men in my family love it so they can't wait to go and try the food. I'm just going to put lots of water bottles in my purse.
So, we are still waiting. However my heart is so happy to know that our children will have a place to go where there native language is spoken, and people are there who can teach them about there country in a way we never could.
God is good. He has renewed my spirit.
She is playful and fun and kept attacking my camera carrying strap while I was trying to get a picture of her. She is so fast it is hard to get a picture that isn't all blurry.
She got spoiled while sick and has only been eating baby food (Gerber's chicken and gravy is her favorite). We reintroduced dog food to her yesterday and she didn't seem all that excited about the change. Up until a few days ago we were feeding her off a baby spoon one bite at a time. Yes, this little dog has been just like having a newborn around.
You know what? We have all loved every minute.
As you can see Paige didn't like it AT ALL.
She didn't have any fun at her pool party either. It was so sad.
She put the candles on all by herself, and she insisted on a lot of candles.
Opening presents is so much fun!
For some reason we didn't get any pictures of the kids swimming. I guess the photographer (me) was busy doing other things. I am kind of sad about that.
I know, your thinking I probably shouldn't try and do that.
You know what? You would be right.
I broke the cake in two, a huge crater was going down the middle. The kids said it looked like the San Andreas fault (if you live in CA. you will know what that is).
I tried to fix it by stuffing the giant earthquake crack with about 3 pounds of frosting. I am not kidding.
I finally gave up around 10:30 pm and figured I will go to Sam's Club this morning and hope they have a cute cake.
When Paige said her prayers tonight she thanked Jesus for her pretty Tinker Bell cake.
Yikes. Hopefully I can find a cake that I can put her tink decorations on so she will be none the wiser.
I am such a bone head some times. When will I ever learn????
Is it just me or does that sound ridiculously high for a kid who is suppose to be getting the good student discount?
Dave called another insurance company and they gave him a quote of $130.00 a month. After the first quote, that sounded like a real bargain. However, that is still a lot of money. Of course if he was a female child I am told the price would be a third of that.
That ice cream truck idea is sounding better and better.
I know that California is pricey for everything but this just seems ridiculous. Anyone out there know of a cheap insurance company for teens with good grades?
"Recces" he replied. "Recces"? I repeated. "Yes, who will I play hand ball with if I don't go to school"? This was his big concern? I was so relieved. Well, we talked out his recces concern and since then he has seemed fine. He even told his friends at football practice the other night, and they seemed to think it was kind of cool. One down one to go.
I found Samantha crying in her closet a few days ago. I went in and hugged her, just held her for a while. Her main concerns were social. She changed schools last year and had made lots of new friends, she just wasn't sure she was up to changing schools again. I have already turned in all the paperwork to join a home school group that has around 40 families in it. She was worried she wouldn't fit in with the other kids. We talked and talked and she seemed to feel better.
A few hours after Samantha and I talked she came to me asking what kind of math she would be learning? She was concerned because she wanted to take Geometry before High School like her older brother had. I told her that could be arranged and let her know I had already been looking for math programs for her (she really likes math). I gave her the catalog I had been looking at and she looked at it for a few minutes and then asked if we could look at it together? "Yes, I said, "But I am making dinner now and it will have to wait a little bit". "OK, she responded, and ran off to the pool to swim with her siblings. After dinner I asked if everyone wanted to go back into the pool. "No, she reminded me, we have to pick out my path program. I want to get started right away"! So much for not wanting to be home schooled.
They are still a little apprehensive about the change which is understandable. I told them that mom was a little scared too. However, we are in this together and I told them that I thought we would all be really glad once we got started.
Once Samantha and Garrett warmed up to the idea of home schooling the older high school boys had to start in with the teasing. I guess now that they weren't completely distraught they felt that they didn't have to be nice to them anymore. Dave and I basically told them that none of that would be tolerated AT ALL. They got the message and stopped immediately.
Our home school group coordinator emailed me yesterday morning letting me know that there group always went on a rock climbing/camping trip each October and she hoped we would be able to come this year. When I told Garrett and Samantha about that they were very excited and said they wanted to go.
The older high school boys asked if they would get to go also? "No" Garrett told them. "It's only for home schooled kids, you go to "real" school where they don't do anything fun. Sorry". You should have seen the look of indignation on there faces at that one. That will teach them to tease there little brother and sister.
Score One for the nine year old.
Labels: Home Schooling