I posted more about this on my LJ but today was a big progress day (relatively speaking):
- finished applying for the last 2 of 5 passports
- received one of 5 passports
- received I-600a application receipt
All good news! YAY! I got to check more stuff off my list!
I have to admit, I've started purusing the waiting child photolistings. Anyone know of any great ones?
So today we found out we made a cataclysmic error in calculations re: the expense of adopting two babies. There is just no way in the world that we could possibly afford it. It would be another $13,000+ which is $almost 5000 more than we anticipated. We would have to come up with in CASH on top of the remaining adoption expenses which we are also paying cash for. Basically what we would save is the application fee, the cost of travel and the cost of the homestudy update. I don't know if we'll end up adopting again in a few years or not but there is no way we can do 2 now unless, by some miracle, a sibling group or twins become available.
I thought I'd be very upset but I'm surprisingly ok. Just ok. Not thrilled. Not depressed. A little miffed that I was misled by SOMEONE and can't figure out who (can't find the emails, but I think it might have been by another client at my agency and not my agency themselves) but it was probably totally my misunderstanding and not their fault. I think the financial burden as-we-knew-it was already weighing so heavily on my mind that the instant relief this news brings sort of balances out the disappointment. It'll be one baby for us. It will probably be easier, less stressful, better for everyone this way, right?
In other news: we STILL have not received a receipt or fingerprint letter for our I-600a which was submitted on March 17. Bummer. Hopefully next week, but maybe not.
We DID receive my consular report of birth (x3) and Dh's birth certificate (x3) - now we are ready for anything! LOL Tomorrow maybe we'll go get DH's passport and Noah's passport.
In non-adoption news: I am staying off the computer except for work purposes until after 5pm now. It distracts me too much from the kids and it is too easy to become consumed with adoption news (wait -wasn't this non-adoption news?!). I still have to sew up Noah's carrier and my stepMom is coming in a few days. This weekend we are picking up a kayak (LONG awaited). It is really nice and warm here - almost 70 today. It won't last but it hopefully won't get freezing again any time soon. Yesterday while I was out shopping, I twisted my ankle very badly. I wasn't sure I'd be able to drive but it passed enough that driving or walking wasn't a problem. But it hurts. Not agony but that kind of pain that is like a dull headache where you don't really notice it constantly but it is annoying enough that it makes you cranky without even realizing why. So I've been cranky all day since I've been NOT sitting at the computer and a) running around and doing stuff or b) feeling angry and annoyed that I have things I want to do and can't because of my dumb injury.
Dinner tonight: dog. I am so incredibly annoyed at my stupid dogs. I am ready to put bark collars back on both of them - they won't shut up! But of course the collars don't work and just emit a high-pitched noise along with the bark which quadruples my annoyance. I am sure that is just my ankle talking. But they better watch their backs.
I have more news that I'll post at my private blog.
3/28/2006Dumb Questions of the Day
1) Did you cut your passport pictures into individual pictures or keep them as a sheet for your dossier?
2) If you need to update a medical, do you have to rerun all blood tests or can you just make a new doc appointment and use old test results? I don't seriously need to get a new TB test every six months until we travel do I?
3/24/2006Some new checks
These aren't on my list but they are checks, none the less. I find that the more at a stand-still we get, the more I find progress in miniscule things :-P
Yesterday Dh told me that we have had some checks cash. This is progress in my book! Yes, I'm seriously that desperate. The boys' passport check cashed. Someone tell me that means their passports have been approved! Do you think they'd still kick them back to me with problems after cashing our check? Today I'm optimistically believing they would not :-P Also today my certificate of birth abroad order check cashed (this is big since these can take FOREVER to order). And recently our check for our state certification for our marriage license cashed. I think everything is basically cashed except our INS check. That was only sent on the 17th but I expect it to cash next week sometime - I can't wait! After it cashes, we should get a receipt within a week or so and an appointment within a week of that. I hope.
Today we received our state certified marriage licenses. We may have to send two more if we need another dossier but now we know we did it right and the turn-over time (very very fast). I have to say, as ridiculous as it is, it felt so good to see those shiny silver seals. I am tempted to go state certify everything else we have so far just so i can see more seals. It is silly, I guess. But maybe I will. No harm, right? Well, I guess there might be SOME harm if things expired before we sent our dossiers. But damn, if we aren't DTV in six months, somebody will have to update my blog for me because I'll be in the loonie bin :-P
Yesterday we submitted our long-awaited I-600a, today it was received by USCIS. It wasn't without it's drama. YOu can read the whole sordid event at my LiveJournal if you are registered.
We went to celebrate my baby's fourth birthday with my Mom today and she surprised me by giving me a dress of mine from when I was a baby for Madeline. I have literally spent my entire childhood and adulthood secretly (and sometimes not-so-secretly) wishing for a daughter I could put in this very dress! I didn't even know for sure that she still had it. It has been passed down through generations - it means a LOT to me. Here's the pic: :-)
What are your weekend plans? We are thinking of doing NOTHING today (after a very long sleepover party last night). I have a bunch of new adoption books to pick up from the library today. Tomorrow we might go to the kennel club dog show. We go every year. It's cool watching the agility trials, the flyball competitions, the herding, etc. I'm on the outs with my dogs right now so I'm not as eager in past years.
Today we got all our back tax returns in the mail from the IRS. We ordered these last week in preparation for the possibility that USCIS will request the last 5 years back returns. I know this sounds ridiculously insane. But, insane or not, it is fast becoming the reality in Michigan. There are several families who have recently been requested to submit such in depth financial reporting. Others were asked to send in 3 years. Many were required to submit the most recent tax return and a letter of employment. None of this is actually requested on the form. It seems totally jacked to me.
But we requested the forms just last week and got them today. Very fast turnaround from our IRS. Wish they could have a little sit down with our USCIS :-)
Next up: 2005 tax return and employer letter, long-form homestudy. All of these should be ready for us next week. Once we get them all, we'll submit the long-awaited I-600a. I will be crushed if this does not happen by this time next week.
Still awaiting: we sent in a request for more copies of my certificate of birth, more copies of DH's birth cert, more copies of our marriage license (the abstract that is certified) and I think that's it. We requested them the same day we called the IRS. So hopefully those will be rolling in sometime next week or the week after. Mine should be last, it can take 4-6 weeks.
We don't need to rush any of those. They are going to be used only if we get to adopt two babies. Just-in-case copies. To go along with our just-in-case proof of custody papers I got Friday in case one of my son's passport apps is rejected and also the just-in-case tax returns from the IRS for USCIS :-) My just-in-case folder is getting large - much larger than my dossier folder :-/
3/08/2006Did you know...?
I have been meaning to share this. When you parent Asian children, you learn a lot about small and different medical issues that you might not share.
For instance, my oldest son has Exfoliative keratolysis. You can goggle it if you want but basically it means the skin on his hands and, to a lesser extent, his feet is always peeling. It doesn't bother him or itch. It just looks weird. It comes and it goes, but mostly it's there.
His skin is also prone to cracking and splitting - particularity his feet. He often has to bandage parts of his feet in the summer to keep from getting infected.
Probably no coincidence but he also suffered bad eczema when he was younger. He would have such bad patches on his inner elbows and knees that they would bleed. We would bandage them but he was allergic, also, to the adhesive in the bandages so he'd get a raised rash around the eczema from the bandages. It was pretty horrible. Thankfully he's mostly grown out of that. He still occasionally has patches of eczema behind his knees but they don't bother him much.
My ex says Vnese are prone to VERY dry skin. This is the biggest challenge for me in raising a multi-cultural child because I have really easy low-maintenance skin. I have literally never used moisturizer in my life. My oldest son needs it probably many times a day. Now that he's older I try to remind him to do this for himself but he frequently has noticeably dry skin on his legs and arms and even face.
My middle son did not get Vnese skin. However he DID get the typical Mongolian spots and, with those, Scleral melanocytosis. This is basically a Mongolian spot "of the eye" - the white of the eye. You can really only see it when my son looks to the side. I secretly worried for years that he had cancer or something seriously wrong with him. Finally I asked and was told that it is an "Asian Thing". Almost half of all 6 year olds have scleral melanocytosis. I don't think he had it at birth but developed it sometime over the first year or two of life. Our Vn friends have told us that this is considered to be a "sign of luck" in Vn. So now he feels really special :-)
I also have this pretty interesting article bookmarked called "Health Problems in Chinese Children are Different" because I found that many of the issues are the same in the Vn population.
So now you know! :)
3/02/2006Did you miss me?
Ok, I'm totally loving LJ! I can't help me, I'm sorry. I love being able to vent about annoying customers without fear of them finding out! LOL
But I've decided that I'll keep both blogs. I'm gonna Be Like Chel :-) If you want to read my in-depth, detailed, heartfelt stuff, you'll have to come to LJ. Otherwise, I'll post the bare basics here.
I got my police clearance (why isn't that on my cross off list?) and DH is getting his today. I forgot to get two copies, annoying. So I'll have to go back. If we end up adopting two, I'll need FOUR copies??? I really REALLY want to adopt two related babies. Why is this so unheard of in Vn?
I'm ordering more DS-1350s today, for myself. I'll need them if we need two dossiers. They are hard to get and take forever to come (not as long as the I-171H though!).
If DH can get it notarized today, we are also sending out our marriage license for state certification. The other things we can all certify here locally on a walk-in basis for $1 each! WOOT!
That's all! I need some reccs for Toddler Adoption books. I am going to start a lifebook this week (scrapbooking it myself).
Oh toddler adoption reminds me....my agency said that they are encouraging two infant adoptions instead of infant-toddler or sibling groups. It seems like an availability thing. I thought there would be TONS of toddlers available since the shut down. I would LOVE twins, that was our first preference, actually. Unrelated same-age babies would be similar, right? But is that just stupid? Never mind it would cost twice as much on the Vn end of things if they aren't related..... :-( Confused, as usual :-P