I can't believe it's been two weeks since I updated my blog. So much for posting every other day in November. Seriously, where does the time go?
Let's see, since my last post we had a soccer party for Liam's team, the boys attended two birthday parties, went glow-in-the-dark golfing, we got the house cleaned (and finally got our pantry organized), made it to voice lessons (twice), helped with the children's Christmas play practice at church, got my hair cut, taught Sunday School, and watched the Titans' get creamed on Monday Night Football. We also survived a home-visit from the new social worker updating our adoption home study. We put up four Christmas trees, including the 14' tree in the family room, and set up our Christmas village. I moved antique furniture and a ton of boxes full of old books and things from my grandparent's house which was recently sold. I did a bunch of Christmas shopping online. My brother and his little girls were house guests over the Thanksgiving holidays, we had a great time on Thanksgiving day at my sister's house, had fun hanging out with all my siblings and their kids over the weekend, we had a family game night at our house, we completed more paperwork for our adoption agency, Preston won the 4th grade 4-H Public Speaking competition and finally I led the 4-H K-3 Cloverbuds meeting in which we attempted to make gingerbread houses using graham crackers and icing.
I can't imagine why there hasn't been any time to blog?!?
On the adoption front, we are still moving along nicely. Our new social worker (SW) is very nice and easy-going. The boys were on their best behavior. They even worked together to bake sugar cookies for the SWs while Martin and I were being interviewed. How sweet is that! We had the house pretty tidy ... all except for the office. Anyone who has ever visited us knows we have a really hard time keeping the office neat. There is serious work going on in this office folks and we like to think of it as "organized chaos". Honestly, I told our SW that I had a choice of sleep or cleaning the office. I choose sleep. She was okay with that and even told me that when a house (especially one with four boys) is too clean, that's when they have something to worry about. Whew! LOL.
On Friday after Thanksgiving, we received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Services (C.I.S.) that they needed another document from us to process our fingerprint clearance. Great! Hopefully, it won't be too hard to get and we can send it in with our updated home study. The good news is that our new agency told us we don't even need the fingerprint clearance letter (aka: I-171H "Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition") until the second trip to Russia. That means we can get a referral and even travel to meet her without it. Of course, knowing all too well how slow government offices can be, we are wasting no time in getting them the requested information!
Speaking of referrals, our SW said they are coming extremely fast ... sometimes even before the dossier is complete. There is a possibility (although I would think pretty slim) that we could get a referral and actually travel before the end of December. As exciting as that sounds, it is also pretty scary when I think of all we need to do to get ready. It is much more likely that we'll be traveling to meet our little girl around the end of January. Russia celebrates the Christmas holidays at the first of the year and government offices basically shut down the first two weeks of January. After Martin and I travel to meet her and officially accept the referral, then it will take about 6 weeks to get a court date. We'll come home and then make a 2nd trip for the court date. The 2nd trip is when we will take all the boys with us. When we leave Russia after the 2nd trip, we'll be a family of seven!
Basically, the way everything is lining up, we'll be traveling to Russia for the adoption instead of to Utah for our annual ski trip. Martin, the vacation enthusiast, has already looked into ski resorts in Russia thinking we could kill two birds with one stone. Don't think he had much luck, although I just read last night in the Russia Life magazine (www.russianlife.com) that Russian just won the bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The host city, Sochi, is located on the coast of the Black Sea and at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia (http://sochi2014.com/) Well, they must a few ski resorts there, perhaps we should check it out. Yeah, right!
Back to the adoption: We need to get fingerprinted once again, this time for the FBI and TBI. Does anyone else think the C.I.S. (a.k.a Homeland Security) should just share? But the thing we are most looking forward to, (insert lots of sarcasm here) is our psychiatrist appointment on Thursday afternoon. Fortunately for us, the Doctor recommended by our agency had a cancellation this week and can see us both at the same time. I've read about lots of crazy questions others have been asked during the psych exam so at least it should be interesting.
Well, I think that about catches up everything we have been doing to move this adoption along during the last two weeks. I'll post more photos and videos as soon as I find my camera the boys lost when I let them use it take a photo of the card house they built. But that's a whole 'nother story!
P.S. the larger type is for my mom ;0)
Happy Belated Thanksgiving Everyone!