Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Busy, busy, busy - in a good way!

We are still plowing through adoption stuff. Since we are applying to adopt a waiting child, we have motivation to push as fast as possible. The longer it takes for us to finish our part of the process, the longer she lives in an orphanage.

Yesterday I applied for my passport. I was very happy to find a nearby USPS that accepts passport applications. Last week I called and scheduled an appointment for this Monday morning. So, yesterday, I drove over to the USPS and handed in my application, my passport photos, and a check. Hopefully soon I am going to be a world class traveler! I told my husband he wasn't allowed to go pick up our daughter by himself...

This morning we both visited our doctor to get general health checkups and have her fill out some paperwork about our medical history. She signed off that we are "mentally and physically fit to parent." Woohoo! One more approval has been handed in.

Tomorrow I visit a lab to get some blood drawn for a routine check. It's been years since I've had blood work done. I confess that I am not looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be an easy visit. I am drinking tons of fluids in preparation. Unfortunately, no more food until after our visit tomorrow.

We're also working on a summary of our disciplinary beliefs/techniques for various ages of children. I'm having to research a bit as I'm honestly not sure of specific discipline techniques. I know spanking is a horrible form of punishment for a child who has been abandoned or neglected. I know positive reinforcement is better than punishment. But I'm not certain about which discipline ideas are best suited for what age. It looks like I have some more reading to do!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Baseball and knitting!

Stitch 'n Pitch! Every year, the Seattle Mariners host a section of knitters. I was feeling rather exhausted from the busy-ness of the week but I'm really glad I went. The game was so much fun!

Driving up to the field

Chandelier in the lobby

We had great seats!

Knitting while watching a game!

The field at night

The evening's bonus? Our entire row won a knitting goodie bag! Free pattern books, yarn, and some new needles. Hurray for free knitting supplies!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

FBI Fingerprinting - Done!

In my preadoption reading, I found mention after mention that the longest part of the adoption process is waiting for the FBI clearance. I felt for sure that our home study was going to be held up by the FBI fingerprinting results. I was wrong!

Jeff and I made an appointment to get digitally fingerprinted today at noon. We showed up 15 minutes early and were both done before our scheduled appointment times. By the time we arrived home, we had emails stating that our FBI results were available for download. We cleared the fingerprinting check!

I wasn't expecting anything to show up on the record but the appointment website said we'd have results in 3-5 business days. I'm absolutely positive this is not the same fingerprinting that normally takes 4-12 weeks. We'll probably have to get an additional fingerprinting clearance done after the home study is approved. That one will take longer. But for now, we're gathering clearances and paperwork faster than I had originally anticipated.

Now we're just waiting to see if my birth certificate arrives faster than the predicted 96 business days...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's the little things that count, right?

The mess of cables

Bruno - "I get to help, right?"

Getting ready for cable management!

Hubby working hard

Bruno - "Yup, looks like you're doing a good job."

Much better!

I'm not thrilled with the entertainment center as it reminds me of my college days. But it was cheap and it keeps everything off the floor. There's nowhere else we can put hubby's server, as it needs to be plugged into the network.

Hubby scrunched up his nose when I suggested a quilted table runner across the top of the entertainment center. Is there anything I can do to make it look more warm and inviting?

Friday, July 19, 2013

96 business days!?!?

I know I've been posting a lot about the adoption lately but it's the primary focus in our lives right now! We have lots to do now so that we can sit and wait for approvals later.

Yesterday we went to Walgreens and got passport photos taken. My husband just needs a passport renewal so he was able to mail off his application. I'm applying for my first passport so my process is a bit more involved. I have to order a copy of my birth certificate in order to submit my passport application. I also need a birth certificate for our home study.

96 business days.

Yes. The wait time for my birth certificate is currently 96 business days.

I am not happy. I thought our home study would get held up waiting for our FBI clearances. We have appointments to get fingerprinted on Tuesday. Instead, our home study is probably going to be waiting for a certified copy of my birth certificate! Now I wish I had ordered one earlier.

While we hurry up and wait, I've continued my deep cleaning. Our kitchen is now spotless! I scrubbed everything. I cleaned out the cupboards and decluttered and reorganized. I scrubbed the fridge. And the oven. And the floor. It's so pretty!

Is this the adoption version of nesting? I don't have much money to spend on making our home pretty or buying things for our daughter. Right now, almost all of our money is getting deposited into the adoption fund. Once that is fully funded, then we can make the house pretty. We did set aside a bit of money to buy a cheap entertainment center, as our modem and blu-ray player and Wii are all sitting on the floor. We're also going shopping Sunday for a cheap floor lamp for our bedroom and a trash can for the pantry. Stuff we'd been doing without but now want to have so that we can show the social worker that our home is more inviting. Little things, but I think they'll make a big difference.

I'm guessing that April is when we'll be able to start buying furniture and clothes and such for our daughter. Our daughter. I just love those words. :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blessings in disguise

We have been finding a LOT of spiders in our house lately. I had the unfortunate experience of sorting laundry on two separate occasions and seeing a spider scurry out from our laundry pile. Yup, we are definitely in need of a closed hamper. At that moment, it was confirmed that I scream like a girl.

Yesterday, Jeff called our pest control company and told them we're starting to see an influx of spiders. Our normally scheduled visit is in about three weeks. They said they would come out today and spray for us. Yay!

When they got here, our bug guy sprayed really well and said that we might be seeing a few more spiders since it is prime spider season here. On the way out the door, he said this visit counted as a return visit instead of a normally scheduled one. Our pest control company has a policy that if they have to return and spray a second time, the visit is free. I assumed we'd be paying in full since we have a visit coming up next month. Nope!

What a blessing. Today we started the paperchasing process of the home study and the free pest control visit freed up $80 for other things. Like passport photos. And certified birth certificates. Yup, we're definitely chasing that paper now!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Some of the best words ever

From our placement agency - "We are ok with your going ahead with your plans to adopt an older child."

Praise the Lord! This is one of the big hurdles we've been working on, trying to figure out if we can get agency pre-approval to move forward with our adoption plans. Of course, we still have to get approval from our social worker and get a home study written that reflects our desire to adopt an older child.

Now we just have to finalize our decision on which social worker or home study agency to use and we can get started with our home study.

I am absolutely thrilled!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Memory Work

I really enjoyed learning Psalm 16. It was such a blessing to concentrate on a psalm of praise and prayer to God. I wasn't sure which chapter I wanted to start on next until I came across this verse in the last novel I finished.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened:
and their faces were not ashamed."

This verse is part of Psalm 34 and the entire Psalm is beautiful. This week I'll start memorizing verses 1 and 2.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

I will bless the Lord at all times. He has guided me so much these past few weeks and I am continually reminded to lean on Him.

Have you been blessed by a particular verse lately?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Never thought I'd hear...

MIL: "What are you reading right now?"
Husband: "Parenting books!"

Praise the Lord. :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday reading

My reading time this week has dropped a bit as we've been concentrating on adoption paperwork.

I'm still reading both Radical Homemakers and Twenty Years After.

I finished reading Through Gates of Splendor, which I thought was a very inspiring story but a dry telling. I also finished reading Parenting Adopted Adolescents: Understanding and Appreciating Their Journeys. I thought the book was more intimidating than helpful at this point, as we haven't met our child and have no idea what types of issues she will actually struggle with. A lot of the stories seemed to be rather pessimistic. Surely all adoptions can't be so incredibly challenging.

My current adoption read is 20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed. This book seems a bit more helpful in terms of preparing to adopt, being aware of what a child might be thinking about adoption in general, the role of birth parents and adoptive parents, and the search for identity.

I'm off to continue cleaning my kitchen. I seem to be on a cleaning streak these days...

Monday, July 8, 2013

A bit of late spring cleaning

Prepping for our adoption process has given me the urge to clean. That's always a good thing, right? I spent some time on Sunday sorting through everything in our hall closet, scrubbing the shelves, and rearranging what was left. I was quite pleased to take a stack of empty boxes (from the iron, coffee press, etc) out to the recycle bin that evening.

Hall closet - before

Hall closet - after

Once I reorganized everything, I started moving some of our board games onto the shelves. Prior to this, they were stacked up on the floor of our dining room. It didn't make for a very pretty dining room! This looks so much better.

Adding the games!

This morning I made a veganized version of an old favorite recipe.

Cream cheese wraps

I only made one to test out the idea and it was really good. I spread a thin layer of vegan cream cheese on a tortilla and then sprinkled it with diced olives, tomatoes, and cucumber. My non-vegan recipe was cream cheese, olives, and roasted green chilies. I didn't have any green chilies on hand but I hope to try it again soon. My husband, who didn't like the non-vegan version, ate half of the wrap. I guess that means they were a success!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Go forward," says the Lord!

It seems God keeps putting reassurances in front of me that we are meant to step forward in faith and pursue adoption. Yesterday, the pastor mistyped a slide in his Powerpoint, accidentally listing Titus 2:4 as his Scripture text. He didn't realize the mistake until someone stood up and read the text during the service.

that they admonish the young women to love their husbands,
to love their children

The congregation laughed but I smiled. The pastor could have typed Titus 1:4 or 3:4 or 4:4 or any other combination of numbers. But, he mistyped and had a text read aloud that reinforces God's calling for my life right now.

Then I open up Bible Gateway to copy the verse from Titus and find today's Scripture reading:

As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Psalm 18:30

Thank you, Lord! We're stepping out in faith that this adoption is Your will for us!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hat Progress

I was late to my knitting group this morning because I was asking tons of questions to a local home study agency. Adoption is overwhelming! And we are still miles away from the parenting aspect of it...

At the Eastisde Stitchers meeting, I worked on my Twisted Trellis hat. I'm not fond of the yarn color but it's a practice hat. I'm learning how to make twisted stitches and several new stitch abbreviations. It's really good practice. I can't wait to cast on a project with smaller needles, though!

The second picture is closer to the true color.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Challenging Books

This week I am reading a fairly wide range of genres, though mostly a continuation of last week's reading. My current selections are either long or rather deep, both of which require more time to finish.

Parenting Adopted Adolescents: Understanding and Appreciating Their Journeys. So far I'm finding that this book makes an awful lot of sense. I'm almost done with the first chapter and have found several passages I would underline if it wasn't a library copy...

I accidentally buried Through Gates of Splendor in the batch of books I brought home last week. I need to sit down and finish reading the last couple chapters.

I'm enjoying Twenty Years After! I'm curious if a movie has been made out of this particular Musketeer adventure.

Last but not least, I started reading Radical Homemakers. I think it's going to be a challenging book, pushing the boundaries of the homemaking norm. I might have to buy a copy that I can write in.

Are you reading this week or spending the day enjoying the summer sun?

Monday, July 1, 2013

For this child I prayed...

For this child I prayed...
1 Samuel 1:27

My husband and I are praying over a young lady in Asia, earnestly asking God if we are to move forward with her adoption.

I know that someday soon I will be able to claim this entire verse as my own.

For this child I prayed,
and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.

1 Samuel 1:27