Thursday, October 30, 2008

unproductive thursday

It has come to my attention that Sarah B is impatiently awaiting a Thursday update. Baby sisters are so demanding :-)

Unfortunately Matt and I are both working today. Gotta cover shifts when you are embarking on a (let's just say) pricey adoption.

But, just to give you a few breadcrumbs, we mailed in the rest of our Gladney application last Friday, and I contacted Kate from KB Dossier Service today to get us started on our dossier.

Signing off for now. Gotta pay da bills.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

productive thursdays

Thursdays have become a mad flurry of doin stuff because they are the only day we have off together (that don't involve football :-)
Today we picked up our IL foster parenting medical forms from Doc Brown, dropped off our packet of forms to Family Resource Center to get our homestudy rolling, early voted (I highly recommend this,) ate at our new favorite Thai restaurant that we found in DearCharlie's neighborhood, drove down to Matt's work to get his employer letter for the Gladney app, grocery shopped, and got a call from our FRC case worker to set up the homestudy (set for Nov. 13.) And we're not done yet! We are going to assemble the remaining part of our Gladney application so I can send it in tomorrow.
We are a little bit behind schedule on that because we had a few missing pieces to put in. Matt and I are so forever grateful for the two people who did our employer letters. These letters are not only for the Gladney app, but will go in our dossier as well. Which means they had to be perfect. It seems quite simple. A letter from your employer stating that you are an employee of said company, how long you have been an employee and how much you earn. This letter is to be signed by someone you work for, in our cases, a manager. This letter must be signed in front of a notary. The wonderful and amazing Kirsten did mine about a month ago. Took the letter on her own time to a FedEx/Kinkos and got it notarized. It was beautiful. Great. Done. Except.... The date of the letter didn't match the date it was notarized. Remember, it has to be perfect. So Kirsten (maybe we'll call her DearKirsten) went back and did it again this week. She's so awesome. Matt had a similarly frustrating experience. He took his manager, Scott to get the letter notarized at the bank across the street from his work on one of the ridiculous days we were waiting for the car loan approval code. Oh, I'm sorry, you have to be a bank customer to use our notary services, would you like to open an account? No thank you (crumples letter in rage.) Then, last week he took Scott to the UPS around the corner from work to get it notarized. Oh, I'm sorry, our notary is not here today. Great. But, the third time was the charm. The notary was at the UPS today and we will bother Scott no more.
The other missing piece of our Gladney app was a collection of pictures of us and our lives. This has proved difficult, because apparently Matt and I don't appear in many pictures together. Some family and friends were kind enough to send us whatever pictures they had, but we still had to take a couple of our own a few of nights ago. Here's us trying to take a picture of ourselves while our cat, Bishop decided that family pictures without him were unacceptable:
Hopefully we will be able to pull together enough pictures to get this thing done.

Btw, I also wanted to mention that Matt took our Prius to get gas for the first time in the two weeks we've had it, and found out it is only a 10 gallon tank and only cost $30 to fill up. That's pretty awesome.

Ok, signing off for now. Gotta be productive!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

some stuffs

We did a few things the past two days. Yesterday we got another set of fingerprints, this time for our IL foster parenting licenses. For this set, we had to go to the YMCA in Evanston. Holy cow, I've never seen such a nice Y. The reception area looked like a fancy hotel. Then we go past the two enormous indoor pools to this little room where they've got a gal set up with a laptop and a portable biometrics pad. This one was much faster than our last set, but thank goodness we got there when we did, because apparently all of Evanston needed to get fingerprinted that day and walked in just after we did. So, two fingerprintings down, one to go (as far as I know!)

Today, we got to do the delightful task of bringing the cats to the vet for their vaccinations (required for foster parent license.) Oh man they hate this. We have indoor cats, whose universe does not expand outside of the confines of our condo. Putting them in the boxes, taking them in the car, pulling them out to get needles stuck all over them, its all terrible. They both get carsick, so by the time they get to the vet they've got puke all over themselves. Yeah, not awesome. Then when we get them home, Bishop has to pout all day like he has just witnessed the worst atrocities imaginable. Ridiculous. But it's done. Now they won't get the rabies from us, i guess?

We also took more forms to Doc Brown's to get filled out. I think they must be getting sick of seeing us there. But they are so nice and he and his wife (who is his receptionist) have adopted children, so at least they understand.

One side note from today. We went with our neighbor, Suzy, to a hearing downtown for a unit in our building that is being foreclosed on. We were standing in front of the building chatting afterwards and a black car pulls up and who should pop out? Mayor Daley. He shook a few hands, posed for a few pictures, and went into the building. Weird.

Tonight, we fill out some forms. I can hardly wait.

Monday, October 13, 2008

the kick is true

It's hard to describe how mentally taxing the past couple of weeks have been, when every possible little thing that could have gone wrong did, and yet somehow, the two biggest things we needed to go right, did.
A week ago, at this time, Matt and I were low. Really low. Our car was dead. We had to get a new one. There was so much confusion over how we should go about this. All of our adoption plans for the week were scratched because A - without a car, we could not accomplish our tasks, and B - we had to get a car somehow. And the icing on the cake? We were both totally freaking out about a bill we had received in the mail a week before from my fertility doctor for $5500!! So yeah, things were not looking too bright in the McBride household.
What a difference a week makes. I was going to write down the whole story about the car, I really was. But its so long, so complicated, I just don't know how I could put it all into words. The long and the short of it is, we now own a beautiful 2004 Toyota Prius, bought from a man I will always refer to as ThatCharlieGodBlessHimSuchANiceBoy (or maybe just DearCharlie, for short.) We went through a lot with DearCharlie in the two days we spent with him. Expired registrations, expired emissions tests, tickets for expired registrations, and most importantly, a loan approval code that seemed like it would never come. But somehow, in the 11th hour, in overtime, in extra innings, at the end of the day, the end of our patience, the end our sanity, the code came through. And DearCharlie sold us his car.
And our beloved Subaru? Bought by our mechanic, Norm, for $300. Norm loves Subarus and he will fix her up nice and good.
Oh yeah, and that $5500 doctor bill? Oh sorry, just a mistake, don't worry, everything went through insurance, call me if you have any other questions. Are you kidding me?!?

The most frustrating thing through all of it, is that I cannot help but think about how our adoption process was being delayed by all this junk. I know a week doesn't seem like a very long time, but in the world of International Adoption, where the waitlist grows and grows every day, it is a significant amount of time. I'm realizing that, because of the approximate time that I think we will be put on the waitlist, and because the courts in Addis close during the rainy season in August and September, we probably won't be able to get the baby until sometime around November, instead of late summer like I had hoped. It's not the end of the world, but it still sucks.
However, as evidenced by the last couple of weeks, I know the big stuff will work out in the end.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

pop quiz 2 (electric boogaloo)

Dear Dad, I'm sorry to say, you were right. Every time you send us money, our car dies. I don't know why this is. I have tried talking to her nicely, telling her the money is for the baby, not her. But she just won't listen. I think she thinks she is the baby.

Yes, that's right. Last night, after picking Matt up from work, our car (the beloved Subaru) began a new round of dying gasps on the way home. It seems she is trying to tell us that she is old and not long for this world. So sad. And to make matters worse, I was supposed to go to an all day ethics class today as a part of my required continuing education requirements, but after only 4 hours of sleep, the thought of sitting in a classroom for seven hours while somebody tells me not to touch my client's private parts makes me want to barf. So I'm skipping. I'd rather spend the time feeling sorry for myself. Wah.

In other news, the adoption process is progressing. We had our meeting with a social worker from our homestudy agency this past Thursday. I thought it was a really good meeting. She asked us a bunch of questions about ourselves, our lives and adoption. But it really was more like a lovely conversation between three people. About us. And I must admit, I really like talking about us. Is that vain?
We were, however, dismayed to learn that with this homestudy, we have inherited a whole new pile of paperwork. In Illinois, it seems you are required to see and spend time with your child before you can adopt. So when we bring the baby home, in the eyes of IL, we will be considered foster parents. Which means we have to get a foster parenting license. It's not really that big of a deal, just so much more paperwork.
This will be piled on top of the paperwork we have to do just to set up our homestudy. Many forms to fill out, including a trip back to Doc Brown to have him fill out another form for us. And kitty cat inoculations. And, much to our delight, another set of fingerprints! This will make it three rounds of fingerprinting that we will have to accomplish. Seriously, can't these people just share?

We did get one more big thing done. We sent in the first part of our big Gladney application, along with our program fee deposit. It felt great to get that in the mail. In the next week or so, we will be sending in the next two parts, and then we can start working on our dossier!
Do you all understand how happy I am going to be when the paperwork is over? If that day every comes, it's going to be beautiful.

In the meantime, apparently life doesn't stop just because you are adopting a baby from Ethiopia. So, maybe the next time I write, we will have a new car. And then Dad, you can feel free to send money again :-D