Thursday, January 27, 2011

FBI Clearances - Take 2!

We got our FBI clearances back again today...complete with appropriate seals and signatures!  Hooray!  I was really surprised that they came back so quickly.  It only took 9 days including sending them there and back.  Now we are just waiting for our homestudy to be finalized so that we can send off for our CIS (immigration) approval.  We are getting closer to the waitlist!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Apparently my excitement over our FBI clearances was premature.  I have to send the forms back to get the raised seal stamped on them. :(  Hopefully that won't take too long.

FBI Clearances!

Our FBI Clearance arrived this morning!  I really like seeing the FedEx truck lately.  We sent off our fingerprint cards on November 23rd, so it took about 8 weeks to get them back.  I was figuring they should come soon because the charge hit my bank account a month ago.  One step closer!!  We almost have everything ready for our dossier!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No Spam Filter can stop us!

After our home study last week, I emailed the dossier assistant that our agency recommends.  I figured I might not hear back from her right away because of New Year's and the long weekend and all, but by this Thursday I still hadn't heard from her.  I called to make sure she had gotten my earlier email and she called back within minutes saying she had emailed me a packet of info last week!  Apparently my spam filter on my email thinks that it is imperative that I know about 50+ singles in my area and cheap Canadian drugs, but something this important surely must be trash!  Ugh!  So, now she is added to my address book and I should now receive all of this important correspondence.  We got our entire packet of info filled in and sent off the first FedEx pack to her the next morning.  Progress!  We are getting closer!

**Update:  It is Monday morning, and I just got my tracking email from FedEx saying that my packet was delivered this morning!  It wasn't supposed to get there until Wednesday afternoon.  Hooray!  This makes up a little bit for the info being lost in my spam folder for a week. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Abbie's First Birthday

I can't believe my baby girl is already a year old!!!  We love our Abbie Lynn!!!

I am thinking that she looks sooo much older all of a sudden.  I was looking today at the boys' pictures from their first birthdays and they just looked younger still.
We had her party at home with just the 5 of us.  It has been such a hectic month that it was nice to celebrate with just us.

Getting ready to eat some hot dogs.  This is our birthday tradition because everybody likes hot dogs!  This means we don't have to worry about anyone not eating and then not being able to have dessert.  Who wants to miss out on cake?

Opening presents.  I think it looks like she is shaking it to see what it is.  

Smash Cake!  She wasn't really sure what to do with it at first, but she figured it out.  

Starting to dig in.  

She really did like the cake.  She may take after her mommy.  ;-)

Right about here is where I was really hoping that it would wash off easily. :)

It really does not feel like a year has already gone by.  It seems like she was just born a few weeks ago.  Maybe it is just because is has been such a busy year.  It does however make me feel like maybe this next year of waiting for our next kiddo to come home may not drag on forever.  

Home Study!

On Thursday after Christmas we had our home study!  I really had myself completely overly worried about it.  I had spent the previous weeks unpacking the last few boxes that were in the house since our move (I know I am super slow at unpacking!)  We had Christmas on Saturday, left town that evening, and then came home on Tuesday afternoon to the mess that we left on Christmas!  We stayed up until 1am cleaning and getting ready.  Apparently there was no reason to do that because she really didn't care too much about the house itself.  I was just really wanting to make sure that I had done everything I could do to get ready.
The caseworker came and spent almost 5 hours with us.  She basically just asked us a lot of open ended questions about our lives, families, parenting style, what we like to do in our free time, etc.  She also discussed some of the issues related to international adoption.
All 3 kids were there the whole time, and I was really hoping that they would play nicely and occupy themselves.  Ha!  I don't know why I thought that would happen.  I had also hoped that she would be able to come during the afternoon so that the kids would be napping for most of it.  Instead the appointment was at 9am.  About an hour into the interview, Caden came into the living room with Legos sticking out of his ears.  I am sure we looked like very attentive parents right about then.  :-P  I think she thought the kids were cute though and never thought that they were being obnoxious.  I guess she is used to this.  :)
Anyway, everything seemed to go really well, and she didn't seem to have any big concerns.  It should take a few more weeks to get our finalized home study back.  Then we just have to finish our dossier!

Christmas Morning

I know I am a little late posting this, but the last week and a half has been super busy.  Here are some pics from Christmas morning.

Ethan was super excited to go see what Santa left for him.  He woke us up early.

Caden is not a morning person, and Santa's coming did not change that.

Abbie had no clue what was going on, but she is pretty much always happy.

Ethan got the Toy Story garbage truck he has been wanting.  He loves everything Toy Story or Lightening McQueen related.

Abbie had fun opening presents, but she would not put her Monkey down the entire time.  She would open a present and then return to playing with Monkey.

Caden got a guitar!  This kid is our musician in making.  Everything he picks up turns into a drum or a guitar.  He basically has not put down his guitar since.

This pretty much sums up Caden's pose for the remainder of the day on Christmas.

Even once he was too tired to keep playing, he laid down with his guitar.