Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Social Worker Visit Scheduled and a Crib

We are almost done with our home study paperwork. Just the medicals are left, and we are getting them done in the morning. I've written a check for the remaining balance of our home study fees and the social worker is scheduled to come out Monday evening. Everything is going very quickly this time, and I anticipate having our home study finished by the end of November. Much quicker than last time around.

Today I happened to run into someone from church that I knew would be great to ask about a crib. Turns out she had one in the garage that she was more than happy to give me. I was very thankful because now we can have it set up for when the social worker comes to visit.

I wanted to mention that I have another blog about our family's smiles and trials, so please come check it out. It's link is under my other blogs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Down memory lane

Since we have started a new, long ride to Ukraine to find our son, I wanted to post these two videos of our two trips to Russia when we adopted back in 2005. Boy, does it bring back memories, and I look forward to making new ones.

We're gonna be pirates!

Jonny and I after looking through many comforters online, decided on this cool pirate one. I think it looks great and will stay age appropriate for many years to come for him and our new son. Plus, I got a really good deal on it!

Kid's medicals are faxed!

When John and I went in to get our skin test, the nurse filled out new medical forms for five of the kids. I was there to help her, to make sure no mistakes were made. Yeah, they are done! I've already faxed them to our homestudy agency.

While we were there, Jonny went ahead and got the rest of his shots since he is now four. Jonny was much braver than John, and didn't cry until his third shot which is the painful MMR. But now he is done with shots, and he got a cool prize for being so brave. More yeahing!

Now for the biggest part, the medical form for the dossier which will be done on Thursday. Even though we only need 2 forms on their letterhead, I have 10 just in case. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Even though Ukraine doesn't require post-placements

When we adopted from Russia two years ago, we had to pre-pay for post-placement reports because Russia requires them to be done by an agency. Well, come to find out, Ukraine doesn't have those same requirements. They just want us to fill out a form and submit it to the embassy. Woo-hoo! That's less money we have to come up with now.

But, I want to readopt our son once he is here, and in California they require a recent post-placement report to be filed in addition to the readoption paperwork. So instead of paying for a readopt social worker visit after our child is home, I am going to pre-pay for one post-placement visit to be done at six months so that I can do the readopt on my own, like I did with all of our daughters. This is so much cheaper --it should save us about $200.

Did I say that.....

I wouldn't get stressed out over the little snafoos that are bound to happen in the adoption process?

Well, I lied. I just can't help it. But, boy, after last night, I really know when I am feeling stressed. Let me tell you, it's a feeling that I can't stand having. Thankfully, I am over it now. In the past, I wouldn't lose the stress until whatever I was stressed out about was completely resolved.

Turns out that the medical forms I dropped off at my doctor's office for the kids were not filled out correctly. They just changed over from paper files to completely computerized, and it looks like some of the info in the charts didn't end up in the computers. Two of my sons were seen in the last month yet they wrote down that they haven't seen them in two years. What??? They also forgot to add all of the previous immunizations done by our old doctor's office, so they looked really behind in their shots. Plus, they wrote that they still needed the Hep A vaccine when that isn't even a required immunization. Besides, I already discussed it with them and decided not to give it to my kids because they were not at risk.

Agghhhh! But. But. I am thankful there is a but. When I called the office this morning to talk to the office manager, she was very apologetic and asked me to bring new forms to fill out tomorrow when we come in to do our TB test. She will get them filled out while I am still there so I could look things over to make sure it is done right. She is so nice and so sweet and I really appreciate her doing all of this in the first place. She doesn't really have too, and I have heard horror stories of other doctor offices not being very cooperative with the adoption paperwork.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sorting out the marbles

I already feel the nesting coming on. I know it sounds really silly, but I spent a good part of the weekend sorting through all of the toys in our playroom. My wonderful mother-in-law came over for a while and helped me. Annalyn chipped in to. We went through everything and separated out all of the choking hazards. No more marbles or legos.

Our plan is to move Adam and Caleb to what used to be our playroom, and make their old bedroom which is right next to ours, the new room for Jonny and his new brother.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Playing Tag

I've been tagged by Tami. The only problem is that I've already answered these questions over at Smiles and Trials just a couple of days ago.

My answer to this problem is to change the questions slightly, and even go as far as to add some other, more bold questions to tag someone else with. Here goes:

Jobs I would love to do while still being a Mom:

1. Write a book
2. Help run an orphanage
3. Run Christine's Creative Catering (I love to cook!)
4. Collect lots and lots of donations and homebaked cookies to give to the homeless.

Places I would love to live for one month:

1. Russia
2. Ukraine
3. Any ocean beach destination like Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, or Puerto Rico
4. Any of the New England states in fall
5. Any one of the southern states that Forest Gump was filmed in
6. Michigan to get to know some of my internet friends.

Food I really don't care for:

1. Fish
2. Game
3. Sausage

Concerns about adopting from Ukraine (or where ever you are or have adopted from)

1. Not being able to choose only one child. I would want all that were shown to us at the SDA.
2. Leaving my other children at home.
3. Buying gifts for everyone in Ukraine who helped us to adopt our child. Who do you buy for? What are some good ideas for gifts?

I hope you guys don't mind that I changed things a bit. Now I tag Chris and Virginia at and LuckyMom over at Hopefully, I will get to know them a little better. :)

Not going to drive a bus

Right now, our youngest child is four years old. He is in pre-school three times a week in the afternoon. Next year he will be in kindergarten everyday. Because of this, I have had countless people come up to me and talk about how great next year will be. I'll have so much free time now to go and do all of the things I haven't been able to do for so long. Go out to lunch with long lost friends. Make an appointment to pamper myself with a pedicure, and new hairstyle. Go out on an all day shopping spree, or even simply stay in bed and sleep all day. My friends talk about me now having the chance to finally catch up on all of my scrapbooking.

Funny thing is that, you would think that I would be jumping all over this opportunity to have some freedom that society thinks I have missed out on all of these years. In reality, I am just not into doing these things, and I find much greater joy and satisfaction in being with my family and raising my children.

As I was leaving the school office one morning after Jonny's speech therapy, something on the wall caught my eye. It was info on a course being offered by the district to teach you how to drive a school bus. This interested me, and I took down the info. This was something that I could do. I had my answer to what I would do after Jonny went to school. Rather than go out and all of the things I mentioned earlier, I would go out and drive a school bus.

I could do that. That sounded like fun. I already drive a fifteen passenger van, so how hard could learning to drive a school bus be? It sounded like the perfect plan.

Later in the day, after the kids were home from school, I was trying to call the bus garage to get more info. Caleb asked me what I was doing. After I told him, he retorted,

"Mom, you can't drive a bus. Why do you have to work? If you do, you will be gone before we go to school, and you won't be home when we get home."

Wow. What an eye opener for both John and I. Thankfully, John's income is enough that I didn't need to work, I didn't really want to go out and work outside of the home, and at least some of my kids didn't want me to work either. What in the world possessed me to even think about it?

One word. Society.

Society makes a woman feel like maybe her being a mom is not as significant of a job as going out into the workplace. In reality, I think I have one of the most important jobs in this world ---raising my children to grow up to be moral, responsible, God-following adults in this world.

So, our plans for next year. I'm going to be a new Mama to one precious little boy waiting for us in Ukraine. I really can't think of anything I would rather do.

Lab tests complete!

John and I had our blood work done yesterday. Part of the lab request was to have a urine sample, something I didn't tell John until we were in the car driving to the lab. Needless to say, that was a problem, and so he dropped it off later in the afternoon. Potential problem #1. I hope his urinalysis meets back up with his bloodwork. Only time will tell.

I hate having little things like this consume my thoughts. It's like if I worry about it enough, the outcome will change. In reality, the second part of the test may get lost in which case he has to do it again. So it delays things a couple of days. That's life. This time around, I refuse to let things get me so upset. I'm realizing that it just isn't worth it.

But on the upside, I am so proud of my husband. He absolutely hates needles, and he did this blood test like it was nothing. Such a difference from three years ago.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It felt right

Today I was out buying clothes for some of my other kids because they seem to have grown at least two inches overnight. One day their pants fit them, and the next day they look like they are ready for a flood.

Since I was buying clothes anyways, I came across this cute outfit and I couldn't resist buying it. It felt good to have something tangible in my hands that represents the *new* son that we will be adopting. When we were in the process of adopting Anna and Sveta over two years ago, I started giving away all of Jonny's clothes as he outgrew them. We just didn't think we would be doing the baby thing again. Now that we have had a two year break of no changing diapers, I am thrilled that we will soon be doing it again. Call me crazy, but I am looking forward to doing the baby/toddler thing all over again.

Anyways, I bought this outfit and I'm not even sure it will fit the boy we adopt, but it will eventually. I have learned this with my other children. They will eventually grow into it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A pokin' we will go

This morning I met with the office manager at our doctor's office. She was so nice and supportive, and willing to do whatever it takes to get our family medicals done.

I have the lab requests for our bloodwork to be done in the morning, and we are going to go in early next week before our actual physical to have a TB test so that it could be read on the day of our visit. So on next Thursday, if all goes according to the plan, we will be completely done with both our homestudy medical and our medical form needed for our dossier.

Compared to Russia's requirements for medical exams, Ukraine seems to be much easier so far. Or maybe it just seems easier because this is the second time adopting internationally for us. I'm not sure, but it is times like these that I really appreicate how wonderful everyone is that works at our doctor's office.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Working on our homestudy

When I called to talk to our home study agency I was surprised to find out that the Hague Convention requires parenting classes, even for parents that have already successfully adopted, like in our case. Thankfully, we only need five hours versus the ten hours required for new families just starting out. I have even heard that some agencies require up to 25 hours. Yikes!

Anyways, we are using to complete our five hours of training. What is really cool is that, it is all online. After looking at other sites, I found this one to be the easiest, most accommodating, and most affordable.

A couple of other online course are:

We are almost done with the classes and need only one more certificate. This has not held up the paperwork stage of the homestudy, and I am happy to report that we are almost done with all of it as well. All we need to do is the employment verification, and medicals.

I am meeting with the office manager at our doctor's office in the morning to discuss with her exactly what we need them to do. Since they were more than happy to help us last time, I am hopeful that things will go well tomorrow and I will be in and out of there in no time.

The agency we are using to complete our adoption gave me the exact medical form needed for our dossier, and a sample of how it should be filled out. How much more simpler could it get?

Monday, October 22, 2007

The cat is out of the bag

This blog was made especially to journal our experience as we start the journey to adopt from Ukraine. When I have more time, I will share more about the How, Why, When, Who and What??? Please stay tuned as I share candidly about my feelings.