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T minus 7 days.

In just 7 short days we will be boarding a flight to Bangkok.  Can you believe it??

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of paperwork and mini panic attacks – the night we bought our tickets I almost threw up.

So far we have 4 partially full suitcases on the floor in the living room, 3 kids in school waiting for the day to come where they’ll have lots of time off, 100 rolls of film ready for take off, and 5 very anxious travelers!  However – there is one very important thing we do not yet have – travel approval.  We do not yet have our Article 5 from the US Embassy and this means that we do not yet have a date with the child adoption board.  We’re not TOO worried about it yet because all of our paperwork is at the embassy so it should just be a matter of days before our Article 5 is issued, but there’s always the chance that it could not be issued until after we’ve already landed in country.  Worst case we will just have to wait for the next meeting with the child adoption board (2 weeks after our projected date of October 1st.)  Matt and I thought about it hard and our little man turns 9 on the 20th of this month and we just couldn’t stand to miss another birthday.  We’re taking a leap that our paperwork will be done on time so that we can spend King’s birthday with him.  Please keep your fingers crossed for us!!

It’s been a while – but it’s worth it!

For the first time in this blog’s history, I come bearing good news!  Can you believe it??

On May 3rd we received word that King’s paperwork was not only completed but that copies were in the mail.  Would you be shocked to learn that it was true??  I was!  To say that we mailed back the acceptance papers with a quickness would be an understatement!

Once the papers were completed we had to wait to be presented to the board so that they could officially grant us a match.  Since the board only meets twice a month, we had to wait over and over for our case to be presented by the social worker that works with our agency.  I’m happy to report that after months of waiting, we were presented and APPROVED last week.  Our papers are once again “in the mail” and we should have the opportunity to file our final paperwork with the US government as soon as next week!

Cautiously I hope that we’ll be in Thailand in September.  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Just the way things are

My trip to France was lovely and my host family were the best I could have ever asked for.  I walked the streets of Paris, road the bullet trains of Europe, strolled the water front of Marseille, and ate croissants every morning in Avignon – truly once in a lifetime.   Once I got back I had some serious catching up to do.  Over the 9 days of my trip I skipped my whole “prep” week between class groups and the first 3 days of my new class.  I was poorly prepared.  I’ve been working hard to try to catch up and I think it’s been working because my class tested very well this last week. What little troopers they are!

If you’re interested in seeing my photos from France, you can see a small collection of them here:  http://octoberrain.com/2011/11/08/trip-to-france-portland-or-travel-photographer/

Tomorrow is my last day of work and I’ll be off for 2 glorious weeks.  But again, I’ve been poorly prepared and King’s Christmas present is going to end up being late.  Thankfully the orphanage will be getting him a scooter on their end to hold him over the extra couple of days we’ll need.  Speaking of King, things aren’t going so well with our adoption process. I know some have heard me cry about this already but yet again, his file was sent back to the orphanage that holds his paperwork for rewriting.  We have no idea how long it will take to complete and be resubmitted to the committee but we are always hopeful that it could be as little as a week, but really it could be as much as weeks/months.  Much like I did last year when thinking about 2011 – I’m hoping that 2012 is OUR year.

I’m already working on my “Year in Review” post for 2011 and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone.  I’ve failed at many of my goals for the year but was successful in a couple of them.

And the beat goes on.

It pains me to say that we haven’t heard a single word of progress on our case since my last post, almost 2 months ago.  I mean it seriously pains me.  I try to not let it bug me, but I’m pretty terrible with that.  I’ve been coping with some retail therapy but really that only helps for a day or two – otherwise things are pretty cranky around here. Before you ask, we haven’t heard anything.  Not only have we received no paperwork, we have received no updates – not any updates worth anything at least – a couple of baseless rumors and empty promises.

My July thought of “stay hopeful” has turned into “don’t snap at any one”.  Ask me how that went next month – everyday is a challenge.  I’m pretty sure my coworkers think I’m suffering from depression, or bipolar disorder.  My friends call it being “Thailand Bitter”…..today I’m snarky because I’m Thailand Bitter.

Regardless, the beat of everyday goes on.  And on.  And on.

Blogging about no progress

Back in May (the 8th to be exact) I blogged about how news had come that we would likely not here any news until Nativeland tours were over .  Here we are a little over a month later and that’s still the case.  I feel bad blogging about how much waiting sucks – especially since most of my lovely readers are also APs and PAPs who have been waiting nearly as long (and some cases, even longer).  Today marks 646 days since we first requested to be King’s parents.  646 days and no hugs or kisses to show for it.

I’ve been trying really hard not to dwell and have done my best to fill our summer with events to keep me busy until August, when the obsessing can officially begin again.  The kids will be doing summer school programs, we have 2 trips to the beach planned, Hubs and I have 2 overnighter motorcycle trips already planned out….and I’m teaching a full schedule since our school is year ’round.  No summers off for this gal.  My goal for the whole year has been to read 25 books (trust me, that’s at huge uptick from years past) and according to my GoodReads ticker, I’m 13% ahead of the game.  Yay me.  Maybe I’ll finish by the end of the summer.  I’ve also just started a photography workshop that may get me out of this artistic rut I’ve been in…..although I’m not sure the rut is artistic in nature at all.

Let’s face it, to be honest I still hold out a glimmer of hope.  I still check my email over and over every morning until 11a when I am sure that the day’s hopes are dashed.  I still wake up every morning and think, “maybe this really is the day.”  I still get giddy on Sunday nights because a new week is full of 5 more “maybe today!”‘s.  I still torture myself in the evenings by looking at pictures of him and watching the videos we have of him over and over.

Most of the time to make myself feel better I have to play the “but at least” game.  For example:

We have been waiting 646 days, but at least, we have over 300 photos and videos of him that we’ve found on blogs and sites.  It doesn’t make the waiting feel good but it makes it bearable.

This game is how I feel better about a lot of things that some people could boo-hoo over when they’re feeling down.  Another example:

I am getting paid less than a public school teacher and I have to work through the summer, but at least, I have a job.   Other teachers I know are packing up their classrooms today not knowing whether or not they’ll have a job come fall.

I could do these all night, but the point is, as down and out as some of my blog posts may be lately, I hope you all know that I do realize all the blessings we have.  To be honest, I really didn’t have much to say tonight, I just wanted to check in, but I feel like I got a little heavy there for a minute.  To lighten it up a little I will leave you with this, which I stole from my friend Michelle:  (warning, please don’t click on it if you’re sensitive to language!)

Keep your fingers crossed

In early January we were told that King’s “child history” was completed and sent to the capital for approval – this is what we had waited 15+ months for. (Once the document is approved and sent to us, we will sign off on it and he will officially be matched in the eyes of their officials.) In January we were riding a high but as the months have passed, we started to wonder what was happening with things. Many emails later we finally heard last week that his file had been reviewed but then was promptly returned to the social-worker for an update….. dang, SO CLOSE! Good news though – the update was completed the same day! And the file was sent back to the capital. We’ve heard that it could be as little as 1-2 weeks for capital approval, or, more realistically, 1-2 months. Please keep your fingers crossed that it’s sooner, rather than later! We received some new photos and I have the perfect one to use when we get that approval! I’d love to show it to you!

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