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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!!

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:

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.

Bonjour de France

At first I thought it would be funny to post this while thing in French but then I thought better – I’ll save you guys a trip to Google Translate.  I landed in Marseille yesterday evening after something like 20 traveling hours.  My first flight was rough – I had the seat smack-dab in the middle (middle row, middle seat) between 2 men, one happy and nice, the other quite cranky.  The nice guy let me use his noise canceling headphones (boy are those sweet!) so that I could take a nap during the first leg of the flight.  After landing I spent 6 hours at the Amsterdam airport running this way and that.  Then a short trip to Marseille.

It is so lovely here.  Of course right now it is raining but who cares when you’re sitting at a little table in an adorable little french kitchen with the view of a garden filled with grapevines while sipping coffee??  I know I sure don’t!  My friend Anne is a wonderful host and we’ve already had eggs and coffee and fresh bread.  The room I’m staying in is adorable and I can’t wait to upload some pictures today.  So far, the trip as been a success.  We leave for Paris in 2 days!

Stay tuned for a photo post a little later.

Get out of town!

I don’t have to tell you how tough this year has been on us – particularly the 2011 year.  In January we heard that King’s history was complete and we waited with baited breath every week to get a copy of it in our hot little hands.  April arrived and we heard that the Child Adoption Center (CAC) had requested another update on his file and still we waited.  Then again in May – yet, still waited.  Then the hold up with the Nativeland Tour which all PAP’s felt.  Now here we are in October and we are thinking Spring 2012 might be a decent estimate of travel……….maybe.  It’s been tough on our hearts.  I’ve been up and down, over and over again in the last 10 months.  The Hubs’ a little stronger than I am and refuses to get excited like I do.  Smart man.

I’m sure you guys have seen this in my posts, and I know my students have seen it in my face when I tear up every time I get an email from our agency.  But especially, hubs and our kids have seen it.

I feel bad about this, I really do.  I wish I could change it but it seems to be a cycle I just can’t get out of.

Then this week something magical occurred.  A random conversation of chance happened and I was offered a trip to France.  One call to The Hubs and he told me I’d be crazy to not do it.  Needless to say I’m freaking going to France, people!  Thanks to my wonderful friends, the entire thing will cost me no more than a plane ticket – and I found a ticket that cost less than a used couch on craigslist!  It’s going to be a top romen and couch surfing kindda vacation BUT who the heck cares??  I’m going be seeing Southern France and Paris!!  8 whole days on my own private vacation.  Can I just say I have the best hubby EVER??  It’s not Thailand mind you, but it will give me some rest I desperately need.

Now instead of obsessing over whether or not I’ve heard from our agency and assaulting our worker with a barrage of emails every week, I’m looking forward to boarding a plane in 3 weeks.  Then, after I get back, it’ll be Thanksgiving, and after that, Christmas and New Years.  January 1st I’ll be back to obsessing, but for now, I have a slight reprieve.  But I really hope we don’t have to wait that long.

Redirecting energy

I’m not afraid to say that this summer in the PacNW has been l.a.m.e.

110% lame.

Warm weather has been fleeting, rain has been fairly frequent, and I’m not sure we really ever met summer at all.  I’m still hopeful that we’ll get our indian summer.  But for now, we’ll live with our sweaters out of storage – just in case.  As you can probably tell, I’ve changed my site – yet again.  Boredom my dear friends.  Shear, unadulterated boredom.  We’ve been to the bland coast 2-3 times.  We hit the drive-in movie theater.  I took a photography workshop and signed up for another one.  I changed my work schedule to 4/10’s.  I started working on my new photoblog.  We’ve had drama with the neighbors.  I’m trying VERY hard to redirect my nervous energy. Sissy and I celebrate our birthdays next week.  King and Lolee will celebrate in September……..

How many more days until Nativeland 2011 is over??  Le sigh.

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!) | 502: Bad gateway

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