That's the word for the day. UGH. It's not even 11AM, and I feel pretty ready for today to be over. Ever have days like that?
On our way to our fingerprinting appointment at USCIS this morning, I was stopped in a row of cars at a red light. I was discussing with my son what it means to obey. He has been having some trouble in this department lately, and we had just had an issue. So I was taking the opportunity to explain the concept to him in as explicit terms as possible when I thought I saw the line of cars moving. I started to drive forward and promptly hit the car in front of me. This was not good on so many different levels- not the least of which was that we would not make it to our fingerprinting appointment on time. I immediately started flashing back to the grumpy door guard at the USCIS office, and that's when I almost started to cry. Thankfully, going less than 5 mph meant that no one was hurt and there was no damage. However, I do not recommend starting your day this way.
Grumpy Door Man does have a human side though, and I almost wanted to hug him when I arrived (still really shaken up) and explained very apologetically that we were late because we were in a car accident. He immediately said, "The appointment is the least of your worries. Is everyone ok? Then, you're good." He was right. We were good, and we got in and out of there in 10 minutes. I left wondering how many times we'd be back before our daughter comes home.
After all that, my plans for the day went down the tube. I just wanted to go home and crawl in bed. That's not an option with two kids at home, so we just went home. No errands today! I cannot believe that today is the last day of March! CRAZY!!!
That's the word for the day. UGH. It's not even 11AM, and I feel pretty ready for today to be over. Ever have days like that?
Oh boy! I cannot tell you how many good blog posts were lost in our week without a computer! :) There seemed so much to say, but I don't remember what it all is right now! The GREAT, GREAT news is that after four years of struggling with our previous computer, and getting ready to say our goodbyes to our favorite company, Apple, we got a pleasant surprise. They GAVE us a NEW COMPUTER, but more importantly, restored our faith in this company we really love. Now, we REALLY, REALLY love it.
But, I'm giving the company too much credit really. Through all our "struggles" with that computer, I was so frustrated, but I never once prayed about it. I've prayed that God would heal my family, my kids, but never my computer. Nor have I ever prayed for the Lord to control the situation from Apple's end- that just seemed awfully presumptuous to me. People pray every day for things that are heart-breaking and life-changing. My computer in light of it all just seems like more of a selfish "want" and my reasons for wanting it to work are purely selfish and financial. I mean, sure we sort of need the computer, but we can live without one. I'd hate it, but we could. Anyway, I never once asked the Lord to intervene on behalf of us in the case of our computer.
So, as we took our family trip to the Apple store last week to drop off our computer, my husband suggested we really pray that it would get taken care of once and for all. I said, "I don't know Scot. It seems like an awfully shallow thing to pray for." But, he reminded me that the Lord wants to bring everything to Him- everything. It is certainly not beyond His power to help, I knew that. Honestly, I'm ashamed to admit it, I think I was falling back on my really bad habit of not asking for help (from anyone) because I don't want to put anyone out. I wasn't consciously thinking this, but looking back, besides it never actually crossing my mind to pray about my computer woes (let's face it, even I have things going on that make the computer seem unimportant), I didn't want to bother the Lord with my computer worries when He has more important things to take care of. "I'll take care of my computer, so you don't have to worry about it, Lord."
Well, we prayed in the car that one way or the other this on-going problem with our computer would be taken care of, but please, Lord, could they do the right thing finally. We've been in there 4 different times over the four years we had the computer for what was a defect in the computer originally, and they've had much better opportunities to give us a new computer. They never did- and we had asked. This time, we didn't ask THEM, we asked the Lord. And they called and said, "We'd like to give you a new computer." I'd say I learned my lesson. Thank you, Lord, for our awesome new computer! What an amazing and unexpected gift! So the new computer restored my faith in Apple, but much more so in the God I have who wants to take care of ALL of my needs. Even my silly computer.
On that note, I am finally posting a picture of my newly organized computer desk featuring my brand new, truly undeserved new computer. I'll post the "before" picture first so it can be truly appreciated!
For the first time in what seems like forever, there is action on the adoption front. We got our fingerprint appointment time in the mail yesterday from USCIS. YAY!!! We are scheduled for first thing in the morning on March 31st! I'm curious what has the worse wait time: waiting for the fingerprint appointment or waiting for the I-171H to arrive afterwards. We got our appointment fairly quickly and it is a little over a week away, so I'm hoping the actual immigration approval arrives quickly after the 31st! At any rate, I've stopped trying to make new, close deadlines for when I want to be DTC (dossier to China). For now, I am saying I hope to be logged in by Mother's Day. Truth is, it SHOULD be long before that, but this way I don't have to keep moving the date back. Easter came early this year so that ruined my plan to be DTC by Easter. Well, that and my previous adoption consultant telling me that the Manchester USCIS office would get me my approval in a week. They are fast in comparison to just about anywhere else, but one week just isn't at all accurate. Another reason why I'm glad to have a new social worker to work with.
On that topic.....I LOVE our agency and have been very pleased with them. However, they did not get Hague approved in the initial batch. They had a hearing scheduled with the Hague approval committee (I'm calling it that, but it probably has a more official name) on March 7th after which they fully expected to be approved. They weren't. I could fill in the details as to why for you, but it's a long story, and they have provided a full explanation to all of us. However it doesn't change the circumstances: if (in the worst case scenario) they do not ever become Hague approved (and I expect they will be as do they) the families who are waiting for their children from China will not be able to complete their adoptions. It's scary. It turns out, CHI's Hague status will not be set one way or the other until at least the fall which means only one thing to us: we are switching agencies. We had been toying with this idea for a bit for one other reason: the way CHI handles special needs adoptions (they do it by lottery instead of putting interested families in "line"). While we really love CHI, and everyone there has been wonderful, this "lottery" system just didn't make a lot of sense to us, and made us wonder. So, when the Hague approval became an issue, it was a no-brainer for us. We'll be switching to another agency. It would be irresponsible for us to do anything else at this point. I know where we would like to switch to, but I won't say which agency it is until it is official.
So, that's the update for now. Hopefully, I'll have more news soon on both topics!! Right now, I'm off to deal with my darling daughter who is protesting her nap. Thankfully, she's still in a crib, so she's staying there for a bit one way or the other!!!
So, I've been tagged....twice now actually. First by my cousin, Rebecca, and again by Tami. I tried to ignore it the first time :), but I'll play along since I have a minute! So, I'm supposed to list 7 random things about myself, link to the blog(s) of the people who tagged me, and then tag a few other people. Well....I'll list some facts, but no one I know blogs. SO, I won't tag anyone else as every other blog I've read has already been tagged. OK, here it goes. This should confirm that I am chronically boring.
1. I'm married to my high school sweetheart.
2. I LOVE Moxie. I'm fairly certain I'm the only person under the age of 75 who does.
3. I don't drink caffeine. A drink with caffeine in it is like a glass of wine to me: I get it when I go out, but otherwise, never drink it.
4. I don't like water- drinking it or having it on my hands. Swimming is ok though. (For the record, I do wash my hands frequently, I just don't LIKE to! I also drink almost exclusively water, but this is a force of will.)
5. I've met two presidents: Gerald Ford and George Bush. I don't remember meeting Gerald Ford. I've met my fair share of famous people in general actually now that I am thinking of it: Rudy Guiliani, Mitt Romney, Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulis, Charlie Gibson, and Viggo Mortensen. The funny part is, I met those last 6 people all in one day during NH Primary week this past January.
6. Sometimes, when my kids aren't in the car, I listen to kid's music anyway....and sing along. (I am picky about my kid's music, so this isn't as totally lame as it seems.)
7. My favorite food is stuffed cabbage, but I don't particularly like ice cream.
So, there it is. If you read this and you haven't been tagged, please consider yourself tagged and let me know! I'd love to read about everyone else's random facts!!!
Now, I must get back to my sick daughter...yep, we're STILL sick here, but this time it is vomit. Can I have the chest cold back?
I've been reading a blog by the Harrell family for some time. They are in China now to pick up their daughter. I am praying for them as they will meet their daughter in just a few days. Follow along with them here. I really enjoy their blog, and I got choked up just reading her entry about landing in Beijing. It's funny how you can feel so happy and emotional for a family you have never met and don't really even know. One of the many new things you experience when you enter the world of adoption!
I successfully filed our I-600A today! The guard was in a much better mood today probably because I knew to wait for his signal before opening the door. Then I managed to set off the metal detector, so I had to get the full inspection with the wand. So much for making quick work of getting by him. So, now we're just praying for a speedy turn-around time!!!
In clutter-free news, I took on another very daunting project today- my car. Oh my. Since one of my kids was at preschool and the other was with gramma, I decided to make order out of chaos in the car. The results were beyond awesome, and I feel like I got a new car today!!! My computer desk is looking good as new as well. The kitchen island is in sort of a flux state, and the extra counter in the kitchen looks just as it did when I took the picture the other day. I'm putting it off. I just have no idea what I'm going to do with all that stuff!!!
Now, it's time for making frosted shamrock sugar cookies. I like to bake, but if it involves a rolling pin I get nervous. I'm bound to mess it up. But, when your son is leader for the day at preschool and he wants to bring frosted shamrock cookies because it's almost "Shamrock Day" (that's St. Patrick's Day to the rest of us), well, you do what you have to do. This should be interesting.
We went to file our I-600A today at USCIS (Customs and Immigration), and I learned a few things in the extremely brief period of time we were there:
1. I'm very thankful to have never immigrated anywhere ever. What a roll of red tape. Of course, this probably means I will be called to the mission field any day now just for having said that! :)
2. Make an appointment. If you don't, you will feel as though you have immigrated to the USCIS office. Bring pajamas.
3. USCIS is serious business. Do not go there unless you absolutely have to. The people inside are quite pleasant (at least to those who have an appointment). The guard at the door doesn't know the meaning of the word "pleasant".
4. Read the signs on the door before opening or said guard will make you fear for your life.
5. Have empty pockets. You are required to empty them anyway, so save yourself the time. And most certainly do not bring the entire family with full pockets (as we did).
6. Bring a bank check or money order. I don't care what the instructions say (and neither do they)- they don't take personal checks!!!!
So, lucky me, I get to go back tomorrow morning with a bank check!!! :) I am SO looking forward to it! If I'm really lucky, the same guard will be working. Hopefully he'll be nicer if I don't start out on the wrong foot by opening the door prematurely. Maybe finally we will get this application filed and we can begin the wait for our I-171H.
I'm off to play Superheroes........wish me luck!
In one of the blogs I read, there is a post about housekeeping that has inspired me to clean the clutter that has taken over our house in the three weeks we've been sick. Ok, it's actually been there for awhile before that too, but it's just out of control now!! So, here are three areas I am going to work on this week. I'm completely mortified by these before pictures, but I'm hoping that will be the motivation I need to make the "after" pictures really, really good!! Besides all the clutter, please excuse the stark white, undecorated walls. We rented this place two years ago as a temporary solution till we found a house. We're still here, and still in "temporary mode"! Probably why we have SUCH a clutter problem!!
My computer desk....shameful.
Our "extra" cabinets in the kitchen. It becomes a catch -all for everything!!! (But notice the beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork my son painted for me when he was a mere 2 1/2 years old. My prized possessions.)
And, lastly, our island in the kitchen. What to do? What to do?
So, stay tuned.....in a week I'll post "after" pictures. I'll join you, Robyn, in your journey to declutter and reclaim your house!!!
OK- I've had a lot of opinions about food lately. It's weird when you start thinking philosophically about food. It doesn't happen to me often, but lately, it's been common. I think it is the sinus infection going to my brain.
My first thought here is that food that seems SO delicious and wonderful in your memory may not be so delicious and wonderful in reality. Exhibit A: Velveeta Mac-n-Cheese. I had a craving over the past two weeks which I indulged. I had not had Velveeta Mac-n-Cheese since before college- an easy 15 years ago, and boy, did I just want some. I supposed it was ok to indulge such an unhealthy craving once every 15 years, so I bought it and made it for myself and my kids. Goodbye "Annie's Organic Mac-N-Cheese", Hello Velveeta. I've had better ideas in my life. My kids hated it, and when I took a bite, I fully understood why. It was like eating a bowl full of salt. It was very rich and creamy salt, but it was like pure salt to us. Oh, Velveeta, it was good while it lasted......wonder what other nostalgic foods I would think are gross these days?
On a healthier food note, I learned how to make home made salsa, and I am ADDICTED. I LOVE cilantro, and this recipe (courtesy of our pastor's wife) is LOADED with it. I make a batch every week, buy some whole grain Tostitos, and enjoy every bite! YUM!
Lastly, I tried my hand at Chinese food last week. I made Sesame Chicken- an American-style Chinese favorite I'm sure, probably not authentic, but a good place to start. It sure looked good when I was done, but it wasn't nearly as tasty as say, Chen Yang Li, our local Chinese restaurant. Oh well. Back to the drawing board. My question is: how can someone who can barely cook food from my own culture learn to make food from another culture? I think maybe I'll let Scot try next time. He will surely have better results. I'll continue trying to master the basics. Not sure why, but the picture wouldn't load. Too bad though- it looked pretty.
On another note, my post about eradicating the plague was grossly premature. A sinus x-ray yesterday revealed that my sinus infection is still there, so I'm on round 2 of antibiotics, and we just now realized that Sawyer has a fever. He finished his treatments for pneumonia a week ago, so his fever being back up to 101 cannot be a good sign. I feel like we're standing in the ocean being hit with wave after wave of this stuff and just when we have our feet beneath us for a second, another wave hits. I am SO, SO ready for summer.
So, it's a lazy Saturday here full of cartoons and naps!!! I'm looking forward to it!!!
After two VERY long weeks of sickness in this house (pneumonia, double ear infections, bronchitis), I THINK we might be on top of the plague we got here- thanks to the help of a stockpile of medications, lots of naps, and a husband/father who took good care of us. Of course, now I feel like I've crawled out from my cave after hibernating for way too long, and I am so behind on everything: bills, cleaning, LIFE.
On the good news/bad news front, our home study arrived in the mail today. Of course, it didn't appear to have a copy of the agency's license attached to it, so I STILL can't apply for immigration. This is a problem because our agency is one of the agencies whose Hague accreditation is pending- not approved. So, that just adds to the stress of it all. I'm just having kind of a hard time thinking about the wait. However, if we want to continue with CHI, we have to apply for our I-171H before April 1st to be "grandfathered" in or we will not be able to continue with the China program with them (because they will no longer be allowed to facilitate adoptions from China after that date). I'll be honest, we are looking at other agencies and strongly considering a special needs adoption OR switching to Taiwan. My heart really does seem tied to China though, so I am praying that the Lord will make it CLEAR what is me and what is HIM. We want to go where he has a child for us, and we don't want to run away just because of the wait or some small troubles at CHI (let's face it, I FULLY expect them to be accredited ASAP)! Anyway, Scot and I will have to have a long talk about this soon and really figure it all out.
In other exciting news, we are looking at a house tomorrow, and this could be THE ONE. For our area it is a great deal- a fixer-upper, but a great deal. And, it brings us a LOT closer to our church which is a huge bonus! There are three other couples looking at it tomorrow also (supposedly they are casual buyers, but who really knows?) so we are praying fervently about that as well.
Lots going on. I can hardly keep up! :) I just wish I could load some photos. It's still not working for me!!! UGH.