Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We got the CALL!!

First thing this morning I got a call from my agency!! We have our travel dates!! I'm so excited. It really seems so real now!! We are leaving March 11 for a week!! Yeah!!! I can't wait to get our referral and meet our daughter!!!

I will be back later...I have so many things to get done today in preparation and not enough daylight hours to do it in.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Checking in...

It's been awhile since I've had time to post. It's been another crazy month. We've had a lot of bad news in my extended family these past 2 months and my heart has been with them. We have also been sick and stuck inside which has left me feeling a little helpless to anyone and getting behind in my coop preschool requirements to boot.

In my own personal family we found out that we are losing one of our beautiful dogs. After returning from Maui we picked up our dogs from boarding and noticed our female, Mandy had very tender and cracked paws. We thought this was caused to boarding and took her in to see her vet. She was treated and released. Well, the paw problem didn't go away and she went back in for more testing. Bottom line, it turns out she has a rare disease that is causing her liver to fail and she is given just months to live. It's been a hard last few weeks trying to digest this news and get her in to see a specialist. She is on a special diet, has her feet treated every few days and goes in for amnio drips for 8 hours every 10 days. Unfortunately it is not good timing. As if it ever really could be! We had a family trip to Disneyland planned for last week and with the upcoming trip to Russia in the next 3 weeks we of course want to keep her comfortable and healthy and not let her condition demise for as long as we can. It's very strange to be losing my only other female in my family and gaining another female member all in the same month. (my other two dogs are males as is the rest of the family, a hubby and 2 boys). I always thought it was perfect that we had 2 boy dogs and 1 girl dog and then 2 boys and adopting a girl. I was really hoping to get a photo of all the kids and the dogs and now it doesn't look like it will be possible. I still want to do a family photo of us and the dogs before Mandy's condition worsens. I will have to post a photo of Mandy on this site. She is such a sweet girl. Our furkids have been our first children for almost a decade now and it's just so hard to think of anything happening to them. They all just still seem like happy little pups. She is on the boys webpage She is the black, white and tan cavalier king charles spaniel. Life comes and goes so quickly and her sad news and the difficult news in my family is a reminder of what a precious gift we have and how quickly it can change with each day.

Okay...enough sadness. I'm ready for happy news!! Something positive to hang a hope on. Onto the adoption front. We are still waiting for news from USCIS. According to the website posted 2-15 they are caught up with all cases filed through Sept 7th. Our case was filed Aug 27th and we still have not received anything in the mail so I'm calling our local congressional office tomorrow and ask for assistance. We have heard this past week from our adoption agency and we should hopefully have our travel dates for the middle of next month and will know for sure hopefully on Friday. We are very excited and have been packing and planning like crazy for our trip to St Pete. It looks very cold there and being from CA we spent the weekend trying on heavy jackets, boots, hats, gloves, etc. We have our crisp bills, thanks to my parents' help. I was having a hard time at my bank getting these bills. I guess they only order them once a year. But luckily it wasn't a problem for my yeah!! We have potential flights narrowed down and all of Emily's things we want to bring are packed. Her room is also almost finished. The crib is up, bedding, rug, changing table, art hung, curtains, toys. It came out so cute..I will take a photo and post later. I still need a rocking chair but otherwise her room is ready!!

Hope everyone is having a great night!! I'm so thrilled for Rachel and Troy! They received their referral!! If you haven't stopped by their site, now is a good time to go over and congratulate them!! It looks like we could be traveling at the sametime as them...too bad our regions are so far from one another!

Friday, February 8, 2008

USCIS update

So I looked on my USCIS field office's processing page that was updated on Jan 15. According to the webpage my local office received a significant increase of applications filed this past summer. In July and Aug 2007 nearly 2.5 million applications of all types were received. (So not just I-600A applications). This is an increase from the 1.2 million they received during this time period last year. That's just great! Of course I filed mine in Aug 2007 during the period of significant increase. Too bad it wasn't June!! According to the website as of Jan 15th, they have completed through Aug 3, 2007 I-600A applications. So, I'm getting date is at the end of Aug.

They are in the process of hiring more staff to help with the backlog of applications. According to the site there is only one officer assigned to process adoption applications. Wow!! I wonder how many I-600 applications there are from the 2.4 million appls they received? So hopefully when they publish their new updates on Feb 15, 2008 they will have completed all of Aug's I-600A applications and therefore mine will finally be completed with a turn around time of 6 months!!! Now how is that for crazy?

At least I now know that I'm not the only person waiting still to hear about their I-600A application. With others reporting 3 week turn arounds in other states I was starting to think there was something seriously wrong!

Before I found this website I did send off a status request letter to my local office explaining that we were traveling soon and requesting to receive our 171-H "notice of favorable determination" or at the very least an update as to when we would receive our notice of favorable determination. So..we will wait until the end of February but if we still haven't heard by then I'm contacting somone from my local congressmen's office.

What do you think..good plan? My placing agency is still not worried. I'm really trying not to worry either. It's bound to resolve itself in a good way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The flight watch

I started looking at flights. Wow!! Just a month ago there were still so many choices. Quickly...quickly those flights are dwindling...the planes are filling up with out us! My first choice flights are all taken...the non-stop flights out of LA and a few other short connecting flights here in the states on carriers I would have preferred to fly. The flights I'm looking at now are all over the place with at least one stop over in places like Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam or Paris. I wouldn't mind flying into Paris or London again. We went to both of those cities on our honeymoon. It would be great to reminisce of our lovely honeymoon by via a layover in one of those airports before we fly into Russia to meet our daughter.

As we get closer to March..I'm getting a little nervous. Anyone else get nervous before their first trip? It suddenly is feeling so real. I have enjoyed watching and reading about so many other people's journies but now that our turn is quickly approaching it's feeling very real. That we are close to meeting our child and just one trip away from bringing her home. Wow!! Just breathe. I want to enjoy every moment of this journey so I can relive it in vivid detail with our daughter someday when she is old enough to want to know everything.

I'm so excited for all the families that are traveling soon or are already in country meeting their child for the first time or returning to Russia and finally bringing their children home. What a blessed and humbling journey we are receive the precious gift of raising and loving a child.
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