Saturday, March 31, 2007

Straight from the Department of Homeland Security...

We have our I171! We actually got two of them: one for Robert and Dana and one for David and Dana. Not sure how they made that mistake but who cares!? They fixed it! So now it's just down the Rob's passport.

I'm going to be a good wife and make Rob MEAT for dinner. My vegetarian hands are already dreading touching the hamburger and I don't have any plastic gloves in the house. Saran Wrap doesn't work the best but it's better than touching the meat.

I don't really have much to say since I just posted last night but I will add this: Not that I'm trying to sell drugs on the Internet but I have three unopened boxes of Gonal-F 75 IU's that are doing me no good. They expire in October 2007. If any of you know someone who needs or wants Gonal-F, they can have them.

Everyone send good vibes to the passport agency! PLUS Happy Anniversary Dick & Pam!

Friday, March 30, 2007

One passport down one to go!

I am the beholder of a United States passport with a very bad photo attached to it. But I have it so that's what matters! It said it was processed on March 20. Rob's still is "processing". Maybe the passport authority felt sorry for me since I applied the day Kramer died. I'm sure I looked awful. Even worse than my passport picture.

I talked to the MN SW today and our dossier was FedEx'ed to Colombia today! One possible glitch...Rob got his fingerprint card from the school. So when we sent them to the FBI, we (I) whited out the place where it said to return to the school and wrote in our address. At the time I didn't think anything of it. Now I find out that white out is a banned substance according to the orphanage. So it looks like we're being sneaky and changing information. Granted, who cares where we sent the results! Well I guess Colombia cares! So we're going to have to redo Rob's FBI prints just in case. Since next week is Holy Week I guess everything shuts down in Colombia. Our stuff will arrive down there next week but there won't be anyone there to tell us if the white out is OK or not. So to be safe we have to resubmit his prints to the FBI. If we send them down now we should have them back in two weeks.

Well, have a great weekend everyone. I'll be doing laundry. Seriously this time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One more piece of the puzzle!

Our social worker called today and said our I171 should be here this week! How many times have you heard (read) me say Woo Hoo? Well, one more time! Woo Hoo! And my day keeps getting better! I just checked the passport status...mine is on the way! All together now...Woo Hoo! It says I should have it by April 1. There is no mail on Sunday so I'm fully expecting it by Saturday! Technically it does say "on or about". I'm trying to be optimistic here. For some reason, Rob's is still processing. He applied for his a week earlier than I did. I think checking repeatedly helped speed along the process! Had Rob checked as often as I did, his would be on the way too.

Rob and I went to Aberdeen yesterday so he could get his hair cut. All the way there we debated names. We are down to two boys names and a variation for the middle name. We know the girls name but can't decide on a middle name. Neither of us is really giving in. No one has ever accused either of us of being stubborn so I'm not sure where that comes from! :) We aren't really keeping the names a secret but I'll post them when we get the referral. We probably won't have decided until then anyway.

One stupid, stupid thing Rob said yesterday...I told him that we've been together for 12 years, married for ten (hard to believe). So this is going to be a huge change for us. I said that I think we need to go on one last hurrah date before we go. Go out to eat and a movie. Rob said "Oh there will be plenty of time for that after the baby gets here". I'm not sure what he was smoking but he has to be on something.

This seems to be a repeated problem...I'm supposed to be doing laundry. Instead I'm checking all my blogs and was very excited to see that almost all of them have been updated! Rob's at a conference and Billy is very snuggly. So there's no one here getting me off this chair.

It rained last night so the plant is very, very muddy. I had to go out there today and seriously lost my shoe a couple of times. So I put on some very attractive rubber boots over top of my steel toed shoes and looked very stylish. Good thing I was holding the camera. Our plant is coming along and we hope to be grinding corn in April. The question I going to be here to see it?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Good old OCD.

I have said many times that this adoption is moving so quickly because I'm OCD. For once I can say that being obsessive resulted in a good thing.

I FedEx'ed our dossier to the state on Thursday. They received it on Friday and also sent it back the same day. It should be delivered on Monday. Then I'll have to FedEx it to MN to the social worker. Then she'll send us packing lists and travel information.

I think the passport website has banned me for checking too many times on the status of our passports. In my defense the information could change sometime during the day and I want to know immediately. The website used to say April 9 for Rob and April 22 for me. Now it just says "Thanks for checking! Your passport application has been received and is being processed. You should receive your passport approximately ten weeks after you applied." Rob's ten weeks will be on April 4 and mine will be on April 10. I sent an email sometime this week but haven't heard anything. I'm sure they're thinking "It's the psycho lady who checks 30 times a day!" (I really don't check THIRTY times a day. Not quite.)

We did find out that the couple ahead of us got their referral somewhere around the 16th. A little boy. I don't think they are going to travel until the third week of April or so. So hopefully we'll be there shortly after. Since they got their referral and we didn't I don't think we'll hear in March. Which is fine with me. As I said before, I'm strangely OK with waiting a month!

I got my hair cut and colored yesterday. I think this is officially the fourth hair color I've had in the past year. But Rob will be's back to being blond.

Rob's at guards in Little Falls. Today is my grandma's 92nd birthday party. So I'm going to Aberdeen for the day. It's in the 60's today so I'm finally able to open the windows. Billy sucks in that fresh air like he hasn't seen it before.

I told my friend Pete yesterday that when I read other people's blogs I check every day to see if there is a new post. And I'm disappointed when there isn't anything new. Now that I have a blog of my own I know that sometimes there just isn't enough to say every day! So I'm trying to keep you updated often and in doing so you all get to read about the trivial parts of my day. Like getting my hair colored. Or finding a box elder bug in my slipper the other morning that about sent me into convulsions. Could there be anything more disgusting than a bug in your slipper? I had just gotten out of the shower but had to thoroughly wash my entire leg and foot again. Those of you who don't know me are probably suspecting that I'm crazy. Let me tell all goes back to that OCD.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Good news and no news...

Well the good news is that our dossier was approved. Woo Hoo! So now I'll send it to the state for the final stamp of approval and then it's off to Colombia! Still no word on the passports. I tried calling on Friday on the way to the game and the lines were so busy they wouldn't even let me hold. I tried calling after the basketball game and they were closed. For the weekend as well. They're so busy again they wouldn't take my call. Since I can't stay awake past 8:30 I don't know how I'm going to call late at night. And when they do, I'm worried they're going to say "And your flight number is....". Of course I don't have one and I'm a horrible liar. Also no word on the I171. Considering they only took our fingerprints a week ago, I think it's a little early to think they'd have it done. Especially considering the fact that the USCIS' website says they are processing applications from December 13. Yeah, that makes me feel good.

No word yet on a referral either. I truly don't think it will be in March. I think it's going to be in April. And then if it is next week I can be really surprised instead of being disappointed that it will be another month. Imagine that...I'm not stressing out about it! Ha! That's odd. I probably will stress out if we get our referral next week just because we don't have the I171 or the passports.

There seems to be some confusion on the part of the grandmas about the age and size of the baby. So just in case I've confused anyone else...I think the baby will be around four months old at the time of our referral. From other people's blogs that I read, the babies seem to be around 13 pounds at that time. Now keep in mind that this isn't always the case. The age nor the weight. We're just guessing. We'll know more when we actually get the referral. Then we'll find out if it's a boy or girl, the size, the medical history, and it's name. So then it will be much easier to shop for clothes! Although I'm really going to hate to take back one of these outfits they're just so cute!

Our weekend was really good. I cleaned and did laundry on Saturday and my parents came down after the basketball games. We went to church and came home to my mom's cooking! That's what I really wanted for my birthday. I feel sorry for people whose mother's can't cook because mine surely can. :) Even the meat that I don't eat smelled good. We played some games and looked at a house in the afternoon. Rob's parents came over for angel food cake and strawberries and whipped cream (our birthday cakes growing up) and then they all headed home. I know I am so lucky that my mom and dad are my mom and dad. I love you both!!!

Today I went out for dinner with Ashley and for supper with Rob, have had lots of calls and emails, got flowers from my was a pretty good day. And next year I'll have a baby here to help me celebrate! I do have a little story to tell! Usually I do the really dumb things. Like going the wrong way for MILES because I was pretty sure I was going east even though the signs said west. I finally have a story about Rob! :) Today I was on the phone with my niece Katie when my niece Kara beeped in. After Rob got home from work he asked what I'd been doing. I said that I did some yoga and then talked to Katie and then Kara. He said "What are the chances they'd BOTH call today?" and I said "At the same time!". So I kept talking and he got this really weird look on his face and said "I finally realized why they both called you!". Hello! It's my birthday! You sent me flowers! I'm going to be telling this story for a loonnnngggg time!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Critique on the dossier.

I didn't do too bad. Since my name is hyphenated, the verification of legal names was REALLY long. We had to list every possible variation of our names. I forgot to list my name with the actual hypen. For example, I listed Dana Jo She's-Loony but I didn't list Dana Jo She's Loony. Now who would think that would really matter? But I guess it does. So I have to redo that one. And then some of the notary stamps didn't show up on the fax. I'm not sure why I have to fax them again if that's the only problem but I do. So I have to color them in with pencil a little. Then once I get the approval I have to send them to the state to be apostilled. I was also told that I need to expedite the passports. But when I called it said they would only expedite them if I am traveling in the next 14 days. I might have to embellish a little.

We're going to have to make some decisions here soon. First of all we have way too much stuff in this little tiny house. The dining room is now the store room for baby stuff. Unfortunately the dining room is right in the middle of our house. Second we need to find daycare. Third I need to find a pediatrician. I know there is other stuff to do but I really need to get something done with those things.

I'll be glad when this week is over. Namely because an unpleasant week will be over. I also get to see my mom and dad and we're going to the state basketball tournament. Good luck Weston & Zach! It's too bad your teams had to play each other during the first round. My birthday is Monday and I still get excited about my birthday. AND we're even closer to our baby!

I do want to tell everyone who has emailed me this week and I haven't responded yet that I will, I promise. Day jobs, night jobs, and piano lessons get in the way of my email capabilities. And to those of who whose taxes I'm doing from home, I will get them done. Just not this week.

Well, my 8:30 bedtime has come and gone so I better get off the computer. Have a great night, a great St. Patrick's Day, and a great everything else until I'm back!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We're back on schedule!

I'll backtrack and explain how my day ended up so off-kilter. Sunday after church we went to Freeman to the funeral of an Army soldier who died in an accident last week. Rob's close friend Scott was injured in the accident. We pray for his healing, both physically and emotionally. We then stopped in Parker at my friend Jen's to pick up some baby stuff from her sister. Off to Sioux Falls where we picked up Rob's sister and went SHOPPING! Well, Rob went to Shenanigans for a beer while Christy and I shopped. I really wanted to find something for our baby to wear when we meet him or her. I found the most gorgeous dress at Baby Gap. As you can expect, it was Baby Gap priced, too. But I loved it. If my child wouldn't wear the baptismal dress that I wore that my paternal grandfather wore that my dad's maternal grandmother made (did you get all that?), our daughter could easily wear this dress. We went in Old Navy and Penney's and didn't find anything. But, we found what we were looking for at The Children's Place. You've seen the pictures. They aren't "gorgeous" like the first dress. But they are so cute. AND everything I bought cost what the one dress cost at the Gap. I just need to find shoes. We went out for supper for our birthdays and went home and I fell asleep on the couch. Monday morning she was gone by the time we woke up. We got ready and went to Target and got that handy little gun you get when you register. Rob had so much fun with it when we got married that he ended up registering for Scotch Tape. Yes, we did get Scotch Tape for our wedding. So as we're going through the store, I got a phone call from Karen, our SW in SF. She said that she talked to Pam, the second social worker in MN and Pam said that she was right, the wait would be six to 12 months at the earliest. I asked how LouAnn could be so wrong about the information she gave me. She said the words "Los Pisingos", "Colombia", and "referral at the end of March possibly with travel two weeks later". Those do not correspond to a Guatemalan adoption. But Pam said that LouAnn was wrong. Karen said we could do a conference call on Tuesday to straighten everything out. So of course this took all the fun out of shopping for baby stuff. We just got some stuff for us and headed out to our INS appointment. They were open (thankfully) and I had to stand in this little tiny hallway with about five or six other people who were there to visit the INS. We were there a half hour early and it took us a full hour before we were done. Part of the problem was the fact that the time change caused their computer to crash and we had to do the fingerprints by hand. So then we got into the whole discussion about us going to MN and finding the office closed...I tried to suck up and sound as desperate as I could. I don't know if it worked or not. So all day I kept telling myself to refrain from freaking out about the time frame until I really knew what was going on. I had some things happen at work that took "refrain" totally out of the picture. So I spent a couple of hours bawling at work, at home, and again at work today. This morning then I did talk to LouAnn and Karen and found out that we ARE a month away. They are telling new applicants six to 12 months. We're still second on the list and LouAnn will tell Karen when the couple ahead of us gets their referral. She said they had two couples travel in February and one traveled yesterday. So I don't know if we'll get our referral in March or have to wait until April. But I feel much better knowing it won't be a year. Rob had conferences tonight and I did some taxes at Paul's office. My plan for working ten hours a week is going horribly awry. I'm averaging five. Oops. This was supposed to be spending money for Bogota. Anyway, I sent my dossier to Pam to review. LouAnn told me she'd have it done and back to me this week. I checked on the status of our passports. This isn't good news. It's been seven weeks for Rob and six for me. The Internet said to expect April 8 for Rob's and April 22 for mine. Expedited service is looking really good right now. When we applied they told us six to eight weeks. The Internet says that if we are scheduled to travel within the next 14 days or need to get a Visa I can call and get it expedited. So unless it shows up sometime soon I think I'll be making that phone call. Between waiting for the passports and our I171 (the form we get after the INS took our fingerprints) I'll drive myself (and the mailman) crazy!

Thank you for all of your well wishes. We've heard from so many of you and it truly touches our hearts. Old friends, new friends. You're all very special.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Aren't these just the cutest!?!?

I found my outfits! Yay! If only the rest of my day went that well. I'm going to wait until tomorrow to post about my day because I'm hoping by then I will feel better. Until then, this won't be a happy post. So enjoy the clothes and have a great day!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Let's try this fingerprint thing one more time.

We have another appointment at the INS on Monday. Hopefully this one will go better than the last time. The weather is cooperating at least. We're going to SF tomorrow after church and taking Rob's sister out for her birthday. Then on Monday we're heading to Target. I've been reading "Baby Bargains so I sort of have an idea as to what I'm looking for. Then off to our appointment.

I had emailed our SW in SF about what to expect for the upcoming months and she forwarded on our email to the SW in MN. I think I've been unnaturally calm (for me) during this whole process. I can now say that I'm freaking out. Two weeks ago one of the MN SW told me to expect a month or so since things at Los Pisingos were moving really quick. Yesterday, the other SW from MN said to expect six to 12 months as things are moving very slow. WHAT!?!? Do they work in the same office? Do they talk to each other? This is the same SW that earlier last week made a comment about our Guatemalen adoption. Yeah...not a lot of faith in this one any more.

I have gotten nothing accomplished today. I had a headache until around noon. So I'm still in my pajamas. I think I need to take advantage of that because pretty soon I won't get to! :)

Monday, March 05, 2007

The last cat is out of the bag!

I finally got to tell my brother in Las Vegas tonight. So now I'm content. I really wanted my family to know first and it bothered me that I didn't connect with him last week before we told everyone else.

Rob was in the production of Oklahoma this weekend. They put in so many hours of practice and it showed. It was really good and he enjoyed taking part. My parents and some family friends came to the production yesterday and my mom brought Grandma presents. It's been a long time since we've had a baby in the family so I think she enjoyed shopping (which is something she doesn't usually like). She also brought two blankets that my grandma had made when she was still able; one pink and one blue. I really hope that my children will know my grandma. Although she isn't the spunky lady she once was, she's still my grandma and I can't wait for her to meet my kids.

I don't know if I should feel bad or not after reading some posts on my Colombian Connections Yahoo group. There are people who have been waiting TWO YEARS and don't have a referral yet. While I'm sure it must be very hard for them to wait, I'm so glad we haven't had to do that. It reminds me of when Rob was on active duty. I felt horrible for the families of other soldiers who went to the desert. But I wouldn't have traded places with them in a second. I do think Rob would have but for me, Fort Carson was a wonderful place. So please keep in mind all the parents who are waiting to meet their children and the kids who are waiting to meet their moms and dads.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A wonderful website...

A friend who has been in our shoes sent me a link to a wonderful website. To those of you who have never struggled with infertility, be thankful. To those of you who have, only you know the pain.