Monday, August 15, 2011


One more piece of the puzzle is done! I sent our I-800 off today. It really wasn't very hard...just had a few questions for LSS and I was able to send it off. And now we wait for about three weeks until that is approved. Those three weeks will go by so very fast. Rob starts school next week. He's gone to school almost every day this summer but in shorts and a t-shirt. It's back to suits and ties now. Love the fact that I get to wear jeans every day! :) He said he registered quite a few new students yesterday and today so his days have been pretty busy. He's been at school every night this week, too and I've let Murph fall asleep with me then he takes her upstairs when he gets home. You'd think I'd have some room in a king sized bed. I have even less room when Murphy sleeps with me than when Rob does! Letting the dog stay up late doesn't help, either. Anyway, I know these next few weeks will go by quickly.

We put up the crib on Saturday. This also meant taking down the bed that was upstairs. Murphy was a little put out by this. As she clenched her teeth she said to me "What exactly are you doing with Grandma and Grandpa's bed?" She did need a little extra attention that day. So we are trying to not shove the baby down her throat and ease her into this. The crib is now piled with stuff; clothes, bottles, blankets, onesies, wipes, bibs, socks...everything we'll need to take with us for Jack. Well, not everything. The crib will be overflowing by then. But I think I have all the clothes we will need. Hopefully he will be like Murphy and never spit up or have nasty diapers that spill out in every direction. We learned quickly that the outfit we put on her in the morning would be the outfit that stayed on her all day. Even if Pisingos did tell us she had reflux! I'm still waiting to wash the outfits just in case he's grown more than I anticipate. I bought 3-6 month clothes so we'll see if they fit. I've been buying diapers when they were on sale so I have boxes and boxes stashed in the room, too.

Murphy starts dance on Thursday, back to daycare next week, and then preschool later on in the week. Getting up at 6:15 will be a huge change for her. She's gotten used to sleeping in until 8:30 or so. We've had two great babysitters this summer and we've loved all of the time Maggie and Megan have spent with Murphy the past few months. We love Carol, too, and will be happy to get back into a routine. As much as I dread summer coming to an end, it is nice to get back to normal life. As normal as our life is, I guess!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Paperwork, paperwork!

Here it is, Saturday, and I'm still running around with my head cut off. Wednesday, of course was pretty busy. We told people at work, posted the news on the blog, and then on Facebook. Those three things kept me pretty busy. Thanks for all of the well wishes. I know we are not alone in this journey! Wednesday after work (golf for Rob) we were going to Sioux Falls for a school conference that Rob goes to every year. So since we hadn't packed on Tuesday, we got our things together and were on the road by 6:30. Thursday morning, my friends Jen  and Ang came with Ang's daughter, Emily, and the girls swam in the pool for a couple of hours. Then we headed to the mall for dinner and pedicures. Murphy sat so well; we really had a good time. She loves getting her nails done. She usually peels it off (her fingers at least) within a couple of days, but I think she'll leave it on her toes for a while. I tried shopping but it's just too hard to shop when I'm constantly putting everything back on the racks that Murphy has taken off. We met Christy and Rob for supper and then Rob, Rob, and Murphy went back to Rob and Christy's to watch the Charger game while Christy and I went shopping! I've been saving coupons and Gap/Old Navy Buck Back forEVER so I was able to get quite a few clothes. I think I have all of the 3-6 months clothes we'll need for the trip and got some 6-9 months stuff, as well as some for next summer since that was all on clearance. Yesterday morning Murph swam for a while then we got everything ready for when Rob was done with his conference at noon. I got in a few more stores while Rob, Murphy, and now Riley, who had been at Mini Critters, got gas, deposited some checks... And then the big question of the day would be for the USCIS (Immigration). We originally applied for our I-800A, which is how the USCIS determines if we are eligible to adopt a child from Hague country, in May of 2010. It has a 15 month expiration date. So we have been working on extending that since the beginning of July. We know that they have received our extension application, but we haven't received our fingerprint notice (we have to have our fingerprints done in Sioux Falls). So since we were in SF, we decided to try to get an appointment. I called the USCIS officer in charge of our case and she said there wasn't a way to call the local office but that we could just show up and ask if they could do the fingerprints. She also said we needed to be prepared for them to say no. We knew that was their right to say no, so would have not have been surprised had they done so. But they didn't! We have had such luck with the woman who works there. She's been very accommodating to us with both adoptions. So our fingerprints are done and we won't have to worry about going back in a week or two when they tell us we finally have an appointment. So our next step is to complete the I-800, which is how the USCIS determines if Jack is eligible to be adopted by us.  Yes, I know, very confusing. So that is what will take quite a bit of our next six weeks. Had we not been out of town this week, I would have already submitted this to Bettina. I did a hand-written version while Rob was driving so I'll enter it all in the computer today and send it to her this weekend. Then we can officially get it sent off once she tells me it's OK. We'll also be going between the storage shed today to get the baby supplies and take out the stuff in the extra bedroom. Poor Benny is going to lose her bed today! She always sleeps on the bed upstairs and I don't think she is going to be thrilled about having a crib in her room. We are a few days closer! And not only is today my nephew Collin's 27th birthday (I'm not sure it's possible that it's been 27 years!), Jack is three months old! We know Ayudame is taking great care of him. We'll be there before we know it. Happy Saturday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

It's A Boy!

We found out today that Murphy has a little brother, Jack Mateo!! Jack was born May 13 in Bogota, Colombia, and we can't wait to get down there and show him some love! We'll have to wait a little while, as the next steps in the process take about six weeks, so we're hoping to be there at the end of September. Bettina called us around 12:30 today and we stuck it out at work until 2:00, when we went home to look over all of the paperwork. He is a very healthy baby, had bronchitis and spent some time in the hospital, but has been healthy ever since. He was 6 pounds, 8 ounces at birth and was 19 inches long. We signed all of our papers and will send them in tomorrow. After Murphy got home we showed her the picture and she asked who he was. Rob told her "That's your baby brother" and she got a huge smile on her face. She has been preparing for this ever since she was 18 months old and got her first baby for Christmas. I'm sure we'll have some adjustment issues; she's been an only child for four years. I would say it's to be expected. So then we went over to Rob's parents' house and then to my mom and dad's. We lose cell phone service once we get north of Aberdeen so once we left Hecla, it took us a while before we could call our siblings. We got that done and then sent a text to my nieces and nephews. I have some texts ready to go for tomorrow morning as well as an email to go out. But we want to tell people at work first. Then we're ready for the whole world to know!

We had a clue last week that we were this close. Last Monday, August 1, we got an email from Bettina to update some of our documents. I'll have the last one tomorrow. Then they'll all be sent to the secretary of state for the notaries to be notarized. Then down to Colombia for our dossier. We are also waiting on our fingerprint appointment for the USCIS extenstion. We are going to go to the office in Sioux Falls and see if they will fingerprint us without an appointment. I'm hopeful they will, but won't be surprised if they don't.

It's been three years and two months since we started this process. We moved pretty slow in the beginning. We really weren't ready back then anyway. Then in December, we thought it could be any day. Any day turned into eight months. And the longer time went on, the more impatient we got. It was just so hard to explain to a little girl why we STILL don't have a baby brother or sister. (Hard for 38 and 40 year old's, too.) We knew there wasn't one thing anyone could do about it. Our baby just wasn't ready. And now he is. So, so, so worth the wait. We knew it would be but waiting is always hard. 

We are keeping Jack's birth parents in our prayers. We don't know how they are feeling right now and hope they are finding peace with their decisions. We pray this for Murphy's birth parents as well. It's been four years since they were at this stage and from we know about Murphy's birth mother, we expect that Murphy is never far from her heart. We will never be able to tell them how much we appreciate what they have done for us.

Hopefully I'll be better about posting. I'll have a lot to talk about! Thanks for being a part of this journey. We are so, so blessed. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

Still a family of three!

Here is it, August 1, and we are still a family of three. Five if you count the dog and cat. This statement will seem very odd to people that know me, but for the most part, I have been very patient since December 14 when we thought it would be "any day". Having been through this before helps. Knowing that our child just isn't ready helps. Having a four year old to keep me busy helps. Being very busy at work helps. There have definitely been some impatient days. And until recently, they were few and far between. But it's hard to explain to a four year old why we STILL don't have a baby brother or sister. And sometimes it's hard for a 38 year old to understand, too. I know that there isn't anything that LSS, Ayudame, or anyone can do about it. Our baby just needs to kick it in gear! We started this process in June of 2008. We knew we wouldn't be ready then but figured we would be when it was time. It's time and we are ready! Murphy is definitely ready!

It's been a sick winter at the Lewis'. Murphy had colds, strep throat, ear infections, pink eye, and rotavirus. Lots of throwing up. Lots of crying. Hopefully we have done our share for the year and can get by healthy for a while.

Rob turned 40 in April. We had a surprise party with a sports theme. I even squeezed into my shorty 1980's basketball shorts. Not well, but I fit into them. It's always fun when it's your party because you know everyone there. Unfortunately for Rob, he had to take his wife home early because she drank too much trying to get past the shorty shorts.

Our house is still for sale. We haven't built yet so we are really OK with not having been kicked out yet. We closed on our land today so now we are the owners for a big piece of dirt/weeds. We hope to start digging the basement in early October and be in the new house in the spring. I really want to live in the new house but I really want the payment for the current house. I don't think the banker will let me have my cake and eat it, too.

Murphy is still really into her babies. Their names have changed often. Rob tried telling her he was going to change her name every time she changed her baby's name but she does it anyway. She took swimming lessons again this year and now can glide under water for a while. She's a little fish; a brown one at that. I'm so jealous of her beautiful tan skin. Her natural curls are growing out but her hair is usually pretty unruly. Especially when it gets humid. Totally opposite of my stick straight hair. And pasty white skin!

Murphy's exciting news for the year is that she is registered for dance! It starts later this month and will be for 45 minutes once a week. She twirls all over in her tutus and leotards. And now she is starting to dance to pop music. She thinks she loves Hannah Montana, although I don't think she knows who she really is.

I've done some travelling for work again this year. Not as much as last year. A couple of trips to Denver, one to Indianapolis, and one to San Diego. We worked for about eight months with a company from the Denver area to investigate a joint venture to produce isobutanol instead of ethanol. We put it before our membership in June and the vote passed so we will start producing isobutanol late in 2012. We look forward to it, especially since ethanol still is such a volatile industry.

I celebrated my 20 year high school reunion in June at Hecla's 125th celebration. It was so, so, so fun! Well, all except the trip to the emergency room. Murphy's finger was caught in a door on Friday night and it was crushed so we headed to Aberdeen for the rest of the night. Murphy turned four years old in the ER. Unbelievably, it wasn't broken and I'm sure we'll pay a pretty penny for two pieces of tape. Saturday night I had so much fun at the dance. It was like we were all young again! I really did have a great time and we all decided we needed to get together more often. I still look at the pictures and smile. Love you guys!

Murphy's birthday was a big celebration; a parade, dance, quite a bit of her family around... She really is getting big and grown up and while I love seeing all of the new things she can do (such as ride her new bike) I like it when she snuggles up on my lap and is still my baby girl. School went really well for her and she looks forward to it next year. She is so imaginative. She always has a wild story to tell. She's also pretty bossy. Overcoming that one is an exasperating task. So is all the talk about boyfriends. That's what we get for having babysitters that have boyfriends, I guess! :) She makes us smile so often. What a gift from God she is.

So as we wait for our baby, we pray for his or her birth parents. I'm sure their struggles are difficult. We continue to pray for Murphy's birth parents, too. We are thankful for them and the sacrifice they made so that we could be parents. Hopefully the next time you hear from us we'll have some exciting news to share!