Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Out of My Hands!

This is going to sound like Greek to anyone not going through an international adoption but here it is!
Saturday was a big day- I was able to get all the referral documents notarized and overnighted to Columbus for the apostilles.  I included an overnight return envelope in hopes it would motivate them to act quickly :)  I also overnighted my I-800 immigration paperwork.

Monday came and I was in full on stalking mode.  I'm really good at that :)  Much to my delight, I was able to ascertain the exact time that both items were delivered.  This was water to my OCD parched soul.

Today the FedEx truck left me a very special package:)  Columbus had my back in a HUGE way!  They received my documents on Monday at noon, did all the apostilles, and put everything in that overnight envelope the same day.  I'm thinking my envelope strategy worked :)   I promptly went to the Post Office and overnighted all the documents back to my agency.  They will now send these to Ind*a!!!!!

The last piece of the puzzle involves the immigration.  The first immigration approval I received was for a child from Ind*a.  The documents I just sent were for Baby R specifically.  I know they were received at the lockbox on Monday at 11:48 p.m.  It now needs to get forwarded to the National Visa Processing Center, which is in New Hampshire.  I'm praying that since there was a glitch with my first approval and my case is *fresh* on my officer's mind, that he will approve it in lightening speed :)  When that happens, I will be notified via email and have ONE LAST FORM TO FILL OUT, which is her visa application!!  The heavens are opening and the light at the end of the paper tunnel is getting brighter and brighter!!  Once I fill out the visa application for Baby R, they will wire everything to the US Embassy in New Delh*   At that time, I will be waiting for my Article 5.  That is the last piece of info from the US side that is needed to move forward with her case.  So once the Article 5 is issued, this is what we are looking at:

1) State level clearance
2) NOC - the coveted federal clearance :)
3) Court
4) passport
5) TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!!

I walked out of the post office and started bawling.  I was so happy and it's really sinking in that IT'S HAPPENING!!!!!!!!  Every day Munni asks me when are we going to go get her baby sister and bring her home.  I'm praying for summer….

God continues to humble and amaze me.  He humbles me in reminding me that it is he who is orchestrating this beautiful story and he amazes me with how he comes through time and time and time again.

Thank you for all your prayers and support :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Celebrating Gotcha Day With My Forever Valentine!!!

I should not have worn mascara on Valentine's day.  Big mistake.  Huge.  I was a blubbering fool all day long :)  From the moment I woke up my Munni Bird, I was overcome with emotion.  I just could not believe that she has been with me for a whole year!  
When I picked her up in Hyderabad, she was like the tightest Peony bulb you could find.  We had so many unexpected trials come our way, but the ants of life slowly and surely opened the petals and she has bloomed into the most beautiful and fragrant flower of a little girl!  My life is blessed beyond measure by having the honor of being her mother.  I will never be able to express the love and joy she has brought me.  My cup truly runneth over!

My attempt at valentine pancakes!

a year of pure blossom!
Special gifts for my miracle daughter!
 I was so excited for her to open her gifts!  I found a vintage Indian dress and vintage purse from India with peacocks woven in silk on both sides.  Someone asked her what she was going to be when she grew up and she immediately said, "I'm going to be a doctor."  Hmmmm I thought.  So I asked her what she WANTED to do when she got older and with unbridled enthusiasm, she joyfully declared, "I want to be fashion style!"  I thought, yep, that's more like it!

I love that you can see the snowflakes in her hair!  

Peacock purse!

Vintage dress!!

My Indian Princess!
I took her to a South Indian restaurant where we ate dosas and idli.  She hasn't had those delectables since we left India.  I was thrilled to find a south Indian restaurant!  She danced into the restaurant and danced all around.  I think she truly felt like she was a princess!!   
My daughter, myself- she loves the camera as much as I do!
The two servers who waited on us were extremely friendly and accommodating.  The funny thing is that the woman speaks Gujurati (what Baby R speaks) and the man spoke Telugu!  He started speaking Telugu to Munni and she was so surprised!  It was funny to see her get all shy.  She did manage to sing her "Meow Meow Pili" song to him about a kitty cat who drinks milk and gets it on her whiskers.  The server laughed and said he remembered that song from his childhood.
Mommy + Munni = Forever Family:)
There was a clipper storm that came through and the roads were horrible.  It didn't stop us though from getting out and celebrating our ONE YEAR anniversary!!  Munni Bird is my forever valentine and for that I am forever grateful :)

Today I came home to a FedEx package on my doorstep…. Inside were Baby R's official referral papers!!!!!!!!!  God has been so amazingly faithful to me throughout Munni's adoption and now through R's adoption.  He continues to blow me away.  I can't wait until the day I can post her picture so you can see what a beautiful, sweet baby is waiting to come home to her mommy and big sissy :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Prayers for Next Week Please!

I found out yesterday that next week, God willing, there should be some movement in R's case.  Please pray that the most efficient hands are at work.  I've been praying specifically that everything would be wrapped up and ALL of my documents (some of them are there already) will make it to Ind*a in the next 3 weeks.  There is a reason for this on the Ind*an side but I can't share yet.  Please, please pray for this to happen!

In regards to Munni's passport issues, I received some documents yesterday that *should* be what the DOS needs to go ahead and issue it despite me not having her original Ind*an birth certificate.  I am going to mail everything to the Department of State so that they receive everything on Monday.  Again, please pray this will be sufficient because it's the only solution we could find.

Hopefully, I will be posting soon that God moved mountains!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mumble Jumble

This past month or so I've been learning and reflecting and trying to process a bunch of stuff.  It's left me in a state of feeling uncomfortable.  I've realized how much I've been holding back on celebrating R's adoption and I've been riddled with Mommy guilt because of it.  Last fall was such a stressful time for me between fundraising for R's adoption and trying to navigate all of Munni's health care issues.  I'm pretty sure I cried every day of September and October.  Having that as my main focus was a huge distraction from R's adoption.  Then in December, we pretty much wrapped up Munni's medical stuff for now and we went straight into the Christmas season.  That's like the Super Bowl of distraction :)  On top of that, some of my very best adoptive mamas had STILL been waiting on news of clearance for their process.  When you go through adoption, the support you receive from other adoptive parents is like nothing else- seriously, we circle the wagons for each other.  My heart ached for these beautiful friends of mine and honestly,  it was hard to rejoice in R's adoption because I was feeling so frustrated about the lack of movement in their cases.  I know they would never want me to feel that way but honestly?  If I were in their shoes, I would have a very hard time trying to be encouraging to someone who was on their second adoption when my first hasn't been completed and I still didn't have an assurance from the sending country's government.

Thankfully, God has been seriously moving mountains this last month in Ind*a.  It seemed like everyday I was on a forum, there were MULTIPLE posts of clearance after clearance and FINALLY mamas posting about their travel plans.  In addition, my closest friends received the news they had been waiting for!  I was seriously overjoyed for these families! Watching their process and praying with and for them and to arrive at the point where it's green lights from here on out is something to shout from the mountain tops!

During that time of major movement, I had a sneaky suspicion that something was up with R's immigration.  Turns out I was right.  The USCIS sent me an RFE (Request For Evidence).  I can't go into details but it is honestly so frustrating because the complaint is extremely petty.  I was on the phone with my officer and I honestly didn't understand what the problem was.  He tried to explain it to me 3 times and I finally acted like I "got it."  I called my caseworker and she didn't get it either.  Anyway, it's going to be fixed but it is delaying her case by at least 3 weeks.  Please pray that it will move quickly and that everyone who has to do something, will do it efficiently.  Unfortunately, there is nothing that I can do but pray.  It's all in everyone else's hands.

In another turn of exciting events, not, I heard back from the Department of State that they won't issue Munni's US passport without her Ind*an birth certificate.  Yup.  Whoever stole my bag in Dallas Ft. Worth airport, I SERIOUSLY pray that doing that helped you because all it's done for me is cause major headache and serious heartbreak.  Thankfully, another adoptive mama (See!  I told you we have each other's back!) told me that she had a similar problem and that I should contact my senator because she did that and they got it straightened out real quick.  I contacted him last Sunday and received an email on Friday.  I have to submit some paperwork to them so please pray that it will all get sorted out and that they will issue her passport.

We've had the snowiest winter that I can remember which means we've had lots of days home from school.  I have loved every single one of them.  I know some parents are going crazy because their kids were bouncing off the walls, but I've loved it because normally I feel so stressed during the week that by time the weekend comes, I'm not the fun mom I want to be :(  Plus I only have 1 child and I know that makes a huge difference!  We've enjoyed sleeping in and lounging in our PJs.  We've watched fun movies and played lots of games.  Munni had her first sledding experience with my awesome neighbors.  We also celebrated today which is Simon's Gotcha day :)  Munni and I both LOVE him so much and he has been instrumental in her bonding and healing.

I'm still processing all I've been learning and hope to write about it soon.  In the meantime, here are some pics from our snowy January!

Norman Rockwell :)  I got the "closed" call after I got out of the shower, so I went and snapped a few pics of the beautiful snow!

My Rollie Poly!  He's such a sweet boy

My princess!

My handsome boy!

a rare appearance by Lululu

Are you done yet?

Sleeping Beauty

Best friends and Best Snuggy buddies!

True Love.