Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Easter!

C, D & F (We are just missing our "E")

Even the BIG kids enjoyed the Easter Egg hunt at MeeMaws

2 Certified Birth Certificates-(with updated issue date)
1 Certified Marriage Certificate -(with updated issue date)
2 updated passport-size photos -(not very attractive!)

3 steps closer to our dossier-update, and we picked a beautiful day to do it!  Yay

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Girls' Nursery

I found these pictures as I was going through a memory card that was in our camera bag.  I took these photos a few days before I went into labor with Faith.  We haven't brought everything into the nursery that we originally got for "E", but her presence is known in that room for sure!  We have her crib and matching quilt set ready and waiting.

I have two favorite things in the nursery that remind me of "E" .

The first is my belly picture:  the pendant says, "Expecting from Ethiopia."  Some people think it's wierd that I got that picture taken.  In fact, one photographer I was going to use wouldn't do it for me.  I think this picture shows 2 miracles in-one and it's really special to us.   

My second favorite picture thing that reminds me of "E" is her puzzle.  We decided to get it framed and hang it now.  I cannot tell you how much Faith loves that puzzle!  I KNOW she sees something in it.  Every time we lay her down to change  her, she looks up at the puzzle and smiles and babbles and talks.... she can be in the middle of a full-out crying spell, and when she looks up at the puzzle, she stops, smiles and talks.  I'll have to try to get it on video!  It was hard to get a good picture of it because of the lighting in the nursery, but you get the idea!


A keepsake box with things from my shower. 

Our little "Tree of Hope"

Our picture corner of the room.
4 days before delivery... Uggh. 

We were packed and ready to go!

Busy Weeks!

It's been a busy 2 weeks in the Baxter family.  In the last two weeks, we've
  • had our adoption physicals, along with our 'booster' travel shots (ouch!) which took care of our home study and dossier needs; 
  • met with our NEW home study provider;
  • procured our bank letter for our dossier;
  • received our fingerprint update appointments for USCIS; 
  • received most of our reference letters for our dossier;
  • had a 15th Birthday party for our son!
  • began the craziness of 'baseball' season
  • Faith had her 1st round of immunizations (double-ouch!)
oh yeah.... and I go back to work in 1 week!   (where did 12 weeks go??)
Our new home study provider was awesome.  Did I mention that she is an adoptive mom of 2 kiddos from Russia, so she is very helpful and sweet.  She is redoing our home study/update for 1/2 the cost of what our original social worker wanted just for the update!  SWEET!  Plus, she seems to be pretty speedy, so hopefully we'll have our draft home study back in a week or so, then we will be almost ready to submit our 2nd dossier to CWA for a quick once-over.  Then it's off for authentication and back over to Ethiopia with Baby Faith added to our paperwork!  After that, all we will need to do is submit our home study update to the USCIS for our I600A extension... then we'll just be on wait status again. 

Regarding the wait -- our agency's policy is that Baby Faith needs to be 6 months old before we can get a referral... so that would be on August 10th.  We are going to ask, however, if (under the current circumstances) we still have to wait the 6 months, since it will probably take at least another 6 months or more before we'd have E home.  But, worst case... we'll have another 3-4 months of either way.. it's getting close. 

I guess time flies when you're having fun... and we are having plenty of FUN! 

You go back to work WHEN?? 
Colton practicing his pitching techniques.
Tummy Time

Dylan trying his luck at hitting the ball!

Happy 15th birthday to Colton!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back in the Fast Lane

Do you see Africa in the clouds?

Well, things are beginning to take off again on the adoption front.  (Ethiopia, however, is still predicting adoption paperwork and approval to slow WAY down).  But most of our road blocks are beginning to be cleared. 
  • We've sent our request to the USCIS for a fingerprint extension appointment.  Waiting for that to come back; This will be at no cost to us!  Praise God!
  • We've contacted another home study provider who is coming on Tuesday to redo our home study at HALF the cost of what our other provider was charging for our update!  Praise God!
  • We have our physicals on Tuesday, which will knock out our home study requirements and our dossier update requirements.
  • We have most of our references back for our dossier update.
  • We resubmitted our state clearances and received our local police clearance letters for our dossier.
  • Touched based with our notary so she knows all the stuff that's going to be coming her way!
So, things are moving along again.  I did touch base with our case manager to get his thoughts on Ethiopia adoptions and asked if he thought they might stop completely.  Of course, he doesn't have a crystal ball, and said it was up to us, but he thought things were going to continue... just at a slower pace. 

So, as we knew when we started the process, International Adoptions are always risky and unpredictable.  I know some people are bailing out of the Ethiopia program and moving their paperwork to adopt from another country.  We're staying In..... we think E is worth the risk.  The fat lady hasn't sung yet!!

Thank Heaven for Little Girls . . .

because this momma's nerves might not be able to handle another dare-devil boy!!!  Gotta love them though! 

Baby Faith thinks her brothers are crazy!