Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ticking towards the deadline...

I had posted an update recently regarding things going on with our adoption of Jacques and decided it is time to update the update. Our home study is nearly complete and we were looking forward to being done with it last Saturday. However, I managed to come down with a flu right before and have been in bed for days. Obviously, we had to reschedule. So it is currently the plan to have our home study interview this coming Saturday. I am still sick but seem to be getting better. Just praying I am well enough by Saturday as we are out of time for rescheduling. We still have not received the paper work needed from Haiti. We were told we should have that by the end of this month. That would mean by tomorrow~ not holding my breath on this one! It HAS to come soon. There is no other option, as further delay could very well mean not bringing Jacques to America! He will be our legal son with no way to bring him home. It's crazy really!

Saturday is also the one year anniversary of our children coming home! In some ways I can't believe it's true, and in other ways it's hard to believe so much could have happened in just one year. I'm sure I'll post more soon about our first year together. I think it is fair to say that we have experienced some post adoption challenges that go way beyond the regular post adoption challenges. A lot of joy but also a lot of pain and tears. It's been a very full year.

Unfortunately, some parts are not getting better just yet. We received another blow of just awful information last week that I'm still reeling from. I keep making the mistake of thinking "How could we possibly receive any worse information then what we've already learned"... and then it happened! It's not something I feel able or ready to share just yet. However, it has caused Jim and I many hours of discussions about our moral responsibility of what to do with this new awful information. Please pray for wisdom for us as we decide!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just Wanna Go Home

It is not often that we get photo's of our handsome Jacques Obain so I was thrilled to get these pictures from my friend Amy when she returned from Haiti.

Just a few days prior I had received a photo in the mail (which now resides in my purse) along with a letter from Jacques. It was brought to the US by my friend Bryn when she returned from her trip to Haiti.
Getting a very rare communication from Jacques is a treasure indeed! However, it also was a bit hard to read as he shared his desire to be home with us. In part of his letter he wrote: I finished school and will be in the twelveth grade. But I don't want to go to school in Haiti again. I just wanna go home.
And we just want him home too!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Let's Be Logical In Our Insanity"

This post title is an actual quote from my dear husband last night. It was really funny because it's SO us. We tend to do things that makes me wonder~ are we GENIUS OR TOTALLY INSANE? On our most recent shenanigan the jury is still out.

Once a decade I throw my husband a big bash. His 30th birthday I really went all out and we had a very memorable Luau party complete with a real roasted pig turning on a spit in the backyard, a dunk tank, a HUGE beach backdrop and props for souvenir photos (that were taken by a Polaroid camera and placed in a keepsake photo frame), cool decorations everywhere, and catered with Hawaiian food.

So this year I am attempting to top last decades party as Jim is turning 40. No over the hill party for this youthful guy! Those who know us well know that we are glued to our TV on Wednesday nights to watch Lost. So we will be hosting a Lost themed party this time. Lost takes place on an island so we need us a beach.

So far not too much sounds real insane about the party plans but here comes the crazy part~ We managed to get in touch with a paving company that had ordered $15,000 worth of really cool, colorful, high quality sand for a project they were going to do for the Crowne Plaza Hotel. For whatever reason they ended up not using it so wanted to get rid of it. They allowed us to take it all for FREE if we just pick it up and take it away!!!!! We had wanted to find "some" sand for both decoration and a couple of party events we had in mind. However, we never thought we could get our hands on enough to turn areas of our own back yard into a private beach!

Last night Jim pulled into our driveway with a 16' Ryder truck full of what we figured was around 5 TONS of sand that Jim and I now needed to unload. This is the point that we stood gazing at it all and wandered if we were just totally nuts to be doing this.

All of these green tubs are Large outdoor garbage cans. We figured each can to weigh as much as up to 500 lbs each.
It really is beautiful sand. It even FEELS good to the touch as it is specially made sand. It is hard to see well in this picture but this tub had this pretty blue, brown, and tan sand. We also have a lot of black and white sand, and another mix of very pretty light red, orange, and gold sand. We are going to have a seriously exotic beach! This sand is not as dusty as regular beach sand and does not stick on you as much as regular sand.

The kids were so excited to crawl around in the truck checking it all out.

Kyle, Johnny, Luke, and Lovenie laugh hard as they all tried as hard as they could to move a can and couldn't get it to even budge. UPDATE~ Johnny informs me that they DID move it 3 inches. (where that estimate comes from only he knows)
How do two people move 5 tons of sand by themselves? Well, the plan was to use a hand cart until we discovered that we had a flat tire on it and it was no help at all. We were at least very thankful to have a lift gate on the truck! When we attempted to move the tubs this is when my engineer (I'm convinced the mind of an engineer just works differently then the rest of us) analyzed the situation and came up with the most clever and efficient way to get the job done. I told him how impressed I was with him and this is when I got the response of "Yes, let's be logical in our insanity!". Okay, well, at least there was some logic used at some point!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oceanside Exercise

These days EVERY day is a full and busy day. I can't believe how busy we have been. These last couple of weeks have been a not-real-fun-busy of long days with back to back medical appointments, paper work, and errands.

Today started off with a bang as all 7 of us had dental appointments. I was worried about how all the kids would do but they were total ANGELS. They make their Mama so proud! However, the good behavior ended with the kids as the staff and dentist were so rude and yuck. We will not be returning. Does anyone that lives near us have a dentist that they love and would want to share with us?

Then we had to run a really yuck appointment~ to CPS, groan. I can't tell you how much it bothers me to have a file with CPS. I guess we assumed that if you are a good parent you will not have to deal with them, but with adoption (especially of older children) there are risks. Anyways... I need a copy of the report from when they had to come to our home due to the situation with Stephanie. I've been calling and trying to get it for 3 weeks but I keep reaching voicemail and leaving messages but no one would return my call. We need it to wrap up our home study. So today I decided to jump in the car and drive to Oakland and show up at the office and not leave until I had it in my hands. Once I got there I learned that you can not approach the office as you are stopped in the lobby by police officers behind a window. When I told them why I was there they told me that I could not get a report by coming to the office and would need to CALL to request the report and then wait 2-3 weeks to receive it. Not being intimidated by the badge I pressed on and (politely) insisted that I had tried that route and it wasn't working and I needed that report ASAP. They finally called the office and managed to get me on the phone with someone (which I had decided already made the trip worth while!). She too started to tell me that she would take the request but then I must wait the 2-3 weeks for the report. I don't know if it was sweet talking or the near hysteria in my voice that won her over but she decided to make an exception for me and do the report. 45 minutes after arriving I walked out with it! Woo Hoo!!! Here is hoping that this will be my last interaction with CPS~ EVER!

I was aware that the many errands like this are just no fun for the kids, and they have been so very good for me through them all. So, I decided it was time to forget all that needed to be done and go and have some fun with them. So off we went to a Marina and park that someone told me about. It was so great to breathe in some ocean air while we did the par course together. We had taken Maisy (our sweet dog) with us and you could tell she was just as happy as all the kids were. Then we ended off the outing with dinner at a nearby Marina restaurant that we've eaten at once before and loved. Jim was working late (to make up the time he took off to help at the dentist) so it was just me and the kids. They are fabulous dinner dates!

Seven Groans

because we have seven dental appointments this morning. Our life of adventures is sometimes fun and sometimes.... well.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Johnny's New Look


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Race To Our Goal Continues!

Update on how the Home Study is coming together~ Oh man... it has been non-stop (or so it seems) working on doing all we need to do for the home study. First it was the stacks of paper work. I had piles of papers all over our big desk and even in stacks on the floor all around it. It was crazy! There are just so many papers and so many details to take care of.

For the last week and a half we have really been swamped with the medical exams that need to be done for every family member in our home. Yes, that would be 7 physicals we need done in a matter of a couple weeks! Beyond that, Jim and I need all sorts of lab work done. So, that would be enough alone but in the physicals for the kids so many other things are coming up. Especially with Johnny and Lovenie. They are being referred out to so many specialists for so many different things that I have lost count of it all. Last week we took Lovenie to the eye doctor to learn that she will be sent on to a specialist and will be needing eye surgeries. She is also being sent on to a neurologist, development specialist (for her delays from the stroke), speech therapy, and so much more. This week was Johnny's turn. Some of his highlights are that his poor little hips are such a mess that he may need to use braces, his vision is so bad that we ordered glasses for him today, his doctor thinks he may have tourettes (something we have been told by another doctor in the past too), and ADHD, in addition to his aspergers (high functioning autism)! Many many specialists, X-rays, prescriptions, injections, etc. There are also the more minor things like his sinus infection and bad allergies. Also last week we did an X-ray on Jude's wrists to get an idea of how old he really is. I feel like I'm juggling one appointment or testing after another and it doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon but I'm so very thankful that our kids are getting the help they need! Between today, and a couple days last week, I am clocking in 31 hours of non-stop running errands and appointments, in 3 days, with 5 kids. Need I express how very tired I am?

All that being said~ The home study is coming along wonderfully! The agency we are working with has been so good to us. Our new home study has basically already been written and is just waiting for the last of our medical exams (Kyle gets his done next week and we'll be done with those!), a couple referral letters, and a visit from their social worker (which happens on Saturday the 25th). Looks like everything is falling into place. The pace set to make this all happen in such a short time has been tough but it's working! We've also been told that we will receive from Haiti all the paper work that is being requested by USCIS (immigration) by the end of this month. This all makes our immigration deadline of August 21st very likely doable!

That miracle we were praying for seems to be unfolding. Thanks for all your prayers!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Last First On The Fourth

So the kids have been home 11 months now and we realized on the 4th of July that it was the last first Holiday we would experience with them! Pretty cool. We decided to take a gamble and stay home, hoping that we would be able to see a firework show from our home (being new to the area we had no idea if we would be able to see some or not). We scored big. Not only did we see a firework show, but from our view point we saw FOUR going at the same time. Way Cool!!

We also made a fire and enjoyed some gooey smores while we waited.
We found that the best place to catch the show was from our bedroom balcony. It was great to be huddled up together to keep us all warm. After the fireworks we busted out sparklers. It was a first for all our kids. The highlight was setting off tons of party poppers in the house that left confetti all over. The kids thought that was a blast!

Today, Sunday, we went to a bbq. The kids had a blast swimming. This great photo caught Jude mid-flip.