Friday, December 30, 2011

Adoption Update ... Long Overdue

Well, as evidenced by the lack of blogging over the past couple of months ... it's been a busy fall! I spent 12 weeks subbing for one of my 4th grade co-workers who was on maternity leave. The best part of the job was that my daughter was one of my students! I always wanted to be a fly on the wall in her classroom, but I got to be much more than that. The 12 weeks were fun and CHALLENGING and my own little contribution to our China fund (which I reminded myself of every time I felt overwhelmed!)

In addition to working full time, taking care of my family and home, and celebrating the holidays, there was also LOTS to do for the adoption. After our home visits were completed for the home study, I was informed that there had been changes in the number of training hours required by China. So we spent most of October working on our online classes. We got our completed home study in November and sent our immigration application the very next day.

As we waited for immigration approval we began preparing our dossier for China. Each of the documents included in the dossier (marriage and birth certificates, financial and employment statements, background checks, home study, etc.) have to be notarized and then county and state sealed. After each document is state sealed it has to be sent to a courier who will hand-deliver it to the Chinese Consulate in Houston for authentication. All documents must be less than six months old, so in order to meet that deadline we sent the majority of our documents the week before Christmas. Once we receive immigration approval, we'll send the last of our documents to Houston ... and then they'll be ready for CHINA!

So ... now you can see why I had so little time for blogging! It was a whirlwind! Here are a few pictures of our fall/holiday activities.

Lots of paperwork!

Two skeptical. One delighted to touch anything yucky!

Happy Halloween from our dragon, football player, and Lucy from Narnia!

Jackson gets a bike for his 5th birthday! Nothing better than Krispy Kreme on a new bike!

Happy birthday!

Jackson chooses Rylee to help him catch tickets in the ticket blaster at Chuck E. Cheese!

Bowling for cousin Skyler's birthday

Annual leaf jumping

Some minor surgery for Little Bit
Is this legal? Kids enjoying some farm fun with Paw Paw.

Tickling the ivories with Papa

Catching a Thanksgiving nap?

Playing with cousins at the Wills Thanksgiving get-together

Decorating the Christmas tree

Big smiles with cousin Claire

Rylee loves Uncle Taylor and Brittany

Nana and Papa make great playmates!

Visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Christmas Eve

Hope everyone had a blessed holiday season! Thanks for checking in, and I hope to do a much better job keeping you posted in 2012!