Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I just realized today that CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services- formerly INS) is waiting on our home study documents before they will call for us to go be fingerprinted (again) and that after that their approval will take approximately 60 days. What that translates to is that although I was hoping to have ALL paperwork in by the end of May, which after everything is approved puts us on the official "waiting" list to be matched w/ children, now that's at least one month off the timeline I've had stuck in my head. So that sends me off on a tailspin in my mind. "Are we behind? Have I not been diligent enough? Could I have been more organized and efficient and put us where we need to be???" See? Tailspin. But when I calmed myself down I realized that truly all of this is out of my control. As far as I know our homestudy docs are at the agency and they are doing whatever they are supposed to do with them before they send them on to me for me to copy and then send to my dossier service and to the CIS office. And at that point the CIS office will start whatever it is that takes them 60 days, tell us to get fingerprinted again, etc... So really, there's nothing I can do about it. But be patient and wait. And trust that the timing is all working out the way it is supposed to work out.

I have tried not to get dates stuck in my head, but it is very hard not to. When I read the country updates each month that give the new approximate time frames for everything it's impossible not to start adding up the time and landing on a month in 2010 when we might be able to travel to Ethiopia to get our children... but I know that is foolish. All I can control is my part of the paperwork, which I do feel I have been diligent about, and then just relax and have faith that there is a perfect timing that is working it's way out for the best possible outcome. And even for me to think that all of the paperwork would be finished by the end of May was assuming that I was in charge of all of it, which I obviously am not.

SO! A lesson learned. Deep breath being taken right now. Tension being released... trying to release tension... trying... I think I need a massage.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Well... there's not much exciting information to tell on the adoption paperwork front. Mick's passport and renewal application were returned today b/c his signature went outside the little white box (picky, picky!) and b/c they only want US Postal Money Orders, not ones from my bank. (Really? There's a difference? Okay, Australian Embassy, have it your way! I needed one more thing to do!!!)

Right now I'm waiting on...
...fingerprints and criminal clearance to come back from the FBI
...Becky's letter of recommendation (which I think is on it's way shortly)
...homestudy documents from the social worker.
...CIS (formerly INS) approval letter (sent for this in January... does it usually take this long???)
...my renewed passport (with very unflattering picture inside- waah.) to arrive

And I still have to...
...fix Mick's passport renewal application and re-send
...have both our birth certificate cover letters notarized
...print written statement and have it notarized on same day
...get 12 photos of our house actually printed off as photographs- not just digital copies. (do I even remember how to do that?)
...notarize FBI approval when it arrives
...notarize CIS approval when it arrives
...send new passport copies & passport numbers to dossier service after they arrive
...and I think that's it.

I know it may seem like a lot to you, but to me this looks like the shortest list I've seen in a LOOOOOONG time!!! I truly believe that God's grace is on me for all this stuff b/c 'normal' Gayla does not like paperwork, nor super organization, nor much of anything that goes along w/ getting through this phase. BUT... I've been able to do it all w/o stress and with great joy! Amazing, right??? I think so.

So there's your non-update. More later.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't Give Up, Africa

Bawled, BAWLED listening to the song below in the car today. I pictured the mother of my children singing the parts in regular font and me singing to her the parts in italics. I pray for the mother of these children so much... my heart breaks for her... I want her to know she does have friends; she may not know us, but we are going to be there for her to fall back on. Whoever you are, my friend, don't give up. Don't despair. Don't lose all hope. Your children are going to be able to grow up healthy and loved. And they will be like you. Strong. Fighters. Wanted.

(Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" sung by Bono and Alicia Keys)
In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along

I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

No fight left or so it seems
I am a woman whose dreams have all deserted

I've changed my face, I've changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose

Don't give up
'cos you have friends
Don't give up
You're not beaten yet
Don't give up
I know you can make it good

Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected

Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Drove the night toward my home
The place that I was born, on the lakeside
As daylight broke, I saw the earth
The trees had burned down to the ground

Don't give up
You still have us

Don't give up
We don't need much of anything
Don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
Where we belong

Rest your head
You worry too much
It's going to be alright
When times get rough
You can fall back on us

Don't give up
Please don't give up

Don't give up
'cause you have friends
Don't give up
You're not the only one
Don't give up
No reason to be ashamed
Don't give up
You still have us
Don't give up now
We're proud of who you are
Don't give up
You know its never been easy
Don't give up
'cause I believe there's a place
Theres a place where your children can belong

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Easter Egg Hunt w/ my boys and my adorable nephew Ian...
"Close your eyes... On your mark, get set..."

Ian had to shoot each egg before he put it in his basket. Hilarious.

(ps- how great does my Japanese Maple look right now???)

He is risen! He is risen indeed! (and tomorrow I'm back on fb!!!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009


Thanks Heather, for the Spring Veg Soup recipe!!! Mmmmmmmm.... (I added some grilled turkey to make it a bit more hearty. totally yum.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Yesterday Becky and I got AWESOME tickets to go see U2 in Atlanta for her birthday!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAUGH!!! 3rd row just to the left of the stage. Bono is going to be SO glad to see us again!!!

(I think when Bono and Bec and I are hanging out after the show I'm gonna ask him to "sponsor" our adoption. He's always talking about how he wants us all to help Africa... I've got the will and he's got the moo-lah- sounds like a winning combo to me! Whaddaya think? Think he'll chip in?)

Selam! G'day! Hello!