Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stuff people say to transracial families

This is so funny, and so true.  It's also a little reassuring to know that I'm not alone in hearing some pretty outlandish and/or rude comments and questions! 

If your child is already home with you, I'm sure you've heard at least some of these.   And if you're still waiting for your child, get ready . . .

We've heard most of them, except the ones comparing us to Brad and Angelina and their kids.  :o)

If you have any wisdom to share about how you've handled an awkward situation, I'd love to hear it . . . 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We did not expect THIS . . .

Well, we have a new (though blessedly temporary) snag in our attempts to re-do our 2 1/2 year old dossier.  The notary provided by our medical clinic is not registered with our state!!  We've sent those documents in twice already, and just yesterday the Secretary of State's office FINALLY called to tell us what the problem was.

That notary had also left out the "sworn & subscribed" phrase on one document, which we had corrected -- and we thought that solved the problem.  It would've been kind of helpful if they had told us two weeks ago that she is not registered with their office!

It's an innocent mistake.  She got married and changed her name just a few months ago, and ordered a new seal -- but forgot to have her name changed with the Secretary of State's office.  They also have a different expiration date recorded for her than the one she wrote on our document . . .  I instantly wondered how many other people had her sign their legal documents over the past few months.  Yikes.

Unfortunately, I am in the mama mode of tallying every day we're apart from our sweet K -- and it is not helpful to know that all of these documents could've been on their way to India already.  That is very frustrating, especially since Diwali season is fast approaching, when most things will shut down for a few weeks. 

And now I must call our doctor and have new letters written up -- and make sure there's another notary on staff to sign off on them!   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A long two weeks

The boys taught Anya Rashi a little bit about playing football. 

My handsome guys, ready for their fall boychoir concert.
It has been a looonng two weeks.  Peter had to be at two conferences in a row, first one in Michigan, then one in Wisconsin.  During that time, Anya Rashi had pneumonia, the brakes went out on our van, and we had many commitments for the boys (in addition to normal life things like laundry, cooking, homework, etc.).  My own personal mission to paint our window shutters before it gets too cold was obviously put on hold.

In the midst of the first week, we had some documents for our updated dossier returned from our state capital -- we had sent them for apostilling, and a few of them were improperly notarized.  Argh!  It felt like a "rookie" mistake that we didn't notice before sending them off.  Our India case worker is out of the country right now, though, so we will have our new-and-improved documents ready by the time she returns.  I'm sure every one of my adopting friends understands that feeling of "every day counts!" with paperwork, and I was home with my sick girl and couldn't do anything about it for several days.

We felt cared for and protected during his absence, though -- we are so grateful for our wonderful support network!  A friend brought a meal, my parents-in-law made sure we could get our van to the mechanic, my parents visited, and many friends prayed for Anya Rashi to get well. 

She is much, much better -- she is done with the pneumonia antibiotic, and is back on the original sinus infection antibiotic.  She still coughs in the morning when she wakes up, but she's well and energetic during the day.

I have a renewed appreciation for people who have spouses in the military, and for single parents.  Peter's absence left a big void in our family in so many different ways -- we are so thankful that he's back.  He is such a gift to our family, and we celebrated his return yesterday by going out to dinner.

*   *   *   *

Something interesting happened last night that reminded me how differently younger kids process tough emotions.  Anya Rashi had a very rough bedtime, and couldn't fall asleep for close to 2 hours.  She was teary, and talked about not wanting to go to school anymore, and was having scary thoughts about potential nightmares she might have when she fell asleep.  It seemed like she had held everything together while her Daddy was away, and then when he came back, she finally let it all out.  Finally, at nearly 10:00, she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer and drifted off during a song and a back rub. 

I think we all slept better last night with Peter under the same roof again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Article 5!

I woke up to great news today -- we received Article 5!  (One of the bonuses of the time difference is that news from India seems to appear magically during the overnight hours.) 

For those of you just starting the adoption process, Article 5 is a requirement for all Hague Convention countries.  It is the embassy's official declaration that your family is approved for adoption, that your child has been approved to live in the USA, and that your case can now proceed to the court system.

We don't know what to expect from the courts in our part of India -- each region (and each individual judge) seems to have its own unique pace.  But boy, are we happy that we're headed there!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Various types of marathons

The Appleton family is participating in a season of marathons.

Most triumphantly, Peter ran another marathon today along the shores of Lake Michigan.  (For those of you who are counting -- yes, it has been exactly two weeks since his last marathon.  I can't believe it either!)  My sister Alicia, who is also a runner, joined him for the last eight miles for moral support during the toughest part of the run.  I am truly inspired by the endurance and sheer force of will it takes to accomplish a 26.2 mile run, and now my dear man has done it twice in two weeks.  I am so proud of him.

This is Peter at mile 18, and then just before the finish line.  It was COLD again -- 46 degrees at 18 miles.  Then, blessedly, the sun came out and it was a balmy 54 degrees for the finish. He is holding a picture of K in his raised hand as he heads for the finish line.

Another marathon for us is redoing our dossier for India.  We completed our dossier nearly two years ago, before the shut-down and redesign of out-of-country adoptions in India.  Needless to say, it's looking a little out of date.  So, to be proactive (and not get bogged down during the wait for Article 5 and NOC), we redid the whole shebang.  We have one last document to be notarized tomorrow, then we're sending things off to be apostilled.  And then we will be done with round two of the dossier marathon.

The third, and saddest little marathon, is that Anya Rashi has been sick for most of the past month.  She had a bad cold that turned into a sinus infection, and now she's developed a horrible cough that is making her gag (along with other unpleasant things I won't mention here . . . I'm sure most moms know the drill).  She has a low fever again tonight after four days on an antibiotic, poor thing.  I remember kindergarten and first grade being very germy experiences for the boys, and we're sure off to a flying start with Anya Rashi.  We are headed back to the doctor tomorrow -- please pray that we find some relief for her.

Edited to add: We just got back from the doctor . . . her x-rays show that she has broncho-pneumonia.  Yikes -- we're starting her on a different antibiotic, and praying it is stopped in its tracks because we caught it early.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Inch by inch

Girls selling jewelry in Delhi during our 2007 trip.
Yay!  On Friday, we heard from the U.S. embassy in Delhi.  They'd received our I800 application for a new immigrant (a.k.a. our daughter!), and sent us a form to fill out.  I think it's called the DS 230-9#854-#$(%( QR4-727, parts I and II. 

I'm kidding.  But truly, after a while, all the form names sort of meld into one in my brain!  Fortunately, Jynger (our lovely case worker) sent me detailed instructions about how to fill it out correctly, and we sent our form right on back to Delhi, along with our one and only photo of K.  I have huge paranoia each time we fill out government forms . . . I don't want to fill in one blank incorrectly and thereby set our travel back by precious days or weeks!

But mostly, I am savoring each time an outside entity acknowledges that we will be bringing home this sweet girl!  Inch by inch, we are moving forward!