Saturday, March 29, 2008

Update on I 171-H form......

Well, good news.....when I checked my I 171-H form, I saw that it is still current and good until August 2008, and my fingerprints will expire in May. For some reason I was thinking that these documents were expired....I haven't looked at those forms in awhile. The good news is that as long as these forms are not expired, I can get a one-time FREE, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and file a new I 600-A form - but I didn't need to send in a fee with it....praise the Lord. So now I need to get my homestudy updated and get that paper work to the USCIS in Indianapolis. I'm resting just a little easier right now.

Mom and I did a little 'retail therapy' in Fort Wayne. My "Chinese Baby" radar went off in the Meijer store.....saw her coming toward me in the aisle of the store...... about 8 months old with it's momma....birth momma. She was adorable and I'm sure the momma was a little curious why I was staring at the baby more than the 'norm.' That was my 'baby fix' for the day.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I 600-A and Fingerprinting Renewal......ugh!

As part of the adoption process, I'm scrambling to get this form sent to the USCIS office (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) current form has expired and I've got to get it renewed. This whole process is so confusing at times.......and VERY expensive. And, due to the long wait with regard to China adoptions, I'll probably have to renew this form again......$670.00, plus $160.00 for fingerprinting for Mom and myself. We will need to be re-fingerprinted and I have to submit an updated homestudy; I don't know how much that will cost. I was feeling pretty good about the start of my adoption fund, but it appears that I have to start dipping into it already with this fee.

My adoption agencies' Hague re-accreditation is 'pending,' therefore if I don't get the I 600-A form in by next Monday (deadlines and more deadlines!!) I have to wait for the agency to receive their re-accreditation which won't happen until at least June and would file a I 800 form. I don't want to wait, therefore I'm hurrying to get this done now. It's not that I've been procrastinating....not the case at all....but the agency just got this news and immediately informed all pre-adoptive parents of our options. *sigh*

All of this and I still have to file my tax return.....I'll worry about that next week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Food Poisoning Outbreak.....On Tour!!!!

Well, we (the university wind ensemble, aka W.E.) returned from our concert tour to PA, NJ, NY (Niagara Falls area), NYC, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. this past week. It was a great tour......lots of good concerts at churches, nice people, nice host homes, and fun sight-seeing in NYC. It was also wonderful to see several former students who I dearly love. I don't get to see them enough because of distance. But I think the most memorable event of our tour was the bus trip home following our final performance in Washington, D.C.

We had just eaten lunch and prior to our loading the bus, one of the students got sick. We are thinking....Ok, we'll give her the time she needs in the bathroom. So she gets on the bus (she's a trooper) and we start the trip home. Soon, we get word in the front of the bus (this is where we directors sit) that another student just 'got sick.' We pass back a trash bag and paper towels.....and don't really think TOO much about it. About 5 minutes later, another student 'gets sick.' The other director and I look at each other wondering what's going on. Soon we start passing back trash bags so that students have something to 'get sick' in. Not a pretty sight.....and frankly, I was glad that my seat wasn't in the back of the bus. After a couple of hours there were at least 12 students who were sick. No doubt, we made several stops along to the way. By the time that we decided to surrender and find a motel for everyone (an unplanned stop for our 12-hour drive) there were 28 W.E. members that were sick. What else could it be but food poisoning? The other director and I didn't feel very well, but we didn't suffer the violent sickness that many of the kids did. As I write this comfortably from my home computer, a total of 31 out of 54 people have confirmed sickness.

During this siege, I was wondering to myself how I will deal with Caroline's physical 'manifestations' of illness. I don't do well when I see others that are sick. (On a side note, I handle other student 'issues' very well - I like it when students come to me with their problems....I'm a good listener and I do my best to counsel.) I don't deal with my mom's illness very well, but I do what I have to do. Trust me....on this trip I didn't run to the back of the bus to see how I could help....I was afraid I would get sick just seeing others sick. But I guess I'll develop an iron stomach when Caroline needs me. I do it now for my Mom, so I'll do it for Caroline. This whole experience just got me thinking.

Ah, tour memories!!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I'm in New York City!

I'm currently on a concert tour with the IWU Wind Ensemble to Pennsylvania, New York (including Niagara Falls and New York City), and the Washington, D.C. area. Today was our day off in New York City. We spent the day in Manhattan.....saw lots of things including St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. John the Divine Cathedral, St. Paul's Chapel at Ground Zero, Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, and Central Park. We ate at the famous Carnegie Deli....rode the subway system, and we also walked and walked and walked. When you take a trip like this you always buy souvenirs for yourself and family members. Now, whenever I buy souvenirs, I always buy something for Caroline....usually something for her room or cute clothes. Today I bought the cutest multi-colored teddy bear from the huge M & M store in Times Square. I know that its going to be quite a long while before Caroline comes home, but buying 'souvenirs' helps remind me that I have a child waiting for me.....don't know if she's been born yet....or perhaps she has just arrived at an orphanage somewhere in China. But right now, it is important for me to buy these helps make this adoption journey more real and tangible to me. I do feel like I'm already a mom, even if I don't yet know my daughter's identity.