Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Jitters

I seem to get those a lot lately. Between the Home Study appointment on Friday, the seemingly unending paper chase that we are doing, and the sheer fear of actually becoming a father I would say that it is pretty well par for the course. It's ok though, it makes me realize that I get it. I understand what we're going into, the commitment Laura and I are making. I have no idea what it is going to be like to have this little person who is completely dependent on me, but I know that I will be there for all of it. I know that my little girl will never stop and wonder where her father is. Me .... a father -- see there's the jitters again. :) I am on this new email group for dad's that adopted from China, or are going to be adopting. It is really interesting to read all the stories they post and little bits that they have been through. It has made the whole thing just a little more interesting. There is a dad on the list named Doug and he has a little girl he adopted named Eliana. There is a picture in the files section of the group that has really affected me. Positively of course. It is a professionally taken photo where he is sitting and she is standing behind him with her arms hugging his neck. It is beautiful. It is loving. It is not so much the picture. It is the expressions on both of their faces. Doug's expression clearly shows he knows his picture is about to be taken, but Eliana just look content and happy to be leaning against her daddy, and she doesn't even look like she is aware of the camera. Just unconditional love and happiness. I can't wait to have that. You can check out a touching moment between Doug and Eliana at the Dadbloggers website that he started up. A lot of adoption lists and forums are "controlled" by women. They post the most and the talk the most and the share the most. Not a lot of men abound. I am very happy to have found a list where it is a groupd of Dad's and Dad's to be. It helps me to see a better picture of what it will be like to have a little girl that looks up to me, and loves me as much as I already love her. For right now, all of this seems to be a distant thought. Something in the future. Each time I think that we are getting closer, it seems to go farther away. The journey makes the destination all the more sweet. When we go to China and we get our little girl, I know that all the fear, nervousness, anticipation, excitement, joy, heartache will all flood through me at one time while I hold this screaming terrified little girl who has no idea that she is in the arms of the people who will do everything possible to give her a life full of love and happiness.... -- Stephen

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We've gone public....

Yep - our blog is now open to the public. Nothing has really changed. I just wanted to make sure that our blog didn't seem like a pay only type of thing. While it is true that we are accepting gifts, we never intended that our blog be a pay only read. We want to share the experience with everyone. We allowed anyone to sign up and read the blog and the gift was optional, but I was afraid that people would have the view that they had to give us money to read the blog. So -- now you can read away. We would still love to hear from you if you are reading our blog, and we love to know who you are... So.. if you want : sign up here. This is still required if you want to see our photo blog, which I KNOW I haven't updated recently. I am working on it. :) Also -- we still could use your graciousness. :) So if your feeling a giving mood coming on go here : Give a Gift. To all of you who have signed up, we are glad to have had you along for the ride so far. And for those of you who have given to our cause, words can not express our gratitude. We still have a LONG road to go, and we will have lots more to tell you all, so keep coming back as often as you can. Thanks Stephen & Laura.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

December 2nd -- coming soon.......

On December 2nd, we have our final Home Study visit -- the dreaded "come to the house" visit. I am not too concerned about it, but of course there is a biut of nervousness surrounding the event. Christi seems very nice though and I know that she will work hard to help us get through it as painlessly as possible. I just got back from a 10 day business/personal trip in Chicago, IL and Blue Earth, MN. The personal part was 4 days in Blue Earth seeing old friends. It was a very very long trip, but nice to see old friends again, and even relaxing -- at least while I was in MN. Anyway - we also got our document gathering kit from the Agency this week, A LOT of stuff needed. More on the medical front, all the certs showing we were born and married, and of course enough financial documents too sink a ship. Moving forward .... ever slowly pressing on. :) -- Stephen

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Home Study - Round One

Complete... Wednesday at 1 p.m. we arrived in Lake Forest. That is about 45 minutes south of us. This was the office the social worker that we were meeting with... Cristi. We had sent an email a day or so before to confirm the appointment and had heard nothing back, so we were a little concerned that maybe she would be a no-show. Even when we got into the waiting room we were a few minutes early so no one was there from lunch yet. So we sat and waited.... getting more and more nervous. I told Laura "We are probably being watch via video to see how we interact". I was half-joking. Cristi arrived though and we went into for the interview. 2 and a half hours -- WHEW!. It was good though. Cristi is VERY nice. It was easy to talk to her and we went through so much information about our childhoods, our relationships with our family, Laura and I's relationship. It was a lot. I was tired when we were done, but very relieved that it was over. Anyway - she sent us a very nice email about the visit afterwards, she said that she thinks that we will make good parents and is looking forward to writing a us a good home study. YEAH!!!! It gets more and more real everyday.... -- Stephen

Friday, November 04, 2005

Holding Patterns

Have you ever been on a flight and you're close to your destination, you got all your stuff packed away for landing and your all set. You've dug your cell phone out and your ready to call your ride to make sure they are waiting for you outside baggage claim, and then ding. You know the ding. The ding that says the captian is about to speak. "Good Afternoon, this your captain speaking. We are currently 10 miles out from our destination city, but we have been asked to maintain a "holding pattern" until we are given clearance to land." That is when you know your going to be in that seat at least another hour. So you dig everything back out and get comfortable. Adoption is a lot like that. Except that you are flying into dozens of cities and everyone of them has thier own brand of holding patterns that you have to deal with. Right now, we are in a holding pattern. We are supposed to be doing our interviews with the Social worker. Actually supposed to have done the first set last Wednesday. She got sick though. Not her fault, still annoying. This is really just the first Holding pattern as well. I know that when are done with the interviews we need to submit our i-600A to the CIS and then it is another holding pattern. Those are the worst too, since they are the government -- no complaining allowed, no dirty looks, I will probably not even be able to blog about it.... Worst case scenario i will pass out the duck dodgers decoder rings and we can go that route. Anyway - I am quickly learning that the holding patterns are going to be the hardest part of this process. It is like watching a pot of water, waiting for it to boil. 2 minutes seems like an hour. Next Wednesday, barring more illness, earthquakes, terrorists "incidents", or tsunami, we will have our first SW interview. She seems nice, I hope she is. We need nice. :) -- Stephen