Wednesday, July 28, 2010

adoption news...

Last week we had our fingers printed AGAIN {this makes 3 times~not that you are counting, but I sure am!} Did I ever mention that I HATE the adoption process?  LOVE the end result, but the process...oh my!

We also sent out our dossier (dos·si·er- When used in the context of adoption, this term refers to a set of appropriately authenticated and translated legal documents which are used in international adoption cases to process the adoption of a child in its own country by the adoptive parents, or for the adoptive parents to obtain the legal custody or guardianship of the child in the foreign court, so the child can be brought by the adoptive parents to the United States for adoption.)  Sorry, some may want to know for others, that was TMI (too much information) But I thought you could handle reading about it, we had to actually DO it.  It took about a month to gather all of the documents and get them notarized (To certify or attest to the validity of a signature on a document) and then we had to have an apostille (pretty gold seal and official paper put on each document with a notary saying that the notary is indeed registered with the state.  That is my definition because all of the ones I looked up were too wordy!) put on all of our documents.  It ended up weighing 2.5 lbs, and the man at the FedEx office wrote a big fat $0 on the line for the value...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  That is waaaaay more valuable, not to mention I had to send in a HEFTY check with that as well!  Oh well, I was just very relieved to get it out of my hands!  My part is done, now the waiting begins...

  
Our USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a bureau of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  The agency of the federal government that approves an adopted child's immigration into the United States and grants US citizenship to children adopted from other countries.) approval came in the mail this week, 2 full weeks ahead of when I figured!  That doesn't usually happen, especially with the government!  ~ I'm just sayin'!  So we are pretty excited, because that completes our dossier.

And now we are waiting for all of our papers to be translated and sent to Colombia{they say that takes about 3 weeks.}  Once in Colombia, they will review and hopefully approve us to adopt and send us more required paperwork which we sign and send back and then we travel in about 5 to 9 weeks!  Unfortunately I haven't been able to get information on how long Colombia takes to approve us and send the papers we need.  But, at least we are moving along!

I will post any news on the adoption front when I get it, for now, no news is good news.  This adoption is very different from Anaya's.  We received monthly DVD's, pictures and Dr. reports on Anaya.  With Luisa, we do not!  While I hate not knowing, I must say that it does make it easier in a way, I have not met her in person yet and that too makes it a TON easier.  We will see how the bonding goes, because I knew Anaya, I held her, fed  her bonded with her and then watched her grow and do things through the updates and got to hear from others who met her all about her personality, she was dubbed as "personality plus plus."   {I now know what that extra plus means...!}  I have no clue what Luisa is like and really feel a sort of disconnect at this point.  Don't get me wrong, I am super excited, but it is just really different.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camping...

We went camping with several families from church at Jellystone in Silver Lake, {yes less than 5 minutes from our house,} which was AWESOME because I could and did go home to shower!!!  We had a couple of hard rains, but...

our new tent held up well in the rain!  We had a camper, but mice ate it!  Seriously, it was destroyed by mice and we had to part with it.  So we bought a tent!  {yikes!} We haven't camped for a long time, and I must say it is not my favorite thing to do ~however~ we had a great time, even with the wet weather!
We did have plenty of sunshine too, and the kids had fun fishing in the pond.  Daddy put a hook on Anaya's pole and she got to fish too, she had so much fun, she even dared to touch the worms and the fish {I am not surprised, she is one spunky girl!}
Anaya LOVED Yogi and Boo Boo Bear, she marched right up there and gave them hugs!  It was funny to see all of the kids a certain age range loved Yogi, the ones younger... not so much and the ones older were too 'cool' to give hugs!
I love this picture!  Ty was not about to get too close to Boo Boo no matter how hard he tried!  Too cute!

Check out these darling kiddos!  We spent a few days with families that are very dear to us and had a really fun time!  I may even be persuaded into going camping again sometime!{Especially if I can go home to shower!}

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bull riding...

video


video
Crazy uncle Robb decided we should all go bull riding, only Dylan thought it was a great idea, so they rode, they fell and we laughed!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our week in review...

WOW!  This was a crazy week, it all started last week, I went to get Anaya's birth certificate.  (What is it with this girl and her birth certificates?  I needed a copy for Luisa's adoption, so I figured I would just run down to the county clerks office here in town and grab it right?  NOT!  I should have known, but no, I have to go to Lansing to get it!  Ok, no big deal I will run to Lansing and get it!)  

So I left Friday morning for Lansing, and decided to stop at Panera for a cinnamon crunch bagel and a coffee, well, in my excitement {either over the food or of just being all alone,} I locked my keys in the van.  OOPS!  So I call Ryan, and he has to run the spare set to me.  (Mind you we were leaving for vacation that day, he was home waiting for the Fed Ex guy to deliver our computer cord that had been broken and left me unable to blog for a long time, hence this long post, and he had all the kids with him.  He had to quickly pack them up and do a quick clean up/close up of the house and well, Panera bread is about an hour away....)  Thankfully I stopped by one that is by a Target, Toys R Us and several other stores so I didn't mind the couple of hours it took for him to get there! Just so you know Ryan has locked his keys in the car before too, so when he came he didn't say a word, he was just as sweet as can be!  Thank you honey!
Okay, so I finally get on the road and make it to Lansing at 2:30, they don't allow you to order them after 3pm, so that was a bit close, but I made it!  Then I headed to my parents and met up with Ryan and the kids there.  We had a family get together for the 4th and watched fireworks and fun with the Tuinstra family.

This is my nephew Brayden, and he can do the splits.  Freakish I know, but he is so cute and funny I just had to share!
My mom had games for the kids with prizes!  Fun stuff!  My Dad grilled steak and chicken {on the grill} on the new patio!  We all helped take out the old cracked one chunk by chunk the weekend before, many little hands made for {a little bit} lighter work!
We left Sunday morning and went to Chicago and visited some more with Eric, Jen and Olivia.  We had fun at the water park and dinner was awesome ~ Thanks guys!
We headed out Monday morning for our trip to Tennessee to spend time with the Vander Zwaag family.
We drove to Lexington Kentucky and got a hotel with a pool and I actually went swimming{Okay so I didn't swim, but I did get into the water with Anaya and stay there for more than a few seconds, I think I was in there playing with her for a whopping 10 minutes!  Did I ever mention I HATE to swim?}Anyhow, we both got cold and wanted OUT!!  
Then on Tuesday, we finally made it to Tennessee!!
Check this place out!  This is where we stayed in Pigeon Forge.  We were up so high, the drive to our cabin was down right scary, and the drop off took your breath away, but so did the views, it was amazing!



The bear sighting we got up at 5:00 A.M. to see!!!
{the picture of the bear did not turn out, so the picture of everyone looking at the bear will have to do!}

 The whole lot of us!



I think Anaya thinks she is going to fall off the edge, hence the death grip on Ryans shirt!
 We went to Cherokee North Carolina and watched some Native American dances, then a few of our clan got roped into dancing with them! 
Then Robb and Dylan decided to ride the mechanical bull! I have some funny videos of them on that thing which I will post on another day!
 Lisa and her shockingly big dinner!

and it's all gone!!
{For the record, she did share with Brylynn!}
Fun times...
We went rafting down a river, climbing up a mountain, driving up and down the mountains, played in a mountain stream, a few danced with Indians, most {except for me} went swimming, and we ate way too much this week, but we sure did have fun!
 
 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tennessee...

We are in Pigeon Forge Tennessee right now with the Vander Zwaag family!  Fun times are being had by all!  I will share more pictures and stories later, for now it's nap time after getting up SUPER early to try to see a bear!  {Which we did!}