Sunday, October 28, 2007

16 days and counting

Yeah, wow, 16 days. That's it. Only 16 days until we leave on the trip of a lifetime. Not just an ordinary trip, but one that will change our lives forever. Sightseeing will be involved. Souvenirs will be purchased. And we will become parents.

For those of you keeping score, it's Us=1, Immigration Services=1. They were late late late in issuing our fingerprint renewal appointment. It wasn't scheduled until Nov. 9. However, once we received our Consulate Appointment (in China) we were able to go in early. Congressman Pence's office has been SO helpful and Tony has been working like a dog to get us in early. We were both off this last Friday (fall break/vacation day) so we went in and finally got re-fingerprinted. It was pretty uneventful. Now, though, let's see what happens with the score because we need that clearance SOON! Thankfully, the Congressman's office said they're prepared to step in again! YAY! Vote for Mike Pence! (when he's up for reelection, hehe)

While waiting to get fingerprinted, we were sitting in this very bland office with just a few individuals. We noticed this well-dressed man sitting in front of us with what looked like his child and a nanny. Since most people there are either adoptive parents or people seeking citizenship, this family stood out. Just a few minutes later two women came out of one of the bland doors and the gentleman in front of us stood up. One of the women looked to be in her late 40's early 50's and spoke with a thick accent. The elderly woman on her arm was crying. She appeared to be in her late 60's early 70's. She fit the stereotype of an immigrant. She was frail with dark eyes and a scarf over her head. She was wearing a longer winter coat, and spoke broken English.

Please note, we weren't staring or eavesdropping. This was simply happening two feet away from our faces.

Once the women entered the room, the gentleman started saying, "Congratulations! Congratulations!" All the while, the younger woman (presumably the daughter) said, "Thank you!!!" He then spoke to the older woman and said, "Let me know as soon as you get the appointment to take your oath. Then I can get the paperwork started for your Social Security Card!" (So, he was her lawyer I'm guessing). Anyway, the entire time this exchange is happening, the older woman is crying tears of joy. After some hugging and such, they moved out into the hallway and down the elevators. This is when I started crying.

Now, mind you, I cry about 5 times a day these days. A fellow adoptive mother and friend of ours Nancy said that she experienced these same "pregnancy hormones". I wouldn't have believed her if I didn't experience it myself.

So, I'm there,, bawling. And Tony says, "Rett, you're going to have to get it together before we go to China. I can't handle both girls AND you!" Well, that didn't help. I continued to cry and after a few minutes I was able to explain my emotion. I just thought it was simply beautiful that this elderly woman was so joyful to become a US Citizen. How often do we take our citizenship for granted? We are merely the lucky ones to be born into citizenship.

Our daughters, will become citizens upon landing on US soil. I know that I will cry then too. What a gift. Citizenship. Something we rarely think about unless we're discussing how many illegal immigrants there are. Which, after using the CIS website and maneuvering their offices and paperwork, it's amazing anyone can follow the proceedings. Regardless, this woman had waded through the murky waters of citizenship and was rejoicing with her family in that bleak waiting room on a Friday in Indy. Amazing. God is SO good.

Ok, sorry for the deep thoughts. Poor Tony. He doesn't know which Rett he's going to talk to from minute to minute. The fun and chatty Rett. The organization-minded Rett. The freaking-out-that-we're-going-to-be-parents Rett. The reflective Rett. The sobbing Rett. The packing-list Rett. Goodness, I wonder if it will get any better?

So for the week ahead...we're waiting on fingerprint clearance and our in-China travel itinerary. Once we get it, I will post it on here or on the other website. For now, we know we're leaving out on Nov. 14 at 7:00 a.m. We know we're coming home Nov. 28 at like 6:40. We do know a few other details, but we'll share all of that when we get the full itinerary. We also can't wait to find out what day we'll actually meet the girls!!!! Either way, knowing you have seat assignments on a flight going to Beijing makes this all the more real. We're going to China!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned, it's about to get good!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off - Quote from inside a fortune cookie.

We will be blasting off soon, to a galaxy far far away, well, a country far far away...and we are two very lucky people.

We have excellent co-workers, friends and family. Combined, we have had four baby showers for the girls. We have almost everything we need. We still have to pick up another car seat and few other items for home and travel. But no complaints!!!!! Without all of the wonderful and thoughtful gifts, our home would not be prepared for two little girls (which if you are keeping track, we travel to get them in 24 days if all goes well...)

A week ago both of our places of employment held showers for us that were overwhelming. This weekend we had two more overwhelming showers, one put on by Mindy, Sarah and Allyson and another one put on by Mom, Rett's Mom, Renee & Robin.
Since this is a "Tony post", here are the pictures....
Pumpkins carved with the images of our daughter's (arranged by Mindy)

Photos of the food at Sunday's shower.

Hanging out....

The gifts... Hanging out...

The wagon loaded up ready for the trip home....

I had more photos but Blogger is not cooperating right now.

We cannot say thank you enough to everyone. This has truly been a great couple of weeks and we appreciate it very much. Thanks again to everyone.


Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well, we received Travel Approval today. We leave November 14th. We will be there two weeks. GREAT NEWS!!!!!

Please continue to pray that our I171h process moves quickly. I won't go into details, but the US CIS is the last hurdle we must jump before leaving.

Now the stress REALLY SETS IN!!!!!! Work arrangements, final house preparation, packing, final gifts for China, I171h, last minute things we still need (another car set for example) and more!!!!! I am not sure how we are going to be able to focus the next four weeks.

We have a professionally prepared website for everyone to review when we travel. It will be updated daily when we are in China. We will post the link here prior to our departure....stay tuned.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I wonder...

Ok, so I know there are more pressing topics to discuss (nope, no fingerprint appointments or travel approval) but a curious thought struck me the other day...

I wonder if our girls have innies or outies?????

Hehe, ponder that one. :)

I can't wait to meet them!!!!

Keep praying!!!!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Changes, Membership, Lists, and Showers

It's me again...Tony's working on other twinny-type stuff. I thought I'd pop in and tell you what our world has been like recently. Be forewarned...I'm brutally honest in this post!

Our world is changing more and more by the day. I knew that life was going to do a 180 but I have been really feeling it the past few days. I feel such pressure to enjoy every single minute with Tony. I'm feeling it so much that it's almost a sadness now. NOT that I want to change one thing, NOT that I want to back out...just a sadness that the relationship I have with my best friend is about to change. It will grow and be great in an entirely different way, and it will be wonderful...but it will change. And ask Tony, ask my mom, Rett does NOT do well with change. Even if it is a change that I asked I truly want. It's just the selfish part of me that wants to keep Tony to myself. Pathetic huh? I warned you that I was going to be honest in this post!

Although I do not have all rights and privileges of this exclusive club called motherhood, I now know the secret handshake. Hehe. Ok, what I really mean is that last night I attended my first ever MOPS meeting. This is the Mothers Of Preschoolers meeting that is held at our church once a month. There really wasn't a handshake or secret phrase or anything, but I sure felt like I was initiated into the motherhood clique. Actually, we had a lot of fun. We ate, we had arts and crafts time, (YEP, for adults! It was great!) watched a short video, had a discussion group, and prayed. It felt surreal. I was sitting around a table of mothers. Everyone at our table had a child or children. One was expecting her second child. One has two beautiful little girls and is adopting my future son-in-law. Then, there was me. I was welcomed into this group of women with open arms and many oohs and ahhhs over our twins. I got the "Oh your life is going to change..." comments and lots of compliments on how cute our girls were. Throughout the night I received advice, comments, and questions. Did I have fun? YES! Will I go back? YES!!! Do I feel like a mommy yet??? NOPE. I haven't been thrown up on yet, so I don't deserve my mommy membership card quite yet. Soon though. It was interesting being on the outside looking in. At least I felt like I was. I wonder what it will feel like once we're home. Again, soon, I will.

Our life now consists of lists. Everywhere I turn I have a list. At school, I have lists of things to explain to the sub, lists of conferences I need to schedule, and lists of thank yous I need to do. At home, we have lists coming out the wazoo. A sneak peek of our lists would show you the following: things to purchase, things to organize, things to paint, things to store up out of toddler grasp, things to pack, things to ask our coordinator, things to email, things to copy to take with us, things to scrapbook...blah blah blah, the lists go on. But that leads to another list...

Fortunately, most of you have been MORE than forgiving if I have forgotten your birthdays (SORRY Beth and Emilie) or just been overall unfocused and selfish. There are some doozy life events happening in our lives and in the lives of our friends and families, and please know that even if I'm not asking daily about you and your situations, you are certainly on my heart and on my PRAYER LIST! We love you so much and thank you so very very much for making this such a fun and special time in our lives. You will never know how much you mean to us. And if you're reading this, then, yes, it's you I'm speaking about. Even if you've just emailed with encouraging words or packing ideas and we've never met. You're the best. I promise to return the favor to future adoptive families.

We have our FIRST of FOUR toddler showers tomorrow! Two of my bestest friends ever at work are throwing us a shower. They are SO sweet and we are thrilled for the FUN to finally begin! I'll update you with all the goodies we get! The second shower is on Friday hosted by Tony's workmates! Everyone is so giving!!!

Ok, well, I've covered four main areas that are consuming our lives right now. You all have been so great, but please continue to pray. We may travel as soon as Nov. 3, but that is ONLY if the Indy Citizenship and Immigration Services issues us a fingerprint appointment and clears us soon enough. At this point, we have nothing, and I'm relying on God to continue to orchestrate it all.

Also, please pray for my family...and all the current changes, and the changes yet to be. I love them so intensely.

Finally, please pray for friends of ours and their recent loss. Pray that they feel God's peace, even without true understanding.

Thanks for tuning in. Tony's next post will be more lighthearted and of course, include pictures!



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

While we wait (some more), Update

Hello. Thanks for stopping by to see what is happening. Above you will find the latest photo of our girls that our agency was able to send us. Aren't they the cutest!!!??? Although they look sad, we still love this photo of them. We plan to make them happy soon!

We hope to bring them home soon!!! We could potentially travel as early as the first of November. Please pray that we can get our I171h form (and the fingerprint appointment and actually fingerprints that precede the form) SOON! This is a document we need from the US giving us permission to adopt two children (vs. one we were previously approved for). It seems when we get good news, there is always another issue out there to stress us out. This week's stress is caused by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. I know, they have a lot on their plate and we need to be patient (BUT WE ARE SO CLOSE). We have been on a roll recently with good news and rapid approvals. We wish this one would be similar.

We know it will all come together, it just gets stressful sometimes (this week).

We have many great friends, family members and co-workers. They have planned baby showers on our behalf and we are grateful to everyone in advance. We will keep you posted on the goodies we receive for the girls.

We continue to meet new people (Rett spoke to a very nice lady from Australia that met our girls this summer), get advice from friends that have traveled to China recently for their adoptions and we are enjoying every minute. In fact tonight we received a recommendation from Jeff Foster's (Indiana Pacer) nanny on a good double stroller (the one she uses to take care of his twins). Pretty cool stuff.

Thanks again for stopping in to check up on us. Please post if you have any words of wisdom or just to say hello. We like to know who is checking us out.

Have a good day.