OH YEAH! I just got the 171h approval today! The children and I treked across town to the office and the security guard met me out front and handed it off! That's it... the last muy importante sustantivo. We have completed our dossier and it can finally begin translation into Chinese characters... which I can only read about 4 or five characters (I'm better at pretending to read Spanish)! So now I can relax for a bit knowing that all is right in paperwork world! Whew... we are counting our blessing right now for finally getting it all done. Just had to celebre por un momento. WOOHOO! Yeah so excited I came home on the freeway blasting the radio to the Backyardigans (clean music for the kiddies) and wearing my daughter's gigantic flowered headband in rush hour traffic (big pink petals off the top of my head). Had to celebrate and let other grumpy drivers get a feel for the celebration!
And for your entertainment: Here is another spot the hubby in Australia pic for you.
Little Miss Nika, my exquisite imaginative wonder, has been a little skitish since she is getting older and realizing more dangers in the world, like someone breaking into your home. Now everytime there is a noise in the house, she jumps and yells, "Is someone breaking in the house?" I've calmed her fears about this and it seems to have worked (didn't candy coat that it couldn't happen, just told her that mom has plans, many plans if it does happen). SO today there was a noise somewhere in the house while eating which actually put me on alert; instead of her flipping out this time, Nika says, "Oh it's just the ants banging on the wall in the basement!" WHAT@%^# Where did that come from? Then she asks as I'm laughing, "Do we have a basement?" Now I'm dying and giggle out, "No." So she says, "Oh I meant the attic.... Do we have one of those?" ha ha Awhhh they are just a bundle of fun!
Okay, the toe is giving me flash backs so we need to bury the post. Not much happening other than summer fun with the kiddos. This weekend we had my neice and nephew out so we took them to the Shark Reef (yep, my kids will be expert marine biologists soon), the forum shops which has FAO Schwartz(a 3 story toy store with a $5500 dragon complete with wings the size of my bedroom) and to the Stratosphere to take my nephew on the Insanity and Big Shot rides. It was great finally having a turn to take them out since my older siblings usually do the taking out and I just kinda follow since they already have what they want to do planned. I GOT TO PLAY HOST! Surprisingly, my son, who has a slight fear of heights had no problem being 1,149 feet in the air. He seems to have the fear when we tip him upside down or someone tries to lift him over an edge to see something (like a bridge), but oddly doesn't have it when he lifts himself and jumps off things! He's a fun quirky little guy. Can't wait for Taipei 101... woohoo come on 1600 feet! Man, I would love to base jump that thing...
On to other news, my fellow bloggy mama Andrea, sent me some great books & videos! Surprise to me! I'm in the middle of a Sibling Rivalry book and have been trying to finish but can't stop glancing through the books (I'm a bit of a cheater and skip around to get the feel of the books). Thank you so much for your generosity Andrea...I'm very blessed. Videos... best thing for hubby because unless I read to him... nothing is going to happen on the reading front. He likes when I sum up or if it could be implanted into techno or punk music.... LOVE them ...BIG THANK YOU!
Okay and finally for a limited time... the goings-on of potty training a-la-Sara. I can't leave this one here long for my daughter's sake. I'm not a very embarrassed-type person but my kids may be so this is not going to stay. Little Miss Thang decided panties make good hats and are excellent for viewing movies with!
Dressing up is the best... dressing up with a mock hair butterfly net...Divine!
YES, long long ago in a state far far away lived a family trying to adopt from Taiwan. Emperor Immigration tried stall tactics but failed thanks to an alliance with a sympathetic agent willing to stop at nothing to further our adoption cause. The secret alliance of the 171h information is being completed and has called a truce with my homestudy agency addendum, whereas our pursuit is in motion to further seek out our daughter from the other side of the planet.
Alright, I'll stop. My 171h was about to be sent out but my husband and I wanted to make some changes so we hustled our booties into gear and called a last minute addendum into play. We fortunately have an AWESOME USCIS agent who was kind enough to pull our 171h from being mailed and is waiting for the addendum which was faxed today! WOOHOO. She will also allow us to pick it up from her office! Yeah... that awesome!
Oh and the "foot" is Jabba the Hutt! It is my Dad's foot and yes he only has four toes. He is proud of that foot too; before he retired, he hung a picture of his foot up at work! What's funny is after they amputated the second toe, the big one grew to fill the space! I used to "work" on his toenails as a child... aka: shotgun surgery by a 12 year old on those suckers. He doesn't really have feeling in them either; they jump & twitch on their own so as kids we'd poke them with stuff and my Dad would laugh and try to stop us. Dad's foot is one of life's weird mysteries. Predicting future: Sara will now have to take a picture of her feet to prove that they don't look like that!
Time has a way of changing things. There are so many comings and goings right now. People with surprises of joy and others with a trial or two. Whether in everyday life or the realities of an ever changing adoption climate, these changes shape us, test us and hopefully we can grow and become better versions of ourselves. I like the saying practice makes progress. There is never perfect... it's an absolute illusion. I just hope that everyone finds "their" way to their happiness and those around them. Yeah, I'm talking in riddles but can't help it sometimes!
So on to more news: I finished my allergy testing up with 30 more shots (this is a bit of what 30 shots looks like)! Woohoo! Found out I'm allergic to a few things but not what is causing my voice to be crazy! Ha ha all that was just for pleasure I guess. I have more Doc treatments and it could be previous damage done when I used to sing four hours a day about 10 years ago... oops. There is a plus side to all this... it's funny too! When/if I cry (even a little cry), it sounds like I am so distraught which ranks pretty high on the sympathy scale! ha ha I was barely whimpering the other day and it sounded like a sobbing horse (no I have no idea what that sounds like either).
We've been going a little stir crazy having to stay indoors because of the heat & those CA fire smoke is sooo hazardous to our health (and sadly horribly hazardous to all those much crucial trees and homes). Stay tuned for more updates and it has been great to hear about others traveling and soon to be and courts moving along for adoptions. I so think I'm getting lost in Taiwan! I started reading about airplane changes and layovers... I'm soo getting sent to Zimbabwe or Kathmandu! Maybe I should put a sticker on my head when I travel that says, "If lost, please return to ..." and then have an electronic GPS tracking device with 100 languages programed so they can just type me in the right direction.
This last month I called all my senators to support the MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the U.S. and Vietnam in regards to international adoptions. Vietnam has encountered some issues with ethical adoptions which is a problem and fail-safes must be put in place to protect all involved. Vietnam is working to implicate the Hague treaty which will help monitor the adoptions. The adoptions that are currently in the works may have to stop completely, which ultimately takes away a child's right to a family. This MOU asks that Vietnam and the U.S. work together to create a bridge to allow ethical adoptions to continue while Vietnam ratifies the Hague. Ethical adoptions are of utmost importance. DNA testing has been required now and other precautions. I do not want Vietnam to continue unethically but I think every adoption, domestically and internationally should continue as long as they are ethical. Even though I am not adopting from Vietnam, I will advocate for ethical adoptions everywhere. Ultimately it is about the children having an absolute unequivocal right to a loving family. May the U.S. and Vietnam find some way to protect this right as well as protect ethical adoption. Best of luck guys!
And last but not least: New Year in July!!! Here is a cute lost & found photo of mine from the Chinese New Year celebration in Vegas... look at those cute golden dragons!
I have four expressive, tenacious, rambunctious, loving children. All at once, my babies can be precious, sweet, always heaven sent angels and the next... mischievous Capuchin monkeys! I hope you feel welcome as I invite you to have a small look at my family.