Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Little Progress...

We've finished our self-studies last week. Yay! Mine was twelve pages long, Nate's came in at 21 pages. He was very thorough and explained in detail. I gave basic answers with occasional jokes. In the end, I think they both reflect our personalities!
We got them in before the holiday, and got our joint interviews scheduled. We even got our sitter lined up. I was so excited, especially about the sitter part! (Thanks, Jennifer!) That has been the hardest part of the process so far, finding a sitter. Nothing makes you miss living near your mamma like trying to find a sitter and everyone's busy!
After the interviews, we'll schedule a home visit. Debbie, or social worker, doesn't know when that will be because her caseload is doubled. She said she needs to schedule it at a time when she can be reasonably sure she can write the report within thirty days of the visit.
My goal is to make use of the delay to get all the other stuff done. This week I'm calling to schedule physicals for Nate and I, drop off the physical form for Suzy's pediatrician to fill out, try to get fingerprinted, and take the background check papers to the sheriff. Let's see how that goes!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poppy Headbands

This summer I saw a tutorial on Ruffles And Stuff for this headband and was inspired. I thought it was a brilliant use of resources! And it was so cute. I finally got around to making some in the early fall. I decided to sacrifice my only red purse for the project. It was too small anyway, so now it lives on in a more useful capacity. I like to think it's happier that way. :o)
I changed it up from the tutorial a little. I made poppies instead of bows, and I added some beads for the flower centers. I also did decorative stitching. And I didn't glue anything, I sewed the flowers on. So really I just took the idea of killing a purse to make mother-daughter headbands! Disney at Ruffles And Stuff is great for inspiration like that. She has a craft budget of 0.0001% of the household budget, same as me. So her projects are very do-able.
I love how ours turned out. I love poppies! I think we'll wear them often, since they'll go with most of our winter clothes. Well, most of my winter clothes. Suzy's wardrobe is still mainly pink and purple, whatever the season. :o)

A close-up of my pretty girl:

This is really blurry. I had to zoom in to crop out my face. Don't judge! Anyway, I think you get a vague idea of what it's supposed to look like:

And just because she wanted her picture with Daddy too:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Newest Project

I've had a big project brewing for a while now, but I've had to keep relatively quiet about it, despite my excitement!
So here's what I've been working on - an adoption!
Nate and I have wanted to adopt since the early days of our marriage, but the time (and finances) were never right. God has blessed us this year by finally making us debt-free, and opening the doors of adoption.
It's been a rocky process with a few false starts, but now we are in the middle of our home study and well underway. Initially, we only wanted international adoption, and domestic adoption appealed to us zero. God used an information meeting at Bethany Christian Services to open our eyes to the realities of domestic infant adoption, and then an instance of a near-adoption to open our hearts to it. So we are now in the process of domestic infant adoption through Bethany.
The home study process is one interview as a couple, then individual interviews, then a home inspection. We had our first interview with the adoption social worker, Debbie, on Oct. 29th. It was supposed to be and hour and a half, but it took three hours. We had a hard time staying on track. We got along really well and would end up just chatting and forgetting the matter at hand! During that interview, we got our paperwork packet.
It is a lot of paperwork. Though from what I understand, not nearly as much as an international adoption. We are plugging along through. I got all the easy "fill this out and sign here" stuff done the first night we got our paperwork packet! Before we can schedule our individual interviews, Debbie needs to have two papers. One is called Family History, which was a pretty easy to fill out document with basic information about parents and siblings, and medical history. That was among the papers done the first night. The second is called a Self-Study. This is basically 50+ essay questions. Like "Describe your parents' relationship while you were growing up, and now." Ha ha, Mom, I told them all I knew! Just kidding! Anyway, this takes a long time. It took me about a week, stealing time where I could. At this time Nate had finished none of the questions.
So, on a trip to Memphis, I brought my laptop, and he dictated his answers to me. In an hour and a half, we had finished the first five questions. Yeah. Out of more than fifty. But it was a huge step in the right direction. Several times that week I'd type Nate's answers for him. Sometimes we'd only have fifteen minutes or so, and get maybe one, or at least one half, a question done. We're down to the last sixteen questions.
I was really pushing yesterday, because I wanted to get the self-studies in so we could schedule our second interviews by Monday. The sooner we had those, the sooner we'd get the home inspection, and the sooner we'd (hopefully) get approved. Which meant the sooner we could get our baby! But I got an email from Debbie saying she was going on vacation next week, so this bought him a reprieve.
After we finish this, we'll move on to what I call the Errand Papers. That's the things we have to go and do, getting criminal background checks, fingerprints, physicals, making copies of personal documents like marriage license and birth certificate. Then making of our profile photo book. Which is a job too.
My hope, and time will show how realistic this is, is to have the home study done by the end of January, and (hope, hope, hope) a baby by May.