Somehow this month seems rushed and I feel like time has flown by, like a rug being pulled out from under my feet. Could this feeling be the result of losing my Uncle Dale recently to complications of brain surgery? Most likely. Loss and grief affect people in different ways. But I also look at the spare stocking everyday hanging on our hutch - not on our mantle with the other 3. Last year, I thought our family would be 4, not still 3 at the next Christmas.
But I know I have to live in the now, look toward the future. I know Dale is more comfortable in Heaven, and my Aunt Chris will heal. We hope to travel to Kazakhstan in June or July and make our family 4. Life goes on...
On a happier note... I am one hour away from hopping into the car to volunteer for Hayden's Holiday party. What was I thinking? It's also the boys LAST DAY of school before break. No more quiet time, no more chances to shop without child. I am soooo screwed!
Like usual, we have a knack for finding the "bargain" priced outings. Taking a look at our "Daily V" pics, you can catch a glimpse of our trip to the park districts holiday festival. Hayden got to chat with Santa, sing some holiday songs with a musician (more on that later), and do some other cool activities. We also visited a house by my mom's that totally goes all out for the season. Think $1,000+ electric bill... if you catch my drift. ;) Another "ritual" we do every year that we plan to do next week is drive through the winter wonderland in Vernon Hills. We go during the week as it's cheaper. We grab some hot cocoa (or coffee, in my case) and the camera, and turn on the holiday tunes to return to childhood. Every single light is mystifying.
Back to Hayden and the musician... this will be a moment that Michael and I will remember and cherish forever. The park district hired a musician named Steve Beno (http://stevejams.com), who plays children music. He played some of his songs, some holiday tunes, etc. Of these songs, Steve rocked out some of Hayden's favs including Frosty, and Feliz Navidad. He gave the kids permission to dance and hop around... but towards the end, Hayden ran out of energy. That is until his favorite holiday songs "came on". Once this happened, Hayden hopped "on stage" and started singing along with Steve Beno. They looked like they were singing a duet. Thank goodness I got a new camera a while back and it takes video. Here is the result - listen closely and you can hear Hayden!:
Shopping this year has been a bit "challenging"... but I have utilized all my resources and worn them out! I use Twitter everyday, constantly check my money saving and freebie blogs. The only bargain I can share with you at this moment (without hurting peoples feelings... because it's the thought that counts, not the amount that came out of your pocketbook!)... I spent $5.27 on our 60 photo Christmas cards... shipped. I think that alone deserves a pat on the back - sorry I had to brag ;) .
That's it for now, be sure to come back soon for more holiday pics (think unwrapping presents!). And since I figured out the video option on my camera, expect more short clips. ;)
Hayden has many gaps in his mouth, which will make for a holiday picture we won't forget. The tooth fairy has been quite busy on our block. Hayden has lost two teeth in the last month, as well as some of the neighbor children. We might put the tooth fairy out of business.
We saved our chump change this year and decided to purchase a pre-lit tree at a steal of a deal! This will save time, obviously, but also our hands and arms from being scratched up from our previous tree. As beautiful as it was, it was a terror when it came to sprucing it up. Though a new tree was on our list from last year... I am particular and couldn't find one I liked. We made a trip out to a store by my mom's and was tickled pink with all the choices. We hope to start decorating this week, inside and out.
This year we have moved onto the digital age (though I am further ahead than most LOL) and turned Hayden's Christmas list into an online version. We have found over the past few years that we were constantly editing it, and by the end of the season our list looked like chicken scratch. SO... I turned to Amazon.com. Most people visit Amazon.com, some have created a wish list. You can create several lists and share them with family and friends. Since Hayden is adding items daily (commercials don't help, thank you very much!), Amazon.com enables me to review an item and add it if it sounds promising, then I can send it to people's email addresses. Simple, effective, and fast... And I like fast.
As for what I want for Christmas... I know it's a bit early. But technically it's not a wish for Christmas. More like a pray, or a birthday present. "Wink, Wink" think June.
We heard from our coordinator of our international agency that our dossier will be traveling to Kazakhstan this week. Once it makes it to the country, she estimates six months before we travel, i.e. June. Every time I read this, my heart skips a beat. Every time I try to conceptualize this, my eye's start to tear. Could this really happen in 6 months? Yes... could we be delayed again? Yes, possibly. Are we hoping, praying, and wishing that we will be traveling when Hayden and Michael are out of school when the weather is nice? YOU BETCHA!!!
So what does that mean for us? Well, we better get our butt in gear. The baby room needs to get finished. List needs to be made.... a list of supplies to bring, etc. Supplies need to be bought.
Yes I am freaking out. But it's good to finally be moving again. ;)
I am thankful for good news, family, friends, and a roof over our heads.
To all a Happy Thanksgiving! Posted by Mel at 10:59 AM
He missed school on Friday, but greatly our neighbor brought home Hayden's treat bag, his homework, and mentioned that the class missed him. We kept a close eye on him and his fever, praying he wouldn't miss Halloween. With it being right around the corner... Mom and Dad made a split decision; his fever had been gone for over 12 hours, the boy had enough energy for an army, and obviously needed to get groovin' to the music. So we bundled him up under his wizard costume... and told him he could go, under one slightly sad condition. He would have to go with Daddy (duh) and be secluded. We didn't want to risk getting anyone sick, thank goodness he is a pro at coughing in his elbow.
With extended "candy" hours, his first trip was brief. He was back within 30 minutes. But about an hour and half after that... he was ready to hit the road again. Overall, he did well. He was a bit tired in the evening, but we made sure we told him to "listen to his body", and he did. He slept like a baby.
I know it's been about a month since our last posting. To be honest, I was really hoping to wow everyone with some good news. But the best I've got is... we are still waiting. Waiting for our dossier to leave D.C., and waiting for our dossier to then process in Kazakhstan. But I did ask our coordinator one of several important questions I will share with you today. This is only tentative... and we all know now from what we have gone through in the past, things can change. She estimates six months. We hope that in the summer we will be able to travel, meet our daughter, and have her come home. We pray... with all our might. It would be perfect timing, for Michael, for Hayden, and for our family.
And now comes November. Let the official holiday season begin. The time when I ready myself for Black Friday, we (continue) to pick up gift items, we attend bday parties, B&B play practices, and Thanksgiving all wrapped into one month. I only hope our pocket book stretches so far. ;)
Lastly, I want to remind you as always, please view our "October" slide show on the right. Hayden looks awesome in my sister Kelly's old wizard costume. I touched it up with some silver stars, I drew them on to match a hat he won at the Frankfort fest. I also made his wand after seeing a craft idea for yard stakes. LOL, It turned out great!
We will do our best to keep you updated as word comes in, hopefully more frequently now.
Happy Fall! Posted by Mel at 9:16 AM
On a recent family outing... Michael was driving my car. I saw this beautiful moment in time and grabbed my cell phone, turned on the camera feature and clicked. Though it didn't turn out as best as I had wished... I think it still gets my point across.
Ironically, Hayden has just grasped the concept of past, present, and future... *hehehe*
With that, a lot of time has gone by since our last post. Unfortunately there has been no news on the adoption.
Hayden is doing awesome in school! He has come home with several 100% on his spelling, math and high frequency/comprehension tests. We are so proud of him that he can balance school, therapies AND Beauty and the Beast. He is an example of an energizer bunny. ;) Posted by Mel at 11:09 AM
Since we were already there, we made the most out of it and ran to the park next door. I don't know why I haven't ever seen this banner at the park entrance before... but once we crossed the parking lot and Hayden's shadow hit the "SUN" at just the right spot - I quickly had him pose and pulled out my phone for a click. (Thank goodness for the camera on my phone!)
This week were are counting our smiles and hoping they last. Hayden is finishing getting over a tummy bug, and we are hoping to NOT catch it. We still managed to have a great long weekend, but felt bad for Hay on Friday and most of Saturday.
We have received word that our dossier is being complied and will be shipped off to the K-embassy in D.C. this week. Once there, it will be processed and we believe it should take about 4-6 weeks. Though we have learned to not count our chickens before they hatch.
Hayden is enjoying 1st grade! When asked how his day went or how does he like first grade - his comments are always the same... "AWESOME!". We are so proud of him for loving school and keeping a smile on his face everyday! Below is a picture of our little guy, off to his first day of 1st grade. He couldn't wait for that day to come.
Crossing the finish line for today showing our pearly whites - we will continue to keep you posted on our dossier, Hayden's awesome school achievements, and any other of our future endeavors. ;) Posted by Mel at 11:30 AM
A 2 foot narrow box arrived at my door earlier this week. Since I was working and on calls, I ignored the bell. I finished shortly after and remembered to check the door (junk flyer? Pinecone freebie?). Once outside, I found this marvel that put a smile on my face, something that hadn't appeared much this week. I was pretty sure Michael hadn't sent me flowers... who could it have been?
After arranging the bulbs in the bright orange mug, I searched for the card... "bit of sunshine" it read. Indeed it was. It wasn't until today that the bulbs starting opening into beautiful Lilies, sprouting and giving me hope that today was going to be a better day.
Later this afternoon, while cleaning the bathrooms (do you know how much fun it is to clean toothpaste off counters? Yeah, that much fun!), Michael called to tell me that our loan went through. We were approved for the same amount as before... no problemo. I could finally wipe the sweat from my brow and pull my panties out of a bunch.
In addition, yesterday I overnighted all the forms Dear Aunt Rita notarized to our agency. I once again do not anticipate any trouble with them, nor anymore paperwork. Hopefully we are in the home stretch.
I want to thank Michele for the wonderful flowers and for thinking of us. They really have added sunshine to my week.
Here's hoping for a great Labor Weekend, and a better week next week! Posted by Mel at 2:33 PM
Sure, Hayden's 1st days as a first grader should be awesome... However, lately with good - we are tested with bad.
For instance... our papers from the Sec. of State should NOW be in the mail to our international agency. Even though they were mailed over two weeks ago. Yes, only 3 forms...
Next up... another change of paperwork for Kazakhstan. In regards to finances and number matching, Michael spent most of the first hour and half after he got home from work yesterday figuring out what didn't match, returning phone calls and completing a NEW form for the Kazakh government.
Lastly, and I do hope last (but most likely won't be least) because I don't know how much more I can take this week... we found out 10 minutes ago one of our adoption loans "expired". What bank says "Oh, you're not using this money? Then we'll take it away since you don't need it". AHHHH!!! Obviously we weren't notified of this, and they don't care that it was for our adoption. How we will manage to find the additional funds to bring home Baby V at this point, let alone finish paying the remainder of the fees is more than tear-jerking. Gotta love the recession.
So that's where we are today. Stuck at a yellow light... Posted by Mel at 11:00 AM
Anyway, Hayden starts school on Wednesday. I've had several migraines and feel the nerves packing on. Him however... he's been excited, ready, and roarin' to go for weeks. Now if only I could get my butt in gear and label those 24 glue sticks. ;)
Once again it's a bittersweet time in our house. We are winding down the summer by park hopping and picnicking. The last few weeks have been busy to put it lightly. Hayden's Wonka play was a BLAST and once again we are soooo proud of our superstar. We've attended bday parties and more museums and even had an impromptu visit with Nana for a few days. Who needs an expensive lavish getaway vacation anyway? Although I wouldn't have minded getting away to a nearby hotel for a few days - preferably one with a water park (like last year... this idea is still currently in the works for sometime in the nearby future).
And speaking of our superstar... Hayden has decided to continue with play. He starts rehearsing for Beauty and the Beast in September and the performance will be in January. A bit far away, but with several breaks in between. The singing, dancing (burns off so much energy!) and the social interaction are great pluses for him. And we can't beat the price for 2 hours of peace every Saturday. It's like a mini date for Michael and I.
With Hayden starting 1st grade in just 2 days, I have had many people ask me... "what are you going to do with all your time?" To be brutally honest, I really thought that by now I would have someone else who needed me and would occupy my time. That being Baby V if it wasn't obvious.
So instead, I will be decorating her room cherry blossom style. Possibly painting the overdue powder room and living room and continue working with my "work at home" company.
As for the adoption process, yet another question I get asked frequently (please don't think I mind the questions - it's great to know you are thinking of us!). All papers are done, signed and mailed in. We recently sent the last batch (the Dr. licenses, etc.) to the Sec of State and they will forward them to our agency. All our papers are being translated currently, then off to proper channels before making it to Kazakhstan. We are uber-excited.
We have had a terrific summer and couldn't have planned it better. The constant running around didn't seem to bother anyone or get in the way - just kept us on our toes. I am sad to send my boys off to start another year of school and close another awesome summer.
The thought of the trees turning colors weakens my knees.. YIKES!
Here's to hoping next summer our brood will be bigger and my smile will be wider.
P.S. Pics will be uploaded on sidebar soon if not already ;) Posted by Mel at 10:25 AM
Plus lots more and the summer isn't over yet. Though the summer started with a hint of sadness (knowing that a huge vacation would be out of the question), we have been uplifted with giggles and amusement with our Family Fun Days (usually Wednesday). I have found such a reward, hunting down the cheap or even free (which many of our excursions are/were) places we have gone. Usually just spending money on gas or food (and even then sometimes packing a lunch).
With that, we are eager to look back on our summer and put together our memories. Thus making our huge vacation. Hayden has enjoyed every bit of our travels, whether we find a new park or head to the library for a few hours. Having this time during the summer, being able to have Michael home everyday - is priceless and we wouldn't trade it for the world.
Onto our second trip to the city... we had the opportunity to meet our coordinator from our agency. We knew we couldn't pass this chance up, especially with "K" being able to take our paperwork home with her (saving on stamps!!!).
So we hopped back on the train on Wednesday and met her for lunch with another client of hers, two sisters who are going to be single moms. We were thrilled to hear the one sister is waiting patiently for a Kyrgyz child. In addition, we found out our coordinator "K" is from Kazakhstan. Having lunch with her gave us the chance to chat with her about the process a little more and get to know her. Plus it's always nice to put a face to the person who is helping you bring your child home. :)
Afterwards, we took Chicago's free trolley to Navy Pier, used our family superpass once again and got in for free at the Children's Museum. Hayden had a blast digging for dino bones, playing in the Waterworks, etc. When we finished we lingered around till it was time to catch our trolley to the subway to the train. Whew... Yet again another hot hot day. LOL
This week Hayden starts bike camp (meets once a week with his P.T. for 4 sessions). He's psyched. I'm gonna need coffee, we need to be out the door by 7:30am. *Yawn*
Meanwhile, Michael needs to head to the bank for cashiers checks, I need to scan some forms to email to our agency while we wait on our Dr. to notarize... (this will help us along in the process and our agency can get started on translating our paperwork). We are eager to see things moving again.... starting to feel real again. A feeling that had once dissipated.
Anyway, it's late and I have been dying to watch Design Star (then Big Brother, if I can stay awake).
Us busy bees will keep you guys posted with news as it comes available, in addition to our travels (new slide pics posted on the right). Posted by Mel at 10:00 PM
Last Wednesday was yet another Fun Filled Family Day. Yet, with a bit of a twist and a hidden agenda.
Hayden has been dying to take a train ride for decades... and with the eve of our papers needing to be apostilled, we thought what other way is there to travel to the city... "The way to really fly..."
So we hopped onto the Metra train early Wednesday morning after making a pitstop for a group of papers we overlooked that needed to be notarized. Luckily prior to this, our GREAT AUNT RITA lent her time and hand, notarized the majority of our papers and mentioned our Village having a notary - free and open at 8:30 every day. So we quickly notarized the ones we forgot and headed off to our adventure.
Anyway, we made it to the city without a hitch. Made it to the Sec. of State with no issues. Hayden was a trooper with all the walking. We passed many "skyscrapers" that kept us busy/occupied... not to mention a lunch stop. Once we handed the papers off for apostilling, all we could do was cross our fingers. However, nothing seems to come easy for us, least it doesn't look that way. I had a feeling our doctor's license's were going to give us trouble - and they did. They will have to be notarized separately by our doctor and then apostilled. Fortunately we are waiting on our change of country which coincidentally also needs to be apostilled. Either we will make another trip downtown, or mail these 3 forms to Springfield.
After we finished at Sec. of State, we headed off to do some sight seeing. We planned a surprise for Hayden, since he has also been talking about tall buildings that scrape the sky. We hopped on the subway (another cool treat for Hayden) and made our way to the John Hancock. The 94 floor flight up the elevator was some ride (Mommy felt yucky afterwards). But Hayden will be tickled pink to tell you he saw Navy Pier, and that the Ferris wheel is actually named after the man who made it named Ferris ("get it Ferris Wheel, Ferris made it" then he giggles).
The morning had started out cool, but ended quite balmy. We left the city sweaty, worn out, and in awe. Yes we are ready to do it again, but we should take a closer look at the weather next time :) .
With that out of the way, we have continued on our mini one day family vacations. I hope to post in the next coming days pictures of the giant park we encountered. Hayden enjoyed climbing the huge rope contraption - following Michael, with a bit of help. We are so proud of all his accomplishments everyday. In addition to that, his reading is coming along well! The radio in my car shows the name of the song, band, etc... and seeing that we are in the car a lot - Hayden is constantly reading the words and sounding things out (this just being one example of many times a day he asks us about words LOL). We are surprised every time.
Bike camp starts next week for Hayden. We hope this will give Hayden the encouragement and confidence he needs to ride his big boy bike more often - in addition to seeing his peers in the group riding.
We are still chugging along with Baby V stuff, hence the trip to Chicago. I am eagerly looking for a wall mural in a cherry blossom motif in pink and brown to help pull the room together and put some paint on the walls. Etsy,com is a great source with many choices, I'm just undecided.
We will continue enjoying our summer, we hope you will too - before we know it, fall will be here... Posted by Mel at 9:43 PM
As soon as I got off the phone with the FBI - gosh that cracks me up - and was assured my prints were mailed the same time as Michael's, I heard the mail truck. I quickly ran out to the mailbox and instantly got goosebumps when I saw the large tan envelope inside. A slight weight off my shoulders.
;) Posted by Mel at 11:29 AM
Currently I should be calling the FBI (how strange is that?) to find out where my prints are. Michael's arrived late last week with the final copy of our homestudy. Once the prints are in I believe we are off to notarizing. From looking at the time line (and remembering back) last year around this time we were in the same boat. Except we didn't get to the notarizing until the first week Hayden was in school. Still... I thought we would have been done with this by now.
On a lighter note - we are enjoying our summer. We purchased a Family Super Pass with a local kids museum and are reaping the rewards. We have already been able to get into the Milwaukee Public Museum (a treat for Mommy's bday) for free and another local museum closer to home for a playdate. This beats the zoo hands down! And they are air-conditioned!
Hayden is truly getting a kick out of summer. He loves loves LOVES camp on Tuesday and Thursday. We are practicing Willy Wonka several times a week (yes Mom too!). He loves to act out his favorite song - just don't ask him to sing on the phone, my poor mom was on the receiving end for at least 4 songs!
In addition to camp, Hayden is still attending his therapies and has swimming lessons on Fridays. We have also added what we assume is temporary therapy - a psychologist on Saturdays. This has been a great sounding board for our family, but also great interaction for Hayden mainly to help with his frustration, etc.
Our little water bug! Hayden's camp has the luxury of taking the kiddos to the local park district pool every camp day. So Hayden gets the chance to swim 3 days a week. This persuaded mom to buy a big boy another suit to aide in the laundry situation. He couldn't be happier.
With camp, that means mom gets quiet time - a taste of what first grade will look like! And I can't wait! Though I miss my guy, it's nice to have the peace and quiet and time to be able to get things done. What a difference. And you would think that camp would tire out dear ol' Hayden? NOPE!
June has definitely been a busy month. We spend our weeks being busy running around, weekends are even more hectic... bdays, playdates, errands, etc. July seems just as crazy, minus Daddy's summer school. We hope to have more summer fun days (Wednesday is our family outing day!) and relax more in August.
For now - we are enjoying Michael coming home early, the late nights catching up on TV, eating icy pops, throwing snappers (kid safe "fireworks, check your dollar store), reading, and eating dinner outside.
I love summer... just not the 90 degree weather. I just wish it would slow down. Posted by Mel at 9:32 AM
Anyway, I now know the meaning of "Soccer Mom". It has only just begun. With a full schedule lined up this summer to keep Mr. Hayden busy and active, who has time (or money) for a vacation?
Speaking of busy - Hayden was exhausted by the 3rd performance of Dalmatians. On Saturday evening, he could barely stand and continue singing - he looked physically sick. (Who's bright idea was it anyway to do 4 performances so close and 2 back to back?) As soon as it was over, Hayden was back to his perky self and running full speed ahead. When asked if he wanted to do another play... Hayden's famous words "Oh Yah! - Maybe they have a Stars Wars the Clones Wars play!!!?!!!" I don't think so bud. Either way, we conveniently found a summer camp in our park district doing a Willy Wonka theatrical camp. Two days a week, eight hours a day. When offered to Hayden... he was all over it like pigs in mud, or Hayden and Cheese Goldfish. In addition to this he will be swimming again and some other small activites.
As for Baby V... we are working on it. Our homestudy has been re-vamped. More forms have been completed and Dr. has been visited etc. It's only a matter of time before all forms are done and ready for the next step. Ugh....
So to bid adeu, we leave you with a pic of our Dalmatian. I would post more, but worry about the other children in the play - as I do not have permission to post their picture. Also, some shots turned out dark or have some freaky head in the way (always nice huh?)
Have a great week!
Posted by Mel at 11:58 PM
Things that make my week a little easier:
- Seeing Hayden’s sweet and charming smile.
- Reading Michael’s morning notes that always end in “I love you”.
- Watching Grey’s Anatomy & The Mentalist (Simon Baker is HOT!) and looking forward to the next episode.
- Hearing the same bird that whistles every time I am outside (either I am a pretty mama or it’s looking for a mate, LOL).
- While taking a break, one of our cats climbs into my lap nuzzling, purring, and begging to be petted.
- Having a good hair day.
- Hearing a friendly voice.
- Viewing the wonderful works of Hayden.
- Sitting down to a hot cooked meal – courtesy of a drive-thru. ;)
- Seeing another bloom on my flowers sprout or open up.
- Hearing my favorite song – and playing it over and over again.
- Driving my car with no traffic, tunes on, on a beautiful spring day.
- Having no electronic breakdowns, no colds, no unexpected bills………………..
It's hard to believe my little boy turned 6 years old. And in celebration of his fantastic day - I created a music video (thanks to animoto.com) to show just how much fun he had. I can't get past the fact that 6 years ago nurses were jumping on top of me trying to get this stubborn child to come into the world. Six years later - he is still just as stubborn, if not more, and just as happy!
Besides that, we have been working on paperwork. Monday morning we had our caseworker from our homestudy agency come and to do an update. In addition to the forms we are filling out - nothing new is going on in the adoption world - which is a good thing. Quite frankly we are glad we made the switch as the corruption in Kyrgyz continues and sounds worse with every update. I just wish we would have switched sooner.
On a happier note... Easter, more birthday and April Fool's pics are posted on the right column. We hope you enjoy! Posted by Mel at 1:08 PM
With that, life always seems to toss us a curve ball. The beautiful, yet industrial feeling on my laundry room ceiling proves this. A tiny leak can cause major stress. The ever so leaning backyard fence that may yet again have to wait another year to be replaced. The kitchen appliances that I am surprised have not keeled over or sparked. It just never seems to fail or surprise me that something is always going on in the "V" household.
Enough of my moaning and more on where our baby girl is coming from and what all entails:
For more country info, head to WIKI... I love this site for a quick history lesson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazakhstan
To start, Kazakhstan is different from Kyrgyzstan. (As you can see our blogs weather, time and map has now been changed to reflect this.) This country is significantly larger, wealthier and more tourist friendly. Not that Kyrgyzstan wasn't... but from what I've read/understand they are still old-fashioned. Kazakhstan is more populated, hence more people.
In regards to a referral, Kazakhstan is completely different. We will meet our child after we travel to the country once our dossier has been approved/processed. There we will spend about 15 days (at least) during the bonding period and either wait for our court date or return home and then come back again for the 2nd trip to go to court. Once we have been to court, we wait to hear word that our daughter is officially ours and we are able to go back to get her... or we can choose an escort to pick her up.
Here's the fun part. Since we are switching countries, we get to do our dossier papers all over again!!!! YEAH! So much fun. Back to the doctor, another round of finger prints, and more notarizing. We also need an update visit for our home study.
In the end, we hope changing directions benefits us as we truly weren't sure if and when Kyrgyzstan was going to move. Deep down it's heartbreaking and I personally feel like I am losing something by letting go. I'm sure over time it will heal... Posted by Mel at 12:36 AM
Anyhoo... it was quite sweet and humorous to hear Hayden say later that he is going to pray for baby sister. You and I both kiddo. Which brings me to the big news. This time last year we thought we would have a girlie bundle of joy to welcome to our family and friends. It just won't happen soon enough. Unfortunately with the shake up in Kyrgyzstan there is no promise when (or if) the process will start picking up again for anyone who did not receive a referral.
With that, Michael and I have mentioned switching countries, thought about it back and forth, and today received the information we needed to make our final decision.
Kazakhstan here we come.
Travel will be hard, but our daughter will be worth it. We know she will be worth the wait.
More news coming soon.
Hoppy Easter! Posted by Mel at 11:48 PM
Which highlights another topic of ours that hasn't been blooming much lately. We haven't received much word that things have been moving - though we continue to keep chugging along.
Though there is a possiblity of snow today (yes for those not in our local area you read it correctly), my orchids have been having the time of their life. The picture above simply does not do it justice. And though I see no signs of spring in my yard yet (though my neighbor has some) I can always count on my blooms on my kitchen sink. I may not have a green thumb - but I am able to make these babies thrive!
We've been keeping busy here. "Daddy" just had a birthday and his spring break all rolled up into one. Hayden's spring break will be this following week. Birthday parties galore and weekends filled with play practice. I can now tell you Hayden is vibrantly singing most all the words on his 101 "Dog" CD and requests it frequently. (Yeah mom!)
Speaking of Hayden, my little boy is growing up. We are so proud of him and excited to share the news of him attending a Reg Ed 1st grade class next year (with an I.E.P). He is also most excited. He woke us up this morning all roaring to go. He dressed himself and even put the toothpaste on the toothbrush (the later took some coaxing). The fact that he didn't need us to tell him blew us away.
And more on the growing up front... Hayden will be turning 6 in a couple weeks. Invites are mailed and party supplies, etc. are being planned as we type. Too bad he grew out of the simple stuff, like trains and cars.
A funny quip from a still 5 year old... We are driving in the car - the 3 of us, Michael and I talking, and as usual, Hayden butting in. This is our everyday occurrence. It gets frustrating after awhile. So we tell Hayden that Mommy and Daddy are talking and he needs to wait his turn, to take a break from talking. He answers back... "But I love talking!" LOL
Now, anyone who knows Hayden would understand he didn't talk until 3 years old (ish) and once he did he popped like a firecracker and hasn't stopped since. So for him to make a remark like this shouldn't have come to us as a surprise.... but it did.
Hayden managed to stay pretty healthy the past couple of weeks. Though Michael and I caught the stomach flu, we were lucky enough that Hayden didn't catch it. However, shortly after the stomach bug, Mommy mysteriously caught strep throat. We are all crossing our fingers that that one stays out of harms way for everyone else.
That's it for now. We are anxiously awaiting spring, tooth #2 to fall out, and Hayden's birthday (Mommy secretly wants summer so Daddy can be home and give her a much needed break). I could sit here all day and list things. ;) Posted by Mel at 10:29 AM
Hayden is sooo excited about his 101 "Dog" play. (I don't like to name drop.) We listen to the practice music EVERY TIME we are the car and now even Mom knows the lyrics. Yeah ME! He was casted for the roles, Yes ROLES of a policeman and a boxer dog. I don't quite know how that will work or his lines exactly as the director mentioned changing the script to accommodate everyone. Either way, Hayden is happy and that's all that matters.
The last week of February we had the stomach bug visit our house. Michael got it first, then me. I am the weaker of the 2 (i.e. stomach) and have been testing my limits with real food and it hasn't been going over very well. So yesterday I went back to the B.R.A.T. diet I loath so much and finally had a good night sleep. We will see what the day holds. I could really use some real food! Thankfully Hayden has NOT gotten this bug - yet. If he does, I'm in big trouble.
Adoption news. Last week there was nothing to report, we try to keep everyone updated about what's going on when it happens. With that, I do have something to share today. Good or bad, you never know these days. The "big" meeting has been delayed until March 31st so we won't know anything for a few weeks.
First of all, for those families that do have referrals (not us) paperwork 6 months and over has to be updated. More time and money paid out. :(
Second, here is a copied and pasted update from our latest agency email:
March 3, 2009 - Joint Council is pleased to confirm that U.S. Embassy officials in Kyrgyzstan met late last week with the Vice Prime Ministers Office regarding the 65 in-process intercountry adoption cases and the future of intercountry adoptions from Kyrgyzstan. At this time Joint Council cannot confirm the exact contents of the conversation.
Further, we can confirm that police investigations are occurring in Kyrgyzstan in regards to accusations surrounding child buying for intercountry adoption. No further information on this subject is available at this time. As soon as more information is available Joint Council will release it on our website.
While being sick this weekend and stuck on the couch I had the pleasure of watching a certain "women's TV channel". I ended up watching numerous sappy films about teenagers getting pregnant, teenagers wanting to get married... but the one that stands out ironically is the one where these parents were helping the cops catch a man selling babies. Hmmm, who knew.
Now onto March, filled with birthdays (cousin Kathleen turns 4!!, Daddy, Papa, and Uncle Joe), play practices and who knows what else. I'm hoping for warmer weather. Though I've been saying that for a while now - waiting at the bus stop really puts the chills in ya!
So now that I've been interrupted typing this at least 12 times, I will update more later as news comes available... or if I'm bored. ;) Posted by Mel at 9:08 AM
With that comes our latest update from our agency and Kyrgyz. With our confusion out of the way, our dossier has been sent to D.C. and once it returns it will be sent to country. Ugh on the delays. However with the latest news, it wouldn't matter anyhow. With the new authorities and regulations going on over there, no cases will be processed until March 20th. This is due to the wait for the findings of the commissions report. Regardless... there is still reason to think there may be delay for us after this report. Since Kyrgyz doesn't technically know us yet, any new paperwork or changes they implement to their "program" will affect us. Hence the picture above. We are hanging in there, but it gets harder everyday.
To keep ourselves busy these days we are more than thankful to have Hayden. He is the light of our life. On good days and on bad. In addition to Hayden's therapies we are always on the lookout for something for him to do socially or physically in the park district. Last summer we did soccer (if you may remember). He kinda enjoyed it, it was hard for him to understand it was a "competitive" sport. So when we found the 101 "Dog" play in the park district we gave it some serious thought.
After our questions were answered and Hayden jumped for joy - we signed him up. Hayden will be "acting" in the May performance of this renowned play and we are so proud of him. He was a bit tired after practice this weekend (For 2 hrs every Saturday from 1-3pm), but at the end he was bouncing around like crazy!
More on news next week. Posted by Mel at 9:14 AM
I wake this morning, totally not wanting to get out of bed with a headache. (I worked late last night and have reason to be under a bit of stress.) The last couple of days I awake to hear Hayden watching TV downstairs, already having himself set up (minus the dress and breakfast part) happy as a clam. That is until I climb out of bed and announce he has to come up and get dressed for the day.... "INPUT YELLS HERE!" Always a hassle.
While getting Hayden ready for bed last night, I hear him arguing with Michael about his now holey jeans... "Mommy said to throw them in the garbage!" "No Hayden, let's just ask Mommy what she thinks when she comes upstairs to say goodnight." NO, Mommy said in the garbage!" Would you believe that 20 minutes prior he was happy as a clam once again?
My life is a switch. How easy it can be flipped from calm and collected to chaotic and psycho in nano-seconds is beyond me. But that's how it works around here. Day, night, lunch, shopping... it happens and is as unpredictable as the weather. Is everyones life like this?
With good reason I have a headache. Not one that goes away easily... that would be too "easy"! We receive two emails yesterday about the adoption. I will start with the last one. I hunted down news about our Dossier. Where is it exactly? Come to find out that it was translated on December 12th and is sitting waiting to be shipped to Kyrgyz. Due to the country's end of the year reports and "re-organizing" it has been held back and should be sent out soon for processing to the country with a timeframe of about 4-6 weeks. Not that any of this matters... as - for lack of better description and pure crabiness, frustration, and heartbreak - we are going no where fast. Like I mentioned before, Kyrgyzstan is in the middle of re-organizing. We all hope. The first email we received was just as confusing as all the others we have received, but didn't give us any shred of hope that "WE" - as a family who has yet to receive a referral - will be moving anytime soon. There was mentioning of adoption being utilized as a last resort, only for handicapped children, etc. All which frankly, scared the crap out of me. However, I am assured by the end of the email by our coordinator that Kazakhstan did almost the same thing and came out on top. We just have to hope and pray Kyrgyzstan sees through this and knows what is best for the children of their country.
Oye, what a headache.
Anyway, Michael's car is STILL in the shop with an estimated due date of February 16th. With the base model rental he has been driving, he will be happy to have his car back soon. And maybe he won't complain about his own car so much. ;)
Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday. I can use the sanity that is called "weekend"! Posted by Mel at 9:25 AM
"Out of the mouths of babes" my mom says every time I run something by her that came out of Hayden's mouth. And today is like no other.
On our way to Friday therapy today, Hayden interrupts my auto-pilot mode by asking me about vacation. "Why can't we go on vacation mommy?" he asks.
Well, not a shocker that he brings this up (only about the dozenth time). I explain that traveling and going on vacation costs money. That you have to save money for big trips (he mentions wanting to go to the beach). He sullenly says, "But we are saving money for Baby Sister..." I say yes, explain that little trips are ok and remind him of the small trip we had last summer, and how much fun we had. How much he enjoyed the lazy river (after he got over the initial fear) and that you don't have to go far from home to have a nice time. I can see his gears running from the front seat, remembering the arcade that was connected to the hotel and all the little outings we did. Shortly after... Hayden asks, "So Mommy, how much does Wisconsin Dells cost?"
Where or how he even knows about the Dells made me laugh. He told me he remembers seeing books or brochures a long time ago, "maybe Daddy can find them cuz he's smart" Hayden said (sure, if you think Daddy's the finder in the house... you just wait!). Anyhoo... we haven't been there in 2 years, at least. Hayden has the memory of a hard drive (think computer) - in this household, someone has too cuz Mommy lost her mind ages ago.
So while we weather through this winter, it's nice to know my son is anxious for summer, vacations and swimming. Gosh knows we all are! Here's to the groundhog showing their shadow! (That is the way it's supposed to work right?) Posted by Mel at 10:51 AM
It's been an interesting week to say the least. In adoption land, we received word that two of the "big-wigs" got fired. If you think that's tough - wait till you read the latest... an excerpt from the JCICS website on adoption in
"January 23, 2009 - It is Joint Council's understanding that 17 high ranking officials of teh Kyrgyz government, including the Minister of Education and the Vice-Minister of Education, have been removed from their positions. Obviously this will have an effect on in-process intercountry adoptions. It is currently unclear excactly how the changes will effect in-process cases. As more information becomes available Joint Council will update the website.
January 14, 2009 - In consultation with the Joint Council Kyrgyzstan Task Force, it is our assessment that prospective adoptive parents should not initiate new adoption cases in
Out with the old/bad, in with the new and hopefully better and better equipped to do their job and get these children home to their families. We not only take this as sad but good news, hoping this won't delay the process any more than it already has.
With life, there will always be bumps along the road, err, or in this case your car bumped into. Last Friday morning, I woke up to get ready for our normal routine - take Hayden to his O.T. While I hop out of the shower, I am startled by the phone ringing. Immediately thinking O.T. is about to be canceled, I run to grab the phone, along the way hearing the caller I.D. (I love our new phone - it announces who calls BEFORE we pick it up and has been a great help to avoid those pesty callers) that Michael was calling from his cell. I figured he forgot something, but when I answered - he sounded off. After a few minutes on the phone - I got the low down... on his way to work someone cut in front of him while he was in the right-hand turn lane and this car was making a left-hand turn in front of him (I.E. big no-no cause they weren't paying attention). Long story short, Michael needed to get his car towed and the whole weekend had been compromised. Now driving a rental until the middle of February we hope that everything goes smoothly with the insurance and we get our money back. Ugh.
Funny how blunders wake you up in life and make you smell the roses.
On a brighter note, Hayden STILL has not had a visit from the tooth fairy (Get it, brighter?!). However, the tooth fairy will have her work cut out for this stubborn boy. He is not only temperamental about eating, squirmy when it comes to wiggling it - but add another tooth on top of it. Yes ladies and gentlemen, he now has 2 loose teeth. The once bottomless pit now stops eating once food roughs up his little gems, making them sore. I have a feeling that when the tooth fairy does come, Hayden may have some pounds to gain back. ;)
Unfortunately, that's all for now folks. It has been a tiresome week here at the V-household and we ALL can't wait for some warmer weather. Say NO to SNOW! LOLPosted by Mel at 12:58 PM
Motivate: to provide with a motive, impel; something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act.
This word doesn't seem to be in my vocabulary this month. It took me days to get holiday decor down, weeks to organize storage... I won't continue with my list.
With the two snow days we had recently (yeah, that was swell Mother Nature!), more disappointment with the adoption - the stress piles on. I guess you could say my year has NOT started off with a bang.
A quick note for my readers - I apologize if this turns into a gray/dark post. I can feel the clouds hanging over my head this evening as I type (it's been a rough week). I also apologize for not keeping you posted (I do that a lot don't I?). These days, I'd give anything to see spring.
We receive updates almost weekly from our coordinator with our agency. One week it sounds good, the next... not so much. A lot of times it can be very complicated to understand that even we can't wrap our heads around it. I will do my best to sum it up.
So. A department has finally been assigned to be "in charge" of handling and overlooking adoptions in Kyrgyz. However, a new official is being hired to sign official papers and this process (I am assuming training, etc.) can take another 1-2 months. We understand that there are families that have met their children already, or families waiting for court dates or travel dates and they come first... but even to not know who your child may be is just as heartbreaking & frustrating during this time of wait. We are left in limbo, waiting and anticipating. No end in sight.
Though the holidays are well past us, winter sure isn't letting up. Traveling has become hazardous... Even the TV is having trouble "bearing" the weather. Friday during our "2nd SNOW DAY" all our services went out = TV, phone, & internet. I thought I was going to lose my marbles. Hayden kept me busy however, constantly asking me why the phone didn't work, why the TV didn't work and so on. If Calgon worked on me, you better have believed that whole box would have been gone in one sitting.
Besides stressing out on the adoption, driving through snowstorms, etc.... I have added another side dish to my plate. I currently own my own concierge and errand service called Buzzin' Around Town, INC. I run errands for individuals and businesses ranging from grocery shopping to meal delivery to virtual shopping. Though I will still continue to work and promote my "baby"... the economy is just not where it should be. So back to work I go. Well, kinda. I am contracted for LiveOps (feel free to ask me about more info!) answering calls from home while Hayden is at school or asleep at night. Training and my issues with technology (as usual) has definitely taken a toll on me the past few weeks. I have done this type of work from home before (placing orders over the phone) and am excited, anxious, and nervous all in one to start again. This time with a more permanent position, I hope. It will be nice to have a distraction.... one that leaves me on a positive dollar!
Lastly, the tooth fairy still hasn't come to visit - Hayden's tooth is being stubborn but we are fine with that. He tends to be overly dramatic. So we don't want to risk using old school techniques like tying the tooth to a doorknob to make Ms. Tooth Fairy come early. Yikes!
At this point I will be happy if the new tooth just pushes it out. And since we are on the topic of teeth! Hayden did awesome at his 6 month dental checkup. The 1st visit was close to a nightmare, just "showing" the dentist how he brushed while sitting in my lap. This visit was a new Hayden. I had prepped him all week - he was still whiny... but climbed in the chair when it was time. He let the dentist do what needed to be done and didn't have a single cavity (though most children don't at that age right?). He was so proud and so were we!!! Way to go Hay!
Oye. It's late, my eyes are going cross... and it's finally quiet here. Time for ME time. ;)
Posted by Mel at 10:51 PM
It's been a great break... but one that was too long and too short. We had a blast welcoming "Santa" and the New Year with all our family and friends. Now that winter break is over (and I am secretly jumping for joy), I want to reflect on all the cool and neat things we did as a family, all the while we wish deep in our hearts we could have shared these holidays and adventures with our daughter. Next year - we hope.
Besides for putting out cookies for Santa, reindeer food for Rudolph (specially made just for him!), we made our special trip out to the Cuneo Museum to see the Winter Wonderland in Vernon Hills. We make this trip every year - and it's cheap too. You drive through wonders of lights in the coziness of your car, listening to holiday tunes. Point out and count the snowmen - don't miss any! We always have a blast trying to remember the 12 days of Christmas, as they outline them in lights... the creators also bring back every Disney character known to man. It truly is an adventure one must see.
We traveled to our families houses, celebrating Christmas Eve and Day. Opening presents, watching the children play and eating food until you're stuffed. I truly know how much it takes out of you to wrap, pack and go here and there during the holidays - and I give my mom more credit every year. How she did it with 4 kids I will never know. The hustle and bustle of the holiday's is all worth it when you see the twinkle in the children's eye.
Hayden had probably the best Christmas yet, and the pictures will prove it. Santa brought him a Wii. In addition, "Santa" was able to make Hayden a scarf (as they are hard to find for young boys). This was an item Hayden had on his list, but figured it would be forgotten. When he pulled it out of the gift bag - he was tickled pink and thrilled. It made me soooo proud. He also got several games, Star Wars stuff, Legos (thanks Michele!!!) and his Polar Express train (that's what we call it, though it's just a train that goes around the tree).
One afternoon during break I came downstairs after doing something... There was a note on my purse. I knew Hayden's scribbles, it was from him. I asked Michael and Hayden what it said, and Michael replied it was Hayden's idea - he wanted to write Santa a thank-you card for remembering everything on his Christmas list. I could have cried.
With Christmas gone, comes New Years. For the past several years we have had the comfort and convenience of being invited to our neighbors for dinner, etc. Since they live next door and have kids it makes New Years for families a win win situation. Hayden spent the majority of the evening playing with the children, and us adults enjoyed the company of other neighbors and couples. Hayden ended up passing out around 1:30ish and we left shortly after, making the brisk walk home the only setback. Well, maybe there was a tiny bit of a grouchy Hayden when he climbed into bed. But - to be expected.
This past weekend, we hung out at LegoLand in Schaumburg. Since Santa brought Hayden Lego's, what a better place to visit? We spent a couple hours touring, watching a VERY cool 4-D movie and drooling over R2D2. They can practically turn anything into a Lego design. Of course, the visit wouldn't be complete with out making some of your own - and then visiting the gift shop. LOL Hayden had some "Santa Cash" and spent it wisely - he bought a Lego car design set that he is getting a kick out of. Unfortunately, this outing was quite pricey and being a parent, didn't see it to be worth the dough. Hayden enjoyed it though and it was a nice close to the break.
Though there were days when I had gone absoluty mad, days I had locked myself in the bedroom and wished it were summer (so someone could ride their bike and wear off their energy!)... we had fun. We had play dates, went to therapy (and that helped some with the high running engines!), I wouldn't trade it for the world.
My boy is growing up - fast. Want proof? For weeks Hayden has been telling me a tooth was loose. I would check and sure enough, someone cried wolf. I think someone at school recently lost their tooth, that's why all the craze. So during break, Hayden mentions it again... Michael was off on an errand. This time, I figure... eh, Hayden is pulling my chain again - but I look and see something really IS moving. I take a closer look and would you believe it! My son has a loose tooth! Don't I feel like a dork!
So thank you Santa for all the gifts that you brought Hayden that were on his list ;)
Thank you for giving Hayden a loose tooth. Thank you for giving us a fantastic year, keeping us safe, warm and protected. Here's to a New Year... one with an addition to our family. Posted by Mel at 12:35 PM