Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Country livin’

Doesn't everyone want that?

Not on days when you have to be somewhere and that's when one of the local farmers decide to haul something with their tractor taking the main route to town and NOT moving over for traffic.  In most cases around here people are kind and if they're blocking or really holding up traffic they turn off the road for a bit.  Not this dude!  He decided to stay there so that what should have been a 15 minute drive turned into a 30 minute drive going 20 in a 60.  It's so frustrating.  You can't even vent in the car because you have your little ones with you.  That makes it worse.

One of the few times living out here stinks!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Keep on keepin’ on

If you don't at first succeed, try, try again.  So I am writing immigration, two Senators and a Congressman hoping they will try to help international adoptive families.  It kind of stinks that kids that come in on IR3 Visas automatically get Certificate of Citizenship (which they should) while kids that come to the United States on IR4 Visas have to go through a lot of unnecessary beauracratic tape to get that certificate.  It's the fact that the families have to apply for it.  That's totally understandable since the child that comes here is not legally adopted until they're in the U.S., but once we adopt them we should have to do no more than fill out the application, pay a small processing charge (ahem, not $430) and show the adoption decree finalizing the adoption.  That should be it.  No, each immigration office, deciding who should have to or not have to come in, in person, to receive that certificate that, by law, our children deserve.  They should just each mail them to the children upon approval of the application.  It's such a consistent inconsistency with USCIS.

I'm hoping someone in our government will attempt to help families out there.  It won't benefit us, but I'm hoping it will benefit others.

If you're reading this and you too are an adoptive family or know one, write your D.C. elected officials and get someone to take this up.  Tell them to look at change for the Child Citizenship Act and regulation of USCIS for Certificates of Citizenship for internationally adopted children.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

REALLY! One piece of paper.

After many, many months of trying to find some elected official to help us get immigration to mail our daughter's certificate of citizenship our congressman wrote us a letter with an attached letter from immigration stating we needed to drive several hours, stay for 5 minutes and pick up a piece of paper that our child has every right to.

Here's a snapshot of the Citizenship Act of 2000:

House passes Delahunt child citizenship bill

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. — After months of negotiations, the House approved legislation authored by Congressman Bill Delahunt to confer automatic US citizenship on children adopted from abroad, and on other foreign-born children of American parents.
   “The Delahunt bill would eliminate the need for these families to undergo the bureaucratic naturalization process.  This is especially important for families that have already completed the exhaustive documentation required to adopt a child from overseas.
   "After what these parents have been through in bringing their children to the United States, the naturalization process is an extra burden they shouldn't have to bear," Delahunt said.  "Once the adoption is finalized and a child arrives in the US, that child is an American and should be treated as an American."
   “The bill would grant automatic citizenship to all foreign-born children who are under 18 years of age; admitted to the United States as lawful permanent residents; and in the legal and physical custody of at least one parent who is a US citizen.  Parents would no longer be required to submit an application to have their children naturalized.

However, because our daughter's adoption was finalized on U.S. soil in U.S. courts she doesn't automatically get hers.  I think Washington left something out there.  Instead we have to pay hundreds of dollars and then drive several hours to pick it up, in person.  BTW, most other states have realized how crazy it is when the parents are originally U.S. citizens and we've already jumped every other hoop they had to adopt our foreign-born children, that they'be heavily begun mailing them....except ours!  It's really sad when I could give a whole list of names of people and they USCIS offices they used who got their either mailed automatically after approval of application (which shouldn't be necessary anyways) or upon request.  Why does our office have to be such @$!!heads!

On top of that I only got one elected official to even attempt helping us....it was a sad attempt (they just asked...same as I did), but it was an attempt nonetheless.  Senator Kit Bond's office has absolutely NOTHING to be proud of.  They don't return phone calls, emails NOTHING!  They don't even "attempt" to help.  Great public servent!!!!!!!  BTW, you suck!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I scored awesomely!  I FINALLY went to the doctor to get my cholesterol checked this week.  I haven't had it checked in 15 years!  When I did it back then it wasn't one of the fasting kind and it was 201....I was 18 years old!  So not good.

This week I had the fasting test and it was 165.  That's more than just reasonable.  I was so happy to hear that.  I thought I scored awesomely!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What identity?

I'm not really sure just how to title this one.  I was watching "Jon & Kate Plus 8" last night and seeing their girls makes me wonder what our girls will be like even at the young age of 6.  When I see other Asian children with their biological families that look like them, or at least one parent does, I can't help but think and be reminded of how hard it might be for our girls one day when they really realize they don't look like us.  I think they know it to some degree, but they're so young yet, I don't think they've really thought about it.

It doesn't bother us, obviously, but I worry how much it could bother them one day.  I pray we do enough as parents to make our children (all four) feel good in the skin their in and as happy as possible.

I know as parents we'll never do everything right (according to our kids anyways) for all of our children, but we want to and try to try so hard to do what we think is best.  Reading and researching what's best, but when it all comes down it's on your parent instincts.  I just pray God leads us to do be the best parents we can be with our 4 blessings.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The other side of the fence?

What is that like?

I think for the most part it's human nature....to wonder about other people.  What's their lives really like; past what you see in public.  For instance, yesterday there was a young couple, younger than us, with 3 young children, talking about their nanny.  They drove up in a huge, decked out SUV complete with sunroof and everything.  How does such a young couple afford all of this?  I see other families on the internet with pictures of their kids in front of these beautiful houses.  How does everyone afford this?  Then, you watch one of Oprah's Debt Diet features and it's all about couples with 2, maybe 3 kids, who make $80,000+/year and are $80,000+ in credit card debt.  That's over $10,000/year more than we make and we're not doing great, but we're thankful to not be in credit card debt at all.  Wow, what we couldn't do with an extra $800/month additional income!

It's these things that make me wonder....could we have more (material things) or is most of America in this kind of debt Oprah talks about. 

It gets harder as your children get older and start to recognize that you don't always have the things other families have, go to the places they go and do the things they do.  Definitely not on any sort of a regular basis.  At the same time, I'm proud that we're teaching our children priority and what's truly important in life.  Being together, only doing what you have the means to do and save to do.  At the same time it's right up in our face, everywhere we go, that a lot of people have a lot more.  I'd say we're right in the middle and we're very thankful for that.  One life changing event and it could totally go the negative way and while we try to be prepared it's impossible to prepare for everything.

Just some random thoughts this morning.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Amazing baby

Total mom brag right here.  Get your mom brag!I know it helps to have 3 older siblings who talk non-stop, but Chelsi just turned 20 months and talks unbelievably well! Even her daycare providers can't believe how much she talks and how well. Our oldest was an unbelievable talker (still is) and I think she beats him out. 

She says pretty much anything she wants. The other day she told Brian, clear as day "I want candy". She knows where the old Easter candy is and thought she should have some. 

She's really great at saying "hey, stop". Daddy has been trying to teach her to say "stop please". So Cole was bugging her after church this morning and she said "stop pease Co". Her newest word is 'granpa'. She calls my mom and my stepdad that. No distinguishing between the two, they're both 'granpa'. So everyday since Memorial Day (when they spent the day with us she talks about nothing but 'granpa'. Friday the girls needed to be picked up early from daycare so my stepdad did this for us since he had the boys anyways and Chelsi knew he was coming for her. All we heard when we asked if she was going to Pam's was "I want granpa now". "Now" is another favorite word.

And do not say a number between 1 and 5. She loves to count, so if you say a number she begins to count from that point. She can only count to 5, but she thinks it's funny when I keep counting to 10 and then she claps for me when I say 10.

She LOVES to sing too. People who don't know her can't always necessarily tell by the words, but they can by the melody. She can sing at least 5 songs including the alphabet song (the letters kind of run together), the "I love you" song from Barney (and no I don't condone Barney or allow it in my house so it must be at the sitters) and "Twinkle Twinkle".

We get such a kick out of this girl. She so funny and smart. She has one of the best personalities. I never would have thought that when she came home. Heck I never would have thought that for the first 9 months. She's a different kid.

I'm really not trying to brag, but sometimes I'm just in awe. She was a 30 week premie and no one would ever know any way, shape or form.

And most people’s kids don’t want to brush

Yep....that's what I hear from friends.  Their kids don't like to brush their teeth.  Even the littlest ones.  Well, ours sneaks in and hides to brush hers.

Here's when I first caught her.

Then she quickly posed.

Then back to the deed.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Yet another picture of Chelsi sleeping.

Our daughter can fall asleep anywhere! I swear she'd only been sitting in the chair for maybe 5 minutes.  I was finishing up the floors and the next thing I knew the chair was fully laid back.  How it didn't tip I have no idea.  She would wake for a second and the chair back would pop straight up and she'd go back to sleep and it would slowly go back again.  After that little 5 minute cat nap she wouldn't hardly go back to bed for her afternoon nap.  She said 'granpa' over and over again until she fell asleep.  BTW, that's what she calls grandma and grandpa.  Except lately it's been "I want granpa now".  For a not quite 2 year old she speaks in very demanding sentences.  :)