Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back at it after summer break!

Wow,  I can't believe it has been over a month since I've posted!! For the first time since we began this process back in February, I feel like Randy and I sort of "checked out" from this part of our life for a few weeks there. It feels strange actually, for months we (mostly me) spent like all our free time consumed with doing "things" for the adoption! (Home study, training courses, gathering/copying/scanning documents, running back and forth to the post office, checking things off our list, switching new agencies, more training, paperwork, and running to and from the post office) Then of course, when I had "down" time from the above mentioned tasks, I was on Babies R Us checking out strollers, high chairs, bedding, cribs, and planning colors for the nursery..... and just going, going, going!! Then, our anniversary came... and our vacation, and we were able to totally unwind, relax, and shut it off for a while. Which, I actually think was very healthy for us! We celebrated our 2nd anniversary on the 16th of August by going to Cape Cod for a few days, had gorgeous weather, and spent our days relaxing on the beach and our nights going out to yummy seafood dinners and having drinks!! It was such a wonderful trip, and a few times as we sat at an outside bar after dinner, looking at the water and having a drink, we would laugh thinking.. "this will be a bit different for us NEXT year!" ha.

The week after we got back we spent a couple days at my school setting up my new classroom! I moved from 1st grade to 5th this year & once the end of August hit, I threw myself into getting my classroom ready and preparing myself for the new school year!! We've been back to school for two weeks now, and I'm loving teaching 5th grade! It's challenging, but in a totally different way then 1st was!! So, getting into the swing of things at work has been what has consuming me these last couple weeks. When my adoption worker called me last week to check in and see how things were going, I actually began to get anxious. I called Randy and was freaking out... "Oh, my god!!! We have been totally slacking!! We haven't done anything in weeks!!!" He, who is usually much more level-headed then me, and my voice of reason, replied, "What could we be doing? Aren't we just waiting for FBI clearance to come back?" And, I began to relax, he was right. We had done so much in such a short period of time. We only signed with AAC the beginning of July and we finished the training, gathered almost all of our documents, Passed our MMPI personality tests (Phew!!) and just did so much running around this summer!! I needed to take a deep breath here, we were doing okay. It would all happen the way it was meant too.

So, here's where we are now with everything!! We are waiting for an amended I-600A approval form (since we switched agencies home study needed to be updated), and we have been waiting for over 8 weeks for our FBI clearances to come in! Once we have that, we will have all the documents necessary for our dossier! We were waiting on this ONE thing before taking the trip into Boston to get all our documents apostilled! This was sort of our last step before sending everything off to the agency! When I finally spoke with my adoption worker on Friday, she told us that she had mailed out our Russian Package which we needed to sign and send back to her asap so that we'd be able to be put on the waiting list! We got the packet yesterday, and of course Randy is working tonight, so we will be signing the forms tomorrow night and sending them off by the end of the week!! She also told me that we should just apostille everything we have now, and send it to her. So, we are now planning to go into Boston and drop our documents off at the office next Wednesday. (It seems to be faster if we hand deliver them than to mail them). We are hoping that we'll get the clearance forms by then but if not, we'll just bring what we have, and cross our fingers it won't take more than a couple days!

So after speaking with the agency, we are so excited again. We are not letting ourselves get crazy stressed or worried since as we have learned, so much of this is out of our hands. Of course, I am thinking about the school year now though, and trying to "game plan" for how long of a leave I will be taking depending on when we can bring our little one home. Last week, the latest estimate we got is that we should expect a referral in early 2012. So, we are thinking and hoping that we may travel sometime in February and then hopefully have our adoption complete in May?!! Originally when we thought we'd be getting a referral earlier, I was planning on taking 12 weeks of  adoption leave. (Especially since the first few weeks I'd be in Russia!!) While we are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of leave, we are only paid for 8 weeks. However, if it worked out that we'd be going to get our baby in May.. I wouldn't need to take more than the paid 8 weeks as it would run right into the summer! I would then have over three full months home with our child which would be ideal!!! Of course, on the other side of things, I'm beginning to worry if things progress slower than we anticipate and we can't bring our child home until June/July. Then I'm worried I won't have "enough" time to spend with him/her before I go back in September. We have talked about the possibility of me taking a year off if things are pushed back some... I just don't know how we can swing me not getting a salary! Ugh! (okay, didn't I say I was going to breathe, and not stress!!??) What will be will be! Right??

So, that is where we are now. At the very end, and feeling a bit of a fire under us again to get the last loose ends tied up! Our plan is by the end of next week we'd have everything we needed apostilled and on it's way! Then.. the true wait begins and who knows, maybe then we'll hit Babies R Us!! :)