OK, so this is kind of a rambling post but I soooo despise rainy days on the weekends. It is so hard to keep from literally yelling at the kids all day long. The worst part is it is suppose to rain until Monday~ ugggg~ and we usually are predominately outside so being stuck inside-- we have little to do!!! Dont get me wrong-- here in Southern California we rarely get rain so we are happy when it happens but when it comes on the weekend and is constant/ super hard- without any breaks-- it really gets to me. We are hosting a dinner tonight so I was trying to clean the house (which it desperately needed) while Kevin is trying to cook and Owen is trying to invent some new thing using glue guns and string and cans and freezing these pipe looking things while Ethan is doing everything he can to avoid having to do his school work so he has taken to tormenting the girls for sheer pleasure. There have been blanket forts and hockey games (inside the house) and soccer dribbling, glue gunning and other mess creating events that have literally drove me to yelling on several occasions today. Then I get the pleasure of dealing with the guilt from yelling at them constantly. Oh the joys of rainy days!!!
So I thought I would take this opportunity to update a few things.
First thing is the adoption. Not much going on right now. The process is you first do a ton of things to get your paperwork ready to go to China. Once it is there it gets logged in and then it goes to translation and then to be reviewed and then the coveted Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is sent out after you have been waiting for about 60 days since you were logged in (sorry for the simplistic version all my adoption friends-- I know it is much more complicated than that). We sent our papers to China on 12-16-11. We received a log in date of 12-28-11 and also sent our intent to adopt Emery at that time. We received our approval to pursue Emery (PA) on 1-4-12 and that started our wait. Our file was then sent to translation where it usually sits for about 2 weeks while it is being translated and then it moves to the review room. Our first glitch and hopefully last one happened during translation. Like I said, most people finish in translation in 2 weeks. We sat in translation for 58 days-- yes 58 days. I knew there was something wrong so our agency inquired time and time again and finally we had to get our in-china rep to inquire and when she DEMANDED an answer, our file moved to the review room 2 days later (oh the power of the squeaky wheel). Anyway, now we sit waiting for our LOA. We are now on day 73 and are still waiting. There are tons of people who have been waiting much less time than us getting their LOA's and are now ahead of us in the process-- but alas, we still wait. Im not sure why but sometimes it happens and while it upsets me that our time lines are being pushed further back into summer, I know the LOA will come soon. Praying it will come next week.
The process after LOA takes about 70 days (some faster some slower) until we get our approval to travel (TA). Then we can jump on a plane anytime after that but travel usually happens about 2 weeks after TA. The nice part after we get LOA is the process is more predicable. You know about how long your I800 approval will take and how long it takes for NVC to process the visas and we know the consulate takes 2 weeks to process our article 5 and then our paperwork goes back to China for them to make assign our final travel approval- which usually takes less than 15 days. So, all in all, after LOA, we will travel in about 70 plus days which will put us traveling about late June (oh how I pray it is late June and not into July).
We have not received any updates on Emery besides the one we received a few months back. At that time, she was progressing beautifully developmentally. She turns 1 year old on April 6~ 2 days after Kevin turns 40 on April 4!! We will be sad to miss her first birthday but know we will still get to see many of her firsts. We will get her when she is about 14 months. We have not gotten any new pictures so we only have the 3 original ones from when she was 3 months old. There is a super small chance we may get one update and a picture in a few months but I am not holding my breath on that one (but I am praying we will).
On the home front, the girls and I are spring break next week but the boys are still in school so it will be interesting. Kevin and Ethan leave on a missions trip to Haiti on Wednesday and will be gone for 10 days (March 21 to 31). Ethan is semi excited and a bit nervous especially having to get ready by taking his typhoid and maleria pills. The reality is setting in and while he is looking forward to it, he is nervous as he is our more "I like things here in America" type kid. Owen was super easy as he can go anywhere and be happy and he LOVED Haiti and is so jealous Ethan gets to go this time but Ethan is more of our kid that likes things orderly and clean (with the exception of his disastrous room) so this trip will be a stretch for him. He is also our NOT so hard working kid (Owen is a hard worker) so the physical labor in Haiti will be a huge wake up call to Ethan-- but I know he will do great and he will have his super hard working dad right along side to guide him through the emotionally draining and physically exhausting process. I'm proud of him for taking this on.
While we are on spring break, the girls and I (Kev and Ethan leave on Wednesday) will probably head to my BFF Laila's house and hang there for a night. We may do something special but just not sure. Owen will probably stay with his friend Judah's house for a night or two so the girls and I can get away. They go to the same school and they live up the street from us so it is a natural for Owen to spend time with the Picous while we get away for a few days.
Other than all that, we are just moving on with our school year and looking forward to it ending soon. I cant wait for this year to be over as it will end with an awesome trip to China to get our little Emery-- awwwwww!!! I do believe you are sufficiently updated. Hope it was not too long and boring. I leave you with a lazy shots of my kids (minus Mia on the couch).
Yes Ethan is still in his pajamas and being lame and they are laying there watching Vegie Tales-- I know it's pitiful but its raining--uggg!!!