Friday, December 28, 2012

In the Meantime
Good news--we found out yesterday that our file has been assigned to an agent at USCIS, which means we should be getting our approval in the mail sometime in the next week or two! Let's get this show on the road, people. 
I promised that the next post would be light and fluffy, so here we go. While we've been waiting to wait, we've gone on two fun trips.  I am blessed to work for an airline, which means free flights.  We used my flight privileges twice this month: to visit my sisters in NC and to go to NYC for my birthday. 
My one request for our NC trip was to have a sisters only lunch with my sisters Sage and Jenny.  Jenny has been battling a serious illness (but she's doing really well), so it was extra-special to have that time together.
While in NC we went by Old Salem, a 200+ year old area of Winston-Salem.  I spent a significant portion of my childhood in NC, and I have lots of pictures of myself at this water pump from the time I was a baby.
All I wanted for my birthday was a trip to NYC, so we left on the morning of my actual birthday (December 15th) and came home the next day.  Jon had some Hilton points leftover from his old job, and we used the last of them for one night in a hotel near Times Square. 

Rockefeller Center
Breakfast at a tiny diner before we headed back to the airport. Sadly, that hat was my only NYC purchase.
Last weekend we were near my niece Cheyenne and her boyfriend Matt's house, so we stopped by to give our great-nephew/godson, Roman, his Christmas gift.


I hope everyone had a lovely, restful Christmas.  Happy new year! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Waiting to Wait
I have been struggling a lot this week with self pity.  We still haven't received our USCIS approval, and we had our fingerprints taken one month ago today.  I never thought that we would start 2013 NOT being on the waiting list.  Lots of other West Sands families have been getting really quick responses from USCIS--one couple got their approval FOUR DAYS after their fingerprints--and they're all passing us by.  Jon has been calling USCIS once a week for a month to ask what our status is, and each time he gets the same answer: our file is still waiting to be assigned to a case worker, waiting to be handled.  Life is  beginning to feel like one of those dreams when you're running as fast as you can and not moving an inch, or moving excruciatingly slowly. I get multiple "how is the adoption going?!" questions each week, and I grit my teeth and always answer the same: "fine, thanks, we're just waiting on our approval! we're really excited!"
I have had many angry/weepy moments when I've wondered why this process seems to be harder for us than for other people (which is ridiculous, because some families have to fight and petition and hire attorneys to get their children home).  I am also dealing with the bitter disappointment and heartache of a difficult situation with a family member, which has not turned out the way I've hoped and prayed (and I mean the lying face down on the floor in a puddle of snot and tears kind of praying).  I have definitely had a few "where the heck ARE you, God???  I'm super pissed!" conversations with Jesus. 
Admittedly, I struggle a lot with fear, anxiety, and a glass-half-empty outlook on life.  In my defence, I've lived through some pretty crappy stuff, including the tragic, sudden, and shocking death of my very best friend in the world 8 years ago.  A lot of the things I've feared most (the death of loved ones, job loss, multiple family members facing life-threatening illnesses) have come roaring to life and punched me in the face. So, of course, I immediately jump to worse-case-scenario mode with regard to this adoption. (Russia's recent announcement that it's about to ban all adoption of Russian children by American families is not helpful in this regard.)
I think I need to have some serious time with Jesus, and maybe some counseling, to shake me out of this fear/anxiety mode.  It's blinding me to the awesome things happening in my life.  I've mentioned before on this blog that we want/need to pay off our debt before the babies come home, and I've spent   years--even before adoption was on the radar--praying that God would miraculously provide the means for us to pay off our debt.  About a month ago, Jon got a huge bonus at work, enough for us to pay off one of our highest-balance credit cards. He sent me a text saying that the balance on this card had been paid in full and, when I was driving home that day, it hit me--God had miraculously provided to help us pay off our debt.  With this one card's balance gone, we can begin applying its huge monthly payment to our other cards and will hopefully be on our way to being debt free.  Praise His name.
I apologize for the lengthiness and heaviness of this post.  If you've kept reading this far, God bless you.  I promise the next post will be light and fluffy, with lots of pictures.