Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mistakes Can Be Costly

I have made two costly mistakes during this second phase of paperwork. The first was when I sent the largest amount of papers to Oregon to the international agency. When the lady at FedEx asked me if it was OK to get it there by the following afternoon I told her it was not. The next day was Friday and I had, what I now know to be false hope, that if I got it there by Friday morning it could get sent on its way to Korea by that afternoon.

The second was the confounded I864A form. I got confused on the last page and mixed up where I placed Chris' and my names. We had to overnight just that one piece of paper. You never want to know how much FedEx charges for just one paper to be sent somewhere overnight.

I have also made some less costly, and more satisfying, purchases this week. I have bought a few books on Korean adoption. I thought that The Green Frog was very appropriate given the theme for Christian's room and bathroom will involve frogs. It is a Korean folk tale with what others have called a "surprise ending". The book was very inexpensive and saved me from having to pay the $5 shipping fee on the book I was actually searching out: Dreaming a World: Korean Birth Mothers Tell Their Stories. There was one other book I purchased today: "Beyond Good Intentions" by Cheri Register. It is the story of a mother that raised to Korean born adoptees. Both of these books came suggested by other women in the process. I can't wait for them to arrive.

While I was on I was looking around at the "books I might like", or however they phrase it on their particular site, I realized they have a baby registry. So I went ahead and started one there as well. Registering for baby is so much fun!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paperwork - the sequel

Last week was a very busy paperwork period for Frig and I once again. There were two USCIS forms (I864 and I864A) in particular that I was very glad my international agency provides simplistic step by step instructions for filling them out because I tried to make sense of them without the instructions and it just was not happening. These two forms require various copies of documents to substantiate them such as birth certificate, marriage license, W2s, and most recent tax return.

Besides the two USCIS forms there were various others which had to be complete in duplicate, triplicate and even one that required quadruple copies. It is required that each form be filled in by hand. It is not acceptable to fill in one form and then make copies. Many of the forms require a Notary public. We are so lucky to have one on campus, and luckier still that it is someone Frig and I both consider a friend. Especially when I thought I remembered our final income from 2009, I had just filled it in numerous times on other forms, and had to ask her to redo the form that needed four notarized copies because I had not gotten the number perfect. On Friday she met with us after school as we had received the "by mail" portion of the paper work and needed her help once again. Interestingly enough she is also adopted and commented on how getting to participate in our adoption process, and really see some of the work that goes into it, reinforced how much her parents must have gone through to adopt her.

In the next few weeks there will be paperwork coming and going from our house. I hope I can keep from becoming a mailman stalker as I wait for Christians legals to arrive. In the mean time I am trying to occupy my time by reorganizing around my house and REGISTERING!!!! How fun is that? I hope to actually go to the store today because so far I have only registered online. There are some things that just have to be seen in person to know exactly what you're getting.

Last night Frig and I went out with the godparents to a free concert at Miller Outdoor theater. We had a blast. At one point Frig disappeared for awhile and I wondered aloud what had happened to him. The godmother supposed he was probably playing with one of the kids on the hill. That really was an excellent guess. I can't wait until next year when he would be playing with OUR kid on the hill!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Results Are In Christian Jae-won Ratcliff

And we are all smiles and hugs. We told the agency that we would like to accept the referral.

These are the two most recent pictures we were sent with all of his paper work.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Korea's been contacted

I have tried to keep the past 72 hours busy with researching day cares and trying to figure out what to do as far as the nursery is concerned. My sister has kindly offered to look at the frogs playing baseball figurines I found and try to come up with a mural for the wall. It isn't her usual art, kind of beneath her really, so it means a ton that she is willing to do this. There is a Montessori school close called Triple R. I am hoping this is a sign. Mom says she will go check the place out. Seeing as she is a former Montessori teacher herself I can't imagine there is a better person to do the job.

It is currently a little past 9:30 AM tomorrow in Korea. I hope someone is reading the email that was sent requesting the test information, and reply negatively. Hope often do we consider a negative to be so very positive? I guess it isn't that uncommon when it comes to medical topics.

My folks are coming into town this weekend and I would really, really, really like to have a reason to celebrate and go SHOPPING!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Referral Week

On Tuesday afternoon, during my last period of the day, I received an email from the HS agency in Austin. The gist of the email was to tell me that they had tried to call me, there was a referral, and would I call them as fast as possible. My phone was at home with Frig, long story, so I went on a mad hunt for a land line.

My room is located very close to two offices, and my very well behaved class was highly engaged in a project. I thought I would ask someone from one of the offices to watch my class real fast while I called. Both offices were closed. My mind is spinning. I know one of the teachers on my hall is off a fourth period and room to her room hoping it was the right day. I say something super fast and nearly incomprehensible "I need to make a phone call and I have a class but there's a referral." Her reply "What does that mean?" me "BABY! She actually just cam back from maternity leave herself. We went to Lanier together as kids. She picks up the papers she is grading and comes to my room.

When I finally make it to the second floor lounge I realize I can't call long distance. More running. Into the office and panicking as I tell the principals secretary that I NEED to call Austin. She gives me the code, no questions asked, and suggest I use a phone in an empty space off the main office. VOICEMAIL! ARGH!!!! Try again, try again, and finally walk back to my room still very excited but dejected as well.

It wasn't long before a second email came with five pictures and all of the child's other confidential information. I realized Frig was on the phone with the women. That has happened to me more than once in the past. I open the first picture and the baby looks so sad. He had obviously been crying. He was older in the next two sets of pictures and no longer sad but so very, very cute.

He does have a grade 3-4 heart murmur. At first Frig didn't want to get everyone's hopes up because we want to get details from a doctor, but by the following morning (5 AM) he had changed his mind. We call both sets of parents, I thought it was worthy of waking mom at 6 AM, to tell them the news.

I have an appointment with the International Adoption group at Texas Children's Hospital today at 4 PM. After the appointment we will hopefully be able to say that this child will be our child in 4 to 6 months.

Of course we already feel like he is our child right now so this better doctor better give me some good news!