Actually, I've pretty much done all that I'm able to do on the dossier, so a big sigh of relief there. Now, we just have to wait for documents to be returned to us and get our homestudy done. I sent the requests for reference letters out to everyone who has ever met us, regardless of whether or not they even remotely like us. We signed the agency contracts and mailed in the first fee. I mailed out an extension request for the I171-H, then re-mailed it after it was returned to me, unprocessed, because I sent the wrong fee for Alex's fingerprints (stoopid). We each got our two sets of fingerprints done the other day and mailed one set off to the FBI. The other goes to the KBI (we'll still need to be printed for the I171-H). I'm not happy with Michael's prints- they were done by a different guy than the one who did ours, and they're... Well, they're just plain crappy. They totally reflect the guy's "I don't give a flip" attitude. He seemed angry that he had to do it for us and made sure it showed in his work. They look like a four-year-old was playing in ink. I have a feeling they will definitely have to be redone, and in fact, we're considering taking them back and asking someone else to do them before we even bother to send them in. We've heard the FBI/KBI are both very, very picky and will reject less than perfect prints. What's your experience with this? Did you have to keep getting prints redone? What's the turn-around time on getting results or a rejection notice?
It's amazing how expensive everything gets before you even start paying the *actual* adoption fees. I mean, most people think the money is all going to the agency and travel, but anyone who has adopted knows that's not the case. The majority of the money goes there, but those fees for ordering documents, getting fingerprints, and of course, the homestudy, really add up fast. When it's $50 bucks here, and $25 there, it doesn't seem as intimidating as those agency fees for thousands of dollars. You don't really realize how much you've already spent until you take the time to add it up. Well, I added it up... It's a bunch. I was tallying everything that we've spent so far on this adoption (not counting the Vietnam costs), and it just about made the hair on my chest fall out. When I think about the additional money already spent on the VN adoption... Oy. I start thinking, "Geez. That money could have paid for this... And this. And we really, really need that." It's scary. Common sense would tell you that these are not good times, economically speaking, to be spending this kind of cash. That's the thing about Darrell and I- we don't claim to have any common sense. But we do have faith. And that always seems to get us a lot farther than common sense would have, anyway.
I didn't get everything done around the house that I wanted before the homestudy, but... It's good enough, I guess. I really wanted to get my bathroom painted, but there just wasn't time. I seriously doubt the SW will judge us too harshly for having unfinished walls. She's been in our home 5 different times, and at least one room has been in some state of remodeling each time, so no biggie. The important thing is that the dog doesn't greet her at the door with underwear in his mouth. If we can get through the day without that happening, I will consider it a successful visit.
I'm most worried about the amount of laundry that will surely back up while I'm gone all week. I hope she doesn't walk out into the laundry room. I'll have to bar the door with a full body block and demand she step away. I'm thinking of throwing all the laundry into the storm shelter outside while she's here. Good idea? We might as well get some use out of it, since the tornado warnings stopped the day we put it in the ground.
I hope the boys' rooms don't have that horrid, decomposing-corpse-that's-been-peed-on-by-the-cat stench when I get home. One week away is more than enough time to work up a strong dead body funk that will be hard to erase before she comes. One of my poor, misguided sons (I won't say which one, but it's Mike) is addicted to that terrible smelling Axe crap. When the smells of lingering Axe and teenage boy funk combine in a room... It's not good. Not good at all.
I leave for my mom's early Monday morning and come back next Monday, the 27th. I probably won't talk to you again until after the homestudy. I'll let you know how it went. The diet is going to go on hiatus while I'm gone. My mom is a tiny, size 4 runt who can eat like a sumo wrestler when she wants to, without gaining an ounce. Good for her. Not so good for me.
I hear it's supposed to rain the entire time I'm there, while the weather here at home is supposed to be gorgeous all week. Of course. My one chance a year to go to Florida WITHOUT my kids and have an opportunity to really enjoy the beach and the beauty of the ocean... and I will be spending it inside my mom's tiny house, in the middle of Old People Village (just kidding, Mom).