Thursday, March 20, 2008

Waiting on birthmom...

Like I mentioned before, Abraham, Diamond and Kindness are half-siblings. Rachel at AOH is trying to find out who is half-sibs to whom. I called her to find out if we needed to be concerned that the surviving birthmom would want the kids back only to find out that the birthmom is supposed to come to the orphanage this week to sign the relinquishment papers. Hopefully she will do that but she is in her last trimester of another pregnancy. Since the birthmom is having another child, we are praying that she lets us adopt her kids that are at AOH.

On the homefront, Erik is now working the lighting board for the SVP community theatre group on the Grease production. The community theatre has participants from a tri-county area and the director for Romeo & Juliet is actually our neighbor.

The kids and I went to see the oldest Cyprus tree in Florida (supposedly). It is 900+ years old and is huge. The trunk was over 300 inches around and it was 250 feet tall. My camera skills being what they are, I didn't get a picture due to dead batteries. But as soon as I can get Erik's camera downloaded, I'll post a picture. We went with our new friends who happen to be snowbird homeschoolers from WI.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yellow Fever vaccine - check & Benvolio

Well I can't say they didn't warn us..... We went to the travel clinic (which was a county clinic, government owned) for our yellow fever vaccine yesterday. We were warned that the appointment would be an hour and a half to two hours and NOT to be late. After waiting a half an hour to be seen, we endured a two-hour spiel by a zealous nurse about what diseases we could get while traveling and how we could die from them and how we could prevent this nastiness by spending about $700 per person for vaccines for illnesses we might get. She was VERY thorough and knowledgeable. When I asked her if she has done a lot of traveling since she sounded so authoritative, she replied that there was no way she'd go to Africa or some of the other countries! There was too many nasty things she could get sick with there!! Del and I have been shaking our heads since we left. In fact, he about bolted for the door when she finally let us out of there.

On a family note, Erik did get a part in Romeo and Juliet. When he auditioned he read the Romeo lines practically the whole time. However, the director decided he should be Benvolio, Romeo's sidekick. Erik was disappointed and actually, I was surprised because I thought he'd be offered Romeo, too. But he's okay with it now. He gets to learn swordfighting, a bit of fencing and stage combat. In fact, he's in the opening scene fighting with Tybalt, Romeo's enemy. He's the only one from the family in this play. The next play is Treasure Island which Karl wants to be in. He read the book and figures he's an expert in it now. Such is the confidence of 8 year olds.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New information... half-siblings

I spoke with Rachel at AOH last night to get an update on the status of the kids' finalizations since we'd heard more were issued. Come to find out the children are half-siblings with the same dad. I'm waiting to hear which child's mother died. I'm guessing it is Kindness, the one-year old. We (AOH) have the death certificate so we're good on that front. However, this makes things a little trickier for the other child(ren) since AOH has to come up with the birthmother for the US Embassy interview.
Liberia and the US Embassy there is really trying to follow all the rules regarding relinquishment for adoptions and making sure the parents and families of these kids know and understand what adoption is. I just read an article about a Kenyan woman who claims that her relative tricked her into allowing her son to be adopted. She claims that she was told her son would be going away to school but would be able to visit her on school vacations. Culturally, the article said that many poor families send their children to wealthier relatives for schooling like this.
Rachel at AOH is getting more information for us about the status of which kids are full-sibs, etc., and if the birthmom has been tracked down. Keep us in your prayers that this all gets resolved quickly.

On another note, we go to get our Yellow Fever vaccinations this morning. I'm leary of all immunizations and have researched them but this one is required to travel so.... I'll have a sore arm later today.

Our weekend visitor

Theresa visited from WI this weekend. We picked her up from the airport and took her for a picnic lunch. We had hoped to see alligators but we didn't get a very good view. There were wild horses, though. Then we went to an quaint old town to see a flavor of old Florida. It was fun, lots of antique shops and book shops to see. Tuesday we went to a state park and were rewarded with seeing lots of manatees close up. They are such unusual creatures. Although the weather was cooler on the weekend, it did warm up into the 70's so Theresa could experience the Florida warmth before heading back to the cooler 40's in WI. It was so nice to have her visit, we had a great time. However, it was bittersweet because now we're reminded of how much we miss everyone up north.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

While we're waiting....

We still haven't gotten the call saying the adoption is finalized. However, of the 14 cases of children waiting to be finalized, I've heard of 8 of them being done. So our odds are going up very quickly!

In the mean time, here is a snapshot of the part of our lives trying to get settled in a new country. I know FL is still part of the USA but being from WI, it might as well be a different country! I like to garden and was raised on a farm but there are LOTS of things growing around here that I've never seen before and lots of things missing that I would usually see this time of year (spring - not March) such as lilacs. I do miss my lilac bush. I've raided the library to get books on FL plants that can stand in for my favorite northern plants. We do want to plant a palm tree since we are in FL afterall. :-)

The kiddos are adapting. Megan has a job in a local bank and is striving to adapt to the policies that are so very different than what she was used to in Grafton. It may be that this bank is TOO friendly to its customers and not structured enough for our slightly OCD daughter. Megan likes things just so and likes to know her boundaries, etc., and this lack of structure in the policies is really stretching her. She needs to get interested in something besides work. There are lots of artsy groups around but they are a little hard to find and weed out what she's looking for.

Erin is looking for a job and getting ready to apply for dual enrollment with a community college. We're thinking about getting her started with dual enrollment (at least for a few classes) this summer. She is interested in nursing and would like to get some college credits out of the way. She and Megan have been best friends since we've moved. They always were but now they are closer. They have almost caught up on all the English-accent movies they love to watch and all the chick flicks. I'm hoping that a couple of teen groups we're trying to get going will help her with finding friends.

Erik has auditioned for the local community playhouse production of "Romeo and Juliet". We visited the playhouse a week ago to get the facts regarding time commitment, how they operate, etc., and were strongly urged to return for auditions on Monday night. After much deliberation, only Erik wanted to try out since Craig didn't want to wear tights. :-) Actually, Erik is more of the thespian. The rest love the theatre but as backstage people. Anyway, he finds out before Friday if he's won a role. I believe he is in the running for either Romeo or Benvolio based on how the tryouts went Monday night. Everyone was quite impressed and told me so, as if he needs anymore encouragement. :-)

Craig is struggling a bit since he is quiet, shy, and very tall. He is now as tall as Erin and Erik. I think he's grown another 2 inches since fall which brings him to about 8 inches since last year. Friday evening Erik, Erin and Craig attended a game night with a local homeschool teen group. We dropped them off knowing no one and when we picked them up, they were having a great time. Many were about the same age as Craig, so I have hopes that Craig will soon feel more welcome and comfortable in this new state.

Karl has found a bunch of friends and new endeavors. He has struggled a little with not being able to play with Noah or his buddy, Peter. He saw Peter every week at our homeschool group in WI and has really missed having him around. They have written to each other but Peter's family doesn't have email so that has hampered my internet savvy child. On the flip side, his handwriting has improved with writing letters. ;-)

Theresa is coming to visit this weekend so we'll be doing some more sightseeing. We have to go see the 'gators and maybe the ocean and the gulf. I'm not sure T can call this a vacation, but we'll try. Everyone is looking forward to visiting with Theresa and showing her all the sights. Maybe we'll have word of our finalization by then, too!