Thursday, October 23, 2008

Last Day to Pack

Tomorrow is travel day. I can't believe it is here already. We've waited so long that it became permanent - kids in Liberia, our family here. Now we're on the brink of another big change. We leave tomorrow at noon from Tampa, go to JFK in New York, arrive in Brussels on Saturday morning. We're staying in Brussels overnight to get a good night's sleep (I hope) and to celebrate my birthday (my reason). We leave Brussels on Sunday at noon and arrive in Liberia about 6 p.m. local time.

Today is going to the bank day, picking up our malaria medication day, finish packing day, checking our list three times day. Oh, and Erin has a checkup this afternoon, too. And I remembered we needed two more copies of Del's employment letter and..... the list goes on.

So rather than use up my limited time thinking about what I have to do, I'm going to wrap this up and get to work! We're bringing the laptop along so we can post pictures and updates while we're gone, hopefully. Thank you for all the prayers during this long wait. We really appreciate the support of all our family and friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Travel medications

Today the task is to get the travel medications ordered, the airline tickets paid for, and the household affairs written up. The travel medications we need are anti-malaria medicine and Cipro. As much as I don't like to take meds, I've heard getting malaria is worse and Cipro can help you if you get one of those tropical nasties. The airline tickets are a special rate so they need to be paid with a certified check rather than a credit card to avoid a 4% fee, so off to the bank I go. Our savings is dwindling at an alarming rate now!

The household affairs thing is for our peace of mind and my dad's. We homeschool so I need to make sure Dad knows what the kids are supposed to be doing while we're gone. They are great kids and will do their work but.... they are still sinners and temptations can sneak up on the best of us. Plus we need to make sure we have our emergency numbers, neighbors that can be called on, power of attorney for medical needs and our will ready. Not that I think anything will happen but I guess that's why the word accident is used.

I'll let you know how much I get done. Del is busy finishing up all the projects he's working on so he can hand off work while he's gone. He told me that he's working at 120% capacity according to his timesheets. That's okay, I know he can't get into much trouble that way. ;-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nursing school

Erin has talked about being a nurse for a year or so now. She and I went to an orientation given by a community college in the neighboring county a few weeks ago to get the scoop on prerequistes, classes, degrees earned, and the like. Since then Erin has been very determined to finish her senior year strong. She had been talking about being a nurse with Erik who has since decided he is interested in that field also. I was very surprised when he announced he was considering nursing because he had never shown much interest in anything like that. But actually I think he would make a good nurse. He loves to make people laugh and he is very caring. Anyway, we're going to the local community college this afternoon to hear their orientation on nursing school. In Florida good high school students can dual enroll in college during their jr and sr year in high school to get both college credit and high school credit. If you're in this program, college is free. So we'll see what we can do! Or rather, what the kids can do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One step at a time

I have submitted our request for Liberian visas (to be able to enter the country), almost completed getting our tickets and booked tickets for my dad. Dad is going to supervise our kids here while we go pick up our three Liberians. He hasn't visited before so he is looking forward to it. Thankfully the last week of the month usually isn't too booked with activities so he won't have to be chauffering too much.

This week will be finishing up all the ticketing, compiling all the paperwork to present at the Embassy, and start packing. I've traveled quite a bit, as has Del, but the last time we traveled on a plane with little kids was over 16 years ago. I've been blessed with all the good advice from the yahoo adoption support group. If anyone has any great advice, leave me a comment.

Yesterday the boys got to play with their friends. The older two went to an airsoft event with a bunch of boys from our homeschool group and Karl went to a birthday party. I spent the whole afternoon on the road but it was worth it for the boys to make more friends. Saturday Erin and I went to Orlando for a church women's event. We had a good day and even stopped for frappacinos. I don't really like spending weekends running around but sometimes it is necessary. How was your weekend?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork

I'm filling out all the paperwork for the final stages of the adoption process. We need three years worth of tax data, three different immigration forms, birth, death, marriage, divorce certificates for the documentation PER CHILD! Whew! That doesn't count the documents to get the Visa for us to travel to Liberia. I've put all my to-do's and my travel checklist in an Excel spreadsheet. That way if I lose the dumb thing (which has happened a lot lately???), I can just print it out again. If you need more specific information about traveling and what to remember to bring check this blog from another family that adopted from Liberia. It is very thorough.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're Clear to GO

Rachel from AOH called last night to tell us the Embassy had given us the go-ahead to set an appointment with them in Liberia. This means we can travel to pick up the kids. I don't think reality will set in until we're in the air. In fact, Rachel probably wondered why I didn't sound excited when she called but I'll be excited when we meet with Alma at the Embassy to get the paper saying the kids can come to the US. Rachel if Abraham had his age changed after having the age test or not. The age test just determined that he was young enough to be adoptable. The airline tickets use 12 as the start of adult ticket pricing so we need to know what age all the documents have him as.

I've requested an appointment for the last week in October since Del is swamped with projects now. However, this adoption has been God's timeline forever so we'll see what really happens. :-)

Now I'm making lists and trying to get organized to go! Thanks for everyone's prayers and support over this long process.