Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Last Homestudy Visit

Today was our last homestudy visit. I spent the morning getting the house ready - luckily, the kids were cooperative and both took an afternoon nap.The homestudy visit went well. We feel pretty positive about everything and would be really surprised if we weren't approved. Nichole was really nice and even though the kids were a bit crazy at times (Danielle was full of energy and running around - she kept bonking her head on things, though - it was pretty funny), the visit was a very pleasant one.

After Nichole left, Scott and I sat down and watched coverage of Hurrican Katrina. It is just incredible the devastation that has been left by this hurricane. Apparently, the levy that keeps water out of New Orleans (which is below sea level) cracked in two places. 80% of New Orleans is underwater! They say that there could be as many as a thousand people dead in New Orleans alone. And there are probably hundreds dead in Mississippi as well. I think this may be one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the U.S. And, to top this all off, there are looters who are wreaking absolute havoc in New Orleans as well. Some people are just taking food and water in order to survive, but others are taking advantage of the situation, which is pretty much complete chaos. CDW is going to do a 4 to 1 donation match for the hurricane relief fund, so we will be giving through them.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Noah, it is!

We picked out a name for (previously) Louis! Scott decided to ask Jaden what name he liked out of our top three - Derrick, Emmanuel and Noah. Jaden said he liked Noah the best. We even tried asking him again and ordering the names differently and he definitely said that Noah is his favorite. So, we decided to go with Noah! I guess it's funny that we let Jaden decide, but we couldn't really decide anyway. I was kind of happy that he hadn't picked Derrick, since this was my least favorite of the three. I was torn between Emmanuel and Noah, though. And Scott said that he liked all three. Anyway, it looks like we're sticking with Noah!

Monday, August 22, 2005

More Names

We talked about names some more today. I brought up the name Noah. During the service when God first told me that we should adopt, Noah was one of the main examples that Mike Breaux used to illustrate someone who obeyed God, even though people thought he was crazy and he wasn't sure of the outcome. I thought that this would be a good, meaningful name that we could use. Scott agreed. So, now we've got our list down to three names - Derrick, Emmanuel and Noah.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What's in a Name?

Today felt like a busy day, but we really didn't do all that much. Scott had to work in the morning, so we went to the 11:15 service at church. The service was about keeping our promises (especially those to God), even when it's hard to do. This service once again really confirmed for Scott and I that we are going down the path that God wants for us. We know that it may be difficult at times, but we have made a promise to God and we are going to follow through.

Scott and I also spent some time talking about a new name for Louis. We just don't think that Louis Hewitt sounds right at all, so I think we're definitely going to change it. We like Emmanuel for a few reasons -

1. It is a common name in Haiti, so it keeps his Haitian heritage.
2. It means "God with us" which we think is extremely appropriate.
3. It is a somewhat common (but not too common) African American name, so he would fit in with other black people here in the US.

We're still not positive, though. I wish it was a bit shorter, since he will have to spell it a lot. Also, it might be hard for him to say (if he's at all oral) and if he hears at all, he might not hear well enough to tell the difference between "Danielle" and "Emmanuel" - they sound very similar.

So, we're still working on the name thing.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Visit with the Bremmers

Today was an interesting day. We had Scott's friend Mike Bremmer and his family over for dinner. Mike and his wife are both Deaf. I was a bit afraid that it would be awkward and that I really wouldn't be able to communicate, but it was a lot better than I thought. In general, Mike is pretty easy to understand because he talks pretty well. And I was better at signing than I thought I would be. Probably the best way for us to continue to learn sign language is to attempt to keep in contact with Deaf people and to go to Deaf events. Unfortunately, I found out on Friday that we can't get into Sign 201 at Harper. The class is already more than full and they won't let anyone else join. I was really disappointed and upset at myself for letting this situation happen. I've been so focused on getting things ready for the homestudy and the dossier that I lost sight of the fact that school was about to start again. I guess at this point, money needs to go toward the adoption, not toward school, but I still am a bit concerned that we are going to fall out of practice.

Anyway, it was nice to have Mike's family here. I don't think his 7 year old daughter was too thrilled to be here, though. She was bored and didn't appreciate a 3 year old chasing after her. It was a bit cool, but everyone but me still went in the pool for at least a little while. I'm glad they were able to enjoy it. Mike and his wife (her name is Russian - Merana?) were very nice and have said that we should come to their house some day soon.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Police Letter

So, today we went to the Mundelein police station and I filled out a form to get my criminal background check. Jaden got a Junior Police Officer badge, which was pretty cute.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fingerprints and Police Letter

We went to Waukegan today so that I could get my fingerprints done. This ended up being very stressful because I didn't have the homestudy agency address with me. I had to make a ton of phone calls before I finally got it from information. Ugh! But, the fingerprinting was simple.

This evening, I tried going to the Mundelein police department to get the form I need to fill out for my criminal background check, but the officer who was there had no idea what I was talking about. I'll have to go back again tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Are You Insane?

Today we went to the bank and got money orders for our I-600A form and for our fingerprinting. Then, we went to Kinkos and Fed-Exed the I-600A. The kids were very good, ecept they got pretty wild at Kinkos. I kept having to tell Jaden to stop playing with things and Danielle found a whole rack full of tubes that she thought was great fun to play with. And, of course, then Jaden thought that looked fun as well and he joined in. They guy was trying to ask me how I would like to send the documents while I was attempting to put tubes back into the metal holder. It was very crazy! Then, I asked him about printing labels online and he asked what types of things I usually send. I told him that I was adopting and would need to be sending a lot of things Fed-Ex. It didn't occur to me until I was driving away that he must have thought I was crazy! Here I am, fighting to keep two little children from wreaking havoc on the store (and losing the fight), saying casually, "Yeah, I'm adopting." He was probably thinking, "Are you insane?"

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

1st Homestudy Visit

Today was our first homestudy visit. It seemed like it went very well. There were times, though, when you wondered about what she wasn't saying. For instance, she asked us about why we had decided to adopt and we told her honestly that we felt led to do it. I told her a very truncated version of the story of how I felt God told me that we should adopt. She just kind of nodded and didn't say anything. It felt so strange because we have no idea if she even believes in God - so the story was kind of hard to tell. But, overall, I think the visit went very positively. We are going to schedule our next visit later in the week.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Homestudy Educational Meeting

We went to the educational meeting for our homestudy today. Even though Scott was still sick, it went well. We were there for about four hours and we had a good feeling when we left. Mostly, it made us happy about the situation with COTP. As Nichole (the social worker) was talking about the unknowns in orphanages, we really felt positive about the updates and pictures that we get from COTP. Many people only get a tiny photo and a medical page.

We made an appointment for our first home visit - She's coming on the 9th at 8:00 AM. Of course, we realized that we really need to make absolutely sure that everything is baby-proofed before she comes (we really need to do it anyway), so we stopped at Home Depot and Babies R Us and picked up some things.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Trip to get Birth Certificates

I drove out to Waukegan to get Jaden and Danielle's birth certificates and our marriage certificate. I forgot to bring the directions - Luckily, I remembered what they said and miraculously didn't make any wrong turns. Unfortunately, when I got there, I had a hard time finding a parking space. Dragging the kids two blocks to get there was not something I was looking forward to. I ended up driving around a couple of times and luckily a spot opened up right in front of the building. I was not thrilled at the prospect of paralell parking, but the spot was big enough that I managed it with relative ease. Of course, I went in the furthest entrance from the office I needed to go to. I had to walk through the entire building (with the kids in tow, of course). The good thing was, the actual process of getting the certificates was pretty easy. I thought I might have to wait an hour or something to get them, but they were able to print them immediately. And I got a little clipboard and a pencil for Jaden. He was able to color while we waited. The biggest issue was keeping Danielle from walking away. Now that she can walk, I can't keep her to stay still!

Monday, August 1, 2005

Paperwork Snag

I am more confused than ever about the paperwork for the adoption. I thought that I understood it correctly - that if Scott and I went to visit Louis before the adoption was final then we wouldn't have to become foster parents. But, now I'm not so sure. I'm trying to find out for sure if we will get an adoption decree in Haiti, or just guardianship. If we get the decree, we don't have to do the foster thing. I would sure like to avoid that!Anyway, it's all more confusing than ever. And I found out that we were missing some paperwork for the homestudy. She said that she was going to fax it to me right away, but I never got it. Urgh! Oh well - at least she said that we were scheduled for the educational session this Saturday. Now I just have to find out the details - where, when, how long, etc.