Saturday, April 30, 2005

USPS is smiling on me

I am very pleased and surprised, the packages mailed on Thursday, our I-600A to the USCIS in Atlanta and documents to be authenticated, to the NYC Consulate General of the Peoples Republic of China, have already been delivered. Hopefully both agencies will process the paperwork in a timely manner. I am most concerned with the application sent to USCIS as the sooner we can have that approved, the sooner we can have our fingerprints taken and then submit our I-171H which is the next step we need to complete.

Friday, April 29, 2005

At least one person in the Shanahan home will be fashionably dressed

Now I am not a clothes person, I'm very happy in my tee shirts and Birkenstocks. Poor Eammon, he is a victim of my fashion choices as he hasn't been into a clothing store in over 6 years, but maybe things will be different for our little girl.

This morning, the Episcopal Church of St. Peter & St. Paul held their 2nd annual Sweet P's Arts Festival. Since I was was walking by I decided to take a look. Well I hit upon a booth that was wonderful, and I couldn't resist buying some outfits for baby Shanahan. The children's clothing in this booth was just awesome. Almost all of the clothing was made by Lurlyne Williams and was designed by her daughter, Stephanie. Now here was my dilemma, since we're adopting I have a vague idea of when we'll be traveling to pick up Baby S, but even with that I have no real idea how old she'll be. Sure, we asked for AYAP (as young as possible) but that could be 6 months or it could be 12 months of age at referral. So this is what I did, the outfit in the top picture on the right, I bought size 18 months, the outfit that Lurlyne is holding is size 24 months and the outfit with the hat is a size 3. I figure this way I have baby S covered. Honestly if I could have, I would have bought one of each outfit as they were all so well made and adorable. I was looking at their website and down the road, I am sure I will be purchasing additional outfits for Baby S.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hip Hip Hurray!!!

Today is going to be a busy day. Eammon's birth certificate arrived in last nights mail...YEAH!! It has been fully authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in London and is now the very first completed document for our dossier. Much thanks to Eammon's brothers: Michael, for getting the birth certificate and to Tim, for running it all over getting it properly stamped, documented and authenticated.

Well now that I have this, as soon as the photocopy place, the bank and the post office open, I'm going to get all of the necessary documents copied and get bank cheques so that I can mail out our I-600A application to USCIS. YEAH... I am so excited!! I'll also call the social worker and drop off the documents to her. Also today I have a package of documents ready to send to the Chinese Embassy in NYC, so that too will be sent out. After all this is completed this morning, I will go and have a nice lunch with my girlfriend Teresa at Atlanta Bread Company, and enjoy my afternoon!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Boys and their toys

Eammon's new love

Eammon being Vanna White

Eammon's side table

Eammon has been deciding for the past year, which t.v. he was going to get and now that he has made his purchase he is a very happy boy. Look at all of the remotes and still, I'm not allowed to hold one! Do you think that maybe while he is clutching all his remotes and watching t.v. with his eyes closed and his snoring going full force, if I exchanged just the t.v. remote for a you think he would notice?

Friday, April 22, 2005

USCIS on a different front

On April 14, 2005, we filed form N-400, Application for Naturalization (Eammon's application for U.S. citizenship) with USCIS. Well, today we got a response, telling us that they received the application, the fee and the additional fingerprint fee. Wonderful, right? Not so fast. The letter then goes on to state, do not to expect to hear anything, for a period of, no less than 450 days...yes, you read that correctly, it is NOT a typo, four hundred and fifty days!!!! Gosh, I hope that when we file with all the adoption applications they are a lot quicker. Imagine if they didn't go through all the name changes, from INS to BCIS to USCIS, and then raise all their fees to be more efficient! If everything goes according to schedule, our daughter will be a U.S citizen before Eammon!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Our first authenticated document!

When I arrived home this afternoon there was a call from Eammon's brother Tim, letting me know that Eammon's fully authenticated birth certificate has been mailed to us!!! I can't wait to have it in my hot little hands as we will now be able to file our I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) with USCIS and get a copy to the social worker so that she can finish her report. We still need to get some pictures of us together and with other people so maybe this weekend we'll do that. We are so bad at taking pictures, especially if we have to be in them!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

We did NOT have to have the final home study visit!

The social worker emailed, letting me know that we do not have to do another face to face meeting. She said that she really has all the information that she needs and as soon as I get a photocopy of Eammon's birth certificate to her she'll be able to finish up our reports. She let me know that if we have any further questions we can call her and she'll help us over the phone. I am so, so happy that we don't have to do another face to face as my patience for the process has worn thin.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Now if I leave the country, at least I can get back in!

I can't believe it, my new passport has arrived already! The U.S. Department of State Passport Office website states that normally it takes 6 weeks for a standard renewal and I received mine in only two weeks...glad that I didn't pay extra to expedite the passport process. I probably received it so quickly since I was in no rush...if I really was in a crunch and needed it, I would probably be waiting the full 6 weeks, if not longer! We are hoping that Eammon's passport arrives just as quickly as mine.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

CT & MA Secretaries of State are on the ball!

I received my certified documents back from both the Connecticut Secretary of State and the Massachusetts Secretary of State. Both offices were very fast, in fact I received the documents before the checks were presented to my bank! See those pretty gold seals...that must be why I had to pay all those fees!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Slip sliding away............

Eammon has been sick, so this afternoon I took him to the doctor's surgery. He started filling out all the forms but was struggling with them, so he handed them off to me. I am sitting there filling out all the forms and he says to me, "Treacle, don't think I feel so well, not sure if I can sit here too much longer." Just as he finishes saying this, he slowly slips out of the chair and onto the waiting room floor as he quietly passes out. Me being the loving wife that I am, place his extra shirt under his head, then calmly go back to filling in the forms and forging his signature. Well, I figure he can't sign it laying sprawled out on the floor. Once I finished the forms I stepped over Eammon and took them to the receptionist and informed her that my husband was passed out on the floor and asked if there was a more suitable place for him to lay down. I then stepped over Eammon again as I returned to my seat to wait for the nurse and a wheelchair. Hey I figured, he was already on the floor, where was he going to is not like he could fall and hurt himself. I think that the woman sitting across from us watching was ready to jump out of her skin, watching and not seeing me react like she was prepared to do. Once in with the doctor, Eammon was informed that he has the flu and he needs to stay in bed for a few days. Life in our home is never boring!

Privacy?? If you want to adopt...No such thing!!

On Tuesday, the social worker emailed asking to change my individual appointment from Thursday to Wednesday. So at 9 a.m. this morning I had my visit with her. It went OK, just over an hour long as she asked questions all about my childhood, schooling, friends, work history, religion, health, family, relationships, ethics, values, blaa, blaa, blaa.

She is very much into examining losses in our lives and how we coped with them. It seemed that she tried to make issues and traumas out of past events, even though they are in the past, done, finished and are neither an issue nor a trauma. In fact most of the things she harped on, hold little or no memory for me.

She wants us to embrace the home study process. I wanted to ask her if she enjoyed her home study process for her child. (She did not adopt, thus no home study.) I have to wonder how anyone can embrace having someone come into your home and inspect it, interrogate your life history and how you were raised, delve into your finances, review your personal health information, critique your marriage and relationships, and then judge your morals, ethics and values. Then on top of it all, you get the privilege of paying this stranger, for doing all these wonderful things for you!

Well, we have one more visit with her next Wednesday, and then that should be it for pre-adoption. I am ready to get this show on the road...I want my little girl!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Signatures and changes

Eammon was able to get the necessary signatures on his passport photos and renewal form, so tomorrow we'll get all the passport information posted to the British Embassy in Washington, DC and hopefully get it back in a timely manner.

The social worker emailed and wanted to change my individual interview to this Thursday morning and to keep her wrap-up appointment for the following week. This works for me as I would rather do the appointment during the day instead of having it go long into the evening. I still have to get a lot of our paperwork photocopied for her, so I will get that going today or tomorrow so that she can have it all by our final visit. We are still waiting for a copy of Eammon's birth certificate to arrive and that will be the final piece paperwork that the she'll need. I am getting antsy as I want to file the I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) with USCIS, but we can't do that until we receive the birth certificate. I know, I know, it will happen...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pollen count of 3,575...Gee, let's sit outside!

Today Eammon and I were scheduled for our individual visits with the social worker. We woke up to an absolutely gorgeous day and I suggested to Eammon that we do the visit outside so that we could sit and look at the lake and see the ducks and geese as we talked. I had planted my tomato plants, other veggies and herbs in some pots on Friday and though I had wiped off the table it really needed to be hosed off so Eammon did that and then I went out and toweled it dry, and made sure it was dirt and pollen free. Well, the social worker arrived 20 minutes later and she liked the idea of sitting outside so we went out, we sat down and you could have written your name in all the pollen that covered the table. In 20 minutes it looked like a table that hadn't been dusted in a month!

She arrived just before 10 a.m. and had planned to do our individual visits back to back, with approximately an hour for each of us. She said though, that she wanted to talk to us together for "just a couple of minutes", so we all sat down. Seventy five minutes later I was able to leave and Eammon started his individual visit. At just after 12:30 P.M., they came back inside and it was decided that she would do my visit on the date set to do her final wrap-up visit. So, I have a reprieve for a week and a half. Hopefully when she comes next time, she'll do my visit and her little wrap-up visit and we'll be done with all the pre-adoption visits. Then joy of joy, she'll come back post-adoption, for both a 6-month and a 12-month visit.

Eammon has found the visits interesting from the psychology angle, but I find them annoying and intrusive but, I have no choice. I don't mind the social worker, she seems nice enough. I just don't appreciate anyone probing into my life, my finances, my medical history, my morals, ethics and beliefs. Oh well, this too shall pass.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Eammon's birth certificate is on its way to the colonies

Eammon's brother, Michael, who was over visiting from Wales, the week before Easter, was kind enough on his return home, to obtain an original certificate of birth for Eammon. He is mailing it to another brother, Tim, who will take it through all the official channels in London, and then to the Chinese consulate in London, to have the document Authenticated. Much thanks to both Michael and Tim for getting these steps done for us :-)

Michael in our backyard feeding the ducks and geese

Michael is also mailing a copy of the birth certificate to us, and once it is received, we can file our I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) with USCIS.

Michael feeding Jo and JoJo...and getting nipped

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The paperwork never ends!!

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! This week both Eammon and I went and had passport pictures taken, so that we can both renew our passports. I was able to send mine off for renewal this week, but Eammon has to get a special signature on the back of his photos and on his application, because he is living outside the U.K. Hopefully he will be able to get the signatures on Saturday, and then his can be posted.

I sent off my birth and marriage certificates to the appropriate secretaries of state in Massachusetts and Connecticut, to have them certified, and once I receive them back I will be able to send them to the Chinese Consulate in New York to have everything Authenticated. All of our other paperwork, since it will be notarized in Georgia, will first have to go to the Clerk of the Superior Court of the county, in which, the notary is registered. Then, we have to send it to the Secretary of State in Georgia and then finally, to the Chinese Consulate in Texas for Authentication. I think that this is one of the best rackets going, as everyone who looks at and signs these documents, gets paid a fee!

Friday, April 01, 2005

No April fools here

Today was a good day! First, my birth certificate arrived, then both of us returned to the doctor and got the results from our physicals and the completed forms...Yeah, we passed all our tests and got the forms!!!! Then we had the truly unique experience, of going to the Cobb County Adult Detention Center. Oh my gosh... The jail is centered between a county dump on one side and the county recycling plant on the other. The stench there was overwhelming! This was our first, and hopefully, very last time, having to go to the jail...did not like going there. I will tell you though, the officers at the records office were very nice. They asked us all about the baby we hoped to adopt and they were very excited and interested. This was of course, after they ran the criminal history background check on us and saw that we are not wanted criminals and that we have no record...another big yeah...We are NOT criminals! (just in case anyone reading this was concerned or had any doubts)
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