Thursday, June 30, 2005

Elvis has left the building

Well, OK, really what has happened, is that our document have left for Houston! I did my best, which pales in comparison to Rod, but I did what I could. Trust me, if the Chinese Consulate had been closer than an 815 mile drive, I may have attempted it, but I still feel like I accomplished a lot.

It still tickles me, how this certification and authentication process works. In the picture below, the woman on the left, in black, is the notary. Then the woman in the stripes, is certifying, that the woman to her right, is a notary. Then I got to drive to downtown Atlanta to have the Secretary of State certify that the woman in strips is allowed to say that the woman in black is really a notary and that I am who I say I am, and well, you get the the picture...

Cobb Notary Office / Documents sent to Houston

By noon, all the documents were posted to Houston, and now I just have to wait...again...

Thanks to everyone for the cheers and joining in and doing the happy dance!

Note: Even though I was tempted, I drove right past the brand new IKEA, which opened only yesterday...I was on a mission!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tell me it isn't so...

It is so here!! Yes! After 36 days our I-171H has arrived!! I was having a lousy day, but now I forgot all about it because we are approved, we are approved dooo-ing the happy dance, dooo-ing the happy dance!!

Earlier today I spoke with Meredith at CCAI, and she said that we had been approved, and that we should receive the *beautiful* approval today or tomorrow, but I was not going to believe anything until I had it in my hot little hands, and now I have it!! YEAH!!

Tomorrow I have my route all mapped out. First I will go to Marietta Square to the Cobb Notary Office, where one person will notarize all the documents, and then another person, in the same office, will certify that the notary is really a notary. Then I will head to downtown Atlanta to the Secretary of State's office and get everything certified. This step will certify that the person, who I paid a fee to, who said the notary is really a notary, is really the person, who is allowed to say the notary is a notary...and for this, I get to pay another fee. Confused yet? Next I will stop in at the bank to get a money order for the Chinese Consulate, and finally, I will get everything photocopied and mailed off to the Chinese Consulate in Houston, to have the Secretary of State's signature authenticated, to say that the Secretary of State, is really the Secretary of State and allowed to sign off on my paperwork. And yes, in case you were wondering, I doooo, get to pay a fee for this too.

Still doing the happy dance...hoping to be DTC sometime in July!!!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Breaking news...not what I wanted to hear

I received this earlier today:

Hi Lisa,
Just wanted you to know that I contacted Immigration Services on
your behalf and they stated that they were currently working on/reading your home study. You should receive it shortly (next week). They have had a lot of volume this month, but you are in good hands!

Case Manager

Maybe the phone call will set them in motion, and I will actually receive the approval next week.

FYI: The unopened box of chocolates has been frozen. Let's see if I can continue exhibiting superhuman self control by not opening and polishing off the whole box before my *stinking* form gets here!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A package for *ME*

No, it is not our stinking I-171H (can you feel my frustration?)

But, it is something that in the short run, will help me drown my frustration and anxiety. It's not my birthday, my anniversary, nor any other special day, but my parents decided to send *ME* a box of chocolates. Now I am not talking about your normal, everyday, pedestrian chocolates like Godiva, which I could get anytime, but don't consider to be worth eating or as anything special. What I am talking about, are my favorite, taaangy, darrrk, rrrich, smooooth (bet you want some) Legendary Lemon Satin Cremes from Ethel M. These chocolates are gorgeous, even orgasmic... And guess what, the entire pound and a quarter box is *MINE*. What a pity, Eammon neither likes lemon with chocolate, nor dark chocolate...Thus, they are mine, mine, mine!!

Now it is even more important that I make six times twice hourly trips to the mailbox, I will need to work off all the calories!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

No Joy in Georgia!

Nothing, Nil, Zippo, Zilch...That is what my mailbox produced! Today was 4 weeks since our application for our I-171H was received at USCIS in Atlanta. I spoke with the Meredith at our local CCAI office, and she told me that none of the 6 families whose applications were submitted on the same day as ours, have received their approvals. I am so stressed... Meredith said that if the approvals are not received by this Friday, that she would call her super secret number and talk to her special contact at USCIS. Let's hope, that the phone call is unnecessary and that my mailbox produces something better than bills and junk mail!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Meeting other CCAI parents to be

Last night we met Heather and Billy (on the right) for a Ruby (Indian food) at Raja in Buckhead. Heather had found my blog and left a message for me a couple of posts back, and little did she realize what she was getting herself into! After back and forth email messages, we decided to meet. We had great food and we sat and chatted for a couple of hours. We are both at about the same stage in our paper chase, so who knows we may end up traveling together. It was fun getting together with another couple who is stressing just like we are. Heather & Billy, thanks for a fun night!

I-171H Update: Tuesday will be 4 weeks since our home study and I-171H application were received by USCIS in Atlanta. I'm diligently stalking the postman and am still being told that we should have the approval within the supposed 4 week wait...but, I am antsy, I want it here!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The never ending kitchen remodel has ended!

Kitchen Before, day of home inspection

When we purchased our home, we knew that the kitchen was going to be a MAJOR project, especially on a tight budget. I mean, look at the before 80's can you get? (What the pictures don't show, is that not only was there a yellowish, pillow tile floor, green and off-white tile counters, almond cooktop, black appliances, but originally there was pink...yes pink wallpaper! And lucky for us, the previous homeowner painted one coat of cheap white, flat, builders grade paint over the lovely pink paper!) The appliances were top of the line...if you didn't want to cook! I remember the inspector saying that it would be quicker to heat water on the cooktop than in the microwave. Why you may ask? Well, on the electric cooktop, every setting produced high heat, and the microwave, only, took 8 minutes to heat a cup of water to boiling! But now, I am pleased to announce, that the kitchen is complete, done, finished, fini. And here are some after pictures.

Kitchen, June 2005

Now I get to start decorating little baby Shanahan's room!

I-171H Update: Two weeks ago today, our home study and I-171H application were received by USCIS in Atlanta; at 7:04 a.m. We are still within the supposed 4 week wait...but just in case, I check the mailbox often!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It's hip to be square.

Would you like to help with our daughter's 100 Good Wishes Quilt?

100 Good Wishes Quilt
made by Original Quilts

Sample wishes

What is the 100 Good Wished Quilt all about?
To welcome and celebrate a new life, a tradition exists, in the northern part of China, to make a Bai Jia Bei (a.k.a. 100 Good Wishes Quilt). The family invites friends and family to contribute a square of cloth along with their wish for the baby. Part of the square goes into the quilt and the other part, goes into a scrapbook with the wish for the child. The quilt is said to contain the luck, energy, and good wishes from everyone who contributed a piece of fabric.

But Lisa failed HomeEc and can't sew on a button to save her life!
Well, I am going to take some quilting classes and see if maybe I can learn a thing or two. (If there are any family or friends out there that love to sew, and want to take on a project, I wouldn't turn down an offer!) But, if necessary, there are some wonderfully talented quilters who specialize in assembling these quilts, whom I could hire.

Would you like to be hip too? Here's what you do:
Choose a machine washable, 100% cotton fabric that you like. The fabric can be new or "used and meaningful." Before you cut your fabric, please pre-wash it so that it has done all the shrinking that it is going to do, and then, cut one 7"x7" square. (The finished size of the squares in the quilt will be 5”x5”, so if you are adding anything to your square, please keep this in mind.)

Please then add a note with your good wish for our daughter. Your wish can be simple or elaborate: of your own words and thoughts, a favorite poem or quote, or whatever. One of the fabric squares will help make up the quilt, and the other square will be matched with your wish and go into a memory book for little Baby Shanahan. When she is older, she will be able to match up the wish and the fabric, to her quilt. The quilt will be a way to give her some sort of history, as she will someday know that while she was in a Chinese orphanage; so many people thought of her and loved her. Please remember to sign your wish and include your city, state and country. Pictures of yourselves would be good too, if you would like to include them!

Where do we send the squares?
Since I don't want to post our address to the internet, please send us an
email to let us know you want to contribute. Also, if you too are building a quilt for your child and would like to trade, let me know that too! I have plenty of fabric and good wishes to go around and would love to help.

Thank you for helping us make this quilt for our daughter. We appreciate your kindness and please know that the quilt will hold a special place in our hearts. Through this quilt, our daughter will know just how much she was loved before she ever set foot in our home.

So, what got me started on this quilting adventure? Some of my favorite bloggers are making quilts: Do They Have Salsa in China?, Gwenblog and The Teague Family Adoption, so check out their sites too!
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