Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Pics

Front: Auri, Jasmine, Max, Myles
Back: Cameron, Madeline, Carter
Spiderman - because why should today be any different
Mommy's little stinker
The Sweat Pea
Ariel - the desired costume only because she got to spray her hair red

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For Mimi!!

Jaime, these were taken late September. I'll take more soon - I just got a new camera, since Max threw mine off of the porch and it sat out there through a rainstorm. Look at that dimple. He's such a cutie. Oh, and after he talked to you on the phone, all Max talked about was Mimi, Hobbes, and Tom.

Everyone else, this is my gorgeous nephew, Austin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My kids are falling apart!

OK, not really. . .
One more thing about the court. I consulted a lawyer who told me that we were perfectly within our rights by calling the representative, and it wasn't inappropriate at all. He thinks the judge's feathers got ruffled and he took it out on us. This made me feel much better. We decided to celebrate.

We had friends and family over today to celebrate Max's finalization. Lots of Indian food, and good company. No sooner had our last guest walked in than I hear, "Kris, he's bleeding." Not exactly a phrase any mom likes to hear. Max had run for a toy, and fallen into our train table. A nice cut right above his eyebrow. Here are the results - 3 stitches, and missing his own party, poor little guy. He did so well though. The only time he cried was for a second when they had to use a needle to numb him since the topical cream didn't do the trick. Mommy actually did ok too :)
Madeline had quite a week too. She was playing "puppy" with Myles, bit his shirt and pulled, and got her first loose tooth, which quickly fell out. She was quite proud, and excited when the Toothfairy came.
We also had a dramatic farm tragedy. I don't need to go into details - just saying that will jog my memory enough.
We're ready for some down time. Uneventful down time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


He signed. It was nearly the most humiliating experience of my life. But Max is ours. Legally and officially - Max Gerald Rup Labonte.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Court

I've expressed my frustration with this plenty on this blog. The thing is there is just no reason for the delay we are experiencing. Last week I wrote letters to Senators and Representatives. One Senator's office got back to me only to inform me that due to ethics they could not be involved with any judicial matters. I don't really understand how that is a breach of ethics, but ok. She did say that if we had any problems with immigration they could assist with that. I wonder if that includes our I-800?

On Tuesday we had a slow day at work. Which is lovely except that I go a little stir crazy. Same desk for 12 hours is bad news with nothing going on. So I got on the phone and called every government office and official that I could find a number for. It was frustrating because none of them felt that they could do anything and several times I was told to talk to the registrar of probate (I can't even count the number of times we've spoken to this person). Everyone kept on saying, the judge sets his own pace. I felt like I was dealing with India again. Then Dan called and told me that there was a message at home that the court was "squeezing us in" on Tuesday! I had no idea what had happened or whether it was a coincidence (which I doubted).

On Wednesday I got a call from our representatives office. She was calling to make sure the probate court had contacted us and to confirm that we did have an appointment on Tuesday. Ahh, someone actually took some action for us! We were already going to vote for this gentleman, but he would have won us over if our votes had been going elsewhere. (John Nutting Rocks!)

We've been told that the paperwork is all prepared and ready for the judge to finalize, but he could still choose to make us come back a second time. We are assuming that he will sign, and we will apply lots of pressure for this to happen. There is no need of waiting any longer. If he does make us come back, it will most likely be a month later. If this happens I will not be a happy woman. I will make my round of phone calls again, and express my outrage to anyone that will listen.

I've had several people lecture me about being nice blah blah blah. I'll be nice until he refuses. At that point all bets are off. I will turn into mama bear protecting her cub. I need to thank my cousin Nicole for role modeling this method for me :) She does this day in and day out, and I'm not sure how. I was exhausted after one round. We all do what we need to for our kiddos.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More info

The "More Info" wasn't quite what I had hoped. It actually isn't much of anything, but I feel more informed. Before I lay it out, I want to clearly state that we're ok with this situation, we trust this agency, and we believe that we will be matched with whatever child God has planned for us.

So, we have one more piece of paper to turn in before we can do our homestudy. This would already be done except that our doctor lost my blood, and then sent us the paper signed but not notarized, and now she is on vacation. And so the frustration begins :)

Our homestudy will be completely done and approved within 6-8 weeks! Then we move on to the new I-800. This has been taking between 90 and 120 days to be approved. THEN we can officially accept her referral.

In the mean time. . . Mehrunissa is in an orphanage that has a brand new international license. They have just started getting the child study reports prepared, and we all know how quickly things happen in India. So whenever they get more information, they will share it with us "unofficially" of course.

It is possible that we won't be matched with this particular little girl. BUT, they don't feel that it will be a problem to match us very quickly with a child that would be a good match for our parameters (we are open to some special needs, and I don't want any lectures or warnings from anyone, thank you).

So that is the new run down. I'm still comfy and doing fine with everything (except the doc messing up) :)

I'll pass on info as it comes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What we've got going on

Now that I've hinted around and people have been asking questions I thought I'd give a run down on what's going on.

Yes, we're adopting again. We are going through MAPS which is based in both Bangor and Portland. They will do our homestudy and be our placement agency. We would have used Dillon again in a second, but they are currently closed to new applications.

We are going about this a little differently this time. We found a little girl on MAPS waiting child list. There is no picture, no name, and very little information. We will call her Mehrunissa. She is one year old right now. MAPS said that this could move quickly, to which I replied "I'll believe it when I see it."

We were hoping to have more information on her this week, but that did not happen. I'm doing quite well without information. I know once I see that face, I'll be wreck again until she comes home. For now I'm quite content to plug along on the paperwork end. I am a control freak, so I have been frustrated when other folks don't do things on the timeline that I feel is appropriate, and I was irked when the lab people "forgot" my blood, so I had to have it drawn again, and slowed that piece of paper down by 4 days. I'm glad that we know what kind of paperwork we'll be needing soon, so we can have it on hand rather than having to wait for it like last time.

So as soon as we get the paper in from that blood test, we'll start work on our homestudy and our dossier at the same time. The other thing that's different (for adoption folks) is that instead of the I-600A there's a new I-800 that we'll need to do. I haven't really looked that over yet, so I'm not sure what's different about it. I know that's what we need the child abuse clearance from NY for.

That's the run down. That's all we know. Adoption is a journey of faith, so that's what we're flying on right now. We're hoping to have Mehrunissa home by summer, but we aren't counting on it by any means. We'll share information as we get it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Court Frustrations

Well, Max Rup has been home for over 10 months now and we still haven't finalized. Refer to my previous post on how we waited for 9 weeks to get fingerprint cards, etc. We contacted our attorney, who was willing to write a letter basically asking what the hold up is. When I called the court to aske them to fax our file to the lawyer, the gentleman told me bluntly that an attorney would not speed up the process "even by 5 minutes." Great. I explained to him that we were pursuing another adoption and needed this to be done. He stated that he was meeting with the judge either this week or the beginning of next and would bring this matter up. He said that he was confident that our case would be heard pretty quickly. I told that wasn't good enough - that I needed to know what "pretty quickly" meant. He said by the end of this year! THAT'S TWO MORE MONTHS! I expressed my astonishment that the process has taken this long. He said that the judge only does this twice a month. So he would hopefully review our case next time, and schedule a time to meet with us the following time, and THEN set a court date. I told him that I had been told the judge may finalize during that first meeting, and asked if it was possible. He said that is up to the judge, but that he would tell the judge of our situation and try to make that happen. He asked if I minded not having it finalized in the courtroom. ARE YOU KIDDING! I wish I didn't even have to meet anyone face to face. I'm so bitter about this, and so frustrated that I just want it done with. I used to envision a lovely gathering of family in the court, a smiling judge with pictures in front of the bench, blah blah. Now I could care less. It's become just another necessary Beuraucratic hoop to jump through. The only bright spot is that since the agency we are using to place Mehrunissa is in Maine, we will be able to choose whether to finalize in our county or the county the agency is in. Hmmm, easiest decision of my life!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Two things - ok, three

1st - I've added the new followers feature and would love if you'd all sign up :)

Top of Monument Hill

Look at those big blue eyes!
2nd - Wicked cute story, I guess this is a Myles week. . . Myles has a little girlfriend named Emy. She's the daughter of the wonderful lady that watches my babies on Fridays. A while ago, Myles told me, "Mom, I'm gonna wear a ring when I grow up." When I asked him why, he said, "because Emy will wear the other ring and that's how people will know we're married."
Today, I told him that Daddy and I were going out tonight to clebrate how long we've been married. He told me, "Well, someday Emy and I will be married that long - When can I marry Emy?" He is so sweet. And the two of them together are just precious!

By the way . . . Happy anniversary Dan! I can't imagine the last 7 years without you. I love how we've done so far, and can't wait to see what the future holds for this awesome family we've built! I love you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I found this on a blog off of a blog . . . you know how you get sucked in. I've read this woman's blog before and she is just lovely. The feelings below are shared by all parents who have adopted. I'm sure.

Here's Mary's story.
Like most folks, John and I didn’t set out to become adoptive parents. We fell in love, got married, and started having babies. Four of them: two boys and two girls. Then we were done. Or so we thought.
Until our baby turned three and I found myself awash in angst over being done with babies. It was 1997 and news stories were all over about the many baby girls in China who needed families. We started talking. Eventually my idea of a baby girl from China became, in 1998, a little boy from Korea. And another little boy from Korea in 2000. By then we were so in love with adoption that between 2004 and 2007 we also adopted four daughters from Ethiopia, two as babies, and two as older girls. Yes, we have ten kids. Yes, it is crazy. But it is also an incredible awe-inspiring blessing.
One of the things adoptive moms wish people understood is that our adopted kids are just our kids. Period. It’s a slap in the face to constantly have people qualify our relationship to each other, to hedge the description with the word ‘adopted’ in every context.
When reporters talk about Angelina Jolie’s children they seem incapable of saying the name Zahara without also saying she was adopted. The same thing happened at the funerals of Bob Hope and Jane Wyman, when mentioning children who themselves were senior citizens and whose adoptions had probably been finalized fifty or more years earlier.
Along those same lines, I feel awkward when people ask me how many of the kids are ‘mine.’ I know darned well that people are asking whether I genetically contributed to their creation. But shouldn’t family just be acknowledged as family, whether blood is involved or not? After all, a family begins from the union of two unrelated people. My husband is ‘mine’. Period. So are my children, adopted and not.
Don’t get me wrong-- the contribution my children’s biological parents made is priceless, essential, and should not be swept under the carpet as if it does not exist. And especially when adopting older children, it takes time for hearts to grow together, for the relationship to be full and strong.
However, my heart does not differentiate between my children born to me and the ones who came after the completion of mountains of paperwork. My interest is just as passionate. My pride is just as fierce. My hopes are just as big. My prayers are just as fervent. My love is just as deep. They’re my kids. Period.
Parenthood is amazing however your children arrive. Adoptive parenthood is neither better now worse than parenting children born to you. Some things are different, yes, but the majority of it is exactly the same. I am humbled to be blessed by the presence of each of my children in my life.
The next time you make introductions involving a friend with adopted children, do everyone the honor of skipping the word ‘adopted’. If your friend and her child don’t look like each other, she fields questions every day, and that will likely be the first question out of the other person’s mouth. But I promise, your friend will appreciate that you chose to honor her very real relationship with her child without making any qualifiers. Family is family, however we come together, and we all would do better to remember that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rated PG-13

I rarely post 2 days in a row, but my sister told me I had to share this story. Very telling about what it's like to live with boys.

Myles was going potty this morning, and I kept on hearing him say "pow, pow." Not really abnormal for him, but there were these long pauses in between. He'd been in there for a while so I decided to check on him.

I walk in to see him holding a tampon, and shooting it like a gun. There was lots of "ammunition" all over the bathroom.

I think I've spoken to a few of you about how boys will turn anything into a gun, but this one was over the top for me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Blog Buzz

To Commit your heart or not? There is much debate in the adoption world about when you throw your heart into the mix. . .upon first sight of that referral picture? Or not until the court date? Homecoming Date? Share your thoughts and experience!

Our referral came sooner than we expected, which is unusual for an Indian adoption. Everyone remembers that phone call, the discussion, and that picture. OH, that picture.

I don't think I had any choice int he matter. As soon as that face came across the screen, I was in love. I knew he was my son from that moment on. And yes, it made the wait for travel excruciating, but I wouldn't change a thing. It made me much more invested in the process, getting things done quickly, etc.

This time around is a bit different. We know there is a girl out there. We know her age and her medical condition, but have not been given access to a name, picture, etc. Even though I know she's out there, I feel pretty detached. The paperwork just feels like paperwork. I wish that I did feel more connected. That guarded feeling makes it not seem real. I keep on waiting for something to go wrong or fall through.

I think the picture, the name, D.O.B. - All of those things that we connect with identity - that's when my heart gets thrown in. I fall head over heels. And despite the emotional risk and uncertainty, I can't wait to do it again.