Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Down to Number 46 Now.

Sorry, I kind of got away from blogging and keeping you updated weekly! We are now down to #46. We have had several more referrals in the past 2 weeks and this week and next our agency is closed for the holiday season. On our Yahoo group, one of the waiting families informed all of us that they were dropping out although they were #1 on the list for a girl. They were given the opportunity to adopt a little boy domestically and felt led to accept the opportunity to welcome this little boy into their family. So although, after the end of last week, we expected to finish the year out at #47, we now moved one more place to #46 and are that much closer to our son.

Yes, we are open to either a boy or girl, but the waiting list is much shorter for those wanting a boy and more people want a girl. Initially when we started this adoption journey with China, we expected to have a girl, but as with pregnancy, you wouldn't really have a choice in the matter and decided to be open to either a boy or girl. And am very excited to have a son, eventually. In fact, we haven't even considered any girl names, but have most likely decided on a boy's name, long ago. At this time though, we aren't sharing the name yet, but will eventually. When, who knows? But am hoping for that referral this spring or sooner. Since we are in the mid-40s and the last little boy referrals went to families in the mid-20s on the waiting list, it all depends on how many families between those #s are open to a baby boy. It's starting to get exciting over here. Let's hope Kevin gets the best birthday or even early-birthday present of his life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3 More

3 more referrals were made by or agency and 3 more spots we moved on the list to #51. Our agency is closed the last 2 weeks of the year for the holidays. Last year, there was a downpour of referrals just before they closed for the holidays, so let's hope for a repeat of that. If the # of referrals keep up the way they have been, our agency is saying there is a good chance of wait times decreasing. So lots to pray about.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet Savings

In the past 2 days, I went to both Walgreen's and CVS and spent only $2.89 , but got Dawn Dish Soap, 2 packages of paper plates and Quilted Northern Toilet Tissue, 9 rolls. Dawn was on sale at CVS usually it is $2.29 and they had it on sale for 99 cents; plus I had a $1 coupon, so I paid only sales tax. Since I bought it in downtown Chicago (which has the nation's highest sales tax, 11.25%, had I gone to the Walgreen's near my house , it would have only been 7% sales tax) I spent a whole 9 cents. Walgreen's had the paper plates, 48 ct. on sale with the store coupon for 2 for $3 and the Quilted Northern was $4.29. I also had Walgreen's Register Reward of $5, so that made the total 2.80. In addition, they were giving $1 Register Rewards for buying the Quilted Northern, which I'll use next shopping trip.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Three Years Ago Today & Now

It was three years ago today that I mailed our application to C*H*I. I would never have imagined that we would still be waiting after 3 years. But these past few weeks have had lots of referral. Two weeks ago, wethere were 6 referrals, last week, there were 2 referrals given, and yesterday, there were 6 and today one referral. I figured , we were about #59 overall. I just heard back from my adoption worker and she has us at #55. Yesterdays'referrals for baby boys in our same age range went to families who were in the mid 20s. The families who were ahead of those families were requesting either girls or siblings. Not sure though how many people between 55 and the mid-20s are requesting boys in the same age range, though. I'm still guessing that our referral will come sometime this spring. Right now, families who received referrals for baby boys waited a little over 11 months.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Moving, Moving

This past week there was a downpour of referrals. 6 in all. 5 boys and 1 girl. We are now 66 on the list, I believe. There was also some courtdates that were given. Things finally seem to be moving again in the Ethiopia program.

I had to add the word verification to my comments, since I was getting spam in my comments. Just type the word and then you can post your comment. Hopefully this will help keep the spammers away.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Better than I thought!

Last week, I got an e-mail from our adoption consultant. Just checking in and updating us on our our position on the list. For a change, the number she gave was less than the number I had figured. I had thought we about #75 and she said we were #71. Almost out of the seventies. We're moving on down! Now we just need a splurge of referrals.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Down 2

There was a referral of a 7 and a half year old girl and a waiting child was placed. So that brings us down 2 places to about 75. We're all hoping for a referrals to pour in soon. Usually once courts open, there are soon after, but courts are not opened full-time just yet. Their is quite a bit of training going on.

Small Purchase, Big Savings



Yesterday, I stopped at CVS for just a couple items. If you bought $15 of Energizer batteries, you got $5 in Extra Value Bucks to use in a future purchase. So I bought 2 four packs of Lithium AA batteries. They also had buy one get one free on Almay blush. Without coupons and sales, everything would have come to over $46.00, but with the sales and the $10.00 in coupons, I saved $25.57 and only spent $21.57. Not a bad day for only 4 purchases.

I was looking at the Meijer One Day Sale items and was really excited to see that they have 3 lb. bags of honeycrisp apples for $1.99; I think I usually see honeycrisp apples going for $2.99 a pound.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CVS Savings

I haven't shared any of my savings lately. Last week, I had a very successful CVS shopping trip. I bought the above, plus one more package of cotton swabs. Had I not bought the items on sale that I did, as well as without coupons it would have come to a little over $70.00. But along with sales, including 3 buy one, get one free items, 1 buy one, get 1 50% off and $15.25 in coupons, I ended up spending only $32.52 and I got $6 in extra value bucks that I can use next time. This week's sale ad looks pretty good and I'll try to put up a post to report my savings.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm Back!!!

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I blogged. Courts were closed for part of August and most of September. due to the rainy season. Courts are now open, but there is training and stuff going on so they aren't totally back to normal yet. During the past couple months referrals were very slow, but the past 2 weeks saw about 6 referrals. Also, a few weeks ago I found out where on the list we were . I had figured we were further down the list than we really were, but there were/are 4 families ahead of us who are on hold, so until they get off hold, my guess of where we were on the list was close. I think we are about #77 on the list. Hopefully with courts having just opened, there will be referrals starting to roll in soon and I'll have more to blog about.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last Week

Just realized I forgot to report the good news that three referrals were given out a 4 1/2 month baby boy and 10 week and 4 1/2 month baby girls. So we should be down to about 81 on the list. So we are moving down the list; slowly it seems but surely I guess. We started out 2 1/2 months ago at #98 and as of today, we moved 17.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekly Update

There were 2 referralks this week a 2-month baby girl and a sibling set of a 3 year old boy and his 3-month old sister. The families waited 12 and 16 months, respectively. So we now are about #84 on the waiting list. The family ahead of us in line were told about 10 more months. I think there request is for a 12-24-month old boy, while we are open to eith a girl or boy up to 18 months.

Currently, there are 60 families in Home Study/Dossier stage, 96 families waiting to be matched, 40 families with referrals, waiting to travel, and 7 families in Ethiopia receiving their children right now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

News!

The investigation into the abandonment cases is over and abandoned children will now be referred and court dates for previously referred children who had been referred will now be getting court dates. But for the next 2 weeks, MOWA (Ministry of Woman Affairs) will be closed for 2 weeks for training; hopefully once this is over, everyone will be well-trained and things will gop smoother. More good news is that court will not be closing for the rainy season this year from August to October. Once MOWA re-opens the backlog of those waiting courtdates should be processed. Also last week, there were 3 referrals. One for a 3 month old baby boy, another for a 9 month old baby girl and a sibling referral of a 3 year old boy and a 5 yr. old girl. These families waited 11, 12, and 5 months. We have moved down the list to about #86

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anyone Say Couponing Doesn't Save One Enough Money

I just figured out my June coupon savings, which was $60.14. That brings me to half year point of $234.75 on coupons used. That's more than I saved in either 2006 or 2007 and I only need to save about 40 more dollars and I'll have saved even more than I did last year. I thought $303 dollars was good, but I expect that I will blow that amount out of the water. And I am not as compulsive as somepeople about coupons. I don't even count restaurant coupons, but I try to use even them as often as possible. We'll be up in the U.P. and expect that this weekend will probably be sadly a coupon-free weekend. Well better go pack.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Referrals

Last week there was a sibling set on the waiting child list that was placed and today there was a referral of a sibling set and also an infant boy. So we moved down 3 more spaces and are about #89 on the waiting list.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Basically $2 for John Frieda in Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangler

Another big sucess today; this time at Walgreen's. They had John Frieda hair products on sale and if you buy 3, you get $5 in Register Rewards. Well last week, I think, the Sunday coupons in the newspaper had coupons for $3 off John Frieda Root Awakening Products. And since my parents and a friend gives me their coupons, I had several, so I was able to use a coupon on each of the 3 coupons, which even with my mediocre math skills comes to $9. The total came to $7.05 and if you count $5 off that I will be using in the next 2 weeks, that would make the purchase like $2.05, about 68 cents each; SWEET! Well, maybe I should actually see how I like the shampoo, etc. after I use it tomorrow. With the month 2/3 over, I have used $43.14 in coupons. That means with the year almost half over, I have saved $217.45 with coupons and am just about $15 dollars shy of my coupon and rebate savings for the entire year of 2006. I am astounded!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another Referral

This week a family on the list accepted a referral of siblings from the waiting child list. So we moved up one on the waiting list to about #92.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another reason I Love CVS


During lunch today, I went to CVS and bought the above, plus some lotion which isn't shown. Everything I bought was on sale; had it not been on sale it would of cost $72.78, but since it was on sale it $51.16, plus tax, but Kevin doesn't call me the coupon queen for nothing. I used $23.25 in coupons, so the everything came to $29.96 with tax. Plus since CVS gives store coupons and extra value bucks, I received $13.00 in extra value bucks. plus $15 worth of store coupons. Wow, I can't wait to see what is on sale next week.



Saturday, June 6, 2009

This week there was a referral of 7 week old twin girls. The lucky family waited a record-breaking 15 months. The wait for siblings is the longest of the waits. I think the wait for a baby girl is about 11-12 months and for a baby boy about 10-11 months. There were also 2 families who accepted referrals of waiting children, a boy age 5 and a 7 year-old girl. So we should have moved down three more places on the list and be about #94.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Officially Added to the Waiting List

This post is long overdue.In fact, I thought I posted here, but I must have done it on Facebook only. On May 22nd, our dossier returned to our agency from D.C. all authenticated. That means we were added to the waiting list. We started out approximately as #98 on the waiting list and since there was one referral this week of a baby boy, we are now down to #97. This waiting list is all-inclusive and includes everyone, regardless if they are waiting for a baby boy or girl, toddler boy or girl, older child, special needs child or siblings; so our waiting list # does not represent exactly how long we will wait. When I was sent the e-mail that we are on the list, I was told the wait can be anywhere from 6-13 months. Based on what the waiting has been lately for a baby boy, it should be about a 10 1/2 month wait. Could of course be sooner or even later. The wait for a baby girl is about 11 1/2 months, but many more people are requesting girls, so I'm guessing, we'll have a son, but who knows!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our dossier was sent to Washington D.C. for authenication. It should get back to our agency in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy day!

Today was a really good day for alot of us in the Ethiopian program. There were 4 referrals at our agency 2 infant girls and 2 infant boys. Other good news is our dossier arrived at our agency, this morning. They will review it and then it will be sent to Washington D.C. for authentication. This whole process is expected to take 2 and a half to 3 weeks and once the dossier is returned to our agency, we will be added to the waiting list.

Here are 2 updates regarding the aband children issue in Addis Ababa. The first one is from a couple days ago and this one is from today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

St. Louis Bound

The last few documents for our dossier were state certified today and at lunch, I FedExed the whole dossier to our agency in St Louis. It should arrive Wednesday morning and they will ready it to be authenicated and send it to D.C. for authentication. It is such a relief to have this part out of the way. Now let's all keep our fingers crossed and pray for no more problems.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting close

Most of the documents for our dossier have been notarized and all we need is our police clearance letters. We will be stopping in at our police department in the morning and hopefully, we will receive the letters early in the week. Also, I need to get the pictures developed that we may use in our dossier. Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll be able to get everything certified. I need to first e-mail copies of all the notarized docs to my adoption consultant at the agency.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

But I Do Love CVS

My last post was more-or-less about hate, but this one is about love, my love for how much I can save at CVS. This week I made 3 shopping trips to CVS (that's a record for me) but even better I saved $54.00. Last Sunday, after having to chuck all my make-up and buy new stuff, because I became allergic to something in my current make up, I noticed they had a buy one get one free sale on Almay Cosmetics (which is hypo-allergenic, which my doctor recommended)I bought Almay Foundation, Blush, Mascara, Eyeliner, and Eye Shadow. I had 4 $1 Almay coupons, I had a CVS coupon of $4 0ff $20 and another CVS coupon of $10 . I saved 30.00 on that shopping trip, plus I got a couple CVS coupons back to use later. Friday, I bought some mouthwash and some personal female products. It should have cost $24 plus tax, but I had 2 $2 coupons and $1 coupon, also I had a $4 off $20 CVS coupon and a $3 CVS coupon, so I saved $12 and paid just 13.82 and also got a few CVS coupons, including $8 extracare bucks that you can use on anything. But I had really wanted to buy some Neutrogena face powder, which was advertised as being 40% off, so I decided to stop at another CVS a block away (I was in downtown Chicago, so there's a CVS or Walgreen's, it seems on every other block) So, I got the Neutrogrena powder, which is usually $10.99 , but was 40% off . Since I wanted to use that $8 off coupon, before it expired and I knew I'd be a buck or so under $8, I grabbed some breathmints (always comes in handy) for 1.99 and went to the cashier. It came up before coupons $8.59, so after the $8 extracare coupon, I spent only 59 cents. I wish I would have had a Neutrogena coupon, but I had not clipped any coupons for this before, because I was happy with my brands of make-up, but that was before I developed a makeup allergy and needed to splurge on all new makeup , but I am extremely happy with my savings. At this pace, I am going to beat last years record on money saved on coupons and rebates (I don't count store sale price differences or anything, like some do. Maybe I should but that would be too time-consuming and it is much easier to just jot down savings from coupons and rebates.

Another Reason to H*a*t*e My Employer

My company was bought late last year and this year when those of us who kept our jobs started working at the new company, we were all in consensus that we were not a bit happy and if it wasn't for the economy, we'd have been out of there. Well, I like the others are hanging in there and was in fact having a surprisingly good work week. Well, WAS is the operative word. Since Kevin and I have decided to move forward and continue our adoption to Ethiopia with the same agency, were also told that us having to re-do our entire home study was a misunderstanding; it would not need to be redone. We could just get a new employment letter discussing that the current company I work for is "the company" that bought my "old company" and my salary as of 2007-2008 was "X" and my benefits included such and such. Well, with the old company, the office manager and later the managing attorney signed the letter stating my income and benefits, but this time when I talked to the office manager. She said she'd have to check what the company policy is regarding this (okay). I gave her a copy of the actual letter that was everything that must be included in the letter. Well, she came back to me the next day (Friday) and gave me a letter. All she could provide me was my salary and my current salary. My agency says the salary in the employment letter must match the home study EXACTLY. Doesn't matter that it is more, it has to match to a "T". She said that since I am no longer with "the old company", she does not have access to such information. In addition, she also said she is not able to include benefit information, because she does not have access to that information. I did say I could provide her with that information and she still said she couldn't do it, because my benefits are none of her business. After I called my husband (who luckily was on his way to work since he started work late that day), I totally ranted and raved to him. Of course, I went out of the building, where no one could hear me from work and to get a signal for my cellphone. Now, of course, Kevin said we'll work everything out, and that we've had so many hurdles and this is just one more we'll get over. I have no idea what we'll do, I've got to send my adoption consultant as well as my home study social worker an e-mail about this major problem. I so cannot wait for the economy and especially, the job market to improve, so I can get out of where I am. What's a shame is before the company I was working for was bought, I was extremely happy with my job. Nowadays, my co-workers who were also my former co-workers realize that our complaints we had before with the old company were nothing compared to our complaints now. We really had it good before.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Somewhere Out There

Somewhere Out There

performed by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight

Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer
That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there if love can see us through
Then we'll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there if love can see us through
Then we'll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

It's Me; Can You Believe It? Anyone Still Out There?

I know I all, but disappeared it seems. Just totally was not in a blogging mood. In the neanwhile I discovered Facebook and followed some blogs. In a nutshell, here is a little of what's been happening or not happening.

We're kind of in a holding pattern trying to decide what we want to do. We filed our paperwork with USCIS for the country change, plus the change in our homestudy agency and waited and waited to hear something and then last month, I finally e-mailed USCIS to see if they received the paperwork and what the status of things were and they e-mailed back that they processed the paperwork end of December, but they don't send a new 171-H. I'm thinking, well, how the heck were we suppose to know this when you didn't send any kind of letter or e-mail or anything. Then, we were working on our dossier and getting it pretty close to done when I found out that our employment letters did not match the homestudy, we had done a few months ago. We were told to just have our employers issue new employment letters with our old salary figures. That would have been no problem for Kevin since his employer is the same, but with my company was bought by another company and at the beginning of this year, we are now employees of the other company, so I couldn't have my employer do a new employment letter, since the employer is now a different company and the current employer would be different than in the homestudy, . Our other option was to get a new homestudy, which would need to be approved by DCFS, which would have taken a lot of time, since DCFS is often so slow. By the time, we were re-approved by DCFS, a lot of our dossier paperwork would have expired. So, we decided that between these problems, the uncertainty of my job, our growing discontent with our placement agency, etc., we decided it was best we decide which way we wanted to take things. We knew we would change placement agencies and we were unsure if we would switch countries yet again, Nepal or a domestic - an African American/biracial adoption. Nepal is out, since the government is only allowing each approved agency to submit 10 applications a year and the agency we got info from has met their quota for 2009 and 2010. 2011 is too far off and in that time, they could end up closing down again just as they did for 18 months to revamp their adoption system and just as Vietnam did this past summer. We're still not sure if we want to stay with Ethiopia or go with an AA/biracial domestic adoption. No matter, which we choose, things will be unpredictable; adoption always is, it seems.