Saturday, October 27, 2012

Highs and Lows. Ups and Downs.

Just when I give up hope that Sara will be coming home for Christmas, I get some news that makes it seem like a possibility again.

Generally, I am not a super emotional person. I'm not a crier. Well, I wasn't. This process has put me on an emotional roller coaster that I'm not sure anyone can prepare for. I'm a mess. Everyone around me wants to be encouraging and hold onto hope but sometimes it's just so hard. A lot of times, I convince myself that she isn't coming home until January because it's just easier. Then, something happens and I get my hopes up again.

I got an email this week from USCIS. My I-800 has been approved and is in the mail. This means, there is still hope of Sara coming home before Christmas. This news has put me into full nesting mode. I've been buying the last few things on my list that I need for Sara. I'm putting the finishing touches on her play room. (Her room is already done.) I dragged a bed frame out of the garage to put together for the guest room. (I've been tripping over that thing for almost 2 years and never bothered before.) I rearranged my classroom. It's bad.

I know that my hopes are up too high. I know that I will be really hurt if she isn't home by Christmas. I also know that I have NO CONTROL over this. I am waiting for her Article 5 to be granted and then for a court date. This date will be set by ICBF in Colombia and my lawyer. I have no idea when I will get the date, how much time I'll have to wait before I go, or when that date will be. (Trust me. When I know, I'll spread the word!)

Please pray for Sara. Her care package should be arriving in Colombia soon. The orphanage staff will then start working with her to prepare her for this huge change. I don't know how much she will understand but I do know that this change will be hard for her. She is leaving EVERYTHING she knows.

Please pray for me. I am a planner. I want to know when she will be home, where I will be for Thanksgiving, if I will be alone at Christmas. I also want to know if she got her package, how she's doing, how much she understands, how she's going to react. I have so many thoughts, wishes, dreams, and fears running through my head and then I come back to Sara and how much her world is about to change.

Just when I think I've gotten through the hard parts of this process, the next step comes up and it's even harder. The hardest pieces are yet to come!

Is it too soon to put the car seat in the car? (I'm hoping and dreaming again....)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Once again, I am waiting for paperwork to be processed. I check my mailbox as soon as I get home and I'm probably going to get busted at work for the number of times I check my phone during the day to see if there is any news. Nothing.

Here's what little is going on:
*USCIS sent a letter saying they had received my paper work and it was being sent from the lock box to the officer. That came last week. I emailed the officer today but did not get a response.

*I got this email from the agency today:
I received your package in the mail today and it will be picked up to be sent to Colombia within the next hour. Your choice of gifts were beyond perfect. We are so excited to have yours be our first care package to be sent to Colombia. Sarita is such a lucky little girl.
So, my little girl will soon have her pictures, bear, and Red Sox outfit.

*The agency posted this on their facebook page today:
Today we are sending a care package to a little girl in Colombia who is getting closer and closer to meeting her new mommy. How can we fit all that love into one single box?! We're so excited!!!
I love how excited they are!

*The agency said this week that the orphanage staff are planning to take something out of her package to use as a Christmas gift. I'm guessing that means they don't think she'll be home for Christmas.

There is still no definite information or time line. There is still a very, very small chance she could be home this year. I'm planning to buy my plane ticket for Thanksgiving today and decide when I want to use my personal days for this year. That ought to get me a travel date.....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Back to Waiting and Wondering

It's been a crazy weekend. I scrambled and got all the paperwork done to go out in the mail tomorrow. (Stupid Columbus Day that I didn't even get off from work!)

*My referral acceptance letter has been mailed.

*My FBI fingerprints were taken twice and are now in the mail.

*My USCIS paperwork is waiting for two little answers from the agency that was closed today. I will mail it after work tomorrow.

*I have most of her care package done. I made a photo book of her new home, family, and friends. I made a Build-a-Bear and recorded my voice for her. I also bought her an adorable outfit that I think defines her new family pretty well.

*I put the finishing touches on Sara's room.

*Her visa application is ready to go to the Embassy in her country. I will email it tomorrow.

Everything is done that I can do! While it's a great feeling, I'm back to the waiting spot. You know, that spot I HATE! I am waiting. Waiting to see how long it will take to process my paper work. Waiting for approval. Waiting for a court date. Waiting to see if my little girl will be home for Christmas. Waiting to hold her in my arms.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Getting Warmer....Warmer....You're getting Hot!

Remember that game we used to play as children? One person closed their eyes and stumbled around for a hidden item while the others yelled things like "Cold. Freezing Cold" and "You're getting Warmer" or "You're burning up!" Well, I feel like I've been playing that game for months. I've been stumbling around, trying to follow the rules, jump through the hoops, make the payments. Sometimes I felt like maybe I was getting warmer but then I'd learn that I was still pretty cold. Finally, after months, I feel like I am getting HOT! I am so close to getting my little girl home. I can barely contain my excitement, fear, apprehension, joy, and every other emotion in the book.

To be honest, I've found this whole process to be very isolating. I have tons of great, wonderful, supportive people around me. I know that I am very blessed. At the same time, though, I am doing this alone. I don't have a spouse walking through this with me. The worries, doubts, excitements, stresses, ups and downs are all mine.

Yesterday, I sat in my living room reading Sara's official referral packet. I was alternating smiling, crying, holding my breath, and longing. I probably won't share the majority of the information in that with anyone. I have no problem sharing her development, likes, and personality with those that already love her but some of the things in that paperwork are just for her mom to know. She has been through a lot for a four year old. There have been people in her life that have loved her at various points but she has missed out on the one thing that every person should have---the love of a family. After reading her paperwork and seeing her updated picture, I long even more to have her in my arms as soon as possible. I had made peace with the possibility that she would not be home in time for Christmas. Now, that is not an acceptable option in my mind. She needs to be home soon. She needs a mom!

When the post office opens on Tuesday, I will have my FBI paperwork, my USCIS paperwork, and my referral acceptance letter ready to go. I will not delay my daughter's homecoming by even one day. Please pray that both the FBI and USCIS process the paperwork quickly. Pray for Sara as they prepare her for her new family. I get to send a care package to her that includes a photo album, a Red Sox outfit, and a Build A Bear that has my voice recorded in it. Pray that she will understand that she is loved!