Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Have The Best Friends in the World!

I don't know how I got so lucky, because I am surely very guilty of not always being the best of friends (not intentionally, but somehow I never really have my life together!), but I have the best friends in the world!

Especially now, when life is CRAZY busy I have several friends texting, emailing, and calling to make sure that I am okay and to ask how they can help. You guys know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday and yesterday, I spent ALL day on the internet and phone trying to get plane reservations to India. It seems that mid-August is the worst time to try to book tickets because people are ending their summer vacations. After trying to book online, I realized the online systems would not let me book a one way child ticket. I called the airlines directly and their solution to the problem was just to buy a round trip ticket and use it to get Shepherd home from India and then I could travel back to India sometime within the next 12 months. Um, not so much Continental Airlines. Two thousand dollars later and then I would be stuck in India?!?!? Where is the logic? The online airline places (especially one with a gnome mascot!) really irritated me as I would spend alot of time finding tickets and they would advertise one price and by the time you clicked on the "Buy Now" button, the tickets would jump up in price to almost four thousand dollars. It was all a scam, that initial low price.

Three travel agents later and they said they had super deals for me.....at three thousand dollars a ticket! Not my idea of a super deal. Seems they could not find plane tickets back to the US. I actually talked to somebody in New Delhi directly and although she was very nice, she had no solution to the problem and said I could just try to find plane tickets home once we arrived in India. Not a gamble I'm willing to take. I was on the phone all day yesterday so much that as I was trying to get the passports in the mail for the visas and buy some essentials my battery died. I can't wait to get that phone bill.

As it stands now, I still do not have tickets, but two agencies think they have tickets on hold for us. They both are closed this weekend so we'll see what happens on Monday. Unfortunately, we may be flying out of Tampa, Jacksonville, or Miami as that is they only way to make the tickets under two thousand dollars. Yikes!!!

Regan is also sick again. I think the crazy schedule and her stress is making her sick. For those of you who do not know her well, she is VERY clingy to me. She has a hard time when intially away from me although I know she is find once I'm gone. At home, she even gets jealous if I spend time with the dogs and so we have really been working on her acceptance of that! The only person she doesn't get jealous of is Konnor. I think it is because he has always been there, even from the very beginning while we were in China. She always wants to be held and carried and although I do think having a brother is going to be a positive thing for her, I anticipate she is going to have a very hard adjustment. We talk all the time about what we are preparing for, and I think she is really starting to feel it as she is extra clingy and does not want me out of her sight. So, I am spending time with just her and reassuring her, but she is having some rough patches.

Today, I"m trying to get her well, trying to find my phone charger, and going to paint some rooms in my mom's house. Tomorrow, I"m hoping to get my house repainted. Yay!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Slightly Stressed

To say I'm just a little stressed is an understatement! I talked with Katie, my social worker, on Friday at 5 PM about time for travel. I was hoping to leave the first week of September. My mom is not allowed to take off from her job at the school district in the month of April because it is the end of their fiscal year (she is assistant director of financial accouting), I am in the middle of a couple of patients at the outpatient clinic that I need to follow up on bracing for the children, I could begin my first two weeks at the schools, Konnor could attend his first week of second grade, etc, etc, etc.

Katie said I had to leave the first week of August because my immigration paperwork expires at that time! Yikes! I knew it expired soon, but thought it would be no big deal to get an extension. For those of you not familiar with international adoption information, you must get preapproval from the Citizenship and Immigration services to bring a child back into the country. It depends on your completed homestudy, fingerprints from the Dept. of Homeland Security, and other things. I would probably be able to update my homestudy and get an extension with no difficulty, but she didn't want it to cause any problems with the US Embassy in Delhi. Vijay, the orphanage director, schedules our Embassy appointment to obtain Shepherd's visa to come into the US. She wants to schedule it right away because of the dates on some of my paperwork, including my 171H (immigration paper). Katie says the embassy appointment will probably be on August 10th. She wants me to leave for India on the 8th. Since I want to see the Taj Mahal before we pick up Shepherd, I will be leaving earlier!

I am so not ready. I have sooooo many things to do to be ready to leave work, and have the house ready for me to leave, and find boarding for the dogs. My grandmother is going to be watching Marmaduke, but Daisy is a runner and so she has to be boarded. That means of trip up to Gainesville to drop off the animals. Sometimes I feel like I am about to lose my ever lovin' mind! I can not believe that in three short weeks, Brudder will be home! Yikes!! I need to get off this computer and start getting stuff done!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All About "Brudder"


Regan wants to talk all about her "Brudder". This has become his new name although for official purposes he will be known as Asher Shepherd ;) Shepherd is waiting for us in New Delhi, India at the SOS Children's Orphanage. He was born on September 26, 2005 so he will soon be turning four! He is 3 1/2 months older than Regan. Yikes!! I will update tomorrow on the process from India, but it has been a breeze and I recommend this program for anyone. There are so many children waiting, it is heartbreaking. We will be leaving in 3-5 weeks to pick him up!!!!

video

*I will be taking Regan to see a Speech Language Pathologist in the fall again because I do not like how she sticks out her tongue when pronouncing certain words.

For more about Brudder visit: http://www.happyshepherd.blogspot.com/

The process for a waiting child from India is alot different from the China process. I sent my dossier in October and had to wait for the Indian courts to issue a NOC (No Objection Certificate) stating that they agreed to process my case - they had "no objection!". I got NOC on January 2 of this year. I then had to wait to go through the actual court process. Yesterday I received the call that I had received guardianship. This means that India agrees that I may be Shepherd's guardian. This came more quickly then I thought it would as they usually ask for updated or more paperwork and they asked me for nothing! I finalize the adoption 6 months after arriving home. Also different from China as the adoption was final in China and she automatically became a US citizen as soon as she touch US soil.

On top of all that, I started back to school! I am going to school to pursue a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology through USF. Many reasons that I won't bore people with.....I briefly thought about a Doctorate in PT, but it wouldn't change my job position or really benefit me. As a PT and an SLP, I should be secure in either job and will be able to provide for the family no matter how old I am, where I live, etc. I just finished my first semester and have make a decision about what to do for next semester!
video

This was taken in January. Sorry it is a video of my tv, I can't get my DVD player to work on my computer. I have another video from last month that I'll try to download.

Ta Da!



You guys are good!!!! More details to follow - I got a couple of emails "suggesting" I let the cat out of the bag!!! I'll post more later tonight! Can anybody guess sex, age, and country?!?!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Regan's Announcement


Regan has something that she would like to announce. Just for fun, if you think you can guess what it is, leave a comment with your guess. For those of you that might already know, please keep it a secret just to see if anybody else can guess!

Crafting and Maya's Party




Saturday, we headed up to St. Augustine to celebrate the birthday of my friend's daughter. Little Maya was turning two! We stopped at my grandparent's house as they live about 4 hours north of us. St. Augustine Beach is then another hour or so of driving. Regan was soooo excited to see her mama and papa and ran right into the house to see them. She didn't want to leave to go to the party, but we had to. The night before she slept for 5.5 hours and didn't sleep at all on the way up north. She slept about 20 minutes on our trip to St. Augustine Beach and didn't sleep at all on the way back to my grandparents! I think she was too excited to sleep. I had little sleep too, because I waited until the last minute to make Maya's presents. I made her two shirts and a bag and I also made Regan a shirt. It felt so good to be able to do some crafting.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Love Summer and Bump Its

Summer is obviously wearing them out!!
Why can I never get a natural smile out of Regan?!?!?

Hard at work.
In progress.
Below is Regan ready to go out. She does this every day.....picks out her clothes, her accessories, and her shoes. Today she ignored shoes, but had a bracelet, necklace, sunglasses, and a "crown".

This was Regan when she was sick. She didn't eat for days and the only thing she would drink was sweet tea. So, I obliged. I like in this picture how you can see she is fingering her shirt. She has done this since she came home to comfort herself although she prefers my sleeve.

I officially am starting summer vacation. I still work two half days at the outpatient clinic, but it feels soooooo good to be off from work. I could so be a stay at home mom. I really, really want to be one. Anyway, on the fourth, we headed to Home Depot where the kids did a craft. Regan is so into crafts. This one had an extra special bonus as you had to use glue - Regan was in heaven!!

Tomorrow, we are heading to North Florida to spend a couple of hours with my grandparents and Regan is going to her friend Maya's birthday party. It is going to be a long day - about 12 hours travel total. We can't spend the night because of the animals, but I"m really looking forward to seeing my grandparents.
Regan's newest obsession is with Bump Its. Ever seen that stupid commercial for bump its? I say obsessed because Regan never does an interest half way, she jumps right in and talks, and talks, and talks about it. Wants to go to the library to get books about it, has to tell every one about it, etc. She wants Bump Its soooooo bad. I'm going to try to rig something for her, because there is no way I'm buying a ridiculous plastic hair comb for $19.99 (plus shipping and handling!).