Thursday, March 29, 2012

The process...

Well, I haven't been updating this blog a lot because, honestly, there hasn't been much of anything to share.  We were told on March 12th that no children had been escorted into our orphanage yet.  Our agency has over 20 kids that they are going to adopt out, but, due to who knows what, none of them had made it into the orphanage.  Apparently things take 10 times longer in Africa, but it's so hard to think like that when you are used to get things right when you want them!  It's been a learning process, nonetheless.

So, we have trekked on with our paperwork.  Our home study was finalized and sent to us just a few days after our 2nd meeting, which is an awesome thing!  It can take up to 3 weeks to get your paper work back, and she had it done the next day!   As soon as we got our home study back we mailed off our i600A {An immigration packet that the US govt uses to decide if we are fit to adopt}.

Today, we received a text saying that our application has been received.  Now we wait for our approval from USCIS, then we will get our fingerprints made.

Our agency emailed all of the Congo adoptive parents and let us in on a little bit of new info:
1.  They are doing ALL blood tests before any referrals are made, that way the prospective parents know as much info possible when they get a referral.  We are very grateful for this new procedure!
2.  Our "waiting list" will no longer just be honored by the order that people sent in their adoption applications.  Families with home studies completed will be first on the list... which we have done, yay!!!
3.  Four children arrived at the orphanage today.  We were all hoping for 10-12 children in this first round, but 4 is a blessing!  We are not high enough on the list to get a referral from this group, but we are super excited for the families that have been waiting for months upon months to see their child for the first time.  They sent all of us a picture of a precious 4-year old girl who will soon meet her forever family!  Praise the Lord!

So, what do we do next... we wait.  We hurry up to fill out paperwork and we wait some more.  Here's a verse that helps us remember to rejoice throughout the entire process, not to worry about the details, pray earnestly, and allow God to be in control!

Philippians 4:4-7
 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Our last day in NYC

Friday was our shortest day in New York.  Our flight left in the afternoon, so we actually had to wake up before 11!  After catching breakfast at one of our favorite diners, we headed to SoHo to grab some Georgetown Cupcakes!

On the Subway we decided to plug in our headphones like all of the other riders :)

Made it to the yummy bakery (the sisters who own this cupcake place have a show on TLC)

We were right around the corner from DASH, so we stopped by it as well!

I always want to go to the places that I see on TV (I may be a HUGE reality TV junkie... shh, don't tell!), BUT I never want to go in because I don't want to look like a "fan" or a stalker, ha!  So, I just peeked in the store.  It's not like I can afford anything from there anyways!

We had a fabulous trip to NYC- it was short and sweet!  Now to get Jared in the mood to book a Hawaii trip for the summer!!!!

New York, day THREE!

Alrighty, I think I'm to Thursday now!  Thursday morning we woke up around 11 again {PTL for black-out curtains!}  We went into Times Square for lunch and a little shopping/perusing.  Then, hopped on the Subway to go to the Bronx Zoo!  I will say that it's winter, so not all of the exhibits were open, BUT there were very few people there, so that was a GREAT change of pace!

Here are some of the neat animals we saw:

They had a whole Congo exhibit which was really neat!  

Looks like a 2-headed giraffe, right?!  Jared was trying to take cool pictures, haha!

My favorite picture...
 That polar bear was NOT happy that he had to be out and about.  He kept walking to the doors trying to get back into his home, ha!

 After the zoo, we actually were able to rest for about an hour and a half before heading out for the evening.  We ate at the Shake Shack and went to watch "Memphis" on Broadway.  It was really good, but we liked the musical from the night before better :)

Our last night in Times Square...

once again, setting up the camera :)

I do love that man VERY much!  We had such a good time together :)

New York New York... Day 2!

After a pretty busy traveling day and late first-night on Tuesday, I was worn out.  AND- we had only been in New York for a few hours!  These next few pictures show just about how tired I was, haha!

This is probably the one and ONLY time that I was walking ahead of Jared this week.  That is the only reason I am even including the picture.  Because I think it's quite monumental :)  It may have had something to do with me not being a morning person- even if morning came at noon that day!
 My evil eye... once again, I was really sleepy AND this look pretty much encompasses how I feel about riding the subway :)
 It really didn't take me long to chipper up because we headed down to the 9/11 memorial.  I mean, how can you be grumpy when you are around that area?!  BUT- apparently everyone else had the same idea as us, so the line to enter the memorial was blocks long.  I really wanted to see the memorials, but I just couldn't make myself wait in line for hours {I keep telling myself that they will be there for years to come so I can go back to visit!}.  So, we walked around and checked out some of the other remembrances they had around the area

We went to St. Paul's Chapel and saw some pretty cool artifacts.  It is the oldest public building in continuous use in Manhattan.  George Washington worshipped there and the the 9/11 recovery workers received around-the-clock care during the weeks, months, and years following 9/11.

George Washington's pew

As we were leaving the 9/11 area we saw this interesting man with a cat on his head :)  Gotta love the interesting people you see in big cities :)

We headed for an afternoon stroll/rest in Central Park.  It was so beautiful outside!  

Finally, I just asked a sweet girl to take our picture because Jared cooperates better with strangers around :)
 After we had rested for maybe 5 minutes {I'm married to a man who does NOT know what it means to rest :)} We went shopping!!!  But, not for ourselves... for our child, who I am calling Little Bit until we get our referral!

We may have had a little fun while shopping for Little Bit :)

 We each picked out a stuffed animal for Little Bit.  For the record, I picked out my animal first, but Jared had to purchase his before mine because it was at a separate part of the store.  So, although he bought the first toy, I picked mine out first.  Just need to set the record straight :)

Jared went for a plush giraffe which is super soft.
 I chose a FAO Schwartz traditional teddy bear.  And, yes, I did cuddle with it on our flight home.  Ever since I have had something "tangible" it helps me feel more connected to Little Bit.  I've been touching my necklace A LOT (which you can see from the picture above) and now I have a stuffed animal to do the same!
After a day of shopping, we went to eat at Serendipity for dinner/ice cream.  We went there on our previous trip to New York, and knew that we just HAD to go back again!

Their menus are gigantic...

Their food is DELICIOUS...

We ended the night watching the Broadway musical, "How to Succeed in Business" with Nick Jonas.  It is definitely one of my favorites now! 

Of course, we had to stop at the 4-story Forever 21 before we headed back to the hotel.  I did not buy a thing, but it was soooooo much more organized than the ones around here :)
This was right before Jared got in trouble for taking pictures... I think he was a little bored :)
All in all, it was a WONDERFUL day!  As you can tell, it was fast and furious.  We went to the World Trade Centers, Central Park, shopping, Serendipity, and to a musical all in one day!  Makes me sleepy just to think about.  This is how I was feeling by the end of it...
Good thing there was nobody else in the elevators with us :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

New York Day One

We arrived in New York on a Tuesday night around 5ish p.m. and literally hit the ground running.  After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we went straight to Little Italy for pizza at one of Jared's favorite places, Lombardi's.  

I hate this picture of me... my hair is all scraggly and flat, but Jared told me I was robbing him of his memories when I tried to delete it :)  So, because I love my husband, I will keep it.... for now ;)
 Can you say, YUMMMMMMM?!
 I loved watching Jared savor every last bite (especially after he ate more than 3/4 of that thing!)
 After dinner, we had to get dessert, of course!  So, we went to another one of Jared's favorite places (notice a pattern? haha!)... Junior's!
 Jared's cheesecake
Before heading back to the hotel we walked around Times Square for a little bit, then went to Grand Central Terminal (we completely forgot to visit there on our last vacation to New York, so we did that first thing!)

This is what we do to make sure we will get a good pic, haha...
 At Grand Central...

Then we headed straight back to the hotel for a little shut-eye.  It was a busy first night, but a great one!  For the record... I'm posting it as day-by-day more for my memory.  I like being able to recap what we did and cherish each moment!!!