Sunday, September 23, 2007

Locks of Love

Annika was tired of the long hair! About a month or so ago, she asked to have her hair cut. Since she was born, she has had her hair trimmed 2 or 3 times. It was hard for Daddy and Mama to give it up, but it is just hair, and it will be easier to take care of.

Look at all that HAIR! 11 inches! We are sending it to Locks of Love to make wigs for little kids who need them.

Marissa got a trim too. Mama had cut it, so Ms. Sherry straightened it up!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Progress Update #18

Well, we are now in a season of waiting... Waiting for the coveted I-171H from our district office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Two NC families that we know are also in process with USCIS application acceptance dates of May 11 and May 28 BOTH received their papers yesterday, September 19!!!!

Our application was accepted on June 6, so we are hoping to get our approval before the end of October. I've already learned not to be too optimistic in predicting the next step by looking at the progress of the other families -i.e. fingerprinting appointments!

I got a box from Staples with ink refills and a ream of paper, so I've copied and printed most of what we need to send. I've used close to half of the 500 sheets of paper! Our dossier contains approximately 80 pages of paper, and I had to make 3 copies of everything. The folders on the left contain what we will send to the agency, and the pile under the stapler and paper clips is our copy. I have the last documents that we need to have authenticated by the NC SOS ready to go as soon as the I-171H gets here!

Guess there won't be any actual progress until that day!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ethiopian Feast!

Today was our first Ethiopian feast at home! No particular reason to party, but maybe, our baby was born today or something. Only God knows!
I call it a feast since we had more than one dish!

After our homeschool swimming this afternoon, Jeremy, Annika, and I headed over to our exotic/middle eastern/islamic supermarket to buy the injera, the giant sourdough pancakes, with which to eat our wats. I scanned the business card so those of you in town seeking injera, spices, or other "exotic" foods can find it. (It is behind a Subway that is on Western Boulevard.)

Yesterday, I made shero wat, a dish with yellow peas, and we ate them this evening with the kik wat (lentils) and some kay wat (beef) that was made in the crock-pot a few weeks ago and froze. Everybody approved!

As usual, as soon as we were finished eating, Jeremy asked, "What's for dessert?" From the living room Annika yells, "Cake Wat!!" Oh, my!

Friday, September 14, 2007

FSOTD: Supreme Pie!

It is time once again, for a Funny Story of the Day!

Jeremy was waking up when Annika came into his room and said, "Jemmy, do you want breakfast?" He went downstairs and fixed her cereal like the wonderful big brother that he is, but he didn't want cereal, so he was searching for something to eat. Annika asks, "Why don't you eat wice cwispies Jemmy? They're good for your body." He has read the nutritional information on the box and was not convinced of that! So, Jeremy decided to have half of a hamburger bun (he was saving the other half to eat with pork butt for lunch!) with black raspberry jelly on it. As he finished making his jelly bun, Annika announces that she is going to have "second breakfast."

J-"What are you going to have for your second breakfast?"
A-"You'll see!" "First, I want a bun."

J-"Do you want something on it?"
A-"I want jelly."

Jeremy spreads jelly.

A-"I want something else on it."
J-"What else do you want on it?"
A-"You'll see!"

Annika opens the refrigerator, and pulls out the barbecue sauce, and says that what she wants!

J-"Are you sure?"
A-"No, this. (She points out hoisin sauce!) No, this. (She pulls out the BBQ sauce again.)

J-"OK. As long as you eat it."

Jeremy made a jelly and BBQ sauce bun for his baby sister.

A-"You want to know what I call it? -A "SUPREME PIE!!!"

After breakfast, she came up to find me and William and announced, "I had a Supreme Pie with pig sauce!!!" (There's a pig on the bbq sauce bottle!)

~Story dictated by Jeremy

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Progress Update #17

Happy Ethiopian New Year!

Yesterday was a big day for our family! We drove to Charlotte for our fingerprinting appointment (more like a suggestion) and ate at Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant . It was the *nicest* Ethiopian restaurant experience we've had so far. The food was reasonably priced also! I highly recommend to other NC families going to fingerprinting appointments to try it!

(I'm sorry, I always forget to take a photo of the food before we eat it!)

After lunch, we headed over to see where our fingerprinting would take place. Our letter was *extremely* confusing. It said "Don't go here and don't go there and we don't do this anymore," and had an address for sending correspondence, but it didn't include an address for the place to which we were to report! So, I assumed that we were to report to the place where all of the correspondence was to go. We found this beautiful, new government building with the sign, "U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Services." When it was close to appointment time, we went in and met a very nice security guard who asked to see our appointment letters, and told us that we were in the wrong place! He just happened to have a pile of maps to direct us to the proper place. *sigh*

This is the wrong place:

Ooooohh, ahhhhhh!

At the bottom of the confusing letter, were the directions to get to this place:

It is in an office complex and was not obvious. (Both places had lots of gum on the ground. Really weird! I, of course, stepped in some fresh stuff!)

We were at the application service center for about an hour and 3 bathroom visits. After some convoluted number calling and herding of people (mostly immigrants applying for green cards who looked at us strangely!), we were called to the fingerprinting area where they wiped generic Windex on our fingers and placed them on a tiny scanner bed. Mine went very smoothly, but William had a tiny woman working with him, and she had trouble handling him!

After leaving Charlotte, we stopped to see some old friends from our church in Georgia, Randy and Martha Ward. They recently moved to Gibsonville, NC to be closer to family. They were like family to us when we lived so far away in GA. It was great to see them!
After a late-night dinner at the IHOP, we were almost home when the van died. William got it to limp home by shifting it from neutral to drive at all the stops. We got home around 10:30 PM and passed out!

Today, homeschool swim team began!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Progress Update #16

This week:

We took our papers that have been notarized in NC to the Secretary of State's office to have them authenticated. (They put another seal on it to prove that the first seal was good -these same documents will get this again at the federal level also.) We hit a couple of bumps, but nothing terrible.

Wednesday, our social worker emailed a copy of our homestudy for us to review. We got that edited and sent back to her the same night.

Friday, we made our payment for our 3, 6, and 12-month post placement visits and reports that Ethiopia requires so that our homestudy can be released to USCIS. I guess they'll let us know when they send it. We'll get a copy too to include with our dossier. It is funny to have our lives condensed to a 12-page report!

We'll let you know how the fingerprinting goes next Tuesday!!