Friday, April 20, 2012

Spin Art

For Christmas we gave Isaiah a spin art kit, but since his birthday and Christmas are both in December  and he gets LOTS of new things it can be a little too overwhelming if we explore it all in December (even January).  So we purposely gave him a gift from Mommy and Daddy that he would enjoy opening, but  that he wouldn't really miss playing with until later.  He had no idea what the spin art kit was capable of doing...until now!

On Friday, April 13th I didn't have work because it had been conference week and I had worked extra hours on Thursday.  I love having an extra whole day to stay home with my boy!  We stayed in PJ's for most of our morning and we had fun exploring his spin art toy! He loved it.  If it looks like he is scratching or as he calls it "a little itchy" in ALMOST ALL the pictures it is because he was having a sensitive skin day (possibly allergies) that required many applications of lotion to subdue the issue.  

I love that he carefully watched and studied the spin art.  I'm sure he was trying to figure out how it works.  When he wasn't too focused on learning how it all works...he did have a few smiles and laughs with mommy!

At first I did the paint part and he mostly watched and turned the spin art on and off.  After a while he was ready to try holding the paint bottle.

He was even into requesting different colors and switching paint bottles.

I thought this one got too much paint, but in the end it turned out really cool.  Might even be my
favorite.  It is read, orange, and that might explain why it is my favorite too.  Next, we made a Go Ducks spin art for daddy!

Isaiah was pretty into spin art for about four different papers... but then he was ready to move on to doing something else.  So while Isaiah ran off to play with his drums... Mommy played for a few more minutes and made a couple more spin art papers.  When the project time ended there was a bit of clean up, but baby wipes to the rescue!  I think our finished products turned out pretty cool!


Perfecting the Elephant

Uncle Lance taught Isaiah how to make an elephant call.  Isaiah loves practicing the elephant call.  Isaiah started doing the elephant call all on his own the other night during dinner.  His hands were busy eating so no hand motions this time, but a pretty good second half of the elephant call.  I think Uncle Lance will be proud!

Fun with Uncle Dan

On Tuesday, April 10th Elise had to bring Greyson up for a Dr. appointment in the afternoon so we ended up all having dinner together at our house that evening.  Elise had to leave right after dinner to go to her women's small group, but Dan stayed a little longer with the boys.  Isaiah had fun with Uncle Dan!  Uncle Dan stayed busy drawing LOTS of pictures for Isaiah... it started out with Isaiah requesting pepperoni pizzas, but them Dan started drawing meals... pizza on a plate with a glass of water.  Then, Isaiah only wanted big glasses of water.

The house was pretty noise with other conversations, but Isaiah stayed focused on Uncle Dan's drawings!

Dan also recently made this cool pottery video that we showed to Isaiah and now he REQUESTS to watch Uncle Dan again and again.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Loves Amazing Adoption Journey # 2

If the title doesn't say it clearly enough... yes, we are in the process of adopting again!

We began our adoption journey # 2 with the start of 2012. We have chosen to do a domestic adoption this time in hopes that it will be quicker than our international adoption.   Below is my rough(what I can remember at this point) outline of the past few months of our adoption process and progress.  We were/are amazed with how much work the adoption process requires even with being seasoned adoptive parents.  We quickly learned there are NO advantages or shortcuts to previously adopting and NOTHING moves fast!  However, we are so excited to continue to build our family through the joy of adoption.  Isaiah is SUPER excited about having a baby bother or sister. And if he could chose he thinks he wants a baby sister, but have told our agency that we were open to adopting either gender.

Loves Amazing Adoption Journey # 2 Timeline Thus Far

January 14- meet with Mark and Jan at Chapters Coffee in Newberg to discuss their domestic adoptions through Florida's Advocates for Children and Families agency

January 15- emailed our social worker from Holt International to ask her questions about writing another homestudy for us

January 19- emailed Advocates for Children and Families adoption agency in Florida to ask a few questions

January 20- printed adoption application for Advocates for Children and Families adoption agency

January 26- printed application from Holt International for them to do our homestudy

January 30- communicated with Holt International that we wanted to work with them again to do our homestudy

January 30- asked Nate and Amy, Josh and Sarah, Adam and Brook to write reference letters for us to mail with our application to Florida.  Thanks friends!

February 8- had several things notarized at the Newberg City Hall

February 9- mailed adoption application to Florida with $100.00 application fee postage cost $3.20

February 10-12- received reference letters from friends

February 13- mailed reference letters to Florida postage cost $1.30

February 13- beginning to write a birth family letter

February 20-Holt sent Advocates for Children and Families and agency agreement to be signed

February 23- got fingerprinted

February 23- mailed completed fingerprint cards to Holt postage cost $ 2.40

February 23- need to update our personal data information form - a document we had created from our last adoption

February 24-emailed updated personal data information

February 24- beginning to make a profile book through Shutterfly

February 27- acceptance letter from Florida- they are willing to work with us!

March 6- booked our homestudy appointment with our social worker for March 26-during spring break

March 8- still haven't received the agency agreement

March 12- confirmed that Florida has the agency agreement

March 15- another confirmation that Florida has the agency agreement and will work on it and get it back to Holt

March 19- still haven't received the agency agreement, so Holt has not mailed our reference checks out yet

March 20- received a super annoying email from Holt identifying 7 tasks that still need to be done before doing our homestudy interview in less than one week (copy of birth certificates and marriage certificate, corporal punishment policy signed, employment verification, financial statement, medical report, letters from our references, and TEN HOURS OF ADOPTION PARENTING TRAINING)

March 22-  Kalina went to the doctor to have a TB test done

March 22- registered for adoption parenting training online classes through Adoption Learning Partners cost $ 131.75

March 23- went to Washington County Records office for copies of our marriage certificates cost $23.25

March 23- completed and passed 2 hrs- Creating an Adoption Profile that works online class

March 24- Kalina had TB test results read=negative (our Niece Kiara was born today!)

March 24- completed and passed 2 hrs-Ain't Misbehavin': Discipline and the Adopted Child  online class

March 24- completed and passed 2 hrs- Let's Talk Adoption online class

March 25- completed and passed 2 hrs- Finding the Missing Pieces:  Helping Adopted Children Cope with Grief and Loss online class

March 26- our social worker came to our house and we did our homestudy interview

March 26- Travis went to the doctor to have a TB test done

March 27- received a call from Kalina's doctor office that her doctor was out for spring break and would fill out the medical report when she returned on April 2nd

March 27- completed and passed 2 hrs- The Journey of Attachment online class

March 27- all ten hours of adoption parenting training is complete!

March 27- still haven't received the agency agreement so we emailed Florida AGAIN!

March 28- Travis had TB test results read=negative

March 28- Florida apologizes via email for not returning the agency agreement

March 29- called Florida again to figure out why the agency agreement wasn't being signed- oops there was a mix up and they thought our family file was on hold

March 29- Florida FINALLY signed and returned the agency agreement- PRAISE THE LORD!

April 2- Travis' medial report has been received by Holt

April 2- paid invoice for homestudy cost $1,750 (30% discount as a returning family)

April 2- got an email from Kalina's doctor asking her to go in for her HIV test (HIV test was only needed if we were adopting internationally)

April 2- emailed and called Kalina's doctor to clarify the medical report requirements

April 3- called Kalina's doctor office again to clarify that the medical report was completed - medical assistance said the form would be in the mail

April 5- received an electronic copy of our homestudy to review and edit

April 5- Kalina's medical report is STILL not turned in yet

April 5-6-  sent revisions of our homestudy via email to our social worker

April 6- Kalina's medical report is in after 2 weeks- PRAISE THE LORD!

April 7- homestudy done, social worker sent an email to Florida to see how many copies they want

April 9- contacted Florida to schedule our conference call hopeful to do the call the week of April 16-20

April 9- ready to order photo book, but asked from feedback from Florida agency

April 9- email confirmation that we are waiting for the signature pages to arrive before homestudy can be mailed to us and Florida

April 11- received options for conference call and got feedback on our photo book

April 11- we picked April 17 for our conference call

April 12- conference call confirmed for April 17

April 12- checked to see about getting copies of our homestudy

April 12- signature pages arrived and  we received an electronic copy of our homestudy

April 13- hard copy of our homestudy arrived

April 17- conference call with Florida cost $350

April 17- photo books from Shutterfly ordered- 5 copies for our agency and 2 copies for us cost $163.08  The photo books should arrive by the end of this week or early next week and then everything is for for Florida to show our file to birth families

April 17- paperwork discussed in conference call is signed and mailed to Florida postage cost $0.65

April 17- confirmation from Florida that they received an original copy of our homestudy

April 17- Pray that God's will is done and be hopeful that God's will doesn't require too much waiting.  Have peace that God has already picked out the perfect birth family to be matched with our family.  Continue to pray for our birth family and child to have a safe delivery and be healthy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Celebration Sunday, April 8th

Before Easter I saw several cute homemade Easter basket ideas on a blog I regularly read.  I thought it would be fun to make the doughnut bunny and the goldfish carrots.  I bought the materials early, but then didn't assemble anything until the night before Easter.  I was successful in creating the doughnut bunny and I think it turned out pretty cute, and Isaiah loved eating the donuts!  I wasn't happy with my version of the goldfish carrots so I gave up on those this year because there is always next year for trying again.

I just realized Isaiah's Easter basket had a letter b theme... but not on purpose.  He got a new blanket, book, bib, (tooth)brushes, and of course the doughnut bunny and two chocolate bunnies.

Making the goldfish carrots wasn't successful but I did have a few plastic carrots to fill with treats instead.  I filled two plastic carrots with teddy grahams and two plastic carrots with gold fish.  He noticed them right away and dove in right away!

Isaiah's Easter morning breakfast consumed of teddy grahams and goldfish...he LOVED it!

After breakfast, while getting ready for church I spontaneously planned our matching pink outfits, so we had to take a few family photos!

We had Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Kayla, Uncle Josh, and baby Kiara over for Easter lunch.  I cooked ham, potatoes, crescent rolls, baked zucchini, and fruit salad.  Our lunch was very yummy and for dessert we had a cake I have eyed a few times at was pretty good.

After lunch the weather was still nice so we enjoyed a nice walk and a trip to park.  Isaiah LOVES the park and had lots of extra family to play with today.