Friday, June 24, 2011

USCIS biometrics appointment = confirmed

Today Ben and I each got a letter in the mail with our finger printing appointment for the USCIS. We have to show up at the Portland FBI office on July 20th. Even though this is almost a month away, I'm happy, because this is progress, and progress = good!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

USCIS says "cha-ching!"

We know that the USCIS is processing our paperwork... because they cashed our check today! Is it weird that I am totally excited to see that money disappearing out of our account?

...One step closer to our little girl!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dossier Photo Pages

Some of my blog readers might have noticed that I haven't posted any photos of our family on this blog. Today the curious among you are in luck:

One of the required items for the dossier is a set of photo pages. Our Ethiopia information packet states that there must be:
-2 formal photos (do not have to be professional, but all family members should be dressed, smiling, and facing the front)
-4 family life photos
-1 photo of the outside of the home
-1 photo of a room the inside of the home that we like to spend time in together (I haven't taken this one yet. It seems that the rooms are a) never quite clean enough and b) always seem to be full of people during daylight hours).

Our family is SOOOOOOO not formal, and getting my Hubby to smile for a picture is like pulling teeth. Don't get me wrong - he smiles and jokes and laughs all day... he just really hates having his picture taken! Add into that a young boy who likes making silly faces, and a baby who may or may not want to have his picture taken. Have I mentioned the fact that we never really dress up for anything these days (our church is very casual)? Our family coordinator reassured us that "normal" family pictures will be fine, thank goodness. Needless to say it has been interesting getting these pictures.

So here we go:

Formal photo #1

Formal photo #2 ...well, we will pretend this is formal. It is posed, everyone is dressed, and we are all facing the camera.

Family Fun picture #1 - we are all having fun here, and I like this kind of picture much better than a posed one!

Family fun picture #2 - My two wonderful boys, big M and little S.

Family fun picture #3 - Hubby and big M "fishing" in the Columbia.

Family fun picture #4 - Momma (me) watching some ducks and a swan with big M and little S. Little S actually is looking at his feet, but hey, he's having fun, right?

The outside of our home.

Alrighty. Here is the pic of an inside room. We spend more time together in the big family room/ play room, but this room was easier to clean up and get the kids to stay out of for long enough to take a picture. :o)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Got our Home Study Documents!

Guess what we got in the mail? That's right, the official, notarized copies of our Home Study! Of the 16 pages, THIS is my favorite part:

We're sending our I-600A in to the USCIS tomorrow, along with the necessary supporting paperwork.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

$751.15 !!!

Today's garage sale was amazing!

Anyone who knows what garage sales CAN be like, here is the list of miracles:
- The weather was amazing, very sunny and warm.
- We had tons of stuff to sell, thanks to so many wonderful, generous friends.
- We had so much help! THANK YOU ALL!!
- People were friendly, cordial even, and rather than haggling down every price, actually rounded up quite a few times!
- Have I mentioned that people were friendly?

We exceeded our goal - I wanted to sell at least $500 worth of stuff, and the total tally is $751.15 - YAY!
I also still have a few items that I am going to try to sell on Craigslist and eBay for a few weeks, and we donated lots of items to Open House Ministries (a shelter).

Again, a big huge THANK YOU to everyone who shopped, helped, and donated items! It wouldn't have been possible without you!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Garage Sale this Weekend!!

Please pray for our big fund raising garage sale this weekend!!!

I am blown away by the generosity of everyone who donated items for the sale. THANK YOU!