your first. . .


I think some people are excited about you coming home. This is what your Aunt Kristi wrote on her blog today.

So we are packed, except for my carry on bag. This was done over the weekend, but really most of it has been on the dining room table for a bit (since December). After we zipped the last bag, I looked at your Dad and told him we didn't pack you any books. Your Dad felt the cloth, textured book would be more than adequate for your needs. I was able to squeeze in a board book into a bag, but it was bugging me.

On the way home from school yesterday, I shared this with your aunt Courtney as we drove across town. She agreed that two books wouldn't be enough, it might be okay for you, but we might go a little crazy with only two books. This is where I had my epiphany moment. I have a Nook. So I have downloaded you some books to get us through. At the same time, the girl scout in me was disappointed in myself.

I have thought about a lot of stuff since beginning this journey. I have made many lists of what we would take for the second trip. I have not thought about what the first book will be I read to you. This is important stuff. This could make or break your love of books. How will you become the bibliophile you need to be to do your library justice, unless we start you off right? This is pressure. (Okay, really it is just something else for me to worry/think/ponder about.) 


I am open to suggestion for K's first book. If you have one, please leave it in the comment section.


the adoption beard


So there is a tradition in hockey, if your team makes the playoffs, you don't shave. Many call this the playoff beard. The longer your team is in the playoffs, the "better" your beard gets. Well, your Dad decided he would do an adoption beard. He hasn't shaved since our first trip back in December. He said it was because it was the adoption beard, I think it was because he hates to shave and this was his reason not to shave. (Right now, he is shaking his head, "No.")

Well, you are about to come home. Sorry, I didn't tell you that. This morning the Embassy scheduled our interview for your visa for next Monday. (So much better than the email the USE sent us last Friday saying they got your file back from Nairobi, but we didn't get until after their business hours.) So today we booked our tickets and we will be coming to bring you home.

See you Sunday!


Share Bear


Joey went to stay with Grammie and Papa today. During the trip we think he was glaring at us a couple of times. I don't think he enjoys sharing the backseat with the car seat. I am hoping he likes the car seat better once you are in it. Don't worry. Joey LOVES going and staying and Grammie and Papa's house. I think he gets more attention there. They take him on three walks a day.

While we were at their house, we shared some of your new pictures. L looked at one of the pictures and said, "He is wearing a cupcake." Referring to the cupcake on your bib. Yep. Your cousin has a LOVE of all things cake. I might have created a monster with my baking when it comes to her. . .

FYI- She also doesn't want to share Grammie and Papa. When it was mentioned that Papa would be your Papa too, she started to scream, "No!!!" Don't take it personally, I think, she also doesn't want us to be your parents, but wants you to come and live with us. I am thinking she just doesn't get you coming home. BTW- Aunt Megan has been working with L on sharing for some time. Maybe she will be a better Share Bear once she meets you.



good news


So I stopped checking my email in the morning as part of my getting ready for school routine. I did check it onceI got to school and found this:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. P,

Attached you will find a courtesy copy of the decision on your I-600 petition.   A hard copy will be sent in the mail.  

Password to follow. 

Your case file will be transferred back to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa . The Consular Section has asked that you please allow three business days for Consular staff to contact you regarding the next steps in your case. The Consular Section’s adoptions unit may be reached by email at xxxxx@state.gov


USCIS Nairobi

Now we wait for the Embassy to get your file!! A great way to start the day.

Our prayers have been answered. Thank you Jesus. 



Our Little Valentine


So it is a family tradition to make sugar cookies for Valentine's Day. Not just any sugar cookie, but the one I grew up with from the Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook, Mary's Sugar Cookies. I am really partial to these cookies, and it is your Grammie's I measure most sugar cookies to, including my own. So I am carrying on the tradition, I have made you your first Valentine's sugar cookie. 

So, if  I was your Grammie, you would have a REALLY big one with your name on it. Well. . . You do, but that would be sharing your name. So your cookie, with your name on it, is in the freezer waiting for you to come home.



your first geography lesson


Okay, I feel like I have neglected your education. As an educator I need to be sure you are learning at a certain pace to you don't fall behind. So I have decided we will skip basic reading and math and we are going straight to geography. Yep. You need to learn about the study of lands, features, and phenomena of Earth. More specifically we need to work on your map reading skills and how to tell the distance between two points on a map. (I am finding this a little humorous since I read a geography test to a student yesterday. It was a test on reading maps.)

Why? Well little man, your file is on its way to Nairobi, Kenya. This morning the US Embassy in Addis Ababa emailed us to say your case was being forwarded to the USCIS field office in Nairobi. (It wasn't in my "inbox" this morning, so I didn't see it until I checked before lunch. Luckily your Aunt Marcia was there to hold my hand when I began to read it and read it allow when I no longer could read it.) They will be looking at your case to determine if you meet the US definition of "orphan" so the Embassy can issue you a visa so we can bring you home.

 Depending upon which website I looked at, Nairobi is anywhere from 717 to 724 miles apart. Fun Fact: Indy and New York are about 710 miles apart. A website that can help you on a quest with your maps, says it would take about 12 hours to drive from Indy to New York. Another website that helps you to go with maps says it would take 29 hours to drive from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

So what does this mean? Well, we will get an email from the field office in Nairobi when our file gets there. How is it getting there? K, the US Embassy is express mailing it. It should get there in 7 to 10 business days, but I have been told it could take a month to get there. So this isn't my idea of "express," but it is what we have to work with. (Personally, I think the file gets on a plane, goes to Washington DC and then gets on another plane to go to Nairobi. However when going back to Africa, it goes across the Pacific Ocean.)

From the time we get the email, the field office has up to 30 days to make a decision. (As of right now we are a little unclear as to whether this is business or calendar days.) They could issue one of three things a) clearance where your file would have to travel back to Addis Ababa for the Embassy to issue us a date b) a request for evidence c) intent for denial. We are praying for option A. (Who doesn't pray, hope, and plan for option A?)

So K, this is what we know about your case. At the same time, we know you are safe at Hannah's Hope being loved on by your Special Mothers. We know you are getting your rice cereal 3 times a day and a bottle throughout the day. Know you are loved little man. Know you have a Mom and Dad who want you home as soon as possible.


Family and Friends our pray requests:
-Please pray for our file to get to Nairobi quickly. Pray for the field office to go with option A, so we can go back and get K.
-For another AGCI family who learned their file was going to Nairobi as well. We were submitted to the Embassy at the same time and we played with their daughter while we were at HH in December.
-The staff at HH who is caring for our little man.  


the red monster


So Tuesday will mark the 9th week since we past court and became your parents. Monday will mark the 7th week since we were submitted to Embassy. Lucky 7?!?!?

In other news, your cousin P turned 2 on Thursday. Although we couldn't celebrate with her, I made cake pops for her siblings. Here's how it looked. . .

The balls of cake

Not the best picture, but the candy melts and sticks. 

The first set of dipped pops

Pops with eyes and mouths. (So wish I had remembered to put the mouths on when I first dipped.)

I know kinda scarey without pupils. . .

A bunch with no pupils. . .

Finished product!

What went to your cousins' house. 

I think this was the best one. Elmo was difficult to photograph. 

So after 10 Elmo pops, the rest were just dipped. 

You so can't tell who the real Elmo is. . .