Thursday, December 30, 2010

Patty's Passport is Back!!!

Mail contents from 12/24/10:
  • Partners International child card update,
  • DM2 - Make your own Christmas Party present ($100)
  • Patty's new and improved US Passport!
So, when I made copies of my passport in November to be notarized as true copy documents, I made the mistake of sending off my passport before I took it to get notarized...which does not work, because the notary is notarizing the copy saying "this matches to the real document that is IN FRONT OF ME."  Anyhow, lessons learned, right?  We found a way around it, but I have been holding out hope that the passport would come quickly, and it has!  The funny thing is that I saw the mail and wondered "What is the US Government sending me today?" without a thought that this was my passport.  It only took 3 weeks!!!  And it was a WONDERFUL Christmas Eve present!

PS - Update on my last minute Christmas shopping. I learned via email those little boys LOVED their new clothes and their Mom was very appreciative.

Mail from 12/24/10

Saturday, December 18, 2010

FreeCycle - The Awakening

Not sure who else uses FreeCycle but the idea is that people won't throw things away that others can use, thus recycling, and everything is 100% free.  I like toparticipate by giving things away and once I got something for free (needed baby food jars WITH lids for a craft project) that I needed!!  Anyhow, the deal is if you have something you want, then you posted it, if you have something you don't want you post it, then you coordinate an exchange with other people that want or don't want it.  The person keeping the item is generally required to pick up the item, however, if they post they do not have transportation, then the person donating the item knows this ahead of time.  I have done both: dropped off items and I have put items on my porch for people before and it works out really well.

I saw last week a person post they needed clothing items for their boys, ages 4 and 10.  This was the only information given.  So I emailed her back and asked her what sizes her 4 year old wore and what items specifically he needed.  Her response was "he's small and he needs everything."  So then I got together 2 of everything of the clothing I had just taken downstairs, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of socks, 2 pants, 2 coats, etc. etc. etc. and realized I needed a shoe size and emailed her back, his size was bigger than Dane's so I wasn't able to help with that.  Anyhow, I asked her if she wanted directions and she said "I thought you could drop it off."  So now, my impatience is growing because she wants something for free, doesn't tell me the size or what exactly she needs, she wants to make it hard to give it to her and now she wants me to spend 45 minutes to transport it to her...rrrrrrr...So Monday I tell her I can, but it won't be until the end of the week because my work schedule is insane and I don't want to go to her neighborhood alone after it's dark.  Tuesday, she emails and asks when I will be there.  I email back and let her know it will be Thursday or Friday.

So Thursday I can't make it and I go there on Friday after work and I email first to let her know what time I will be there and let her know I will leave it on the porch.  As I am driving there I pray for my attitude, because it's raunchy.  And then I kind of forget why I am cranky and get lost, but find my way humming along to Christmas music.  And I pull up to her house.  It's a VERY run down house with a very, very rickety ramp up to the house.  She's in a wheel chair excited and waiting for me.  I can see how her sons clothing is about 3 inches too short on him and why she was so anxious.  She told me how it would take her about 5 hours and missing a day of work to pickup the items and how much she appreciated my time and gifts.  I give her a big hug and ask her to email me if the clothes don't fit.

I got back into the truck and had overwhelming compassion for this widow and her children and prayed for them and their situation and asked for forgiveness for being so selfish that I couldn't have made time for her before this.

I went and picked up Dane and after he went to bed I was reading a book about reaching people where they are, and the thing that hit me the most is "reaching people will cost, it will cost, time, money, convenience, comfort and more, but this is what we have been called to do."  Ouch, and I remembered, this is exactly why I joined FreeCycle to help other people that have needs and are willing to ask for help. Wake up call!

And finally, I learned what I sound like when I pray generically.  "Dear God, I want something.  Please read my mind.  Patty."  and how frustrating that is.  By praying specifically He can recognize my specific request, and I can recognize that it's Him that delivers.

So I thought I was done Christmas shopping, but I've got two more boys to shop for.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Moment of Love

Today Dane had a dentist appointment that he was very good for and as a reward, he got to go to Jump-n-Party before returning to school.  It turned out we were the only ones there for a half an hour and Dane was having a great time.  Then he came over to me and he gave me a hug and said, "I wish my brother or sister was here with me now so they could have fun too.  We would be having so much fun.  I love him/her. I hope they get to eat their dinner tonight." Of course I told him I wish they were too, and how nice and kind that was to think of his sibling, and then let him run off to play while I balled like a baby.  I am so thankful for Dane's kind heart, and even though he really wanted to play with other kids this morning, I feel it was God's grace for us to have that moment.  Love you Dane Dane.  Love you Dane Dane's little brother or sister.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

United States Citizenship & Immigration Biometrics Appointments Set - 1/5/2011

Another day of exciting mail for us!  It's been wonderful getting all of the Christmas cards, letters, postcards and other correspondence, but the most exciting letters all week have been from the United States of America - Citizenship and Immigration Services.  They have approved our paperwork, and are now requesting we have our fingerprints done in the Federal Building.  Okay, so this is the part where you, I, and everyone else says, hey didn't you/we already do this?

Yes and No.

We had the FBI approve our fingerprints and clearances, and we did the fingerprints in September.  Well, shouldn't they still be good?  Yes, but this is the part where our government has some duplication.  In the State of Washington, for all adoptions, domestic and international, they require a Federal background check.  Believe it or not, Washington is one of the few states that does that.  So, the Federal Government doesn't expect the state to have done this done already, and they require the paperwork to be done by a USCIS employee.  Thank you God they have an office in Spokane!  Some people have to drive and stay overnight, but we are thankful this is not us!

Anyhow, this makes it look like we have about 70 days left before we will have the blessing of the US Government and then, oh wow, it will be time to go through all of the authentication, certification, translation & more.  What a wonderful early Christmas present!

Monday, December 6, 2010

USCIS - Application Received and Confirmed!!!!!

I opened up my email today to see something wonderful!!!

Dear Applicant/Petitioner: Your USCIS application/petition has been received and routed to the National Benefit Center for processing. Within 7 - 10 days by standard mail you will receive your official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) with your Receipt Number. If you have any questions please contact the Adoption Unit. PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE

Where do we rank to get an email from the US Government? Okay, well there is the fee we are paying, but it just seems amazing to me that our government not only accepted the application, but responded so quickly. As I hear how many other governments work, I am thankful that our government cares enough to send an email.

The Hendricksons