Friday, June 19, 2015

And Life Goes On

Anyone know where June went?  I looked down and saw it's been 10 days since I last posted, but I'm sure it hasn't been that long.  :)

We thought we were done with our paperwork, but I got a call on Thursday that one of our notaries made a mistake on the notary seal.  So we get to fill out our financial paperwork again and get it notarized this weekend.

Besides that, we're really close to being out of the paper chase.  If I remember correctly, once we get logged into China, we have a great deal of twiddling our thumbs ahead of us.  But let me tell you, I'm having no trouble at all staying busy this time--three kids instead of two will do that for you!  I have a long list of projects for the summer too, most of which involve downsizing and simplifying.

First up was my bedroom.  I got rid of a bunch of clothes and set aside a few more that need something to complete the outfit (mostly skirts that need a matching top).  I know the whole 'capsule wardobe' thing is popular, but I'd rather just keep the clothes I like and make sure all my dress clothes are complete outfits instead of mix and match.  Sadly, this will involve some clothes shopping, which ranks far below visiting the dentist in my book.

The next project is a big one, and one that will require multiple weeks to complete:  food in our house.  I started with cataloging/organizing the pantry and freezer, and making a list of 'random things we should eat because I bought them over a year ago.'  Things like a quarter of a bag of orzo (probably from a random recipe) and Belgian Chocolate shells that I bought on super clearance without a purpose.  NEVER BY ANYTHING WITHOUT A PURPOSE!  That should be my new motto. 

At this point, I need to sit down and figure out how I'm going to approach meals right now.   David teases me about how I'm constantly trying to figure out an 'easier' way to do meals, yet I'm not willing to really commit to meal planning.  I want to be able to make whatever I feel like for dinner, but that's JUST NOT PRACTICAL with three little kids.  I think there must be a way to adapt a meal planning system to my tendencies, but at some point, I may have to give up on that dream and just commit.  And I really need to figure it out before Little Brother shows up!

(Also on my list: picking a name for Little Brother, so we can stop calling him Little Brother)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

More progress!

Yesterday, I was surprised to receive an email from our agency asking about our original I-800A approval...which means I wasn't surprised when we received it in the mail today!  They got it yesterday, but it has a big "COPY" stamped on it.  After we scan that and send it, they will begin the authentication process on all our we may be LID by July after all!  Here is our timeline so far:

March 5:  Application sent to AAC, homestudy started
April 5:  All documents sent to AAC
May 5:  Homestudy completed
May 7:  USCIS received I-800A Application
May 19:  Fingerprinting appt date received
Jun 3:  Fingerprinting appt
June 9:  I-800A Approval Notice received

It seems like things are going faster, despite the delays with our homestudy.  I keep telling myself that I'm teaching in the fall, and it won't be very easy to travel before I finish my class.  I'm not sure what we'd do if our Travel Authorization arrived in October...but best not to borrow trouble.  :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I-800A Progress

My big summer kick-off plans were derailed by a sore throat.  I spent yesterday laid out on the couch for most of the day, aside from feeding my children and making sure they didn't trash the house too badly.  David gently reminded me (as he does every time) that he's happy to stay home when I'm sick, but it wasn't too bad, and the kids are pretty good about dealing with sick me.  I figure, if there's no fever, we can handle it.  I just have very low expectations for the day (Pajama day!  Indoor picnic!  Dora and Diego!). 

Today we took one step closer to Little Brother and our trip to China.  Once our homestudy was finished (which we managed to do, despite some hiccups), we sent our I-800-A application to United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) and waited for our fingerprinting appointment.  No, our fingerprints have not changed since we last did this.  Yes, they make us do it again anyway.  (insert eye roll)

Our appointment was this morning!  It should be 2-6 weeks before we get our actual I-800A, but that's the last thing we need before everything can be authenticated and sent to China.  If everything goes quickly, we could be looking at a file by July!