What a week! Our I-171h came on Monday evening. On Tuesday we had an extra 2 year old boy with us for the day so I did not allow myself to even try to look at what needed to be done to finish the dossier. Wednesday, my dad came down to help me drive with the kids to downtown LA to get two papers state certified. This took MUCH longer than expected and I wasn't allowed to use my phone so I couldn't really check on my dad with the kids. I think I was in that building about 2 hours and I came out to the street to find sweet Grandad changing a #2 diaper of his 3 year old granddaughter through the window of my car. Picture this, the high rises, the street people, the buses, and my dad taking care of business! Thanks Dad! I know you didn't sign up for that :)
Wednesday evening, after the kids were in bed and after a late trip to kinkos to make 3 sets of copies I was busily doing this....
While Ben was working on this... Our "Family photo pages" intended to show Ethiopia how great our family is- 2 formal family photos, picture of the outside and inside of our house and 4 candid shots. Nice work Ben!
Later that night I discover I needed another paper notarized. So, Thursday morning I pack lots of snacks for the kids and head out to AAA to meet with the notary, back to kinkos to make more copies and then back home to organize everything again. I get an email from our agency with more instructions to find out I put everything in the wrong order. I hurry up and put the kids to nap super early (this was not my finest moment as a mother and I had to ask the kids to forgive me for being so tense with them) then I try to reorganize my papers. I discover I am missing yet another paper... not sure if it is totally important so after a few phone calls with my social worker and emails with our agency we get it straightened out and I get the go ahead to FedEx the Dossier. The kids got up from their nap and I drag them out again- by now I have run out of both cheerios and "circle crackers" and those who know us will know this is a big deal. I have enough "veggie sticks" (not to be confused with real vegetables) and bring those along trying to ignore my guilt of feeding them so many snacks in the same day! Here we are at FedEx around 4:00pm. I asked them at the desk when the cutoff was to send packages to East Coast...4:15! So I quickly package everything while the kids were being such troopers by now! (Or the Veggie Sticks were just too delish to be complaining). There was a line but we made it!
I asked the FedEx man to take a picture of us with our package explaining to him it contained 7 months of hard work for an adoption. Please excuse Maddie's frizzy hair. Poor girl didn't get her hair done that day!
I almost cried as I walked out of FedEx with the kids- I am not sure if it was from sheer relief to be finished or just excitement. It was probably a mix of both. We ended our night with a family dinner at home with Ben and celebrated this moment together.