Saturday, November 29, 2014

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful thanksgiving this year. My parents came to Eugene from Portland and we all went to Ben’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving Dinner. We have so much to be thankful for, including having loving and supportive parents! We were also thankful that we had received our summons for immigration fingerprinting and that our appointed day and time didn’t fall in the middle of finals or conflict with any holiday plans! We’ll be going to Portland December 18th for fingerprinting.

Ben and I decided to take advantage of having both sets of parents in Eugene after Thanksgiving to throw a Georgian Heritage Dinner. So the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I cooked a full Georgian meal and we sat down to give thanks for our adoption and the opportunity to be immersed in an important aspect of Georgian culture—food and drink! We hope that our Georgian Heritage Dinner will be an annual event. Maybe our toddler will be present for the Second Annual dinner in 2015! Here’s the menu and some pictures from the 2014 Georgian Heritage Dinner.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Homestudy Completion Party

We received the rough draft of the homestudy at the end of September, and it was accepted by our adoption agency, Children’s House International on October 10th. Our homestudy is now being translated into Georgian. We then jumped into preparing our dossier, which is a collection of official documents such as birth certificates, marriage license, copies of passports, background checks, etc. During this process we learned a new word: apostille. An apostille is a stamp that basically certifies that a notarization is authentic. We took our state-level documents to the Secretary of State office at the Oregon Capitol in Salem and sent our federal-level documents via a currier service (The Assistant Stork, in order to bypass the 8-week mail-in process. We also submitted our first in a series of applications for immigration. The first document is the I-800A “Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.” Once approved, this document basically states that we are approved by the United States to be parents of an unknown orphan who currently resides in a Hague country. We’re now awaiting a summons to the immigration office in Portland to appear for fingerprinting by immigration.

After filling out all these forms and meeting the milestone of being homestudy approved, we decided we wanted to celebrate and start sharing the adoption and Georgian culture with our friends, neighbors and family.

About 20 people were able to come to our November 8th Homestudy Celebration party. I cooked a variety of Georgian recipes and we had Georgian music, wine and Georgian flag cookie decorating and shared interesting facts about Georgia and the adoption process with everyone. Thank you to everyone who came!

Two of my work friends also volunteered to support our adoption financially through Scentsy and Pampered Chef fundraisers, so we collected orders and raised a total of $205 (10% of total sales)! Thanks again to Cassie (Pampered Chef) and Teresa (Scentsy) and to everyone who ordered for your generosity and support! The timing was great because after writing $9000 worth of checks to our agency for translation and government fees and to the US Government for fees to start the immigration process, our adoption savings account was pretty wiped out!