Monday, August 27, 2012

Laying the Groundwork


It's been a busy weekend.  My husband is still working on the closet with his dad. Also we took Amadeus back in to the vet.  I got so worried.  He was in my lap per usual and I was rubbing head and neck and found two huge lumps in his throat.  We rushed him to the vet.  They said he had swollen lymph nodes. It was like he swallowed 2 big walnuts.  And for his size, that's like us swallowing tennis balls.  But I was told with his surgery, this was normal and it should go away.  So we took of his collar so not to irritate his lymph nodes. He still eats and acts fine, so I am sure it will just go away in time.

We've also picked the wood flooring for Ashton's room.  We weren't expecting to do it so soon, however we had just learned the flooring we loved the most was being discontinued!  Surprise-not!  Therefore we jumped on it.
  

We will probably paint her walls of the room first, then lay the floor down in the next few weeks!  We are 90% sure of the paint color.  We have tons of the samples of every shade of red there is.  Many are too brown, too pink... it's horrific.  But we think it will look great.  

But back to the flooring... It will take 5-10 business days to get the floating bamboo flooring in.  So sometime early September... possibly when we will be LID!  What timing... and a cool way to celebrate!

I can't believe we will be "nesting" so to speak.  That means we have to take out all the furniture we've collected from craigslist the past few months and put it in the garage.  Which we needed to do anyway because the furniture all needs to be repainted and made new again.  However, none of that can be done until the closet is done and the garage cleaned.  

There is so much to do in such little time.  But we're willing to put in the hard work and make it worth it.  I just hope this project won't take as long as last year's project or the closet that has been taking forever.  But when you do things yourself to be economical, your time to get things done don't happen on schedule.  It's a lot of hard work to fit into everyday life.

I've also got to buck up on that throw rug I'm making, if I want it in time when the floor gets laid down.  How exciting!
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Guess Who's DTC?



It's finally happened!  I didn't get to read the email until 9:30 pm tonight, it was sent 6:30 from my agency.  

It's the news we've long been waiting for!  We are DTC aka Dossier To China!!  China should get our packet in 3-5 business days.  It can take days to 3 weeks for us to be logged in... meaning LID!!!

I feel like saying, "It's one small step for man and giant leap for me!"  Doesn't make sense really, but I'm so excited.

Also our new neighbors moved in next door.  They seem very nice.  We helped them briefly move in their boxes.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Momentos


Monday I had a delivery.  I got a large flat rate box from my dad.  Inside were things my Nana left me when she passed.  She passed July 4, 2010, six months after Grampy (her husband) died.  I guess Dad had this stuff and finally mailed it to me.


Inside were odd items that I have no idea their meaning or if I've ever seen them before.  I got a pill case, a wooden foot, a hummingbird tile, several porcelain knickknacks, a taper candlestick holder, a photo of my dad, a blue angel that has a Mom poem attached (she died before we decided to adopt or want children)  and an apron I've never seen her wear.  I stared at each of these items trying to remember any of them in her house and why she thought of me for them.


Nana and Grampy lived in North Carolina.  I didn't get to see them much because of the distance.  I used to see them all the time when I lived in South Carolina.  But that was a long time ago.

What I remember best is us playing cards.  They loved to play Oh Hell, Uno and Skip-Bo.  My Grampy was an artist.  I never got any of his paintings, but I did get a beautiful sculpture he made of a hummingbird on flowers.  He was very talented.  (Hummingbirds were her favorite).

I'm very grateful for the mementos, but I just don't understand their significance.  Especially since I've NEVER seen them before.  I feel like I'm missing something.  But they are pieces of their life, and I treasure them.

Then today I got another package, from Nana.  It was a drawing of me from years ago, from a trip to King's Island, I'm told.  I don't remember it, just that it used to hang in her house years ago when I was a child.  I used to be blonde when I was about 5 and younger.

Most of this stuff I will keep in a special place and pull it out time to time and  think about her and Grampy.  They were wonderful people who I miss very much.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Always Dream Big


My signed copy of Emma's American Chinese New Year came in today!  My husband called me while I was at work to tell me it arrived.  He wouldn't open it.  He had it on the table waiting for me.

The book read very lyrically.  It was very cute!

I had a note paperclipped to the book.


Inside it was inscribed to Ashton!

I hope she will be delighted with the story, as I'm sure we'll read it every Chinese New Year... and possibly more.  And I hope she's tickled to have it inscribed to her.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to the World M.J.


My cousin Ms. S just gave birth yesterday to a baby girl.

Introducing M.J., the newest member of our extended family.  She was born 9lbs 12 oz and 22 in long!  She shares her birthday with my husband.

Welcome to the world little Miss M. J.!

And Ami did very well.  He got a few teeth pulled where that pocket was and will be on antibiotics and painkillers for a few days.  He's eating but we will brush his teeth every day to be sure this doesn't happen again.  That will be rather interesting to see how that will go.  But I'm just glad he is okay and is home safe.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Dossier is Completed!



Worrying about Ami, it was nice to get some good news from our agency.  They said that our "dossier is now complete"!  Whew!

It has been moved now to translation and will be mailed to China in a few days! So it should be DTC this week!  Wow!!

We have just finished a HUGE step!


I also got a call that Ami is waking up.  He was a good boy.  I'll have details on everything in a couple hours when it's time to pick him up.  I so wish I was there to cuddle with him as he wakes up.  I'm sure he's confused and scared.  But I'm so grateful it went so well!  I'm sure he charmed everyone there and is getting special attention.  I can't imagine not coddling to his whim.

Now I can concentrate on work so much better!

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Amadeus' Big Day


Of course, I'm anxious today thinking of my little Amadeus.  Luckily, or unluckily, I have meetings from 8:30-11:30 and from 1-4:30.  So busy day to keep my mind off, though I doubt it will work.

I wish I could just be with him instead.  My husband is on call for Ami.  So he'll give me updates.  I know he's in good hands and this is to help him, but man I keep thinking he won't be the same and come back with no teeth or something.  

Last night Mr. G came over with his girlfriend. Ms. M.  We chatted up a storm and played Catch Phrase.

Afterwards, I went to read in bed.  Ami was in my lap being so cute, as always, so I took his "before" photo.

He isn't one to like his photo taken.  So he moved off my lap and snuggled by the throws and pillows to my side.

So I snapped one more. And told him how good he was and left him alone.  He snuggled there all night.  This morning he was his usual self all hyper and playing then snuggles in my lap as I have breakfast.  It was hard to leave him this morning.  I gave him extra kisses.

I pray it all goes well and he isn't scared.  I know he gets terribly car sick, even short distances.  So I hope it's not too bad today.  He goes to the vet in less than an hour.  I know my dear husband will be by his side as much as he is able today.  

(And happy birthday hubby!  I'm sure we'll celebrate tonight.)
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Push Yourself


There was a sermon at church today that was saying how the disciples of Christ pushed themselves out of their comfort zone on faith and did a 180 to follow Christ.  What are we doing out of our comfort zone?  Are you witnessing enough, tithing enough, or pushing your faith enough?

I thought about that.  How could I plant the seed to grow in my faith, Christianity and out of my comfort zone.

Currently through World Vision we sponsor a girl named Gloria from India.  We were hoping for a letter by now introducing her to us.  We got one from Kajal quickly.  But nothing yet from Gloria.  It's been disheartening, but we know we are doing good by this and helping her and her family, so we keep doing this, thinking we'll see the good were doing and hear from her soon.

The thing is, we wanted to sponsor a girl from China.  I think it's obvious why.  But China is available through World Vision.  Well, with the sermon today I became resolute to sponsoring another child, this time from China.  

Yes we're adopting and have to pay/save, but this tests our faith that the money for adoption will come and pushes us further is helping outside ourselves.  (And with Ami's surgery tomorrow, I'm really testing the tithing/money situation).

So I went to Love Without Boundaries and looked out their children who needed to be sponsored.  One girl jumped out at me.  She was the one.


Her description read, "This adorable little girl is 7 months old and healthy. She recently entered foster care in Guizhou and is in need of three sponsors to support her care.  The first sponsor for this little angel can choose a name for her, and all sponsors will receive monthly updates on her progress with new photos. Please consider supporting one of our newest foster care children and join us as we watch her blossom with the love and support of a foster family."

Yes she is healthy, versus having a special need.  But for right now, she moved us.  I don't know if it's the eyes or the look for love I see she seems to be asking for.  But she look like hope and need all in one.  And I'm sure when she is adopted, we'll find another girl or boy that moves us to sponsor through LWB.  I think 3 sponsors are allowed per child.  She is already named Lucia, so we must be the 2nd or 3rd sponsor.

What I like about LWB, is that we will be emailed once a month about how she is doing and get updates/photos.  So I will feel more connected to her than we are currently with Gloria.  

I'm excited to be sponsoring and second child.  And I'm hoping I'll feel more connected to helping as well with more updates coming more often.

We'll see what unfolds.  

Amadeus has been snuggling with me most of the day while I worked on the rug and my hubby and his dad mudded the closet.  

We are now working on preparing enchiladas for Mr. G's arrival in celebrating my husband's birthday.  Mr. G and his girlfriend should arrive in about half an hour.  

I'm looking forward to a entertaining night and then a restless sleep leading up to Ami's surgery.  Tomorrow will be a long day!
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Delivered


Yesterday at 10:58 am our paperwork was delivered to CCAI.  I got confirmation.  And since our dossier is complete and has been thoroughly checked, we should be DTC very soon!

This morning my husband's dad should be coming soon to help with the closet.  Then later Mr. G and his new girlfriend will come over for tacos to celebrate my husband's birthday!

It should be a busy and fun day.
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Fears for Amadeus


We HAPPILY live with a zoo.  With 3 cats and 5 dogs, it's always crazy around here.  But full of love and cuddles constantly and I wouldn't have it any other way.  


My boys are such Mama doters.  Dawson is what I call "Big Baby" and Amadues is whom I call "Little Man".  These 2 clowns snuggle with me every chance they get.  

Arwen and Kiara are more Daddy's girls.  With Skylar being more middle ground as to what parent she likes best that moment.


The cats, well... Drusilla is miss independent until she's not, then she's in your face about affection and will get it anyway she can.  Peyton just loves anything shiny and loves EVERYONE.  Fancy is a Mama's kitty.  She really loves to be held by me any chance she can get.  But as I'm allergic to cats, I can have them near me, but not in my lap for too long, else I get migraines.  

Crazy, I know.  But they're my children and I won't let my cats go, because of something minor as I can't be overly affectionate with them.  We make it work.  Though it breaks my heart when they want to snuggle more and I know I've had my limit, or I'll get ill.

Anyhow, with this household of love, we do our best to take care of them all best we can.  We noticed months ago that Ami's teeth didn't look good.  We decided to try on our own to give it a really good try to brush ourselves, to do what we could to improve his teeth, as we know it costs hundreds to get the teeth clean professionally.  And with adoption costs, we really didn't want to go down that road.

We gave it a good try, but now Ami has a pocket.  I know teeth will get pulled.  And I'm fretting so much.  I know an infection could cause him to die. My little baby who brings me so much joy needs his teeth cleaned.  But I worry about his little 3 pound body in surgery.  He is so delicate, though he'd tell you he's a lion.  

In fact, my little man is in my lap now as he usually ALWAYS is.  Peyton is laying in the pet bed to my left, with Skylar, Kiara and Dawson crashed in the living room.  Arwen is with my hubby upstairs, with Dru probably sunbathing somewhere, and I'm sure Fancy laying on the cool tub.

So Amadeus' surgery is Monday, my husband's birthday.  I will be a fit all day.  I will worry and fret.  I know he needs this, but I worry how many teeth will be pulled, will he have trouble eating.  Should we have gone sooner?  Did we push this too far?  Is it worse than we think it is?  He's so small, and I really worry for his tiny, tiny size.  I worried when he got neutered years ago, I worry now.

Worrying is one of the worst things in the world.  It has no practical use. It just eats at you.  And what's worse, is I'm a worrier by nature.  So this is overdrive for me.  i worry about the small stuff I shouldn't.  But that's what makes me so good at my job at marketing, I can get details done and foresee and avoid lots of obstacles.  It also makes me a perfectionist.

But for things like this, it's useless.  Worrying won't help Ami.  We're getting something done, and more than likely everything will be fine.  Yet, it won't go away. 

I know it will be 10x worse when I have Ashton.  That is one thing about parenting I don't look forward to.  That worry you inherit must suck.

But right now it's just my little man.  I pray he'll do fine and be my little trooper and that it is the best case scenario with little to no tooth pulling.

So of course this means extra spoilage for my baby.  Treats, rubs and extra walks.  He's such a star in my life and his sparkle is unparalleled.

Tomorrow Mr. G, my hubby's best friend is coming over to celebrate my hubby's birthday.  His birthday is Monday, but we're celebrating on Sunday with him and we get to meet Mr. G's new girlfriend.

So I'm very excited about this, and I will attempt to make my husband some brownies (I suck in the kitchen).  Those stories I'll share later.

But his present i bought months ago and will give to him on Monday, after Ami is home safe and we can celebrate everything!

Right now our paperchase is in Denver.  I've been tracking it like a hawk.  I'm hoping it will get to the agency today or Monday.  We should be DTC then by the end of next week.

We have a lot going on.  Today shopping with mom to get an outfit for her class reunion.  Tomorrow Mr. G over for celebration.  Monday is Ami's surgery and Mr. M's birthday.  Oh, and on Monday, as well, is my cousin Ms. S is to be induced and her baby girl should be possibly born that day.  Tuesday is a baby shower for a a friend, Ms. N.  She's having a baby girl just a few days after our neighbor Ms. M who is having a girl as well.  They are due Sept 15th and Sept 22nd.  We'll see how all that goes. (Lots of baby girls happening.)

So a busy few days.  But all I'm focused on is my precious Ami.  I hope it goes well.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So Far, So Good.


My husband got a call from the doctor's office yesterday saying the letter was done, but it was moments before they closed.  So he went by today to pick up the letter.  

He looked it over, calling me saying it looked good.  Then he put it with the other papers and mailed it out to our agency.  

I can't wait for that email confirmation to say it was received.  I'll be tracking it every hour on the website.  Hopefully it gets to them in time to be DTC this week, but I won't hold my breath.  I'm sure it will go DTC next week, that is if it all "passes inspection".  Hopefully no more glitches.

Tomorrow is the 1 month anniversary of Kay's death.  My husband is going over to be with his dad tonight, as it is hitting them hard.  I'm sure tomorrow will be even harder.  I wonder if my husband's birthday (next Monday) will be hard for him.  I'm trying to see how he'd like to celebrate, if at all.

It's been a roller coaster of a ride these last few weeks and I know it's not going to slow up, personally or professionally.  I just keep trying to look forward knowing there's the perfect match for us at the end of all this.  I see big eyes that can rival my puppy dog eyes of the fur babies and sweet dimples when she smiles.  That is what keeps us going.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Progress


We just got a call from the doctor's office!  They got the letter written and signed!  We have the last piece we need to get our dossier completed to our agency!  Maybe this week we can actually be DTC!  Yay!

I'm so happy!  There's been so many crazy, unexpected hurdles.  This should have been sent awhile ago.  I'm hoping there are no glitches and the letter is written the way the agency asked.

Tomorrow we'll mail off all the little extras our agency asked us to send to make it ready for DTC!  Whew!  I've been so anxious with all these hiccups.  I'm glad it all seems good right now.

There have been a lot of guesses that we'll be LID on the 20th.  I used to think that was too far out, now I'm thinking that may be a little too soon.  I'm thinking 24th or 28th.  But it could take longer for it to be processed by China.  It could be days or weeks.  But I should be LID by the end of the month or beginning of next.  

Next step, pick up letter and mail that sucker to our agency tomorrow so we can be DTC!
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Indianapolis Chinese Festival




I just saw it posted on FB today.  My hubby and I are going to go.  It's September 8th from noon to 7pm, free admission.  It's in celebration of the Moon Festival!  I'm excited.

Here is the link: Indianapolis Chinese Festival

There will be dancing, music, martial arts, food, cultural exhibits, lantern ceremony and vendors... and the infamous mooncakes!

Hopefully, I can talk some of my friends into going with.  If not, it will still be fun.  Can't wait!!

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I Won!!


I won!  Yay!!!  Over a week ago I saw on FB that there was a chance to win an autographed version of Emma's American Chinese New Year.  

How to enter?  Just post about it.  Then you entered into a random drawing to win the book.  So I did.

I'm so surprised and super excited!  I loved autographed stuff!  Especially book with lots of meaning!  I can't wait to share this with Ashton one day.  But I'm not just excited for her, I'm also excited for myself.  I love children's books, especially one's that are illustrated very well and have a great message.

It's a bit of a dram I've had to write and illustrate my own children's book.  What's funny, in college I was told I'd write a very good children's book for my wild imagination.  I wrote tons of short stories and plays.  I never thought of publishing them, until one play I wrote years ago.  I'd love to publish that one, but it has to be performed first.  It's sorta like a catch-22, theaters want you published before performing and companies want you performed successfully before they publish you.  But it's fun to dream and imagine your drawings and words in print helping children understand the world.  I think getting autographed copies makes you feel somehow closer to that dream.  That anything is possible.  That real people like you and me can make anything happen.  It also makes it more real that my daughter will be with me in the future.  These stories are shaped from countlesss before me going through the same struggles and wait for their child.

For those who are waiting now or have small ones, I hope you get a copy of the book, "Emma's American Chinese New Year".  There are certain must haves in children's books and this will be one of them.  
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Moved On, Finally... Day 2


Finally, after a long time, I've resumed my rug.  Day 1 was a long time ago, but life happens.  So, today while my husband and his father worked on hanging drywall in the closet, I finished up cutting the pillowcase.

Man, is it a slow process.  I cringe to think of the sheets next.  But at least i got a SMALL section done.  Pillowcase is in little strips - check.

While doing so I played my iTunes on my PC.  And it hit me, I didn't download a song I should hear.

When I was visiting Ms. M in Finland she was asking me if I heard the song, "Princess of China"?  I said no.  She was surprised as I love Coldplay and Rihanna.  Which I do, but I don't actively search for songs or music.  So I'm not the person who knows the up and coming songs etc.  I'm way behind on discovering music that I love.  Regardless, she said she thought of Ashton every time she heard the song.  I was eager to listen to it.

She played the video on her iPad.  Very beautiful song, However, it has nothing to do with adoption, being a mother, love of China, or a innocent Princess of China... it's just about broken hearts... nothing I could "relate" with Ashton other than the word "China".  But nonetheless, if Miss M. thinks of us with that song, it's one of "our" songs.  Not that I'll be playing it as background music for any Gotcha Day videos, but I'll think of her too when the song plays.  


So, I downloaded the song and the acoustic version and thought of Miss M. and my Ashton.  It played along with my other songs as I worked on the rug.  

It was such a perfect day.  The weather was beautiful.  There was no sweating today as work was done on the closet or while I took the dogs out.  I'm sad to see it go.  Perfect days are few and far between.  It was so nice to have all the windows open in the house and just feel the breeze and fresh air inside.

We're still waiting on our Doctor to see if she can write the letter and sign it. We had gone to my husband's doctor who helped him with physical therapy and everything, but he wanted money to get the 5 year old files and money to run tests to see where he is at today.  Ridiculous.  My husband is able bodied.  He is able to raise a child.  I'm not asking if he can go into space!  So we have moved to our regular doctor who sees us (and did our adoption physicals).  The nurses got all the info.  Hopefully, we'll know Monday if she will do it or not.

Tomorrow my husband will take his dad to the Colts game.  I'll be working from home trying to get ahead for my job.  Not looking forward to it, i'd rather work more on the rug and hand with the pups.  But gotta pay those bills and save up to go to China to get my little princess.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let Double Happiness Take Over


Today is 8/8/12, the 8/8 for me is double happiness (as far as China is concerned), therefore I call this Double Happiness Day... unofficially.  So I want my double happiness.  Today is good outlooks and everything cheery.  

However, we're still doing hurdles through all the red tape.  We don't have our dossier stuff wrapped up.  We got the one snafu taken care of.  However a simple one that we thought we could get taken care of, got complicated.  

We've got our Plan A, B, and C.  But none of them are strong, it's more three shots in the dark to get it taken care of fast and for free, opposed to time sucking and expensive.  (Which could run into our dossier expiring and we starting parts over again!  It expires in September.)  So hopefully, this last snag will smooth out.  I'm tired of all the red tape.

Basically, it's simple... but not.  My husband had a surgery (not really a surgery, but that's what it's being "labeled" as)  ears ago.  He's good now.  However, when we asked if we needed a letter about this "incident" we were told no.  I guess it's grey enough we are now told yes.  The letter must be signed by a doctor.  Well, his doctor said it was so long ago and those files are locked up, he wouldn't do the letter unless we paid hundreds of dollars to get the files "searched" for.  How long that takes, I don't know.  Point being, he is fine now, and we just need a letter saying when this happened, why it happened and that he has good mobility now.  But his doctor won't do it without "more money" and  "time" which we don't want to fork up at this time.  

Thus, we are looking for a doctor that can write this letter saying all these points, without us forking out more time and money.

This is why I'm anxious.  I'm sure we'll get it squared away.  Nothing is wrong with my husband.  We just need a letter saying so.  So we're on the hunt for another doctor that may help.

Please pray we can get this last hurdle taken care of quickly and cheaply!  All these setbacks must be for a reason.  I take solace in that I'm on God's schedule and not mine.  But it's a solace I have to constantly remind myself. :)
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All is Good!

PJ is now in recovery.  It was a 4 hour surgery instead of the 6 hours it could have taken.  I'm glad it went quickly.  All went well.  Thank God!  If all stays on track she can probably go home tomorrow morning!

She goes back on the 20th for a check-up.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.
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Surgery Day




Today is PJ's surgery.  It begins at 7:30 am in Houston, which is 8:30 am my time.  Her surgery should take between 4-6 hours.

Hopefully all goes well.  They (Dad and PJ) were waiting in the doctor's office forever yesterday, just to know where and when the surgery would be.  They hardly ate all day.  I think just a power bar each.

I already know they won't be eating a lot today either.

Saturday I mailed PJ a card and a bracelet that said fight like a girl.  Hopefully she'll get it today or tomorrow.  I thoughts as bracelets go, it was nice.  I didn't want is as pink as it was, as I don't think PJ wears pink, but it's the thought that counts.


So once I hear from Dad that all went well, I'll post the latest.  I'm sure work today will be going very slowly.  Don't you just love those kind of days? - Ha!
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Birthday Surprise

Today is my husband's dad's birthday.  We celebrated yesterday with a bar-b-que.  He did okay in the beginning, then you could tell it was hard for him.  Loosing Kay has made life hard for Mr. D.  They were married for over 50 years.

Well, today work wanted to give me the first day tickets to the pre-season game for the Colts!  This is amazing as it'd be so awesome to see Luck play for the first time.  However, I knew it'd be better to give to Mr. D and my husband.  So I called my hubby to see if it was okay.  He was excited about it and wanted me to call his Dad with the news.

I did and he seemed hesitant at first.  I think he was afraid what I paid for them.  But once he found out my work gifted it to us, he seemed happy to go. 

So I thought that was a good birthday gift for him.  My husband and his dad will be at the Colts vs. Rams pre-season game at 1:30 on Sunday.  I hope they have fun!  I will watch on TV, smiling!  Go Colts!


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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Critical Review Completed


I got an email from my agency yesterday.  The critical review is over.  There are just a few minor issue we have to smooth out.  But nothing has to get notarized, certified or authenticated again!  Thank God!  

Therefore, we are hoping on getting the necessary issues resolved on Monday and mailing it to them so we can hopefully be mailed out DTC by the end of next week.

I only see one potential snag, and I'm curious if it will become more of a problem.  It has to deal with the consulate ruling, so some paperwork is different.  Hopefully, the consulate ruling won't mess up our dossier for China.  But they wouldn't certify it otherwise, but now it seems to be a snag.  Don't you love the red tape?

And with that snag I just cling to the Red Thread Proverb.  "The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break."  Talk about faith.  I know it's all good and God has it all planned out.  But these "snags" always make me so nervous.  I'll I'm afraid it will crumble away or get denied.  But I trudge on...

I was hoping it'd all go through, no glitches, but these minor hiccups are easy to do.  I'm hoping we'll be LID by the end of this month.

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