I challenge any of you to have a house cleaner than ours is right now, pre-home visit. Seriously, this place is absolutely spotless and pet-fur-free, and that is no easy feat! Our wonderful, amazing cousins (and, of course, good friends) braved the snow (yes, snow) to help with the cleaning efforts, so we were done lickety-split. So here's a shout-out to them--thanks again, guys!! We couldn't have done it without yout!
Cory also steam cleaned our disgusting carpets so they are (sort of) white again without obvious cat-barf stains, and everyone got baths. Poor Maggie...
And, of course, she needed a blow-dry, although she kept trying to eat the air out of the hose....
To prepare for the home visit, we were told to relax (yeah, right), not clean in excess (again, yeah right) and make the place "homey". So here's a question--is this too kissy-kissy?
Yes, the title is "E for Ethiopia"--a wonderful kids' book--just laying, you know, just casually laying out on the nightstand in the future nursery. Too much? We can't decide. Not that we're overthinking things or anything. :-)
In other news, this week we attended a class called "A Sort of Life", which gives an overview of a child's life in an orphanage. The title itself made me pretty sad, and the class was very insightful into the challenges of life inside an instituton. One interesting fact--for every three months of life in an orphanage, a child loses one month of development across the board. Yikes. The class leader has adopted four children at all ages and from different cultural backgrounds, and has a tremendous amount of insight into this issue. We are loving the classes for their excellent information, and also for the opportunity to meet other adoptive families.
Yesterday, we checked another huge task off of our list. As Ethiopia does not recognize American notaries, we need to have certain documents authenticated by the Secretary of State. So yesterday, we finally received all of the pertinent documents, and finished writing ones we need to submit, had them notarized, and put them into the mail to the Secs of State for Washington, Montana (Cory birth certificate) and California (my birth certificate). It's scary to let these documents out of our sight, as they are originals and a huge pain to get hold of, so hopefully things will go along smoothly and we will get them back in the next couple of weeks. Phew!!
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