Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fingerprint Approval (Updated-yay hand surgeon!)

Our immigration approval came today--phew!!  One more thing to check off our list.


Tomorrow our dossier documents from Washington, including a "true and exact" copy of our immigration approval letter, go to the Secretary of State in Olympia to be "verified".  This means that they have the seal of the Secretary of State attached to prove their authenticity.

When those documents are received back, we send the WA and CA documents to the Emba.ssy of the PRC in San Francisco to be authenticated there. 

After this, the entire kit and kaboodle will go to China, where it will be (eventually) logged in, and a final decision about our case will be made (this also takes quite a while).

I was going to drive our docs down to Olympia myself, but my darling hubs had a bit of an incident at work wherein part of his ring finger got chopped off (well, it's dangling).  So he's off for a fairly disgusting surgery tomorrow wherein they will sew two fingers together for a while to try to save the ring finger--something about blood flow to the cut-off portion. (Note: When we got married, my father-in-law said to me, "Welcome to the family.  It'll never be dull."  He was absolutely, totally and completely correct!)  We have a lot of faith in the hand surgeon, so hopefully all will go well.

Happy Friday!

(Update:  Surprisingly, the hand surgeon was able to reassemble Cory's finger without using skin from another finger, and he is on the mend.  YAY!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Waiting Weekend

Thursday and Friday of last week I called to check on the status of our fingerprints.  Hey, I'm a taxpayer and those things are darned expensive, so I feel like I can give a little ringy-dingy now and again.  Also, our case manager is heading out to a well-deserved 2-week vacay, so I really wanted to give her an update and develop a plan before she left as a lot happens really quickly once the approval document is received.  So anyway, when I called on Thursday, the woman who answered the helpline said that our fingerprints were "under review" and to call back Friday.  I called back Friday, was transferred to the officer in charge of our case, who was surprised I was calling as we weren't scheduled to be fingerprinted until 3/27, right?  True, that was our original fingerprinting date, but we were able to get in early (like, over 2 weeks ago!), which he had not been informed of because I hadn't called to tell him.  Was I supposed to do that?  That seems like an internal process to me, but of course I am in absolutely NO position to question the powers-that-be, so just was a nice as humanly possible and got off the phone.  He said that maybe he could bump us up, but I'm not betting on it.  So I guess getting in early was fairly pointless in the end, but it is what it is.

So we decided to go into denial mode this weekend, and pretend we are a normal, not-waiting, not-watching-every-penny couple and actually have some fun.  Mother Nature smiled on the Pacific Northwest this weekend with blue skies and sunshine.  On Sunday we spent the day diving in Edmonds, which is just north of Seattle and which hosts an underwater dive park with sunken boats and such.  We did 2 dives and they were unbelievable--everything from 4-foot starfish, 5-foot ling cod, octos and beautiful anemones.  It was much more challenging than any other dive we've done, as the park starts quite a ways out from shore and swimming with an inflated vest is actually really hard.  Sunken boats screw up compasses, so we did get turned around a bit, but the entire park is marked by rope lines so we just followed those back.  The advantage was that it is really shallow, and we never got lower than 32 feet. 

So a really fun weekend in the midst of it all, which was very much needed.

It was also my sister's b-day so a shout out to her--Happy Birthday, Amy!

The SUN!  My eyes!  My eyes!

Such a beautiful day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


We got some short answers from our many, many, many questions today.  I can't write anything particularly identifying, but here are some highlights:

*His favorite food is "snakes". Mmmmm!
*He's seriously HUGE.  So quite possibly older than we thought?  I think I need to start doing pushups.
*He is "irritable", "restless", and "active".  Well, he is two....

We did not receive pictures, but maybe at some point some will come through. 

We also found out that his name was completely wrong. It was very close, but has been written in a variety of orders and spellings.  However, his nickname confirms (for now) what his name actually is.  It may change again, who knows? 

Happy (early) St. Paddy's Day!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


We got our fingerprinting appointment letter in the mail a few days ago and, although the appointment wasn’t for another 3 weeks, we scurried on down to US.CIS today to have them done.  They accommodated us after I shamelessly flashed Little Guy’s picture to everyone in sight, and we are finished with that step.
This was a much better experience than our last fingerprinting date, which took place March 1, 2011 (for the Ethiopia program).  The woman who was working with me casually asked, “Where are you adopting from?”  When I replied that we were applying for Ethiopia, she thought for a second, and then said “Didn’t they close that program this morning?”  My heart fell into my toes and I thought, You know what? They probably did.  And while the program wasn’t actually closed, we all know what happened next.
Anyway, onward and upward!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Yummy

While we wait on our fingerprinting appointment, I've decided to spend some time learning more about the Chinese culture, especially in the nom-nom-nom category.  This weekend I tried a new favorite, Chinese Beef (which I think is a take on Mongolian Beef).  It would be amazing with tofu, chicken or shrimp as well. 

2 tsp. Hot chili sesame oil (I'm a spice wimp and this was right on the edge of being too spicy)
1 tbsp. Garlic, chopped (I doubled this)
1/2 tsp. Ginger, minced (I doubled this)
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 lb. Flank Steak, cut into 1/4” thin strips
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1 large Green Onions

Over Medium/Low heat, add 2 tsp. of vegetable oil to the wok.  Add the garlic, ginger, water, and soy sauce.

Dissolve the brown sugar, and raise the heat to medium to boil for 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  And remove from the heat.

Dip the steak into cornstarch, a thin dusting to coat the steak.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.  Heat up the vegetable oil in the wok, and add the beef and stir-fry for 2 minutes. 

With a slotted spoon, take out the meat, and lay it onto paper towels and pour the oil out of the wok.

Place the meat back into the wok, and let simmer for a minute, add the sauce and cook for a minute longer.

Then add the onions and cook for another minute.

Remove and serve with rice.


We are both pretty in love with this recipe, and I think it will become a regular menu item.