Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Will make you smile, #4

I have found that one of the annoying things about international travel is having to deal with the metric system. I thought the whole world had given up on using it at about the same time the US did.....sometime after 1976 when I finished 4th grade math.

But no......not so! We had to do lots of conversions, especially when it came to figuring out the temperature and ultimately, at what point our brains were going to cook in the Liberian heat.....but alas, that's another post....

Anyway, as we were leaving Liberia and waiting to check our bags at the Monrovia airport, I noticed that the scales the agents were using displayed kilograms not pounds.

Worried that our bags might weigh too much, I turned to Will and said, "How do we convert pounds to kilograms again?"

"Okay, first divide by the temperature in Hong Kong. Then subtract the number of characters in the Greco-Roman alphabet. And finally, invert that number, reverse the first digit with the second-to-last and multiply by π. Got it, Mom?"

"Errrr........yeah. Got it, Will."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home again....

Well....Drew, the boys and I are back from Liberia after something like 30 (gosh-awful) hours of traveling. We got in late last night......slept like rocks.....and I'm hoping that after another good night of sleep tonight, we'll all get back to feeling like ourselves.

It was an incredibly bittersweet trip. Bitter because it was so very hard to leave Amos and Kalee behind after spending the week together as a family.....playing on the beach....singing and laughing together....eating together around a big table every night. Both boys cried as we packed up their things and loaded up the car at the house we were renting. And both cried again when we said our goodbyes at the orphanage.

The trip was sweet, though, because we made incredible progress toward finalizing the boys' adoption:

-Just prior to our trip, the State Department announced that the US Embassy in Monrovia was moving ahead in tandem with the Liberian government to process adoption cases like ours that already have valid court decrees.

-On December 22nd we had a very positive meeting with Consul Steven Harper at the US Embassy where he confirmed the few remaining steps to complete our case.

-On December 23rd we met with two key members of the Liberian Ministry of Health who agreed to complete our case history. In fact, while we were there last week, MOH staff tracked down and interviewed the boys' biological father and visited the boys' mother's village to confirm her death and other necessary details.

All this to say.......Drew and I are oh-so-cautiously optimistic that the case history will be written up and complete in another few days. Having the case history will allow our adoption to quickly proceed to the US Consular's office where DNA testing should confirm that our boys' biological father is in fact who he says he is......and then....visas will be issued for Amos and Kalee to come to the United States. If every thing goes smoothly (and I hesitate to even write this) the process could be complete by the end of January.

After my first visit in August, I said goodbye to Amos and Kalee not knowing when I'd see them again. I didn't know what was going to happen with adoptions in Liberia or when things would move forward.

This time....I said goodbye without such a heavy heart. I left being able to say that Drew or I would be back for them very soon. I could tell Amos and Kalee that this long, painful wait is almost over....that it won't be long now until they can come home.

This time when I waved to them and said, "I'll see you soon," I really meant it.

Please continue to pray with me that God will make it all so and that He will see Amos and Kalee safely home to us.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane....

Despite the snow all along the east coast, we are heading up the road (with 500 lbs of luggage) to Washington, DC where we hope to catch our flight to Brussels this evening and then go on to Monrovia, to arrive late Monday.

There are a lot of variables at play and we are not sure whether we'll actually be able to fly out or not. Don't know if Dulles will be open.....whether Lufthansa will cancel our flight.....or whether we'll even be able to make it out of our driveway, much less up the interstate to get to DC.

But......after talking to our travel agent (twice) we don't have many other options other than to try to make it and then see what happens.

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That's my girl.

Have I told you about my niece, Sophie?

Blogworthy if ever there was such a girl.

She came home from China to my sister and brother-in-law in 2003.

She is all kinds of cute.

And smart.

She takes ballet. And tap. And Chinese. And all sorts of other stuff that make my head spin.

I love that girl. I could dish her up with a spoon. Except when she cries. And then I don't know what to do with her.

Having her around satisfies my occasional need to buy something pink. Or to do foam crafts. Or to talk paper dolls. Or to try on various headbands just for fun.

The boys love her just a little bit, too.