May 20, 2012

Peanut butter is back!

Last time I did peanut butter fundraiser, I ordered my peanuts online and saved some money by using a "subscribe and save" option meaning they would automatically be delivered to me every 6 months. My intent was to cancel after I got the first shipment.

I forgot to cancel.

Consequently, 9 pounds of peanuts were delivered to me a few days ago. And since I had a few free minutes this weekend, I whipped it up into some more peanut butter.

I found these perfect little containers at Hy-Vee, which were much easier to work with than the old ones. So, if you wanted to try some last time but didn't get around to it, let me know. I've got 9 pounds of in my fridge just waiting for new homes! Suggested donation: $10.

Ingredients: Valencia peanuts, honey, pastured butter (used in roasting), coconut oil, Real Salt.

May 17, 2012

The things we go through has been over a month since I've had enough time to sit down and write anything. The last few weeks have been absolutely, completely, ridiculously busy. I mean BUSY. We've pretty much had something going on from early morning until 10 pm every day. And any free minute in between, I've been trying to keep up on paperwork and fill out grant applications.

So that's my excuse. We've been busy.

But, I'm hoping to get back to normal soon. I've got several Real Food posts started, and just need to finish them off. Until then, here's a quick update on our adoption process.

We sent our paperwork to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) several weeks ago. This set of paperwork is basically us asking the US government for permission to bring an immigrant into the country. Once this paperwork is received at the USCIS lockbox in Texas, it triggers a fingerprint appointment. We received notice that our fingerprint appointment is scheduled at the USCIS office in Sioux Falls for May 23rd. This is good, since we were actually available that day and rescheduling these appointments is extremely difficult. Once our fingerprints go through, we will get a document showing USCIS approval (I-797). At that point, if we are ready, we can send our dossier to China.

I think I've mentioned the dossier before, but just in case you're wondering, I'll explain it again. The dossier is a collection of ALL our paperwork that is sent to China. It's basically the Chinese government's application to adopt. It includes 22 documents (or sets of documents) total. Some of these are: application letter, certified birth and marriage certificates, financial statements, verification of employment, passport information, photographs, police clearance letters, reference letters, the home study, I-797, psych evaluations and certificates of health.

There are several others, but those are few of the big ones. All lumped together, they don't sound TOO complicated. HA! Let's just take, for example, the certificate of health...

We had to schedule appointments with our doctor and have physicals (the 2nd one!) and several blood tests done.  Because we have both had surgeries (Jon and appendectomy and me sclerotherapy) we had to get notarized letters of support from our doctor as well. The dates on the letters had to be written in a specific form, every letter had to be legible, including our doctor's signature. It needed to be notarized on the same day it was written by a notary whose term does not expire for at least 12 months. It needed to address our surgeries, their outcomes, follow-up treatment, medications, their usage and efficacy as well as our ability to parent. Thank goodness neither of us have ever been hospitalized or had a serious illness, because all that information would have to have been dug up and reported as well. And nearly every document has requirements like this. Ugh.

Now I just have to share a little story about my husband. (And yes, I have his permission.)

They had to draw a significant amount of blood for all the tests.

To say that Jon doesn't like blood & needles would be an understatement.
A HUGE understatement.

We started out side-by-side in the blood draw room at the clinic. I'm not thrilled about blood either, but if I look away, I'm fine. Jon warned them he was squeamish.

Fifteen seconds in, he started to get light headed.

Thirty seconds in he lost all color in his skin and had to put his head between his legs and they had to stop the draw.

Two minutes later, I was done and they had to roll him onto the floor!

Ten minutes went by...he was still on the floor.
(At this point, I'm feeling horrible for him, but thinking "maybe I should take a picture...")

Finally the phlebotomist who did my draw (and happens to be a friend of ours) returns with a wheelchair! (Still feeling horrible for him, the ONLY thing that keeps me from taking a picture now is that she encouraged me to be a little more respectful toward my sick husband :) )

They wheel him - greenish-yellow skin and all - through the clinic in the wheelchair, into an exam room and get him up on the exam table.

I just had to ask him if I could start taking pictures, because this was definitely a blog post in the making! He agreed it was a little funny and might be worth documenting. Luckily, he didn't actually vomit in the bag, but I think he was pretty close!

Can you see the yellowish tint of his skin? It was a color I'd never really seen before!

After several minutes without improvement, they brought him some VERY store-bought-boxed stuff. I cringed. Austin crackers and boxed juice...gross! How about an apple or something instead?

Twenty or so minutes later, he was feeling good enough to at least finish the draw. Thank goodness they were able to get it all before he passed out!

The whole deal took 3 minutes for me about 45 for him.
Our very helpful doctor did his portion of the work quickly and 3 days later we had ONE of the documents for the dossier done.

Next week, our agency will review the sections of the dossier we're done with so far. They'll look for errors and make sure we're on the right track. We're hoping to be DTC (dossier to China) by mid-June.

We're also hoping we're done with blood draws :)

Because of our crazy last 4 weeks, we decided to hold off on our fundraiser garage sale so we can get caught up at home this weekend. I'm now planning to have it June 8 &9, so if you've got stuff taking up space in your house and you'd like to donate it to a good cause, just let us know!