Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Timeline and Paperwork Process From Here

I forgot to say that he's coming home to us, probably, this fall: October or November! They estimate 3-4 months, probably closer to 4.

I also forgot to see that from Friday, July 17, to Thursday, July 23, we didn't have a photo! We were absolutely dying, and six days couldn't pass soon enough! Thank goodness we were at the beach on vacation, so we were pleasantly distracted for those six days (kayaking, biking, beaching, hopping waves, making sandcastles, reading books, etc.). We drove from Bethany to Baltimore and back on Thursday, to meet with Margie and to pick up Matthew's file and of course, see his ADORABLE photo! It was a great day. The only day it rained our entire beach week (perfect!). We found a great organic soup restaurant--mmmmm....fresh, homemade soups and vegetarian sandwiches, operated out of a converted Baltimore row house near our adoption agency. It was absolutely charming. Cold rooibos tea and a wonderful mozzarella caprese sandwich on the freshest bread EVER! Jeff had a white bean soup that was too garlicky for his taste, but it sure looked good to me. And we found a great organic market right next door (we had some time to kill before meeting with Margie). ANYWAY, I digress!

I dropped Matthew's photos and medical paperwork off at our new pediatrician's office on Monday afternoon: a Dr. Elaine Lee in Olney. She and her partner, Dr. David Miller, came highly recommended to us. I hope we like them! The front office staff was great, which sometimes is the most important thing, as they are the only "gateway" to the doc! They were so friendly, and they were passing around Matthew's photos, oohing and aahing and saying how cute he was. They have been very accommodating, as Dr. Lee will be away on vacation starting next week but we really need her to do this review by week's end, so we're meeting with her tomorrow morning at 9:00. They managed to squeeze us in. I don't expect her to have any concerns, but our caseworker said it's a good idea to just meet with her regardless, to get a sense of her and to interact with her, b/c establishing a good relationship with your pediatrician early on is so important.

We've also started the process of getting re-fingerprinted with Customs and Immigration Service (CIS). We had to send an email to some DHS office, and supposedly they will snail-mail us an authorization letter that will allow us to appear at the CIS office (it's in Wheaton, MD, near Glenmont metro, for those of you in the DC/BALT area). You get a one-time free re-fingerprinting, so thank goodness no exorbitant fee this time! (The first time was quite exorbitant just so they could roll your finger pads on a computer screen!) Of course, we still have to endure the long line, but that's OK. We can live with that.

And of course there is yet another mound of paperwork that I'm not even complaining about, as completing it brings us ever closer to Matthew. How's that for motivation? LOL!

I am taking 3 months' maternity leave, and Jeff is taking 1 month. Then, when I go back to work, Jeff will be on paid sabbatical for the spring 2010 semester! He does have to do work, but he doesn't have to teach, which is huge, and he's not expected to be physically there. So, Matthew will be doing part-time Daddy Day Care, part-time regular day care from Jan to June 2010. Then from July on, he'll be in full-time daycare (or nanny care; not sure yet). I'm following some nanny leads but I'm not sure we can afford a nanny, and I may be way too early to pursue nanny leads at this point. Even the day care centers are telling me to call them closer to the date. I'm telling them July 2010 and they're looking at me like I have six heads. I guess there is such a thing as being OVERprepared!

They say that we can send Matthew small gifts, starting now! So I'm going to find him a little stuffed lovey or something, and a blanket, and I'm also going to make him up a little scrapbook with everyone's photos, so his foster mom can show him our pictures and familiarize him with his new and forever family! Then when he comes to us in the fall, they supposedly send those things back with him! We can also write letters to his original foster family in Busan as well as his birthparents, so I'll be doing that as well in the coming weeks. I am so thankful for his birthmother! Her presence in the world enabled us to have our son! She is constantly in my thoughts these days. I have so much respect for her and the incredibly selfless thing that she and the birthfather did in making an adoption plan for Matthew. I think birth parents get a bad rap, overall. It's an incredibly responsible, mature decision to come to, and probably one that they did not come to lightly.

That's all for now. I have to get back to work. These are the most details I've provided thus far, as this venue just feels more "right" for all the intricate details (versus mucking up my email messages with too much info). So some of what I've been saying is repetitive, and you may already know it, but this is by far the most detailed account of our life since July 17, 2009! What a ride it's been!

I am so, so happy!

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