A Jump into Mama-Love

I really have nothing to compare it to, I imagine though, this is the story of mama’s around the world. Whether our babies grew in our hearts or our wombs. Whether we share blood or share souls.  I am learning we are all immersed in the beautiful mystery of Mama-love.

We actually were not supposed to have our meet cute that day. The courts, paperwork, notaries; it all was backed up. Not to mention we were learning that times and appointment here were really mere suggestions. There was always time to stop for coffee or breakfast. Even if it was 8:00 am and you appointment was at 7:30 a.m. your driver wants to stop for an espresso and we had decided to embrace these caffeine emergency delays because more than likely your judge, translator and social worker might actually be at the same coffee car outside the building doing the same thing….


Continue reading the rest of this story at Adoption.com

Why the debates regarding the ethics of adoption scare me?

During the adoption process (and before), I came face to face with the a hot debate that is quite controversial and rather charged on social media. 
Dom dom dom:


I am an exceptional devil's advocate on practically any subject. I grew up not really questioning what was taught to me or what I was told to believe and as I came into adulthood I found myself, in rebellion, questioning everything. I argue everything back and forth in my head.  You start talking to me about a side, for some reason, my first reaction is to start spouting out defenses of the other. You switch it up on me, confusingly, I start reasoning the other way.  I want to know both sides. This is a double edge sword. I stabbed myself on multiple occasions playing with this sword in this particular debate. 

In the early 2000's there seemed to be what some would call a huge "christian movement" to adopt internationally and "save orphans". But the result of this surge created space for some questionable ethics and practices. ERK. Adoption is so not the way to "grow the church".  We heard about the little girl in Guatemala kidnapped, sold to an orphanage, and then adopted internationally. That must have been devastating on both families.  Then we get updates regarding  horrible stories of mothers in Ethiopia paid to give over their babies due to the demand of sweet little African baby girls by caucasian American families. And the stories of abuse, they definitely make the headlines. I cannot tell you how many people told me about the mother who sent her newly adopted child back to Russia. Alone. On the plane. Heartbreaking.
I think it is great that critique from these stories brought up some much needed concerns for reform. They made us step back and check our motives.  Hearing the word industry in the same sentence as adoption  just sounds weird right? I am right there with you. Something smells fishy. I do believe there is cause to pause…… But pause my friends……... NOT STOP.
Sometimes yucky people adopt and sometimes good people adopt and the process was yucky. YUCK! 
Such stories also stirred up a new movement. A "preserve the family" movement as I call it.
Well of course hearing nauseating stories as these make us apprehensive or angry - THOSE STORIES SUCK!
I hate them too.

But here is what I also hate:

That when we started adopting, I had to change the comments sections of my blog to be moderated because of the hateful responses I kept receiving. Not comments wanting to discuss concerns or raise awareness. But comments such as: "I give it a year before your baby is dead" or "Counting down the days till I read about how you abuse your child in the news".
OUCH! Really? How does that help advocate either side?

I fear, that to often, this social media draw to pounce on the movement of adoption, accidentally results in a new generation now afraid to be involved in orphan care at all. I myself spent several nights crying, reading about this debate and questioning our calling. (OMG- looking at Little Man CRAWLING across the floor right now as I type reminds me how glad I am that those doubts did not win.)
I am scared that we now have at our hands the perfect excuse: 
"I believe in the preservation of families."
We are not necessarily aware that we are hanging on to this phrase as a cop out  but we quickly judge those who have/do adopt and yet we do very little in regards to that statement we shout  adamantly towards them. 
Adoption is not saving children, but it is simply parenting the best you can someone, whom without you, would not be in a family. And here is where I will get kick back for sure:

Sometimes adopting is better than preserving the family.

Or maybe we can say it like this:

God can use adoption to redeem the disruption of family.

Yes, there is grief and loss. I am not down playing it. To a scared/angry kid confused about their past, he might say he does not believe in adoption. He might say he would have wanted to stay with his birth mother.  These feelings are valid. It is hard. There are gray areas. Your child will have a missing link to their history. I cannot imagine the damage to identity this might do.  It is our role to raise them to know and believe this DOES NOT DEFINE THEM. I will not try to act like I can pretend to understand what this feels like, I am not adopted. Can we start a discussion on how to help our children write their story rather than simply posting on Facebook that adoption isn't ethical because there is loss and confusion involved? Help them find their identity, to know their WORTH. Not as children we saved, but as children we unconditionally love.

AND let's just be frank. My child was one of 65000 disabled children living in an institution (this does not mean those are all orphans though).  He weighed 11 lbs, could not hold up his head and was in and out of the hospital with aspiration pneumonia. Now his life expectancy is 60 and he spends all day (expect if I can get him to take a 2 hour nap) experiencing life outside a crib. His parents were wrongly and unfairly told he would do better in an orphanage by their doctor. THAT SUCKS.  But I also know parents in the United States who were heard these same lies from their physicians 30 years ago and CHOSE to preserve their family ANYWAY.  Little Man's biological parents made the choice not to and in some ways, I have to respect that decision. Maybe they made it for reasons beyond the DS. Maybe it was a prayed over decision. I will never know. They terminated their rights and signed their 3 lb baby over to police custody while he was intubated in the NICU.  I believe there needs to be great reform and education in his previous country to counteract stigma and lack of education to help ensure these decisions are made not based on those fallacies.  If education and resources are available to them maybe we, in good faith, can respect the decision made to place a child for adoption the same way would respect the educated decision to place a child in adoption by a pregnant woman in the United Staes.  I want to support amazing people like those at WIDE-AWAKE or Mission to Ukraine who are trying to educate and advocate for resources and system changes in hopes of preserving the family there. BUT MEANWHILE….. there was Little Man…..alone in a crib all day with NO family. MEANWHILE…. two precious 5 year olds sat alone in strollers all day until an incredible young couple said yes to adoption. I am not saying this as a kudos to us.  Just a little perspective. By God's grace we have started a journey that does indeed make his life better. Is that wrong, egotistical, prideful to say that his life is better? Maybe. Does it help if I mention he makes my life WAY better too?

The adoption movement is not the same movement as before.
In 2004, there were 22991 international adoptions in the US. In 2013 there were 7092.  So I would say the word is out: We need to check our motives. We need to check our practices. We need to educate ourselves. But we also need to quite scaring everyone away. 

I say these things to myself as much as to anyone else plus I am not an expert on the subject. These are simply rantings of an adoptive mama. 

I believe we can allow these concerns to give pause………. for a moment. We can reflect, grow, maybe reform where necessary……. 

Don't run away!

We are truly called to care for WIDOWS and ORPHANS. 

Don't stop because a flawed human world got involved in the system. The same way I have to remind myself not to completely run away from the church because is full of imperfect humans, and we are really good at messing things up. Abuse found in adopted families does not equate that adoption is unethical. There are so many holes in that argument. We can absolutely step up as a church to reach out to victims of this abuse. Let them tell their stories. Give them respite. Give them a voice.  Educate pre-adoptive families on stresses in adoption. There are bad people who adopt and do bad things; this does not lead to the reasoning that adoption is bad. 

Don't stop because you believe in preserving families. But instead of belittling a friend at church in the middle of an Ethiopian adoption -which you just read on Facebook is super unethical and now you are an expert about - investigate how you can put action to your words. You want to preserve families? Let's do it. I am totally on board and love that you have a passion for this. What an amazing calling?!?  You don't necessarily have to go reform the system (although that would be neat). Get involved with pregnancy crisis centers. (Heads up- some mother's still come to the difficult but well thought about and intensely prayed about decision of adoption. And it might be the RIGHT decision for them. Don't make them feel otherwise because of your need to preserve a family.) Enroll to learn more about Foster Care with an agency focused on reconciliation if possible. Help throw a baby shower for prego local women who might not have all the resources for a new baby. OHHH I would love that instead of hateful comments to moderate once I post this blog, I got comments/responses sharing other great ways to be involved in widow and orphan care BESIDES adoption. Let's spit ball some ideas to help get people involved; not scare away those interested in orphan care with this heavy debate.

And for those of us who are adopting/adopted. Can you share some grace? We are trying to preserve families in our own way. An orphanage is NOT A FAMILY. I am preserving a family for Little Man, we are his family. 

The Journey to Destination BEST

As I write this, a snotty little guy lies in the pack n play next to our bed heavily breathing, deep inside an unawakenable slumber. (When this guy is ready to sleep - he is out for the count). I keep looking over every couple minutes in disbelief.

That is my kid.

Our responsibility.

I have a son.

The depth and reality of this sometimes is overlooked between the feedings, the poopy diapers (or more often- the fret over lack of said poopy diapers), the laundry, family, friends, Christmas. 

I cannot compare this to anything else. I do not know what it is like to come home from the hospital with a fresh wrinkly newborn or hear that first cry as a baby is placed upon the exhausted laboring mother's chest and still I watch as his chest moves rhythmically up and down in a deep peaceful sleep filled with surprising assurance and confidence that we belong together.

And I feel like I have labored, like I pushed for hours.  Then with an exhausted cry, sweaty brow and a nauseated husband; walked out of the airport and collapsed into my families arms as they greeted our  child into a new world. 

I once heard a sermon by David Platt where he expressed that he kept thinking adoption as a second best option. Even during his families journey to bring home their son. While excited,  it was at most -second best. Until they were home. 

Then it became BEST.

Either way. You end up arriving at the best.

I no longer go to gender reveal parties or see baby bumps and ache that my journey did not take me through that path.  Instead, I see them and rejoice for those moments for sweet friends and pridefully ponder the uniqueness and beauty of my own Little Man's story. Pretending all the grief and insecurity of infertility magically slipped away as the plane taxied into our home gate would be a lie. But just as they have experienced a precious joy that I might never personally encounter, I have been blessed to go on a journey that they might never walk through either. 

Either way. 

He is our OWN son. Because that is what adoption is. Where he did not own before, he owns now. He did not have a single thing to bring with him or any visitor to say goodbye to when we walked out of that orphanage. For 7 months nothing belonged to him.  He might not carry our genetic makeup (but can we just say that his biological parents sure did pass on some major cuteness) yet he carries every inch of our heart and soul. 

The intimate exchange of souls where the definition of BELONGING takes root. 
We belong to him. He belongs to us. We are each other's owns.  


Shameless Selfie while waiting for Hubs outside the SS office! 

One month

The long anticipated one month home post.

And I DO NOT want to do it.

Not because I am not completely smitten with most definitely the cutest baby IN THE WORLD. Because I am.
Not because we are not getting into routine and learning to live life as a family of three.
Because we sort-of are.
Not because Little Man is not growing leaps and bounds and learning new milestones daily.
Because he is.

But rather because of pride. Silly Pride. We celebrated one-month-home in the hospital battling the notorious winter villain- RSV.

Pridefully, I wanted to show you a happy healthy family. To display how adoption changes lives.
Ohh prideful heart. It whispers- "you failed" and taunts me with an absurd "is this really better?"


For ALL of us.

When we met Little Man, we were pretty sure he was deaf. No exaggeration here. We left the orphanage after our first long visit and started talking about what this means for us as a family. For the next week we would clap loudly, snap everywhere, make sudden noises and wait for his response. Nothing.  We were so certain of our "diagnosis" that we even got excited about the idea of our family being able to communicate with sign language during awkward moments, in elevators, at church or across the room. Little Man did not respond to sound throughout our visits in the Ukraine. In a short 7 months, he had learned to tune the world out.

Now he startles when I drop a pan in the kitchen. He notices when his cousin begins to cry in the next room. He turns around to see who is clapping and causing a racket. He is learning to babble, grunt, laugh and ohhhhhhh yeah, he is learning to cry and express his frustrations.  Which I am having to keep reminding myself is BEAUTIFUL. (hmmmm at 3 am someone might need to remind me of that)

He is becoming an attention hog- and he deserves to be one!

It is not better because of what I am doing. Or what Hubs is doing. Or Mimi. Or Gramm.
I am making more than my share of rookie mistakes. I would tattoo "New Mom" on my head but I am pretty sure it is already there by the stares I get while trying to figure out to get my son in the carseat and unload my basket of groceries in the parking lot.
 It is better because we are together.  God brought us together to work this life out as a family. And this, my friends, is way better than working it out solo.

No contest- I am now mom of the CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD.  I love telling every person I met that. Every nurse, doctor, respiratory therapist and social worker had to agree with me because, as you can see below, how could they not? :) How blessed am I?

And unlike the 2 months he spent in the hospital right before he met us, this time he was not alone. Not for one second. 

Take that RSV.

Take that Pride.


One month!

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How we got assigned Officer Jack Bauer

The only logical explanation: It must have been Jack Bauer working on our immigration case.

WE GOT USCIS APPROVAL. Our officer CALLED ME this morning to tell me the news.

A process that I was told, on more than one occasion, by several USCIS employees, should take 75 days.
24 hours. Jack Bauer style. 
Although he sounded pretty much like a woman and told me a different name. Which was kind of confusing...... but I knew it was him. He is sneaky like that.

At first I said I had no words, but then I realized I haven't shut up about this news all morning. Evidently I have lots of words.  The next question everyone is asking: What does this mean, Carly..... What's next?

A season of waiting.
We wait to hear the words that we have been officially submitted. This could happen sometime in the next two weeks.  We have been sending over our dossier in bits and pieces so that the team there could work on them and translate them. They will have 5 pieces of paper to add now and then they will take all of my paper baby to the court.
We wait to hear our Court Date or Travel Date.  This is the long wait. After being submitted it usually takes 7-11 weeks to find out your court date.  The Court date is usually 2-4 weeks later.
To simplify: We might be traveling in about 13-15 weeks.
So this means I should start looking for winter coats......

Also, credit where credit is due. 24 hours = God's handiwork. That has His name all over it. He must have stirred Jack Bauer's heart to get involved.

Advantage us

"The only way to care for the disadvantaged – is to disadvantage yourself –which is guaranteed to turn out for your advantage."
-Ann Voskamp

Here is the deal. I love that everyone thinks I am awesome. Mainly, because 1) it might be true 2) the encouragement is appreciated 3) My self-esteem has greatly improved (something I sometimes struggle with). HOWEVER,  the response I hear frequently after sharing our story is, "You guys are awesome." or "He is so lucky."  I get that sometimes people might be at a loss for words and this feels like a good place to start.  I mean really, what is the appropriate response to finding out about the orphan crisis in Eastern Europe and then hearing we want to adopt a child with DS?

Can I confess a little something? I feel a little burdened by the awesomeness. I love the encouragement  but let me interject with a quick disclaimer. While I do whole heartedly believe we are saving his life, he in return, is saving mine.
We will never require him to be grateful for what we have done. We are grateful he is ours. He is my gift from God. 

We struggle with awesomeness.  There are days I fall quite short of it actually. Days and weeks where I wrestle with this decision and my future. Moments where I do or say completely un-awesome things to my husband or think less than awesome of the people around me. Once Baby D is home there will be days where I am frustrated with him and parenting in general.  I can only imagine the  amount of awesomely-bad-parenting-decisions I will make.  Thankfully, our AWESOME GOD  can supply grace over all this awesome unawesomeness.

Further, what would be truly awe-inspiring is if we could turn a country upside in their structure and beliefs so that families would be equipped and encouraged to keep their babies with special needs in the first place. That his mama, and the other mama's, would not be afraid or shamed by their baby's extra chromosome or disabilities and be given the tools and education to love and raise their children. I feel like we are simply putting a band-aid over a dehiscing wound that needs someone to suture it up.

The other response I frequently get is "Could you guys not have kids of your own" or "Do you struggle with infertility?" or The best one yet.... Ready..... it is good:

"Do you not want to try for your own kids first?"

Well nosy-pants. We do struggle with infertility. The journey through infertility has been bumpy and long but it led us to a place where our heart were open to this adoption- for which I am incredibly grateful.  But I have news:

This not our replacement child. THIS IS OUR OWN CHILD.
Who knows how or when God will choose to grow our family in the future?

The bottom line here: Advantage us.

And he shall be called


I know, I know. You want a name. Golly, we do too! Octavian is not his real name. While awesome, it is simply an alias to use during this process and we do not plan on keeping it.
Don't be sad. I know it is cool.
We do not get to know his given name until we are probably over there.

And we have decided, at least for right now, to hold up.  We have a name that we think we might use, but I really want to know what his given name is first.
He has lost so much.  I want to see if there is a way to give him that connection to his birth family, his country, his heritage. Try to respect any progress in development he is making and if he learning his name I want to celebrate that milestone with him. We might try to use his given name or a version of the name.

That being said........

Some of the names in his country are quite difficult to pronounce, spell, or say.  There is also fear in keeping a difficult or funny name that other children in the US cant say or will laugh at. He needs a name that all of his friends can call out when playing on the playground.  He might even have trouble writing, learning or spelling that name.
I might not be able to pronounce it correctly.
He might not even know his name yet.

This decision is tripping me out.
Names are important.  My first taste of parental responsibility and I am wigging. Shows how ready I am.
I don't want to mess this up before we even get started.

So he is called.......

 Baby D

Lil Peanut

Chunky Monkey


Lil Buddy

Lil Dude

Oh and in case you were wondering, I say all of those in my "squeaky voice"

Fat locusts

I feel like the locust are eating everything!! "Get full and swarm on all ready you guys", I whine at night.
People keep encouraging me that soon Baby D will be in my arms. I will feel like everything went crazy fast and we will have the rest of our lives to catch up.
True and encouraging.
But still.

Then I read another book. While they are great in helping me prepare and making me a knowledgeable mamma bear that can advocate for my child, they also elicit a response of fear.
They propose that in DS the first couple years are the most critical.... oh no.
They suggest that the longer a child is institutionalized the more difficult attachment can be..... oh dear.
In  response I shout: WE HAVE TO HURRY!
But this is a process and we can only go so fast.
The LOCUSTS keep eating.

God keeps settling my fears. Whatever these fat locusts keep chopping away at God is going to restore.
Soon this empty room will be filled with a crib, toys, books, a chair, and A CHILD.

God can take care of the destroyed fields those short-horned flying grasshoppers leave behind. He promises to restore the missing time, however long.

Praying for the faith to believe that promise.


Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Dr. SeussThe Lorax


What a difference Love and Support makes.
Well, I care an awful lot.

Come on Home Study. 2 weeks today. I am hoping our social worker sends us a draft to read over next week.  Our state side facilitator can then proof it and if it looks good.......

AUSTIN. First we have to get the home study apostilled. Then it is goes to the USCIS.

Then we WAIT AGAIN. boo. We wait for the USCIS to approve everything and schedule us a finger printing appointment. (Sadly this process as been taking longer than usual. One persistent mamma recently kept on receiving delays so she had her senator write a letter on her behalf to speed it along. I am willing to resort to similar tactics if necessary)

Then we send  that approval and home study across the ocean, to Baby D's home land, and wait for them to announce our court/travel dates.

I really would like to celebrate Christmas with my baby. Like A WHOLE AWFUL LOT.

Warm fuzzy feelings thinking about that---Christmas with my baby.  Dwelling there a moment.

Still Dwelling.


My Paper Baby made it across the pond and is now in the correct hands in the country where my Human Baby waits. Get Excited!

We now our waiting for the social worker to write up the Home Study (2-3 weeks) and then we will submit to the USCIS for US immigration (can take up to 75 days). Once we get that green light we submit Home Study and USCIS approval to our baby's country and wait for travel dates.


Baby D's freshly painted closet. It is ready to be stocked up  with Baby D essentials.

How the D's do Home Study Day

7:30- Shower. Clean. Print out our Evacuation Plan and pics of the floor plan since we forgot to do this last night. Straighten, organize and quickly mop the floors.

8:45 -I hear the click-clack of the doggy door and for some reason think "eeeee...I hope Roo doesn't get muddy." Two minutes later I realize I have jinxed myself. Click-Clack. She bolts back through the door with mud dripping from her bearded mouth and chunks of grass and dirt trailing her every step. The social worker said she would arrive between 9 and 9:30. Remain Calm! Hubs scrubs her face and paws while I pin them both into the laundry room with the new baby gate we got to impress the SW. I quickly sweep/mop  the trail she left in her dart through the house. We regroup, pour ourselves another cup of coffee, and station ourselves to the couch so we can hear the awaited knock (We really need a door bell).

9:45- SW calls. Her plane is stuck taxing, waiting for a gate. I curse Southwest for the first time in my life. We jump into the car to pick up a cheese/cracker and veggie plate from HEB in an effort to curb her hunger. I do not intend for her to do this home study cranky with low blood sugar.

10:15- Once home, we return to our stations on the couch. Every vehicle that passes Hubs jumps up to check to see who it is.  We pour more coffee. In hindsight, we probably over did the caffeine but at the time it felt right.
Peeking to see if the next vehicle is her. False Alarm.

10:45- SW texts Hubs that she is picking up her rental car. We each make a run through of the house again to see what else we can straighten or hide. I was not that nervous earlier, but the waiting is giving me time to over think.

11:00 - Still perched on couch. Walking nervously between rooms to peek trough windows. 

11:30- Car pulls into driveway. I awkwardly cannot figure out where I should sit. I jump back and forth between couch and chair..... wondering how long I should wait after she knocks before opening the door. She knocks. I mistakenly choose to open the door too quick... mid-knock. Awkward. We greet and discover she had tried a new airline and did NOT fly Southwest. I knew it, Southwest would not do me dirty like that.


She assessed, asked, prodded, warned, admonished, encouraged and then deemed us FIT to be parents of a special needs child from Eastern Europe. 
I made a point to drop Dr. Purvis into convo a couple times since I know how social workers love them some Connected Child.  The social worker was wonderful! She has a heart for adoption and has worked with Eastern Europe and RR before. We feel like we are in good hands. She also ended the study with a great and GLORIOUS sentence: "Give me 2 1/2 to 3 weeks." WHAT?!? I was warned that this might take 6-8 weeks. I will give you 2-3 weeks with pleasure.

2:00 Made it to the 2 pm showing of Super Man - Man of Steel. 
Celebrating another finished step with  my Super Man. 

Thanks everyone for covering today with your prayers and thoughts. We felt it and appreciated it. 

Loving a Paper Baby

So here you are looking forward to a post about perhaps loving a baby that I only know on paper- which is indeed true- but not what this is about.
I said goodbye to my paper baby today; sent it on a journey that is now out of my hands. It is hard to let go.

40 documents. Signed. Notarized. Apostilled. Now traveling overnight, alone, to its next destination.

The scared UPS man sealed the envelope while I instructed him for about the 5th time how I might DIE if this gets lost. I have been reading all about attachment issues and adoptions, but I have yet to come across the chapter regarding the attachment issues related to these paper babies.

The trip to Austin was quick and successful. For something I had never heard of before, apostilling seems to be a pretty legit and frequently used government service.

Next we went and saw Baby D's Aunt Amanda. Heart Happy.

Apostilling my paper babies And Hugging this girl......
Good Day Indeed!

Mom spent the week busy doing her Mom thing- making lists and organizing a game plan.  We tackled a couple projects, including an impromptu painting of Baby D's closet. At one point, I walked into the living room and found her with the couch pulled out from the wall cleaning the baseboards. Baseboards were not on my list but somehow they must of made it onto Mom's. Word on the street is that a home study does not equal a white glove inspection but it can't hurt to have a good first impression right?

Friday is the day.
I have some tricks up my sleeve.....
1. Go with the eyelids
2. Offer a snack
3. Bring the A game

We got this.

Keep Calm........

via wondermentet.com

Today I am simply linking you up to another adoptive mom who expresses herself better than me. *I know that seems impossible.* She already has her son home now but this is a glimpse back into her journey. A post she wrote along the way that reminds me of where we are at.  I appreciated and related to her heart.

My new job

Bring Home Baby D Central- and remnants of my PBJ from lunch. 
Just reflecting that  leaving my job was all part of God's plan.  Here is my new place of work. It has two locations: Here you see -Bring home Baby D Central, but there is also a mobile unit, AKA the Honda.
Yes- Good eye. That is a cup of coffee next to a diet coke.  I am getting a baby AND I do not have to give up caffeine. HECK YES.
 I sign, scan, email, take a sip of coffee and then do that over again but alternate with the diet coke. Scanning and downloading documents one at a time. Scanning. Scanning. Scanning. 

3 weeks.
3 fast but somehow long, exhilarating but indeed frustrating, weeks.
I need to get a hold of myself because adoption is a long process and we have only just began this race.
And I do feel like on some level it is race. Now that I know WHO we are doing this for, every day that goes by I feel like I am racing against time.  The days are winning this race. Another day just sprinted by where I did not get to hold him, love him, cuddle him, play with him, or help him develop. Slow your roll woman. We have many months ahead of us. 

We went to the doctor and found out we are relatively healthy.  HIV, Syphilis, and TB free- Yipee!
We went to the county appraisal office- twice.
We went the Chase bank for mortgage proof.
We went to the church to notarize paperwork.
Found out my passport number on the paperwork was wrong. (Something I probably should have checked pre-notary). 
Church secretary re-notarized everything.
Scanned everything into state-side facilitator.
Found out Jon's issuing passport provider was wrong. (Again Carly.... PROOF READ.)
Went to bank and got paperwork re-notarized.
Scanned new paperwork into facilitator.
Found out the word passport was spelled PASSORT on our documents. (Are you kidding me?-When will I learn.)
Went to a different bank and got paperwork re-notarized.
Paper work submitted to our facilitator state-side approved..... feeling good!
Home appraisal form rejected due to lack of address stamp. 
Went back to county appraisals office.
Paper work APPROVED from both facilitators. 

Whats Next?
Mom (super glad she is coming) and I will drive to Austin on Monday for a walk in appointment to hand deliver my paper-babies for the Sec of State to provide an apostille for them. When I called the office for more information I learned:
a) I was saying it wrong (embarrassed much). It is pronounced uh-pos-til. I was saying it uh-pos-il. You know, like the 12 apostles. :) She was quick to correct me. 
b) The turn around is 30 mins for a walk in appointment or 10 days -not including mail time- if you mail it in.

Decision made- Walk in it is- my roll will not slow!

And Then:
Mom and I return home to prepare for the Home study Friday June 14.
Plus Summer is OVER > School is back in session.

More paperwork please

I have been kicking "to-do list" booty.
OR that's what I thought until I received an email from the facilitation team today with a crazy load of more paperwork, forms, documents, test, and copies that I need to do and get notarized ASAP so I can then get the apostilled.
Seriously, I did not even know what that meant.
I am now stressed and in a negative funk.
How do I even go about getting some of this done?
 For example:
~ need the signature of a county appraiser and have it notarized.
~ statement of  a bank representative regarding our mortgage and have it notarized.
~ Doctor physicals, (including an HIV/Syphilis test) have it notarized, and include a certified copy of his medical license!!!!
How do I arrange a notary to be there at all these things in case there is not one at their locations? Who is a notary that can be my appointment buddy?
Things just got real and complicated by reading one email.
Thankfully the kind naive lady also listed her phone number. I feel for her. I am going to grant her the holiday weekend and then we are about to become best friends.
And remember that time I wrote about the Life Long commitment of parenting--You betcha I am calling my mom to come up here to help before I have a freak out moment. (hint hint mamacita)
I hate the idea that my lack of effort, my misunderstanding, or my mistakes/delays on paperwork might be slowing down the process of bringing the Baby D home.
My plan right now- Go watch the new season of Arrested Development of Netflix.