Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

We are in the midst of a huge snow storm. Thankfully most of our Christmas shopping is done, just need to get some stuff for Christmas stockings and dinner. It will just have to wait till next week. We are definitely going to stay in today, maybe read a book and sit by a fire. John is outside right now shoveling the sidewalk and driveway along with our neighbors. It's interesting, people are not usually very neighborly in DC. One of the only times is when it snows. It is one of the things I have always liked about the snow in this area. Neither of us has read a book for fun in a while so we are looking forward to a relaxing day inside.

Pictures of our house were requested along time ago which I never got around to until now. Better late than never! It is not super clear because the snow is still coming down pretty hard, but here is our house.

Trying to keep ahead of the storm (unfortunately during the time since taking this picture another inch or two has already fallen)

In other news, we finished our self studies! Both of ours ended up being 12 typed pages. I actually enjoyed the process for the opportunity for introspection it provided. I have really turned around my thinking where this is concerned. Initially, I was feeling a bit resentful about having to go through all of this to have a child when it is so easy for most people. I have begun to think of this process as a "get to" rather than a "have to." Most people don't get this type of preparation for parenting. We are getting to think about and ask ourselves questions that will help us and our child so much. Last Friday we attended the pre-adoption class and Monday evening we went to hear a panel of adult adoptees share their experiences 0f being part of a transracial family. We learned so much and I look forward to sharing the info in a future post.

I believe our last reference letter has been sent. We are only waiting for our Maryland child abuse clearance; apparently it is taking them about 6 weeks to get these back. Florida took 1 week :) enough said. As soon as this clearance arrives, we should be assigned a social worker and then have our interviews and home visit. Making progress!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fantastic News for Military Spouses!

I know this news only applies to a few of my readers, but I figured I would pass the information along anyways because I was so excited to hear this news today. President Obama recently signed into law S. 475, the "Military Spouses Residency Relief Act." This law will allow military spouses to retain residency in their home state along with the military servicemember. Up until now military spouses essentially became a resident of the state where they were stationed, resulting in a husband and wife having different states of residence. And often resulting in the need to get a new driver's license, car registration, and pay the state taxes of the new state. Now we can keep the same residence. As a resident of a state with no state income tax (Florida) this law makes me very happy :) I have to find out if it applies to this tax year, especially since I have been having Maryland state and local taxes taken out of my paycheck. Here is the White House statement. There is also a Facebook page with information.

Adoption Application Packet Submitted!

We got our adoption application packet submitted last Friday minus both our self-studies and driving records from Florida. The driving records arrived yesterday in the mail and got sent off today. We also got our copy of the sanitation inspection so hopefully CHSFS got their copy as well. I had planned to submit my self-study with the packet, but last week ended up being pretty busy and then my monthly friend arrived so I was feeling pretty tired. I figured since John's couldn't get to his until after his final exams, I would just wait and do mine when he does his. I like to be able to bounce things off of him as I write so waiting will work out well. They have no problem with us attending the pre-adoption class on Friday since we are only missing these two things. I can't believe we are almost done with the application! They are still waiting for the results of our state and FBI background checks, child abuse clearance, and 1 reference letter (1 has been received already and 1 is on the way). After they get all these documents we will have our interviews and home visit.

I had planned for us to go the CHSFS office and drop off the application packet together and get a picture. However, one thing you learn pretty quickly as a military wife is flexibility. John ended up having a review session for one of his final exams so that plan went out the window. We did manage to get a couple pictures of us with our completed application packet so I guess that it all that matters (I asked my co-worker to take a picture of us at work).

Fluorescent light is not my friend. Oh well, the important thing is to document the journey so we can share it with our child.