Sunday, March 30, 2008

Montana Pics

As I mentioned below, we escaped to our cabin in Montana for a little Easter break. We did a fair amount of playing around with the camera and here are a few of the promised pics:

Look, I can take a decent picture!

Zulu hurt his paws on the ice - This is Brando applying salve

We made sure to use his snow boots when we went on long walks

Is Zulu trying to catch a snowflake?

Just a girl and her dog, talking a mid-day nap after a long hike...

I am a very serious card player!

and here is my proof....he didn't stand a chance!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My car, my husband, and some bad weather...

Jump on over to Brandon's blog and check out more pics of what happens when I let him use my car while I am out of town...

I had a date with my father-in-law last night...

Yup, when the husband is out of town, why not date his dad?

I can explain....

Last night was one of our African adoption get-togethers and since Brandon was out of town shooting a wedding, and his Mom was not feeling too well, his dad was my date :) The event was pretty good, I met a few new families and finally got to meet little Malachi . I spent the evening smiling and playing with all of the beautiful little children and catching up with their parents. Brandon was pretty jealous that he had to miss it.

Also, four Holt families received referrals this week and my friend Jody brought a picture of her beautiful little girl to the event. Also in attendance was Andrea, with pics of her handsome little guy! Yeh! Go Holt families!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our dossier is in transit!

Our dossier is all bundled up and headed on over to Ethiopia! It is expected to arrive in country by this Thursday.

Great news, since today marks 2 months of officially waiting!

I know, I know!

So, Jamie again sent me a message, cussing me out for not posting in so long! I was out of town! Brandon and I escaped to Montana for a few days to spend some time at our cabin and help my Mom with her annual community Easter Egg hunt. Directly after, I spent the week working outside of Burns, OR (basically, nowhere, USA) and just got home on this evening. Whew! I'll post pics from our Montana trip in a bit, but here are a few pics I took during the work week:

Oh ya, I had better mention what I was doing during the work week...I was doing an archaeological survey along the Malheur River.

This is a side-notched point - My find of the week!!!!

A quartz biface fragment

And one very tired field crew :)

We had a great time, as it was the first time all four of our staff members worked on a project together. BTW, I have to mention that no artifacts were collected from the field and all locational information is protected.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New lens

I mentioned below that Brandon got a new lens recently (Canon 50mm f1.2) so here are some recent cute pics he took just playing around. BTW, Ignore my double chin...I am blaming it on the paper pregnancy :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I just realized that I still haven't posted about our CIS trip. Nothing too eventful...everything went smoothly (as far as we know).

Brando had been out of town the 3 days prior to our appointment, so I played hookie to spend some time with him and I also already had to take time off for the appointment, so that justified it (wink wink). Anyway, we arrived early and had some time to kill, Brandon just got a new camera lens, so we wandered around Portland for a 1/2 hour or so to kill time and take pics of course. We checked in with the security guard, filled out some forms, and then waited no more than 10 minutes for our appointments to be called. Smoosh, smoosh, they took our prints and off we went! We tried to go to a new Ethiopian place, but they were closed, as well as our usual Ethiopian spot, so we settled for Sushi instead and headed home.

Funny how I can make a long story over something so short and uneventful...huh? It's a talent. Ask my husband :)

So, once we got home we had the AWESOME idea of making a picture of our fingerprints. Ya'all had better agree to the awesomeness that is this pic:

P.S. Notice what my shirt says!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We are authentic!

I just talked to a member of our agency staff and she let me know that our dossier has just been received back from authentication!
So, what is authentication?

Well, the first stop is the Department of State, where our dossier is examined, and the Secretary of State's paperwork is authenticated-- ie, the Dept of State verifies that the document really was OK'd by Oregon's Secretary of State.
Once the documents pass that inspection, they go to the Ethiopian embassy in Washington D.C. There the Department of State's stamps are inspected, and the Ethiopian embassy verifies that the Department of State's stamp of approval is a legitimate one. Once the dossier receives this final seal of approval from the Ethiopian embassy, it is returned to Holt and assembled into it's final form!

Whoo Hoo! One more step complete. We now have our fingerprinting appointment with CIS in 3.5 hours :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

1 month and 1 week

Yup, we've been waiting "patiently" for 1 month and a week.

Nothing new on the adoption front. Last week Brando took a CPR & First Aid course. I am always certified through my work, but he had never taken a course so we figured he had better get on it before we become parents! The original course was cancelled, so the instructor came to our home and gave Brandon and his dad a private class. It worked out well as he was able to focus more on the pediatric side of things and they were able to ask tons of questions, etc.

So, that is abut it. We'll get fingerprinted on Tuesday and I'll probably have some more lame pics to post of the geeky Parents-to-Be.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We got our fingerprinting notice today!

Our appointment with USCIS is next Tuesday!
For those of you not well-versed in adopto-lingo, the fingerprinting appointment is a required part of the I600 Petition or the “Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative.” It is the first step in the USCIS (United States Citizen & Immigration Services) process for an international adoption.

Once the local USCIS office receives the I600 (and home study) they will then schedule fingerprinting appointments for all adults over the age of 18 living in the home. After receiving the fingerprint reports that say that we are well behaved citizens, we will receive the I171h, or the golden ticket of approvals that will allow us to adopt.

Now lets cross our fingers that the post-fingerprinting process goes quickly (it can take months) and that our golden ticket will be soon to come!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Some links

I was just checking out a few of my favorite links and thought I should share. I'll post them on the side as well, but here ya go:

A blog of Holt's recent trip to Ethiopia, including pics of the orphanage, intake area, Ethiopian staff, and most importantly, the beautiful children!

YouTube video of Holt's president in Ethiopia:

This is why I have been so quiet....

We have an old house (almost 100 years old) and unfortunately people have done some pretty mean (and ugly) things to our house over the past century. We have "redesigned" the entire house, added an upstairs, removed and rebuilt walls, etc. We have replaced all of the lathe and plaster and our sheet rock guy is downstairs right now finishing up our new smooth coat walls. Hopefully we'll be primed up soon and ready to start painting!

Hallway leading to our bedroom and the nursery

Brando "hard at work" on the stilts

Gee, I sure love priming walls!

We put his mom to work, priming the nursery :)

Zulu worked hard as well...

Our nephews stopped by to check out the progress, and we put them to work too!

We have a new front door! Zulu looks like he'll miss the ugly purple one....

And finally, our new door from the outside!

So, we still have some work to do...trim, paint, etc. on the inside, and Brandon wants to start stripping and repainting the outside pretty soon as well. Hopefully we'll get this placed spruced up in no time at all!