Friday, July 20, 2007

Amended Homestudy Received!

It made it! This morning our amended homestudy approving us to adopt from Zambia arrived! I now either need to take another afternoon train trip up the the LA USCIS office to hand deliver this and get the country mistake corrected, or FedEx it. I could save some money by FedExing... but since I've been told I don't need any forms/checks/cover letters with it, I'm afraid that once it arrived, they would tell me they want a form to make the change and a check for their time. To file a I-824 (used to change countries), it's currently $200. After July 30th, it goes up to $360. Yikes! I'm hoping that since it was their mistake to process the application for a country other than what was stated, that they won't charge me for this and we can save that money! Besides, if we end up moving, I'll have to pay that same fee to update my address, I believe. Ugh.

I also don't think I mentioned before, but my brother's in town right now! My mom's lease on her Saab was up, so he drove their convertible Beetle out from Colorado. I think he's staying through Sunday night, so it's definitely time we are trying to take advantage of since I don't know that I'll be able to see him again before he heads to Afghanistan for his deployment. :'-(

As for the house, it's not re-listed yet, but I finally got our realtor to take his sign off the garage door. He seemed to put off doing that for quite a while since he's still trying to wait and see if this deal with the guy who made the first offer on our house is going to work out. We should've received a written offer by now, but he's had a situation come up that has changed what his financing options are, so we're just waiting for him to get that figured out first. At this point we're told that BY Monday we'll get an update. I just hope, REALLY HOPE, it'll work out and we don't have to start over with showings and waiting again. As much as we don't like our current realtor, we just want to be done and not have to work with another one!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More South Africa pictures

Ok... as requested, here are some more pictures of our trip! I'll probably post even more later... hate to overwhelm anyone! ;-)

Male White Rhino having a standoff with our truck. He blocked our path for about 5-10 minutes... just standing there, sniffing, and waiting. I can't imagine a more amazing animal! He was so docile and calm in a situation where he didn't feel threatened.

A male Nyala - isn't he amazing?!

Look at this gorgeous Zebra!

A view overlooking the Zulu Nyala reserve

Hippo family... notice the baby on the left-hand side of the picture?

Talk about a big mouth... in case you wondered how a chunky little hippo could be the animal responsible for killing the most people in Africa, check out those jaws and teeth!

Zulu Cultural Village - dancing (look at this guy's flip!)

One heck of a kick!

A whirlwind of changes

Yep, I have updates on all the crazy changes happening in our lives... yet again plans have been fumbled! First, the buyers of our condo have gotten cold feet and cancelled the escrow the day they were supposed to release contingencies. No stated reason why... and their realtor won't even answer our realtor's calls to explain anything. So, our house is NOT in escrow and we (at this moment) will NOT be moving yet. Our agent has called the agent of the guy who made the first offer on this place to see if he's still interested. We're told he is, and he made a verbal offer that was $5,000 below his last written counter-offer price. If he can come up $9,000 from the verbal offer, the place is his. We'll see. Something more should be known sometime this morning. Cross your fingers for us... with the adoption looming closer and closer we'd hate to have to put the house back on the market now and start over with a new realtor. This may be a really happy day... or one that is a little less than happy. Either way, our lives are still great.

In addition to the situation with our house, we received our I-171H in the mail! We have been approved to adopt One or Two orphans... from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! Yep... Ethiopia. I wrote Lusaka, Zambia on the application, but they completed disregarded the application and approved us for Ethiopia since that's the country our homestudy mentioned! If they noticed the discrepancy, the proper protocol they are supposed to follow is to contact us and request an amendment to the homestudy. Instead, they just approved us for Ethiopia! So, now I'm waiting to get the amended homestudy in hand so I can head BACK up to Los Angeles and get this corrected... hopefully without paying the $200 fee to change countries! Grrr... I was so bummed that this came up. That'll teach me to count on things being correct the first time around!

At this point, we have no idea if/when we'll move and our I-171H is still in the works (getting the country mistake corrected). We're hoping to get some updates on the adoption process in Zambia soon as the first 4 families with Faithful Adoptions leave at the end of this week to begin their Zambian adoptions! Please keep your fingers crossed, pray, or think positive thoughts (whatever it is that you do) for them/us that their adoptions go smoothly and in about a month they will be safely traveling home with their new children!!!

BYU student article on time in Zambia

Well, I know a post is long overdue. I thought I'd start by posting a link to an article someone mentioned on the Zambian Adoption forum. It's written by a BYU student that traveled with Mothers Without Borders and spent 3 weeks in Zambia. The best part is seeing her pictures with all the amazing children! Enjoy!