22 February 2009

One year anniversary of homecoming

Today was our one year anniversary of the day we came home from Ethiopia with Denekew and introduced him to our other children, Ocean and Jaguar, and our parents and siblings. Last night we celebrated with a home cooked Ethiopian meal. I decorated with our Ethiopian flag and souvenirs, set out our scrapbook (of photos of trip to Ethiopia and our homecoming) as well as Ethiopian folktale books and adoption children's books. We had a wonderful relaxed evening of family and fun.

I can hardly believe it's been a whole year that Dene has been a part of our lives. It seems like yesterday that we picked him up and flew home with him and yet it seems like he's been part of our family forever.

13 January 2009

Everything is Done!

I have been told that I don't keep up my blog. Well, it is difficult with 3 busy children!
But I should state that we have reached a completion point!

On Nov 14 we received Denekew's Certificate of Citizenship in the mail. My mother was over when it came and I had to sign for it. I instantly knew what it was and at my excitement she was curious. I told her as I tore it open. She and I both cried at the look of this amazing formal document stating that my son, born in Ethiopia, is now an American citizen with all the rights and privileges that entitles him to. Wow!

On Dec 30 We had our last post-adoption home visit EVER with our social worker. From now on we will put together our own anual post-adoption reports until Denekew is 18.

On Jan 2 I went to the Social Security office and filed an application for Denekew to get a social security number. For once it was short, easy, and BEST of all FREE! The entire time I spent in the social security office, from walking-in to walking-out, was only 15 minutes total and the application was only a half page to fill out and the documents I needed to bring with me I had readily available. (Although I do have every imaginable document by now!)

On Jan 12 We recieved Denekew's social security number and are now all set to claim him on our taxes for 2008. And get him a passport for whenever we want to drive up to Canada for a little trip!

03 October 2008

More Documents Completed!

Today I shipped off the adoption reimbursement documents and forms for Caleb's work. (It ONLY took months of Caleb constantly contacting HR to get the forms!) And yesterday, I shipped off the certificate of citizenship documents and forms. Yeah, another step completed!

I know, we've been home with Dene for nearly 7 months now and I'm just now getting this in the mail?! Well, we did have to go through the re-adoption process first. (Not to mention a certain little boys' 1st birthday, and the begining of Kindergarten and Preschool for the other kidO's!) After the re-adoption we got Dene's birth certificate in the mail and it listed his birth country as GUATEMALA! I had to fill out an affidavit for correction and get that sent in. Finally a fully correct birth certificate came. Then I could begin the N-600 certificate of citizenship forms and collect the correct documents.

In the mean time, I also began the process to get Dene (and all the kids) passports. Since we can't even go to Canada without them anymore! As well as the forms to request a social security number. Want to know something pretty crazy? If a passport application is filled out without a social number you could get a $500 fine by the IRS. But to get a "citizen" social security number you need to show proof of citizenship. Document quote: "such as your passport."

Think I will just wait for that certificate of citizenship!

26 July 2008

American Citizenship!

We officially re-adopted Denekew in Washington State on July 18th and now Dene is an American Citizen!

Going to court with all three kids was kinda crazy, but fun. We were accompanied by Caleb's parents and my best friend, Becky. Dene liked the judges bald head! We celebrated afterwards with some ice cream at B&R, Dene slept through the fun!

09 April 2008

First Post-Placement Home Visit

We just had our first post placement home visit this past Saturday.
It went well. It felt more like having our good friend Diane over for a visit, join us for a cup of coffee and chit-chat, than a home visit by our social worker. Never mind that the entire time Jag was bringing Diane another baby doll to trade with her and help take care of! In fact when Diane first arrived Denekew was asleep and she asked to see "your baby." Jaguar happily brought her on tip toe into her bedroom where all of her dolls were lined up in her bed, tucked in taking a nap! It was a pleasure to have our family life look and feel like a healthy functioning unit.

We also received all the information we will need to begin to work on re-adopting Denekew in the State of Washington.

11 March 2008

Serious Discussion

This morning Ocean (my 5 year old biological son) came into our bedroom at the first sound of Denekew awake, like every morning since we've come home with him. While playing, Denekew had a serious look on his face and Ocean claimed he was thinking about why we (Ocean & Denekew) have different skin colors. I ask him if he knew why. He answered: "Cause we're from different countries." So I thought I'd ask him some other questions about skin color and here is how our discussion went.
Mom: Is one skin color better than the other?
Ocean looks totally confused and finally slowly answers "Yes?" watching me to see if it's the right answer.
Mom: No, no skin color is better than another. They are just different.
Ocean quick and confident: Oh, Yeah! (He knew this all along.)

Mom: Is one skin color prettier than the other?
Ocean: Yeah! Denekew's skin is so pretty cause it's darker.
I just laugh - cause this is not the answer experts say kids answer!

Mom: Some people don't like people just because they have dark skin.
Ocean interrupting and lunging to hug to Denekew: And some people do like them!

End of discussion. We all toppled over on the bed!

05 March 2008

Daddy Love

Monday was Caleb's first day back to the office since we went to Ethiopia to get Denekew. He took two weeks off just like he did at the births of Ocean and Jaguar.

I was making dinner and Denekew was just hanging out in his favorite spot; sitting in the johnny jump up in the door frame in the front hall (it's really a wide hall way so he has lots of room to jump and not hit any walls!) Caleb came home and walked in through the front door and instantly Denekew was jumping like crazy and squealing and laughing! Caleb got such a kick out of it. Me too! Denekew definitely knew who Daddy was and was so excited to see him home!