Sunday, March 30, 2008

Clearing the Clutter

Hooray for garage sales! We cleared out a ton of stuff, and made about twice as much as expected. Things that did not sell:

-3 child car seats
-A huge pile of paperback books
-2 paintings

There are no laws requiring child safety seats here (or if there are nobody follows them), so no big surprise there.

The books--again, not a surprise. As a rule, you're more likely to see people reading fashion magazines (my Oprah magazines sold like hotcakes). There are many good reasons for this, including the cost of books and the language issue, and some not-so-good reasons, like Manila's incredibly pervasive fashionista fetish. It still makes me sad. Even though I like saying "fashionista fetish."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Flowers of the Philippines

I had this great idea to take pictures of all the gorgeous flowers in our neighborhood and post them online so that during the cold winter months I could look back and remember with fondness the tropical beauty of the yadda, yadda, yadda...

Ok, so I took two whole pictures. But still. Two is more than zero. So...mission accomplished!

Playing Catch-up

So. Peoria, Illinois will be our new home in just over two months. After so many months of not knowing, and another month or so of getting used to the idea, I'm finally excited. House hunting online isn't the ideal, but it has its charms.

Garage sale tomorrow. Quotes from international shippers pending. Final adoption paperwork still MIA.

Summer's here, and it is HOT. The kids are out of school until September. Ack! Thank heaven for the neighbor kids and the pool.

So before we can turn in our I-600 form to the embassy to start the visa application process, we have to have ANOTHER home study report done. Number four. We actually found out about this last month and I'm just cooling down enough to write about it. It has to be from a US-accredited agency and completed within the last six months. Can I just say, "AAAAUUUGGGGGGHHHHH!"? More physicals, more applications to fill out (16 pages this time, per parent), more letters of recommendation, another home visit, lots of photocopies, and another $500. Phooey. Luckily all we have left to do is the physicals. Meanwhile the decree could come through any day--or it could take another two months. After that:

-amended birth certificate
-Filipino passport
-physical and immigration appointment for the baby

Citizenship gets taken care of once we're home, and I have a feeling that compared to this, it will seem like a cakewalk. And then we're going to have the party to end all parties, even if it's just ourselves and some loud music and lots of junk food, since we know exactly zero people in Peoria, Illinois.