Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adoption Help/Petition

First, thanks to all of you who went and signed this petition. Yesterday the USCIS announced its decision on the state of adoptive parents who were to be grandfathered in to the new immigration rules surrounding foreign adoption. They have decided to move forward with the grandfather clause. Now, those of us who filed our petition to adopt with the CIS prior to April of 2008, can continue down the same path and stick with our I-600/I-171 instead of falling under the new guidelines. This will be in effect until the year 2014. After that we are on our own. But, that gives us all some breathing room. I pray we are not waiting that long for our girl! Thanks again and thanks to the Universe for helping us out.

Peace out.


Soccer Star

Monday, October 13, 2008

Please Help - Adoption Petition

Dear Friends,

As you know, Nathan and I are waiting for a referral of a little girl from China. Though we began this journey over two years ago, we have officially been waiting for 20 months. Now, our adoption is in jepoardy, thanks in large part to the USCIS misinterpretation on the legislation passed in regards to the International Adoption portion of the Hague Treaty. Below is an excerpt from a petition I am asking you to sign which gives further explanation. In addition, I have included links to the petition site and the website for the Joint Council on International Adoptive Services - the thinktank/policy setter for International Adoption. This is a personal plea to help us continue on our adoptin journey to bring home a sister for Noah - whose patience for a little sister is beginning to wear thin!

I assure you this is quite serious. Every International Adoption agency in this country is encouraging their clients to get on board and sign this petition and call thier legislators. The past year has seen many changes in International Adoption. Ultimately these things are happening to protect the children, however, it is endangering families like ours who are very qualified to adopt, have jumped through the many hurtles required and have been patiently waiting for a referral. As it stands right now, if we received a referral tomorrow, we have all of our documents in order, could accept the referral and leave in 8 weeks to get our child. With the new rules, if we receive our referral tomorrow, we would have to wait months and months for our new paperwork to be processed. At best, our child would continue to languish in an orphanage while our paperwork is processed by the USCIS. At worst, we would lose our referral entirely. Please help us move this forward so that we can continue to be "paper ready" when our referral comes.

Adoption For All Petition


"Recently, the rules and regulations in the United States of America regarding international adoption have changed. Congress passed The Hague into law. When this was done, Congress explicitly stated that families who are in the process of adopting a child internationally and who have been in process prior to April 1, 2008, are considered "transition cases." As such, these families are, by law, grandfathered into the adoption rules and regulations that existed PRIOR TO April 1, 2008 until their adoptions are completed, and these families DO NOT have to re-file under the new Hague guidelines. However, the Department of State and the US Department of Homeland Security's CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services, aka USCIS) bureau are blatantly ignoring this law and forcing all transitional families to abide by the new regulations. This not only contravenes the law as written, but also creates undue hardship for the thousands of US families affected, and will likely cause the disruption of the adoption.

Thousands of US families have been waiting in excess of 2 to 3 years for their adoptions from China and other countries to be completed. Now these families are being forced by the National Benefits Council (NBC) and USCIS to re-file under Hague, when clearly Congress wanted them to be grandfathered under the I600A rules they were subject to when they began their adoption process. Under the new rules these families will have to pay additional dollars, in some cases running into the thousands in fees to US adoption and homestudy agencies. Having already spent in excess of $10,000, many cannot afford these additional fees. In the next 2 to 3 years >10,000 US families will need to go through the I600A renewal process, which is a quick process, with approval time running from about 6 weeks to 2 months....

The US Congress passed the new rules for USA adopters into law; however, in their wisdom, they had the foresight to see that the adoption process (particularly in China) has been moving extremely slowly, and so the US Congress particularly provided in the law that "transition cases" (those in the adoption process prior to April 1, 2008) can continue their adoption under the rules that were in effect at the time they began the process and UNTIL THEIR ADOPTION IS CONCLUDED."

Please help us with this pending crisi by signing the petition and forwarding this to anyone who might help.

With many thanks,

Nathan and Dana

Pink Eye

Never before and hopefully never again. Last night Noah came in from a nearly all day play session with the cutie from next door saying his eye was hurting. We told him to wash his eye with a washcloth. It seemed to help. Apparently not enough. He awoke this morning with a red crusty eye. EEWWW! Pink Eye. I cleaned it out again and gave it a couple of hours before heading over to the FNP at Walgreens. Yep. It crusted up again. So...I left it and we headed over. Yes, it is pink eye. So, we are home now with an antibiotic for his eye. We are washing our hands a lot today and Noah is getting drops in his eye every two hours. Though it has been a mostly good day, giving him these drops is not high on my list of fun things to do. Have a great day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just One More

Father and Son

More of Meijer Gardens

Rolling Stone

Owl Family at Meijer Gardens

Meijer Gardens

Before actually leaving for Grand Rapids, I did some web surfing and found Meijer Gardens. MG is a botanical and sculptural garden in GR. We had such a wonderful time there. Nathan and Noah both loves sculptures. I'm more of an art girl and love folk art especially, but Nathan loves dimensional form. Noah, thank the Goddess, is an art lover of all kinds. He also loves sunrises and sunsets, stars, the moon, flowers and just beauty of all kinds. Here are a few of our photos from our visit. These are just a couple of the sculptures we saw.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here Comes the Bride

I won't put many pictures of the special day up. But, we went to Michigan last week to attend Nathan's cousin's wedding. His cousin is Anna and she is a beautiful girl. She married a truly fabulous guy - John in a wonderful outdoor ceremony. You probably cannot see it but it was on a covered bridge in Grand Rapids. They had a fun and yummy reception after in a neighborhood restaurant/bar. A good time was had by all.

Croy Family Reunion

Okay...not really and there were not many of us there. But, here are a few family shots from the wedding (the real reason we went to Michigan!)

The lady with the lovely white hair is Nathan's aunt Cathy (on his father's side). The stunningly beautiful woman in the purple is Nathan's cousin Rachael. And, the handsome with the exotic look is Saji, Rachael's love.

These photos were taken during the reception.

BFF - Best Family Forever

I don't have time right now to get all of our Meijer Garden photos up, but here is our family photo that a kind lady took while we were in the Botanical part of the gardens.

BFF - Best Family Forever

I don't have time right now to get all of our Meijer Garden photos up, but here is our family photo that a kind lady took while we were in the Botanical part of the gardens.

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble @ the Chldren's Museum

Untitled Album

I'm having problems with my slideshow on this one. Click on the photo and when it takes you into my Picasa album, click on "slideshow."

Children's Museum Slideshow

Children's Museum

On our first night in Michigan we headed downtown. We were all starving as we had not stopped for lunch on the way up. So, we found a great Chinese/Thai place and quickly had dinner. Lucky for us it was family night at the Children's Museum in downtwon GR and the museum was scheduled to be open until 8PM. So, we headed there next with our reciprocal ACM membership...very valuable and practical when traveling I might add.

We had so much fun. And, we got to talk with some locals about the area and other fun things to do. Here are some of the photos. I am not sure who had the most fun - Nathan or Noah. Nathan would like to put a couple of the exhibits in our home just for fun.

Lake Michigan-the Slides

Lake Michigan

While on our trip we journeyed to Lake Michigan and spent part of the day there. Wow. It is so much like going down to the gulf. The water is very calm and you can see right through it. When we arrived there were only a few brave souls there. The water is very cold. It never really warms according to those in the know....our Wisconsin neighbors. But, being from the South and not knowing any better, we jumped in. Well, Noah and Nathan got in. It took me a while but I finally ventured in up to my knees. By the time we left, the day had really warmed up and the beach was quickly filling up. It was a Friday afternoon and the weather was predicted to change on Sunday, so the locals appeared to want to get in on the final days of hot sun. It apparently was unseasonably warm while we were there. Imagine that. Nathan and I going somewhere and the weather being at an extreme.

We rounded out the day with a drive up the coast to a cute little town called Grand Haven. If you ever get to the West Michigan Coast, make this a stop. It reminded me of some of the towns we visited in New England. A typical coastal town which has really remained true to its roots and has a fabulous downtown.

So, I've included a few of my favorite photos from the day as well as a cute slideshow of our beach fun.