Archive for July, 2007

Yes, I Never Learn

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

So Sunday our wonderful social worker was here for the update interview. She drove from Santa Maria. She was here for 1/2 an hour.

Yes, I did waaaay too much work for the occasion. But realistically it was a good motivation to get a bunch of things done. The house looks great and while we need to do some more organizing and tossing out, I feel like we got a major amount done, even if it wasn’t all necessary for this event.

Maybe next time though I will remember not to get sooo stressed out.

But I kinda doubt it. 😉




Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Well, it is official, we have decided to adopt from Vietnam. We got the OK from our China agency and our homestudy agency is working on the update currently. We have all the forms from the Vietnam agency and will soon be embarking on a new round of wonderful paperwork.


Our wonderful social worker Lisa is coming round we hope this weekend for a quick face to face. So yes, another major bout of cleaning is now in progress. Called in the maid service again. Yes, I know, this is probably major overkill just like it was last time. Sue me. 😉

We are keeping our paperwork in with China – the CCAA has no issues with prospective parents doing concurrent adoptions such as we are, for the time being anyway. Harrah’s would like to see a year between adoptions (so would I frankly) but for the time being we have the option of putting things in China on hold if it looks like we will be too close.

I doubt very much that there will be any close in this though. At least as of the last time I exchanged e-mails with our coordinator, the agency we chose is still seeing referrals within 3 months. And China has only referred through Nov 14th, 2005 (reminder, we are April 25th 2006) so I doubt we will see anything from China for at least another year.

Of course, all of this is subject to change. The vagaries of the Universe kept us from getting our original paperwork done in a timely manner. I don’t want that to happen this time. We do have to have all of our paperwork in for the homestudy update before our current I171H expires but other than that hard deadline I am not putting dates on anything. Just get it all done fast!

So, more information as I have it.





Friday, July 6th, 2007

Pics are up!




Wind Up

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

So we have definately learned from our experiences that while Italy is a lovely country with great people, the folks here lack some basic organizing skills. Maybe we are spoiled by America’s way of running business, museums etc. Maybe it’s just a cultural thing. But whatever – Rome is the worst-run airport I have been to thus far.

You know, I’m not a big fan of Lufthansa from other experiences. And in general I think airlines often need a kick in the ass about their customer service. But when you add some mandatory union in between an airline and their passengers you are just asking for trouble. In Rome apparently none of the check-in clerks actually work for the airlines. So when a technical glitch causes seating troubles for us NO ONE could fix it. Not the “customer service” rep at the airline counter, not the clerks at the check in desk. No one. It was seriously screwed up.

But that was apparently nothing to all of the boarding computers going down. On a Sunday. With no supervisors or IT staff to try to fix it. They had to check the passenger list and the luggage list by hand. And of course they came up one person short. So they had to unload ALL of the luggage, count it again. Still one person short. So they pulled his luggage and finally let us go. An hour late.

Which of course meant we missed our already short connection in Munich.


Well, at least in Germany, actual employees of the airline who somewhat care are working the counters. Unfortunately this being the start of the holiday season in almost all of western Europe, there were no flights back to the States until Monday morning. So they put us up in a hotel in a village outside of Munich. Paid for dinner, too, so that was ok. Too bad the flight was so early though. However, we decided we had to go into town at least for a little while. Can’t be so close and at least go look around.

So after getting our few belongings settled (kept the luggage at the airport to avoid checking it again the next day) we had a little lunch and then took the train into the city center. Have I mentioned how much I love to travel by train in Europe? Especially in Germany the trains are so efficient and even though my German is really poor these days, I can still navigate the S and U bahns.

We couldn’t do a whole lot in the city, this being Sunday and everything closed but the restaurants. But we did gawk at a few things touristy such as the clocks and statuary in the Marienplatz. And of course we walked over to the Hofbrauhaus, which has been in continuous operation as a brewery since 1607! Had a beer and some strudel. After a bit more gawking, headed home to get me off my feet.

See I had thought we were just getting on a plane. So I had decided to wear the new Italian leather slip ons. Great for air travel when you can just slip them off for comfort. Not so great for touring around the city center of an old European city. At least, not when they are brand new and not broken in.

After an uninspired – trying to be oh so international – dinner we crawled in bed, knowing the wake up call was at 5:15am. Fell asleep to the sound of rain and thunder. Fortunately it was mostly done by morning.

The trip home was fortunately mostly uneventful. Other than security was running at 11 due to the bombing in Edinburgh and the attempt in London. One snicker moment was when I took off my slippers again as my feet hurt and the poor German gentlemen behind me asked his companion (auf Deutsch) if they were going to have to take off their shoes, too. His companion assured him that was an American thing. Then proceeded to regale his friend with all the strange American habits he had observed in his travels. Had to keep from busting up though ’cause the guy clearly did not realize I understood at least some of what he was saying

Once we made it through our flight was delayed a while. Not too badly but I was never so re leaved as when we actually took off!

So, home now. Here’s a few more pics and I will try to post the rest in our gallery soon.
Picture 051.jpg

Statue of the Diana of Ephesus in the Vatican museum (EDIT: Thanks to Michael for pointing out that my original label was incorrect)
Picture 069.jpgThe central altar at St. Peter’s – where all the bronze from the Pantheon went

Picture 104.jpgJanice in front of the Keats-Shelly memorial house in Piazza Spagna

Picture 109.jpg James Bond moment
Hope you all enjoyed our adventures and misadventures.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled adoption blogging.





Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

We got in late evening yesterday. We’re both lagging a bit and trying to catch up today.

I’ll post more with pictures as soon as I can.




Trapped in Munich

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Well, I was wrong – the next post is NOT from home. We missed our connector in Munich due to technical difficulties in Rome. Not altogether a bad thing ’cause, hey, a free night in Munich. But an early flight tomorrow. Blah.

And I hate Lufthansa.

More when I am home and not completely sleep-deprived.