Monday, November 30, 2009


We landed just a few minutes late into Munich. We got our luggage ---left the big bag at the airport and got to the bus just in time to get to the hotel in Erding.

We left our bags, freshened up and headed into Munich for the afternoon. (it's a 45 minute SBahn ride.)

Stopped by the Tollwood winterfestival-- somewhere between burning man and a Christkindlemarkt-- then to the Augustiner Brauhaus for a nice German dinner. After that, we strolled through the Christmas Market in downtown Munich for an hour or so. Back on the Sbahn for an early night sleep-- here are some pics

nighty night

flying high/ ahhh Paris

November 30, 2009
8::55am (Europe time)

Musings from Paris!

Greetings from the “lovely” Terminal 2D at CDG. We hiked from 2E to here-- there is a bus, but it felt good to walk (and we could not find the bus). We still have bad feelings about this place since we were stuck here overnight bringing Joey home. Actually I really like Paris-- Mary-- not so much.  I find wonderful irony in the fact that the French claim to not like Americans- yet they are the closest culture to ours on mainland Europe. Their advertising, media, shopping malls-- even gas stations are more like the US than any other place we have been over here (English speaking countries do not count, though in many ways France is more similar to America than is London)

well-- off to get a yummy pastry and then to our Munich flight-- Bon Jour


November 29, 2009
8:15p ET

hello from way up high.. I am writing as we soar at 500mph over the eastern US.  The airplane dinner was actually pretty good. Chicken with potatoes and some sort of veggie medley. Plus the usual airplane stuff—a tiny salad, a large chunk of dried-out bread  and a brownie blob--- yummy cheese and crackers and oooooooh FREE BEER-- YAY not sure if its new Delta policy but beer and wine are complimentary. Well okay maybe I will have just one more :-)

The movie is some Harry Potter thing-- I thought he was supposed to be a kid--- he is starting to bald.

Tomorrow we have just over an hour to connect in Paris for our Munich flight. We get into Munich around 11:55. Our regional bus to Erding is at 12:15. We actually checked bags (that never happens) so it will be a tight connect for the bus.  We will leave our big bag at the airport and collect it when we head out on Wednesday.. so only one small rollerboard and a backpack to deal with. We are still not sure if we will go into Munich or just hang in Erding-- do our banking and go to the spa for a day.

We are tourists for the next day or so, then down the the task at hand—getting little Milos home!

More soon


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane


It's been a VERY busy last day. A lot of work stuff to do and some things I assumed would take no time (like letting the bank know we will be overseas and not to shut off our credit card) have taken HOURS.  I almost forgot its my birthday---

We are very much looking forward to a quiet day and a half in Munich. Therme Erding, some Christmas markets then off to EE to get Milos!

Since I was so busy with work stuff, Mary has done most of the packing-- I usually take care of my stuff and all the important docs-- not because I am a control freak--- far from it,  but rather if something is forgotten I'd like to be the one to blame! :-). The good news is all we really need is the I-171H, passports and money. Anything else can be taken care of there.

If we can get wifi at airports (for free), we will update enroute-- othewise probably not until EE time (I know our hotel in Erding does NOT have internet.

talk soon!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sooo much to do


it was a great day with all of our family--yet difficult to enjoy the party knowing all that we must get done. I think we found an apartment in EE at under 50 euro a night.  The place we found required a 20 min tram ride to the orphanage-- and as things usually work, we heard back from another rental company that has a unit within a 10 minute walk. I gave my word to the first people, but will ask them if they will release us. Either way will be fine!

We found out today that Milos is not verbal--- having 3 boys in the house fighting over "word time" that is somehow appealing-- in the long run his brothers will have him speaking (non-stop) in no time!

tomorrow is a quasi business day. we MUST

Apostille our USCIS docs
Get our car registration (my birthday is Sunday)
get food for the kids left behind
Finish up work stuff
get some winter "fat clothes"
get the magic jack
maybe get a netbook--- I wish it was NOT black Friday

we found out today that another family will be in country the same time we are. It will be fun to compare notes. there are so few adoptions from this country that it will be interesting to see how they are able to handle both of us! (great job Reeces Rainbow!!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The corrected home study was faxed to them last night. I hand delivered the hard copy to Anthony at 8 this morning. I got a call from Charlene, who actually processes the I-171H, at 10:15 saying it was ready for me to pick it up. I have never run into ANYONE who has been as helpful as these folks are. 

I then walked 2 blocks to get a copy notarized and the folks at US Bank could not have been LESS helpful.. I am a customer (A rather large, long-time customer) and they fought me every step of the way. -- remind me to look for a new bank upon our return. Off to the courthouse to get the notary stamp certified. More nice people!

I arrived home at 11:30 to discover that we DID have a confirmed appointment for 12/3 in the country.

Sooooo we have EVERYTHING we need.... (might need an apostille from Columbus on Friday)

..well except all the stuff you need to travel-- yes-- one business day to get all the job and family stuff in order. Need to get Euros (or at least spiffy new looking dollars) and a bunch of other stuff but all we really need is the $$, passports and US paperwork.. we can get anything else over there.

Oh and 25 people will be here tomorrow for Thanksgiving-- speaking of which gotta run and make stock

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

another USCIS update

I got a call from a nice fellow who was working on our home study--- there were some small errors that needed to be fixed before approval. Luckily we caught our home study lady right before she was heading out for the holiday and got it fixed. the new home study is faxed to USCIS and I will hand deliver a copy tomorrow morning-- We will hear the Dec 3 date is confirmed in the middle of the night tonight (our time). Then the horrible task of trying to get our family obligations and jobs covered on such short notice.

it DOES look like we will travel right after the Bengals game on Sunday-- sorry for the short notice y'all but if we hope to have this done before Christmas it's time to move out!



USCIS Appointment Today

It is always a pleasure to go to USCIS--No REALLY it is. They are always so friendly and (sometimes) helpful.

I met with the counter officer today and asked the status of our case. He walked back and found that it has been assigned to a caseworker (correct term??) just this morning and that I should email this afternoon and that person would get back to me--

I'm still really torn if we should risk it and leave before we have the document or just sit tight and risk losing the appointment in country.


A Appointment Date

They are ready for us to come get Milos on December 3rd--WOW THAT'S NEXT WEEK

Our only problem is we do not have our paperwork for him to come into the US yet (I-171H).

I am going to USCIS this morning to check on our status (I REALLY do love the infopass system). Hopefully they can give me an idea when we will have everything. The process in country is normally 3 weeks, but they have been rushing people in and out because of H1N1. We could possibly only be in country for a week to 10 days.

So our dilemma: do we keep our appointment on 12/3 and have the I-171H FedExed to us when it is completed, copied certified and appostilled, or do we wait and not travel until everything is in hand.

If we go we could get stuck with no US paperwork for who knows how long--
If we wait we will lose our appointment date and probably be gone over Christmas-- or worse not go until February (since Orthodox countries pretty much close down for most of January)

We need to get Milos home... We will make a decision after my USCIS meeting at 8:45am today


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Big Milos--little Milos

Emily spent a bit of time on Windows Movie maker

Prints Completed Yesterday!

The local BCIS office here in Cincinnati was wonderful!

I set up an appointment on Infopass (what a great tool) for 8:45am. I showed them my formal denial letter and the letter that said "disregard" that formal denial. The agent just shook his head-- then sent us downstairs to get our prints. An hour later we were out the door and headed home.

It's probably too much to expect that everything in the I-171H process will be that quick, but say a prayer it is.

Our hope is still to travel in December--- That looks good from the Eastern Europe end- now just need Uncle Sam to do his part!

Thanks again to everyone at the Cincinnati BCIS!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little (big) Milos



go figure

I got an email minutes ago from our local USCIS office. They got my request and offered to expedite us-- Thank you Charlene--

We (all 5 of us) will be there tomorrow hoping they can "print us" and get us moving along to get Milos home before the new year--


We will keep you posted!



We got a swell letter from USCIS today-- an official looking document (security stock-- very Gov looking) said our application had been REJECTED --- I was quite sad until I read the typewritten (on plain white paper) page 2 that said to disregard the other notice as it was issued in error... WHAT?? Why would they send the original without updating it. How far back will this put us? I called today and our receipt number had not yet been processed. I spoke with a few VERY nice and helpful agents and I have an appointment tomorrow at 8:45am to see what is up. Hopefully they take pity on us and move us along!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Tis an email test


I am new at this -- funny you would think I have it down by now--

I want to make sure I can post from email

here is a picture  from our last adoption of little Joey


We expected our confirmation for USCIS on Friday--- well not yet-- Maybe tomorrow (Tuesday)? This seemed to go MUCH faster the last time-- Maybe that new step is the problem -- the lag time between Texas and final processing? Perhaps they will send the processing request with fingerprint appointments (never hurts to be hopeful). Time (hopefully this week) will tell-- we need to get this little guy out soon!