Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2 years old and months behind...

It seems like a lot of times when there are very broad gaps in my blogging it's due to a major life event. Last time I posted I said I was going to post in a few days... well that was 2 1/2 months ago. Life has been crazy and busy with our adoption stuff and in mid April Matthew decided to take a trip to Uganda. This was great and we were so excited about it! It was icing on the cake when his dad decided to go with him! They had a wonderful trip that we will tell you about when we are able but sometimes life has a way of sending a hurricane your way when you least expect it. On the 22nd of April when I got out of church I saw an email from Matthew to call him immediately. While he and his dad were in Uganda, half way around the world, Matthew’s mom, my mother-in-law, Ainsley’s Grammie, went to meet her Saviour unexpectedly. She was 53 years old.

Sometimes life is hard to understand people. There was no one in the world who was more excited about our 2 Ugandan born kiddos than their Grammie was. Did I mention that she was only 53? Oh yeah, and remember about 17 months prior to that my Daddy died suddenly the same way at 60 years old. The last conversation I had with him was about how we were hoping to adopt a little boy domestically at the time and he joked that the African American little guy would go perfectly with his red-headed grandson and his blonde grandson, because who wouldn’t want vanilla, strawberry and chocolate grandsons?
Matthew and I are 28 and 29 years old and have lost one parent each. Our oldest child will have some pictures with these two people who were 2 of the most important people in our lives, but likely no memories. And for the rest of our kids, we will just have to tell them how much they’re loved by their grandparents who are already in heaven.

Just in case you were wondering…. It sucks. Really really badly.

As far as mother-in-laws go, I hit the jackpot. She was incredibly involved in every aspect of our lives that we wanted her to be, but never crossed the line of being nosy (she was NOT a Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond). She was always there for advice, always there to tell you that you were wrong when you needed to hear it, always there to tell me that having 3 young kids would be “no big deal” because “I did it, you’ll be fine, you just do it and you don’t whine about it.” Her love language was gift giving and let me tell you, if she loved you, she showered you with gifts. We will miss those things not because of the gifts themselves, but because with every fedex package at the door her love was palpable. She was an amazing amazing woman and as much as I miss her, I can’t imagine the hole that’s in the heart of all 5 of her kids.

This picture was the last one taken of her and Ainsley together. It’s Ainsley with her Grammie and Nana. I’m so glad they were both there (Paps too!). The last time we saw her was at Ainsley’s 2nd birthday party. Ainsley is in a Tinkerbell phase so of course Grammie had ordered everything she could find off of disneystore(dot)com that was Tinkerbell themed including her precious little outfit.

We will miss her greatly until we see her again. Once again we are thankful for heaven, thankful for God’s promises, thankful that this world is not all there is and that this life is not all there is, and most of all thankful for Jesus. Please pray for all of the Rougeux’s, as anyone knows who has been through it, just because time passes doesn’t mean it gets easier. Pray for their hearts. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

moving along...

Things in life and on the adoption front are moving along.

We were surprised by God after we got waitlisted with our agency. We believed that we were done with our adoption "stuff" until we got a referral in 8 months to a year. However we found out that in all of the changes that had been taking place in Uganda the chance of getting siblings with our agency was slim. So slim in fact that if things kept moving at the rate they had been (which could at any time speed up or slow down, just as it had done this time) we would potentially be looking at a wait time of 3-5 years. They were incredibly patient with us as we explored all of our options, prayed, cried, complained, and then cried some more. Eventually and finally, we decided that we felt God leading us to do this adoption independently. Basically, that means that we are not using an agency. So normally an agency works with a baby home or orphanage and that is where you get your referral from, and then you use their attorney, and they guide you through the whole process. Doing the adoption independently means that we have found and hired our own attorney and we have emailed and contacted multiple orphanages and baby homes about getting on waitlists and finding a referral.

We have seen God in this, and we have seen our enemy attacking this. We have seen God bless this path, but there have been bumps in it. We have been blessed by other Christians and we have seen other Christians hurt us deeply. This last part has been eye opening to me. I have always known that the enemy can use the tongue of Christians to bring pain and grief into the lives of other believers. However, when you are on the receiving end of this, I'm not gonna lie, it hurts... As in all things though, the Holy Spirit has used the situation to shed light on my own life and has caused me to look in the mirror. It has left me wondering when has my carelessness and when has my tongue hurt my sisters and brothers in Christ? It has caused my anger and hurt to fizzle and has allowed me to forgive. It has also taught me that I need to just shut up sometimes. This is one of those times. The rest of the details about the adoption at this point will have to be kept between us and our immediate family for the time being. We will update as soon as we possibly can, promise.

So what does this mean as far as time, money, kids, etc? The short answer is that we just don't know. And we are not going to rush it. Adoption is serious business that has huge implications financially, ethically, emotionally, etc. We are not going to take a chance at compromising anything to make these adoptions happen. So we are praying, trusting both God and the people who we are working with, praying some more, and choosing our steps carefully.

We love you all and cherish your prayers both for this process and for us. That God will go before us and that He will make Himself known to both us and to those we are working with, that we will all have peace in conscious as we proceed, and that He guide literally every step, every breath. Like no other time in our life, we are completely and 100% dependent on the Spirit of God in this situation. We have no control over what happens 1/2 way around the world regarding our case. We are both excited to see what God is going to do, and pretty scared as well. Pray for us, Pray for us, Pray for us.

Love you guys! I will post in the next day or so about our sweet baby's 2nd Birthday!!

Monday, March 5, 2012


in more ways than one...

Maybe some of you have noticed that our little thermometer to the right is gaining more and more green on it! We have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of our loved ones. Friends and family members have stepped out and donated to us in ways that aren't just generous, but that are overwhelmingly generous, and all we can do is sit here amazed at the goodness of God and at the body of Christ.

Just to break it down for you a bit, we raised a little over $1,600.00 with fundraisers and we received a $2,500.00 grant from our church!! But the part that really knocks our socks off is that we have received over $15,400 from donations from friends and family, including one very generous gift from an Anonymous donor!

I know that there are many people out there who don't really understand why people would give to adoption. Many people ask "if you can't afford it, why do it?" Well an adoptive mom wrote a great post about that here. The easiest way for me to say it is this: Many many families can afford to have multiple children, however, I do not know many families that have an extra $30,000.00 laying around that they can pay in bulk all at once. This is not a reflection on our (our any other adoptive family's)ability to support these children when they get home or a reflection on our frugality. We also believe that every Christian has been called to take an active role in orphan care and that for some people that is adopting and for some people that is giving financially to help make adoption possible for others, amongst many other ways. I wouldn't be being honest if I failed to mention the fact that as a family we have been enormously challenged and convicted by the generosity of others towards us and our adoption and how we have lacked so much in this way in the past. God has a way of using others to show us our own shortcomings, of which there are many :)

Finally, some of you may have spoken with us or inferred from some of my facebook posts and emails that things are not going as planned in this adoption journey (I have recently decided the leisurely implication of the word "journey" very poorly depicts adoption, I'm thinking that "roller-coaster" is a better and more descriptive term.) Don't freak out on us, we are most definitely STILL adopting from Uganda, in fact, we are eyeball deep in this whole thing... International Adoption is not easy or straightforward, especially in Uganda... but good thing is, we didn't sign up for easy...

Love you all and thank you for all the support via prayer and money. We will never be able to thank you enough.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Maybe for most of you this weekend was just a normal weekend. I know for my family it consisted of the normal stuff; work, family time, church, etc... But for 2 families it was much more than that.

The Ackner family got home this weekend from China where they have been for the past few weeks picking up their newest son, Aaron.

The Ribbens family FINALLY returned home after 11 1/2 months in Uganda where they were fighting to bring home their 2 newest children, Bauer and Nya. Their story is AMAZING, and I hope they write it down someday for those who weren't following along the whole time to catch up.

This weekend as I was looking at the pictures of these newly expanded families I sort of chuckled. The look on the parents face: ecstasy. The look on the newly adopted children, the former orphans who are now sons and daughters: ummm, not so ecstatic. I mean don't get me wrong, they look happy, but nothing like their parents.

As I looked at their little faces, especially Nya's, I wondered to myself if they would ever understand the lengths and the cost that their parents endured to bring them into their families. If they would ever understand the depth of the love their parents had for them that compelled them to spend literally tens of thousands of dollars, months of their time, oceans of tears, travel across the globe to seek them out, and for the Ribbens, to literally risk losing everything they had. The cost that was paid for their lives.

And then.... as He often does, my Father whispered in my ear....

            "Do you understand, my daughter, how costly your adoption into my family was? Do you understand the price that was paid? Do you understand the tears I wept for your soul? Do you understand the distance I sent my Son, to travel from His throne, through the cosmos to live on earth to seek you out? Do you understand that the First of all your brothers and sisters LITERALLY did lose everything for you? Do you really understand the depth of My love for you? Do you understand how much your Father truly loves you?"

There are times when the Father makes His love so real to His children that its palpable. This was one of those times for me. My heart was overwhelmed and full of joy in that moment.

Then my heart grew heavy as I thought about the orphans..... those who I know, who I love, who are surrounding me who have yet to be reconciled to their Father. Those people who I love dearly, because my Father loves them, who have never felt that feeling I had.... They have yet to experience the feeling of being truly, deeply, inexplicably loved by their Creator.

So to those who are former-orphans, those who have been reconciled to God through Jesus, take a few minutes to think on this truth. Take a few minutes to bask in the depth of the ocean of love that has been poured out for you.

To those who have not, do not look at me, or any other Christian for that matter... but instead look at Jesus, and take a moment to consider the length that He went and the cost that He paid, that you might know His Father, that you might be adopted into His family, that you might share an inheritance with Him.

"The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever." 1 Timothy 1:14-17

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spinning my tires....

Do you ever feel like you are so far behind in life that you just can't catch up? That's where I am right now, and I'm exausted. I really really really WANT a simple and quiet life, but for some reason I just feel so BUSY.

I don't want busy. I want simple.

A large part of this I've brought on myself. In an effort to earn money for this adoption I've been working overtime, which actually means I have doubled my time at work over the past couple months. I normally work two 12 hour shifts, but I've been working four 12 hour shifts. Before Ainsley came along I did this every.single.week. Actually, usually five shifts. But times were different then.

Now I have 3 1/2 days to get all the stuff around here done that I used to have 5 1/2 days to do. And in just in the spirit of transparency, I struggled THEN to get everything done, but now, I've all but thrown in the towel. One of my 3 1/2 days I literally just lay around all day (get off at 7:30 am from shift 4/4 in a row and come home to stay with Ainsley all day...), I try to do something fun or play with friends at least part of one of those days for Ainsley's sake, and the rest of the time I'm just spinning my tires at home. Since I've been working so much I've been tired, my husband has been frustrated and my daughter has been NEEDY. Let's just say when a little girl is used to only being away from her Mama around 5 hours a week (other than when she's in bed asleep) and all of a sudden Mama isn't around a LOT more than that... it makes for a very needy and attention starved baby, that makes it next to impossible to get anything done without a crying toddler attached to my leg like a baby monkey.

This is my last weekend of overtime. Starting next week I'm backing down to 3 days per week, which is still full time as opposed to the part time I was doing before. I may or may not continue to do that for a while.

I've realized something these few weeks though.

1) I've tried to convince myself that working so much was me trying to be faithful with opportunities that God has given me to make money for this adoption. However, I now see that maybe what I've really been doing is being self-reliant instead of trusting God to provide. I KNOW that as far as God's concerned, my first priority as a wife and mom is to BE a wife and mom. To serve my husband and my daughter. To nourish relationships with friends so that I can bless and serve them. To be available to serve those around me. It is NOT His will for me to pad my bank account just in case He decides not to provide for this adoption. Our pastor talks a lot about how there is a thin line between being financially responsible in saving and preparing for your future versus worshipping money and the security it provides for your future. I fear I have slipped into this second category in the past several weeks.

2) My main contribution to my family is NOT financial. Folding clothes, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, going on playdates, singing ABC's and 123's, reading an incessant amount of books about Minnie Mouse and farm animals, playing on train tables... these are ALL more important than the money. Today, literally THIS morning, I have been praying and asking God to change my heart and my attitude and to show me and to make it real to me that I am not JUST serving my daughter and husband though these tasks(ALL of which I am currently behind on by the way) but that I am FIRST serving God through these seemingly mundane daily tasks. It is for HIM I am working, it is for HIM that I am scrubbing dishes, it is for HIM that I am doing all of these things. At this point in my life, in this chapter, it IS my act of worship.

As it's been said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” (This quote has been attributed to BOTH Martin Luther, the theologian and Martin Luther King Jr, the civil right's activitst... I don't know which one is right.)

3) Finally, my goal is to remember and to strive for these things for my home and for my family:

OK.... Sorry for the long rambling post... but I need to go now... to go play, to go fold clothes, to go clean toilets... :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I'm such a fruitcake... seriously... just ask my husband... I'm seriously an emotional mess sometimes.

Can I just tell you... 6 months ago I said I think EVERY.SINGLE.PROFESSING.CHRISTIAN needs to adopt.... I know now that that is not totally true. I do know, because of what the Bible says that every.single.professing.christian.NEEDS TO BE A PART OF ORPHAN CARE... but I can tell you one thing... not everyone is cut out for this adoption stuff... this past week I have wondered if I am.

I have NEVER in my life felt such a roller-coaster of emotions.

Sometimes I feel so excited I seriously think my heart might beat out of my chest.

Sometimes I feel so emotional that I just burst into tears.

Sometimes I MISS these 2 kiddos so bad I can't stand it. How is it you can miss someone you've never met? I have no idea, but you can.

Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed with working, mommy-ing, wife-ing, friend-ing, home managing, that I think I must be CRAZY to be seeking out 2 more kiddos... to be a mommy to 3 kiddos under 3!

Sometimes I'm so exausted all I want to do is sleep.

Sometimes I'm SO happy for other families in the journey that I literally jump up and down!

Sometimes I'm jealous of others further in their journeys.

Sometimes I questions God.

Sometimes, ok oftentimes, I am so aware with His love for me and His love for orphans that it's palpable.

Sometimes I feel like us adopting 2 kiddos isn't even a drop in the bucket when considering that there are 147 million orphans in the world.

Sometimes I want to fill our home with like 20 former-orphans, like NOW.

Sometimes I'm scared of what is to come... What if our kids are sick? What if our kids don't bond with eachother? What if they don't bond with us? What if they grow up to hate us? What if we don't come up with the money to do this? What if we have to wait 10 years for a referral? What if, what if, what if?

But there's a bigger what if?

What if God's word is true?

What if God always keeps His promises?

What if God really did call us to this journey?

What if God is as good as He says He is, and is as kind as He has shown Himself to be?

What if God really does love us?

What if God really does love orphans?

"...may the righteous be glad
    and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families..."
Psalm 68:3-6

So today, I'm going to sing.... I'm going to sing to the One who has all the answers, to the One who holds my wrecked heart, the One who holds our children, both here and in Uganda, to the One who is writing this story.... One day at a time....

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I feel like there are so many people I know right now who are suffering. So many people whose marriages are failing, health is failing, family is feuding, their finances are a mess, they've lost their job, they've lost their children...

I know these things aren't new, maybe I've just been more aware of those around me lately... or maybe these things are just hitting closer to home than normal...

I keep going back to this message in my mind. This was preached a long time ago at our church by one of the assistant pastors on staff at our church. Now he's the lead pastor of a church plan called City Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This guy knows suffering. He goes over it a bit in the sermon. I remember when he and his wife lost their son that my heart was literally aching in my chest and I held my daughter tightly to my chest and literally sobbed for them.

Since my Daddy went to heaven over 14 months ago, I've gone back to this message many times. You know, those times when the sorrow is so heavy you feel like you can't catch your breath. And I remember, that we are waiting...

This issue is one of the biggest reasons people don't believe in Christianity. How can a good and loving God allow so much suffering? How can he allow His children to ache, and bleed, and hurt, and weep... when He could do something about it?

Well let me tell you... He is good. He is loving. He bled for you. He weeps with you....

And guess what.... He DID do something about it.... Something greater than you can imagine...

As my daughter's little Bible (called the Jesus Storybook Bible) says so beautifully.... Jesus came to "make every sad thing become untrue."

Listen while you're eating lunch, listen while you're commuting in the car, listen while you're folding clothes. But whatever you do, just listen....

Why Suffering? from The Summit Church Sermons on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We can not pretend...

"Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows what we know and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12
Image found here
There are over 147 million orphans in the world.

And now you know...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An Awesome Adoption Progress Day in the life of the Rougeux family!

January 27th was an awesome day in the Rougeux household!! We got 2 pieces of exciting news in one day and I wanted to share the exciting news with you all here!!

Well it all started when I went to check the mail in the afternoon and found an envelope with this label on the front...

And in case you don't know what's in that envelope, let me explain...

As you may remember from a previous post, we had filed with immigration in early December and had completed our biometric fingerprinting with them on December 27th. So, for the past month we've been eagerly checking the mail every day for THIS piece of paper. It's a form called the I-171H and it's our approval from immigration to bring a child to the US for the purpose of adoption! And now that we've got this little piece of paper in our hands...


Of course, it happened on a Friday and so we should get more details on Monday!

Excited doesn't even begin to explain it!! Matthew and I were talking last night and I was telling him that the closest thing I can relate this feeling to was the anticipation I had when I was pregnant with Ainsley!! That feeling of "Omigoodness-this-is-really-going-to-happen-and-I'm-really-a-mom" feeling. Only instead it's an "Omigoodness-this-is-really-going-to-happen-and-we're-going-to-be-parents-to-three-kids" feeling!

However, we are also freaking out. As you can see by the little fundraising thermometer on the right sidebar we haven't even come close to what we need for our funds for the adoption. I've been working quite a bit of overtime, but unfortunately, one of our cars needed new tires and new brakes, so most of what I've made thusfar got redirected towards that. We are optimistic and excited though. We plan to put our entire tax refund towards our costs, and I will continue to work overtime to earn some money to put towards it. We are so grateful that God has provided different means by which we can earn money to put towards the costs.

So as exciting as it was that we got waitlisted, we got a cherry on top when we received an email from an awesome organization that comes beside adoptive families to help them through the process called Lifesong for Orphans stating that we now officially have established an account with them that will allow us to receive TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations to our adoption!!

Did you read that people?!?!


We understand that many people are uncomfortable writing checks directly to us, but now if you feel God leading you to donate towards our adoption you can do it directly to our Lifesong account and receive a tax-deduction for your donations!! Lifesong will then disperse the funds as we need them, directly to whomever needs to be paid for the eligible expenses.

There are several ways that you can donate through Lifesong.

(1) You can donate online from a credit or debit card via PayPal. This is a great option that is easy to do from home. Just click on THIS LINK and you will be taken to Lifesong's Donate page. When you scroll down the page a bit you will see this:
To make a one-time donation you can click that orange "Donate" button.However, this next step is VERY IMPORTANT... when you click the orange "Donate" button a new page will open. On that page you will see a light grey window at the top that has 2 areas in which you can type. Above the first, longer area, it says "purpose". In that window you MUST designate the donation towards us. Otherwise the donation just goes to the Lifesong organization itself. To designate your donation to us you must type: "Preference: Rougeux #2607 adoption" Then above the second small area it says "amount" and that is simply where you put how much you would like for your donation to be. Here's an example:
(2) The second way you can donate to our account is by giving monthly donations to be automatically withdrawn from your checking account. You can choose that option on this page. This may be a good option for many people who may want to take an active roll in our adoption, but don't have the ability to give a one-time gift. However, you might not notice $10 or $25 dollars deducted from your bank account each month. You have the option to give $10, $25, $50, $100, or $250 per month via this account. Once again, when choosing this option you MUST type "Preference: Rougeux #2607 adoption" in the window that says "gift preference" for the donation to be applied to our adoption.
(3) The final way you can donate to our adoption through Lifesong is through a good ol' fashioned check sent via snail mail. Please take note: The check itself MUST be made out to "Lifesong for Orphans". On the MEMO LINE of your check you MUST write "Preference: Rougeux #2607 adoption" for the funds to be designated for our adoption. Like this:

You can then send the check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Rougeux #2607 adoption
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Needless to say, it was a good day and we are super-duper excited to finally feel like things are moving again after over a month of just waiting.

But now we know the REAL wait begins... the wait that we know is the hardest...

just waiting for a phone call...

waiting for an email....

waiting for pictures to come through our inbox of two sweet kiddos...

But wait we will...

because it's worth it...

because they are worth it....

because adoption is worth it all...

"God sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:6

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sensory Play


Well I'm working on a Christmas post (I know it's January, but I give myself at least a month before I start feeling bad about it.... it's just me people, get used to it :) ) but for the life of me I can not find our Christmas pics on our computer, so I'll have to wait until Matthew gets home so he can tell me where he hid them! So for now I'll show you a little project I did for Ainsley earlier this week.

Many of you know I'm really interested in homeschooling. I'm still not positive that it's what we're going to do with our kids, but my frustration with traditional schooling can basically be summed up in the cartoon below and this quote by Einstein:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability
to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
-Albert Einstein

I was raised in public schools and I have several friends who are teachers who are some of the smartest, most amazing people I know. I'm just not sure I necessarily think that putting 30 kids who all have different strengths, weaknesses, talents and interests into a room and expecting them to all learn the same way is the best way to teach kids to learn.

So I've been casually looking into some different philsophies of learning (which can be applied in any setting by the way, not just homeschooling). I'm a big fan of Classical learning, but there isn't any Classical curriculum for preschool age that I can find. However, Montessori does have quite a bit of recommendations for toddler age. Sensory education is something that is highly recommended by them so I decided to give it a try. So the other morning I made Ainsley a rice sensory box and some homemade playdough (it's just made from normal kitchen ingredients, and since she's so young I would prefer for her to eat something that was made in my kitchen, not in a factory...). You can find a TON of these recipies and ideas on Pinterest, so I'll spare you a step by step here, even though I did take some pictures along the way. However, if any of you are just dying to see how I did it, let me know and I'll post it.

Can I just tell you that these 2 activites have provided HOURS of play over the past several days. Ainsley had her friend Koral over earlier this week and she loved it so much that her mom, Lisa, sent me a text saying she was making one for her daughter as well!! Seriously people... tons of fun! Here's some pics of Ainsley enjoying it!

They were both a huge hit! The play dough has a really nice soft consistency and hasn't dried out at all yet and although the rice is a little messy, it's actually not too bad... She's actually playing with it right now! So take the hour of time and $15 and go make your kiddos these super great, creative and fun activities!! Make it even more fun and allow them to help you make them! It's a great activity for these cold, rainy, wintery days!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Adoption Update...

Well we are DONE!!

Well, for right now anyways.

We have done all we have to do before being waitlisted.

On Christmas Eve I checked the mailbox, even though I was relatively certain that mail wasn't delivered on Christmas Eve. Apparently I was wrong. In our mail box was correspondence from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) giving us our appointment for our biometrics fingerprinting, for January 17th! Merry Christmas to us, indeed!

As you may remember from my previous post you don't actually have to go ON your appointment date/time, but you do have to have the paper stating you actually have an appointment to get fingerprinted.Obviously, the USCIS branch was closed the next day, which was Christmas day and happened to fall on a Sunday, and on Monday as well, since that was the day the federal government set aside to "observe" Christmas. So on Tuesday morning we were on our way.

It was impressively quick. We were in and out in less than 30 minutes. The people were very nice. And now all we do is wait to receive our final approval from USCIS and we will be WAITLISTED!

So here we are, waiting.... Technically we are waiting to wait...

Oh my, I seem to be catching a theme here...

Until next time...