Sunday, November 21, 2010

cleared by the FBI

We finally got our FBI clearances in the mail yesterday. We were about to go out to dinner, and I asked Tabb if he'd checked the mail. He said, no, and maybe we'd gotten the FBI clearance. This has been our standard conversation for the last two weeks - Have you checked the mail? No, maybe we've gotten the FBI clearance. I went out and stuck my hand in the mailbox and felt something thick and it was the self-addressed envelope I'd sent off two months ago.
We sat on the couch and opened it and there were two envelopes inside, one for each of us. I had my thumb under the flap of mine and about half an inch torn before Tabb said, maybe we're not supposed to open them. So we ran around looking through the adoption boards online and in our directions from our agency until Tabb finally found something that said, send a copy. So we opened our envelopes, and of course it was kind of anticlimactic because it was just one sheet of paper that said, no arrest record. Still, we've been waiting for this for two months so we were excited. I made up a little song and our dinner out became a celebration.
I know it's just one step and there are still many more steps ahead of us, but I needed a celebration because the last two months have been so miserable. I really hit a low point last weekend. We'd flown to Austin for a wedding, and on the way back we missed our flight. We were sitting in the airport with a seven-hour delay, and suddenly it hit me that I was happy to be there. I was happy to sit and wait in the airport for seven hours because it meant I wasn't back at home and working. Work has been AWFUL. It's not just about being micromanaged and having to spend every weekend writing epic lesson plans. It's also about being made to teach in a way that I don't believe in. Reading class should teach kids what reading is for - about how they can use reading to discover themselves and the world. Instead, we're teaching isolated skills with no context and no meaning.
So things are going to change. This past week I have refocused on the adoption and we got the last of the missing paperwork into our homestudy agency. We've sent the draft of the homestudy back and forth a couple of times, and now it's been sent to Wide Horizons for final approval. I've also committed to setting a time limit on doing work on the weekends, and to rebalancing my life so I have time for getting out and exercising and seeing people and thinking about things other than work. I am not going to let work take over my life like this again!

12 comments:

  1. You've got to celebrate the little things! Congrats on one more step completed! It's a big deal! And good luck to you as you make some changes in your life, sounds like you are pretty motivated =) It's hard when work stuff that is out of your control brings you down -- you seem to be making changes in ways you CAN control. Hopefully that will make the difference!

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  2. Thanks, Meg! I know one of my faults is losing sight of the big picture. I'm going to try to keep things in better perspective.

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  3. Congrats on moving forward - in all sorts of areas, it seems!

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  4. Good resolution re: time management, esp. in preparation for parenting, where no matter what, work priorities get rearranged and balance becomes even trickier to find...

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  5. Congrats on your clearance! Every step of the way is important and worthy of celebration. And don't let the work stuff get you down. It's just work. And you have more important things on your horizon.
    Kristin

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  6. Congrats! Glad you were suppose to open the envelopes. :-) You will be on the list in no time.

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  7. Kyra we seem to be in the same spot in more ways than one, in our adoptions journeys and in our work worlds too. I teach kinder and without saying to much let me just say - I feel your pain! I literally broke down and cried at my desk after putting in hours of prep on a Saturday! I agree with everyone that the trick is finding a balance but it is something I have to be constantly aware of and working on or work dominates.

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  8. Thank you, everyone, for the support! Anne, I really don't think it's just me or just you. I hear this same kind of the thing from teachers all over the country. This is the way education is going - a result of the "accountability" and "skills" movements. It's driving away teachers who actually care about doing a good job and eventually only the teachers who don't have a personal investment in what they're doing will be left.

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  9. Hi-I just found your blog today--I clicked to "follow", but I wanted to make sure it's okay!

    I wanted to introduce myself-as you can see, My name is Michele--my husband and I are also adopting from Ethiopia with WHFC (I looked at some of your old posts to see which agency you're with). And I'm a teacher too!

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  10. Hi Michele! I just saw your comment. Where are you (geographically and in the adoption process) and do you have a blog?

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  11. Hi Kyra!

    We're in Maine--and we've been waiting since May (6 1/2 months, not that ANYONE around here is counting) :)

    No blog--but I do have FB...do you? My profile has my email too if you want to email.

    Oh and congrats on finishing your home study! USCIS took about 1.5 months total for us from first mailing to getting our I-171H back. I hope it's that way for you too!

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