Well, after some bad minutes combined with the intervention of a good advocate friend who called the agency and politely pointed out the error of their ways, they understood that we could indeed request our home study. It also transpired that they heard the news that the director of DCFS has officially notified USCIS of the law change. Our home study should arrive on my door step tomorrow.
Now, you would think that I could start breathing again. But, no. Other agencies are still telling their clients that when they call USCIS, they are informed that USCIS has not officially heard of the change in laws and that they will issue RFE's regardless of what Illinois law now currently states until they officially hear. So what is one to believe? I have no idea, but I will be over-nighting our home study with our RFE to them tomorrow. I guess I get to be the test case after all. How exciting. (And if there was ever a need for a sarcastic emoticon at the end of a sentence, it was needed right there.) So, just pray. Pray that we will be issued our immigration approval this week without any more drama from any government agency. I've had my fill, thank you very much.
So, my day of panicking aside, we did manage to have a very nice vacation up at J.'s aunt and uncle's beach house.
(Yeah, I know. I'm still having trouble remembering where the lens on the iPod is.)
That would be about a 5 -6 foot drop down to the actual beach. This year the combined effects of dune and water didn't give much flat beach. My children were more than happy to do some demolition and work on creating a more accessible ramp to get to the water.
One of the ways to demolish a dune is to burrow a tunnel through it.
D. wanted to go through as well, but he is a little bigger than K. and needed his father to help pull him through.
We walked down to an outlet of a lake and played where the water was a little warmer.
Long imaginary games were played. (G., L., and K. opened a restaurant for their animals.)
I had no idea that we traveled with so many pandas. G. has an extensive collection.
And then it was time to go home. On the way back, we stopped at the P. J. Hoffmaster state park to look at their dune interpretation center. There was also a short trail that begged to be followed. Well, to me and J. it begged to be followed. The children with us begged to not follow it and kvetched about it the whole way up and down. So, look at the pretty pictures and instead of serene music accompanying them, have a sound track consisting of the following phrases in various levels of whine, "Why do we have to do this?" "It's so far." "I'm tired." "I'm thirsty." "Can we go back yet?" The key to successful parenting is to use your universal translator (or Babel Fish, depending on which variety of geekiness you subscribe to) to translate these phrases into statements such as, "This is so fun!" "Thank you Mother and Father for taking on this beautiful hike." "I wish there were even more stairs to climb."
And there were some stairs.
The lookout that we climbed to.
The view. We think these oak trees grew up since had built the platform as they did get in the way of the view of the lake a bit.
L.'s teddy bear, Blue Teddy (or sometimes BlueBlue) came along as well. He enjoyed the hike and didn't complain at all.