Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Strike that


I’m an idiot and so is our notary. I forgot to take our marriage license for certification and our notary dated a document incorrectly. I feel like I am caught in Dante’s 7th circle of hell – this will never end. Nothing to be done about it now. We are leaving for vacation tomorrow and will have to take care of it when we return.

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Mission accomplished


Consider our dossier certified.

I got an antibiotic from the dentist so hopefully I won’t be talking like a stroke victim by the time we hit the ocean. The pain is a little better today too.

We are leaving on vacation tomorrow. Renting a big house on the beach with a pool, hot tub, pool table, and many other ammenities. Jealous? Well before you get too jealous, keep in mind that we will be sharing this beautiful house with 9 children (3 of them under 9 months old, the rest under 7) and 12 adults. So it will be fun but it won’t be quiet.

Talk amongst yourselves. Go back and read early posts about how to pass time waiting during adoption or the adoption readiness quiz if you need something to do. See you all in a week!

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Certification Baby!


Today I am off to Harrisburg to have our dossier documents certified. (8 hours round trip…I guess that is my punishment for the 6 day turn around time on my 171H so I will refrain from complaint.) When I return, I will fed’ex it all off to a courier to be authenticated while we are on vacation. The courier will send it directly to the agency rep who triple checks our documents. Before I leave, I will also be sending the non-authenticated items for our dossier (the pictures of us, pictures of the house, copy of 171H, etc) off to the agency rep and a check to the agency. My hope is that by July 5th or 6th, we will officially be on the list waiting for a referral. Woohoo!

On a less exciting note, I’m becoming more concerned about this dental issue of mine. I’m still in pain and today 1/2 of my face is puffed up. I’m calling the dentist – of course I will be in Harrisburg so there isn’t much he can do but if he thinks I have an infection he can call in an antibiotic (and some pain killers please).

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I am still in too much pain to come up with a brilliant post. Nothing over the counter is touching the pain – I’m thinking of calling the dentist and drug seeking. I hope it fades so that I can enjoy my vacation.

And for those of you who asked exactly how I know what ferret ass tastes like…there was this one time in college…I’m kidding. I used the expression for illustrative purposes. This is what I imagine ferret ass would taste like.

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Don’t mind the drool on my shirt…


I’m home. I got scolded. I didn’t get laughing gas. My entire head is pounding. I have a temporary crown with a root canal scheduled for the day I return from vacation – yipee! Oh and my mouth tastes like ferret ass. Is it possible the main ingredient in the temporary crown is ferret ass?

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When I am stressed out, I grind my teeth in my sleep. I grind them so loudly that I have been known to wake up my husband. Between work and anxiety over getting this dossier done before we go on vacation, I am apparently feeling a little tense. I broke a tooth last night while grinding in my sleep. I’m a bit freaked out about it. I really really hate going to the dentist. Really. I am on the verge of a huge anxiety attack as I have an appointment in an hour to get my tooth fixed. The thing I hate most about the dentist, aside from the pain they inflict? I hate being scolded. I am paying for your services, don’t scold me like a child.

I miss my old dentist in Ohio. He understood my anxiety over dentistry and didn’t take it personally. He gave me valium to take before my appointment and a nice stead flow of nitrous oxide through out my appointment. If I was going to be a drug addict, my drug of choice would be laughing gas. You would see me shuffling down the street with a tank strapped to my back.

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Bauble head mania


I had a good weekend. There was no adoption talk and no coherent thought (it’s always on my mind in some form) of paperwork. I started my little personal crusade (previous post – I’ve added 3 additional stores – thanks for the suggestions!). [Despite the adoption break, I am so tired today that I am seeing small animals frolicking in the corners of my cubicle.]

Saturday evening, friends invited us to join them in a luxury suite at the ball park for a baseball game. Let me tell you, that’s the way to see a game. No rubbing elbows with the riff-raff – you enter through the suite doors and are whisked up by an elevator to a nice quiet marble hallway. No lines, no wait, no hassle. Your suite is air conditioned, filled with hotdogs, chips and salsa, and beer. Your cushioned seats outside are in the shade. The bathroom? Large and all yours. A little freezer stocked with lots and lots of ice. It was heaven. I don’t remember who won the game but the dessert cart they brought around in the 5th inning was amazing.

Sunday, I made the trip home to Ohio. My sister and I threw a little cook-out for Dad. We both have a lot of trouble buying him gifts. He is horrible to shop for. I looked around, browsed, read reviews, and ended up buying an audio book that I thought he would enjoy. I drive 2 hours and arrive at Dad’s house with gift, card, and the free bauble head they were giving away at the game on Saturday night. I present him with the gift and card. Not being a particularly demonstrative man, he makes small thank you noises. Explaining that last night was bauble head night at the stadium, I offer the bauble head, honestly anticipating that he will scoff at it and suggest I give it to my nephew. What do I hear? “Wow, thank you! All right, this is really neat!” What does he open up to look at? The free bauble head. What does he thank me for as I am leaving? The free bauble head. What will he tell his friends that he received for father’s day? The free bauble head. Next year? I’m buying him silly string and fake dog poo since the novelty items seem to enchant him so thoroughly.

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Rebel Rouser from Way Back – UPDATED


I’m starting my own little personal crusade around this baby registry thing*. Is it of earth shattering importance? Nope, not even close. But it bugs me. And I am about to give up all control over this adoption process when I submit my dossier so I need something to entertain me. I’ve decided scrapbooking isn’t for me so I’ll harrass stores into accommodating the adoptive parents.

I’ve identified Target and Babies R Us so far. Are there other national chains that people regularly register with? If so, please leave it in the comments section and I will track down a way to send them email and post it. If you feel this is something that should be changed, please submit your own email to the following:

guest.relations@target.com (Email address for Target)


(website for Babies R Us – mark the comment/suggestion field and the BRU field then make your comments)

*Read a couple of the previous posts if you don’t understand what the ‘thing’ is. Basically registries don’t acknowledge that women who are adopting and not pregnant might want to register at a store. They force you to put in a due date rather than allowing us to have a couple of fields noting birth date and expected age at homecoming.

**I’ve been told that Pottery Barn Kids actually does have a field for adoptive parents. Kudos to them! (If they weren’t so freaking expensive, I would give them all of my business just for that alone.)

Lori from AB reminded me of 2 more stores: Baby Depot (division of Burlington Coat Factory) and Wally World. I tracked them down and wrote an email to each of them. Here is the contact info for each of them:


Stephanie brought the store Buy Buy Baby to my attention. I’ve not heard of it but it is a chain in her area. That email address is:

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You Ladies Rock!


I love this blogging thing. It’s like having my own personal cheering section. On message boards? I have to share the love and give some love to everyone else. Here? It’s all about me! Hehe…Seriously, thanks for all of you cheering me on.

Now for status update – my mental health has returned to its previous level for the most part (you notice I didn’t use the word normal in there). I’m feeling much better today. Yesterday in the midst of all of the emotional crap, we did have one bright spot. Steve’s birth certificate returned from the secretary of state in California. But now? I have to send it back to CA to the Los Angeles Consulate for authentication. I’m going to do some research tonight to see if I can find a courier to walk to through for me because I’m afraid it will be weeks before I see it again if I do it the traditional way. I really hate to pay extra for a courier but as long as it isn’t too expensive, I’m willing to do it so we can get the show on the road. I also need to send mine off to the consulate in IL.

Our doctors’ office? Hates us. The front office staff has never been anything close to friendly but now? They are positively icy. Steve dropped off 2 copies of each letter and asked that the doctors sign 2 for each of us hoping that one would be acceptable. The result? Pissed off doctors who would only sign one letter. They signed with squiggles because they were annoyed and declared they would charge us for any further signatures. That was helpful, thanks doc. We will try again tomorrow but if I am paying for this “service” they damn well better sign like a 3rd grader just learning to form the letters.

As for Target? It’s become a thing with me. I responded the email I received and urged them to allow adoptive parents to be included on the baby registry not on some wish list registry. I haven’t heard back. If you would like to be heard on the issue, the email address is: guest.relations@target.com

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Thanks for the support…and a couple of other things


Thanks ladies for the support over my melt-down. I really am working with one of the best agencies out there. I just feel like they have an impossible standard for paperwork. Others have managed to make it through so I guess we will too. Thankfully, Steve was calm during my meltdown. He already took the letters to the doctors office for new signatures. And as I calmed down, he got angrier – we compliment each other well that way – only one of us melts down at a time. My case worker called and talked to me in soothing tones. I feel bad that she got the bulk of my frustration. I sat in my cubicle and cried on and off all day. I’m still not sure where we are going from here, but regardless, we will adopt a child. I’m feeling a little emotionally fragile (almost like grief) which is weird because I am normally a very strong person. I worked in a domestic violence shelter and D&A halfway house for years. Never batted an eye when facing down an abuser in court. Didn’t think twice about going toe to toe with a pissed off addict in withdrawal. But paperwork for this adoption? Apparently that is my achilles heel.

Okay, here is a neat column in US@ Today It made me smile. As did DD’s comment on my last post – thanks for the support from under the bed.

And after posting my irritation that stores don’t make provisions for adopting parents, I tracked down an email address for T@rget. I sent them an email suggesting that perhaps they could make some adjustments to their Baby Registry. I was very nice and simply suggested that it would be appreciated by those adopting if we could enter that information. Today I got this response:

Thanks for sharing your comments about the Target Gift Registry

Right now we are working on changes that would allow you to register
for special events other than weddings and new arrivals. In the
meantime, I'm sorry for your disappointment.

Another great option is to use the Target.com Wish List program. Just
go to www.target.com and click on Wish List at the top of the
screen. Then just follow the steps to create and share a list of great
Target.com products.

Our Gift Registry programs are all about making it easier and more fun
for our guests to shop with us, and I really appreciate your comments.
We'll keep them in mind as we look at how to make our registries even
more useful.

Thanks for shopping with us. We'll see you again soon at Target.

Not overly impressed by the response. Why should we have to be separated from the fertiles (I say that tongue-in-cheek for all of my fertile friends – I love you all!)? Why can’t they simply accommodate us on the baby registry?

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