Monday, August 20, 2007

Adoption Update

Today was our appointment with the Swiss social worker to get an introduction to the Swiss adoption process. One of my co-workers went with us to translate as the social work didn't think she knew enough English to communicate everything.

I need to send her an email summary to validate what I think I heard, but I think there weren't too many surprises. Before we can do anything we need to get evaluated by the Swiss social system. This requires at least one home visit and 4 or 5 office meetings. The bad news is that there is an eight month wait to get evaluated.

I believe we can simplify the process by adopting via the US system (still requires a Swiss social evaluation), but we'll see what happens. Things are a bit more complicated because the US didn't sign an international treaty that the rest of the world that signed that is supposed to help protect the rights of the children. More info on the treaty can be found here.

We also can't adopt two children at once and the child has to be at least 18 months younger than Niamh.

We used a babysitter, Delphine, whose name we got from the Red Cross. We had met her before and I think things went well. The kids were both asleep (per schedule) when we got home, so that was good. Even better, she said she'd come back.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rowan's Favorite Things about Paris

1. Rowan loved all of the cross walks with signals (GREEN MAN!, RED MAN!). He would yell GREEN MAN! when it was our turn to walk across the street and RED MAN, RED MAN when we were crossing against the light. This morning he kept asking if we could wait for a green man today.

I'm not sure if the taxi driver was impressed with Rowan screaming GREEN LIGHT at every intersection between the apartment and the train station.

2. We took a few of Niamh and Rowan's toy trains with us so that they would have something to play with on the train and in the apartment. Rowan tossed Rosie (a "Thomas the Tank Engine" train) out of our 3rd story (4th floor in the US) apartment. I went out to look for it, but couldn't find it. I went back up and looked out the apartment and saw Rosie across the street under some bikes. We were about to leave for the afternoon, so we finished getting ready and Rosie was gone by the time we got to the street. Rowan now talks about Rosie's big ouch and how Rosie is up in the sky. I guess I'll be getting a new Rosie when I'm in the California next month

3. Rowan is really excited about the Eiffel Tower. We visited it on Friday afternoon, but did not up. As expected the lines were very long. I guess that is why the Brits listed it as the most disappointing tourist attraction in the world. Rowan spent the rest of the trip pointing out pictures of the Eiffel tower and mentioning it whenever it was visible.

More Paris commentary and photos to follow.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Update: Rain rain go away

The rain has stopped and the sun is out. Unfortunately, there was about 2 inches of standing water in the storage area before the rain stopped. Since the storage unit also doubles as a nuclear shelter, I'm concerned that if the water can get in, the radiation will be able to as well.

Most of our stuff was either in plastic bins or elevated off the floor, but there were 5 boxes that hadn't been unpacked yet. Two boxes of clothing, two boxes of photos/paper stuff, and one box of cloth diapers (we decided to stop using cloth after we got here). One of the car seats had water in the frame, but it didn't get quite high enough to fill the seat.

We now have photos spread all over the train room and are washing clothes and diapers. I'm headed out to IKEA tonight to get some additional shelving so that everything can be elevated.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Look out Paris, here comes Niamh

We're going to Paris on the 16th for 3 nights. Neither Emily nor I have been there before, so we're both very excited. The train leaves from Lausanne at 7:22 AM and gets into Paris almost 4 hours later. I'd been told it only took 3.5 hours, but I guess my multiple sources were incorrect.

We taking the tgv, or as Rowan calls it "super woosh!," which should be a fun experience. Niamh doesn't get a seat, so we'll have to pass her back and forth for the entire trip. The only downside to the train trip is that we only get 1 window seat (Rowan) and two aisles instead of the other way around.

We decided to stay in an apartment instead of a hotel so that we have a little more space and a wall between us and Niamh in the evening. Here is a link the apartment we are staying at.

Rain rain go away

It has been raining for two straight days so Rowan has been singing "Rain rain go away. Come again another day." I can't believe it has only been two days. It seems like it has been raining all summer.

The creek/canal across the street was at least 15 inches higher than normal this afternoon and we could hear the water running for the first times since we've been here. More rain is expected on Friday, but the weekend is supposed to be nice.

People often comment about the amount of rain in Seattle, but it is no worse there than it is here

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Swiss Sailing

From the Swiss Embassy newletter:

This summer landlocked Switzerland wowed the world again when it
successfully defended its America’s Cup title, sailing’s most prestigious prize. In a nail-biting finish, the Swiss team Alinghi beat the New Zealand Kiwi team by just one second. This victory made the Swiss team, for the second consecutive time, the only
European team to win the America’s Cup in the regatta’s 156-year history.
A stellar international crew, excellent Swiss boat design, and the funding,
passion and participation of its owner and crewman Swiss businessman Ernesto Bertarelli made Alinghi the champions. Switzerland swelled with pride over this second sailing victory with some people even joking that the country had earned its own ocean!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The "international" crew did not include any Swiss members!