Gabrielle's Life and Writings

Gabrielle Lawson, writer of Fanfiction. I will use this space to keep a journal about my writing, the progress I'm making, stories I'm working on, writer's blocks I'm having, our adoption process and progress and just life in general.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm multifaceted and highly educated. I have a BA in History and an MA in Museum Studies. But I couldn't make a living in a museum, so my hobby--computers--became my living. I'm now a charter member Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. I aspire to be a professional writer and/or poet. I am a Christian and have been living by His grace for the last four years or so, despite the MegaStress and now the GigaStress. He keeps me going, and displays His glory still, in my life.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Or maybe the other way around. Trying to keep looking on the bright side though so I'll keep the post at two forward.

Well, my alter ego, Philippe, did post Chapter 14 of his story. We then went through reading all of the first 13 chapters to find typos and fix things here and there. We haven't done it with 14 yet. We need a little distance to find those things. Anyway, I was somewhat impressed with how well things held together considering the months between chapters and the 5 years now working on it.

The adoption news is where the steps forward and back are. We are almost done with the paper trail for our home study update. We need doctor forms, one employer letter, and a reference letter from my sister. Then we can finish it up and turn it in. We'll then file our I600 and start on the really BIG paper trail: the dossier.

And we've saved now more than $17,000 so far. While there is still a long way to go, that is a LOT of money for people with middle class job (lower middle really) and quite a lot of debt to pay down. We have even had some really big payouts (like $700 for taxes, $500 for dental work, and an upcoming $575 for Rob's first student loan payment) but still we are saving a lot. It's the most I've ever saved, especially in just 14 months.

Here's the step back: My job had a really good leave policy. While I do have to accumulate the 3 weeks each year (and can't use them before I accumulate them), we could carry over 80 hours (2 weeks) and get paid for anything over that that we would have carried over. So, for example, this January, I got an extra $800+ in my check. Guess where that went....yep, adoption fund. So I considered that leave as either time to be in Russia (hoarding it for that) or money to get there.

We got a hint today in our staff meeting that the policy may be changing. Carry over would be lowered to only 40 hours (1 week). And they don't want to pay out. So I'd actually have to use my leave before Russia and risk not having enough when it comes time to go. Or I might have to go before I've accumulated enough and only have 1 week of paid leave that I carried over. What I do NOT want is to lose that time.

So that just got very complicated. I may have to be in Russia with no pay. Fine, you think, since we'll hopefully have saved up enough for our expenses there. True, but what about the mortgage payment, the electric bill, the gas bill, the credit card bills, all the bills that remain at home while we're in Russia? If I have a paycheck, those get paid. If I don't....

So that's the problem. I have to pay in two places for those weeks we are in Russia. Then I have to figure out how to pay all those bills if I stay home with our daughter after. We're already trying to save an extra $8100 for that. Now I have to figure how much we'd need to pay all those bills for another potential six weeks. Because depending on when those dates for the trips fall, we just don't know if I'll have any vacation time at all. The only guarantee is the 40 hours I can carry over.

    Status of Stories
  • Philippe's Alien Us: Chapter 14 posted
  • Purgatory: Still in purgatory
  • The Honored: Languishing on the back burner.


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