B.

Better Than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

I fell down flat on my bottom while playing soccer with Titus this evening in the back yard. It’s been drizzling and raining on and off today and the grass was a little slick. In a classic move out of an America’s Funniest Home Video I slipped and hit the ground hard. Even though the ground was wet, I stayed down. It hurt. Titus said, “I’m sorry you got hurt, Daddy. It was a little bit funny though.” I’m sure it was, but I wasn’t laughing. After icing my elbow and a couple Aleve pain pills I’m still hurting. I guess I’m just getting old.

Speaking of getting old, it’s my birthday. Yup. I’m 31. To celebrate I stayed up really late last night and watched the Dodgers win in 12 innings. That’s always fun. But beyond that it’s been a pretty regular day. I worked from home and we had one short time out this morning to take Karis to the doctor, but as usual that didn’t go as planned. We missed the opening time slot by 15 minutes and will now try again at 9am on Wednesday.

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

Speaking of Karis, I took her passport photo today. This also proved to be difficult. The U.S. government has strict requirements for how the photo is to be taken, the sizing of the photo, the size of the head, the height of the eyes from the bottom of the photo, the lighting, etc. And not mention we’re working with a two week old so that’s a challenge. Thankfully I have professional lighting equipment from all the photography I did in the States and that came in really handy. I had to take the photo from above her while she laid down on a white sheet and Bethany held her arms down because she kept putting them in her face. Here are a few photos I got. I love the one of her cracking a half smile.

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

Our Internet is down right now. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but around 5pm today it just stopped. I’m using my phone to post this post. Like the Internet, our kids have struggled today too. By struggled, I mean they have just had a hard time obeying. They still managed to make me birthday cards and give me a nice new shirt for my birthday. They also colored me a few pictures including a Star Wars Angry Bird color book page and Curious George on that Avery printed off the Internet (yes, my three year old can print color pages off the Internet!).

On My Birthday (6/15/15)

Bethany baked cupcakes for me and inside they had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that were imported from the U.S.! Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me (or as Avery sang, “Happy burstday”). It was awesome–definitely the highlight of an otherwise average day. I’m definitely thankful for the amazing wife and great kids the Lord has given me. They are my favorite gifts this year and every year. Even better than new shirts and Reese’s!

A.

A Birth Certificate-ová

There is something kind of neat about Czech and Czech culture that hit close to home today. I don’t claim to understand exactly how this works, but When a girl is born in Czech her last name is given the letters “ová.” For example, check out this list of Czech female tennis players on Wikipedia. The overwhelming majority of them have the added “ová” to their last names. As I understand it, at their birth or when they’re married, if their last name was say “Smith” then it would be come “Smithová.” So what does this have to do with us?

Rodny List!!! (6/9/15)

Today we went to the city hall in Ostrava to obtain Karis’ Czech birth certificate, or “Rodný List.” We need it in order to move forward with getting her a passport and social security number. Although she’s an American citizen by birth (because of Bethany and I), we have to go through the normal process of obtaining these documents so we can travel with her (among other things). Culturally in Czech, moms don’t usually take their babies away from home until six weeks after their born, so it’s often the dad who will go to obtain the birth certificate and the mom is not required to be there (of course, because she’s at home recovering). So today I, along with our friend Jenny and my father-in-law went to do just that. Jenny was kind enough to come and help translate and I’m so thankful she did.

Basically what happened today was that I had to decline the Czech naming convention so Karis’ last name wouldn’t be “Thomasonová” but just Thomason. Normally this requires the mother’s signature, but Bethany wasn’t with us. The Lord was gracious, however, and somehow we got it figured out today without having to drive back another forty minutes and get Bethany. The lady at the city hall was really kind and through Jenny translating we were able to get it squared away. We were only there for a few minutes and we left with a complete birth certificate and Karis can carry our family name in the traditional, American way. Step 1, done.

Karis Gets A Birth Certificate (6/9/15)

Step 2 involved going to the “Foreign Police” to register Karis (shown above). Because we don’t have a passport yet, we were a little unsuccessful but got the ball rolling which was good. Again, Jenny was a huge help in navigating the language barrier and figuring out what will happen next (THANK YOU, JENNY!). It sounds like the Czech government is going to send us some documents in the mail and give us a 60 day window to make it all happen. Step 2, done.

Step 3 involves multiple things, but it involves getting a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad,” applying for passport as well as a social security number. For us this means a trip to the U.S. Embassy in Prague which will happen on June 22 (unless we can get an earlier appointment). We’re going to Prague this week with Papa and Nana for a few days and we’re hoping that an appointment might open up while we’re there. It would just make it easier on us as Prague is over four hours by car or train. We’ll see how it goes!

At the end of the day I’m thankful we were able to get what we needed to take the next steps in this big process of having a child abroad. Even tomorrow we’re hoping to get her passport photos done right here in our town. Pray for us!