Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Russian Court Date Set!!!!!

I got the best call today at work---
My Russian specialist is on vacation for the holidays but one of the other ones called and said--"I have great news, you go to court on Jan. 19th!!"
It is all so exciting--this is the call I have been waiting for. I need to be in Moscow on Jan. 14th for the 8 Doctor medical exam and then it's court in my region on the 19th. The plan now is that I will head back to Moscow on Feb. 3rd and will be able to leave Russia on Feb. 6th.
Now I am back in panic mode--"I have so much to do, how will I get it done" mode.
I overnighted the Visa application right away. The offices close from Jan. 1st to Jan. 10th for the New Year so I needed to get it to them by tomorrow. I didn't have time to call a travel agent before they closed today so that is the first thing on my list tomorrow.
I have waited for this day and in my mind I expected mid-January but it still doesn't seem real to me--I don't feel ready at all with the little details but I am so ready in all the important things.
Hang on Baby--I will be there soon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tricky Travels and Happy Holidays

If you watched the weather in the last few days you probably realized that the midwest (and much of the rest of the country) just went through a nearly three day winter storm.
On Christmas Eve it was mostly raining at my house so I took off for the three hour drive to my family celebration. The first hour was just rain--no big deal, then the 2nd hour was mostly icy rain--not so much fun and then the last hour turned into an hour and a half as I drove through blowing snow--even less fun but....I made it home safely and just in time as no travel was advised for the next 36 hours.
We had a great celebration at my brother's house. Almost everyone else arrived the day before me so they were all safely tucked in and cheered my arrival. I had one brother that was planning to come with his family the next morning and they were unable to make it.
My mom lives 2 miles from my brother and to get her there on Christmas morning, my brother got out the John Deere tractor with the snowblower on it and blew snow all the way with her and some of my siblings following him in an 4 wheel drive pickup. We did no more travel the rest of the day except by snowmobile.

Church services were cancelled so we just hunkered in for the day. We had a very white Christmas with sledding on the hills made by the snow plow and snowmobiling--the kids had so much fun. We made Christmas cut out cookies and truffles and my sister in law and some of the kids made a gingerbread house. We had a big turkey dinner with lots of good food and then opened presents. The kids all got new hats and mittens from Grandma. My siblings were very good to me as they all contributed to my adoption travel fund. I think they want me to have a laptop to communicate with them while I am gone. I also got some cute princess gifts and a couple great books from my neices to my daughter. It will be so fun to have her with us next year. Later we played dominoes and scrabble, sang Karoake. watched National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation" and then everyone sacked out where ever they found room--all couchs, beds, and most floor space was utilized.

Saturday and Sunday were more of the same with some of the siblings making trips home and the crowd gradually thinned out.
All in all, 20.8 inches of snow fell during the three day period--most of it on Christmas Day itself.
I was the last to arrive and also the last to leave. I started out at 8am this morning but after 15 miles turned around and went back as the winds were very strong and the blowing snow made it nearly impossible to see. A few hours later the winds had died down and my brother had blown out his road again so I left at about 1pm and did make it back home before dark. My house is lonely and quiet after that great weekend.

I am looking so forward to 2010 as the year of being a mom and having my daughter home with me--how wonderful is that??

Wishing all my blogger friends a great New Year as well. To those of you still waiting, keep believing--this may be your best year also.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm thankful to have so much to be thankful for!

Last weekend I had two "litle girl" showers. On Saturday my oldest friends hosted a luncheon for me. With about 10 of my best friends there we had an awesome time and I got such great presents from all of them. My Mom and sister were able to come into town and attend also. One of my friends has a three year old daughter that I don't see very often but for some reason she attached herself to me during the party. She would rub her hand up and down my arm and even laid her head on my shoulder for a while and of course helped me open the presents. Now I don't know if the fact that I was the one with all the presents or if it was some more meaningful reason that she clung to me but I surely enjoyed it and it just made me hopeful for the time when I can have that every day.
The next day my friends from work hosted a more traditional baby shower. It was held at my church with a great food table, baby decorations, and shower games. About 30 people attended and I had such a great time. My mom was able to stay and attend that also. It was nice to have her be a part of that and get so excited for her new granddaughter to be here. She is a wonderful mom but she is one of the best Grandma's I have ever seen so I expect my daughter and her to have lots of fun together.
I got the most wonderful gifts--I truly have everything I need for her and she will be one of the best dressed kids in town.
Today I spent most of the day writing thank-you notes--about 80 of them. I am truly thankful to have so much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dossier sent to Agency!!

Big Day--I got my FBI clearance with the apostille back today. Rushed to Fed-Ex, made copies, and shipped the completed dossier with two copies overnight to my Agency. I was just giddy at the Fed-Ex place and rambled on and on to the clerk about how important and big this document was. She probably thought I was crazy.

It is funny how things happen but I ran into an old but very good friend at the Fed-Ex place just as I was leaving so I had some one to share my happiness with. He was just as excited as me and we talked for almost an hour at Fed-Ex.

I am not naive enough to think that all will be rosy now--it is very likely that I will be asked for some other type of paper that they think up or it is possible that Russia will not like one of my forms but..I am hopeful that all will be well.

After writing my last two posts I decided to be more positive. I also heard from several other mom's in various stages of waiting that shared very similiar frustrations and difficulties so I also knew that I wasn't alone. Although I really wondered why we all had to have such difficult times with paperwork but decided to try to look for a positive reason and this is what I concluded:
We are adopting children that started thier lives in an orphanage and then had to travel half way around the world to find thier families. There will be situations that arise throughout their lives where they will not fit neatly in the boxes designed for so-called "normal" children. As their mother's and father's we will need to advocate for them at all those times and we will be prepared because we had to start doing it before they even came home. Whether it means being assertive, getting a little bitchy, or being downright crazy to get them what they need--we have already done it during the paperwork chase. So, in a nutshell, we will be better parents for having gone through this.--at least I hope so. Otherwise what was the purpose?

For now, I am just sitting back and enjoying the thrill of having it shipped off!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I just want some one to listen when I explain

A great friend of mine who happened to be off work yesterday went to the courthouse while I was working and got the new copy of my house deed, making sure they had it exactly right. I am so grateful--thanks Nicole.

Unfortunately not everyone is so helpful. I called my Doctor's office yesterday morning--spent 10 minutes on the phone explaining exactly what I needed--offerred to come in and show them but her secretary said "oh no--I have it all" so I foolishly believed her. I called at the end of the day and they hadn't been able to get to them yet. Ugh--deep breathe. This afternoon they finally called that they could be picked up. I got them at 4pm only to find that she had photocopied the old forms and just had my Doctor resign them--what part of "I need new original forms" didn't you understand????? I told her secretary that it all needed to be original with no photocoping of lab results, etc. She kept saying (at least 3 times) well--these are original signatures. When I finally convinced her that Russia would not accept photocopies of my Doctor's forms she said, "Well, we'll do the best we can but I don't think we can get to these this week. We've already taken extra time to do them". I stayed cool but tried to tell her that had she followed my instructions, they wouldn't need to be redone and how important it was that I got them ASAP. Then I promptly emailed my Doctor directly and tried to plead my case for getting the forms redone tomorrow. I may have to go over there and camp out tomorrow. As I titled this post--I just want people to listen to my instructions but instead they do what they think is okay---ughhhhhhhhh.

Thanks for everyone's supportive comments--fellow adoptive moms are the best support out there but please don't say "Hang in there" or "don't give up". Of course I will hang in there and not give up --it is not even an option to do otherwise. This little girl will be coming home to me as soon as I can make it happen--all these obstacles only make me more determined. I am just afraid to make anyone (doctor's office, etc) mad because I still need them to make this all happen.
I expected obstacles in Russia but I guess I thought people here in the USA that I needed things from would be more understanding.

Okay--I read that last line and it sounds like I have only encountered unhelpful people and that is not true at all--I may be a little overdramatic here. There have been many people along the way that have been excited to help and gone out of their way and I am so grateful for them. Unfortunately it is just the others I am dealing with right now and it is frustrating.

Two hours later----I just got an email from my Doctor (at 6:18pm) and she said she filled out new forms and I should be able to pick them up tomorrow. She made sure to do that for me tonight even though she was already working late. My faith has been restored.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One step forward, three backwards

I could just cry tonight.

The day started out great. I got my FBI form notarized and overnighted to the Secretary of State with the guarentee it will arrive by noon tomorrow. I practically floated out of the post office thinking--I have just sent my last piece of paperwork off to be apostilled. Maybe I will get my dossier to Russia by the end of this week after all. Everything's great.

Now fast forward to this evening at home--opened my email and there was a note from my agencies dossier specialist. She had reviewed my documents and had some comments.
I made a mistake on my financial documents--added wrong which is something I can easily correct. And..three of my Doctor's forms need to be redone--dates don't all match up. I couldn't believe this one--I had already made my Doctor redo them twice as I was being anal about the directions I had and I thought they were perfect but no--there was something on there they didn't like that I wasn't even told about before. So now I have to go back to the Doctor and hope she can turn these new forms around quickly. She has been so good so far in this process that I am sure she will but gee--how many times does she need to do the same thing?
The are also questioning the copy of my house deed--the seal doesn't show up good enough. So another trip back to the county assessor and see if they "can do it better".

Really I did get teary because I was so careful to follow all directions and I got assertive when people questioned me and made several redo docuements already when I thought they didn't get it just right. Now this will add time--I just can't just leave work without planning it far ahead (for some reason the patients still come so some one needs to be there) and once I get these all redone they have to be reapostilled (adding at least three days since I have to overnight them and hope they do it right away and overnight it back).

This pretty seals my fate that nothing will happen yet this year.

So happy this morning and so sad and mad tonight. Will this rollercoaster ever end?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good Day

I am super excited--I got my FBI clearance in the mail today!!!!!!!! I jumped, hollered and danced when I picked it up. This is what I have been waiting for and it is the last piece of my dossier. WooHoo. I thnk the email plea helped.

Now I know this isn't the end yet--I will have to get it notarized Monday, rushed off for apostilling, and then sent to my agency but hopefully this means that I can get my dossier submitted this week and be that much closer to bringing my daughter home! I see a cold Siberian winter in my future.

Pray that Russia is happy with all my documents.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You can't rush the FBI

Well this waiting is getting to me already and I don't even have dossier part 2 submitted yet so I have a lot more to wait out yet.
The only document I have left to get is the FBI clearance. I sent it on Oct. 23rd and requested to have it by Nov. 9th. That came and went so I called them on the 1oth and they kindly told me to try again next week. So I immediately called this morning. Again I got a very nice person on the phone who told me it is in proces and I explained the urgency she just said, "well you can try sending an email and here is the address" so I quickly followed her advice. Do you think it will work?

Since the beginning I knew this wait was part of the process and most of the time I handle it okay but the evenings are hard. I look at her pictures and I just want so much more than that. I have only had one night of crying so I'm still holding up okay but I sure wish she were here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Remembering Dad

Today is one year from the day my Dad passed away. I spent the weekend with my mom and some other family members remembering him.
Last year all the crops were out of the field at least two weeks before he died--in fact my Dad got in the combine (with some help) and combined the last round of corn. It was a really good day for him then. This year very little corn is out of the fields and it is still very wet but the guys are working long days and the corn dryers keep running. Amazing how much difference a year makes.
How I would have loved for him to be around to meet my little girl. It won't be the same but with pictures and stories she will definitely know her Granddad! He left a great legacy of family behind and we will strive to continue that.
Love you and Miss you Dad!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Had my first shower!!

No-- I do not mean the cleansing kind of shower--I promise I do that daily.

I mean I had a "little girl" shower.
I have mentioned my wonderful adoption support group before--a great group of about 10 women. Well tonight at our monthly dinner they surprised me with a shower. It was so fun to open little girl presents. I got beautiful clothes, pajamas, games, a lovely doll, and when I announce her name, I will get a hand painted wall plaque from a really neat store that one of the other adoption Moms owns.
It was so fun. I am a lucky woman.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

All about my little girl

I have been asked so many questions and I really want to tell everything I know about my little girl because I am so excited about her but there are many things that need to remain private for now.
Unfortunately the most asked questions are things I can not answer yet:
--what is her name?
--Can we see pictures?
--What do you know about her family and background?

However there are many things that I can share so I will be the proud mother and tell you what I can share about her.
--She eats everything and likes everything (so they say)
--She likes personal attention and enjoys her classes, especially Montessori classes
--she is comforted by hugs and kind words
--she is selective in her bonding and has one favorite caregiver but does respect and like all the people that care for her.
--She likes to take care of the younger children and helps the caregivers. She imitates the teachers.
--She was very quiet and did not speak to me much but was full of smiles and laughter by the end of our time together.
--She gives the best hugs and has the brightest smile.
--She is a very neat girl--she always put everything back in the same spot when she was done playing with it and wanted her clothes fixed if they got off kilter.
--She has a short attention span and is very busy--we went from one thing to another throughout all the visits.
--she loves helium balloons
--she loves to run, ride bike, and jump.
--coloring held her attention the longest--her pictures are just scribbles so far.

And then about me:
--I am crazy about this little girl, think about her all the time, feel tremendous responsibility to do what is right for her, and can't wait to have her home.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am home but lonely

I miss her already.
Just got home today. Once again the travel went very well and so far, I haven't been too affected by jet lag either way. Hopefully I won't crash in the next couple days. I have so much to do. Now it is time to compile the whole dossier--meaning multiple forms from multiple places. I have to see the Doctor, the psychologist, get letters from my bank, my workplace, my insurance, FBI clearance, police clearance, approval from USCIS (immigration), and the list goes on. I have some of them done but many had to be within 90 days of court so I had to wait. I am still waiting on the FBI and the USCIS--why is it the government takes the longest?? The sooner I get all this in, the sooner I can get a court date so this will be a busy week.

On the way home I had a long layover in the Moscow airport and discovered they do not have very much waiting space and they have a horrendous process for checking in for your flight. The whole time there I was thinking about my little girl and how hard this long wait with poor conditions would be when she was with me. Then I realized it won't be that way on the return next time because we will be leaving right from Moscow--so much better.
Amsterdam was totally different--I had another long layover but they have a beautiful airport and they have sleeping rooms right in the airport that you can rent by the hour. I got one and it was very nice and comfortable. I got to sleep for about 5 hours, take a shower and get refreshed, and watch American TV. It really broke the trip up and I think it helped with the jet lag. If I have to have any long layovers next time I hope it is in Amsterdam because it would be so much easier to wait with your child in a private room vs. a big airport. Thanks Lisa for that tip on the Yotel.

Now that I am home, she is all I can think about. I developed the 180 pictures that I took--I know the judge doesn't want that many but he will want to see a phote album of the visits with her.
I also went right out and bought an outfit from Gymboree--now that I know her size, I will have so much fun shopping.
Paperwork comes first but then, getting her room ready--I am so excited.

I know the wait will be hard--everything I do now centers around her--but I think it will go quickly too as I will keep busy. I am praying to go before the end of this year. The tax deduction will be nice but I mostly just want to be with her.

Friday, October 30, 2009

She is perfect!!!

My trip to Russia has been even better than expected. This has been my first chance to get to a computer so I will try to hit the highlights. To end the suspense I will just start by saying that I have met my daughter and she is perfect. My heart is full.
The travel went very well. I was quite nervous to go this alone but everything went like clock work. All my flights were on time and when I arrived in Moscow I breezed through passport control and customs to find my agency rep waiting for me with a sign. She got me to the other terminal and checked in for my in country flight to Krasnoyarsk. There is a couple here with my agency also and they are adopting from the same orphanage so we have been together almost all the time.
Our first stop was at the Minister of Education where we received our official referrals. It went quite smooth—the couple was asked more questions about why they were adopting than I was. We both found out our orphanage was in Sosnovaborsk—about an hour from Krasnoyarsk.
From there we went straight to the orphanage and there was my little girl sitting waiting in the room when we entered. I,of course, wanted to run right to her and pick her up but she didn’t seem to interested in any of us so I just admired her from afar. It was a little akward at first as we all got our coats off and figured out what we should be doing. The caretaker held her up to give me a hug and she did kind of half-heartedly and then went back to playing and not looking up. I got out the toys I brought and started parrellel playing until she was interested. When I brought out the Disney princesses, we started interacting and then when I got out snacks, she really was happy. By the end of the visit I got some physical contact and lots of smiles—no laughing yet but many smiles. All in all it was a great visit and my heart was captured. She is just so sweet.
On the second day she did come to me but still rather shyly. We got playing much quicker and colored together, read books, played. I got quite a few hugs and at one point when I was sitting on the little bench, she came and slided right into my side and snuggled for a second—boy did that feel good. I also got some great laughs today—playing with balloons and throwing her around. She is a very well behaved child from what I see—she plays with one toy at a time an d puts it right back on the shelf in the same spot before taking another one. At this visit we had to see the orphanage director again and I signed the paper to say YES to adopting her. I had to state her name which still remains private until court is over after the second visit. She blew me a kiss when she said good-bye.
The third visit was great—we had a full two hours together. She came running right to me this time and gave me a big hug. Every once in a while during the visit, she would look at me, hold out her arms and give me a crushing hug that just for a second and then she went back to playing. I loved them. She loves drawing and coloring so we did that quite a while during this visit. When it was time to leave I could hardly stand it—she still goes right to her caregivers and waves good –bye without getting sad but it was hard for me this time because I won’t see her now for a while. It was hard not to shed tears when she was there but I just hugged her tight, told her I loved her, and asked for a kiss—she gave me one with a smile and then ran off with her caregiver. I have to say it took me a moment to compose myself.
Each day the visits take up about 5 hours of our day so we have had some free time and have done some exploring in the area around our hotel. We found a good grocery store and a couple good souviner stores, a great book store, and some good restaurants so it has been fun. The weather here reminds me of January in Minnesota. It has been between 0 and 20 degrees and the ground is covered with snow. Every morning everything is frosty and the trees look so pretty. Fortunately it hasn’t felt too bad for walking around and exploring but I am very glad that I brought my boots.
We leave tomorrow morning so tonight it’s the German restaurant and then home to pack. Before leaving we fill out the forms to petition the courts for the adoption. Our agency rep thinks we will be back before the end of the year—Sounds too good to be true so I hope she’s right.
I can’t say that I exactly feel like a mom yet but I do know that I love that little girl. I knew that venturing out on this trip by myself would be scary but worth it—I just didn’t really realize how worth it. I am so glad I didn’t let fear stop me—look what I have gained!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's time!

I sort of feel like I am at the end of my pregnancy. I have been going through the nesting stage—running around gathering documents, cleaning house, organizing and reorganizing, telling everyone that is important in my life, and so on. Now I am packing my bags and I am ready to go. Only I am not going to a hospital but to a place half way around the world. And I have not been waiting 9 months for this day but instead have been waiting 2 years and 8 months. And lastly, I will not be able to bring my child home with me but will have to leave her there for a few more months. This is just the best thing that I have ever done and I know when I leave it will be the hardest. But, the wonderfulness and joy that are to come make it all worth while.

I wrote a simple note to my daughter and had it translated to Russian so that I can say it to her in her own language. It is simple because my Russian is simple but it goes like this:
My Darling (her Russian name),
I have waited so long to find you. I have so much love for you and I really want to be your Mom. I promise to always take care of you, keep you safe, and most of all to love you always.
I promise I will come back to bring you home with me. Then you will be my daughter and I will be your Mom always. I love you forever, Your Mama

Today I had many good friends wanting to see me, say good-bye, and wish me well. I squeezed three get togethers in the middle of my preparations. Sharing my excitement and having so many people happy for me was very emotional—it helped me to realize that this is really happening.

So now some details about my preparation. My trip takes 26 hours on the way there and 33 on the way home. I go through Chicago and Amsterdam before getting to Moscow and then onto Krasnoyarsk. I will actually only be in Krasnoyarsk from Wednesday to Saturday—the whole rest of my trip is traveling. Thanks to my friend Lisa, I got a reservation for a Yotel room in the Amsterdam airport on my way home when I have a 12 hour layover—it is just like getting a hotel room but it’s right inside the airport—you don’t even have to go outside security.
I have made copies of all my emergency info and sent it to two family members just in case—I will also carry it all with me.
As I mentioned before, I have a bag of toys. Some one wanted to know what was in it so it has a couple books, some counting cards, a kids photo album, a car, a toy cell phone, some Disney princesses, and a stuffed animal that I plan to leave with her. I hope that she gets to keep the photo album and stuffed animal but if they disappear, I have duplicates of both at home.
I tried to be very minimal with my clothes, hair products, and make up—that is hard for me but I did good. I put in a couple different size kids clothes to see about what size she wears and I plan to leave them at the orphanage.
Other things I included in my packing are—medications, mini voice recorder for the orphanage visit, camera, portable DVD player with movies and CD’s, a few snacks, and of course my documents.—oh and of course, new money!
Two things I wish I had but don't are a video camera and a laptop--I know, I know, get into the 20th century. I will have to put them on my list for the next trip.
I also got out my boots, down coat, and hat and gloves as the forecast for next week in Krasnoyarsk is chance of snow every day with high's in the 20's and low's in the single digits.
I feel as prepared as I think I can. Now it is time to live it.

This will be my last post before leaving. I want to thank all of you for the great encouraging and happy messages I have gotten from you—it means so much to have this network of support. I don’t know when or if I will be able to blog or email while there but if I can, I will. I will definitely be thinking of you all and channeling strength from all who have gone before me on this journey, hope from all still waiting, and love from all my family and friends. Thanks also for all the prayers--I have really felt them lately. God has brought me to a really good place.

So Paka Paka for now………………

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Am I doing okay?

It is so weird to be preparing to go to Russia to meet my child--my daughter. Everyone asks me if I am walking on air and the answer is "yes" of course. I start smiling anytime I talk about it but yet...
I feel like I am spinning in my tracks. I am getting so much done but yet have so much left to do. I am making lists like crazy and I am not a list person. Sometimes I think that I am too calm like I am missing something because it's too easy and other times I think I am scared out of my mind but mostly I am pretty calm about it. I look at her picture every night in bed and dream of when she will be beside me in person. I can't think of anything better.
At work I try to go through the day just like always--there is so much to do each day that I don't have time to think about much else but yet my daughter is always in the back of my mind. I have a new appreciation for the mother's that want to call their kids 2-3 times a day to check on them.
When I get out of work, there are two hours left before businesses close so I have been running errands every day after work.
So far this has been my week:
Monday--get a money order and get my passport fed-exed for the VISA, Transfer funds at bank so money is available to me, call the travel clinic and get my prescriptions for travel, inform them at work about needing the days off.
Tuesday--finalize the airline tickets, call my bank and credit card to let them know I will be out of the country and not to cancel me, go to Russian Language class
Wednesday--pick up new money from bank, reviewed dossier part 2 requirements with agency, got forms ready for psychologist and MD, started search for daycare
Thursday--made appt with psychologist and MD for first week after I get back, send forms to their secretaries so they would have them early, scheduled fingerprints for FBI check, ordered international phone from onesimcard.com, shopped for new winter coat
Friday--visited HR at work for proof of employment and insurance forms, got copies of birth certificate and deed of house, got letter from county assessor
Saturday--made another list (for packing), cleaned house, practice packing light.
Hopefully I am remembering everything.
I don't know how to feel --This is the best thing to ever happen to me and I am so happy it's unreal. It also feels like the scariest thing. It also feels peaceful, like this is where I am supposed to be--this is my life. And I almost to mention--I find myself thanking God very often these days.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Airline tickets are purchased--with a little anxiety in there.
I had received an itinerary from the agent with a quote but had to have that approved by my agency staff from Russia. It took a day to get the approval and then when I told him to go ahead and book it, it priced out $800.00 higher than the first time. Luckily the agent worked on it for a while and got it for the original price which is still pretty high but more what I expected. Big sigh.
Called my bank and they are gathering "new condition" money--should be able to pick that up tomorrow.
Now I got to work on organizing my personal things--paperwork and bills, etc.
I just gotta keep ticking things off the list.
Of course, I put together the little bag of toys and books to take for my daughter right away so the most important thing is ready. :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

checking things off my list

I had a great weekend away with friends and had a little time to absorb all this good news--it still seems unreal.
We were in Northern Wisconsin and got quite a bit of snow. I think the weather is just preparing me for what I will find in Siberia.
You would think that after 2 years of waiting I would be ready to just pick up my suitcase and leave but not so. I should have been more prepared. Now I have a big checklist of things to do.
Today I got the money order and sent the VISA application overnight by Fed-Ex, got my money transferred, called the travel clinic and got prescriptions for a broad spectum antibiotic, something for sleep, and something for motion sickness--just in case, and got plans made for time off work. Feels good to have that done.
Still working on finalizing my airline tickets. So far 4 flights each way--it seems quite gruelling but anything is worth it just so I am there on time.
I got a new list for tomorrow--will just work on it one day at a time and before I know it, my travel day will be here.
One quick question for all you experienced AP's out there---
I don't own a laptop so do you have any good ideas for communication back to home?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Travel Dates

OMG--I have to be in Russia on Oct. 27th!!!!!!!!! I have only known about this for 3 days and I never dreamed it would happen this fast once I heard. I have so much to do and get figured out. Wowzer--I better get going.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My premature purchase is SO worth it!!!!!!

It finally happened--
My adoption agency called yesterday with my REFERRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES--that is right, I now have a little girl that I will be going to meet in person.
I can't officially share any info right now so the picture, name, age, and all will have to wait.
I am walking on air but trying to act normal since I don't want to share it at work until I have more details .
It is so exciting and scary all at the same time.

Most likely it wil be a month or two before I can go meet her on my first trip which will be about a week long.
Then I will have to come home and wait for the Russian courts to process her adoption--could be 2-4 months after the first trip. Then I return for about a month before I can finally bring her home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It will probably 4-6 months before she is home.
Wish I could share more but all I can tell you is that she is so cute.....I can't wait.

Long term I am overwhelmed at the thought of being her mother and meeting all her needs but my short term fear is coming up with all the money I need--it has gotten to be so much but some how it will work out--whatever it takes it is so worth it.

It is just so surreal. I am going to be a Mom--I will have a daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I now refer to my diaper bag as my lucky bag.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Premature purchase

For a long time now, I can't go shopping without checking out the baby and toddler sections. One thing that has always caught my eye for some reason are the diaper bags. I don't even know if I will actually need one as I don't know the age of my child to be but they always interest me. Unfortunately, I have never found one that I really like. I don't want it to look like a traditional diaper bag but I want it to be really cute and classy and just the right size-not too big or too small.
Well--today in the most unlikely place (a Hallmark store) I saw a diaper bag that I absolutely loved. It is a vera bradley bag and you can't even tell it is a diaper bag. It is solid black quilted material and could easily be used by me as a carry-on bag or for anything if a diaper bag is not needed. The really cool part is that the inside is all zebra print--even the pull out changing pad is zebra print. It met all my requirements. I just couldn't resist and I bought it. So now I have a diaper bag and it is exciting to me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yep--fingerprints are still the same

I travelled 80 miles to St. Paul today to have my fingerprints done for for USCIS the third time--that's right they expired again. Guess what--they are still the same. I don't understand the need for new fingerprints every year since the guys on CSI can use them from decades ago but I will follow the rules--whatever it takes. My I-171H expires in May 2010 so my new goal is to have this adoption completed before I need to renew that--keep your fingers crossed for me.

I would like to ask you guys to join me in praying for my friend Kim--her little daughter Ellie needs heart surgery and it is a very difficult time for the whole family. Send prayers her way for a successful surgery with a quick and complete recovery so that Ellie is as good as new.

My friend Stacey is in Kazakhstan right now at an orphanage bringing the children love, laughter, fun, and donations. She and her husband are on the "Two Hearts for Hope" mission trip. It is amazing what they are doing. I so wish I could be there but I am very grateful there are people like them. It is all possible becasue of everyone that has donated items or money to "Two Hearts for Hope". If you want to see the kids and read about her trip check out the "Two Hearts" blog by clicking on the link on my sidebar and going to the blog. The kids are so precious.

Also have to give a shout out to my blogger friend Chris who just finalized her adoption of the beautiful Caroline from China. congrats Chris.

Last night I started a new diet program--they call it a Health Maintenance Program--but whatever the goal is the same--to get rid of some of this extra flab on my body and increase my energy level. I figure I better be prepared to run after this little person I will be living with--hopefully soon.
anyway--I got rid of all the "bad" food in my house and stocked up on the foods that are "in the box". A phrase I am quite tired of but that is what they use--when eating "stay in the box" to be the most successful. Again, keep your fingers crossed for me that my motivation stays up.
gotta go exercise now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Time for an update

I have been lax at blogging lately--enjoying the summer, too busy, too lazy, hooked on facebood instead, no big news--those are just some of the excuses that may apply.

Related to my own adoption, there is no news from the waiting aspect--it just continues. You guys will be among the first to know if I hear anything.
I do have my appointment for my fingerprints from USCIS now--it is only two days before they expire which is a little close for my comfort but I guess it works.
Last weekend I had my first fundraiser. I held a garage sale at a friends house--better location and larger garage. Many fiends and family donated items for me to sell and we had a great day. I was only able to have a one day sale but it was fantastic. We had a lot of fun and raised good money. The funnest (is that a word?) parts for me were the help from my friends and also the shoppers who had some connection to adoption and took the time to tell me their stories. It was very touching to feel so supported. The sale ran from 7am to 4pm which I thought would leave me exhausted but instead I felt renewed and uplifted--what a great side effect that I didn't expect. After the sale, my closest friends had me over for drinks on the patio--it was the perfect end to a perfect day.

My adoption connections just keep growing. Our adoption support group added another new member this week and we had a great dinner together as usual.
One of our members just came home from Ethiopia with her new little son so I want to say congrats to Emily--your son is beautiful.
I also want to say congrats to some other adoption friends that I know through the internet.
Sam who just brought home her daughter from Ethiopia.
Andrea who just recieved a referral for her daughter from Ethiopia.
Katie who just received her daughter from Russia
Robin who has recieved a referral for her son from Korea.
Tammy who just adopted her son domestically
It is great to see these women reach their dreams and to see these children find their forever families.

I have two great events to tell you about.
A good friend of mine adopting from Peru has started an organization here in Minnesota to help Minnesota families with grants for their adoptions. She has started the "Chosen One Run" which will be an annual event. The first one will be help on Sept. 12th. If you some, you will see me there as a volunteer.
Check out her website.

I also want to put in another plug for "Two Hearts for Hope"--the amazing organization that helps Kazakhstan orphans. Please check out their website and consider donating to the playground fund and/or entering the raffle for a handpainted picture of Kazakhstan.

There are so many children living in orphanages all around the world--any way you can help is appreciated.

Sorry I couldn't get the links to attach--so frustrating. You will have to cut and paste.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lesson learned--double check everything

My fingerprints for USCIS expire at the end of Sept. I followed the instructions on my 1-171H and send in the request for an appointment for re-fingerprinting with a $70.00 fee. I guess I should have checked their website because the fee has changed to $80.00 and I received my letter back with instructions to send the correct payment amount. One more trip to the bank for a cashier's check and a new request is back in the mail. Hopefully this one will bring a quick appointment and this will all get done in time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Congratulations Dawn and Kevin

My brother Kevin found the beautiful Love of his Life when he moved to Seattle and last weekend he made his dreams come true by marrying her. I got to go to another destination wedding (at least for me).
Seattle was boasting the hottest temps on record ever and the whole wedding/reception was held in their backyard but depite that, we had a wonderful time and the wedding was beautiful and fun.
The bride and groom with the "groom's" cake. It was pretty cool.

Kevin and Dawn both came into this relationship with two children and now have this amazing family.

The bride and groom before the wedding--she had a vintage gown

Dawn and Kevin have worked on their yard and flower gardens all summer and it really shows.
The backyard was set up for the reception and the wedding took place in the front of their house.

They said their vows and then the party began. We had awesome food and made many toasts to the new couple and dancing went on well into the night. It was great fun.-

The two mothers--my mom in peach and Dawn's mom in purple

Me and my sisters--Kathy(Kevin's twin sister), Teresa, and me.

All of the McNab's that were able to make it

The day after the wedding, we went to Mercer Island and watched the Blue Angels air show. A perfect place to be on a hot afternoon.

Another beautiful wedding and great weekend.
I am so lucky to have gained two fabulous sisters this summer--My brother's sure know how to pick em!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's a small world

Yesterday I attended the annual SW Minnesota picnic that my agency hosts. At first I realized that everyone there had adopted already and I didn't know anyone but then I ran into a woman from the support group I attend and enjoyed the meal with her and her family and got to meet a couple new families that she knew.
Then just as I was about to leave, this woman called out my name. It was an old coworker of mine from more than 12 years ago and I hadn't recognized her. She and her husband have adopted from Russia twice (in 2003 and 2006) and have two darling girls. I talked with them for over an hour and they had so much information to give.
I really feel like I scored because I rekindled an old friendship and I found some one (who lives here) to help guide me through the process. She and her husband were so excited for me and so willing to share--they will be invaluable to me when it gets time to travel, etc.
It is amazing how many wonderful people I have come to know just because I started this process.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Last night I attended a class (support group) with a speaker from the Minnesota Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Most of the people there had already adopted children that have been diagnosised with FASD or some other similier syndrome. We watched a movie that showcased four children affected by fetal alcohol exposure and their adoptive parents. The speaker talked about her two adopted children that have both been affected also and many participants shared parts of their stories. I have read about it and learned about it at my agency but this is the first time I have met real parents and children affected by it.
To be honest, it was pretty scary.
The kids were actually all very cute and mostly loving but they really had some bad moments and they required very different parenting than "regular" kids. The most scary part to me was when they grow up to teen and adult years--these are kids that will be affected their whole lives and will not accomplish the typical dreams that all parents have for thier children (graduate from college, get a good job, get married,and have a family). They may accomplish some of these things and live on their own successfully but in a different way than our normal dreams for them.
All of the parents were amazing and seemed to deal with this with great calmness, lots of love, and even some humor. But..they did express how hard it was and how important it was for them to have some support also. All the parents stated that they would absolutely choose the same children over again even knowing everything upfront.
I do worry about this--mostly my worries are for the child. I know that I could handle some difficult times and would do what I need to do but I don't want my child to have to go through such tough times and I would mourn the loss of those dreams I talked about. I also worry about who would help her when I am gone.
But..I am still glad I went. Children adopted from foster care in the US and children from Russia have a very high liklihood of some fetal alcohol exposure (there are all different degrees) so it is good to be knowledgeable. I do believe that Knowledge is power and the unkown is far more fearful than being prepared.
Although though I hope I never need them, it is good to know an organization like this exists if I ever do.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Call to Action

If you haven't heard of this yet, please check it out and help orphans find homes.
Sorry--I didn't figure out how to make this a link so just copy and paste this address into your web browser to check it out.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Adoption Song

There is an old song that was always one of my favorites and when I started this adoption journey it took on new meaning for me and seemed to speak directly to this journey. It is a song about how everything we go through in our lives, leads us to the one we were meant to be with. Very early on, I printed the lyrics on my blog but little did I know exactly how many obstacles would be placed along the way.
The song still fits this journey so well and I pray for the day that I can actually say I have reached the one that was meant for me.
I finally went out and found the song and added it to my blog.
It is called "To get me to you" by Lila McCann. I hope you enjoy it also.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Congratulations Dan and Kristin

On June 20th my brother married the most lovely girl in Asheville, NC. The whole family was there and we had the best time.
It has been a long time since we were all together with something so great to celebrate and we made the most of it.

There was white-water rafting on Thursday before the wedding. It was exciting and fun for all who went but not without drama. The groom was stung by a bee on his upper lip and it immediatley tripled in size until he looked like Homer Simpson. Just what he wanted for his wedding pictures in two days! Being the good big sister and nurse that I am, I helped take care of him. With benadryl, advil, and ice, we got the swelling down and it was unnoticed by his wedding day.

The Groom's Cake--John Deere Tractor made of pure sugar

Making Music

The Whole Hog

After the rehearsal they put on a southern B-B-Q hog roast with the whole hog laid out. Everyone that had travelled for the wedding was invited and we had a grand old party with lawn games and everything. Kristin surprised Dan with an awesome John Deere Tractor cake for the groom.

The Wedding Party

So Happy Together

The Sword Arch--welcoming and protecting the new Navy Famiily

Saying "I do"

The wedding itself was beautiful. My brother is in the Navy and all those guys in their Navy uniforms were just outstanding. Once again there was minor drama as the minister introduced them as husband and wife and instructed my brother to kiss his bride. They looked nervously at each other without kissing and then my brother leaned to the Minister to let him know that he had forgotten the vows. Ooops--rewind and do this again. The vows were completed, the couple reintroduced and finally the kiss. It makes a great wedding story for a day when everything else went so perfectly.

The Champagne Toast

The "Suessical" Wedding Cake

Annika with bubbles on the lawn

Our Family--I am the one in the black dress on the left hand side

"You've Lost that Loving Feeling..Oh Oh that Loving Feeling"

The Happy Bride and Groom

The reception was held up on a mountain with the most spectacular view, delicious food, great band, and free bar all night long. What a blast!! Towards the end of the evening all my siblings, my mom, and our Aunt and Uncles got together and had a special toast for my Dad. He wanted so much to be at this event and we missed his prescence. He would have loved seeing us all have so much fun.

We can't wait for the next wedding--Kevin and Dawn's in Seattle on Aug. 1st.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A new Day

Okay--it's a new day and a new attitude.
Enough feeling sorry for myself. Pick myself back up and all that.
Today I can truly feel happy for all the good news coming out of Russia and look at that as a sign of hope for myself.
Big congrats to my friend Kim who was referred the most beautiful little girl. I keep being reminded that good things do happen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy and Sad--What is the right way to feel?

Adoption is so full of emotions and I usually try to hold onto the good ones but they seem to get all mixed up with the not so good.
Maybe because I have been sick for the last week, I am a little more emotional than usual but this whole wait and everything else associated with adoption is hitting me so hard lately.

I recieved an unexpected donation to my adoption funds that was really generous and meant a great deal to me--I was so happy and touched the day it arrived.
But then...I had applied for a grant--the only one I found that allowed single women to apply. I was so happy when I found it because I really need some more funds and up until then my search for grants only found ones for couples. This week I found out they were overwhelmed with applications and could not grant mine but they wished me well. I totally understand as they are foundation that is run by donation only and they have limited funds but yet I was crushed--I don't know anywhere else to apply.

I learned from my agency that they received one referral from my region this month. While that is good to hear they also said they don't know when to expect more--my heart fell when I heard that. I also know I am not the only one waiting there. So--what does that mean for my wait--no one knows.

One of my friends recieved a referral from Russia just today. The child is beautiful and healthy and is absolutely perfect for their family. I am so thrilled for them. I don't want to take anything away from their happiness and wonderful news.

But yet..it is hard not to feel sorry for myself. Through my Kazakhstan experience I saw many families move through the process faster than me only to find out that I could no longer be in the program. Now in the Russia process I am also seeing many families moving faster than me. It is so hard. I don't know why--am I doing something wrong?, did I choose the wrong agency for me? do they not think I will be a good mother? Do they not realize I can't wait forever?? It really seems so random and it truly tests my strength some days. My biggest fear was that I started too late and my child would have an older mother and these long waits just keep increasing that. Will the day come that I have to give up because I had to wait too long and got too old or too broke or the laws change or whatever else can happen. How can I know the answers? What is the right way to feel? What can I do but wait (and cry)? And pray.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June Already!!??!!

I really can't believe it's June already.

Adoption update:
I have no great updates on the adoption front. My agency had one opportunity with switching regions that I looked into but they felt that I could be delaying my process so that made it easy to say No.
Through the internet, I have been able to connect with some parents that have already adopted from my region or are in process also which has really been nice. It is fun to see the kids and hear about where they stayed, where they shopped, etc. I am getting attached to the city.

In other news:
I have a couple friends that are adopting from Krygystan and they have been waiting for MONTHS to bring home the children they have already met because of some hold up in the government there. They recently had a chance to speak on the their behalf and on the behalf of their children and all waiting families to the Kryg officials in Washington last Friday--Please join me in praying that their efforts were successful and they can fianlly start processing adoptions in that country again. They really need something good to happen so their children can come home.

Something good that is going on:
A few months ago I met another adoptive mom through a friend of mine and it has really been a great connection for me. She found no local support through her own adoption so she decided to start a support group. When I hooked up with them, the group included three moms that had completed adoptions and one other waiting mom. Since me, four more waiting women have joined us. We get together once a month and any other time that some one needs the extra suppoort. It is just great to meet with people that really know what you are going through and they are such amazing women. I am lucky.

Family news:
I had a busy weekend with a neice and a nephew graduating from high school--260 miles apart so it was a lot of driving but my mom, my brother and his family, and I made the trek and got to see both kids--we made my nephew's big party and my neice's ceremony and brunch. My brother has two young kids and we all went together in his van--All I can say is thank goodness for those portable DVD players!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Updates but really no new news

My agency had a conference call with Russian families today to give us updates on the situation of adoption in Russia as they know it.
It was great to have that contact with the agency and to know they are keeping us all informed. I have been hearing most of what they said already so there were no big surprises.
The two main things they talked about are the increase of domestic adoption in Russia and the emergence of a foster care system in Russia.
Both of these trends are very good things for the country of Russia and for the children of Russia so I am happy about that. However they both have consequences for International Adoption that are difficult as a waiting parent.
Russian families that are adopting or fostering a child have the same wants as American families--most want young healthy girls which is true of American families. This causes fewer children (especially girls) to be available for International Adoption, causing longer waits, and more health risks in the children that are still available for International Adoption. Using a couple IA Doctors in your process is something they strongly recommend. They also recommend educating yourself on the possible medical issues because families that are prepared can usually handle them all successfully.
This may make things sound bleak but they truly were not trying to scare us. They still feel that the Russian program is a very good option for building a family through adoption--they just want us all to be realistic.
So what does this mean to me??
Basically it means that I wait---and wait--and maybe wait some more. What else is new--This whole process has increased in waiting every time I turn around. My patience is surely being tested and I am not always passing. One thing I have decided though is that I am not ready to give up so onward I go with more waiting.

The issue of why adoptive parents don't want boys as much is something I haven't figured out and is a whole nother topic. Maybe it is something I should seriously think about.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Russian Travel

Wow--it's been a month since I made an entry--time sure flies when you are doing nothing.
No--I am not going to Russia yet as the title implies but I did attend a Russian Travel orientation at the agency. I have heard many people on the chat boards talk about three trips to Russia but my agency still prepares us for two trips as that is what their families have been able to do. I learned lots of good info about what to expect when a referral actually does come. Unfortunately, I still have no idea when that will happen. I do love going to the classes they offer because they always end them with a panel of parents who have already adopted and their children--it is so cool to see them and to hear their stories.
I have been amazingly patient with this wait--more so than with the first one. Maybe because I am experienced in the disappointment of not going so I am afraid to be too hopeful or maybe because of the realization that the end cost (financially) will much higher than I had started out expecting so I need to spend some time socking away as much money as I can. I used to put my overtime earnings away to the adoption fund but OT has been nearly eliminated at my work so now I need to look at ways to decrease spending--not quite as easy as working overtime. but..I am extremely happy that I do have my job and have no fear of losing it--that is not true for many people so I am grateful.

I had a great Easter with my sister and her in-laws. We did church, Easter egg hunt, and the big dinner with ham and all the fixings.
The rest of my family was pretty spread out. Two of my brothers took their sons and went snow-mobiling in the Buckhorn Mountains of Wyoming--their third trip there this winter but as my nephew says "We gotta ride as long as there is snow". They love it.
Both of their wives worked the weekend but they got together with my Mom after they got off work and had a big dinner. both sisters when to their in-laws and then two of my brother's live on the west coast so they did their own thing with family members. It was kind of weird because Easter was usually the big holiday in our family (We love the celebration of Christ rising) and we would all get together but my sister's in-laws were a great substitute for my family.

Two of my adoption friends live in Tennessee where the tornadoes hit. Their town was hit hard but fortunately both of them and their families are okay. My thoughts go out to those who lost their homes or other things and especially to those who lost loved ones or who were harmed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just waiting

I really have nothing new to report on the adoption front. I am in the waiting mode. My agency is very good with weekly updates that have specific informatin about each region they work with and my specialist has called just to see how I am doing. Next month I will go to travel orientation so more good stuff to learn. I still expect a few months wait but I am okay with that for now--I feel peaceful about it because I trust the people I am working with.

If you remember my post in early Feb. I had made up the room for my daughter for my dossier pictures and I was enjoying just sitting in it--it is so bright and cheery. I also said I would probably put it all back away because that is my spare room and I didn't want anyone to sleep on the new linens, etc. until after my daughter has--I want her to be the first and to have a truly new room. So I got it all back in the closet and just in time. My home has been quite a refuge for my family this past couple weeks. My youngest brother and his fiancee are moving from Norfolk, Va (Navy) to Monterey, Ca. They drove through Minnesota on the way to visit family and spent one night at my house--it was fun to see them. I had dinner plans with the adoption support group I have found here so they got to come along and meet the girls. It was fun.
Last weekend my sister and her kids passed through town on the way home from my Mom's (I am just about in the middle of their 5 hour drive) and they ended up staying the night due to bad weather.
Yesterday my Aunt and Uncle came to town to have check ups at the Mayo Clinc--they are not staying with me but we will get together.
Now this weekend my nephew that is attending college in Iowa is coming up Friday night and I am taking him to the airport in Minneapolis on Saturday. He is flying to Tahoe to go skiing for spring break. Hi is meeting up with two of my brothers (one is his Dad) and other friends. They should have a blast.
I never get visitors and now to have so many--it's been fun. I wish I could be going to some of those fun places with them but I am glad to have them visit on the way.
My spare room has been busy.

I do have one update on my adoptin plans. I thank everyone for their input on the topic of adopting siblings. I especially am grateful for all the support and encouragement to help me realize that it wasn't a crazy thought and I could handle it. There are many reasons that I would love to have siblings but there are also many reasons why I decided that it wasn't right for me to do that at this time. I did decide to ask for one little girl up to 4 years old. Maybe someday my little girl will get a sibling but if not, then it will be "just you and me kid". I can't wait.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Win a custom made flag quilt

Just a quick note to let you all know of this incredible raffle opportunity.
The woman on the BOD from "Two Hearts for Hope" are raffling a custom made quilt wall hanging and you get to choose which country you want.
Two women that have years of experience in quilting are making the quilt--it will be beautiful. What an awesome addition this would be to any child's room.
All proceeds will be used to help toward the adoption expenses for Kim Prud'homme who is traveling to Russia for her daughter.
Check out this blog to see an example of the beautiful quilt and see what country choices are available.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Help the children in Qostanay

Please read the following message from "Two Hearts for Hope"
Northern Kazakhstan is experiencing a very cold winter and the children have nothing to look forward to. They stare out the windows and long for warmer happier summer days where they can run free and somewhat let their cares disappear.
March 22 is the Kazakh holiday of Nauryz which celebrates the end of the long cold winter and ushers in the warm spring. Nauryz is generally celebrated with a great meal among family and friends. The Holiday lasts for one month with cultural events, games, song, and dance. The main theme of the Holiday is renewal and joy.
This year you have the chance to bring some joy and smiles to the children at the Delphin Orphanage by helping them celebrate with a few goodies of their own.
Your $10.00 tax deductable donation will help will help us reach our goal of supplying all 75 children with a cake celebration, books, and small toys for this happy celebration.
Donations are being accepted through March 20th by following the paypal link on our website www.twoheartsforhope.org or by sending a check to:
Two Hearts For Hope
PO Box 1928
Lebanon, MO 65536
Please pass this message on and Thanks for your support.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Productive Day

This week has been fun on the adoption front--I feel like I am progressing again.
Today I took the day off from work and went to the bank, ran around the neighborhood and took pictures, finished my dossier Part 1, made copies and got it mailed off to the agency.
I know this is just a hurry up and then wait part of the process but I really am happier when I am actually doing something instead of just waiting.
Now the dossier documents will be translated and then I will be registered in my region. This is so cool. I already feel more sure of this process than I ever did of the Kazakhstan one. Hopefully I am right.
I also took out all the little girl bedding that I had bought over a year ago and made up her room. I was required to put a picture of it in my dossier paperwork so I kind of had to but it is weird how much different that made me feel to actually have her room look like a little girl's room instead of just my guest room. I could stand in there for hours and just soak it up. I will probably take it all down and put it away again because I only have two bedrooms in my place and I don't want any visitors to sleep on her bedding before she is here--I want it to all be new for her.
We also had warmer weather today--it got above 30 and stayed there all day! That also helps make it a good day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good Day

Today was a good day--When I got home from work, I found out I had reached two big milestones in the adoption process.
My revised I-171H with the country change was in the mail!!!
I had the "Welcome to your region" email from my agency--I now know my region!!!
Every little step feels so good.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Here's to a better year in 2009

I hope that 2009 started out well for all of you.
I had a lovely first day of the New Year as I celebrated Christmas with my whole family on that day. We had a nice time and had some good remembrences of my Dad. It felt a little odd without him. He wasn't an integral part in the planning or execution of our plans, he would just follow along with what we planned, so everything went on just as before with the only difference being that he wasn't there. It was a little unsettling that it could be so much the same as always and so different at the same time.
As you know, I have been working on my Russian adoption process. I have also been really thinking about the foster children program here in Minnesota so I looked into that. The one big drawback is that the vast majority of the kids are over age 7 and I was hoping for a younger child as I really want to experience some of the younger years. There are some younger children in the foster program but there are many parents waiting for them and they are often part of a sibling group so I was told it would be unlikely that I could adopt a child under 7.
I also asked about dual listing with foster care and Russia which is what I would really like to do but the Minnesota Waiting Children Program does not allow that so it was choose one or the other. I did choose to stay with Russia.
I had my last homestudy visit on Jan. 8th after spending the week before frantically clearing out my daughter's bedroom (that had morphed into a store room) and cleaning the whole house. It went well and I am now officially approved for bringing home one child up to the age of 4. As of Jan. 8th--my approval date, I am on the waiting list for Russia. Yeah!!! The wait for a girl is being quoted as 18-24 months so please pray I will be on the shorter end of that wait.
My agency is opening a program in a country new to them that might hold some promise but I don't know enough to say anymore about it now.
Here is an issue that I would like some honest feedback on:
I asked my social worker about the possibility of siblings (from Russia). I would have to do some more homework--they gave me a list of books to read--and they want me to talk to some other singles that adopted siblings (there are very few) and then go before a committee to be approved for siblings. Now I am not 100% certain I want to pursue this but here is my thinking--I just turned 48 and will be close to 50 when bringing a child home. With the increased costs and wait times, I know I will not be going through this a second time. I know it will be pretty tough when they are young but as I am an older mother, they could be left parentless when they are still young adults and I think it would be nice for them to have each other. I can't imagine my life without my siblings. The only parents I know that adopted siblings have beautiful children that they love very much but they have some pretty trying times. In doing this, I would not exclude the referral of a single chld---just be open to the possiblity of siblings if they were available. Some have already told me I am nuts. My sister said--"if your heart says that, pursue it. I trust God to bring you to the right spot and I trust you to make the right choice". Am I nuts for even thinking this or is it worth thinking about? I do want to be fair to my child(ren). Tell me what you think.