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.