Saturday, December 29, 2007

Baby Boy Referral

There is no picture to least for a while, but we can share a few little things we know. He is a one year old with very little hair, blue eyes and growing fine. We know we are not supposed to be attached but we can't help but think about him, pray for his well being and hope we can get to him very soon. We have not been waiting very long since submitting our dossier and it is still exasperating. We feel for all those families who have been waiting for months and even years to get their babies.

We have the visa forms completed, the itinerary sort of figured out, his doctor's assessments back, checklists for our traveling and things to bring for the baby. Tomorrow we are dedicating the day to working on his room. It seems like there is so much to do to prepare and we want to make sure we don't miss a thing.

I don't really feel like writing tonight but I promised myself I would keep track of what happens every day and make an entry as often as I could. I know at some point family and friends will want to know everything that went on.

We are heading out in just a bit to look for a large Christmas tree. I am hoping to put one in the loft upstairs and decorate it with our little man next year. I will be checking out cribs at the baby store tomorrow and getting some more things together for our first trip.

This is all for today!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Christmas Wish Comes True!

We got "the call" yesterday! The agency called with the best news ever ~ a one year old baby boy is ready to be adopted and we are the fortunate ones who get to come see him soon. I can't even begin to put in writing how happy we are. We got very little information that included some measurements at birth and, according to our research, all seems in line with his age.

After enjoying the momemt for a while, we immediately started to fill-out the forms for our Russian visas, checking on flights, calling family and friends, and started to figure out what we need to take on the trip. I have been reading several blogs by people who were recently there, or are at the same stage as we are, to get some hints and tips about trip one. All of these posts are such an inspiration...

I did find someone who has been a real angel during these past couple of weeks. I found her name while researching the net and now I stay in touch with her just about every day. I have gotten so much advise, support, hints, help, guidance, you name it!!! We really, really owe her.

And there will be more on her later :0)

It looks like we may leaving for Perm on/or about January 15th, and we'll be there for around 5 days, but of course it takes two to get there and two to get back. We can't wait...Soon I will be sending a note to everyone to let all know...We Are Going to Perm!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Wish...

What else could bring us so much joy
As the arrival of our new baby boy...
His snuggly charms will soon capture me
He's in always in our thoughts
He is all we have on our Christmas list...

We'll soon be there to meet you
I've got lots of fun to share,
Today there will be lots of prayers
To help mommy and daddy prepare.

You will soon become our biggest treasure
But for now we can only to Him pray
That we too, bring you every pleasure
And you are here soon, and forever with us stay...

Friday, December 21, 2007

No Updates

No new calls, no info from the agency, no updates on the hotline. Nada, Zippo, Zero...

The only call I got this week happened yesterday. My doctor's assistant is really trying to help us by getting us names of all the doctors we need to see as part of our region's requirements for the adoption. Four of the doctors we need to see are right in my General Practitioner's office. That was actually great news!!!!

We've decided to hold off sending this blog to our friends and family until we can attach it to an email with a title reading something like "We Are Going to Russia". I keep praying for some good news soon of a one or two year old baby boy. I did have a dream just the other day that I was walking down a street in Perm looking for the orphanage and when I finally found it, a really cute kid with big bright eyes was all packed up ready to go with me, but someone at the orphanage kept telling me I counldn't bring him home. I woke up pretty upset but kept telling myself it was just a dream. I must have some deep-down fear of getting there and someone telling me that I can't bring him home.

Back now from dream-land... we can't wait to get some news real soon, go to Perm, get our little one and bring him home to be with us last :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reminiscing and Waiting...

Today we were reminiscing and looking at old pictures of the kids. It seems like it was just yesterday when we took these and now Mitch is about to become a teenager, and Kelsey might be driving in just a few months. Times does fly, when you are not desperately waiting, that is!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Doctor Appointments

I heard today that we have a choice about getting our 'eight' medicals visits here in the US or in Perm. I don't think it would be too comfortable to go to all these doctors and have a translator in there or misunderstanding the terminology. I called the doctor's office to find out how they can help but of course you can never talk to the doctor to explain why we need to see so many specialists. However, when I got back from school tonight I had a really nice voice mail message from our doctor to let us know that once we know for sure what type of MD's we need to see, they will be able to refer us and explain to them why we need the appointments.

Our agency contact here is emailing their agency in Moscow to get specific information. I was told we should know something by tomorrow night. I am hoping to hear back early enough to contact our doctor. We definetely want to do what we can to have these medicals here - I guess they include some intensive lab work too - good thing Chris and I are pretty healthy! The bad part? We have to pay for it ourselves. There is no way our insurance company will find any justification on any of this. Oh is what it is :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perm Region

Everyone has been asking about our region so we thought we should post that information. We will be going to Perm, Russia, which is two hours by plane east of Moscow. I have added a link to the blog. Feel free to check it out so you know where we are going to be, real soon I hope. We will be going from sunny Arizona and warm 65 degrees to who-knows-what below zero. Brrrr!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Eight Doctors!!!

While doing some research last night we found out that we may need to visit about eight different types of doctors before our second trip to Russia. Supposedly we will need to see a neurologist, an encologist, a dermatologist, an infectiologist and four other "something-ologists". We have already decided not to worry about all the requirements but rather do the research and consult with the adoption agency. Easier said than done but we keep praying for a lot of patience :)

I thought about being proactive and setting-up all these appointments for sometime in late January or February, but it is a bit difficult since we don't know (just yet) when our first trip to Russia will be. Once we get some more specific information we'll decide. I do think we'll be gathering names of doctors taking new patients, and calling as soon as they tell us we are going to Russia. I know I will be 'begging' for quick appointments.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fingerprints and now just waiting...

Today we got our fingerprints done downtown. No issues, thank goodness. The office was not even that busy and we were pleasantly surprised about the good service we got from the fingerprinting agent. Once we are 'cleared' we should be receiving a letter from CIS ( same as the INS) letting us know we can bring a baby from abroad. Things are looking good, we just want to get that referral sooooo bad!!!!

We know he is going to be worth every minute of the wait. In the meantime we have a few plans to get ready for the the baby's arrival. Both Chris and I have have done a lot of research on adoptions from Russia, including reading books regarding attachment and development issues. I got really scare reading the book I just finished but it did talk more about adopting older children after they have been in the foster care system. In any case, the possibility of our little one having 'orphanage issues' is very real and we want to be ready to handle any situation, and give him the best opportunities and life possible.

I also re-decorated Mitchell's room a couple of weeks ago. It now looks like a 'big boy's room and judging by Mitch's face I can tell he loved it. He did give us some input and switched somethings around. This weekend we are taking some time to work on the baby's room and we'll have Mitch helped with it too. I think we'll also paint and shop for borders and bedroom furniture. I am hoping to figure out this blogging business soon so I can add pictures to it. As soon as I do I will be sharing all the new upgrades.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Decision to Adopt

We are ready! Yes, last September we decided to proceed with our adoption by choosing an agency, completing the mountains of paperwork, and starting our journey to bring our son home. Our agency is phenomenal. They have been placing children in the US from all over the world for the last hundred years. We are so blessed to have found them through a friend who adopted from Russia just a couple of years ago.

Our first step was to take a required weekend-long class to learn all we could about international adoption. Everyone kept telling us that after this class we may change our mind about adopting. Not so...the class actually sealed our decision. We want to adopt our son from Russia more than anything else in the world, and we are so excited about it.

The next step was contacting a local agency to complete our Home Study. They are also a wonderful agency who expedited our study and got it completed and approved by the court in just a little over a month.

As part of the Home Study we had to install a fence around our pool. Of course Chris was not too happy about that but once installed we realized it wasn't so bad after all. They too were able to come to our house, get measurements and had the fence installed in less than ten days despite the fact that it was their busy season. As soon as I told them I was fencing the pool because I was adopting a baby, they could not get here fast enough :). As soon as the Home Study visits were done, we were able to remove the fence and stored it in the garage until our little one comes home.

The adoption agency sent us a long list of paperwork that we had to complete, notarized and get apostilled (sort of notarizing the notary) downtown. Chris and I took a couple of trips downtown and thought it was really a breeze. We sent all the paperwork ( called the Dossier) to our agency in Minnesota. They called as soon as they got the paperwork to let us know that our documentation was in perfect order and on its way to Russia.

The adoption representative in Russia got our paperwork last Tuesday, November 27th. We are being told now that it will be translated and presented to a Judge in a few days. We also had to file immigration papers asking INS to allow us to bring a child to the US. We are getting fingerprinted this Friday, December 7th and expect to get their letter of approval before the end of the month.

So far so good... between choosing the agency, getting the home study done, the pool fenced, preliminary INS paperwork completed and submitted, fingerprinting appointments set, and our paperwork to a Russian Judge, it has taken about four months. Now we just need to keep praying for a referral to come just as quick.