Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dossier II on it's way to Moscow...

We completed all the paperwork and made two originals just in case the first one gets lost on it's way to Moscow. I have read horror stories from adoptives parents whose dossier has gotten lost in route to Russia or whatever other country where their adoption is taking place. I read the saddest story just recently of a woman who has been waiting 2 years just to get a referral then her documentation got lost in route. It took her almost a month to get a whole new set.

The agency called me to let me know everything was in order and rather than sending our dossier to Moscow via express mail they were going to be asking a family who is supposed to arrive in Russia this Sunday to carry and deliver it for us. Chris and I both recalled our lost suitcase fiasco on our first trip and got concerned about our dossier being passed around. However, they reassured us that they do it all the time and they would be asking the family to carry them on and not to put them in their luggage. I hope they listened. Like everything else so far...we said a prayer and asked for Divine intervention. Having this family deliver the papers will save us a few days. They are suppose to arrive in Moscow on Monday and DHL would have gotten there next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last week I also heard that Monday is a holiday in Russia. The party actually started today and goes through Monday night. They call it Men's Days. Not clue what 'the men" get to do during these three days but Chris was hoping they had that here. Fat chance I thought :).

In all, things are looking pretty good. I hope to get a call on Tuesday and hear that my Moscow rep has our stuff. Hopefully she will translate everything this coming week and send it to Roma by next weekend. I am sure Roma would have had recovered from Men's Days by then and will be ready to roll. Something tells me we will get a call with a court date real soon. It is excrutiating to think of little Alex there for much longer and we constantly wonder how he is doing. If I could only get some way to connect with the orphanage and ask about him...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The 'before' bedroom pictures

Tinted primer on top - plain in the bottom
Painted letters for the wall

Busy Sunday

We spent the morning at Lowes and Babies R Us and the afternoon working in Alex's room. My friend Angie and Spencer, the neighborhood girl that watches Dudley, helped us put the primer on. It was fun but I promise it is not any way near the way it will end up looking. What you see in the pictures above is just primer, blue tape and mess. I just had to post the 'before' pictures.

We ordered his crib set and it should be here in about three to four weeks. By then we should be done with all the painting, curtains and wall decor. The paint we chose is a two tone set-up divided with a cherry panel. The top part is a butter or yellowish cream looking color, the bottom is coffee and the rails will match the darkish wood of the crib. It should look really, really nice in just a few weeks.

This is really helping keep our minds of the waiting and helping make the days go by just a bit faster. Tomorrow we have to go pick up the last of the paperwork from the doctor's office but apostilling will have to wait until Tuesday since all the government officials will be celebrating President's day tomorrow. It will be another busy time for us at work so hopefully it will go by fast. I keep thanking God for getting us another day closer to Alex and giving us the patience to deal with our journey these next few weeks.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fun weekend

Now that we don't have to worry about paperwork (at least for the weekend) we have switched gears to make the waiting a bit less painfull. Now it's all about getting ready for the arrival !

Today we went to Home Depot and Lowes to look for chair rails, wallpaper, borders, name it. Four hours later we came back home with a loaded SUV. I put blue painters tape all over the room today and tomorrow I will start painting. I have never embarked in a project like this before and we're really looking forward to doing this ourselves rather than hiring someone to do it for us.

Tonight we took a break from everything, enjoyed a really nice dinner with our friends Roger and Angie and had a great time. Tomorrow we will be back at the President's Day sales for a really nice crib, get the baby some must-have's for the upcoming big trip and painting with Angie in the afternoon. I have a boat load of school work so I might work that in late in the evening, but other than that tomorrow it's Baby Sunday and I can't wait!!!

Dossier Part II

This paperwork list is longer than a day without food; actually, make it two days without food. The adoption agency told me that a court date is usually about 2 to 4 months after the first trip. No way Jose, I thought. I asked them, why so long? Their answer seemed simple: a month for me to gather the paperwork, another few weeks for the adoption agency to review it, get it to Moscow, translate it and then to Perm. The Ministry of Education in Moscow also has to send some sort of release to Perm. Once that's in Perm along with my translated dossier, a judge has to review all the docs. Upon his/her review, he/she will decide if I should provide additional docs or not. If not, we'll get a court date but I don't know yet how long it takes from that point. If we recall correctly Roma mentioned two weeks.

It all makes sense but there was no way I was going to take my time to gather documents. We got the list late Wednesday February 6th, I brought it home that night and Chris and I decided how we would split it. I would take care of employment, banks, deeds and doctor letters, etc, and Chris would be taking care of whatever requirements they needed from Mitch and Kelsey - although they don't live with us, we need to prove that both kids are healthy and doing well in school. They are so we thought that would be the easier part...but not so.

The forms we had to provide is not what our employers, banks, county/government and doctors were willing to do. Everyone here has their own form, legally scrutinized for fear of being sued I'm sure. Every call we made had to be accompanied by some long explanation of why, how and when it's needed. Not easy and it drove us nuts!!!

However, this is what I do for a living... documentation, and I was a persistent-pain-in-the-neck with everyone from whom I needed a form signed and notarized, so one week later we have just about everything. After Alex is here, I will redeem myself and apologize for being such a royal pain.

Monday we get the forms signed from our general MD and we are done. The 'infamaous' eight medicals we both have to get done will be happening in Perm. Why there? I am still waiting for an acceptable answer. I guess that will be okay; it's way cheaper to get it done there than it would here, that's for sure; the price tag here would be $1600 for each of us versus $400.00 in Perm. So, on the bright side it is a relief not having to beg each of these doctor's offices to see us. I did try to make a few appointments when we thought these visits had to happen here, and every single office I called would first tell me they could not see us unless we were sick or we were being referred by our MD. Augh!!!

Now that we are done chasing and gathering paperwork, the timeframe is looking great. We are sure our agency will expedite it and send it to Moscow and then to Roma. Once in his hands, I am sure it will go fast from there. He knows how anxious we are and I have no doubts he will do whatever he can to get us back there soon. We are praying for a trip before March is over.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Getting to Phoenix

It took about twelve hours from the time we got to the airport in Frankfurt to the time we got off the plane in Philly. First, something happened to the subway and we were stuck in a full car for about 15 minutes. Not a good thing for a person like me who can't handle multitudes and enclosed places. We did make it to the airport in time but had to run the whole time to get to the ticket counter then to the gate. Once over Philly skies, the pilot had to circle the airport for about an hour due to the freezing rain they were having.

We were really concerned about missing our flight to Las Vegas, but we rushed to the gate and made it only because that flight was late leaving Philly. It was also a full flight filled with people coming to Phoenix for the superbowl. Chris and I were supposed to sit in aisle seats across from each other, but oddly enough, his row was the only one on the plane with just him. Supposedly the two people who were in his row missed the flight. I was able to move over, stretch out and sleep for a couple of hours.

We figured we would lose our flight to Phoenix from Vegas since we were an hour late leaving Philly and only had 30 minutes in between flights. We had a pretty smooth flight and got to Vegas with only five minutes before the flight to Phoenix was taking off - we rushed off the plane as quickly as we could and literally ran like crazy to the gate, jumped on the flight and they immediately closed the door behind us. We were about a minute or two from missing this flight and were thrilled to know that in one more hour we would be home!

As soon as we got to Phoenix Chris and I split. He took off to pick-up the car at a garage in the vicinity of the airport. I, once again, headed to the Luggage Tracking desk. We assumed there was no way our luggage was on this flight since we got off the Philly plane and ran to this one. I didn't even bother with the carousel. I got the tracking receipt, was told by the attendant that they would deliver my bags around 8:00 the following morning and I went outside to wait for Chris. About five minutes later and before Chris got back to the airport, I happened to glance inside a saw one of the luggage carriers moving a large cart with about 20 pieces of luggage ready to be stored, and sure enough, my two bags were in it!

I went back inside to talk to the attendant and he explained that my bags mistakenly went directly from Philly to Phoenix instead of being sent with us on our Vegas flight. Very odd how this day worked out...but what a blessing! On the flight from Philly to Vegas Chris and I had hoped that we would make just two more things, our flight to Phoenix and get our luggage... We made both!!!

We were so thankful to be home safe, sound AND sane. Everything at home was in order and we were thrilled to be able to sleep in our own bed, get a good night sleep, work on the jet-lag and start working on all the paperwork we need to gather for our next trip. Now we are praying for a quick court date and very excited about doing it all over again to bring Alex home ASAP. We have been told that thewaiting time between trips was the worst and they were right...this stinks! We want our little guy now and not knowing when we are going back really does stink!