Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THANK YOU!


Every single time someone donates to our adoption, I'm moved to tears. Someone made a generous donation to our Family Support Page through Reece's Rainbow. I'm not sure who it was, but we are so grateful. Please know that we are thankful for your generosity and we love you very much, whoever you are, because you love us and our precious Kirill enough to help us bring him home! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Paper?

I've said this about ten times before in this process, but I THINK I just Fed-Ex'd the last piece of adoption paperwork. Now as I'm typing that, I'm thinking..."you're going to jinx it!" But I refuse to let that thought take over. The judge requested some additional information and all of our court documents had expired, so that was all in this set of papers. Please say a prayer for that envelope. I know Satan is trying to keep it from reaching its final destination. Another adoptive family that is adopting from the same country and region as we are said, "We're getting closer because things are getting harder." She is so right. If you don't believe in spiritual warfare, adopt. So please be in prayer for Satan to be restrained and our paperwork to arrive in country, safe and sound.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cautiously Optimistic

I love our social worker with our adoption agency. She uses the term "cautiously optimistic" a lot; usually goes a little something like this:
Me: "So do you think we're going to have K home by the spring?"
Her: "Well, we're cautiously optimistic that you will travel shortly after the first of the year."
OR....
Me: "This is the last of the paperwork, right?"
Her: "We're cautiously optimistic that you won't have to do anymore paperwork."

I've adopted this term and I use it all the time now. Today, I'm cautiously optimistic that God has moved a giant mountain out of our way. I want so badly to get excited about the latest turn of events and think this, indeed, is the light at the end of the tunnel. But, as we've learned the hard way, as soon as we think there are no other obstacles and the finish line is in sight, we usually run into a wall. We patiently deconstruct the wall, brick by brick, and keep pressing on toward the goal...bringing our precious son home.

So today, I'm cautiously optimistic. It looks like the obstacle we were facing has been removed. I will believe it when I see it, but for now, I'm cautiously optimistic. :) Regardless of whether it has been removed or not, God is sovereign and he is faithful. Please continue to pray for us and for sweet Kirill until we do finally board that plane and bring him home.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

From the Mountaintop to the Valley

We feel like this adoption is a never-ending series of trips from the highest high to the lowest low. We're back in the valley today. I cannot share details since I made the blog public again. Just know that we need some serious help from God to move a mountain that has been placed in our way. Don't worry; we are still pursuing K. However, we may be facing more delays. We know God is sovereign above all. We know he doesn't want K to stay in an orphanage either. So we are putting all of our hope in him and praying that he moves this mountain. Please join us in praying; it is our only hope to avoid several more months away from our son.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Miracle


Well folks, looks like we've got ourselves a true Christmas miracle. Prayers for our sweet K have been heard and the judge in our region will begin accepting court cases for adoption starting TODAY! As many of you know, the judge in our region did not want to assign new court dates until the bilateral treaty on adoptions between the U.S. and Russia is signed. Although that has not yet occurred, she has decided to go ahead and resume issuing court dates. This is amazing news because we did not believe the treaty would be signed until December 31st, and even then we might have to wait for the judge to get to our case.


Please continue to pray for our judge. We really do feel that she has had reasons for not issuing new court dates all this time. We have been told by our agency, who we trust, that she has been very concerned about the children of her region always. They have given us instances where she has really worked with families to get children home who were in need of medical care. We know that she feels a burden of responsibility for the children she approves for adoption. Please pray for her wisdom and that she sees how much we love K and want him to be home with us.


We have to redo some paperwork that has expired, but hope to have a consultation with our agency in the next couple of days to find out exactly what they need. At that point, we will rush like mad to get the papers to them so the judge can review our case. Hopefully, we will have a court date in the near future! I will keep you all updated. But for now, just know we are finally seeing a light at the end of a very long, dark, and emotion-filled tunnel!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree

It's time for the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree! It kicks off tomorrow, November 1st. I will be fundraising for Victoria, Russia Region 6. The children on Reece's Rainbow each have their own grant fund. The larger the grant fund, the more like a child is to find a forever family. A typical international adoption of a child with Down Syndrome is approximately $25,000 (average). Most families are more than able to financially support a child once they get home, but most families do NOT have an extra $25K laying around upfront. Think of it this way, what if you had to come up with $25K before you could have a child the "normal" way? Most people wouldn't have kids, would they? Remember, there is no shortage of families who are willing to adopt these precious children with Down Syndrome, only a shortage of funds to do so.

To donate to Victoria's grant fund, simply click on the ornament on my sidebar with her beautiful picture on it. If you give $35, you will receive an Reece's Rainbow ornament with Victoria's picture on it. I've seen the ornaments and they are beautiful. My ornaments from last year are among my favorites. Eventually, I want to have a whole tree just for my little RR angels! Watch the video below before you decide if you will give or not. Pay close attention around the 6:04 mark for an angel you may recognize!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The First Trip-Part 1

Hotel Lobby

Our guide, Dima

Outside of St. Basil's

I want to remember as much as possible about this trip, so bear with me as I may be a little wordy (not unusual for me anyway). I guess the best way to document our trip to meet Kirill is to divide it up into parts. Otherwise, this post could take longer to read that the trip itself. So this post is dedicated to the first leg of our trip.

We left Tuscaloosa around three o'clock on Friday afternoon headed for Atlanta, where we flew out of on Saturday morning. We had planned to leave around noon but it just seemed like all the last minute details were taking forever and we had to get some paperwork together for our adoption agency that they were wanting for our second trip. It wasn't necessary that we get the paperwork done before we left, but "preferable" so we wanted to go ahead and take care of it. So anyway, I was a stressball (of course) and when we finally got into the vehicle I couldn't stop worrying that we had forgotten something very important. We hadn't, but I couldn't shake the feeling.

When we got to Atlanta, we decided to go eat for our anniversary since we would be on an overnight train the night of our actual anniversary (the 12th). We ate at the Atlanta Fish Market and then headed to the hotel to try to get some sleep. We both tossed and turned a good bit; Greg didn't sleep at all.

Next morning, we headed to the airport bright and early. Our flight didn't leave till 10, but we left the hotel at 8 to give ourselves plenty of time. Glad we did because we got all the way to the airport and I remembered that I left my insulin in the fridge in the hotel room. Fantastic. We had to go all the way back to the hotel, but still had time to spare after we checked in at the airport. Emergency diverted.

Our flight to D.C. and to Eastern Europe were both uneventful. One thing we learned; it pays to make friends with the stewards on long flights. Our steward was a huge African American guy who looked like he could play football at Bama. Greg was convinced he was an air marshall. Regardless, we shared our story with him and talked to him a lot about his family and he totally hooked us up the rest of the flight with whatever we needed including things we should have had to pay for like drinks and snacks.

I popped some Xanex and was out for the entire flight. Gracious, I love that stuff when I'm flying. I didn't feel a single air pocket. We arrived in Eastern Europe at 11:30 a.m. and we were greeted at the airport by smoke and heat. It was 90 degrees and the fires around the city had filled the city with smoke. It was inside the buildings and hard to get away from; especially in buildings with no a/c. We headed to customs and learned the system very quickly there; elbow your way to the front, no need for lines, just look out for number one and don't worry about the other guy. We made it through and headed to baggage where we would meet our guide, Dima.

Dima introduced us to driving in Eastern Europe. Basically, they drive as fast as they can and like absolute maniacs. If you have been to NYC or European countries, you may think they drive crazy there. Well, it's NOTHING compared to EE. We were told to expect this before we left, but I was all, "yeah, yeah...I've traveled a lot....seen crazy traffic...it's probably no worse than Europe." Well it is worse...about ten thousand times worse and the drivers would just as soon run over you as to look at you.

We made it to our hotel, where Dima gave us a quick city tutorial and dropped us off. Our hotel was exquisite. I don't think I have ever stayed anywhere so fancy! It was so nice to be able to relax in an American-style hotel when we first arrived. I don't like to be a spoiled American traveler and I feel like I have a pretty adventurous attitude about travel, but with all the nerves and emotions tied into this trip, it was comforting to have a place that felt a little like home. Well, not really like home because we don't live in a palace, but the room was like American hotel rooms...very, very nice American hotel rooms.

We tried to fight sleep but ended up taking a short nap at the hotel before venturing out for the evening. After our rest, we went to Red Square. There we saw St. Basil's Cathedral, which is just as amazing as the pictures. It was breathtaking to see Red Square and all of the beautiful architecture. Check that off the bucket list.

We also visited GUM (pronounced "goom"), which is a ginormous mall. There we went to a really fancy grocery store...similar to the one in Harold's if you have ever been to NYC...and bought some groceries because we were starving but didn't really know where to eat for dinner.

The next morning we headed to Arbat Street, which is full of touristy shops and restaurants. I was dying for coffee so we stopped at Dunkin Donuts, and totally broke our "no American chain restaurants in foreign countries" rule. Oh well, I had to have some coffee or my head would be splitting by lunch...and an eclair just for good measure. We ate lunch at a place Dima suggested called MyMy (pronounced "moo moo"). The food was traditional food and everything we ordered was quite good.

We spent the rest of the day at Christ Cathedral and Red Square. It was so surreal to see these places in person. It was also surreal to see all the booties hanging out of girls shorts. Wow, the girls in the city are scantily clad to say the least. It didn't help that they were having a heat wave so girls were walking around in less than bathing suits. Another thing I couldn't help but notice was underwear is optional. In fact, it is preferred to NOT wear it, I believe. And make sure that if you don't wear it, your over shirt is some sort of see-though material. Mesh shirts for men are very en vogue; best not let the ladies have all the fun!

After a day of walking miles and wearing ourselves completely out, it was time to go to Kirill's region via overnight train. Dima picked us up at our hotel around 6:45 a.m. and that started the second part of our journey to meet Kirill.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Next Time There Will be Pictures

I really hate blog posts without pictures. Even if I have to look up some random clip art to include with a post, I have to put a picture with my words. Well, this time I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to do a picture-less post in anticipation of posting NEW pictures of our sweet Kirill that WE will take IN PERSON in just a few days.

Here are my last minute thoughts/notes before we leave:

We leave tomorrow for Atlanta where we will spend the night. Plane tickets out of Atlanta were cheaper, plus we will only have one layover vs. two if we flew out of Birmingham. Paying for a night in a hotel is still cheaper than flying out of Birmingham plus paying long-term parking (we can leave our car at the hotel for free as a part of a "park and fly" deal we got).

I highly recommend our travel agency, Golden Rule. They have been outstanding. They provide excellent service for humanitarian, adoption, and missions travel. Our agent was wonderful and did a great job making all of our travel arrangements on very short notice for (literally) hundreds of dollars cheaper than any other airline, travel agency, or online travel site. Don't get me wrong, it still ain't cheap to fly to Eastern Europe! But it was much less with Golden Rule.

I've really been struggling with my emotions for the past couple of weeks. On one hand, I'm so excited to meet our sweet Kirill. However, knowing that we will leave him there for who knows how long breaks my heart. It has been so hard to be happy about this trip because of the anticipatory grief I feel about leaving Kirill. Bittersweet seems so inadequate to describe my feelings. It seems so strange to feel such polar opposite emotions all at once.

As for how long it will be between trips, we have no clue right now. The news from our agency regarding court dates has been slim to none. There is talk that the judge in our region has decided that she will not hear any adoption cases until the treaty between the U.S. and Kirill's country is signed, sealed, delivered and implemented. The could be weeks, it could be months, it could even be longer. I don't want to think about it at all because it just seems so daunting. The unknowns and the waiting are the worst parts of adoption. Can I get an amen from my adoption peeps???

If you are praying for us, these are the specific requests we have:
1. The judge will resume issuing court dates immediately and will not wait until the treaty is signed.
2. Our travel will go as smoothly as possible.
3. We will be able to show the love of Christ to the people we meet, whether it be in the airport, hotel, streets, orphanage...wherever we are we want to be Jesus to the people we meet.
4. My diabetes will BEHAVE while we travel. My blood sugars tend to go all wonky with travel; it's the nature of the disease. It can make travel extremely difficult. So please pray that it remains stable throughout our trip.
5. Our marriage...ha! Seriously, please pray for me and Greg to be patient and keep a good sense of humor as we travel.

Next post will be from Eastern Europe! Stay tuned for pictures!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Travel Date

I don't even know how to begin this post. We've been waiting for "the call" for so long that I really think I'd resigned myself to believe it wasn't ever going to happen. But it did! My phone rang yesterday at 1:27 p.m. It's funny how I know exactly what time it was. I was sitting at my desk at work and when I saw the number of our adoption agency pop up on our phone, I immediately looked at my clock to see what time it was for some reason. Anyway, that moment will be burned into my brain forever. I braced myself for bad news; I think it was almost a post-traumatic response to having received such horrible news about Sergey back in March. When I heard our social worker's voice, I almost expected to hear her say, "I'm so sorry Tesney, but I've got some devastating news." That was exactly what she said when she informed me about Sergey. So when she started telling me that she had tentative travel dates, I think I was so ecstatic that I didn't even hear anything past that.

After a few minutes of squealing on the inside, I tried to get my thoughts together and write down the important details. We will be traveling for one week in August. We have three days at the orphanage with Kirill. We have been so blessed to be in contact with two other families who have recently traveled to this region; to the very baby house where Kirill lives! So we do have a good idea of what to expect there. We have been very pleased to hear that the orphanage is one of the nicest orphanages in the region and the director is "a breath of fresh air." I couldn't be happier that our sweet Kirill has been given good care as far as we can tell.

We also got updated medical records-no surprises there-they seem to indicate that Kirill is pretty healthy. There are a couple of things that I'm just a tiny bit concerned about, but nothing that can't be addressed once we are back in the states. Anyone who has experience with international adoptions can tell you that medical records can be quite inaccurate and you never really know until you get the child back to the states for a thorough evaluation!


We also got the full-sized files of Kirill's pictures. We already had the pics...the ones we have shared here...but they were thumbnail-sized and didn't really show all of his features well. So here they are again so you can get a better look at how cute Kirill really is!
So we are frantically getting things ready to travel in just a few days!!! It's crazy how you go from wait, wait, wait to GO! GO! GO! when you adopt. We have felt that this day would never come, so now that it's here it feels surreal.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recognize This Face?

I got a Facebook message this week from another family who is in the process of adopting from our region. It included a link that had pictures of children from one of the orphanages. This picture of a little boy named Kirill was on the site. I'm almost 100% positive it's our Kirill as a baby. I can't be certain, but the ears are exactly alike. Plus, they have the date of birth listed and it's the same as our Kirill, except for the year. It's not uncommon for sites that feature pictures of children to have mistakes regarding birthdate years. Plus, I just can't imagine that there is another Kirill with exactly the same birthdate that looks so much like our Kirill and is in an orphanage in the same region. That would be a HUGE coincidence. What do you think??? I'd especially like to hear from my friends who have adopted from Eastern Europe.

I know I've been pretty silent lately on here. I just haven't had much to say. I could type volumes about how bad the waiting sucks, but that really doesn't do much to help the situation. It just makes me think about it more and believe me, I don't need help with that. We did hear from our agency that the Director of the Federal Database of Orphans has been on vacay and is was supposed to return this past week. We were told to expect him to take a week or two to re-orient and get organized after being gone on vacation, and then we would get our first travel date. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful. It's just become too hard to get focused on any date. At this point, I'll be happy if Kirill is home by the time he's 18.

So that's pretty much it for now. I'll update as soon as I know anything. I'm really better at updating on Facebook about the day-to-day stuff. So check there for more information! I hope to have some really good news soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

No news is...well, no news.

It seems like so much has been happening in our adoption, yet really nothing is happening. There's been a lot of information and misinformation about what is going on in our country so I have just avoided posting altogether until we had a better idea of things. But it's looking like that could mean I won't be posting for a couple of months, so I thought I'd at least try to explain what we know right now.

U.S. and officials from our country met last week and came to an agreement on a bilateral agreement regarding intercountry adoptions. This is great news and means that we will be able to adopt Kirill. However, it is going to take a couple of months for the agreement to be signed and become "official". This is (potentially) bad news. It means that we may have to wait until the agreement is "official" to travel. Or we may not. We just don't know yet. Here is an exerpt from an email we received from our adoption agency regarding how things stand:

"The political party that backs (President of undisclosed EE country) support continued processing of adoption while the agreement is finalized and announced such last week so everyone is hopeful that the regional Ministries of Education and Science will follow suit but it is too soon to know. We hope to have confirmation from each region as to how it plans to work over the course of the rest of this week/ early next week. The language of the agreement has not been made public yet so do not have the details of the agreement at this point. I know the waiting is difficult! We hope to have some more news soon!"

If you are praying for us, please pray for a couple of things specifically:
1. The Minister of Education and Science (MOE) in our region decides to continue processing adoptions while the agreement is finalized.
2. The judge in our region also decides to continue processing adoptions while the agreement is being finalized.
3. We receive our first travel date very soon. Like yesterday. LOL.
4. Kirill is allowed to remain in the orphanage and isn't moved to an institution until we can finalize the adoption.

I hope I have exciting news to post soon. But right now, it's just more hurry up and wait!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We Have a Name!



Gregory Kirill Davis

Obviously, we named him after Greg, whose first name is "Gregory." I'm just now seeing it written together as I'm typing it on this blog. I think it looks and sounds really good together!

A couple of other points of interest: delegates from the U.S. are in our country as we speak to meet with country officials in the capital to discuss intercountry adoptions. We have been told by our adoption agency that the outcome of these talks will likely determine whether or not our country will continue to allow U.S. families to adopt from their country. If they don't go well, then they will likely freeze adoptions until an agreement can be reached. That could take months or even years. We all know how slowly governments work...imagine trying to get two governments on the same page about an issue. So I'm asking you to please pray, pray, pray that these talks go well and adoptions continue without interruption. Our social worker will be attending a meeting in NYC on Saturday where she will be informed of the outcome of these meetings. She has promised to get in touch with us on Monday upon her return. I will post as soon as I hear something from our social worker on Monday. Until then, please be praying!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adoption Crisis

"Crisis"...I hear this word A LOT in the profession in which I work. I deal with people in crisis on an almost daily basis. So when someone referred to our situation as an "adoption crisis," I was taken aback. Not because I think it's an inaccurate description, but because I really haven't felt like I've been in crisis. Please don't misunderstand me here; this has probably been the hardest thing I've endured in a very long time, if not ever in my life. For those of you who aren't familiar with our journey, here's the synopsis:

-Called to adopt last year (July '09)
-Committed to a little boy named Sergey
-Get to the end of the adoption paperwork process, send dossier to Sergey's country, and while waiting on travel date, lose the referral because one of Sergey's family members objected to the adoption.
-Heartbroken, decide to continue the adoption journey and commit to another child.
-Commit to Kirill
-Redo some paperwork & re-send dossier to different region of the same country.
-mother sends her child back to his home country, resulting in possible suspensions of all U.S. adoptions of children from that country.

So here we are. This is the second time we've been at the point of just waiting on a travel date to meet our child and something has happened. Both times we've literally been days away from receiving the news we've been anticipating for almost a year: "Mr. and Mrs. Davis, your travel appointment is (insert date here)." Both times we have had the rug pulled out from underneath us. We have felt frustrated, angry, devastated, heartbroken, confused, shocked, and every other upsetting emotion you can imagine. But through it all, you know what we have felt more than anything?

PEACE

I'm not saying we haven't cried or been upset. I've cried out in frustration to God louder than ever. But that's the beauty of God's peace...the more I have cried out, the more peace he has given me about the situation. It is totally him too. Because if you know me well, you probably wouldn't describe me as a peaceful person. Impatient, easily frustrated, and stressed...yes. Peaceful...no. Outspoken, opinionated, selfish...yes. Peaceful...no. So you see, it could ONLY BE GOD giving me this kind of peace because it is totally out of my nature if I'm relying on me. But this situation has become so much bigger than me so I've had to just give it completely to God. In return, he has given me the peace that passes understanding.

This song is one of the ways that God has blessed me with peace. I have probably heard it a hundred times before but had never listened to the words at all. As I was driving home from work one afternoon, it came on the radio. I had been praying just moments before for God to please give me peace about our adoption. As I listed to the words, tears began to flow and I knew that God was giving me a message. I hope that it will encourage you as well.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Going to Go Off...

NOW! With all the stress I've been under trying to adopt our precious son who just happens to have Down Syndrome, all I have to do is read a story like this one to make me go completely mad. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach and all I can do is pray that I have a merciful attitude, but IT'S SO HARD. I'm not sure how Jesus would respond to the couple that elected to do this; and I'm NOT JUDGING THEM...leaving that to God. In fact, I have prayed for them, the doctor, and the millions of people in the world who believe that aborting 9 out of 10 babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in utero is o.k. Just the thought that a child was chosen to be aborted simply because he had Down Syndrome makes me shudder to the soul. I can't help but have a very primal gut reaction to the whole thing because these children are Jesus on Earth. Ask any family of a child with Down Syndrome. I have never heard a single one say that they would change their child with Down Syndrome to a "typical" child if they had the chance. I have talked to literally a hundred or more families of children with Down Syndrome and they unanimously say they wouldn't change a thing about their journeys. But you know what? The thing that makes me the most upset isn't even the abortion. The thing that makes me the saddest about this story is that they refer to the child with Down Syndrome as a "deformed fetus" and the child that was mistakenly aborted, or the "normal" one, as "the couples' daughter." VOMIT. So why is the child that wasn't blessed with an extra chromosome a "daughter" and the child that was blessed with an extra chromosome a "deformed fetus"?!? It speaks volumes to the way our world still sees children with Down Syndrome. But I'm here to tell you there is nothing deformed about any of these precious children! If anyone ever tells me my son is "deformed," I'm pretty sure it will be the last time they ever utter the word "deformed" again. That's a promise. Because I've got just enough Julia Sugarbaker in me to dress someone down in a heartbeat.

Monday, April 12, 2010

JCICS NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Below you will find a link to the Joint Council of International Children's Services blog. There, you can link to a letter that they have prepared for President Obama and President Mevdevev. Sign the letter to let them know that we support the prosecution of anyone who abuses or neglects internationally adopted children AND that we are asking that international adoptions are allowed to continue, uninterrupted, despite the heinous act committed by the adoptive mom in Tennessee. It takes about 30 seconds and it could mean the difference between life and death for orphans in Russia. If he isn't adopted he will go to an institution. 85% of Eastern European children with disabilities die within the first year after being transferred to institutions. So please, please take a few seconds and sign the letter.

No Panicking Allowed

That has become my mantra since this story broke last Thursday. One thing we were told when we started the adoption process was to "expect the unexpected." Our home study agency social worker told us that several times during our interviews, but at the time, we didn't fully understand how true that statement would become in our own adoption journey. But God is still the same God that called us to this journey. God has been with us the entire way and he's not leaving us now. So when I first heard the story and the potential impact it would have on all American adoptions of foreign children, my initial reaction was to panic. "NO GOD! YOU CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN! NOT AFTER WHAT WE'VE ALREADY BEEN THROUGH. I DON'T THINK I CAN TAKE ANOTHER DISAPPOINTMENT." But through prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit, I've been reassured. God is telling me, "No panicking allowed. I've got this. Remain in me and everything will be o.k." You see, God is not shocked by the recent developments. He knew this would be a part of our journey when we started. He also knew that if we relied on him, nothing could steal our joy or cause us to lose faith. So by faith, we are moving forward and we will not be shaken. God is our rock. He's solid. We don't have to be shaken by anything as long as we are standing on him. Praise God for his faithfulness!

Some things to remember about Russian adoptions. First of all, this story is not the norm. Most children adopted from Russia into American families have a happy outcome. This story has brought up 10-15 other stories of negative outcomes where children were abused and even killed by adoptive parents. It horrific to think that this could happen to any child. Especially given that families are provided with great support systems once they return to the U.S. All agencies provide follow-up and offer assistance to families that have difficulty adjusting with their adoptive children. Sadly, a few adoptions end up disrupting and the parents relinquish custody of the children because they are not equipped to handle their emotional and behavioral needs. But there are appropriate steps that these parents can take to do so. Putting a child on a plane back to their home country is ludicrous.

Secondly, any child who has lived in an orphanage or institution are likely to have difficulty bonding with their adoptive families initially. Bonding issues are to be expected and agencies do everything they can to prepare you for these issues during the home study process. Adoption and home study agencies provide resources and support for bonding difficulties after placement. Most adopted children adapt and develop a healthy bond with their adoptive parents and other family members. I'm trying NOT to comment too much on the mom who started all this mess, but I will say, as a mental health professional who has worked with children adopted from other countries (and who often had attachment and bonding issues), that six months is not enough time to expect a child adopted from an orphanage to bond with their adoptive family. While it is true that some children bond more quickly than others, in the grand scheme of things, six months is a relatively short period of time. For every three months that a child is in an orphanage, you can expect one month of delay in all areas of development (emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral). So to expect a child to change seven years' worth of delay in six months is very unrealistic.

In case you would like to keep up with the latest developments, here are the links to the two websites that are dependable for accurate, up-to-date information. Remember, the media is not the most reliable source for information. :) I've had to watch the news cautiously in the past few days because I know that Satan can discourage me through all the sensationalized reporting. Please keep praying for a swift and positive outcome so that the families waiting to adopt Russian children can get their children home as soon as possible.

Joint Council on International Children's Services

Joint Council Blog

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Q & A...Including Updates

We've gotten so many questions about our adoption with the change in circumstances and we are so happy to answer these questions (most of them...unless they're mean-spirited...then we hope those people turn into a goon). Seriously, I think most people are asking because they are genuinely concerned/interested/worried/happy/curious...and I'm eager to talk with anyone who will listen about our adoption and/or adoption in general. My prayer is that the twists and turns of our adoption process will not discourage people from adopting. In fact, that is my biggest fear...that people will hear our story and say, "I don't want to adopt because something bad might happen." To those people I want to say, "You mean something worse than helpless children living a life of neglect and poverty?" Because the disappointment of not getting the child we had planned to adopt is nothing compared to the hell that the 147 million orphans suffer every. single. day. 147 minus 2...because now Sergey AND Kirill will have homes and had God allowed OUR plans to prevail, only Sergey would have a home. So I'm really thankful HE has the bigger picture in mind!

So I want to answer some of the more common questions we have gotten since we lost Sergey and committed to Kirill. Please feel free to comment and ask any other questions you might have. Or if you're more comfortable emailing me, there's a link in my profile.

Q: Who is the family member that objected to you adopting Sergey?
A: We don't know. We aren't allowed to know. Think HIPPA here in the U.S...that's private information and we have no right to know. The only thing we know is that it is a first-line blood relative. All first-line blood relatives have to sign off on the adoption of a child in Sergey's country. Most of the time, this is done before the child is made available for referral. For some reason, in Sergey's case, it wasn't. So when the Minister of Education (MOE) got our dossier and started looking at Sergey's file, he/she realized that all of his first-line blood relatives had not been notified of his orphan status at birth. Therefore, he had to notify them in order for Sergey to be free for adoption. At least one of these family members objected when they learned about Sergey. According to the law, that family member has to either take the child (most likely what happened) or find another family who is willing to adopt the child (unlikely). We are so thankful that one of his family members wanted him...what a blessing he will be to them!

Q: What if that family member doesn't follow through with taking Sergey home?
A: If they don't take him within a specified time frame, Sergey will return to the database of orphans in his country. At that point, he will be free for adoption again. His family member cannot ever object to him being adopted again. If that were to happen, we would jump at the chance to adopt him. However, we really hope that this doesn't happen; that his family loves him and that they are blessed.

Q: Will you have to start the process over/Will you lose time?
A: No and yes...we don't have to start the process over, but we do lose a little time (about two weeks...not much at all). Since we stuck with the same country for our adoption of Kirill, we don't have to start the process over. Everything we have done (home study, USCIS approval, etc.) can be used toward our adoption of Kirill. We do lose a little bit of time, but not much. That is only because Kirill is in a different region. If he were in the same region as Sergey, it might have been faster because our dossier was already in that region, translated, and in the MOE's office. Since Kirill is in a different region, we had to transfer the dossier to the new region, and that region has a few different papers that they require for the dossier, we did have to redo some paperwork and re-send our entire dossier to the new region. We have already done that, so that lets you know that it wasn't that big of a deal. There were a few hiccups (as there always will be with adoption...ha!) and a couple of really stressful days when it didn't look like things were going to go too smoothly, but God was faithful and it all worked out. As our social worker told us, "Don't let the paperwork deter you from choosing a child in a different region." It was definitely doable in a very short timeframe. As of April 2, we are already at the same point in the process with Kirill as we were when we lost Sergey...waiting for our first travel date. Only this time we are praying that it ends with us getting a date and meeting our son! But if it doesn't happen for the same reason as it didn't happen with Sergey, we will praise God...because that means another orphan home with a family...and there are 147 million more to choose from so we will just keep trying!

Q: Will you still have to make two trips?
A: Yes, all regions of this part of Eastern Europe require two trips.

Q: Will you lose any money because you changed children?
A: No; all of the money we had paid our agency just goes toward Kirill's adoption. Now, had we changed agencies, we would have lost money. Luckily, we have a FABULOUS agency and we are very satisfied with their services. We wanted to stick with them and Kirill just happened to be one of the children our agency represented too! God's hand was in every detail of this journey to Kirill!

Q: How did Clayton take the news?
A: Like any other three-year-old. We explained that Sergey's "grandma" (even though we didn't know that for sure, we just wanted to give him an image of a family member) was taking him to live with her. We told him that we would not be bringing Sergey to our house. Clayton whined a little and said, "But I have a Gator (motorized ride-on thingie) with two seats; one for me and one for John Sergeant! We will have to get another baby for that seat." What can I say; kids are resilient. He still prays for Sergey (only now he's added Sergey's grandma), and he has added Kirill to his prayers, "keep him safe until mommy and daddy can fly on a big airplane to get him." He also puts on my glasses and says, "LOOK! I look just like Kirill!" He tells people that Kirill is a "big kid like me," and that "Kirill is just my same age!" I still think he has no clue what is in store for him when his brother comes to live with us for real, but he understands things as much as any other three-year-old.
Like I said, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! Unless you're mean, then I will turn you into a goon. Just sayin'.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Meet Kirill


PSALM 30
1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
3 You brought me up from the grave,O Lord.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 When I was prosperous, I said,
“Nothing can stop me now!”
7 Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.
Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8 I cried out to you, O Lord.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O Lord.”
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

If you've been following this adoption journey, you know how excited we were to adopt Sergey, or as we had planned to name him, John Sergeant. We were devastated to find out that he was not going to be ours, but we knew that he was going home to a family member and that gave us great comfort. We have felt an incredible sense of peace, the peace that passes understanding, as we grieve the loss of the hopes and dreams we had for Sarge to be a part of our family. We KNOW that God sees the bigger picture and it seems that he has begun to reveal that picture to us rather quickly.

Many months ago, I received an email from a stranger named Lisa. She had learned of our adoption plans and was hopeful that she and her husband would adopt a child with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. As we emailed back and forth, she told me that they had been considering a little boy named Kirill from Eastern Europe. I was THRILLED for them. Kirill caught my eye back when we were pouring over pictures and trying to decide on what child we would adopt. We did not consider him seriously because he was a little older than what we thought we wanted at the time. (*Side-note: As we have traveled this journey, God has really changed our hearts and opened our minds to many different possibilities for our family. When we first started, we were pretty adamant that we didn't want to change Clayton's birth order. But that has become unimportant to us as we have prayed and studied about God's heart for orphans. We want to have the same heart as him, and we just don't feel that birth order is that important to him. This is a personal decision, and I definitely understand concerns about changing a child's birth order through adoption. I'm not judging anyone else if they decide they don't want to change birth order, but for us, it has become an unimportant factor). Back to Lisa...so Lisa and I emailed and we even talked about the birth order thing because if they adopted Kirill, he would be older than their daughter.

When Lisa told me they had officially committed to Kirill, I was so happy for them (and even a little jealous). ;) Kirill was just so cute! We continued to email and make our plans to travel to meet the child to whom we had committed, bouncing questions about travel off of each other. Lisa truly seemed like a kindred spirit to me and it felt like we had known each other for our whole lives. Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I got a really sad email from Lisa. She told me that they were not going to be able to adopt Kirill. Her pain was palpable. I knew from her words that the decision was a heartbreaking one for her family. I knew that she was so disappointed and I just hurt so much for her.

As Christmas approached, our family decided to forego the typical gift-giving fiasco and donate our Christmas gift money to a child or maybe two children from Reece's Rainbow. Kirill was one of the children we picked, along with another one of our favorites, Victoria. We got two Christmas ornaments from Reece's Rainbow, one with each of their names on them. Kirill just kept tugging at my heart and I even told Greg that if he was still available after we got Sarge home, I wanted us to seriously pray about adopting Kirill too. Since I look at the children on Reece's Rainbow often, Greg just kind of laughed and told me that we should probably worry about getting Sarge home before we started committing to other kids. But for some reason, a reason that we now understand, Kirill was always in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday, March 16th. I was out running errands with Clayton and had left my phone in the car when I went into a store. When I got back to the car I had a missed call from our adoption agency. I was SO EXCITED. This was it! We were getting our travel date, I just knew it. So I called them back and when our social worker answered, her voice was so sad as she said, "Tesney, we have received some devastating news about Sergey." After those words, I don't think I heard another word she said. In a matter of seconds I went from the highest high to the lowest low. Later, after Greg called back to clarify, I realized what she had explained to me on the phone. In Sergey's country, law requires that all of the first line blood relatives of a child have to sign off on an adoption. Not just the mother and father. This should have been done before Sarge was referred to the adoption agency, but it wasn't. So when the Minister of Education received our dossier, he or she had to contact them before we could get our travel date. At least one, possibly two, of those family members were opposed to him being adopted. Our social worker went on to tell us that the MOE had worked for a month and a half with the family member(s) and help them see the benefits of him being adopted by an American family. However, they were persistent that they did not want this to happen. Also, according to the law, if a family member opposes an adoption, they must take the child home or find another family to adopt the child. That gave us a lot of peace knowing that they couldn't just oppose the adoption and leave him in the orphanage. Still, we were absolutely heartbroken that Sarge wouldn't be ours.

After a lot of tears and a lot of prayers, we felt so much peace. It was definitely the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Greg and I decided that regardless of what had taken place with Sarge, we would press on with our plans to adopt. It never really was a question with either of us, but we just needed to reassure each other that we were o.k. to regroup and move forward with considering other children. Kirill was already in the back of my mind, so we decided to just go ahead and inquire about him.

Our adoption agency was so positive about us moving forward with Kirill. Several factors seemed to be confirming that he was the direction in which God was leading our family. He will turn four years old in May. In most Eastern Europen orphanages, once a child with special needs turns four, they are put into an adult mental institution. Often, they cannot be adopted once they are transferred. Kirill is only about six weeks from his 4th birthday, so time was running out for him. He also is in a region that doesn't allow families with more than four children in the home to adopt, so that knocks a lot of families out of adopting from this particular region. We definitely met that requirement. We also loved the idea of him and Clayton being so close in age; we felt like it would be positive for both of them. Plus, let's just face it...Kirill is FLIPPIN' ADORABLE!

On Thursday night, Greg and I spent some time talking and praying about Kirill. When we finished, we both felt that we just couldn't say no to him. We could save him from a lifetime in an institution with very little effort on our part. Our paperwork is relatively done and we met all of his region's requirements. So, we called our adoption agency and committed to adopt Kirill!

I emailed Lisa and told her the news. She is so happy and I'm so happy that she will always be able to keep in touch with Kirill! It's just amazing the way that God has woven our stories together. Not only does she share our love for Kirill, but she can also relate to the loss that we feel for Sarge because she felt that loss with Kirill.

We still feel very sad that we won't get to be Sarge's mommy and daddy. Over the past eight months, we have fallen in love with his picture and the idea of being his parents. To us, he was already a part of our family and we loved him with all of our hearts. We are still very much grieving over the loss of our dreams for him. But, we feel so much hope for our family and for Sarge's family too. We believe he can be a catalyst for change in his country as people see him with his family. We are hopeful that God is going to use him to change people's view of children with disabilities in Russia. He may very well save many children from a lifetime in an institution because their parents will see his family and say, "We can raise our children and not hide them away from society." It has been and will always be our pleasure to be an instrument in his story. If our role was to pray for him for a season of his life so that his family could find out about him, then we are so happy that we were given that chance. We will continue to pray for him and his family every single day. And now, instead of only one child finding their family, there will be two children who have found their families: Sarge and Kirill.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heavy Hearted

Our hearts are so heavy as we write this. We heard from our agency
today that one of Sergey's family members has come forward and does not want him
to be adopted. According to Russian law, this means they either have to take
him home or find a Russian family to adopt him. We have to believe that his
family members will be taking him home and for this we are so happy. But we are
absolutely devastated over the loss of our adoption plans for him. We are
selfishly heartbroken; but we are trying to remember that this means a child
with DS is going home to family members that want him. He will not be an
orphan, and that is our goal...to not have orphans with DS in
institutions. Also, we are so encouraged to know that the Minister of Education
in the region of Russia where Sergey is must be very concerned about the
children there. He apparently worked very hard on our case and tried to work
with the family members to allow the adoption to happen. I have to believe that
if the family was so persistent in their desires to not allow the adoption, that
they do love Sergey. I also have to believe that the MOE really has the best
interest of children at heart. Please pray for us as we grieve and regroup. We
still plan to adopt a child with DS, but right now we just taking some time to
pray and figure out what God has planned for our family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banging it Out

Get ready for a flood of emotion post that may not make the least bit of sense but is going to be very therapeutic for me because I'm trying to be positive. We still don't have a travel date. It's driving me nuts. Mainly because we were told to expect to be traveling by the end of February/beginning of March. That's traveling by then...not getting a travel date. So since we don't even know our date yet I'm really not expecting to travel until April at the earliest and who even knows if it will be then. I'm getting so tired of people asking if we've heard anything yet. I know they mean well; they mean very well. They are concerned and I hate feeling upset when they ask. But every time someone asks it makes me think about the fact that we have no idea when we will travel. Believe me, when we know something I will be shouting it from the rooftops. There may be a breaking news story about a lunatic in Alabama climbing to the top of the RBC building (it's the tallest building in town; all 8 stories of it) shouting through a loudspeaker.

I'm struggling with my faith in the process. Lots of doubts are creeping in and I'm really wrestling with why Sarge is still sitting in an orphanage with no parents when there are two loving parents and a whole family of extended relatives who desperately want him home. Plus I'm hearing a lot of negative adoption stories right now and that's just adding to the doubt. I know it's from Satan. I know God wants Sarge home with us. But I know bad things happen and I'm struggling with thinking the worst. So I just don't think about it at all. I've found myself avoiding thinking about the adoption at all. I have this sort of magical thinking that if I worry about the worst thing happening, it will. Or if I get my hopes up that we will get a travel date, say, today, then we definitely won't get it today. So I'm intentionally suppressing any thoughts about the adoption. It's making it hard to even pray about it because that makes me think about it and then I start to worry.

Patience has never been my strong suite. I am horribly impatient. So that's really not helping the situation at all. But I don't want to pray for patience because I'm afraid I'll jinx the whole process and make it take longer. I know that isn't the way God works. See what I mean by the faith struggle???

So pray for me. Pray for us. Pray for Sarge. Pray for the Minister of Education who has our paperwork. Pray for our facilitator who will give us our travel date. Pray that they move quickly.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Calling all Tuscaloosa Friends

...and anyone else who wants to come to town for the Adoption Fundraiser 5K! Just click the picture below to register. Email me if you need more information or directions!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby Pic


I think I've posted this pic before, but Amy (Reece's Rainbow Family Service Coordinator) sent it to me in its original, uncropped state the other day. I've spent some time enhancing and tweaking the colors. It's a faxed copy so the quality isn't that great and there were some lines on the photo. I was able to make it look a little better. I hope we can get the original when we meet Sarge. But for now, I love looking at this newborn picture! What a treasure that we have a picture of him when he was so little. Most families don't have newborn pictures because the children are typically in the hospital for a little while before they get to the orphanage. There aren't a lot of photos of the children taken until they are available for adoption and then they will usually just take a snapshot for the agency. So, we don't really know why someone took this newborn picture of Sarge, but we certainly are glad to have it!

Have You Gotten Your Copy?

People magazine did a story on Andrea Roberts and Reece's Rainbow! It's in the February 19th issue, which is out NOW. It will only be available for a couple more days, so go get your copy. The cover has Elin Woods on it and the article about Andrea is on pg. 86. This is incredible exposure for orphans, especially those with Down Syndrome, and Reece's Rainbow! Hopefully there will be a flood of forever families found for these precious little treasures.

Friday, February 12, 2010

USCIS APPROVAL!!!! YIPPEE!!!!!

"Dear Prospective Adoptive Parent,

USCIS would like to congratulate you on your Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition approval and for completing the first step in the adoption immigration process."

And with those words I burst into tears...we're coming to get you soon Sarge! I've been such an emotional basketcase this week. I've also been nesting like a crazy person. Cooking, cleaning, washing, re-washing, organizing, re-organizing. It's nuts.

We are ready for a new little boy in this house! Now if we can just get that travel date!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It Gives Me Great Comfort


One of the questions people ask me a lot these days is, "How will you handle coming home without your child after the first trip?" For those of you who don't know the adoption process in the country from which we are adopting, law requires that adoptive families meet the child in person before they accept the referral. Then, there is a 1-3 month wait for the court date in which the child is formally adopted. So we will make two trips; the first to meet Sarge and accept his referral, and the second to adopt him. We will return to the U.S. between trips without our son. That is probably the most difficult part of this whole process; at least I anticipate that it will be the most difficult part.

However, God has given me a word that has provided me with so much comfort. Recently, I was in a Bible study on angels. I was raised in a church that really didn't talk much about the Holy Spirit or angels. All of that seemed kinda mystical to me as a child, and even into my young adulthood. As I've gotten older and studied more about spiritual beings, I know that they are real and that God provides comfort and guidance to his people through the Holy Spirit and angels.

During our study, the teacher, who is an older man of great faith, shared the following story. One of his best friends had a child with Down Syndrome. This child was born during an era when children with disabilities were often institutionalized, much like the children in Eastern Europe of today. When this child was born, his parents were encouraged to put him in an institution. They were told that they would never be able to have the life they always wanted if they raised him at home. The father was a collegiate level coach, and he and his wife already had four daughters. This child would surely be too much to handle and would interfere with his success as a coach.

The young couple thought about the difficult decision and just couldn't bear the thought of sending the child to an institution. They decided to raise him at home. They met a lot of resistance from others, but they never regretted the decision. However, the father felt really anxious about how he was going to be able to take care of this child. Remember, this was in the 60's and there wasn't much support available for children with special needs.

One night as the father lay awake worrying about whether or not they could raise this child, he heard babbling coming from the baby's room. He went to check on his son and as he walked into the room, he was shocked to see not one, but two babies in the crib. They were playing and "talking" as babies do. He hurried back to his bedroom to wake his wife, but when they went back to the baby's room, there was only their son in his crib.

The father knew what he had seen. He knew that God had shown him his child's angel to give him reassurance that he could raise this child and not to worry because this child was in God's care. He said he never worried about whether or not they had made the right decision after that night. God also allowed the father to see the angel again later in the child's life.

Something that you should know about this father; he is not the type of man who is given to mystical hocus-pocus type stuff. From what I know of him, he is extremely down-to-earth and matter-of-fact. His personality is not given to dishonesty or fantasy that is often associated with stories of spiritual beings. In fact, had the story not been from him, I might not have believed it myself. But because of his very nature, I cannot help but believe every word, and I take great comfort in his story.

When I think about Sarge, and all of the other precious children with Down Syndrome who have been orphaned, I think of this story. It gives me incredible peace to know that they have angels watching them, playing with them, giving them companionship and comfort until their mommies and daddies come for them.

(Sidenote: Are these pictures the cutest or what?!? I love them!!! Those precious little chunky monkeys with all their angel garb on...I could eat them up!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dossier is in Country!!!!

We had a wonderful surprise today! I emailed our adoption agency social worker to inquire about our dossier. It was sent for apostilling on January 15th, so it had been a couple of weeks and we hadn't heard anything. That isn't unusual...but for some reason I felt this urging to email her and ask if there was any news. AND THERE WAS! Our dossier was apostilled and sent on January 26th! She had emailed us but we didn't receive the email. She explained that they were having some email problems at our adoption agency last week. She had emailed us and didn't get a notification that it wasn't delivered. So she assumed it got to us. We were thrilled to find out that we are further along in the process than we thought. The best part was that she told us we should be travelling this month if all goes as planned! YIPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING THAT SHE IS RIGHT!

Treasure


We are going through the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan in our small group. This is the second time Greg and I have read it and dare I say, it's been even more convicting the second time around. I can't really say if it will be more life-changing yet. The first time we read it was around the same time we committed to adopt Sarge. We thought that was a radical decision. But really, has it been? Have we really experienced any discomfort or persecution for our decision? I'm not saying we have to seek out to live a miserable life, but I do think that if we are truly living as Christ did, it doesn't look like the world and there will be some discomfort in comparison. I don't think Jesus would have lived in suburbia U.S.A. with an SUV and 2.5 kids. Just sayin'. But we KNOW that even in our worldly discomfort, we will have the most peaceful life with Christ if we are doing HIS will and not OUR will. We are still praying about how we can continue to live courageously...radically...for Christ. We know we aren't even close at this point. And we also know that this is a journey we're on, and that we will never be perfect in our attempts to give like Christ until we are in Heaven with him. This morning I got the following email from my husband. It is to our small group, just so you understand to whom it was written. I feel compelled to share it because the scripture he refers to is probably the most compelling scripture on why sharing this "crazy love" is so important. I hope it challenges you like it is challenging me. I can't get it off my mind.

"I read the following verse tonight, and in light of our discussion last night, found it very powerful, especially the latter half, and wanted to share it with each of you. It is from the New Living Translation, James 5:3
3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.
To picture God piling up the "treasures" we accumulate and hold on to in this life, and placing them all beside us on the day of judgement as evidence AGAINST us is very sobering to me! How will I feel if on the judgement day, I have a huge pile of stuff that I hoarded and held on to because i thought i needed more, while countless others stand with nothing as they never had anything and lived a life in need, and to have to explain to God why i have a pile at all, well, I don't think ANY explanation would be sufficient for the One who gave it all to me in the first place.
What a powerful, convicting verse!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chip In for Victoria


You may have noticed the Chip In widget on my left sidebar. It is to raise funds for Victoria, the little girl in John Sergeant's orphanage that is waiting on her forever family. She has over $500 in her grant fund already, but our goal is to raise $1000. I have said it before on this blog, and I will say it again, there are no shortage of families who want to adopt the children on Reece's Rainbow, only a shortage of funds to do so. I was talking to Andrea, the director of Reece's Rainbow recently and she reminded me that if each child had a $10,000 grant, there would be NO ORPHANS on Reece's Rainbow. Won't you please consider helping Victoria find her family by donating to her grant fund? Every dollar raised will help a family afford adoption and save Victoria from a life in an institution. You can give as little as a dollar, but please consider giving at least $10 because any donation less than $10 is charged a 30% processing fee. I hope when we travel to meet John Sergeant I can tell Victoria her forever family is coming soon. I would love to be able to take pictures and give her family an update until they can travel to bring her home. You can help make that dream possible with your donation! Just click on the widget to donate via PayPal...it is super fast and easy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dossier En Route

I got an email from our adoption agency social worker that our dossier is en route. Once it is apostilled, we will get our travel date. This is estimated to take 3-5 weeks. Please pray for it to happen quickly and without any snafus. We are realistically hoping to travel in March. I am praying that it happens sooner, but the likelihood of that is slim to none given the time frame we've been told. On the bright side, surely it is warmer in Eastern Europe in March than in January/February! I'm a warm weather girl through and through. Lows have been in the single digits and highs around freezing here for the past couple of weeks. This is very unusual for Alabama. I have dern near frozen. I cannot handle the cold! So Greg was worried about me traveling over there in the winter. I would do anything for Sarge, but I'm not sure they make warm enough clothing for me to endure single digit highs! I would gladly try if they would let us travel now, though!