Friday, August 6, 2010

Dossier Arrives in Russia

Well, our Dossier has finally arrived in Russia. It was received on July 23, 2010! So now I know they have everything in their hands to make a match. It's so strange to think that our child is already born and waiting for us.

Thanks for all the prayers and encouraging words. Now the waiting TRULY begins!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Season of Changes

Well, since our last posting, we have made a lot of changes...First of all, we changed agencies to a large international agency that happens to be headquartered here in town. We made the change in February of this year. The new agency is so great...the communication is outstanding. I knew more about our adoption process in the first month with them, than I knew in 2 years with the old agency!

Another change we made was opening our preferences up to either a boy or a girl. In Russia, there are many more boys available for adoption, so we will most likely be matched with a boy. I'm looking forward to David having a little brother (just need to repaint the pink room!)

So....we spent a very busy 3 months preparing our foreign application (our Dossier) for Russia. (and by "we" I mean mostly "me") It included many trips to the doctor's office for paperwork and relying on others to complete forms for us. It was crazy! We are humbled by having to ask so many others to prepare paperwork for us...our future of our adoption was in their hands. Unfortunately, before we finish the whole adoption process, we will once again have to entail physicals and extensive testing and get documents notarized on our behalf.

After completing approximately 150 pages of information, we had to take all the documents to Austin to be apostilled. This is a process that basically certifies the notarized documents. Luckily, everything passed! We then just had to turn everything into our agency, and crossed our fingers everything was was!

Our dossier was sent via FedEx to Russia last week! It is such a relief to be in this position (again!). In the meantime, we will complete some required training as well as interview some potential international pediatricians that specialize in Russian adoptions. This doctor will be able to help us in determining health issues in our potential child.

In short, the BIG question everyone asks is..."How long will it be??" The short answer is, "no one knows!" We are anticipating a wait anywhere from 6 months - 12 months from this point forward. Although, it could be shorter. We would love to have our referral (match) by the end of 2010, but realistically it will probably be next year.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. I will try to be better at updating everyone! For now, there isn't much to do but wait!!


Monday, June 29, 2009

The Omsk Region

After completing our Dossier for the Vladimir region, we decided after all to try for a different region (or orphanage) in Russia. Among the many reasons, somehow the Vladimir region is not working out so well right now due to government restrictions, etc. Needless to say, we needed to make a few changes to the paperwork for the new region, Omsk. So, I had to get changes made by my social worker, notarize them, apostille them, donate a kidney to them, offer up my first born to them, etc. etc. to get this thing FINISHED!

I UPS'd the paperwork to my agency along with copies to everyone else involved and am now awaiting #1 To make sure I did everything right, #2 My case worker to translate everything for the Russian government, and #3 For the agency to cash my next check (always a good sign).

We will await news to confirm that we are still "on-hold" for our 2nd choice orphanage in Yaroslav. (We were 13th in line, which translates to about 12 months, as of April.) And to see if we can get some kind of indication of our wait-time for Omsk. There really is no good guess at this point....somewhere between 3-9 months probably? Maybe? Hopefully?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dossier Complete!

As of yesterday, March 31, 2009, we have completed and submitted our Dossier. The dossier is the full application package with all our information and lives scrutinized from birth to anticipated death! They know everything about us and anyone who might know us, so I'd be worried! :)

Luckily we should only have a few more months of waiting now. We anticipate the referral (or "match") to come sometime in the next 2 months.

In the meantime, we are still waiting on our Federal Background check to come back...I'm a little worried about Mike's wild days back in Louisiana :) so everyone say a little prayer for us.

All kidding aside, we do not anticipate any problems and will let you know when we have more news!!

Thanks for all your support.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finally...some Progress!

Although nothing has really happened in the past few months regarding the adoption, we are now going Full Speed Ahead as we have changed the Russian region we are now going through.

The new region, or city, is called Vladimir. It is closer to Moscow than the 1st orphanage and will have a significanlty shorter wait time. As it stands now in the original region of Yaroslavl, we are currently looking at another 14 months wait. With this newer region, we are probably going to have our new addition this summer!

Currently we have all of our Pre-File completed and are now ready to have everything apostilled in Austin. This is basically a state-level notarization. We may drive everything down there to get it done quickly, but we will have to see what Mike's work schedule looks like in the next week or so. After the Pre-File paperwork is apostilled, we will send to our case worker at the agency to translate and officially submit to Russia.

We have just received our "invitation" to be fingerprinted for the national background check. We passed the state background check with flying colors...but I'm not so sure about Mike's past life in Louisiana so we will see!! This is just one of the several things left to actually complete the Dossier (application to Russia).

Also I have finally found a certified psychiatrist to perform our MMPI-2 Tests, which will determine if we are free from bi-polar and other major psychiatric disorders. The psychiatric center is located right down the street and are on the very low end of the price range! We were scheduled to do that today, actually, but we are all home sick so it will have to wait until next week.

That being said, we are actually seeing some major progress. I've started to do more research on flights and hotels, etc. The region of Vladimir is so beautiful. I am anxious to see some sights when the time comes.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue on the journey ahead!

Monday, November 3, 2008

November Update

Hello All!  Well, it's more of the same as far as the adoption goes.  We're pulling together all of the necessary medical tests, summaries, etc. from our doctors and we're also waiting for documents on our background checks from the state of Texas and from Homeland Security.  It's amazing how much stuff you have to pull together to make this happen.  I told Heidi that there is no way I would ever adopt if I had to be responsible for getting all of the required paperwork together.  

Anyway, we are hoping to have all of the necessary items for our dossier completed in the next couple weeks.  At that point, most of the hard work is done as far as we are concerned.  It becomes a waiting game except for notarizing and apostilizing (like notarizing but involves sending papers to the state) some of the documents.  Oh yea, we also have to take some psychology test to make sure we are sane - this wouldn't be so bad if it didn't cost $750+ each!  Once all of this is done, the completed dossier will be translated, multiple copies will be made and then our file will be sent to Russia (and to our adoption agency) for their initial review.  Once it is in the hands of the Russian government, I think we could be matched at any time although I expect to wait 3-6 months before we get word that there is a baby girl available for us.  Once we get this phone call, the planning for trips to Russia will begin and things will start to get crazy again.  

So, please keep us in your prayers and help us keep our sanity as we continue to work through this process.  As an aside, it looks like we have found someone to lease our home in Keller which will be a tremendous help to us financially.  This deal ain't cheap...but it's worth it!!!

We are thankful for your love and support as we continue this wonderful journey!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Homestudy Complete!

With much anticipation, our Homestudy was finally complete last night. Our social worker Mark came over and interviewed Mike, David & me individually and together. He also inspected our home for safety issues. Luckily, this old house passed!

The interviews were long and tough. Lots of questions about our childhood, our marriage and our parenting philosophies. I'm not sure what Mike said...I tried to coach him before to use lots of flattering comments about me but Mark said he was happy to see we weren't a perfect family (what does that mean?!?) Oh well, I guess we aren't.

David was very excited to be interviewed. He waited and waited and waited until it was his turn. He gave Mark a tour of our house and pointed out the TV, the bathroom and specifically the washer & dryer...I think Mark was impressed by the modern machines. Mark asked him about how he feels about sharing his toys with his new sister and David simply replied, "Not so much". He asked him about how he gets disciplined, whether he gets spanked or not, and whether he has ever seen us hurt each other. It was a little difficult to listen to (yes, we were listening) but of course we have nothing to hide.

We have numerous paperwork to get together still, even though I have been gathering paperwork for the last month. We are in the first stage called the Pre-File. This will take approximately 3 months. We are so glad this part is over, though!! Back to a messy house!