“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hold Our Horses

Well... it turns out we won't leave as soon as we were thinking.

There was a chance we could make trip #1 on or before September 5. Why specifically September 5, you wonder? Well, all Russian orphans must be available to be adopted in-country before they are ever made available to hopeful pre-adoptive parents internationally. It makes sense, I suppose. Russia--ideally--would like their children to stay in their county and to be adopted domestically. However, as many know, this is not always possible.

The amount of time children must be available to Russians only varies by region, but it is at least 8 months. September 5th would have been the 8-month mark for our littlest one. However, it was decided late last week that our littlest one would be put on a final regional registry for one more month. So we are to wait one more month from that decision.

So while we won't travel as soon as early September, it still looks like we could travel earlier than we first thought. Two weeks ago we both thought that we would start trip #1 in October. At the present, it looks like we may meet our little ones face-to-face in late September.

I've never felt that a week or so could make that big of a difference... but it sure does.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Doctor, Doctor

Our pediatrician (wow, it's so cool to type that!) called us tonight to give us some extra insight before we travel. It's nothing like 8:00 p.m. phone calls from a pediatrician to make us realize just how real becoming parents is starting to feel.

Considering these children are in an orphanage--or "baby home" as they call it in Russia--with less than ideal nutrition, physical contact, mental stimulation and love, they are for the most part "on track" with American children their age, according to our pediatrician. This is phenomenal news! He gave us some suggestions of what to do when we meet them and thoughts on some antibiotics he'll give us to travel with.

Wow... this is all finally happening!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Okay, maybe not perfect, but at least more prepared!

Derek and I babysat for some dear friends of ours tonight. They and their two girls are more like family to us than anything else so I don't know if one can even consider it "babysitting." We had a blast! It's things like this that make us all the more anxious to bring home our little ones!

Below is a snapshot of some of the fun that was had. Who doesn't like playing "Pretty Pretty Princess"?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a...

....and a GIRL!!

Yes, we can finally officially share our amazing news: we received our referrals! They are biological siblings and we can't wait to meet them in person!

For some time, we had been told to expect to travel in October. Well, just this morning Derek received a call from our placement agency informing us that we may travel much sooner... As early as mid September! Possibly less than one month away!!! EEEEEK!!!

We feel we can finally share this news since we were told we will most likely receive official travel dates by the end of this week. I can't believe it! My first reaction was pure, emotional excitement. My eyes welled up with happy tears. Then, not two minutes later and in true Kat-fashion, I started going over a "to do" list in my head. Visas. Documents. Toys to bring for our first visit. Contact pediatrician. Figure out insurance for the kiddos. ...and on and on. So much to do!

Derek and I celebrated by going to Target and buying some toys to use when we meet our little ones for the first time.

Stay tuned for more information later this week!!!

NOTE: Facebook friends, please don't post anything regarding the gender of our children on fb. I'm not sure I want the whole public fb world to know just yet...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're Registered! (no, not at Target...)

I meant to update my blog long ago, as we have made another BIG step in our adoption. All of our documents have been organized, translated, apostilled/notarized and put together as our official dossier. Last month our dossier was submitted to Russia. We became officially registered in St. Petersburg!

Funny... seeing that phrase "officially registered" comes with a totally different meaning for pre-adoptive parents (PAP) as it does for expectant parents. If only becoming "registered" for us was as easy as taking the scanner gun and magically putting all our essential items together in one simple list. Ha! The hoops we PAPs jump through!

So, what does this mean? Once a dossier is submitted, PAPs can then at ANY TIME be invited to travel to the region in which they are registered and receive an official referral from the Ministry of Education (MoE), a governmental body in Russia. However, many placement agencies share information on potential referrals with PAPs before they travel when they are rather confident that those families might receive that official referral once in-country.

This, too, can happen at ANY TIME...

So... if anyone is still reading this blog, I would recommend you stay tuned. Things may get interesting soon.

Regarding the brief hiatus I had recently taken from the blog, the last several weeks have been rough. We've been ridiculously busy with work and attending/hosting/participating in church events. We're dog-sitting for my parents. I might have had a birthday at some point. But, what affected us the most was grieving over the loss of a dear friend... I have no words to explain this situation via a simple blog. All I can say here is it shook many people's lives. Readers, please be in prayer for my dear friend, Carrie, who lost her husband much too soon and much too suddenly.

I'll say goodnight for now. Thank you all for being a support to Derek and me though our process. Life is a never-ending classroom, with our Lord as the teacher. I've learned a lot in the last few months. I'm grateful to continually be shown just how invaluable good, true friends are. I love you all.


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