Thursday, September 30, 2010


We just received word from our agency that we have once again been rejected by the Judge. It looks like at this point until an agreement is signed she will not hear any American adoption cases.
This means we:
Will need to redo all of our papers again in 3 months
Will need to redo our home study ($) because my employer has changed and we are now on our way to adopting a three year old instead of a two year old.
Redo our financial statements because our income has changed
Probably need to redo our USCIS paperwork as well because of his age.
We are waiting with no end in site and no promise of "well maybe after _______ she'll take your papers"
Our son is growing up without his family in an orphanage all because of a stupid piece of paper that need to be signed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We remain....

We need your prayers this coming week. Our paperwork is once again, complete, shipped, and translated. Our agency emailed today (Every time I see an email from them in my inbox I assure you, I come thiiiiiis close to throwing up) I braced myself for disappointment and opened the email. It basically said they've had contact with the Judge (?!?!) and have an appointment with her next week, most likely on the 30th, but they are trying to see if it can be any earlier in the week.
So, here we are. One more week of suspense and at least we'll know what we are up against. We are remaining strong, remaining hopeful, and remaining thiiiiis close to insanity and even closer to loosing our lunch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

*If you think I'm a saint DO NOT read this post*

So, USCIS. Last night I lay in bed thinking about this. I have this terrible sinking feeling about our fingerprints expiring and that delaying our court date even further. My gut (which has been somewhat off-kilter anyway for the last 6 months) was screaming out to me. And I'm a go with my gut kinda girl.
Our fingerprints expiring on the 27th and USCIS telling me over and over again "not to worry" has sent me into an all out panic. I'm like the Titanic but I can see the iceberg ahead.
So, I emailed our case manager today and told her how concerned about their lack of concern. She wrote me back immediately and said- basically, what my gut was telling me all along- THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.
So, I call them today. AGAIN. I would like to provide some background information in my defense so that you don't think less of me for the bit coming soon.
September 1st- Call USCIS and tell them OMG our fingerprints expire on 9/27. Is this going to hurt us? Do we still have time? Answer: Of course not. There is a 30 day turn around time for the re-prints. No problem.
September 2nd- Overnight our request to Missouri.
September 3rd- Call USCIS. Did you get the package? Are we cool? Answer: No worries, no problem. We'll have you re-printed in two weeks max. Call in 2 weeks if you don't have an appointment.
September 14th- Call USCIS. Speak with rude receptionist. Remain polite and calm. It hasn't been assigned yet, call back at the end of the week.
September 16th- It's the end of the week. It's still not been assigned. "Don't worry, blah, blah, blah" Call back the first of the week.
September 20th- It's the first of the week. (See last night's post) Lie in bed awake all night with worry.
September 21st- Case manager freaks out as much as I do. Suggests calling our congressmen and senator. OMG. This IS serious! I knew it!
(This is the part you should stop reading if you think I am holding up remarkably well and are shocked that my sanity has remained intact for the last 6 months)
Call USCIS. Rude receptionist/case worker/whatever tells me "well of course this is an emergency, you and everybody else" I hold it together while reciting to myself (more flies with honey, more flies with honey) After going around and around with her why this is an emergency she says "do you know how busy we are here?" and fesses up that they can't even FIND our request because "we get thousands of letters here everyday and do you think the world just stops when you send a letter?" OK. The gloves are off.
THEN she says "do you think you are above waiting like everybody else?" At that point, 6 months of pent up anger and frustration comes spewing from my mouth. I say "LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT WAITING" and my "before I met Jesus" potty mouth comes forth. I will spare you all the colorful and descriptive adjectives that I used during the remainder of that telephone conversation. After I got done with that portion of the phone conversation, I moved on to tell her about our two year old son that has been waiting for his family and you know what, he really doesn't care how many (beep) letters she gets in a day or how (beeping) busy she is. Then, of course, I burst into tears and slam down the phone.
It was after hours at this point, so I called my contact at the senator's office and left her a voicemail. I sent USCIS an email explaining that I ending our conversation abruptly after I got "a little emotional" and wanted to re-iterate to them exactly what I needed from them.
I cried to my husband on my way home. I felt like such a basket case. I had failed big time. So much for handling situations with kindness and grace.
An hour later, I received a email response from USCIS with our fingerprint appointment on October 5th.
Wow. That only took an all out total hissy fit meltdown.
So, do you think less of me? We all have our moments I suppose, I would like to think of it as righteous anger, but I probably could have left out all of the lovely four letter words. I really do feel badly about that. I'll be better tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random Ramblings....

Today our boy turns 2 1/2. It's been 6 months since we saw his sweet little face. I can't believe it's been 6 months since our first trip....I just can't help think about what on earth he is still doing there. He should be home with us ;0(
Surely, the powers that be feel that way too.....
Today is my first friend and my best friend for life's birthday- Here is really old picture of us- I'm the tall one with the ears and yes, the we still share the same height difference! Happy Birthday Kathleen! We had a chance to catch up a little today and it was so nice. Some friends remain in your heart forever, no matter how many miles (or days gone by) separate you.

Our fingerprints expire on September 27th. We still haven't received our fingerprinting appointment in the mail. I have called them about 5 times and they keep telling me that "this is not a big deal" and they have received our request therefore, our fingerprints are not really expired. Well this makes absolutely so sense to me and I have been in this rodeo long enough that when someone says "this isn't a big deal" that it is. I know this is going to mess us up. I can feel it. Red alert! Red alert! They said "if you get a court date then you will be moved to "priority" and it will be fine.

Friday, September 17, 2010


We received an update from the agency today. Our documents made it to Russia and have been translated. Apparently, the Judge is not back from Moscow yet (?!?!) but at least everything will be ready upon her return this coming week. (EDIT- I have now heard she may be back by Sept. 27th? Who knows, right?) Please keep those prayers up. It is so hard being in the dark with your fate hanging in the balance. Will she start having court? Or will we have to wait another 3 months or so for an agreement to be signed?
I worked at the children's consignment sale at our church yesterday, I restrained myself to only $20 worth of stuff for Charlie. Mostly some nice Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles, but I couldn't help but think about all the consignment sales goneby. When I was buying "baby" items and thinking baby Deetz would be home before the "next" consignment sale. 3 sales later, I am buying for a nearly 3 year old! And apparently three year olds are REALLY hard on their clothing- the stuff in 3T-4T looks as if it's been through the war! So no "gently used" items for lil' Charlie boy, we'll stick to the wooden toys!
For when he's a little older!

Monday, September 13, 2010

You know the drill.....

By Thursday all of our documents had been redone. On Friday Chad drove to Columbia to get everything Apostilled. On Saturday I drove to Flat Rock and dropped off our new Court Dossier to our case manager. Today, everything is in route to Russia.
Are you as tired of reading about this as we are actually doing it over and over again?
We have no idea when the Judge gets back from the conference in Moscow. Our agency seems to think that something will be different upon her arrival back to the region. We are hoping for good news soon, but until then, we wait...and hope.....and pray....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Calling in favors....

As you know from my previous post, on Saturday we received an email from the agency, letting us know  that  they think EVERY document in our court dossier had expired. Along with, for all intensive purposes, Chad's passport since we can't get a visa within 4 months of expiration. Then on Monday came the confirmation phone call, that, yup.... EVERY document in our court dossier had expired. For those of you that don't yet have the joy of knowing, for the most part your first dossier to get you registered and in line for a referral is the relatively self driven. Other than the home study and the USCIS fingerprinting, you control all of the other documents needed, as in, you print them out and sign them.
Now, Court documents are a different animal. You rely on a lot of people unfamiliar with adoption to get strange documents processed on their letterhead with their signature on it. And for some reason, people seem very leery of printing things on their own letterhead. You start by saying "I have a huge favor to ask you for our adoption" then you finish with "so that's why I need a copy of your ______________. (medical license, background check, home mortgage good standing letter, DNA sample) Oh and on letterhead and Notarized too...) It helps if you say that last bit in a whisper while trailing off as you walk away.
The first time we needed these strange things, I didn't know what to say to people. This time it was a little easier because I just had to explain WHY what they did last time is no longer current in the eyes of Charlie's government.
On Monday, Chad went to the passport office first thing in the morning. Luckily we had duplicate sets of photos from our visas from last time in anticipation of getting our second visa for our second trip. I started working on USCIS and was reassured by "Officer Black" that I had plenty of time and we should be processed within two weeks. She was so helpful and said "well, honey, don't you worry, this boy is coming home. You call me in a week if you don't have your appointment card and we'll shake things up." I love people that shake things up.
What gave us so much trouble last time, those darn local police checks ("What do you mean I can't have a copy of my own police check?!?") Was done two hours after it was sent on Tuesday. My mom is pretty much doing everything short of flying to Russia and picking Charlie up herself, was at the Osceola County Courthouse on Tuesday morning and overnighting our marriage license to Tallahassee before most people had their morning coffee. Our doctor was on board and our appointment for another medical exam was scheduled for Wednesday. My bank friend called right away and had everything ready for hand delivery at church on Wednesday. On Friday, both the Apostille from Florida AND Chad's passport had arrived in the mail! Wow!
I would like to take the credit and say I am a professional paper pusher, but really, I just got the ball rolling and some very wonderful and motivated people picked it up and ran with it. We are so blessed to be surrounded by people that want Charlie home, whether they know us or not. It's good for our soul to see people in our church and community bind together and move with swiftness and confidence on Charlie's behalf. They KNOW he is coming home and they want to take part in this tremendous movement. I think too, God knows how TIRED we are and is giving us a little mercy in the paperwork department. For that, I am thankful.
Now, we ask you for a HUGE favor. You may not have the coveted "letterhead" but I am calling out to you and asking for your help. On Thursday, September 9th our Judge is heading out to Moscow for a "High Court" conference. We aren't sure if the main point of this conference is to decide how to process American adoptions, but we are confident at the very least it WILL come up and some sort of decision will be made on how she should proceed. We are asking you to specifically lift our Judge up in your prayers this week. This week has the potential to be pivotal in bringing Charlie home before the New Year. If things go well, we could be bringing him home very soon. If things do not go well, we are looking at...well, you know what we will be looking at. But let's not think about that right now. Let's focus on getting him home! We thank you for your part in this journey and always thinking of us and our precious boy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cat's out...

I feel like I've been keeping a huge secret from you, because, well, I have. I wanted to make sure everything was official before letting the cat out of the bag! Last year, a position became available at our church. But really, the timing was just not right. We had just gotten our feet wet in the adoption process. It just wasn't in God's plan at that time, for the church or for me.
An entire year passed us by, then out of the blue the same opportunity came knocking. After much prayer and thought, I decided to take the plunge, back into ministry. My official title will be the new member minister (meeting, greeting, getting folks plugged into the church, and organizing family events) and assisting our full time children's director in that department as well. I am so excited about moving into this new roll in my life and doing kingdom work again! God is so good and his timing is perfect!
On a personal side note, this job will give me tremendous flexibility and allow me to be the kind of mom I want to be, the kind of mom Charlie deserves, upon his arrival home. Chad and I hope to be able to flex our time enough that Charlie will need little to no care outside of our home. I have always prayed for a way to be able to stay at home with him until he goes to school, and this new job will be the best of both worlds. Insurance, an income, and the ability to raise my child the way I want to. AND, our church has a preschool downstairs, so when Charlie needs socialization a few hours a week, it is readily available (and I can spy on him 100 times a day).
So now you're in on my big secret!