Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A thrill of hope....

The weary soul rejoicing.....

Please be in prayer for us and all the other families in our region. I can't go into a lot of details, but we need to be vigilant in prayer that hearts will be softened and mountains will be moved on our behalf (and Charlie's behalf) Come on prayer warriors!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just in case you were wondering......

We're still alive....
Still here.....
Still hangin' on waiting on our little man......

Just thought I would let you know! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family in Florida. It was warm and sunny, the food was spectacular, and it was so great seeing everyone- we hadn't been home in over a year! We were reminded again of just how blessed we are. God has blessed us so richly!

And then.....

So the papers are once again complete.
On Monday, I did the marathon trek from our Doctors office to Columbia, South Carolina for the Apostille to CWA in Flat Rock, North Carolina by the end of the day. Whew.....can you say road rear?
I made it to Flat Rock by 4:15 (15 minutes before closing). Anya was holding the UPS guy hostage waiting for me. We made some speed copies of the documents and threw them in the pre-stamped envelope. I couldn't believe they are already off to Russia.....
Keeping our fingers (and toes) (and anything else cross-able, crossed....)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Starting at the beginning (well not really, but at least the new chapter.....)

On our way down to Kissimmee on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (literally driving down the interstate) we got a call from my friend at Senator Jim DeMints office. (Side note: Deb and Senator DeMint have been A+++ superheros in our adoption story) Deb says "I just heard from my friend at the Secretary of State's office, she said that things in your region are starting to move again" (Sidenote: I don't think any of you are just tuning in for the first time, but in case you are here is the short version of our adoption story: We met Charlie on March 20th expecting to return by June to finalize the adoption AND THEN all heck broke loose in the Russian adoption world when a certain "she who must not be named" sent her son back to Russia alone with a "return to sender" note. Russians were TICKED. Adoptions froze, then unfrozen, then remained frozen in our region until the present time.
Then Steph, my super sleuth fellow PAP calls to say- something is going on.
Then our case manager, Anya calls and says. "Hey, we need you to redo some paperwork, ASAP"
Well, that's kinda difficult driving down the interstate, but I called our doc right away, sweet talked the nurse into redoing our docs, called Kevin at Spartanburg 5-0 and ask him to redo our background checks, etc.
And so it begins.....
Redoing paperwork to let it expire again in three months....oh the joy.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I heard this song on my way to work yesterday, it was speaking right to my heart and I thought of a friend going through some struggles and of course, of Charlie. We still serve a big, loving God regardless of our circumstances. I am safe standing in the shadow of his wing.

To the one who's dreams are falling all apart

And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think your on your own
but you're not all alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong he'll never let you go
oh you're not alone

You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms

Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life
Is the very same voice that calls you to rise
So hear Him now He's calling you home
You will never be alone

These are the hands that built the mountains
the hands that calm the seas
These are the arms that hold the heavens
they are holding you and me

These are hands that healed the leper
Pulled the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to a cross
to break our chains and set us free
-Lyrics by Phil Wickham

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back on track

Ok, I didn't mean to make you worry. I guess the best explanation is that we simply lost sight of our goal. After some tears, some heartburn, some sleepless nights and passionate telephone conversations, we are back on track. We decided we don't want to register in another region, because we now have clarification that doing that wouldn't mean bringing home two children. It would become a "horse race" of which child would come home first- Pskov v. Volograd. That means that unless we were able to come up with several thousand dollars to complete a second adoption, if we accepted another referral we would loose Charlie, and likewise, if Pskov opens up again we would have another little face that we longed for everyday and night. And we aren't in the betting business. Our priority is Charlie and until that door is slammed in our face we will not consider moving on. We will continue to hold fast.
So, today I redid our home study update documents, petitioning for a three year old, for our soon to be three year old. And once again, we wait for the tide to change.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two steps back....

Instead of moving forward (as many families that started this process up to a year after us.....) we seem to be taking two steps backward. We've received several emails from our agency (so nice and personal, isn't it???) suggesting that we switch regions. I answered the first one and told them exactly where we stood on this issue, as in "NO". We don't care how long it takes, we are waiting this out. Then I just ignored the next few asking us to switch regions and start this process over again, forgetting about Charlie. Well, the last one DEMANDED that I respond to their request for us to switch regions. Well, actually it promised that they would still fight to get Charlie home, but they really want us to register in Volgograd too. That they don't want us to "loose the ability to adopt from Russia" I told them that was fine, but that means I want two children, one of which being Charlie. This is simply not a "horse race" for us, as in "which Russian child will get home first, Pskov vs. Volgograd?". And what exactly does that mean- loose our ability to adopt?? Once again, it's so nice to have your life discussed through an informal email. Ugh. Well the response "as you know we are stopping adoptions from Russia in December 2011." EXCUSE ME? How would I know that?!? That means we need to be register in another region by December 2010 to bring home another child by December 2011, as in not Charlie. And I will NOT see another picture of a sweet little face and wonder day after day what became of all the what ifs if they couldn't come home either. This is one messed up situation we've gotten ourselves into.
Call it a hunch, maybe it's just my terribly jaded experience, but something is fishy. Either this agreement isn't going to be signed anytime soon, even after it's signed maybe the region is closing to Americans, OR maybe what the agreement says doesn't bode well for us. Or maybe a combination of all three. Obviously, we are missing some information.
I feel like we have been put out to pasture. Before, I felt as if we had our agency backing us. Now I feel as if we are all alone in the fight. The more I think about it, the more I want to dig my heals in. I'll say "fine, if you can't bring him home, we'll find someone who can" For the record- our family (and Charlie) is not limited to 12 calendar months. If our agency is, then so be it, but I on the other hand am not tied to their agenda. Since this is a family show, I can't even begin to tell you what I think this is shaping into.
So, we are left with awful questions with no good solutions. If we "give in" and register in another region will they honestly continue to fight 100% for Charlie? Will we fall in love with another little face and be unable to bring him or her home because Charlie's adoption will finally go through? How much more will it cost to bring home two babies? Do we really have it in us to do this all again? Could we ever move on knowing we didn't pour 100% of our efforts into bringing Charlie home? How can this be happening when other regions are carrying on "business as usual"? When are we going to get answers? What is going on with this agreement?
I could go on and on. The only thing I do know is that we are loosing our forward momentum.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In the News....

A fellow PAP, brought this article to my attention. Please pray for her as you remember Charlie in your prayers, as she is a single woman that also met her son around the same time we were meeting Charlie. She is a brave and wonderful lady and I am honored to call her my friend.....She needs your prayers, being single, her situation is even more precarious than ours.

U.S. reiterates readiness to sign child adoption deal with Russia by year end

02:57 11/2/2010© flickr

The United States has reiterated its readiness to conclude a new child adoption agreement by the end of this year, a U.S. Department of State official said.

"The negotiations proceed and we think they're going very well, and we hope to have an agreement before the end of the year," Special Advisor for Children's Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs told a briefing.
She added that Russia continues processing U.S. requests concerning adoption of Russian children.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our Best Efforts....

Our agency has asked us to put together a list of everyone we have contacted in an effort for our voice to be heard in this situation. I'm sure that there are some names I have forgotten, after a while hearing "I'm sorry, but there is nothing we can do to help you" all starts running together....here is my letter, I have removed some names, because I'm sure my personal contact's don't want to be splashed all over blog land....

Dear Agency:
We understand that moving to another region would be easier than trying to wait on the uncertainty in Pskov. However, that just isn’t an option for us. After thinking about the situation at hand, if we gave up on Stas that would make us no better than Torry Hansen. Giving up on a child just because the situation isn’t “easy” isn’t an option for us. Stas is our son, unless the Russian government says otherwise. We will wait for him as long as it takes. It doesn’t matter to us if he is 2, 3, or 17 years old. From the first time we saw him, we knew he was our son and now seven and a half months later, he is even more deeply rooted in our hearts.

As you requested, here is a list of all the people (that I can remember, I’m sure there have been more) we have contacted trying to be as proactive as possible in the effort to get Stas home:

1-Joint Council on International Children’s Services
2- US Embassy in Moscow
3-Karen Twomey, WBZ Radio Boston
4-Kate Gallagher, CBS Boston
5-Jean Lewis, Office of Children’s Issues, Department of State
7-Jim, RussianAdoptionHelp.com
8-Show Hope, Steve Curtis Chapman Foundation for Adoption
9-Chuck Johnson, National Council for Adoption
10-Deti Nashi Foundation for Adoption (I am organizing a diaper donation drive in our community to get a large supply of diapers to Stas’ orphanage in Idritsa in November)
11-Senator Jim DeMint
12-Senator Bob Inglis
13-Senator Lindsey Graham
14-State Representative Mike Forrester
15-Governor Mark Sanford
16- Emily Ballas, Secretary of State Office
17- And of course, I have been in close contact with five other families that have met their children in Pskov and are waiting on a court date as well.

I can’t say that any of the people we have contacted (or in the case of the two news reporters, contacted us) have been able to help. Ultimately, we hear the same thing, that the decision to allow Stas to come home lies solely in the hands of the Judge. Chuck Johnson (National Council for Adoption) is traveling to Russia this month and has promised to present our case. That is the most promising news we have received in all of these contacts. Ultimately, we have placed this situation in God’s hands. We are trusting that he will see us through.
As always we thank you for your help. We wish there was something more we could do to get Stas home where he belongs, with a mom and a dad all for his own. We have waited almost 11 years to be parents and know that Stas will be the center of our world. Thank you for hanging in there with us….

Chad and Sarah Deetz

Monday, November 1, 2010

The second time around....

Well the results are in.....we are still not criminals. Many things in the world of adoption elude me, one of which is USCIS fingerprinting. Why do we need to get re-fingerprinted? I mean they haven't changed! Why can't they just run em' through again to make sure we haven't broken any laws in the last twelve months. But alas, we have been reprinted and yes, we are still law abiding citizens.

Also, found out today we are in for another home study visit because we need to adjust our age approval (also for USCIS) since Charlie will be turning three in March and a home study and I171-H update isn't something (as we are all well aware from previous rantings) that these sources are able to just "whip out" at a moments notice. So, even though we are hoping, praying, wishing for a court date prior to March 20, 2011, we are erring on the side of caution and planning ahead for our sweet boys 3rd and even 4th birthday.

So, our social worker is coming to the house THIS THURSDAY. Awesome! Did I mention how my house could be declared a disaster area? But surprisingly, I am not worried about this visit. Isn't it funny how a little experience and time changes your perspective? I am not going to kill myself getting ready and whatever isn't ready will be shoved into the variety of closets throughout our house.