Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We just want to say "Thank You."

I've had several people who I do not know, and have never met (some from another country!), donate to our adoption fund this past week. I hope they are now keeping up with us, and are reading my blog so that they can see me say "THANK YOU!" from the bottom of our hearts. We appeciate it so much that God would use people who don't know us to help us along in our adoption journey. My heart has been touched by a willingness to give to someone that you have never met. I am keeping a list of people who have helped us along the way so that one day I can show our child how many people God used to bring her into our life, so that she will know that she was chosen by Him to be our daughter. Now I have more people to add to that list :)


Friday, March 26, 2010

Talk about FAST!

We received our fingerprinting appointment date from USCIS today and its April 8th! Awesome! Now we just have to figure out what to do with the kids b/c we figured that NiNi woud be out of school for the summer by the time we got an appointment, and a three hour drive to and from Norfolk doesn't seem like something the kiddos would enjoy! Maybe if we take a full day's supply of milkshakes and donuts they would ride happily.... Hmmmmmm....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Absolutely the LAST Date (I mean class...)

Tonight we have our final class at our homestudy agency. Phillip and I refer to our class nights as our "Date Nights." Funny how after two kids and 6 years of marriage we look forward to a two hour roundtrip and a 2 hour parenting class just because we get to be ALONE TOGETHER. We might even stop at Starbucks! Whooooo!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ugh "The Wait"

We can't start gathering our dossier documents for several more months, so after all the hurry, hurry, hurry to get the homestudy done and sent off; now we wait. Hurry up and wait seems to be the name of the game and is driving me craaaaazy!

We are waiting for our fingerprint appointment with USCIS which should make for a fun day trip because we have to go all the way to the Norfolk field office. Hey, maybe we can stop at VA Beach just to see the ocean and sand?? I don't understand why when our local Police Dept. took digital fingerprints, they can't just pass them on, ya know so we don't have to take our entire bodies down to Norfolk when all they need is the picture of our prints?

I had a couple of people on the FRUA website say to only bring two pairs of clothes (WHAT!) that you can wash in the sink and hang up to dry. So I am currently searching for a pair of pants and a few shirts that can be treated so harshly and not make me look like a wandering vagabond once I put them on. Did you know that ExOfficio makes "travel" underwear that will dry in two hours? That is a fact that I didn't think I'd need to know about, but now I want a few pairs of those undies. I already found a down coat on Landsend that packs into its own pocket, so at least I won't freeze to death, but I don't think jeans and cotton shirts will take repeated sink washings and look presentable... Anyone know where to buy ExOfficio clothes in the Central VA area? I want to try these clothes on and not just guess on what fits on their website. The JFK Airport has a store, but I think that might be a little too last minute for shopping. Ya think? "Hey Babe our flight leaves in 5 minutes!" "Tell them to hold the plane! I'm buying my travel outfit!"

I may just have to shrink wrap about 5 pairs of clothes b/c I just do not see me only wearing 2 outfits for a month!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Maple Festival!

The Maple Festival in Highland County VA, is something I have gone to ever since I was old enough to remember. It runs the second and third weekends in March which meant I always got to go either on or right around my birthday. I first remember going on my 5th birthday, and every year we would make the trek to visit the sugar camps, the trout hatchery and browse the local crafts and food tents. We looked forward to this event with MUCH anticipation. My four brothers and I would save up nickles for weeks in advance so we could buy trout food from the food dispensers and feed the trout. Of course now the food costs a quarter for a handful!

We were going to go on the second Saturday in March for my BD, but it rained... a lot! So we went this past weekend and the weather was beautiful! I have never seen people wearing flip flops and shorts at the Maple Festival before. We took Phillip's mom with us this year and had a great time :)

Here are a few pictures.

I was worrying a bit today...

I don't know why, but I woke up wondering what questions the judge in Ukraine might ask us when we go before the court to adopt our child. I was wondering what we might be asked when we go to the SDA. I was thinking about what would be the right things to say... and then I came across this verse while looking for something else. Whew! Thank you Lord for letting me know that you will be taking care of that :)

Luke 12:11"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We got a letter yesterday!

The Department of Homeland Security informed us that USCIS had received our I600a paperwork and will be sending us a fingerprinting appointment date for our local USCIS field office. So YAY that I filled out all the paperwork correctly, made the check out to the right department, mailed it to the correct address and included the necessary papers proving our citizenship and marriage. I was nervous about getting it all right! I really feel like God has given us favor in everything we've done so far. Its just gone too smooth for it to be our doing. We really know nothing about adopting and since we are adopting independently, we are doing all of the paperwork ourselves! For all of you out there who feel like God is calling you to adopt, but don't know if you are up to the challange either mentally, physically, or financially, God WILL provide you with the means to bring a child home. He cares for orphans and if you ever sit there and wonder why there are all these children without homes and why a loving God wouldn't do something about it. He IS doing something about it. He made you aware. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Amazing News!!!

We just received confirmation that our documents had arrived in Ukraine yesterday, and we emailed our translator last night just to make sure he did indeed get them (he wasn't the one to sign) and received our payment. We didn't want to be those annoying people who keep asking "Did you get it yet? Is it done yet?" but we figured one email just checking up on things would be ok. He emailed us at 6am this morning to say that not only had he received it, he had already translated, notarized, and registered our homestudy with the SDA and received a submission date for our dossier! WOW!!! I know people were praying for us so I just want to say a BIG thank you for that because we were expecting to wait another two weeks before he even tried to register it.

So our dossier submission date is Oct 14. What an anniversary present! I'm thinking this will put us going to Ukraine sometime in Nov. Dec. of this year (I hope). Winter in Ukraine... sounds cold... and AMAZING!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our homestudy arrived safely in Ukraine!

We have FedEx confirmation that our homestudy was delivered! This is a BIG praise for me especially because I was looking over the receipts after Phillip mailed our documents and noticed that our translator's apartment number was missing from the shipping label. Lets just say that I completely flaked out and thought it was the end of the world, complete with crying and my version of a hissy fit. My cool, calm, and collected hubby assured me he would take care of it and after a few days of anxiously waiting, FedEx let us know that they updated the info and delivered it ahead of schedule. I am going to let this be a lesson to myself that I should really not freak out so badly when something goes awry because in the end, not only did it get there, it got there early.

Now we wait.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Homestudy Mailed To Ukraine

Phillip took our documents to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office and had them apostilled on Wednesday, then mailed them to Ukraine on Thursday. Please pray that they will have a quick journey and arrive safely with our translator.

Once he translates everything, he will submit it to the SDA for us and we will be assigned a dossier submission date and the paperchase will be on again, only for Ukraine this time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mailed I600A to USCIS yesterday!

Its up, up, and away. Lets hope it gets accepted quickly and we get an appointment for fingerprinting at the Norfolk Field Office before the end of the summer... that would be nice. We are so excited that we finally were able to mail it off!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This not knowing is driving me bonkers...

So since Ukraine is a totally blind referel process, we simply specify an age range of a child we wish to adopt and THAT'S IT. We get no info on a child until we have our appointment at the SDA in Ukraine. We are asking for a child of either sex with minor/moderate corectable medical issues from age 1-5 with the preference of a girl. I know I really shouldn't buy clothes for a child that I have no idea how big she'll be, but geez I can't help it! It drives me crazy not to be able to prepare for a child, so dang it, I'm going to do it anyways! The children in Ukraine are very small and I've been told that for every 3 months in an orphanage they lose 1 month of normal growth and development. So I figure that a 3 year old would wear 18 month size clothes... so I bought some clothes size 18 months- 2T cause that is pretty middle of the road and I want to a least have some clothes to take with us. If they don't fit, I'll give them to the orphanage we adopt from. I need to just stay away from the little girl section in stores... I keep ending up with just "one" thing. Its really killing me to not be able to prepare!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Received our notarized homestudy in the mail today!

Now we fax a copy to Cathy in Florida so she can assign us a translator/facilitator in Ukraine. Next we get it apostilled at the Secretary of State's office in Richmond and then off it goes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We have awesome friends :)


My friend Sarah has done a write-up about us on her blog and is helping me sell candles for our fundraiser! We are truly blessed by having such great friends!

Thank you Sarah!!

Speaking Russian

Our Rosetta Stone was delivered yesterday and both Phillip and I went through the first lesson. Its a totally different way of learning a language and simulates immersion instead of giving you a book with the English equivalent of everything. The Cyrillic Alphabet is definitely quite a shock to process. The headphone set is super cool though because you repeat words to work on your pronunciation and it tells you how well you are pronouncing the words. They say that if you do a 30 minute lesson every day, in 9 months you will be fluent in Russian, as in speak and understand it like a native. I hope so!

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson