Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Paperwork Frustration

Our court documents got to Russia last week......but there were a few problems, of course! We had five documents that needed to be redone. Basically, our home appraisal & deed from the county as well as the CA statute on adoption something or other were "too lengthy." Russia court requested simpler versions of the same thing that they are used to seeing. Also, the CA Dept. of Justice did not sign our fingerprint clearance letters & we have not been able to get a hold of a live person to request new ones. On top of all of that, the kids' medical clearance forms are 3 months time sensitive & will expire on June 14. We are looking at a court date of mid-June, but they have asked we get updated current forms singed & notarized by the kids' doctor. This part is so frustrating because the first time getting this done was a nightmare!! We waited 2 1/2 hours with a notary & our peditrician's office was very unccoperative about the whole thing. So, we found a new doctor to redo all of this for us next week. They've been very nice & understanding about the whole thing. We feel much better about making this change.

So, we are back to waiting, paperwork, & just pure frustration. It's not a complete's very common for Russian adoption judges to ask for additional paperwork or for things to be redone to their satisfaction. You never know what they will say...we're trying to be patient & know God's timing is perfect. They will most likely not give us a court date until they receive the redone paperwork, but we have hope our adoption people in Russia can persuade them to go ahead & set the date knowing that everything will be on it's way in a few weeks. We have been hoping & praying for a June court date & that's definitely still a possibility, even with the paperwork delay. We'll see :) We miss our little guy SO MUCH & are dying to get back to him! Everything else is ready & in place....God is providing the last of the financial part & we just need to get childcare & travel plans set once we get our dates confirmed.

His room is just about finished, he has more than enough toys & clothes thanks to some friends, & I've started stocking up on diapers & wipes! This weekend is shopping for a car seat & just a few other things we need for him. Then we are all set....we just need the baby!

Ben & Tara's birthdays are in mid-July, so we are hoping to be home from Russia by then. We will definitely have a lot to celebrate! Please pray with us that we can get all of this ridiculous paperwork drama behind us & get our court date ASAP!! Our biggest obstacle with this is getting new SIGNED letters from the DOJ. We have a Plan B in place if that doesn't happen, so we'll see what happens. We learned from our first trip that it would be helpful to know a few more basic words in Russian, so Andrew is currently listening to a CD to try & learn some more. We'll see how that works out!

Thanks for praying & we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Update on Court Documents

After 2 weeks of delay & frustration with our court paperwork, it is finally all approved, stamped & signed by the secretary of state, & on it's way to be translated into Russian & filed with the court! It will still be at least a few weeks before we find out when our court date is & begin making trip #2 plans, but it is such a relief that this part is finished & we're almost there!!

We are learning over and over again that God's timing is perfect (though hard to accept sometimes) & all of the little delays we've had definitely have a purpose. The kids get out of school on May 27 & go back on August 9, so we're hoping & praying to be home with our new son in the time in between. Now that we are finally at the end of this two year journey, every day is harder & more emotional. It's EXACTLY like the last trimester of're almost to the end of the uncomfortable, painful part of having a baby, ready to bring him home, but feel like it's never going to happen. In the meantime getting ready for him is exciting & fun, but there are times I walk by his room & can't stop the tears. I've made it a practice to stop by his crib & pray for him when those moments hit me. God continues to be faithful in giving comfort & peace that we are almost there. We literally feel Him carrying us through this.

The kids are SO EXCITED for their little brother to come home, but we've recently been trying to prepare them for the long trip of about 25 days for Andrew & I that comes with it. Tara has been especially emotional about it & will definitely have the hardest time with it. It kills me that we have to be gone for so long, but I keep telling myself that in the grand scheme of life it is just a short time. This is requiring a lot of sacrifice for our whole family, but I know it will strengthen & grow all of us.

Here are specific ways you can pray:

1. Our court date will come quickly! Our travel plans & childcare will come together. Protection over all of us as we are traveling & kids are at home.
2. The kids will handle us being away for so long & adjust to our "new normal" when we get home. Prayer that all 4 kids will be prepared for all changes & for Andrew & I to handle it well.
3. God continues to provide financially in little ways here & there. The gap of where we are at with the finances for trip #2 & where we need to be at is closing little by little. We have no doubt the rest will be here when we need it & are praying for God to show us the details.
4. COURT!!! This is the BIG DAY in Russian adoption. It is not an easy day....we have to prove ourselves to the judge as being capable parents & the best thing for our baby. Pray for our judge & specific prayer for the 10 day wait period after court to be waived is much needed. It would honestly be a miracle if this happened!
5. Bonding & attachment with our son will go as well as it did on trip #1. His whole world is about to change in EVERY way.

Thank you again to everyone who has been a part of this journey with us! We cannot say that enough! The last 2 years have not been easy, but we are learning that "easy" isn't what life is all about. It's about stepping out in faith, seeking the truth & what is good, taking risks, going on adventures, & letting go of the things we think we have control of. We wouldn't change anything we've been through & know God gets all glory in this.

Please keep praying & sending encouraging words...we need it now more than ever! Hopefully the next update will be about our court date & travel plans!