Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The last three days have been madness, but we have made MAJOR progress with travel plans!

Our hotels are booked & I found GREAT rates for super expensive Moscow! Our flights had been booked yesterday, but we found out this morning that our travel agent had made a mistake with one's getting fixed at their expense & will all be fine tomorrow. After short notice planning for first trip, we had a very realistic view of planning this time. There's always something that will go wrong...but it can be fixed :) We have most of the paperwork together that we need to take & are just waiting to get our lab results back tomorrow. I have almost everything together for the babysitters & have I mentioned how great they are??!!! We are very blessed that our kids will be in very good hands while we're gone!! Our passports will be back on Friday with our visas which is NUMBER ONE important thing! No visas & entering Russia.

God's timing is always so perfect...we have great family friends coming to stay with us tomorrow night & we are very excited to see them! They have been down the adoption road twice & are a great encouragement to us. It's perfect that we get to spend some time with them before we leave next week. Saturday we'll be doing an early birthday dinner for Ben & Tara since we'll be gone for their birthdays. I guess I'll start laundry & packing on Monday....

The weather is warming up in Russia which helps with packing. No coats, hats, gloves, & layers this time :) There has been some rain, but Moscow temps have been in the 70's & Kras temps have been in the 50's & 60's. We'll take it!!! It may be a nice change from HOT Southern CA summers.

Good news...we had thought we would have to wait until day 13 after court to get the baby because of the weekend, but we found out the orphanage director should let us get him on Saturday right after the normal 10 day wait :) YAY!!! We will get visits with him during the 10 days, but the thought of waiting those extra few days to take him with us was depressing. We are very happy for this news.

We feel very peaceful & calm in the midst of the planning madness. It helps that we've done this once before & know what to expect when we get there. We plan to soak up the experience & enjoy it as much as we can.

1. Visas & passports make it on Friday like they are supposed to! (4th of July weekend made timing tricky).
2. Confirmation on airfare mistake getting fixed & new flight info ASAP.
3. Safety for travel & in Russia.
4. Being away from the kids for a whole's going to be tough!
5. COURT DAY!!!!! U.S. EMBASSY DAY!!! (2 most important days).
6. Our little guy will adjust & bond to us. His first airplane trip is going to be a LOONNGGG 13 hours!

Thank you all again for following our adventure & praying! We will be able to post pictures after we get him OFFICIALLY :) There will be many pictures & video to come!


Monday, June 27, 2011


We have our CONFIRMED court date!!!! We leave next Wednesday, July 6!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!

For the last few weeks we have been waitng impatiently on pins & needles for our July 12 court date to be confirmed. Wouldn't you know it....the day after my birthday we get the phonecall with 10 days to prepare! We had expected this & planned as much as possible in advance with babysitters, packing, booking dr. appointment for our bloodwork & chest x-rays, preparing for baby.....Today was spent running on complete adrenaline!

At about 9:00 this morning I was working out on the NordicTrac bike & Andrew was asleep when the phone rang. I jumped & checked caller ID, but it just said "out of area."Stupid solicitor" is what I thought, BUT it was our Russia program coordinator from our adoption agency :) She had the GREAT news we had been waiting for.....July 12 court date & travel dates!!! YAY!!! Andrew woke up from 2 hours of sleep after working graveyards last night & was ecstatic. Then the MADNESS began!!

I was reminded several times today that God has gone before us in this journey & has all ready set things in place. It just so happens our dr. appointment was all ready set for today & one of our babysitters was all ready set to come over to go through details & watch the kids for the afternoon :) We managed to get our airfare confirmed for $2,000 LESS than we had thought it would be. I found the flights online & all the travel agent had to do was call Aeroflot to get the price I found & add one way fare for baby. She didn't even charge us her airfare booking fee since I did most of the work :) We got passport photos done quickly (yay for girl at Walgreen's photo center!!), headed to doctor, Andrew ran to Fed Ex while I waited in waiting room, he got back in the knick of time for our exams & bloodwork(our dr. & his staff were WONDERFUL), & then we made it to the radiology office for chest x-rays about 5 minutes before they closed :) We walked out with our big yellow envelope with x-ray films which we get to carry on the plane.....we are so relieved that's done!

We are almost there & I can hardly believe it. Our entire trip is 29 whole month in Russia. Our 10 day wait period after court ends on a Friday which means the judge will not sign the adoption decree until the following Monday morning :( That adds 2 days & means we won't get baby until that Monday. We head back to Moscow with baby on July 27, submit visa & citizenship documents for baby to the U.S. Embassy on July 28, then get his visa on the 29th. We have to register him with the Russian Consulate on Monday, August 1 & then head HOME on Wednesday, August 3rd!!!!!! I CANNOT wait until that day :)

The kids are SO EXCITED, but there are definitely some emotions & tears starting about us being gone for so long. We have great babysitters who will keep them busy with fun activities, but it will still be hard on them & us. We know it will all be worth it & all 6 of us will be together SOON! Thank you for praying...keep them coming!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Waiting for our court date.....

We are now in mid-June & still no conformation on our court date. July 12 is the tentative date, but last week we were told about one more paperwork issue!!! Surprise, right?! It had to do with our social worker's was ridiculous, but has been taken care of & sent today. The judge said this wouldn't affect our court date, but still did not confirm it.....

Yes, we are frustrated & heartbroken that we are still waiting. We want to get to our son & get him home! In the midst of this, we are definitely being stretched in our faith & trust in God timing. It hurts, it's not fun, it's frustrating, but He knows best & has it all figured out all ready. Yesterday & today He showed how He was going to provide the last of the money we needed for our adoption expenses in Russia :) We've begun preparing & planning ahead with little things so that we have less to do when we hear the news of our court date. Our adoption agency agreed that we should go ahead with preparing what we can since we will probably have very short notice of our travel dates. So, that is where things are at. His room is ready, his suitcase is packed, most of the orphanage donations are packed, U.S. Embassy paperwork mostly put together, babysitters standing by for our travel dates, money in place by early next week, and many people praying us through this. If any of you who live in our area have baby/toddler clothes, toys, shoes, diapers, would like to get rid of, we will take them for the orphanage!! We were able to take two suitcases full on the first trip which were all donated by friends. We have half a suitcase packed with more donations & have a friend bringing more to us this weekend! We would love to bless the orphanage with as much as possible & appreciate everyone who has given to them.

Here is how we need you to pray from this point on:

1. Court date confirmation for July 12!!!! We will be leaving around July 7 if this works out, & from what we have been told it should. Pray for all of our travel plans which will most likely be last-minute.

2. Pray for the kids & babysitters who will be taking care of them. We are going to be gone about 25-26 days & this will be hard on all of us!

3. Pray for our court day & judge. Pray we will answer the questions in the right way & for the 10 day waiting period. It would be a miracle if it gets waived, but know it could happen.

4. Pray for Jonathan to bond with us & adjust to his new world once we get to take him from the orphanage. Pray especially for our new "normal" once we get home & for all of the kids to adjust to the changes.

5. Pray for our travel, safety, & for our luggage to make it this time!!!! After our experience with lost luggage last time, we would really love to not go through that again!

Thanks again to all of you out there who have been a part of this adventure with us. We don't know how we would have made it through this long period of waiting without you! We are blessed to have such an amazing support group. We will update with good news ASAP!