Friday, December 19, 2014

Progress update

We have been working the past couple of weeks on documents needed for the Eastern Europe officials.  Our SW was so gracious and kind to offer our update for free (so we saved money there)!!  It took four attempts to get the home study paperwork exactly the way it needs to be for our Team in Eastern Europe and she mailed it yesterday, so we should have it in a few days.

Today we go for fingerprinting for our FBI background checks. We don't live in a State that offers them via electronically, but I found a company that can process our fingerprint cards within 10 days, which is much better than sending directly to FBI and waiting 7-9 weeks.  Once we get them back I found another company in Washington DC who will take them over to the Secretary of State's office and have them authenticated.  I am guesstimating this whole process to be about a 3 week turn around.  Which is the only thing that will take this long.

I have printed all the forms that we need to sign in front of a notary and our notary is coming to our house tomorrow morning so we can finish that part.

I have a call into our doctor to see if he will sign an updated health form without making us redo all the physicals and blood work, since it has been less than a year when we did it last.

So Monday I am sending a package to my niece with the majority of the papers we need to have apostilled.  She will hand carry them and return them to us.  Hurray we will be about 90% finished at this point.

Our goal is to have our completed dossier by the middle of January, so we can be submitted by the end of January.  This will put us travelling anywhere from the middle of March to the end of March.  Means we could have our precious angel home by the end of May.

Please continue to pray that our journey continues stress free and smoothly and we thank you for your support!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kids visit Santa and Mrs. Claus!

We took our girls to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Arielle did not mind sitting in Mrs. Claus' lap at all, as long as she had the bells to play with.  Natalie and Carissa were a bit timid and stood with Santa, at least Carissa did not scream and cry like last year!!  Natalie told Santa what she wanted and Carissa was afraid to speak to him, I did however get some pretty good pictures.

This week we are focusing on getting ready for Christmas while we print and sign documents for our Dossier for Eastern Europe.  Every night at bedtime Natalie prays for baby Maureen to be safe and feel loved until we can arrive to bring her home.  We cannot wait until she is home and next Christmas have four girls sitting in Santa and Mrs. Claus' lap!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

What a beautiful Christmas this will be!!!

First of all an update on Arielle.  This amazing and beautiful little girl is the light of our lives.  She brings so much joy to each of us everyday and we could not imagine life without her.  We came home in August 2014 weighing a mere 12 pounds at 11 months old.  She had open heart surgery in October, 2014.  It was a tough time for us, but this precious baby girl is such a fighter and did an awesome job with recovery.  Since fixing her heart, her little body is growing like crazy to catch up, she currently weighs around 18 pounds and she is 15 months old.  She has grown so much since surgery and she is moving all over the place.  She can sit up now and is trying so hard to crawl, but she is not quite there yet.  Her surgery made all the difference in the world.  Her heart surgeon who is world renown for pediatric heart surgery, said she would not have made it much longer in Eastern Europe without this surgery, he said it was that bad.  Here she is now:

Today my husband and I made a decision that we will go back to Eastern Europe and adopt another beautiful baby girl with Down syndrome. But this is not just any baby girl, you see when we started this adventure a year ago, we had selected a baby girl named "Maureen."  We were so excited that she was going to become a part of our family and everyday we looked at her picture and imagined what it would be like once she arrived.  Then right before our travel to Eastern Europe, our hearts were ripped out of our chest when we found out Maureen could not be adopted.  Her legal paperwork was a mess and she was not legally available.  We mourned her loss for a while, then we found our new baby girl Arielle, whom is home with us now safe and sound.  She is a blessing to us everyday and we love her so much.  You just cannot imagine the joy she has brought to our family.

We found out a few weeks ago that Maureen was cleared legally for adoption.  That was the start of the praying and thinking process.  We could not handle the thought of her being left behind and we spent a lot of time discussing and deciding if we could handle two the same age, twin girls!!  We already have a 6 and 3 year old and then we would have twin girls.  It was an easy decision on whether or not we could handle having four girls, with two the same age, it was the logistics we had to pray about.  Our first thought was we already went over there, we already spent a ton of money, how could we possibly go back and get our baby that was meant for us from the beginning?  Lots of praying has gone into this decision and God has already opened some doors for us to start the process again.  You see He has provided us with the USCIS approval needed for this second child, so no money or time will be spent in that area, He provided us a discount on our adoption legal fees in Eastern Europe, He provided us a kind, loving and caring social worker who has agreed to update our HS for free and He has provided us with a very special family,whom we met while they were adopting a baby girl from Eastern Europe.  We have never officially met in person, only through FB and messages, but that have become very special to us and now they are offering to help us work towards obtaining donations and hosting fund raisers!!  Wow, He is moving in this adoption already and now we will trust in Him to finish finding the financing we need to go and get her.  As of right now, we are winging this and hoping He provides by the time we will travel in March.  We strongly believe God wants us to bring her home.  The region she is located in is OK for the younger children like Maureen, but upon transfer at the age of 4, the institution she will be moved to is horrible and her fate is a guaranteed death.

Stay tuned as we work through the process and paperwork to bring her home where she belongs.

Monday, August 4, 2014

In Kiev.....

We traveled by train yesterday to Kiev, arrived safe and sound.  It was a long ride with three little ones and a full train, but all went well.  We settled into our new apartment and today we had our first Embassy appointment then Arielle had her medical exam.  Her passport arrived in Kharkov today and is being sent here to Kiev on the overnight train.  It gets picked up in the morning and then we head back to the medical clinic to pick up our report, then back to the embassy to finish our documents and get her visa. One more day and then we leave for the USA!  We are ready to go home.  The kids miss their stuff and I miss my bed.  We all miss hubby and daddy.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Exciting couple of days....

Wednesday came and was extremely hot here, the girls and I piled into Tatyana's car and off we went. We started at the birth registry office.  It took about an hour to get the new birth certificate issued, then straight to the orphanage we went. That took about 45 minutes and we left with Arielle. Then off to get the tax ID number issued, why I don't know but you have to get it to get a Ukraine passport. After that to the passport office we went. Probably an hour spent there, it was hot with a lot of people in there. Luckily for us Tatyana knew people in every office we went to, she called upon our arrival and when we went in we always went straight into someone's office to do our thing.  Then Thursday we went to the bank and closed Arielle's bank account and went to the orphanage to donate the money.  Now one last thing, tomorrow we have to get Arielle's pictures taken for the US Embassy. Then we get on a train Sunday and travel 4.5 hours back to Kiev.  Monday morning at 9:00 is our first embassy appointment. Then Tuesday morning we will have our second appointment and get our visa (hopefully that is not delayed.) Wednesday we have flights booked and paid back to the US!! We are ready to go home, we have been here since June 24th and. I want to go home.  I like vacations and such, but not this long!

On another note, Arielle has been running fever and is congested.  I have infant Tylenol which I am giving along with cool baths, but we need to hurry home to her doctors appointment.

Please pray we will not get delayed with the visa on Tuesday.  The lady couple of weeks have caused thousands of delays because the computer in DC crashed and they could not get t
Visa printed.  Supposedly it's fixed praying!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The time is finally here.....

Tomorrow morning we get Arielle's new birth certificate and then to the orphanage to pick her up. After we pick her up we have a day full of errands, passport office, tax office, bank and notary. It will take about six hours to finish. Then we will be in our temporary home for a few days while we wait for the passport to be issued.  Hopefully, it shows up Monday like it's supposed to.  We leave Sunday on the express train and travel 4.5 hours back to Kiev. Monday morning is our first embassy appointment and the medical exam for Arielle.  Tuesday is our second embassy appointment and hopefully we get her visa. Please keep praying for the visa situation.  There are families still stuck here waiting for visas and they are delayed because our Government cannot fix a computer problem.  As big as our Government is, they should have been able to completely restore the computer by now, it's been 11 days now.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, we are ready to be home!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Arielle coming home!!!

Just a few more days and I pick up Arielle from the orphanage and go finish legal paperwork and apply for her passport. Lucky for us we are in a quick region that issues passports on the third business day. But please pray for the situation with the US government, the computer in the immigration and visa department crashed, they have not been able to issue visa for over a week now.  There are several families stuck here and cannot get out of country until this is resolved. We won't be asking for a visa for another week, but I don't want to get stuck here like these other families. Let's all pray this situation gets resolved quickly! Our budget is very tight and I don't have extra money for rent and food if we get stuck passed our original exit date.  We are currently supposed to leave Thursday August 7th.  Our sweet baby girl is so precious, we love her so much! God is so good, he sent us to this angel and now our hearts are forever changed!