Tuesday, March 31, 2009

traveling coming soon

For now, we play the waiting game. There won't be much to update until we get back from Russia.

We officially have our travel booked. We leave on April 25th for Moscow. We are going to stay there and be tourist for a couple days, or just sleep inside the hotel. Tickets were way cheaper to fly in a couple days earlier...$550 buck a piece, round trip to Moscow, out of CVG!

We arrive in Novokuznetsk on April 29th, and will leave early on the morning of May 1st. We don't know exactly how much time we will spend with the boys, but we do know we have to meet with the orphanage director and doctor, and go to the local courts to file our official petition to adopt the boys.

We arrive back in Cincinnati on the evening of May 2nd. Then the countdown begins until the boys come home.

There have been 2 blessings in our travel planning. First, all of our travel for the first trip has been paid. I accumulated enough frequent flier miles and hotel points to pay for the flights to Moscow and the hotel. Our flights from Moscow to Novokuznetsk have also been paid. The second blessing is that another couple will be traveling with us. While they don't speak Russian, it will at least be nice to have someone else around who also speaks English.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

boldly asking

I was recently at an event, and I'm going to use a line that was used during that event.

I am boldly asking people for a lot of money.

I'll sell it to you straight. We are $7,000 short of the total payment required prior to our departure for Russia at the end of April. We need $7,000 by April 17th.

You are probably asking what this money is paying for, which is a good question. Here is what is covered in these fees - all ground transportation while in Russia, the services of a translator while in Russia, adoption consultation, translation and processing of our first set of paperwork (from English to Russian), and a donation to the orphanage. None of this money is used to pay bribes to the Russian officials.

Through clever budgeting and the generosity of friends and readers alike, we have raised just over $11, 000 thus far, over half of what is needed by April 17th. All air travel and hotel arrangements have been paid for the trip at the end of April.

Unfortunately, this is not all that is needed. Once we have court dates set, approximately 3-4 months from the end of April, we will have to make a second payment of nearly $15,000, which will include mostly the same things as the first trip, in addition to medical exams for Steve and I, as well as the boys, and visas/passports/birth certificates for the boys. We will also have to pay for our travel the second time, which we anticipate will be close to $12,000 (most of this is due to Russia having a 10 day waiting period before we can leave the region. If it is waived, we can leave sooner, but need to make arrangement that offer flexibility).

So, I'm boldly asking you for a large amount of money.

I want to put forth a challenge. Several folks have donated part or all of their tax return. Some of them have even challenged other to do the same, and so I challenge you, the reader of this blog, to donate part or all of your tax return to bring these boys home.

If you have children, I challenge you to donate $10.00 for their combined ages. I challenge you to donate $100.00 per child you have.

I am boldly asking you to donate a large amount of money.

I get it, economically, times are tough. Steve and I are asking you to invest in something that will far outlast any investment in any financial market. And the best part, you will be able to see the gains on your investment, over and over again.

I ask you to prayerfully consider donating. To those who have, a shout of thanks, from the bottom of our heart.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back in the USSR

My AMAZING friend Laura hosted a benefit concert for us this past Saturday. She titled it Back in the USSR (clever), and local bands played Beatles cover songs. The music was great, the atmoshpere was fantastic, and I think a good time was had by all! Thanks again to those who came out on Saturday night to catch some great local musicians for a great cause. For those who weren't able to make it, here are some of my favs from the evening.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Ministry of Education in Russia has invited us to travel to meet the boys.

We will meet them on April 29th. We will spend 2 days at the orphanage with the boys.

While this is a month later, it actually works out better. I almost have enough frequent flyer miles to get both of us there and back for this trip. We also have about another month to fundraise.

This story only gets better...stay tuned...and don't forget about the benefit concert on the 14th. BE THERE!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009