Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 29th

Today is baby Rowan's 2nd birthday.

It's been a bit weird. I've tried hard not to think about it today. It's the first birthday with him as my son, and I wish he was home with us, but at 2, he's not going to understand what a birthday means anyway.

I wonder if the orphanage celebrates birthday's of the kids, or if it's just another day. In mind, I'll think that today was the second best day of his life (the first of course will be when he becomes a Myers'), filled with lots of love, well wishes, and special treats.

Sam will turn 3 while we are waiting out the 10 days (provided it's not waived), so I guess I will find out what orphanage birthdays are like.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A gap in the space/time continuum

That's really what I need right now.

In 2 weeks, I'll be on a plane to Novokuznetsk. 2 weeks. I'm about as far behind the 8 ball as it gets.

We spent the weekend at a friends wedding, enjoying our last big fanfare of a party before the kids come. And of course there was not internet or cell service to start working on details.

I really feel bad for the folks who get a weeks notice.

With 10 business days, or 13 real days left until we leave, everything that needs to happen gets way more expensive. Sent our passports off to get visas this morning. Expedited processing on those set us back an additional $300 bucks. Most of the "cheap" plane tickets are sold by now, so it's going to be a bit more expensive than originally estimated. I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with a Delta agent trying to work through the best way to get the boys from Moscow to Cincinnati. Her response - one way tickets for $2600 each! After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I discovered I could by round trips tickets out of Moscow, not use the second leg of the trip, and save $1600 on each ticket.

On the other side, much of the cost we thought could only be paid in cash can actually be paid by credit card. The only downside there is that I've come to acquire the elusive American Express and Discover cards...not accepted in Russia.

All of our paperwork is in order. I just need to gather a few more documents that need to go with us.

We decided we are going to stay in Siberia to wait out the 10 day waiting period if it is not waived (continued prayers for it to be waived are appreciated). With that, we will be gone for 24 days. I have 2 weeks to prepare for 2 children to come into my home. Did I mention that yet?

So here is what I need before I leave -
- A gap in the space/time continuum so that I can get some stuff done.
- A winning mega millions lottery ticket (at this point we are about $7000 short of having all our expenses covered).
- Nothing else in, on, or around my property to break (a car, and toilet and a roof all in a week).
- Continuous sleep over the next 2 weeks, because we all know it's not happening after that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

August 13

We finally have a court date. While August was what we were hoping for, it seems so far away. The other thing we have to way now it to stay in Russia during the 10 days or come home, wait out the 10 days, and then go back. It will actually be more cost effective to return home, but it also means a week without the boys. Granted, they have to remain in the orphanage, so it would only be about an hour or so each day anyway.

So, we leave on the 9th, and either way will be back on September 1st. We may be back for a week in the middle, but that is yet to be seen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I found an incredible website today while reading up on this guy. The organization is called Project 1.27. They are based out of Colorado, and the vision of the organization is to have every child without a permanent home adopted, not in foster care, but adopted into a permanent family, by 2014. Best of all, the government in the state of Colorado is totally behind this organization and its vision. Check it out at

Friday, July 3, 2009

Confessions of an (international) adoptive parent

First an update.

We did end up making that whirl wind trip to Columbus a few weeks ago to finalize our documents. It went down something like this...we both got fingerprinted on a Monday (that makes 3 times for those keeping track), I got a physical on the same day, Steve's was on Wednesday. All the documents were notarized that Thursday night. Steve returned to the doctor on Friday morning to have his TB test read. I went to the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts about 11:30am on that Friday followed by a quick trip home to gather items for the weekend, and picked up Steve from work. We made it to the Ohio BCI office in London, OH around 2:00pm to pick up the fingerprint records, only to discover my DOB was wrong (and thank God there was someone in the office who could sign and notarize an updated copy). Made a 5 minute drive to the Madison County Clerk of Courts to have those certified, and then office to Columbus to have everything appostilled. In just over 4 hours we had gone to 5 different offices in 3 different counties, but got it all done. At least this time we knew what we were doing.

Our documents are in Russia, but we haven't heard anything yet. The most recent weekly update is that we probably won't hear anything until mid July...more waiting.

It's been 2 months since I've seen my boys. Two months with no updates. While I like to play it cool, I wonder. Are they growing, are they eating, will they remember me, has Rowan started talking yet?

Confession: This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. This is the most emotional time of my life (yes, that includes the 6 months of fertility treatments).

It's hard to put into words the emotions I feel on a daily basis. I've met my children, but can't have them yet. I broke down twice last week while traveling. Both times I saw parents playing with their small children in the airport, one, a little boy about Rowan's age, laughing and giggling. It made me want him home more.

Overall the process has moved quickly, but length of time in relative. There are days I wake up and say "Wow, this 2 months has gone by so fast," and then there are mornings I wake up and feel like it has been a year since I waved bye to the little boy at the end of the hall.

Confession: It's getting hard to be around parents and kids again.

It used to be pregnant moms, because they had the one thing I wanted, but couldn't have. Now it's parents and their young children. They have the one thing I also have, but they rarely go a day without seeing their children, let alone 2+ months, almost 6 if you count the time from when we first got picture. Sometimes parents will joke about how they would love to take a vacation from their kids. This is not a vacation. I've tried to throw myself into my hobbies to easy my mind, but even that doesn't seem to be helping.

Confession: I am an expectant mother, and just because I don't have a large round belly doesn't mean that I'm exempt from being emotional.

I do it myself. I tell pregnant women they have "pregnancy brain," and even expect that pregnancy brings about an emotional irrationality that society has come to pass of a just being "pregnant." It's not a big deal, it's what's expected. While I'm not sad that random strangers aren't coming up to rub my belly, having to constantly justify my emotional state is a bit much. I'm not pregnant, therefore, I have to reason to be forgetful, or emotional, or irrational even. But I do. I have to fight for my boys everyday. I have to constantly justify why I've made the decisions I've made, and why I chose to adopt, and why Russia, why not the States. Fighting for my boys is very dear to my heart, and it can get very emotional.

Confession: The process has worn on me physically, mentally, and financially.

Everytime I think about going back to Russia, I can't help but wonder if I can really do it. One week in Russia with the traveling, changing time zones so dramatically, limited food options, language barrier, and culture shock was rough physically and mentally. This time I will do almost 4 weeks in Russia. I sometimes wonder if I'll have the strength to do it. I lost 6 pounds while in Russia last time. It's not so bad in Moscow. We as American's can blend in much easier than in Siberia. Not to mention that this time we will be in front of a judge who still has the power to say no (although it hasn't happened yet).

Financially times are tough for everyone. I hear it over and over again. Basically, we have about $20,000 worth of expenses remaining to get the boys home, and that includes airline tickets, hotel, passports and visas for the boys, medicals exams in Moscow, court costs, attorneys fees, transportation, translation, and food, all of which either has to be paid before we go again, or in cash. It's been hard. We believe we have heard a very clear call to do this, and so are trusting God to make this happen, but it gets very frustrating when time and time again the response we get is sorry. We have applied for numerous grants to offset the high cost of international adoption (they pretty much all use the same phrasing). And most of them are faith based organizations that use the James 1:27 principle of taking care of orphans. However, they have a limited supply of funds, and use financial need as a primary basis, so we face the double edge sword of not being able to afford the high cost of international adoption, but making too much money to require financial assistance.

So we make decisions, and get asked more questions about our decisions, and justify. And the mental and emotional drain continues.

Confession: Some confessions aren't suitable for this forum.

It's true. I know who reads this, and if I put it all out there I would make more than a few people upset. Few of my friends or family are on a similar journey, and just don't get it. They don't understand the process or the expectations or the mental/emotional toll, or any number of aspects of adoption. Some try to understand, other smile and nod.

Confession: I will do this again.

I won't go to Russia to adopt. I could very easily see that Russia would make the process even more difficult in coming years. I can say that I've done it, but there has to be a better (and when I say better, I mean more cost effective, less paperwork) way. Don't get me wrong, I have valued my experience in another country, and I value that I was able to experience the culture of my boys. I also live in a country were the opportunities are endless, and I'm spoiled rotten. So will I take care of a orphan again, yes, it may just be from up the street instead of across the globe, and maybe a girl. I think Sam and Rowan will need someone to stick up for.