Mom, I hope you read past the blog title. The paperwork is officially done on our side. When Maggie gave us the final okay on our dossier today, I did a little dance. I have hesitated to claim the "paper pregnancy" position until this moment. Some people say you're "paper pregnant" when the US government approves you and issues the I-171 form. I wasn't comfortable making the announcement until now. I doubt very seriously if this will give me the latitude to eat a carton of ice cream or have unexplainable mood swings. Wait . . .I already do that.
So I overnighted our dossier to our stateside facilitator for one final proof before the documents get apostilled. As much as I wanted to send it all now, I know we will save a lot of time and money by having Maggie give them the once over. I'm praying nothing has been overlooked and she'll call to say, "We're good! Send them off!" It will be a relief to have everything out of my hands and into the hands of people at the next stage. Although I know that will be a whole new waiting game (anything yet, Tami? Anything at all???)
As we prepare for the emotions that will accompany this new stage of the process, I wonder about Kristina and how she is preparing. Last week I called her English teacher's cell phone in the hopes of saying hello to our little girl. I was unprepared to hear that Kristina was no longer at the camp. Her grandmother had unexpectedly come and taken her away for the summer. My initial reaction was a bit panicked, so I sent out a small armada of emails to the people I know in country. Did anyone know where she had been taken? Is there any way to check on her? Does anyone have any way to communicate with her. The truth of the matter is, this is not our child. As much as we feel that she is our daughter in our hearts, she belongs to the Ukrainian government and we have zero influence over the choices made on her behalf. I received word that the grandmother is aware that Kristina is going to be adopted and wanted to spend some final time with her grand daughter. What a bittersweet time for the two of them. I hope that Robert and I can find her grandmother and connect with her when we travel. I hope she will approve of us and feel a sense of peace in losing the only connection to her own daughter. Please pray that this time of closure is a positive one for Kristina and her grandmother.
On another note, I have a pray request that has weighed heavily on my heart for the last few days. Our friends, the Tu family, have traveled to Ukraine to bring their two children home. Father Steve has returned home to the States to care for their own children here now that all the court and legal technicalities are done and Beth has remained in country to wait out the mandatory 10 day period following court. In that time, Ukraine made some changes to the passport laws and that has prevented Beth from leaving the country with their two children. Information is slow in coming as to when the children will receive their passports and be allowed to travel to America. In the meantime, Beth is all alone without her support system and is feeling the pressure of a foreign culture and the uncertainties of what lies ahead. The most recent word is that it may take another 6 weeks before the passport issue is resolved. Many of us planning on adopting from Ukraine grit our teeth and accept that we will be there for roughly a month. I can't imagine having to stay for three! This is affecting many families who are stuck in country. Please lift Beth up in prayer and ask God to intervene in this situation on behalf of all the families there.
Its hard to believe that its been a month since we hit a wall with Robert's self employment verification. I was starting to grow anxious over how we were going to resolve this and get the paperwork out of our hands and into Ukriane. But thanks to my friend Z, that's not an issue any longer. Talk about knowing people who know people! One trip to Starbucks and two short car trips later and the problem was history.
Robert and I sat down at our bank and had the last documents notarized this afternoon. The complete dossier will finally be sent for apostilling tomorrow (I've said that at least five times in the last month). I'm hoping to have it back and send it off to Ukraine on Friday.
Still in a holding pattern over DH's employment letter, but as I'm watching things unfold in Ukraine right now I'm confident that God's timing is perfect. Please pray for those stuck in country due to the new passport laws. Some of them may have added an extra month on to their travel time. And keep the people of Lviv and PAP's adopting from that area in your prayers as well. It doesn't lessen the pain of the separation we are all feeling though. I am gathering things for her next care package since we don't know what our time frame is at this point. We put together a current photo album for her of our recent trip to the water park, DH's graduation, the cats, our fishing trip, trip to the grandparent's house, etc. There were six pages left in the photo album so we added these:
Things have gone too smoothly for too long. Remember that little piece of paper I mentioned a few posts back? Well its been over three weeks and we still don't have it. The last piece of paper!!! We are trying to figure out an alternative to this paper since the people who have it are being soooo difficult. I broke down and cried after my last phone conversation with them this afternoon. At some point in the convesation I felt like shouting, "Don't you know what this is for? There's a little girl sitting and waiting for us! She has been stuck in the orphanage for three weeks longer than she had to because of you!" I know that's not true though. God is in control even when people place road blocks in our way. I need to toughen up. I know there's much ahead of us that will throw us for a loop. Okay, I feel better. Please pray for this to be resolved so our dossier will be complete and we can mail it to Ukraine. Kristina's waiting.