I thought I would post a quick update about our dossier. It indeed made it to Kiev and will be translated this week and find its place in the long line awaiting submission. I considered adding one of those cool clock counters to the blog that records how long we've been waiting, but then I thought that would be a torturous reminder of the passing time. Maybe I should be tracking it with a web gadget, but I think that little voice in the back of my head will do just as good a job.
So as I'm sitting here thinking this will be a short blurb on what's going on, I keep thinking that I'm forgetting something. The date sticks out as if there's something significant I should remember. August 29th? August 29th? I decided to go back through the archives to this time last year and see what I was doing.
I was putting my daughter on a plane back to Ukraine. It came as a bit of a shock. I reread my post from last August 29th and felt that same sadness. Reliving the family's emotions as they anticipated her absence was difficult. Its been one whole year since I've seen her face or felt her hug. I think I stay so busy with the process that I numb myself to the fact that she's not here. Its hard to believe its been one whole year. God's promises are still true one year later, and this is what we cling to.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. - II Corinthians 12:9
Sorry for the long absence. We've been very busy getting our family into a new routine on the homefront. But I have managed to keep up with everyone's blog! We're so excited to see many of our web friends posting news of receiving their appointments or having their dossiers submitted. Its looks like many of their paths may cross in country! I hope I am able to meet some of you when we make it to Kiev. Its amazing how friendships have formed in the unique environment of the blogsphere. We've read every single message, and your comments and emails have moved us beyond words. Thank you for sharing your own stories to encourage us in the long process. Recently I spent over an hour on the phone talking with another mom who is adopting from Ukraine. Apart from our blogs, we would have never known about each other. Yet, we are bound together by a common experience and a common faith. Today I returned several emails from families seeking copies of our Orphans of Ukraine video. They join a growing list of families using the video to fund raise for their own adoptions. Two missionaries home on furlough from Ukraine are using the video to raise support for the work they are doing there. And there are also several families using the video as a spring board to start adoption ministries in their churches.
I stored the video on YouTube at the end of December and have been amazed watching the numbers grow. The video has been viewed over 8,785 times. There's something about seeing these children that stays with you. I'm excited watching these things come to pass. God is definitely moving!
In my blog surfing, I came across this incredible website. Celebrating Adoption is the heart child of photographer Jennifer Samaha. As an adoption advocate, Jennifer formed a national organization of professional photographers who have chosen to donate their time and gifts to adoptive families. If you are an adoptive family and have adopted your child within the last year, you qualify for a Celebrating Adoption session. Visit the CA website to find a participating photgrapher in your area and set up a complimentary portrait session (session fee is waived) and a set of proofs. Yes! Complimentary!
All I have to show for a year's worth of paper chasing is a FedEx slip. This single piece of paper with a tracking number is supposed to keep me from falling off the edge of the world with worry. At least that's what the guy in the purple shirt told me when he wrenched the envelope from my hands.
I'm not superstitious, but I figured if I stopped writing, "The apostilles should be back before the end of the week so we can send everything off to Ukraine", maybe they actually WOULD show up. And wouldn't you know it, they did. The last set of apostilles came in the mail a few hours ago. I decided to scan every single seal and notarized paper (just in case) before carrying it to the courier office. My oldest son watched me curiously as I placed each paper on the glass screen.
"Mom, what are you doing?" "I'm scanning the paperwork, honey." "No, I mean why are you doing it . . . like that?"
I was a little confused until he mimicked the motion of me delicately taking each paper, arranging it on the glass, and gently closing the cover. I guess I must have looked like I was handling the Dead Sea Scrolls. But come on, you PAP's know that this set of paperwork comes in a close second to sacred writings!
Sam accompanied me to the FedEx office. I seriously thought about taking my camera with me, but I didn't want to freak the workers out. The Eimers have the best pictures of their family sending off their dossier. I took the international shipping bill and filled out each line as legibly as I could. Under "Value", I paused to think about what I should write. In a tangible way, this stack of paper is worth a lot to our family. Looking at it, an outsider would guess the whole dossier could be put together in a matter of a month or two. But the choreography involved in getting every signature, date and form in place tells a different story. If you go back through each letter we've written, the paperwork that had to be done and redone, the emails, phone calls, and sheer time we've invested, the value of a dossier would be quite high. When we consider what this dossier will bring us to, it is in fact priceless.
"I'm not sure what I should write here under 'Value'," I said to the man behind the counter. "What's in it?" he inquired as he turned the package over in his hands and placed it on the scale. "Our adoption paperwork. A year's worth of sweat and tears," I replied. "Well, then, its worth quite a lot. But we'll call it $2.00," he smiled knowingly as he placed an extra strip of tape across the seal.
He input our information into the computer and informed me that our paperwork should find its way to Ukraine by next Monday, my birthday. After a moment of panic when I couldn't find my credit card, I paid the clerk and headed out to the car. As of 6:00 tonight, I can begin obsessively compulsively tracking the envelope. That poor website is going to get more hits in the next week than Google.
So, nothing left to do now. Welcome to the waiting game. I hear I'm in good company.
We got this letter from Kristina today. Either she's really silly or really hungry.
Dear mom, Sorry that I didn`t answer you so long! I miss you very much, mom! How are brother and sister? Please tell father I love him very much. If I am your sweet girl you are my spice-cake and dad is my sweet patty. And three brothers are rolls, my sister is marsh-mallow, aunt is waffle, uncle is sugar bagel, grand pa is a chocolate doughnut, and grand ma is crispy biscuit. You are my happy sweets – my mom, dad and others. I`ve got the parcel from you on my Birthday, thank you very much. I am ok, I am in the camp now. I have four my best friends Masha, Olya, Karina, Alyona.
I got word that Kristina is back at camp and in the swing of things. It was a great relief to know that she was around people I can communicate with. I had an awful dream about her recently; I think it was stress related though. Ukraine's government just confirmed that PAP's can expect to spend a minimum of 20 additional days in country for passport processing. Sigh. What a hardship that places on families that will be leaving their families, jobs, and responsibilities for such an extended period of time. I am guessing we will have to break the adoption into two trips. That means an extra set of airline tickets and more expense. Elections are scheduled for the end of September in Ukraine and that may shake things up in the system (for good or bad).
So we finally got the apostilles back. I ripped open the envelope planning to immediately repackage them in an international shipping folder and carry them up to FedEx. But instead I found that all of our documents had been unbundled, and only partially apostilled. Surprisingly, Florida doesn't allow for document bundling and each and every paper must have its own apostille. At $10 per apostille, I winced writing out the second check. I carried it back to the post office and resent it to the capital. Hopefully the papers will be back before the end of the week and THEN sent off to Ukraine. LOL! Somehow I keep saying that. With this timeframe and at this rate, it will be too cold to eat our ice cream outside of the SDA, Tami.