Moving…

Hey friends,

We have moved our blog to iwillcome2you.org. You will find all the same content there plus newer posts. Be sure to subscribe to receive the latest news on our adoption. Thank you for supporting us on this journey.

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The Process

I thought it would be helpful to explain the general process for adopting from Russia. Every adoption is different. This is what we have been told to anticipate – loosely.

1. Complete homestudy
2. Sign with agency to submit federal and international paperwork
3. Receive referral for a child
4. Travel to meet child and undergo medical exam in Russia (approx. 1 week in Russia)
5. Wait for court date (1 month or more)
6. Travel for court (2 days in Russia) where the adoption is finalized
7. About ten days later, we travel to Russia a third time to bring our child home (approx. 1 week in Russia)
8. Our son or daughter becomes an American citizen upon landing in the US
9. We will have post placement visits at 6 mos, 1 yr, and 2 yrs.

Again, every adoption is different. Timelines can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Some of these are within our control; most are not.

A Quick Update

The kids and I finally got to see the doctor on Friday. It went well. My husband was unable to go because he ended up working Thursday night. We’ll either schedule his appointment with another doctor or wait until this one gets back the second week of June. (Please keep her and her husband in your prayers as they left yesterday to adopt a boy from the Ukraine.)

Otherwise, my husband has plenty of work for the moment. That is good for the budget but not good for meeting with accountants or social workers. Those are the last two big hurdles in the homestudy process.

Thank you for your prayers!

Children of God

Child of God Headbands

Those who know me know that I enjoy doing embroidery, particularly embroidering scriptures on personal accessories. I was making headbands for my daughter and niece recently, when I decided to make extras to sell as an adoption fundraiser. I chose to embroider “Child of God,” an abbreviation of 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”  I love this verse because it reminds us that we were all adopted into the family of God and are now His beloved children and heirs to His kingdom. God is the original adoptive parent.

I am selling these headbands in person and online in the Adoption Fund section of my mom’s etsy shop. (While you’re there, check out our hand-embroidered handkerchiefs.) The headbands are $10 each and are fastened with ribbon ties. This makes them super-comfortable and adjustable. My niece absolutely loves hers; it is the only accessory that will stay in her hair. I currently have blue, green and pink, with a brown/turquoise in the works. If you don’t see the color you would like, please let me know. I will be making more.


Book Giveaway – Reclaiming Adoption

‘“The main reason we gather here is not first because we have adopted, but because we are adopted–because we’re in God’s family” (Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans).’

We know that adoption is near to the heart of God. Dan Cruver’s book, Reclaiming Adoption, discusses this in depth. He is speaking at the Orphan Summit this week and giving away 7 free copies of his book. To register for your chance to win, check out this blog post and leave a comment. I’m hoping to win a copy. If I don’t, it is definitely something I’m going to have to purchase.

The Boy From Baby House 10

Vanya: The Boy From Baby House 10

In the post, “Why Russia,” I mentioned that the stories of families who had adopted from Russia had been imprinted in our memories. The need there is so great, and the culture so different, that it is difficult for us to grasp. There were stories of eighteen-month-old babies who could not raise their heads or roll over because they had not been held enough. There were children who had been labeled “special needs” and placed in institutions for no apparent reason. There were babies who no longer cried because they had learned that no one would come.

The standards there are very different from the US. Children are basically kept in warehouses. They have row upon row of cribs. The plumbing may or may not work. The caregivers may or may not care. There is very little, if any, stimulation. There simply aren’t enough people or resources to meet the incredible need.

I recently read the account of one family visiting their soon-to-be daughter in Russia. There was a playpen with several children inside. One of the boys accidentally bumped his chin on the railing and cried out in pain. The orphanage caregiver did nothing. When asked about it she explained that if she had comforted him, then every other kid in that room would have deliberately banged his chin on the rails just to get her attention. Caring for one would lead to harm for all of the children. That is how desperately these children crave a mother’s love and touch.

Dateline NBC aired a story this month depicting the life of one Russian orphan with special needs. It will give you a much better understanding of the challenges these children face. Please check out the story of Vanya here.

We earnestly desire to change the life of a child like Vanya this year. Please pray that God will equip us for this task.

Endurance?

We are reading through the book of Hebrews in our family devotions. This past week we came to Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Endurance. That word just jumped out at me. I actually missed the rest of the Bible reading because I was mulling over that first verse. It was exactly what I needed to hear as this home study drags on. I knew endurance would be necessary, but I did not expect it to be tested at this point.

Here is the general process for adopting from Russia. This can vary greatly.
1. Complete a home study. (Usually 2 months; we’re in our fourth month.)
2. Sign with an agency who files paperwork with the US government and then the Russian government.
3. The Russian government sends us a referral (picture and description of a child available for adoption).
4. We travel to Russia to meet the child, undergo a medical exam with Russian doctors, and officially accept the referral. (Approx. 1 week.)
5. We come home and wait for a court date with the Russian government. (May be 1 month but can be much longer.)
6. We travel to Russia for court. (Approx. 2 days.)
7. About ten days after the court date, we take our third trip to Russia where we officially take custody of our child and then apply for a visa (Approx. 1 week.) Only one parent is required to go on this trip. I may take Peanut with me on this trip.
8. Come home and begin life as a family of five. Our child will become an American citizen upon landing in the US and will maintain dual citizenship. Unlike some countries, we do not have to re-adopt in US court.

We are now at the two-mile marker of a marathon. Endurance? Now? Really? I do not know whether this is good or bad. I only know that God will work it out for our benefit. So, we pray that God will reveal to us anything we need to lay aside as we continue to take steps forward.

This is our current status:
My husband has completed his passport application and will submit that tomorrow.

My passport renewal is going out tomorrow.

My second batch of fingerprints are still in process with the FBI. Please pray they are acceptable.

We are calling two potential accountants tomorrow.

We received contact information for a doctor who may be able to do our physicals for a more reasonable fee. We will contact her tomorrow, also.

Our Samaritan Card fundraiser is going well. It should bring in enough funds to pay for the doctor and the remainder of our home study. We do have a few cards left. If you have not taken advantage of this money-saving opportunity, contact me this week.

Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and encouragement.

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