Monday, August 27, 2007


Thank you so, so much for all of your encouraging words. It really helps to have so much support from all of you. I know Stu appreciates it too since he gets a break from constantly reassuring me that this adoption will in fact happen.

Anyway, our homestudy agency did find our big envelope of documents. There is a new girl working at the desk and I guess she didn't realize that this is our third adoption homestudy and put the envelope in one of our old files. So crisis averted...for now.
It's actually amazing how much this tiny bit of good news cheered me up. I think maybe, just maybe, I can see a little sunshine in the distance. And it feels great that another round of paperwork is out of the way.

Now it's just time to wait again. We're hoping to hear some updated news out of our region in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I'll have my hands full because our little Monkey is getting his tonsils/adenoids removed next Tuesday. He's been needing this for awhile; it may be a few rough weeks, but I think he'll feel so much better after this.

So again, thank you so much for all of your encouragement.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Are You Kidding Me?

I'm really beginning to think that we are just not meant to complete this adoption. I really try to stay positive and believe that this will all end with a little girl in our arms. But I'm not sure how many more roadblocks I can stand.
I just called our homestudy agency to verify that they've received our paperwork so that we can set up the update interview with our social worker. I'm glad I made that call because it looks they don't have the package containing about 90% of our documents. ARRGGHHH!!! She's sure they "misplaced" it and it will turn up. We're supposed to call back on Monday and check. If they can't find it, then we are going to need to track down all of the documents again. It's true that it won't be difficult for us to redo most of the paperwork, just a hassle really...but it's just the point of it.
I called Stu to tell him the news and he asked why I was laughing about it. I told him if I don't laugh about then I'll probably start crying and never stop.
How many more signs do I need???

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pity Party

Several people have emailed to see if we're okay since I haven't posted in awhile. I wanted to assure you that we are fine; thanks for checking. The truth is I started a post at the beginning of last week about how excited we were getting and how I was beginning to get antsy about getting a referral soon. We knew Astrakhan was shut down for July and August so we've been expecting to hear some news about the beginning of September. However, we received an email from our coordinator in the region last week and she indicated that the earliest possibility of us traveling is in early October. I was sooooo upset. I can't believe I keep letting myself get my hopes up only to get disappointed again and again. It's not so much the additional time we need to wait, after all it's really only another month or so. I was more disheartened by the fact that if the 1st trip is early October then the 2nd trip will involve me being in Russia for all of November (the 10-days are not waived and I'm planning to stay the entire time while Stu will return home after court to be with the boys). If I'm away for all of November, I will miss Thanksgiving (not a huge deal, but we missed it two years ago with Monkey's adoption), but more importantly I'll miss Chipmunk's 5th birthday:( I could cry just thinking about it. I know there will be more birthdays and I'm sure he won't mind too much, it's just the point. Also, I'm a little bummed because once again, it will be cold, cold, cold during our second trip which drastically limits how much we can get out of the hotel. After this adoption, we will have been to Russia six times - October (hopefully x2), November (hopefully x2), December, and January. Seriously, you think we could catch a break and maybe just ONCE travel during nicer weather. But it doesn't look like it is meant to happen. I much more nervous about staying by myself during the cold weather too. We rely on Stu to go out and get food/supplies/etc. because it is seriously too cold (in Moscow, at least) to take a young child out for more than a few minutes. Not sure how we'll manage but I'm sure it will work out.
But even more important than those problems is that our dossier expires at the end of October, which means that we are going to have to redo almost our entire dossier. WAAAAHHHHH!!!! Just the thought of doing that makes me a little sick to my stomach. And I can honestly say that for a few days I felt like throwing in the towel and just being content with my two beautiful boys. Of course, that feeling didn't last and I know it will be a distant memory when we have HotDog home but I am very disappointed about all of this additional paperwork/expense.
I know these aren't huge setbacks in the overall scheme of things, and I know many families who have been through much worse than this. But we were so spoiled with both of our previous adoptions - they were smooth, quick - couldn't have asked for better adoptions (other than traveling during the winter, of course). And I just feel like we're hitting roadblock after roadblock on this one.
Anyway, I had to take a step back from all things adoption-related and just pamper my family for a little while before I dive back into all of the paperwork again. Sorry for the whining (I really hate to whine and pout), but I wanted to let you know where I've been and why I might be a little quiet for a bit longer. I'm still here and still lurking among my favorite blogs. I'm excited to see so many other families making great progress; it cheers me up to watch families receiving referrals and see many of the regions become more active. I guess I'll just continue to live vicariously through these other families until it's our turn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Geography 101

A few days ago I was picking up the boys from school. I walked up to the Monkey's group where he was sitting and playing with one of his little friends, who also happens to be adopted from Russia. A close friend of mine who works at the school said in passing, "Oh look, the two little Russian boys are playing together." I guess another one of the parents heard her comment and looked at me and asked, "Did they know each other in Russia?" I looked at her, trying to determine if she was actually serious and realized she was. I didn't mean to be rude but the first comment out of my mouth was "Do you know how big Russia is?!?!" And then I quickly reigned myself in and told her that they did not know each other while they were in Russia but we are friends with the family and the boys had met prior to coming to school.

When I am asked questions about either of the boys' adoptions, I usually try to gauge where the interest is coming from. If the individual is truly interested then I'll share a bit of our story; if they are thinking about adoption I'll usually give some details. But if the person is just trying to be nosy, I tend to be curt and walk away from the situation. As the Chipmunk is getting older, he is getting a little weary of the constant comments that we receive when we go out (remember, we live in a small town where everyone knows everything so most people know our boys were adopted from Russia). I don't want them to feel like they need to share the personal details of their lives with anyone unless they want to do so.
As for the comment made about the "Russian boys" playing together, I know she did not mean to label them like she did; she just found it unusual (and it is very rare in our small town that in a class of 14 students, two of them are from Russia). But I do not want my boys labeled as the "Russian kids" for the rest of their school careers. Fortunately the person making the comment is a very close friend who I will have no problems talking to about my issues with her statement. I feel quite sure that she will understand and will pass my thoughts on to the other teachers in the building.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off to School We Go

The boys had a really good time at their first day of school. Dropping them off was a little traumatic; all four of us left with tears in our eyes. But when I picked them up 3 hours later, they were all smiles and excitedly talked about their new friends and their new playgrounds. Chipmunk's teacher said that he was the leader of the class all day. This surprised me because he is usually the one to hold back and follow the other children. He tends to be very reserved and shy when faced with new experiences. Part of the reason we wanted him to go to this 4-year-old program was to build up some confidence in his social skills before kindergarten. Looks like we're off to a good start!
Of course, I have to include a picture of them before school this morning:

(I thought it was ridiculous that preschoolers have to wear uniforms to school but I think it will really make getting dressed in the morning so much easier.)

So while I was a bit upset after dropping them off, I was so productive during my open 3-hours. I'm not sure if I'll manage to be this productive on my 3 open morning during the week, but it is so nice to have this extra time to run errands without the boys.
One big thing I did get started was some of the paperwork for updating our homestudy. Yes, our homestudy is only good for one year so we need to do an update. Ugh. I didn't realize that updating a homestudy meant that you have to update EVERYTHING (medicals, financials, etc.). I really thought it meant just writing a paragraph saying that nothing had changed since the original along with another visit from our social worker. Oh well. I did make good headway with the new paperwork today though. I think I'll be able to knock most of it out over the next week. Then it's on to updating some of our dossier paperwork. I'm really hoping we get a referral sometime in September so we don't have to redo our entire dossier.

Stu and I are off to St. Louis for a grown-up weekend tomorrow! We're going to a surprise party/weekend for a friend's 30th birthday at the lake. Yeah!! We love our boys but it is always nice to get a weekend away occasionally.