Sunday, March 30, 2008


The waiting has been very hard! As of this posting, we have been waiting over a year since our dossier was submitted. We've tried to keep busy and do little things in preparation of our daughter's arrival.

In February 2007, during my mid-winter break from school, I painted the bedroom that will be the nursery. It is a beautiful bluish-greenish color that is officially called Forest Glen. (Sorry, couldn't do the traditional "pretty pink" for a girl's room). Forest Glen is a very calming color that I loved the moment that I started painting it on the walls. We decided to make the room at least a little more girlie by decorating it with white bunnies. As of this date, she has almost 40 bunnies! Greg thinks this is probably enough, but I keep finding them on sale. And, you know, I can't pass up a good sale!

My mom gave us my rocking chair from when I was a little girl. My friend, Jacqueline, is using her artistic talents to paint it for us. All we gave her was color ideas. She's taking it from there. We can't wait to see it. We'll post a picture when it's done.

Since we started with CHI, we knew that a reaccreditation process had begun for all adoption agencies working with Russia. It seemed that every month, we heard that it should be happening any day now. Luckily, even without being fully accredited (temporary), adoptions were still happening. In fact, in April, we received information from CHI that Astrakhan was one of the few regions that were moving along well. At this point, we were third in line for a girl, up-to-and-including 18 months old. We continued to be optimistic that our wait wouldn't be too long.

Summer came and went with no news!

In December of 2007, we got some good news! CHI was fully accredited for Russian adoptions! We were so happy. This certainly brought hope from all that things would start speeding up.

Soon after the accreditation came through, we found out that our documents were all expiring. (Most are only good for one year). We started gathering all of our documents again.

On January 26, 2008, we found out that not only were our documents expiring, but we were no longer registered in Astrakhan because of this. That meant that other families could move ahead of us in line since our original dossier basically was lifeless! We were not on the list to receive a referral for a child!

Well, that was all I needed to hear! We contacted HATW to update our home study. Another huge thank you to HATW for everything!!! Our home study was the big thing to update, but we also had other documents in order to get us registered. We gathered all of those. On February 7, we sent our updated home study brief and all of the other registration documents to CHI. Yeah, everything was back on track. We were back on the list for a referral!

We had some other documents to be updated, but they didn't need as big of a rush as the registration documents. We gathered some documents and sent a package to CHI on March 3, 2008.

On March 21, we had to go back to the USCIS office in Detroit to be re-fingerprinted. (Because apparently your fingerprints can change over the course of 15 months). I was on spring break for the whole next week, so I spent it getting the remaining documents ready. Those were sent to CHI on March 28. We're just waiting for the results of our fingerprinting and then everything should be updated!

Well, we think we're all caught up on what has been happening during our long wait! Now that we have this blog up and running, we will try to keep it updated!

The Process So Far

Since we are starting this blog late in our adoption process, we have to go back to get this up-to-date. Before we even filled out our application with CHI, we had done a lot of research to ensure we were choosing the "right" adoption agency for us. We spent hours on different websites in order to find the one that met our needs. In addition, we also talked to many of our friends who have adopted to get some pointers from them. We deeply appreciate all of the help that our friends and family gave us through the very early stages.

Once we completed the application and acceptance with CHI, we were ready to start the home study process. Again, through the help of some friends, we found Hands Across the Water. We can't say enough about how wonderful Alanna (our social worker), Jane, and the rest of the staff at HATW have been to us. We submitted our application with HATW on October 7, 2006. We had our completed home study on November 16, 2006.

After all of the paperwork necessary for our home study was completed, we started right in on all of the paperwork for our dossier. Boy, oh, boy, do we mean paperwork!!!! Pam (CHI-Chicago) helped us compile everything and was ready to answer every silly question that we had. If you know me (Kyley) well, then you know that I had to have it done right the first time and it had to be done NOW!!!!

Karen (CHI-St. Louis) e-mailed us on January 24, 2007 to let us know that our dossier had been received in their office. She began the process of checking it all over. On January 31, we found out that there were a few additional documents that we needed from HATW. HATW completed these right away and off those went to CHI.

On February 2, 2007, we were given three regions in Russia to choose from. They were Astrakhan, Vladivostok, and Tver. We looked at several factors in determining a region. We looked at the number of families in line ahead of us. We looked at the location of the region to Moscow. (We have to fly into Moscow first and then on to our region. Given Greg's not-so-great-ability to fly, this was important to us). There were other factors that we looked at too. We chose Astrakhan! So off our dossier went to Astrakhan.

On February 9, our dossier was sent to Astrakhan to be registered. Astrakhan had a few documents that were required for that specific region. So we had some more paperwork to do! On February 23, 2007, we sent CHI-St. Louis the final documents. Now the waiting began!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Beginning Our Adoption Journey

Officially, our adoption journey began on September 14, 2006. This was the day that we signed our application with Children's Hope International. We say "officially" because adoption has been on our minds for a long time, but it took us awhile to get around to doing something about it.