Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A new blog..

I have decided to add another page to my blogging repertiore. This time... a private blog. I wanted to make another place where Porkchop would be free to be himself. With the private blog, I can post pictures and have decided to talk a little more personally about my journey. I will keep this one up too but I sometimes I want to vent and somethings I want to tell my son and it seems I always have my computer handy and never have the journal I wanted to start. It's B's Blog in my blog list. I am not at all opposed to those I 'virtually' know to see it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and continues to hold hope that the babies waiting for their families to go back to pick them up won't have to wait much longer. I was hoping that Porkchop would be home by now but he will come home, its just a matter of time. Mom and I spent Christmas day with J & J and the kids. That was so fun, watching them open their presents and playing with the toys. And then there's the always entertaining --adults trying to figure out how to 'transform' a Transformer. I couldnt figure it out, even with the instructions. J got O.P together though. It was great to see them and know that next year I will be right there with them again but with an addition. Seeing them again put it all into perspective..We talked a bit about their wait and the ups and downs of international adoption. It was very comforting. Loud and Clear-- He will come home, its only a matter of time. I got a couple new pictures (I am greatful for them) and he looks well but still a peanut. No weights or measurements on him though. Happy 6 month bday, baby.

To make a long story short, the hope is, now that the President has made a decision things will get moving. The MOE will be in charge of adoption under the direction of the Deputy Minister's monitoring. This transition will take about 10 days and their holidays fall about a week after ours here in the US. We are looking at the middle of January before letters will be signed. So if we count about 5 weeks after that.....it's the end of February or into March now for me. This, of course is provided I am one of the first ones with letters signed and I get through court quickly. We still dont have a time line and once they start signing letters I will know more. Thank you everyone for your continued support. I will keep you posted.
J (my agency director) sent out the following message:(I removed names)

I talked to T and she confirmed bits of information and rumors that we have heard. The information is from (the) Senator, from his conversations, including with Ambassador Z. The Ambassador's meeting with the President went well. He is fine with adoption. He supports having the Prime Minister's office monitor adoptions through the Deputy Minister within the Ministry of Education.The current problem is that there are two other agencies ostensibly with legal responsibility for adoption. One is the Dept of Child Protection and the other, above it, is the Ministry of Physical Culture, Sports and some other areas. The Dept of Child Protection is under this Ministry of Physical Culture. (I have no idea how the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports became part of adoption; I think it is because social issues were somehow part of that Ministry, and then in 2006 the Dept of Child Protection was created and given responsibility for adoption processes.)There has been a legal conundrum as a result. Because there have been some issues, neither Dept wants responsibility, at least not for any errors or irregularities. Hence, no letter signing. (By the way, the irregularities largely stemmed from within the MOE, with the former Adoption Dept head. So the MOE is doubly cautious about doing anything that might get them into trouble. Again.) The President or Prime Minister said it will take about ten days to straighten this out and fully assign the responsibility for signing the letters to the MOE. But then, there are also the holidays. The first ten days of Jan. are usually given to holidays, so it would be unrealistic to think that anything will actually get done. T says that letters will come in mid-January, according to what she learned last night and this morning.Deputy Prime Minister C will be overseeing this. We do believe that the government will get reorganized and things will get going in mid-January. This is a complicated problem. There are way too many departments involved, with legally and political implications. Having the MOE under the Prime Minister and solely responsible will hopefully make things smoother and more predictable. Families waiting for their children will unfortunately be stuck with waiting another three weeks -- I am so so sorry. As T said previously, it is such a mess. This is not a condition isolated to Kyrgyz, though, so don't feel alone. ALL the countries have big problems with their adoption administrations when adoption become more popular. They deal with this institutional fragmentation and also with the media issues that inevitably arise. Ambassador Z will be back in the States on the 20th and it will be, in my mind, a litmus test if the Embassy continues to accept new dossiers. If they do -- then that means she has confidence we will be moving forward in January.

Happy Holidays to all.. Wishing continued Hope to those of us waiting.

B

Saturday, December 13, 2008

JCICS Statement

Nothing good on the adoption news front. There have been some statements circulating on the blogs I follow and the groups I am a member of. The JCICS has issued this statement

December 10, 2008
The U.S. Department of State does not recommend that U.S. citizens consider adoption from Kyrgyzstan at this time because of serious, ongoing problems in the country’s intercountry adoption process. A number of prospective adoptive parents have reported that their cases are not being processed. The U.S. Embassy has requested official clarification, but no formal response has been received.
According to local experts, no cases are being processed at this time. Further, the government of Kyrgyzstan appears to be making moves to strengthen its internal controls of and develop new legislation on adoptions. It has been reported that Kyrgyz citizens may have been denied the opportunity to adopt during the past year, even while some intercountry adoptions by non-citizens were being approved. At this time it is not clear what action will be taken on pending cases or if the Government of Kyrgyzstan will accept any new cases
The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor the situation and will provide clarification as soon as it is received.


None of us already in process know what is going to happen. Things change daily in the crazy world of international adoption. I am, of course, not giving up. My son will come home but I cant say when. I have to trust that he is being taken care of well and that we will keep getting updates and pictures. I have the utmost confidence that my agency is doing all they can to get babies home to their families. I am keeping my eye (and heart) on the prize. We usually get an update once a week. I will keep you all posted.
So here is where I stand:
  1. I know that my letter hasnt been signed.
  2. I know that I have not been to court yet (this will happen after the letter is signed)
  3. It will be 5-6 weeks after the letter and court before I can travel to pick him up.

Thank you for the continuing prayers and encouragement.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St Louis MO






I've been to St Louis a few times. I was able to go to the Arch during one of the visits and on another occasion stayed down town with a great view of the Arch. The 'Gateway to the West' was completed in 1965 and opened to the public in 1967. It is cool to see when you are driving from the airport to downtown. There's a tram that goes to the top of the arch but I couldnt get tickets the same day, plus, I kinda have a thing with small spaces and heights. If you are planning a visit be sure to get your tickets in advance.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I havent been to court yet

I got an email back from Jackie and she said that I havent been to court yet.. darn. So when the letter for me is signed I will have to wait at least 3 weeks before I can go get him. No letters have been signed yet either. It sounds like they are trying to get the letters signed before court for those of us who havent completed the court process yet. It is looking more and more like the end of January or into February. It makes me sad but there isnt anything I can do about it. I have clothes and things for him that he may outgrow before I go back. I will be sending some money for formula this week to J at the agency. I hope to hear good news soon.. once they start signing things will get moving.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oklahoma City, OK



In 1995 the landscape and our lives changed in the blink of an eye. A bomb exploded in downtown Oklahoma City. I had the opportunity for a quick trip to the memorial site and it is beautiful in its simplicity and calmness. Gateway structures bring you into the view of the reflection pool, the Survivor tree and wall, and the empty chairs that signify those who's lives were lost. Everything you see in this memorial has significance. The times on the structures at the east and west ends of the reflection pool, 9:01 represents the last moment of innocence, and 9:03 the moment of recovery. The number of rows of chairs references the floors of the Alfred B Murrah building. The link http://www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org/index.php takes you to the website for more info. Its not a large memorial but is extremely meaningful and serene. I wasnt able to visit the museum (I was there after hours), but would like to return to learn more about those lost.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Waiting Still

Thursday came, and went with no news. So, it seems, has Friday. I will send J an email in the morning to see if she has had a chance to talk to T again to find out if I have had court and if the letters have been signed. I cant really see her 'forgetting' to send the families an update if the letters were signed, but she is very busy.
Its the not knowing.. I realize I have said that before (probably a few times) but not knowing is definitely worse than if I knew it would be mid January or even the end of January. Granted, knowing that I couldnt bring Porkchop home til the end of January would not make me happy but at least I would know and would have a goal.
So, to bide the time until I hear something I am going to start looking through my pictures and post some of my favorites. For those of you who dont know, I travel for my job, mostly from the Central zone West, and have had the opportunity to visit alot of places I may not have ever gotten to on my own. We will start tomorrow with Oklahoma City, OK.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The latest

I heard from Jackie yesterday and the latest is that 3 families should have letters signed on Thursday. I dont think I am in that group but am thrilled for the 3 families and know that movement of any kind is such a blessing and a positive step towards bringing Porkchop home. I think all the home improvements are completed (thanks Becktor for the offer of continued distraction). I am working now on the fleece blankets for the orphanage. I may enlist the help of one of the ICF familes soon to travel to get some of the blankets there on my behalf. There may not be room but its worth a shot. We will hopefully have news tomorrow night. Its Thursday morning over in Kyrgyzstan now so hopefully when we say prayers tonight they will go directly to the MOE and prompt the pen to paper that we have all been waiting for. I will keep you posted!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Update and Pics












B's room is done: Here is a pic.. you cant really see it but I painted clouds on his wall and took some of the things I bought for him on Trip 1, my aunt made a bunch of afgans some for B and some for the babies in Tokmok. If I dont go soon I will need to check with J to see if I can get them shipped there.

I heard an update from J and the gist is: Nothing signed yet. T (the other agency coordinator that went with her) is still in Kyrgz visiting her family and working hard to get some action going. Priority, of course, is for 3 other families (2 have been waiting 3+ months and 1 is a beautiful special needs girl) I hope T is successful THIS WEEK. After those letters are signed, I think I am on deck along with the other family left in the 'fab 5'. J said that once the letters are signed I can travel a couple of weeks later to get him. This of course is provided that I have had court already. I dont know if I have had court yet, J will ask Tatiana. That trip is about 2 weeks so I will be using all my vacation right off the bat in January. I am going to have to re-evaluate the amount of time I take off.. Initially I was going to take 4 weeks off but that didnt include any vacation time and I wanted to save that for some trips for B to meet family. I may pull out the big gun of FMLA, not sure though.
On another note, mom needs to quit watching segments on 'Easy ways to increase the value of your house'. Last week we got new carpeting in the bedrooms (I want B to come ome to some nice ecofriendly (made of corn) carpeting. I am now having ceiling fans installed in Mom and B's rooms and changing out the ones in the LR and my room. All things I have meant to do.. ... but never had the incentive to do.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. There is lots to be thankful for this year including the knowledge that B will be home soon. He's 5 months old now (on the 25th). I was hoping to begin planning for an upcoming trip but this is not the case. I have comfort and am thankful that B is being taken care of. he looks good in the pics I got from J's visit we cant tell how much he has grown and they werent able to do weights on them since it's so cold there now. She is hoping to get another update from T by week's end. T stayed there this week to visit with her family and is coming home next week. So here's the skinny so far: We dont think the letters were signed on the 25th but J doesnt know for sure. T had a meeting with the Senator that is against American's adopting, but we dont know how that went. Let me tell you, its all in who you know. Not to be too specific, to ensure their privacy but, someone who knew someone that this Senator has known for years and is fond of made the introductions, so needless to say he wasn't in a bad mood from the get-go. I think having the meetings face to face to explain international adoption and its benefits is a great thing for all of us. So now we are waiting to hear what happened with the signing and what happened with the meeting. J is going to try to get us an update Friday, poor thing never a day off!, but thats what makes her so great. She advocating for us and now has had a 'taste' of how wonderful our waiting children are and thats even more incentive to get them home. We are almost done with B's room. The new carpet is in and we painted some clouds on the wall.., his changing table is up and my rocker is placed carefully in the corner waiting for some quality time with Porkchop. I will take some pics when we are done with it. Thank you for all your support during the wait.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Update

I heard from J after I posted on Tuesday and am letting it all sink in. She explained what has initiated the delay. I am not pointing fingers and would probably have done the same thing if I didnt have such a great agency advocating for me. But, to make a long story short an independent potential adoptive parent from another country felt their wait for a referral was unfairly long because of the US agencies were getting all the referrals and complained to the Prime Minister, who initiated an investigation. Prior to that, there was an issue with signatures on the letters for court. There are two signatures required and one of the officials, who has since been fired, signed and sent letters with only his signature. The US agencies for those APs may or may not have known this was wrong but they used those letters to complete adoptions. This, in turn, initiated a new investigation. Craziness.. just craziness. So thats whats been going on. There is a rumor that letters will be signed November 25th. I hope that is true. We will know more when J is able to send another update, while J & T are there they are having meeting after meeting with officials, visiting the orphanages (and B) getting medical donations finalized and advocating to get 'The Fab 5' through court and back to Kyrgyz to pick up our babies. Oh. Who are The Fab 5, you ask? Well thats what I named the 5 families that are anxiously waiting for our return trips. We have all visited our babies.. starting all the way back in July..(OMG) I dont want to think about waiting that long. We are all supporting each other and trying to stay positive...

Thats my story and I'm stickin' to it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nothing yet

No news yet. The internet over there is a bit sketchy so I havent heard anything (good or bad) yet from her visit. I hope she is having success and staying safe. I am tossing around the idea of an interim visit if the news comes back that it will be a while. T is going in January and I may try to tag along, we will see. By the end of J's trip I think I will at least have some more pics of Porkchop. I dont know which would make me happier.. not knowing and checking every day, multiple times hoping and being disappointed... or knowing that there is a definite day but that it is a while yet. I am still tossing that around too. Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers. Keep em coming...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Home improvements

Thank you A,B, & C for your encouragement and comments. I am confident things will work out its just a matter of when. Work seems to be settling down and there are opportunities coming up that may fit for me. We will see what happens. On the home front we decided to put new carpet in the bedrooms. I was planning on doing it eventually but decided now would be a good time. We are getting some really ecofriendly corn based carpeting installed the week of Thanksgiving. So of course that requires a new vacuum, I have wanted a dyson for a while bu they are pretty spendy and didnt really want to spend the dough when I had such icky carpeting. With porkchop coming home I dont want to run the risk of any icky air in his room. and I have pets. Hence the new carpet and super duper pet vacuum. Mom has also decided she wants to switch rooms with Porkchop. Her room is it the back of the house and, since his is the former office, its in the front. She doesnt want the street noise to wake him up (so sweet of her). I think she just got tired of the baby blue room she was in. Ironic that the room is blue and tan and it will be perfect for a boy that is far far away but will be home soon. It was painted that way when I moved here 2 years ago and I never changed it. For now everything, and I mean everything is in the living room in preparation for the carpetguys. We are also planning a yard sale so most of the stuff wont be going back into the rooms. Ever notice how we buy more stuff but never get rid of the old stuff? hmmm

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rants and Hopes

J and T are on their way to Kyrgz. No news this week, but we are hoping that their presence will get things moving for our families. I am so fortunate to be working with a small agency that really has a consistent track record in Kyrgyz. I think that our agency is seen in a positive light, and that is good. There are comments all over the adoption groups about closing down and corruption and some agencies getting too greedy..taking on too many families... not giving back... pretty negative stuff. I dont like it much so I think I will stay away from them for a while. I know J watches the boards too and usually mentions the important stuff on our weekly update or in an email directly to us. Its bad enough that we are saddened by the extended waiting, I dont think its in my heart's best interest to get caught up in all that speculation and attitude. Even the blogs I read are affected, everyone is feeling the strain and are either very quiet or venting. So this is my blog and my venting...Supportive comments are what is needed now on all blogs and groups. Stop the bickering, stop the blaming, stop the fingerpointing,.... there were comments on the singles group that were perceived by me (and others) as a, sort-of, 'scolding' for us choosing IA rather than domestic. We all have our reasons and those are our personal choices. Respect those personal choices. I went into this with my eyes WIDE open and knew what I was getting in to. Those are my rants. I am holding onto hope, and will continue to do so until Porkchop comes home. Remember, if it were easy ....everyone would do it. lol

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shower Gifts

I finally had time to download the pics of the baby gifts Porkchop got at the shower 2 weeks ago. He got alot of great things and I cant wait to see him in the outfits and playing with the toys. Here's some pics:






Sunday, November 9, 2008

The kitchen is red


We finished up painting today in the Kitchen and it is red. M has always had at least 1 red wall in her house and now she has a red kitchen. It took 2 coats and more up and down the ladder but its done and looks pretty good I cant wait to see it all decorated.
We got our weekly update from the agency and nothing new. They are still hoping to hear some news before they leave and will let us know. They leave on Friday keep those prayers coming. Here's part of a pic as a little teaser.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Distraction



Painting this weekend again. My friend M bought a new house and we spent part of last weekend painting rooms in a very white house. I have a Gor#$$a ladder. It turns out I am the only one not afraid of heights so I had to climb the ladder, cut in the ceiling, climb down the ladder, get more paint, and do it all again...and again...and again.. by 7pm my butt and thighs hurt and I couldnt get up off the sofa without wincing. In the midst of our pain from painting all day (note the pun.. pain - painting) I asked mom if my butt looked 'lifted' since I had such a workout.. we had a laugh but we were both sore. It took a couple of days to recover and be able to go up and down stairs without holding my newly muscled butt.

The only new thing I have heard so far is that my name was added to the Ambassador's letter requesting processing through before any changes happen in Bishkek. T was also added so that makes 5 of us ready to 'launch' at any moment. J & T (the agency coordinators) will be going to Kyrgz the end of next week. We still dont know when anything will happen, but I am glad I was added to the list. I know all 5 of us cant go at the same time so even if we all get approval letters next week, we will have to space out our visits. I say the 5 familes rent a jet and go get our kids. The agency gives all of the familes a weekly update, maybe we will get some news then. I miss this little face... you can only see part of it though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A little news

Its not the greatest news but I know J is doing everything she can to get Porkchop home. I got an email tonight from her letting me(us) know that the Kyrgz government is looking to shift some responsibilities around concerning adoption. ICF has 3 families that are through court and are only waiting on this last step to bring their children home. J is going to Kyrgz next week with T(the coordinator of our sister agency) to see what she can do to get them completed and meet with the new ministers. There is always hope that they will be completed before J goes, moving the families along faster. I found out that my dossier is not completely through the MOE and one of her goals for her visit is to try to get it moving through. T(another AP) and I are really close to getting through and hopefully their presence will keep us in their thoughts and allay any fears they have with the changes. They will be visiting the orphanage in Tokmok, (I'm sure checking on babies) and a couple more goodwill visits. I will keep you posted as I find out info. I am still hopeful but it is looking like later in Dec for him to come home. Keep me & my ICF family in your prayers as they travel and wait for news.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anxious


I havent heard any news.. but dont expect to hear anything until sometime next week. As far as I know once the letters have been signed we have a green light to book trip two. That involves a bit more of prep. We have send our passports away to get the visa for our short visit to Kazakstan. I am not sure how long that takes to come back but hopefully not more than 3 weeks. I will more accurate info on 'what to do' as soon as the letters are signed and I hear from J that I can book my trip. In the mean time, a little pic for you... its just his hand but trying to get another pic of a face that doesnt look like a face is hard. Off to Colorado this week then Los Angeles next week. Still plugging away at work. Still no solid decision on whats going to happen with my position.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hoping for good news

We've been keeping up to date from the agency and things are looking up for next week. Nothing solid yet but we are all hoping and crossing fingers, lighting candles (remember Sunday 6pm) to try to get things moving again. There is so much sadness with all of us that are waiting to go back and get our children. I have been told ups and downs are 'normal' for international adoption but didnt realize the 'ups' were so wonderful that the 'downs' seem horribly wrong. To quote one of the other blog comments 'sign the stinkin' papers' already. If you know me at all, I am a half full type of gal, keeping positive is how I like to be. I am still thinking it will happen when its supposed to but, of course want things to happen faster.

(For Jackie S) I got the Yurt Nativity set at 'the mall' in Bishkek. It was at a little 'shop' right by the down escalator I think it was on the 4th floor. It was 1500 som. I dont know when I am going back, or if the mall will be on the agenda.





Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baby Jesus with a mohawk (lol Allison)

The Yurt the Nativity set came in

His room so far, I need to get a dresser/changing table.



Reminiscing- and news

I got some news from J about the situation in Bishkek. One MOE stepped down and another is up for appointment. Turns out a couple of signatues are needed for the letter that gives us the ok to book 'pickup' travel. Hopefully they will get moving again next week. In the mean time I am hoping and praying that this will happen. I need all of you to take a moment and say a quick prayer to get those letters signed and babies home for C&T, C&J, Me, T and the W's. We are all in the same boat. Some have been waiting 3 months to bring their babies home. We will know more next week. I have gotten some comfort in the pics and videos that I took when I met my son. Reminiscing and remembering how he looks and how he looked at me make me sad and happy at the same time. I ordered the crib mattress (the vibrating one) using some rewards I got from work, gotta love free money, so his room is almost ready. I dont have the pics uploaded from the shower but here are a couple of his room (work in progress) and the Nativity Yurt I got in Kyrgyzstan for him.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Porkchop is 4 months old



Happy 4th month birthday baby! The baby shower was fun fun fun..we had cupcakes, yummy! Porkchop made a haul, lots of great gifts and I am very very touched that everyone came and are all so encouraging and supportive. I am now working on the thank you cards. Its even more fun. I get to look at the gifts AGAIN and imagine him playing with the toys, wearing the clothes, (and diapers-woo hoo) I promise I will get them done soon. I got a call from Mom today that he got another box from a friend in South Dakota, this one had a Bumbo in it.. of course I had to ask what color.. and its green. I love green, have I ever told y'all that? I have been told by some experienced parents (J&J) that a Bumbo is a necessity.. i've seen them online and they are very cute. I wish things would get back to moving along in Kyrgz. I havent heard anything different, we are still waiting to see if things will start again. There are 2 families that went on trip 1 before me and 2 families that went right after me so I am somewhere in the middle of the line. I dont want to bug J too much but anticipate an email to her or a call by Wednesday to see if she has heard anything else. I am watching the C's blog and T's blog ,as well as, the ICF group to keep up to date.



Friday, October 24, 2008

No news

Nothing is really going on, just waiting. Hopefully things will keep moving. There are rumors all over the groups that are a bit scary I have been communicating with my agency and things are still unknown at this point. J is really good at keeping us updated (sometimes I pester a little). I am waiting patiently and know its going as fast as it can. Still frustrating though! I miss porkchop and keep watching the videos and look at the pictures we took. I am excited about the baby shower this weekend. I am so excited to see what B gets, and to show him off (allbeit virtually). I'm more excited to see people that I havent seen in a while. Since I travel so much I am often not the best at keeping in touch. When I get home I want to stay at home and veg..not very social huh. I will get better once I stop traveling. I hope to hear good news soon for other familes ahead of me, you know who you are.. i am thinking of you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby shower this weekend

I am attending my baby shower this weekend and am excited. I am bringing all the pics and video from my trip and will have the opportunity to see friends and get them updated on the progress. I know of one gift and am excited to see it. We are going to make some fleece blankets at the shower. I bought the fleece and the woman at J. A. fabrics told me how to make them so there arent any knots. B had one when we visited him and they were so warm I want to take some back with me when I go get him in Dec. Mom and I have decided to save a little space and use a dresser I already have for B. The prompt for this---- i found a smokin deal on a glider and ottoman at a garage sale this past weekend. We were on our way to a birthday party for a gorgeous little girl adopted from Guatemala and stopped. Its white and I will get new cushions for it to match B's room but works just fine. We also painted the letters (his name) and got a shelf to put them on. Good thing Mom painted it neutral colors (sage green and blue) so I can keep changing my mind. The quilt set is the same but I wanted incorporate the gifts I got in Kyrgyzstan and the color scheme is a little bolder. Its coming together slowly and I will post pics when I get it done.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shopping and Baby Book


I hadnt thought of it yet... but suddenly today I felt the need to go shopping for a 'Gotcha' outfit for Porkchop. I dont why I got the feeling, but I am going to start looking. I know I want something warm for him (which is hard to find in Phoenix) since I think it will be Dec 1 when I go.. Thats the date I have zeroed in on. I dont have any solid info leading me to think that in 5 1/2 weeks I will be holding my son again, maybe its just hope. Warm clothes.... I will start looking.
I also ordered a baby book. I found a website online http://www.baby-memory-books.com/default.asp that has books that you can add customized pages to. I got the Little Dots baby memory book and added the 'foreign adoption' and 'single mother' add on pages to customize it. I liked it because I am not a scrapbooker but love the way scrapbooks look and how they are so customized to perfectly capture the thoughts. I also liked that they had options for my specific situation. When we got home from Kyrgyz there was a suprise, a package from S, a friend and co-worker from South Dakota. It was Porkchop's FIRST gift.... It is a totally adorable 'froggie' bath towel with a hood and the J&J bath set. So cute.. I love it. I took pictures and will put them in the baby book. Thank you SB!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back to the grind

Since Mom and I got back from our visit with Porkchop its been a whirlwind of back to 'life'. I am thrilled with knowledge that my life will never be the same, and excited to get him home and begin a new chapter. Work, however, is just as I left it. I had 121 emails and am still catching up. I am working like mad and trying to make arrangements to stay home with Porkchop when he gets here. One of the emails I got (and of course I opened it first) was from J at ICF. She said that my Dossier should be out of Washington by Friday and off to Kyrgyz on Monday. Woo hoo. I dont know when court will be for me but am hopeful that he will be home just after Thanksgiving. There are a couple of families that should have court by Oct 19 and hope things go well and move steadily to keep them on track for bringing their babies home by mid November. T is leaving for Kyrgz to meet her daughter and I am so excited and happy for her. We've got some new families with ICF and its wierd to think that just six months ago I was in their shoes, gathering docs, preparing for the homestudy, worrying about what was to come, the cautious optimism that a child would be referred to me soon and wondering when I would travel. The process continues....... hurry up and wait.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

International travel-this is a long one

The trip back was fairly uneventful, except for the beginning. We got to the Manas International Airport around 4am. Security wasnt opened so we stood by the door.. getting our place in line. One thing we learned very quickly (in Wash DC on the outbound flight) there is really no order to boarding a plane.. or any form of a 'line' with the Russian people. When they finally opened the doors Mom and I held our ground and only let 2 people in front of us.. then... the problem. The security guy kept asking us for tickets. We tried to tell him our tickets were at the check in counter and all we had was our confirmation from Orbitz, which he looked at like it was written in a foreign language lol.. after 3 tries he motioned for us to 'get out of the way' and he let a few more people through. In the meantime a woman came from the check in counter with a passenger manifest, thank goodness, and we handed him our passports. He was trying to match our names with the names on the list and couldnt figure it out so I had to point to our names on the list. Whew, the guy was on Moms last nerve (she didnt like the pushing or the brusqueness of the people). Apparently, in Bishkek, they screen the the luggage BEFORE you check it, so we sent the bags thru the scanner and went to the desk. A very nice lady at the desk helped us get the bags checked all the way thru to IAD, but we had to check at the transit desk in Moscow to get tickets for the trip to Washington.. uh oh. We had visited the Transit desk on the way there and it wasnt a pleasant experience (think pushing and brusqueness--in Russian). Oh well we'll cross that bridge when we get there. We are our way to Moscow and one flight attendant in particular is grating on Mom's nerves.. I think we were both tired, sad, frustrated, intimidated, all sorts of emotions and she said 'I'm going to complain about her'...I asked her (with a little giggle) Who are you going to complain to?.....I think that was just what we needed to bring everything back into perspective and 'go with the flow'. We had a little laugh and hoped that everyone thought we were laughing at them.. By the time we got to Moscow we were determined that we were going to get down to business and not let anyone mess with us.. grr grr.. lol. The transit desk went off without a hitch we just gave them our passports and asked for seats together.. 'Yes' the woman said and proceded to give us tickets for 11G and 12E.. WHAT! Awwww crap, those arent together. 'Go with the flow' .. It all worked out, a little Russian woman didnt want to sit in the bulkhead cause she couldnt stretch out her legs so she traded with mom. Woo hoo. Customs in Washington was great.. a guy wanted to push past us but, we were on my turf now and I just put my luggage cart solidly in his way. hehe. We have decided to go with British airways for a better chance of English for the majority of the trip... All in all it was an adventure with an awesome reward in that I met my son and had a wonderful visit with him. I cant wait to bring him home.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Time to go



Ok, today was saaaaaad. I cried a bit when we left B. He was sleeping and I put him in his crib and jetted to the car. B(our coordinator) told me that he would do everything he could to get him home soon and that B would be well taken care of. But there is always good with bad. I got to feed him again and got a couple little smiles, so I am holding on to that. I dont think this pic really shows anything other than 1/2 a cute nose and part of an eye with some long eyelashes. But it is him. He's sucking his thumb, something I think all the babies there do. Mom and I have had the great opportunity to spend time with a couple of familes here and I cant tell you what a comfort that has been to know things are moving and babies are going home. We are trying to get packed and get to bed early. The flight leaves Bishkek at 6am so we will be getting picked up at 3am. This week has gone by way too quickly and I can only hope that the wait until I bring him home goes by just as quick.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hello again from Bishkek

It looks like the internet is hanging on today. I wasnt able to get on yesterday at all. The visits have been more than I could have hoped for. I have gotten to feed him every day so far and today I got a little stinky gift to change. It was good though. I think he wanted me to have the full experience this week so I can get prepared. It did give me a chance to see him almost naked though. They bundle the babies up soooo much and I wanted to check out his leg. I havent mentioned it before but when I got B's referral they were concerned about one of his legs, but they are perfect, little legs. I felt his feet and counted ten little toes so I am very happy. We did some quick assessments on him and he turns his head for finger snaps and a krinkle toy (woo hoo) and follows a toy with his eyes (woo hoo). All limbs move great and he pushes when I was holding him up. He liked bouncing. I got a little laugh yesterday with the toy I brought him and he has smiled a couple times. Only fussed a little with a little tiny cry then found his thumb and went to sleep. I am trying to send the pics for C and C from my yahoo account, one pic has attached and I am waiting for the other one. Veeerrrry slow uploading. I will keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We're Here!


We made it. We landed at 530 Monday morning and got to Demi House finally at 7pm. Then we got a call from our coordinator telling us he would be by to get us at 9am. OMG. No sleep, no shower, lookin mighty fine, Mom and I got in the car for a crazy trip to see B. I must say he is soooo cute. Here is his hand. Thats all for now. He is so much smaller than his pictures make him look. Tiny but perfect. I am soooooo happy. We met with director, she's nice, and went to the room. I was so lucky to get to feed him! You know those shows where they feed the orphaned lamb with a bottle? The bottles look alot like those. Very functional and work very well. B ate like a champ and then, to make his new momma proud, let out a very respectable burp. Its Tuesday here and I got to go visit again. More pics and some video of him. The internet is very sketchy so I dont know when I will post again. I will catch everyone up when I get close to home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

And We're Off!!

Ok, We are off. Final preparations are made. Boarding passes are printed for the first leg and the shuttle is coming at 4am to get us. A little known fact for those of you planning on flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) - the ticket counters dont open til 4:30. We should be getting there just as they open. Mom and I figure both the big bags are going to be over weight so we are planning on paying the extra for the trip there, domestic requirements are a little less (50lbs instead of 70lbs). Mom got a spanking new Vera Bradley backpack for the trip and I bought a diaper bag there. They are so cool looking and totally washable.. love it. I am so excited for T. She got a referral for her girl! Yay.!!!. I am going to try to visit a couple more babies while I am there and am hoping to use the excuse of new blankets for M(R) & M(A) to get pics for a couple of waiting familes. So we are finishing up packing and taking some snacks along just in case. I will be back on line when we get there so come back on Oct 6 and i will hopefully have posted the big meeting.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Packing-Spacebags

I did some packing this weekend. Diapers really take up alot of space. I am going to do some repacking Friday when I get home from my work trip. They look compact and Costco can fit 234 Huggies in a cube so why cant I get all of them and my clothes in a large suitcase. I was planning on using spacebags for the baby clothes and my clothes to try to pack more in there, but never thought of spacebags for diapers too. I will give it a try T! We may need to have one more carryon size bag but have been warned that the cars over there are smaller. J says to 'pack light' and I am trying, but there is so much I want to take to B and the other babies, hopefully the mobile will fit. There probably wont be anything in our suitcases when we come back. I will have to see what I can buy. Maybe we will wrap a box of diapers in paper and check it as luggage. Has anyone done that?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One week to go!

Seven of Hearts. Seven days til I meet the child that has stolen my heart. I cant tell you how excited I am to finally put a person to that face that has been looking at me for 2 months. I am taking the video recorder with me and hope to get all I can to hold me over until I can go back and bring him home. Please pray that all goes well while I am over there. I will be updating the blog as often as I can to keep everyone updated.
We got the rest of the items to take to the orphange. Winter is coming up in Kyrgyzstan its going to get cold there. Blanket sleepers and blankets, socks and jackets are ready to go. I put my outlet shopping skills to good use and got items up to 12month size. We are packing tonight since I am going to Denver for work next week and wont be home til Thursday night. Work is on track to slow down my travel schedule significantly beginning in December. I dont know if I have mentioned this before but my job involves traveling to different hospitals, training Cardiology departments on our software for data management and physician dictation. So, as you can assume, a job traveling out of town every week is not really conducive to parenting, especially single parenting. The good thing is that the company is working with me to reduce that. I was a little worried lately since things werent moving very quickly but after a talk with my manager things are looking up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy 3 month birthday Porkchop


OMG. My son is 3 months old (well, its his birthday in Kyrgyzstan but not the 25th til tomorrow here) and I leave to meet him in 10 days. I spent so much money last weekend but think I got everything. I bought all the gifts to take to the caregivers and orphanage director, a Costco size box of diapers, desitin, babywipes, baby tylenol... I hope the nannies like perfume. I found some great deals at Marshall's but still spent enough. Then Mom and I went to Once Upon a Child in Litchfield. I got a travel bed for trip 2, and a lightweight stroller. Mom got me a playyard for my shower gift. (thanks MOM). The shower is on track for Oct 25 and the Evites are sent out. Isnt it amazing, we used to buy invitations, mail them out, and wait for an RSVP, nowadays we click send and get results back from across the miles almost instantly. Technology.. Since we put the crib together it's become so much more real. I knew once I had put it together I would get really anxious and I was right. I am looking forward to 'taking in' Kyrgyzstan while I am there and of course looking forward spending as much time with B as possible. I am not sure about taking my laptop with me. I know I wont work but want to keep the blog updated. I will decide next week. On the agenda this weekend.. Packing.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

13 days-




Getting some stuff done this weekend. Mom was great and painted the baby's room with some stripes and a very soothing color. We put the crib together last night.. it wasnt so hard just took about an hour. I bought it from a consignment store and we had to disassemble it a bit to get it into the SUV so I just put it together the way I took it apart. Now I just need the mattress. We are getting the passport pictures today for the Visa's we need for visit 1. My dossier is in Washington and hopefully will be on its way to the MOE by the time I go. There are 2 other families with dossiers in Washington and they have already met their sons. They are hopefully (hope, hope, hope) going to be returning to bring them home by November. J said that after they get through the MOE and court it will be my turn.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2 weeks- so much to do

Its now 2 weeks til Mom and I board a plane to take the longest plane ride we've ever taken..the farthest away from home we have ever been.. to meet a little person who has no idea who we are and how long we have waited to meet him. We are trying to figure out what docs to take with us and how much stuff to take for B and the rest of the babies at the orphange. We are also getting the gifts for the nannies and the orphange director this weekend. I think it will be a crazy packing job to get all the stuff we need to take. More later

Monday, September 15, 2008

19 Days !!!


How cute is this picture. Well, its actually a coloring page but I love Grover and he's doing a happy dance! Nineteen days and counting. I have been so busy with work its been keeping me from worrying about whats coming up. I know I am fretting over things beyond my control but I am anxious to hear about the progress of my dossier. I got an email from L saying that the courier has it and I think that means its in DC. I hope to hear soon about the other families progress. I think we all got there about the same time so we will see where that goes. Its looking like I will be able to take some time off and work from home for a while after B comes home. I wish I knew when. Scary thing is that my medical doc expires the end of December so they need to move it along. We are all waiting it seems. All the other blogs indicate waiting too, its comforting I'm not alone.
Mom is having some fun this week while I am gone. She is going to suprise me with something going on in the baby's room! I am excited. We have talked about what we want to do and I cant wait to see what she comes up with. I have tried to con her into putting the crib together.. I left the instructions and the allen wrenches very available lol. I have been putting off getting the mattress and dont want an empty crib sitting there so I need the mattress. Its that whole 'which came first' scenario. Cant have a crib without a mattress dont want to buy the mattress cause I am dreading putting the crib together. oh woe is me, such a conundrum... such drama.
Oh and speaking of drama, I spent this weekend in SF with L and her kids. We took the 10year old shopping for a shirt for her school pictures. OMG I am so glad I am going to be the mother of a boy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More info

I got more info today about Porkchop. His birthparents are both Kyrgz and he was born June 25. We got conflicting information (June 26 or July 6) but now we have a copy of the BC, I think. The docs J sent to me are in Russian so she is getting them translated for me. I am happy I will be able to put both the Russian document and the translation in his baby book.

I also found a couple of tickers to countdown and show porkchop's age, so I added them. They are so cute.

The ICF group on yahoo has almost doubled in size. T got the word out and more ICF families have joined. It is great to keep up to date on the familes that are working with my agency.

Counting down.. 25 days!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Twenty Seven Days

Twenty seven days !! Twenty Seven days !! In 27 days I am getting on the longest plane ride I have ever been on, going to a country I hadn't heard of a year ago, going to eat wierd food, be in a country where I dont speak the language and stay in a hotel that doesnt have washcloths! It will all be worth it when I take that crazy drive to a little town and meet the joy of my life. I cannot tell you how many emotions are going thru my heart and how many thoughts are going through my head while preparing (what am I forgetting, what do I need to bring, will I bring enough) and flipping back and forth with.. 'Its 27 days' (calm and matter of fact) ...to... 'ITS TWENTY---SEVEN---DAYS' (complete hysteria).

And to top it all of I am in the airport waiting for my 'delayed' fligh to go from Phoenix to Denver and then...run at warp speed to my connection to Sioux Falls. The agents wont hold the plane and this is the last flight out to my former home town. So I am sitting here with my ADD kicking in and making lists in my head with things I need to do. You know what they say about idle hands? Well, my mind is flipping channels like a football junkie flips their remote on opening day of football season. Btw, I hear that is today! Is it called 'opening day'? I am such a girl.. i have no idea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

29 Days

Twenty Nine Days til I get on a plane..... I cant wait. I am back on track with 'positive thought'. As I re-read the post from yesterday it looks like I was whining.. so happy at the beginning but digressed into poor me towards the end. Eww I hate that, but figure everyone is entitled to a bad day. Anyway, I am very excited about the trip up to Sedona, just unwinding and spending time with friends will be great. I received a very encouraging email from J telling me that 2 familes are in front of me for Dossier processing. They are hoping one will be through the Embassy and to the MOE this week, that would put them home the end of Oct and the maybe the second family will travel the by Thanksgiving. Then it will be my turn, she thought it was looking good for a pickup trip a little after Thanksgiving but before Christmas. Both of those holidays are appropriate for bringing him home. Oh, by the way I changed the background of the blog. I figured blue for my baby boy...and the airplanes are soooo cute....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I got my translated dossier today.

I got my translated dossier today. Yay. that means that my agency has it and is sending it off to Washington. I hope it has a quick and productive trip!. I am still on track to leave for my trip to meet my son (October 4). Very exciting.. also very nervous. Its a looooooong trip and very far away. Thank you to C for indulging my questions about what happened on your trip. Awesome information that calmed me a little.
I still dont know whats happening with my job. I am trying to move to a less travel position so I will be home more with porkchop but things are moving slowly on that front. I am trying to be patient but, its hard being patient with two major life changing events coming up. I could handle being patient about Bennett if I had a nontravel job secured. And, I could handle being patient waiting for a non travel job if I know what my deadline was to bring Bennett home.. Both of these up in the air is draining me.
On a positive note.. some friends are getting married this weekend in Sedona, AZ. Its beautiful up there and I am not taking my laptop so no work this weekend. I am also traveling to Sioux Falls next week so I will get to see the Bradys. I cant wait. :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

34 days and counting



Thirty four days till we leave. I have such a busy September the time will go quickly. I am still trying to get all the things I want to take with me for the orphange. I know they need diapers and have already bought some warmer clothes to take. If porkchop's outfit in the pictures I got yesterday is any indication of what they have I need to do some more shopping. My thoughts are with those families waiting for girls and making the decision to be open to a boy or girl. There are a multitude of reasons for choosing a gender, all understandable. I left my choice up to whoever needed me first. I will admit, I assumed I would be referred a girl (since I am one and I am a single woman) but did not give it a second thought when J called me and told me about a baby boy that would soon be my son.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I love email.

Ok, so I got two great emails this morning. One from L saying that she got my translated dossier..Yay and one from J with more pics.. double Yay.. He looks great, chubby cheeks, a little rash on the side of his face (not enough to be concerned about) same eyes ...same nose.. dressed,... well I dont know what to say about the outfit. He will defintely be better dressed when he comes home. So now the dossier is on its way to J at the agency then she sends it to the DOS/EMB, and I am eternally grateful to a wonderful couple (C and J) for getting the pictures for me. BTW (for Betsy) I got the comforter set at Target.com. Its only online, not in stores. I may post again later.. starting to get back in the groove. lol.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Long weekend --yay

The countdown continues.. 36 days til I get on a plane to meet my son. I just got an email from L, my translated dossier still hasnt gotten to her, maybe this weekend. I am curious to see it once a copy finally makes its way to me. Thank you to Maria and Christina for your positive thoughts. Most of the time I am confident and have faith that everything will work out just fine but sometimes the fear of the unknow creeps in. With the long weekend here, I have made a vow not to work. I have an bad habit of working on the weekend trying to catch up on things, or get one more thing done that could truly wait. I still have expenses (from the past month) to do but got everything else done so am giving myself permission not to work. I want to get porkchop's room painted and the crib put together. This is the a picture of the bedding set I have chosen.. Things are moving forward, albeit slowly but moving forward nonetheless.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The countdown begins


I think I've created a monster here with the pictures. Now that I have started I cant stop putting pictures in. As most of you know I check other families blogs quite a bit but have seem to found a couple of favorites. They are the ones I check every time I am online and find the most inspiration from. The numbers idea has been 'inspired by' one of them. Both of my 'faves' have had bumps (i would venture to say 'large' bumps) in their journey to adopt a child from Kyrgyzstan, but all is now how God intended it and they are moving forward. These bumps occured during their first visit. With my first trip coming up in 37 days, I am both terrified and optimistic that any bump encountered will be minor. Prayers for a healthy baby and a safe trip are ALWAYS welcome.

I have everything planned except the hotel, still no word from Demi House confirming my reservation. I hope that they are just slow....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

cutest sweater ever...


I got this adorable sweater for B in San Francisco when I went there to work. Its handmade from Peru for the bargain price of $16. Its sort of 3D all the little animals are stitched and attached to the sweater. Mom came along and we spent a couple days walking (uphill both ways it seemed) to Fishermans Warf, and around to some shops. We took the trolley (the 'San-Fran-cisco treat' one) down to Chinatown. Of course we got off on the wrong stop (totally my fault) so had to ask how to get there. After walking down this enormous hill we arrived smack dab in the middle of it. It was awesome. Word of warning though, taking the trolley down is a piece of cake ($5 one way). Getting back to Fishermans Warf is a battle, so dont pay for the 'all day pass' unless you want to wait. The line was soooo long, we ended up taking the cable car (the one attached to the wires). That was much cheaper $1.50 but we were packed in that thing like sardines. Life is always an adventure.


I found out that my dossier is being translated as we speak but no new pics of B yet. I also booked trip 1, wahoo. I am trying to use points for the trip from PHX to IAD (Washington DC) so I booked from IAD to FRU (Bishkek) and back. We are leaving the US Oct 4 and getting to Bishkek two days later the 6th. (they are 13 hrs ahead of us) the trip is 23 1/2 hrs!!!!. We will be back Oct 11.

More later......

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Baby shower and myregistry.com


Thanks to Tari for catering and Sherry and Georgia for having it at your house. Thanks Mom for getting everything started. It looks like we are shooting for the 3rd weekend in October in Phoenix. I have begun a registry at myregistry.com the password is my soon to be son's name (Bennett). This isnt necessarily a list of what I expect to get as gifts but a list of things I have determined I want for the baby. It keeps me up to date with a list of things to check off as I get them. A couple of the things that I am jazzed about are the gdiapers and the baby sling. Because he has spent his first months in an orphanage I want to keep him with me as much as I can so I get him used to holding and bond with him as much as I can.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dossier.. a visual



Here's a pic...Each one of these docs were notarized and then state certified and copied 4 times for the dossier. Whew! Four months of work.

Slacker blogger back...

Hello to everyone out there. I am sorry I havent been a 'good blogger' lately (again). I guess it seems like things arent moving right now since I have to wait to go on my first trip til October. Good news is that I booked part of the trip. Mom and I will be traveling from Washington DC (IAD) to Moscow (SVO) then on to Bishkek (FRU). I am still working on the leg from Phoenix to Washington. I get frustrated with the limited availability of 'reward' travel and my lack of miles. The timing is a bit tough too since the flight from IAD leaves at 740pm and getting from PHX to IAD using points gets me there at 7:10. Its also 100,000 NWA miles and my measley 71,000 isnt gonna cut it. Thanks Wendy and Tari for the offer of donating miles. I still may take you up on it. I have 2 free tickets on SWA but would need to get 'Freedom' tickets and thats double so am 2 short. It gives me a headache. I havent gotten any new pics of porkchop so I am bummed about that too. Not to mention work. Lots of drama going on and no set plan to get me off the road. I am getting a little frustrated but the management all know my plans and I am optimistic that it will all work out. No pitty parties for me. I just had to get it all out. Thanks for your kind words Tonia and Wendy, I love you guys! More later :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dossier sent for translation

I got an email today saying my Dossier is good and was scanned and sent to the translator. Yay! Hopefully she gave it to the 'fast' translator. I think I am going to book my October 4 trip this weekend. Thank you to everyone on the yahoo groups for their input and tricks for travel. I am definitely learning some cost saving information.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dossier Dropped off.- its out of my hands now

Let me tell you the comfort I felt in hand delivering my dossier to L. at Global Dossier. I was fortunate to be very close to L (geographically) and took those precious pieces of paper (all 4 copies) to her and be able to visit, hear her adoption stories, and meet her wonderful family. We never know how small the world really is until we meet someone we have been 'talking to' in this virtual world, face to face and get to know them. Turns out L's husband is employed with the same company I am and they live close to the facility I have taught a class at for 4 years. We talked about challenges with the process, challenges with adoption of a child from a foreign country, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. L was teasing me a little because I kept touching the papers that would bring my son home, the papers I had worked so hard on to make perfect, and took so long to get. She just smiled at me and said 'I'll take good care of them' , and I know she will..

Monday, August 4, 2008

Airline miles hmmmm whats all the hype about.

I am trying to book trip one to go meet porkchop and since I travel so much (soon to stop) I have points on USairways and NWA. I called them and turns out I cant use miles for the trip. Whats the point.. i have used them before for trips for friends visiting but have found that when I really want to use them (like for holiday travel or A TRIP TO MEET MY SON, i cant. grrr. I have posted the question on the groups and got some GREAT ideas. I want to book the first trip as cheaply as possible since who knows if I will have a 'firm' date to pick him up. I have learned that with international adoption there are no guarantees, at all. Court dates are being changed and delayed so familes are finding themselves in a 'last minute' travel predicament. You know me, I'm a planner so I want to know whats coming up. I have gotten some good ideas from the other members of the groups (thanks ladies). I think I will work it out to use points to fly to either: NYC, Washington DC, or LAX and then pay for the rest of the trip. Average is about 1600 per ticket, but that is a far cry from the 2600-4600 if I book from PHX. I will let you know when the plans are made.. btw I am meeting L tomorrow to hand deliver my dossier. I am excited to meet her and pick her brain on whats next on the paper front.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shots

Mom and I got our shots today. Three for her and four for me, to the tune of 687 bucks. We got Malaria medication to start the week before we go (enough to cover both trips) some antibiotics (Cipro) and vaccinations for Hep A, Tetanus, and Typhoid. We both had the Hep B series so didnt need to get those. In addition, I got the MMR shot. Although I got the vaccination back in 'the day' when all little kids got it (Mom brought my vaccination records from 1969) the nurse said that it is recommended to have 1 more time in adulthood especially if I am traveling out of the country. I dont want to be sick at all.. I am a big baby when I am sick and, admittedly a bit cranky so I will do almost anything to avoid it. I was flying from CA this week and saw in the SkyMall catalog this handy ultraviolet water purifier thingy that you just stick in water for 20 seconds (or something) and it kills all the germs in the water. I mentioned it to the nurse and wouldnt you know it.. they sell them there at the clinic. She said that it would kill everything but cautioned us it would only work with clear liquids. So it wouldnt work with coffee. She gave us this great booklet on Kyrgyzstan that will be very helpful.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dossier State Certified!

Woo hoo! My dossier is state certified. Thanks Mom for taking to the state department for me and getting it done so quickly. So now we make some copies (4) and send those precious documents to the dossier company. I got an email from J today with new requirements and now we make 4 copies instead of 3 and the couriers are limited to 15 docs. So they will have to make two trips. I'm a little scared. Those pieces of paper are so important to bringing my son home. Fedx better not lose them, grrrr. Shots are next.. We are going on Friday for all the vaccinations. They are good for up to 2 years according to the Travel clinic and we will get the antibiotics there as well. So that will be done too. Tetanus, Malaria, and Typhoid oh my.
http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/asia/kyrgyz_Republic.php Check out this link for travel info on what vaccinations to get (4-8weeks before you travel). They do recommend bringing an antibiotic and antidiarrheal with you, just in case.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where's Beth?

Jeez, you would think that I would keep this thing updated. Its been a WEEK since my last post. I guess when I have no news I tend not to post. I love reading the posts from other blogs about their lives outside of this crazy journey we all have in common but I havent really done that with mine. I suppose I will start today. If youve read my 'profile' or any of my early posts I have mentioned that I am from Phoenix Az by way of Methuen, MA, Fayetteville, AR, Hills, MN and Sioux Falls, SD. This girl has been around. Although I have liked living in all those places I feel 'Home' is Sioux Falls. My oldest and closest friends live there and I try to visit as often as I can. The pace is soooo different in Sioux Falls. Its slower and not as crazy. You leave your door unlocked and there is SPACE. Phoenix is so big and full of people there is no room to grow. Maybe I am thinking more about this since I am going to be a mom. Bottom line.. i want my son to be safe. The other night Mom and I were sitting on the patio, watching a helicopter circle near our neighborhood. We guessed that it was only about a quarter mile away circling. We watched it a while until we heard 'You are surrounded' and it circled some more and left. OMG I guess the 'perp' gave up and they didnt need the helicopter anymore. Its things like that, and sad news every night that make me want to 'slow down' . More later :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

So now I wait, patiently.....

Saturday, I went to the ICF Agency picnic and it was really fun meeting a few families. Turns out Grandma B makes a quilt for the families, that is such a sweet gesture, and I was fortunate to see some of her work. Its beautiful and I am thrilled that Bennett will be getting one, oh by the way my son's name will be Bennett. I got a chance to talk to J and since Bennett is not able to be adopted until he is 3 months old I will have to wait until the first week in October for my meetcha and hope for the first part of November for gotcha. So far he is still in Tokmok at the hospital and we are going to try to keep him there for a couple months. There is a better ratio of caregiver to baby there than at the orphanage. I am happy that he can get the extra attention. I dont know how or if anyone can visit him at the hospital but appreciate the offers from the other families on the yahoo groups to get pics. I wil definitely let everyone know when he gets to the orphange and they can check in on him.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OMG

Referral .. i got my referral... its a boy.. he's beautiful and I am in love. Now I have to wait. Again. I will be attending the picnic this weekend and hope to talk to some other families that have gone through this. I also want to talk to J a bit to get more info on what to do next. When can i go visit, when can I get him home all that good stuff.

Russian for today MAT" which of course means Mother!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I almost forgot..

Did you know that there are a female and male forms of some of the words in Russian? So, when a word has an option I will use the female since thats what I am !! :)
I have been slacking on my Russian lately.. so my word for today is something I think I will be saying alot if I dont get back to learning:

YA NYE paniMAyu which means 'I dont understand'

Just when you think....

Just when you think you have everything ready.. nope.. there's something else. I thought I had everything ready..but.. I need another one fixed. Oh well, as everyone has said 'Just keep focusing on the end result.' I will get it done and get the docs sent to the State department. One good thing to look forward to this week is the ICF picnic on Saturday. It should be great to meet some of the families and staff of the agency. It should be HOT but fun.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I 171H.. check

Can I get a Woo Hoo!! I got my I 171H in the mail today. Well, Mom got it since I am in California this week for work. So exciting.. things are moving along.. that was the last one I was waiting for. I am getting everything else I had to redo ready to go so I should be able to get the Dossier state certified next week. Yeah for me and my baby to be!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Documents.. documents.. documents

I have redone so many docs I dont know what I have completed. Thank goodness that my agency works with a dossier preparing company to help with the specific requirements and check them. When we start this process we dont know what a Letter of Intent is and probably dont have a notary in our circle of friends but, I do now..... And I know now that I need to take the entire dossier to the State department in Phoenix and get it all certified. That scares me! Not because I think there will be problems but because those are precious pieces of paper, painstakingly gathered over months and perfectly prepared. So what do I have to redo you ask?I need to get my Employment letter notarized so need a new one. I am going to take my notary friend to the office and get it done. Maybe I'll take him to lunch after to celebrate!! Check, one more down. Guardianship letter. Check. I got that back from L & L Monday. I needed to get an adjusted homestudy, since I am open to either a boy or a girl. Kyrgyz likes to have a positive male influence when single women adopt boys(thats my brother and possibly a future husband). Check, thats in the mail to me too. Pictures of an empty baby's room. Check, the list is getting smaller.....Thats the last of them except for the I171H.

Russian word for today: YA uSTAla which means 'I'm Tired'(female)
YA uSTAL is the male form.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Adoption groups

I have joined 2 Yahoo groups and am hoping to meet some new friends, share journeys and information and experiences. Its easy to sign up and everyone has been so friendly. I'll put the link on the list. Its comforting to know there are others experiencing the same challenges and same excitement that I am. There are some further on in the process and some just starting.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Kyrgyzstan celebrates its independence August 31.!

Russian for today: na zdaROv'ye which means 'Cheers!'

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

USCIS... check

Mom and I were able to get our USCIS fingerprints today. Woo hoo! They have some pretty slick fingerprint scanning machines. I asked the technician why the police stations dont have them. We had to use "Goop" to get the black ink off our fingers when we got the FBI fingerprints done. She said they were pretty expensive machines... she wasnt too talkative. Oh well I was in a GREAT mood and still am. Now I wait again... BTW Learning a new language is hard. I have gotten a few books on the Russian language and think that my best bet is the 'Russian at a Glance' that I am referencing. I think its definitely helpful to have a CD or something so you can hear the pronounciation.

Russian for today = SKOL'ka STOit which means 'How much does it cost?'

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

1 more down

FBI fingerprints are back.. it all looks good so now I just have to get the cover sheets done. Turns out the FBI fingerprints and the USCIS appointment are completely different. I also got an email today from the USCIS with Mom's appointment and document she needs to bring with her. My Agency sent an email to them so I could reschedule and it just so happens that they have Saturday appointments. I responded to the email from USCIS asking if we could come in tomorrow (1 week before the scheduled appt), so i guess we'll see how flexible they are. I can check 1 more doc off the list (the FBI prints).

Russian for today = KAK kraSIva which means 'How Beautiful'

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eco Friendly

I have decided that when my baby comes home I will be using the gDiaper system. They are much more environmentally friendly and not that much more than regular disposable diapers. Did you know that it takes 500 years to degrade a disposable diaper. OMG. Mom is trying to convince me of cloth but I dont know. I like the idea of flushing the 'icky' away. 'Just knock the poop in the toilet and flush it away' she says. Using cloth also has the benefit of 'alerting' the baby that he or she is it may speed up the potty training. She has a bit of time to work on me and let me intvestigate the pros and cons. I will say that Utube has everything you imagine. I saw instructions on the gDiaper as well as some of the cloth alternatives. There is a link to the gDiapers website here on my blog.

I am so happy for Maria and her family. Things will begin again! Yeah!

More later

Russian word for today: pi lyon ka which means Diaper

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Redo and resend

Well, I know now that the I600A was received by the USCIS because they sent it back to me. I didnt send in Mom's birth certificate. I keep forgetting requirements for a second adult living in the home. I just assume that since I am adopting as a single woman they only care about me. Not so much,... if another adult is living with you (no matter the relation) include them whenever you do anything. The 'duh' part in this is that, we have everything I should have sent. Mom (she's so smart) had gotten a few certified copies of her birth certificate at the same time we had my Aunt get mine. She figured it couldnt hurt. So we put her birth certificate and a copy of her passport and off it went again. I got another letter from the USCIS with my biometric appointment. I am going to try to reschedule that one so we can both go at the same time.

Things are getting a little more real for me. I had to go around the house and take pictures. One of the pictures required for my dossier is the baby's room. The baby's room is currently our office so we have office furniture in there. I wasnt planning on moving my office quite yet, but an 'office' is not a 'baby's room' so out the office furniture goes. Its ok, It will give me a chance to get it set up again in the new space. I have a crib and stroller picked out but dont want to buy it yet. I will check some of the consignment shops around town and see what I can find. I think having an empty crib would be too much for me. I dont know whether I will be referred a boy or a girl so I dont want to decorate until then.

bye for now. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The waiting begins...again

So now I wait. I sent the fingerprints and I600A off certified mail and have received 1 of the little green cards back (from VA) but oddly enough I havent received the one back for the I600A which was sent across town in Phoenix. That worries me a little but I dont want to panic yet.

I am so happy for a very special couple in TX that received their referral for a baby boy last week.

I am also praying for Maria and her family as they struggle with things beyond their control.

I have had the distinct honor to follow the journey's of a few families through this wonderful 'blogging' world. I cant begin to tell you all how inspiring and comforting those blogs are as I read them. I have never met these families but, nonetheless feel that their openness has helped keep me motivated and focused on the end result. For that I say THANK YOU or Spasibo (spah-see-buh).

My Russian word for today is: pozhalujsta (pah-zhahl-stuh) meaning Please.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Gotta Love the Post Office

Today was bank and mailing day. You may not know this about me but standing in line is not one of my favorite things to do. I was hoping, since it was Friday, that the line at the Post Office wouldnt be that long but.. the place was packed. I took my little number off the spool and waited patiently.. texting and taking calls for work. Speaking of work. Have any of you ridden a Rental Car bus when you travel? This is really where the men and the boys are separated. Its a true testament to mothers everywhere when their sons stand up and hold onto that bar while the crazy bus driver takes us to the rental car center, to let a woman sit down. Its usually about 60/40 when I travel. Sometimes they will get up for older or very short women that cant possibly reach that overhead bar (its 6 feet up there), and sometimes they won't. If they don't, I wil get up (all 5'8 of me and in heels no less) since they arent... to let someone else sit and let me tell you- its rather funny to see the red faces on some of the men when I get up to let an older woman sit down. I just smile at them when they realize that their mother would kill them if she were there. Usually, my giving up my seat prompts a man standing up to offer his to me but, I'm thinking 'too Late' you had your chance to be a gentleman. (thats my soapbox for this week)

So now, my fingerprints are off to the FBI and my I600a is off to the USCIS. I think I went totally out of order (if you read my post a few days ago) and should probably have waited to get my prints done but my agency just said to send everything in now so they can start to match it all up. Hopefully it will all work out and I wont get anything back.

Its getting hot here in Phoenix but otherwise pretty quiet.

Russian for today: Spasibo! (spuh-see-buh) means 'Thank you!'

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Finally the Judge speaks

Woo Hoo. I got a call from my Homestudy Socialworker P. today and she got the approved homestudy back from the Judge. Yay!. She is sending the homestudy off to the USCIS tomorrow and I will be sending the I600a and the fingerprints off tomorrow too. Hopefully all will get there at the same time so there isnt any confusion. I am still working on my Dossier docs and will be sending them to 'L' to check over and make sure that they are correct before we send off to the state for certification.. more later

Russian Word for today: do svidaniya (dus svee-dah-nee-ye) Goodbye

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Did I jump ahead?

I got another set of fingerprints done on Friday but as I was reading the instructions for the I600A (better late than never huh) I would have maybe.....waited to get them until I got an appointment from the USCIS. Gee Whiz..there's a lesson learned--read the instructions! I have an email out to my agency to see if I wasted my $$ by going to the Phoenix PD and getting another set before sending the I600A away. I didnt really think about it I just saw 'Fingerprints' on the list and figured might as well get them done.

The good thing is that I think I figured out the USCIS docs. The I600A is the first one and that gets you the I171H then you need the I600 when you go to pick up your child. For those of you who have already got these taken care of, does that sound right,? I welcome ANY help with tips and lessons learned throughout your process so far.

My first Russian word: Hello. Zdravstvujtye (zdrah-stvooy-tee)
or you could say, Good morning. Dobroye utro (dohb-ruh-ee oo-truh)

Thats all for now!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Decision Made

Ok, so being a new blogger is no excuse for a week between posts. I have been doing alot of thinking about and researching my two countries and have made the decision to go with Kyrgyzstan (kur-guh-STAHN). I will build my family with a child born in a different country, halfway around the globe. But I'm looking at it this way: I get the opportunity to immerse myself in learning about a new culture that is so different from my own. I think I will try to learn some Russian!.. Russian for Dummies - here I come. Its a daunting thought to have so far to go to complete my dream of being a Mother. Mom and I went to the Phoenix PD this morning to get our FBI fingerprints done. There were alot of people there, I wonder how many reasons there are to get fingerprints... we will be mailing them Monday. I hope the FBI is quicker than the AZ Judge. I am still waiting for his approval of my Homestudy.
Now the task at hand is getting all the docs required by Kyrgyzstan's government. I only wish there were more of a timing schedule for which docs to tackle in which order. Should I get my fingerprints taken first so I can work on other docs while I am waiting? Do I need one before I am able to get another? I am learning all of this as I go. I am truly blessed to have a great Agency and couple of great new friends that have taken a similar journey through international adoption to help me along the way. A bonus is that they are both Notaries and will 'work' weekends to help me make everything 'legal'. Woo hoo! Thank you J & J.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still Waiting on the Judge

I'm still waiting on the Judge but living vicariously through others as they post their challenges and triumphs around the world. Maria, I am so thrilled for you and your 'boys' I check your post every day to see the beautiful pictures and thoughts that are so inspiring. I am still new at this so putting my 'day' online is a little wierd for me. The blogs I've been reading so far are for families adopting from Kyrgyz so I am hearing alot about the process and tips. If anyone out there is adopting from Guatemala I would love to hear from you! I am still trying to decide.


I suppose I will share what else is going on. Its getting hot in Phoenix, the triple digits are not far now. The funny thing everyone says is 'It may be 115 but, its a DRY heat.' I will concede that it is a different kind of heat (I hate humidity) but, people--I'TS STILL 115! So what do we do in Phoenix when it's 115? We stay inside. The patio, driveway, and sidewalks are too hot to walk on barefoot, the seatbelt (buckle) burns you when you put it on and the steering wheel is HOT. Living in Minnesota (I lived there too) we didnt go outside in the winter.. In Phoenix, we dont go out in the summer.

I have a funny story: I was visiting my best friend Lynn in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (I used to live there too) and we decided to go to the mall, for a nice pedicure. I was driving around the parking lot looking for a spot and finally found a great one. Lynn asked me 'Why are we parking so far away?.... I said 'cause there's shade here'.. In Phoenix we dont look for a spot close to the door. We look for a spot under a tree!

I'll sign off for now..

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Getting the hang of it

I have been playing with the settings and layout of this blog and have added a little more detail to the page.

A little bit to catch up. The Homestudy was sent to the Judge on May 17th now he matches the fingerprints up with the homestudy and gives approval to adopt. Just waiting now until the Judge approves my certification. P (my Social Worker) said that if we got the 'fast Judge' we would hear in a week, the slow one a couple of weeks... guess we got the slow one.

I think not actively doing something, gathering documents, making copies, filling out paperwork, getting things certified is a bit nervewracking. I want to keep moving forward and am trying to keep positive and understand that there are certainly things beyond my control. I am taking this time to decide which country to continue with.

I wish to thank ALL those who serve and protect our country this Memorial Day. Remember the significance of this holiday. It is to honor and remember those who gave the ultimate gift of their life so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have. THANK YOU.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Which country?

I dont know if any of you out there had trouble deciding which country you were going to choose to make your family dreams a reality but, I am. Suprisingly enough, not all countries will allow single women to adopt. I have narrowed it down to 2 countries. Kyrgyzstan and Guatemala. The time to referral is probably going to be the biggest influence in my decision. I do believe, however, that the decision will be guided by my faith that there is a child out there who needs me as much as I need them. So I am putting two pictures on the blog and hoping for the best.

So first up: Kyrgyztan. I'd never heard of this little country before starting on this journey. My friends say 'you want to adopt from where?' The children are beautiful and the time to referral isnt as long as some other countries. I am sad that the children are in orphanages and the travel requirements are hard to manage for a 'to-be' single mother.

Guatemala is having all sorts of trouble and my agency isnt sure when things will settle down enough to get referrals going again. I have friends (J & J) that are in the midst of trying to finalize and adoption for their little girl. They are almost there! The children are beautiful and I am encouraged by the care the children are given while in the care of the foster families in Guatemala and lets face it- Guatemala is closer, revisits would be more manageable. Living in the southwest we have wonderfully diverse cultural events available and bilingual schools etc.

At this point I have not decided and am taking a couple of weeks to pray about it and search within to make the right decision.