Sunday, August 30, 2009

getting closer!

A week from today we will be flying in the same country as Sophie and Ben. Finally. and I can hardley wait!

Friday, August 28, 2009

thanks patrick

patrick from Golden rule got us pretty darn decent fares with no change fee. in fact it is EXACTLY the flight I wanted minus the change fees if we need to change dates. We tried finding fares online and it was very annoying because you would be quoted a fare and then when you say buy this ticket they would say this ticket has gone up in price. EVERY SINGLE TIME! so the 1000 dollar ticket suddenly became a 4000 dollar ticket! that is just wrong!!! several sites did this to us. We contacted who we used for our last adoption 5 years ago. they were supposed to get back to us and as yet havent. so again I say THANK YOU PATRICK AT GOLDEN RULE TRAVEL. the flight does not leave msp until a little later in the morning AND it gets into my destination city at a decent hour as well. and on the way back we wont land here in MSP at 10pm or midnight. Home is a good two hours from the airport. so getting in, exhausted, at midnight then trying to drive home wouldnt be pretty. this works out much better. we would be driving in daylight hours. that helps.

so tickets? CHECK!
on to packing!
and buying!
and preparing!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I realize now that there is a lot of waiting

even when you think that you are done waiting there is more waiting to be done. Until they are home safe and sound you wait. first you wait for the homestudy to be done, for the background checks, for the dossier documents, for the BCIS(or whatever moniker they go by these days) then you wait for dossier to arrive in country. wait fot them to be submitted. wait for a date. wait for someone to get back to you about flight schedules. wait another week to travel. then get there and wait a few more days to see them. wait to come home. wait to go back again. wait to finish up all the loose ends. wait to travel home again. and then. THEN! FINALLY! You have what you have been waiting on for so long. You have your children, all of them, your family, your home, your pets, your cars, your LIFE. and you forget all the "labor pains" and waiting.....until the next time. I KNOW there were lots of waiting times when we adopted in the past. but somehow, like labor pains, I just cant seem to remember them. or they just dont seem as excruciating as the waiting is this time. I am sure at the time, it was incredibly difficult to wait. this time we are so much wiser, but yet the waiting is the hardest part.

I can not believe I am about to be a Mama again. Eric is about to be a Daddy again. I taught Ethan to say brother in Russian. so he can tell Ben they are brothers. he really got into that. these kids are SO LOVED and SO WANTED!! but I do not wait well. You would think by now I would have learned how.

crazy crazy crazy crazy


this is so crazy! I have so many things to do I dont even know what to do first. so I thought "hey I know! I'll blog awhile!" so here is where are. besides crazy. Got a date of the 8th. which means I will miss #1 son's 15th birthday on the 11th. darn. But we can have birthday before or after. he isnt a sentimental kind of kid, now my daughter on the other hand would probably break out in tears at the thought of missing her birthday(even though it isnt really MISSING it ist just MOVING the celebration!) so anyways back to the plan. We have two different agencies working on tickets for us to see what we can come up with. planning to leave 5th or 6th and return home 22ish. depending on when court is. Lydia had court just about a week after meeting the kids. so if THAT happens that way coming home 22nd works out fine. but of course all is at the mercy of the country as we all know.

so things I need to do. too many to think about. = )
this weekend we need to butcher the chickens.
cancel boys eye appt on the 22.
cancel campground reservations since we wont be camping laborday we will be
flying instead(in labor to have two children!)
pack my bag
get an adapter for plugging laptop
get a computer cover-neoprene sleeve
find someone to care for the cats
buy snacks (do international flights feed you anymore?)
still would like one more outfit
remember to pack the toys and photo albums.
oh and taxes, find copies of those.
and of course you know that we live in the middle of NOWHERE and have to drive an HOUR at least to get to a store to get what I need.
OH!! call orthodontist for toothbrushes he promised to send
family reunion luncheon this weekend(when I should be butchering chickens)
and probably a million other things I cant think of right now.
oh yes, camera, pack camera!! and get new mem card!!

advice? thoughts? what to pack/not pack? planning to pack light, I figure 4 bottoms, 4 tops gives me 16 outfits and a dress four court. Trying to keep it to a large backpack I have.




ohmygosh that is little over a week away!! talk about short notice!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

well its Wednesday and I still havent heard anything. nothing. nada. zippo. zilch. Just a whole bag of zero. gosh sometimes the wait is unbearable! and I am pretty close to having a temper tantrum here!! (will it help at all if I do? probably not. sigh)

I will just keeeeeep waiting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

hoping for news soon!! sick with anticipation!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

no dates yet

BUT Miss Lydia has again seen my precious and sent me a photo. and even got a chance to say hello to my Sophie. she is JUST SO DARN CUTE! I cant wait to go there. they keep her in this wheelchair that looks absolutely GIGANTIC around her. She looks so tiny in it. I cant wait to hold her! Hurry up people who assign our appointment date!! hurry up!! I wish we had a new photo of Ben but we are very much looking forward to seeing him as well. The kids are struggling with mama being away from them. One just thinks we are doing it to slight him. One says She wants me to tuck her in and never lets anyone else tuck her. They will have a hard time at first. but we will all grow from it. They will learn that Mama means it when she says she will ALWAYS come back to them. It will be hard for me to be away from them too. They always GROW when I go away! once my husband took me on vacation and I had never been away from the kids. I cried and begged him to take me HOME! is that crazy? maybe. but I love my babies fiercely. I did manage to survive the vacation(even though I broke my leg) and the kids survived it too. so I imagine we can all do it again. and in the end we will have Sophie and Ben to love and play with. Will post Sophie photo later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

should I stay or should I go?

I am wondering about how long things take if we stay or how long it would be if I went home? is it different? is it gonna take ten days to get it all done? or closer to twenty? I will very probably go home. My older son will come back with me trip two. as well as husband. He will be 15 by then. and he has never traveled. My daughter nearly 13 will go along trip one with my husband and myself. If I stayed then Cody woudlntbe able to go. and I have other kids at home that I dont think would stand for me to be away that long. Ethan would be having withdrawals for sure. as grumpy as he is sometimes he really doesnt want or like anyone but Mama to care for him. He gets homesick after a weekend at gramma's house. Well somehow it will all come together. if only I had a DATE!!!

Sophie Ana and Benjamin we will be there as soon as we possibly can!! and soon you will be home forever. home with brothers and sisters who will adore you, and on occasion fight with you. Mama to cuddle you. Daddy to make you giggle with roughhousing and general silliness. soft cuddly kitty to swish you with her tail. there will be so much for you to see and do and learn.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

nothing yet. impatiently waiting.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Life as we know it

is about to change in a way we never imagined. and we couldnt be happier about it. All of my other children are self reliant, independent. they toilet themselves, feed themselves, dress and undress themselves. The two youngest are learning to make their own food now. They can make toast and cheese(with supervision using the toaster, call me paranoid) which they love. They also make PBJ sandwiches and I have moved the plates to a lower place where they can get their own. The older two essentially show up for meals and money haha. They are very independent in doing their own thing.

Now we are bringing home not one but TWO children who are unable to walk. Very likely not toilet trained, but even if they are they cant be independent with it when they cant walk. They likely dont feed themselves either. So we are adding 3 and 5 year old infants with brains of preschoolers. How that must be difficult for them to see others their size DOING and knowing they cant. Well when they come here, we will do what needs doing and encourage them to learn to do for themselves. it may take a long time to come but I believe if we give them a chance they will find ways to do things. It may be unconventional ways but whatever works for them is ok with us. We will put them in beds low to the ground so they can easily learn to get in and out. Freedom might prove too enticing to stay in bed!

I find myself looking at things in new ways. the beach is inaccessible to someone in a chair. the bathrooms with handicapped stalls are barely big enough to turn around much less turn a chair and transfer. How in the world do people with disabilites function in a society that doesnt acommodate them? Some stores dont even have self opening doors! I want to become an advocate and at the same time push independence in my children. I will change their diapers until they can learn to use the toilet. I will feed them until they can feed themselves. I will love them forever. just like I have for all my other kids. We are a fairly active family and I fully expect to encounter situations that are just not acceptable. I dont know how to mentally prepare to deal with them.

I was reading the blog of a young woman going on a cruise. they refuse to acommodate her and she is fighting for equallity. I hope she wins. and until she does I hope she makes such a stink that there is no question that acommodations must be made.

I must admit I went into this blindly. I didnt think at all about all the things that WOULDNT be accessible to them. I thought only of the things that would. but with them and for them I will fight too. They deserve the same opportunities any ablebodied person has. That includes, shopping, liesure activities, parks, education, medical care, EVERYTHING. So bring it on world. I am ready to fight for my Sophie and Ben. They deserve nothing less than that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

it is official

We have been submitted, today August 17! now we wait for dates! meredith told me tonight in chat. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE is what I keep saying. VERY VERY EXCITED!! we got two books today on speaking the language. and I will print out the pages from the group. and I have become pretty familiar with their alphabet. we are excited! sophie and ben, HERE WE COME!

I saw this on another blog

and it is fitting. I dont know the author but if you are the author and you object I will pull it down immediately. if you are the author and want credit I will gladly add that.

adopting a known child is an experience many people cant relate to. They dont know what its like to KNOW your child is out there waiting, what he or she looks like, where they are, and also know that you can do nothing to get them home until its time. its out of your control. you are completely at the mercy of someone else's timeline. this poem sort of captures that feeling. again I didnt write it, but if you know who did let me know!

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Dearest Ben and Sophie

We thought about you a lot today. We went swimming and wondered how you would like that. We worried about our documents getting where they need to go and being accepted. We talked about what life will be like once you are home for good. I have so many questions. Has someone helped you to use the toilet or due to your inability to be independent do you just not use it? Will you want to come home with us? Ben will you say you dont want us to be your family? and what will we do if that happens? And how big are you two now? pictures can be very deceiving! I hope you both somehow know that we are here waiting for you. that we will stop at nothing to get you home with us. We are so looking forward to getting to know you and your likes, dislikes, and quirks. Will you be happy? mischievious? sensetive? what are your personalities like? Will you be able to feed yourself? or will you need help with that? We are so willing to do whatever you will need. If you need help with feeding or toileting we will be here to help you. (its our job you know! thats what parents do!) Mama is very tired tonight after a big day outdoors. So I must go to bed but know I will be dreaming of you both.
Love, Mama

is today here already tomorrow there?

maybe not quite. We are hoping to be submitted tomorrow. Hope with me that it goes well!!! One step closer to kids!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dear Sophie and Ben

Other people are writing letters to their children and I wonder why this has never occurred to me. So here I am writing to you to tell you how much I love and miss you and how much my arms ache to hold you. Someday you can read this letter and know that you were so loved and wanted long before you landed in our arms. Your brothers and sisters ask for you every day. They always want to know, when is our Ben coming home? When will our Sophie be here? Not a day goes by that we are not thinking of you.

Last night I had a dream about you Sophie. I dreamt that you were deaf and mute and couldnt sign either because of your hands. I was worried that we wouldnt be able to communicate with you, but daddy said take her home, it will all work out, we just cant leave her there. And we brought you home and you were wonderful. Ben I havent had any dreams about you yet. I feel as though you are very far away now that you have moved. But soon we will all be together and not have to leave each other again.

We are so anxious to come for you but that is out of our control. The very minute we hear word that we can come we will be on our way! you can bet on it! Hope to see you soon.

Love, Mama

Friday, August 14, 2009


wondering when we should hear something. ANYTHING. even just yes I got it, its here, I am working on it. desperate for any info at this point. Thankfully Lydia has been kind enough to fill me in on alot of how things work and where things are. She had court today I think THINKING OF YOU LYDIA!!!!HOPE IT GOES WELL!!
I am extremely thankful for the communication from the other side of the pond. and the pictures are darling. but I am dying to go get the kids! Dying to See them. to hold them. Well I just had a talk with my daughter about how we dont always get what we want when we want it right now. sometimes we need to wait. sigh. I hate when my own words come back on me!!! so I need to wait. I cant always have whaat I want when I want. I need to wait. there is nothing I can do to hurry anything. its all out of my hands. breathe. wait. breathe. wait. breathe. wait. just keep breathing and waiting.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

no news yet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

new photo of Sophie


I dont know how. but we will find a way to get those kids home. There is something else going on right now that I cant talk about. It complicates the adoption financing. there are definitely ways we can do it, just not the way we planned. and I like things to go according to plan. I never thought I was like that but as I have grown older I have found I really do like to have a plan and know how things will go. If the plan varies a little but stays mainly the same I am good. but when a plan goes completely awry and we have to throw it out and get a new plan THEN I get grumpy and tearful and discouraged. Hopefully in a day or two we will know more about that something else that is upsetting the plan. But my husband did say we could get extend a loan we already have rather than draining our emergency fund. I dont mind using some of the savings but would hate to empty it altogether. Our house payment alone is more than some people make in a month. so if something happened and we were without income we really NEED that in reserve.

so in short, yes we are still planning to bring home our Ben. How could we not? We know what his future holds there. Here he may not have the most expensive toys but he will never lack for love. never.

now on to selling the rest of those bracelets and have a garage sale, every penny counts right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

bad news and good news

Lydia sent me photos of Sophie. she is beautiful. absolutely gorgous. The bad news is that Ben is no longer there. he has been moved to a big kids orphanage(gosh he isnt a big kid he isnt even 6!) and now it is going to cost more money to work with two orphanages. I am sick. He has no future there. his chance of adoption as a non mobile 5 year old are pretty much nil. but I just dont know where we are going to come up with the extra cash. Thankfully he is still in the same city so it is a possibility. but how? how? of course now we will have to divide our time in P town between two places meaning neither child ever gets us for long. and the money. the money is a serious problem. I dont know where we are going to come up with enough for everything. travel for 6(one older child is going with us on each trip plus bringing home both Sophie and Ben) is alone a huge expense. and we really will need that extra help to have one of our older kids along. then the actual adoption expenses (now with added expenses because Ben was moved) and while there we have to stay and eat as well. Then the embassy stuff is more money and the second I600 we will have to file for the second child. Not to mention there is someone else breathing heavy down our necks asking for more money. Eric works so hard. he is a good provider. The people of this town are less than supportive in our adoption ventures and have not donated much more than their nasty comments. I am just sick. I dont know how it will all work out. one way or another, this way or that way, something will happen. will it be what we wanted? what we planned? what we hoped? I just dont know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Forgot to mention

today we went to the beach with a family from nearby who have adopted four kids from the same country as our two. It was great to see them. the kids were wonderful. on the small side but really great kids!

fed ex told me delivery wednesday

It was delivered today!! My dossier is in the hands of the right person, RIGHT NOW!!! YAYYYY!! now I hope all is well and nothing needs fixing. If she got it today hopefully she will be able to submit it next week? I am not exactly clear on timelines but I am hopeful to hear something soon. and since Lydia is doing such a great job of keeping me updated on the city and orphanage I am ready to go!

another letter from Lydia

she has again seen my Sophie and she sits in a special chair all of the time. Probably something like a wheelchair or therapy chair or something of the like. She told me all the scoop on the city, all the good places to eat. where the market is. where the computer place is(apparently ONLY at the post office!! dont think we will be uploading many photos while there since we werent planning to bring our laptop, its SO HEAVY!) I guess the choice of hotel is pretty limited, like there is only one. I dont care though, I will stay in a little thatched hut if necessary(wouldnt be the first time I stayed in a hut) The thing that concerns me is that she hasnt been able to see my Ben. Where is my Ben? I thought Sophie and Ben were in the same group together. They are only 2 years apart in age. closer to year and half. Neither walk. I am happy to have news of Sophie and of the city she is in. I sure wish I could get some word about Ben though.

I just checked the tracking and my dossier is IN COUNTRY! In city of destination even. YAY! Now, where is my Ben?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lydia saw my Sophie!! she wasnt able to get any photos but she did see her. I thought Ben was in her group but they didnt see him. Sophie was in a stroller. oh golly I wanna hold her so bad. and Ben where is my Ben? Thank you so much Lydia for just that one statement, "we saw sophie!" MADE MY DAY!


I checked the tracking number and my package has left Paris France. so it is well on its way and nearly there! not sure it will take another 4 days to get where its going since they said wednesday delivery. early delivery would be awesome, but hey I will take on time delivery over no delivery at all. Hope all is well and dont have to redo anything. but I am prepared to rush about redoing anything they ask. but hopefully that will be unnecessary. Still hoping Lydia will get a glimpse of my kids but I know its busy when you are adopting and she just may not get the chance. I would so love more photos of Ben we have only the one. Sophie we have about 10. funny since they are both in the same group in the same place. maybe he is not as severe to warrant more pics. but he is less mobile so I wonder why that is. anwyays I am just anxious to get them. whatever their medical problems are, we will deal. we will cope. we just want them HERE! I worry that since Ben is nearly 6 he will be given the option to decide if he wants to come with us. Another child recently refused adoption at age 7 and that decision was honored by the country. Does a 6 or 7 year old have a clue whats best for them? I tend to think not. anyways what if Ben doesnt want to be our son? how would I tell the other kids Ben isnt coming home? Well I guess just hope for the best and wait and see. I cant wait to see his precious little impish smile in person!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

so excited!!

I just found out that my friend Lydia, due to change of circumstance, is adopting a child in the same orphanage as Sophie and Ben!!! I am SO EXCITED that someone is THERE! I just want to know everything!! I read her posts like three times over hoping for ANY information at all. I am hoping she will see our kids and get some photos. If she doesnt, at least I know that I wont be the first one to that region. Someone else has paved the way for us. They are apparently the very FIRST special needs adoption there!!!! We might very well be the second and third!!

I heard from Yulia and she is waiting for my dossier to arrive and will let me know when it does. I am so happy that it is out of my hands. I hope all is well with the documents and we dont have to redo many. or ANY. but at least the bulk of the work is done. if something needs redoing we can just redo it quicklike and send it on, no waiting for some other thing dependent on others. It is supposed to arrive by Weds, today is Saturday. Hope it gets there early! gosh I just want everything dont I? well waiting is hard and really the only thing I want is to have my Sophie and Ben home with us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dossier is off to it's destination!!!

OK! It's gone! out of my hands!!! happy travels dossier! hurry along to your destination please, no sight seeing along the way!!

fed ex man

the fed ex guy will be here this afternoon to whisk our dossier off to foreign lands. which means we are one more step closer to getting Sophie and Ben home!! Hoping it arrives safely and quickly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dossier Completion

this was a crazy day! we rushed out to finish signing our documents at the credit union. then off to the cities to get the homestudy and get everything apostilled. we also had another appointment at 1 because we try to cram as much as possible in when we drive down there for the day. I called agency at 9. I called at 10.
I called at 11. I left messeges every time. I called again at noon, she hadnt gotten any of my messeges. well it isnt ready. they were waiting on a new notary for one of the office people. and thought they would have time to get it before my I600A was finished processing. I asked her to find someone else in the building that has a notary. she was full of excuses. but its lunchtime no one is here. we drove to the building anyways. and then found that the social worker signed in black ink when we specified many times it MUST BE IN BLUE INK. so we pushed and pushed her until she figured a way to get it done. she did go the extra mile in the end. finished our other appointment and rushed to meet her and get the documents that were newly notarized.

Rushed to the Sec of State office. Now you would think that Sec of State would be in the capital grounds. umm no. its in the retirement services building a couple miles away. so we rushed over there and it was after 3. they close at 4. I handed them my documents and one lady was all smiles and helpful and no worries we will get it done. the other lady was crabby and bossy and no! we will not be able to get this done! I said we drove all the way down here from MilleLacs. Doesnt matter! smiling woman keeps nodding and smiling saying its ok we will get it all done. we will try anyways.

waited awhile and noticed the carpet pattern resembles the symbol for toxic waste. interesting. people come, people go. then Crabby lady came back out and said can you come back tomorrow for these? (meanwhile I had already paid for them) I said with my mouth agape we live 150 miles away!!! she shakes her head. time ticks on.

I went to use the restroom while waiting and there was a large bulletin board there. and guess who was on it? yep! crabby lady is retiring it seems. Definitely time to retire if you hate your job so much you cant even be NICE to the customers anymore.

all the while, smiling happy gal keeps assuring me they will get it done. and sure enough they did. at about 1 minute before 4. I told them with tears in my eyes to tell the people in the back how incredibly grateful I am for their getting it finished. they wished us well and we were on our way home.

Dossier complete!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

tomorrow the plan is to get all our stuff apostilled and hopefully be able to send it all off to Yulia!

it came!!! shoop it came!!!

two and half weeks after submission to BCIS(or whatever they call themselves these days) one unsuccesful phone call, many unsuccesful checking for updates, one unsuccessful email and here it is. it is HERE! My I171H is here in my HANDS! hopefully tomorrow we can get everything else together and apostilled!!! EEEE! Sophie and Ben we are coming for you!!!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

still waiting

this is week three. hopefully soon we will hear something. ANYTHING. they dont want us to bother them, they want us to take care of checking status automatically. but none of their automatic ways WORK! figures. I spent way too much money yesterday but I found the cutest outfits for Sophie. she will be so adorable in them. little A line swing tops with leggings. now all she needs is ruffly socks to go with them and some little patent leathers. I got a couple shirts for Ben, but I am just not sure on size for him. I dont see Sophie being more than a 4 but Ethan is 7 and wears about a 4 or 5 for length but waist can wear a 12-18 months. so I am out of sync on boy sizes. but I cant wait to see Sophie in her cute little tops and leggings. with ruffly socks of course. now if we could just get that missing link!!

what is fall like in their world? will it be cool warm downright cold? I had hoped to have it all together and go there before fall but that is obviously not going to happen.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

me and my girls

this was fun but we all were thinking, we are missing Sophie in this picture.