Friday, April 29, 2011

Dossier SENT!

So - yesterday was REALLY busy....

I'm sorry I didn't update - it was a really crazy day - but with GREAT new!

We have no idea way - but apparently our dossier was sent to our local post office from Sacramento and for some reason our local PO sent it directly back to Sacramento.  The delay was because they actually sent it to us twice! UGH! While it is frustrating that we lost about 3 days with all that silliness - we are really just happy we got it!

We got it at about 11am on Thursday and it was in a Fed Ex envelope and on it's way to Eastern Europe right after lunch.  It should be there by next Thursday (as always - praying for earlier is appreciated).  We were told our dossier could be accepted as early as the next week - with the change of the adoption laws looming - the earlier the better.

Please continue to keep our adoption process and this precious little girl in your prayers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nobody knows where our papers are.....

Our dossier made it to the State Capital for Apostille last week.  Included was a self adressed prepaid flat rate mailer for it to come back to us in.

Harry called and asked if we could please get ours expedited b/c of our time crunch - they were happy to help.

They let us know it was mailed out (Priority) on Thursday afternoon.

2-3 days 'guaranteed' return.

Friday, Saturday, (no mail Sunday) - should be here Monday or Tuesday


Not in Wednesday's mail either.

We called to double check that it had indeed been sent. Yes it was - about 2:30pm on Thursday.

Do you have record of that or a tracking number.

No, but a postal employee comes to pick up at 2:30pm and your package was in the load on Thursday.

We called our Post Office.  The employee basically told us that there was no protocol for what to do when a package without tracking (we were not able to put tracking on it - only the person sending it could and they just don't do that apparently) gets lost - you just have to wait for it.

And if it doesn't show up?

Oh I am sure it will....

And if it doesn't???

Oh, well then you'll just have to do it again, it isn't guaranteed unless you go Certified mail - that was your mistake.


I proceeded to let her know that I was gonna need a little more customer service from her - that we had literally spent THOUSANDS of dollars making that paperwork and that it is not something we can duplicate.  I also explained to her there is a deadline that they had already pushed us back with.  They advertise 2-3 days NATIONALLY - we are in the same State and on day FIVE.

Something is wrong.  I mail stuff for Ebay all the time via priority mail for years - NEVER had a problem.  Harry addressed it himself so we know we have the right address.  It was prepaid flat rate - no reason it would be sent back for lack of postage. My experience is that it really should have been there on Saturday - and there is just no good reason that 5 business days later a priority package only being sent within the State should still be in waiting.

Anyway - that is where we are - we've called everyone between us and that paperwork and we can't find it.  Our ENTIRE Dossier is in that package - dozens of notarized and apostilled doctors appointments, court documents, our home study, proof of employment, housing info, everything - months of paperwork & a lot of money....not to mention enough personal information to pretty much buy anything you want in our name.....

I get that stuff gets lost in the mail - but this is crazy.  I honestly don't know how we would get everything redone again with the clock ticking like it is - we would do it - but it would be insane & I don't know if it would matter......I am really hoping I am getting ahead of myself and it really will show up tomorrow.

Not to sound trite - but please pray - that is all we have got right now.  Pray that it gets here and also pray for our nerves.....


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

for those of you on the edge of your seat..... can go about your business - nothing in the mail today.

Guaranteed tomorrow.

*crossing fingers*


Monday, April 25, 2011

UPS Guy stood me up

So I sat home all day patiently waiting for the UPS guy to show up.

He never did - hopefully tomorrow.....

Things to think about, numbers to crunch

So right now I am patiently (not patiently actually) waiting for the UPS man (or woman) to bring me my freshly apostilled Dossier.

It SHOULD be here today.  We will Fed Ex it tomorrow to 'Claire's' country - once it is there we will wait for it to be acepted - we have been told this is typically a few days and court dates are assigned just a few weeks out.  There of course are all kinds of new things going on in her country and we don't know if that will speed up or delay our process. 

So we are (theoretically) getting very close *yay*

Right now we are just trying to get ducks in a row.  We are fairly confident we are fully funded - but need a couple things to work out.

First - Tax Credits for adoptions are being given out manually (bummer) - which means the several thousand dollars we anticipated going into our 'adoption fund' has NOT made it in yet - as we near travel dates we are very nervous it won't be there in time for our first trip - it isn't like travel won't happen - but we will feel MUCH better having that money (that we already calculated for) sitting there waiting.

Second - please continue to pray for stability in her country - specifically pertaining to adoptions and those of us in the middle of this transition - we know that this change is in the best interest of children who wait - we are PRAYING it does not delay us any longer and also that it will not require paperwork to be redone or more paperwork to be done - new paperwork is not budgeted for - and we have already waited so long.

Third - please pray that when we do travel that we are able to move FAST - when we went to adopt Silas everything was planned out - we knew exactly how long we were to be in the country.  In this case, it is not so cut & dry - we have two trips - they could each be a week - they could each be 3+ weeks - for MANY reasons we are hoping for the shortest trips possible - if the trips are shorter we hopefully get in and out before June 12th - also - every day we spend in country costs money (apartment, food, translator - it is NOT a fancy trip, but it is expensive), every day we are in country we are missing work - Harry has one week worth of paid vacation - anything more than that is protected, but unpaid.  And of course we have two kids at home - we will miss them terribly and we will be relying on friends and family to care for them while we are gone - we know that everyone involved will be very happy if this can just be a short trip!

Quick praises

- Harry has had quite a bit of freelance work the last month - this is a tremendous blessing - this has helped us stay on track financially and if it keeps up we will hopefully have money saved to make up for that time off at the beginning of the trip (not something we will have to borrow from an emergency fund or CC).

- My little stay at home mommy hobby is really starting to turn into a 'job' - I'm not spending much extra time on it - but I am starting to make a little money.  We pray that it continues to grow - every ad we sell and every commission check goes into our adoption fund (this was always the plan -but it didn't really come to consistent fruition until this last month or so) - we are hoping this will also help fill in the gaps while Harry is not working as much.  Last week we got three commission checks and several emails about advertising (only one new advertiser actually signed on the dotted line so far - but we are hopeful!) - All in all - we are only talking a few hundred dollars - but it was very encouraging to have money to deposit into the adoption account - those of you who dont know about my blog you can check it out at (just so you know what I am talking about =)) We are hoping this is just the little extra bonus our family needs to get us through debt free without extra weight on Harry's shoulders - we also hope it will help supplement his income once we have another member of the family and ultimately be an avenue to make more money to donate to help future RR families - anyway - please pray the momentum continues!

Thanks for caring & thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Focusing on the positive!

Still NO new news on what is going on (if anything) in Claire's country.  So we are continuing on just hoping we can get through before anything (if anything) changes.

Today we have a cool thing to report - our freshly apostilled paperwork has already been mailed back to us.  We should get it on Monday and we will Fed Ex it Tuesday to Claire's country. 

This is awesome!  We were told it would take 7-10 days to apostille and then they would mail it back - it looks like we will get it back a couple days earlier & that is a small victory *happy dance*

More info to come! Please keep the whole process in your prayers!


Monday, April 18, 2011


No Claire adoption news.....

In place of what I would have liked to have been an adoption update I will share with you a sweet story.

This afternoon Silas woke up from nap and asked for hot cocoa.  He was still kinda sleepy.

"Sure, Buddy, but it is gonna cost you a big hug."

"Ok Mommy." and he shuffled over to the coach and crawled up in my lap.

"You know, some day you are gonna be so big that you won't even fit in my lap."

"Will I someday be even bigger than Daddy?"

"I bet you will, Russians are bigger than Argentinians"


"Where is Daddy from Bubby?"

"Him's from Argentina."

"Where is Silas from?"

"I'm from Russia."

"Where are you now?"


Takes my breathe away........

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hopes for Monday

So we have two things we are hoping for tomorrow.

1) that some new official information will be released from Claire's country - answers to what will happen when the current law changes in June - what it means to those of us in process - the probability of our dossier even being accepted at this point - what/where/when, etc, etc, etc - we have a thousand questions.

2) that we can get in contact with the supervisor at the apostille office and sweet talk them into going out of order & processing ours Monday instead of going in order they came which would take an estimated week / week and a half.  Only a supervisor can make this call.

- Again - we've been told not to panic, but just to work as quickly as we can.  Countries have closed before and reopened.  The reasons they are changing the laws is ultimately good - it just will very likely take those of us in the process even longer.  This could mean filing new/more paperwork which ultimately takes more time and very likely costs more money - we'd obviously like to avoid that.

The first time we asked for commitment papers for this little girl was nearly a year ago.  One of the bumming things about adoption is you commit to love a child and then have to wait out the process.  We feel like we have already missed out on a year of life together (not to mention the year and a half before we knew of her).  We just want to be her family, as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading and praying - we are so thankful for all those who love her already and support our decision to bring her home!!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just some quick numbers to think about

So there is not much official info out there to read - trust me, we've looked.

What we have found is that there are 143 AMERICAN families who have had Dossiers accepted and have not had their adoptions completed in Claire's country.

There are also MANY other families from other countries who have already had Dossiers accepted.

Note - We are NOT one of these families.  Our Dossier is still at our State Capitol getting all apostilled ready to FedEx - it will hopefully join that group next week or the week after.

Knowing how difficult it is where we sit - we know it is scary for all these people ahead of us too. 

Every single one of those families represents an orphan that has an opportunity to come home to a family - and I just pray that every single one flies through the process quickly.

Again - this change is ultimately in the best interest of the orphans in her country.  Ultimately it should make adoption easier and likely faster.  But those of us in the process right now could potentially wait longer (nobody knows how long) - and it is just terrible that kid's with committed parents have to wait any longer.

Please just pray for those people waiting - not just the Americans, but I wanted to share that number - there are hundreds in our position too - we don't want to fly ahead of anyone - we really just want everyone to get through.

My point is, it just is not about our family and what we want in 'our baby' - it's about these kids that just need families.

Thanks for reading! Thanks for praying!! (good thoughts & happy hippie vibes also accepted)

Friday, April 15, 2011

President signed a law......

OK - so remember way back in the day when we were saying there was gonna be a vote at some point that may or may not change adoptions....

and remember how it kept getting pushed back.  Finally we just stopped listening to all the updates, it's been going on for over a year & just didn't seem to be a priority to the country.  We were thinking it was very likely at this point we would just skate through before anything even happened.


Vote signed - new laws will go into affect on June 12th.

While we will likely travel before June 12th there is little reason to think our adoption would be finalized before June 12th.


There is lots up in the air.  Lots of questions we don't have answers to.  We just know the dept that has been handling adoptions in her country will no longer be valid on June 12th.

We know that the reason for this change is ultimately VERY good!  There is no political upset to make us think that adoptions will end - it will likely make adoption easier in her country eventually.

We don't know if there is a new department already started or if it needs to be created - there are no published (authenticated) answers to those questions yet.

Those of us in the middle of the process though will likely take longer to get through.

Do you have questions?

Please don't ask me - I have no idea and it is just kind of annoying to hear them at this point.  There are TONS of blogs speculating that really have no idea at all.  We kinda just have to wait it out.

So what can we do?

Two things at this point.

Sit on our thumbs.



We are too deep in the process to turn around now - we think to ourselves we just can't stop and not follow through.

Worst case scenario - we'll have to resubmit everything (with a boatload of more stuff I am sure)

Best case scenario - by the grace of God we get through everything somehow before June 12th.  (again, highly unlikely and we still believe God is good if this is not the just sure is the easier of the two options)

We got this insane news (officially) about 30 minutes ago.  I am obviously just now processing it (hence the slight sarcasm) - expect a weepy freak out post to come.....

What is SUPER annoying - we sent our paperwork to apostille yesterday morning to Sacramento. We were told it will take 7 - 10 days to complete & then they'll send it back.  We discussed Harry just driving to LA & sitting there all day to get it done in one day & then he could mail it Fed Ex.  He had a client meeting that he easily could have missed if he really needed to, but it just seemed to be silly to go up just to save one week (if that - there was a possibility they would be too busy to take him that day)

'Oh don't do that Babe, gas is $4.10 a gallon - it's only a couple days, it won't make a huge difference.'


had we known we could have bought ourselves a week we totally would have....

Anyway - buckle up - the roller coaster just got real.

*It is important to note - thus far.....still SIGNIFICANTLY less drama than Silas' adoption.*

We ask for your prayers at this time - now more than ever that we can just smoothly sail through the process - that everything moves as quickly as it possibly can.  We ask that everyone involved at the government level has the best interest of the kids at heart and just gets through whatever this transition is quickly!  Even if we make it through, there are other kids and families slightly behind us in the process - this will affect people - we just pray that children do come home and quickly!

Please also keep 'Claire' in your is just so very unfair for her to be so loved and still need to live in a baby house for even one more day.

Thank you for your prayers

Harry & Kate

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

'...everything looks great, please send to apostille.'

So right now it is morning in Claire's country and we got the email we have been waiting for all day (well for a couple days really)

Basically - 'everything looks great, please send to apostille'

Best thing we've heard in a while.  We will be sending everything tomorrow morning.


One step closer!!!

spoke too soon

so there were a couple pieces that had to be redone and a completely new piece we had never heard of before that needed to be in our dossier. *sigh*

so it still has not left yet - it hasn't even gone to the state to be apostilled yet. *sigh*

*taps foot impatiently*

ACTUALLY I really can't complain - had we sent our dossier already this new paper we got only a few days ago as we were waiting approval for the last (last, last) change on a couple others) we would have to resend this as well - sending it all together is MUCH better.

We are praying we get the 'all clear' to send our packet to Sacramento for apostille tonight - so hopefully we will be sending tomorrow.....

Hang on Claire - we are coming!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sending dossier for apostille tomorrow!!

Today (our daughter's bday) we got our I717 clearance - woot!  We got this in the mail less than two weeks after getting them done!  We were told 2 weeks - 3 months! Now if that isn't an answer to pray, I really don't know what is. For whatever the reason, we are VERY happy it happened so fast!

We have already had our coordinator over in Claire's country go through EVERY document with a fine toothed comb and she has assured us that everything is ready for apostille (basically - notary of the notary - done at the state level).

We will send everything for apostille tomorrow!  We have been told it takes up to 10 days for our apostilled paperwork to come back. (but we seem to have been kissed by the 'paperwork gets done faster' fairy - so that is what we are hoping for here).  We then send the whole precious paperwork packet - our 'Dossier' to her country - basically everything her country has asked to see - proving we are fit to parent her and specifically requesting to adopt her.

Up until the paperwork gets to her we still have no legal ties to her.  On the very slight chance she is adopted by someone else we would then go to her country as a 'blind referral' - meaning we would essentially pick a child there.  Our prayer is that this is our little girl - but we firmly believe God does not make mistakes! 

We should have travel dates VERY soon at this point!  Please keep all this precious paperwork in your prayers and also 'our' Claire - we are SO close!!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Check out these sweet businesses!!

All the following businesses donated to our fundraiser - we also had several private donations as well.  We were so thankful for these businesses - it would not have been as successful without them.

I hope you will check out the list & keep these businesses in mind if you are ever in need of any of their services!

Famulare Jewelers by the Sea
Linda's Yogurt
Carlsbad Inn
Grand Pacific Palisades
Daily News Cafe
Legoland CA
Coyote Bar & Grill
Kidsville Playtown
Party Lite
Stampin' It Up

My most sincere apology if I missed a business! I think I got them all but there were so many!

Thank you so much for helping us bring our little girl home without the financial worry!

We are so blessed!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts! Things are super good!

Ok - so I know I haven't checked in yet - don't worry - things are AWESOME!

We had a GREAT fundraiser (that I promise to write more about later) - we seem to be FULLY FUNDED - YAY!!!

Our friends (and even strangers) were so generous to come out and support us - I will post a list shortly with all the cool businesses around town (and on the web) who donated to help make it a HUGE success!

They raised $6000 exactly! Now we are just crossing our fingers that plane tickets stay where they are and don't jump any before we travel. Travel is really the only expense that could change, so we just pray it doesn't go up much, even if it does we are SO CLOSE!

If you were looking to donate to a worth cause I hope you will check out 'Matthew' - we have friends who are SERIOUSLY considering him!  They have already committed to another child and have been told they can legally adopt both - the cost to adopt both is significantly less than adopting them seperately (mainly b/c of travel) - but it is still the only barrier for this family - I hope you will consider donating to his fund - even just a few dollars collectively can make an awesome impact in this little guy's chances of a family who already loves him!

Also - we got word that our fingerprint approval is done and we should have it to send to apostille early next week! It will take about a week to get ALL our paperwork back from appostille - once we have this it is ready to FedEx half way around the world to ask legally to adopt 'our' Claire!!!

Things should move pretty quickly once paperwork is in her country. We know that she has been released for International adoption, so it is just a matter of time at this point.

Please keep her in your prayers and also our family as we are just feeling very antsy at this point.  We look forward to sharing travel info soon!!