Introducing our budding family. We hope you will enjoy watching us grow... and everything else under the sun. ;)
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Anxiously Awaiting... Waiting Anxiously...

Last week was a heck of a week. We have dealt with many up's and down's (in the past and present), of which we are proud to say has only made us stronger, and the urge to continue on greater. Preparing to bring our daughter home is no small feat. The process is in no way comparable to buying a car or a house. And like Michael mentioned previously, it's not easy. Though there is nothing in the world that we can compare this experience to, we wouldn't trade it for the world. The end result will by far outweigh... and none of this will matter then.

To help everyone better understand, I (Melissa) have broken down the process of where our dossier is today:

1. Prepare and compile a Dossier and forward to International agency.

2. Dossier is sent to Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington D.C.

3. Once approved, dossier is sent to "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" (MFA).

4. Then sent to "Ministry of Education" (MOE).

5. Once approved again, dossier is sent to Guardianship Board in the city where you are adopting.

6. Once cleared of step 5. parents are issued a "Letter of Invitation" (LOI).
This letter is necessary for the parents to obtain a Kazakhstani visa. Soon after, parent(s) are allowed to travel to the country and visit, arrange court dates, etc.

The bolded step (#4) is currently where we hope to be standing as of this week. We received word that our dossier was to move on early this week, putting it at the MOE.
Of course, changes can happen at any time. There is no specfic time line in between the steps - thus we have no idea how long it will take officials to go over our paperwork, in addition to other families. This is only an example. :)

Other news that came in last week, we were offered the rare opportunity to adopt 2 sisters, a sibling group. These girls are younger than Hayden, filling in any gap in between ages.
Though it was a very difficult, heart-wrenching decision... we decided a family of five was not in the cards for us at this time. We continue to hold out for one child, a girl, preferably between the ages of 12-24 months. Through all this... we have learned that God will make it happen when it's time.

Hayden's Beauty and the Beast play is this weekend and we couldn't be more thrilled! Besides singing, Hayden has a tiny speaking part that suits him perfectly. We hope to capture it on video, or at the least have plenty of pictures. Though our evenings this week are spent shoveling dinner down our throats, dashing out the door to get him to rehearsal, and then back home to bed ASAP... Hayden is having a blast! We can't wait to show off our little charmer.

Have a great week! 0 comments

Put Yourself in Someone Else's Shoes

It's nearing the end and we are starting to imagine the day our daughter will be home. What will that day be like? What or how many more obstacles or loopholes will we have to endure to get to that day?

With that in mind, we have no regrets, there isn't a moment that goes by that would make us trade this experience. However, everyday life gets harder and harder. We are constantly hit with questions and problems that are out of our control. Who will watch Hayden while we travel? Should we take Hayden with? Do I (as a mother) feel comfortable leaving him home while we leave and meet our daughter, leaving him in family/friends hands? Why am I told not to worry, but get puzzled looks when asking about the welfare of my son? His life is full too, therapies to help with his developmental delays, fun activities like play, and his love for school. How will he handle mom and dad being gone for several weeks? Do we have all our finances in order? And our paperwork? Yet again, we are faced with expiration dates - papers and fingerprints that need to be re-done.

Yet we rarely hear anyone ask... how are you doing? How are you holding up? This must be hard on you, how are you managing?... Instead we are frequently asked "When?". A question that we don't always know the answer too, a question that most people react like they have opened a can of worms. Or one that people feel that warrants a response like "How come you don't know" then "that's ridiculous!"

And after 20 some odd months, we feel like we are going down this road alone.

We started this blog to help educate our family and friends about the hometown of our daughter while we are there, make them aware of our progress, and share family moments.

So, from this day on... put yourself in our shoes. Imagine how hard it is to want to bring your child home. Imagine how hard you have worked everyday for this for months. How hard it is to explain to your 6 year old who is just as desperate as us why the process takes so long? Or a cashier who your 6 year old just told - that he's getting a baby sister (and your not pregnant). Imagine that yearning to finish the child's room, without a child to fill it. Imagine having no one understand how hard of a process this is, and dealing with that day after day. I (Michael) was just asked by one of my former students who is doing her research paper on International Adoptions as she has a close relative also working through the process, "What was the easiest part of the process?" It took me a really long time to think of a response...made me realize "they" don't make it easy, not one darn thing! Her next question was what would I change...now that I could easily answer and went on and on and on. She said her relative pretty much said the exact same things as me. And it's really frustrating, but we know in end it will all be worth it when we finally bring our daughter into our lives.

Yes, life is hard, we manage. We have good days and bad. We try to keep our heads up. We try to empathize with others, so why can't others empathize with us? For example, while calling a bank that took away our last loan that we needed to finish the process, a loan that is for people who are adopting, the customer service rep felt horrible, yet it was out of her control. The bank made the decision to pull this type of loan and didn't care if we still needed the rest of the money. I could hear the sympathy in her voice, she wanted to help, but the computer was in charge.

This is the first blog entry we have collaborated on, sharing our feelings to those who read. 4 comments

Jeans Like Swiss Cheese

We had a terrific Christmas! The snow held off long enough to make the journeys out to our family's homes. Hayden enjoyed opening his gifts, in addition to his favorite one being a piano. We are lucky to have a musically inclined child... i.e. easy on the ears and keys. Though currently, he has found out that the "electronic" keyboard plays drums. Of which he is totally excited about. This is one aspect of the piano that is NOT quiet.

So, we have a treat for you! To show you just how much he is enjoying his gift from Santa... view the video below:

video

We are anxiously awaiting the summer. Not only because we can't take another ounce of snow, or for school to be over, but for us to meet and bring our daughter home! I have started the research again on the design of her room... anxious to implement my ideas. Imagine brown paint, white furniture, pink curtains, and a tree on the wall... I hope it turns out to be everything I envision and more!

Recently we made a trip to JcPenney. With some holiday bucks and a coupon (from the use of my bargain sites), we turned what could have been an empty-pocketbook into a steal of a deal!
Hayden was in dire need of new jeans. With a growing boy, we couldn't live with re-patching the same knee on the worn out jeans. And he needed to get used to buttons and zippers.
So we bought Daddy a warmer coat for under $25, Mommy a new fashionable scarf, and Hayden 2 pairs of Jeans... leaving the bill a tad over $50. We were psyched... and yet I was dreading the days ahead.

Hayden woke several days later, and I laid out a pair of his new jeans. Dreading the "dressing" part... I simply told Hayden to let me know if he had any trouble, to let me know and I would be glad to help him. He has made great strides lately across the board... and occupational therapy is just one of them. So I wasn't surprised when I heard lots of grunting and yelling coming from down the hall at 6:50am Wednesday morning.
I soon came to aide my sulken boy - only to be shut down (not uncommon). But this time was different. Instead of him telling me no, or running away. He told me "Mommy, you always tell me you want me to do things myself, I want to do my pants on my own."
I continued to watch my boy struggle, yearning to help him, though knowing the best thing to do was watch my boy grow confidence in himself.
A couple minutes later, those pants were buttoned - by himself - the grunting and yelling stopped, and I gave my boy the biggest, proudest hug a mother could give.

Happy 2010!

P.S. Pics updated on right sidebar 0 comments