Friday, October 29, 2010

'the letter'

We received Lutheran’s renewed license on Wednesday. It is good now for FOUR years! We also decided to go ahead and get our fingerprints redone for the FBI and State clearances. These are only good for 6 months. We won’t send for the state clearances until we actually have travel dates for trip 1 but we felt it wouldn’t hurt to get the FBI ones sent out. Last time it took 12 weeks to get the clearances back and some people were waiting 16 weeks - plus we have no idea how the holidays will impact processing time.

So now to ‘the letter’. If you recall we need the State Licensing Agency (which I think is DCFS??) to issue a letter stating that Lutheran Child and Family Services is the same as Lutheran Child and Family Services OF ILLINOIS and operate under the same license. Our caseworker, Carole, emailed this information out last Friday explaining the situation. When she hadn’t heard anything at the beginning of the week she followed up with an additional email. She told us she felt she should give the agency a full week to respond and then she would try to make phone contact as well. So today was the one week mark and Carole made the call. The lady told her first that she had tried to get back with her earlier in the week (left no voicemail nor replied to either email). Then she insisted that there was no way that she could write such a letter and that it was a legal matter. Blah blah blah. Carole kept insisting that she was certain the letter could be written and that she was sure it had been done in the past. Well the lady kept sticking to her guns and was NOT going to write the letter. Carole pushed one last time and at that moment the lady’s supervisor walked by the door. She called her supervisor to the phone to verify what she was saying so that Carole would get off her back I’m sure. The supervisor listened to what the request was and stated that they absolutely COULD write the letter and both the person that needed to write it and the person that needed to sign it were in the office. She stated they would do their best to convince them to get it done today and in the mail. I am praying that it gets sent out today!

You know it wasn’t all that long ago that I would have attributed the supervisor walking past the no-lady’s office to coincidence and considered myself lucky. Now I know that it has very little to do with luck or coincidence. I truly believe that God intervened on our behalf today. It was not coincidence that she walked past the door at that exact moment. It wasn’t coincidence that the no-lady felt compelled to call her supervisor to the phone. Nor is it coincidence that we have a great caseworker who is just as invested in our journey as we are! God knows the plans he has for us. And I am very grateful He spared us the heartache and headache today from hearing that we couldn’t produce ‘the letter’.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blogger’s guilt

I always have a twinge of guilt after I vent/whine/complain on our blog. I get frustrated with setbacks, unnecessary bureaucracy, and with my lack of patience. It really does make me feel a little better to type out my feelings. But ultimately within a few hours of making the post, I feel bad for complaining. There are so many people who have much more of a reason to be complaining than I. We truly are blessed in so many ways and God reminds us of those blessing often. Am I disappointed about our setback? Yes! Am I annoyed that we found out the letter we need can’t be written by our homestudy agency and that we have to wait for someone at the State licensing office to write the letter? Definitely! But what about these people….

The sweet lady that emailed me that was adopting as a single mother and met her son in Vladivostock. She was waiting for court when the lady sent her son back on a plane by himself. Now the region is shut down to singles and she has no idea what to do from here.

What about the couple who meet their son over 6 months ago and the judge in their region won’t even consider hearing their case or any case for that matter until an agreement is signed between the US and Russia.

Then there is the lady who has been waiting over a month for Lutheran’s license to be renewed after she has had to redo her paperwork because of the addition of two little words…”in Illinois”.

There is a couple who began to feel unsettled with their placing agency and just as they are up to get their referral they have to change agencies at the last minute.

I could go on and on about the trials and tribulations of the adoption process. I really don’t try to dwell on the negative and sometimes this blog sounds so negative because I use it as an outlet to vent my frustrations.

On a happy note I am excited about some great news for family and friends. My sister that is pregnant with twins is still doing well and the babies are developing and growing! My best friend from high school is following her heart and took a huge leap of faith that has lead her to St. Croix. And one of my best friends from college, after years of infertility, gave birth last week to a healthy baby girl!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I really don’t like being told no…  but it does happen.  We were not allowed to register and it wasn’t because of the soon to expire license – yet anyway.  The license issued by DCFS is for Lutheran Child and Family Services.  The agency uses the name Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois.  The operator wants a certified letter stating that these two titles are for the same agency.  Again, I am finding my frustration rising but surprisingly not so much targeted at the operator.  We are a little annoyed because does the letterhead really have anything to do with us parenting a child?!?  But the one thing we know for a fact is that Russia is very picky and finicky about paperwork.  Why does Lutheran Child and Family Services use a title that is not reflected on their state license.  Obviously here in the States this isn’t that big of a deal, but if we go outside of our own corner of the world it is a big deal.  We are not the first person to have to deal with this issue.  I just wish ‘we’ could learn from those that have had issues before us instead of making the same mistake and have to spend more time waiting while it is all fixed.  I would hope that the letter that is requested could be done in one day, but at this point we might as well wait for the renewed license because by the time the letter arrives the license will indeed be expired.  So as a minimum, we are looking at an additional two week set back in the process.  Typing two weeks and hearing two weeks sounds like no big deal in the big picture scheme of things.  For this family that is waiting so anxiously to have God reveal the little one He intends to complete our family with – two weeks sounds like an eternity. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maybe Thursday…

In the game of waiting I am a loser every single time. Because I set a personal goal of improving my patience and ability to be still and wait, I was trying very hard not to call World Links to see if we got registered or not. I know that our case worker would tell us the moment she knows anything. When we didn’t hear anything yesterday I was disappointed. By today at noon I was at my waiting limit. I caved in and picked up the phone. I was trying so hard to be patient! Failed – again….

Here is what we have been told. The regional operator still did not have time to look over our documents and Irina is supposed to return on Thursday. So back to holding my breath. I am trying really hard not to be a pessimist, but I am a realist. Lutheran’s license expires on October 26th. If I put myself in the operator’s shoes would I let our paperwork go through or would I want the new license on hand first? Ugh! I know the honest answer to that question. And as far as we know, as of today, DCFS has still not issued the new license. Keep in mind that they aren’t withholding the license for any particular reason from what I understand. They pretty much just haven’t printed or certified it yet. I have recently ‘met’ another blogger who has been waiting about a month for the new license because her region would let her register until they had the renewed license. Having been through the adoption process before, I know that this is just one of many many times that we will be frustrated by waiting. I really thought I would handle it better this time around. Unfortunately, I think I am making it harder because I am aware of all of the hurdles yet to come. I have been good at giving other people advice about being patient – God’s timing will be perfect – but applying that to myself is hard. Maybe I will have a breakthrough in the near future. There has to be hope for me still :o)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Holding my breath!

As I type this post, it is Tuesday morning in Vlad. This is the day we are hoping to find out that our documents have been accepted. In the meantime we have an answered prayer... The crops are out of the field!! God blessed us with a safe and speedy harvest! Now we are ready to go meet our son or daughter! Let's go!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010


International adoption messes with your mind! I try to be a positive person most of the time, but I also like to be honest and share all aspects of our journey in order to help others who travel down the same road. Today I realized how messed up I am as people around the office were so excited that it was Friday. Friday in our minds means it is Saturday in Vlad which means no one is working to get us one step closer to being registered. Of course I realize then that on Sunday they are back to work because it is Monday there but you get my point…

I don’t think I have mentioned that there is this small window of opportunity here for us to get registered until the next roadblock happens. Lutheran’s license expires on October 27th or somewhere right around there and they do not currently have the renewed license from the state in their possession. YIKES!

Update: Just as I was typing this post I got a message that the Regional Operator got our documents on Wednesday but did not have time to review them and asked Irina to leave them there. Irina will be at the Department of Education on Tuesday so she is hoping to find out then if we are registered or not.

On a side note, I got the sweetest Boss’s Day card today and in the card was a donation to the baby home fundraiser! Such big hearts they have!!! I am thankful to work with such great people.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Registration documents version 2.0 arrived

Well we really have no new update.  I was watching our paperwork travel to Vlad on the FedEx website.  Just for fun here is the route our documents took:  10/5 Pittston, PA; 10/6 Indianapolis, IN; 10/6 Stansted, Great Britain; 10/8 Moscow, Russia; 10/11 at 1:25 p.m. delivered to Vladivostok, Russia and signed for by one of our miracle workers there.  I am hoping that she takes the documents to the regional operator this week.  Hopefully we will hear something soon.  In the mean time we have been praying for the regional operator.   Specifically our prayer has been that she would not see letterheads, dates, signatures, and print on the paper but that rather she would see a loving family ready to meet the missing child that will complete their family…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Busy time of year.

Things are insanely busy right now between work, harvest, church, birthdays (Blake – Sept 30; Brady – October 3; Madison – October 9).  We received the letter we needed that stated why there was more than one address for Lutheran Social Services.  I took a personal day from work on Monday to drive to Springfield to get the letter apostilled.  Then the second version of our dossier was overnighted to World Links.  It made it to them and back out to Vladivostok on Tuesday!  We are now praying that will satisfy the regional operator and we will be officially registered and ready to receive our referral.