Let me first start by sharing how befuddled I become when thinking about how different every adoption journey is. Emotionally the journey SHOULD vary every single time because feelings can never be controlled. But procedurally, you would expect a few things to be consistent. With international adoption, we have found that experiences vary greatly from which homestudy agency you use, what placing agency you use, what region you are registered in, what baby home or orphanage your child is in, which judge is assigned to your case, what new laws are passed by the government, whether or not someone puts their child on a plane and sends them back to Russia alone!, etc… Right now our most immediate focus is on getting registered in Vladivostok. We are praying that ‘the letter’ and the renewed license will satisfy the regional operator.
Let's take you back to an blog entry I made on December 8th, 2008
Lana - our interpreter, Irena – our agency rep, and Alec – our driver were supposed to pick us up at 10:30 a.m. to go to our MOE (minister of education) appointment. This is where we would officially be approved to see a child and be invited to visit an orphanage. Now, I didn’t post this earlier because I didn’t want our parents to freak out, but when we were picked up from the airport Lana told us that our documents had not arrived from Moscow yet. “Don’t worry Heather – Now is not the time to worry,” she said. Sure, sure I won’t worry a bit! Yeah right!!! So Justin and I were both sick to our stomachs that on Monday we would not be able to go see the lil guy. At 10:00 a.m. the phone in our room rings. Lana says to us the papers had not arrived yet, but they are supposed to be at the courier’s office by 11:30 so they are going to pick us up at 11 instead of 10:30. Again… “Don’t worry Heather – Now is not the time to worry,” she said. Ummmm I am thinking now is a great time to start to worry.
So at about 11:15 they arrived to pick us up. The city driving here is like no other. Different than Chicago for sure! It is best to just not pay attention. We stopped by the courier’s office and Irena came out with a huge smile on her face and said congratulations! Our papers arrived! We went to the MOE and answered some questions. We were told Tatiana was in a good mood today and we were lucky for that. When she saw the pictures in our homestudy of Brady and Madison she smiled and said beautiful children! Awww shucks – we sure think so :o) She showed us the picture of our lil guy and invited us to go visit him.
You see with Blake’s adoption we were never even registered in any region. Our papers were sent to Moscow on November 14th, 2008 and we received Blake’s referral information on November 21st, 2008. There was no chance for the regional operator to even review our documents. It seemed weird to us at the time, but we didn’t complain. And we now know that God’s timing was perfect. Blake was ready to meet us. So while this journey is so different than the one we took two years ago and is different from everyone else’s, I can’t help but get my hopes up just a tiny bit that maybe just maybe we could come close to having a similar timeline as the one below.
November 14, 2008 – Registration papers sent to Moscow
November 21, 2008 – Got Blake’s referral
December 8, 2008 – Met Blake for the first time
December 11, 2008 – Signed our petition to adopt Blake
I know, I know, I know. It is not good to get my hopes up. But I can’t help but dream just a little!