--An Orphan No More--


Friday, May 28, 2010

Adoption is NOT for wimps!

Just sayin'......... :o)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Paper Pregnant

This is the term used to describe the "paperchase" at the beginning of an adoption. And by the looks of my counters in my kitchen...yes, we are indeed paper pregnant! We have birth certificates, medical forms, tax returns and more...oh my! The pile of "stuff" just keeps growing and growing...much like my belly would be I suppose. But this method is without annoying Braxton-Hicks contractions and stretch marks. What a deal!

Our home study is winding down....then on the dossier paperchase. A dossier (for those that don't have a clue what I am talking about) is the huge stack of papers that will be sent to Everlyn's birth country. This includes things like our birth/marriage certificates, proof of US citizenship, proof of home ownership, medical reports, criminal background checks, a copy of our home study, our petition to adopt an orphan, copies of passports, tax returns, power of attorney documents, etc etc. And just for giggles, all of these documents have to be notarized and apostilled. (Think of that as notarizing the notary - usually done by the Secretary of State's office.) Once everything is put together (and PERFECT) we can send it for translation. My personal goal is to have this DONE by the end of July, but I have ZERO control of the USCIS approving out I-600A and sending us the 171H back.

So, I wouldn't say I am enjoying this "pregnancy" but it certainly is an exciting time for our family! It is a lot of work, but we know it will be SO worth it in the end!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Amazing Race

I have come to realize that completing an adoption is a lot like competing on "the Amazing Race." There are certain tasks you have to complete, correctly, and as quickly as humanly possibly. There are things that happen that you were not prepared for, and you just have to go with it and keep your eye on the prize. And I am sure once we are in country, it will feel even more so.....racing around trying to get all of the appropriate forms, passports, visas, physicals, etc. I can already hear "Go to the large, ornate building (as if there is only one) and find the flag...your next clue will be waiting for you." Except it's in Russian. Awesome. But this is an AMAZING race indeed!

Here is the progress we have made in this race to our Princess:
--all physicals are DONE; waiting until Friday for Eric and I to have our TB test read
--psychological evals will be done tomorrow. I hope we pass! LOL!
--all birth certificates are turned in
--home safety inspection done
--pet health records turned in
--home study individual / couple / children interviews are done
--employment verification letters turned in

We are still waiting for:
--marriage certificate. (C'mon State of Illinois...this is IMPORTANT!)
--mortgage company letter (should be here today)
--proof of life insurance (should be today or tomorrow)
--criminal and child abuse checks to come back (not worried about this one - we're good!)
--our financial statement to be completed
--proof of health insurance (should have been here by now. Grrrr....)
--all personal reference letters to be submitted

Our last HS appt is on Monday so we can turn in the remaining documents and get the HS all wrapped up. When it is 100% complete, I will be SO darn happy! And then, I will have MORE work to do. Onto the dossier paperwork...... Baby steps, right?

Hang in there Everlyn! Mommy and Daddy are hurrying every chance we get!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ignorance Alert!!!

Since announcing our adoption plans, I have encountered more ignorant comments that I could have ever imagined. Here are my "favorites"........

-- "I am surprised you would want to adopt "one of those." Those? Really?

-- "You should adopt an Asian baby. I bet you could get a "good" one." Nope. We were hoping for a "bad" one.

-- "You realize all babies from Eastern Europe have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, right?" (You should have seen her face when I assured her that Everlyn didn't have FAS, but did indeed have Down syndrome! Ha! Totally priceless.) So then she followed her ignorant comment up with "Oh, then you have already prepared yourself for the burden of raising a special needs child." (Or something to that effect...I had stopped truly listening by this point....)

-- "I think you are CRAZY! Why would you put your other children through that?" What? Giving them a beautiful sister. Yeah - practically child abuse.

-- "Oh, she doesn't look MR (ugh). She's actually really cute." No commentary needed, right? Ignorance speaks for itself.....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh.....I LOVE this!

And of course I am crying....again.

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.

--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh


I am not sure if I was completely oblivious to all of the incredibly inspiring quotes out there regarding children, making a difference and love. Well, now they have become like neon signs.....flashing at me everywhere I go. I thought I would share of a few of my favorites I have come across recently.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can. ~Sydney Smith

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. ~Edmund Burke

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~Winston Churchill

If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it. ~Author Unknown

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Ghandi

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that she is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

And perhaps my favorite....

One child cannot change the world, but I can change the world for one child. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Time for a little Q & A....

Q. Why adopt from Eastern Europe?
A. Because that's where our daughter is! :o)

Q. Why adopt a child with Down syndrome?
A. Why not? Or maybe it's because I like to get "more" for my money.....

Q. Do you worry about loving an adopted child as much as "your own"?
A. No. Not at all. We love her already and we haven't even seen her in person. Imagine how smitten we will be when we get our hands on her and can kiss her little cheeks! And, she will be our own!

Q. When do you hope to bring her home?
A. Now. OK - so that's when I *want* to bring her home. Realistically, this Fall...but really praying it is before Christmas.

Q. How long will you have to be in Eastern Europe?
A. 4-6 weeks. This part is out of our control though, but this is the "norm."

Q. Who will watch your kids while you are gone?
A. Do you have plans? :o)

Q. What are you doing to pass the time?
A. Gathering every possible piece of paper, every certificate, every medical report, every evaluation, every financial statement, every document imaginable, etc. We are "paper pregnant" as they say.

Oh - and SHOPPING. I caved. BIG.TIME. Darn Gymboree Circle of Friends Sale.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We have our own page on Reece's Rainbow!

WooHoo! This is very exciting! Family and friends who feel compelled to help us bring Everlyn home can donate through this page and it will be tax deductible (RR is a 501(c)(3) organization).

I cannot believe how quickly things are progressing! I hope this pace continues....we want our little girl home! Now to get the governments of two different countries to cooperate with us.....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Introducing Everlyn Grace!!!

I am so happy - and proud - to introduce Everlyn Grace. She will hopefully join our family later this year (we really really want her with us for the holidays!). She is currently in a "baby home" in Eastern Europe. She is 2 years old. She is about 3 months older than our youngest son Elliston, so she will have an instant playmate!

I found her picture on the Reece's Rainbow listing of "waiting children." (To clear up any confusion....she is listed as "Cordelia" on the Reece's Rainbow site. No, it isn't her real name....it's simply a "stage name" to protect her privacy.) When I saw her, I knew....she was my daughter! Everlyn has "possible Mosaic Down syndrome." The "Reader's Digest" explanation is that some of her cells are "typical" and have 46 chromosomes, while some cells have a third copy of the 21st chromosome. Mosaic Down syndrome only accounts to 3% of Down syndrome cases. She is said to be walking, talking, high-functioning and an orphanage favorite! Of course she is....she is absolutely precious! She also has no other medical issues related to the MDS. From all accounts, she is a healthy, happy little girl...and we are SO happy she is joining our family!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

This Mother's Day seems a little "extra special" knowing I will soon be the mother of another sweet little girl.
More info on our Princess coming very soon....I promise! Oh - and maybe a picture or two. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our Journey Has Begun.....

There is a little girl in Eastern Europe who has captured our hearts. This blog has been created to document our journey to rescue our sweet Princess and bring her home!!!