Feed on

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are *this close* to having our home study done! D. O. N. E. … DONE!  I am torn between jumping for joy and feeling so guilty about taking so long to get it done. Between Chris working full-time, me being a stay at home mom and full-time home maker, two busy toddlers and just trying to keep up with life in general, sometimes it seems that there’s no time left over for anything else!

Anyway! We received the first draft of our home study to review about 6 weeks ago. We returned it with some minor corrections to our case worker, but she had left out a crucial piece of the home study.  After that, life happened! Our whole family came down with strep throat…what a fun weekend that was – NOT! We had a family reunion to attend, and then Chris had to go out of town for work. By then, three weeks had gone by before we finally were able to nail down what exactly our adoption specialist needed to complete our home study.  We turned in the final piece of paperwork yesterday!!!!! So, now we wait….again…..

In the meantime, we’ve been slapped with more requirements from the Russian government.  With the new legislation that recently passed in Russia regarding adoptions, they are requiring MORE training for adoptive parents. Originally, we were required to complete 10 hours of training, which we have completed.  Now, we are hearing that we need to complete anywhere from 35-80 hours of training before we can be approved to adopt by a Russian judge.  We’re still waiting to hear the final word regarding exactly how many hours of training and also what kind of training will be accepted.  The majority of our training has been online training, but agencies have been hearing rumors that judges may not accept online training anymore; they may require “face to face” training.  The real bummer about all of this is the not knowing.  Every day that passes without knowing what is required is just another day that we could have spent doing some online training!  The good news about all this is that the training doesn’t have to be completed before our first trip.  We are required to have the training completed before they will issue us a court date, which is our second trip.  The bad news is that if “face to face” training is required, we will be shelling out a lot more money than if our training could be completed online.

The good news is that once our international agency approves our home study, we’ll be able to send our registration dossier to them within the week! Our dossier is ready to go, but it needs to have the home study date on it before we can sign it.  Then we just have to notarize it, have it apostilled, and send it to the agency. They’ll take about two weeks to check over it and make sure everything is done right and it has all the requirements.  Then they’ll send it to their people in Russia who will work on translating it, and THEN it can be submitted to the Ministry of Education in Russia, who will then invite us to travel to Russia for the first time to meet Baby Sister.

Boy, adoption is a lot of work….but it will be so worth it in the end when I can hold my baby girl in my arms and kiss her and hug her and love her for the rest of her life……she’ll have her daddy who will adore her and probably be wrapped around her finger….and two big brothers to watch out for her. :0)

Friends and family, please keep my family and our Baby Sister in your prayers. God has been so good to us!



PS…. *Warning: Shameless Birthday Plug Ahead*: Tomorrow is my birthday, and will mark the first day of my final year of being in my twenties! *GASP* What a wonderful gift it would be if everyone who was able would purchase a puzzle piece! Don’t forget to spread the word so you can be a piece of her story! :)

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