On our dossier and then we’re on a notarizing and apostilling jaunt on Monday. Maggie leaves for Ukraine on Wednesday, and so we are really pushing it to get this done on Monday and in her hands so that she can pass it off to Dima. I’d love your prayers that it all comes together!
Archives for February 2009
We (the collective “we” since I am techno-challenged) have scanned and sent our dossier to Dima in Ukraine and to Maggie with FrontierHorizon for their perusal. We still are waiting for the I171-H as well as our STATE criminal clearance.
*Note to those of you who are beginning this journey. Don’t try to figure out the fingerprinting/criminal background stuff. Just do it all and do it as quickly as you can. I don’t understand why the local/state/federal government can’t communicate their findings with one another, but they can’t. Think of all the money that would be saved!
Anyway, both Dima and Maggie will get back with us within a day or two. We’ll make corrections and then go for a notarizing/apostilling date tomorrow or Monday. Then we’ll Fed-ex everything to Maggie who leaves for Ukraine on March 4 who will then hand deliver it to Dima. Woo-hoo!
We had a phone call from LifeSong yesterday – the organization through which we hope to establish a “matching grant” fund for the adoption. It will be another couple of weeks before they let us know whether we have been accepted into their program. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and can choose to disperse His resources however He chooses, so we’re not worried, just waiting and watching to see how God will provide the financial means to bring Katya home.
Different news – Katya is out of the hospital! YES! She is home with Tamara, her grandmother, until Monday morning when she will go back to the orphanage. Liliya will visit with Katya and Tamara over the weekend and we are hoping to skype with them then. Tamara has not yet signed the papers but continues to tell everyone that she really wants Katya to join our family. Please pray for her heart as she moves forward in releasing Katya to join our family.
Meanwhile, on the homefront, Josiah was highly convicted last Friday night that he had not contributed enough to Katya’s adoption so he gathered bags of treasured possessions – and I’m not talking junk – for a yard sale. He wants to sell his tool box, his pocket knife, and various other items that are valuable to him and to us. He’s citing the story of the rich young ruler as his motivation. Pray for our parental wisdom as we see God move in his precious heart.
Thanks so much for those who asked for an update! It means so much to have people around us!
I did find out that we do have to have another criminal background check run. Ugh. Well, at least we will KNOW that we are not criminals, right?
So, this week is the week that we are working to get EVERYTHING done that we possibly can get done.
1. State Police Criminal Clearance – we have an online form to complete and then we print it, notarize it, and send it in along with a check for $30.
2. Get another copy of our doctors’ licenses – this time on their letterhead.
3. Notarizing and apostilling everything. This means a trip to Richmond so that we don’t have to rely on the postal service.
Bill will call Tom Perriello’s office on Monday and see if we can speed along the I171-H as well as this last clearance. Please pray for us to be diligent, to celebrate the victories, and even to have fun in the process. At times I am so task-oriented, but then at times a song, a memory, a passage of Scripture comes to my mind and I’m reminded that there is a real little girl at the end of this journey.
So, if all goes well this week, I’ll be out of a job!
We were in and out of USCIS in 20 minutes flat! We were very impressed!
Our time in Orlando was fantastic, although the travel was a bit of a beast. We had to check out of the hotel at 2:30 AM on Monday morning to catch a 5:45 AM flight to Dulles. Then I lost my car in the green parking lot for about 20 minutes.
I’m home with the kiddoes, but Bill is up in MA participating in Timothy Project at Gordon-Conwell. Well, he was participating, but then he got sick – acute bronchitis. Hopefully the antibiotics have kicked in and he’s feeling better. I really miss him.
We’re working hard on our dossier hoping to have most of the pieces done so that Maggie (with Frontier Horizon) can hand deliver them to Dima when she travels to Ukraine on March 4.
Here are the pieces that are left:
1. Receipt of our I171-H
2. Figuring out whether the fingerprints we did for our home study will work for our dossier
3. Notarizing and apostilling EVERYTHING
4. Making sure it’s okay that “Cindy” rather than “Cynthia” is used on our deed letter
Katya is still in the hospital, but according to Liliya is feeling much better. I still don’t know why she was in the hospital. From what I hear, they treat the hospital more like an infirmary and keep the kids there until they are 100% better.
Tamara has still not signed the papers. According to Liliya, her health is not good but she is planning on talking to Nina, the orphanage director sometime today. Hopefully I’ll get a report from Nina today.
Thanks for caring!
Bill and I head up to Alexandria today for our “capturing your biometrics” appointment. Thank you Jesus! Then we fly out of Dulles to Orlando for a church planting conference. So, I won’t update until I return. Thanks for all your support, encouragement, and prayers!
In the mail yesterday we had a letter from HOMELAND SECURITY. That could be pretty scary, except we have been expecting it.
Inside was our Appointment Notice for our fingerprinting – Woo-hoo!
“To process your application, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) must capture your biometrics. ” Sounds like something out of *Matrix.*
“Please appear at the below APPLICATION SUPPORT CENTER at the DATE AND TIME SPECIFIED. If you fail to appear as scheduled, your application will be considered ABANDONED.” Yikes!
USCIS Alexandria 02/13/2009 1:00 PM
Uh-oh. We fly out of Dulles on THURSDAY and are in Orlando at a church conference until Monday!
After talking with a very nice Homeland Security guy in L.A., we’ve decided to adjust our plans and head up to Alexandria on Wednesday and appeal to have our fingerprinting done early. So, adjustments have been made in kid coverage, community group leadership, transportation to and from classes, etc. We have amazingly wonderful flexible friends!
I envision that we will be sitting on the floor of a sterile government hallways for hours tomorrow showing pictures of Katya to everyone who walks by, smiling weakly, eating Larabars, and reading the Washington Post. Please pray that someone will have pity and capture our biometrics.
I have emailed, called, and now Bill is hand delivering a letter to our congressman, Tom Perriello, to see if there’s something he can do to secure an appointment for us to capture our biometrics. (I like that phrase. It’s kind of spooky, spy-like, and vague in a bizarre kind of way.) Bill and I actually worked at Camp Seafarer with his sister, Elizabeth, years ago. But, perhaps even more significantly, Congressman Perriello met Katya this summer when our neighbors, Andy and Julie Rotherham, hosted a BBQ for him during his campaign and I prayed the blessing before we ate. So, pray that Congressman Perriello’s office is able to do the unimaginable and speed up the bureaucratice process.
Other adoption news:
Maggie Scobie, of Frontier Horizon, is reviewing our home study that will be sent to Ukraine. Clair Peyton, of Forever Families, had the difficult task of reduing 10 pages to 4!
Marla Ringger of Lifesong for Orphans let us know that they are in the process of reviewing our application for assistance in fundraising for the adoption.
Tamara, Katya’s grandmother, has indicated that she will sign the necessary paperwork this week for Katya to be available for adoption.
Dima has approved most of the paperwork for our dossier. We still need a ‘Deed Letter,’ the shortened version of our home study, and the infamous I171-H.
As far as we know, Katya is still quarantined at a hospital in Odessa. Please be in prayer for her health!
Thanks for following our journey!
So, here’s my email from Liliya today:
“Hello! Today I met Tamara. Everything was fine. She is a very nice woman who loves her granddaughter very much and wants Katya to be happy. She told me that Katya loves you and now she feels that she has a mother and father. Tamara is going to sign a refusal of guardianship next week.
Katya feels much better now. I bought her fruit and yogurt. I gave Tamara money for the necessary medicines. Every day she goes to the hospital to bring food to Katya and buy medicine. Doctors don’t allow Tamara to visit her. She can only take her food and medicine. Tamara said “Hello” to you. She is looking forward to meeting you.”
I don’t understand Ukrainian healthcare, but I do understand that Tamara loves her granddaughter. I’m so thankful for Liliya being my hands and feet. Please continue to pray for Tamara as she grieves. Thanks for your prayers for us, and keep praying for these precious women!
And in the mail to the USCIS. AND the short report for Ukraine is on its way to Meg Scobie with Frontier Horizon for her to review. We’re moving ahead in faith and aiming for the end of February to have the dossier complete and to Dima. Getting the next round of fingerprints could make it really tight. For those who have BTDT, any tips? Is this a possible goal or do we need to readjust?
Tomorrow Liliya meets with Tamara at 8:00 am EST to communicate to her our love for Katya, our admiration of her, our commitment to honoring the care and nurture she has poured into Katya through the years, and our desire that their relationship continue. We are hoping Tamara has decided to sign the necessary documents and Liliya can help facilitate this. We’d love your prayers!
We don’t have an update on Katya, but hopefully Liliya will have that for us tomorrow as well.
Thanks for being alongside!!!
Just got an email from Liliya. Katya had a high fever and so Tamara took her to the hospital. Liliya will try and visit her but the hospital is closed for quarantine and so she is doubtful as to whether she can get it to see her. Liliya says, “Can I buy her fruits and medicine if she needs? Please do not worry. I’ll take care of Katya.”
Thank you, Liliya, for being this mother’s hands and feet.
Liliya will also try and meet with Tamara on Wednesday and possibly call us so that we can talk with her.
Now, Jesus, bring healing to Katya’s body. Keep her safe from other diseases. Return her safely to the orphanage and do whatever work necessary to accomplish Your purposes for this precious one’s life. Care for Tamara’s heart too, Jesus. Comfort and keep her. Guide her and all the ones who are working on our behalf … even now.
Out of eight pregnancies, two of mine ended in miscarriage. They were quick, to-the-point miscarriages that happened in those first few weeks of pregnancy. One, I wasn’t even aware of until after the fact. Did I mourn? Sure, but the intensity cannot touch what some of my friends have experienced as they have suffered much lengthier miscarriages or deaths of their infants or children.
I’ve walked alongside women as they have experienced this pain. I’ve been bedside with some, and for others simply prayed as I’ve watched them receive sufficient grace in their time of trial.
I’ve delivered a baby seven weeks early and had to leave her in the hospital receiving oxygen and gaining weight balancing “kangaroo care” in the NICU with caring for an active toddler. I’ve rushed this same one to the hospital when she began to turn blue due to a very low O2 saturation level because of a respiratory virus.
I’ve experienced bleeding and cramping, sure that a miscarriage is imminent, to have an ultrasound reveal that the baby was just fine. But, it took weeks before I truly believed that the baby was just fine.
We are at such a place with Katya. This morning, we had a phone conversation scheduled with her (Liliya translating). We made the phone call, but Katya wasn’t there. Her grandmother had her for the weekend, but has not yet returned her to the orphanage.
Folks around us make no promises, but assure us that this sort of thing always happens with adoption. “It’s a bumpy road,” they say.
A friend who is currently adopting from Ethiopia, reminded me of a conversation we had months ago. She asked me if I was worried about fully engaging with Katya knowing that the possibility of having my “hopes dashed” was very real. I told her that I didn’t want to hold back because of what God might do as I surrendered my heart to love this little girl, to welcome her with open arms, open home, open heart.
So, we have, and now we’re in a place of raw vulnerability. I feel like I’m bleeding and cramping. Our hearts are out there. We’re committed. We’re invested. We have said, “Yes” and we’ve opened ourselves to the pain of potential loss.
The ultrasound says that the pregnancy is not over. No assurances are being given. But we’re prayerfully moving forward with the hope that this adoption will not end in miscarriage.