Sunday, December 30, 2007


Still no word from Immigration. I guess the 10 days didn't include holidays. Hopefully, the letter will come by the end of this coming week.

Just wanted to update you that I heard that the quotas for 2008 have changed. It seems like the quotas for the specific age groups won't apply after all. I guess that means that more than 32 children under 6 years of age can be adopted from Ukraine by U.S. Americans. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Last night, I had a very dear friend come and visit me. It was so nice to sit down and catch up with her. I was missing her. At one time about 9 years back, we were very close since she lived right next to me, but we had drifted apart all these years since she got married and moved away.

Still, she still holds a special place in my heart, and yesterday we got catch up like long lost friends, and boy, did it feel nice. Half way through our conversation, she told me that she was expecting again. I was very happy for her, as she told me her plans to have a home birth (which is just awesome) and everything, but a part of me is envious of the fact that even though she is only a couple of months pregnant, she knows exactly where her child is, and is already able to do everything in her power to nourish, protect, nurture, and love her child. What a blessing.

Boy, did I take this for granted when I was pregnant. I'm not sure I even thought about what a blessing it is to carry a child each and every second while it is growing inside you, and then be able to be with him from the moment that he is born. When our children come to us through adoption, we have no choice but to leave the nourishing, protecting, nurturing, and loving up to someone else until the day comes that they finally join our family.

Today, I am feeling that this day can't come soon enough. I wonder if our child to be has gotten a hug today?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Wishing you all a very wonderful day!

This morning John opened up a present from me ----a brand new jacket for when we go to Ukraine. I also opened up a package of 3 sixty minute DVDs to video our trip. Even though we are still not going for a couple of months, it is fun to plan ahead. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Open Arms Ukraine

Since I won't have much to report on the adoption, at least for a while, I wanted to share some other things in the mean time. I found this video on You Tube and was very touched by it. I thought of Ashley, Debbie, and a few others as I watched it. I love the pictures of the boys asleep. Something about a child sleeping, even a teenage boy that seems angelic to me. :)

Enjoy, and don't be afraid to act on the heartstrings that might be pulled on while watching this video.

Another letter from local USCIS office


There may have been a communication problem. The process time for orphan petitions from start to finish is currently about 2 1/2 months. However, we will send your fingerprint appointment to you in about 10 days. Sorry for the confusion.


Stephen D. Hull
Adjudication Officer

If this is true, then we'll be done middle of February.
All I want for Christmas is my I-171h, my I-171h, my I-171h.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Off to be Apostilled!

I had 11 of our documents notarized on Friday and mailed them off to the Secretary of States Office in Sacramento this morning to get apostilled. Yeah!!!

So why was it so hard for me to let go of that precious, yellow, certified, manila envelope and hand it over to the post office clerk? I know better than to worry about it getting lost, but I couldn't help it. I keep telling myself that I have to just trust that it is going to come back to me in the pre-paid self addressed envelope that I included.

Don't worry, I'm over it already.

I emailed my local Congressman a very nice letter, asking if he could help speed things along for us. He just had a baby himself and so I am hoping that he will be able to relate to our situation and how frustrating it is to have to wait without any specific timeline. I just feel that with the new 2008 quota, our paperwork needs to get over there as soon as possible.

Hey, at least we are not at a complete standstill like many families waiting to adopt from China. Don't even get me started on that....... I feel so sad for them. There is just no reason that makes real sense to me as to why it takes so long to adopt a child. Doesn't anyone else feel that a child's precious life just ticking away in an orphanage should me minimized in every way possible. After all, it is their childhood that is literally being robbed from them. It just isn't fair.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Still waiting

At the suggestion of others, I contacted our local Congressional office. Connie, I loved your idea, but that is how I first mailed our application--- with a nice letter thanking them for helping us last time, and it got us nowhere.

Anyways, the person I talked too, I have a feeling was just a clerk for that office... and he really wasn't able to help me much. I do give him credit that he called me back twice, but he gave me info that I had already read off the Immigration site. He started out the conversation like this.

"I'm so sorry, but I have really bad news for you. It looks like Immigration is barely processing applications that were filed back in June. It looks like they are really back logged."

I told him that that wasn't possible because I knew of others who had filed their application later than June and already gotten their approval. Ugh!

I don't think I got very far. I hope they didn't put our application at the bottom of the pile because of my pestering.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

USCIS responded


Thank you for your inquiry. We received your application. We are currently experiencing delays regarding orphan petitions. However, we will process your case as soon as possible.


Stephen D. Hull
District Adjudication Officer

Ugh. Just what I was afraid of. :(
I've just eaten my fourth Oreo.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Limbo

Still no word from Immigration. That's the only hold up. As soon as it's done, I''ll have everything apostilled, and then we'll be set.

When I was Christmas shopping last week, I went ahead and bought a musical play set with little instruments that are stored in a drum. It is so cute and it is approved by Parents Magazine. I think it will be perfect for our new son since we don't have many baby toys around anymore. I also feel like I chi-chinged since I didn't pay nowhere near $44.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I don't want to be a slave

Have any of you been following Tami's blog? I am totally in awe of what they are choosing to do, and I believe that God will bless them because of their decision. Her comment, "The real challenge of international adoption is avoiding becoming a slave to your circumstances," hit me hard. Isn't this so true? Here they choose to go see a three year old little girl, that they later find out she just had surgery so they won't be able to visit her for at least a week. They get to go back to the SDA which is no small feat in itself, and can easily choose to go visit another child and keep on with the process, but instead they decide to put things on hold while this little girl heals so that they can still go meet her instead.

How many of us would have chosen to go meet another child because it would have been quicker and just plain easier to do? I think that I might have, if I am honest with myself. Yet, that would have made me a slave to the whole process rather than taking the time to do what I felt my heart was telling me. I would have convinced myself that this was God's plan for us to choose another child or else this little girl would have been available for us to see. I would have convinced myself that it was in every one's best interest including my children at home, for us to take the quickest route possible, when in fact I may have been altering God's plan.

So thank you Tami, for giving me much to think about as we continue our adoption journey.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Marriage Cert in mail

Hi Everyone. Just our marriage certificate came in the mail yesterday. Still progress though. But, I was feeling pretty daring and emailed USCIS asking them, "What's up?"

No really, it was quite polite. I asked them if I should have gotten a receipt for the check they cashed almost two weeks ago. They supposedly have two business days to respond. We'll see.

Oh, and thank you for all of of your coments. They have been so encouraging.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Waiting for the Mail

How many times have you been held hostage by your mailbox or email?

That's what I feel like right now as I am anxiously waiting for a letter from USCIS so that we can go and get fingerprinted.

I thought that the letter had finally come today, but it turned out to be one of our daughter's delayed birth certificates from when we readopted her back in September. Hey, I'm not complaining because something we have been waiting for finally came in the mail, but I will be doing the dance when something from Immigration shows up. I probably should have started my counter from the day that I mailed it off since according to the USCIS automated system, I am to expect long delays. :(

Monday, December 3, 2007

2008 Quotas for Ukraine

Children under 6 available to ENTIRE U.S. is ONLY 32 children!!!.
Ages 6-9 - 83 adoptions
Ages over 10 - 115 adoptions
Siblings with one of children under 6 - 92 adoptions
Siblings over 6 - 138 adoptions
TOTAL - 460 children

What have you heard? What do you think? Does this include children with special needs, children over age 13, and siblings of children already adopted and here in the US?

I guess it doesn't really matter, because it is pretty sad that Ukraine even has a quota.

Police Clearance Letter

We just got our fingerprints done last Friday and I got the official police clearance letters in the mail today. Unbelievable.

I hope USCIS is just as fast.