Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009

Well, Little One, as 2009 ends, I know we are getting close to being together! 2009 was a good year, but it was a long year waiting for you. I really thought you would be home by now. We are ready for you! I am ready to be your mommy! I am almost ready to come to Kazakhstan. I have finished your second dossier, I have been to the travel clinic and gotten all my shots and vaccines, I have bought everything I need to travel (I think) and I have gotten all my work for convention done early so I can come and meet you. Now I just need to be invited to travel. I call Libby every week and ask her "is it time yet and she tells me not yet...but soon!

Your sister is ready too! Everywhere we go she tells everyone she is going to be a big sister. She can't wait to hold you, to help you with your bottle and to play with you. She is disappointed she is not coming to Kazakhstan with me to meet you. but she has begun to understand that this may be for the best. She just can't wait until your home. She tells me that as soon as i leave for Kazakhstan she will become a big sister!

So you can see, we are very excited to have you home, are waiting very IMPATIENTLY, and have big plans for when you arrive home! As I write this, you have already celebrated New Years in Kazakhstan! I think you may be too young to know it, but I still want to wish you a happy day!

We are so looking forward to seeing what 2010 has in store for us! I hope to see you soon little one!

Love,

Mommy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Changing the Blog to Private

I haven't had any firm news on travel yet, but on the advice of my coordinator, the blog will be private until after the baby comes home, just to be on the safe side. I would be glad to invite anyone who has been following to join us privately, so please let me know if you'd like to continue on the journey with us!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Bit of Frustration

I am feeling discouraged. Since I began my dossier last October and finished it in February, some of my documents are a year old now. Because I will most likely travel in January/February, this means that I have to redo most of my dossier. Of course this is almost routine with adoptions from Kazakhstan, but the list is long and so is the wait! I try to be positive and keep the attitude that every step of the way takes me to the child who is meant to be mine, but when I saw the number of documents on the list yesterday, I just wanted to give up! That only lasted for a moment, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

On a positive note, I am pretty much ready to travel. I have my packing list ready to go, I have my warm winter coat, and yesterday, my awesome boots were delivered. Except for my documents and plane tickets, I could be out the door in a few hours!

So frustrated and disheartened as I am, I went back to the computer and re-started my documents, and soon I'll be off to the notary! When I called my doctor about re-doing my physical form, it turns out he's so busy with flu patients, he doesn't even need to see me! I just need to send the form over with the traveling notary and he will complete it for me. I hope it all goes this smoothly!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Line Leader

The family who was in front of us has traveled and is in Kazakhstan bonding with their baby. Our family will be the next family to receive a LOI from our region. WE don't know how long it will take, but we've been told to expect 2 more months of waiting!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Maybe before the end of the year?

I talked to my adoption coordiantor this week and it seems as though we may be traveling before the end of the year! What exciting news! Of course I am in no way prepared. Annika has not had her shots and I cannot find her US passport. I had all summer to do these things and this adoption has been porogressing so slowly, I had begun to believe it would never happen! It still seems unreal in so many ways.

I know I can make an appointment and get Annika's travel vaccines done without difficulty, but packing is a bigger issue. I like to ravel light. It is my goal to take one very large duffel bag and pack for Annika and my self in it. She is 6, but I don't think if she is tired, she will be able to handle a piece of luggage in the airport. Each of us would also have a back pack. Thats all I took last time, so I think it may be possible this time. I have my packing list form last time and it seems comprehensive and still useful. Last time I took a lot for the baby, but I may have to cut back and buy that in country. Lots of thoughts are running through my head!

Lots to do, but, wow, we may meet our baby soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Little Bit of Exciting News

Today I found out that our dossier has passed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and has been assigned to a region! This is exciting news and I shared it with Annika when I picked her up after camp. I told her I had news that was a little bit exciting and explained what I had been told. She jumped up and down and told me that was very exciting, not a little bit exciting!

On a similar note a few days ago, she asked if we would have balloons when the baby came home. I asked if she wanted balloons and she replied, "every house I know that has a new baby has balloons." Hopefully, our balloons will be coming soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dossier Approved!

Not only has it been approved, its already in Astana! I opened my email today, expecting to find nothing too exciting after a long holiday weekend, and the first item in the inbox was from my coordinator was an email with the subject "Dossier Approved by Consulate!" Not only was it approved last Friday, it has made its way all the way to Kazkastan over the weekend! it was at the Consulate in New York for 30 days. Hooray!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dossier

Well, little one, your dossier has been at the Consulate for over 3 weeks now. It should have moved to Kazakhstan by now, but hasn't. The agency says it will probably move within a week, but I am a little worried. Is there a problem with the dossier or is it just taking longer than usual? Are you just a little one who is not going to be ready for a quite a long time? If not, we can wait. We are anxious, but we can wait. Annika and I walked to the park yesterday. The little girls from up the street came along with us. Isabela is just 3. It was nice having a little on around. Annika said she was practicing to be a big sister. You are never far from our thoughts, little one.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dear Baby,

May has finally arrived and your dossier has begun its long journey! It is currently at the Consulate in NYC, and I am told it should be moving on Kazakhstan in the next week or so. I am anxiously awaiting the email from Kathy at MAPS telling me the good news! I check my email often, but no news yet!

April was a busy month, but full of fun things, not so much work as March was. In April, we have more downtime and recover from convention. Annika and I have spent a lot of time outside and gotten to the park quite a bit. She is getting so quick on the monkey bars.

We also planted all sorts of seeds on the planters in the back yard. They are just starting to come up. We usually buy already established plants and put them in the pots, but we decided to go with seeds this year. We'll see how that works out. We planted hollyhocks, snapdragons, a wildflower mix, morning glory, moon flower, poppies, petunias, and sunflowers plus a mix of other things. WE have quite a variety and are looking forward to our patio garden. The rest of the yard is looking nice too, but the flowers are going to be the most exciting part this year.

Annika is enjoying school, especially since they can go outside most days now. Even there, its all monkey bars, all the time. She is waiting for you because she wants to read books to you and take you for walks! She cannot wait to be your big sister. We are also celebrating lots of her special days...the day we met, the day I went to court and in a few weeks, we'll celebrate the day she left the baby house. Some day soon, I hope to be doing all those things with you, little one!

Annika's school had an International Fun Festival 2 weeks ago. It was fun. Theren were games for children and grown ups, international food, and a singing performance by the children. They even sang a Kazakh lullaby! Annika was palnning to wear her Kazakh outfit, but the weather that day was 90 degrees and it was too hot for Kazakh clothes!

So, here we are, another month closer to meeting you! I am excited as the time passes. You are never far from my thoughts. I look at baby clothes and baby toys every time we go shopping, but I know its just too soon. Annika and I talk about starting to look for your special stuffed animal that we will bring to you, just like Kara-bear came to Karaganda to meet Annika and went with me to visit her every day, and soon we will start looking for you special toy. I asked your
Auntie to make you a special little quilt that we could bring with us to Kazakhstan for you, so I am getting closer I feel. I just wish I knew when.

Well little one, the next big news is that the dossier has moved on to Kazakhstan...I hope that happens soon!

Love,

Mommy

Monday, April 27, 2009

Baby Dream

A few nights ago I had my first baby dream. It was brief, but she was beautiful. Annika and were going to see a movie and we had to walk down a long flight of steps. Annika asked me to carry her and I did, holding her and snuggling her onto my shoulder. When we reached the bottom I gently put her down, but realized she was no longer big Annika, but very tiny, like a toddler and did not look at all like Annika. She was an adorable Asian little one with long, straight hair dressed in a pink jacket and white skirt. When I woke up later, I realized I might have been dreaming about my baby.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A GOOD Agency

Today I asked my agency a simple, unimportant question. A question actually reflective of my extreme impatience. As part of an email with other information, I asked if my dossier was sent overnight or 3 day. I was wondering when it would actually arrive at the NY Consulate ~ today, tomorrow, Thursday? So when we had reason to correspond I decided to just ask. I literally got an answer in 30 seconds!! How awesome is that? I thanked her being patient with my impatience and am now waiting for my dossier to be processed!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hooray its going out today!

Today I got the following email from my agency, red font and all!

Kristen - Your dossier is in our outgoing fedex box – headed out to NY today!!!
Cheers!
Kathy


My dossier is finally starting the journey on which it was meant to travel! I can only wonder where it will take us and to whom it it will take us! Today is 4/20, and it is my dad's mom birthday. I started this journey on my dad's birthday 7/8 and now my dossier starts its journey on my grandmother's birthday. It's so exciting to see where we are going, one step at a time. One step closer to my second baby. One step closer to Annika being a big sister! I am so excited! I finally feel peaceful, now that its on it way!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mid Month Impatience

My agency told me that my dossier was likely to go the Consulate in mid April, so I patiently waited through April 15th, forbid myself to call, then on April 16th, curiosity, impatience, the need for information overtook me and I called. I am so pleased with my agency and thier patience and responsiveness. I was able to talk to my coordinator for about 15 minutes and get a good overall perspective of where we are. My dossier should go to the Consulate next week. It has not gone yet because we were waiting for the agency license renewal which has just come in and has now been translated. it will go to the Consulate next week, where it will stay for approximately 1 to 3 weks, then hopefully on to Kazkahstan!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nine months

I know I should not compare my first adoption process to my second. It was a different place and time, but I cannot help myself! It is my nature to analyze...to compare and contrast...to deal with data. I have now been working on my second adoption for nine months and one week. My dossier is not even at the Consulate yet. My first adoption, start time to travel, was nine months to the day! I had already met Annika by now and we well into the bonding period!

The good news is my dossier is next in line to go the Consulate and should be going very soon! I am not worried about the slow process. It will happen when it happens. There are a few important events we have to work around and I hope we can do that. Annika starts Kindergarten in the fall. I hope she can have a decent start to school before we leave. I also hope the wait is not so long that we miss her graduation! Work is being very understanding, but would prefer that I not be away in March. I hope I can accommodate and do not have to make a choice! I am worrying about many things prematurely and just need to let it happen when the baby is ready. It's just hard.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dear Baby,

April has finally arrived and with it, many hopes for you. With the end of March, came an end to my busy season at work, culminating with our week long convention at The Hotel Hershey. All week long, as we worked our long days comments were made that "next year we'll have a baby working with us!" I am so hopeful that that may be true! With convention over, I can truly turn my thoughts to you. Of ourse, i have next year's convention to plan, but there's plenty of time to do that whil we wait for you. April is the month that my dossier should go to the Consulate in NY. My agency says travel before the end of this year is possible. it is hard to imagine after all this waiting just to complete my dossier, it could happen that quickly!

We started April with a week of rain and your sister has been home from school all week with a fever and an ear infection. She calls it an "ear confection." (I think she had too much fun at convention last week! Lots of chocolate, lots of swimming, and lots of reasons to miss bedtime! I think you will like convention too!) Finally yesterday, the rain stopped, the fever broke, and we were able to go outside and enjoy the spring weather. Our daffodils and tulips are blooming, and Annika is so excited. She has been watching them grow from the window all week, but has been too sick to go outside.

April is the month we celebrate when I traveled to meet Annika, the day I met her and the day I went to court. I hope I can celebrate that your dossier went to the consulate in April too!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rubbish!

Last week I mailed some papers to my agency, along with the foreign application fee. Because my dossier is hopefully going to the Consulate in the next few weeks, I emailed my coordinator today to make sure the check had arrived. No, was my reply, we got all of the other papers, but not the check. But the check was in the envelope with everything else, I replied. Oh dear, the envelope is in the trash and I missed the check! I had to laugh! I have been known to throw important things away too! A little bump in the road, but not one that will delay my dossier submission, so its an easy fix!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's Celebrate!

Eight months and 5 days after starting, my dossier has officially been apostilled and has arrived at my agency. I love FEDEX and the PA Department of State! They are so quick and reliable! I just mailed it via FEDEX this past Monday and it was delivered to my agency in MAINE this afternoon! 4 days! I saw the FEDEX tracking notice in my email today and I was so excited...I thought perhaps it would arrive there early next week...FEDEX has a couple of arrrows that light up to tell you where your package is >>>>package received>>>>>in transit>>>>DELIVERED! Honestly, it was like watching a pregnancy test react! I got all tingly and teary! I loved that moment of waiting.... I held my breath thinking its going to stay gray....then...suddenly the light turned green! It was like my own little test, built in to my adoption, to tell me I am officially waiting for a baby!

Monday, March 9, 2009

After 39 Days and 5 Phone Calls....

the letter of good standing from the State Board of Psychology has finally arrived!! It is the last component I need to provide to my agency to complete my dossier. It is now on a Fedex truck and heading to Harrisburg, PA to be apostilled. From there, it will go directly to my agency.

I won't ever see my completed dossier. Each piece, as I received it, has gone from my hands to the PA Department of State and right on to my agency. I did it the same way for Annika. For Annika, in 2004, it was a lot easier in that I didn't need apostilles because my agency obtained them for me.

Since my agency has most of my dossier, most of it has ALREADY been translated, too. It will be submitted to the Consulate in late March or early April. Now, my agency's license is due for renewal, so they need to wait for that before my dossier can be submitted.

I am relieved that the paper work for which i am responsible is complete for now. I realize that it is often the case that paperwork expires and must be completed again before travel, but for now, I am happy to sit back and wait for our moon sibling.

Without the tension of worrying about paperwork, I can relax and dream about things....will it be a girl or boy? will it be a long wait? to what region will we travel? so many things to be excited about!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Call from the State Board

I received a phone message today from the woman who is writing my psychologist's letter of good standing. The letter has been completed and will go out in tomorrow's mail!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thinking of You, Little One

It is the beginning of March, Little One, and I am hopeful this month. We began the month with a big snowstorm and snow is always a sign of hope for me. I love it-how it can slowly, calmly, blanket the world with peace for a bit. Snow just comes along, and slows everyone down for a day or two, quietly, peacefully, powerfully telling us to snuggle in close and remember what is important. A snow day~ for Annika and for me~ to stay home and play, to cuddle and watch a movie, then eventually to go outside and play. Annika was so excited and asked repeatedly, "Will my baby sister like snow? Will we pull her on the sled? Don't you wish she was here to play with us today?"

We had a great time playing in the snow...we kicked snow at each other, made pretend ice cream cones, played hide-n-seek, and the snow was piled so high, Annika could climb right on top of the mailbox! She made sure to point out that her sister would be too little to do that! Then after we played long enough and began to freeze, we went inside for~ LEMONADE!~ Yes, lemonade! I was expecting hot chocolate too, but Annika was thirsty for lemonade, so we had lemonade!

Now instead of snuggling in for the night, I had a different idea. When I was little, my mom and dad and I always went out to dinner when it snowed, so Annika and I, trying to continue this family tradition, snuck out to "Old McDonald's" for a happy meal. All in all, Annika and I had a lovely snow day, snuggled close and safe and warm and thinking of you.

So I am hoping that this March snow is a good omen, and the next good news is that my dossier is finished and off to the Consulate, because, little one, we are excited about you! Annika wakes up many mornings and asks if this is the day we can go for her sister~ She says she can hardly wait anymore and suggests that i "just call Kakazkstan and find out what is taking so long!." Somedays I pick her after school and she says, "Lets go get my sister..I am ready and I can't hold it in anymore."

Of course, we know what is taking so long...we are not ready yet are we? I have one dossier paper to wait for oh so impatiently, and you little one, what do you have to do? I wonder, are you born yet and already waiting for us? Or has that not even happened yet? Is that why my dossier, despite my greater efforts, can't seem to get finished? Annika thinks you have been born and are definitely waiting for us...but I still wonder. Whatever you are doing, little one, we are thinking about you and wondering when you will be here with us.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Waiting to Wait

I've finally put my finger on why I am struggling so much with this portion of my wait. I am not actually complaining about waiting. Its because I am not actually waiting yet. I am waiting to wait. As I see it, once my dossier is finished and it goes to the Consulate in New York, then I actually begin waiting for my child. Gathering my own documents and building a dossier is is action oriented, and can be done fairly quickly and easily, once you get going. The last page I need is one that I have no control over. Someone else needs to be complete it. Once I receive it, my dossier is complete and goes to the Consulate. Knowing the dossier is at the Consulate or somewhere in country means that there is hope for something to happen. It is paving the way to the child. This in between place where we are now, this waiting to wait, is a difficult place to be, because I know nothing can happen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

BUT I'M NOT ADOPTING FROM RUSSIA

So, despite allusions of unresponsiveness, the PA State Board of Psychology did complete a letter of good standing and submitted it to my adoption agency. It arrived there today. Unfortunately, it is the standard letter they complete for families adopting from Russia and even noted Russia, not Kazakhstan, as the country as the one I was adopting from! Of course my agency contacted me immediately to tell me it would not work. The good thing was the letter arrived with a signature and a phone number, so I finally have a contact person. When I called, I was told over and over, "but this is the standard letter we use for Russia." I said, but I am not adopting from Russia. I could not explain the idea that I was adopting from a different country and needed a different letter. I kept getting that same answer. Finally, she saw that the letter noted Russia and not Kazakhstan and I had a breakthrough! It was like a light went on. She even got the person who wrote the letter on the phone and she is going to try to get permission to deviate from the "standard Russia letter" and write the letter I need, based on a fax I sent her.

I am disappointed that my dossier could have been finished as of today. I know it wont impact the wait in any way, but I really want the dossier to be complete and out of my hands. It won't go to the consulate for a few more weeks, but I am ready for the part that I am responsible for to be over. I want my official waiting period to begin. Last time I adopted I finished my dossier in under 6 weeks. This time, due to delays and the agency only being able to submit 1 per month, it has taken since August.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

RED TAPE

I am so baffled. I need one item to complete my dossier. It is a letter from the State Board of Psychology saying that the psychologist (who wrote my letter of sanity because I am single) is in good standing with the state of Pennsylvania. I requested the letter on January 30th and was told it would take 7-10 days and would cost $15 per letter. I requested 2 letters. A few days after I requested it, I received a call and was told that the there was good news. There was no charge for adoption letters and my check would be returned. I received the check back a few days later and waited 7-10 more days for the letter of good standing, but nothing. I called and was told that it was being handled by the Borad's legal department, and the legal department does not give out timeframes and was transferred to a diferent department. Then I was put into the voicemail of the person who is responsible for the letter. I have the name and phone number of the person who will do the letter, but she neither answers her phone nor has she returned my phone call. I left a message a week ago! If I can't call anyone, and they don't give out timeframes, how do I resolve this?

Monday, February 23, 2009

All But One

All of the items that I need for my dossier, except one, have made it to my agency. My FBI fingerprints, and everything that that required an apostille arrived on Friday. Now I am waiting for my psychologist's letter of good standing. I called to check on the status of it on Friday. The State Board of Psychology told me it is handled by their legal department and the legal department does not give out timeframes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fedex Stalker

I have a new morning activity. After Annika goes to school, I am stalking my own email box! I have 3 items that will eventually be Fedexed to my agency via Fedex using my account, and I receive an email from Fedex every morning between 9:02 and 9:20, so I stalk my mail box during that time eagerly looking to see if the FBI has finished my finger prints, the Board of Psychology has finished my psychologist's letter of good standing, or my last 6 apostilles have been completed. Nothing today! (I am not doing so well seeking patience...still need to keep working on that!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Annika's Dream

Annika woke up smiling today. "I dreamed that my sister was born!" she said sleepily. "She was cute. She had short brown hair and brown eyes and teeny, tiny ears."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Big Sister

Annika's daily life is filled with thoughts being a big sister. I don't talk about it a lot or focus on it with her because it is so far away and I don't want the waiting to be any harder on either of us than it has to be. I think were at least 9 months away. I don't ignore it either....its a major life event and we need to prepare appropriately, but I want Annika's life to go on unencumbered by a long, tedious and often stressful process. We prepare for our family to grow. I tell her of the landmarks....our paper work is finished for now or an important paper came in the mail, but I don't dwell on it regularly. We celebrate the big steps. (Actually, I don't really mind the wait...i do mind the delays...but the wait is ok for now...its part of the process to get to our next family member, my second daughter. I just don't want to make it more stressful for Annika.) On the other hand, Annika has embraced her future role and we discuss it often. She has already involved the next child in the fabric of our lives. At each meal she asks, will my sister like this food? Where will she sit? Will I help feed her? She brings old toys in and tells me she is now too big for them and the baby can have them. The baby already has a toy bus, a 2 wheeler, a tricycle, and a phonics bus! When we are shopping she wants to shop for clothes the baby. (So do I, but I resist at this point!) Annika begins many sentences with "when i am a big sister I will...." She also reports, as she does her big girl tasks, "My sister won't be able to do this because it is too big for her." Her teacher reports that this excitement bubbles over into school too. She is realistic. She knows that it will not be all fun, asking "what if my sister pulls my hair or pinches me?" She smiles with relief when I tell her we will say, "No, no baby, please be gentle with your big sister." "What if she doesn't stop?" she asks. "Then I will come and move her away for you," I say. These conversations seem to work out many issues in her mind and give her a clearer picture of where we are heading. She even asks, "What if I yell at my sister?"I love that she is thinking so deeply about it and cares so much about the relationship already. I am glad she is happy and excited. I hope the energy doesn't wear off with a lengthy wait. Annika tells me she is already a sister and the baby is born and she will be home this year. It all remains to be seen, but she surely seems ready as she tells me "I love my sister already!" Sounds so familiar. She echoes what is in my heart.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Waiting for Our New Love

We are sitting happily on Valentine's morning having a lazy start to our day. I am enjoying my coffee and Annika is reading to me. Its freezing out and I am not anxious to start our day, so we cuddle and relax. She is reading "Love Lola" a Valentine's storybook given to her by Collin, a boy at school. It is a sweet pop-up story about a little bear named Lola who pesters her brother while he is making his Valentines, but in the end gives the cutest one to her. I am struck by the fact that my daughter, who not so long ago, was saying, "Happy Hollentine's day, Mama!" is now reading to me. A look back reminds me of my tiny princess and our first few Valentine's together...the first year she was just walking, with a cute heart sweater and Pebble's hairdo, not so sure about what the day meant. Now she knows and and celebrates with joy.

As I sit here with her, I cherish this day and wonder what our next Valentine's Day will bring. A look forward to next year could reveal an array of possibilities. Will there be a little one crawling on our floor? Will we still be waiting? Will we be in Kazakhstan? its possible that our baby is already born and waiting for us. Annika thinks this is the case and says she is already a big sister. She has a good sense of such things and may be right. I don't have that feeling yet, but I have been a bundle of nerves and am not tuned into my senses just yet.

Whatever the next year brings, with so many unknowns, it will hopefully be posiitive and exciting. There are so many things to hope for while waiting and the excitement in our house on Valentine's Day 2009 is palpable.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Do it Right!

As I complain about the last few pieces of paper work that have yet to arrive at my agency, I got an email from my agency and a phone call from the FBI today. I did not fill out the money order for my finger prints in my haste to drop it in the mail! Rather than delay things, i was able to provide an alternate form of payment. However, I cannot complain about the wait if i don't do it right!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Out of my hands

My dossier is officially out of my hands today. I fedexed the last 6 pages to be apostilled and once done, they will be forwarded directly to my agency. Annika made a little celebration of it and I waited until after school to put it in the fedex box. She actually did the honors, with a little kiss, and wish to "go fast to Kazakhstan."

I also talked to Libby, my coordinator, today who assured me that all is well, most of my dossier is already on the way to be translated, and I am now second in line to be submitted to the Consulate in New York. It looks like it will go to NY in late March or early April.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The second time around

Things have changed the second time around. The first time I completed a Kazakhstan adoption, my time frame from dossier submission to travel was 5 1/2 months. The entire process, from the day I made my decision, through researching agencies, homestudy, dossier preparation, etc, was 1 year and 1 month. I decided to move forward with number 2 on July 8, and it has been 7b months and 2 days and my dossier is not even finished yet (because it cannot be submitted to the Consulate by my agency until March/April). Then the real waiting will begin.

With my last adoption, I was fairly sure of when I would travel, fairly sure that my daughter had been born and was waiting in a baby house, and absolutely sure it would be a daughter. I had a much clearer picture of who was waiting for me and more faith in the process as a quick and sure process.

I found out a few days ago I need 6 or 7 more documents to complete my dossier. I have now gathered them all or they are the process of being created and should be ready by the end of next week, then my dossier will finally go to translation. I will feel much relief when it is translated and on to the Consulate. I am ready for it to be out of my hands and for a clock to start clicking.

With my last adoption from Kazakhstan, the most daunting part of the process was the trip...I was not worried about the time or my baby, but the conditions in which I would be living. It turned out to be wonderful. I hope this time, we are just as well off. I do still worry about accommodations. I'd like to be in a hotel again because it gives us options to get out and about, but one of the cities we may travel to is Astana and it may cost prohibitive to stay in a hotel in that city. This time, along with worries about where I'll stay, I worry about traveling with Annika, the whole worrisome process, the unknowns that were not there last time, and the thought of traveling home with 2 children!

Nevertheless, I am trying to remind myself that each step brings me closer to my child and my child is not ready yet. I thought the fact that I had a child would make me more patient with the process the second time around. I was sadly mistaken!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Peace, perhaps

I am holding onto yesterday's thoughts and feel more at peace today. All day yesterday, I turned off NPR, turned on music and let the problems of the world go, and gave myself some time. I can choose to be miserable or make the most of my life. What I have is my life and I need to choose to do better. Yes there is a big gaping hole without my mom and dad, and there always will be, but the only way I fill it it is by moving forward. Not moving on. I can't move ON without them. Moving on feels as if I am leaving them behind and that breaks my heart. But moving forward means choosing to live my life, knowing they were apart of it, knowing they are with me, and keeping their memories alive more my children.

Its hard to lose your best friends...harder to know their not coming back ever...holding on for eternity is not enough right now....I miss them and I need them! These are the thoughts I am burdened with and I seriously contemplated them yesterday. They are wearing me down. I need to make changes. I was always happy, carefree, and seriously worry free. My mom called me "no nerves." because I didn't really get stressed and when, very rarely, I did, I did not show it. The last 7 years have taken their toll. My trust in the universe and in myself has been shaken to the core. I have had the audacity to put God on probation for a year and the day he was due to come off, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. Probation continued indefinitely. I have lost most of my family and many friends, or people who I thought were friends during my ordeal. Brian and I have been stretched to a place beyond where I thought recovery was possible. I have gained weight and now lost most of it. I am tired. I am a little lost. Nothing in my life is as was.

However, as I realized yesterday, I am still me somewhere buried deep, and I can continue to be me if i try. I was always positive and will work on doing it again. I will let life happen as it is supposed to. I cannot control it anyway, so why make myself miserable. I just need to keep reminding myself of that and how good my life was and is. I have a beautiful daughter. I am working on bringing home a second child and that will happen in due time. I am never going to have the life I dreamed of for my children, with grandparents and a full house at the holidays, but I will have 2 little sweeties who I love, love me, and love each other, filling my house with giggles, silliness, and joy, and that is more that I dared to dream of when I adopted Annika.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Perspective on Adoption Number 2

When I adopted Annika, I was at peace with the process. My life approach was more zen-like than it is now. I approached every moment of it as a step toward leading me to the child that is to be mine. The bumps did not bother me in the least. I trusted that they were part of my journey. I was so calm about it that even my adoption coordinator complimented me on being the model client. Even when Mary Jane Capron's agency hijacked my dossier and would not give it back, i was calm. Almost 5 years later, I struggle to find that trust in the universe that used to have. I have a greater need to control the process and I realize how much I have changed and perhaps not for the better. My life has changed dramatically. I no longer have parents and I am a mom. I am no longer calm, cool and collected at all times.

With this adoption, I started my process on July 8th, did my home study in September, then due to various delays, was asked to postpone completing my dossier until further notice. Just before Christmas, my agency gave me the go ahead to finish my dossier after the holidays, which I did. I am so quick with a dossier!! Just last week, my agency reviewed my paperwork and gave me a list of 6 or 7 things that either need to be updated or added before my dossier can go to translation. I was able to gather all but 2 items in 4 days, the others will take about 2 weeks, so it is not a long delay.

The issue that bothers me is that 5 years ago, I was not a nervous person. I went along with life as it happened. Is it simply motherhood? It can't be the one thing I've wanted forever has changed me into bag of nerves, can it? I don't think so. Being a mom is the best part of my whole life. I think perhaps with the second adoption comes the realization of reality. It is not a dream, but a living, breathing, crying baby with an older sister who also has many needs! I now know how huge the responsibility is. On the other hand, I also I also know how huge the joy is, and am anxious to live that joy again....meeting my child for the first time....getting to know each other....having Annika see her birth country....are all things I am anxious to experience, so that makes me eager to have the process in motion, but of course I must learn to tell myself as I did last time, our baby is not ready yet.

Simply writing this has given me better perspective on my feelings and a bit of peace. The realities are, it the later I travel, the better...having 2 in pre-school will be a stretch. It will be done, but when Annika is in first grade, the burden will be eased. Financially, traveling closer to the end of this year will allow me to save more. All this said, I have relaxed for the moment. I still want my dossier to be complete and out of my hands, but that will happen in the next 2 weeks. Until then, I'll try to find my peace.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

INAUGURATON DAY


This is such a happy day with a new outlook. Its hard for me to put into words without negativity and I don't want to be negative. I want a happy secure future for my children. When I left this country to adopt Annika, I was treated very well, but was often asked, "What do you think of your American President?" I didn't hide my opinion nor did my questioners. I brought Annika home in 2004 and I cried on election night. I clearly remember sitting in the recliner, holding her, tears streaming down my face, as apologized to her for what was to come. I am relieved to feel hopeful and excited for oour country's future and that of my children. I am excited that if I return to Kazkahstan when I asked what I think of our president, I can accept him as MY president and I can say that I respect and admire him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lillie and Edmund?


I struggle with choosing the name Lillie simply because I love it. I believe it should have more meaning and more connection ot my family. Annika was named to honor my grandmother Anna and my mom Rosemary, two strong, wonderful, amazing woman. They had complete and profound impact on my life and who I am and we miss them everyday. As I searched for a name for my next baby, I wanted to honor my dad, Edmund. But Edmund is difficult to correlate with a girl's name. I have tried. Emilia and Emika are good, but do not have the perfect ring to my ear. I feel a bit of guilt because I want to name her to honor my dad. I researched the name Lillie and some other family names and as it turns out, the name Susan means Lily. HUH? Stick with me here....my dad's mom was named Susan....its a bit of a stretch, but the name Lillie just came to me out of nowhere last week, much as the beginning of this adoption process did on my dad's birthday, so perhaps....if we think of greater powers guiding me ... the name Lillie can be thought of as a way of honoring my dad. I realize its a stretch, but it works for me. So she shall be Lillie Ana, variations of my two grandmother's names, to honor my dad, who loved his mom, and my mom mom, who I loved.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mission Completion-Dossier Phase


On Wednesday I picked up the last page of my dossier and yesterday i mailed it for apostille, so this phase of the process is complete. Ths week, I finished and forwarded my dossier pictures on to Libby at my agency. Two packages have been fedexed to the PA Department of State for Apostilles. For my part, this phase of the paperchase is over and the apostilles should be finished next week and mailed to MAPS and thus officially completing my dossier.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

NAMES


Lily Ana: Lily means Purity, beauty, innocence/Ana means Grace

Lily is just pretty, goes nicely with Annika, and I have and Aunt and a cousin respectively named Lillian and Lila, and Ana in honor of my Mom Mom Anna

Rose Eden: Beauty and love/pleasure delight In honor of mom Rosemary and my dad Edmund

Emilia Rose: Industrious/ beauty In honor of my dad and mom, using just the "E" for my dad

Alex Rose: Noble/ Beauty In honor of my Pop Pop Al and my mom

Emika Rose: Loved Friend/ Beauty Again in honor of my dad and mom

They are not in any order. I like all of them. Today I like Lily Ana best, but I would like to honor my dad in the name. I also like Liliana Rose, but Lily on its own is so pure and simple and lovely. Annika and Lily sound precious together. I have thought long and hard about Emilia and was set on that, but it always felt one syllable too heavy. So for today, it is Lily Ana, plus her Kazak name.

With Annika, I knew I wanted a variation of Anna and Rosemary, and researched my options and once I came upon Annika Rose, it was set. Once I met her, it fit. I would love a pretty "E" name to honor my dad, and to pair it with Rose, but despite hours on name websites and with my nose in baby name books, I cannot find an "E" name that I love as much as I love Annika's name. I do love Lily that much. Today. Let's see if it sticks.

ALREADY LOVED


It appears as though nothing has happened since August. It actually felt that way too. It has been a series of starts and stops due to various changes in the rules and regulations governing Kazak adoptions. The agencies, the Consulate, the Departments within the country itself, as well as adopting parents had to implement many changes, resulting in many delays and adjustments. My homestudy was approved in September, and while many of the delays were in effect, I was fortunate to also be waiting for my INS approval, which I received in November. My agency implementd the required changes, and finally gave me approval to proceed with my dossier in mid December. As it turned out, I had only a few things to complete and they will be in the mail to be apostilled this week.

As it stands now, my dossier will be finished in about 2 weeks, then go to translation, then be submitted to the Consulate in March/April. The wait then is 9-12 months. In an ideal world, I wold travel in either the fall or late spring. January to March is virtually impossible with my job, but perhaps the two trip option or an escort will have to be considered too.

The little extra time due to the delay has actually been good for me and allowed me to calm myself and adjust to the idea of two children. The delays also make me realize just how much I want this child and how much he or she is already loved.