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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thank you for all of your well-wishes!
We are thrilled beyond imagination.
The closest thing I can compare it to is what I imagine it feels like to find out your pregnant. Yes, we've known for a long time that this was what we wanted to do...but actually getting the call to invite us over there to meet with a child is the closest I've ever come to getting a positive test result.
And, as my kids would say...it ROCKS!
To know that in less than two and a half months we will meet our youngest child just blows our minds! :)
She (he?) is out there...waiting.
Wow.
Everyone has been asking me...okay, so now what?
The truth is...I don't really know.
Explaining this process is so hard.
But I'll try my best to define a process that defies explanation.
But first a few house rules...

  • Rule #1 - The rules are bound to change. This is the one and only true international adoption rule that will stick through this entire process.

  • Rule #2 - Nothing will happen quickly. Our timetable is not their timetable. Unfortunately we can't hurry things along or make them understand how important it is for things to move at a more rapid pace. Thankfully, their timetable isn't their timetable either...it's God's. That's a big comfort! :)

  • Rule 3# - Respect, respect, respect - This is another country...another culture. They have their own traditions, their own methods to their madness and we have to accept it. And we have to respect it. We may not always agree with them, but we're going to be in their country, adopting their children. We must be honor the differences and do things their way whether we agree with it or not.
With that behind us, here is (to the best of my knowledge) what happens next...

  • - We leave for Ukraine sometime in early December for our appointment with the SDA on Dec. 5th.

  • - At that appointment we will be shown files of some children who fit our request criteria. (Healthy/mild correctable conditions, preferably female but open to male, three years and younger). We will take a look at these files, pray and then make a decision as to which child we want to meet. I personally hope that God just puts a big red check mark on the one he wants to be our daughter (son?). Otherwise, I don't have any idea of how we'll make a decision.

  • - Once we decide to go ahead and meet a child we'll have to wait a day or so for some paperwork giving us permission to meet that child and then we head to their region. We'll take off either by car or train to go to the region. Ukraine is about the same size as Texas (or so I've heard).

  • - We'll meet the child and if we decide to pursue the adoption then some more paperwork will be sent back to Kyiv and we'll schedule a court date. While we wait for the court date we'll be able to continue to meet with our child, bond and get to know her (his?) hometown. Court usually takes at least two weeks to schedule, so we'll be waiting awhile.

  • - Once court is done, Meshack will come home. I may join him depending on a few things which I'll get into in a minute

  • - It will take 10 days for the court's decision to go into effect. It gives the biological family time to appeal the decision...then we'll have custody of her. Then we apply for a passport, go back to Kyiv to the U.S. embassy to fill out some paperwork to get her a visa and then we can come home! :)

  • - How long this last part takes will decide whether I come home with Meshack or not. If it takes too long to get the passport, I may come home and then go back after the wait is over and the passport has been issued..that way I'll only have to be in the country for another week. Otherwise I could be in Ukraine for 4 to 6 weeks!

Sigh.
That's a LONG time.
(Note to self: Remember rule #2, remember rule #2, remember rule #2...)
I'm leaning toward coming home.
So there you have it...a very complicated process, broken down into small, manageable, but still highly complicated parts.
All of it has to come together perfectly for this adoption to be completed.
Honestly, though, when you take it a step at a time it's not so bad.
And the first step is to get those airline tickets! ;)

13 salty messages:

DoveFamily September 27, 2007 at 1:37 PM  

Don't sweat the small stuff - He's got everything in His hands!

I can't wait to start reading about all the plans falling into place... I'm so excited for you guys.

Christina September 27, 2007 at 1:59 PM  

Wow, when you look at the big picture, that really isn't very long from referral to bringing your child home! I know it will feel much longer, especially once you meet your child and if you are passing time in a foreign country... but to think in less than 6 months you could have your child home, that's wonderful!

Troy and Rachel September 27, 2007 at 2:29 PM  

Thank you for sharing all the details. I also can't wait to hear more. It will be exciting to follow you through the travels!

Leslie September 27, 2007 at 4:32 PM  

Thank you for reminding all of us of rules 1-3. Its really easy to forget those and they are imperitive to navigating international adoption successfully. Let us know what you decide about tickets. I hear a lot of AP's are opting for one way tickets to avoid the penalty for changing return dates. Adoption fare or regular fare? So many choices to be made!!!

Is Eight Enough? September 27, 2007 at 5:45 PM  

Tami,

It is so exciting to see this all unfolding!! It is amazing how quickly it all comes together! I will certainly be praying that all the bumps are smoothed out before you!!

Justine :o)

Nataliya September 27, 2007 at 6:29 PM  

I'm going to print out these rules and read them several times a day, especially rule #2 :)

Your plan is exactly like ours - if it takes too long to get the passport, I'll come home. Otherwise, I'll stay to finish the paperwork.

Lucia September 27, 2007 at 8:22 PM  

Congratulations on getting your date! Perhaps we'll meet in Ukraine! Wouldn't that be cool?

Melissa E. September 27, 2007 at 9:15 PM  

Wow! Can you believe it?!!! You're almost there!!! Christmas with your daughter!

Congratulations!!

Old DAN AND Little ANN September 27, 2007 at 10:23 PM  

Wow! I hadn't checked in for awhile so what a mind blower to read all that has transpired on the adoption front. That would be hard to miss Christmas with the kids. BUT it would be a cool way to learn what it was like for Jesus to have to leave His home in heaven in order to come to earth for us and give us the holiday in the first place. However it works out - it will be right because it is all being ordained according to the master plan, amen?! So happy for you all!

Shelly September 28, 2007 at 12:17 PM  

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!! So, so very happy for you!

~ Shelly

Adrienne September 28, 2007 at 9:00 PM  

WOW!!! What wonderful news!! I'm sorry I've been away and just read it. I am sooooo happy for you!! I know it will be a little while, but I can't wait to read about your travels and meeting your child. I'm so excited for you!

kate September 29, 2007 at 3:16 AM  

Knowing that it's not their timetable is always a help, isn't it?

I have friends in Kyiv. If you're looking for a church or a friendly face while you're there, let me know.

If you meet your referral and things aren't what you expected, then the process starts over, right? You go back and flip through the books again, right?

And, from what I understand, it's not a comparison of children. You don't look through all the books and choose a child--like catalogue shopping. You are offered each child and only see information on a child once you've declined another. And, once declined, you don't go back. Is that right? (You can see my knowledge of Ukrainian adoption is rudimentary. I just thought, if it's right, it might be helpful for those who know even less.)

Jenni September 29, 2007 at 11:22 PM  

I'm so excited for you guys!!! There are still a lot of steps to take, but you're getting closer all the time. I can't wait to hear more!

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