Legacy of an Adopted Child

"Once there were two women, who barely knew each other. One is in your heart forever, the other you'll call mother. Two different lives, shaped to make yours one. One became your guiding star, the other became your sun. The first gave you life, and the second taught you how to live it. The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it. One gave you nationality, the other gave you a name. One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you an aim. One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears. One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears. One gave you a family, it was what God intended for her to do. The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you. And now you ask me, through your tears, the age old question through the years. Heredity or environment....which are you a product of? Neither my darling...neither, just two different kinds of love". - Unknown

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Let the countdown begin

Well, we are definitely in countdown mode! We've been accomplishing a little each day, which we are hoping will alleviate some of the stress as we get closer. We spoke to the agency that issues our visas and they will be ready to mail to us on August 31- so we will receive them in PLENTY of time! We have lil man's suitcase packed just in case they waive the 10 days (if they don't we will just leave his suitcase over there for when we return). We had to make a small change on lil man's ticket - we were originally told to put his Russian name on his ticket because that is the name that would be on his passport. But, after talking with other adoptive parents, the name on their passport is their new name given by the parents. So, Nicole was on the phone with United last night for 1 hour for them to make the change. But, it's fixed and we are sorry that the lovely agent from United knows lil man's name before all of our family and friends. But you will soon ALL know his name :) Thanks for playing along with us....

Nicole returns to work on Thursday. So, she's counting down the days of summer that are left. Today her Mom is coming down for some shopping and Wednesday she has an appointment to visit a pediatrician and maybe 1 more time at the pool! But, it should be a good year and it will be fun to bring lil man to all of the high school games and events!

The donations continue to come in for the orphanage (via checks and PayPal). Thank you again to one and all and we will let you know what we will be asked to give the orphanage. You still have until September 4th if you want to help.

We will continue to keep you posted on everything that is going on. We hope you and your families are doing well. Love you and thanks again for everything you all have done for us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Flights booked......CHECK

Hi everyone! Hope you are all enjoying your last few days of summer! Not much to update, but we have sent off our visa applications (hoping to receive them in PLENTY of time) and flights are booked!!! Those are both HUGH items to cross off of our list. Now we can focus on our packing lists and preparing for court. Some of our wonderful adoption family friends have given us suggestions on what to expect - THANKS!!

Also, a BIG thank you to the Schaar's for their donation. There's still time if you want to help "lil man's" friends at the orphanage :)

We'll be in touch as we get closer to our trip and receive more details. For now, Nicole needs to get her mind into school-mode and start lesson planning!! Thanks to everyone for your kind emails and words of encouragement. Love to you all.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lots to do.....

After the exciting news of our court date sank in yesterday, our minds started racing with everything we have to do before we leave. First, we found out our travel dates. We will be leaving for court in Russia on September 11, arriving in Moscow September 12, completing our 8 doctor medical review, court in Kaluga on September 15 and assuming that the 10 day wait will not be waived, we will return home on September 16. We figured it would be better for us to come home during the 10 days so we could both work and save our leave. During our first trip from the 11th - 16th, we will be able to see "lil man" a couple of times, but will not be coming home with him yet. Then we will leave to go back and get OUR SON on September 27 and return October 9. When we return for this trip, we will pick up "lil man" and he will be with us the rest of our stay in Russia. I'm sure there will be more details as we get closer, but that's what we are expecting in a nutshell. Our goal this weekend is to book our flights and send off for our visas (we are going to make sure that we receive them earlier than the DAY we leave - that was too stressful last time).

Nicole starts back to school on August 27. Then we have Ryan & Michelle's wedding. Then school starts - Nicole will be there for the first 3 days, then we will leave for the first trip. We will both return back to work from September 18-25. Then be off for the 2nd trip. Nicole is going to take off the entire month of October and start back to work in November and Dennis is going to take off 2 weeks in October. At least that is our plan for now :)

Thanks to Gina and Lila for their donations! I have also received questions about sending us a check instead of PayPal and that is fine too. Just email me if you would like to do that and need our address. The new deadline is September 4 and ever little bit will help!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers, we still have a lot to go through and finalize our adoption of "lil man", but know that everything will work out. We just realized last night that we started this journey exactly 2 years ago. In a way, I can't believe it has been this long, but it is also a blur with everything we have been doing and have gone through over these past 2 years. It's hard to explain, but it's a great feeling to know that the end is getting closer and we will soon be a family - GOD IS GOOD!!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

We got a DATE!!!!

Yes, you read it right!!! We got a call this morning with a court date of SEPTEMBER 15!! That is all the details we have now, but they will be emailing us with specific travel dates. The good thing is we will be here for the Ryan & Michelle's wedding - the bad thing is "lil man" won't be here for the wedding!!! That's OK...he'll be here for every other celebration in our families for the rest of his life :) We will keep you posted as we get more information, but we just wanted to share that exciting news with you all!

I have also extended the deadline for those of you who would like to donate to the orphanage. Now that we know when we are traveling, we can extend the deadline a little more. Thanks again to Wendi, Erinn and the Bruce's for their generous donations! We know there's got to be more of you out there who would like to help "lil man's" friends!!!!

Thanks for your prayers and support. Love you all.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Where is the time going?!??

Hey everyone! Hope all is well with you and your families! Can you believe it is August already??? Time is just FLYING by!

Anyways, just wanted to answer the famous question "HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING YET" with our famous answer of "NO STILL WAITING". But, the waiting is definitely starting to wear on us - it's been almost 2 months since we've seen "lil man" - it's killing us! He will be 10 months on Saturday - we've missed 2 whole months of his life since we've last seen him!!!! But, we know that just means we will cherish every day we have with him once he is ours forever, knowing what it was like to miss him!

Last night, we started going through our packing list of what we have, what we still need to buy and even pulled out the suitcases and put them in his room. We have a lot of things, we just need to get some "essentials" for once we have lil man with us (bottles, formula, toiletries, medicines, bibs, etc).

Also, remember if you wanted to donate to the fund for the items we are giving to the baby home, you must do so by August 15! Thanks to Wendi who made a donation (we are excited to give something to the baby home for your daughter you are waiting to meet) and to Erinn for the items you are donating! You don't know how much they will be appreciated!

We also received a package from our agency the other day with the documents we will need to take to the US Embassy. That was kind of exciting because it was something new and it is EXTREMELY specific (documents must be in the order listed and exactly what is listed). So, we are making sure we have EVERYTHING they ask for so there are no hold ups.

I guess that's about it from us....just trying to keep ourselves busy and prepared because we know once we get the call it's such a whirlwind trying to get everything together! Love you all and we'll continue to keep you posted!!!