For those of you who have been around me lately, you know that I'm pretty big into countdowns. This, however, is the biggest countdown of all. Life as we know it is changing faster than we could ever imagine! We are about to go on a journey of a lifetime.....to Ukraine to adopt a child.
How it all started........January 2006
It was a rainy Sunday afternoon. Terry (my super hubby) was snoozing on the couch and I was channel surfing. I came across a program about orphans in Ukraine. It really touched me, and as I sat there wondering what I could do to help these poor kids, I heard in my heart "go get one......" After some logical thinking, I thought "WHAT?!?! That's the craziest thing ever!" and I tried to push it out of my mind. After that, Terry and I went out for supper.
We were at Joey's Only (that's right, Amy...our fave spot!) I was still trying to get the thought of adopting a baby out of my head. Terry and his super hubby intuition could tell something was up. So here I am in Joey's Only sobbing over my fish and chips as I tell Terry about my crazy idea. For those of you out there who know Terry and I, you would know just how absurd this idea was. He and I had discussed having children many times and always decided against it. Neither of us ever had a desire for children. Now, not only did I want a child, I wanted to travel halfway around the world and spend a boatload of money to get one!!!!
For all you wives out there, imagine springing that one on your husband! But, like I mentioned already, I have a super hubby!! Without ANY hesitation or reservations, his answer to me was simple...let's do it!!
Many people ask us why adopt? I, myself, am adopted and I know what a blessing it has been. I truly believe that God planned for me to be raised by my adoptive mom and dad. If no one had ever told me I was adopted, I would have never known. I fit in perfectly and can't imagine growing up anywhere else. One great thing about adopting from Ukraine is my Ukrainian background. My birth parents were Ukrainian and Russian and my dad (adoptive) is Ukrainian. In fact, he speaks Ukrainian fluently. (side note...love you lots dad!! Hope you've figured out how to read our "blob" :):)
So here we are 2.5 years and 50 lbs of paperwork later! There has been a lot of red tape to get through to get this far. It's certainly been a rollercoaster....lots of ups and downs. But God has been faithful in giving us hope even when there was none. We finally got our invitation from Ukraine in mid April asking us to meet at the SDA (State Department of Adoptions) on June 19. We will be flying out on the morning of June 17.
What happens now.......
We will arrive in Ukraine on June 18. That day we will meet with our facilitator who I imagine will give us a little "coaching" session before our appointment. We will also meet with a doctor who specializes in international adoption. He will go through medical terms with us so we know what we're dealing with when we hear them.
Now, I'm only going on what I've heard from others who have gone through this already. Every appointment can be a little different. Generally what happens is you are shown 1 to 3 files on children that meet your criteria (we have requested boy/girl under 2) The file usually has a really ancient photo of the child and a medical writeup. Based on that information, we pick a child. We are then told what region the child is in (there are orphanages all over Ukraine) and make arrangements to travel to that region to meet them. Once we meet the child, they are checked over by a doctor to make sure they meet Canada's requirements for immigration. If everything is good and we decide to go ahead and adopt that child, we proceed to go ahead with all the legalities. We have to go to court and finalize the adoption in Ukraine. Once the adoption is finalized, there is a mandatory 10 day waiting period for us to remain in the country. During the entire process, we do not get to take the child from the orphanage. We will probably get to visit them about an hour a day until everything is finalized. It sounds really easy, but apparently it's not. If everything goes off without a hitch, we could be out of the country within 4 weeks, but usually, people are there longer. We are really hoping for 6 weeks max. But, we're ready to do what's needed to get our child home!
We will try to post to this blog on a regular basis when we are in Ukraine. We may not always have internet connection, but when we do, I will update. We will also post pictures if we can. There is a spot you can click on to post comments....comments would be greatly appreciated!! I know we will miss everyone so much and it will be great to hear from all of you. If you don't want to post a comment on our blog, but would like to send us a message, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of our families and friends for their continued support. For those of you who have helped us financially....thanks so much!!! Every little bit helps!! And thanks to those who have been faithful to pray for us and who will continue as we go on our way!!
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