Welcome to the world of Russian adoption. We've been on this journey for so long, and yet I'm always amazed at how crazy things can get.
I just posted on Friday on how excited we were to get the dossier in the mail to our agency in NC. Well, excitement hit a wall yesterday.
We found out, through some good friends in the adoption community and the FRUA website, that the Russian government (the Ministry of Education, which oversees international adoptions) has JUST released a list of homestudy agencies that, according to them, have not followed through with their commitment to produce their post placement reports (for those of you reading who are out of the International Adoption loop, once an adoption is completed, the families are obligated to particpate in a specified number of documented visits from a social worker, usually from the homestudy agency. These reports are sent back to the child's country of origin, as a confirmation that everything is going well in the adoptive family. This has been a big issue with the Russian government. Some families have not been followed up with, and this has fueled the view there that adopted children are not being taken care of.)
Getting to the imporant part---our new homestudy agency (that just finished and notarized our homestudy on Feb 6) is on this list. According to the official document from the MOE, the regions of Russia were supposed to be aware of this ruling on the agencies, primarily in regards to adoptions that being conducted independently (ie not through an accreditied adoption agency.) However, there could be potential problems for people who are working through accredited agencies like we are. It is "possible" that judges will not accept these homestudies, even if people are working through accredited adoption agencies.
Holy cow! Finding another agency to redo AGAIN our homestudy, wait AGAIN to have this done, and pay for it AGAIN?!! Suffice to say that we have been already on the phone with our social worker, and have already contacted our agency. Our social worker is trying to find out what she can, and promises to get back with us as soon as possible. C, the coordinator at our adoption agency has told us not to panic--yet--and to wait and see what happens. She is being told by her contacts in Russia that this ruling is only for independent agencies. However, there are many people out there in our same position who have been told by their agencies that they need to get their homestudies redone by an agency not on the list.
So, the news now is that we just need to wait for the moment and see what happens. I am SO not good at this. I feel like an emotional pinball, and it has been a very long week already. I know that, if we need to, this is what we'll do, but I am so very disappointed and discouraged at this point.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. ---Proverbs 3:5-6
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption. And by him we cry "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson
Dec 27, 2010------HOME 1 YEAR! Oct 17, 2010------K's 2nd Birthday (the first one with us)! Jan 17, 2010------K's 15 month birthday
Dec 27, 2009-----Finally HOME with baby K
Dec 24, 2009-----To Moscow and to the US Embassy
Dec 23, 2009-----Pick up baby K from the detskii dom in Kaluga--she's ours forever!
Dec 23, 2009-----Finally arrive in Moscow EARLY in the morning
Dec 19, 2009-----Leave (try #1) for Russia with Auntie Susan
Dec 14, 2009-----Final Exams at MSU and Drury
Dec 9, 2009------Leave for home
Dec 8, 2009------Court Date in Kaluga---10:00 am. The nice Judge said YES!
Dec 6, 2009------See baby K again for first time in month and a half
Dec 4, 2009------Leave for Trip 2 to Kaluga
Nov 17, 2009-----Travel dates for Court in Kaluga!
Nov 5, 2009------Last payment to CSS :-)
Nov 3, 2009------Pick up and apostille the notarized copy of Homestudy Agency's new license and Fed Ex to CSS
Nov, 2, 2009-----Homestudy Agency emailed scan of Homestudy Agency's Updated License to Kaluga
Oct 17, 2009-----Baby K's First Birthday
Oct 14, 2009-----Police background checks and updated dossier documents mailed to agency
Oct 7, 2009------Steve's Birthday AND 70th Birthday of the Baby Home in Kaluga
Sept 29, 2009----Petition to adopt baby K notarized, apostilled, and Fed Exed to agency--ALSO, as of today, we've officially been pursuing this adoption for 4 YEARS!
Sept 20, 2009---Our first meeting with baby K
Sep 17-26, 2009--Travel to Russia to meet baby K
Aug 11, 2009----FBI fingerprints taken and mailed
Aug 7, 2009-----Visa applications mailed
July 28, 2009---Travel dates to visit baby K in Kaluga
mid July 2009---Dossier registered in Kaluga region
July 6, 2009---- Dossier pulled from Tula region
Apr 9, 2009-----Dossier registered in Tula region
Feb 24, 2009----Dossier #2 in Russia
Feb 20, 2009----Homeland Security fingerprints renewed
Feb 13, 2009----Dossier #2 apostilled
Feb 11, 2009----Dossier #2 to notary
Feb 6, 2009-----Homestudy #2 finished
Nov 21, 2008----Physicals for homestudy #2
Nov 7, 2008-----Fingerprints done for homestudy #2
Nov 4, 2008-----Homestudy visit with social worker
Oct 21, 2008----Contract signed with CSS
Sept 26, 2008---Received paperwork from CSS
Sept 17, 2008---Visited Dr. and diagnosed with shingles, received call from CHI that Izhevsk is "closed"
Sept 10, 2008---First call to CSS
Aug, 2008------CHI guidelines for correspondence with regions "changed" but no clear communication as to how or what this will mean for us. Follow-up call to agency gives us very different information than just 3 months previously
July 18, 2008---CHI denied Hague Status
May 27, 2008---Visited in CHI office, bad vibes, representative had "lost our file"
Early Feb 2008--Assigned to Izhevsk region
Jan 25, 2008---Dossier #1 Apostilled
Dec 24, 2007---Received Homeland Security Approval
Dec 21, 2007---CHI reaccredited to work in Russia
Dec 13, 2007---First trip to Homeland Security, first set of fingerprints for Homeland Security
Oct 25, 2007---Homestudy finished
Aug 10, 2007---First set of fingerprints for adoption
July 31, 2007---First physicals for adoption
July 5, 2007----Homestudy biographies finished
July 2007------First agencies reaccredited to work in Russia
April 2007-----Began to work on homestudy
July 2006-Spring 2007--International adoptions from Russia basically shut down during this period, while we were also attempting to get settled and moved-in. This was the "black night of the soul" period for me
Early 2006-----Attempted to straighten out the miscommunication with CHI, began the process of paperwork for homestudy, but then learned around March that we were to be moving in June. Agency advised us to wait until after we were settled in new home to begin the homestudy
Dec 2, 2005-----Applied for new passports
Nov 30, 2005---Contract signed with CHI
Nov 21, 2005----Initial phone conversation with CHI representative (mistakenly told to pursue our I-600 first before the homestudy)