It's time for an update: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
First of all, thank you for all of the laughter that resulted from the suicidal "LUV" turkey. I am happy to report that my dear beloved little car (Betty-Lou, the Blue Subaru) should be home from the body shop tomorrow. Thanks also to our good friend Brad, who loaned us a vehicle so that I could get back and forth the past few days. Easter week in a pastor's family is really full of responsibilities for the pastor, and it was nice to be able to drive myself to my orthodontist appointment yesterday, among other places that I needed to go.
The big ortho news: I now have braces on the bottom teeth, too. They hurt. Advil has become my good friend for the past two days. It feels as if my molars are trying to migrate to the front of my mouth. The good news is that the orthodontist told me that the upper teeth are where they're supposed to be, and that I'm progressing nicely. Yay braces! (Wait...did I just type that?? Must be the drugs!)
I suppose that I should really be good and give you all the adoption update. I received an email from C this morning--we are officially registered--in Tula. YAY! This is way farther than we have ever been in this process (a year ago we were waiting in line behind about 9 families just to be registered in Izhevsk). They have no idea how fast things will go now, but it is a big step for us. Thank you to all of you for your prayers; we really feel that God has led us to this region, and are trying very hard to be as patient as possible. Well, trying some to be as patient as possible.
Other news: I finally caught up on grading about 5:00 on Friday last week. I had been behind for about a month and a half, so it was nice to be able to go to bed and not have anything that I still needed to grade. I have a set of papers I need to do this afternoon, but I'm hopeful that I'll get them done quickly. I have discovered that I have wicked senioritis this semester; I just am tired with teaching online, and trying to fit a normal semester's amount of work into about 1/3 the normal time. I am SO ready to be back in a real classroom.
Finally, if you have a chance to go, please go see the "United" tour of concerts with Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. We saw them in Springfield last week, and they were amazing. Some amazing worship music (they played for over 3 hours!), testimony from both men, and a huge emphasis on the Chapmans' "Show Hope" ministry to orphans. It was just exactly what both of us needed to hear, especially with Easter week coming up and with us
having just made the decision to pursue Tula as a region. God is good!
My best wishes to all of you for a blessed Easter week--
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)