A video about our family

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paperwork

So, we now have all of our documents notarized. Tomorrow we are taking them to be apostilled. Then - all paperwork will be completely done for trip #1! Hooray! What a blessing! Our visas are arriving soon, too!

I've been trying to get the word out for donations to take with us on the trip, but have been surprised at how few we've received. I guess the economy was better when we went to Ukraine, because we had the donations coming out of our EARS and struggled finding room in our luggage for them all. This time, we are checking bags just full of donations. Having said that, I've had 2 people donate 57 beanie babies + infant/toddler clothes (Thanks Hang & Jenny) and think that every little bit will make a difference in an orphan's life. I plan to take more donations the second trip, so if anyone has items to donate they can donate them then.

I'm compiling a list of items to take. I've also thought about the idea of cooking for 6 people in a kitchen in a foreign country. I've thought to bring some items with me, especially items that may not be found in Russia, or are pretty expensive there. Perhaps some of the following:

Peanut Butter
Instant Oatmeal Packets
Protein Bars
Tortillas
Colby Jack string cheese
Crackers

Any other suggestions? Or warnings? Or happy thoughts?

Friday, March 25, 2011

I believe in miracles

I have been blessed to see many miracles in my life and I just witnessed another one today. My husband called Bridgette and she said she would sign the form. She said that normally she would not sign it, but she doesn't want to prevent our adoption from continuing due to this. I am so grateful for her change of heart. I prayed that her heart would be touched. Most people in the business of adoption care about the children - that is their focus - and Bridgette has shown me that she cares about the children. I highly recommend this adoption agency: Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc, located in FL.

And so, we're back on track for Nizhny Novgorod! Speaking of our trip, here is a flyer I want to share with you:


If you are able to donate any of these items, we will take them with us to Nizhny Novgorod and give them to the orphanages there. It's a great way to help others. A BIG THANK YOU to my talented sister-in-law, Tisha, for making this flyer. You can email me or leave a comment if you have any questions: jilldpierce at yahoo dot com. Together, we can make a difference!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We need a miracle

Where to start? Our home study is done. Finally. I got the notarized copies in the mail today. That's the good news. The bad news is that Russia requires the Home Study Agency to be obligated to help the adoptive family register the new children with the Russian Embassy and send them the post-adoption reports. Well, our home study agency says that they are NOT obligated to do so and wouldn't sign the form. Without the form being signed, we cannot adopt in Russia. You can see our problem, yes?

Tomorrow morning, Tyler and Victoria (from our Adoption Placement Agency) are both going to call Bridgette (the head honcho at our home study agency) and try to explain the situation further and hopefully persuade her to sign the form. You see, we don't need for anyone to help us register our children and send post-adoption reports. We are reliable, responsible people. We get it done. So, by having Bridgette sign this form will not put her out at all, yet it will allow us to continue with our adoption. If she does not sign the form, we cannot continue with this adoption.

We have asked Victoria if Russia would allow for us to sign up with another home study agency just for that one form, but it doesn't seem likely that Russia will accept it. They aren't the most flexible people. (Don't tell them I said that). Everything has to be "just so" and this is no exception.

And so, my faithful friends, I need a miracle. I know that God can change the heart of Bridgette so she will sign that paper. I would ask that all of you please join with us and say a prayer tonight and tomorrow morning that all will go well in our conversations with her. I believe in miracles and I know that if God wants for us to adopt in Nizhny, that He will clear the path before us. Please pray for us. Thank you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let the countdown begin!

We have less than 3 weeks until we leave for Russia. My head is beginning to spin with all the last minute things we need to do. I just applied for my visas. What a pain they are! Ukraine didn't require visas, so this is new for me. I am ready to get out the suitcases and start packing them up! Why wait, right? I've thought about doing a little supply checklist and trying to put together some things for the orphanage. Still debating on whether to do that before this trip or before the second trip, when I will know more of what the orphanage needs. You know? Thoughts?

I ordered myself a warm jacket for the trip. It's 70 degrees outside my window here in FL, but it's 21 degrees in Nizhny Novgorod. Wow. It's hard for me to imagine being cold in a few weeks!

We are looking for a family from church to stay with during our time in Russia. I hope we can stay with a family and help them out financially, rather than just pay a hotel. Times are tough everywhere right now, why not help someone else out other than just our kiddos in Russia?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Supplies

Some supplies are coming in the mail. Don't you just love getting packages? I know that I do. I have some money holders (to carry under clothing), a power adapter for our electronics, and a microphone for our laptop so we can chat via Skype while on the trip.

We're less than a month away from our trip. I recently bought myself a coat online. I live in FL. I don't own a coat, but it's 21 degrees in Nizhny Novgorod, so I figured that I should at least buy a medium warmth jacket. So I did. It's black, even. Wouldn't want to stand out more than I already will in a country where everyone wears black and gray. :)

I need to pick out some small toys to take with me to play with our new children. It's hard to know what to take. Any suggestions?

The home study is now being reevaluated by our facilitator in Russia, then it will be notarized and THEN Tyler & I can have a hayday getting everything apostilled.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slow slow come*

Slowly, things are happening. I am accumulating various items for our trip, such as a microphone for our laptop, so we can use skype during the trip. My friend, Sarah, is applying for her passport this week. We are talking over baby names. We really like the name STELLA for a girl, but cannot agree on a boy name. Perhaps that means that we'll adopt 2 girls? Not sure. Tyler & I keep imagining Stella to have curly hair and either blue or green eyes. We can't wait to get to Nizhny Novgorod and to see the files of the children. We are so eager to find our kids there.

It's interesting how things change when you already have children. I remember getting the baby nursery all ready for when Anna was born (she's our bio miracle). I had a theme, matching blankets and sheets, etc. Now? I'm not even thinking about themes, etc, just want my babies home. We'll find a place for them to sleep. Can't wait.

*translation from a Chinese phrase: "man man lai"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Counting down the days

We are about one month away from our trip to Russia. I remember wanting to go in February or March, but I am grateful that we have time to prepare for this trip. I like the idea of having the suitcases packed a couple of weeks in advance, instead of the night before - like our trip to Ukraine. I feel more relaxed and able to think about what items to bring (and not bring) for our #1 trip.

I spoke with Victoria at AAC today. There were two other families scheduled to travel in March to Nizhny Novgorod. I have been eager to follow their experiences to prepare for my trip. Unfortunately, both of those families are no longer to adopt from Nizhny Novgorod, thanks to the issue with the Alaskan mom and hot sauce. The two families were looking to adopt healthy children only and that is no longer allowed in Nizhny - for the time being - due to the hot sauce fiasco. HOWEVER, we have been told that since we are adopting at least one child with specials needs that it will not affect us. Let's hope that this IS the case. :)

More than one month away from our first trip to Russia, I'm already thinking about trip #2. Tyler & I will travel back to Russia to have a physical done in Moscow, then attend the court in Nizhny Novgorod. Then Tyler will travel back home and I'll be there for the 10 day waiting period. Then somone will come out to help me bring the children back. We haven't determined who that person will be. We are willing to pay for the plane ticket. We have asked a few people, family members and friends, but we haven't heard a positive response (yet). If you are interested in doing this, please contact me @ jilldpierce at yahoo dot com