It has been awhile since I posted last because I wanted to work through a few significant issues on our adoption journey, and also because I went on a much needed vacation and I am just know able to find the time to post again.
Shortly after our Adoption Consultant received our Dossier for review, she called me while I was driving the kids home from school. The road I was on is notorious for bad cell reception and the call was dropped before she could let me know why she was calling. A few minutes later, I was able to drive up a hill, above the tree line, and call her back. Unfortunately, she had bad news. She said our Immigration approval would not work in Ukraine and that she could not submit our Dossier. What?! We were approved for up to 3 healthy children with an age range of 0 to 12 years old. She said we needed to be approved for special needs children because all orphans in Ukraine are classified as special needs. Basically our adoption would go through just fine in Ukraine, but we would not be able to get VISAs to bring the children home. Big Problem! She said we would need to get a new Home Study Addendum and re-file Immigration. I was able to end the call and drive home and make it to my room successfully and shut the door and then I just lost it. I threw a total temper tantrum. I mean the throwing things including myself down on my bed sobbing kind. (This is not something I normally do, by the way...I can normally hold it together. Yes, I cry easy, but this was different. This adoption roller coaster experience had my emotions going totally crazy.) I thought we were in the clear and just had to wait for Ukraine to invite us over. All of the careful time sensitive work we had done to put together the Dossier, I thought, was ruined! After an embarrassing 20 minutes of sobbing I found myself on my knees pleading with my Heavenly Father to help me get through this. I have no doubt that my family is meant to go through this process, but I needed stronger faith to overcome all of the obstacles that kept finding their way into our path. I committed to dig in and try to leave all of the overwhelming emotion out of it. I would do what I personally could do and trust that God would take over the rest and be okay with whatever future problems happened. I needed to leave all the emotion out of it for now so that I could be there for my family. As I have mentioned in other posts, I really have a problem with trusting others to do their jobs. My faith has really been tested and strengthened through this adoption process. This heartfelt prayer and the peaceful answer of everything will work out the way it is supposed to really strengthened me for the next couple of weeks.
The next day I got on the phone and tried to contact our Home Study social worker. I found out that she would be out of the office for the week. I emailed her and she responded that she was indeed out of the office for the week and that she would return on Monday, but would be involved in meetings all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I was going out of town on Thursday for several weeks so I asked her what the possibility of her completing the Home Study Addendum by Wednesday was so I could drive in and pick it up on Wednesday afternoon and Apostille it on Thursday on my way out of town? (All Apostilles have to be done in the State Capital). She agreed to try. I got a call on Tuesday night saying that she was done with the Addendums. Thankfully my Adoption Consultant wrote word for word what need to be added into the Home Study Addendum and sent it to my Home Study social worker. (I need three copies, one for Immigration and two for our Dossier). She said their notary was on vacation, ah summertime, but she could find someone to notarize them for me so I could pick them up on Wednesday. I happily drove nearly 2 hours in traffic to her office on Wednesday afternoon thinking everything will work out perfectly. My social worker was in a meeting, but had left the documents with a lady at the front desk. Knowing from experience in the past, I looked over the documents before I left and noticed that only one of the Addendums had been notarized. I needed all three notarized! I mentioned the problem, and the nice front desk lady interrupted my social worker's meeting to let her know of the problem. Their solution was for me to come back around 8pm that night to pick them up because their notary could not show up until then. I didn't know what to do. I needed them now. I didn't have time to come back again by 8pm. My oldest son had a playoff game starting at 7pm and my husband was out of town. I decided to call my friend who lived in the area to see if she could pick them up for me at 8pm and then I would drive out to her house to pick them up after the baseball game. Being the awesome friend she is, she agreed. So I fought rush hour traffic home, losing a total of about 4 hours in traffic for nothing, and went about my evening getting ready for my trip and preparing for my son's game, etc. I received a text from my angel friend, Alicia, who had agreed to pick up the notarized documents, which just made me cry! A good cry. The I can't believe that I have such an awesome friend cry. Here is the text she wrote:
"Me being firm with you...I will pick up the paperwork at eight and I'm going to say this and I don't want you to argue because this is. I will drive it all the way to you. You can't say no. Sorry for being bossy ;)"
I just LOVE Alicia! Everyone should have a friend just like her! With no other option other than to accept, I agreed to her terms. My son's game was cancelled due to a nasty storm approaching so I was able to pack before 8pm. I tried to let Alicia know that I was now available to come get the paperwork or at least meet her part way, but she insisted on bringing the paperwork to my door. She made good time too, because I was on my way home from dropping off my dogs to the pet sitter when she arrived at my house. I thought I would be home before she could get there. She left the documents safely on my front porch, knowing I would be home soon, with a HUGE chocolate bar for me and called me before heading home. a two hour round trip at that time of night! She even texted the next day to make sure that I was able to get the documents off okay and that I was on my way out of town. Fabulous friend!
I prepared the letter and form for Immigration before I left and put it on my hubby's desk for him to sign and mail when he returned from his business trip. I made it to the capital the next morning and Apostilled the documents for Ukraine and shipped them to my Adoption Consultant for review before she sent our completed Dossier to Ukraine (She actually shipped them to a contact in Romania who personally flew them into Ukraine to have them translated and hand delivered to the SDA (office of child services in Kiev) which is where they are now.) My husband signed the forms for Immigration and mailed them when he returned home and we received our approval for up to 3 "special needs" children age range between 0 and 12 years old by the time I got back from my trip last week. Problem solved (hopefully...right? I know better now than to assume anything.) Now we are back to what I posted on my last post...we wait!
I just wanted to share a couple of songs that have really helped me understand the importance of putting my trust and faith in the right place. One is "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong United and the other is "Faithful" by Hawk Nelson. They remind me where to put my faith and what God is capable of. I shared both songs on this blog with lyrics on individual posts. If you have time, please listen to them. Great songs! Every time I hear them on the radio the same peace I received from my prayer accompanies it. When I put my faith in the adoption process, everything fell apart. Countless problems have arisen that could have made me doubt that what we are doing is the right decision for our family. Seriously, when we started this process Ukraine was not in conflict and was a relatively safe place to be. The steps to complete should have stuck to the outline we were given, but how many times have we had to re-do our Home Study or add an Addendum? I believe we are on 4 or 5. Immigration was done twice. 4 medical appointments for me. 3 different Home Ownership letters, and countless other blips in the process including changes in fees and policy. Nothing has truly been easy. When I put my trust and faith in God all is put into the correct perspective. I needed to grow. I needed to get closer to him. I needed time to educate myself about what problems we might face after our kids reach our home. I needed time with my birth children preparing them and enjoying our family as it is now because it is all going to drastically change. I have a feeling that all of these delays and problems are there to allow God's timing to work to find the children that are meant to be a part of this family and prepare us to parent them successfully. I hope I look back and say "Oh, that's why it took so long..." Thanks to those who read to the end. I know this is a long post, but I wanted to remember everything that happened the last couple of months and for my future kiddos to know what we went through to get them here and why it took so long!