Mary is posting.
The last couple of months have been hard. M decided he was not ready to be adopted. His sisters, K and R still wanted to be adopted, but decided to stay as well because they didn't want to be separated from their brother. I don't blame them at all. We never wanted to separate the siblings either. All three of the children came from an abusive environment and had only been in the orphanage a short time and finally felt safe. Leaving that safety and going to an unknown was just too much for M. He wanted his sisters to go with us and for him to visit next year in the U.S. to see if he liked it, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Again, it was devastating, but we had guarded our hearts a little more this time. I still think about these kids, and Katarina and Bogdan, every single day. I've had to distance myself with the news from Ukraine so I don't stress out too much. All five of these kids deserve better.
Ukraine's program just wasn't working for us. We have had to be very careful with what we have shared on our blog so that it wouldn't hurt our chances in Ukraine. There is a LOT more to our story that we have not been able to share. If you are a couple that is trying to adopt in Ukraine we would be happy to share what we have learned through this process and what to do or who or what to avoid if you are interested. Feel free to contact us in the comments. We learned a lot from other couples while we were there and wished we had known some of this information before we traveled. We have decided to stop pursuing an adoption in Ukraine even though we still have an opportunity for one more SDA appointment. I can't see putting our family through another 6 week trip to Ukraine. The program has changed drastically over the last couple of years, and we have gone through too much over there already to start over.
For the last couple of months we have been talking with our adoption consultants here in the United States and they have been working really hard to get back some of the money we spent in Ukraine. Thankfully they were able to work out a deal to transfer a large sum of the Foreign Program fee we had to pay in Ukraine to a new program in Eastern Europe. I have been impressed with what they have been able to do for us. I thought for sure we had lost everything. A couple of days ago we signed a contract to pursue an adoption in Bulgaria. Hopefully we will have better luck there. It is a Hague country, which means it has to follow strict regulations and everything is backed up with paperwork and is clearly spelled out. Unfortunately we will have to update our home study again, but the dossier is a lot less intense.
James and I just want to thank all of you who have supported us through this crazy process. We really felt your prayers, and your words of encouragement have strengthened us immensely. I haven't logged into the blog for several months and was so surprised to see so many of you still checking it. We have had over 11,000 page views and our audience has reached every continent except Australia. Amazing! I didn't think our story would be that interesting to people other than our family and close friends. We will start a new blog for our new adventure if you would like to follow that process as well. To close out this blog I will update our "Timeline, Fees, and Paperwork" tab too.