Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day!

15 inches of snow = Snow Day!!
I had a feeling yesterday that I might not be going to work today. The malls in the area even closed. You know it's bad if the malls are closed 2 weeks before Christmas!
I haven't seen this much snow in a long time. My poor dogs - they are both around 25 pounds and not very far off the ground so I was outside today trying to clear a path for them to the backyard and make a potty area. They were so confused and didn't know where to go!
Now I get to go out and see if I can scoop out the huge 3 foot drift so I can get to my snowblower. Oh the joys of living in the midwest!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I talked with my agency last week and they gave me the option of registering my dossier in the Tula region. I really didn't know anything about this region but I said why not? I'm up for anything that might get me to Russia quicker! Here are a few things I learned about Tula:
  • It's located 2 hours south of Moscow (So not too far of a drive after the long plane ride!)
  • The city itself is older than Moscow (Means there should be some good architecture and sightseeing)
  • Tula was known as the greatest ironworking center of Eastern Europe and has a large weapons museum (I don't think that will be on my sightseeing list...)
  • The city is best known for making Samovars (it's a large metal container that boils water to make tea - sort of looks like a giant tea pot)
  • Tula is the home and burial place for Leo Tolstoy (writer of War & Peace)

Hopefully I will get to visit soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Call

Well I got the call this week. My agency called me with information on a little boy. I was completely taken by surprise. For some reason I had it in my head that I would probably just get a call with travel dates and then have to go to Russia to get any information. So I was completely taken off guard when my agency emailed me a little bit of medical information and a picture. He is very cute but there were some concerns in his medical information so I sent the information to an adoption specialist to see what they thought. Unfortunately, the information I got back was not very good at all so I had to say no.

I was praying that it would become obvious whether I should say yes or no and after I got the doctor's asssessment the choice became very clear. My biggest fear was going all the way to see him and then realizing that he was very sick and coming home empty handed. Instead I had to say no before I went which in some ways is a blessing. I never wanted to have to say no to a referral but I know it happens to a lot of people and I was just hoping I wouldn't be one of them. I am very disappointed but I know it was the right choice. So now I just wait until they call again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Top Of The List...

I spoke with my agency today on the phone. Usually I try not to call very often because I don't want to bug them too much. I don't want them rolling their eyes before they pick up my call because I call too much!! Anyway, I called today because I had been emailing them a few times this week and wanted to clear up a few misunderstandings - nothing major, just a misunderstanding on my true preferences.

Sometimes people will put certain preferences on their paperwork such as open to either gender, 4 years old or younger but really only want a girl under 18 months. They put a wider range on their paperwork just to cover themselves because it causes a lot of delays when you have to change your paperwork mid-process.

For instance: if you put that you only want 18 months or younger and you are referred an 18 month old, you will have to change your paperwork because by the time the adoption is complete they would be 20-24 months old and your paperwork would not match up with their age at completion. Major headaches!

Sooo, my agency wanted to discuss what my true preferences are. I made sure they know that I am truely open to either gender under 48 months. After we talked a while she told me I'm at the top of the list for a referral!! Don't get too excited - it will still be awhile. But because I have a wider range of age, it makes it a little easier to match me up than with someone with very specific preferences.

The bad news? I probably won't hear anything until the end of October/beginning of November. Things have really slowed down the last few months with a lot more Russian families fostering children. I was hoping it would be earlier than that, but I guess it just gives me more time to get things ready and save up money and vacation time!!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I went to Estes Park last weekend for my cousins wedding. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time hiking and just hanging out with family. Here are a few pictures from our hikes:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Love This

I love this post from another adoptive mom's blog. The title is "Should A Single Woman Adopt" and really hits on a lot of the issues I struggled with. Great Read!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Translation

My paperwork is officially in Russia being translated! I probably will not hear anything about a referral or travel dates until the middle of September at the earliest. A lot of the Russian officials take vacations during July and August so things don't really start moving until September. There are so many things I want to get done before then so I better get moving! September is not that far away!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dossier Submitted!!

I finally sent my dossier in!! Yay! I was waiting on 2 forms this week and I got the last one in the mail today. Luckily I had the day off so I was able to run down to the Secretary of State office and get them apostilled, ran home to make copies, and then sent everything off to my agency.

I also had to take the "paperwork picture." I was so excited to be able to take this. These are all the forms (minus the two I got today) I had to get someone to sign or needed my signature, notarized, and the Secretary of State seal (apostille).

I even received my I171-H back from USCIS. This is the approval form from Homeland Security/Immigration that allows you to bring an orphan into the US - so it's a really important one that usually takes a while to get. I was very surprised to see it. I got my fingerprints last Monday and the approval was in my mailbox on Saturday - way to go Iowa!

Sending that packet off was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I just hope everything is correct and I don't have to redo a bunch of it. My agency said it will be sent to Russia next week!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


So.... I didn't send my dossier off last month. I just got way too busy and for some reason getting someone to notarize my medical form was a nightmare! By the way, reception lady at Lutheran - not nice!

Luckily my doctor is awesome and went out of her way to get it done for me. So it is finally coming together! I just sent off my notarized docs to my agency to look them over before I get them apostilled. I only have a few minor things to take care of, get everything apostilled, and I should ready to send it off. I'm not going to give myself a deadline though because knowing me, it will be late!

Monday, July 6, 2009

At The Lake

The last two weekends I've been at Lake of the Ozarks with friends and family. I love the water and go quite a bit during the summer. Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Homestudy Done!

Yay! I just found out my FBI clearances came back (with no record if anyone was wondering). That means I should have my homestudy in my hands by the end of the week! Which means that I almost have my dossier done. Which makes me a little nervous and excited because it's becoming more real and getting closer to actually happening! I only have 2 things left - I need to find a notary that will go to my doctor's office (which I think I might have figured out) and the pictures of me and my house which will be done tomorrow. I might actually be able to send my dossier off next week!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Plugging Along...

Wow, I can't belive it's almost been a month since I wrote! I've been slowly plugging along with all my paperwork. I finished both homestudy meetings and just waiting for my homestudy to be finished so I can send it off to USCIS.
I've been trying to get some paperwork done and I actually have most it completed which worries me a little. So far all the paperwork has been fairly easy and I've heard such horror stories about it that I feel like I must be missing something! I'm sure I'll look back on this post and laugh and say, "oh, if I only knew," but for right now I haven't had any trouble. It could be that I live 5 minutes from any of the state offices that I need to go to (which is very nice). I know there will be a ton of last minute paperwork to do so I guess it's good that it's fairly easy right now.

My Church had a women's breakfast and I was one of the speakers. I talked about the adoption process and how I came to choose adoption. I, of course, cried through the entire thing! I'm not really all that emotional but for some reason when I speak like that I always end up crying - it must be my nerves. Anyway, my Church family has been so supportive of me and even donated the proceeds from the breakfast to my adoption fund! How awesome is that! They are also helping me plan a couple of fundraisers. I'm so thankful to be a part of such an awesome community that is so supportive!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ready. Set. Go!

I guess it's time for me to start my own blog! I have been following so many blogs for a few years now that it feels a little strange to start my own. I have no idea if anyone will even read this but it will still be great to write everything down and I'm looking forward to being able to look back on all of this and remember everything.

This adoption has been quite the process for me. I started thinking about adoption about 5 years ago and started researching countries and agencies. It was so overwhelming at first! I decided on Russia and I was even able to go to Russia 2 summers ago on a missions trip to work in an orphanage - what an eye opening experience! So I have slowly been doing my research and trying to save money for adoption expenses.

This is something I totally feel God has called me to do and I'm finally coming around and ready to take the plunge. I have been arguing with God about this for quite a while saying "okay God, I'll do this adoption thing just let me get married first; okay God, I'll do this, just let me save up enough money first;" and on and on. I finally realized that if this is something God wants me to do, I can't do it on my terms. So I gave up control and I'm totally trusting God for this. I am excited and totally scared out of my mind at the same time. So this is the story of my adoption adventure!