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Friday, September 30, 2005
More of what you do...
I find that on the emotional roller coaster there are good days and bad days. It actually is kind of like real roller coasters. There are some that are the fun kind and then there are some that really scare the hell out of you.
I have determined that despite the stress that I am going through, I still have to go on with life. Laundry still needs to be done, groceries still need to be bought. Just because I don't eat much doesn't mean I should make Derek suffer.
I asked another adoptive parent, whom I met in Khabarovsk, how she survived. Shelly (and her husband, Mark) had to wait 8 months to go back to get their sons. She said she took on more classes to teach and pretty much kept herself busy with other stuff. She is lucky. She works outside of the house. My computer seems to have a suck factor. Everytime I go to do something else I gravitate back to the computer, just to check for an update. So what do I do about it? Work!
I try to pretend that I don't actually have a job, but in reality I do. I am a business owner. I actually own a landscape design business. News to you? Likely no, but to me it is.
I got a call this morning from someone who saw a back yard I designed and now she wants me to do her yard! Makes me feel kinda good! Apparently, not only am I a landscape designer, I am a good one at that. Who knew?
So here is the plan... take on as many design clients as I can find. Continue to promote my Big Yellow Box business (any takers on a party?) And, do what any self respecting gardener does! Play in the dirt.
Less feeling sorry for myself, actually putting on makeup, and make the bed every day! When all else fails, rearrange the front yard in the rain.

I did do some reading of a blog by another pre-adoptive parent. She had posted a story that really touched my heart. She heard it at an informational meeting for her agency (also waiting reaccreditation) I thought I would share it with you.

Different Trip to the Same Place
Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place. You've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip. So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding the planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you: You'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait - and wait - and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax, you'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!" After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, We're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat." "By boat!" you say, "going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money, I really had my heart Set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat. It's a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip. Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than air. People continue to fly to Australia as often as thy like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy." You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you got there, but in the place itself.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
this week's "update"
I have trickled some news to a few of you, but I thought I would sum up what we know, or rather don't know.
On September 15th the Ministry of Education met regarding the status of reaccreditation. We thought our prayers had been answered when we found out that they had reaccredited 2 more agencies. Unfortunately, the did not do ours and 2 looks like their limit for now. We don't know when they will meet again to further the process.
Our other tidbit of "news" is that on the 20th 2 families (1 American and 1 Spanish) had their court dates in Khabarovsk. (Not with AIA) They ended up being required to complete an 8 doctor medical form. The judge postponed court so they could complete the form. They scrambled all over town getting various tests done. Needless to say, they got the form finished and had successful court the next day.
So what does that mean to us? We did receive word from Olga that we too would likely have to have this form completed. She has not gotten official confirmation of that. Unfortunately, this form will have to be done in Russia. Olga says that we will have the doctor's visits in Moscow, rather than in Khabarovsk. So now... travel will be a little more complicated. We now will fly from Seattle to Moscow. Stay in Moscow to have the medical exams done. Catch an 8 hour flight to Khabarovsk. Have court, pick the baby up from the orphanage, wait out our 10 days in Khabarovsk. Then we hop another 8 hour flight back to Moscow for the baby's medical exam and Visa interview. Then we will finally get to come home.
We are hoping that the first stop in Moscow won't be that long, but it does afford us one advantage. We will likely travel when it is snowing. So during the first Moscow visit we can do some sightseeing without having to worry about bundling up a child! Hey man, I am trying my hardest to look at the bright side of things!
That is the news for now. Please keep the thoughts, prayers, and COMMENTS coming! I check the blog every day for new comments. They are very helpful for those rough days.
Please also keep the families currently in Khabarovsk in your prayers. There is 1 family there with another agency. They have court today. 2 more families are traveling at the beginning of October to meet their children, also another agency. They need our support too!
Blessings, Lisa
Friday, September 09, 2005
A little bit of an update
It seems like all summer long we have done nothing but wait for news. No news has come. Yesterday there was an unusual amount of reporting activity by various news agencies. More that we had seen in months. Any information we had found over the summer was primarily negative. However, the tune has drastically changed in the past 2 days! Yesterday's articles talked about the Russians knowing that changes had to be made to ensure that childeren were placed in good homes. Essentially they would like a revamp of the post-placement reporting system. They also want the ability to take away the accredidation of any agency that violates Russian laws.

All summer long there had been talks of a moratorium on Russian adoption by foriegners. This has put some families into utter panic. This morning I woke up the the most wonderful news story I have read in months. I am not joking when I said that it brought me to tears!!!

According to the Russian News & Information Agency:
"The State DUMA turned down an amendment by Deputy Nina Ostanina, from the KPRF Faction, to impose a temporary moratorium on the adoption of Russian children by the citizens of those countries where Russian children died at the hands of their adoptive parents."

This means no stop in Russian Adoption!!!!!!!!! Families with our agency stared a pool two weeks ago on when reaccredidation will take place. Today is Derek's pool date. So far he hasn't won, but this little bit of good news is a very hopeful sign. Since there is a pool I want to open it up to our friends and family. If you want to participate go to our Urban Landscapes website. Then click on "The Pool" button at the bottom. You will see a calendar with the dates that others have picked. Email me your pool date! I will enter you on the calendar and the winner will get a Russian Chocolate bar when we return!

This one isn't a fundraiser, doesn't cost you any money, but is fun!!! We all need a little fun in our lives.
Blessings, Lisa
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
What you do when waiting...
I figured I could fill you all in on what kind of stuff we do while waiting for Alexander. Many other adoptive parents are full of advice on what you should do while waiting. They suggest sleeping in as many days as possible, read, take time for yourself, that kind of stuff.
So what have I done? Over the summer I have read quite a few books. I finally had to put down the parenting and adoption books. So 2 of my favorites from the summer read have been, "Life of Pi" and "As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me". Both were great survival stories. The first is about a boy who is trapped in a life boat with a Bengal Tiger. The second is about a man who escapes from a Siberian Labor camp and travels home (walks) to Germany. They are those amazing "against all odds, never give up stories". Can you see I have a theme here?
So the rest of the summer consisted of working in Derek's office, boring...Yes. But is was conducive to the reading. We spent a day at the beach, helped 2 people move, met some new friends and tried to do a little yard work.
My captivity in Derek's office came to an end last week, so now I have to reinvent my time. Yesterday was my first "official" day off and on my own in over 3 months. While in the office I composed a list of stuff I want to get done before Alexander comes home. I was able to cross 3 things off the list yesterday!! I cleaned out and reorganized the pantry (found Girl Scout Cookies and watched the fat cat chase the cookie box around the house), I moved all of our not-so-kid-friendly alcohol up above the refrigerator, which of course required cleaning out above the fridge. I also cleaned out above the stove, always a fun job.
On a side note, I am anxiously waiting for the FedEx man to deliver 5 boxes of fun! I signed up to be an Independent Consultant for Big Yellow Box (BYB). It is a direct sales business from Crayola (tm). Evidently I have a hard time separating myself from Hallmark businesses. I am so excited about this new adventure. I will be doing in home parties and selling BYB products. They are all inclusive craft kits geared toward bringing families together. Check out my website and the stuff at This new business venture will allow me to work from home, earn a little extra money, and give Derek and Alexander a few "guy nights" a week! A win win for all.
Off to do more laundry, sew a duvet cover, and maybe finish 1 or two more items on "the List".
Blessings, Lisa