Image hosting by Photobucket
Monday, October 31, 2005
Ups and downs
After last week's crushing news we are still hanging in there. We decided that there is no use in stopping our lives just because something disappointing happens. If that were the case we would have given up on everything long ago. We know this little boy is meant to be our son. We will just have to wait a little longer.
For those of you who know me I am a little high strung. I get this from my mother (I think). Who says genes make a person? I like to be in control of my surroundings, I hate change and I am highly competitive (but not in an athletic way). This adoption adventure takes most of that out of a person. I am no longer in control of my life. Change is taking place constantly, but I am still pretty competitive. At least I have that! Not quite sure if that is a good thing or not. Needless to say, I am taking things one day at a time. I sound like a recovering addict don't I?
We again have some promising news. The rumor is that on November 7th the MoE will meet to discuss reaccreditation. The DUMA is supposed to meet on the 9th about international adoption. Our facilitator is "hopeful" that all of this will be resolved. Of course this is what we heard prior to the 27th of October. So it is now a we'll believe it when we see it kind of thing.
Alexander's room is starting to look like a child's room instead of our junk room. This weekend we got a shelving unit to store all of his toys. Very cute! He just needs the toys to go in it, oh and to be home to play with them of course.

I am going to start a new segment on the "Adoption Adventure Blog". Lisa's book club. Many of you have recommended books to me and I have gleefully read them. To get caught up I will give you the list of books that I have read so far. You can choose to give them a try or just trust me that they were good.
"The Russian Adoption Handbook" written by John McLean. A fantastic "technical guide to Russian adoption". This book tells you exactly how to get through the entire process.
"The Life of Pi" - not an adoption book, but very entertaining. I am fascinated by survival stories. This is a story of a little boy from India trapped in a life boat with a Bengal Tiger.
"As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me" - by Josef M. Bauer. This is a true story of a man who escapes from a Siberian Labor camp and walks home to Germany. Amazing.
"The Russian Word for Snow" - This one actually is an adoption story. It is a woman's story of bringing her son home from a Russian orphanage. This is a great book illustrating what NOT to do regarding Russian adoption. Her story is much different than ours. She adopted independently and it was before many of the regulations were instituted.

So that brings us to the current book.
"The Baby Boat" - by Patty Dann. Dann is the one who wrote "Mermaids". This is a diary of her journey to her son in Lithuania. She and her husband faced many of the challenges that Derek and I are currently facing. This book was recommended to me by our church secretary, Kathy. It is a wonderful story. I highly suggest finding this one.

If anyone has any suggestions on what to read next please let me know. Adoption stories are always good, survival stories or general heart warming tales.
As always, thank you all for prayers and support. Mark your calendars for the 7th and the 9th! We are hopeful of good news.
Blessings, Lisa
Friday, October 28, 2005
No good news
I am sorry to say but there was no good news reported to us in chat last night. Evidently the Russian government has struck again. Ugh... From what we understand the meeting that was to occur on Thursday was postponed to an unknown date. The prosecutor general has now decided that he needs to "dig deeper" into some of the agencies and so accreditation will be delayed until that is complete. When will that happen, you say? At this point all we have is rumor and speculation. It sounds like no agency, accredited or not, is safe at this point. Our hope for Christmas in Khabarovsk is quickly fading. But we refuse to hold a pity party! We will continue to be strong for our son and hope that this will all be resolved sooner rather than later. We have officially named November "good news month: the sequel." The only way to sane in this whole process is patience and the power of positive thinking. We refuse to stop living our lives and let some official in Russia distract us from the true purpose of all this. We continue to look forward to day we are reunited with our son.

-The Dad
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
One more call for prayers...
I really do know that most of you are seriously praying for me, Derek and Sasha. I know this because we would have never gotten this far without you. We really need some postivie thoughts and prayers this week!!!

A quick recap:
June - Travelled to meet Sahsa
Mid June - Russian governement halted all adoptions by non-accredited agencies
July - more news about abuse of Russian adoptees by American parents creating an even bigger anti-American sentiment.
Mid July - got the call to proceed with our medical forms only to have them stopped 3 times
August - no postivie news from our agency since the end of May
September - everyone thinks agencies will get reaccredited on September 15th
September 15th - MoE reaccredits 4 agencies (2 US and 2 foreign)
Mid Sept - Prosecutor General's office issues a statement citing infracitons on the part of nearly all currently reaccredited agencies. MoE issues a rebuttal.
October - Prosecutor General does not like MoE rebuttal and launches an investigation into ALL agencies (accredited and not)
October 13 - we find out AIA has not infractions
Mid October - Our facillitator finally shows a glimmer of hope saying that she is sure the meeting at the end of October will clear everything up and we will be able to move forward.

So lets count... nearly 5 months with no good news, no hope and no baby.

Word from the "Rumor Mill": the MoE is expected to meet October 27th to discuss reaccreditation of the remaining agencies. (of course this date is unconfirmed by our agency)

Today is the 26th of October. That means at about 9:00 tonight (pacific time, about 8:00am in Moscow) the MoE may be meeting to discuss re-accred. Hence the need for prayers. Keep your fingers crossed that we will wake up with fantastic news tomorrow morning!!!!!! Of course last time the MoE reaccredited agencies we didn't hear about it until the following Monday. Let's hope that isn't the case.

Blessings to you all and thanks for your continuing support.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Welcome to my "cheesy" world.

The mom (hiding under a rock)
Friday Fun

Yes. I am subjecting you more of my humor. Lisa feels that I should apologize for my jokes, but no way! I am a humor rebel. LOL. Anyway, I hope this little bit of levity (and I emphasize little) brightens your Friday.

Thursday, October 20, 2005
Free range

Most of you know my sense of humor, for those of you who don't this is just a small example. I hear often from my wife that I'm sick... you know, it really is true. But what is really funny is that she laughs at my jokes, so who's the sick one? I guess we're both pretty demented. That's probably why we get along so well. Hope this pic can bring a little fun to your day.

P.S. For those of you who don't get the joke, I'll refer you to the title of the post. Enjoy.

Friday, October 14, 2005
A Little Bit of Good News...
Some of you know that we participate in a weekly chat that is hosted on our agencies website. Usually Olga (our facilitator) comes on there with the latest "to my sorry, no news to report." Well last night she actually did have some news to report and it was GOOD. A little background on what is going on in Russia at this point... When the moratorium failed to pass in the DUMA those who are against international adoption figured that they would need to go a different route to try and get their way. So they recruited a deputy in the Prosecutor General's office to try and get him to investigate the agencies (both accredited and non-accredited). The idea was that if he could find violations of the law he could revoke the accreditations thus halting all foreign adoptions. Basically all agencies that are or were doing business in Russia have been subject to this inquiry. I bet you're thinking "where is the good news?" Well we found out last night from Olga that AIA passed their inquiry with flying colors and no violations! YEAH! Of course we knew that would be the case but it is good to know that AIA is in the clear. We're hoping that this is how the rest of the month will go: All the reports are due the Prosecutor General's office within the next couple of weeks. Those that have been found to violate the law might have their accreditations stripped (or if they have not been accredited, they will not be). Those that have been cleared will get their accreditation back and be allowed to continue their work. The hope is that this will all be completed by the end of the month. So please continue to pray for a quick resolution to all this. Your support has meant so much to our family through this frustrating time. Here's hoping it's Christmas in Khabarovsk :)

The Dad
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The Fat Kitty
So I realized today that there is something in my house that is preparing me to parent a toddler. This is Isis, she is my little princess. This is the cat that actually thinks she is a people-dog. This cat acts like anything but a cat. She follows me around like a dog, eats like a goat and is into everything like a 2 year old. Evidently it isn't my son I have to baby proof the house for, it is the darn cat!
I thought I would share some photos of her wonderful hijinks! Don't you love the one of her laying on the nice clean bath towels? You guessed it, had to wash those. She eats my plants, sheds everywhere and no box from Costco is safe! No this cat is not pregnant! She is just that fat. We have tried everything. She is on special fat kitty food, we tried an exercise program... nothing works. And to think, of the 2 cats we have she is the smart one. Too smart if you ask me.
Why am I sharing this with you? She actually is keeping me sane! I get bent out of shape about the state of Russian adoption just to turn around and find fat kitty sleeping on her back in the chair. She makes me laugh. Ok, the dumb cat makes me laugh too, but in a "I can't believe this cat is that dumb" kind of way. Isis is smart. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to tell you.
So there is my fat kitty. Hope you get your laugh for the day!
Blessings, Lisa

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Saga of the Baby Latches
Well... the word of the day moved from "dammit" to, "oops". In my blundering stupidity I again forgot that said baby latches were installed on said kitchen cabinets. Last night while retrieving a bowl I yanked on the cabinet door and promptly broke a baby latch. Needless to say Derek was a little unhappy with me on that one. So now I have to devise a sign of some sort to warn me that there are in fact baby latches on our cabinets.
If you are keeping score:
Cabinets:3 Mommy:0
I really don't hope the Russian judge doesn't ask if we are able to navigate baby safety items. Otherwise I'll be screwed!

On another exciting note, tomorrow is the day we have waited a year for!!!! This season, once again, Lord Stanley's Cup will be awarded! For hockey fans everywhere this is fantastic news. Yes... the 2005-06 NHL season starts tomorrow. There will be tears as we see Peter Forsberg start with a team other than Colorado. But there will be cheers as we look to another adveturous season of the Boxcapades!
Now I am not saying that I won't lower myself to watching The University of Puget Sound get tromped on by every other team in the state or I won't subject myself to sub-zero temperatures at Tacoma Hockey Club watching my old team lose every face off. That is also to say that there will be plenty of Golden Gopher Hockey on the TV in my house, but the NHL... that is golden! Wicked if it were. Naslund, Bertuzzi, Cloutier, the Sedin brothers and all the rest of the boys are back!!! I'm nuts, I know. I love hockey. Live with it.
Monday, October 03, 2005
then comes the preparing
When you are pregnant there is a definate amount of time you have in order to get ready for baby's arrival. When you adopt there is no due date. This is very bad for people who are procrastinators, such as Derek and I. Granted, Alexander's room is painted and there is even a crib in there, but that is about it.
Earlier this summer I made a list of "Stuff that needed to get done before Sasha comes home." I actually have crossed a few things off the list. But this weekend I enlisted Derek's help. So to prepare for baby we hung the pictures on the wall in his room, put my hockey gear away in the closet (sniff, no hockey this year for me), and Derek so handily installed new smoke detectors in the house.
But the fun part came when installing the baby latches on the kitchen cabinets. Most parents have a few months to break into parenting before baby really becomes mobile. Imagine being married for over 9 years with no children. Then magically (or not so magically) a toddler appears in your home. This new little person is mobile and on the move! Thus... childproofing your home. However, in our case it is "preparing for parenthood". We figured we are a little slow so we need to install the latches now to train ourselves they are there. Otherwise Sasha's first English word will be "dammit!"
How do I know this will be the word? As I have already mentioned, it has just been Derek and I for nine years. We get used to each other and have our specific chores. Last night Derek took out the garbage and left the can sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. That is my clue to put a new bag in the can. I of course go to get the bag... "dammit!!!!" Baby latches. This is promptly followed by laughter and heckling from my wonderful husband.
Slow learner that I am decided to clean the bathroom this morning. Again, "dammit!" Bathroom cleaning supplies are under the kitchen sink. Baby latches.
I have determined that there should be other "tests" involved in the homestudy process. These tests should include: how fast can you put together a baby swing without directions, can you assemble a crib and it be a safe and functioning sleeping unit for you child and how many days does it take for you to figure out that you actually installed baby latches on your kitchen cabinets. Evidently, as a parent these are things people don't tell you, but you really should know.
So if there are anymore of these little tidbits of advice that anyone would like to pass along, I would really appreciate it. Like what is the best cleaner to get mashed wet Cheerios out of carpet.