Friday, June 22, 2007

One month to go...

Well, our preparations are going well. Only 31 days left until we leave for Ukraine. Yes, I am most definitely counting! I actually don't have a choice because Lucas asks me everyday "How long now till we go to Mycraine?" To which I answer with the days remaining, in which he responds "Is that a long time?" (his sense of timing is non-existent, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing...depending on the situation). I respond with "Yes, but not as long as yesterday". He doesn't seem to like this response because he usually heaves a big sigh and says "Ahhh (insert whine here), it's taking a long tiiiiimmmmme!" Yep, 4-6 weeks in Ukraine with a 4 year old who has no concept of time...what fun!! We're actually looking forward to spending family time together (all 3 of us) since we rarely have days off together. We plan to do more site seeing in Kiev (Kyiv) than our last trip. We have requested an apartment in downtown Kyiv so we will be within walking distance to some of the churches and monuments that we didn't have a chance to see last time (not that we would have wanted to walk around much in the freezing temperatures in January/February 2004).

The process has changed a little from last time so I'll attempt to list the steps as it is understood these days:
  • We will arrive in Kyiv (the official translation for Kiev was officially changed to Kyiv) on July 23. We will be met by our facilitator Vlad. He will get us settled into our apartment where we will stay for approximately 4-5 days.
  • Our appointment at the SDA (State Department of Adoption and Protection of Children's Rights of Ministry of Ukraine of Family, Youth and Sports...I dare you to try to say that in Ukrainian...haha) is on July 25th.
  • During our appointment, we will be shown files of children available for international adoption. They will show us any where from 4-10 files...depending on whatever criteria they use to determing who gets to see what and how many. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for this but, as with everything involving a Ukrainian adoption, we just go with the flow.
  • We will choose a child to visit from these files. The files include medical history, family information if known, and any other pertinent information that is known to the SDA.
  • After making a decision, we will wait ("wait" being the ONLY thing we can be sure of in Ukraine) for the SDA Director to sign a permission letter for us to travel to the region to visit the child. This typically takes anywhere from 1-5 days.
  • We will then travel to the region via train, plane or automobile...depending on where the region is located. Ukraine is roughly the size of Texas so we could end up traveling to a region 12 hours away.
  • When we arrive in the region we will have to get permission to visit the child from the person...who gives permission in these cases....haha...I can't remember what their title is.
  • After we secure the permission, we will visit the orphanage. We will meet with the Director of the orphanage and/or the orphanage physician. They will give us a more detailed description of health and history.
  • We will then (FINALLY) meet the child.
  • We will make the decision to adopt or not to adopt. If we choose not to adopt this child, we would then travel back to Kyiv and await another appointment (5-14 days) and start all over again. This, of course is not a path we wish to travel but it is a possibility.
  • If we decide to adopt then a whirlwind of paperwork ensues and a court date is scheduled usually within 2 weeks.
  • During the wait for court, we will visit our soon to be child daily and begin the attachment process.
  • When we finally go to court, the child will be declared legally our child....BUT...there is a mandatory 10 day wait. This period cannot be waived so we will continue with whatever our daily routine is.
  • After the 10 day wait, we will be issued the court decree. We can then obtain a passport and an amended birth certificate listing us as parents. This can sometimes take 2-3 days...sooner if we're lucky.
  • Once we have all the documents in hand, we can travel back to Kyiv.
  • In Kyiv, we have to get our child a physical at a clinic for the US visa.
  • We will then have an appointment at the US Embassy to obtain a visa for our new child to enter the US.
  • We are then free to travel home...yeah!!!
  • When we arrive in the US, our child's passport will receive a stamp signifying US citizen status.
  • We will then meet all of our family and friends who are waiting at the airport to welcome our new child home (hint....this is the best part of the trip so anyone that can make plans to be there, we would love it!!)
  • Then we take our child home and start our new life together...and we all live happily ever after...well, after we recover from jetlag that is.

That is how it will basically happen. There's alot of details and unknowns that will occur but we'll keep y'all informed as it happens.

I can't wait!!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I thought I would practice posting pictures so I am proficient when we are in Ukraine. Here are a few recent photos of Lucas.