Monday, December 15, 2008

The Most Difficult Decision

On November 19 we received a call. It was outside of our "parameters", but we listened anyway. It was for three children. Three beautiful children whose parents are not able to parent them anymore.

We had not considered three children. We have always said 1 or 2, and maybe one day in the future we would have a third. But we started considering it. We thought these kids would have each other and that could only help the transition to a new place with a new family and a new language, etc. We pictured them in our home and looked up the ESL program in our local school district. We talked with a doctor who specializes in international adoption, we talked with others, we read, etc. We looked into the region where they are from, looked into traveling there for an initial visit and we asked follow up questions. We prayed, thought and talked a lot knowing it was the most important decision we would ever make.

Long story short, we said "no". How do you say no to human beings? In the end I guess we concluded that it was too much. We were afraid of attachment and bonding issues and we were afraid of immediately being outnumbered. Although we know many families who have three children and we know families who have adopted three from another country, we do not feel prepared for the challenges. Our hope is that there is another family out there that is ready and looking for three children and these kids will be placed into a great home and have the family they deserve.

We hoped that making this decision would be a weight off our shoulders and that we would know it felt "right" after we finally communicated our decision. But my immediate thought was that I wanted to retract our decision and it has been tough to think about it ever since.

Forgive me for taking so long to post, but it has been quite a roller coaster. In any event, we are back to waiting.

On a lighter note…the holidays are coming up and we couldn't be happier about it. There are some super exciting things going on that I will post in further detail about soon. In short, I made partner at my firm and we are going on a fantastic celebratory vacation. Also, this weekend we have three holiday parties in a row. What previously seemed like it might be the most difficult Christmas ever, is now seeming like one of the most fun and memorable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting Used to Waiting

I had to post before I let this Blog go a month in silence! To be consistent, I suppose I can address the topic of the year: waiting. Ah...I believe we are getting used to it.

Every time the phone rings I still think it could be the call. Every time I drive home I think Ryan may tell me that he just talked with our agency. Every time I look in the empty bedroom in our house I think one day it will be filled with a little person and lots of stuff. And every time I hear of someone getting a referral or finding out they are pregnant, I get a little jealous and cranky. I should be a little better at focusing my energy on learning more Polish, reading more on adoption and parenting and fixing up the house.

So...long story short, the wait continues. No news yet. We remain in contact with our agency and we are not yet in danger of any of our paperwork expiring.

Ryan and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary this past weekend. We went out to a great dinner and really enjoyed the evening together. Five years has gone pretty fast, but has been awesome. He is a great balance to me. If it weren't for him, I may have made some not-so-responsible decisions in my life. I think he would say the same about me. In other words, separate we would be a mess, but together we are superstars. Besides that, he is my absolute best friend and we have so much fun together.

We are very excited about the upcoming holidays. We are headed to California in ten days (yes, we are counting) for a week over Thanksgiving. We are even going on vacation while we are on vacation (yes, you read that right), and are doing a wine tasting trip with my aunt and uncle and parents. Thanksgiving will be at my parents and it will be great to see everyone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Minor Blog Changes

I just made a couple of changes on the blog:

1. I changed my age to 34. Thanks to my family and friends for the sweet cards, generous gifts and good wishes. Ryan and I had a fabulous dinner complete with flaming baked Alaska, we hung out with his family at the pumpkin patch (which is more than your average pumpkin patch), went shopping and watched football. 34 sounds like a pretty uneventful birthday, but for whatever reason, it was a pretty good one.

2. I changed the pictures. We really should make more efforts to take some photos. I tend only to like the ones where I hold out the camera and take them of ourselves. This one was from our vacation to Oregon/No. Cal. this past summer.

3. The to-do list. OK, I've not made any changes to that yet. But I looked at it. Man, we accomplished a lot! It is crazy to go from being so busy doing all of those tasks to just waiting. I wish there was something more in our control, but we are a bit helpless I suppose. I thought about revising it to include more to-dos that will eventually be necessary. There will be quite a bit more to add once we do get a referral. But how do could one possibly list out everything you do to prepare for a child?! Well, there will be some distinct tasks related to the adoption and once I figure out what those will be (procedure in Poland, U.S., immigration, etc.), then I will post that too. Perhaps I will have a separate list for Poland once the time comes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy October!

Hello faithful readers, and Happy October! Isn't October the best? It is the beginning of autumn, the leaves are changing colors, Halloween is coming up and right around the corner are the holidays! To top it off, I have a birthday (my 34th) this month.

Know what would make this time even better? Some good news! But alas, none to report today!

We remain in contact with our agency who reports that there are no developments. I imagine (and I base this on nothing in reality) that there is a pile of families' dossiers sitting on a desk in Poland (remember this is completely imaginary), and the longer we wait, the more families are matched and the closer we get to the top of that pile! Our only problem is, we just don't know how big that stack was when we were put on the bottom.

Now, I am sure the truth is that there is no pile and no getting in "line" so-to-speak. There is probably no formula and no organization to it all. I have heard of some families get referrals after a couple of months, and some wait close to a year. I (being the optomistic person that I am) had hoped for the couple of months side of that equation. Ah well!

Hopefully the fact that we have been waiting for nine months (no pun intended here...just the facts) means that the chances are only increasing that it will come sooner than later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

An Introspective September

How wonderful is autumn!? I am so thrilled that it is around the corner. It has been a little chilly, football has started, Halloween candy is in the stores and the holidays are in the not-so-distant future.

This really is a fantastic time of year. I think I will make a resolution (a three-quarter's-year resolution, instead of a new year's one), to enjoy it. I have this tugging feeling that if the holidays come without a referral, it may be a bit difficult. I am pledging now to get through those tough moments by being excited about the present!

Through this whole journey, I have come to realize some things about myself. I am not sure if I have always been this introspective. Perhaps it is impending parenthood and the wondering about what I will be like as a mother. Or maybe it is having been married and in the same job for about five years and having a chance to stop and realize where I am.

Whatever the reason, I have come to learn that I am an optimist, I am happy, friendly, selectively outgoing, am happily married and am good at what I do. I suppose it is good to figure these things out about myself now. When kids come, it will no longer be about me!

So, obviously, there is no news on our front yet. I have been hearing some good news about others in progress with their adoptions. I know of one family who has a referral in Poland and things now seem to be on track and going well. I know of another family adopting from Poland who is busily getting their dossier in. And, another family (from Nebraska) just brought their son home last month! The good news is that Poland is stable and children are getting placed with their families.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


OK, so that horoscope was optimistic, but not entirely true. Ah well!

Every post lately seems to be about waiting. Well, maybe because that is what we are doing! We are impatient, that is clear. We are hoping that the call comes today, and we have hoped that every day for the last four months or so.

While the call could come today, it could come next week, next month or next year. More likely than not, it is going to take more time and very potentially into 2009.

While we wait, we want to be sure we are not wishing away our time together. The preparation and anticipation need to be enjoyed as well! So, I think we need to continue to make concerted efforts to have things to look forward to, especially ones that we would not easily be able to do once having a child.

So, here is my preliminary list (posted without spousal collaboration so it is subject to amendment) of things we want to do this fall:

1. A getaway weekend in September or October,
2. Lots of fall football Saturdays and Sundays with friends and beer,
3. A movie or two in a real live movie theater,
4. A nice dinner at a great tapas restaurant we know,
5. Miniature golf on the real grass course in town,
6. Serious sleeping-in on the weekend,
7. A nice long bike ride, and
8. Lots of grilling out while the weather is still nice.

OK, that is a good start. I'm sure we will be adding to it.

I will admit that while just briefly brainstorming about things Ryan and I can do this fall, things popped into my head like "research daycares and schools" and "look for kid's room furniture." But the point is to have a lot that we want to that doesn't involve waiting. I think there is plenty to look forward to and enjoy while in this part of our lives.

I will leave you with this quote by Jonathan Swift:

"May you live all the days of your life."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Will the Stars Be Aligned?

I recently posted about a Catholic saint. Now I am posting about astrology!

My cousin recently pointed out an interesting horoscope for me this month. (Thanks fellow Libra Donna!). Believe me, I do not generally believe these, let alone do I look at them. But this one is a good one! Apparently there is a full lunar eclipse on August 16, 2008. The following is the August Libra page from Astrology Zone.

"Should this eclipse emphasize a child, you may find out that you're pregnant or if you or your partner is expecting a baby soon, the baby could easily arrive within five days of August 16. If you have put in an application for an adoption, you might hear that you are about to become a parent this month. Exciting! "

If it comes true I may start believing!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saint Thomas More

Saint Thomas More (1478-1535) is the patron saint of both adoption and lawyers! He was a scholar and devoted husband and father. Apparently he believed women were just as intelligent as men. I'm going to have to read more about him. If you trust Wikipedia, here is the entry on St. Thomas More.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yes...a month has gone by and we have nothing to report. Sorry about that! Believe me, it pains me to keep repeating the "no news" response...but it is what it is.

It is now late July - I wonder when I should dust off our dossier and see when we would have to start having things updated? Some documents essentially expire or need updating if too much time passes. I believe our homestudy is good through November...hopefully we do not need that update (or anything else for that matter). But it is always a possibility, and we wouldn't be the first to have to do that.

We are still having a great summer. Our vacation was fantastic, although quick. Ryan went on a golf trip for a long weekend too. We are enjoying our time as grown-ups. I will miss our at home happy hours and frequent dates!

I'll post more soon...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Hi All! No updates yet...we are still patiently waiting.

In the meantime, I think the best way to spend waiting time is to go on vacation!! So, on Friday we are headed out for a week of sightseeing, road tripping, dining, wine sampling and adventuring. We are flying to San Jose and will spend the week heading up the coast with the final destination being Portland, Oregon.
We will spend the first couple of days in Napa and Sonoma, then a day or so exploring the redwoods in Northern California, then see the coast of Oregon (Bandon, Coos Bay, Tillamook, Astoria, etc.) and finally have a day or two in Portland. We will be in Portland for the 4th.

We are finalizing all of our plans, but have the plane, car and most hotels already booked. We are completely looking forward to the break from work and the time together. Ryan and I road trip very well will be a blast. There is so much we want to do, but we will want to balance it with a little relaxation too.

So, that is our biggest news for now!! We hope to have more news soon.

I've been studying my Polish, and have finished 4 of the 8 lessons in the CD set that my mom sent. I have all the words down from the lesson, but if confronted with actually having to speak in Poland, I may be slow and have stage fright.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How long?

How long are we going to have to wait? Yeah, wish I knew the answer to that one. Sometimes I feel like we could get a call any day, and then sometimes I feel like maybe they forgot about us and we will have to re-do everything! The waiting has been going OK - but our patience is being tested!

When I feel impatient I just need to do the math again:

Our Dossier was sent to Poland on February 5, 2008, but it was to take 2 months or so for translation and authentication. So that would put it at about April when we were good-to-go and be matched. Well, since it is June now, that means we have really only been waiting for 2 months! I should touch base with our Agency to see how the process is going and get their thoughts on timing. I just don't want to be a pest.

We are still hopeful to receive a referral any time this summer. But who knows!?

The waiting is tough...but we are having a nice summer. Work is busy for both of us, but manageable. We are planning a summer vacation around the 4th of July. We have held off on booking anything, pending any "call", but will probably book something by this weekend. We have no idea where we are going yet, but it will be somewhere fun!

Other than that, I have been learning (or at least trying to learn) my Polish. I have mastered "Excuse me, do you speak English?" I can say that to a man or a woman. I can also say "I do not understand Polish very well," "I understand a little Polish," "good day," "goodbye" and "I am American." My friend Carrie suggested that instead of the last phrase I should learn "I am Canadian." Good idea!

Hope everyone is having a nice summer!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Still Here

Thanks for the encouraging words all!! I've not posted here as frequently as I have planned, but just know that we are still here and waiting. We have really appreciated the kind words, encouragements and the sharing of experiences by people who have been through this whole process.

We are doing well with the waiting (so far). I am hopeful that we will hear something soon, but who knows!? I do know that we will have A LOT to do once we learn about our child!! We just have one empty room waiting for a crib, bed, who knows! And we can't exactly buy clothes, toys, etc. until we know the age/sex, etc. I will say that books are something that we can always collect, and I'm hopeful that we will create a good little library.

Things have been extremely busy at work for me. There are great opportunities for me and my role in my firm advances all the time. I am really excited about my professional path and there is not a whole lot that I could imaging changing about my situation. I will say that there will be much to do in terms of figuring out a balance when our family grows. I will be taking 12 weeks leave from work to travel to Poland and to continue coming home and settling in.

Our goal will be to work 100% on bonding and establishing routines. Ryan and I are not good at routines for ourselves, so it will be a learning process to establish rules and such. Now that I think about it, I am almost entirely opposed to having any sort of routine for myself. If you asked me what time I go to work, I would tell you that it is anywhere between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. depending upon the day. Then I leave work anywhere from 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., again depending upon the day. And if you asked me when I went to bed, I would say it is anywhere between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. depending upon my work or TV involvement. The only type of routine that I have is the fact that I watch "The Office" every Thursday night. And half the time I miss it and end up watching it on the web over the weekend anyway. (p.s. don't tell me what happened this week, I've not seen it yet!).

Well, our lives are going to change in so many ways, establishing a routine will only be part of it. We're open to it and know that it is important to settling in to our new way of life!!

I hope everyone is enjoying spring. Our tulips are blooming and the trees are all flowering, it is great!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

OK, We're Ready!

I declare that we are officially ready to adopt. The kid's room is cleaned out and ready to go. It is empty and ready for the onslaught of kid stuff. The closet is ready for clothes, the electrical outlet is ready for a night light and the room across the hall is ready to have parents sleeping in it (or not sleeping as the case may be).

We've been educated, we've saved money, we've researched, we've prayed and we have thought long and hard about our path and role as parents. We've talked with counselors, our Priest and people who have been there and done that. We are ready for the new job description.

We also know that we know nothing about being parents. We know there is child proofing to do, but that will be by trial and error. We know to expect diapers, tantrums, lots of hearing "no" and lots of tired whiny times. We understand that there will be bonding and attachment issues to work through. But we also know that our hearts will grow like never before.

We are ready to see Christmas through our child's eyes, to carry a tired child up to bed, and to introduce a child to Loony Toons. We are also ready for a messy house (and openness to a cleaning service), sleepless nights, lack of time to ourselves and an entirely new routine. So...again...we are ready.

I guess that is about all I want to post for now. The call can still come at any time. But we still don't really expect it for another few months. Send lots of good thoughts and prayers towards Poland!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Guess what?

Ha! Still waiting. We expect to be waiting for months still. But at this point it is possible that we could get "the call" any day. I know our agency is looking out for us. They have recently assured us that Poland loves us because of my family's Polish heritage, because we are Catholic and because we are young. Yes, 33 and 34 is young.

There are some things we should really be doing including reading up more on bonding and attachment, and popping in that Polish language CD. We've been lazy about that, mostly because we have felt that we still have many months until a referral. But the fact is, a referral could come at any time, and the last thing we will want to do at that point is sit down and listen to a CD or read a book! When we get "the call", we will move into high gear and will need to prepare the room and prepare to travel and will only have about a month to do that (of course that can be subject to change depending upon the Polish court, etc.)

Admittedly, we are VERY excited.

I also wanted to pass on an interesting find we saw this past weekend at Costco. They had a stand with some gorgeous Polish pottery. These are hand painted pieces that have some very distinct colors and patterns. The pieces are very fun and apparently you can put the pieces in the oven, microwave or dishwasher! I don't know that I would though. My Aunt Bette gave us 2 great Polish mugs a few years ago. We use them every time we drink coffee. We plan on getting more pieces at some point. This site is similar to the pieces we saw this weekend:

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I've had a couple people ask me how the waiting is going.'s my response. The waiting is going well. It seems way too soon to get "the call," so in some ways it doesn't feel like we are really waiting yet. Our Dossier was sent to Poland just over one month ago. I know there is translation time and time that we need to be approved by the court. I assume that if that is supposed to take 2-3 weeks, then it will really take 4-6 weeks.

I also know that we've had roadblocks before (infertility, homestudy delay, etc). So I actually have very low confidence that our Dossier is actually in Poland! I do trust our Agency, they are obviously very adept at the process and well-connected in Poland. So, my brain does believe that it is happening.

The waiting is exciting. I do know that our child is right around the corner. He or she is alive and breathing and waiting for us, just like we are waiting for him/her!

We are enjoying our last adult-only time right now. We are going on lots of dates, drinking at bars, trying to plan a few getaway weekends and we are staying up late and sleeping in on weekends. (Jealous?)

In my own little world, I don't anticipate getting a referral for at least 2 more months. I base that on nothing other than thinking that it takes time to get in "the system." Then I anticipate having one or two referrals that we may not accept. I've heard often that people are not entirely comfortable with their first referrals, so we are trying to prepare ourselves for that. We have to balance the fact that every child needs a home, with the reality of what we feel like we can really handle.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Immigration - I 171H Received

We received our immigration approval! Good news! We received the I-171 H form in the mail the other day, and it provides that the U.S. has given us advance approval for adopting an orphan in Poland. We were pretty unsure as to when we were going to receive this approval, partly because the USCIS's website is really off on its estimations (as least as to Omaha), but we got it. We completed the filing of our application with immigration on December 1, 2007 and the approval was dated February 28, 2008. So that was just about three months. I sent the document off to be apostilled today, so we will send it to our agency very soon.

This was really the last piece of paper that we were waiting for before getting a referral. I don't think that waiting for this has slowed anything down, as everything has already been sent off to Poland. That reminds me...I should ask our agency if they can confirm that our Dossier has been translated and filed yet.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Names (Cont.)

My mom reminded me that her Grandfather's name was Hipolit, which seems to be the Polish version of "Philip." Also, my Great-Aunt used to call my Grandfather Francheski (which may have stemmed from Franciszek), although we always knew him as Frank.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


No - I'm not giving you names that we are considering (yet). But I will say that I am thinking about them!! We are still convinced that we will wait and see what his or her name is before inflicting our idea of a cool name on another human being. If he or she has a name that would likely avoid being beat up on the playground, we will consider keeping it (or its American counterpart.) However, if it is something hardly prounouncable by others and not easily translated, we will likely explore alternatives. I will say that I am a fan of good old fashioned Catholic names.

Here is an interesting tradition. Wouldn't this just be frustrating to family and friends! This is from a Blog called the Iceland Report:

In Iceland, babies' names usually remain under wraps until the child is christened in church. That's when the name becomes public for the first time. It's a big unveiling, akin to when Rod Roddy used to yell "a new car!" on The Price is Right. Before the baby has her "day in church", the parents use a nickname between each other and with their friends and family. This nickname will be something like "kríle" (small thing) or "stubbur" (stumpy). Last year I made the mistake of asking some friends what was the name of their new baby, and they glowered at me. (She's since been christened Júlía Jökulrós, or Julia Glacier's-Rose.) But to new parents the innocent "What's the name of your baby?" is a question best left unasked in the Land.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Hmmmm....Now What?

OK, so the ball is in their court. Now what do we do? Wait patiently, I suppose. But what if we are not patient? Well, I guess we have to learn!

There are always things we can do around the house, and there is more reading to accomplish on bonding, attachment, parenting, travel, etc. I'll tackle that a little at a time. This is the perfect time to prepare ourselves. I should come up with a list of topics on which to post (i.e. bonding, attachment, language, travel, names, etc.) and then periodically assign myself one of those topics to research and blog. I do essentially research and write for a living.

I know our dossier probably isn't even translated yet, but I am starting to really get excited. There is a child out there somewhere who will be a part of our family, and that is a crazy concept to grasp!

After years of infertility, can this really happen?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We Are Officially Waiting!

Ta-da! Here is a photograph of our Dossier! I know it doesn't look very impressive, but there was a lot of effort put into that stack of papers.

We got confirmation from our Agency that it looks wonderful and that Poland will love us. The affirmation felt good. On Tuesday our Dossier was sent to Poland for translation and authentication. After that we can be matched at any time. We don't anticipate any news for quite a few months. But I suppose anything can happen.

We had our immigration fingerprinting appointment today. It went smoothly and we should have immigration approval some time in the next weeks (or months).

I know friends and family will be eager for news. Believe me, we will give it at soon as we can! In the meantime, I'm thinking we should get shirts that say "no news yet." Although if we did that, we would have to wear them every day. Perhaps we should get just a button or something. :-)

Just because we are in the waiting stage does not mean that this blog will go quiet. It is now that we are finally beginning to believe that we will actually become parents, and I may well be posting more frequently. We are going to be trying to figure out how we should spend the time preparing our home and our hearts, and we are very open to advice and suggestions as to how we do that!

Also, it is the Season of Lent, a time of preparation and sacrifice -- indeed a good time to reflect.

Friday, February 1, 2008

We've Sent Our Dossier!

Last night we sent our Dossier to our Agency! I've got a picture of the stack of papers, I'll try to post that later.

We had received our last authenticated documents back on Wednesday, so on Thursday we piled it all up, copied it and sent the originals to our Agency! It felt a little surreal to let it go. I kept thinking that after all of that work, it comes down to one stack of paper? It didn't even look that big!

Our understanding at this point is that our Agency will be putting it in the proper format and will attach anything else they need to, and then send it to Poland. It will then be translated and we will need to be generally approved by the court as parents who can adopt.

It still feels a little unreal that we have actually sent the Dossier. We still somewhat anticipate that something may still need to be changed. I can't image what though, because our Agency has already looked through it all and we corrected the couple of issues that existed.

I'll report back when I hear from our Agency. But essentially, we are officially waiting!

(P.S. There is another secret meaning to 5150 that I will post soon.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Love Nebraska

I love the small government that is Nebraska! After speaking with a live person at the Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday, I faxed our request with releases and specific instructions for the child abuse clearance letter that we need. Well, guess what we received in our mail today?! Perfectly completed and notarized letters! I am amazed that someone took the fax, completed the check and prepared the letters and mailed it all on the same day. Impressive!

We will now mail these last documents for apostilling, and should get them back on Wednesday or so. Then we can finally send everything on its way.

We have had a nice bottle of champagne waiting for the day the dossier is sent. I have not wanted to put it in the fridge for fear of jinxing things. I think I am just about ready to get it chilling!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not just yet!

I went to Lincoln yesterday to get our remaining pile of documents apostilled. I sat in the Secretary of State's office crossing my fingers and thinking good thoughts about the State of Nebraska in general, hoping that somehow that would help things along. probably didn't hurt, but we were not able to get everything apostilled. There were two issues to fix.

The first was not too bad, and I was able to get that one taken care of while in Lincoln. The other one is taking a bit of effort. The issue we have concerns our child abuse clearance letter from the State's Health and Human Services Department. It wasn't a big deal getting the letter, and in fact we got it months ago. However, they did not have it properly notarized. They had the notary stamp and signature, but they did not include the "attestation clause" or language such as "subscribed and sworn to me by…" or "I hereby attest that…." I should have caught this earlier, but I think I just assumed that it came from an agency that does this all the time, and they must have done it right. Well, they didn't, and we need a new letter, and it has to be properly notarized.

I went to the HHS Department while in Lincoln and talked with them about it. They said they needed releases of information (new ones, because the ones from months ago are no longer on file), and then they would run the check and send us the letters. So, last night I drafted releases and an awesome letter setting forth what we need (and thanking them profusely), and faxed it to that gal's attention. Here's hoping small state government pulls through!

I was initially a little bummed about the whole thing, but then realized that we have everything else notarized, apostilled, and done! This is now the last thing that we need to do in terms of the dossier. So, while I was hoping to send the dossier this week, next week (hopefully) will be just fine!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Almost officially "waiting"

I'm off to Lincoln tomorrow a.m. to get our last items apostilled. Wish me luck that everything is in good shape and that it goes smoothly. Hope to be DTP ("Dossier to Poland"), via our agency, within 2 days!

Think of it as being 2 days before one could possibly get a reading on a pregnancy test. Only our "cycle" was a wee bit more than a month!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting Closer

We are getting much closer to having our dossier sent. We may be able to send our Nebraska documents for apostilling/authentication as early as tomorrow. I would hope for a Wednesday return. Then we will have everything done except our immigration approval! I have a question into our Agency as to whether we can send our Dossier now, or if we must wait for the immigration approval. I'm hoping we can send it all now, and then follow with the immigration document when we receive it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Immigration Fingerprinting Appointment

We just got notice of our fingerprinting appointment from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today. This is a great step and means our immigration application is being processed. Our fingerprint appointment is scheduled for February 7. I'm not sure how long approval will take after the appointment, but at least we know it is moving!

Other than the fingerprinting, I sent off Missouri and North Carolina documents for apostilling today. We should be able to finish off our apostilling (we still need to do Nebraska) by the end of next week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dossier Back From Agency!

Whoa, that was quick! Our Agency has already reviewed our draft Dossier. We have been given a few items to fix, but they are not too bad. We should be able to have those done within the week. We will do these, and then send the items for apostilling. Then, Dossier to Poland ("DTP")! Could we really have this Dossier on its way by about February 1???

I must say that it is all starting to get very exciting, and much more real. I am starting to look around our house and think about various projects to prepare the family room and bedroom. It is still tough to do very much (not knowing age/sex), but there are some things I have in mind to get going on.

I am also thinking about a scrapbook/album to document the process. I have not wanted to document (other than this blog of course) things like doctor visits and paper chasing, but I think keeping the reference letters would be nice. I would also like to begin actively working on some sort of an album as soon as we are matched with a referral. I am not a big scrapbooker (although I admire those who have a talent for it), but I want to make an effort to capture this exciting time.

One thing I've actually been thinking a lot about is school. Now, we could potentially get a 1 year old, and school won't really be an issue for a while. But I want to do preschool as early as possible, so I am trying to attempt some research in that area. I've also been looking at all sorts of books - especially focused on adoption. I want grown-up books for us (to help "prepare" us) and children's books that are adoption focused. I remember having books that had the "you're adopted and you're special" focus, and I would like to have a collection for our child. I would love any recommendations if you've got them.

Looks like I am posting more and more these days. I think I will continue to, because there is much more exciting news to post and interesting info to share in the "waiting" stage as opposed to the "paper" stage.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dossier to Agency!

This is a great step! Today we are mailing our draft dossier to our Agency. isn't the finalized/authenticated version of the dossier, but it is close! We have completed all the requirements and are sending it to our Agency to examine it and be sure everything is OK before we have all of the documents authenticated.

Our Agency will review everything and tell us if there is anything that needs to be redone. If there is anything that must be fixed, we can do that immediately. We then will send all notarized documents to the Secretary of State who will apostille (a form of authentication) each document (for a fee). When that is done, the pile of paper can go to Poland!

Things seem to be moving along at a brisk pace now. I can't believe we will be out of this stage very shortly!

Then what? Well, I think we will start planning and preparing our home. We do not know an exact age or the sex of our child, but we do know that there will need to be room for more "stuff." I'm looking forward to cleaning out "the room" and getting some bookshelves and baskets and such for the basement.

We still cannot even think about names. I think we are going to wait and see what his/her given name is and evaluate the possibilities then.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year - New Motivation

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great one. Ours was nice - had an early Christmas with Ryan's family here in Omaha. Before Christmas we had a mini-getaway in San Diego for a couple of nights, then we took the train up to my parents and spent a week with my parents, including visits with my bro and his girlfriend. We got lots of nice presents too!

I am very overdue for an adoption update! Things sort of lulled over the holidays, but we are back and attacking our dossier with a new motivation. There are some international happenings involving the Hague Convention and Treaty that (long story short) mean we must have our dossier sent to Poland by April 1. This is exciting, although it means we have a few things to get done ASAP.

We must have everything to our agency in the next couple of weeks so that they may verify things, tell us anything that must be redone/fixed/etc. and then we have to send all documents to be apostilled by the Secretary of State.

Our remaining to-do list consists of completing our online adoption courses, getting our priest's recommendation form and collecting pictures of our pretty selves. We've got an appointment with out priest scheduled for next Wednesday, we have started the courses, and we are looking for the pictures, so we should be done soon!

The exciting part of this all is that (assuming it all is done correctly) our dossier should be in Poland before April 1 and we will then be officially "waiting" for our referral soon!