Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Registration Update

Okay. Well, it's been a month since I last posted, so here it is.

We still have not been officially registered in Bulgaria yet! What once was thought it would take up to 6 weeks to translate our dossier has turned into a much longer process. I spoke with our adoption agency and was told that the translators only work 2-3 days/week and not necessarily 8 hours/day. With the influx of new applications rolling into Bulgaria they are back logged! I can't be upset with our agency, because it's out of their control. I can't be upset with the Bulgarian government, because what would that do? So, all we can do is just sit and wait and hope it's coming sometime soon. The good news is that they have not requested any additional paperwork from us (yet) as our dossier is in the review stage prior to registration.

We are keeping in mind that although this process is much harder than we originally thought it would be and not taking off a quickly as we originally hoped, that we still have a child out there somewhere for us. We are keeping the faith that all of this will fall into place when the time is right not only for us, but for our future child as well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just found out about 2 referrals!

Exciting news everyone! I just got the information below in an email. The referrals aren't for us or even with our agency, however, I think it's great news that things are finally happening as far as movement in Bulgaria and American families will soon be seeing their children!

Good morning! It is with tremendous pleasure that we are able to share with you this morning that Tree of Life Adoption Center has officially receieved two referrals! These families will be traveling in the next three weeks to meet their children! I know that the first question will be “how long have they been registered”.

Please remember how the referrals are given: (old information to most of you but placed as point of reference). When the dossiers are registered, they are also considered specific to the child you are interested in adopting. The number of girls that are available are fewer than the boys: most pre adoptive families want girls: the number of boys available are far greater than waiting girls. (this is just logistical: world wide, there are more boys born than girls). As a result, there will be more referral given sooner for boys than the girls. Also, as this is a ‘referral by request’ program(meaning that the children’s needs are to be primary before that of the requesting pre adoptive families: children are not photo listed as their appearance is not considered when being matched to a family), those children considered to be most ‘in need’ will be considered first(meaning that many families now think that Bulgaria is going to function similar to Guatemala and allow for very very young children to be referred and come home and this is inaccurate). The referrals will be a mix of all parameter of children: the older children, age 4-7, who are most at risk of being moved to the next age orphanages, (children who have been delayed families during the last four years when the country was under acclimation to the Hague), boys(always at risk due to gender), children who are part of sibling groups(most families only want one child at a time), children with medical needs(who should come home as soon as possible due to their need for medical monitoring or further intervention), healthy young children balanced along with when you were registered.

The little ones that were referred are a four year old little girl with a vision need and sibling boys who are 7 and 8 years of age. These referrals were given to two families that have been registered for a relative short amount of time and received referrals as a result of the parameters of the children they were willing to consider.

Our congratulations to these wonderful families!
Kay Montes Tree of Life Adoption Center Portland, Oregon www.toladopt.org

We are in hopes that our dossier will be registered by the end of October, so more news to come soon, hopefully!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Dossier is in Bulgaria

Well, once again it seems as though forever ago that I posted last. Believe me when I say that it seems like forever that we've been in this adoption process....

Our Dossier was officially fed-exed to Bulgaria in early September. There was a lot of running around for last minute documents to complete it, but we did it! In a matter of a few short weeks from now, we should be registered with the MOJ. From there, it will be just a matter of waiting for our referral which could be right away or could take a year. We just don't know.

We did wire money to the attorney's office in Bulgaria (Bulgaria adoption agency) for the translation and legal work to submit to the MOJ. We are keeping our fingers crossed that everything will run smoothly and that we won't need to do a lot of updating on documents while we're in process.

I have been following other blogs and it seems as though there are a lot of others who also submitted their dossiers within the past few months. My thoughts and prayers are also with them that they soon find their children. It will be interesting to follow their blogs. When I start hearing about referrals coming through, I will finally begin to see light at the end of this long tunnel!

On a totally unrelated matter to our adoption, we are going to be busy today canning salsa! I love this time of year.... Jim and his buddy planted 162 tomato plants this spring and it looks to be another bountiful harvest! Our weather has been a little goofy this year, so we still have many green tomatoes on the vine, but plenty of ripe tomatoes to start canning. Looks like it will be about 3 back to back weekends of canning. The first two weekends will be salsa and the last weekend V-8 ( or in our case more like V-12) juice. What is so great about all of this is everything is from the garden, nothing store bought.

I hope everyone is doing well, and believe me, once we hear more you will be the first to know! Take care!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We Finally Got It!!!

Exciting news here. We received our I-171H yesterday. This is great news. We are now ready to send our dossier off to Bulgaria. I think the worst part of the wait has been waiting for this piece of paper. It was suprising that such an important paper looks so unimportant. When I got it in the mail yesterday, I held my breath while opening it. I was expecting to see all sorts of seals and stamps on it, but it's just a general letter. Oh well, I made copies of it for our baby scrapbook anyway!

All of our paperwork that needed apostille from other states have been returned to us. Tomorrow we will send in our MN paperwork for apostille and we should have it back next week. Once we recieve all this back the whole works (every piece of paper we have been accumilating during this process) will be sent to our adoption agency (with a fee of course) and sent off to Bulgaria for translation.

We don't want to get our hopes up, but we are still praying we have our child home by December or January! Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Many of you have commented that I'm not doing much with my blog. I guess there's not much to post when not much is happening. It is very hard to try and come across as positive about this whole experience when there isn't any updates. We are beginning to find all of this "adoption stuff" so overwhelming. We are mixed with emotion: excited, happy, scared, apprehensive. I'm not sure there's an emotion we haven't experience yet. We are only looking forward to the sheer joy of finally holding our little Zackery!

There probably won't be any other blogs until we have more news (praying for a referral soon!). Until then, take care and enjoy your summer

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No News (yet)

Hi Everyone.

March 20th was our last post. Unfortunately, not much "new news" to post.

We had our final homestudy in April and have completed our dossier. Right now our agency is reviewing in before we can send it onto the State of MN. According to our adoption agency, I should hear back from the state within two weeks or so after submitting it. When that is finished we will send it off to the Bulgaria MOJ. Once there, it's all in the hands of the Bulgaraian government and then the anticipation increases on our part and the wait really begins for us.

A few changes since my last post. Our adoption agency said if we wish to adopt siblings it would force the process to take much longer. So, ultimately we ended up changing our wishes (again) to just 1 healthy child (boy) under the age of 18 months. Jim and I are both comfortable with the change and feel thankful to be blessed with a child.

I finally broke down and decorated the nursery. It turned out so cute and now I'm impatient because the only one to sleep in the room (on the rug on the floor of course) is our dog Coach. I think he feels he's in heaven because it's the only "boy" room in our house. It is decorated in reds, navy blue, and yellow in a sports theme. I have slowly begun picking up clearance items at the local stores for things like sippy cups, toys, dinnerware, toys, etc. We also purchased a new high chair and car seat for our future son. This has been a lot of fun and such a roller coaster ride. We have a lot of clothing size 12-18 mos., but have put off purchasing any more clothes until we have him home.

Mother's Day was this past weekend and we had both our Mom's out for dinner. The only thought that kept running through my mind the whole day is that hopefully, this time next year, I can participate and be a Mother to a child who doesn't have 4 legs (referring to our dogs and deer). I also couldn't help but wonder what our future son was doing on this day. Does he realize there's two people out there who already love him and think of him constantly even if we can't even begin to visualize what he looks like? Is he happy right now? Does he know we're just waiting for the "word" and we'll be there? It is so hard knowing everything is out of our hands at this point. Sorry to sound so depressing, but these are the thoughts constantly occupying my mind and I also realize this wait will be worth it once we wrap our arms around our son.

Some of you may have noticed I removed the timeline from our website. My intentions were well when I put it there, but it's just something else I need to track. Also, I don't like the reminder of how long this process could take!

Spring has helped occupy our minds somewhat. With each new plant that surfaces from the earth we are reminded we are one day closer to being a family! Jim is very busy at this time and is thankful he's in a new location closer to town. I am busy wrapping up my grants and working around the house.

We hope all of you are doing well. I'll start posting more frequently once we have some news for you...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Long Time - No Post

Well, it appears that February 4th was our last post. I wish there was something more to add and something exciting to share with everyone, but there just hasn't been much happening.

Jim and I have spent the last month moving into our new offices over the past month, so I haven't had a lot of time to focus on the paperwork end of this adoption stuff. What was once such an "exciting" adventure has turned into a bunch of grueling paperwork. We are still waiting to hear from INS about our application to adopt a child abroad. This could take up to another two months.

Today I took a "day off work while at work" day to finish working on our dossier. This was a huge accomplishment to get our "life story" finished. Now we are awaiting a financial summary from our accountant so I can put those numbers in. The rest will be up to our home study agency to complete.

I did email the home study agency requesting our 2nd visit. At this visit she will question us about our life history and how we intend to incorporate a child into our lives. She will then put her interpretations in with our dossier. Her final visit will take place prior to the submission of our dossier to Bulgaria for our final approval along with the adoption agency approval.

On our original application, we stated we wish to adopt a 1-year old male. With time, our hearts have grown softer and we have decided that if siblings are available (the oldest no older than 3 years old and the youngest no older than 1 year old and siblings that are 1 boy and 1 girl) we would adopt both. Also, we have decided that if twins are available, up to 1-1/2 years old we would adopt twins (male). The chances are pretty unlikely with the criteria we have stated, but stranger things have happened! You just never know!

Spring is definitely here. Wehit 33 degrees today and our snow is finally melting! We can't wait for summer!

Hope all of you are doing well, and we'll talk to you soon! Happy Easter!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Beginning our Dossier

Hi Everyone:

It's been a busy week so far doing more paperwork and jumping through hoops.

On Friday we received our Dossier requirements for Bulgaria. We need to have all sorts of documents Apostilled by sending to the Secretary of State. The Dossier is basically certified/aspostilled documents of everything we have pulled together so far.

Jim and I went in for fingerprinting on Saturday to the Law Enforcement Center. All the staff was so nice and had many questions as far as how this process works. What should have taken ten minutes lasted nearly an hour! They made us promise that as soon as we have our little guy home to take him there so they can meet him.

We received our I-797C (Notice of Action) from Homeland Security/Immigration Services on Saturday also. This is good news since it means they are actually reviewing our I-600A at this time. We will need to go to Fargo, ND to USCIS so thay can caputre our biometrics (whatever that means). Our appt. is scheduled for February 13th.

The licensed social worker will be to our house this Thursday to begin our home study. I think we're about as prepared as we're going to get for that. We are just thrilled everything is running as smoothly as it is.

Weather outside is beautiful today! In the 20's which seems like a heat wave compared to what we've had the previous weeks.

We'll post again soon!