Saturday, February 26, 2011

In the end it is a miracle

I just wanted to post the insanity of this past week regarding our paperwork. A friend of mine who also adopted her children from Russia perfectly stated what this process is like: "Just remember this is your equivalent to labor. Only you don't get the benefit of an epidural." Now I have never given birth and we may be talking about different kinds of labor, but this week was quite the painful experience.

Monday: Our agency wrote an email apologizing that they just realized we needed to update 39 documents that had expired in our dossier. They needed them notarized, apostilled, and in their office by Thursday so they could send them to NY to a family that would hand carry our docs this weekend. For some this isn't a huge deal, however we are a 1.5 hour train ride from Chicago so I had to take a day off of work. Luckily I had Monday off and their was an open bank that notarized for us that night.

Wednesday: I took the 9am train to Chicago with all the documents. I stopped at Starbucks to get a hot chocolate for the train ride and I should have seen the signs then. They gave me a caramel machiato (sp?) and it was terrible. So got downtown at 10:30 and walked the 6 or so blocks to the apostille office. Handed everything in and then all hell broke loose. The women at the counter informed me that our notary did not stamp one of the docs. I wanted to scream I was so mad at myself. I checked every document, or so I thought, as the guy signed them. Then she tells me they can't apostille copies of our marriage certificates and that I will have to call MN (that is where we got married). I now am really sweating and freaking out. Original marriage certificates from MN can take up to 4 weeks to get plus I would have to send them back for the apostilles. Then she goes on to say that she can't apostille copies of the deed to our home because they are signed by a state official. We will have to go to our county court house and get a certified copy. So now I am beyond freaking out. I walk away and call my adoption agency. The main problem is that they are in IN and we are in IL therefore different apostille rules. IL is so much more difficult and strict about everything when it comes to adoption. Of course my agency is also freaking out and they ask me to beg them one more time and if they say no to get them to write down that they would not do it. I guess they thought that the judge would maybe be more considerate if she saw we were working on things? Well of course they said no and wouldn't write anything for me, they just gave me a flier about their office. So at this point I luckily went into thinking mode. I called my mom in MN and in under 3 hours she had 6 marriage certificates picked up, apostilled, and fedexed to our agency. I took the train back home and went back to the bank. Of course the notary that we used had called in sick that day and they would not stamp the doc with his stamp. So I went home and printed a new one and headed to the county court house. I picked up the certified copies of our deed and went to fedex. I sent everything other than the deed and the one unnotarized document to our agency. I then met my husband at the bank where we got the document notarized. At this point it was 5:45 and we headed home. The next morning Joe got up at 4:45 and got on a train to head downtown to apostille the deed and the other doc. He then fedexed the docs to the family in NY that is hand carrying our documents tomorrow to Russia.

So in the end it is an absolute miracle that all 39 of these documents are heading to Russia tomorrow!!!! Our coordinator is taking them to the judge on Tuesday so hopeful we will hear something soon!

Monday, February 21, 2011

More paperwork

Well here we go...more paperwork. Nothing really terrible, but still...more paperwork. Our agency and translator realized that some of our original dossier documents needed to be updated, of course a week after we got everything else done. So frustrating, but what can we do other than just get them done. Plus the letter we need from DCFS was in our social worker's hands last Wednesday and she noticed they got the license number wrong! How does that happen??? Don't you think you would check the agency license number!!! All they have to get right is the name and license number of the agency. Our social worker is hopeful they will get a new one tomorrow and she will fedex it overnight to me for Wednesday morning delivery. The moral of the story is I'm working on things as soon as I finish my complaining here, taking a day off on Wednesday to go get the apostilles (hopefully with the DCFS letter), and everything will be on a plane to Russia with another family on Saturday. So in the end we will be one week behind our original plan. The other nerve wracking news is that our documents the agency sent to Russia on Friday are now sitting in Moscow but "cannot be delivered due to uncontrolable circumstances" according to UPS. Now based on my excperience shipping to Russia this is pretty normal so I'm not freaking out too much yet. Our agency said the coordinator had planned to deliver our documents to the region on Thursday, but now she may just wait for everything to come and go next week. I know it could be worse, but I just had to complain! Here is to hoping I get everything done on Wednesday, things are on their way to Russia on Saturday, and our other documents get delivered!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trying to believe in the optimism

So all of our documents went to Russia today and our agency and coordinator are saying they are planning for a court date in mid-March. Now I would love to believe that this is true, but really? Less than two months? It is just so hard for me to believe that it could happen that fast. Every time I am in a store I hear voices - one tells me to shop for Olivia since she may be home in 6 weeks and the other voice says what the *&#$%% are you thinking- don't you dare get your hopes up. After waiting for over 6 months to bring Oscar home and a few months of therapy to help me through that I just hate that I am getting my hopes up. I am desperately trying to just let it go since I have NO control of this what so ever.
Now just to clarify-I don't actually hear voices- at least not yet. However, if this adoption takes 6 more months you never know.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Big Boy Bed!

We moved our guest bed into Oscar's room this weekend to get started on Olivia's room. We got Oscar's room all set up and the crib is up in the baby room. We still have lots of organizing to do in the baby room, but it feels good to be getting things done!
This week we should get all of our paperwork done so we can head downtown for the apostilles. We just have one more form to sign on Monday and then we are waiting for our DCFS letter regarding our homestudy agency. We are hoping everything will be in Russia sometime next week. Then we sit and wait for the court date!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Name

So we have settled on a name and I have to say I really like it. I guess that is a good thing! :) So here it is: Olivia Viktoria.
Here Russian name is Viktoria and we wanted to keep that. We kept Oscar's Russian name for his middle name, Kirril, and we just like the idea of keeping a part of Russia with them.


Well we made it home yesterday with no major issues. I cannot believe the snow!!! It didn't seem like much at O'Hare, but at our house it is crazy. It is almost like driving through a tunnel when you enter our neighborhood. So we missed the biggest blizzard ever!
Well, now we begin the fun (yes, there is sarcasm there) wait for our court date. Our coordinator said she planned to have us back in March, so I can hope, right? Considering our wait for Oscar was 6 months long, I am just really hoping we can at least cut that wait in half this time! We shall see!
On the plane yesterday I think that Joe and I settled on a name. We are going to think about it for a day or two, but I will let you know when we have it. We watched videos of her and Oscar on the plane home and I just can't get over how incredibly luck we are!
Our two days in Moscow were nice. Although we really just wanted to get home, I am glad we stayed. We toured the Kremlin and after shopping on Arbat street we attempted the subway. I am still amazed at the subway. I have been on lots of subways in major cities and never seen anything like this! We only went to 2 stops, but the amount of people and the beauty of the stations was incredible. It was also incredible that with every sign in Russian and no English anywhere we were able to get where we wanted to go. We also went to a grocery store on Tverskaya Street that was amazing. Huge chandeleirs and gold everywhere. By the way the strawberries in this store were about $14 for a small container.
Well I hear Oscar getting up so I better get going. Thanks for all the kind comments. We can't wait until we can post a picture.