Thursday, February 23, 2012

How To Help

     When I first started researching Adoption, I remember thinking how strange it sounded to seek the help of your church and community and to fundraise to bring a child into your family.  I couldn't quite explain why, but I just felt like that was something we couldn't do.  The more I read and the more I understsood, I felt such a sense of urgency....that these children needed homes, no matter what the cost.  I recall reading about how an adoption is often similar in cost to a brand new car, which many people don't hesitate to spend the money on.  My perspective has changed in so many ways and I realized that although it may be humbling to do fundraisers and accept help, when held up next to a child's life it truly didn't matter.  I also began to see that this is a way in which others can answer the call to care for the orphans.  The bible is clear that we are to look after the orphans and widows (James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17), but that doesn't mean that everyone is being called to bring a child into their home; for some it may just be to help someone else make that a reality.

   
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       We will never be able to thank you all enough for the ways in which you have supported, encouraged and helped our family grow.  We cannot imagine things any other way and are so grateful for the plan God had.  Thank you for your help in donating items, monetary donations, prayers, encouraging us, helping at yard sales, turning in consignment flyers.....etc. etc. etc.  There are so many ways that so many of you were a huge part of this journey and we are forever grateful.

       Any money we raise from now on, through consigning, selling soaps, necklaces etc. will go towards other families adopting.  It has been my desire since we adopted Levi to continue to help support others who are on this journey.  I am in the beginning stages of another adventure which I hope will become a great way to benefit everyone...stay tuned for more!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Krasnodar

   

  We have been assigned a region!  Of course there is always the possibility that this may change for some reason, however if all goes smoothly we will be adopting a child from the region of Krasnodar!  So what does this mean?  This means we now know what documents we need to gather for the specific requirements of this region of Russia, which altogether will become our "dossier."  This also means that it's getting more "real" and we can know start learning a little bit more about where our child is coming from.  I've done a little research on this area and will share some of what I have found: (I originally included information about the city of Krasnador, but we won't actually know which city of the region we will adopt from so I've changed it to focus on the overall region).


    Krasnodar (Russian: Краснода́р) is a region (often called Kuban) in Southern Russia. The territory is divided into two extremely different parts: the northern plain and the southern mountainous ones. The plain zone covers two third of the territory and is the most developed part in terms of economics. The southern zone is formed by the systems of ridges of the Western Caucasus, a stripe of foothills, adjacent to it and a narrow line of the Black Sea coast.

    Approximately the size of South Carolina, Krasnodar Krai Region is a diverse and wealthy area of Russia with a population of over five million people.  Over 140 nationalities live together here.  Over 85% of the population is Russian; however there are also Armenians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Tatars and others from the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. 
   From what I have found the climate on the is quite similar to ours here in Rhode Island! The coldest month is generally January with an average temperature of 32 and the warmest month is July with an average of 75.  The favorable climate, warm seas, mineral and mud springs, scenic mountain and coastal landscapes together make Krasnodar Territory one of the most important tourist regions of Russia!

 
    It's amazing to think that there is a child waiting in this region for us....knowing even this small piece of information gives a greater feeling of connection and anticipation!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Russia Alert

  We received news of a potential suspension of adoptions between Russia and the United States yesterday.  Praying that all can be resolved and we can continue to move forward smoothly!

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/02/russia-considers-suspending-adoptions-to-us/
After reading the article, however, we did receive this second notice:

Rumors of an Official Suspension of Russian Adoptions Not True; Regional Suspensions Possible

The National Council For Adoption (NCFA) is closely monitoring reports of another possible suspension of Russian intercountry adoption to the United States.
According to news reports, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recommended a temporary moratorium on intercountry adoptions to the United States until the Russian State Duma passes implementing legislation pertaining to the bilateral adoption agreement signed by the Russian and U.S. governments in 2011. As NCFA understands it, the legislation is currently with the State Duma and will likely be taken up following Russia’s national election.

Adoption can only be officially suspended by order of the Russian president or State Duma. This has not yet occurred. Information is unreliable at present, but it is possible that some regional courts in Russia may arbitrarily participate in an unofficial suspension of adoptions to the United States pending passage of the implementing legislation for the bilateral adoption agreement. Should this occur, court processing of some adoptions may be delayed. Prospective adoptive families in the final stages of completing their adoptions should consult with their adoption service providers.
"The bilateral agreement signed last year by Russia and the United States was a positive and important step intended to ensure the stability of intercountry adoptions between our two countries," says Chuck Johnson, NCFA president and CEO. "Imposing what could amount to erratic regional moratoriums on the processing of intercountry adoptions, so late in the process, is not in the best interests of children waiting for families. National political issues should not prevent children from gaining the love and security of a permanent, nurturing family."

National Council For Adoption

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Moving Forward

     Since we've started this blog we've been able to move forward a bit more in the process.  After applications were sent in and accepted we started to get together some of the things we will need along the way - birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.  This past week we had our first meeting with the social worker who will be completing our home study.  It was great to feel that we are finally taking substantial steps forward.  Now comes a lot of paperwork and attempts at staying organized! 
  Several people have asked what is happening now, so here are some of the things we are working on:
         * Writing our autobiographies for our home study
         * Obtaining letters of recommendation
         * Getting medical forms filled out
         * Background Checks
         * Filling out financial forms
         * Completing an online course on international adoption
         * Reading a required book through our agency and taking a test
         * Applying to USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services)
         * Waiting to be assigned a region in Russia so we can become preparing our "dossier" (all of the documents needed in Russia for the adoption to take place.
   
   Meanwhile we're also working on fundraising ideas and turning those into a reality.  We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have already donated items for our yard sale, are praying for us, offered to help in many ways, donated to the adoption, offered to do their own yard sale for us, and for all those who have been so encouraging.  It is a humbling process to know that we cannot do this on our own and we are truly thankful for all of you!