Ready, Set...

It's not a go yet, but we're getting closer to the first big step! But before I get carried away, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the readers of this blog and thank you for tuning in.

Lori and I have been following several blogs by other families that went or are currently going through similar experiences. Reading their stories has really helped us to take this important step, and we would like to especially thank Cathy Harris of Ukrainian Angels and the fabulous support network of adoptive families that eagerly offered their support and wisdom. So we decided to start this blog for various reasons:
  • Document our adventure and keep this public diary for our future kids;
  • Keep all our family members and friends informed;
  • Help other families that are considering adoption by giving them an inside look into this adventure.
I encourage you to subscribe to our feeds in your favorite reader or to receive email updates. Simply click the SUBSCRIBE! button at the top of the page in the green navigation bar, where you'll be directed to a new page with various options to choose from.


So where are we at in the process?

We started gathering documents for our dossier in mid-June. This weekend we got our I-171H approval from the USCIS. It took just 2 months and we are very grateful for their quick service! We expected it to take 90 days or so, but they were very swift and we almost have everything in our hands now. We are anxiously waiting to get Lori's renewed passport in a week or so, after which we'll be ready to send all the documents to the Texas Secretary of State to have them Apostilled and then couriered to Kyiv in Ukraine. Since we cannot expedite the Apostilling process, we're thinking of driving to Austin to have them Apostilled and couriered on the same day. Our goal is to get the dossier moving as quickly as possible, since the SDA (The State Department for Adoptions and Protection of Rights of the Child - SDAPRC) tends to close down processing around the end of October and typically opens back up in early February. We'll most probably still be stuck waiting for them to re-open as I don't think there's enough time left to get the dossier translated and submitted, but we just have to give it our utmost :)

Realistically speaking, we expect to have the dossier submitted by around March or April. Around that time we should then get an appointment date, so I'm guessing we'll be travelling around early summer. We are hoping to adopt a child or sibling group of two, around the age of 4 (we're considering up to 6 years old). The stories we've been following show amazing resilience by these kids and most seem to adapt very quickly to life in the US. They seem to get over the language barrier very rapidly, and within 6 months are already fluently speaking English!

One very important thing for everyone to understand (especially family and close friends!) is that just because we're embarking on this journey, it doesn't guarantee that we'll return with a child from Ukraine. When we get an appointment date, we travel to Kyiv to meet with the SDA and go through a few files of available children. Hopefully some of these children will be close to our expectations in terms of age and health, but that is an unknown. We have read about some stories where not everything went smoothly, so we have to keep that in mind to avoid major disappointment. We're obviously HIGHLY optimistic that all will be fine, but we have to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground :)

I'll keep posting more details in the coming weeks, especially during the looooong waiting periods. Lori is a woman of few words, but I'll make sure to encourage her to contribute often. I guess it's time to go to bed now, although I can't stop watching news coverage of hurricane Gustav! Hopefully we'll keep dry in this area. Until next time...

2 clicked here to comment!:

Lisa, Chris & Lucas said...

Yeah...I'm so glad you have a blog. I am really looking forward to following your journey and cheering you along as you reach each little milestone...because that's what this process is, alot of little milestones. You are in for a great adventure.


Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks Lisa and family :) It's a good thing we like roller-coasters!