Now that it is May, things are moving in fast forward and the real countdown is on. We now have 12 days until we leave for U******.!!! We are getting things in order for the kids and our room is full of piles of things to take. I found this really cute book called the "Red Thread". It is an adoption fairytale about a King and Queen who feel something tugging at their hearts and they realize they have red thread pulling at their hearts and they journey across the ocean and to a far away land where no one speaks their language and the red thread leads them to a child who has been pulling on the red thread and waiting for them to come. It is a perfect analogy of what we have felt the last few months and soon we will get to meet the little girl at the end of that thread!
Our Russian language map also came in the mail from amazon....we heard this is a great little friend to have with you in U******.
We started packing the suitcase for the orphanage donations. We have lots of darling blankets and burp clothes and hats and mittens that we are going to take to donate to her orphanage.
We packed them in vacuum bags
and then sucked the air out and compressed them down
Kyra loved vacuuming the bags
Our room is full of bags and bins with things to take
We have started packing the toys and books to take for Kareen
We found these cute books on amazon called "kids like me..." and they are full of pictures of kids with down syndrome that teach ABC's and colors.
After we packed the orphanage suitcase Kris looked at me and said "well we just packed one of our suitcases....now I am starting to freak out a little!" It is really starting to feel strange that after months of working towards this, we are almost there!
We started laying out some clothes to take for Kareen, in hopes that we get to bring her home on the first trip. Although it is usually not the case, we are hoping and planning for both scenarios just in case. If we don't get to bring her home then we will just bring her things back on the second trip.
For those who don't know the process, this is the general way it works.
We will have our SDA appointment on May 17 and hopefully be able to pick up our official referral on the 18th. Then we will take the overnight 11 hour train ride from the capital city to the region where her orphanage is. We will then meet her...hopefully thursday sometime but possibly not until friday. Then you file a court request and you wait for a court date. While you are waiting for a court date you have visiting time periods each day to spend at the orphanage with her and then your other time is spent doing necessary paperwork and some site seeing in between. Once you receive a court date that is when you are granted legal custody of the child and by law their is a 10 day waiting period after court that allows for a family member to petition the adoption. In most cases of children with special needs, the family has signed away their rights since birth so this waiting period wouldn't be a real issue and if the judge decides to waive the waiting period, then you would get to immediately start the process of all the necessary paperwork through the embassy to finalize the adoption and bring her home with you. If the judge decides not to waive the waiting period than we would go home and then travel back after the waiting period and then finish up the process. So for everyone's sake, we are praying the judge waives the 10 day wait, but unfortunately it seems to be more common to not get it waived.
So basically there is no definite plan as far as timing goes. We really don't know how long we will be there, or when we will get to take her from the orphanage. It is a day by day process so it has been hard to plan for the kids since we don't know if it will be 2 or 3 or even 4 weeks. I have to really not think about how I have to be away from my girls for that long because it makes me so anxious and sad. If only I could bottle up Bree's magical hugs, Adrie's sweet smile, and Kyra's cute laugh to take with us! I am so grateful that my girls were willing to travel this road and are willing to let us go bring this little girl into our family. I know we could not have done this had they not been so supportive and excited and loving towards Kareen and this journey from the very beginning. They have been amazing!!!
I have pretty much just come to the conclusion that I am only going to get more and more emotional from here on out. In 12 days we will be leaving our 3 girls to go and find the little one who has been tugging at our hearts the last few months.