Monday, January 29, 2007

Writer's Cramp

Well, we are still plugging away at all this paperwork. Steve says that if all this paperwork were required before having biological children, the birth rate would be about 2!

We had to write our biographies this week for the homestudy. Doing that was reminiscent of writing long essays in high school. It's been a while! In the end, it was kind of fun to read what eachother wrote about ourselves. (I think something isn't right witht the grammar there...oh well) At least it was for me. I don't know about Steve.

The homestudy paperwork is almost done. I have to track down a copy of my birth cirtificate from NY State so we can hurry things along. My copy is off with my passport application-- who knows where and for how long!

My Birthday is Wednesday. I aked for bunk beds. I think it will be funny to tell people that Steve got me bunk beds for my birthday! I know, I am a bit wierd. And for any of you who don't get it, the bunk beds are for the kids--I'll keep my king size!

Melissa

Sunday, January 21, 2007

This week

We will be signing our contract for our homestudy.
Hannah, Annette and Ivy will be seeing the pediatrician for physicals required for homestudy.
We will be signing checks to Ukrainian Angels and Adoption Consultants.
We will be changing health insurance companies for adoption reasons.
We will begin filling out the homestudy questionaire and writing our biogragphies.

The process is truly starting and the papers are starting to stack and cash is starting to flow (out).

Steve

Friday, January 19, 2007

Not Bethany after all....

After such a good experience with Bethany Christian services we have, in the end, decided to go with another agency for our homestudy. The reason ends up being heavily influenced by cost. Bethany requires 4 post-placement visits not required by Ukraine. They tell us that this is to protect their good name and I can see their point but I would rather not have to pay them so they can ensure their reputation! At any rate, we are just as pleased with another agency that is down the road in the other direction from our house. It was recomended by our consutlant.

We signed some papers for a notary today and my dad came and took a video for us.
In a way, it is like a pregnancy, where you want pictures of the different stages along the way. So we are trying to get a few representative pictures and videos to show the kids and to put into their "baby" books later on.

Things are really starting to move along now...

Melissa

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bethany

Not you, Bethany my sister, but Bethany Christian Services. We met with a woman named Carrie yesterday at a local agency here in town. This meeting was in regard to our homestudy which is a requirement for being approved to adopt anywhere. This is the one thing on our very extensive list that actually seems like a really good requirement. So much of the paper work (the sum total of which is called our Dossier) seems like unnecessary hurdles to jump through. The homestudy is where a social worker gives a report about us based on interviews with our family both corporately and individually (even the girls). This report will say that we are healthy, sane (hopefully!) and financially able to take on these new children.

I admit, I was a little nervous about this part of the process. After all, many agencies as well as individual social workers pride themselves in thier "liberal" viewpoints which are ususally a world away from our conservative beliefs! Some agencies have gone so far as to ban couples who believe in corporal punishment and even to prohibit adopting children whose ages would be less that one year away from a child living currently in the home. (As if the situation for this child in an orphanage would be preferable to being close in age to a new sibling) I admit, I just don't see eye to eye with these types of ideals. Thing is, I was afraid that this was the type of person who would be "inspecting" us and determining our fitness to adopt.

Then we met Carrie. She was very friendly, well-informed and put me right at ease. I could see that she would not look down her nose at us but would be patient to answer our myriad of questions. And ask we did! We were very comfortable with her knowledge and ability to explain the system to us as well as to anticipate what things we would find helpful--answering questions before we asked them. I am sure we asked some questions which sounded dumb (and maybe were!) but you never would have guessed it from her responses. I think I am very comfortable using this agency for our homestudy.

Phew! what a relief! Now for the footwork....

Melissa

Ps. Please pray for us because we need to have a country and an agency(or not) decided on in order to have the homestudy completed. If we go with an agency to Ukraine, we would still be independant once in the country anyway. Being independent would mean that we assemble everything ourselves and get our own contacts in country. It would not mean going it entirely alone, however, because there is a lady in Florida that assists with independent adoptions to Ukraine. The independent option may mean more work for us but could save us as much as ten thousand dollars!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ukrainian Church

Today we went to a Ukrainian church here in Knoxville. I recognized three words in 2.5 hours; "spaciba"- thank you and "koishka"- cat, and "hallejulah". I was able to recognize the Lord's prayer by its cadence. When they pray they all pray out loud at the same time very loud. It was a neat experience but I think I may want to know a few more words next time I go back.

I particulary liked looking at the facial characteristics of the children just to get a better idea of what our children will probably look like.

Steve

Friday, January 05, 2007

Appointment with Bethany Christian Services

Well we have an appointment with Bethany Christian Services and hope to sign a contract with them for our homestudy some time next week if all works out well. We hope to go to the local Ukraine Baptist Church on Sunday.

Thanks,

Steve

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Goals

To our children,

It feels good to have made some real progress this week. We have completed the finishing touches on the 4th bedroom in the basement. We got Mom's passport application processed. We have left several voice mails at the agency we expect to do your homestudy. (the international coordinator has been out and in and back out sick)

Next week we will finish up the school area in the basement and the storage area. We will hopefully sign the contract for your homestudy and complete our 2006 income tax returns. I also hope to get the basement measured for carpet. I have been reminded of Jesus' words this week in John 14 about preparing a place for His children. I promise that we are preparing a place for you and we will surely come to receive you.

We still think you are in Ukraine but are still looking at the possibility you are in Moldova, Latvia, Estonia or maybe even Poland. We pray that we will at least know what country you are in soon.

Love,

Dad