Sunday, June 10, 2007

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Artyom was a real trooper. I would have been toast and not much for socializing after a 13-hour train ride, 15- hour plane ride from Ukraine , 5- hour layover in JFK and 2 1/2 hour flight home to Atlanta. Although he was quiet and tired in the car ride to the house, his smile told us that he felt comfortable with where he was. I could not stop thinking of how the previous weeks had brought us to this point, and silently thanked God for his hand in the plan.

Charlie gave Artyom a brief, informal tour of the necessary rooms for the night, the bathroom and his bedroom. We would cover the rest after a good nights sleep. The next morning we began to nurture a new friendship with our special guest. Although we never discussed amongst us what we anticipated, each one of us was truly grateful for the gift of Artyom. His presence in our home was as if the Christ child himself had come to visit our family this Christmas. We began trying to learn any Russian we could and teaching English in return. Artyom would get so tickled by the awkward attempts we made at pronouncing his native tongue , but he was kind and respectful and pleased that we cared enough to try. Artyom , Charlie and Nick amazed me with how much they could actually communicate with the grunt and point method. The three of them were developing a true brotherhood.

By the end of our first week together all of us were asking how we could possibly bring Artyom here to join us, as a permanent member of our family. By the end of the second week, we could not imagine our family any other way. The day before I had to return to JFK for his return flight to Ukraine and the orphanage where he lived, our social worker who had completed our homestudy months earlier approving us to adopt 2 children, came to our home and approved us to proceed and adopt 3 children.

Well, does everyone remember about that rule of the SDA regarding adopting "unrelated children?" This means we need to prepare a third dossier . Most of this process won't be too difficult, and certainly worth it. We will have to have our homestudy officially updated showing the approval of the third child, petition USCIS to also approve us to adopt another child have a ton of documents notarized and appostilled again.

We were approved by immigration to adopt a third child February 19th and had to have our medicals updated. By the end of March the third dossier was in Ukraine. Now, we would just wait, or so I thought. In early April we were notified by our coordinator in Ukraine that we had to update most of the documents in the first two dossiers. You see, the SDA had implemented another requirement recently that all dates on documents must not be older than 6 months at the time of registration. This is very challenging and frustrating at times since we have no knowledge as to when the dossiers will actually be submitted. Well, after a few days of tears, mumbling to myself and the very capable assistance of our adoption agency's administrative assistant, Kate I was prepared to tackle the task at hand. Since I was practically an expert in Ukraine dossier compilation, I insisted to Kate that we prepare 3 original dossiers even though our third had just been submitted in March. I wanted them all to have the same dates so that by the time the first two updates reached our coordinator, we weren't going to be told the 3rd was now too old. Mark and I have now each had 10 sets of various fingerprints taken and I think we are good now! Our updated dossiers reached our coordinator May 13th and it is anticipated that they will be registered sometime at the end of July or first of August. The SDA has up to 30 days to review and approve us and then will issue an appointment date. This date is usually within 30-60 days of approval and would bring us to travel in early fall.

1 comment:

DoveFamily said...

I've enjoyed reading about your journey so far, and I continue to pray for you guys as you seek to follow God's will.