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Monday, March 29, 2010

Serenity

All there is left to do now is Pray.  I am trying to remember that things were scary and stressful with the first trip.  Documents were late, couriers failed, flights were delayed, flights were missed, travel visa dates were wrong... and I made it.  I just hung on tightly, tried to remember to breathe... and I made it.  It's coming to that now too.  Still waiting to hear from the judge - do you need documents? Are you going to set a pre trial with the documents you have?  If she doesn't, I'll have 15 days to produce them on her desk - signed, sealed, delivered.  I'm afraid.  I'm very afraid that with this being Easter weekend we lose 2 business days of processing.  If these factor in, I have 13 days.  Please say a prayer... I'm gonna need them - all of them.
Serenity now... Serenity now... Serenity NOW. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

The good and the DHL (aka all sorts of words I shouldn't use)

The good: 
  1. My agency has all of the documents requested by the lawyer that the judge *might* want or rather object to sitting on her desk ready to be couriered out to Ottawa for processing (this in total takes about 2 weeks from door to door in Russia... except if... well wait for that part in a minute).  There is still a *chance* that the judge may not need any revised documents and the lawyer is being overly cautious - I can hold out a little hope but prepare for the request and another 3 weeks of waiting before setting pre trial.
  2. My invitation to travel for my visa came today and my friend who will be traveling with me and I can send our passports in on Monday to get our 90 day business visa processed
  3. I figured out that my medicals actually don't expire until Tuesday or Wednesday NOT Sunday.  I had my 8 doctor medical done on the 30th of December so 3 months or 90 days... that's the 30th or Tuesday or Wednesday (by my estimation...)  My dossier has already been submitted to the judge though so my medicals are current... for a moment.  If the judge requires addendums to my dossier, we will have 15 days to produce the documents OR I will have to make a 3rd trip to have my medicals updated and have a court date set.  Pray DHL (they are the only ones who do international courier I guess???) finally gets it right... 3x a charm.  No time for errors or "mishandling" on this one. 
The not so good:
  1. DHL (not unlike Aerofolt) is run by a bunch of monkeys or donkeys.  This is the second time that I have EVER used DHL (you may remember the fiasco of getting my travel visa for trip one???) and they have pulled a MAJOR boner on this one.  My revised application to court was to arrive on Wednesday so I tracked it Tuesday night.  Hmmmm where is "Karachi, PK"???  I plunked it into google and.... PAKISTAN!?!?  WTF?  Seriously??? Seems as though my documents have gone on a little field trip.  Turns out I'd have had better luck tying the package to a homing pigeon than sending it with DHL.  Their customer service SUCKS and I doubt anyone will really follow up on this dispite the fact that it could end up costing me another trip to Russia.  Some day I'll look back on this and laugh... a whole hearted laugh about the follies that it took to get things done but it's not funny now.  But wait, it gets even better.  From Pakistan, it gets routed to Dubai, then to Germany then to Moscow and finally, it will arrive tonight at 9:05 in Khabarovsk for delivery on Monday.  I have not been patient nor kind to the people at DHL and this is NOT the end of the complaint that I will make with them.  Full stop.  Rant over (or I could go on for pages).
Other than that, retail therapy still helps.  I bought the most amazing little cedar play house for the back yard for him yesterday from Costco (you have to get it in store - it's not on line).  It's fantastic - a little door, 2 sets of bay windows, a kitchen, doorbell, phone and a big open window with shutters and a bench outside so he can make me ice cream cones and serve me on the bench.  I like to pass on good buys to folks so this is fantastic. Not huge but solid wood and great construction for $279!!!  I also picked up a life jacket for him as I see some lake time in his future.  So, that's it... another week down.  3 months down... hopefully only one more to go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My adoption groundhog saw his shadow

So tired of this.  I submitted my documents on Feb 5th... today I found out there are many errors that need to be corrected. These errors will likely cause a 5 week delay in having my court date set... I wasn't anticipating leaving for about 3 weeks at this point... Plus the 5 week delay - that means it could be 8 weeks before I'm back to get my son.  Isn't it 6 more weeks of winter when the damn rodent sees it's shadow???

I don't know how to find any motivation for work when I keep trying to check out and into the world of mommy.  I don't want to launch new drug indications, or patient programs, or phase 5 practice reflective trials... I want to wipe his nose and rock him to sleep.  I don't know how to do this anymore.  My tank of optimism is empty... all that's left is fumes.  I'm tired of trips down memory lane and being so optimistic that I make myself pukey... merry freaking sunshine is a liar. 

I also wish I could block specific IP addresses from visiting my blog.  You pretended to be nice before and now I see you visit still just to stalk what's going on - I wish you wouldn't bother to snoop -.  Yup. I'm grumpy. And likely will be for about 8 weeks.
My mom told me when I was little - if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  I think I better be quiet for awhile... until I have something good to say. 
Ciao.
EDIT: To clarify - no no no... it's certainly not those who come to read, learn, support, laugh... it's not you at all.  I often read without posting so I don't mind that people do that as well.  My thoughts are to one specific lurker who chose to be very rude to me and was wrong about many of her accusations and thoughts but still stalks by to see what is going on... Just for clarification: my facilitator AND my agency have cautioned me about those people who contact their facilitator directly which supports my comment that it is frowned upon at best and at worst illegal for direct contact no matter who initiates it.  Other regions at other times may have allowed this to happen but I did not make it up and am not being lied to - it is not condoned to be in direct contact.  Is it done? Absolutely.  Should you shout it from the roof tops - no... use your inside voice.  On another issue, I spoke to other families in Khab about the cost of their drivers and it ranged from $150 / day for translator/driver team with a minimum of 10 days, to $90, to $70 to $10 / hour... so we are NOT being robbed by some family organized mafia. Hope that clears the air.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

From the mouths of babes

I spent the day with my twin 7 year old nieces today.  And these are some of the moments that made me smile... wish... and want even more that Corbin comes home soon:

Sonia: "Wow... I wish I had a room like THIS!  He's gonna' be happy here.  He's lucky he gets you for his Mom. You are going to be a good Mom I just know it."
Olivia: "Hmmm... I think it's good that Corbins room is right next to yours.  That way when he gets scared or has a bad dream you can just get into bed with him so he isn't afraid". 
Sonia & Olivia: WOW!!! This is the best park EVER!!!  Corbin is so lucky - you guys can come here EVERY day!" 
And the funniest one right at the end of our day: You are going to be the best Mom... I wish you were our Mom... except we love our Mom too.  (To which I pointed out that their Mom is my sister and from how I see it, she's a pretty amazing Mom herself ).  They told me yeah - they would keep her too but I could come and be their Mom when she is busy."  OK I guess that makes up for the fact that I'm chopped liver to my dog when my sister is around.  I think Lyric has a girl crush on my sister :)

P.S. you should see the hockey picture in his room... it's AMAZING!!!  His room is now FULLY complete - Just the book shelf and mirror need to be anchored to the wall and voila... no more room for improvements.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

EDIT: Things I can't wait to see (and hear) again

I spent some time this morning watching videos.  They are glorious snipits of rushed memories that I can't wait to get back to and build millions more of.  It does my heart good to see his sweet, happy, smiling, curious face... and selfishly, it just feels good to see me close to him.  I watch the videos like I'm a CSI investigator - watching for habits, funny nuances and moments that make me melt.  I noticed that when he's nervous he puts one little finger into the corner of his mouth, I noticed that when he's trying really hard at something he will sometimes stick his tongue out, I noticed that when he's being shy he tries to distract people by pointing away from himself and trying to show you something else interesting "outside" or "over there" and best of all, I noticed the range of the sweet little smile to full on beaming when he accomplishes something new and you tell him "mal-a-dyets! - Ti Omni Malchik!".  We were talking last night about boys and how there is something about being a boy that makes them almost born making the sound of a motor and loving dinky cars.  I smiled in agreement.  For a little guy who has likely never been in a car and never petted a dog, he is CRAZY for "machena" and "sabaka"... how does that happen? I guess my job isn't to figure that out, it's just to have plenty of cars and a dog for him to love.
EDIT: sort of like going to the grocery store, ending up at the cashier with a basket full of groceries and remembering that you actually came for milk... but it's not in the basket??? Well, I forgot what made me want to write this post to begin with.  There was one video I watched over and over today... and over... and over (or at least the one 10 second piece of it).  My facilitator is videotaping us sitting on the floor looking at the photo album I had made to leave with him.  I couldn't remember how to say, "this is your room" so she was happily filming and filling in the blanks.  He was identifying some things from the book like "Sabaka" while he happily pointed at the picture of Lyric, and to the nurse at one of the clinics I call on who happens to be in a picture with me and everyone has identified to him as "Eta Tvya Bah-booshka" (or this is your Grandma).  I bit my tongue and made a mental note to correct that later... But the best part of all is where my facilitator asks him "Schto eta?" and points at a picture of me... He smiles, points and says, "Mama"...  I can't wait to hear that again and again and again.
Mama.  Sweetest word he said... Mama.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Whack-A-Mole

Whack-A-Mole.  It's no longer just the game I used to play at the fairgrounds because it was the only one I could win a prize at, it's now become my analogy for the adoption process.  Just the same as the game where you stand poised with your malliot over the holey landscape, from the moment the phone rings with news of your referral you stand positioned, pen in one hand, phone in the other, courier account number clutched somewhere inbetween ready to pounce on the newest ultra urgent request.  For almost 2 years I meandered through the landscape of doddling document accumulation but when that phone call came, the landslide of urgency began.  Just like Whack-A-Mole, I pounce on the item that pops up - because I know it will and I know I am ready.  When I think about it, I guess that's why it's so hard to get excited about "stuff" that is happening outside of the popping moles and timer counting down.  At the fair, no matter how big the crowd is as the strong man hammer game next door or how many bells go off at the horse race game just behind you, the focus is on that next mole... and on how much time is left... and how many more little prizes you need before you can trade up to the really big teddy you have your eye on.  Well, I'm almost ready to trade up to the prize I've worked so hard for - my court dossier was submitted on the 18th to the Judge and the corrected application will arrive to her mid next week.  My invitation to travel should get here Monday and I will have my Visa hopefully by the following week.  Another court date has been set for a family in Khab - 2 weeks after the judge accepts documents is pre trial, one week after that is trial.  So, IF the judge doesn't need more documents after next week, she could set pre trial for 2 - 3 weeks after that and trail one week after that.  Soooo... in the dare to dream catagory, it could be court date in a month with me traveling back a few days before that to see Corbin at the baby home.  I can't wait.  One more Whack-A-Mole down.

In other updates, it seems as though I may have to stay in Komsomolsk for my 10 day wait.  The SW is new and may not allow us to head back into Khab.  I was discussing the logistics of the trip with my girlfriends last night and how the stay in Koms would cost 2 hotel rooms, food for both of us, transportation back and forth to the baby home outside of the city... to the grand total of about $325 a day... 10 days... YIKES!!! My girlfriends and I were discussing a camping trip this summer and Kim suggested an option that might just be a winner.  She said why don't you pack the tent, a camp stove, a laundry line and sleeping bag and just camp outside the baby home?  You can make smores for the kids, sing camp songs, play the guitar... We howled at the prospect of this... I can just imagine the AP playing little house on the prarie, waving from the field outside... and I can imagine my facilitator along for the ride NOT!!!  OK it was probably funnier after a few glasses of wine but we thought it was amusing. 

Other than that, not much news from this side of the pond.  I appreciate the comments, emails and calls, and yes, of course I'll let you know when our flight touches down.  It's sort of like the final mole... coming down the escalator at the airport and seeing you all there - the journey ends and our lives together at home begin.  Ah... that will be one great mole!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What's in a Name???

There is so much debate within the adoptive community on keeping or changing a childs name. It is a hugely personal decision and both camps staunchly defend their opinion. For me, I really hoped to be able to keep his given name as a part of his adoptive name... now I have to admit there was some huge trepidation that his name would be Egor or Ivana-slava-gabba-chev or Borat or something heinous so imagine my relief when I opened his referral information to be greeted with "his name is Gregory". I learned that it was given by his Birth Mom and I learned that he knows his name as "Grisha". Even though I will never understand the circumstances that came to this beautiful little boys removal from his home, I am thankful that his Birth Parents gave him the gift of life and allowed in their own way for him to have the start in life that makes him the happy, resiliant, loving, outgoing, amazing little boy I will get to be Mama to. Many people wondered why I wouldn't just keep Gregory as his first name... it is after all NOT heinous??? Well, the fact remains that he doesn't know his name is Gregory... he knows himself as Grisha and changing it to Gregory would be a change none the less so I would like to give him the name he knows himself as from now on. There was a name that I really liked but it didn't go with Gregory very well. For anyone who knows me, the meaning of the name is highly important to me, and the name I liked (Brody) means "Ditch" so that simply wouldn't do. So, it was back to the drawing board.

I have kept his name hush hush sort of because it felt like letting the whole cat out of the bag at once... or so I thought... but it is probably more so that I was hanging onto a little piece of fear that "what if things fall apart... what if something happens?" Somehow I had myself convinced that if I didn't tell people his name, somehow it might hurt less if something bad happened. Garbage. Sharing or not sharing, that little boy already has my heart... and he has a name that I decided to share with my friends and family at my shower, and now I will share with my bloggie friends too.
He is my son... He is my baby boy... He is my Corbin Gregory. He'll always be Mama's Grisha but I wanted give him a gift that Mama's everywhere dream of - I wanted to give him his name. This name - Corbin has so much meaning that I hope one day he will appreciate how much choosing it means to me. Many people have asked me over the years if I would give him my late husbands name Scott, and my answer was no. I wanted my child to have something uniquely his own - chosen especially for him. I wanted him to have a name that came from happiness and joy and hope for tomorrow but I also wanted to work in a nod to the past that we have come from and in my own way a nod to Scott and the person he helped me to become.

My husband Scott was my very best friend. He loved me more in a minute than most people get in a lifetime. We shared so much time in the mountains together, exploring, biking, laughing and just enjoying the wonderful landscape that we call home. After he passed away, I was confronted so often no matter where I was by Ravens. They were everywhere... on my path, on my car, in my yard, on my fence, on the neighbors house CAAAAAAA'ing their moring greeting (OK not all of them were Ravens - some of them were their smaller sibling the black bird but close enough). I looked up what the meaning of "Raven" is or what significance they have in Native American cultures and was reassured when I learned that Ravens are said to be the "seer between two worlds" a messenger of sorts that shares points of wisdom, insight, laughter and hope. I soon became comforted by the sight of the big black bird and found myself looking for them wherever I would go. When I'd spy one, I'd often stop to say hi to my Scott and thank him for keeping tabs on how I was doing. My family knew about this as well and would often do the same... Hi Scott...
Fast forward to the name selection marathon. I have the books... all marked up, pages falling out, underlined, dog eared... probably 15 years old. Scott and I would sometimes talk about what our children would be named and sadly I have no recollection... but I still have the books. One name that made it to the short list on the back pages is Corbin. It is a name I like the sound of - different but not weird - simple and easy to spell, it doesn't rhyme with anything that cries out to be mocked in grade school, and finally, it passed the front porch test. The front porch test is the one where you stand on your front porch and yell it out about 10x to see how it feels... add in "Dinner time!"... or "where's the dog?"... or whatever... see if it still feels OK... and it does. But more than all of that, I fell in love with the meaning of the name... Corbin means Raven or Black Bird. I did a lot more research on the name and on the meaning of Raven (Corvus - latin for Raven, Crow or Black Bird)... if you ever want to hear it all, just ask. I also learned that there is a mountain in BC close to where Scott grew up called Corbin Peak which is a nod to the time we loved together in the Mountains too.

So, just as the Raven who made me wonder what he meant by showing up in my world brought me comfort and hope that perhaps he is the seer between two worlds, my little Corbin Gregory will continue to be the seer between his two worlds... this time it's not the Heaven and Earth worlds that my Raven Scott helped to bridge... it's Russia and Canada and my son will be my future of comfort and hope and of laughter and wisdom for me. He is the gift that will forever remind me that it feels good to smile even when life hurts and that as I said so long ago on one of my very first blog posts, that there are in fact occasions where two wrongs can indeed make a right.
He is my son... He is my Corbin Gregory... He is what the journey and every battle is for... he is so worth every second. I can't wait to take him home so he can see his new world. I will never forget Russia and the gift that She has entrusted me with... the gift of Hope, the gift of Faith and the greatest gift of all, Russia, you give me the gift of Love.

Imagine...

This is for the boys: 35 beautiful women... one shower.... it went late into the darkness... some even stayed the night.  As you snap out of that dreamy world of fantasy you just escaped to (no the next line doesn't hold tales of pillow fights and truth or dare) it was my "Russian Adoption Shower" and I had an amazing time.  It was like George Kostanza when he talked about "worlds colliding"... so many different groups, so many different times shared but one thing in common... amazing, beautiful, kind, smart, caring, dedicated friends.  It was so nice to have someone pull me aside and say, "I was worried that I wouldn't know anyone here and now I have new friends... everyone is so nice - they just brought me into conversation like I'd known them for years".  Those are my girlz... my peeps... or just to make my mom cringe... my "BIATCHES" (OK that's not entirely true, only a certain few have been dubbed with that tag and I know you love it). 

We ate amazing food, drank great wine, shared some bubbly, huddled around the chocolate fountain like it was a quarterback communicating the game winning play and I opened in gratitude the gifts for my son.  My front room is filled with the aftermath of the celebration (good thing recycle day is tomorrow for the paper and cardboard boxes - don't worry, I'm keeping the biggest one for him to play in as I know it will likley be the biggest hit!) I will likely NEVER have to buy another gift bag in my life.  We are going to have an active summer visiting all the places people want to send us like the zoo, the science center, Calaway Park, the rec center down the road.  You will travel in style in your new car seat and Grandma made me cry when I opened her hand made gift certificate for "One plane ride home for my Grandson".  Your love of Machena has been provided for with the various gifts of "wheels" to choose from - big wheel, scooter, plasma car, bike (that's a little big for now!) - my friend Melody is convinced you will "pee your pants" when you see the ways you can travel the neighborhood sidewalks.  You have so many bedtime story books to choose from and I'm sure judging by the titles and the sweet things written on their inside covers, I'm 'gonna cry the first times through for sure.  I can't wait to put your little basketball net up out in the back yard and have the ladies show you how to play soccer. 
I was sure to tell everyone there how much their friendship (some a lifetime... some pretty new) means to me.  So many of these beautiful ladies have seen me through some difficult times and have always stood by me no matter how dark the day.  You have watched me grow as a child, as a woman, and now you will coach me through being a mom.  I'll be sure to remember I have you all to call on for help - unsolicited advice MOSTLY welcome... (unless I look at you with that undeniable expression of "I'll take that under advisement").  I wanted to make sure that you all know you have played a role in giving me the strength to face the challenges head on and giving me the crowd to celebrate the high points with.  There is one huge regret that I have from the shower and that is that I forgot to get the picture of my village... I wanted to set the camera and huddle in for a group shot... I forgot.  Suffice to say, I've read over and over that it takes a village to raise a child... and I come from the most beautiful, talented, supportive, amazing village.... population YOU.  If that's not enough, I opened up emails yesterday from highschool friends I haven't seen for the better part of 20 years (I thought if I wrote it small it wouldn't feel like a lifetime ago) who want to have another get together down in the old stomping grounds... wow... and the hockey girls felt left out... and want to make sure I'm positioned to nurture his budding Russian Born, Canadian Raised hockey roots... the kindness never ends and for that I am so very grateful :)

One VERY important thing I did at my shower was to share with people my little boys name.  It feels so good to be able to say it out loud and make it part of my vocabulary.  Not many people knew what it was (my sister and Grandma were the first and are good secret keepers!).  Names (like words in songs - hence my dogs name Lyric) have a great meaning to me and I'm so smitten with what my boys name means.  Stay tuned - the story is in works for my bloggy friends too :)

Before I sign off, I want to update the situation just a bit... not much else to say - except huge thanks for the emails and support.  I can't wait to have the feeling of influence and control again in my life... 27 months since I can say I am the master of my domain... I did manage to piece together a plan of attack.  My documents are on their way to Ottawa today to be re-processed and re-sent to Khabarovsk to be presented to the judge.  In the mean time, my dossier (as is) will be submitted to the judge either today or tomorrow with the knowledge that an additional request for the application will be made.  But, this also allows my dossier to be logged in before my medicals expire and for the Judge to ask for any extra documents now.  There was a huge debate on if this would be done or if I would have to wait until the new application arrived.  There currently is still a difference of opinion on waiting for the new document or submitting now... thank God I know it is getting done as we speak.  Another win for Nancy Drew and co.  So, who knows... if all the judge asks for is the new application, she will have it all on about the 24-26th and can start looking for a pre trial date then.  Best case scenario now??? 3rd or 4th week April court. 
As the very smart fish Nemo says, "keep on swimming, keep on swimming, keep on swimming".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lack of plannng on your part apparently DOES constitute an emergency on mine

If it is possible to sink to an even lower low after 2 1/2 months of waiting... it came last night.  I suspected that my agency had submitted the wrong application to court for my documents but had no way to check since I didn't have a copy of it and they kept telling me, "don't worry, the copy of the document that we submitted is fine" and I swallowed hard and TRUSTED them - I trusted my facilitator, my agency... I trusted all of them...  Well, it's not fine... it's not fine at all.  I am about at my breaking point with things.  It turns into a fast game of "CYA" and finger pointing while tossing anyone within firing range under the bus for whose fault it is (facilitator, agency, lawyer, judge, too many communications, the system, too expensive to have a lawyer review it)... all I know is that it isn't mine and it isn't that precious little boy waiting in Russia for his mama... and I also know that it isn't my job to figure out that there is a mistake at all... but thank God I did - in the nick of time.  See, my 8 doctor medical is only good for 3 months (March 28th which is a Sunday so actually the 26th) and my documents need to be in front of the judge before that or I have to make another trip (or stay in country for 6 or 7 weeks all by myself... not able to visit my boy... that sounds like a great way to spend time no??? This has been sold to other families as a "great way to get to know more about your childs home land - use the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture" - wow...) I digress.  I came home last night, picked up the mail and there was a pkg from my agency - I knew it was my court documents.  I didn't feel giddy or anything at all really... which is what this process has resulted in emotionally... flat - uncomfortably numb.  After 27 months, I don't really feel much of anything.  I opened it to be greeted with the top page "application to court" and it is the wrong one.  I immediately call the director and she calls me back saying that she will try and confirm with the facilitator and get back to me.  At 10 pm last night I start a stream of emails urgently requesting a new application to court be couriered to them. The program administrator said she would call me first thing in the morning to let me know if the old one that I sent in and that is on file is the same as the new request.  I thought that perhaps this "little emergency" might spur someone on to arrive at the office early to let me know ... There is a one hour time difference between us so when an early call didn't come I fully expected to hear from them by 10am (9am their time).  I finally called there at 10am their time to be greeted with, "Hi Stacey, I was JUST going to call you... let me get your file out" (they hadn't even looked  to see if they had the right document on file).  They don't have it and will get it to the courier when the new ones I sent out today arrive on Monday.  The one single document needs to be processed through DFAIT, the Russian Consulate and then courriered back to Russia to be translated, legalized and presented to the judge... in under 2 weeks... or I do not pass go, do not collect $200 just go directly back to Russia to do my medicals over again to the tune of a 2 grand airplane ticket and probably 3 useless days in country... wasting time, wasting money, wasting available resources that I should have to spend with and on my son.  I am furious.  I don't much care whose falut it is - I just care that I pay a team of professionals to ensure these things don't happen.  I shouldn't have to play Nancy Drew to make sure their i's are dotted and t's crossed.  All of this re-processing and after it is finally presented to the judge she still may request more documents and set me back yet another 2+ weeks.  The chance that he'll be doing long division by the time I get back to him is getting greater every day.  I just don't get how other agencies can get their people back in 3 months between trips and we can't even get my documents submitted in that time??? There was not a wasted day on my side - they even said they were surprised at how quickly I pulled everything together... they told me that the process of re-doing the document is expensive for them too so everyone feels the pinch.  I told them that it is not possible for me to stay in country alone for 7 weeks but... really, who cares... AP's are loaded so they can afford the time off work and extra cash to make up 3 extra weeks in Russia or an entire additional trip.  But hey, Stacey, we're disappointed about this too... right... bet you didn't get 3 hours sleep last night because you bawled and got SFA done at work today because I'm not sure how to get past being absolutely disenchanted, disheartened, disappointed, deflated, discouraged, and defeated (I'm all out of d words to that will have to do).  I guess the ends justifies the means... I just want to get back to bring my boy home.  Again, thank God that I caught this error in the nic of time - just a couple more days and it would be impossible to get the documents back to Russia... now it's just really really tight... but hey, I guess I live on adrenaline in this process - perhaps they think I like it... NEWS FLASH!!! I DON'T!!!  So, this should make my shower either a much needed pick me up tomorrow or even more numbing... like everything else in this process... time will tell... time will tell.  Could use some positive vibes, prayers or voo doo dolls.  Unbelievable.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Women's Day!

International Women's Day


"Every 8 March (Восьмое марта Vosmoe marta), the United Nations declares this day as the International Women's Day to celebrate women and the accomplishments they have made to society. Other than in the former Soviet republics, it is not celebrated much throughout the world. It is traditional on this holiday to present women with gifts and flowers to express appreciation for their work, love and devotion. It can be regarded as the equivalent of Mother's Day combined with some aspects of Valentine's Day. Thus, nowadays Russian women hardly ever recollect that this holiday originated as a day of rebellion of women struggling for equal rights with men" (Wikipedia.org)

Happy Women's day to everyone (and pretty much everyone working on this is a woman) working so hard to bring my little guy home to me.  Russia has some nice holidays - Men's day was celebrated a few weeks back and now they celebrate Women's day.  It's nice to be appreciated and recognized but I also like flowers and a day off work :) 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hope the courier doesn't use Aeroflot

Update to say that my dossier should arrive tomorrow or Monday in Khab and be translated by the end of next week. Not exactly sure of the process from there but there may be yet another legalization / notarization before submission to the judge.  I'm hoping that this happens and that it can be on the judges desk the week of the 15th for review.  From there I'll have everything crossed and prayers being said that she might not have need for additional documents and be ready to set a pre trial date (which means I'll have a better idea of when I'll be back for court as it's date is generally 2 weeks after pre trial).  Here's to hoping I'm in the final few laps of this journey. 

In the mean time, my shower is next week, the basement will be cleaned and organized this weekend so that the spare room can be set up properly, I am going to begin filling time by filling my freezer with baking, casseroles, and things to pop out when I'm too tired to cook or need something to feed someone who's popped in for a visit.  I have an appointment with a friend who is a photographer to learn how to better use my camera so that I can take great pictures of my son and of his home and finally, I'm going to throw a big bad last hurrah party for my friends (no kids allowed so we can be funny and messy if it happens :)  I'm doing my best to fill the time and space between now and then - these things will help.  My position is now posted at work and my manager is in the throws of reviewing resumes to have someone in place for when I head out.  I'm going to take as much time as I can - I may never get the chance to have a year off with my child again (unless I win the Lotto). 

On a sad front, there is more negative media coverage of a terrible event that resulted in the death of an adopted Russian boy in the USA.  http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/adopted-boys-death-in-us-stirs-russian-anger/400923.html   People are saying that it is being covered with much more balance than previous incidents and there is some talk of the fact that these children were adopted in 2003 long before the newer regulations were in place which regulate the industry much more tightly.  I can only hope and pray that this tragedy will not affect the provision of court dates for us who are waiting.  Time will tell.  Suffice to say that the event is absolutely horrific and I can't imagine what kind of person could hurt a child like that?  I don't even have my son home and he is never far from my thoughts or heart... I can't imagine being the one to inflict any sort of pain to someone I've fought so hard to bring into my life. Judgement could simply not be harsh enough. 

Stay tuned... great news should be coming soon(ish!) on the court front for me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lobotomy anyone?

Some days are better than others, unfortunately, today wasn't one of them.  I guess there's not a lot you can do about the ebb and flow of emotions on this ride.  I've learned to just crank the seat belt on and hold tight - this too shall pass.  While there are parts of the wait after you have met your child that (at least for me) are easier, I'm coming to terms with the parts that are harder too.  For me, the not knowing just about killed me.  The no name face, the uncertainty of the region, the age, his health... all of it was overwhelming and alone feeling.  There were many days that I didn't know if it would happen - if I'd have the endurance to wait out getting the call.  When it happened, it was like a huge wave of relief washed over me and I finally exhaled.  It felt good to know his name and talk about HIM in perfect descriptive whole REAL terms... he is alive and well and going to be mine.  The novelty of that has apparently started to wear off. 
Now, the hard parts are different.  I don't wait anxiously for some tidbit of news - I can't be appeased by trying to read between the lines and thinking that a referral MIGHT be coming... now I want facts and I want efficiency and I want to manage the process because it can be managed (to a certain point).  I no longer count the wait in terms of months or years, I count the passing of time in days and by the number of hours they missed the courier by.  I count the days on the calendar and calculate the "if it's" every which way 'till Sunday... I count the nights I don't get to tuck him in and the days wasted to someone not knowing the answer or not approaching the process with the same huge sense of urgency as I do.  I pace a lot - not necessarily on the floor but in my head.  It's not quiet up there - I'm scrambling... when all there really is to do is wait. 
My documents were to go out today to Khab... I'm not sure that they did.  If they didn't go out, they should tomorrow but it takes 4 days to get to the region which will likely make it not until next week... Monday is a holiday... Tuesday the facilitator leaves for Moscow to complete the process for Michele and her family who are over bringing their son home... which means it might not make it to translation until she gets back... but I don't know that for sure... I just know that I hate wasting precious time.  It's been 2 months now and there are other families headed back to their children in 3 months... but I won't be.  There is nothing that I could have possibly done any more quickly - no one caused a delay, nothing had to be re-done... so why does it take us a month longer???  I don't know but right now it gives me something to be mad about... because if I'm not mad... then I'm just plain old sad and missing my little blond boy with the biggest blue sparkling eyes. 

Whew... It's been 2 months... how am I going to make it another 6 or 8 weeks??? Give me strength... Give me strength (and perhaps a good solid dosing of red wine???)
Miss you like crazy tonight... is there a doctor in the house who could perform a temporary lobotomy... oh say for about 5 or 6 weeks???
I hope that in my little guys case that ignorance is bliss.  I hope he's sleeping like an angel tonight having sweet dreams - OK actually he's probably eating lunch right about now and getting ready to have quiet time and a nap - but I hope that while I want him to remember me, I don't want him to be sad wondering when it will happen like me... Ignorance would be bliss.  That lobotomy is sounding better all the time.