Friday, July 30, 2010

The Happy Dance

Can you see me? I am hopping up and down, tapping, turning and twisting and shouting “Yay, Yay, thank you God!” I am doing the happy dance.

Our dossier was submitted yesterday, and the adoption registry officer told our facilitator that Peach is in the database. Our little baby is cleared for international adoption and ready to go.

And on top of all that, there is a chance my amazing sister-in-law will come from MI (or TX, wherever they are calling homebase now) and watch our kids while we are gone. I have to tell you, being away from my children for five weeks is scary to me. Knowing they are home with people who are great with them is a lot off my stress list.

So for those of you who haven’t done this already... it means we are now just waiting for our date to leave. I am so excited. Tap tap, wiggle hop wiggle, tap wiggle hop, happy happy happy dance.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Grandma Book

Mallory’s Grandma Book is done. It was a lot of fun to make and I am happy with the way it turned out, though the parts I translated may be a bit rough. Our facilitator translated certain things for me, so at least grandma and grandpa will have some idea what I am trying to say, lol.

This is an 8” by 8” scrapbook. The album is Creative Memories (donated by my favorite CM consultant) and the rest of it is a mish-mash of scrap products I had in my stash. All the smears you will see are just me smudging out personal info so that I could post these pics on the Internet.


And, no don’t ask me if that’s her real name... you know I am not allowed to answer that question.

Inside Cover

You’re going to have to wait to find out her middle name :-)


The top part has her real Russian name and birth date. The bottom section has her American name and her adopted on date (the actual date will be hand-written in once it happens.)

Where is Mallory

Chez Nous

Inside Basics

Mom and Dad

The writing is “Father & Mother” and our wedding date.


The word is “Brother”.


It says “Brother.

Our Girl

The words say, “The girl we chose” (I hope ;-)


It says, “Waiting for Mallory”


The Grands

On the picture it says, “Grandpa & Grandma” and the other writing is the date of the photos.

Kimani Page1

It says, “Sister”

Kimani Page2


It has Peach’s American name, date of birth, and also says “adopted with Mallory”.

Promise Letter

The letter says that we will always love Mallory, that she will have a good life with us, and that we will teach her about her grandparents and tell her they love her.


Album Back Inside Cover

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peach's Surgery

This morning I was told that Peach had her full heart reconstruction done last Friday. She is back in the orphanage today.

This surprising news comes not from the surgeon but from our facilitator who got it from the caretaker who was with Peach for the duration of her stay in the hospital.

It is hard to be someone’s mother yet not be their mother at the same time. I want to ask the doctor questions. I want to know exactly what was done. I want to see her echo results and know her blood O2 levels. I want to tell them not to lift her up from under her armpits.

I have no right. I have no access. I have no voice.

Could it be true that it is done? All done and she breezed through it? I pray that it is so.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Price of Love

More than one jaw has dropped at the answer to a question I am often asked, “How much is it to do this?” Drum roll please..... $31,803

The next question is inevitably, “Why does it cost so much?”

Here is my answer...

$2000. - Homestudy. The homestudy is completed by a licensed social worker who is employed by an accredited adoption agency.

$275. - Love offering and application fee to Reece’s Rainbow, the organization that finds and lists children with Ds for international adoption.

$696. - Paper... copies of birth and marriage certificates, 42 documents county stamped ($3 each) and apostilled ($10 each).

$397. - Mailing fees... the cost of sending the paper, 118 for the first batch, 118 for the second, and 161 for the rest of the dossier.

$140. - Doctor visit co-pays... everyone had to go to the dr to prove their health status, mom and dad had to go twice.

$140. - Fingerprinting fees for state background check.

$75. - The cost of renewing my expired passport.

$830. - cost to file the i600a form with USCIS, includes biometrics fee.

$5000. RT airfare for 2 adults to our destination city.

$1500. One Way children tickets to US.

$10500. Facilitation fees. 8500 for the first child, 2000 for the second. The cost of their agency fees, attorney fees, translation expenses, court expenses, etc.

$2000. - The in-country transportation expenses. A driver is assigned to take us to and from the orphanage and to all of our legal appointments. Their version of a rent-a-car.

$1500. - Required orphanage donation. 1000 for the first child, 500 for the second.

$3800. - 38 days of lodging and food expenses. Estimated 3 weeks for the adoption to happen, 10 day waiting period, 7 days to get children’s documents in order to leave the country.

$1100. - Visas and medical exams for the girls.

$1200. - Passports for the girls.

$500. - RT airfare to fly childcare (MIL) in to babysit while we are away.

$150. - Standard thank you gifts for the girls’ groupas (caretakers) and the facilitators.

Priceless - the lives of two human beings.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Calling All Fine Art Lovers

Melissa at the Piano

This award winning [best of show] Cibachrome 4” x 6” framed print from artist Gail Nadeau’s 100 Angels series will look gorgeous in your livingroom. Ms. Nadeau had only 5 Cibachromes made of this mixed media artwork. This is the last one, and there will never be another one like it.

When the artist contacted me and told me that she wanted to give it to us to sell or use in any way we choose to raise funds to bring our two little girls home, I was flooded with gratitude (uh, and I admit I did spend about two minutes fantasizing about it hanging in my livingroom).

After I convinced myself not to keep it, I brainstormed ideas about what to do with it. I could sell it outright (the original price tag is $550) or I could auction it off, or I could raffle it. If I sell it or auction it off, then only those with a lot of extra money have any chance of getting it. If I raffle it off and sell a zillion tickets (here she goes fantasizing again) then that also limits your chance of owning this work of art. So what’s a girl to do?

I’ve decided on a limited raffle... selling only 250 tickets... to ensure you good odds. Raffle tickets are $10 a piece and you can buy as many as you’d like through our Chip In fund (Paypal) on the right or through Reece's Rainbow (Paypal or check, and it's tax deductible... be sure to mention that it is for Mallory & Peach). Take a chance on winning this stunning masterpiece and help save our baby girls in the process.

Gail Nadeau is an upstate New York artist whose work has been shown in numerous galleries all over the Capital region as well as in New York City and Seoul Korea. She has received multiple awards, and was recently selected as one of 10 masters by the Albany Institute of History & Art as part of their Tomorrow’s Masters Today exhibit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

And the Winners Are...

Rissa Roo over at These Three Remain did a giveaway during our matching funds campaign. She held the drawing today and the winners are:

Jaqueline DiPasquale
Kelly Butler
Jennifer Baker

Head over there to see what you’ve won and find out how to claim your prize.

As Rissa Roo so eloquently put it... thanks to everyone who donated, Mallory and Peach are the real winners because you are helping to bring them home to a family who loves them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Going Green, Sort Of

Three little wet bottoms all in a row... how does your garbage grow?

I have been changing diapers non-stop for the past seven years. That is a lot of Pampers. A real lot, so many that I have enough reward points to get a Porche (ok, maybe that is wishful thinking.)

That is certainly too much non-biodegradeable landfill stuff. As each of my kids came along, I thought maybe I would try cloth and then Swaddlers turned to Cruisers and it just never happened.

gbunsUntil now. I bought gDiapers. I got the disposable inserts (compostable, lol, picture that pile in my backyard!) and six organic cloth inserts. Now these diapers sure are cute and they come in all sorts of colors.

Here is what I have learned... the disposables explode long before a Cruiser would even start sagging (stop questioning my parenting skills :-) and when they explode it is like a million teensy particles stuck all over baby’s bottom, and front, and belly, and the changing table, and your hands. It is really a mess. It convinced me that the cloth inserts are the way to go.

But, eeeew cloth and poop just do not make for a fun diaper clean up. However did my mother manage? So now, I only use them after the daily package has arrived. And my husband will not use them at all (nor does he appreciate it when I use them and then leave her on his watch...)

Even so, I am going to have three little girls in diapers and my conscience just can’t shut up about landfills, so my goal is to use at least one cloth gDiaper per girl, per day. That should be manageable, and over a year that will keep 1095 Pampers out of the dump, not to mention about $350 in my purse.

Anybody else using gDiapers or any other cloth diapers? Got any pointers for me?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Peach’s Surgery

Was postponed until next week.

Kimani’s heart surgery was postponed three times... originally scheduled for July 21, it didn’t happen until Sept. 24. So I ought to be used to this. But I am not.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Peach is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. As far as I know, it is still on. Please be praying for her tonight and for the next couple days while she is in ICU.

USCIS tells me that our I17h should be on its way to us, so it looks like our dossier will be submitted on July 16th when the government adoption office in our EE country reopens.

If all goes well, we could be on a flight as soon as the end of July.

Um, shouldn’t I be off nesting or something?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Facilitator

Just like pregnancies, all adoptions are different. In our case we have a facilitator in Eastern Europe, instead of an OBGYN, who is handling everything for us on that end. And it is a big job. He has to review our 70 or so pages of documents that make up our dossier, get them translated, act as our attorney to submit petitions, work with agencies to arrange appointments, get drivers, translators, and a place for us to stay.

Did you know that the word facile in French means easy? And facilitation means to make easier. His job is to make our adoption process easier, and let me assure you, he knows how to do his job. Within days of finding out that Peach was not registered for adoption, he had a fix in place. She will be ready when we get there.

But beyond that, Peach is scheduled for surgery on July 9th. She will have her pulmonary artery banded. This surgery, if successful, will protect Peach until she can come home and have her heart reconstructed.

Our facilitator tells me that she will be taken to the best children’s hospital in the country. His next words to me were, “I won't leave her, she will have proper care, medicines, nutrition etc.”

When I read that I was overcome with a mix of emotions and thoughts. He didn’t have to say that, he doesn’t have to do that. But he just made July 9th and the days following a lot easier for me.

It reminded me that God is the greatest facilitator of all and He, too, will be with Peach on July 9th. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5

peach in the window

  © Web Design by Poppies Blooming 2010

Back to TOP