Every adoption is filled with blessings and challenges. We are blessed to obey God and have the honor to parent the children He has chosen for us. We are challenged to rest in His peace when we don't understand delays and seeming missteps that hamper progress in our minds. You have followed as I waited for my homestudy, for my i171h approval, and most recently, my SDA appointment.
These milestones were eventually reached and the day for travel finally arrived. Our dear friends, Tim and Cindy Allen were able to travel with us and we had a fabulous breakfast at the Cracker Barrel with the children we were leaving behind, the Kocis family, who would be watching them, and my friend Jean and her 3 kids. We were quite the crew.
We got back to the house 20 minutes before our limo was scheduled to arrive. There was a message on the answering machine. It was my Reece's Rainbow representative informing me we had a problem, please call. It turns out our homestudy contained an inacuracy that not only needed to be corrected, but this caused our i171h to be invalid as well. We needed a homestudy correction, which would require new DCFS approval as well as an adjusted i171h. The homestudy would need to be submitted to DCFS, who would have to issue an approval letter. The homestudy would need to recieve an appostille from the downtown Chicago office and then Fedexed to Ukraine. Shipping takes 4-6 days and we need to recieve it prior to court, which we believe might be the 25th. The homestudy, along with the approval letter, would need to be resubmitted to USCIS so they can issue a new visa approval.
How do I do this in the next 20 minutes?
I called my homestudy agency and explained exactly what needed to be done. I called DCFS and explained to them what had happened and what needed to be done. I emailed USCIS and told them what had happened and what we needed them to do as well.
Jean and Bridget quickly morphed from the friends who were saying goodby and watching my children to my correction team. This team now includes Melinda, who is the friend who will be doing all the downtown work.
The limo arrived and we left.
The flights were uneventful, very minor turbulance and a 2 hour delay in Frankfurt, nothing too bad. We ushered the Allens through customs and left them in the hands of their driver.
Our driver, Nickoli, escorted us to our appartment and we collapsed. We did not yet have internet access. Shout out to Blackberry and Verizon. I have no idea what we will be paying in roaming fees, but I was able to continue to stay in contact with my team and push for some key calls to be made for me. It is my understanding that Thursday my corrected and approved homestudy will be in Melinda's hands. It will be hand delivered to USCIS in Chicago and on a FedEx plane by Friday evening.
Meanwhile, we had our SDA appointment and got to see more pictures of our precious daughter. These pictures were close-ups and revealed the most beautiful blue eyes!. Pray for our baby, she has aged out of the baby house and has been moved to another location. We are assured that she is in a nice place. Change is always difficult and I hope she is doing well.
The woman in the SDA office asked why we would adopt a child with HIV. We explained why and that we were honored to do it, and she asked if we could please find more families who would come and give these children hope and a family.
She also said that the previous day she had an appointment with a family with 14 adopted children, so our 6 were really not so many, would she be seeing us again?
We told her we knew we only had 6 and that we were working on it and we hope to incourage more families to come to Ukraine for these precious children.
For some reason the orphanage is closed this Friday, and is always closed Saturday and Sunday, so we will stay in our appartment in Kiev until Sunday night. We will take a night train 14 hours to the town where Bianca is and meet her on Monday. I had hoped to see her sooner, but am not anxious about it in any way.
It has been precious to watch Sveta here in the appartment. I told her it is exactly like the appartments we stayed in while in Russia and everyone we have encountered speaks Russian. Starting in Frankfurt, the airline personel spoke to her in Russian assuming that she spoke Russian because of how she looks. She is old enough to appreciate this trip, but young enough to pretend she lives here. She is living out a glimpse of what her life could have been. These days are invaluable for her and I thank God for this opportunity.
That's all for now, and since we have a little time on our hands, we may get ticktets to the opera or the circus. Sveta is very excited about that.