Thursday, August 21, 2008


I love being able to compare our adoption to a Presidential election. We started our campaign in October 2006 to hold the honorable position of Parents. With this position comes a great responsibility to do what is in the best interest of our child, and to make decisions that will affect her life forever. We hold in our hands the ability to impact her quality of education, healthcare and wages, to ensure her security, to limit and promote certain freedoms, to enact legislation, to manage her foreign affairs by intercepting evil influences and supporting the good, and to promote her pursuit of life, liberty after age 25, and happiness.

We have won many delegates along our campaign trail, and the following is a list of people who made significant contributions on our behalf:

3 donors provided financial gifts
6 social workers managed our adoption affairs in the U.S. and Russia
7 friends provided letters of reference
5 Medical Doctors proved our state of health and sanity
3 Georgia Secretary of State employees provided authentication of documents submitted to Russia
5 Notaries proved our true identity
6 Medical Lab technicians tested us negative for drugs and communicable disease, on 8 occasions, just to make sure
1 Forsyth County Officer provided background checks and fingerprint verifications
Family, friends, church members and the entire GA-400 branch of Citizens Bank provided prayers, support, services, gifts and encouragement

Travis and I made several trips during our 2-year campaign to many offices around the state, including:

12 trips to the Forsyth County Sherriff’s office
19 trips to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, to authenticate over 200 documents
25 trips to various UPS and Post Offices
5 visits to doctors’ offices
8 trips to medical clinics to have blood drawn
2 trips to the U.S. Citizens and Immigration office
40+ trips made to various notaries
1 visit to an X-ray lab
1 visit to county hall
Many trips to our home study agency’s office
3 classes in adoption education were attended

So, the general consensus of Americans we know feel confident we are qualified for this Office, and we thank you for your support. In our initial act of diplomacy, we visited Russia to convince delegates there of our intent to give a citizen of theirs parents who will dedicate their lives to love her to the fullest extent of their ability. On September 6th we will once again travel to ask a Russian judge for his or her formal decree in joining us with our daughter. If we gain approval from the judge on September 10th, we will be sworn in as parents and child, forever a family. Until then we are on pins and needles for the judge’s decision, praying that it will be a landslide victory for us to bring our daughter home. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., the battle for President still looms…

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

They Told Us So

Page 9 of our Adoption Guide states, “There are many unexpected bumps that can occur during your process, ie. Fingerprints could get lost or need to be retaken (been there, done that at least 6 times), an unforeseen paperwork delay could be encountered (check yes on that one: 12 months), the adoption trip could be delayed or moved forward (yup, experiencing that now), necessary offices in the foreign country could be closed for no reason (we pray no), a judicial authority may delay a court date (yes, ours is two days later than expected, thank the Lord it wasn’t longer), etc. These are only a few examples of the many kinds of delays that are encountered every day…the important thing to remember is to be patient. There is nothing that you cannot handle with a good attitude.” The next paragraph begins, in bold caps, “Three most important things you need: Patience, Patience and Patience”.

Well, there it is. They forgot to mention the onset of bipolar disorder we’ve experienced on several recent occasions. For instance, we were ready to throw in the towel one week before receiving “The Call”. Or, not sleeping last night after figuring out that our expensive one-entry visa may expire before we complete the paperwork prior to leaving Russia. But today we found out we should be able to leave the day our visa expires. That shouldn’t be too stressful.

It’s been a rough week. We’ve been home just over 2 weeks and we feel a bit of uncertainty in many ways. The Russia-Georgia conflict and the American response to it has us feeling distressed. It is our sincere prayer that Russia will not punish us for being American citizens tied to a country with alliances. Our alliance is with our daughter in Russia, a little girl we’ve already fallen hopelessly in love with, whom we pray for every day and night and think about throughout the day. This difficult year and a half process was done with intention and determination. Being in the middle of a conflict like this really makes you think about alliances, countries, politics and the people who live around the world subjected to the decisions made by their country’s leaders.

The Olympic Games signify a friendly competition between individuals who represent countries around the world. The press does a great job of telling the story of athletes from many countries, and it humanizes them so you can celebrate their accomplishments and appreciate the trials they’ve overcome. I find it hard to define the athletes by the country they represent. And so it is with citizens around the world. In a world ruled by few and inhabited by many, it’s hard to judge a citizen by its country, other than by the obvious cultural customs and history.

Our daughter will be a dual citizen of both Russia and the United States. It’s important for us to share with her the history, customs, food, holidays, language, and the people of America and Russia. She will be proud to represent both countries. By adopting our daughter from Russia, we are adopting the Russian people, and our daughter is likewise adopting the Americans. We will align ourselves to each other and to God, and that’s all we’ll need to overcome the challenges ahead.