Meeting Today
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
We're on our way to Dallas to meet with the agency and discuss our options. The meeting is at 2 p.m. please keep us in your thoughts and prayers - as always.
Praise God for good news
Monday, July 30, 2007
Kay has a court date! Yay!!

After waiting nearly a year since their first trip to meet their D, they got good news this morning! Go and give her your congratulations and encouragement!
Something light hearted for a change - Free candle give away
A blog that I've discovered, called "I Should Be Folding Laundry" is hosting a free candle giveaway. These are the new Febreeze Candles. I had just seen these advertised and wanted to check them out. Free would be good, right??
Dasvidanya Vika - a Photo Show
Saturday, July 28, 2007

I have removed the photo show after having it up for a week. I think it is best to only show unidentifiable photos of her now. Thank you all for your sweet comments on the photo show.
A little better
Friday, July 27, 2007
Every day is getting a little easier. I am so grateful for all the sweet things you all have had to say and for being so understanding and supportive. We've been overwhelmed with the amount of love and prayers by so many in real life and online friends and fellow adoptive parents.

I wish so much that this would never happen to anyone. I agree with you all that it is the death of a dream.

It's just hard, because that room at the end of the hall has been Viktoria's room for nearly 18 months. What do we call it now? It's not even "the baby's" room because we're still not sure what direction we will go.

Is God trying to tell us we are meant to be a family of three, that D is meant to be an only child? We have been so blessed with her. She is as close to perfect as any child could be. We love and cherish her so much. I've just always thought that being an only child would be so lonely. I've been so ready for her to have a playmate too. One good thing about Viktoria being older is that she could have come home ready to play since she would be nearly 3.

I'm feeling more hopeful in starts and stops. But going out into the "real world" is still unnatural feeling to me. D and had to go to the library and grocery shopping today and I felt as if I were in a twilight zone.

We'll get there. It'll just take time.

I'm not sure what I'll do about the blog. If I'll keep going on this one, or if I'll stop and keep it just for Viktoria.

I just want to thank you all again for being so great. I know that you all are bearing a piece of this pain for us in many different states and countries around the world. I had so hoped that it would be a different sort of sharing - a sharing of indescribable joy when we would have received that long awaited court date. But I thank you from the bottom of my heart, nonetheless.

"You, Oh Lord, are a shield around me, my glory,
and the one who lifts up my head."
Psalm 3:3
Red threads every day
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday morning, almost the first thing after opening my eyes, I found a red thread. At first I forgot, but then I quickly remembered. She's not mine anymore. But every time I see a red thread, I'll always remember her. I'll never forget her. She was not here with us physically, but in every other way she was our Viktoria.

My thoughts have been so jumbled and scattered the last few days. I still don't know if I can put words together to make a readable sentence.

It is nearly like a death. It is much worse than a miscarriage and I know how hard miscarriages are, I've had four of them.

Everyone has been so great to us, we've had flower deliveries every day, food brought, little gifts in memory of Viktoria. We are considering having a little goodbye ceremony for close friends and family in a few weeks. At first I didn't think I could bear it, but it is getting a little easier.

We still don't know what we'll do from here.

We have a meeting set up for next Tuesday with our agency staff, including the director. We'll discuss what options we have through the agency. We've paid all that is due to them and we've already paid for two trips to Russia for Viktoria, so we're running out of money. There are moments I'm ready to quit, moments I'm scared of Russia, thoughts of switching to domestic adoption are scary too. But I don't want D to be an only child. I still have a spot in my heart and I just don't feel like our family is complete at 3.

One of the hardest things for me the past few days has been seeing other people all around us living their lives like nothing has happened. Don't they know I lost my baby?! How can they laugh and joke? How can they shop and be interested in the news?

In so many ways it really is like a death, but even harder in a way because I know she is still out there. With another mommy. Not with me. I want her to be happy. I pray that she is happy. I hope they'll love her and cherish her like we would. I hope she will grow up and know God and love Him. I hope they are prepared to deal with her attachment adjustments. Are they feeding her well? Then I think of all the pictures that we have of her newborn from the old databank picture; 11 months from our referral pictures; 13 months from the first trip; 20 months from the second/visit trip. I wonder if I could send the pictures to them? She'll need to know what she looked like as a baby! And I have all these things with Viktoria monogrammed on them. Even in Russian! But did they change her name?

So many questions, no answers.
Goodbye Sweet Viktoria
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We received a call yesterday afternoon and learned that last week a Russian family chose Viktoria to become their child. Needless to say, we are devastated and we ask for your prayers as we seek God's will in knowing what our next step will be.

We are not alone . . .
Monday, July 23, 2007
After all these months of waiting I thought we HAD to be the only ones in the world (well not really) waiting this long. However, the Pease family has been waiting even longer than us!

Their little boy is 28 days younger than V. They met him in December of 2005 (3 months before we met V) and they are STILL waiting. He was 10 months old when they met him.

For all the waiting mommies and daddies, she has written a great post called "The Waiting Room". Whether you've been waiting for your court date for a month or nearly two years, you will certainly relate to this post!

They received the wonderful news last week, though, that their agency was finally reaccredited!

Please go over and give them some of the support that you've given me all these months.

"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint
or become tired." Isaiah 40:31
Fun with Blog Friends.

Here is a picture of Debbie and me scrapbooking together last week! This is something we have wanted to do together for a long time! It was only a mini-session, but still fun.

This is D and Deb at Chilis after we went and saw Ratatouille a couple of weeks ago.

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted."

Job 42:2

Happy half-a-birthday V!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Today my baby V turns 2 1/2. It is just unbelievable. 30 months old.

I was telling a friend today that I feel blessed because God knew all along that she wouldn't come home till she was nearly 3 but I also think he knew we were stubborn enough that he had to give us the referral then (at 12 months old) or we'd stupidly miss the blessing. If we received her referral at this age now (30 months), and at this tiny size and with her history and current diagnoses, we would probably have been scared to death and declined the referral.

I believe we've also been blessed because we have photos of her from that first databank picture when she was a tiny baby; photos of her at 11 months (our referral pictures); photos at 13 months on our first trip; photos at 20 months old on our visit trip; and blessedly the new databank photo that I found a couple months ago. We also feel like we have known her most of her life even though she hasn't been here with us.

So, V, although Mommy wants you to come home sooner than soon, I'm doing ok today, but missing you with all my heart!

"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! " Psalm 139:13-17
Interviewing a Pediatrician (repost from last July)
I know many who read my blog are awaiting the arrival of their first child. I wanted to share the list of questions I used when I interviewed our pediatrician before D came home.

We chose a female pediatrician because our post-institutionalized children are more familiar with women than men. Generally the only man they may have ever had contact with (before their Daddy arrived in their lives) would have been the male doctor at the orphanage. So, that was our basis on chosing a female pediatrician.

We made the appointment for our pediatrician interview after we made our first trip. We had much more medical information, photos and video to share with the doctor after our first trip than we did right after referral. So that is why I waited between the two trips to interview.

***Let me add now that I have no idea where I found the basis of this list of questions. It did not come from my own brain - if I could remember nearly 6 years back to where I got it I would acknowledge the original author. But I'm just re-copying it from the scribbles in my adoption journal from D's adoption.***

General Questions for Interviewing a Pediatrician:

  • Are you a board certified pediatrician w/at least 3 years specialized training?
  • Do you currently or have you ever had any other Internationally Adopted children as patients?
  • What is your availability in case of emergency?
  • How will you support us on feeding choices? (ie: reverting back to bottle)
  • Do you have a certain area of expertise in child care?
  • What are the office hours?
  • What do we do after hours?
  • How can I reach you by phone and when?
  • What do we do in case of an emergency if you are unavailable?
  • Can we talk to you on the phone with questions not requiring an office visit? Is there a charge for these consultations?
  • How long is the typical office visit? (you want it to be at least 15 minutes)
  • Do you have a copy of the physicians red-book to translate diagnoses from another country?
  • When we return home with our child will we be able to get an appointment ASAP (w/in 72 hours) even though our arrival date will be unknown?
  • How do you feel about us having our child concurrently being evaluted by an International Adoption specialist? We had planned to take D to Texas Children's Hospital IA Specialist when we came home, but the need was not great enough. We trusted our Pediatrician to deal with our issues.
  • How comfortable are you with guiding us through developmental issues and getting us connected with Early Childhood Intervention in our town/county.
  • Are you set up to test her eyes and ears in this office or will we need to see a specialist. If a specialist is needed, who would you recommend?
  • Are you familiar with Sensory Integration issues?
  • Will you supply us with the neccessary materials for bringing a sample of our child's stool to check for parasites at her first visit?
  • Will you recommend starting over with vaccinations or running Titers to verify the validity of the previous vaccinations.

How we did things:
We called the regular appointment number and explained that we wanted to have an interview with the doctor for our soon to arrive from Russia daughter-to-be. The appointment was first thing in the morning - before the sick children began arriving.

I took a friend with me who was a "seasoned" mother. She helped me come up with even more questions that I would have never even thought to ask.

The doctor gave me their office's own guide book for parents of newborns. It has been a lifeline for me, we still use it and D is 6 years old. Ask if there is something like this available for you. Make sure the doctor fully understands that although your child will come home as a toddler or older, you are still a newborn parent!

Ask about feeding advice. Such as formula, etc. Remind the doctor that your child will be coming home with compromised nutrition.

Take whatever medical information you have on your child including vaccination records. We started all over with vaccinations on D with zero complications.

If your child has had the TB vaccination make SURE the pediatrician is aware of this. I believe most children coming from Russia will have had this vaccination already by 9 or 10 months old.

Also, just FYI the Polio vaccine D had been given in Russia was oral.

Ask about medications to take with you on the second trip which your child may need. Ask about dosage amounts. A US 2-year-old and an18 pound post-institutional 2-year-old will need different dosages! ALWAYS - If in doubt go by the weight, not the age when giving your child medication.

I brought pictures of D taken during our first trip. I also brought a video and left it with her if she wanted to watch it at a later time. I don't know if she ever did or not.

D was her first Internationally adopted patient and became the star of the doctors office anytime we visited. They always have remarked, still to this day, how amazing her transformation has been since she came home. Now Dr. Hunter has several IA kids in her practice!

That is all I can think of right now. If you think of any further questions, feel free to put them in the comments section and I'll see if I can remember back a few years and answer your questions.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Scrapbook for box tops
I know alot of you who read my blog are scrapbookers. I came across this site and thought I would share it with you.

I admit I am soooo bad at saving those box tops, but free scrapbook supplies might encourage me! How 'bout you??

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
Snow Suit Swap
Monday, July 16, 2007
In case you haven't heard, Steve has begun a Yahoo group for swapping (not selling) snow suits. This way you won't have to buy a snow suit for wear only in Russia (or other EE countries) and then come home to a warm climate never to be worn again. Here is the link for the group:

"Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You." Psalm 33:20-22
Lisa needs our blog friend support.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Please visit Lisa and give her your support, encouragement and prayers - lots of prayers!
Great news for Jane!
Jane has received some awesome news. Go over and give her your congratz!!
More Good News
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Under the Heading "Next Round of Accreditation - Rumours" There were two seperate posts this afternoon on FRUA telling that EAC was notified that their accreditation certificates have been signed and one poster even states that they expect to receive the certificates tomorrow! Where there's one there definitely are more - come on accreditations!

By these first batches being processed through the line, our agency gets closer and closer to the front of the line! OOO I wish I knew what number the little paper tab has that our agency is holding and what number will be called next!!
A timely message
Virginia at Russian Adoption Blog had this post a few days ago and I wanted to link it here.

Are your Post Placement Reports due? Please for the sake of us who are waiting, do them and please, please, please don't be late.
Confessions of a Waiter
There is a recent thread on FRUA started by Sarah H. which is titled, "Adoption Excitement is Drooping After this Long Wait."

I know a thing or two about waiting a long time. It is not possible to keep the adrenaline filled excitement that comes in the early days. With D's adoption, we kept the excitiment pretty much the whole way through but it went relatively smoothly and quickly if you don't count the three weeks following 9/11 when we were afraid we would never be allowed to see her again!

If anyone would have told me going in that we would have this long wait AFTER meeting our daughter I would have unequivocally told them I could never withstand it. Never.

But we went forward with faith and we'll continue the race for our daughter until the end. Every day passes by and we're one day closer to her. The days themselves are sometimes slow, but when I look back over the last 16 months, they have really zoomed by. I wish they would have done their zooming with V at home, but that's not the way it has worked out. I could spend all my time asking God, "Why??" but it does me no good. So I just venture there every once in a while.

We have a little cluster of pictures of V on the refrigerator "gallery." One picture is of her at the first trip when she was 13 months old, one of our visit trip when she was 20 months old and the latest picture that I accidentally found on the databank site. In the middle of the cluster is a magnet that Debbie sent me that says, "Never, never, never give up." A quote by Winston Churchill. When I look at her little face in the latest picture it seems as if she's saying, "I'm ok Mommy, afterall I don't know any other home than this." Sometimes I just look at her and say, "Ya Ne Pa Ne My oo", I do not understand - but still she smiles on.

When I heard that the group of agencies had received their accreditations last week, I was happy for those families and the children who will be allowed to come home. I was happy to know that it was finally happening and that the term is non-expiring. But I didn't feel the super excitement, gooseflesh that I expected to feel. I have to admit that mixed in there were some major feelings of, "why not us!"

When I heard yesterday that a second batch is nearing completion I became a little more excited because we're getting closer and closer. We know our agency will not be in this second batch either. I am hoping, wishing, and praying that we'll hear good news by my birthday, August 15. Even if it is just a rumble of rumor that we're getting close!

The only things left to update our new dossier are certified copies of our Marriage Certificate and updated medicals. We can't do the medicals until we know it's "imminent" because they expire every 3 months. So hopefully I can make those appointments mid-August.

I saw a program on television that was talking about how 2007 is the year of completion and oh how I pray that it is right.

I've talked before about how I go through periods of numbness, periods of despair and periods of urgency throughout the wait. I think it is only natural to go through these phases. The best thing (and sometimes the worst) I've found is the blogger community who really understand where we're at. Our familes cannot fully understand and not even our casemanager can fully understand, but parents who are going through the same thing that we are CAN understand. As far as I know there are very few families JUST like us who have met their child and are waiting and waiting over a year to go back and bring them home. I thank God for that. It is not something I would wish on anyone. But through it all I hope that I've grown as a person, and spiritually. We may never understand God's plan in this or why He allowed this to happen, but in the end it will be a Glory Hallelujah Day when V is finally home.
A Fun and "Informative" Site about Russia
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Came across this website today and thought you all may enjoy giving it a look. I haven't looked at the whole entire thing, so read at your own risk. What I read was "G" rated, however.

It kind of reminds me of how some people view Texas . . .

I'll write more later, I need to run out in the backyard and get the Longhorn to stop scratching his back on our oil derrick!!
Long time no blog, huh?
Did you wonder if I had dropped off the face of the earth?

Hubby had a conference last week in the DFW metroplex and D and I went with him. We thought we were going to rest and relax and luxuriate in this princess hotel all week - NOT.

We were busy, busy! We did swim a few times but no shopping or any girly stuff like that.

D had her eye doctor check up on Tuesday morning and we were surprised at the news that she would have to have more eye surgery - on FRIDAY! The only dates open were July 6 or the end of August (when she would already be back in school). So while we were there . . .

On Tuesday night D and I met up with Debbie and went to the movie and saw Ratatoullie and it was super cute, only Debbie was scared by the little ghosty-chef guy ;oP After the movie we went to Chili's and had some late supper, D was up late that night. We had a good time visiting with Debbie!

On Wednesday, we woke up and made our cute little Fourth of July Flip-flops and painted D's toe-nails red/white/blue. Then we went to lunch at Hubby's best friend forever (literally) parent's house in Plano. Then we had to rush back to the hotel for hubby's next meeting at 2:45 and D and I hit the pool. Boy was it crowded! The first day the outdoor pool had been open. It didn't even register to me that it WAS a holiday afterall :O) I called Debbie that afternoon to learn about the accreditation news. We didn't get online because the business center was 50 cents per minute and a half mile away from our room. Yes, we are the only people in America with no laptop!

Thursday D and I went and visited my daddy and step-mom for several hours (they live only 18 miles from the hotel) we hadn't seen them in a couple of months. Then back to the hotel for D to swim. I had started coming down with a cold on Wednesday, so I didn't swim, just sat on the side while she played with some kids
D and I ordered Pizza Hut delivered and had a slumber party (till 9) in our hotel room, she thought that was way cool.

Friday we went to the Pediatric Surgery Center and D did so well with her surgery. She was a real trooper - again. This was a much cooler place than we went to for her last surgery, this was all for kids and they were wonderful. If you're in the DFW area and your child needs surgery, this is a wonderful place.

Saturday morning we headed home. I was feeling awful with this yucky summer cold. It has settled in my ears and chest and I've been a wimp with it.

I'm really excited, and yet a little jealous ( I must admit) for those whose agencies were re-accredited last week. I'm praying like crazy that ours comes soon.

I've gone through waves of numbness, waves of urgency and waves of despair in this 16 months that we've waited to go back for V. I'm in a wave of urgency right now! I hope I stay in this wave until she's home!!

OOOO this is fun!
Monday, July 02, 2007
If you're in the mood for suspense, go over to Elle's blog and check out what she's got going on. This is right up my alley!
Orphan Warmth
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Please check out Debbie's new site, Orphan Warmth. She makes beautiful blankets, I can verify this personally because we have one, waiting on V's bed, that she made!
What actually happens now with this Accreditation Stuff??
Steve (at A Dad's Journey Through International Adoption) has a great post which explains pretty much what happens now that the Four Ministries sign off and the MOE officially approves agencies for accreditation. I'm just going to link you to his post because he did such a great job in explaining things! He lists each step that is yet to come.

Kind of reminds me of that old School House Rock song, "I'm Just A Bill."

Again, for any family and friend readers thinking this directly effects US, the answer is no, not yet - but soon!

Online Degree Programs
Locations of visitors to this page
Read my VisualDNA Get your own VisualDNA™