Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If only we could find the camera...

I really was hoping to have pictures of Sveta's room up by now - but Barry and I seem to have lost the camera.  We have NO idea where it could be!  So, as soon as we find it - or decide to buy another, I'll put pictures up.

On a different note, we have something we need you to be praying about.  Our Home Study agency is officially on the blacklist in Russia.  This is not a good thing at ALL.  The agencies we are working with seem to think that we will be able to get a letter from the region where they were placed on the blacklist stating that everything is ok now.  This letter needs to be written in one region and then given to the officials in Vladimir, and they must accept the authenticity of the letter.  If that happens, we will be able to submit our other documents and we will know a court date.  If that doesn't happen, we will have to go about getting a new/updated Home Study (up to a 6 week process).

So, here's what we'd like you to pray:  That the letter is written and accepted by the end of the week.  The agencies seem to think that we should know more by Friday, so we are just praying that we'll have the letter and even a court date by then.  God can do anything!!  We know that this is in His timing, but if I'm honest, I'd really like His timing to be in line with Friday.  :)  We are looking forward to bringing Sveta home, and we'd rather not have to go through more paperwork trails and headaches....but if that's what it is going to take - we'll do it.

On a great note of provision::  Barry was planning on going to Brazil with a team from church...but we decided with the timing of the adoption, we just couldn't chance him being in Brazil when we got the ok to go to Russia.  We decided this after having purchased his plane ticket...however the travel agent just called and said we'll be getting back a significant chunk of the money!  Praise God...we'll be able to us it for the flight to Russia...or at least it will cover Sveta's flight home.

God is so good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Diplomas & Deeds

The paper we have been waiting for and praying for came in the mail yesterday!!  I saw the envelope and new immediately what it I tore it open I was shaking from being so excited.  Then I saw it.  It looked very different than I had imagined.  I thought it would be on special paper with the form number (171-H) printed large in the top corner.  Instead it looked like a normal paper and had the form number written very tiny in the bottom corner.  None the less I was THRILLED that the paper was here and began jumping around the house almost in tears because of joy. 

A while back I rejoiced at the culmination for four years of hard work when I received my diploma.  Later, I rejoiced when I signed the deed to my first house.  I also rejoiced when I signed our marriage license...but this, this was different.

Even though I worked so hard on some of those important documents, I was more thankful for this paper.  This paper was God's doing.  Yes, we filled out a few blanks and got our fingerprints taken, but this form had been given to God.  We had been begging for Him to allow the officer handling it to approve us to care for an orphan, and to send us the form SOON. 

He is FAITHFUL.  He is.  We are grateful.

What this means (as long as our home study agency can stay off the blacklist) is that we are able to apply for a court date.  The paperwork will arrive in Russia next week and our in-country person will go to Vladimir and apply for a date.  Once she does, we'll work on flights and be headed back to Russia.  We will let you know details when we hear of the meantime, will you rejoice with us?  That God is for us...and no one can be against us!  He is faithful!


Friday, June 10, 2011


Thank you for praying.  Please keep it up!  Our God is good, and His timing is perfect.  We know that He has a plan for this road bump too. 

When I wrote the last blog we knew very little about the blacklist issue.  Here's what we've come to understand:

An agency can go on the blacklist in Russia for many reasons, but one of them is because post-placement reports have not been received on time, or sufficiently.  This is most likely the case with our agency.  Our home study agency, thankfully, has only worked with two families in the region in which they are being "accused" (for lack of a better term).  So, they have all 8 post-placement reports and are apostilling them today.  They will send those to Russia for our placing agency to translate.  Once they are translated they will submit them in the necessary region and get a statement from that region about all of the documents being in.  Hopefully our region will accept said statement.

In the meantime, we need to try and get a court date ASAP!!  We have been waiting on one form - the 171-H to come back from the US Immigration Services.  When I called on Wednesday our officer was reviewing our form (even though we thought she'd look at it Monday).  I again told her that I had to have it by the end of the week, and she seemed to be uninterested in my time table.  :)  I'm still praying that it comes today or tomorrow.  If not, I'll be calling the officer again on Monday morning.  It can't hurt - right? 

Once the 171-H is received we will FedEx it immediately to Russia for translation.  Then our placing agency will be able to register us in Vladimir and they'll grant a court date.

On a fun and exciting note:  I was a TON of Sveta's clothes yesterday and when I finish this post, I'm going to pack them into her cute little backpack.  That way when the call comes that we need to leave for Russia her stuff will already be packed up and ready to go.  I will be able to instead focus on packing for myself for 4 weeks, finalizing who's traveling with us, and book flights, etc.

Again, thanks for prayers and concern.  God has got it.  I know He's working out the perfect timing so that we can be in Russia during the time He planned!!  And most importantly - bring Sveta home when He desires!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


We just received word that there may be some major issues with our homestudy being accepted in Russia.  If we can't remedy the problem (which has nothing to do with us) quickly our court hearing will likely be pushed back by many months...or we will have to spend a great deal of money to quickly have another homestudy completed.

Please pray with us.