Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Just a Few More Days...

Okay--I'm down to the final few days before departure for trip #1. I'm SO excited! My passport and visa arrived today and I'm just waiting on one last document for this trip. This will be a busy week--once that last document arrives I have to take all of the updated documents to Tallahassee for apostilling. I also have to pack and run a lot of last minute errands--the bank, the vet, etc. And of course, it's a short week due to the holiday yesterday. That's okay--staying busy makes the time go by faster!

By this time next week I will have gotten to visit Alivia at least twice! I know the emotions will be overwhelming, but I hope I can relax enough to just enjoy some of the (very short!) time I'll get to spend with her. And I'm already dreading having to say goodbye and leave her there while I come home to wait (again with the waiting... sheesh!) for court.

~ Jeana

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Wait

I spent this weekend doing a little baby shopping. I wanted to find some toys to take on the first trip to kind of break the ice. One item I had to finally purchase online. I couldn't find the Who Loves Baby photo album at my local Target store. I did find some cute musical toys, though.

I also chatted via email with a family who just got home from their first trip to Tver. They shared a lot of info and gave me hope for a quick court date. Apparently they will be in Tver for trip two at the same time I'm there for trip one. They only had a two and a half week wait between trips. I really hope that mine is that short, too! This waiting stuff is deadly!

It's simply incredible to think that just two weeks from right now I will be sitting somewhere in Tver after having spent an afternoon playing with my little girl!

~ Jeana

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Does the Paperwork Ever End?

Well, I have my travel dates for trip #1. I depart Jacksonville for Moscow on June 3 and will return home on the 9th. In the meantime I have lots of paperwork to do or re-do. This includes more visits to the doctor and psychiatrist, fingerprinting, sending off for background checks, and then taking it all over to Tallahassee for apostilling. The paperwork is probably the biggest struggle of the whole process. And I probably ought to consider buying stock in Fedex...

I also finally got a car seat--now that I know how big (read that as little) she is. I found a new britax for a great price on ebay--quite a bit less than retail. So--her room is ready, I have the stroller, the car seat, the baby bjorn... all I need is the baby!

~ Jeana

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In the Beginning...

It seems like a very long time ago, but it's really been just a little more than a year since I started this adoption journey. It's funny when I think about how nervous I was about telling my parents. I think I half expected them to try to talk me out of it, but they've been supportive all the way.

At that point I was still mulling over agencies--there are so many of them. I did a lot of research, though, and finally went with Children's Hope International. I'm really glad I did--every day I hear horror stories from people who are using other agencies, but my entire experience with CHI has been nothing but positive. Dealing with a foreign government (especially one in such a state of flux) is hard enough by itself. It definitely pays to have an agency you can trust working with you.

So... last summer was spent doing the homestudy and pulling together all the documents for my dossier. All that got submitted in October and then the long wait began. At first I was really anxious--checking the message boards every day, pricing flights, researching hotels, etc., but by February I finally managed to relax and just let the time pass. I checked with the agency once a month for updates and pretty much put it all in God's hands, trusting that he would make it happen. My faith was rewarded last week on May 11 when I received my referal for a beautiful baby girl.

The day of the referal call was a funny one--it seems like everyone was asking me when I would hear about the baby. I spent the morning running all over the building at work meeting with colleagues in various departments and answering that question over and over again. "Could be any day now..." The morning came and went, though, and with it went my expectations of getting "The Call". I remember vividly looking at the clock as I walked into my office and thinking, "Well, it's 2:20 in the afternoon now and 10:20 at night in Tver, Russia, so I won't hear today. Maybe tomorrow--I'll be at Disney--wouldn't it be a hoot to get 'The Call' while I'm there." The very next moment my cell phone rang and it was Lindsay. Suddenly the rest of the world went completely silent--there was nothing but me, the phone and Lindsay. It was "The Call" and I knew my life was about to change forever.

~ Jeana