Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Visa action

We received our Visa's yesterday, so we are good to go! We still haven't packed yet, but hope to wrap that up soon.

Today Wal Mart will be paid a visit on my lunch break, and so will the pharmacy. Bill's are paid in advance that cannot be paid online for October, and new crisp bills have been picked up to exchange.

Thanks to our agencies and teamwork - we are still drama free from the USCIS. We haven't received the final approval letter, but are leaving with or without it!

We have also decided to hire a service to pick us up on Saturday morning to take us to the airport. My friend Jill is going to pick us up when we get home. This will save LOTS of $$ on parking!

Hold on little guy! We are coming!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Drama

Solved! USCIS re-approved us today after they received our overnight revisions. WooHoo! Drama solved!!!

Can't believe we are leaving next Saturday and I haven't even started to pack yet. Our Visa's will be picked up on 9/28 and we will receive them on 9/29. We paid an expedited fee to get them here just a few days early to alleviate the stress!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

T minus 9 days

I can't believe it - 9 days until we leave for Russia. Part of me still thinks that this is a dream and something terrible will wake me up in a panic. The other part of me, goes into his bedroom every night and spends time just 'being' in there, longing for him to come home so he can feel the love he deserves. This is where Bill and I compliment each other. I tend to be a 'glass 1/2 empty' type of girl about 75% of the time. Bill is a 'glass 1/2 full' type of guy 75% of the time. For some reason, our glass is rarely empty or full at the same time. We make a great team.

For instance - the 'drama' I was referring to with USCIS is continuing. Without going into too much boring detail, a lot of paperwork was requested on Monday night. Tuesday morning, after pulling 2 agencies and old paperwork together (and faxes and scans later) - our information went out overnight. Today, I followed up via email with the delivery confirmation, and the response was "we need more" (we were glad to get a response!). Of course, it was at 5pm. At 5pm, we pulled 2 agencies and old paperwork together again and sent 1/2 of it overnight to our homestudy agency, and they will in turn add their information to it (in the morning) and FedEx it tomorrow overnight to USCIS to arrive Friday. We do not have time to wait for the letter, so we printed off the emailed information in lieu hoping this will do the trick. I will follow up Friday. Bill quickly put together the financial information, I pulled the old homestudy and wrote a letter, Bill signed the letter and sent it FedEx (just beating the FedEx pick up time). Of course, I haven't mentioned I am out of town with work right now - so this was done while in 2 different states. High 5 on the team work!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Check, Check!

Novotel Moscow Sheremetyevo booked - Check!

Travel Conference Call complete - Check!

Additional drama with Immigration forms - to be determined....

Monday, September 21, 2009

To Do List

Has anyone ever thought that the more you have completed - the more you have to do? Well, I feel that way right now. For every items I mark off our to do list, I add 2 or 3 tasks.

We are confirmed at the VMI. We will be in a standard room from 9/5 to 9/20 - then in a suite 9/20 - 9/28 after we get custody. Also, our invitations were received today and our Visa applications have been submitted. We have also placed a Russian message in our Thank You cards that we will give the staff in Vlad.

Tomorrow we will book 1 night at the SVO in Moscow for a layover on the way home, and will work on some more To Do list items!!!

UPDATE! I meant OCTOBER, not September!!! My mind is running faster than my brain is :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gifts!


It is proper during the adoption process in Russia to take gifts to the Officials, Caregivers, and others that are involved in the care of our son or assisted in facilitating the process.
Here are the gifts we have collected and are taking with us. Mainly small, inexpensive items just to show our appreciation (wallets, scarfs, earrings, etc). We have pre-printed some labels with a message in Russian expressing our thanks that we will just apply onto the thank your cards. We will also give each person a photo of our son.
This time in 2 weeks, we will be on a flight from Moscow to Vladivostok!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baby Curran's Room






Our little guy finally has a finished room to come home to! Lots of awesome gifts in this room from the McKeels to the Borings and everyone in between! Check out all the clothes he has! We can't wait to spoil him!
Hold on little guy - we will see you in just a couple of weeks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Travel Dates

We have purchased our tickets and are leaving on October 3rd, and will return October 29th. We were hoping to fly through Seoul, but was unable to use our frequent flyer miles. However we were able to use our frequent flyer miles through Moscow so we only had to pay for our Moscow - Vlad flights! WooHoo!!!

Our invitations have been submitted, and we should have those back the first of the week. At that point we will move forward with the Visa's.

We plan to stay at the VMI again, but have yet to receive confirmation that space is available.

More to come!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Court Date

That's right! We received a call on 09/16/09 at 12:30pm, and our court date is 10/10/09 at 9:30am. We plan to fly out on the 3rd of October and arrive home the end of October.

The Duda family and our new friends Lisa and Glenn will also be in Vlad around the same time we are there. It will be great to have families we have been in touch with throughout this process at our same hotel at the same time.

We are thrilled - and anxious to get back. Now comes the chaos and rushing around! More to come!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Video

video

Since we have no court date to share, we thought you would enjoy this song from our 'now famous' niece Emily. I have no idea what she is singing, I just heard "Nana and Papa" a couple of times - but it sure is cute!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our baby shower











On August 29th, 2009 we were reminded again what a great support system we have along our journey when Bill’s sister Carolyn threw us a baby shower at her home in Baltimore. Several out of town guests travelled to wish us well, and several more who couldn't be there sent gifts. Carolyn went way above and beyond the call of duty for us. She had fantastic food and drink, decorated the house, had adoption related games (Bill won the celebrity adoption guessing game, and is still bragging about it), and she even made chocolates in baby related shapes for the occasion. We really appreciated everything, and it’s not hard to see why Carolyn was Bill’s “Best Man” at our wedding. Our niece Emily helped us open gifts. She was very helpful, and was extremely happy to see all of the stuff her soon to be cousin was getting (As were we!).

Anyway, we want to thank everyone for their contributions to the shower. It’s very humbling to know what a great supports system we have from both sides of our family as well as our friends. It would be extremely difficult for us to be going through the adoption journey without the tremendous support of our family and friends. We’re glad we have all of you to lean on. Thank you for the gifts, cards, prayers, well wishes, hand-me-downs and everything else that has been coming our way.

Hopefully we’ll be putting all of those shower gifts to use soon…..

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moving forward

Our documents were submitted to Court today! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we wait for a court date.

Also, our revised medicals are done, notarized and county sealed on the way to our agency as we speak. After they are sent to the Sec of State - they are off to Russia!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Moscow Russian Circus is coming to town!

Since the reign of Catherine the Great, the circus has played an important role in the rich cultural traditions of Russia. In Russia, some regard the circus as an art form on par with the ballet or opera, a showcase for highly skilled and creative artists. The Moscow Russian Circus will bring its rich tradition and enviable reputation to the US in early 2010. Read more about the circus, and find tour dates at http://www.moscowcircus.biz/home1.htm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Update

Unfortunately, our case could not be submitted to the courts yesterday as expected because the documents were not completed by the notary on time; the case will instead be submitted next Tuesday, September 8. The typical notary apparently has been on vacation recently and the alternate notary did not complete the documents on time to submit to court (although the alternate notary has had the documents for some time, and was aware of the date that we needed them completed by).

We are both very disappointed, to say the least. Keep your fingers crossed that they are submitted to court next Tuesday.