Friday, December 14, 2007

STILL No Court Date after 12 1/2 Weeks!!

Well, it looks like Haylie will have to spend Christmas and New Years in Russia. We still haven't heard anything about our court date, and today was the cut off to be able to get it done before the New Year. The Russian government shuts down from December 28 - January 15 for their New Year's and Christmas celebration, so it will now have to be after January 15. I'm so angry that we couldn't have gotten her before the holidays. Mainly because that is just another month she will have to spend in an orphanage without anyone to love and care for her. But I'm also selfish and really wanted to get her back by the holidays and before Rich has to go back to work on January 3. Especially considering other couples who traveled for their first visit at the same time and even after we did are already home with their babies. It just doesn't seem fair.

AA says there is no problem, we just must wait till the judge appoints a court date. Normally that happens within a few days of getting the release letter (which we got 8 days ago), but because of the holidays it will take longer. As a result of this delay, we had to redo our medical forms which are only good for 3 months. The current ones would expire Jan1, 2008. When we did them originally in October, Alina said "there is no way these will expire before you go back"--HA!! Luckily, I work in the medical field and can get these done easily and cheaply. I feel sorry for those other folks out there who would have to make another appointment with their physician, for another physical exam and more blood work, none of which is usually covered by insurance. We also now have to do MORE notarizing and apostilling, and shell out more money for that of course.

Oh well, I'll get off my soapbox now and quit complaining, if only for a short period. I'm posting some pictures of all the documents we've done and aspostilled for our dossier, and now will add to.

These are only about half of the ones we had to do for our original dossier before we even got our referral.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pictures of Russia & We Have Progress After 11 Weeks!!!

St. Basils Cathedral, Moscow
Homes in countryside on way to orphanage
Countryside near Novokuznetsk
Prokopiesk Orphanage where Haylie is living

Red Square, Moscow
Red Square in the rain
Gardens near Kremlin
Park surrounding Kremlin, Red Square
GUM Department Store

I just heard from our Adoption Ark coordinator that our release letter has been received finally. This was the last step needed before the judge could set the court date, and for some reason our release letter had kind of been MIA. I was soooo discouraged yesterday after I spoke with Alina. I kind of felt like we were getting the run-around. She just kept telling me they didn't know where the release letter was and all we could do was wait for it to get back into the region from Moscow. In the mean time, the people we went on our first trip with as well as at least 2 other couples who traveled after we did already had a court date. In fact Dave and Stacy are in Moscow as we speak and already have finished with court. Alina said yesterday that she didn't think we would hear anything now until after the first of the year....needless to say, not what I wanted to hear.
So when she called today and left a message that she had just been notified about the release letter, I was shocked. I do feel much better, because having the release letter indicates all of the needed paperwork is in order and we can proceed to court. I still don't see it being possible to get a court date before the end of the year since things really slow down with the holidays. The US Embassy will close from Christmas to New Years, and then the Russians celebrate their Christmas holiday from December 28 until January 15. But at least we can see light at the end of the tunnel!!! I'll keep you posted.
In light of this progress, I thought I would post some of the pictures of Russia we took on our first trip. I had forgotten I had never posted any pictures. In September, Moscow was georgeous (even in the rain) with beautiful flowers everywhere. I just looked on the weather channel website and the current temperature in Moscow is a high of 12 degrees, low of 0 with snow showers predicted all week. So we probably won't be able to get out and sightsee too much, especially with a baby.