Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Waiting Game Continues

We are still here.  I've been emailing back and forth with our agency and they are once again in the process of find a child for us.  Nothing new at this point.  If you are reading this, please pray that they will find someone soon.
Thank you all for the many prayers said for us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

unexpected sadness

I've been sitting in my living room for some time now.  Just sitting while the sun comes up and another day begins with all of the beautiful noises of the morning.  I can hear the birds singing, our dogs chasing the cats, rooster crowing by the barn, horses are snorting in the pasture as the dew soaked grass tickles their noses.  Someone upstairs has sighed and probably rolled over, snuggled back down in the covers for those last bits of sleep before getting up for chores and school. Mornings like this are my favorite.  I can be still and know that He is God. He is a good God of love and mercy.  I know this to be true. I see it in my life every single day with every single breath I take. I am aware of His grace, I have been since He found me.  I know these things in my head at this very moment but my heart hurts, my heart is struggling with this knowledge right now.  This morning I am struggling with the beauty that surrounds me as the fog dissipates over the back pasture. It's that question for which there is no answer... God, why do bad/sad/terrible things happen?

This morning as I sit I am processing.  I'll go back a few days and even a week. 
I met a wonderful family who have also adopted and in our conversation we discovered that she had actually met our little referral.  She had even taken some pictures which she sent to me, we have had our referral since early November of 2009 and at that time I did send the picture we received to a couple of Dr. that I know and they said that there was no big scare to them as they  looked at her for signs of FAS. I was immediately relieved because while we are open to a special needs little girl we do not feel that this is the time for us to undertake one with FAS.  Back to my story of the wonderful "friend" I have met.  She told me about meeting "our girl" and told me all about her families adoption story.  I soaked up every detail and have been so thankful for her.  We ended our conversation with her telling me that she had gotten a second opinion on her sweet one and gave me her Dr.s number.  I thought about if for a day and at the last minute I talked it over with Jeff and we decided to send our info to this Dr. for a last opinion before we travel to meet her. I had not planned to do this, it just happened.

The Dr. is from Washington, from the hospital that put the name to FAS and they specialize in this area. Well she called us yesterday and the first words out of her mouth were: "I have very bad news".  Bad news?  How could this be?  I asked her about the pictures and she said that it wasn't the pictures that she had drawn the majority of her conclusion from.  She said that our little girl was very, very well proportioned and that is what bothered her.  I wont give you all of the details but I'll say that at close to 3 years old, her head circumference and height are at the height and circumference of a 9 month old. Then based on the written information, things like when she learned to sit, stand, walk, talk etc. In her professional experience she believes that this little girl will not mentally ever grow to adulthood.   
Not for one second did I expect this to be said to me.  Never. 
I couldn't even speak.  All I could do was cry. I'm thankful for Jeff, he discerned that I wasn't going to be able to function for a bit and so he began to ask many questions. The Dr. said that the choice was ours but she would not recommend our family to adopt a child with these type of problems without extensive training.  Wow... :-( I was still crying.

Jeff and I talked it over.  This may be the hardest decision we have ever had to face but we decided we cannot adopt this little girl who is so beautiful and sweet.  She deserves a home and a family and that is why this is so hard. Why God do things like this happen?
I have many feelings right now, my heart feels broken in a hundred pieces. I am angry at the mom who destroyed a life, angry at us for not being able to take her. Sad that my kids have had to walk this with us even thought they do understand. Guilt...
 Micaela sat and cried with me yesterday.  The boys were angry with the situation and also sad for this little girl.
Danielle cried with me after she got off of work last night. She said, "Mom, It's like the miscarriages and I'm sorry that I can't help fix it".
I am sorry too.  Mostly I am sorry for this little girl who will not be a part of our family now.  We will keep her pictures and pray that God will bring her a family who will know what she needs and will be able to give it to her.

My quiet morning is coming to a close, Josiah just called from another room, "Mom, wasn't Elijah a profit?"  "Yes," I call back to him and he settles in to read a little more before math...
I'm praying that God give us peace to live with our decision and to bring a family to this little girl.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why do they do that?

For the last couple of weeks I've been thinking that we are "just waiting for a letter of invitation".  Well I was WRONG!  It seems that the Russian Department of Education has changed one of the initial pieces of paperwork, this letter to "search for a child" paper that we filled out many, many months ago, must be filled out again... does it matter that we already have a referral? A child waiting for us to meet her? Only to us.

So, again, I'll fill out the paper, get it notarized and send it to Austin for apostilling. Get it back, send it to the agency and then it will go to Russia... how long will it take?  No one can answer this question.  When will we get to meet this little girl we are desperately wanting to hug and love?  Another question that cannot be answered by anyone.  Our prayer is that the God who is love, who has set our little one apart for us, will smooth the way...it shouldn't be this difficult...  :-(

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Double Take Moment

Wow, our oldest daughter is graduating.  Wow.   It's amazing how many  feelings come with this knowledge. 
Joy, a touch of sadness, a lot of pride.
Danielle is incredibly fun and full of life.  She has excelled in school since she started (she learned to read at 3 years old), She struggles with time management (sigh), we are working on this :-)
She makes good choices, wants to do the right thing and above all loves Jesus. We are so proud of her and can't wait to see what God has in store for her future.
We will be having her graduation here at home, it is what she wanted to do,  celebrate with family and friends at our house. Here is her graduation picture, or one of them... well two, ok ok, here are 3 LOL
Did I mention that she's homeschooled? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Maybe I should be more specific about the kind of snippet I need?

So my last post said that I was hoping for a snippet of info.  Well today I got one and just wanted to cry...again. :-(

It seems that an agency that handles something that I'm not even 100% sure about who was supposed to receive info from our Home Study agency (which is one of the things we had to re-do because the notary had changed but I was given the wrong paperwork. Once I had the correct paperwork I did get it to my HS agency and they completed it and sent it to Anna who sent it on to the other agency whom I have no idea about... clear as mud right?), well they can't find corrected paperwork??  What?!  I sent it to HS agency, HS agency sent it to adoption coordinator , Anna, she sent it in...!  Now they say "no, it's the wrong paperwork."!  Again?  No way, it just can't be...

So I spend all morning and part of the afternoon tracking down this paperwork (thank you Deborah at Little Miracles who is very organized and makes scans of everything!) and finally, finally, finally... the agency (that I'm still not 100% sure what they do) says that "they have found the corrected paperwork, will have it notarized and apostilled and sent to Russia."
I think I'm supposed to be relieved but I'm not. I'm stressed about this. They have had the paperwork for almost two weeks and are just looking at it?  (not to mention that they can't find it...then say its wrong...?)Why is this? 

This is the only thing that is standing in the way of our being given a first trip travel date... Sigh...I know God is in control, I really do but I can't help be get frustrated. :-(

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nothing new that I know of...

We had our 4H show last week, I must brag a bit... Micaela came in 6th place with her California Rabbits!  She made the sale and received $400.00!  She is excited and plans to breed her own bunnies for this coming year.  :-) This was our first time with Rabbits and she really enjoyed working with them.

Our nephew's wedding was beautiful and made for a great Saturday! Everything went as planned :-)

No News from Vladivostok tho  :-(  I was hoping for a small snippet... Maybe later in the week.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's A Small World

Well according to Fed-Ex, my papers had been received by the 8:30 delivery time April 7th.  I sent a note to our Agency (to double or triple check), and asked if they had heard word from the receiving family on that.  "Nothing yet", was the reply. 
An hour later I have an email from a woman with whom I had been communicating a few weeks ago.  She will also be traveling to Vlad with her husband, she knew through our agency that Jeff and I would be going there as well. Our beginning conversations weeks ago were mostly that she hoped that we would be there at the same time, some company in our journey which would have been nice since we are both totally unsure of how things will go when we get there. :-) Well, she and her husband had already submitted their dossier, mine was almost complete.  So we gathered that they are a bit ahead of us as I told her that I was still waiting on a couple of documents, but wished her luck. 
So then I receive this email from her which said, "Vicki, I do not think that there are two Frankland families adopting using this same agency, So I'm pretty sure that I have the right one! I received your papers today.  Are these the ones you mentioned that you were waiting on?"  !
What a small world.  She and her husband were the one asked to carry our papers over and give them to the coordinator, Irina, for the final translation!  I was relieved to hear that our papers had been received and more so to know that I had been conversing with the family delivering them. It's almost like a friend is taking them for us. 
It gave me some comfort which doesn't come very often during the paperwork phase...
Thanks Lord.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Quick Send Off

After our miscommunication yesterday I wondered if my papers would make it to Vladivostok in the next week.  I told God I was heart-sick.  I couldn't believe that after all that rushing I wasn't going to get the papers in after all.

As I walked around, trying not to sulk, Anna, from our agency called me (yes, she did call), and apologized for not calling me to give the heads up and to get my paperwork to her asap.
Anna also told me that I could send my papers directly to a family who would be leaving for Vladivostok. They leave tomorrow afternoon, ... so if I could send them priority overnight???   
Well, of course I can send them overnight! :-)   So I got everything ready and popped them right into the Fed-Ex box. Over nighting them I am! 
Thank you Jesus for this blessing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm NOT going to cry...

I got our apostilled papers back on Monday (way to go Secretary of the State's office, only a week and I've got them back), so I send an email to Anna, at our agency and ask her a few questions and one of them was, what do you want me to do with these papers...? Send them to you?  Someone else?  ?

I get no reply so today I send her another note and she responds to a couple of questions but not the one on paperwork.  Maybe this should have been my clue to only send her one question at a time...?  So I ask again, Do you need me to send these to you or somewhere else? 

My mother in law came in and I went with her to the store.  When I got back I had an email from Anna saying to email her "within 20 minutes" she was leaving the office and needed me to get that paperwork to her asap  so that another couple can get them and take them to Vlad!", this other couple leaves on the 7th. 
Well guess what!?  I didn't get the email in time.  Gah!  Why not call me when she needed something asap??? 
I realize that I should have just tried to call her in the first place but she has been so good with email and getting back with me.  So, now what?? Maybe I'll find out in the morning.
Okay, I"m really not going to cry...

Friday, April 1, 2011

No word yet...

We are still waiting for our papers to come back from the Secretary of the State's office.  Ok, ok, I know that I just sent them in on Monday and they need some time to get them looked at, verified and signed, I guess I'm just a bit impatient.  I so want everything to be in Vlad and translated. 
Congrats to the Overstreets who passed court and get to have their baby B with them for the 10 day wait!! Yay!
To occupy our waiting time, we are gearing up for a wedding.  Jeff's nephew is getting married to a wonderful and beautiful girl.  The wedding is the 16th of April and we are all looking forward to it. Leslie, Jeremy's fiance, is a ball of fun!  She loves life and is really making this wedding hers, she wants everyone to have a good time and is combining the traditional with lots of humor and smiles.  She asked me to do her bridal flowers and to coordinate the wedding.  I was honored, I truly love doing this and it is always so special to be able to do it for people you love. :-)
The wedding will be in the evening right on the lake in Oklahoma.  It's only about 40 minutes from us here in Texas.  I'll have to post some pictures. :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


"Vicki, your paperwork looks perfect except for..."
As I read those words on Friday I was thinking, "no, it just can't be".
Adoption is definitely an emotionally up and down adventure.  
I had to shake myself into action and quickly look over the document (s) that had interrupted my seemingly "perfect" dossier with the word ... "except" .        
Ok, no time to get down about it, I have to deal with this.
As it turns out, on the "questionnaire" document they ask for the home study agency name and I hadn't changed it to show the new home study agency. Sigh...remember I mentioned that our home study agency had been put on the Russian black list because of a missed post placement?  It wasn't her fault, the adoption agency (not ours), which is out of business now had turned in post placements 3 and 4 but not 1 and 2 that the home study agency sent them. 
Sound confusing?  It is.
Bottom line, I forgot to change the name to show the new home study agency that is not on the blacklist so that we could get our paperwork finished and on it's way.

The good news is that I was able to change the name, get it notarized and It has been sent to the Secretary of the State (6 hours from us) to be apostilled.  I am hoping that it comes back next week.
 Other good news is that the rest of our paperwork has made it to Moscow.  It is scheduleded to arrive in Vladivostok on Friday.
I have no idea when the officials there will look at it but I am praying that it will be soon and that we will receive our invitation to travel to meet our sweet little girl.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Back!

Our papers are back!   The Texas Secretary of the State's office doesn't waste time.  For anything that has to be apostilled, once you send it out to them they just do it and get it right back to you.   I'm very thankful for that.

Well, now that our papers are back and I have made my copies, I will go to the bank this afternoon, That is if I get out of our Enrichment classes early enough.  If not, then I'll go tomorrow morning and get the "trip 1 dossier prep fee" and get that along with the original plus 2 exact copies of our dossier sent in.

Once our agency gets this check and our paperwork they will look it over to be sure everything is there and then they will have it translated and sent to Russia.   :-)

Once Russia gets it we wait for our letter inviting us to come over and meet our "referral"... I'm praying that everything they need is there and it will go smoothly but quickly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sent off

Just a quick update...
I mailed our paperwork off to the Secretary of the State to have it apostilled, this is basically a "country specific notarization".  The dad of notary. lol
I also sent the immigration paperwork off.  Got them both in the mail on Tuesday.  :-)
If it all comes back with no mistakes we will be much closer to our first trip!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is It For Real?

We have our updated home study in!!   For anyone who has adopted you know what a huge blessing this is.  What it means for us is that we have all of our dossier completed for "Trip 1". I will be sending the dossier off to be apostilled and when it comes back I will send it on to our agency and they will send it to Russia.
In Russia, you must travel twice, at least that is how it with our agency.  Trip 1 is where we will meet our little girl for the first time.  We will get an opportunity to interact with her and play.  Then we will be asked if we will accept her as a referral.  If we say yes then we sign paperwork and file it with the court system and come home.  This I am told is when the hard part begins.  The wait after you have given your heart away. After you have let yourself say, "yes, she is my daughter."
I'm trying not to think about that part and only focus on this first trip.  I want to be ready to go when they send us an invitation to travel.  I'm anxiously excited. :-)

Maybe this is for real... I'm afraid to believe it.  I want to believe it though. 
Our happy face looks like this...

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Well, It seems that it is quite easy to end up on a Russian blacklist.  Our social worker has had her home study agency name recently put there.  :-(   An adoption agency she contracted for, (who will remain nameless), did not fulfill their obligation to send in post placement paperwork in a timely manner resulting in, yes, you guessed it. Blacklisted. So, even though she had done her part and turned it in to that adoption agency on time the hammer, it seems, crashes down catching everyone in it's path.  Guilty by association.  Now this adoption agency is out of business and our social worker has had to make new copies of her post placement paperwork, have it translated, and send on to Russia in hopes of having her own home study agency name removed from the blacklist by the time the new one comes out in 4 months. 
In the meantime we have had to have our home study rewritten by a different home study agency.  I hope that they get the work done and back to us quickly.
Sound confusing?  Well, you get used to it. :-)

Falling. Crashing. Moving forward...

No, I have not deserted this blog; nor have I moved to a mountain top where there is no internet service.  What has happened to keep me away so long after leaving you with the nothing that I left you with in September?  Well, it appears that yet another country is contemplating their agreement with the US to continue adoptions.  Yes, the country of Ukraine is considering closing it's doors until a time that the United States has signed a bilateral agreement with them.  Quite possibly they may consider joining the Hague Convention.  These agreements could be written quickly and without much effort if the countries in question were considering the children who are waiting for a family to love them and take them home.  Unfortunately for those children it is not to be.  At least not quickly.  I do not even think that those with political power ever stop to think of those ones they say that they are trying to help.  No, I don't think that there is even the slightest mention of them as the talk of "adoption suspension" echos in the air. My prayer is that the people with the power would have their hearts softened and that they would do what is best for all of the children. Find them homes...
Where does that leave us you ask?  Looking to Russia. Again we refiled our paperwork, this time Russia is our desired country.  This time there is also a picture in our hearts.  She is a lovely 2 1/2-year-old blue-eyed blonde haired beautiful little girl.   She lives in a baby house in Vladivostok.  Our paperwork has been flying together for trip 1 and coming along fine until we made contact with another brick wall.  Due to an adoption agency, who is no longer in business, not filing their post placement papers timely our social workers agency was put on the Russian blacklist.  What this means for us is that either we use a different home study agency who is not on said blacklist or we wait 3-4 months to see if our social workers agency is taken off of the blacklist after she refiles the "missing" paperwork.
We decided to use a different agency for out home study.  Our social worker is in the process of trying to contact another for us to use.
And we wait...

No news is good news?

I prefer to think of it as just well,  "no news".   
We are waiting once again.
 When someone begins the process of adoption I think they should be told,  "Be prepared to work and wait... then work and wait... then work and ...yes, wait again.  I shouldn't complain much though, our caseworker, Alla, said that the Ukraine has decided to allow us to send a sort of pre-adoption letter.  An appeal letter if you will.  In it we must state if we are looking for a boy or a girl, preferred age, and list specifically what special needs we feel capable of caring for.  I am very grateful for this and when I ask myself why?  I answer, because it is giving me something to do! :-)   I wrote the letter and sent it to Alla to proof read. She approved and I off to Austin for apostiling.  It came back stamped and ready on Friday but Alla wasn't in to give me the specific address she wanted me to send it to... Adoption Ark is based in St. Louis and has offices in California as well.  So I blasted home from our co-op class yesterday and searched my email greedily for an answering address. Within a minute and a half I had a label printed and taped to the envelope, grabbed Jeremiah and headed to our nearest Fed-Ex drop off point.   Jeremiah placed it in the capable hands of someone who assured him the package would get sent off and there you have it.  My letter appealing to the country of Ukraine to help us find our daughter has been sent to Alla in California for her to proof and send to someone I have never met and probably will never meet.  Someone who I pray God will grant me favor with and who will have mercy on us and begin to search their data base to find her.  I'd like to hear back from someone well... next week. *Big sigh*...did I mention that at the moment I am struggling with patience?
Jeff always says "labor equals value", I value her even now.   I know that God is with us. I know that He is with her.


Patience is a strange word.  The definition of patience is:
Without agitation, uneasiness or discontent. :-(

Ups, downs and back ups...

After many months touring the bottom we are again climbing to the top of our adoption rollercoaster, I hope.  Let me begin again.  Our ride on this coaster began in August 2009 as I stated in my last post.  We researched and chose the country of Kazakhstan to adopt from. We were all excited and began the paperwork with much zeal.  The paperwork came and it went...and it came and it went...and it, well, you get my meaning. We had a homestudy done by an awesome lady who has answered many questions from me even to this day, we had psych evaluations done by a psych dr. in another town close to where we live, no, we didn't by-pass our own town for the reasons you are thinking, there simply wasn't a Dr. where we live with the correct license to perform the correct tests...really. Ink blot Dr.s are not in every town :-), we went for fingerprinting in Dallas, FBI checks for background, for clearance for all manner of things I'd never heard of, filed for immigration papers, got recent copies of our birth certificates, marriage licenses, mortgage info, blood types... well maybe not blood types but wow,  I think our dossier contains  more information about me than I know about me. 
*These are some of the required things you must do to adopt overseas so we did them* It's not much  different from doing the many things you must do when you are carrying a baby within you.
It took many many months to get everything together and then had to send it to be apostilled by the Secretary of the State.        
Done. Whew!
Ok, so now we have everything we need, our copies are made and we are set to turn our documents in!! 
Happiness!,    I'm up at the top right?
Now comes the waiting stage where we wait and hopefully soon get an invitation to come to Kaz and meet our daughter. This is what we've worked so hard for right? Well maybe not?  As I said before, adoption waiting truly isn't that much different from having your own child, the months of gathering paperwork is like pregnancy, with the exception of having another country looking over your shoulder. They do this because they want to be sure that you are doing right by the child you claimed as your own from their country, after all you did promised to love and care for him/her until you die. I might add that they don't look favorable when the media reports that in the United States a "mom" beats her newly adopted daughter "from China" to death, and a "family" put their 7 year old son they have had for 8 months back on a plane to Russia, (unaccompanied), returning him because he has anger issues. 
I believe that the point when you finally take that child in your arms is the point of the "adoption birth".  We have labored, yes, labored over paperwork, and finances and all kinds of things that try to wear us down.  Now this... this little face looking up at us. Those eyes that want to trust, want love.  Here it is. Our son or daughter!
We have given birth ( yes in a different way, in a courthouse instead of a hospital,but still birth)
Just as in utero we don't get to pick a personality, perfection in the physical, and many things that we would like to have control over but don't... so it is with adoption. This person we hold now, that we worked so hard for, cried many tears over (before we even had a face for those tears).  He/she has a mind of his/her own.  It isn't like picking out a puppy!  We are having/had a baby.  Our baby.        
  I have 4 biological children they are all uniquely different. uniquely special, incredibly loved by Jeff and I.  Because we want another we must adopt.  All these month of waiting for paperwork came to an end. We were at "month 9". Sigh ..but as we bundled up our paperwork to send in I received a phone call.  "Wait", she said, Kaz has decided to join the "Hague Convention", a group that oversees adoptions, because of the bad publicity from parents who choose not to do the right thing they will put themselves under the umbrella of this convention hoping that some of the people will be weeded out who really don't want or have the ability to care for a child, they just need a puppy.     
Stunned we wait until September.  That is the month they feel they will be ready to accept dossiers again.  Mounds of paperwork on our desk.  Many tears shed.  I waited patiently, well almost patiently. But is now September, I'm told that they haven't even filed the paperwork yet.   
So many children sit in baby houses and orphanages who are waiting for someone to come to them and say "you are my child.  I choose you". Does anyone care?  Will no one help these children with no one to love them, is there no one to say, it's going to be ok, is there no one they can trust?  Why haven't the Hague papers been filed?!    Many questions. No answers.                                                                                                                    
I am told now since we are willing to have a daughter with a special need that we might be able to cut through some of the waiting.  Now why didn't I know this before?  I asked all along for a daughter with special needs.  I filled out the special needs paperwork and our family talked about this in great detail.  Here we are 1 year later waiting and we find that there are a few countries willing to have us come and search for our little girl.  I have many questions but I don't think I'll find my answers here or anywhere else for that matter.   I am very excited once again.  I am so ready for this to happen.  I feel like I've been pregnant for 13 months... wait... I guess I have. :-)
As I read back over this post I see a lot of randomness.  Hmmm, is that a word? Bethany, you were right I should have started this at the beginning, I do have something to say.  lol       Thanks for setting it up now.
God is in control.  I am so happy that we have a road (or 3 or 4, it seems) to choose from.  I know that she is out there.  She is waiting to hear my voice.  Jeff's voice. Waiting for us to say "I love you so much".  "I searched for you".  "I traveled through countries to find you".  "You have brothers and sisters who have waited and loved you before they knew you" "You are mine"... So again I will make my plans and trust that God directs the steps of our family each and every day as we begin once again to ascend on this, our adoption rollercoaster, praying all the while... Please let us ascend...Please let us find her...

Our Journey Began

(transferred from another site)
 August of 2009  we signed our official contract to adopt.  It hasn't been an easy road but I am still believing that God has a sweet, precious little girl for us somewhere.  I do believe it, I do, I do, I do!  Hence the reason for this blog.  Speaking it out helps me to keep my focus where it should be. Finding her.  This blog is a place where I can focus on the daughter I am at the moment only dreaming of...