Here are the things that have happened since my last post on Thursday:
- We received a message from Albina asking us when we were going to arrive in Ukraine. We have come to realize that she is on an emotional roller coaster as well. It must be so difficult to wait and wait and not know what is going on, especially when your life has been unstable in the past. We've noticed that she pulls back emotionally and then something happens that gives her hope and she gets excited again. My heart aches that I can't change the difficulty of this experience for her and give her the stability she craves immediately!
- We received our final document in the mail (our USCIS approval) on Thursday.
- We were able to get it notarized and delivered to the Capital Building before they closed on Thursday evening. This insured that we would be able to get the document apostilled by Friday morning.
- Yesterday I picked up final documents from Capital Building and got everything shipped off to Ukraine! (This sounds much simpler than it really was... it actually took me about 6 hours to get this project taken care of! I won't bore you with the details of why. You're welcome!)
- We received a phone call from Ukraine. The Bahr family is currently in Ukraine picking up their daughter. They are the family that sent us pictures of Alina and Albina. James was able to speak with the Bahr's and get a complete update on the kids. They are doing well, they miss us and love us and are anxious for us to come and get them. Alina has been faithfully keeping a diary and gave it to Mrs Bahr to give us. Apparently it has entry after entry of her talking about how much she loves and misses us. She's written poems and music and drawn pictures. She's tried to write in English as much as she possibly can. The Bahr's also took a video of Maks saying "Hi" to us and trying to speak in some English. They said that they have really enjoyed spending time with them. They shared that they have recognized that they are lovely kids that love us very much. (One HUGE advantage is that Mrs Bahr is originally from Ukraine, so she speaks Russian and is able to fully communicate with the kids there.) Alina has asked Mrs Bahr to please try to phone us so she can speak to us as well. We are trying to get a call coordinated, but there are some challenges. Hopefully we will be able to speak to the children before the Bahr's leave Ukraine.
We are told that if everything goes smoothly with our paperwork, we may be able to get a court date set before the end of the year. In fact, we were told that it's fairly likely it would be on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This is great news, and sad news for my other children who we will leave here in Utah. However, they have all handled this news with real maturity. They are all simply excited to move forward with this adoption and are willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary. I have such awesome kids!
So that leaves us with the only not so happy part of this adventure: We still don't have all the funds necessary to pull off this adoption and we are looking at having a court date in 6-8 weeks. This is a little overwhelming. However, when I picked up the documents and mailed them off yesterday, I felt complete calm and assurance that everything would be okay. Perhaps someone out there is reading this and realizing that they've been meaning to donate, but they just haven't gotten around to it? Perhaps someone reading this knows someone that could help us get closer to our goal if our story was simply shared with them? Perhaps someone reading this has already donated, but still has a little more room to support us either by donating or participating in one of our fundraising events (don't forget the SUGAR RUSH 5K coming up next Saturday!). If you fit any of these categories, now is the time to come forward and help. There isn't much more time ahead.
We appreciate all the support and help we've gotten so far on our journey. We have made tremendous progress, and we are confident that we will continue to have the support and help from many. Thank you to everyone that has contributed up to this point! Now it's time to go full speed ahead and GET THIS JOB DONE!