Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Crazy Journey






OK, I am going to start from the beginning.
November 3rd we got the call, about a little boy, who was 3 1/2 years old, our agency emailed a photo of him and some medicals. We had to really think about this referral, because he was in our old region, and in the same orphanage that our last, lost referral was from. After much discussion we decided to go and throw caution to the wind. We left two day's after thanksgiving, met the little boy, spent alot of time with him, and sent his medicals to the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately he was not the right fit for our family, he had some issues that we were not ready or able to deal with. We had to decline this referral after traveling all this way again. My hope is that another family will adopt him.

We then decided to spend some extra time in Paris. 3 days in the city of lights to be exact, and it was a greatly needed detour. We have not had so much fun in such along time. We really needed the vacation together. I find myself getting so wraped up with the whole IA process that I tend to loose focus of life around me.

We got another referral on our way back from Paris!!! So 3 days after we came home I had to turnaround and fly right back to Russia without Nick. We luckily had applied for a double entry visa. This referral was perfect for our family, I spent a week with him, I took tons of photos and video, and sent his medicals to the University of Minnesota. My trip back was interesting. Challenging is how I would best describe my return trip home. I was one of the many people who got stuck in Amsterdam. I was stuck on the runway for 7 hours before being let off the plane from a stairway in the runway. There were no gates left to pull the plane into. When we finally got into the terminal the lines to rebook were thousands of people long and nobody to help, they then left and said they would be back in the morning. Nick had been on the phone with Delta all night rerouting and changing my flights as needed because they kept canceling the flights. He got me booked on the flight that was not cancelled in the morning, the only one I might add as the other three were cancelled overnight. He routed me through Detroit and then to Minneapolis, he even had to rebook my ticket from detroit while I was in the air because we were not going to make the connection, so when I got to Detroit everyone else was stuck but I had a first class ticket to MSP. Thanks to Nick not Delta I arrived home safe and sound. As a side note, Delta gave us nothing for the trouble and charged us a change fee. It could have been so much worse, it took some people a week to get to there destinations from Amsterdam.

When I got back, Nick and I set up an appointment with the doctors at the U of M. We are very lucky to be in Minneapolis and got to meet with Dr. Dana Johnson. Dr. Johnson is the head of international adoption clinic and has a wealth of knowledge about children who have lived in institutions. I feel that we got very direct information on what challenges we might be facing down the road, But in general he said everything looked really pretty good. As PAPs we have very few advocates. Your IA doctors has no other motives but to help you and your family in this process. They are your only real advocates!!!!. We received the green light in regards to our referral. I really hope this little boy works out and we get a court date ASAP. We had all of our paperwork done so I hope after the Russian holiday we will get a court date. I want everyone to know that we are very excited about the baby. However, as those of you who have been following our blog are aware we are really guarding our hearts. At this point anything can happen in regards to Russian adoptions so we are hoping for the best.
We are wishing everyone a happy New Year!!! I enclosed photos of Paris and Russia.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Russia in December


I plan to write more, when I get home, but I am in Russia. This trip is my 2 trip to Russia in the last month. I have a great story to tell, I will try to post something, later on tonight. I am no longer MIA.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday



I hope everyone had a great holiday!! Our Turkey Day was really nice. I will be posting in the next couple of days. We are taking a trip.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Great News


Well we have good news, we are going to Russia. I am not going to get, into all
of the specifics, because of the current climate regarding IA. But, I can tell you we are leaving soon.
We are very excited, also we are being somewhat cautious considering our past experience.
I promise more will be reveled, I am just trying not to jinx us. Thank you again for all of your support and kind words.

We know the truth,
not only by the reason,
but by the heart. -Biaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Very sad news

Last week was really tough for us. We lost our referral.
It happened last week but I did not feel like writing about it. We always knew this could happen, unfortunately this is the second time it has happened to us. We were told a Russian family is in the process of filling out paperwork to adopt her. More than anything I am most upset about the 6 months that have gone by since the referral was given to us. What a waste of time! Our region Stavropol has become more and more difficult since the news of the Colorado couple abusing their children this summer. They are doing everything they can to place the children with Russian families. I hope that a good family is adopting her, she is an amazing little girl. I know our agency is working hard for us right now, they feel really bad. We are just trying to regroup and move forward and hope for a new referral soon. However, because of the problems in the region our agency is thinking about moving us to Vladivostok rather than staying in Stavropol. Ursula

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Busy




I have a busy, busy day today, we are having a Fall party tonight. I dropped off my mom at the airport, and she flew back to CA. I am going to miss her. I found a great web site www.lot26.com they have wonderful removable wall decals, for nurseries and kids' rooms. After this weekend I plan to do a little shopping. This week I have been going back and forth with my Agency (Email and Phone). I will post Sunday with more details, I posted a photo of my Mom and me, she is really looking forward to becoming a grandmother.
Hopefully soon, Ursula

Monday, October 11, 2010

One more form


Well, there is not to much to report on our adoption right now. I have been in contact with my agency, and we need another, new form for court. (we still don't have a date yet.}
I should have another update soon, so I hope I can a little more information to share. It has been 5 months now, since we saw our girl, I hope we get some good news soon. On a lighter note my mother flew in from CA., yesterday. The timing was perfect she always has a good positive outlook on life, and she has already put a big smile on my face. I will post soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall fun





Well, Nick and I had a nice weekend, we went to Lake Pepin to enjoy the fall colors. Here in Minnesota we are at peak colors right now. I must say it was a nice diversion, the waiting can be very stressful, when it comes to our adoption. We ate our way around the lake . There are lots of small towns around the lake, one half of the lake, is Minnesota, and one half is Wisconsin. We also bought some pumpkins at a cute farm, I plan to make some pies. I just wanted to say we are still around, I plan to talk to our agency in a couple of days, so I will post soon after that.
Until then Ursula

Saturday, September 4, 2010

State Fair and Adoption






Well, Nick and I went to the Minnesota State Fair the other day and had a blast.
There were pigs, cows, sheep, and you name it. The fair is the second largest fair in the country, Texas is #one. Almost all of the food is on a stick and most of it is deep fried, we ate everything by the end of the night, I was in a food coma. My favorite gastronomic delights were the Cheese Curds, Deep fry ed Veggies with tempura batter, and the Crepes W/Brie, almonds, and cranberries. I wanted to try the Chocolate covered Bacon on a stick, but I was to full by the time we got to that booth. We walked through the midway where they have all of the old rides and carnies, that never fails to entertain us. But my favorite attraction is Princess Kay of the Milky Way, she is the reining Dairy Princess of Minnesota. The lucky gal who is voted princess kay gets her head carved out of a block of butter, this is a 58 year old tradition. My mother was Princess Kay in the 60's, and yes she had her head carved in butter. I enclosed photo's for your entertainment, yes that is me in the oink hat and Nick in the midway. On the adoption front, I was at my agency Friday going through all of our Dos#2. We have to redo almost everything because it has all expired. I wanted to cry, but I am choosing to look at this as a challenge. We are still hopefully going to court in November or December, I am keeping the faith.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Adoption Stress

This weekend, has been just a little stressful. Last week, we got a call, from one of our coordinator's, and he told us, that the social worker in Russia, is bound and determined to find a Russian family, to adopt our girl. He told us that one family went to meet her, and they passed. Then he wanted to know, if I would like to know if another family sees her. We hope to here from our agency tomorrow. I am praying that there are no major problems.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nice weekend




Well, I had a really nice weekend. Saturday Nick and I went to go see Blondie, yes that Blondie. She really put on a great show, I have no idea how old she is, but I hope, I hold up that well. The first time I saw her play, was when I was 13 years old, and she played with the Talking Heads. I just aged myself (oops).
Yesterday we had Nicks family over for dinner and I made Tom Kha soup. I love to cook Thai food, and lucky for me, everyone loves it to. Nicks sister Tinka brought over some fresh cucumbers from her garden, I made a sesame cucumber salad. Yum!! It was very nice to see Nicks family, they of course wanted to know when we were going to go to court, I keep saying November. Hopefully we will know a date soon. Next weekend the Minnesota State Fair begins, I will take lots of photos, it is one of the biggest in the country.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Birthday weekend






Last weekend I had a fantastic Birthday, every night, thanks to a great husband, and friends and family. The love that I felt from everyone was truly amazing. Today I found out that, there is a new requirement for court. Here we go, I wonder how many more (new requirement's) there will be?? We also found out that court will be either in October or November, I hope sooner than later. This weekend is our 12 year anniversary, time has really flown bye.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer

Well, I really have nothing new to report. I can't believe that it is already late July, time is just flying by. We miss our girl so much, but I am also guarding my heart right now, there is so much uncertainty.
I had a nice weekend, Friday Nick and I saw Inception. I must say, now this is just my opinion, but I thought it was the best movie I have seen in 10 year's. Today was also nice Nick and I celebrated Bastille day, at cafe Barbette, they throw a fun party, with band's every year. I am just trying my best to stay positive, while we wait. My prayer's are with all of us PAP right now.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chicken soup for the soul


I had a very nice long week-end. It is amazing what good friends and a perfect sunny day will do for the soul. Even with some of the stressful events of the past month, I have never felt so grateful for my life. I feel like I have more energy to work on dossier 2. Thanks to all of my friends, who lifted me up when I felt like I could not go on. And seeing the kids was a good reminder of what we are fighting for.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Russia


Ok, I know it has been a while since I have posted anything on my blog. Well this is why. On my last post I had mentioned that Nick and I were going out of town, we did and this is our story.
The day after the volcano in Iceland blew, Friday April 16th we got the call. The referal was for a little boy, after we sent all the info to the UofM we decided to go. We rushed everything, but we managed to pull it off. We got our tickets on short notice, we got our visa done and back. Everything was getting done, I made a scrapbook with photos of us and our family and I translated everything into Russian. I bought clothes for him and bought a ton of medical supplies, and clothes, toys for the orphanage. We have never been so excited, we were finally going to meet our child, we have been waiting for this for many years. We fell for this cute little boy in the photo.
We left for Russia May 1st, Delta really needs to clean up there act, I have never seen such a filthy restroom(Gross). Ok, I will move on from that rant. The next day we met with the MOE, filled out all of the paper work, and we were off to see our boy. 3 1/2 hours later when we arrive at our destination, our staff checks us in to our hotel, and at this point we just can't wait to get to the baby home and meet our son. Not so fast, they look at us and say there is a problem, we were like what kind of problem? They told us a Russian family adopted our son and he is no longer at the orphanage. I don't really even know what happened at that point except I felt like someone ripped my heart right out of my chest and started stomping on it. We tried to get some sleep that night to no avail. The next day we met a little girl who was very cute, we sent her medical information to the UofM, and met with her again, unfortunately we had to turn down this referal. At this point we just wanted to get a flight back to Moscow, and then to the states.
We purchased our tickets and then received a call saying we have another referal, please return your ticket and we have a driver for you to drive you to the other baby home. At this point Nick gave me a look of lets just get home, I said we have gone this far we have to see this through. We got in the car and 3 1/2 hours later we are there, it was later in the evening and our staff was there to meet us. They took us to the baby home. We were sooo exhausted, I wanted to pass out, days of zero sleep will do that to you. We enter this room with numerous children, they tell us they are getting her ready to see us. I really had no expectations at this point.
One of the caretakers walks out and my heart was beating so fast, She put this child in my arms, and I looked at her and I knew right there and then that my life as I know it would never be the same. I have never felt so much love, I just could not contain my feeling and I just had tears of pure joy. We played with her and got to know this little peanut. The next day we set out in the morning to see her again. We arrived and were supposed to get her medicals but the director at the baby home said there were some papers missing and we could not meet with the doctor until they had the papers. They let us see her in the mean time and come back later in the afternoon for the medical information and 3rd meeting. After we saw her we went and filled out our paper work and went back. Well guess what we heard when we arrived "we have a problem",( you have got to be kidding me)!!!!! There was a problem, with the release papers. I could not believe this, it happened again, what are the odds???
At that point we went back to the hotel had a meeting with our Russian staff, gave them more paperwork, and they promised us they will work on our behalf for us to adopt the girl. We booked a flight to Moscow and tried to salvage the most emotionally exhausting trip in our lifetime.
I don't want to sound to bitter, because even with the events that unfolded I will say I loved Russia, I thought the people were warm and the country was beautiful. In Moscow I had one of the best meals I have had in ages at the Pushkin Cafe. We made time to shop, bought some tchotchke's, and took in all of the amazing architecture and the history.
We left back to the states on Mothers day (ironic), our flight was very late, and by the time we arrived back to JFK Delta had canceled our flight and all other connecting flights out of the airport due to wind conditions. We had only one other option which was to purchase 2 first class tickets on a suncountry flight that left at 2:00 am because it was 5 hours late departing but We Finally Got Home! I just want to give a big thanks to Delta (NOT)!!
Sorry I didn't write about this earlier but I was sick with a respiratory infection that I caught at the orphanage. Since we got home we had a meeting with our agency and they have assured us that they are working hard in our behalf. We are working on our dossier 2 document's, and we are hoping for the best, but at this point I need to guard my heart. We are still not sure if we will be able to adopt the girl we met. Ursula

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This week has been hectic so far. My mother and father sold their house here, and they have only a month to vacate their house. They will be permanent residents of CA. My mother and I have been going through old photos and I am feeling sentimental about my childhood and thinking about the future with my child. I am feeling very lucky to have had amazing parent's. My parents adopted my two brothers and sister, my mother is my bio but my father adopted me. I guess that I have always known that I wanted to adopt a child, for me it feels natural. The game plan was always to have a child and then adopt. Well God had a different plan for my husband and I. My mother will be going back home to CA. on Friday. The US delegation will be in Russia on the 29 -30 and I would like to request prayers for all of pap and children waiting for a family to call their own. My husband and I will be leaving Sunday for a week, I will post again when we get home. Ursula

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. - Hugh Downs

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Has Sprung



What do you do when life becomes beyond stressful? Well if you are anything like me you get your hands dirty. Home Depot had a great sale on mulch 2 for 1 a bag, so nick and I went to town, we also planted three bonsai trees. If you look at the photo they are right by the stairs. Last Friday and last weekend was one of the most challenging times in this adoption journey yet. I just want to post that my heart goes out to the little boy and to all of us pap. I am still hopeful that one day I will meet my child, until then I will keep my self busy, so I don't fall into a pity party. I will post again in a couple of days. "good wishes" Ursula

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Let's try this one more time


I have no explanation why I lost my last post. I am back home from vacation in Palm Springs. It is amazing what the low 80's can do for your mental health. It was so nice to see my mom and dad and my husbands parents. I now understand why they live in the desert. As soon as I got off the plane, I felt the stress of the long winter just melt away. No more will I be a Debbie downer. There is only two more months until spring, and the subzero weather is in the past, until next year. I have been watching the winter Olympics and cheering for home town girl Lindsey Vonn. I am so impressed of all of the athletes and there love of there sport. I can't wait until, I have the opportunity to teach our future child how to ski, and introduce them to other outdoor activity's. Here in Minnesota to keep your sanity in the winter you need to get outside. The photo in the last post, and the one above are art ice houses. The event is called the Art Shanty House Project on Medicine Lake. Local artists build ice houses on the lake, it's a fun event. Today I have alot of projects to do around the house, I will give an update later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow



Today was a good day. I went to my agency this morning and I feel like I received some answers to my questions. We are officially in are region, I am very happy about that. I don't know why I became a little wacky in regards to the process of international adoption, but I have been over analyzing and worrying about everything. I knew getting into this, that it was not going to be easy. I broke my own rule, which was not to drive myself crazy. Anyway, I am starting to relax a little bit and learning to go with the flow.
Nick and I are going to visit both of are parents in California tomorrow. We will be staying with my mom and dad in Rancho Mirage. I am looking forward to this trip. This winter has been brutal so far, so the break will be nice. I plan to play golf and decompress. And if it rains, I would like to see the movie The Last Station it is a movie about writer Leo Tolstoy's latter year's. The point is I am going to go with the flow, relax, and have fun.

"My thoughts guide my day. Noticing how I awake can help me save the day." -Kelley Vickstrom

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh Great... a longer wait

Ok, today was a bit annoying. I called my agency today to see if the couple who were going to our region on their first referral trip, along with delivering our dossier, had made it there safe and sound. Yes the couple is in Russia, and yes our dossier made it there, (I can't thank them enough), but the coordinator for or region has quit after receiving another job offer and will be moving asap. I asked how long will it be until there will be a new coordinator to fill the position? I did not get a straight answer right away. However after pressing for more info one of the women at our agency said at least another 2 weeks!!! Great.....WT%* does that really mean? I guess we will wait and see what happens. I am just frustrated because I pushed so hard to get everything done with our dossier in a quick and timely manner hopping that the process would be expedited. (please don't laugh at the implausible idea that anything can be expedited) I want to be officially waiting. I am trying to find my zen happy place, oh well tomorrow is a new day. I need a vacation. Ursula

Friday, January 22, 2010

Swimming in Chocolate

Today has been an interesting and somewhat productive day. This morning I started my day by going to the health club. I walked into the pool to swim laps, as I walked by the main pool the older aqua-aerobics women and their instructor tried to recruit me as one of their own. Now this may not seem to be such a big deal, however the women are eighty years old and I am in my 40's. Much to my horror it suddenly occurred to me how much weight I have gained this past year. I realized that the stress of going through IVF and the prior years turmoils had taken its toll. Chocolate had become my best friend and savior. It is time to get the weight off for myself and my future child. I need to be as healthy as I can be. In the past I have run a couple of Triathlons and while I was not planning on doing a triathlon this year it might be a good goal to help me get the rest of the chub off. 2009 was one of the most challenging years I have ever had. Thank goodness for 2010. On a good note, I did get a hold of the International Adoption Doctors at the University of Minnesota so when we get a referral we will be ready to have the medicals looked over. The woman I talked to was very helpful. The cool thing is that because we live close to the U of M they will do the post adoption appointments for us as well. I wish everyone a great weekend. Ursula

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My arms are high in the air, lets start the rollercoaster ride

Ok, this is my fist post of many to come. This is what we have managed to do regarding our adoption thus far. We signed with our agency, we have completed our home study, and next week our dossier will be hand delivered by another couple going to see their child for the first visit in Russia. I know this process is not for the faint of heart, but we are going for it. Ursula

"Life is so much easier if you ride the horse in the direction it's going"