28 May 2009

what's next?

I forget that not everyone adopts from Russia. Forgive me.

I am travelling to a blind region (I prefer to call it a "stepping out in faith" region). This region is totally blind...unlike some which are just really nearsighted. (Ha! Laugh at the jokes, people.)

I will not receive any further information about d2b before I travel--no name, no birthday, no picture, no video, no health records.

I'll go to the region on 14 June, meet with the MOE on 15 June, and then have five days of visits with her. (This is because I have a great agency. Some agencies don't get this much face time.) Probably on day 2 we'll have a doctor come in to review her medicals records with me and perform an independent assessment. This will include developmental tasks as well as a physical exam.

At the end of five day, if all is well (and the only reason for declining a referral in Russia, according to my agency, is a medical one) I will sign my "intention to adopt" papers. And go home. By myself. That's the end of "trip one".

A court date will be scheduled 6-9 weeks later (although someone in my region recently had only two weeks between trips one and two). That's "trip two". I will again spend a week in-region, visiting with d2b (yea, agency) and then having court. In July and August things really slow down because people are on vacation. This could work in my favor, as judges try to clear their calendars before going on holiday, or against me, making me wait until September. Let's hope it's the former!

In Russia, there is a ten-day wait until any judgment is finalized. In the past, since it was unlikely the new parents would appeal the decision and they presented "compelling reasons", many regions waived this ten days and granted custody immediately. Not so mine. I expect to have the "ten days" enforced, though it could be counted as either calendar days or business days. I will probably return to St. P, unless we are the exception to the rule and circumstances (everyone at camp, chicken pox, etc.) allow me to have custody during the ten days.

At the end of the ten days, I'll return to pick up my daughter. We then have to get her Russian international passport and do an exit interview with the US Embassy in Moscow. That is "trip three". So far, my region is not taking an extraordinarily long time to issue passports. In some regions, new biometric passports are taking so long (over a month in some cases) to be issued that parents are choosing to leave the country and make a fourth trip. If trends change, and the passport will take a month, I *should* be able to return to St. P with d2b to wait that out and then go to Moscow for the exit interview.

We fly to the US. D2b becomes a US citizen when she clears immigration (and not the infinitely more romantic "when the wheels land" or "when she touches American soil" that I'd prefer). Then, we turn around and fly back to St. P. We might stay a night. But, I'm anxious to use my maternity leave with her in our home in St. P rather than at T@rget (much as I love and miss the big bull's eye). We just need to settle in to real life. And, our real life is here.

I'm double-checking with the consulate, but I should be able to do her social security and US passport applications here.

So, that's what's next. I'm still hoping we're home before my birthday. (mid-September, shop early and often)

26 comments:

kim said...

Is the region a secret? Just curious what region since many of us have adopted from different regions. I understand if you don't want to post it.

Congrats by the way... I am playing catch-up. Cannot wait to hear how it goes.

Debbie said...

So exciting !!
~~

Liz said...

I'm glad you posted this explanation, I wasn't sure how excited to be for you about being invited to meet a little girl - sounds like it's time to be very, very excited! Hope it all goes smoothly from here on out!

beckyww said...

Fly to San Antonio and spend the night here!!!

Lindsay said...

Can't believe they make you fly back to the States for her to get citizenship. Crazy it can't be done some other (cheaper!) way by your Embassy.

Anyhoo, hope everything goes well. Only two weeks-ish till you meet. Fingers crossed summer vacations don't delay you: it is exactly the same here!

Tina in CT said...

Insane that you two will have to fly to the US to finalize her US citizenship as the US Embassy is considered US soil I thought. Won't your family want to meet you in the US to see you both? Where is your family here in the States?

Hope the wheels turn faster than slower for you as you've already waiting far longer than you should have had to.

sandy said...

Congratulations Kate!!!! I am SO SO happy for you!

Interesting that you have to fly to the US in order for her to officially become a citizen, but where else to get through immigration... How do you decide where to go? Cheapest flight? Family?

We had court in August, of all times. But the judge was taking off in September, I think. If you're going to Stavropol let me know.

Please keep us posted!

Rachael said...

Totally blind?! You must be on pins and needles. I know I am! (ha)

Debbie B said...

It's all so exciting. I can only imagine how you are right now. If I were you I'd be getting absolutely nothing done because I'd be dreaming of those 5 days in June with her.

Praying for no holdups or confusions the rest of the way.

I wish there was a way you'd be flying into DFW for your whirlwind trip to the US. I'd come say hello even if it was only for a few minutes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Kate. After all this time, following your journey, reading this post makes it all seem very... real. I'm excited for you!!! Devon

The Holmes Crew said...

WIshing you ALL the best!

Carrie said...

I wish you the easiest of waits/flights/transitions/introductions/court processes and everything else related to the finalization of your long wait! It's been a long road for you, but I think your daughter to be just wasn't ready before now. :)

Pinkie said...

Hey look at me Kate, I'm officially here!! I'm asking the same as Kim, is the region a secret?? I'm so excited for you.

MMrussianadoption said...

what the heck is a biometric passport? glad i came home before those came into play. both our regions were cool with letting us play with our kids as many days as we wanted. had nothing to do with the agency, more to do with how long we were able to stay abroad. again very happy for you

Lea said...

That is so exciting. I'm so glad you will get to spend 5 days with her in region both times. We actually spent a little over five days on trip one I think and it was wonderful to spend that time getting to know them. Oh, I am so happy for you Kate. This has taken too long but we know God makes the choice and sets the timing. Blessings to you and d2b and hoping you feel a huge 'click' right away. Can't wait to hear more.

boltupright said...

Holy hannah. You have to fly to the US and then turn around & come back? Yikes.

5 days of visits sounds great though... and June 15! So close! you must be just about to burst with excitement!

Jenni said...

Man, the process has gotten more difficult over the last 3 years! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear more about this little girl. I like the way you call the blind region a "leap of faith" region. That's definitely what it is! In the end, no matter how much information you have about a child, you don't really know what they are like until you meet them, face to face.

Ian said...

My wife and I adopted from Moscow Region. I don't think I could have done a blind region. God bless you. My wife ended up refusing to leave Moscow though between visit two and three! Once we knew we were going to have our daughter she could not leave her there by herself! So she stayed. It ended up costing a bit more but was worth it she tells me.

Matt & Carla Morgan said...

I never considered the fact that you'd have to fly to the US and have her clear customs to finalize this. WOW! What a crazy ride, girl.

I'm praying you're home and settled by your bday, indeed.

Many prayers being said for you.

cm

hey - the word verification is 'squee' which is what Nicholas says when he wants a hug (squeeze)! So, 'squee' to you, too!

Annie said...

Do regions vary? We always had our children with us during the ten days. In fact, we had Ilya with us for our first visit trip - we took him out on the town, which was a blast, and he even stayed in the hotel with us. I wouldn't expect them to do that with a younger child, but I thought they were pretty loose with him....of course we keep turning up there like bad pennies. I guess by this time they decided they could trust us.

Downside though - between accepting the referral and actually going for court, it took nine months every time but the last (7 months; he was premature). Two weeks! That's amazing.

Kathy Friend said...

WOW WOW WOW! I am hoping we're in Moscow at the same time - how fun would that be?! We could do some shopping!

And, I vote for the direct flight from Moscow to Chicago...Debbie and I would meet you at the airport and take all kinds of great pictures for you (and take you to Ikea and Target!...both are VERY close to the airport, AND there is a Hanna outlet not far away...I'm just sayin'.)

Anonymous said...

Such fun things to look forward to and some scary things. :-) But you will get through it.

Re the US travel, I know someone who was teaching in Japan when she adopted from China. They flew to Hawaii to do the citizenship thing. Might as well be somewhere fun. I vote you come see us...only I'm probably the furthest state from you... bummer.
Serena

annmarie said...

I'm psyched :)

McMary said...

Such good news--so happy for you.

Amy, Joe and Hannah! said...

Delta does straight shots to Tampa! :0)
I am so excited for you Kate! I just hope and pray that from here on out things go smoothly..it is finally YOUR turn PRAISE GOD!

Room to Grow said...

This is so cool. Now it's just counting down the days. And buying all of the stuff. And packing. Wow, awesome!