Our Family

Our Family

Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

This has been a crazy busy year for us Densons!  It started off with myself, Denise, going back to work for 3 months covering a former co-workers maternity leave.  Little did we know the significance of this.  What we were initially going to do with the money was to make some home improvements to our home, and to invest the rest of it.  Well Jan. 4th was a day of reckoning.  I had an appointment with the WORST infertility specialist ever.  After hearing "well just get pregnant and we won't have to worry about this," for the 3rd time, and major trust issues broken with this doctor, the decision was made to adoption. 

It took us almost a month to decide on an agency and the chase was on, we were very quick with our paperwork if you ask me, applied Jan. 28th, and DTR on May 6th, little over 3 months.  All funded with the income that I made.  No home improvements were made obviously!  Then the chase was on to raise the rest of the estimated $40,000-$45,000 that we needed.  We garage saled, and then garage saled, and for Christmas we did peanut brittle, which we are still doing, we are still getting orders. 

As we near our 1 year mark, we are not as far as we hoped to be, we were initially told to expect to travel Dec. 2010 to meet our daughter, now we are looking at May 2012.  All because of an insane woman who in April almost shut down adoptions in Russia for good.  Who would of thought?  This is bittersweet for us.  Yes, we want our daughter, but we are not there financially yet.  We still have about $17,000 more to go to pay-in-full for our adoption.  We are committed to paying cash for our adoption, we will get there.  Thank you again to everyone who has donated goods for our sales, and bought peanut brittle, and also who just donated funds to us, we are extremely grateful.

Randy graduated nursing school in May, now he has to take his board exam to get a nursing job as a part-time job for his days off.  He currently works 24 hours then is off for 48.  Plus it would be a great way to pay for our adoption. 

Camden is amazing.  He is the best little boy that anyone could possibly know.  I asked him the other day if he wanted a sister.  Though he probably doesn't know what a "sister" is, he said "Yes!  I want a sister!"  It brought tears to my eyes.  He is currently 2 1/2 and as busy as ever. 

Myself, I am finally at peace, I can wait.  Though it will be hard, God is delaying us for a reason, just like not being able to get pregnant again, it is for a reason and she is in Russia.  I don't know if she is born yet, or even conceived yet, but little girl whoever you are, we are coming for you!  Rest assured, we are coming! We love you very much.

Denise

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Peanut Brittle Fundraiser!

As the holidays get closer, you think, what is a great holiday treat??? Peanut Brittle that's it! Well my husband is a master at making peanut brittle. We are selling it as a fundraiser for our adoption. All proceeds benefit our adoption. If you make a donation, we will either hand deliver or mail you a bag of peanut brittle. Please click on the donate tab at the right of our blog!

Donations

1 Bag of Peanut Brittle which contains 2 discs of Peanut Brittle $3.50
2 Bags of Peanut Brittle $6.00

Shipping, please add $2.50 per bag for shipping.
1 Bag, total donation will be $6.00
2 Bags $11.00

If you do not want to do paypal, please email me at ddenson@kc.rr.com for our address and you can send us a check for your Peanut Brittle.

If you would like to place a larger order please email and we can give a better discount on it!











Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Little bit of Good News-Never Mind

We got this email from our homestudy agency, which got it from an email from Joint Council of International Adoptions.

The adoption tax credit has been extended through December 31, 2012.


The refundability of the adoption tax credit will remain in effect for 2011.

The refundability expires on December 31, 2011 and will not be available for 2012.

Not sure what the refundability part is, but the tax credit extending is good.

Unless you OWE money to the government in 2012 you get NOTHING back as far as the tax credit.  I will be writing my congressmen and senators on this one! That is ridiculous!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I am better now.

Though I am still horribly frustrated!  I think that there was so much going on that week, and then hearing that news it just about made me lose it.  Plus I was angry at our agency.  I had a scheduled conference call and I sat on the phone for 20 minutes waiting for them to call in.  Finally I had to hang up, since I only have a cell phone, call the agency, ask where they were, call back into the conference call, and then they didn't even apologize for forgetting about my call. 

We are staying with our decision to stay with a girl, though if Randy changes his mind I will be on the phone with our agency at the drop of a hat! 

In more Positive news, a girl referral went out this week, plus another one, but it didn't state if it was a boy or girl, I am going to lean towards a boy though.  Lots of court dates also.  The main region that our agency works with stated that they will not be giving out any more referrals or court dates until after the Russian holiday which runs from January 1-10.  All government agencies close during that time as that is their Christmas time. 

Peanut Brittle sales have been AMAZING, we have sold over 600 bags of peanut brittle, and we got more orders to deliver!  This has been an amazing fundraiser.  Can't wait until it is done to give the final tallies!  God is providing, since we got turned down for Grant #2.  Don't know if I am going to try for Grant #3, we will see.

Paka till probably after Christmas,
Denise

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Prayers Needed

If you all could keep us and our adoption in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated.  I spoke to our agency yesterday and while yes we are number 9 in line for those waiting for a girl that are not assigned a region, what I didn't know is that the three families that are assigned to regions have been waiting for two years for their referrals!  They told me that we MIGHT get our referral by May 2012.  If Russia stays the way that it is.  Initially we were told in January 2010 that it would be 12-18 months to finish from Dossier submission date.

If we switched to a boy we could have our referral in the next 6 months. 

From the beginning I didn't care what gender of child that we got, so I was open to this suggestion.  My partner in crime is not though, he really wants a daughter and if we were able to get pregnant again after the adoption we can't guarantee what we would get.  I have called other agencies and they are ALL quoting 15-24 months for a girl.  FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!

We are NOT giving up on our adoption, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that this could become a 3 year process.  We started January 28th, 2010, DTR (dossier to Russia) May 6th, 2010.  If we got our referral in May of 2012, then home for 3 months for court it would be September-October before we came home.  Camden would be 4 years old.  I don't want to make him wait that long to become a big brother. 

If you could either 1. pray for peace for me, because I just want to cry right now, or 2. the agreement is signed and things really pick up in Russia.  I don't know if I can wait that long.  I know that there are people out there who have it worse than me, I already have a child, but my heart breaks for the child we are meant to have over in Russia.  I want them to experience the love that we can give them.  I appreciate your prayers.  If you don't hear from me for a while, don't worry, just needing time to think.

Denise

Monday, December 6, 2010

Camden's Big Boy Room

I know that I have promised pictures of Camden's new rooms for weeks, so here we are. We still have some touch-ups to do, but 95% of the room is done! We do have the top bed in now, and it looks amazing!








Friday, December 3, 2010

Life

It seems, though it gets confusing, I keep the previous email that our agency sends out every week that states travels, referrals, etc. for our agency and compare it to the new email, but it seems that two new families got assigned regions over the last two weeks. We did not get an email Thanksgiving week as they were only open for 2 days that week. Hopefully that is the case and just moves us that much closer to our goal.

We had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving and I did my first ever Black Friday shopping! I was at Wal-Mart at midnight and then went to Old Navy and stood in line for an hour and half for a pair of jeans!!!! But they were $15 a pair and Randy and I desperately needed new jeans. As we save for our adoption we haven't really indulged ourselves in anything the past year, shoot I haven't had a haircut in almost a year and half, because I just think, I could put that $30 in our adoption fund!! Insane, I know.

Peanut Brittle sales are awesome, we are staying very busy and are on our second 30 lb. box of Spanish Raw Peanuts, so we have made about 140 bags of peanut brittle. We are taking orders up until Christmas!!

Blessing, we got an amazing donation in the mail the other day, blessings to the people who gave it to us, they know that they just made a major difference in our lives and our beautiful daughter's life.

Also, thank you to all who gave me recipe ideas. I ended up making Russian Tea Cakes, thanks Masha for the recipe, they were a great hit. I was going to try the tea, but couldn't figure out how to get it to the church and still be hot, we don't have a carafe or anything. Many compliments!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Halloween Fun, yes I know it is almost Thanksgiving!

Camden had a blast during the Halloween season, here are a few pictures of our adventures!


At the pumpkin patch on the moon bounce


Riding the train ride.


A little train that he could crawl through. He is obsessed with trains!
We are taking the Amtrak to my sister's for Thanksgiving.
I think he is going to love it!

Just stinking cute!

I am the cutest elephant ever!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Russian Recipes

Our church has an adoption network where all the people who are doing international adoptions get together once a month and network. Our next meeting (12/2/10) we are having a Christmas potluck dinner. We are suppose to bring a traditional dish from our child's country. As a severely picky eater, I do not venture out of American Cultural foods much. I don't believe I have ever had a true Russian Dish. Can you help??

First I need suggestions for Russian dishes!
Second, if you have a good recipe for it, will you please send it! My email is ddenson@kc.rr.com if it is a detailed recipe.
Third, pray that it turns out well!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling....

Well this was a good week for our agency, three accepted referrals/first trip invitations. There are only 3 more families that are currently registered in regions that are awaiting first trip invitations. They are in regions that only give blind referrals. Hopefully when they get them they are good referrals and they are accepted. We found out this week that we are #9 of families that are waiting on girls that are not registered in a region. Praying that it moves right along like it has been.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Positive News

We got an email today stating that we could have our region assignment and/or referral in a "few months"! In my mind a few is 2, but lets give it 4 just in case. Please, oh please, oh please!
Denise

Friday, November 5, 2010

Short and Sweet

Wahoo, two more referrals were given this week. Now we are two closer to getting our region assignment and referral. YEAH!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shuffling our feet along

I am thankful that we get emails every week so that we know the process of our adoption in reference to others, for example there have been 3 court dates in the last 3 weeks! Yeah!!! But then there is discouraging news, families having a referral for 4 weeks but not accepting or rejecting yet, that is a long time. Or taking 5 months to complete your Dossier 2, again that just seems like a really long time to me. If it was me I would be busting my butt to get our Dossier 2 done. I plan on having 90% of it done before we go on trip 1 and then take care of the medicals and such when we get back, etc. But, we are slowly but surely getting there. I pray our day comes soon!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funded!!!

Our referral funds anyway. Back in July or August I stated that we needed around $5000 more for our referral fee, well we have hit that mark! Mostly through the hard work of my husband. He has been working his tail off, and losing weight in the process. :-) Now our next goal, trip 1 costs. We are estimating around $5,000 for that cost also. This might take us a little longer to reach because the new cadets have graduated from the fire academy and overtime is over for Randy, so now it is just slowly grinding away dollar by dollar. We still have a grant application out there that hopefully we might be rewarded, but we won't find out until December. We have 3 months before we have to start updating documents, no fun there and 4 months till we have to update our home study. Hard to believe we are almost 9 months into this process.

Please pray that we get this grant, it would be an answered prayer for so many reasons!!!
Also, Camden's new room is almost done so pictures will be up very soon!

For now,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Times

While there has not been a lot of action on the adoption front, we as a family have been very busy! Every weekend we have been very busy. We have finally started on Camden's big boy room. It took forever to get started because we couldn't decide on a bed cover that we both liked. :-) Sad, I know. Well my parents came up and my mom helped me paint his new room and my dad helped Randy build Camden's new bunk beds. The kid has it made, he has a queen/full bunk bed! We thought if it was made big, it would sleep more people when we have company in town, since we are not redoing the nursery. We took one of our guest rooms to turn into his room. The room is still in the works, but hopefully will be done in the next two weeks. We still have to stencil the walls, those are on their way, and Randy is putting new trim in the room. As we redo each room we are replacing the trim, going from a old burnt orange stained trim to a nice 5" white trim. It is awesome to paint a room with no trim in it!!!

We also have went to the local pumpkin patch and I found a new love, Apple Cider Donuts!!! WOW!!! Last weekend we traveled down to NW Arkansas for the annual craft shows that happen there, we have been going since I was like 10 years old. Major tradition there.

Plus, I get to start making all my "winter" foods. Homemade Chicken and noodles, chili, beans and cornbread, you get the picture!!! Foods that warm you from the inside out.

On the adoption front, things are slowly trudging along, there is a new referral about every week to two weeks, so things are moving, just slowly!!! We are getting there. Just have to keep waiting.

I hope everyone has a wonderful fall, see you soon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adoption Agreement

It looks as though the adoption agreement between Russia and the U.S. will be signed by January.

Click here to read article

I really hope they get it signed soon so that Chad and Sarah can get their court date like yesterday!!!!

As for us we just wait, I have said it before, I am not a patient person, and this waiting just kills me, I get so frustrated when we get emails from our agency stating that they know how anxious we are, but since they are dedicated to service and integrity, sometimes that slows the process down...to me that says, don't expect anything soon. I wonder if they have ever adopted a child internationally?? Probably not.

Sorry for Susie Downer, I just HATE waiting.

Also, sorry about not posting anything for awhile, there is just nothing adoption related to tell about.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Done Forever...

With garage sales that is. We finished up a little early today due to Mother Nature not cooperating but overall in 2 days we made $403.61. Makes our overall garage sale totals to just under $3000.00. I say that is a job well done. Thanks again to everyone who donated items to our sale to benefit our adoption. The remaining items will be safely on a truck to the Salvation Army sometime later this week. They don't pick up on weekends. :-)

As far as the adoption, things are slowly trudging along, if we were adopting a boy we would be getting a referral any day now, but since we wanted a girl, we have probably another 6-9 months if things stay good in Russia. Please pray that it does.

Have a great weekend.

Randy, Denise, Camden

Friday, September 17, 2010

Possible Regions

Many have asked, so here they are. Our agency works with 8 regions in Russia, 4 have not been producing AT ALL, so these are the 4 possibilities that we might get assigned to.

Kemerovo
Ekaterinerg
Rostov
Kaliningrad

As always they say they are looking into new regions, but it is still slow. On the positive a referral was given to a couple for a little girl, so there is another family checked off the list. :-) Hopefully it is a good referral.

We are having another garage sale next Friday and Saturday, so hopefully it is a prosperous event, and we get rid of all the stuff in our basement. The Salvation Army truck will be here at 4 P.M. on Sat, so anything not sold is gone forever, and I will NEVER do another garage sale for the rest of my life!!! Not that we are not appreciative, but man, it is so much work!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Big News...

Seems that some of our regions are doing some house cleaning. The MOE (Ministry of Education) is going in and doing kinda like an inspection is the best way to put it. Looking for flaws and ways to enhance their performance. Staff changes are also expected over the next 2 weeks. So while this is going on, referrals are not. So hopefully after the fall cleaning, things will get back on track.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Travel Expenses

Hi all, we were just putting some numbers down in writing the other day and we have heard all types of prices for lodging etc. for when you are in Russia. Any of you parents who have made trip 1 and/or 2 if you could give us an idea of what to expect while we are there we would greatly appreciate it. My email is ddenson@kc.rr.com if you do not want to leave info. on the blog. Also we have heard of people renting apartments while in Russia. Has anyone done that? Also, did you have to eat out every meal, or are the rooms equipped enough for making small meals in your room? We are planning on staying the whole time trip 2. If you could help it would be very beneficial to us. Thanks.

EDIT: We do not know what region we are in yet, but we will probably be in 1 of these 4 regions.
Kemerovo
Ekaterinerg
Rostov
Kaliningrad

Sunday, August 29, 2010

THANK YOU!!

For the donation whoever you are! We were sitting in church this morning and one of our preschool directors came up and handed us an envelope and said that someone asked her to give it to us. Well we opened it up and inside was a financial donation for our adoption!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You have just helped to change the life of a beautiful orphan in Russia!!!

Randy, Denise, and Camden

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grant #2

Is in the mail. We won't know until December if we get it though. Let's hope it is good news this time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How this works.

I guess I have never really explained how this whole process works. Sorry to all who are not familiar with adoption, or international adoption.

What happens first is that you have to complete a home study that makes sure that you have a home and environment that is fitting for a child to be raised in. Once that is done you apply for Immigration Approval to bring a foreign citizen into the country to become a U.S. Citizen. That is the I-600A application and if you are approved you receive a 171-H Approval.

Once that is done, you send your Dossier to your Agency and they approve it, and then send it over to the country. Every country is different on what they want, but for Russia, we had to send our home study, pictures of our home, financial statements, proof that we own our home, and commitments to raise this child as if they were our own.

What happens then is the staff in-country, for us Russia, match us with a region that will best suite our wants in a child. We requested a female, 8-18 months old, with minor correctable special needs. Once matched in a region, kinda like our states, we then wait on a referral.

A referral is a match with a child that they feel is what you have requested. Depending on the region, it is either a blind referral, or you get information on the child. A blind you have to travel to Russia to see the child, see their medical information, and then you decided yes or no to adopt the child. A regular referral they send you pictures and medical information, that you can share with a doctor and then decide if you want to travel to meet the child. You can also decline a referral if you feel it is not a good match. You will not automatically get another referral though.

If you accept the referral you travel to Russia and meet the child, see for yourself if it is a good match, and if it is you sign an Intent to Adopt. Then the really hard part comes. You have to leave them there and come home.

After coming home you have to prepare another Dossier with more detailed information for Russia including medical exams. Then you wait for your court date. The average wait is 10-16 weeks between trip 1 and trip 2.

When you get your court date you go back to Russia for court, once your petition is granted they have a 10 day waiting period basically a last chance for biological families to come and get the kids if they want, many families come home during this time because you are not allowed to go visit your child during that 10 day time. Randy and I are not coming home, we are staying in Russia or going over to Europe during that time. Then you have "gotcha day" where you get to go take your child out of the baby home. ALL regions are different in how they do things. This is how OUR regions do this.

Then no matter where in Russia you adopt from all families have to travel to Moscow to go to the American Embassy to do more paperwork to get your child into the country. The average 2nd trip if you do not come home is 26-28 days. Once your child hits American soil they are American citizens!!! Some agencies offer a courier service, sending someone to Moscow in your place, but just another fee, we are opting out of that one.

Hope that helps a little, sorry so long winded.

Quick Update

Well it looks like almost everyone who is registered in a region for our agency will be getting their referrals in the next 4-8 weeks. That is good, that means those of us who are waiting for a region assignment will get their regions which means we will be that much closer to our referrals. I am so happy things are starting to really move for our agency!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ideas

I really need some ideas. We were not granted our top choice grant application, we chose them to go with first because they did not have a preference over having a child. All the other ones that I have found that we "qualify" for give preference to people without children. I see pros and con's with that philosophy. Yes, they want people who don't have children to get their first child ever. But those of us with children, they are EXPENSIVE!!! So less money to go to saving for our adoption. Anyway, I am NOT going to be negative, I will just keep filling out grant applications till my hand falls off. What I need are ideas though.

I need ideas on how to raise money without asking people for money! I know, I just contradicted myself there. With Randy working overtime, it is awesome, but Camden and I never get to see him. Luckily the school year is starting up again, so I will be able to sub on days that Randy is home, but they cut our sub pay down $20 a day, which is a chunk. We will do another garage sale in late September, but we still need ideas.

If you have an inventive idea on how to raise money I would appreciate your ideas. Our church is not big on fundraisers, so that is out of the running for ideas. No spaghetti dinners for us! If you have an inventive idea I would really appreciate your input! Thanks so much.

Denise

P.S. On the positive, our agency gave out several trip dates and court dates last week, so thing are looking up for our agency. There are still many in front of us though, so we will see.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grant...

Unfortunately we were denied our grant application. I guess we either
A.) Make too much money! Cough, sputter, gag!!! Please, we are a 1 income family!!!
B.) We have no debt, so we are seen as having the funds that other families might not have.
or
C.) They just didn't have enough money to go around.

I really hope it was C. But anyways, we are moving on, Grant Application 2 is getting worked on as we speak!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

You know you are in the middle of an international adoption when...

Please check out this post from a fellow blogger. It is absolutely hilarious!!!

click here

As for us, no real new news. Just waiting. Our agency's weekly update did come out and state that things are looking like Russia will be ending adoptions for single applicants and persons of "alternative lifestyles." This isn't a sure thing yet, but it looks that way. We don't know if they will finish out those that are already in process or not, so this could impact us greatly. We could get moved up the list a lot if that happens.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Monday, July 26, 2010

Waiting...

I really wish that I had news to update everyone on, but unfortunately I don't. Things are slowly chugging along. We are just waiting. On the positive though Randy has been working like a mad man, the fire dept. is short on numbers until the new hires get through their training classes so he has been able to work a lot of overtime these past three months. The only bad thing about that is Camden and I are use to him being gone for 24 hours at a time, but 48 gets looooong! I don't know how military families do it when one member is gone for months for even years!! Plus it helps us with financing our adoption. We have three goals financially for this adoption. The first goal has been met. The second goal we are about $5000.00 from meeting, and the third, ??. We will deal with that when we get there. These goals also include our travels. The third goal will be substantial because we will have the cost of being in Russia for almost a whole month in that goal. We are also waiting to hear back from our Grant Application. We should hear back by the end of September. Wouldn't it be awesome if they finished out our 2nd goal!! We will wait and see.

Many people have asked how much this adoption will cost, with travel and hotels, food, everything we are preparing ourselves for $40,000. That is almost as much as I made as a counselor before I resigned to do my current job. Mommy. It is an insane number but we know that God will provide!

Blessings to all,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Patience

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”-Unknown

It definitely hard and slow, but I am learning. I ran across a blog the other day that taught me that I was being so selfish being sad that we still have such a long wait. They have waited over almost a year for a court date, that is right, a year. Their child has aged a year since they last saw them, that had to be outright torture. The good news is, they get to go get their child in a few weeks. I am truly happy for them! Again, patience is not my virtue, but I just learned a huge lesson.

Denise

Friday, July 16, 2010

Movement

There is starting to be some movement for our agency. In the past two weeks, there has been 4 court dates set and two first trip dates given. That is giving me some hope. On the down side it looks like one of our regions is closing, not sure what will happen to those families who have traveled and met their children.

Again on the positive, our agency is trying to open up new regions so that they can get us moving along. Praying it goes good. It also looks like the end of August to beginning of September is when dates are going to be coming out for waiting families. We are back in the list so we are not expecting anything yet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And the Winner is.......

video

We want to thank everyone who participated in our Raffle. Through our Chip-In Widget and donations made directly to us we raised $530 for our adoption. We greatly appreciate all of you for donations and your support!

Randy, Denise, and Camden

Quilt Raffle






$5 for 1 entry, $10 for 3 entries, $15 for 4 entries, $20 for 6 entries and so on! If you could spread the word through your blogs or social media that would be amazing! Full directions here!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

1 Week Left

To Chip In to try and win the awesome homemade quilt that my aunt made!!! We will draw the name of the winner next Thursday at 6 p.m. Remember that 1 entry is $5, 3 Entries is $10, 4 for $15, and 6 for $20 and so on!!! We will ship so no worries if you live far away!!! See the Chip-In widget at the top of our blog!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wow, that was fast!!!

We got our 171-H approval in the mail on Wednesday. Our agency needs a copy of it to send over to Russia so that they know we are approved for international adoption. So we made a copy of it and got it notorized and then on Thursday I sent it to Topeka to get Apostilled. We got it back today!! 2 day turn around. That is pretty good for a government agency if you ask me!! We sent it snail mail too, no FedEx this time. I applaud you State of Kansas!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I love getting the Mail

Yeah I know, that sounds crazy right, but I really do. Randy thinks I am crazy that I like getting it, usually if he is home and I am not, he doesn't go get it, because he knows I like to get it. I just love going and finding a surprise in it. It hardly ever happens but it does happen sometimes. Usually though all we get is junk mail. We only get 1 bill a month, our electric bill so our mailbox is usually a disappointment.

Well not today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE GOT OUR 171-H IN THE MAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes I am a little excited. After the phone calls we have had with the guy approving our application I was about ready to call our Senator to get some action done. We got it though, I am so happy.

Also we had a nice extra envelope from some awesome people that I grew up with and they made a donation to our adoption. That is amazing. God does provide. Thanks so much. I really need to get my thank you cards done. I need to send them out for all the people who donated stuff to our garage sale, and a few other things. Thanks again.

Yeah, I love getting the mail!!!


Also, the timeline for our application was, we sent it in on April 14th, our fingerprints were on May 21st and we received it today June 30th. So total timeline is 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days! Kinda cool, 2,2,2. Yes I know I am corny too.
Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Camden's First Kneeboarding Experience

Last weekend we took Camden on his first kneeboarding experience. We are huge lake and water people, as you can see it is a long video, but man he loved every minute of it! Please ignore me in the video as I struggle to hang on, it is hard to drag that slow!!!

video

Our little Man is 2!!!!!!!

Yesterday was Camden's 2nd birthday, and we had a blast. We celebrated last weekend with my family, (Denise) and then we had our own private birthday celebration yesterday just the three of us. Unfortunately Randy's family lives too far away to celebrate every celebration with them.

Here are a few pictures of what we did that day!

Camden's favorite character is Elmo, so he got an Elmo cake.


The bike that we got him.


His really big present, his swing set, which will be enjoyed by his sister also.


Riding the Kansas City Northern Railroad train! Cutest setup and only 50 cents a ride.


Clifford is his other favorite character, and he was at Crown Center!



We also went to the splash park across the street and had a blast, he got soaking wet and loved every minute of it! We ended the morning with an awesome lunch at the best BBQ joint in KC, Oklahoma Joe's! You know it is good BBQ when it is made in a gas station.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blog Junkie

I admit it, Hi, my name is Denise, and I am a blog junkie. First thing in the morning after getting Camden settled down at the table with his breakfast, I head straight to the office to see what people have posted. I had never even read a blog until we decided to adopt. When we first decided to adopt I had my reservations about Russia because they weren't a Hague country. Randy lead me to a great website that is dedicated totally to blogs of people who were adopting from Russia. After reading all the success stories and talking to people who had adopted from Russia, I was hooked. I look forward to witty things that people had said and the pictures that they have put up. It gets me excited. Sometimes frustrated, when I see people get dates when I know that I am so far away from any kind of date, travel for us, but still I love to read what they are doing. Also I love to read what first time parents are going through. Since we already have a biological child I can kinda relate.

As today was the day that we returned from our awesome RV trip from last year, I will leave you with one more picture. This is Camden getting his feet wet in the Pacific Ocean. He hated it, because it was so cold!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Things are loking up...

Though I wish they would sign the agreement a little faster. See below

Click here for article

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Update on USCIS

Well I called on Monday and actually talked to a person and it didn't take long at all to get to them, but of course they weren't the person that I really needed to talk to. So they transferred me to the person who I needed to talk to. Of course they transferred me straight to their voice mail. That just really annoys me, it shows me that they screen their calls, don't they know there are desperate parents-to-be that want to talk to a person, not a machine!!!

Well, I left a very nice message, and asked for a call back. Well, what we got was an email today. Not what I wanted, but a response anyway. They didn't like the wording in one of our documents that we submitted, so we have to reword it and the resubmit the document and then he will continue to review our application to see if we would be fit parents. I love how the government gets to determine if I will be a fit parent. But that is another soapbox all in itself. When you work in education for as many years as I have, you get a taste for all different parenting types!!! But that is where we are.

I also spoke to our agency today about when we would get a region assignment, and they said that sometimes we don't get a region assignment until we get a referral!!! I like that they work on so many regions, but hate that I don't know where we are going. We could be in Moscow, or we could be over in Siberia!!! I want to research where we are going, not wait until 2 weeks before we leave to get a feel for where our daughter is from!!!

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Sunday, June 13, 2010

USCIS

Okay, so I read on another blog that someone who had their fingerprints done the Monday after us, we had ours done on a Friday, got their 171-H approval back last week. So I am thinking, ohhh, ours should be in the mail really soon. So Randy decides that he is going to look up our status on the USCIS website. Well of course our receipt # does not exist, and looking into it a little further today, they only show status updates for receipts that start with EAC, WAC, LIN, or SRC, our receipt starts with SIM. So then I call the number that they provide, and of course forgetting that it is Sunday they are closed. So hopefully I can call tomorrow and find our where we are in our 171-H approval. Praying that it comes soon!

So long for now,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This is a busy month.

Wow, lots going on this month, on the 5th Randy had his birthday, his 35th. On June 26th Camden has his 2nd birthday. Last weekend we spent all weekend long building Camden's birthday present. A massive wooden fort swingset. It took a lot of time, but I think he is going to love it. He hasn't really gotten to play with it yet because we haven't put the pea gravel in yet, so right now it is just sand and it is a huge mess. Randy took his Nursing Boards exam today, we should find out next week if he passed, if we want to pay to see his score, if not then we have to wait a few weeks to get his results in the mail. I forgot to post that he graduated from the Nursing Program on May 26th, so he is done with school for now. After the adoption he is wanting to go back to school to get his Bachelor's in Nursing. We are going to the lake to celebrate Camden's birthday with family. I also got to get Camden enrolled in swimming lessons this year. I just got done subbing for 3 days for summer school, and of course we got church and small group! I love to be busy, it seems to make the time go by faster.

On the adoption front we got an email on Monday marking the 1 month date of our DTR (Dossier to Russia). We are just waiting on a region assignment and then we can wait on a referral. Our agency works with 9 regions in Russia, so they try to match us up with the best region for our wants and our family and then assign us there. So waiting is our game right now.

If anyone has any good fundraising ideas, please pass them along!!! Also the totals for our garage sale, ebay sales, and craigslist sales came to $2470.73! Woo Hoo!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

1 Year Ago...

I never would of dreamt that 1 year ago we would be on this journey that we are on. Last June 4th we left KC for a 17 day 5,000 mile RV trip with our little man with dreams of expanding our family. We went to 5 National Parks, visited family in UT, and CA, and had an amazing adventure. For those of you who know me, knows I hate to be in the car especially for long drives, but let me tell you, RVing is the way to go! I am attaching some pictures of our adventures.

To keep this adoption related, :-) for those who have finished their adoption, or are almost finished, how did you all finance your adoption? Fundraisers, extra hours, loans. We want to cash flow this, no loans, but I am curious as to what others have done before us. I have racked my brain and I am out of ideas now. If you could help that would be awesome!

This is Camden in the RV. He was such a good little boy! Strapped into his car seat sometimes 8 or 9 hours a day traveling!


We are hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park. That backpack was amazing and Camden loved it!


Sitting in front of Lower Yosemite Falls! Love Yosemite National Park.


Hiking to the Natural Arch in Arches National Park in Moab, UT!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quilt for Raffle Giveway!

Okay, our garage sale raffle did not go so well on our donated quilt. So we are going to try a chip-in widgit for our blog. How this works is we are doing one raffle ticket for $5 or three raffle tickets for $10. On July 15th, we will draw for the winner and who ever wins will win an absolutely georgeous homemade quilt made by my aunt. We will pay for the shipping, so if you are a blog reader out of state, don't worry, we will get it to you! We thank you in advance for supporting our adoption! If you could help spread the word on your blogs, or social media sites we would greatly appreciate it! The quilt fits a queen size bed, which is what is pictured, but would look great on a full size also! No dust ruffle needed on the full! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me here.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garage Sale is DONE!!!!!!!!!

Can I just say WOW! It was insane. We have over 30 tables of items, plus furniture, and other items that could easily sit on the ground. So this is how it went. We got up Friday at 5 am to set up. The sale was suppose to start at 8, well people started showing up at 7:15. We did not price anything, because there was just too much stuff. How we did it was to gather what they wanted and to make us an offer, if it was reasonable, we accepted, if not we haggled a little. We finally got the last box out of the basement around 11ish. In the mean time Randy and I both had to leave to go get our fingerprints taken for our I-600A application. Let me tell you it was a very easy experience. Randy went first his appt. was at 9 so he told me what to expect. He was done by 9:10. My appt. was at 10. I can't speak for Randy's experience, but it was very calm. I showed up and had to park in the street, because only employees can park in the parking lot, crazy I know. Walk in without my cell phone, they are not allowed. Went through a metal detector and my purse through a scanner. Got directed to the correct window, and then had to fill out a form.

When it was my turn, I went in and went to the machine they directed, and waited while they inputed all my info, and then she proceeded to take my prints. They had a hard time, because I was informed by the lady, I wash my hands too much. I said I have a 2 year old almost, and I constantly have to wash my hands!!!! But she was able to get decent prints. They told Randy that he works too much with his hands!

I was in and out in less than 20 minutes, but then I had to stand in the parking lot for 15 minutes while the security guard flirted with me, when it was very obvious that I was married!!! So back home to the chaos I went.

We did amazing the first day, the second day started off really slow, and we still had so much stuff left, I was getting really anxious, so I decided to tell people that they can fill a Wal-Mart bag for $3. Anything they can fit in the bag to the top was $3. Well that was a hit, we got a ton of traffic after that. We only had a few people take advantage of that policy, they had their bag beyond full and were also holding things and refused to take another bag, and still wanted to pay $3. So I made them pay $4!!! Overall it was a huge success. The only downer was that the quilt auction did not do so well, so we will be putting a chip in widget on the blog for people to enter the raffle! Randy will have to figure that one out. Overall our sales for the 2 days of the garage sale were $1112.00. There are some items that were sold on craigslist and ebay, since we still have some things for sale, we don't have those totals yet, but will post A.S.A.P. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!

I still have enough garage sale items, to do another one in the fall! Don't know if I am crazy enough to do another one, but I probably will do it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother Nature is going to Cooperate!

It looks like the garage sale is going to happen. The last few days I have been worried because they have been forecasting rain for Friday. But it looks clear according to the news this morning! That is such a huge relief off our shoulders, we have got to have this garage sale, our house has been taken over by "stuff." I probably won't post again until after the sale, but please pray for a huge turn out! It is suppose to be sunny and 75 on Friday. We Kansas Citians need the sun, we haven't seen it in a really long time. It has been raining non-stop here all month!

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Good News and Prayer

The good news is that Russia cashed our check! That means our Dossier arrived safe and sound and is not lost somewhere over the ocean!!! The prayer is that the final meeting is suppose to be tomorrow for the U.S. Delegation in Russia. Pray that everything goes smoothly and that adoptions continue to go smoothly.

I did hear some rumors that some of the regions are using this as a way to make some age restriction changes and also not allow single parents to adopt anymore. We will just have to see how this goes. Fortunately this does not affect us, but could affect many people in the adoption community.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We are going to Russia!!! Our Dossier that is!

It is on it's way to Russia!!! We are another step closer to getting our little girl! I am elated. This is really happening. Up until now it has been yeah, we are adopting from Russia. Now it is WE ARE ADOPTING FROM RUSSIA!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quilt for Raffle

I had mentioned in a previous post that I would post some pictures of the quilt that my aunt made for our garage sale. We are going to hold a raffle. Sorry, no online raffle, it is too confusing, plus it will just be easier this way. But here are some pictures of the quilt, it is pictured on a queen size bed.





Thursday, April 29, 2010

Update...

"The head of the American delegation Michael Kirby, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for consular affairs, said the meeting had been "fruitful". "We agree we want to do the best for the children…," he said. But the main document is still not ready. Russia’s children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said that the document will be finished and handed to the US side shortly. Russia plans to include 8 new amendments to the agreement. According to Astakhov, the US delegation will stay in Moscow for another couple of days and continue to form a working group. Both Russians and Americans are ready for this, Astakhov said: "The US party has shown their readiness to continue negotiations and sign the bilateral agreement on adoption. Now it is important to work out this document as soon as possible. The US side understands the delay and Michael Kirby said we are on one side. "

Earlier Astakhov said the Russian side presented all the document’s provisions to the US . They are based on the Hague Adoption Convention which was not ratified by Russia.The main talks on adoption are due on May 12. All the needed documents will be ready by that time.
Report from Dmitry Borisov

Fingerprint Appt!

Yeah, we got it! Less than two weeks after we sent off our application and it was received we got our notice for our fingerprint appt. with the USCIS!! The only bad thing is the date. It is May 21st. That is the first day of our garage sale. :-( But my mom is going to be here, and a babysitter for the little man, and I have some great friends who have volunteered to come over and help while Randy and I are gone. The crazy thing though, is that Randy's appt. is at 9, and mine is at 10. I definately am not going to wait an hour, so two trips here we go!! That way our help doesn't have to stay too long. The get there when I leave 9:15ish, and leave when Randy gets back hopefully no later than 10:30. Things are just moving right along, I know this is meant to be. The delagation is meeting right now, so praying for smooth talks between the two countries.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dossier 1....

Is in the mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, that feels good to say. We just spent 2 hours in Kinko's making copies of our Dossier 1 and then recopying all the ones that messed up!! Good thing Kinko's has a refund policy for messed up copies. We didn't notice right off the bat so we had like 51 copies that we had to redo. Oh well, that is a load off our shoulders, along with quite a bit of money too. It is so worth it though. I can't wait until we get a referral. I know it is still many months away, but I am excited.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Apostille's Done!

They are done. Unforunately we live in a state that does not have a cap on their Apostille's. Kansas is broke, so every penny they can get from us they do! So we have the 120 mile trip to Topeka and back round trip, the $2.50 toll each way, and $232.50 check we wrote to the wonderful Secretary of State for less than 30 minutes of work for them, and of course plugging my meter, and I guess I just stimulated Kansas' economy by almost $300. Now mind you I own a suburban and get 14 miles to the gallon.

We will be making all our copies tonight and then tomorrow we are overnighting our package to Indiana!!! BTW Camden was awesome, he is such a good little guy, he sat and colored and ate a snack while we waited and he is a great car rider. Though he is a horrible napper in the car.

Also, if you could keep in your prayers, the U.S. Delagation is meeting with Russian officials on April 29th and 30th to discuss an adoption agreement between the two countries, so praying things are going to go well.

Friday, April 23, 2010

okay here we go...

This week is going to be very busy! These are hopeful deadlines, not set in stone. Hopefully, Monday we go the bank after Randy gets done with clinicals and get everything in Dossier 1 notarized. Tuesday, Camden and I hop in the car to Topeka to get everything Apostilled. I really hope it doesn't take a long time because entertaining an almost 2 year old in a government building should be fun. Plus the $232 fee that is attached to everything will just be amazing too! No, Kansas does not have a cap on their Apostille's that I have heard Texas does at $100. Then when Randy gets home from clinicals again on Tuesday, we go over everything with a fine tooth comb make sure it is perfect, and make all of our necessary copies. Then Wednesday, Camden and I again will hop into the car to go to FedEx to have our "package" shipped overnight to our agency, hopefully they don't send it to Nebraska like they did our I-600A application. With that package, will be a nice chunk of our savings, and then Thursday, we relax.

On other news, I applied for a grant yesterday, so now I have to get all the paperwork for them within the next 30 days for the application process to continue. Luckily they don't need a blood sample, but pretty much everything else personal about us they need. I hope and pray that we get this grant, I have heard ranges of $$ that this particular organization awards, and it has ranged from $300-$3,000. Any amount will help us.

As far as our garage sale, God is good. We have so much stuff that we can not park our cars in our garage. The bad news is, it is going to take me forever to set it all up!!! That is a good thing though really. If you live in KC, stop by our house for some awesome deals on some good stuff. Also we will be having a raffle for a home made quilt made by my aunt. It is beautiful. As soon as I can, I will post a picture of it for all to see her amazing work!

Hope all are having a wonderful night!

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

As all of you probably know, Randy and I are holding a garage sale May 21-22 in order to raise funds for our adoption. We sent out letters to friends and family to ask for donations of items for stuff to sell. We the response has been amazing. We have so much stuff already it is insane. To top it off we got a call from a friend who told some family friends about us and they passed on some estate items from a deceased relative. It filled a 26 ft. moving truck!!!!! We are so amazed at the kindness that these people showed us. It is going to help us out so much that I just know we are going to break garage sale records!!!

Many of you are probably wondering about the possible suspension in Russia. Right now adoptions are still happening and the U.S. delegation is suppose to be on their way over there right now, but a crazy volcano in Iceland decided to erupt which has canceled over 16,000 flights to Europe. So the talks are on hold, and unfortunately for those who were suppose to have court dates this week are also on hold because they can't get over there! Pray that the ash cloud breaks up quickly so flights can resume to Europe ASAP!!!

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Are we Suspended, or Not??

The news this morning said we were suspended, now they are saying that we aren't. Your guess is as good as ours.
Denise

This is not what I was going to write about today.

I was going to write about how so far adoption has changed our lives, even though we are still new to the process, but we woke up this morning to news that all adoptions have been suspended to U.S. citizens until an agreement is reached between the U.S. and Russia. This includes all 200 families over there who are currently picking up their children in Russia. I feel so horrible for them. I am not sure what to think right now, but I am sure we are going to stick to our guns. I have already heard of people dropping out of the program. Please pray that this is a very temporary thing and we can get back on track soon.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good News and Bad News

The good news is we got our completed homestudy!!!!! Less that two weeks from the visit, and we have it in our hot little hands. Now we can really get moving.

The bad news is, we got our I-600A application back rejected. They rejected us for 2 reasons. The first is our own stupidity. We forgot to sign the application!!! How crazy is that we need to really double check our stuff before we send it in. The second reason we were rejected is because of their stupidity. They said we didn't pay enough money.

Here is the break down. The filing fee is $670 for the I-600A application. Then you also have to submit $80 per person over the age of 18 living in your home to be fingerprinted. There are two of us which equals $160. Now please tell me if my math is wrong, but

670
+160
-----
$830

That is the amount that we sent them, but they say it is wrong. I have scoured the website looking for an additional fee that maybe we missed or something, because I do not want to spend another $20 sending it back again if they make the same mistake again, but I have not found some extra fee. Please tell me if I was wrong. Hopefully the person who added it up just couldn't add. That is sad though that a government worker can't do math. It is bad enough that we forgot to sign our application!!!

So long for now.

Randy, Denise, and Camden

Friday, April 9, 2010

Suspension of Adoption Agency

click here

I suggest we call the D.A. of Shelbyville, Tennessee to make sure the U.S. takes action against this mom for abdonment, so that Russia sees that the U.S. does care about the well-being of these children. All those poor people in that agency who have no control over their adoption now because of one selfish person. There is a process for returning a child that has been adopted internationally, but this woman thought it would be okay to just send him on a plane. She assumed that the Russian Government would just take care of it. Also the congressman of that district, and senator of their district. Even the Mayor of Shelbyville.

Here is their info.

Bedford County Mayor
Eugene Ray
One Public Square, Suite 101
Shelbyville, TN 37160
(931) 684-7944

Congressman Bart Gordon
Washington Office
2306 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4231

U.S. Senator Bob Corker
202-224-3344

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
Washington Office
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4944

District Attorney General
Shelbyville, TN (931) 684-1746

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I don't understand...

What goes through people's minds.

click here

A beautiful healthy child treated that way. It saddens me greatly as we know of people over there right now getting their children. Pray that it doesn't affect them in their process.

There are ways to end an adoption, this is not one of them. So sad.....

Home Study Draft

Yeah, just a quick post to tell you all that we got our home study draft today. There were only some minor fixes that we needed to make, such as the spelling of names and such. So back to the home study agency to fix and then on to our international agency to see if they need to make any changes. We are getting closer.

On a side note, I got Camden's picture yesterday for his 21 month old pics. See below!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Musings....

They say that in adoption waiting is the worst part. Even though we are barely two months into this, I have to agree. I am not a patient person, and I hate waiting. I am the person who will change lines 3 times in Wal-Mart just to get through the line faster. I still always chose the wrong line though. :-) Since we have our homestudy done, now all we are doing is waiting for them to send us the rough draft, so that we can approve it, and then have it sent to our agency so that they can approve it. Then we can send it in to be with our I-600A application that hopefully is not lost with the USCIS. I mailed that two weeks ago and they received it 1 week ago. I do have a new task ahead of me though. A garage sale. I was researching ways to raise money for our adoption without actually asking people for money, and I came across the idea of have a large donation garage sale. Well I have sent out the letters and so far the response has been great. I believe we are going to have a wonderful turn-out. If you live in KC we will be having our garage sale May 21-22nd. Stop on by.

God is teaching me patience through this time. He always teaches me and then rewards me afterwards. I know that beautiful little girl at the end of our adoption journey is going to be my reward, just like Camden was my reward after a long frustrating pregnancy.

For now,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Home Study Done!!!!

Yeah, it was painless! We had a very easy going social worker and our house was very ready for "inspection." We were done in under an hour! All that cleaning for such a short period of time. Oh well, it needed a deep cleaning anyway. I am glad to have that hurdle done. Now on for typing and submitting to our international agency and then we are done. We can then send it in for our I-600A application and we can start applying for grants! Please pray that we receive some grants, otherwise I will never see my husband as he will be working 5 jobs in order for us to fund our adoption! Just kidding about the 5 jobs thing. On a personal note, I applied for a position at our church, we would be very blessed if I got it. Thanks for your support.

Randy, Denise, and Camden

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I-600A

I know it has been a while between blogs, but we have had family in town and I am just too busy to blog! :-) On Friday we went ahead and submitted out I-600A application even though we have not had our home study yet. We figured we would just get a jump start on that process. Hopefully they do not lose it as I have read that they do quite often. It seems that ever since they made the change that every application has to be mailed to the Dallas office the losing of applications has increased immensely. They use to let you turn in your application at your local USCIS office when you went in for your fingerprints. So we will just cross our fingers and pray! Our dossier is ready to go whenever we get our home study and our I-600a approval back!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What it Feels Like to have a REALLY clean house...

You know Randy and I feel that we usually keep a pretty clean house. Now keep in mind we have a 20 month old, so it is not always picture perfect. We get clutter, we get dirty floors, but with our home study coming up I decided I really want to clean our house. Now I know that everyone tells you that they do not bring in the white glove and inspect your house, but I live in a 43 year old house, and who knows when the last time it was really deep cleaned. I haven't and I have lived here for 3 years. Well my mom signed up to help me with this task. It took us a total of about 16 hours over 3 days to get it all done.

We did windows, we dusted, we mopped, we vacuumed, we shampooed carpet, we moved furniture, we did wood work, we did bathrooms, counter tops, you name it, we did it. We finally finished this morning at 11. I never knew that cleaning could make my body hurt so bad. With my allergies, it will probably help me immensely with such a clean house, but I also don't want to live here for the next two weeks, or cook in my spotless kitchen! I don't want to get anything dirty. Also I don't understand how cleaning can make you feel so dirty, every night I just felt yucky. Enough about cleaning, I am very thankful for my mom for helping me clean, I know that it is everyone's favorite thing to do!! :-) I hope everyone has a great day.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

P.S. Today is Randy and my's 3rd Anniversary.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Adoption Tax Credit

Here is the link to see if your local Congressman supports the renewal adoption tax credit for 2011.

click here for website

Once you get to the page, click on Co-Sponsors and you will be able to see if your local Congressman sponsors the renewal of the tax credit. I please ask that you write your local Congressman if they don't sponsor this bill and ask them to consider supporting it, because there are thousands of adoptive parents who could really benefit from this tax credit! Thanks for your support.

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Home Study Scheduled!!

Yeah, we have our home study scheduled! Unfortunately it is not until April 1st. Randy and I were wanting to get it done over spring break for him, because after spring break Randys' busy schedule gets busier. Right now he has class two days a week, and clinicals 1 day a week, after Spring Break he has clinicals 2 days a week and class 2 days a week. He also is unable to miss any clinical time or he won't graduate on time. Our home study agency is closed over spring break because their kiddos are on spring break, which I understand, and then they don't work on Fridays. Then we have Randy's work schedule to work around, he works for 24 hours and then has 48 hours off, and of course his school schedule. So needless to say, we have settled on April 1st. It is okay, it will all work out. God is just giving us more time to get our finances in order, but we can't start applying for grants until we have our homestudy, and our I-600A can't get approved until we have our homestudy. So needless to say, we are waiting!! Impatiently for me anyway!

Paka,
Randy, Denise and Camden

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Please Pray!

Yesterday it was posted in the news that a couple who adopted a boy and girl from Russia in 2003 were arrested for killing their son. The boy died a few months ago, but the autopsy finally came back at the end of Feburary. Well the parents were arrested which is good. The daughter is being taken care of by family members. The problem is...
1. This is the second highly publized story of Russian adopted children dying due to poor parenting or negligence. The first was the gentleman who left his 14 month old his his car on a hot day for 8 hours and the child died. That guy was found not guilty, which angered Russia.
2. The United States did not inform Russia about this latest event, which I guess breaks some of their rules. Needless to say they are mad.

Russia is now thinking about forfeiting all U.S. international adoptions. This scares me so much, we are not in near as far as some couples that I have been reading about, but still we are in the process and I don't know what Randy and I will do if they suspend adoptions. So please pray that Russia does not suspend interantional adoptions to the U.S.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Homestudy Ready!!!!

That is right, we are home study ready. We turned in our home study packet. We also wrote a nice big check, not a big as what we are going to write, but still pretty big. We also finished our 10 hours Hague training. Today was a very long day, 7 hours in a really hard chair, is not my idea of ideal. Plus I hate sitting still for long periods of time anyway. Now all we have to do is set up our appt. for our home visit. We are getting closer to when we can submit our I-600A, which is pretty much the last thing we have to do to get our dossier ready. Plus when we get out homestudy we can start applying for our grants!

Plus I want to strongly encourage you all to contact your local Congressman. The current adoption credit is set to expire at the end of 2010. For those of you who have adopted or know of someone who know someone who has adopted, you know the huge cost. The nice thing that our government does is they give you a credit after the adoption is finalized. If it expires though, then we get nothing! This is a huge motivation for people to adopt both domestically and internationally, so please contact your Congressman and encourage them to renew or even make the adoption tax credit permanent.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I can say it, I'm Sorry!

To California that is. In an earlier post I was very negative towards a particular West Coast State about their fees and their timeliness. Not sure if that is a word, but anyway. I had stated that we were going to go ahead and send Randy's birth certificates off for Apostille since we didn't know how long it would take them, since their website stated that it would take them 4 1/2 months to print off a birth certificate and mail it to us. So we thought man, we need to get on the ball with this. I had even suggested that maybe Randy should fly to Sacramento to get the Apostille in person. He looked at me like I was a mad woman, so we sent it snail mail. Well on Saturday, we had a wonderful surprise in our mailbox. A birth certificate with a California Apostille. 1 week and 1 day after we mailed it, we got it back! YEAH!!!!!!!! So again, I say, I'm Sorry California!

Another Russian word Paka, which means bye, so

Paka,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Friday, February 19, 2010

We are getting closer...

To getting home study ready. We are also getting closer to getting our dossier ready. We got our first Apostille back from the state of Missouri! One week turn around, pretty good! What we are still needing for our home study is, our Child Abuse check, though they cashed the check, so it should be in the mail any day, Our KBI check, we have 2 of our 6 letters of reference back, and Randy still has to type up his autobiography. Maybe since Camden and I will be gone all weekend, he will find some time to work on it. We are scheduled for our all day seminar next Saturday, so that long day will be over soon also! Again, please just pray for us!

I have also learned that Love in Russian is Lyubof, or in Cyrillic Любовь, so for now..

Lyubof
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Homestudy Ready

Ok, I stated in a previous post that I would list all the things that we had to do in order to get ready for our home study, well, here you go.

1. Three different applications, along with a face-to-face meeting.
2. Read 3 different books on adoption.
3. Autobiography, just finished mine, it was 7 pages long. Randy hasn't started yet.
4. Criminal Check with local area.
5. Child abuse check with the state of KS.
6. KBI Check, of all criminal activity.
7. Employment Verifications
8. 6 letters of Reference
9. Both of us get a basic physical with our doctors. Camden has to have a TB test.
10. Preference Questionnaire, what we want in a child.
11. Birth Certificates
12. Marriage Certificates.
13. Copy of our driver's licenses.
14. Copy of our Social Security Cards.
15. Income Tax Returns
16. W-2'S
17. Proof of Medical Insurance
18. Photo's of Family and home
19. Take 2 online classes.
20. Attend an all day seminar.

Hmmm... Only 20 things, and that is just the homestudy! Wait until we get to the dossier!

So long for now.

Love,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A poem of an Adoptive Child

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.-John 14:18

LEGACY OF AN ADOPTED CHILD
Once there were two women who never knew each other, One you do not remember, the other you call Mother, Two different lives shaped to make you one, One became your guiding star, the other became your sun, The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it, The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it, One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name. One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim, One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears, One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears, One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do, The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you. Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of? Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.---- Unknown





My Adopted Child....I did not plant you... true.But when the alternate prayers for sun and rain are counted,when the pain of weeding And the pride of watching are through,I will hold you high.A shining sheaf Above the thousand seeds grown wild, Not my planting, but, by heaven My harvest. My own child! Unknown Author

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Home Study Agency Chosen!

Last night we met with Adoption and Beyond to complete our homestudy for us. The meeting was smooth and they actually have a former employee of FTIA that works there now, so we are excited about that, she knows all their policies and procedures so we feel that is the best fit. Now we are off to get police background checks, doctors visits, etc. When I have more time I will fill you in on all the stuff we have to have just to complete our homestudy!! You wouldn't believe the list of stuff. We are slowly chugging along, but every day we get closer to meeting our daughter, can't wait for the day!

With Love,
Randy, Denise, & Camden

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What is in a Name?

Everything!!! At least according to the Russian Government. We have always known that Randy has always spelled his middle name Allen, even though on his birth certificate it is spelled Allan. 1 little letter, that is all. Well we have heard stories that if 1 little thing is wrong with how you write or spell your name, the Russian Government will throw it back to you for months, delaying the process. Well, everything Randy has is with his name spelled Allen, even his S.S. #. So we thought we will just change his name, that will be the easiest, WRONG!!! California is so slow, it will take a year, yes you read that right, a year to get his name changed. So off we go, change his S.S. card, his passport, his driver's license, our house deed, and the only thing we can't change is our marriage certificate. But they said that we can put an affidavit on the back explaining the wrong letter! This will be fun. But my birth certificates are in the mail, and Randy is taking care of his passport and our marriage certificate on Monday. BTW, California is so slow it would of taken then 4 1/2 months to mail us a copy of his birth certificate, so we paid an extra $15 just to get it off the Internet, but we do have to then send it to the California Secretary of State to get Apostilled, who knows how long that will take!!! That is all for now, have a great weekend.

Love,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Thursday, February 4, 2010

They Like Us!!!

Yep, that's right! The adoption agency approved us to adopt a child from Russia! Now it is time to get down to business. We have an initial consultation with a local homestudy agency, and if all goes well we should sign with them on Monday. Then it is paperwork city, you would not believe the paperwork that we have to gather to adopt a child. We have filled a 2 inch binder with information that our agency sent with instructions and information that we are going to need over the next few months. They stated that it could take anywhere from 60 days to a few months in order to get all our information together! First, the easy stuff, birth certificiates, marriage certificates, and to get enrolled in our Hague Adoption class. All adoptive parents have to take a 10 hour course on how to raise an internationally adopted child. Hopefully we learn a lot! Well that is all for now, thanks for following along with us!

Love,
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Friday, January 29, 2010

MAILED!!!!

We are official, we are in the adoption process, the application is mailed, hopefully it will be in Indiana by Monday, I am so excited to get this process started. I am already making a list of documents that I need to order and get ready. Namely for Randy and I are new birth certificates. If I have been reading other peoples information correctly we need two new birth certificates for each of us and also two copies of our marriage license. I guess they want to make sure that we are actually married!! I am so excited though. Again please just pray for us, who knows, by this time next year we could be traveling to Russia to meet our new daughter.

With Love
Randy, Denise, and Camden

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Application Ready!

Ok, we have decided on an adoption agency! We are going through the company Families Through International Adoption based out of Indiana. We have the application filled out, check written and will mail out tomorrow. We are getting so excited about this new journey. We have decided to request a girl, so that way Camden gets a sister. Our future daughter will be the first granddaughter on Denise's side of the family, can't wait to buy frilly girly stuff.

It should only take a few days for them to process our application and then we will be on to our true "paper pregnancy" as I have heard others describe their paper chase. It should be interesting!

The only thing that Randy and I ask of you all is to pray for us! Please pray that we make the correct decisions for our family, and for peace as we start this long process. We know it will take at least a year, and I am not a very patient person, to say the least. Also if you could pray that the finances are made available for us. We are unable to apply for grants until after our homestudy is done, but we are ready for this challenge. We are so excited.

Thank you for your love and prayers.

Randy, Denise, and Camden

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Big Decision

After a year of trying to have a second child, Randy and I had come to the decision that God is wanting us to adopt our 2nd child. Our plan was to always have two children and then adopt our 3rd child, but I guess were going to adopt our 2nd child and see what God has in store for our future children after that. After much discussion and a lot of research of Hague versus Non-Hague countries, (if you don't know what the Hague Convention is I will explain later), we have decided to go with a Non-Hague country, so we will be adopting our future son or daughter from Russia.

Our next step is to decide on an adoption agency. Many people have stated that picking an adoption agency is the worst part of the whole adoption process, and I have to say I agree, though I will let you all know at the end of the process. We have been researching agencies, getting referrals, talking to people who have used their services before, and of course the very important part, costs. Being a single-income family will make this harder of course, but we are ready for the challenges. I have been researching fundraising ideas, and searching for adoption grants. There is an adoption tax credit that you can take at the end of the adoption process, but that is of course at finalization of the adoption and all monies have been paid. As strict Dave Ramsey followers, we are doing this all with cash, no second mortgage for us!

If you all could pray for us as we encounter this adventure we would greatly appreciate it. Our next step is to select an adoption agency, we have it narrowed down to two companies, and hopefully our decision will come soon.

Hague vs. Non-Hague: In a nut-shell, The Hague Convention was created to protect children and adoptive parents from false information being given to adoptive parents, and to also protect the children from being exploited. The pros are that you know what you are going to get with your adoptive child, the cons, it had dramatically increased the waiting time to get children, sometimes up to a 4-5 year wait as we are now seeing in China. Russia has a good reputation and has their own accreditation policy, so that is why we are going through Russia, and the wait time from submission of your dossier to bring your child home, is less than a year.