Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One week home

Tonight will mark one week since Victoria has been home. It has been an exciting week for all of us. The first two days were hard on me with the jet lag, but by Friday I was feeling good again. Victoria seems to be adjusting well and is picking up more and more English each day. She seems to understand almost everything we say, and she is working on the words she needs to communicate with us. Morgan is very patient with Victoria and is very excited to be a big sister. I pray that their relationship will continue to grow and that they will become not only sisters but great friends. It is definitely an adjustment for all of us and we are working through what it means to have a new little person in our home, but we are very happy and feel very blessed.

Victoria's appointment with the pediatric infectious disease doctor went very well. I really, really love this group! I can't say enough good things about them and they seemed equally as impressed with Victoria. She was such a trooper with all of the blood drawing and she just sat very calm and quite while they examed her from head to toe. We go back in 3 weeks to review the results of all the blood work and discuss what medications we will be starting. We will also be seeing the regular pediatrician on Thursday.

Here are a few pictures I took yesterday (I am putting together my adoption announcements).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Victoria is an American!

We finally arrived home around 10pm Tuesday night after a long day of travel. Victoria only had a few minor melt downs on the plane, but other than that travelled well.

She has been slowly adjusting to her new home. She is sleeping pretty well. She is waking up a little earlier than I'd like, but at least she sleeps during the night. She was very scared of the dogs the first night, but now will not leave them alone. It is going to take some time for us all to get used to the new family dynamics, but we are happy and together!

Victoria has her first doctor's appointment this afternoon. I will update with how that went when I can.

I will also add some pictures soon, and a longer post about everything when I have more time.

I can't believe we are all finally together!!! It is such an answer to prayers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We're coming home!!!

Have to run - the cab's on the way, but our waiver was approved!!!!

We are picking up Victoria's visa on the way to the airport! We will be home tonight.

Thank you all for your prayers.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Prayers needed

Well, it is now 3:15pm here and we still don't have Victoria's visa. The Embassy is still waiting for the approval from the USCIS in Moscow. We still have a few hours today and a few hours in the morning tomorrow and we could still make our flight. If we don't get it I guess I will have to change my flights again. Most likely my Mom will go home, but it looks like the next flight Victoria and I could get on would not be until Thursday.

Please pray that we get this visa!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

On top of things

I have been very, very impressed with the US Embassy here in Kiev. They are very on top of things. I received a phone call before 9am to let me know that they had the part of the waiver back from the CDC and would be forwarding to the USCIS in Moscow. They said there was a chance that we would have the visa before the end of the day today. If not it will be Monday. That will work perfectly for us to make our flight on Tuesday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Victoria's first trip to the zoo

It was a beautiful day in Kiev, so we took Victoria to the zoo.

She really liked looking at the animals, but she DID NOT like the petting zoo at all!!!! I think the animals were definitely better to her behind the safety of the fences. The ones in the petting zoo were much too close for comfort for her. She really, really liked the rides that they have (no different then her sister Morgan).

On waiver news - I got a phone call while we were at the zoo from the US Embassy that they had confirmation that the CDC had received our waiver. They expected to get the CDC's part back by late today or early tomorrow. I did not get another call, so I am assuming they will get it tomorrow. They said they will forward it to the USCIS in Moscow (the "local" office for Ukraine) as soon as they have it back from the CDC. I received an email from the USCIS that they would process our waiver as soon as they had it. So, so far so good. If the CDC gets their answer back to the Embassy tomorrow it should also get to the USCIS tomorrow. Please pray that everything goes quickly!!! I really would like to have our visa in hand Monday so I'm not stressing about missing our flight on Tuesday!
Here are a few pictures from today (I won't post any animal pictures since I did that in my earlier zoo post from when we took Morgan)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New departure date

Well, we changed our return tickets to Tuesday, Sept.15. I also purchased Victoria a ticket. Of course they only had business class available unless we wanted to wait until the end of next week, so although it is costing much more than I had hoped, Victoria will travel to the US in style!

Please say a prayer that we have Victoria's visa by Monday or early Tuesday at the latest. The few people that I have had contact with that went through the waiver process in Ukraine recently had their visas pretty quick. I hope the same is true for us. Sept. 15 will be 7 weeks from when I left home, so I am more than ready to get home! I really like it here, but I miss home and my family more than I like it here.

We are planning on taking Victoria to the zoo tomorrow, so stay tuned for pictures!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We're getting there

We finally got Victoria's passport this afternoon. It was too late to go for her medical exam though, so we will be doing that first thing tomorrow morning. After her medical exam is done we will head to the US Embassy to apply for her visa and start the waiver process. If we did not have to get the waiver, we would be able to fly home as scheduled on the 10th. Unfortunately, it would probably be a miracle if we have the visa by Friday. I was really hoping to fly out this weekend, but it looks like it won't be until early next week. We'll see what happens - it never hurts to pray!

Victoria's first few days with us have been mixed. She is a handful when we are in the apartment. She has to be occupied at all times and she is into everything!!!! She has been sleeping well though and usually sleeps from about 9pm to 8 am! She is very, very good when we are out, so we have been doing a lot of walking. There is a very nice park not too far from us, so we spend a lot of time there. She plays on the playground and they also have ponies there every day that you can pay to ride. It is about $2.50/ride, so it is well worth it. Victoria really, really loves the ponies.

I'll leave you with a few pictures and I will keep the blog updated with our progress the next few days.

This is Victoria with the orphanage director the day she was leaving the orphanage. He is holding a book about New Jersey that we gave him to show him where Victoria is going to live.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Morgan!!!!

Happy 6th birthday to my oldest daughter (I like that I can say that now because I have 2).

Today my Morgan turns 6. Mommy is so, so sorry that she can not be there with you today. I can't wait until we are home and can all celebrate as a family. You are the best daughter a mom could ask for. You are beautiful, funny, sweet and so, so special to me. I can not put into words how much I love you my precious girl!

I can't believe it has been 6 years since you were born. Where does the time go?????

I am counting the days until I am with you again. Enjoy your day.

Love, Mommy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A very productive day

We started early this morning and didn't get back until about 6:30pm.

We got the birth certificate authenticated, got the tax ID number, went to the bank, started the passport process and best of all PICKED UP VICTORIA!!!!

We have her with us! She is doing pretty good. She is so curious and into everything! She did have a small melt down when we got to the apartment but after a bath seems to be okay.

Thank you all for the prayers. Things couldn't have gone better today. We should pick up the passport Monday afternoon or early Tuesday morning and then will be headed for her medical and to the embassy to start the waiver process for the visa! Keep the prayers coming. I would like to be out of here the weekend of Sept.12. We will also need prayers that the adjustment with Victoria goes well and that this next week goes fast. This apartment is small!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The paper chase begins

We picked up the court decree this afternoon and were also able to get Victoria's new birth certificate (with her new name). Tomorrow we will take the birth certificate for legalization and then go to apply for her name to be changed for her tax ID number. From what I understand this is similar to a SS# in the US. In order to get a passport issued with her new name the name associated with the tax ID number needs to be changed from her old name to her new name.

Please pray that things with this paperwork go smoothly. You have to complete one step before you can proceed to the next, so if we have delays with one thing it will affect the rest of the process. So far things are going well, but my facilitator says it could take up to 3 business days to get the tax ID number changed and then another 3 business days to get the passport. If this is the case it would mean we would get the tax ID # on Monday then passport on Thursday. This means I would not be able to start the US Embassy process until the end of next week and most likely would not be home until the end of the following week. I am praying that we might be able to get these things taken care of more quickly so that I can get home sooner.

I will keep you posted with our progress and more news of when we will be picking up Victoria from the orphanage.