21st--Made the decision as a family to pursue adoption. We "happened" on a website showing a beautiful little girl named Natalie. She was from Kazakhstan. The journey begins.
22nd-began investigating adoption agencies-Back and forth and back again.
23rd-began the task of getting Passports for each of us as well as the task of finding birth certificates and requesting marriage licenses.
3-Spoke with Bonnie Deur at Bethany Christian Adoption Agency in Pella, Iowa to request a Home Study.
4-Ordered I-600A document from US Immigration(the form that is ultimately the LAST document received and filed)
4-Told our families this week!
10-Made the decision after many "final decisions" to go with MAPS out of Portland, ME.
12-Received Medical and Dossier Handbook from MAPS via email. Still had their application to complete and be approved but started preparing Dossier documents anyway. Fortunately, some of the documents could be used from the information we completed during our Home Study. A total of 50 documents in all and in duplicate. Every page notorized and every set of documents Apostilled by the Iowa Secretary of State.
14-1st of 3 meetings with Bethany Christian Services. Gave completed Home Study application and paperwork to our case worker-Leah DeBoef.
17-also completed an application for MAPS and submitted the majority of it with a couple of documents still pending.
20-Finally able to mail everything to US Immigration with the exception of our Home Study report and agency license. They opened our file and fingerprinting dates will be assigned once final documents have been received.
21-2nd of 3 meetings with our Home Study Case Worker.
27-3rd of 3 meetings with our Home Study Case Worker at our house. Leah was WONDERFUL and very accomodating in helping us complete this part quickly but very completely. Leah made the final touches to complete our Home Study so she could mail it on Monday.
29-Put copy of Home Study in the mail to Immigration. (Ok-so it's Sunday and the mail doesn't even go out until tomorrow-guess I'm a little anxious)
30-emailed photos of the interior and exterior of our home to MAPS for Dossier.
3-received a letter from MAPS informing us that all of the necessary documents for our International adoption have been received and approved by MAPS-now they will officially work with us in completing our adoption in Kazakhstan.
3-Took Dossier to Iowa Secretary of State to be Apostilled with the exception of our I-600 A(immigration & FBI fingerprints)which we are still waiting to receive notification of our appointment date to be fingerprinted.
8-FedExd both original, notorized, apostilled copies of our International Dossier to MAPS for translation.
9-I-600A Fingerprinting at US Immigration
28-Received APPROVAL from US Immigration
3-Took I-600A approved document to Secretary of State for what I wish I could say was my last trip there-at least it is for awhile. Dossier being translated.
6-MAPS has received all documents for Dossier and translation and submission expected to be complete by the end of week.
10-Final translated Dossier was FedExd to the Kazakhstan Consulate in New York City. Expectation is that it will take approximately 2 months to be approved.
13-Dossier received at KZ Consulate in NYC
14-DOSSIER APPROVED AT KZ CONSULATE IN NYC!!!!!
16-email first thing in the morning from MAPS notifying us of approval in US and that it would be sent to KZ in the next week. Once there it will go through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education-a process we are told will take 2-3 months....Could we be so lucky again?? Actually, it doesn't have anything to do with luck. Definitely a GOD thing!
25-email from Libby Walch at MAPS informing us that our dossier is nearing final approval and is at the Ministry of Education as we speak. She is hopeful we will have word in a few weeks as to the region we will be travelling to and when we will be invited to head to KZ!!!
11-Looks like the time has almost arrived! Music to our ears...
"Dina, our coordinator, was able to get your dossier assigned to the Astana Region today. The next step is to talk with the orphanage director to see what girls are available for adoption at the Astana Baby Home for you to go and visit. Once we have confirmation that there is an appropriate child for your family, we will get travel arrangements under way.
17-Well, much to our wonderful surprise, we received a phone call from Libby today(at our Adoption agency). She sprung one on us and asked if we would like a baby boy. After an "emergency" family meeting and a lot of prayer we decided this must be the child God wants for us so we accepted. Little did we know that the "ride" would begin so quickly but she told us to prepare to travel sometime in June.
18-After several conversations with the agency and lots of different travel dates tossed around, we have now been informed that we get to go meet our son very soon. Looks like we will be leaving on May 28th and arriving in Astana, Kazakhstan on May 29th. Lots to do between now and then. I'm still trying to revive Bryan with the smelling salts. We're very excited. Rachael is thrilled she is going to have a brother!
22-After receiving more documents to be notorized and apostilled last Friday, I have them all done and have FedEx'd them back to the adoption agency. Saturday we sent off our passports to obtain our visa's so let's pray they make it back quickly.
25-We received our Visa's back today!! I think we are ready to go with the exception of the massive job of packing. We need a whole suitcase just to carry the paperwork that we will need over there! Looks like I'm going to have to lighten up on my shoe inventory. Not an easy task for me. We are leaving this Sunday, May 28th out of Kansas City. We will fly into Chicago and catch a Luftansa flight to Frankfort, Germany. From there we fly into Astana, Kazakhstan. Thank the GOOD LORD we don't have to fly on a Kaz aircraft. We will post when we arrive. Until then much love to you all.
28th-Left for Kaz today. We will post our daily journal going forward on the main website each day.