Sorry it's been a few weeks since we updated the blog. Now that we have the FRIENDS Buddy Walk behind us, we can focus more on other things in life.
(For those of you that are interested, we raised over $24,000 at this year's BW. We estimate we had somewhere over 700 participants this year)
So, where are we on the adoption?
The day before the BW (10/3/2008) we got word about the potential for a referral from Saint Petersburg, Russia. There is a little boy who just turned two that meets our criteria. Carol with CSS asked us if we would like to pursue this potential referral. Of course the answer was an immediate "YES"...but...we knew there would be some hurdles to overcome.
So, what are the hurdles? Well, each region in Russia has the right to have a different set of paperwork requirements for parents adopting from Russia. Saint Petersburg (SP) has some 'unique' requirements. Some of them are:
1. Even though Mary and I have been through very thorough background checks by both the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI...they also want the local sheriff's office to do a background check.
2. In addition to the photos we submitted with our original dossier, SP wants a notarized letter from our social worker stating that she had been to our home and that the photos presented with our dossier are indeed photos of our home. What's the reasoning behind that? Apparently the judge in SP has openly asked during previous adoptions "well, how do I know these photos are of this family's home? Maybe they broke into someone's home and took these pictures." (Writers at SNL couldn't make this stuff up...TOO FUNNY!)
But wait...there's more. This is the part that really 'fumes us'! Before we were allowed to proceed too far with this potential referral, we had to get special permission from the judge in SP. Previous families that have adopted from SP that have children with special needs have encountered resistance from the judge. We got word this week that the judge would have no issue with us as a family proceeding with an adoption in SP.
So...we sit and wait. We keep hoping each day that we'll get a call from Carol one morning and she'll have information for us. We've heard many good things about the orphanages in SP. Many people have told us that all children that come from SP are of exceptional health. Another advantage of getting a referral from SP is that we'll get some medical information regarding the child. I've already prepared Dr. Tasker on this...he's ready to pour over any and all information they give us to help us make an informed decision.
So...that's the update. More as it happens.
Greg, Mary and Katie