Wednesday, October 12, 2005

In Ukraine

Our dossier has been delivered to our facilitator in Ukraine! Thanks for your many prayers! Not only has it arrived, but it has been looked over by our facilitator and they did not find any immediate errors or omissions. In fact, they said we did a good job getting all of our documents together! :) They will let us know if they turn up any problems as they go through the translations.

It sounds silly to be so excited over our documents being "okay", but there really are a lot of documents and they are supposed to be done the way the NAC wants them done. Exactly. Word for word. It's not difficult, just time-consuming and mind-boggling trying to keep track of all the details, and trying to get others to pay attention to the details. We felt bad being so picky with wording on employment letters and medical forms, but to us it's better to have us be picky once than for us to come back over and over again trying to get it right!

Prayer requests for the day: at last count, 350 children in Ukraine have fallen ill due to a bacteria in kefir, which is a dairy product (sort of like thin sour cream or yogurt). From what we understand, this includes some children in the orphanages. Not only are they ill, but there is no one to hold them and cuddle them when they are so sick (4 of the children were in critical condition in the hospital). Please pray that volunteers would step up to help love these children and care for them as they are ill. Please pray that God would help them know how much He loves them, and how He has not forgotten a single one. Please also continue to pray for our paperwork, that it would be easy to translate and without problems.

Let the translations commence!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ready, set, ship!

I had intended to post in the past couple of days, as we have shipped our dossier to Ukraine! We sent our documents FedEx to Gorlovka, Ukraine, where our facilitator is located. He will translate the documents and be responsible for getting them to the NAC.

It's a bit expensive to ship documents overseas! We've never sent anything overseas (sorry, Lee, Ryan, and Kyle!) so we weren't familiar with the process, but the FedEx guy we worked with was wonderful. He explained everything in detail and told us exactly what to put on the forms. There are people who have had their documents held up in customs in Ukraine, because they listed the value of the package as $100 or more, thinking that that is somewhat close to what it would cost to replace the documents (in reality, it would probably be more!). However, when the documents get to customs, the customs agents have a hard time believing that paper only is worth $100, and are very suspicious of what's in the package. Our FedEx guy said to write "adoption/legal documents" for the items contained and to list the value as "NCV"--no commercial value.

I can now state that I have been following our package online using our tracking number. It went to Paris, France, and is now in Kiev, Ukraine, and appears to have passed customs! Gorlovka is outside of the normal delivery area for FedEx in Ukraine so it cost us over $100 to ship there. Please pray that all of our documents will be sufficient and that we won't have to ship anything else! :)

If you would like to see some of the places we have talked about and will visit, here is a nice map of Ukraine. Gorlovka is in the Donets'k region on the southwestern side of Ukraine--it is written on the map as Horlivka.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Wallpaper and paint

Yesterday we picked up our special order wallpaper and taped a few inches to the wall in the kids' bedroom. We're having a hard time deciding on paint colors. If we match the border, the paint will be pretty dark, so we've taped up paint color chips to the wall above and below the border to help us decide. We'd like to get it painted soon--while we can still have the windows open while we paint!

We have finished all of our documents--apostilles and all--and will be shipping them on Monday. We've also scanned all of them in, so we can send them to our facilitator and he can start working on the translations. You can pray for our facilitator and his job translating...our home study alone is 6 pages of pure text! Add into that letters from the government, doctors, and employers, and you begin to realize what a monumental task it is to translate all of this. Everything that is translated also has to be notarized in Ukraine, which our facilitator will take and have done after he has translated everything. Only then can it be submitted to the NAC (when they reopen).

The NAC has closed and reopened before, and probably will in the future as well. We are not in the least bit worried and will wait it out as long as we need to. It is very common for countries to shut down international adoptions for short times due to different situations. China was shut down for a few months last year with the bird flu and SARS. Ukraine was shut down when they had their most recent presidential elections and all of the turmoil that went with them. The worst that can happen is we will need to redo some documents and send them over. The most expensive part of our documents (our homestudy) will only need to be updated if it expires and there will be a nominal fee to do that.

Thanks to all of you for sharing in our long journey and showering us with your prayers. We know they have made a difference in our outlook on everything that has happened and will happen. We will all learn patience together! :)