Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Not submitting just yet

After much discussion and prayer, we are not yet requesting to submit our dossier. As it happens, it appears the NAC is interpreting their current dossier submission guidelines pretty strictly, which is fine. Except that we really want to adopt siblings, and it seems that the current policy is that if we were to find an "invalid orphan" (their words), if their sibling does not also fall under the current list (over 10 or invalid in our case) we could not adopt them. We feel strongly that we are to prepare for two children, and we do not feel that submission of our dossier is what we need to be doing right now. So we continue to wait... ;)

In the meantime, however, we have finished our big, secretive project for our children. We have made twin beds! Yes, completely from scratch (well, we didn't go out and cut down the trees...). We modeled the beds after our bed, so for those of you who have seen our bed picture it as a twin. The great thing about making our beds was we were able to design them the way we wanted! So, here are some great characteristics of our kids' beds: 1. They can be bunked by putting both of the headboards on one bed (bottom), both of the footboards on the other (top). 2. They are designed so that we can actually sit on the bottom bunk and read our child a story, take their temperature, etc., without bumping our heads! 3. We are able to put in and take out side rails on both sides of each bed. 4. These are probably the sturdiest twin beds you've ever seen. 5. They're beautiful (yes, I'm biased). 6. They cost unbelieveably less to make than to buy.

The beds are made of untreated pine finished with a clear lightweight polyurethane for ease in cleaning. All of the edges are routed, meaning they are all rounded so there are no sharp edges on the boards. I'm hoping to post pictures soon, so everyone else can see how beautiful they are!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


My profound apologies to those of you who are faithfully checking this only to see the same post every time. As it happens, we have had some news to share for a while, we've just been really busy! To back up a bit...

The good news is that Ukraine reopened to adoptions from Spain. Spain was also on the list of countries who were no longer allowed to submit dossiers due to not submitting their post-placement reports. However, they got everything in order and Ukraine began accepting new dossiers from Spain a few weeks ago. This was a great encouragement to us as it means that once the US starts turning in those missing post-placement reports, Ukraine might open up for us too!

The bad news is that we received some information (verified by multiple sources) that the first of the year is not looking so great for adoptions. The NAC is currently* planning on reserving January and February for families who went to adopt this year and were unable to find a child. Families who are registered with the NAC and currently waiting for an appointment (there are many) will be scheduled in March and beyond. This includes nearly everyone who submitted a dossier from June/July through September. This is bad news for us since our dossier isn't even submitted, so we do not fall under the category of "waiting for an appointment". That makes us believe that it could be summer or fall before we actually travel. On the plus side, we will have lots of time to save up money for the extra expenses of children! ;)

*Note that everything contained herein which relates to future events is subject to change at a moments notice!! :)

More good news (just came through yesterday but only confirmed through one source)...the NAC has reopened for dossier submission for families in 3 categories:
1. families wishing to adopt siblings of children they have already adopted
2. families wishing to adopt children 10 years old and older
3. families wishing to adopt orphans considered to be invalid

Many of you may know our hearts and our desire as to the type of children we adopt. We are looking to adopt 2 children (siblings) who are close in age (preferably twins). What you may not know is that we are open to a number of medical conditions, which may allow us to fall into category 3 for dossier submission. We are waiting to hear from our facilitator as to whether we would need to submit a letter stating our desire to adopt children with a medical condition in order for our dossier to be submitted. Due to our backgrounds working with children, and a significant number of special needs children, we feel that God has prepared us to parent children that many other people would not adopt.

Please keep us and our children in your prayers. My heart aches daily for them, especially knowing it may still be a long time before we find them. We continue to pray that God would keep them warm and healthy and that He would give them a caretaker to bond with until we can reach them.

We have so much to be thankful for, and so many blessings that God has provided. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may you see the blessings in your life as well!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Word from the embassy

I am posting here a copy of an open letter the U.S. Embassy just sent out to the adoption community (below it is the original letter regarding the shutdown of Ukraine adoptions). When we adopt from Ukraine, we are required to file yearly post-placement reports on our children. This is a simple, one-page form that requires little time to complete. We sign a statement that goes in our dossier stating that we will do this every year. Ukraine is not requiring these simply to make more paperwork or to make life more difficult for adoptive parents. This allows them to know that their children are safe and secure after the adoption, and helps prevent issues associated with adoption of children for improper reasons (selling the children into slavery, prostitution, etc.). While we may scoff at the idea that anyone would go through all of the adoption proceedings just to "use" a child, it has happened in the past and that is what the post-placement reports are designed to inhibit. If you have adopted from Ukraine, please submit your post-placement reports if you have not done so. If you know of someone who has adopted from Ukraine, please make them aware of this situation and ask them if they have filed their post-placement reports. The NAC is missing reports on over 1000 children adopted into the US within the last 7 years. Please help them know that their children are going to good homes with loving parents, and help open Ukraine again for adoptions!

Dear Members of the American Adoption Community Interested in Ukraine:

As we reported earlier and most of you know, on September 19, 2005 the National Adoption Center (NAC) of Ukraine suspended the acceptance of new adoption dossiers from U.S. citizens and citizens of several other countries. The NAC explained that this decision was based in large part on past non-compliance of some families with post-adoption reporting requirements, which are mandated by Ukrainian law. The U.S. Government has made numerous representations at many levels to the Government of Ukraine on this subject. On November 1, 2005 Embassy representatives met again with the NAC Director. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Family, Youth and Sports and diplomats from other Embassies in Ukraine that have been affected by this suspension. At this meeting the NAC provided updated information on the numbers of missing post-adoption reports. According to NAC statistics, to date there are 598 missing reports on Ukrainian children adopted by Americans through intercountry adoption between 1997 and 2003. In addition, the NAC has not yet received reports/registration for 495 children adopted by American citizens in 2004. We are repeating below an appeal from the Embassy of Ukraine, which we emailed to this list earlier. The Department of State strongly encourages parents to comply with post-adoption reporting requirements(<>). Thank you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions.

Adoption Unit/Immigrant Visa Section
Consular Section
American Embassy
Kyiv, Ukraine
Tel: 38-044-4904422
Fax: 38-044-490-4570
In accordance with E.O. 12958 this message is not classified.

The Embassy of Ukraine to the USA
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 11, 2005
WASHINGTON - Starting September 19, 2005, the Children Adoption Center of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine suspended the acceptance of new adoption dossiers from US citizens. According to the Children Adoption Center, the decision to stop accepting certain dossiers was based mainly on the past non-compliance of some families with post-adoption reports, which are required by the Ukrainian law. According to the Children Adoption Center, the new procedures do not affect dossiers that have already been accepted, unless the prospective adopting parents have failed to register and provide reports about the previously adopted Ukrainian children. As the United States is the country whose citizens adopt the largest number of the Ukrainian children, the Government of Ukraine is deeply concerned with the fate of hundreds of the adopted children we have no information about. Taking into consideration the above-mentioned the Embassy of Ukraine to the USA kindly requests your cooperation in two matters. FIRST, we need cooperation in promoting the registration of Ukrainian children adopted by US citizens and SECOND, in providing the Consulates of Ukraine with post-placement reports from American adoptive parents whom you may have contact with regards to this issue. The Embassy of Ukraine is obliged to act in accordance with the Ukrainian law which states that the Embassy shall supervise the registration of the adopted children and maintain the database of the post-placement reports about them. Registering your child allows the adopted child to be added onto the list of Ukrainian citizens residing in the United States. Please be advised that in accordance with the Ukrainian law, the adoptive parents signed an agreement with the Government of Ukraine to:[1] maintain the Ukrainian citizenship of the adopted child until the age of eighteen,[2] to register the child with the appropriate diplomatic mission of Ukraine, as well as [3] to submit to the diplomatic mission periodical reports about the child's well-being and[4] to allow the representatives of the diplomatic mission to contact the child directly. It is especially important for the Ukrainian Government to know where the adopted Ukrainian children have been placed and how they are progressing in the United States. Through regular reports, the Ukrainian Government is informed of the children's development with their adoptive parents. The Embassy of Ukraine thanks all American families that provide us with information about the progress of their Ukrainian children. We really appreciate it. The Embassy of Ukraine kindly asks those who forgot or refused to provide us with this information to do so as soon as possible. Please send the reports along with pictures of your children so that we may follow their development throughout the years. Please understand that your neglect to inform the Ukrainian authorities about your adopted children blocks the process of the Ukrainian orphan children adoption by American families. For your convenience, information on the consular registration of Ukrainianadopted children is available online at A sample of the post placement report is available online at To facilitate communication, the reports can be forwarded via e-mail to: or can be sent by mail to the Consular Office ofThe Embassy of Ukraine at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. If you have any contact with adoptive parents, organizations, agencies or persons who may benefit from this information, the Embassy of Ukraine kindly asks you to pass this information along so that everyone may become well informed. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Consular Office ofthe Embassy of Ukraine via fax at (202) 333-7510 or by email address at The Embassy of Ukraine appreciates any assistance in compiling this information because this in turn will help keep the adoption process open for the American families.