Thursday, January 26, 2006

The rumors fly...

I realized I have been remiss in posting to all of you regarding news about adoption in Ukraine. So, here goes... (n.b.: much of the following text is taken verbatim from U.S. Embassy notices to the adoption community)

On December 20, 2005, Pres. Yushchenko signed a law transferring authority over adoptions from the Ministry of Education (who has jurisdiction over the NAC) to the Ministry of Family, Youth, and Sports, which will have jurisdiction over the new State Dept for Adoption and Protection of Children. This law went into effect on Dec 22, 2005, thus removing the NAC of the legal authority to process adoptions. However, the new State Dept for Adoption and Protection of Children has not yet been formed. Unfortunately, since the former central authority (the National Adoption Center under the Ministry of Education) no longer had jurisdiction over adoptions as of Dec 22, and the new adoption authority under the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports had not yet been established, a jurisdiction and processing gap was created, with no Ukrainian ministries’ having the authority to handle adoptions. Thus, there was a large problem for people in Ukraine trying to complete adoptions--no one could sign off on their paperwork, since no one had authority. At least 40 U.S. families were stranded in Ukraine, unable to complete their adoptions.

As of January 11, the Ukrainian parliament (Rada) was scheduled to review a draft law on this subject that would allow the NAC to retain interim authority over adoptions until May 1, 2006, at which time the new authority is expected to be in place.

On January 12, the Rada passed law 8680 giving interim authority over adoptions back to the Ministry of Education’s National Adoption Center (NAC) until the new adoption authority is legally established under the Ministry of Family, Youth, and Sports. The law will come into effect as soon as it is signed by the President, who has up to 15 days to review it. The NAC has informed the Embassy that as soon as the law is signed by the President, the center will be reopened.

By the title of the post, I am referring to the many rumors we hear daily. "The NAC will reopen and begin accepting dossiers this week." "The NAC won't begin accepting new dossiers until May." "The procedures for adoption will change and the referral system will be different." "The referral system will remain the same even after the new ministry takes over." Needless to say, we take all of the rumors with a grain of salt. ;) We continue to wait to hear definite, official news. We are obtaining new notarized copies of our doctors' licenses since MO licenses expire in January each year. We will be sending those over to Ukraine shortly so that if someone does start accepting new dossiers, our paperwork will be ready to go. Nothing else in our dossier starts expiring until April, but since we won't be traveling before then (it would take a miracle) we will definitely need to redo other paperwork before we go.

Please pray for the people of Ukraine, Georgia, Russia and the other European countries who are suffering from a cold spell there. As of today, 181 people have died over the past 5 days due to the extreme temperatures (-13 F, -25 C) in Ukraine.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I am watching the snow blow by on what is definitely a wintry day. I have been meaning to post for awhile on this particular subject, as I had a bit of an epiphany the other day. I was musing about the weather, and the winter, and how we look forward to spring, and began to see parallels to our adoption process.

Right now it is cold, and dark, and everything is hibernating (or, like me, wants to be ;) ). We don't know what is happening in Ukraine, only that changes are being made. Occasionally we have a warm spell and we begin to see hints of green on the trees or the ground, only to have them fade as the cold returns. We have heard many rumors of Ukraine reopening, what may happen, etc., however, they always fade away as Ukraine continues to try to readjust their adoption process. Soon, it will truly be spring. Flowers will bloom, the sun will shine, and we will forget the bitter-cold days and how it seemed they would last forever. Someday, hopefully soon, we will be home again with our children. This winter of waiting will fade as a memory, but perhaps not so cold or difficult in memory as it feels to endure now. We continue to wait and hope, knowing that spring will come, both as a season and as a family.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. Most of all, please pray for our children. Please pray that they stay warm and healthy this winter, and that God would give them someone to love them and hold them while they wait for us. Like many of you, we look forward with great anticipation to the day we will be able to post that Ukraine has reopened.