Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quick summary (or maybe not so quick...)

I've had a few requests to clarify what happens next. So here goes...

On Dec 2, we will fly from StL to JFK, then from JFK to Kyiv. We've only got the one stop, and I booked the whole thing through Orbitz. Not sure yet if that was a good idea. ;) I've used Orbitz before, but not for international. We'll be flying AA the first leg and Aerosvit the second. We'll arrive in Kyiv on Monday, Dec 3, where our facilitator will pick us up and take us to our lodging for the night. We won't know the time for our SDA appointment until the day before, so the day we arrive in Kyiv.

On Dec 4, we will have our appointment at the SDA. We will not know anything about our children until this appointment. Unless things change between now and then (which they certainly can!), we will be shown probably 3-4 sets of siblings' profiles. We are praying that God will make it very clear who are children are at this meeting. Once we have chosen a sibling set to go visit, we will have to wait for paperwork from the SDA giving us permission to go visit those children. We might get the paperwork the same day if our appointment is early in the morning, but most likely will not get it until the next day. If we get it that day, we will hopefully head to wherever the kids are that night (Dec 4). If not, we would travel on Dec 5.

Once we get to the region where the kids are, we have to meet with the regional inspector, give him/her the paperwork from the SDA, and get permission to go visit the kids. This hopefully can be done same day, but might take a day to get done. If it's same day, we would be able to go visit the kids that day.

Now, important note. This is basically working off of the assumption that both kids are in the same region (think of it like our counties here in the States). If they are not, we will need to meet with two inspectors to get permission to visit each of the kids. So tack on some extra travel and meeting time there. Why would they be in different regions, you ask? Good question. :) The orphanages are divided up by age (and then once the kids are older, by special needs v. healthy). Once a child turns 4, he/she is moved out of the baby house into an internot. At this age, the children are also separated by special needs. So if I understand everything correctly, if you had twins, one of whom had a special need (could be something as mild as a cleft palate or crossed eyes, or more severe needs), when they turned 4 years old they would be sent to two different orphanages.

At the orphanage, we will meet with the orphanage director, doctor, and possibly other staff. We will review the children's medical records and then be able to meet the children. If we decide to pursue the adoption at this point, we will start sending paperwork everywhere. Paperwork will go to the regional offices to get a court date set up, and paperwork will go back to the SDA since we will need their permission at court to adopt the kids. There will also be various other paperwork gathering, done by us and our facilitator, to get copies of the kids' birth certificates, etc.

At some point after this (that's only a little vague, right?), we will have a court date. They're usually about a week or so after you start all of the official adoption paperwork in the previous paragraph. But of course that depends on holidays, vacations, etc. as to when the judge can meet with you. At court, we will be asked many questions about us, our home, why we want to adopt, why we want to adopt these children, and so on. The orphanage staff, the SDA, and the regional inspector will all give their approval for the adoption. Then the judge decides. If he grants us custody, we will have a 10-day wait before the children are officially ours. This is a time for others to appeal the adoption. It is 10 calendar days (not buisness days), but does not count the day of court and you can't actually pick the kids up until you have the final paperwork from the judge, which usually doesn't happen on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.

After the 10 day wait, we can take the kids from the orphanage and now begin another paperwork race. We will need to get new copies of the kids' birth certificates with us listed as parents, physicals, passports, and then US visas (since the kids do not become US citizens until they land in the US they need visas).

Then we come home!

Okay, that was sort of the idealized version of the process, and there are several places in there that we can hit some pretty major snags. But that's the basic overview. :)


April said...

This is a very informative post! Thank you for sharing. And congratulations on your travel date! I just came across your blog & am very excited to be submitted a couple of weeks ago. I guess we'll be a little behind you! I hope it's okay if I follow your journey!

Julie said...

Congrats on your appointment date! We were submitted on Sept 24 and look forward to learning from your experience! :)
May the Lord lead you straight to your children!

Nataliya said...

Very accurate description of the process! I truly hope it's not idealized, let me predict what'll happen: you'll immediately know who your children are, the court date will be scheduled very soon (before the holidays), you'll get the passports and birth certificates in no time, then you'll get the visas and fly home with your kids!!!

The Walkers said...

Congratulations! We just returned with our 6 year old boy from the Kherson region in September and have found your blog. We would love to help answer any questions you have. Our boy is adjusting well and know we have the son God chose for our family!
God Bless!

missy said...

hello everyone. this is melissa. So glad to see the pics of the family and thrilled that everyone is doing well. Deonna is doing great. I could use a little more Please email when you can. I would love to ask you guys a few questions. Take care and God bless!!!