Friday, March 19, 2010


"Joy to the world!" says Wonder Boy. We are scheduled for April 30th and will bring Little Bit home in mid May. I am so relieved that I don't know where to begin. The waiting on end had begun to get very hard. I was just saying this morning that it feels like our whole life is on hold. Like we can't plan anything until we have our boy home.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Sometimes I get really tired of of the inevitable "Oh, are your kids still on spring break?" "No they're homeschooled." (I don't have to explain, but I don't want to lie and it seem kind of rude to ignore the question.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adoption myths debunked

I was reading an article online about an international adoption and there were a lot of really negative comments at the end. They were so upsetting that I thought I would comment on common misperceptions about international adoption

Myth #1. There are tons of kids in the United States. People should adopt those kids. The fact of the matter is that at first we looked at adopting a child in the US. As we spoke the agencies, though, we found that most children that are available for adoption from the foster care system (at least in MI) are over the age of 8. Wonder Boy was 6 at the when we started our adoption journey and he wanted to be the oldest. Adoption professionals agree that it is usually best to keep birth order. In addition, most children in foster care enter because of abuse and neglect. We weren't certain that we were equipped to parent a child with those challenges. Not every family is right for every child.

Myth #2. People are buying babies. No. No. No. Adoption is expensive, no doubt, but we have not been buying a baby. We have paid our agency for their expertise. We have paid our homestudy agency for a homestudy and associated paper work. We paid our driver and translator. We paid our in-country coordinator. We will pay court fees. We have paid notaries and appostille fees. In no way has there ever been a "If you give me $X, I'll get you a baby." Honestly, until we have custody, I will be worried about losing Little Bit. We could still lose him. There are no guarantees.

Has there been corruption? Yes, I am certain there has been, but not by most people.

Myth #3. People don't want to adopt from foster care because they only want Caucasian infants. Yup. That why they are adopting all those Chinese and Ethiopian toddlers.

Myth #4. People who adopt internationally are going overseas because it is easier to get approved. We have been examined by a social worker, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, the county police, and the state police. We've had child abuse and neglect clearances, blood tests, and an accountant has reviewed our finances. We've had to submit letter from our mortgage company and our health insurance provider. When we go back to Russia we will have to be examined by 8 specialists in addition to all the work our doctor has done. No one is being lax.

Paper work is on its way (again)

Jeny, our social worker got the third round of updates yesterday and said that if everything looked good she would sent it to Russia the same day. I didn't hear anything else from her, so I have to assume that all was good and its on its way.

Trial and Crisis

I've been off of the blog for a few days because in the midst of having to get the new background checks my neighbor has to be hospitalized. She fell walking to my house and was very disoriented. I took her to the urgent care center and they wanted her to go the the hospital. We were at the emergency room for about three hours before I felt comfortable leaving her. This was a really tough time for me because she became very upset with me and eventually called me names and told me to get out and leave her alone. I had to work very hard to let all the bad feeling go and help her in the ways I had promised her. (She did not want to go to the doctor and I had to tell her I would advocate for her and stay with her as long as she wanted and the doctors would let me stay.) Part of the problem was that she wanted to leave and neither I nor the doctor thought that she should do that. By advocating for her, I could not do what she wanted.

She is feeling much better and I have a much better how I can support her now.

It's Maple Syrup Time

The end of February/ beginning of March is a fun time for us around here. This is the time of the year to make maple syrup. Sure, you say. Maple syrup is being made all over the north. We do it in our backyard, though. It started a few years ago to a metropark where they were demonstrating how to make maple syrup at their "Sugar Shack." (Which to me sounds a little suggestive.) A park employee said that they sell the spiles (taps), so we bought a few thinking what the heck? That year we made about maybe 2 quarts of syrup. Last year we made nearly a gallon.

How to make maple syrup. (It's easy, really)
1. Tap trees
2. Collect syrup. We empty gallon water jugs and punch a hole in them. At the end of the process we recycle.
3. Boil the sap. Last year we used an outdoor, double burner propane stove. We're going to try to save a money this year and use wood. It takes 32-40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. That you are doing is reducing the water content and caramelizing the sugars. Do not do this inside. It can peel the wall paper off the walls. Don't ask how I know that.

Ok, really, there's a little more to it that that, but not a lot.
Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
How to Tap Maple Trees and Make Maple Syrup

Monday, March 1, 2010

You've won't believe it (part 2)

today was going really well until about 4:00 when I ran home to check my e-mail. We are now being asked to do whole new police reports. Ok, except that the processing time is 3-5 weeks to get them done. I actually started crying. Every time I think we are done (and the day was spent with our notary getting the last of the previous documents notarized and apostilled) we get hit again.

We may have to contact our congressman to see his she can get them expedited for us. I've never done anything like that and I'm really nervous.