Drasvoyte! (that's Russian for Hello!)
We have some exciting news! We will be leaving for Russia to meet our new son or daughter on November 8th! We fly directly from Seattle to Seoul, spend the night in Seoul, then fly to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.
All we know is that we have been matched with a healthy child between the ages of 9 months and 18 months. We weren't expecting to be matched with a child until next spring, as couples usually have to wait a few months after their dossier has been accepted by the Russian authorities. Well, our dossier was only submitted three weeks ago! It turned out, that the two couples ahead of us wanted to adopt a girl, and the Russian authorities couldn't guarantee there would be a girl available. Since, we don't mind...we jumped to the front of the line! (So, there's a good chance that we will be adopting a boy).
Russia requires adoptive parents to make two trips. The first one is for about 10 days, where we visit the orphange (known as a "baby home") every day, and spend time with the child we would like to adopt. We then complete all the Russian paperwork stating our intention to adopt a particular child.
The second visit takes place about 2 months later. This time we spend about three weeks in Russia. We have a court hearing and are given custody of our child. We then have to wait for various documents to be couriered back and forth to Moscow, before the adoption is finalized and our child's US visa comes through. So all three of us (the Brit, the American, and the Russian) will be hunkered down in a hotel room in Vladivostok for three weeks!
We'll keep everyone posted via email (if we can get organized, we'll start an adoption blog!)
PS Our friend Mari will be housesitting while we're gone, and will be looking after our five furry children.