Wednesday, May 28, 2008


As you can imagine, things have been crazy at our house lately. Just getting back into the swing of things, plus the RUSH RUSH RUSH to get more documents done. And of course, we are approaching the end of our year in which all our documents expire - so more work!!!!

But, amidst all this paperwork, we know there is a little girl waiting for us to come back and get her. And we are looking forward to the rest of our lives with her.

Keep praying for us!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Greetings from Russia !!!

Good Afternoon (and by afternoon I mean ours)

It is currently 1:30pm here in Moscow (you are all in bed still sleeping). We have made is safely to and from Krasnoyarsk. Let me begin by telling you a little about our adventure. It started out in JFK where our plane had to be switched out for another one because it was broke!!! Hence, we were delayed by about 2 hours to Moscow. That being said, past that, the 9 hour flight was uneventful - other then the obnoxious odor in the cabin!!!!!!!! Ewwwwwwwww!!!!!

We arrived in Moscow, only to check into a hotel for a 3 hour a nap - and $150 later we were on another flight to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. For those of you who do not know, Dennis is not a fan of flying, however, the flight to Krasnoyarsk. by his own admission, was pretty good. (I think we should take that as a good sign). We arrived in Krasnoyarsk (Kras) approx 6am the following day to more good news - NO HOT WATER!!!!!!! - Seriously, for some reason, the region shuts down it's hot water in preparation for the new spring/summer schedule. We just happend to pick that time. Needless to say, we had to boil water to take small baths. Washing my hair was a treat - can't wait for a HOT shower in Moscow.

So, if you can follow this time line - We left JFK at 6:30pm on May 17th, arrived in Moscow at noon on the May 18th, and from Moscow to Kras arriving at 6am on May 19th. So, we somehow lost a day from flying - WHOOOOOO, good times!!!!!

Anyway, I divert - We arrived in Kras at 6am where we were greeted by Sveta (our translator) and Dasha (one of our CHI reps). They took us to the apartment that we would be staying at, and we got about 2 hours sleep, and off to the Ministry of Education to get some information about our referral. But 1st - let me tell you about Business Lunches in Siberia - Well, what a concept. For about $12 pp you get a salad, a soup, a main meal, a dessert and a drink. And these are not some small portions. The soup bowls were bigger then my bowls at home. Needless to say, the food has been an adventure here for me - Dennis has been able to enjoy most of the food. He had a soup called Borscht that he really enjoyed. Personally, I have tried most of the foods, some was ok, some I could do without. No way was a I eating rabbit!!!!!! But the traditinal Russian cake dessert was very good. It was similar to Tiramasu. These Business Lunches were only only "true" meals of the day. In the mornings Dennis would have oatmeal and I had cereal. In the evernings (if we were awake) we would have a cup of soup (Oddles of Noodles).

But I digress - back to the real reason of this email - So, after the Ministry of Education, we went to the Director of Social Services. There we were greated by our other CHI rep, Oleg. Very nice man. He was a nuerologist in Russia prior to devoting his time with adoptions. At the Dir of Social Services we got all of the information on her. We learned all about when she was born and under what circumstances she was released to the orphanage. From there we went to the orphange to meet her.

Let's give you a little information about the orphange - It was a very nice facility, run by caring people. The rooms were all well maintained, and there was laughter in the halls. We were brought upstairs to the vistors playroom where we met with the Orphanage doctor. I have to say, in all honestly, the orphanage doctor was very very impressive. She has lots and lots of details on our referral, down to 8 specialist who see her on a regular basis for standard check ups. After going through 1.5 hours with the doctor, it was finally time to meet our little girl. (okay, let me preface this for you - EVERYTHING we read prepared us to expect a child who would be very reserved, want limited conact, and was developmentally challenged).

When she 1st entered the room we met the CUTIEST little girl. She has dark blond/very light brown hair, grey-blue eyes, and a quirly little smile. She came over to Dennis and I where we started coloring, playing music, singing - and we KNEW that this little girl was ours!!! She babbled in Russian (not that we could understand a word she was saying) and was truly quite a joy. She is a tiny little thing, probably no bigger than a 2.5 year old would be. She is SKINNY, just abut fits into 3T's, and has a love for dresses (The caregivers say she doesn't like to wear pants) HA HA HA HA!!!!!!! Not sure the closet in the bedroom will be big enough for all her clothes!!!! Anyway, we got to spend about 3 hours with her the 1st day, then had to leave. We returned to the apartment (which was very nice), put together the documents for our Doctors at CHOP, emailed them, and then Dennis and I CRASHED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Yes we did!!!!

The next day we spent the day getting to know our little girl a little bitter. She opened up a little more, and according to the caregivers recognized us from the windows. We got lots of video, pictures and started showing her the photobook that we made for her. Alas, again, our time flew by and we had to head back to the apartment. We sent more revisions of our medical reports to our Dr at CHOP and of course, Dennis and I CRASHED!!!!! Sleep has been becoming an issue. Our bodies can't figure out what time zone we are in, and what time it actually is. Anyway, by 1am we were back awake and decided to call the Dr. Now, you are probably askng - why call the Dr? Why not just email her - Well, you see - after I sent out the revised docs, the internet in ALL OF KRAS went down - NO INTERNET!!!!! Another joy!!!! Anyway, we called our Dr at CHOP at 1am ( 1pm EST) and gave her the additinoal findings. By 2am our time we had the OK - and we were ready to accept the referral for adoption.

The following day we spent our last time with our little one, gave her her new clothes, her toys, and cried when we had to leave her!!!! We went to the notary to prepare the documents for court adoption and to change her name. We named her Cassidy Maria - and at that same time we were informed that the process to come back and get her could take up to 3 months. Can you believe it - 3 months? So, we vowed that we would do everything we could to get her home sooner. That means LOTS of paperwork (CHERI - get out that notary stamp, we have to form that assembly line again!!!)

Anyway, that leads me to current - Dennis and I are sitting in the business center at a hotel in Moscow. We took a 5 hour flight from Kras this morning, and are waiting for our room to be ready for check in. We plan on spending the rest of the afternoon relaxing, and then we are meeting up with another couple we met (also adopting in Kras) for dinner by the Red Square. Should be fun, but we can't wait to be home. We miss Max and Ethan desperately!!!!!!!!!

Well - I believe that is all I have to report for now (like it wasn't long enough). I hope you enjoyed our run down of activities this past week.

Stephanie & Dennis

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Details, Details, Details....

As they say, it is all in the details and the next few weeks - that is all it will be about. Travel arrangements, medical arrangements, transportation arrangements (and let's not leave out all the prep for Max's communion which is on the day we leave). We are slated to leave JFK on Saturday, May 17th at 4:20pm. We are going to be able to see Max's communion, and some of his party - but then we are being whisked away to JFK. Thankfully I was able to find direct flights to Moscow (and not as expensive as I thought) on Delta. We will have a few hours in Moscow, and we leave on a 9pm from from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk. We arrive in Krasnoyarsk at 5:30am on May 19th, and meet with the Ministry by 9am. (Not much time). BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!!

Dennis always complains that I have "lists". Well, I certainly don't hear him complaining now!!!!! Organization will be the key to getting us set for the communion and the trip (oh - and BTW, did I mention I was gone all this week on business???) HA HA HA HA. Some things you just can't make up. So, I have a business list (of all the items I need), then a school list (of everything I need to do for my classes), a home list (emergency contacts & schedules for the boys), and finally a Russia list (what we need to bring). I have lists ALL over the place.

Well, I will continue to fill you in as details become available - but suffice it to say we will be in Russia from May 18th through May 23rd. Please don't forget to pray and keep us in your thoughts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

OMGosh - We got a referral !!!!!!

We got a call from Rebecca at our CHI office this afternoon. She let us know that they had a referral for us for a little girl (3 years old). We don't know many details, hopefully we will have more to report soon - They are requesting we be in Krasnoyarsk from May 18th to May 23rd. We have asked for a short delay since Max's communion is on the 17th and we don't want to miss that.

I will let everyone know as soon as we hear anything!!! Thank you all for your prayers, please keep them coming.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We got great news today!!!! Our CHI liaison, Rebecca (the best!!!), let us know that we got our official documentation that we have been registered in Krasnoyarsk. WE ARE OFFICIAL!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!! Come on Referral!!!!!

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers!!!!