Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas in St. Louis???

As you can see, my last post indicated that we would most likely be spending Christmas in Russia. Well, that may not be the case now. We spoke with Marti at CHI yesterday. Since we've heard nothing since receiving the news about meeting our boys on December 25, it is likely that our trip to Russia will not happen over Christmas break. Nothing is set in stone. It could still happen, but with only three weeks until the 25th, it doesn't look promising. If we don't make the trip over Christmas, it will probably be within a couple of weeks after Christmas. It's still a lot to get used to, all of the waiting and asking ourselves "when??? when??? when???". We continue to have faith that the Lord will work everything out in His time. We've been assured by our friends at CHI that the referral is still ours and that we will make this first trip soon. The delays are most likely due to holiday plans and minor interferences, etc., nothing huge. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. We know you are all waiting patiently along with us. What a blessing you all are to us! Hopefully more news soon! Don't forget to keep our two boys in your prayers as well.


Clarion & Joel

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Christmas in Russia!

On Tuesday, Marti, our CHI case worker, came over to do our home study update. Everything went very well. She told us that she is in contact with CHI staff in Vladivostok and will hopefully have more information about our boys very soon. The next day she called to inform us that the first available date that we can meet our boys is none other than December 25, 2007. So...Christmas in Russia! Actually, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7, but I'm sure there will be plenty of Christmas cheer there on December 25. Hopefully we'll have more good news to share soon. Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement!

Joel & Clarion

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Finally, the referral comes...

Dear Family and Friends,

Yes, it's been almost a year since we've posted anything on our international adoption blog. Our last post was October 16, 2006. The news at the time was...we got two puppies. In the past year there hasn't been much to report. The dogs have gotten bigger. Joel has gotten bigger (in all the wrong places, but he IS working on it). We turned in our dossier on our third wedding anniversary, December 27, 2006. That was our final paperwork submission in order to be eligible to receive a referral for the adoption of two children from Russia. Since then...waiting...more waiting...and even more waiting. Russia has been working through a long-term accreditation process with all of the international adoption agencies they work with. Hence, the extra long wait times. Hence, no posts on our blog.

Well, the time has come! Yesterday we received word from our agency that there are two little boys (natural siblings) ages two and three in Vladivostok, Russia who need a mom and a dad. Lord willing, by April 2008 we will be their mom and dad. We don't know too much in the way of details, but here is some tentative information. We will travel to Vladivostok, Russia sometime in December to meet our sons-to-be for the first time. We don't know yet how long we will stay there. On average, I think it's about a week for the first trip. At the end of the first trip is when you officially accept your referral. In other words you let Russia know that you want to adopt these children. Typically there is a waiting period of a couple of months while paperwork is drawn up and a court date is set. We've been told in our case to expect a return trip to Vladivostok in April 2008. Why four months? We don't know. More details should be coming in the days ahead, hopefully!

While it will be tough to wait out the time between the two trips, we'll have plenty to do at home. Since it will have been over a year since we turned in our dossier, a number of our documents will need to be redone. Russia gives a life of twelve months to most documents. Getting the paperwork done is always tedious and somewhat stressful, but knowing what lies ahead, two beautiful boys, I don't think we will care about what we have to do. We'll just do it! Plus this tentative timetable works out very well for Joel's work schedule. He travels a lot for the Seminary in the fall (usually done by November) then again in the spring (usualy done sometime in April). This way he can very easily work around his Sem travels. Clarion has been teaching part-time this year at three schools, all who are aware that she will need to bug out a couple times during the year for our adoption travel.

As we get more information, we will share it with you, probably here on the blog. The blog is bound to get more interesting, finally. In the meantime, here is some info about Vladivostok. It is a city in far eastern Russia, just off the Sea of Japan. Yes, Japan. Vladivostok is closer to North and South Korea and Japan than it is to Moscow. (We will still have to travel to Moscow on our second trip. What a trip that will be!) For detailed information about Vladivostok, check out the article at Wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladivostok. Surprisingly, the weather averages for Vladivostok don't look too bad for December and April (see the chart at the Wikepedia article). December will be cold for sure, but not Siberia cold! April looks like it could be quite pleasant.

Check back once in a while for updates. We'll send e-mails out when we update the blog. As always, feel free to pass on a link to our blog to other friends and whoever else. We greatly treasure your prayers in our behalf, especially these next six months. Most importantly, we request your prayers for our two little guys in Vladivostok, that the Lord would keep them safe and well-cared for until we bring them home! To God be the glory! The Lord be with you!

In Christ,

Joel and Clarion