Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


For all of you at least a little familiar with international adoption you are aware of the incredible costs. As we now wait and pray for accreditation and to receive our referral we are struggling to find ways to support our adoption. Most of you are aware that recently the nonprofit agency we both work for was forced to close. Fortunately Amy's position is one of three that will remain as she's contracted to work in the schools however Ryan was officially laid off this week. Having paid for 1/3 of our costs to this point and knowing that a little boy waits for us (and us for him)we are keeping on. We would love to hear any ideas from our creative family and friends as well as suggestions from the many new friends we have met in this process. So....if you have a suggestion please leave it in our comments and we'll keep track of them. One thing we have decided to do is to sell bracelets...hence the bracelet picture and donation button to your left. We just started our counter below and found we got over 50 hits on our blog in one day! Glad to know we are so interesting :) so we figured at that rate we could actually fund our adoption on these my wonderful husband has agreed to shave his head if we sell 2,000 bracelets! Bald is beautiful and I promise to post pics here. Other things we have done thus far include:

*Applying for adoption grants (no luck yet)
*Took out a loan against our home (helpful but still short $20,000)
*Selling any item we could possibly do without on ebay
*Adoption bracelets

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No news is not always good news...

I spoke with our adoption consultant in St. Louis today. It all boils down to no real new news. It seems everyone anticipates re-accrediation to happen with Russia soon however NO agencies have it right now. Our expected wait time if accrediation does not happen soon is 10-12 months from the time we submitted our dossier until when we actually bring our little guy home. So - since we sent our dossier in around the first of May we believe a very approximate time frame for our first trip will be around December - March with our final trip 2-3 months following that. She also stated that it is likely that our 500 - 700 page dossier is now completed being translated however we will not be contacted by Russia now until we get "the call" for our referral. We of course are praying for accrediation to happen soon - not only for our sake but for the good of all the children and families who are having to wait this out. So while I do not right now like the phrase "no news is good news", I do have greater appreciation for the statment, "patience is a virtue".


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sad Stats...

Since ending the school year (both grad school & elementary school) I've picked up more reading of others blogs who are adopting and the many great adoption web sites. So often were asked "Why Russia?" or "What are the needs there?". So I've decided to post some recent findings and stats about Russian orphans...

More than 700,000 orphans are living in 2,000 state-run orphanages. Of those, 95 percent have a living parent unable to or unwilling to care for them. That doesn't include the estimated 2 million to 4 million homeless orphans living on the streets and in railway stations.

Of those who are not adopted and leave the orphanage between the ages of 16 and 18

  • 50 percent of the girls become prostitutes
  • 40 percent of the children become addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • 40 percent commit crimes
  • 10 percent commit suicide


  • Just 1 in 10 former Russian orphans becomes a functional member of society.
  • 132,500 children are abandoned to the state in Russia every year, up from roughly 67,000 in 1992.
  • Nearly 4,640 Russian orphans were adopted by Americans in 2005, down from a record 5,865 in 2004.
  • 13 out of every 100 children adopted by Russians are eventually returned to the orphanage.
  • 40 million children in the former Soviet Union are living in poverty.

Sources: Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the Commission for Children at Risk, Human Rights Watch, European Children's Trust, Rosstat Agency

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cute letter...

I recently found a sample letter suggested a child give to the family and friends of his/her family. It is a good example of what is often recommended for children trying to attach to their new families. We have been doing a lot of reading about attachment struggles of Russian orphans and of course want to ease our sons transition while showing him we are not going anywhere.

Dear family and friends,

You must care very deeply for me to be reading this note. I can’t wait to meet you, but there are some special things you should know about me. I am only just learning what it means to have a mommy and daddy and how to be part of a family. For this reason, please allow my parents to do all my caretaking, including holding, comforting, and feeding me. You are welcome to play with me and smile and talk to me. My mommy and daddy have been told by experts that this will help me learn as fast as I can how to be a happy and healthy part of my new family.


Hope all is well with all of you! We'll keep you updated!
Ryan & Amy

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Our first blog...

Welcome to our first blog! We are hoping this site will serve as a way for us to capture moments through our adoption process as while as update our family and friends with news and even pictures while in Russia and back at home. We have started by recalling all the memorable dates up until this point. We are now in the "waiting stage" and many people who have gone through adoption recommend coping with this stage by journaling the that is what we are doing here. Our agency expects our very approximate wait time to be between 8 - 10 months from the time our dossier was sent in until we bring our little guy home. Our first trip to Russia will be about 2 - 3 months prior to this. We figure that puts us somewhere around the new year. Looking forward to sharing this journey with all of you!