Long overdue update, school pictures and exciting news!

Yes, we are collectively as a family slackers with our blog, but after a long sabbatical we are back with exciting news and some great new pictures of the kids. The exciting news of course is that we are going to Serbia on Nov 1st to adopt a little girl with DS. We don't have a ton of information about her and what little we do we can't share yet due to privacy laws. We have seen pictures and she is a cutie and we think will be a good fit for our bunch. We hope to give updates as we travel like we did on the last two adoptions and will try to keep up.

To fill in a few blanks for those of you who are curious about how we got to this point after our long disappointing attempt to adopt from Russia, all I can really say is things seemed to fall into place pretty quick and the stars aligned. At first we were emotionally fried, to spend over a year going through all the steps of home-studies, background checks, numerous finger printings, psychological examinations and all the other fun that an international adoption entails, we had pretty much given up. Sheila and I were open to a domestic adoption but nothing was a good fit and it was hard to get enthused until I got a phone call from a friend of a friend. The wonderful Shari Eichens and her awesome family were hosting a cute little girl named Karina from Ukraine for a month last year. Like our girls she has Down syndrome and had that look like she would fit in with our clan. Shari wanted to reach out to us knowing our background with DS thinking we would be interested and it sparked a bit of the excitement in us again. Although I really knew even before Karina arrived that once the Eichens family had an angel like Karina with them, there was no way they would not try to adopt her themselves. Sure enough, they did and she is living here in Minnesota with her new forever family, we are over the moon for them, but it opened that door again.

We had never really considered Serbia before, having adopted from Ukraine and Russia previously and taking a keen interest in that culture and language it just wasn't on our radar. But Sheila had a long friendship with Leah Spring who had completed three adoptions from Serbia and convinced us to give it a try. The overall program costs are much lower than many other countries and things tend to move pretty quick there, so all we really needed to do was a few updates to our home-study and a changes to our I-600 USCIS form. Karin Link who had done our home-study for Russia very quickly made all the changes for Serbia and we were literally off to the races. We're talking a matter of weeks between deciding to officially try to adopt again and actually getting a travel date. I'm sure Sheila will add in some details soon as far as the process and timing for those of you who are interested in Serbia. But we really got from point A to D pretty quickly and really want to thank Shari, Leah and Karin for the inspiration, support and everything in between. More to come from Serbia!!

Onto the kids, if you can believe it Michael is a senior this year. It seems so weird to me and feels like just yesterday he was driving his little battery powered jeep around the yard and now he'll be driving a car and moving onto college soon. Some people say he looks like another long haired member of the Green family about 20 years ago.

Caelia and Valeria are both 11 now and in 5th grade. This will be their last year at Fraser Academy, both girls have grown so much this during their time there. We can't thank enough the teachers and paras they have had the last 5 years!

Masha is 6 now and in 1st grade. This is one little girl who loves school and has grown so much in her 3 years with us. I think she will really like having another sister closer to her age, although I don't think she really wants to give up the title of being the baby of the family.

Since my Caelia seems to refuse to smile in her school pictures, which is weird because she is one of the happiest, smiliest little girls you will meet, I wanted to include one shot of the girls showing Caelia in her not so serious mode.


Arizona mom to eight said...

I am so thrilled for you, another sweet daughter! You know I will be eagerly awaiting all the news for your newest sweetheart!!

Mama said...

I'm so excited for you guys! I wish I was with you....wait, that's probably not appropriate to say to someone you only know through the internet. :) My prayers are with you guys and can't wait to hear about your sweet angel!