Friday, March 12, 2010

Met Two Years Ago and ReAdoption Complete!

Wow - I missed some important dates this year. Of course it didn't help that this week both Daniel and I got the stomach flu within about 4 hours of each other. And so ends my debate on whether or not to keep the monitor on in his bedroom. I'm glad I did. Even though the sounds weren't pleasant, I was woken from sleep and managed to lunge into his room and rescue the floor from disaster. Only the bed had to be stripped. Then 4 hours later I was up and sick as a dog. We made it - hopefully safe for a couple of years!!

I digress - On February 22, 2008, we received the call that would change our lives forever for the better. On March 8, 2008, we left, giddy with excitement, on a pretty amazing trip and on March 11, 2008, we met our son!! I can't believe it's been two years since we first laid eyes on him. It's also important to point out that he's been home longer now than anywhere else!! It feels like forever at this point and at times I almost feel like the process never took place.

I been thinking a lot about that.

Of course we'll never forget his roots and certainly he will grow up understanding where he is from and how he came to us - he'll tell you he was born in Russia if you ask him - but we're at the point where it just isn't something we spend a lot of time on now. I don't introduce as being adopted, I don't tell everyone we meet he is adopted and sometimes if someone comments how much he looks like Troy (that we don't know) we just smile and nod and don't bother explaining how impossible that is. It feels good to move beyond all that because for a while I felt a bit stuck, almost like I had to correct everyone. We do have a sweet adoption book that we read occasionally, and we work on Russia words and if we hear the word Russia we cheer, but as a family we're moving beyond and just enjoying life.

And life has been busy! I can't believe it's been a month since I've updated! We're actively invloved in our Playgroup and this month we're supporting Soles 4 Souls. We can specify where we want the shoes we collect to go so the warm weather shoes are heading to Ethiopia where Daniel's friend Mari is from and the winter shoes will be heading to Russia! We've also recently joined a new orphan ministry at a local church and we are excited to see where it leads us!

We did petition the courts last year (as in October, I think) for Daniel's Re-adoption and finally in December after a mild panic when I called to check on the final order and the secretary told me there was an issue with the paperwork - there wasn't - it just wasn't signed yet and instead of telling me that she said there was an issue that she couldn't tell me about and then 5 days later the order was signed, sealed and delivered to our door - the re-adoption was complete - we did it all on our own for less than $75.00! And the best part - we just finally received Daniel's Virginia Certificate of Foreign Birth! YAY!

That being done I filed a form to USCIS for the return of original documents from the embassy packet we handed in to the airport officials, in the hopes of possibly receiving a piece of anything that we didn't already have, but we only received an extra original of the court decree. I was hoping for more information, but I've heard it's spotty what you get back at best, but I figured it was worth a try!

At this point we have our 2 year post placement visit on the 26th of this month and then one more next year and we can finally put the crate of paperwork away. I told Troy we're going to have to rent a small warehouse space for the crate. I'll be glad when the paperwork chase is completely over.

That being said, while we had and still have every intention to adopt again, for now it is on the back burner. We have decided just to sit back and enjoy Daniel for a while. We're clearing his medical slowly (still with follow ups and we still have another large test to do) but the doctor has hopes of releasing him within a year or two to regular checkups. We feel as if we need to fully walk this road before looking toward another especially since we've realized that we may be open to the same type of issue in the future (although we're hazy on the degree at the moment).

The best news - DANIEL IS FINALLY POTTY TRAINED!! We've gone 6 days with no accidents - not even a spot in his underwear. Remember we were initially told he would most likely have to have a permanent catheter so we're just amazed, relieved and so thankful to God for this miracle!! And my washing machine thanks Daniel too!

Daniel's doing great. He changes every day. Each day it's something new. Some new funny phrase, some new word, some new question. He's been questioning me a lot lately about whether or not I have to go to work and if I can take days off (I only work 3!) He also expressed a fear that I may not pick him up one day and I believe this was not related to his past but his age so we quickly squelched that fear.

He's a loving child, a kind child, a sharing child, he's stubborn, hard headed, silly, a little crazy (he gets that from us) and a genuine joy.

We're so thankful for him and we're so happy he's ours forever!!

I think that's where we are right now!


Mama Fish said...

I love this post! How far Daniel has come to be potty trained from his original diagnosis! Praise God!

It is amazing for me that he has almost been home longer than he has been in Russia! That is awesome, and I too look forward to that day! I wish the post placement reports were less though.

Its good to see a post from you, I have missed you!

Carolynn and Steve said...

So GLAD to hear that so much is going well! (well, except for the stomach flu part---bleah!) It is hard to believe that it has been 2 years already--but I'm so glad that everything is developing so nicely for all of you. Daniel is SUCH a cutie!

Joy said...

What a onderful post. He is doing so well and I know just what you are talking about when you say you do not feel the need to tell everyone he is adopted any more. I was thinking about that the other day actually.

Potty trained! Way to go! That is very hard when you do not have a medical issue. I am so happy that area is clearing up too.

Jenny and Randy said...

What a great post! First of all, woo hoo for being potty trained! And I'm glad to hear everyone is feeling better at your place. When is Daniel's next big medical test to take place? We've been keeping him in our prayers. Our next big one is at the end of this month, so I'll keep you posted.

What a wonderful landmark that Daniel has now lived at home with his family longer than he has lived anywhere else! He certainly seems to be thriving, and you are such a beautiful family together. I know what you mean about Russia always being special and important, but it's so nice when it no longer seems to be a part of every day, and the every day is more about just being a family and living life together.
Congratulations on your two-year milestones!

Amy said...

I love anniversaries!! Your blog helped me get through my crazy wait... it's hard to believe that it's already been two years!!

Congrats to Daniel on potty training. Now can you help with Tatiana? LOL

Stacy, Pat and Aidan said...

We're getting ready to do our re-adoption process. . .just didn't have time before now! Was it hard? I did get some info from Fairfax County and Loudoun County courts said it was a simple process and to follow what we got from Fairfax. I guess if you can do the Russia papaerwork, this should be a breeze, right?

Dede said...

Bummer that you have been sick but congrats on everything else! So glad to hear that Daniel is doing well and potty trained...woo hoo!!!

Craig and Phyllis said...

My, your two year post placement???? How can that be?!! Great to hear that Daniel has completed potty training. Yeah!! I've been missing hearing more from you lately, but understand that life gets going pretty fast. : )

Roger and Joanne said...

A beautiful post! Wow, time flies. Your was one of the first blogs I started reading when we began this journey.
I'm sure you are just over-joyed with the potty training. Niko is close to being potty trained, but he's not that verbal yet with letting us know. Once Reese was a week trained, there were still occasional accidents to come, but not for long.
Congrats on your many accomplishments and happiness together as a family!

the7houks said...

What a sweet update!

Jane and Jim said...

Happy Happy Happy 2 years meeting!
So glad to see he's doing great and congrats on the potty training! That is AWESOME!!!!

Hope you're feeling better too!

Vicki said...

So great to hear that Daniel is doing so well! I completely understand what you mean about not focusing so much on the adoption, etc now. We arrived at that point first with Emily and then with Ashley more recently. Like you said, we honor and respect their heritage and certainly are thankful of how they came to us, but it's not WHO they are, you know? They will always know they were born in Russia and are adopted but it doesn't have to be the focus. They are our children, we are a family. I'm so glad you're all doing well and so happy for your beautiful family!!!

Teresa & Kevin said...

This was such a sweet post. I am so happy to see how well Daniel is doing and he is potty trained!-
Happy 2 year anniversary and congrats on his new birth certificate!!
I hope you both are feeling better!

Kristine said...

I'm so glad I got to be a part of that journey and follow along.

That little guy is such a blessing. God is so good Rachel.

Carey and Norman said...

Congratulations! Amazing that it has been two years! Your dates are also important ones to us too. We had our court date on February 22, 2008 and we went to the Embassy in Moscow on March 11th coming home on March 12th. Fun to think about our first meeting in person in Russia at the Holiday Inn with me sick with the Russian flu. And, now we've both been home with our children 2 years and completing our second post placement reports (ours was late due to our travels to China and surgery....they wouldn't let us do it early in December when I asked).

Sorry to hear that another adoption is on the back burner, but I also understand your reasons for waiting. These families that continue to go back amaze me. I would love to adopt again (don't tell Norman :o), but financially I'm not sure that we will (or at least for many years).

I'm so glad that Daniel is doing so well. I'm so thankful that his medical reports come back so positive and that he is now Potty Trained (Go Daniel)! I'm so proud of him!! I cannot wait until you visit this summer. The kids are looking forward to it too!

Thank you again for your e-mails and gift while at the hospital. They meant so much!