Apr 17, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Our Day in Court

We had court on Thursday, April 11, 2013. It was scheduled for 11am, but time is very flexible in this country. Our driver arrived much earlier than necessary, so I assumed our facilitator hadn’t told him we were going to court, not the orphanage. I called her and she said she would call him and let him know what to do. She told us to be ready and go at 10:15. (I had been ready since 8:30!) So, at 10:15 we went downstairs to the car. She said the drive would take about 20 minutes. Our driver went the opposite direction of the orphanage. We got in some traffic. He detoured through a shack-type subdivision and in the estimated 20 minutes, we pulled up in from of the City Council building. This is the same building that we pass every day on the way to the orphanage and it is 6 minutes from our apartment! I’m not sure what that wild goose chase was about! Then, we wait in the car for, as he says “5 minutes.” The five minutes turn into 20 and finally the local social worker comes out, joins us in the car and we are on our way again! At 10:52 we pulled in to the parking lot at the court building. Our facilitator was waiting inside. We went into the court room and all the other official participants eventually made their way to the court room as well. The judge began the proceedings around 11:15.
They started with all the preliminaries. Each person introduced themselves and told about their official position. Our facilitator translated the basics of this for me. Then, the judge read the report about us that the facilitator had written. She translated this as well. After all that the judge asked the facilitator and I to stand up and she asked some questions which I answered and the facilitator translated. The first question was more like ten questions, one after the other. It was all basic stuff about our life, our family and why we chose this country. I answered as much as I could remember and when I finished, she didn’t ask for any clarification so she must have been satisfied. Then, she asked things like where I work, what my husband does for a living (she didn’t even ask why he wasn’t there), where do my other kids go to school, what do we like to do for vacation and to tell her what I know about NK’s condition. It was easy stuff. Then, she asked each member in the court room if they had any questions. The only one who asked a question was the prosecutor. He asked, “Is it correct that your other two children share a room?” Umm…NO. They each have their own room. I don’t know where he got that idea? Then, the judge asked each member to give their opinion. Everyone said they felt the adoption was in the best interest of the child. The judge said she would take a break and be back with her decision. That’s pretty much a formality and we felt really good about everything!
So, everyone left the court room except for Michael, the facilitator and I. We sat and waited and waited and waited. I’m pretty sure they all went to lunch!  Finally, at 1:55 (after waiting TWO HOURS) the secretary came and got our facilitator. She gave her the paperwork for the judge’s decision and told us we could leave. As we started out the door, the secretary motioned for us to sit back down. The judge came in, told us to take care of NK and meet her medical needs and give her a good life. That was it.
Yay, finally this little girl is legally mine and we just have to wait it out for ten days until we get the official decree!!! Then, off for more paperwork!!

Apr 5, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Random Tidbits

We’re staying in a nice apartment in a nice little city. I’m not much of a city girl, but I don’t mind walking across the street to have dinner. Of course, it would be better if there was a Cracker Barrel across the street, but we are surviving on pizza. You can get most anything on pizza here. Some of them have tomato sauce, some don’t. They make it with salami, chicken, corn, broccoli, squid, shrimp and other stuff I can’t translate. The best thing I did in preparation for this trip was to learn the Russian alphabet. It’s amazing how many things I can understand after I sound out the words (just like my first graders!)
We have a driver who takes us to the orphanage and back twice a day. His name is Serge (not to be confused with Serge the Great in the capital city who helps with all our adoption stuff!) He’s probably twenty-something. I’m not good at guessing ages. He doesn’t really speak any English, so our conversations consist of Hello and Dasvahdanya (Good bye). All that matters is that he is ALWAYS early to pick us up and he seems to be a good driver. Some of the ones here are scary since there don’t seem to be any particular traffic laws that are enforced, but Serge does a great job. Some things I have noticed: drivers are very good at giving pedestrians the right of way; there may be two lanes, but if there is room for three cars, go right ahead; maybe it’s a Spring thing, but crews are intent daily on digging up every blade of grass in the medians (with a small tiller, hoes and rakes) and replanting or something. There are also some guys down the road who are laying a new sidewalk. It’s somewhat distressing to think I will probably be here long enough to see them complete it!
I know there are other random things I am forgetting, but if so, I will add them later.

Apr 5, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Enjoying the Journey

I will admit that since we have the private facebook page, I have neglected the blog. I will try to catch up and summarize our journey so far.
As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to travel. However, as I was growing up I must admit I was probably thinking more like New York or the Grand Canyon or maybe Australia (until my first long plane ride to Israel and then I definitely ruled out Australia!) I never would have imagined I would have so many stamps in my passport and that they would actually represent members of my family.
This trip has been absolutely perfect so far (other than the fact that I am miles and miles away from all my family (except Michael!) and friends!) We arrived in the capital of this country and were greeted by lots and lots of snow. After a couple days of paperwork, we took a 12 hour, overnight train to the region where our Little Girl is living. We bought a “first class” compartment and squeezed into the tiny little space with ourselves and our luggage. It was a rocking, starting and stopping trip involving lots of dozing and lots of waking up. I’m not sure if it was the effect of the train or just the fact of knowing I was going to meet Our Little Girl face to face the next day!!
At the train station, we struggled off with our luggage but a stranger volunteered his help to make it easier. Yay! Then, we dragged our belongings and trudged through only an inch or so of snow to the train station. As we stood there, looking quite out of place and lost, I’m sure, our facilitator and driver found us. We followed them, loaded everything into the tiny car (some stuff in the trunk, other stuff piled on top of us!) and headed off to the “city council” building to meet with the regional social worker. (I brushed my hair and freshened up on the train because I imagined we would hit the ground running!) We met the social worker and then she headed to the orphanage with us.
When we got there, it seemed like forever until we got to the good part! We had to wait for the director and meet with him. Then, we had to wait for the doctor and meet with her. She read Our Little Girl’s file and our facilitator translated for me while I took notes. As I was writing and listening, I was shocked to hear that she was already receiving treatments here for her bone condition! Wow! I never dreamed that would be possible! Only God could pull that together. This country puts very little value on orphans, especially those with special needs, so for Our Little Girl to be getting this kind of treatment shows that God has some big plans for her!
Finally, the time came to meet her! They walked us up to her groupa room. As we walked inside, I immediately spotted her in her crib!! I will never forget the smile on her face! I’m convinced she knew why I was there and she was thrilled! They took us into the sleeping area and showed me how her arm was bowed and how her legs were bent, all due to the OI. None of that mattered to me. I just knew I was looking at Our Little Girl and there was no way I was leaving this country without her! They talked to her a little while and got her to tell me her name and the city where she lives. They asked a few other things I didn’t understand, but she was very verbal and bright! When they put her back in her crib, I played with her a few minutes. Then, the facilitator told me they were waiting for my answer. Did I need more time to decide? I didn’t realize that’s what they were waiting for! I could have told them my answer months ago! Yes! I want her! This is Our Little Girl!!
Afterwards, we went back to the director’s office. He told us we could visit everyday from 10-11:30 and 4-5. We could bring a snack in the morning. They are closed on weekends, but we can come and knock on the door and they will let us in. He told us that we should take good care of her and continue her medical treatments in the US. Then, that was it! I haven’t seen him since. :-)
When we left, our facilitator took us to a place called AMCTOP (which is Russian that reads “AMSTORE” where we could eat, exchange money and buy groceries. We took care of what we needed. Then, she took us to our apartment and got us settled in. The day was only half way through, but it was exhausting! Thankfully, we were finished and could relax until time to go again!

Mar 27, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

DAP Appointment and Waiting to Leave

Our DAP (Department of Adoptions and Protection of children) appointment was originally scheduled for Monday, March 25th at 10:00 am. Due to the weather here (aka snowstorm of the century), the DAP was closed on Monday. So, the incredible Serge said he would get them to squeeze us in on Tuesday.
We got a phone call from Eugene, the driver, at 7:40 am Tuesday morning. He said he was on his way to our apartment. We gathered our things and were ready when he called again at 7:55 to say he was almost here. We went downstairs and met him at the corner. I’m sure it was easy for him to recognize two Americans, standing outside the apartment building, so he pulled over and motioned to us and introduced himself. The snow he was driving through was unbelievable. We’d never survive this in Alabama. It would be like the end of the world! Finally, we arrived in the vicinity of the DAP. Eugene said it was be bad to park too close, so he found a nice spot on what looked like the sidewalk to me and we walked a couple of blocks from there.
When we arrived we met Serge, who I recognized from pictures that had been posted by other traveling families. We talked to him awhile. He answered questions and gave us a brief synopsis of what to expect in the appointment. It would be brief. They might ask some questions and they would approve for us to visit the orphanage. Soon the other adopting families arrived and we walked to the door of the DAP and waited to go inside. When we got inside, Serge called our name and we were first. We went upstairs, from one office into a smaller office with a neatly dressed lady. Since our child was “un-officially” pre-selected, it only took a moment for her to locate Our Little Girl and hand the identifying info to Serge. He translated it for me, but there wasn’t really any new info. She has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle bones) and what they call a “mental delay.” (I don’t think there’s a child in any orphanage who doesn’t have a mental delay! It comes with the territory. She will have plenty of time to catch up!) Serge and the DAP lady chattered hurriedly in their native tongue. Serge quickly asked me how I found this child. I told him that I saw her on Reece’s Rainbow (he had told me previously that it was ok to say this.) Then, he asked why I wanted a child with special needs. I said we felt this was something God had led us to do. (We discussed this previously as well.) He continued chattering to her in their native tongue and she handed me a paper to sign and then a notebook to sign. That was it. Somewhere during this brief meeting, Serge made a phone call to check on Our Little Girl. Is she still in your orphanage? Is there a family there to pursue her adoption? No. Ok. We have a family who are asking permission to come. So basically this appointment tells us she is still available and they are granting us permission to go and meet her. At this point, no one else can select her.
Of course, once we get to her region, we will meet with the regional social worker who will give us more background information, maybe some medical history, and will check that all of her papers are in order. Please pray that everything is correct. Typically, if there are paperwork glitches, they can be worked out during the process but it would be really nice if everything was in perfect order up front and ready for her adoption!
Serge tried to get our official permission papers yesterday so we could get on our way, but it didn’t work out so we will leave tonight. It will be an overnight train to her region and we will hit the ground running tomorrow to meet her. Basically, they will bring her in and let us meet her. They will ask if we want to adopt her? We will say, “Yes.” Then, we will leave and start the paper chase that will last all day long! I have our backpack with snacks and water for the trip on the train tonight and the busy day tomorrow. My camera is charged and ready for our first meeting so I can get a couple of quick snapshots. If you want to see them later, you will have to be in our private face book group because they can’t be posted or shared on any public site.
Today we’ve been hanging out here at the apartment. We walked back to the buffet for lunch and then to a “nearby” grocery store (It’s like walking from my house to the Piggly Wiggly, I think!!) Now, we will wait. Someone will call us around 3 and update our plan. We expect to go to the DAP between 4-5 and get our official papers. Then, we will catch the train around 7:00. I don’t know when we will be settled enough to get internet. It may be a day or so, but I will check in again as soon as I can. Keep praying for us!
Funny thing…. as we were walking back from the buffet, a group of 3 ladies stopped us and asked a question in Russian. I said, “I don’t speak Russian.” They smiled and one lady said, “Good! Neither do we! Can you tell us where to find Domino’s Pizza?”
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Snowy sidewalks

Walking around town

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Around the neighborhood

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Lunch! It’s a pickle, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and chicken Kiev.

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Our apartment building. We are on the fifth floor.

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Snow plow?

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Public transportation is on the move again. I don’t feel inclined to try it!

Mar 25, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

We Have Arrived!

Here we are, in Our Little Girl’s country, in snowy Eastern Europe! Now before I continue with my blogging, let me give you the usual disclaimer. I am a detail person. I blog for two primary reasons. The first is as a personal journal so I will remember every detail in years to come. The second reason is so that my mom, who I usually talk to 8-10 times a day when she is just living next door, will know exactly what we are doing on the other side of the world. So, if you don’t want details, feel free to skim. Otherwise, get ready for our next adventure!!! (Remember, I won’t be sharing Our Little Girl’s real name her or the name of her country or any pictures until after court, which is probably about 3 weeks away. If you already know this info, please don’t publish it anywhere on the internet. If you want more info, you can ask me to put you in our private face book group and I can share it with you.) We left rainy Alabama with the well wishes of family and friends on Saturday, March 23rd. Just before we headed to the airport, I was surprised to see a couple of friends (and their little guy) pull into our driveway at 7am to bid us farewell in the rain and pray with us one more time on our porch. Then, we went next door and I said good-bye to Emma. :-( (Ok, I said good-bye to the rest of her family too, but mostly Emma!) My parents followed us to the airport and we got checked in with no problem. I was telling the lady at the check-in desk about the reason for our journey and she was about to cry. Folks are always amazed when I share what God is doing in our lives. We hung out for awhile in the waiting area and then Michael and I said good-bye (and good luck!) to Russell and Laura and to my parents and we were on our way!! We had no problems going through security. It was actually the only time we went through a security checkpoint during the entire journey! I was surprised but very thankful. I think that was just another way God is going before us on this journey because I was not excited about the possibility of being frisked again in Frankfurt like last time! (If you haven’t heard the song, Whom Shall I Fear? by Chris Tomlin, go check it out on youtube or itunes because it’s my theme for this trip. The lyrics say, “I know Who goes before me. I know Who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.” He is definitely going before us on this journey!) We made it from Huntsville to Washington, DC-Dulles, had an expensive airport lunch, hung out at our gate for 5 or 6 hours, had a doughnut, surfed the web and wondered if our flight on the last leg of this journey would be cancelled due to snow! We boarded for Frankfurt, settled in, watched some movies and TV shows (Wreck It, Ralph, The Life of Pi, Everybody Loves Raymond, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and While You Were Sleeping. There was a wide variety of entertainment choices, obviously!) They fed us something not-so-tasty. I napped a little and we made it in only 7 1/2 hours. We were only supposed to have two hours in Frankfurt, but Our Little Girl’s country had experienced a massive, freak snowstorm (highly unusual for this time of year!) and the airport had been closed the last couple of days. The airline didn’t know if we would be able to land if we flew in. So, we waited for more information. Finally, after 4 hours, we received word that we would be allowed to land here in the capital city!! Another nice tidbit is that when we arrived in Frankfurt, we met up with another traveling family from our group, Reece’s Rainbow, who are on their way to adopt two children. So, we traveled with them the rest of the way.
It was about a two hour flight. They fed us something they called breakfast even though it was 1:00 on the afternoon. (It was breakfast time in Alabama, I guess!) When we got to Our Little Girl’s country, all we could see was snow!!! At the airport, it was all snow except for one strip that the pilots show aim for! Our pilot did a great job and everyone applauded as he slid us in safely! I felt very emotional at this point. I’m not sure if it was from the safe landing or the fact that I am actually in the same country now as Our Little Girl!! I wonder if anyone will tell her we are here. :-) As I looked out the window of the plane, there was snow piled everywhere! Wow! This Alabama girl has never seen so much snow in all my years put together! It’s pretty cool despite the inconvenience.
We made it inside the airport and stood in a long line to have our passports stamped. Again, God was going before us because I didn’t know what the guy would ask. I was hearing him ask several questions to people ahead of us, so I was thinking of possible answers. When we approached him, he looked at our passports, said, “So, you came through Frankfurt?” I said, “Yes.” He simply stamped our passports and said, “Welcome to U******!” Yay! We claimed our bags, including the stroller which I’ve been able to simply check at the gate each time so it didn’t get abused as much as our other luggage! As we exited in the lobby, there were people everywhere. Some were holding signs, most of which were in Russian or the local language. Then, I saw the most wonderful sign which said, FRYE! (and the other family) It was being held by an angel who suddenly took charge for these poor, jet-lagged travelers, helped us with our luggage, went and got his car, loaded us up and we were off!!
The ride from the airport was quite the adventure. If you wanted to go somewhere, you had to have a four wheel drive or it was impossible. Our angel, I think he said his name was Yuri, said this was the first day the road has been re-opened so we came on a good day. :-) We were still driving in snow everywhere. You couldn’t see a road. My camera was wedged in my backpack, so I didn’t get pictures, but don’t worry. The snow isn’t leaving anytime soon, so I will definitely get pictures later! On another road, the snow had turned to dirty slush and it looked like were were driving through two inches of mud! Cars were on the side of the roads, surrounded by snow. The far right lane of the road was closed because it was lined with big rigs that couldn’t go anywhere. When we got into the city, it was definitely a four-wheel drive ride through the snow. It was hard to tell if there was a road anywhere! Yuri stopped to get the keys to my apartment. Then, he took us to exchange money and buy a few groceries. The other couple, C & J, were with us, so we went to their apartment first. Nico met us there and gave us local cell phones with the numbers listed for all the team we will be working with in country. Then, they took us to our apartment, helped with our luggage, walked us in, showed us around and made sure we knew how to lock the door.
It’s a great little place. The lady who actually lives here is named Karen. She is an American who moved here about seven years ago. She is also a friend of our church missionaries, Ron and Galina. Part of Karen’s ministry here is to open her apartment, free of charge, to adoptive families while they are in the capital city. She is currently out of town, but should be home briefly tonight before leaving again tomorrow. It has everything we could ask for! There are restaurants nearby and a grocery store right down the street. We will go out and explore a little this afternoon (not far because I don’t want to get lost and in all this snow, everything really looks the same!!) It’s a lot like being in Latvia. Everyone walks a lot (but there are also an awful lot of cars zooming around!) The buildings are beautiful and hopefully the food is good.
For now, I’ve had a nice, hot shower and a banana. Michael is still asleep (going on 14 hours) and even though I slept til 9, I’m thinking a nap might be a good idea!! As for the adoption journey, today is what we Alabama folks call a “Snow Day” and the adoption department is closed. Otherwise, we would have had our appointment by now. Hopefully, they will reschedule us for tomorrow. It will just put us one day later than originally planned. If we have our appointment tomorrow (on Tuesday), then we will pick up official papers on Wednesday, take the overnight train to the orphanage and meet her on Thursday!! I will be here at this apartment until then. I don’t know what the apartment or internet or weather will be like when we get there, but I know Who goes before us, so I won’t worry!
Random tidbits:
I talked to Galina (our missionary’s wife) last night. If public transportation gets up and running, she will come and visit us.
I found some of those little round cookies like Ron always brings! Yum!
Last night we saw a tow-truck with a crane attachment on the back and it was hoisting a car up out of the snow!
Michael found some yummy, bacon flavored potato chips.
We brought a Magic Jack phone adapter with us and it works beautifully to call home through the computer!
I am a bit stuffy headed this morning thanks to all the travel and changes in weather, but I have Benadryl. (and immodium and tylenol and tums and advil, etc, etc, etc!)
Prayer requests: Pray that we will get our appointments rescheduled for tomorrow. Pray that we will we well rested and my head will clear up. Pray for Our Little Girl! We’re coming soon!!!

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Our Kitchen

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The View Outside Our Window

Feb 19, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

February 2013

There’s still not a lot to blog about. I’ve posted current updates on facebook, so if you want to get those, just let me know. However, when I actually travel, the blog will stay busy (internet permitting!) If you read my blog when we went to get Laura, you know I like to record all the details of our adventures…travel, lodging, food, etc. So be ready!
At this point, all of our documents were officially submitted Thursday, February 14th (Happy Valentine’s Day to me!!!) and we’re waiting once again. Currently, travel dates are running around 6 weeks from the date of submission. So, we’re looking at the end of March. Hopefully, we’ll hear something specific in a couple weeks.
As for me, I’m working on a photo book of our family and typical activities to share with Our Little Girl and anyone else who wants to look at it. I’m trying to learn a little Russian (Yah ne penny my you! Which is not the Russian spelling but means I don’t understand! I think it will be a very useful phrase!) I’m also packing (of course, I’ve been packing for three months!) I have a growing list of things to take, so I’m trying to pack a few things along the way. When it’s time to go, I can just throw in a few clothes and take off!
I talked to a friend last night. It was someone I don’t talk to often and more of an acquaintance really. However, we have several common interests and had a good conversation. She was asking about Our Little Girl and what moved me the most was that she told me that she had been praying for her to stay safe and be well and healthy until we get there. It just made me feel good to know that someone else was praying specific things for our daughter. I keep looking at her picture on my bathroom mirror and thinking that she just doesn’t know how her life is going to change. I know it will be scary for her at first, but ultimately it will be so much better. She’s too young to realize what her future would be if she didn’t join our family. I don’t even want to think about it. So, please pray for her. Pray for smoothness in our process….for a quick court date….for a good judge….and for kind caretakers who welcome us at the orphanage. Above all, pray for her health and her transition as she leaves the only home she’s ever known to embark on the scariest journey of her little life. Pray for our transport home through multiple flights and airports because she’s very fragile. Your prayers are greatly appreciated and they truly make a difference.
I’ll let everyone know when we get an official travel date. Until then, we’re still waiting.
Just FYI…the links that are added on the right side of my blog are from some of my friends I’ve met along the way (including the family who met Our Little Girl) and families who are currently getting ready to travel or will be traveling when we do. Keeping up with their journeys will help me prepare for mine!

Jan 18, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

January 2013

Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything here since the end of November. There’s been a lot going on with life in general and the adoption process continues to move at a steady pace (though it’s never fast enough for me! )
My last post was during the first week of our tremendously successful facebook auction! My friends, Ashley and Rita, came up with the idea to do this in order to raise the $890 I would need for our immigration application. Monetary donations and auction items poured in like crazy. It was a madhouse just trying to keep up with everything. Plus, I had other friends who offered to do a cutlery sale and a scarf sale at the same time to benefit our adoption. When everything was said and done, not only did we raise the $890 for immigration fees, we raised a total of more than $4000 to fully fund the entirety of the process!! Praise God! He is SO good! A few more donations have come in since then, so they are all in the bank, earmarked for future medical expenses.
As far as the adoption paperwork, it continues to proceed, one item at a time. Most of my dossier went to our little girl’s country before Thanksgiving with a traveling family. Our home study was complete last week and it is leaving tomorrow with a family in Indiana who is going to get their little boy. Please say a prayer for them as they travel and continue their process.
On Wednesday the Department of Homeland Security has requested our presence in Birmingham to have our fingerprints taken for their approval. Their approval should be issued only a couple of days after the appointment. That only leaves our state police clearances (which should arrive any time now) and our tax return for 2012 (which is in process, thanks to Shannon the Super Accountant!!)
The document checklist is very short now and should be completed around the first of February. After that, it’s another waiting game. Waiting for our dossier to be submitted to the Department of Adoptions in her country and then waiting for travel dates to be issued. Continue to pray for us as we continue to wait and follow where He leads us.

Nov 28, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Financial Accountability

If you’ve had a chance to check out our facebook auction (Frye Family Five Auction), then you see that it’s already been a huge success in just three days!! I wonder how God is going to use it over the next two and a half weeks!?!
As people have donated items, pledged money and offered their support, I wanted to take a few minutes and reaffirm that I will always be totally transparent in the financial aspect of the adoption of our little girl. Feel free to ask me anything or even request an itemized list of estimated expenses. There are no secrets. This is expensive, but she has a generous grant and I have amazing friends. To quote the wisdom of the one and only, Josh Boyd, “God’s got this.” That’s what he would tell me when I would stress over things in our previous adoption and it has been a comforting reminder many times.
Here’s where we stand, financially, at this point. The adoption is estimated to be around $22,500. It would be more, but we already have passports and a home study that just had to be updated instead of starting from scratch. After I had fallen in love with Our Little Girl and was deciding how I would ever come up with that much money, God gave her a grant of $18,137. We have a FSP account set up on www.reecesrainbow.org and at this point, there are $50 of donations in that account. A rough estimate last night showed that the auction has made around $1250 (and more has come in today). That gives us a rough total of $19,437. We will only need $3063 to be fully funded. $2400 of that includes 3 plane tickets (estimating $800 each). Then, we will need $600 for Our Little Girl’s expedited passport. That leaves $63 which has probably already come in through the auction today to cover her visa application! That may be more info than some of you want to know, but I want you to know without a doubt where every penny of your donation is going.
Her $18,137 grant covers the facilitator fees, court costs, lodging and food during the stay of 4-5 weeks in her country, driver’s fees, and an emergency fund in case plane tickets are more or if we have to stay longer. If we come home with anything left over at all, it will be used for her upcoming medical expenses, a pediatric wheelchair, etc. So, every dollar that is donated will be earmarked for Our Little Girl! Thanks so much for your prayers and support! It is truly overwhelming!!!

Nov 17, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

A Quick Note

I don’t have anything new on the adoption. I’m still waiting for the home study draft so I can send it to my facilitator for approval. When it is finalized, I will send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (along with $890) for their approval. That’s where this note comes in. I have a couple of amazing friends who have volunteered to head up a few fundraising projects to cover the rest of the costs of our little girl’s adoption!!!!! As you know, she has an awesome grant already, but we still need to cover the immigration fee, my plane tickets (two one-way trips because when I leave, I won’t know the return date), her plane ticket to America and her routine medical exam for her visa and passport.
The first event they have planned is a facebook auction. Generous folks are donating all kinds of great stuff to be auctioned off and raise money for the immigration fees. If you have anything you’d like to donate, just let me know. Then, get ready to start bidding on Monday, November 26th!! Items will be posted throughout the day. Just go to facebook and look for Frye Family Five Auction. Like the page and you’ll be ready to go! Click on the photo album, click on the picture of the item and place your bid! The auction will close at 8:00 pm CST on Saturday, December 15th (just in time to get everything shipped for Christmas!) Please share the page with your friends. We truly appreciate your support!!

Nov 1, 2012 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The Process

Most people want to know the details of our process. How long does it take? When can we bring her home? Well, at the end of September, we had a meeting with our social worker to do our one year, post-placement report for Laura. At that time, we told her we also wanted to update our home study and attempt to adopt our Little Girl. Fortunately, an update is much cheaper that the full fledged, start from scratch, home study, so that saved us some money right off! However, the paperwork doesn’t seem to be much less! Being the organized person I am, I filled it all out immediately, raced to the vet to update our pet vaccinations and called the doctor to schedule physicals! All of this is done and we’re just waiting on our social worker to complete the draft and for the police to clear us of any criminal history.
Meanwhile, we officially signed up with a group of facilitators, sent our deposit to the people working in her country and got our account set up to accept donations for our adoption. As I shared in the first post, she has over $18,000 in her grant fund that has been set aside for her adoption. When our account was set up, the fund reset to $0 (It now has $5, thanks to an anonymous friend!) and we will need around $6,000 more to be fully funded. Anything over that amount will be used towards future expenses such as doctor visits, purchasing a wheelchair, special chairs, car seat, etc. All donations are tax deductible!
After signing up with the facilitators, I received a packet of documents for our dossier and multiple checklists. I wasted no time filling everything out, signing it, having it notarized and being proofed by the team. On Tuesday morning, my brother Tim and I ventured to our State Capitol of Montgomery and got everything apostilled (a fancy word to say they’re putting a seal on it to certify that everything is official and they perform this nice service for $5.00 per page times 37 pages!) Then, I mailed it to a family who will travel on November 5th and they will hand deliver it to her country so translation can begin. As soon as the home study is finished, we will send it to join these documents (after another Montgomery trip) and file our application with the US department of citizenship and immigration. All along, we wait. When each piece of paper is complete and sent overseas, we will wait for the whole thing to be submitted. After it is submitted, we wait for travel dates which are usually 6-8 weeks later. I’m guessing that the earliest travel date would be February or it could be later in March. Again, I’m just guessing because anything can change. The time spent in country for the entire adoption process is usually around a month. That could be an entire blog post by itself, but I’m going to wait until it actually happens before writing about it. Until then, we pray and wait.