We’re All Smiles

August 15, 2008 at 12:07 pm 17 comments

I didn’t write anything yesterday because the reality of the news was both exciting and stressful at the same time. We received the notice that we were waiting for, our visa registration numbers are finally in Kazakhstan system. Why is this important? These little numbers are the last approval we needed before we could apply for our visas. They are the official, “O.K.”, from Kazakhstan that allows our invite to be processed and our visas approved.

Yippee! We’re really going to Kazakhstan!!!

As I said, this news is exciting. Our adoption looks like it is actually moving forward. Now we really get busy (which is the stressful part) because we are leaving on September 1st. Yes, only two and a half weeks away!

I spent yesterday looking for plane tickets, which will most likely get booked today. We finished our visa applications in the morning and Doug FedEx-ed them in the afternoon. Coordinating money to bring, to have available for paying bills while we’re gone, and for paying adoption fees is being done. Setting up our Skype accounts on both computers, getting the video to work between Kazakhstan and home, and checking out the cell phone (thanks KJ and Steve) are a couple other things on the list to check off. What do I bring for the baby? What do I wear? I’ve been thinking about this for months but not really knowing when we were going, we couldn’t plan on seasons. Luckily, I dug out my fall/winter clothes a couple weeks ago to have ready for when we leave. I’m looking forward to talking with some of my current Kostanai travelers on what they are finding is most important to bring and to leave. Girls? Advice?

Even though we’ve been trying to figure out everything needed to travel and checking it off as we go, there is nothing like imminent departure that really makes the necessary steps for travel become clear.

My brother asked me yesterday how long this process has taken us, so I thought I’d outline it here (minus the year or so of fertility treatments):


  • March- signed on with MAPS (Maine Adoption Placement Services) to adopt a child from China.
  • Spring and Summer- completed dossier for China
  • August- dossier sent to the Chinese Consulate in NY for authentication.
  • November 14th- Official LID (Log in date) to wait for the then 15th period to adopt a child from China.


  • Winter- Wait times for China are seeming to increase exponentially from what we expected.
  • Spring- Begin to consider other options for adopting.
  • July- Change our country of adoption to Kazakhstan (and feel really good about it)!
  • August- Completion of Kazakhstan dossier (which was much more extensive than the one for China).
  • End of August- Dossier sent to be translated.
  • October 2nd- Translated dossier sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan


  • February 20th- Dossier reaches Ministry of Education.
  • March 11th- Assigned to Kostanai, Kazakhstan.
  • March 24th- Begin official leave from school based on recommendations from adoption agency. (We thought we would be leaving soon.)
  • April 17th- Receive word from Kazakhstan that our trip has been delayed until the end of August.
  • April 21st- Return to school and teach the remainder of the school year.
  • June 6th- Receive official letter of invitation (LOI) to travel to Kazakhstan between the dates of July 20 to October 20th.
  • June-July- Redo entire dossier (my third time doing one) because all of our documents expire. LOI dates also changed to August 25th-November 25th so that our visas don’t run out while we are in Kazakhstan.
  • August- Dossier update sent out.
  • August 14th- Confirmation of visa registration numbers.

Scattered among these dates are multiple trips to the INS office in South Portland, ME to be fingerprinted (three times) and to renew our I-600A form once; two trips to our local police station to be fingerprinted in the more traditional format (ink); multiple trips to Augusta, ME, our capital, to have all notarized documents apostilled; and countless phone calls, visits to physicians, banks, our adoption agency, etc., etc.

Could all of this finally be coming to an end? I dare not ask!

It has been a long journey leading up to the most exciting part: meeting our child. I have a few details on that end, too, but will leave it for verbal conversation and personal emails at this point rather than posting it on the Internet.

I’m sure I’ll be writing more and soon, but I just wanted to do a quick entry and shout:



Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption. Tags: , , , .

Holding My Breath Updating Fingerprints

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. melissa  |  August 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    HI, My husband and I are going to be traveling to Kostanai to adopt in (around) Oct. Maybe we will meet you there. We would love to follow your journey while your there. I hope you have a wonderful trip over. From all the blogs and AP I’ve talked to they really love Kostanai
    Sincerely Melissa Ceravola

  • 2. Sadie's Mama  |  August 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Excellent news!!!!!!!

  • 3. Susan  |  August 15, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    YAY!!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!!
    what is your skpe name?
    mine is CARDIOSUE! Look me up,and we can chat

    as far as what to wear…I brought capri pants, comfy dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, and jeans, and skirts. It’s nice here….the weather can be warm in the sun (but coming from florida, i cannot say hot…I have not broken a sweat yet!!) we do laundry everyday…the washing machine is very small and can only handle a small load and there are 3 of us. People told me to pack light,and, I kinda compromised. I love clothes, and iwanted tofeel good about what i brought, and I do.
    I wear short sleeve shirts and tank tops everyday.
    i hear it gets cooler in sept-so i would bring a jacket maybe. i broughta shrug sweater and one other pull over the head sweater.
    it’s dusty here-but doesn’t bother me.
    the breeze is killer.

    food is wonderful-we did bring granola bars, coffee, crstayl light things, etc-and are glad. My boys get hungry since we visit the princess from 11-1 so i need portable snacks for them, plus for breakfast quick some days.

    i’m dying to talk to you!!
    we applied for court today! woo hooo!
    I cannot evenBEGIN to tell you how happy i am for you. Kostanai is SO FABULOUS! it’s wonderful wonderful wonderful and people are friendly and it’s great.

    SKYPE ME and i’ll tell you more. 🙂
    cardiosue is the name..look me up!

    CONGRATS!! YAY!!!!
    BELIEVE me, it’s SO worth the wait. when you lay your eyes on your child, the wait will be forgotten. Everyone says that-but it’s so true. I would not change a THING cuz truly, Leeza was the girl for our family.
    You will find that as well.


    it’s amazing here!!!

  • 4. Susan  |  August 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    YAY!!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!!
    what is your skpe name?
    mine is CARDIOSUE! Look me up,and we can chat

    i willl tell you what a brought to wear, etc.


  • 5. Ellen Norton  |  August 15, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I am sooo happy for you guys !!!! Good luck to you…all THREE of you…. (and your dog).
    Sounds like you’re getting some good advice.
    Doncha love the internet?
    Keep us posted.
    Love, E.

  • 6. Nell  |  August 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to see this news!!! Let us know if there is ANYthing we can do to help!

  • 7. Kerri  |  August 15, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    PHEW. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Just a few things:
    – Don’t forget the Cipro I gave you in St. Croix
    – Do you need another phone? Mine would work; I got it when I lived overseas
    – About time you got on Skype. ha ha.
    Sounds like you’ve already got friends there…I’ll talk to you soon.


  • 8. Katy  |  August 15, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Congratulations !
    Félicitations !

    1st of september will come fast now !
    Le 1er septembre va vite arriver maintenant !

    Have a good trip, a great journey !

  • 9. Susan Moore  |  August 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Just wanted to send you best wishes! I returned from Kaz in May with my son, and life is so wonderful. I look forward to cheering you on through this EXCITING time. All the best, Susan from Austin

  • 10. Sarah H  |  August 15, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Great news! I hope September 1st comes quickly (for you, anyway). Looking forward to the updates. Safe travels!

  • 11. Kjersten Morrison  |  August 16, 2008 at 12:54 am

    WOO HOO!!!
    We are SOOOOOOOO thrilled for you both. WOW. It is amazing how, even though you have been preparing for what seems like forever, things just change once you really get the travel date. All of a sudden things feel more real, exciting and scary all at the same time. We will wait anxiously to see the first photos of all of you together and read about your journey to become a family of three.
    Huge hugs to you both!
    (Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you prepare for the trip.)
    -KJ, Steve and Tougy

    p.s. We are excited (and a little jealous) that you will get an opportunity to meet Susan Serra and family. : )

  • 12. Lori  |  August 16, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to follow your story as you meet your child!


  • 13. Tricia  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:31 am

    What exciting news! Only two and a half weeks away. Wow, that will go quick. You will surely be kicking it into high gear now. You will meet your child. It is true what everyone says that all of that stuff you had to go through to get there becomes insignificant when you meet your child. I guess kind of like forgetting the pain of childbirth.

    I agree with Susan about bringing clothes that make you feel good and comfortable. In hindsight, I would have paid more overage fees and brought more clothes (especially if you are staying the whole time). Unless you are a size 2, it is harder to find clothes over here. Plus the mall experience is different than home. I would also bring comfort foods, too. Even though the food is good, it may taste different to you at first. Things that I have not seen in the market and wish I had were peanut butter, grape jelly, and microwave popcorn. They have a lot of Heinz products here for spaghetti sauce, ketchup, etc. The Gros downtown (French market) also has all of the spices that you would likely need for cooking. I would bring a few toys and different size clothes for your child (a few, mainly for going home because you don’t really change their clothes at the baby house). Children’s clothing and toys are readily available here, but I have found many of the prices to be much higher than we are used to. DEFINITELY bring a variety of meds for whatever might pop up, especially traveler’s digestive problems. They have meds here, but they may not be like we are used to at home (strength wise, etc). They also use herbal remedies a lot. I have to run, but I hope to talk to you before you head over. I am bummed that I am going to miss you by only a couple of weeks, but I will be following along your journey from home. Best wishes. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

  • 14. Carol N.  |  August 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Reading the last comment–by the end of this process, by the time you get there–surely you WILL be a size 2!!!

    We are all so happy for you at King as you begin a whole new chapter in your life. You certainly have been patient and have had to endure some major ups and downs, but now it’s all “ups!!!” We can’t wait to meet the little guy.

    Keep us posted with news and more importantly–pictures!!!!


  • 15. Susan  |  August 17, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    hey-i saw your post about fits
    I bruoght gifts that were unique to where we live, (florida)

    jewerly mostly….florida things that i would like for myself. 🙂

    get on skype so we can talk….

    I am wondering/hoping you will be adopting someone that i may know or have seen…you never know who is available for adoption but you love them all very quickly!!

    it’s so gorgeous here today. !!!

  • 16. Michelle  |  August 19, 2008 at 12:06 am

    My husband and I are also adopting from Kaz, and I’ve been following your journey. Congratulations on this wonderful news!!! Best of luck!!!

  • 17. Colleen  |  August 19, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hi! My family is hoping to travel to Kazakhstan October-ish, so maybe you will still be there and we could chat! I would love to follow your journey through your blog! Following other peoples journey helps the time seem not so long! Good luck to you in your travels and meeting your lovely child! Colleen


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