There are times in your life when you feel deep within your heart that something feels right. It is a feeling deep within you that feeds your heart with happiness. It is a feeling that you believe in, no matter how difficult, no matter how demanding something may be, you know that it is right. You know you have to follow your heart.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Power Of Voice

To be listened to, to be heard, to be recognized, acknowledged, for people to know that you exist, and that you matter. It is basic human nature to need this. It is what people need to thrive, to feel loved, and to feel well about themselves. 

For you, for me, this does not happen all the time. There are times when you go day in and day out. So busy and caught up in the daily exercises of life, that we as people do not take the time to recognize you for all you do, to look you in the eye and say thank you, or good job. No one to listen when you are feeling sad, or frustrated. But you know that there are people there, that appreciate you, that love you, and want to help you. That you know that if you were to pick up the phone, you would have a mother, father, sister, brother, or best friend to listen to you. 

Now, imagine you are 1 of 50, or even 100 kids in a house. Different nannies taking care of you every day. New ones all the time because the stress of the job is too much. No one that knows your name. You don't know what is expected of you, because the expectations chance with each nanny. Now imagine that they nanny has no idea that you didn't like milk,and they feed it to you anyway, and you cry the whole time, and they are not concerned of the crying because the child next to you is crying in hunger. Imagine if you had an accident in the middle of the night, and you were to lay in your urine, or feces because there was no one there to help you because they are too busy with other kids. Imagine the kid in a crib or bed next to you, biting you in the middle of the night and there is no one there to protect you. Imagine, that you are so happy, and you have no one to tell. Imagine, not having a voice. Not being able to tell someone when you are hungry, cold, tired, sad, happy. Imagine, just for a moment imagine how isolating that must feel. To never share your goals, happiness, you dreams, to never get protection when you are scared.  For so many kids, this, they do not have to imagine. This is how they live, day to day. Night after night, no one to listen, to love  and to care. It is the grim reality for so many kids. It is sad, but so true. 

The good news, it is that there are people out there in this world, that know it does not have to be this way. That want to make a difference, like me, like you. We know that it is no way to live your life, in such isolation to the world. WE together can make a difference. You don't have to adopt to make a difference. But be aware and act. Adopting comes at a high expense, where there are minimal resources to help financially. It is when you count on the people in your life, to come together to make a difference in this world.  You can do it by donating money, spreading the word, spending your time and in prayer. 

I want to thank everyone who has helped me so far in this journey. It has been one like no other. It is one to save a childs life, and give her the home that everyone deserves. Please take the time to think about what role you can play in this, and act. 

Many blessing, and love to everyone... Taryn 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apostille Anxiety...

The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, the Apostille convention or the Apostille treaty is an international treaty drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It specifies the modalities through which a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states. Such a certification is called an apostille (Frenchcertification). It is an international certification comparable to a notarization in domestic law.

In a nutshell.. I have to get all my paperwork notarized, then apostilled. What is is, i am going to walk downtown, papers in hand. The Secretary of the State will certify (aka apostille) that all the documents are actually notarized by a true notary. I called, and you can just walk in and get it done. No big deal... At $10.00 a pop... Looking at all my documents, the piles of required papers. However that is 42 documents... and that is $420.00!!!! That is a bare minimum of required documents. I know there are more I will be getting done! Ican't be lucky enough to live in Michigan where is it is $1.00 per page.. but not unlucky enough to live in California where it is $20.00 a page. So with that being said... If anyone wants to help make a difference, to help me get all these pages apolstilled... please consider donating $10.00 to my apostilling anxiety fund.. this could be interesting!! 

Thank you all so so much for all your ongoing support!! I am so very thankful!!!

What Happens Now... the Remix....

So as many as you know, this has been a long, lengthy,  journey for me. If you know me, you know it has been one emotional journey as well. I have had my ups and downs. Frustration with time, and money to get things done. One thing that I have learned in life, it is  that time is going to pass no matter what I do, how I choose to spend it. Money, however, this is a different story, and quite frankly... a different blog post. It is something I wish for everyday, the funds to bring her home. But today I want to tell you what is going on with me... and where I am in this journey.

It has been a long winter. I will start with that. I have had these series of classes to take. They have been cancelled, postponed.. and all leading up to my homestudy taking MONTHS to finish... I mean MONTHS!!! With great news... I will be taking my last class this Monday coming up! My homestudy has been submitted to my adoption agency for approval. I am expecting to get a copy for myself anytime as well. Once I take this class the homestudy agency is going to submit it to the USCIS office. From there, they will compare my FBI background, to my homestudy, and see if there are any "issues". I am not expecting any issues at this point. In the mean time I am spending some time getting together some documents for my dossier, and my court papers... 

Now this is where the "remix" comes to play... Just a few weeks ago I got word that the region that Vika is in has changed their processes. It sounds official doesn't it... I am going to try and simply it best I can, there are 23 steps to this... and some may have got lost in translation... LOL... literally... 

  1. I will send Boris (who works with families on the Russian side) copies of the primary documents, all notarized, and apostilled). He looks at the documents and they will be reviewed, and translated. Once those documents get to Russia, the Education Department (ED) has 10 DAYS to examine them, find errors, request more documents. After the updated documents are received, the ED has yet another 10 DAYS to examine them. If they are in order, the family (me) is registered. 
  2. ONLY THEN (according to the law) the ED starts looking for the children corresponding with the requirements of the parents and available for international adoption.
  3. When such children are found, the ED officially passes us the proposal with short official information about the child health, including main diagnosis, and other short information. This information does not include complete name and surname of the child (this is confidential and is issued only when parents are going to meet with the child). In this case it will be Vika. Maybe a couple more children to get some information on them .
  4. The childrens informations will be sent to me.
  5. Once I have the documents completed, I can get a travel date in 2-4 WEEKS.  This is where the "remix" comes in. In the past, we have appointed a POS (Boris), to deliver all of our court papers, and official documents. However, in this particular region. They are now requiring the potential adoptive parents to hand deliver the documents ourselves. With that to consider. As adoptive parents, we need to have ALL of our court papers completed, and sent to the country 7-10 days prior to travel so they can be translated. IF we decide not to do that. That would mean we would have to make an extra trip just to deliver court papers!!  TRIP ONE
  6. During the first visit, I must pass medical exam and receive medical conclusion for the court, receive more detailed medical and other information about the child at the ED. I willhave to submit in writing a personal meeting with Vika. Once I meet her, I write a refusal/agreement of intent to adopt. Once I "Agree" I can submit my court papers, including the 171 form, FBI information and fingerprints, as well as all (40 something other documents) that I will be working on as well. 
  7. The court is considering the submitted documents during 10 DAYS and issues official written conclusion, usually indicating which documents need to be corrected or something should be added. The court can request any additional document from the parents, Department or Agency that are considered necessary to decide about this adoption.
  8. After additional documents are received and the court is satisfied, the date of court is appointed. Usually it's about a month after the documents are approved.
  9. I would then travel back for  court. TRIP TWO
  10. Before the court, it is necessary that I meet with Vika for several days and receive official confirmation of their good relations with the child from the officially empowered person.
  11. Court sitting. For the positive decision on adoption, all documents must be in order. The Dept, the prosecutor and the court must be ensured that this adoption promotes s interests of the child, that parents are serious and reliable people and can provide care for this child, that there is no risk of canceling of adoption or her being passed to another family, etc.
  12. The court decision comes in force after 10 DAYS (I would need to wait 10 days to apply for her passport and Visa). After that, the representative of the Agency organizes receipt of Certificate on adoption and new Certificate of birthThen one of parents (in person) submits application for issue of Russian and foreign passports for the child.
  13. After the application for the passport is done, parents may return to the US.
  14. Official term for the authorities to make the passport is 1 MONTH. TRIP THREE
  15. After the Agency received information that the passport is ready, parents may come to receive the passport, medical examination of the children, visa and consular registration.

Confused yet!!! I have read this a few times over.. and it is making a little more sense each time. But thank goodness I have my friend Ann to help my way through this!!
 But this is where I stand now.. I am in a paperwork madness... I have lots of paperwork to do, so the moment I have the 171 from the immigration office (Aka.. an okay to bring an immigrant to the USA), I can submit everything, an plan to travel... please.. feel free to think, and love and to pray for me that I will make it though this!! This lovely little girl is counting on it (and so am I).

To everyone who has supported me, and has followed this journey. Thank you so much! You have no idea how much it means to me! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Do You See What I See?

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Prov. 24:12

Do You See What I see?

A beautiful little girl looking back at me? Waiting and wishing for a home. A little girl who has spent all her life, in an orphanage. Never knowing what having a family feels like. No one to tell her that they love her everyday, or to lay her down to sleep. 

Do You See What I See? 

A little girl who left this earth, without the love of someone, like you, or like me. Never experiencing the love of a home, a sister, a brother, a mother & father. The love and the proper medical attention that she could be playing under the warm sun today. But instead she will be watching us forever from above. 

Do You See What I See? 
A little girl that needs to jump and run and play. Have fun with friends, and experience all the things that life has to offer. A little girl that is ready to do something new. 

Do You See What I See?

A little girls eyes filled with hope, and love. She has a family that will soon rescue her from a life time in an mental institute. Who will soon have brothers and sisters, a mother and father. She will experience things in life that her friends in her "baby home" will never even know or dream about. For every one orphan that is rescued, there are over a hundred that are left behind

Do You See What I See?
A little boy.. just reaching out to hug someone, like you or like me! A little boy who mom never really gave him the proper care and attention even before the day he was born. A Little boy that lights up the world around him, despite the fate, and destiny he has been given by no choice of his own. 
Do You Know What I Know!!
That all of these kids. They have lived in an Baby Home (orphanage) since the day that they came into the world. They were placed there for being born the way God made them to be. By no fault of their own, one day they woke up in the arms of nannies, and workers, never seeing their Mommies and Daddies again.  Never being intended to be heard from, or seen again. All because they were born with Down Syndrome. This I take quite personally, having a child with Down Syndrome myself. I know all the love, and the hopes and their dreams that they have inside of them, ready to show to the world. The love they radiate everyday, and want more than anything to be loved and accepted. 
You Know what else I know... 
That there are hundreds and hundreds of children out there in this world waiting to be adopted. Children with or without Down Syndrome. 
Did you know... 
That people in Eastern Europe can't believe that that we would want these kids! They can't understand why we would want to be "burdened" by these kids. 
If anyone ever wants to know... 
I will show you... 

The day the Nicholas was born, I knew that my life was forever changed. I knew that he would need me, and depend on me for the rest of his life. I knew he would need me, and his family for the love, and the guidance to make him the person that he is today. Never did I know that I would end up needing, him just as much as he needed me... 

Nicholas has had the love and attention of a mother... 

Nicholas has been blessed by the love of a Great Grandmother... 

The BEST of Friends... and cousins....

A Grandfather like no other

The Love & Hugs from a Grammy

He has has discovered.... 

 He has learned that if tries hard, he can achieve wonderful things!! 
 He has believed in many things... 

 He has played.... and played... 

He has made believe, and made everyone he meets believe that you can do anything you want to do... 

 He has felt being proud of his achievements... 

Sometimes I wonder if Nicholas was born in another nation. A nation that does not have the same love and acceptance for individuals of people with Down Syndrome. Would anyone take notice? Would anyone take the time to hug him, feed him, love him? If he were left to a life in a baby home, or even worse, a mental institute. Would anyone open their hearts, and their homes to him? Would they take them into their home, and give them all the opportunities in the world that he deserved? I can only pray that someone in this world would take notice and open their home to him. Much like (I am sure) Vika's Mom has done for her...

 I know that for many of these parents, who had to give up their children. They must feel very much the same way. They have to wonder and pray for the well-being of their children. My heart breaks for them. They will never know the love that their sons and daughters had in their hearts, and was ready to shine to the world. Not because they didn't want them. But they felt as though the world didn't want them. 

Do you want to know one last thing... 
There are SO many families out there ready to adopt, and welcome these special children into their homes. But there is one thing that stops that from happening, and it is MONEY!! It makes me frustrated to say it.. but it is true. It is what I pray for, and wish for everyday. While a bigger home, or a nicer car would be nice. My heart automatically would lead me to giving children like Vika a forever family... if only... 

Right now, if you donate money to help bring Vika home (by clicking on the chip-in button to the left). You could be the lucky winner of an iPad 2. I want to say a big THANK YOU!!! 
to everyone that has supported me so far! 
You are a part of something way bigger than yourself!! 
All the love and blessings in the world..