We spent the holiday vacation ripping the house apart. We had to move the library and all the homeschool materials and computer out to create a teen boy room. We bought a new bunkbed to be able to house all three girls in one room and moved the other bunk bed into the former "boy room" to create a "little kids room" for the three younger ones. We also created a computer center where my cute china hutch used to be (which I created and painted myself...and is now in the possession of a cute lady with a country house in Lindon). We figure with eight children homeschooling, two of whom need to learn English, we'd better have a few computers and somewhere very public to use them! The whole experience was like moving...with no truck to put stuff in. But we're pretty much done and loving the new set up.
There are now empty drawers, empty shelves and empty beds all ready for Ruslan and Nastya to make themselves at home. I felt like the physical transition ought to happen long before they get here so the kids can prepare themselves for the rest of the transitions that will need to occur.
Now on to more paperwork. On February 22nd, our paperwork will be reviewed by the authorities in Ukraine. Our job now is to get through 20 pages of documents, all of which need to be notarized at then apostilled (international notarization), which include blood tests, fingerprinting, proof of residence, tax forms for 2011 (which means I have to do the taxes NOW!) and the notary traveling to the doctor's office to notarize while he signs, etc, etc. Woah. I had no idea what this all entailed.
One great thing is that a new law was passed recently that makes it possible to have Ruslan and Nastya's names on the document that will be reviewed. This will assure that those children, specifically, will be approved for us to adopt them. I've had a few people come to me with concerns about whether or not we will be able to adopt these specific children. They had heard horror stories and were afraid we were at risk of not being able to follow through. This is one more step in the assurance that there is nothing to worry about in that regard.
Our job now is to make sure all these documents are ready and apostilled by the beginning of February so they can be sent to Ukraine for that review date. If all follows typical timeframes, we will receive our invitation to travel back there (which is given by the authorities in Ukraine) in March. They typically give three to four weeks for you to get yourself back there which would mean we'd travel mid-April. After that three week stay, Marsh will be home for a week and then return for ten days, finishing paperwork and registrations/passports/etc and will bring them home!
So, suddenly it seems like things are moving very quickly. After meeting with our agency director over the phone last night and reviewing what is required for these new documents, I'm REALLY glad we spent the few days Marsh had off changing the house around. There wouldn't have been another opportunity to do it.
Hooray for it all! I'm excited.