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Just Passing the Time Away
Monday, April 30, 2007
Since there is no news on accreditation (and it has been awfully quiet in the adoption world), I figured I'd write about something during the drive to work this morning that caught my eye.

My commute to work each day is one of the worst in the San Francisco Bay Area. For those of you familiar with the area it includes I-680 into the Silicon Valley, so I spend a lot of time in my car (yes, I should be listening to my Russian CDs, since I'm still on Lesson 5).

But I digress, normally I spend time looking at the wildlife (cows, deer, and wild turkeys), but today I looked at the woman driving the red Volvo station wagon who was driving next to me. What was she doing?? Not reading a book, putting on makeup, reading the newspaper, talking on her cell phone, eating food with chopsticks (all activities I've personally witnessed). No, she was plucking her eyebrows! I mean please, I can somewhat understand doing some things while in the car if you're at a stoplight (I do my lipstick every morning) but plucking your eyebrows while on a freeway. Isn't that dangerous? I have enough problems when I'm at home in front of a huge mirror. Am I missing something? Is this really necessary on what I assume is your way to work?

PS - Steve's still around, but he's really the expert about the happenings in the adoption world and again, lots and lots of silence.
posted by yorkiemom @ 7:01 PM   7 comments
What's going on?
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
That is the question everyone seems to be asking these days, especially with all the articles in papers and on websites claiming "Russia Suspends US Adoptions". If you haven't been intimately involved in the Russian adoption process, especially surrounding the accreditation of adoption agencies, this sounds quite alarming. The tone of the articles imply that there has been a sudden shutdown of US adoptions from Russia.

In reality, the situation is one that most of us living through the process of waiting for our agencies to become re-accredited with the Russian government are so familiar with. Since last May all accredited agencies have seen their accreditation expire with the last few agencies accreditations expiring last Wednesday which is what triggered the articles. This also is not just a US problem as no other countries (Canada, Spain, and Italy being the countries with the most children adopted from Russia) have agencies with a current accreditation.

To recap the accreditation timeline:
- April 2006 - the new NGO law went into effect, but no one knew if it would apply to adoption agencies, we find out later that yes it will apply so all agencies need to be registered as NGOs

- May 2006 - the first of the agency accreditations (including ours) expire

- August 2006 - the first agencies obtain NGO registration

- November 2006 - the new accreditation regulation is published, but the details on how apply is still a question

- December 2006 - guidelines for applying for accreditation are published and our agency's documents are submitted.

- March 2007 - additional information is requested of all agencies applying for accreditation. The US State Department agrees to send a letter on behalf of all the US agencies.

- April 2007 - The US State Department letter is sent to Moscow. The last few agencies have their accreditation expire

Hopefully we'll see accreditation happen soon for all agencies that have applied, but as we know oh too well. Nothing is certain in Russian adoption.
posted by yorkiemom @ 1:59 PM   4 comments
Happy Spring Holidays
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I hope every one a nice passover and easter holiday. Special thanks to those who made those very nice comments about our yard, but I have to be honest and say that those were the shots we took for our dossier so I spent like two weeks trimming and cleaning up nearly every dead leaf I could find. In other words it doesn't exactly always look quite like that.

We also had some fantastic help in getting it done in the first place. We got this great designer who literally just asked us a bunch of questions about the look we wanted and how much time we like to spend gardening and she designed something that we just keep on marveling at (and is actually fairly easy to maintain). I'm of course very into saving money but there are just some times when you have to spend some cash and go with a pro.

I don't think there will be any news this week except for maybe the news that the State Department gets the letter done that all the agencies need. However, even if that does get done it's still my opinion that we're in for at least a month wait for accreditations.
posted by Steveg @ 9:43 PM   2 comments
After careful review....
Friday, April 06, 2007
I spent some time looking back on the pattern of how things have gone over the past year. Not to be a downer or anything but based on just what we've experienced, I think the most likely scenario is that accreditations will be several weeks away. Although I could be surprised (and certainly it would be a pleasant one) and accreditations are announced this month, I feel it's much more likely that we won't see anything occur until the end of May or June.

I'll welcome being wrong, but I have to be a realist and look at this in the same way I analyze investments and not as a human being with emotional ties to the situation but instead coldly and logically. And doing that leads me to believe that things won't clear up until summer time.

And so, as we have done with the other long delays, we'll probably be putting our adoption thoughts on the back burner. With spring already sprung here in the Northern California there's significant work that needs to be done to our garden. We were also going to be doing a semi-relandscaping of our front yard and I'm thinking that I might move that project up and get started now.

We had our backyard done a couple of years ago. But the front yard is just pretty generic and we wanted to have it look more like the back (I've posted some shots below, these are actually the ones we included in our dossier).



posted by Steveg @ 2:05 PM   8 comments
A nice weekend
Monday, April 02, 2007
We had a very nice weekend. We finished off our little remodel project (adding doors to our downstairs den to convert it to a bedroom). And then on Sunday we had a great time at the San Jose Sharks game.

Stef's company has one of the luxury boxes and when the executives aren't wining and dining clients they give away the tickets to the employees. So Stef got us two seats and it was just great.

First they have like one of the top boxes in the arena (center ice and the penthouse level, which believe me is very very nice). And second it was a great game because the Sharks, who are already locked into the playoffs, won the game (destroying the L.A. Kings) in their quest to win their division.

I've been very fortunate to attend many special sporting events in my life. I've been to a World Series, a Rose Bowl and two, yes two Super Bowls. But I have to say these luxury boxes are totally awesome. Comfortable seats, a spread of food that could feed an army, drinks, programs, closed circuit TVs, the works. And best of all...it was FREE!
posted by Steveg @ 2:23 PM   2 comments
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Our Story:

I'm Steve and this is my wife Stefanie. This is our story, mostly seen through my eyes, of the journey to create our family by adopting a child from Russia.

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