Well, our dossier has cleared the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is at the Ministry of Education. Another huge milestone reached and we are thrilled. However, there are a few big bumps in the road ahead.
Once our dossier has cleared the Ministry of Education it will be assigned to a region. It has been in our hearts all along to go back to Kostanai. Molly and Aidan will travel with us and we wanted them to see the town where they were born and the baby home where they spent the first 9 months of their lives. To perhaps meet some of the people who so lovingly cared for them. We wanted to return to the wonderful place where our live were forever changed. This may not happen. Our program manager has indicated that things are moving very slowly in Kostanai. They have one family registered in Kostanai who have been waiting six months or so to travel and I do not believe that they have a travel date yet (I hope I am wrong about this). Our agency is hesitant to request an assignment to Kostanai for us and we are too. The agency is going to contact its in-country team and see what if anything is going on. We've been asked if we would consider another region. I know people have had terrific experiences in many other regions. Its just that we were so set on Kostanai. We will have to make up our minds quickly as our dossier should clear the Ministry of Ed the next several weeks.
There has been some chatter on Blogs regarding a potential change to the length of the required bonding period from 14 to 30 days. Our agency sent an email on Friday indicating that while there has been no official confirmation their in-country coordinators feel that it is very likely to happen. They've indicated that the change would be implemented beginning in January 2010. Some people may think "What's the big deal? Its just a couple of weeks.". True but its another two weeks of lodging and food and another two weeks of missed work. Its not the time so much as the associated expenses. Here are the options for travel:
1) one trip lasting 3 months (yikes)
2) two trips; #1 6-8 weeks, #2 5-7 days in length (traveling about 4 weeks after 1st trip)
3) three trips; #1 4 weeks for bonding, #2 5-7 days for court proceedings (4 weeks after trip #1), #3 5-7 days for medical exam and US Embassy processing (4 weeks after trip #2)
We were in Kazakhstan for 9 1/2 weeks while we completed Molly and Aidan's adoptions. It was an amazing trip. But now we're a one income family with two nearly 5 year olds. One trip is sadly not even on the table (unless we win that Powerball). We were planning on two trips prior to the news about the change in the bonding period but one trip 6-8 weeks in length is not really feasible either. And three 30 hour each way trips to Kazakhstan is daunting. Some options. Sigh.
So, we are moving along but somehow feel farther away from our precious Kaz baby.
In meantime were enjoying our full and happy lives with Molly and Aidan. School started last week. They missed our school district cut-off for kindergarten by a month so will be in a pre-k program at the same school they attended last year. They go 4 times a week. So far they like their teachers ("they're old mommy") and have made new friends.