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Monday, April 30, 2007

FRUA

There is a chatroom out there well-known by the Russian adoption community as FRUA. (Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoptions). For the most part, it's a wonderful community of people that provide all sorts of discussion and answers to the thousands of questions that come about from adopting. There are times where some of the discussions get a little heated and petty, but Katie and I enjoy checking things out from time to time. (Especially concerning the accredidation thing)

But here's the thing: The chat site has been down for like... a WEEK! What's going on here?!? I need my FRUA!!!! (It's like a drug fix)

Worse yet, none of us can talk to each other to find out why the site is down. So instead, I have to post it here and wait to see if I'm the only one...

(Also: Sorry I didn't post much last week. We were on vacation, but I didn't feel like posting that on the internet while we were gone)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Something cool

I got an email forwarded to me yesterday that I thought was pretty awesome. It was from America World Adoption highlighting this concert in Omaha, NE on June 2nd. Yes! It was Voice of the Voiceless. Pretty cool, I thought.

I guess the buzz is official. (wow... I've never created "buzz" before. Don't I feel cool) But remember: It's not MY buzz. It's the voiceless. They don't have a voice (nor a laptop to make a blog), so I'm merely helping them out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The music is in me

Not much to report on the adoption front. As I stated before, we're "waiting for a referral".

But I haven't discussed the concert lately. It's still coming together. Actually, it's more than just "coming together". It IS together. Most of the upfront work is done. Now it's just a matter of executing the plan.

If you're interested in helping, I would say the biggest thing is just getting the word out there. (If your not in the Omaha area, then call all of your Omaha friends.... everybody has Omaha friends, right? ......... Anybody? .............. Hello?.........

Anyway, as I was saying, get the word out. Email the youtube link of the promo. (The 2 minute version, not the 10 minute version) Email the website link too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAqGR_Oofa8

www.voiceofthevoicelessconcert.com

Thanks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A flying stat

Tucked away in the middle pages of my Wall Street Journal, a headline caught my eye:

RUSSIA IS RANKED WORST FOR FLIGHT ACCIDENT RATE

Oh great. Flying only happened to be my biggest fear in life. Apparently, there were 77 major global Air Travel accidents last year. (Which was down from 111 in 2005).

This is somewhat comforting considering all the flights that are constantly going on, but....

Russia ranked the worst.

In fact, the rate is 8.6 accidents per million flights in Russia.

The next worst was Africa at 4.31 accidents per million

Western countries average 0.65 accidents per million.

Clearly, they all do pretty good... but sometimes "pretty good" just doesn't cut it.

Something else interesting:

Cargo flights account for 4% of all flights BUT accounted for 24% of all the accidents.

This actually makes me feel good. Sort of....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

OK - Fine, I'll talk

I haven't been avoiding this blog because of Friday's events. In fact, I became wicked sick on Sunday and am just now back on my feet.

OK - So now that I've explained my absence....

Friday was stinky because we had mentally prepared to be done with our dossier. The last step was to get the documents notarized and apostilled (pronounced: APP - a - steeled.... NOT appostle like the 12 guys who followed Jesus around) In the past, I have also called this the Seal from the Secretary of State.

Anyway, to make a long short, the nice ladies at the State Office were less than helpful and, in fact, seemed to take pleasure in telling me all that was wrong with my documents. I pretty much freaked out in the office (a very effective way to show them what a great father I am) and left the office with nothing sealed.

As events unfolded, Katie made a few phone calls, our agency made a few phone calls, Katie made another trip to Lincoln, and by Tuesday we had everything solved. So what I thought would take several more weeks to get our stuff together only took 2 extra days. OK - so I didn't need to freak at the nice ladies. But these are my kids we're taking about here. I get a little defensive. (I pity the foo who mess wit my kids!!!)

HERE'S THE REALLY COOL PART:

When we mailed everything off to our agency Tuesday, we commented that it's too bad that we still have to wait for the reaccredidation. BUT our agency replied, "no, you were already registered before our accredidation was expired, so you're grandfathered in.

Woah!!!!

Now let's not get too excited. Anything is possible and I'll believe it when I see it. Nevertheless, we thought this was pretty cool.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When all else fails... smile

When things go bad with the dossier paperwork, sometimes all you can do is find something that makes you laugh.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pray Day

We had a bad adoption day yesterday. It was actually so bad that I don't want to talk about it. (It has to do with the Secretary of State Seals) Maybe I'll feel like talking about it later next week.

But it IS worth mentioning that tomorrow is the "National Day of Prayer for Russian accredidation". I didn't make this up. I've seen it on a handful of blogs and chat rooms.

Therefore, please pray tomorrow (Sunday). If you miss this notice and don't read the blog until Monday or after - I'm pretty sure GOD won't mind hearing from you late. (Seeing as how he transcends time, it really doesn't matter what day you pray. Think about that one for awhile...)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A tired subject

I have a feeling that I'm going to be talking about reacredidation a lot in the next few weeks.... or months? (I hope not)

It's anyone's guess as to when this will happen. What I have heard is that adoptions can continue in some regions even without being accredited. Huh? (You say) I don't know. I'm just saying what I've heard from others. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but even our agency commented that last time their accredidation ran out, they just kept doing adoptions as usual and everything worked out fine.

If that really is true, this whole accredidation thing seems pretty silly. Why do they have it? Why am I worried?

Oh, and by the way:

I'm heading to Lincoln tomorrow to do the Secretary of State Seal on all 257 documents that we had notarized yesterday and today.

Here's the tough part: They charge $10 PER DOCUMENT...... (gulp.)

Another round of 4 kids

Quick one today. Yesterday, some very good friends of our had a baby (their third). Our job was to have their other 2 kids spend the night. Therefore, we had another trial run with 4 kids!

It went great. They spent the night. I made breakfast this morning. Everybody is quietly moving around the house, and I even have time to blog before I leave for work. (Albeit short)

Yea! I think we passed another test. This 4 kid thing is a piece of cake.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Voice of the Voiceless

Here it is! Sorry to make you all wait so long. It took me forever to do, because this was the first project I've done using a Mac. Everything else I've done was on a PC using Adobe Premier. For the record, I'm not 100% convinced that Mac's are better. Their adds claim they are, but I'm not sold.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Papers! Papers! Papers!

As I mentioned this weekend, the dossier phase is complete. (yea!)

Today we got everything notarized. Fortunately, I've got a Notary Public at work. She was very patient with me as I gave her approximately 100 doc's to sign and notarize. (Thanks Sherri!)

Anyway, I thought you may get a kick out of this picture we took last night as we laid everything out on the floor. It should be noted that we have 4 copies of everything stacked in piles. (So there is more than the picture conveys!)




Saturday, April 7, 2007

WE DID IT! WE DID IT! WE DID IT!

It came today! The I-171H came in the mail! This means we have all 18 documents that we need to send to Russia! YEA!

We're absolutely giddy if you can't tell. So here's the new timeline:

Monday - Get everything notarized.
Tuesday - Get everything sealed by the Nebraska Secretary of State. FedEx everything to our agency.
Wednesday - Our agency's Russian accredidation expires.

Ok.... so that last part kinda stinks, but we're taking this one step at a time.

Friday, April 6, 2007

OK - Go check it out

The website is operational as of today (Thanks Andrew)

www.voiceofthevoicelessconcert.com

I'm allowing my blog readers to be the first to check it out. You'll quickly notice that it's not 100% done. (A lot of the content is gibberish) But I think you'll get the point. We'll work on the details over the next few weeks. I'm hoping to start the "marketing blast" by mid to late April.

Here's your job:

Let me know your thoughts. I appreciate the help. Also, take notice to the "band info" link and scroll down to our bio. You may get a kick out of it. (Don't worry, we'll change it next week... I just thought it would be funny to leave there for awhile)

Also, the video promo is NOT the video that will be on the site. (It was only put on there as a test. I hope it's not too offensive to anyone. For the record, I didn't put it on there - my friend did it..... but one of his daughters is adopted.... so it's OK.... right?) Again, we'll change it when the real video is ready.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Concert moving along

Next week, I should be completed with the video promotion that I put together for the Voice of the Voiceless concert. I think it's very cool. (I'll let you make your own decision). I will definately post it on this site as well as a link for the official event website that I'm trying to put together. The website is out there, it's just not done yet, so I'm not really telling anyone about it yet.

Now that I think about, I'll give my readers a "sneak peak" within a few days and you can tell me anything that needs to be changed before I release it to the public.

Stay tuned...

Monday, April 2, 2007

2 things to cover today

1. We received our temporary permit from the city of Omaha today that allows us to have a (loud) outdoor concert. Yea! That means we have 5 bands and permit. That's all we need, right? Everything else is just details.

2. In 10 days, the last 3 accredited agencies will no longer be accredited by Russia. I have to admit that when we started this process last October, I knew this was a risk - but I didn't think it would actually happen. I'm going to candid here: I'm nervous. I'm nervous that Russia may not reaccredidate any angencies. I'm nervous that Russia doesn't want to allow Americans to adopt "their children". I'm nervous.

But I also have a strong faith that things will work out for the best. I have no idea how these events will unfold over the next few weeks. Maybe Russia will reaccredidate the agencies. Maybe they won't. Maybe we'll have to look at other countries. Who knows. One thing I'm sure of: I love my kids where ever in the world they may be. We'll figure out a way to get them home.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Bet your bottom dollar, it'll make you cry

Last night was "movie night" at our house. We ordered a pizza, put on our warm fuzzy jammies, turned off the lights and all sat on the couch as a family to watch a movie. Nights like these are pretty special in my opinion as we're usually going 100 miles an hour.

Of course, picking a movie that the whole family will like is difficult. We've found over time that musicals seem to appeal to all four of us the best. They're clean, happy, and entertaining to watch. (Usually)

Last night, we watched Annie. (There is a newer version with Kathy Bates as Miss Hannagan - on a side note, this new version is 1000 times better than the old version)

I hadn't really thought the whole story line through before we started, but within the first 5 minutes I was totally in tears. Here's all these little girls in an orphanage singing about wanting to find their mommies and daddies. Of course, the token "tiny" girl in the orphanage is named Molly. I pretty much lost it. Actually, I have a lump in my throat as I type.

So WARNING TO ALL OF YOU ADOPTING PARENTS: Annie may make you cry. Also, you may not want to show your kids this one for a long time. I can only imagine what type of reaction adopted kids would have toward this musical.

(Don't get me wrong, it's a great musical. I just have a whole new perspective on it).