Sunday, December 30, 2007

Turat, Ready or Not Here We Come!

We can't believe it, the time to pick up our son is finally here. We are leaving tomorrow for the adventure of our lives!!! We have a plate on a plate rack, that we write on with a dry erase marker, in our kitchen, and we have been counting down since we got our travel dates. Megan has faithfully changed it everyday and today it said one more day until we leave to go get Turat. We have been packing, preparing documents, and getting details together of leaving our children home, for over a month now. At this point if it isn't done it isn't getting done. So I guess you could say we are officially ready. We will be traveling for at least 24 hours, including 4 planes, 3 layovers, and 4 different countries including Germany, and Turkey. We should be arriving to Kyrgyzstan around 2am on Jan. 2nd. We will have someone at the airport picking us up and taking us to our hotel. We should have a little time for a nap and then the facilitator for our adoption agency is suppose to come and get us sometime that morning to take us to the orphanage. I get chills just thinking of the moment we see Turat for the first time. Most people don't know this but Turat was officially ours, on paper, on December 19th. We did receive new pictures of him on Dec. 23rd which was a great Christmas present. We haven't seen pictures of him since October. He seems to be getting stronger, and bigger. Also he is sporting a new hairdo these days. They gave him a buzz hair cut. They do this in the orphanage for lice sake. I guess he will have lots of time to let his hair grow when we get him. We will hopefully be posting a picture of him on our blog as soon as we get him back to our hotel. That means by the time everyone here in United States gets up on January 2nd we should already have him.

Turat ready or not here we come!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baby Shower for Turat Andrew Stahnke!

We were so blessed to of had a baby shower for Turat Andrew on Friday, Nov. 30 . We are forever grateful to our mothers and our great friend Mary for putting this together for us. We knew when we laid eyes on some of the things that we had from our other two girls that it wasn't going to cut it for Turat. We had car seats from when Alisha was little, which makes them 16 years old. I don't think that will pass safety inspections!!! We had so many things we needed to get before we brought Turat home, and with this baby shower we got just about everything we needed. We were grateful for everyone who came. We felt so loved!!! We even had my dearest friend Ginger, who I have known since junior high, come up from Columbus with her husband and children. We spent the rest of the weekend with them and had a blast! However, for the first time, it all felt so very real that were going to be holding our little one in our arms in just about a month. We put out everything around our home including the high chair, so we could get use to the idea that a baby is coming. This is a little weird for us because it has been 10 years since there was a baby around the house. I don't think anything can prepare us for the shock we are in for, but we are excited for whatever adventure we are going to have. Thanks again for everyone who has been so supportive and uplifting throughout this process.

I loved the game that my mom came up with to have us feed baby food to our team member, and they had to guess what kind of baby food it was. Cain loves food, but he didn't like any of the baby food that he got to try. He got all of them wrong!! Thanks a lot Cain, we lost !

We loved the bib that we got that said "I was worth the wait".

My friend Ginger and her family!

My friend Mary and my sister in law Chrissy with their girls!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Travel Dates!

We got our travel dates last Wednesday, November 21st. It was the day before Thanksgiving so it was very hard to get things set up for our trip in just the few hours I had before offices closed down for the rest of the week. I spent a full 3 hours on the phone trying to find some kind of flight for our travel dates. They wanted us leaving on the 1st or 2nd of January and coming home on Jan.12th. The only flight I was able to get was going to take us through Russia, which was going to cause us to get a third visa. That doesn't seem like much of a dilemma, but once you add up the days, getting three visas in a month seemed impossible, long enough during the Holidays. Also this flight would of got us there at 6:30am in the morning of Jan. 4th and we were scheduled to pick up Turat and be to the embassy for an appointment in the same day. We would of been exhausted traveling for over 40 hours and then instantly getting our son and trying to stay awake for another 14 hours. Plus doing that flight would not allowed any time for any kind of delay in our flights. I prayed all weekend about the situation and everything got put on hold until today. One of the travel agencies that I have been working with called and had another option for us. They had a flight leaving on Dec. 31st which wouldn't take us through Russia, so we would only have to get the two visas. So I booked that flight and sent off our passports to get our visas right away. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of me. Praise God that everything worked out! We may even be able to get Turat on Jan. 2nd instead of Jan.4. I can't wait to meet him!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gifts for Turat!

We sent off a care package for our son. I have been working on a cloth book for Turat. I wanted to send him something that had pictures of us, so he could be familiar with our faces. I also wanted to put our voices on something, so he could also be familiar with our voices. So I put inside the book under a family picture a voice activated button that can be pushed and me, Cain, and our girls all said Hi to Turat on it. Below is some of the pictures in the book. It may be all we ever have left of the book. Were not sure if we will ever see the book again. Our agency warned us that anything that gets sent to the orphanages may not be there when we get to Kyrgyzstan. We also sent some throw away cameras, that I'm hoping they will take pictures of Turat for us over the next month. We also sent him some clothes, toys and a Christmas present, since we wont be there for Christmas. I'm quite curious as to what will happen to everything. I put some instructions in Russian so hopefully that will help. We will see!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Our Court Hearing!

Finally the day of our court hearing arrived. We were nervous about our court hearing since some of our paper work expired ( even though they said it would be excepted because it was submitted to the courts before it expired). Kyrgyzstan is 10 hours ahead of us so we spent yesterday evening praying with our kids before bed, since the court hearing would technically be happening while we were sleeping. We had to leave it in God's hands because only he could be there in court. Our agency has an office in Kyrgyzstan and there was someone from their agency that represented us in court and acted as power of attorney in our places. I finally heard word from our case worker this afternoon that everything went great and everything went through without any problems. That was like music to my ears!!! There is a 30 day waiting period until everything is legally on paper, and then we can fly to get him. We are waiting for our travel dates, which they are thinking will be sometime in the beginning of January. We should know that later in the week. I did get new measurements of Turat. He is almost up to 11 and a half pounds. He is so tiny! Cain is already planning out his food when he gets home.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Court Date Being Pushed Off

I got an email from our agency today, and I guess our court hearing has been pushed off until Monday the 19th. I'm a little bummed because that will push off our trip to get Turat until the beginning of January, but God knows best. It is so hard to get something in your mind and then not have it happen. I was planning on spending my Christmas with Turat, but I guess we will just have to make our own Christmas memories when we get home. It may work out best this way. I was nervous thinking of traveling through the busiest time of the year, and the airline tickets were not going to be cheap. Anyways, pray that we can get this court date on Monday and everything will go through smoothly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We Got The Court Date!

Finally, we got a call from our case worker letting us know that we have a court date which will be this Friday, November 16th. We thought it would be weeks before the court date was going to happen, so we are so excited that it is already scheduled for this week. We pray that everything goes well on Friday, and our case doesn't get pushed off until the following week. Please pray for our travel dates. We could be traveling right through Christmas to New Years. They have to check into all the particulars due to the holidays, and we have to check into the flights to be sure we can even get one. We just want God's will to be done, whatever that may be.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More Good News!

Last night I got home after spending a whole day with Megan, having girls day out, because she didn't have any school, and I found another email from my caseworker. I always get so nervous opening them up, because so much of what she tells us affects our lives. Anyways, there has been some sort of Holiday in Kyrgyzstan, and the courts have been closed for three days, so still no word on our court date. She is hoping to know that next Monday. However, she did tell me that she found out that our paper work should be good in court even though it is expiring this week. I guess since they submitted it to the court before it expired they are going to accept it. They had to look into this because this is the first time this has happened to any of the families that are adopting in Kyrgyzstan. We are so relieved that we will not have to go through the 5 step process again to get this paper work redone. We are one step closer to bringing home our Turat! We just need that court date now!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Good News!

I got an email today from my case worker, and she said we were approved for one trip. This has been something that we have been praying about since this summer. When we originally started the adoption process there was a one trip requirement. This summer the Ministry of Education in Kyrgyzstan made some changes to the adoption program. One of the changes was that some families may need to make two trips. The first trip you would go to see the child and then if you still accepted your referral a court date would be scheduled. Thirty days after the court date you would then go back to pick up the child. Our fear was that they may require two trips for us and that would mean prolonging bringing home our baby plus the extra expenses. I started worrying about this when we first heard of the two trip requirement in some cases, but then I knew, I just had to give it over to God and he would prevail. God so did prevail, and we are just rejoicing. We are now waiting to see if they will accept our paper work, with some of it expiring this week, we are not sure what will happen since it is already trying to be processed in their court system. We should hear word on that soon. Once again we are hoping they will just push everything through the way that it is, because if we have to redo paper work, that could hold things up by several weeks to a month. Once again God is in control!! We just can't wait to see what God is going to do!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

His Name!

Well we got a call from our case worker yesterday, and she said she needed to know a name for the court proceedings right away. We have been all over the board about this. We all thought Turat is a pretty cool name that had a lot of meaning of who this little guy is. We didn't want to take that away from him, unless there was a name that just stood out as "the one". We have been talking about his name since we got the referral, but until yesterday we didn't know what we wanted to do. I told our case worker that we would have a answer for her by the next day. So last night our girls, Cain, and I discussed our options, and then Cain and I discussed our options till 10:30 at night and we finally made a decision. Our little boys name is going to be Turat Andrew Stahnke. Andrew means love and that so explains everything. We have been told that Turat means standing, and it is a Kyrgyz name, so together his name means standing love. We thought that was so cool! We can't wait now to meet our little Turat. Hopefully we will have a court date and travel dates soon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Referral

Well, we finally got the call on Wednesday, October 17th, the referral we have been waiting for!!A little boy named Turat who was born on April 2, 2007. However, our kids and us felt a since of uncertainty after looking at the medical history and being buried in medical terms that we didn't understand. All I can say is thank God for the internet. After a few days on the internet I felt we had a better handle on the medical history. We then made an appointment with a pediatric Dr. specializing in adoptions, and the adoption agency made request for a few more medical test to be done. We then received a video of Turat on Tuesday October 23rd. We all instantly fell in love with him. Turat was smiling, responding to voices and toys, holding his head up, rolling, and even getting up on all fours, (much to all our amazement). After a week and a half of waiting for the test results we heard the news that we were waiting for. The heart condition that Turat has, which is a defect of the interventricular septum, wasn't that bad. He has just a small hole in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles. The Dr. said it may heal on its own as he gets older, and if not it will take a common heart procedure to close it up. We accepted Turat into our hearts and our family on October 26. We are now praying for a quick court date and travel dates. I know time will be going so slow now, but I can't wait to see what God is going to do. We have already seen so much of his hand in this process.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Room Is Done

The room is done and ready for our baby. We choose the theme of planes for his room because we felt it was so fitting. Planes symbolizes the journey we will need to make to bring home this baby from his country, but also it symbolizes the new journey we are making in our lives with this new addition to our family. I think I personally had a little to much fun decorating it.

I searched for the perfect toy box, but I couldn't fine one I liked anywhere. So I bought a white one, and painted it the colors of the room. I then put chalkboard paint on the front of it. I've caught my girls a few times in their drawing on it. Here is a picture that Alisha drew for her baby brother!! It says, Alisha is the Coolest Sis!! Megan of course disagreed with her!

Still Waiting

Any day now we will get the call for our referral. Everyone keeps asking, and we say we are next on the list. We are just waiting for that phone to ring. Hopefully the call will come soon, and we can start telling everyone of our travel dates.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Adoption Process

We have decided to start this blog to allow us to capture some of the journey of adoption so we can share it one day with our child we adopt. Many have asked us "why adopt"? Well to answer that question, we knew we wanted a family of three from the first time we discussed our family. We were so blessed with two girls, but in our hearts we knew we had love for one more child. After our second child we needed to take some time to get into a bigger house that would accommodate three children, and our ultimate goal was for myself to be home with our children, and for me to not work outside the home. Once we reached those goals we finally began trying to have another child, however God had a different plan for us. After being told we couldn't have any more children we knew that adoption was what God had for us. We started the paper work just a few months later and and we are anxiously awaiting for our referral!

I'm not sure what is worse giving birth to a baby or getting all the paper work together for an adoption. It took us from December 2006 until May 2007 to get the paper work together and mailed off. We made it a family weekend event when we went to Columbus to get everything authenticated at the Secretary of State's Office. We had a great time with our girls in Columbus, and we created some memories to tell the baby one day. I'm sure he will be worth all the paper work that we did.