Wow!! Where to begin? It seems like we just returned from our first trip to Russia! The busy holiday season made the three and a half months go by much faster than expected! As you may already know, we will be flying out on Thursday, the 24th, to head back to Volgograd for court! We are very excited about this, and ready to get in the air! Since the last time we blogged, we have been informed of some law changes in the country of Russia that have affected our adoption. The original plan was for us to be able to bring Jonah home immediately after our court date. We have been informed that, on January 1, 2012, Russia implemented a 30 day waiting period between the court ruling, and when it is made final. This means that we will go to court, come home, and have to return to Russia in early March to bring Jonah home with us. This was quite the blow to our plans. We have everything laid out and ready for him to be with us this month, but that will not be the case. We have made peace with it, and will do what we have to do to make sure that he gets home at the earliest date possible.
We are very excited about our return trip to Volgograd! We will get to visit him twice daily, and even get to take a trip outside of the orphanage with him to do paperwork. We cannot wait to see him again. We have been wondering how big he has gotten, or how long his hair is, or if he will remember us! Thoughts like those have overtaken us since we returned to the states after the last trip.
We are spending this week packing and preparing for a very cold journey to the other side of the world. I was looking at weather forcasts for this weekend, and they are expecting snow. Highs are around 0 degrees F with wind chills of -33f. Needless to say, we spent time in Humble this weekend buying big jackets, thermals, fleece, gloves, ear muffs, hats, hand warmers, and thick wool socks. I'm still not sure if we have enough layers to fight off that kind of cold. I told my agent today that I have never felt anything below around 20 degrees. She laughed, since she is from St. Petersburg Russia, and working out of North Carolina, she thinks it's funny that it stays so warm in Texas. She made me promise to send her pictures of mine and Leah's first experience in the Russian winter. They are also expecting lots of snow this weekend. That will definately be an experience. We have seen Texas snow. You know, the kind that doesn't even stick to the ground. I'm not sure what either of us will do when we see mounds of snow taller than our heads! We will post pictures of this onto our Facebook for you all can have a good laugh!
Our court appearance is on Monday January 30. We are a little nervous, but we have a very experienced lawyer and have been assured that everything will be ok. This process has gone very smoothly. Please pray that it continues to go smoothly. We are in the home stretch now, and we can almost see him in his little bed when we look at it. That's how close it feels. A mere 6 weeks seperates us from completion of the adoption process to the transition of being parents to an adopted child. It never gets easier, but we are excited to be on the journey. Please begin praying for Jonah's adjustment to life in the United States. Pray for patience for Leah and I as he adjusts. We'd like to think it will be seamless, but we know that challenges are ahead.
Thank you all for your prayers. As with the last trip, we will update the blog each day that we are in Russia. Hopefully we have some more good stories for you all! Each of you are important to us. It's amazing to feel the support and love from, not only our family and close friends, but people that we haven't even met. We look forward to sharing our story with you and introducing you to Jonah in the near future.
Lots of you have asked about pictures of Jonah. As soon as the court decision is final (early march) we will be allowed to post pictures on the blog. Until then, it is a violation of Russian law to do so. Just wanted to clear that up. We are not holding out on ya'll, just trying not to get locked up! haha. Until next time...