Today is my first "post-dossier" day, and I must say it was like getting a load of...uh....turkeys (fitting for this week, right?) off my back! I went to Office Depot to ship it off unceremoniously and then went on to cell phone conversations about Cub Scouts, lunch with a dear friend, church meetings...and on and on and on. It will take a week or so for our agency to review all the documents, add in what they need to add and then send it on it's way to Kyrgyzstan.
My life is a jumbled chaotic mess right now with our floors torn up, paperwork scattered everywhere, and trying to gear up for our busy winter schedules when I go back to work part-time for ski season, traveling an hour and fifteen minutes one-way to the airport restaurant we run in Gunnison, Colorado (Anyone planning to go skiing at Crested Butte this winter? Come by and see me!!!). There is much work involved in preparing to open, and much guilt involved with being largely unavailable in many ways for my kids for the 4 months.
Having the dossier done by this week was imperative, and now I can focus on other tasks, which will no doubt help the time pass quite quickly before we travel. However, there are still a million adoption related things that I need to attend to while we are waiting, even though the paperwork portion is largely completed. I have run so many things through my head that I realized I need to sit down and make a list!
Just thinking about traveling someplace like Kyrgyzstan with a then 4 year old and 7 year old tagging along creates it's own logistical challenge and the need for special planning. You wanna talk about patience?? Drag kids along those ages on the long flights required. Actually, when we took Matthew to get Josh he was only 4 and he was a better traveler by far than either Dominick or I! Then there is learning as much as I can about cleft lip and palate issues, post-institutionalization/adoption of older children, speech therapy, attachment in older kids and how to promote it, trying to wrap my mind around all of the things he has never experienced and trying to figure out how to make up for as much of that as we can eventually, thinking of ways to best integrate him with his new siblings, learning "adoptive parent Russian" to help us communicate with him, updating wills, planning for gifts to take with us to give to those we encounter, the logistics of the travel itself for our entire family and how to best do it as cheaply as possible. There is the planning of a wardrobe for a child who comes to you virtually naked with the clothes you bring him to put on his back when he leaves the orphanage, talking ahead of time with school officials to begin to work out a plan for placement, watching the mailbox for our INS approval (I171H form) to arrive, worrying about finances, gathering medications to take with us that might not be available there, plan a zillion Cub Scout meetings, getting Josh's passport taken care of, and figuring out how to handle everything at home while we are gone for 2-3 weeks. Oh yea, throw in Christmas shopping too.
Oh man, I guess getting the paperwork done wasn't such a big deal after all...whose bright idea was it that I make this list? I'll have nothing to do while waiting???? Yea...RIGHT.