A week from now at this very moment we will be an hour away from boarding our international flight out of Philly! CRAZY! We are getting excited :) I'm crossing items off my list at warp speed! I'm cleaning out closets and cupboards for no apparent reason. I've packed baby's things but nothing for us yet! LOL.
To answer some questions....We do not know the baby's birth name and won't know until we travel. This is why we don't have a name picked out yet. We may or may not use all or part of her birth name...so I thought it'd be fun to guess what her birth name might be! I liked all of your guesses :) It's funny that the first two people to comment put the same exact name without having seen each other's comments because I hadn't published them yet...within minutes of one another (Kelly and Milena both guessed Olena....I'm still trying to figure out how you pronounce it...help me out girls!).
I forget that some people aren't familiar with the process of adoption that we're about to go through...so I'll give a quick run down. The country that we are going to (which I can't name here until Little Miss is ours) does not have a set timeline for adoptions. It can take as little as a couple weeks, which is not likely in our case, up to several months. It depends on so many factors, including what region your child is in, how long it takes to get court scheduled, etc. We are thinking our timeline will be somewhere around a month to 5 weeks. When we go to this country, our appointment with the SDA (State Dept of Adoptions) is on Monday, October 17th in the capital city. That day we will see baby's file and hear her birth name, birth date, and any other information they might have on her. This information is usually very minimal. Sometimes they allow you to take the baby picture that is in the file, sometimes now. The following day we will hope to pick up our referral for baby, which is our official matching. Up until that point, it's not guaranteed that we will be matched with "Harlene." This is typical for all adoptions in this country and not specific to our case. So on the 18th, as long as we get the official referral, we can board our 15 HOUR TRAIN RIDE and begin our journey to her region. We will likely arrive on the 19th (as long as we don't derail...kidding....as long as we get her referral on time) around 8am and hit the ground running. This will hopefully be the day we get to meet Little Miss!
Next our facilitator will work to get a court date scheduled. Typically, in this region, the dates are about 10-14 days after you arrive. After passing court we can decide to fly home for the mandatory 10 day waiting period, or we can stay. We are hoping that court will come fast, Shawn can fly home to be with Zoya and work a bit, and I can stay for the 10 day wait (right Anna?) This all depends, of course, on how terribly my heart is missing Zoya girl. It seems a little silly for both of us to return, since it would take about 4 days worth of travel to get there and back, we'd end up with about 5 days at home depending on how the ten days fall....it would save us flight costs if I stayed, but like I said, my heart might be bleeding by then...but my hope is that I can stick it out (as long as we haven't already been there a month). We don't have a set plan and will play that by ear. If we did do that plan, Shawn would hopefully be able to meet us back in the capital city and be there for her medical exam and embassy appointment and make the journey home with us. So it all depends on timing, how long our process is taking, and how homesick I am!! I know with Zoya's process we both came home and SO needed that time....but then again we were out in the middle of nowhere and pretty lonely. This time we'll be travelling with The Woods Family and the region we are hoping to travel to is more of a city than where we were before.