As some of you may know (some not), we have our paperwork in for a second adoption from Russia . We have been waiting for quite some time now, as Russia is reaccrediting all the adoption agencies that facilitate Russian adoptions (about 150 agencies). Recently, there has been some progress on this and a few agencies have been given the accreditation. Unfortunately, our agency has not yet been given the green light.
Our agency knows we have been waiting and approached us with another option. We could pursue an "independent adoption". We would work with our agency here, but when we get to the region in Russia , we would work with a contractor. Since independent adoptions are still okay in Russia , we could make both trips and be back with our son, possibly even before our agency gets accredited.
Our agency approached us with this "independent adoption" option for a particular region that is new to them. We had originally requested to travel to the same region as we did with Alex ( Kaliningrad ). The new region actually has a child awaiting adoption, although we have very few facts about this child. We do know that they have asked us to be open to an older child (up to 3 years old). We had originally requested a younger child (18 months or less), so this was something we really had to stop and consider. The challenge with an older child is that if they've been in the orphanage for a long time, they are more likely to have developmental and psychological delays. Also, a 3-year-old will have some Russian language, so we would have to dust off our Russian language books and get cracking!
In the end, we agreed to this new approach. Alex will be 5 in April (they really do grow up so fast!), so a 3-year-old will still be a little brother for him. The new region looks interesting and is really quite bustling, compared to Kaliningrad .
Travel to this region will be a true adventure. From talking to a family that recently went there, it went like this: Fly to Moscow (11 hours); Rest in hotel (4 hours); Travel by overnight train to new region (13 hours); Freshen-up time (20 minutes); Travel by car to orphanage (3 hours). Talk about planes, trains and automobiles! In the 6 days that this family was in Russia , they only stayed hotels for 2 nights.
We have submitted our paperwork for this region. There is a strong possibility that we could end up traveling in December. And (silly us!) we thought we might get to experience spring or summer in Russia this time, instead of winter again.
We will update everyone when we get the call to travel. Until then, send some good thoughts our way as we embark on our journey into a new part of the world, for a new adventure, for the newest addition to our family.