It's a sad day today! This morning we said goodbye to our Russian exchange student Nadya. Today she and Sona (another exchange student from Armenia) left together on a flight to DC. From there they will make their way back to their home countries and to their families. Nadya was with us for just over ten months. I remember that just a year ago we were making the decision to host her. How time flies! It's been an awesome year. Nadya was a perfect fit for our family, a great big sister to our boys, and just an all-around wonderful young lady. We've shared a lot of laughs this past year and made some unforgettable memories. Goodbye once again, dear Nadya! You'll always be a special part of this family! Poor Clarion was unable to join us because she had to attend a teacher workshop in Springfield today. We're planning to see Nadya in Moscow on our way home from Vlad! And she'll get to meet the newest Fritsche!
We can't recommend this exchange program enough! American Councils for International Education runs some outstanding exchange programs. Adoptive families take note. This is a great way to bring the culture of your child's birth country into your home. We've met a number of the students from American Councils the last couple of years. They have all been top notch kids, all of whom we would welcome into our home. Expenses are minimal, mainly another mouth to feed and another kid to drive around. All in all, we don't regret hosting at all. If we weren't on the brink of bringing home our son from Russia right now, we'd have hosted again. We will definitely host again in the future. If you have any questions about American Councils, I'd be happy to connect you with some of their personnel. They really need host families for next year!
As for the adoption, the remainder of our paperwork is on its way to Russia. We're really hoping for a quick turnaround. About half our documents for court have been there for several weeks. We're hoping translations go quickly so the docs can be submitted to the court sometime in July. An August court date is definitely possible. Lots of factors though--governments, judges, and more. As always, we are thankful that all things are in the hands of the God who loves us in Christ! Please continue to keep us in your prayers! Thanks!
Joel & Clarion
Enjoy some of the pics from Nadya's year with our family in Staunton, Illinois!