Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Goodbye, Nadya!

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!

Nadya's arrival at St. Louis

Nadya and Sona at Missouri Botanical Gardens

Family Christmas Picture

Texas-Sized Cinnamon Roll in San Antonio

Nadya and her pal, Dodger, aka "Mr. Snuggly"

Senior Prom 2011

Spring Musical: "Beauty and the Beast"

Waiting To Say Goodbye

Saying Goodbye to Slav and Sergei

The Last Goodbye

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wrapping It Up!

Yesterday Clarion's FBI clearance arrived in the mail. That was the last document we were waiting for to wrap up our paperwork for court. As of today, all of our documents are complete. About half of them are already in Vlad. The remaining documents will soon be on their way to Vlad. Once there, they will be translated and submitted to the court. Then we'll wait for a judge to be assigned. Once the judge is assigned we'll wait while the judge reviews our file and sets a court date. The timeline really depends on the judge. Our agency gave us every indication that an August court date is realistically possible. So we're hoping and praying for that!

Please keep Kyle and Ashley in your prayers. International adoption can be quite the roller coaster ride, but we have the promise of our Lord's presence until the end of the age. In Christ we know that God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Our prayers go out to them as they await the unfolding of God's plan and purpose for their family!

As always, thank you for all of your prayers for our family, especially for our little guy in Russia. God bless you all.


Clarion and Joel

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One Document Left

Well, it's been a couple weeks since our last post. The documents we sent to the agency a few weeks ago are in Vladivostok with our local facilitator and translator. That's about half of our docs needed for court. We've spent the last couple of weeks getting psych and medical documents, clearances and a few other docs together. Yesterday we dropped everything off at the UPS store to send to our agency. Only one document remains. We're still waiting for Clarion's FBI clearance. It was delayed since the FBI rejected her original set of fingerprints. She spoke with a nice lady at the FBI this morning. They've located her new set of prints and are expediting them. We should have the clearance soon! Everything seems to be on track. When the agency receives our documents later this week they'll check them over and make sure everything looks good. Then, as soon as we get them Clarion's clearance, we should be good to go. I'll probably know more next week after we get the clearance submitted and I speak with our agency representative.

In the meantime we've had a busy couple of weeks. Nadya was able to participate in the graduation ceremonies at the high school here in town. They classified her as a Senior and let her walk, but she still has to complete another year of high school back home in Russia next year. They won't count her year here in the states. School is now out. We went to Grant's Farm in St. Louis a week ago. We'd been there before, but not with Nadya. She was dying to see the Clydesdales. Clarion is already preparing for next school year. Joel has been busy conducting funerals at church. Tomorrow is his third funeral in three weeks.

All is well. We hope and pray that the waiting won't be too long. We're hoping to return to Vlad in August. We'll see. Things seem to be progressing as well as can be for that to happen. Please continue to pray for us and for our little guy over in the baby home. Thank you! Your prayers mean a lot to us. Our prayers continue to ascend to our heavenly Father for all waiting families! And congrats to all of you who have brought your children home in the last few months. We're enjoying reading your blogs! God bless!

Joel and Clarion