brother and sister 2009

brother and sister 2010

brother and sister 2010

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anxiously Waiting to Pick up Our Daughter!

We returned home last Friday, and are now running around getting a few more last minute documents that need to get to Russia before we pick up Olivia. Because of the Russian Holiday, we will not be picking her up until the 11th of January. We will leave on the 8th or 9th and will have to stay for about 2 weeks until her passport and visa are ready. We are going CRAZY having to wait that long to pick her up, but I'm sure the time will seem to go a little quicker because of Christmas and New Years...hopefully. We will have to stay a few days in Kaluga to wait for her passport and then it's off to Moscow for about a week to finish her medical/visa and exit interview at the U.S Embassy.

We wish all of our Family and Friends a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!

Renae and Joe

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Court was a success! I was SO nervous, but Joe got asked most of the questions and he did real well. We started around 2:30 and were done at 4:00....not too bad. I do have to say that it was NOT as bad as I thought it would be. As I have heard before from a family who adopted from Kaluga, "she asked very fair questions." She did not try to trick us with questions from our home study, she just asked basic questions.

We really gave it alot of effort to get the 10 days waived, but the judge did not waive them, so Joe and I will return home on Friday. They are going to let us know tomorrow when we can return to pick Olivia up.

We went to go and visit her after court and she was SO much fun! She does pretty good at walking now and she loves to dance! I just hate the fact that we have to leave her again and not see her for a couple of weeks...I can't WAIT until we can finally bring her home.

Joe and I just want to let everyone know that it was comforting to know that we had so many family and friends thinking and praying for us today....thank you all for thinking of us!

We will post more later! Above is a picture of us outside of the Kaluga court house.

Renae and Joe

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Today was a MUCH better day...she cried both times for about 5 minutes and then she was happy for the rest of the visit....all it really took was a cookie! She is walking pretty good now. We still have to catch her after the first few steps, but she is really close to doing it on her own without falling. She has the CUTEST belly laugh...we love to hear her laugh. I can't WAIT to be able to show pictures, but we can't do that until we pick her up from the baby home.

Oh, by the way, our translator, Nadya, called the airport and they said "yes, we have ALL FOUR BAGS of the Nodine's, you can come and pick them up." When the driver drove 3 hours today just to pick up our bags, he came back to us with only 3!!!! He said that they couldn't find the 4th, that they only found 3...what the HECK!!! Nadya came into the baby home while we were playing with Olivia to share the "not so good news." I said "what bag is missing?" and GUESS who's it was? yes, mine....with ALL of my clothes (not the ones for court, we have those LUCKILY)and dress boots for court in it. So, we spent the middle of the day shopping at the mall in Kaluga for clothes for me to wear....can you believe it?! We will have to track down our other bag later. I'm just glad that it wasn't the bag that I packed for Olivia that had just about everything she owns in it! However, ALL of the gifts for the caregivers, doctor, Svetlana, Irena, etc...were IN my bag. Hopefully we find it so we can get these gifts to them.

Tomorrow morning, Nadya is going to take us to the market and then we will come back to the hotel around 12:30 to get ready for court at 2:15. I will be SO, SO relieved when court is over. Joe's not nervous at ALL, he's looking forward to it. Me on the other hand, I'll be ready to share a drink with the Russian's when it is over!

Well, bye for now...until tomorrow after court!

Renae and Joe

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hi Everyone!

Well, we had our first visit with Olivia yesterday. It was SO good to see her again, although she cried when we picked her up and took her away from all the kids. She cried a little both times visiting yesterday, but then she was o.k. and laughing after a while of Joe and I acting like two clowns -ha-ha. She has a little cold also, I'm sure that didn't make it any better. Joe and I were playing with her and to our excitment, we got to see her WALK today! It was SO cute...she took about 7 or 8 steps and then toppled cute. We will be leaving at 12:45 today to visit her again...I hope she doesn't cry when she sees us today.

We met Elizabeth here at the hotel who was going to meet her referral yesterday. We hope all goes well with her!

We were told last night that ALL of our luggage finally arrived at the airport, so our driver is going to pick it up today....yeaaaah! We are definitely roughing it right now!

We will visit Olivia 2 times today and then tonight we will have to get prepared for court tomorrow. We have to be there at 2:15. There is one more document that they are rushing to get translated over here because it JUST got to Russia yesterday afternoon after WEEKS. But, they said it will be done and I have total faith in that, they are really good at what they do here. The document is the letter from our IA doctor that we will use to try and get the judge to waive the 10 days.

I will try and post later after our visit with Olivia.


Renae and Joe

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We Made It!

WE made it to Russia, but NONE of our bags did! We got to Russia around 8:15 (russia time) and were standing near baggage waiting for our bags and NOTHING! So, we had to go and fill out a form and go to Kaluga and hope for the best.

Right now, we are sitting in our room with our Translator and she called the airport and they do have 3 of our bags...the other is supposed to arrive at the airport later tonight....whew! We are just trying to figure out how to get them to Kaluga without having to drive 3 hours again to pick them up. Anyway, all that's important is that they DO have them. Our court clothes were in there and EVERYTHING.

We will get to see Olivia at 1:00 today and again around 6:00...we can't WAIT!

I'll post again later!

Renae and Joe

Friday, December 12, 2008


Yes we are packed and SO ready to go! It was so hard to sleep last night with everything racing through my head...seeing our little girl again, getting mentally prepared for court, making sure I have everything packed that we need...and so on.

We will leave early in the morning, fly to Chicago and have about a 5 hour layover and then OFF TO RUSSIA! We will arrive in Russia on Sunday and will be picked up at the airport by our translator and driver and will drive 3 hours to Kaluga. We will settle in to our hotel room and then we will probably by able to go to see Olivia on Monday morning....I cannot WAIT to see her and hold her in my arms again! Tuesday we will visit her again and then Wednesday we have court (can't wait for that part to be over). We will hopefully get to see her a few more times and then we will be leaving Russia on Friday (unless of course our Judge is in a WONDERFUL holiday spirit and decides to waive our 10 days, in which case we could pick her up after court and just stay to finish up all the necessary steps to bring her home...passport, medical, visa, exit interview with embassy). If she doesn't waive the 10 days, we will come home and go back 10 days later to pick her up.

Thank you to all of our family and friends for all of your love and support! We will keep you all posted each step of the way.

Renae and Joe

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, we are just about finished with "O's" room...we just have to find a door knob for her door and we are done!(for now anyway-ha-ha). My sister and I went to a few antique stores in Point Pleasant and found this really cute furniture. We also found really cute "shabby chic" curtains at target....I LOVE their shabby chic collection!

We just have 2 more weeks left before we leave for Russia again....we can't WAIT!!!

Renae and Joe

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yeaaaaaah! FINALLY we received our court date today! It will be Wednesday, December 17th. Joe and I will probably leave on Sunday the 14th (3 weeks and 2 days!)in order to be in Kaluga on Monday, visit Olivia for a couple days, have court on Wednesday and then home again on Thursday (unless of course we get REALLY lucky and have our 10 days waived which is kind of rare in Kaluga). In that case, we wouldn't have to come home and wait out the 10 days that they make you wait after court in order to get custody of your child, we would be able to have custody of her right away and stay in Russia.

We will keep everyone updated!

Renae and Joe

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I want to thank my mom and sister for throwing me a BEAUTIFUL baby shower last Sunday! Joe took me out in the morning, and I came home to a house full of family and friends. I want to thank everyone once again for all of the gifts that you bought for Olivia (she will LOVE them all!) and for being there to share this VERY special occasion with us. We are so proud to have a loving and supportive family like we have and to be surrounded by a great group of friends....we are SURE Olivia will feel the same way!

Below are a few more pictures of the shower. My mother made the BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS cake and my sister and mother both made the little purse favors filled with chocolates that have the Olivia Reese tags on them.....SO cute!!!! Thank you also to my sister-in-laws, and mother-in-law for coming early to help out with everything....I love you all!

Now that we got just about EVERYTHING that we need, we will anxiously wait for our court date!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Monday morning I got the two extra documents that we need for court notarized, drove an hour to Trenton on Tuesday to drop them off at the State building to get apostilled and then drove back to Trenton on Wednesday to pick them up. I had to send them UPS to the Atlanta Marriott where another family (thanks Karen and Kerry) is going to be staying before their flight out on Friday to Siberia to have their court date and pick up their little girl. They will hand-deliver our documents to the Moscow office....thank you! I believe that will be the last of the documents that I have to get ready for court, but you NEVER know!

Now, I will be preparing my lists for trip 2 and also for trip 3. Trip two will be for court and we will only be in Kaluga for about 3 or 4 days and then fly home. Trip 3 (picking up Olivia) will be about 10 days after that and I will be there for about 2 1/2-3 weeks.

During this waiting period,I will keep occupied by doing Olivia's room. I haven't even started yet and hopefully this will keep my anxiety level low while waiting for a court date.


bye for now,
Renae and Joe

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Well, we got home at about 1:30a.m. this morning. Now we have the unpacking, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.. We miss Olivia SOOOO much already. But, now that we are home, we just wait now for the court date which will probably be December or January (hopefully December).

I do have to say, Joe and I had a GREAT experience in Russia. It was so interesting to see the OLD Russia (Kaluga) compared to Moscow, which is COMPLETELY different from Kaluga and most of the outside regions. Moscow is similar to New York City/Manhattan, but 2 1/2 to 3 times more expensive! Although, I do have to say that the Russian's (whether Kaluga OR Moscow)(especially the women) are ALWAYS dressed in style. The women all where the high heeled boots up to the knee with the pants tucked in and a real nice coat and pocket book. You actually would stick out like a sore thumb if you wore sneakers!!

The staff that Catholic Social Services has in Russia is incredible! They are ALL so nice and will help you in any way possible. All of our needs were taken care of and we were never waiting for them, they were ALWAYS there waiting for Joe and I...They were the BEST!!!!

Well, I have alot to catch up on, so I will be sure to keep everyone updated! Thanks to all of our family and friends who gave us their support while we were over meant SO much to us!

Now we wait for our court date!!!!!

take care,
Renae and Joe

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Hi everyone,

This morning we had to say goodbye to "O" until we can come back to Russia for court. We were picked up this morning and taken to the orphanage. We could only have about 20 minutes with her because we had to get on the road to drive to Moscow. It was REALLY hard to leave her but I knew that the faster we got home, the faster we get back to pick her up.

Yesterday we had two visits with her and they were the BEST day of all. Angie and Kurt, who were there to have court, stopped in with their adorable little girl while we were playing in the room. When "O" saw their little girl being active, she held onto my fingers and just started walking like crazy. This is the first we have seen her walk (with help) that good. She is so precious!

We are in Moscow now and it is completely different than Kaluga. It is like New York City here and Kaluga is such a small town. But, I kinda miss Kaluga. The people were really nice who we were working with. We are staying at the Marriott Grand and it is really, really nice. The internet access is so much better than what we had in Kaluga also.

We went to the Catholic Social Services office here in Moscow to meet with Svetlana and Irena. They asked if we had pictures and Joe whipped out his laptop and showed them the videos we took. They loved looking at them and were VERY happy that we accepted her as our daughter.

Our driver, Vladimir, will pick us up tomorrow at 11:00am to take us to get our physicals and then tomorrow we will head for home.

We can't post pictures of "O" until after we court and we get her, so I will tease you a little.


Renae and Joe

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Hi everyone!

GREAT news! We are letting them know tomorrow that we want to sign papers to adopt this ADORABLE little girl!

I'm SO sorry that I didn't post our trip 1, but I was just SO nervous about getting all the right medical docs to our doctor and our access here is HORRIBLE, our Skype keeps breaking in and out and your really can't understand ANYONE your talking to and it has been hard just to keep in touch with the doctor and our family.....whew!
But, I can now share the AWESOME news and we are very excited!

Trip one was good, but as most of you adopting know, she was a little hesitant and scared. Then we visited her again for about an hour in the evening and it was a little better. All she wanted was to be held, she really didn't want to be put down to play too much at all.

We then went into the office and the orphanage doctor gave us all of her medical. Joe and I asked question after question and got I'm SURE all the medical in her file. Afterwards, the orphanage doctor told us that she wasn't prepared to be asked about so much. She was REALLY nice though and gave us everything we asked for.

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our translator Nadia (or Nadya?). She is THE BEST! She and our really nice driver Vladimir even drop us off at the restaurant that we want to eat at and she comes in to order for us before she leaves for the day. She takes really good care of us and so does the driver Vlad. We are NEVER left alone anywhere until after we get back to the hotel.

Today....our 2nd visit....was AWESOME! We took Michelle's advice (thanks Michelle) and asked if we could observe her with the other kids before she sees us. She WAS a completely different person than she was with us the first visit and, like Michelle said, it made us feel THAT much more sure of our decision!

We then took her into the gym and she just felt so much more at ease with us. She played, giggled, walked around (with the help of someone) and just was SO funny and loveable. I cannot WAIT to bring her home to our family because they are going to LOVE her! She is so adorable, funny and LOVES to be held. She actually puts a choke hold on my neck! She's also teething VERY bad and loved to bite on anything that she could. Forget the little photo album Joe and I brought for her, she already destroyed it. She was chewing it and ripped out a few pages, but will NOT let us take it away from her. It was the only thing she wanted to hold and play with. She wouldn't take the teether I bought her..she didn't want it. Loved the gerber treats though!

Tomorrow we will go for her visa and visit with her two more times and then one time Thursday morning to say our goodbye's and off to Moscow for our medicals and then home on Saturday.

I will try to post again while in Moscow, maybe the access will be a little better.

I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS to Karen and Cathy for getting your COURT DATES....YEEEAAAAH!!!!

And, to our family, I can't WAIT to come home and have a MOVIE NIGHT with all of you so you can see the future addition to our family.....she's ADORABLE!!!

Love you Michael.

Talk to you all again soon!

Renae and Joe

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Hi everyone, we finally made it to the Kaluga region! It was a very LOOOOONG flight (about 10 hours) but a very smooth flight. We flew American Airlines from Chicago to Moscow. We were in business class and the seats were extremely tight. It was almost impossible to get a good night sleep on the plane (especially for Joe who is a little on the cranky side right now) but with the help of a couple benedryl and a few bloody mary's, we managed to get some shut eye.

Nadya, our translator, was right there at the airport waiting for us. She is SO very nice and helpful. We then were met by our driver, Basil, who is also very nice quiet, but nice) and drove for another 3 hours to our hotel in Kaluga.

Nadya brought us to our hotel and checked us into our room and we were then met also by Rita who works as a facilitator at the orphanage. She introduced herself, took our itinerary and said she would meet us tomorrow at the orphanage. You girls were right about having to check EVERY outlet in order to get internet access, but once we did we were fine. I'm sure our family was wondering what happened to us, but we just couldn't get access right away and we,of course, had no cell phone access. We tried to do some Skype calls, but our microphone must not be that great because my sister-in-law had a hard time hearing us. We were just so excited to have our own room and a BED....even if it IS as HARD AS A ROCK!

Anyway, we couldn't have been in better hands than we were with Nadya...she is GREAT! She even took us to a little restaurant around the block and helped us order. She said she is going to call us tomorrow at around 11:30 a.m. to pick us up for the orphanage.....we get to see our little girl tomorrow! I'm not sure about tomorrow, but she said that on Tuesday and Wednesday we will get to go to the orphanage twice, once in the morning for a couple hours and once in the afternoon for about an hour and a half. We were also so excited when we showed her the picture that we had of her (well, actually JOE had of her in HIS POCKET) and she said "YES, I know this little girl!" She was so happy. She said that she has the prettiest eyes and that when she saw her she just was sitting up happy in her walker, but all by sad. Nadya will be there with us every day to translate for us. We just cannot WAIT to actually see her face...finally!

Well, this is going to be a short post because I am exhausted! Joe is already CRASHED. I'm going to TRY to sleep, but I don't know if I'll be able to.

Well, I'll post again tomorrow after our first visit!

To all our family, we love you and just want to say thanks for being as happy and excited as we are. Dad, you can breathe now...we're here safe and sound! ha-ha!

Michael, love you honey.

Renae and Joe

Friday, October 10, 2008


This is the time we have been waiting for!!!! We are packed and ready to go. We will arrive in Moscow around 12:15 p.m. on Sunday. We will be picked up at the airport in Moscow by our translator (I believe Nadia) and our driver and they will take us to Kaluga which is about a 3 hour drive.

I spoke with "C" today and she said that we probably will not get to go to the orphanage until Monday. So, I guess we'll go to our hotel, try to settle in and get organized and get a little sleep (TRY anyway).

We both cannot WAIT to see this little girl. Hopefully all goes well and we are able have some good news to share!

Bye post will be from RUSSIA!

Renae and Joe

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I received and e-mail from "C" today telling us that we are going to Russia on Saturday, October 11th and leaving Russia on Saturday, October 18th....yeaaaaah!

We are now going through the crazy rush process of sending for our visa's and making flight and hotel reservations. Hopefully that will all be done tonight and tomorrow.
"C" said that we will arrive in Moscow on Sunday and a car will pick us up to go directly to Kaluga, which is the region where we are going to visit this sweet little girl. The trip from Moscow to Kaluga is a 3-5 hour drive. We will then go to the orphanage to visit on Monday, Tuesday and back to Moscow on Thursday (hopefully after accepting our referral), have our 8 doctor medical on Friday and fly home on Saturday.....whew!

I'll keep you all posted!

I sure hope all of you other families get some good news real soon also!

Renae and Joe

Monday, September 29, 2008


We are FINALLY going to Russia! I actually got a call last Tuesday from "C" who offered us a referral for a little girl in Kaluga. She sent us some pictures and a little bit of medical information and, after reviewing her medical information with our IA doctor over the weekend, we called "C" and told her that we would love to go and meet this little girl!

We are SO excited and yet nervous at the same time! "C" said she thinks we will be traveling the weekend of the 11th....that's in 2 WEEKS!

I called my son Michael and the rest of our family to tell them the WONDERFUL news and they were ALL just as excited as we were! It is SO great to have such a loving, supportive family and we can't wait to bring our daughter home to be a part of it!!!

Now the packing and preparation of traveling begins...yikes! I have to get my lists made!

We'll keep you updated!

Renae and Joe

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I spoke with C last Thursday and she said that they want to keep our dossier in Kemorovo after all. She was told that there is a CHANCE that there may be another girl referral in September. She said that she will not keep us there long though, so if there isn't a referral by the middle of September, we will again discuss our options. I am going SO crazy....I really hope we do get a call in September!

Meanwhile, Joe and I took yet another trip to the Florida Keys! I really needed it after being told we would possibly get our call in July....and didn't.....and then being told that Kemerovo wasn't giving any girl referrals until at least January of next year (which may not be the case now...who knows). It felt REALLY good to just relax, drink some delicious margeritas and do a little fishing.....who CARED if hurricane Fay was on it's way to the keys also.

Saturday night Joe and I were at Lazy Days, one of our FAVORITE places to eat overlooking the ocean. We got a call from our Captain for our Sunday morning trip and he said that it's going to be some GREAT fishing tomorrow and that the storm isn't supposed to REALLY hit until Tuesday night. He said that they just called for an evacuation for all visitors for Sunday morning at 8:00, but we're coming back in at 3:00 and then we can just get into the evacuation line. ARE WE CRAZY?!?!?!

So, we DID go out and it WAS beautiful most of the trip except it was a little windy and the waves were about 5 foot. I wasn't nervous until we were heading back and it got REAL dark and REAL windy. We did catch alot of dolphin, but it was just a little too rough out there and it was a bit hectic on the boat as far as the fishing went....but it was fun! Joe and I wished we were staying so we could actually see the storm, but we got out just before it got really bad.

Now, we wait and see if we get our call in September.....I REALLY, REALLY hope we do because this is WAY too stressful!

Congratulations to Karen and Cathy who traveled on their first trips to meet and accept their baby girl and boy!!!! And to Michelle who had her Gotcha Day with her precious little girl!

Good luck to the families who will be traveling or are traveling right now!!!!

bye for now,

Renae and Joe

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


NOT in Kemerovo. Joe and I just got a call from "C" today around 5:00 telling us that there will be no more invites to travel to Kemerovo until AT LEAST January. Kemerovo said they filled their quota for the year. Talking about our bubble bursting!!!! Every day now we have been on pins and needles because we were told that there was a good possibility that there would be another girl referral from Kemerovo by the end of July. So, EVERY DAY we have been hoping it would be OUR day....and then we get this news.

C said that she would recommend NOT waiting in Kemerovo since we did not receive a referral from there. Joe and I totally agreed, so our dossier will now be sent to another region to wait on our baby girl. It's o.k. though, our agency has been moving pretty quick with the girl referrals so we feel positive about it being not too long from now anyway.....HOPEFULLY!!

I DO feel really bad, however, for a few of the families (one really good friend) who have already received their referrals from Kemerovo and do not know when they will be able to travel to meet their children...I know this has to be so difficult for them.

I guess we'll find out soon enough what region our daughter will be in.....hopefully SOONER than LATER!!!


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Hi everyone,

Not much going on to post about lately, we are still ANXIOUSLY waiting to get "the call." We are NEXT to get a baby girl referral in Kemerovo City.....I'm sure most of you know the anxiety I am feeling right now. It has been a little over a year since our dossier first arrived in Russia (July 13, 2007), and we are praying our call will be by the end of this month!

What HAS been keeping me sane is seeing all the other families traveling and bringing home their BEAUTIFUL children. Congratulations to all of those families!!!!!

Bye for now,

Renae and Joe

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I received a call today from our agency...not "THE CALL," but an exciting one nonetheless! C from our agency called and asked if Joe and I would be interested in being a "guinea pig" in a new region that they have not worked out of yet. She said that Kemerovo City (not Region) has requested dossiers. Kemerovo City is in southern Siberia and is a 4 hour plane ride from Moscow. When I heard this, I was sooooo excited! Joe and I have had our hearts set on Siberia from the beginning of our adoption journey. She said that there is another family whose dossier she is going to send over also, but she is not sure if we would travel at the same time.

With this City, we would receive a referral picture and a little bit of medical...which I was so pumped about because we could have the IA doctor look at the medical and give us her opinion, as apposed to going in blind. The only thing C said was that she didn't know how long the wait would be in between trips.

I was like "Yes, we would LOVE to be guinea pigs for this City!" C said "good, I'll send your dossier over and see what Kemerovo sais." I was soooo excited! I hope that this is where we will finally be registered....and hopefully soon we will get our call we have been waiting for for almost a year now.

If anyone has adopted from Kemerovo City, I would love to hear your experience there!

On a different note, GO PENGUINS!!!!!!! we will be sitting in front of the t.v. at 8:00 tonight, with our "TERRIBLE TOWELS" cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins who are playing the Detroit Red Wings for the Stanley Cup. GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!

Renae and Joe

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Hi everyone,

I know I haven't kept you updated lately, but we have been VERY busy. Yes, busy trying to pull together a whole NEW dossier. Joe and I have decided to switch agencies! We just didn't feel like we were getting anywhere at CHI and decided to make the change to a smaller agency, who seems to have a very good reputation.

We signed the contract with the new agency and I pulled together our new dossier and had it sent to them in 2 weeks. Russia received our documents on Sunday and it will take a couple of weeks to translate them.

Our new agency mostly works out of the Moscow Region and St. Petersburg. The timeline they gave us for a referral is 6-12 months (could be more...could be less). As you all know by now, girl referrals take longer. As for now, we wait to be invited to Russia when a little girl is available for us to go and meet.

Joe and I both feel confident about switching agencies, although it WAS very stressful. I felt like we were starting all over, but once I got our dossier in and it was sent to Russia, the change felt good. Hopefully in a couple of months we will get our call we have been waiting for for almost 11 months now. We cannot WAIT to bring a little girl into our family.

So, after all of the stress of switching agencies and putting together a new dossier, my husband wisked me away to the Florida keys. It was 90 degrees and beautiful....not to mention, we caught ALOT of dolphin on the Charter boat that we went out on.

Once again, I have to congratulate my son Michael for getting all A's his final semester. I couldn't be more proud of him! He will be a Junior in college next year, I can't believe how fast it has gone.

good night for now,

Renae and Joe

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Our home study expired April 4th and I was a nervous wreck because our home study agency said that they would not be done with the updated home study until the 11th. So, I picked up the updated home study, drove to Trenton to get it apostilled and then off to CHI on Monday. Our coordinator, A, at CHI said she sent the updated home study, along with registration paperwork for Krasnoyarsk, to Russia on Wednesday...whew!!! What a relief to have that taken care of.

We really just have to wait to hear about being registered and then an anticipated wait for our baby girl referral. I get a little nervous with some of the news letters that come out every Friday regarding updates on the Russian adoption. The one that just came out this past Friday from Ludmilla (Moscow) stated that the Russian families actually are waiting in line also for baby girls, and that when there is a girl given out for referral internationally, it is most likely one that the Russian families have passed up, most often because of medical conditions. Now, this makes me a little nervous. I'm going to have to call A at CHI to ask exactly what this means for us. Does this mean that we would possibly get a referral for a baby girl that has some sort of medical problems? I really don't think CHI would try to match a family up with a rerral that does not match what was requested by the family. Still, these kind of things can make you a little nervous.

Congratulations to every one of my blog friends who have been on their first and second trips! I get so excited for you all, and hope you are on cloud nine with your little ones!

So for now, we just patiently wait for our call to go and meet our daughter.

Take Care,
Renae and Joe

Monday, March 31, 2008


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, but there really hasn't been anything new happening. We are still in the process of updating our home study, which expires April 9. Our social worker has to come to the house again and then, hopefully, all the paperwork will get completed and notarized in a timely manner, so that I can drive it to Trenton to get apostilled, and then off to CHI. Luckily, we have had no problems with the required documents. Our doctor has been excellent in helping us to complete the necessary medicals. We'll see how smooth things go on the agency's end in regard to getting all necessary documents back to us correctly.

Joe and I both pray that we will soon be registered and get our "call" to go and meet our little girl. It will be 9 months on April 13 since our dossier went to Russia. We are soooooo ready to travel to Russia to meet her! In the meantime, we pray that she is well taken care of until we can finally bring her home.

I am so happy to see my blog friends traveling for their 1st trips to meet their children and those of you who were lucky enough to be able to bring their beautiful children home! Congratulations to all of you!

Take Care

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Hi Everyone! Joe and I went to Islamarada, Florida on a little fishing trip. We had a nice, relaxing time and caught some really nice fish, including Joe's trophy sailfish (below). I went out with him on the first trip on the "Hattitude" chartered by Captain Ron and his son Danny. They are so nice and we really enjoy fishing with them.....not to mention they put us on fish like this!!!!! The next time Joe went out on a small flats boat by himself with Captain Jim out of Hawkes Cay Resort and Spa, and yes, THIS was my time to enjoy every bit of that spa. I'm talking back massage, foot massage and a facial. Oh my goodness, talking about RELAXATION!

It was just what I needed because I just got finished gathering up all our documents we had to send to our home study agency in order to update our home study which expires on april 9th. I was getting a little stressed, so it was good to get away. I sent everything fed'ex on Friday the 7th to our home study agency, along with the new updated documents for the home, they say our case worker has to come to our house again for another visit and then I will wait for them to send me all of the completed, notarized documents so that I can drive to Trenton to get everything Apostilled and then send in to CHI and off to Russia, again. Most of my other paperwork expires in May, so I'm sure I will be updating alot in about a month or so.

I haven't heard anything else yet regarding us being registered. So, hopefully it will not be too long for this to happen. It really makes me feel alot better seeing all this movement happening lately! Congratulations to all of the families who are traveling on their first trips and to those who have gone on their second trips to pick up their exciting!!!!

I decided that I was not going to even start on our daughter's room until AFTER the first trip. It would just be torture looking at it all the time and I figured it would really give me something to do between trips in order to make the time fly a little quicker.

Let's keep that ball rolling in the Russia Program!!!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I sent an e-mail to our coordinator on Thursday just to check in. She informed me that our dossier is not registered in Krasnoyarsk, but that they were considering our dossier "flexible" so that if any other region has girl referrals available first, they will hurry and send our dossier to that region. Joe and I LOVE the Siberian region and hope that we will still be able to adopt from Siberia, but will go anywhere.

She also informed me that they have opened several more regions to try and make the referrals go quicker, and will be opening several more regions within the next two months. This is good news and hopefully it will make things speed up a bit.

My husband and I sat down on Friday and he really made me realize that I have to be a little more patient and that our beautiful girl WILL come to us soon.

Congratulations to those who are traveling soon to get their children!

Take Care,

Thursday, February 7, 2008


This is a picture of me, my son Michael and Joe at our Superbowl party last Sunday - WHAT A GAME! All of my family are actually STEELER fans (we are originally from Pittsburgh) but we like the Giants and were sooooo glad they beat New England. Joe and his family have always lived in New Jersey and, of course, were cheering on the Giants (except for my brother-in-law who is a HUGE Dallas Cowboy fan....he got abused all night!) It was alot of fun!
Congratulations also to my son for making the Deans list at Monmouth University....I'm so proud!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Joe and I went to our County Department of Health to get our vaccinations. The doctor there recommended the Hep A/B series, Typhoid and DPT for the region we were, that's what we got. The shots did not hurt at all! Joe and I both were so surprised how smoothly it went. We did feel a little sore the next couple of days, but nothing serious. We have to go back for one more in a month...the second Hep A/B vaccine.

I called our insurance carrier BCBS of New Jersey and explained our situation and they said that "yes, you are covered up to $500 each." I was sooo excited to hear this because these shots, when added up, are NOT cheap!

We are now taking Wendy's (who just traveled to Kras on their first trip) advice and finding a travel agent now so that we know WHO to call when we get "The Call."

She also recommended getting a storage bin and putting things aside for the trip so it's less you have to stress about later. So, I went to target got a bin and already started to fill it with a few necessary items. Thanks Wendy for the good advice!

We are still up in the air with the IA doctors...I'll let you know when we decide. They are BOTH supposed to be so good.

Hopefully we will all start to get some good news now that the Russian Holiday is over.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I have been keeping up with quite a few of my favorite adoption blogs (Carey and Norman, Becky and Keith, Carrie and Michael, Troy and Rachel...just to name a few) and have even talked with them via e-mail. I SWORE that one day I would actually sit down and learn how to put together a blog myself and today I finally did it! Better late than never! I know it is going to be a bit of a mess at first, so please be patient with me.

My husband Joe and I had our dossier sent to Russia on July 13, 2007. We originally picked Tver for our region, but switched to Krasnoyarsk (Abakan) in November. We requested a girl up to 18 months of age. We were sooooo excited to get the news before Christmas that CHI was accredited.....what a Christmas present for all of us who are waiting!!!!!

Joe and I are getting our Hep, DPT and Typhoid vaccines on Thursday. I hope there not too bad, I hate shots!

We also are up in the air between two IA doctors: Dr. Jane Aronson, New York and Dr. AllaGordina, East Brunswick, New Jersey. Both Doctors were highly recommended. I'll let you know later what our decision was.

Congratulations to everyone who recently received their referrals!