There is so much to do. I have sent our Ohio background check requests, scheduled a doctor visit, got lab orders for STD tests (fun!), completed and sent the homestudy application and fee, got a bunch of documents notarized at the bank, and I'm about to send the "Application for Advance Processing of Orphan" petition to the USCIS Cleveland office.
I have a checklist of all the things I'm hoping will get done in the next few weeks and have put stars by the ones Jon needs to be directly involved in. And he's been faster than me on a few of them! Because of the threat of a moratorium on adoptions in Katya's country, we are hoping that we can get the whole process complete and be on our way to Katya in 3-4 months. That time frame is a bit scary for 2 reasons. # 1- I am scared we won't be fast enough and Katya will be abandoned to an institution. # 2- We will have another child in 3-4 months! It's like being 6-7 months pregnant and having just found out about the pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Sara, I needed the whole 10 months to get ready for her. Now in 3, we have to do more paperwork than I've ever had to do for anything, spend more money than I've ever had to spend for anything but house and car (and Katya's MUCH more important than house and cars), get our home ready, get Sara ready, make work arrangements...you get the picture. So if you have a chance to say a prayer for us while we're on this journey, we could certainly use it! I think this journey will test (and strengthen) our faith in both God and in our marriage.
I didn't share much info about Katya yet, so I will share briefly now. Honestly, we don't know much. We just know that she is in a "baby" orphanage for now and will likely be sent to an institution for people with disabilities at age 5. We have heard that many kids don't survive their first year at the institutions. Katya has been diagnosed wit Crouzon's Syndrome, but some doctors who have reviewed her pictures in the US aren't sure that's what it really is. If it's not Crouzon's, it is probably some other sort of craniosyntosis from birth trauma. Either way, it is likely that her skull bones fused together too early, not allowing room for her brain to grow normally (probably an overly simplified explanation from a person who hs never even taken an anatmoy class (me)). According to her orphanage caregivers, she is comepletely typically developing at this point, but the brain grows until 12 years old, so we still need to get medical treatment for her ASAP. So that's about all we know. And we are so very excited to learn more when we get to Katya and meet her!