We try to balance our expectations of our lives, but optimism is infectious and frankly a lot more fun than cynicism or even realism. Thank goodness we have a healthy mix of those in our household. I am by far the optimist, and Yuliya keeps my unflagging spirits from carrying the house away on fantasy with a well-tempered if occasionally hard-bitten realism.
This post is an exercise in creating a benchmark for future reference, to list our expectations, not ideal dreams or wishes, for our adoption. Periodically, we'll revisit them and see how they have played out.
Our CFS education seminar will be no later than March - 2 full days and 2 additional evenings - $500 cost
Our homestudy will be completed and dossier sent to the DRC by the end of July 2013.
Our referral will come before Xmas of 2013 (Catholic, not Orthodox Xmas).
Referred children will be cutest things that have yet existed to date. Really, once we get them, there is no reason for anyone to ever post pictures of their kids again. Ours are cuter. Just post pictures of our kids, and say yours are like that - just less so.
We will spend no more than 2 weeks confined to our hotel in the DRC. Sean will stop shaving entirely as soon as the aircraft leaves Canadian airspace. Yuliya may shave her legs for the first time in 5 years.
We will return from the DRC with our children (plural!) by September 2014 - Canadian immigration documents for the children will take 7 months after the adoption is finalized.
Total costs with travel shall not exceed $35,000.
We will raise more than nothing towards that cost, if just.
At least once a month some complete stranger will touch our children's hair without permission or provocation, then demand their entire life story and a paternity test.
Our cats will not willingly be in the same room as our children for the first month. They have had some unfortunate formative experiences with young children.
Best estimates on their clothing size will be at least 2 sizes too large at time of travel.
The first month will be spend purging their system of parasites. We're going to do our best not to loose our minds when we find little crawlies in their diapers.
Wait from referral to travel will be the most arduous wait of our lives.