Thursday, May 22, 2008

practical update

Of course we are having the most fun experiencing things with the boys. They had a play date this morning and then an active evening with families from our church with young and school aged children, many of them boys. It was the most interactive play we've seen of Erik in quite a while.

On the practical side we have a "work" list too.
When we were in Warsaw for the last steps of US immigration approval for IR3 visas, we needed to sign forms saying we will get the boys vaccinated to agree with the US standards which are a little more advanced than LT ones. We have yet to schedule that.
We gave our envelopes of paperwork in at the immigration check in Washington DC when we flew in. They will process it further and send us the certificate of citizenship. That should arrive in a few weeks. At first we thought we needed to await that in order to apply for passports, but found out that no, we had what we needed to apply. So we took care of that yesterday. The passports should be sent to us in about 4 weeks. And they return our documents- which we need to apply for social security numbers (we think).

And then, we need to recheck the status of things in LT regarding the legal status of them reentering Lithuania. The controversial issue regarding dual citizenship not being allowed in LT is under some review, but who knows when/if there will be movement on that. Eventually (if not right away) our boys will need permanent residence permits which take 6 months to obtain. Only 90 days of that can be spent in Lithuania if they must return on American passports the way we understand it.

While we are in the US, we are also trying to get a number of evaluations done and resources together for encouraging our boys' development. The options in the US are far broader than in Lithuania. One of these is an international adoptions clinic at Children's hospital of Philadelphia. There a doctor and Occupational Therapist and psychologist if needed who are experienced with international adoptions evaluate the child(ren) thoroughly and help the parents understand if and what special help is recommended for their adjustment or medical care.

There are not huge problems, but speech is still a concern for both. We also might be able to join a research study of internationally adopted children by a speech therapist in Baltimore and get an extensive evaluation done free that way.

And we see the time with family and friends as very foundational in the boys understanding their identity in a new family that speaks English. We hope they have a good foundation in English by the time we return to Lithuania, but that will require a lot of exposure and a lot of play with children speaking English!

This Friday we head to NJ to spend time with Sharon's family, including a 5 year old nephew that the boys have been waiting to meet. We will stay at a Christian camp with a guest house that is giving a special deal for us as a missionary family. Then we will have additional time at North Wildwood where Gregg's parents have a place which will feel like vacation. And then back to business! Well- getting more of these practical things done. We should be back at Gregg's parents' place by June 14.

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