Friday, April 29, 2005

Adoption progress update

The translator will be giving our dossier to the Kazakh notary on Tuesday. We're about three months from travel. That puts us traveling in early August, and with a set-in-stone court deadline of 7 September, we now have officially no margin of error. (For those of you not up to date on what we're doing: we're attempting to adopt two sisters, one 13, and one 17, and if the decree is not finalized before Anya's birthday of 8 September, Anya turns 18 and becomes permanently unadoptable.) You can keep right on praying.

The house should go on the market next week. The insurance company will pay not one thin dime for the water damage; this means that the $50,000 to $80,000 hit we just took on our net worth, is pretty much permanent, and we therefore cannot sell the house and use the equity to pay for this adoption. (If you don't know the story: big water leak; foundation undermined; house determined to be "in imminent danger of catastrophic failure," meaning it was about to slide off the side of the canyon; AllState informed us we weren't covered even though we had gotten exactly the coverage the agent told us we needed when we bought the house...an ugly story you don't want to hear in detail.) But, in dramatic contrast to the attitude of AllState, the engineering firm (whose owner turns out to be a big supporter of foreign adoptions) is doing all the repairs and not making us pay anything before the house sells. Also I think they're sneaking in quite a bit of cosmetic stuff and not charging us for it.

The CCCP website has not been updated for a long time; that's because we have been consumed with the work necessary to get our own adoptions completed and to deal with the house disaster, and the volunteer who took over website maintenance for us is about to go to Kazakhstan on his adoption and has been sort of busy his own self. Also, with all of our volunteers in the middle of adopting last summer's kids, we don't have anybody to run a summer program while we're gone; so it doesn't look like we'll have another summer program until 2006. We have lots of great kids we could bring over but nobody to manage them while they're here. (Last summer I was working full time without pay on the foundation; this summer I'll either be in Kazakhstan adopting Anya and Kristina or else working more than full time at my consulting to try to pay for the adoption, now that that house disaster has clobbered my net worth.)

Good news, though: our very remarkable young friend Shirlen has stepped up to take over the legal paperwork and accounting duties for CCCP, which meets the single biggest need we had identified for the foundation at this point.

Finally, tomorrow I'll be in Ashland, Mississippi (near Memphis), for Dessie's and my first meeting as members of the Board of Directors of Williams International Adoption, Inc. This is an honor and a privilege, of course, but is also going to be fun because the Williams folks are just a blast. Christine Williams and I are both members of one particular adoption list, for example, and I got into trouble on that very list recently for referring to our President as "Dubya," which some on the list found disrespectful. Then in defending myself I flippantly said something like, "Oh, I go by a diminutive form of my own middle name; so I don't tend to think of that as disrespectful...in fact I frequently address Jesus as 'H.'" This did not exactly soothe the feathers ruffled. So when Dessie and I got the paperwork we had to sign to be on the WIAI board, there were two copies of everything, one for each of us...except that on one document with several places to sign, Christine had handwritten in, "For Kenny only: I do hereby solemnly vow never again to refer to the President as 'Dubya.'" So I know this is a lady I'm gonna enjoy working with.

Will keep you updated with any further progress.

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