Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thank You AAPA

I posted a slightly different version of this note to the Adoption for Americans Abroad forum. Randy Barlow and Ken Gardner of AAPA were our home study providers.
Many, many thanks to Randy Barlow, Ken Gardner, and Jane Santos of American Adoption Professionals Abroad for their tremendous support, encouragement, and assistance throughout my family's adoption journey.

My wife Laura and I recently adopted from Kazakhstan. As an overseas military family, we absolutely couldn't have done it without Randy and Team AAPA. After our year and a half of preparation, it felt really weird to stand in a judge's chambers in Karaganda and see Randy and Ken's original home study document sitting on the judge's desk.

To me, there was no greater endorsement of their work than the compliments the Kazakh judge payed. He stated that he wasn't going to read the entire contents of the home study aloud in court, because if he did, everyone would want to move to Germany and live with us in our house. Suffice it to say he was highly impressed with the quality and content of the home study document.

Randy also stood by us through some very painful (and arbitrary) USCIS immigration issues, and he bent over backwards to help us get the non-problem resolved. He also provided us with a lot of short-notice extras and advice that we needed along the way.

My wife Laura is in Almaty, Kazakhstan this week on trip #2, completing the immigration processing of our 12 m/o son Victor Hugo. If the respective Schengen and US visas are delivered as promised, she and Vic should be flying back here to Stuttgart on Friday morning.

Thank you again, Randy Barlow and Team AAPA, for helping us to grow our family. We will be in touch soon to schedule our first post-placement report.
Unrelated update: sorry about the problems with the Twitter updates on the left sidebar of this blog. I didn't realize the overlapping problem until someone pointed it out (thanks, Cookie!). I removed my own Twitter updates from this page, so you should be able to now enjoy Laura's unfettered.

I also added some links at the top for the reference-type articles on this site.


jill coen said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah!! You guys are a great team! So glad all went well at the consulate...there's something wonderful about that visa finally being in the passport. Team Coen is very happy for ya'll!
jill :)

G'ma Pat said...

Fly high and fast...and safe!! Will be so good to know Vic n Laura are home and ALL the family are together! Shows that hopes and dreams can come true with faith and perseverance. Sims haus rules!