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You can't until you know the child. Since you are going the international route, you'll know in PLENTY of time to get all that ready for whatever child you get. It'll be different depending on the sex of the child, age of the child and developmental readiness of the child. You can start saving for it all though.
I'd do more on the research side of things. Make sure you know all the ins and outs of adoption from whichever country you decide to go to. Know their age requirements and how long you must be married. If you can get started with paperwork before that comes up. If you have to travel there how many times do you go and do both you and your DH have to go or just one of you. Start getting together things for passports. Stuff like that.
From my friends who are adopting from Russia right now, it has been extended a lot since the incident with a disruption. My friends were almost done, and have been put off 6 more months just from that. The US consulant is trying to get things settled down, so hopefully it'll be back to normal by the time you get rolling.
No. You are not their parents yet and they are still Russian citizens. You can send gifts, but the orphanages discourage too much (makes other kids jealous). You do have to travel to Russia a few times before you can bring them home, but there are limits on how long you can stay each time. My friends have been 3 times so far and have once more to get their baby and bring her home. She is now 14 months old and they've been working since before she was born to get her.
I would start by reading books about attachment and bonding with adopted kids. Also, you should probably look into FAS and RAD if the child is coming from Russia - you have a very high chance of it with Russian kids.
I agree, the child is not yours until he steps on American soil. You have no say in his care or development. It is hard but just the first in many hurdles.
Also, if you plan on Russia and work, you will need to figure out how to spend 4 weeks in country. Russia requires two trips, the first is less than a week and second is 3-4 weeks. I believe both parents have to go on each trip.
Typically, you will have to stop TTC during the adoption process according to most agency rules.
Wow 14 months, thats so heart breaking. Yeah I was reading that you can only visit them twice a day for a certain amount of time. I was googling if we were allowed to send letters or pictures but I couldnt get a definate answer. :/ Other than that, were looking into the paperwork. And trying to discuss when is the best time to start the process.
But ashley only one of the parents has to go at a time, it doesnt have to be both. I looked that up specifically because it would be feesable if we both had to go.