Got the email yesterday and we're clear to turn in our application to the adoption agency's Russian program:) We were very excited and got the paperwork filled out, signed, and sealed last night. I just have to drop it at the post office this morning and shortly we should be receiving the information from the agency which will tell us how to prepare our dossier to send to Russia, home study info, and assorted other paperwork that we'll have to complete. The dossier is the pile of paperwork we need to send to Russia for them to accept our application and match us with a child. With any amount of luck we'll be able to get it done in the next couple months and we might even get a referral by the end of the year.
The referral is the exciting part- we should get a picture of a child they've matched us with, some information, and an invitation to travel to Russia. Once there we'll get the full information available on the child (and meet him/her at the orphanage) and have it reviewed by medical professionals and if we accept the referral we will go to court in Russia to start the adoption process. Unfortunately we will have to return home and wait several weeks while it is processed before returning to Russia to bring our baby home and finish the process. I'm not looking forward to coming home from that first trip because we won't be able to bring the baby home but that's the way things are done and we don't have the money to stay in Russia for a couple extra months so we'll do what we need to.
The whole process is a little overwhelming right now but I'm trying to focus on one step at a time. Right now we're in a waiting time again so there will probably be lots of cleaning and stitching going on to distract me:)