Last time I was in Ukraine, it was winter.
Dark clouds, cold winds, and sudden flurries are no longer present here.
In two short weeks, the animated buildings now have a gorgeous spring back drop. Tulips popping out of the ground, red buds begin to bloom on almost bare trees, bringing a sense of new beginnings to an old, small town where nothing but the same thing happens.
Before courtI woke up today in the mushroom hotel. Each room has theme, and this trip, my mom and I are staying in the raven room. I don't have words to describe the room, so here's a picture instead. I believe it speaks for itself.
I take my notebook, and red trapper keeper and walk down to breakfast in a pencil skirt, black tights and heels to the restaurant across the parking lot.
Continuing to review my notes: when I should I say "da" and when should I say "net" ? Oh the stress.
I have been told by other adopted parents that usually court will take forty five minutes to an hour and really it is only a formality but, yesterday Roma sat me down at dinner and we had a little discussion.
"This is the judges first adoption." "He had a preliminary on the17th" (which most judges opt not to have) "He wants Adam here."
Yuri, the driver, picks Roma, my mom and I up after breakfast and we drive the 1 mile down the road to the orphanage.
With me was a large bag of clothing, food, shoes, and pictures from American host mama's giving their child a token to cling to, until they see them during summer.
Most of the children are at school, except for the older ones. I guess school is optional for them, including Alex? I ask "why are you not in school?" He shrugs, and smiles. Yana is pulled out of school and comes within the first few minutes we are there.
They are excited to see Grandma Noreen, and she is excited to see them.
I give them the outfits to put on for court, and to my surprise, they both really really really hate them.
|She would only let me take a picture in her room with the door closed. She wore a jacket the entire day. |
Adoption Court Hearing
It was relentless, report after report of their life. He kept reading all the details, too personal to share publicly, the bone chilling truth. My kids are behind me and too far to comfort. I ache for them.
But then he starts throwing the curve balls...
"Do you know what is going on here?"
"Do you know these people?"
"What are their daughters names?"
"Do you love them?"
"Did anything bad happen this summer?"
"There were no issue at all?"
Question after question, I sit there boiling with anger, and praying for the interrogation to end. It finally does, thank you God!
Yana's turn, she stands up, but slowly:
Oh Yana! She was some comic relief after the most uncomfortable 10 minutes.
"Do you know what is going on here?" The judge asks. Yana nods, and Roma, tells her to speak.
She says "Da." We all wait for more... but she holds her ground and not a single word is spoken by her until the next question. The audience begins to smile at her antics. Next question.
"Do you want to be adopted?"
She says "Da." With a straight face, eyes glued to the judge. We are full-on grinning at this point, waiting for the judge's next move.
"Sit down." He says in English. She does.
My turn again:
I stand back up and state my order to social services...8 things I had to remember to say. Then it's over, well almost.
Court started at 2:00, and it is now 5:05... we've been sitting here for over 3 hours.
Again, another forever goes by while the judge, two jurors and the secretary leave the room to make a decision.
They are mine! We get the approval.
A picture of Alex bringing one of the bags of goods home from the market, we are met with a posse of little friends waiting by the gate.
All of them excited to inhale the bananas, apples, soup, and much more.
Love it, love them.
|Kinetic sand, Wahoo!|
|After his shower with soap and shampoo :)|
|"Thank you for the dress!"|
|S is a doll! |
"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
If you feel called to help for our final trip in less than 10 days, when we get to bring our kids home please do here.