Today’s process was similar to yesterday’s, except we didn’t have to do so much driving since we stayed in the city of Berdyansk the whole time. It included a visit to social services, bringing all documents to the orphanage, waiting for documents to be ready to bring back to social services, bringing documents back to social services. Well, that was the short version. Really all of this paper passing took from approx 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The good news was that during the waiting period at the orphanage we got to visit with big bro and after about two hours with just him, sister joined us too. She had to stay in during rest time prior to that. We then stayed on longer while Mr. Attorney did the final step of returning the documents to social services totaling 2+ hours with sis and 4-5 hours with bro.
It was valuable time as this was our first visit with more freedom since it was the first visit after a verbal commitment to pursue them and moving forward in progress on the official side. We came and went from the classroom, outside, to the library, and back. Just having freedom to be the ones in charge without supervision was more natural and helped us to see their personalities better.
I hadn’t shared more specific details regarding names, birth dates, and how that fits in with our other kids age differences yet, etc. because I understood it to be privacy related until we crossed a certain line in the process. I got permission today, although I truthfully thought it would be much further down the line. But I had to withhold some info to keep you coming back for more (ha). So without much further adieu I’ll fill some of the information gaps, but unfortunately, we left the device to get the pics to computer at home (in our hurry to leave last Thursday).
Given name: Денис (Denis), Nickname: Деня (Denya), Birthdate: Dec 26, 2004 -Aiden is just shy of being six months older than him, but looks several years older by physical comparison.
Given name: Анастасія (Anastasiya), Nickname: Ana, Birthdate: Dec 19, 2006 -Ana is about 7 months older than the cousin we think she resembles.
Given name: Едуард (Edward), Nickname: Едик (Edik which is similar to Eddie, but pronounced like Eddiek), Birthdate: May 28, 2009 – Edik is approximately 4 1/2 months older than Niya.
In case you are not familiar with adoption, I will tell you that a completely new birth certificate is created with the adoptive parents listed back to the date of birth even though in this case we didn’t meet until years later. Some families choose a new name entirely, some choose to retain the old name, just changing the last name to reflect the new family. We chose the route of “both” as we feel the kids are old enough and fully aware and use to their name. We would like to retain their first names, with some minor cultural adjustments. After that, we added in new middle names.
Here are the results. Mind you we had no notice that today was the day the proposed names were to be turned in for the next stage of paperwork. Agh! Chris and I talked about names endlessly during each pregnancy until we were in agreement and had explored endless possibilities and combinations. Not so today! We had to do it for all THREE. I guess we just saved a year or more of brain space and tossing name possibilities back and forth. Technically we may be able to make adjustments down the line, but we brainstormed and then talked with Denis and Ana to come to a mutual agreement. Imagine getting to propose your own name as a nine year old boy. There was one name I flat out refused.
I was surprised when he actually said he didn’t prefer his current name and was eager to be given a new first name. I have heard of this happening in other adoptive families of older kids, but we truthfully didn’t have a jumping off point with our timeframe, etc.
Denis Andrew Bergstrom (for the Christian apostle who traveled to this part of the globe); nickname will likely be Denny.
Anastasiya Joy Bergstrom (for what we anticipate and feel); nickname will likely be Ana or Ana Joy. (Susanna, of course we thought of your little Anna Joy with a different spelling, but thought it would be okay. Joy B, and of you too with love!)
Edward Ryan Bergstrom (in memory of Chris’ cousin); nickname will likely be Edik.
It was a good day. They are very receptive and, I think, eager to be able to join our family although we didn’t speak of it out loud until today. We can tell they have witnessed friends being adopted and understand why they were “having visitors” last Friday and Saturday. I heard Chris translate that they were sad when we didn’t come on Sunday or Monday. We felt sad leaving them standing there in the big hallway of the orphanage after saying our good byes. They looked let down, but composed.
Please continue to to pray as we work on building a relationship during our remaining days here. We are on spring break, but will aim to drive back no later than Saturday to be ready for back to school on Monday. We are waiting on two documents (one from each city) to be prepared. It would be amazing if they were both ready before close of business on Friday.