(Making silly faces with PhotoBooth on Chris’ computer in the afternoon. This one was normal, but blurry)The long awaited court hearing occurred this morning, beginning at 10 a.m Ukraine time. The short of it is that the judge and all persons present, except for our attorney, Chris, and I, seemed almost irritated, bored, or mad to be there. The judge made zero eye contact and acted like she was simply going through the motions and could care less whether we were there or not, whether the kids got adopted or not, etc.
In her defense, she did perk up and put on a smile show when Denis and Ana came in for their 5-10 minutes of face time (they had arrived separately via taxi with their teacher). They were so smiley and brave to tell the court they wanted their names to change and for Chris and I to be their Papa and Mama. It was the highlight of the morning, except for the ending part where we were granted approval from the court to adopt the children!
The bummer is that we still have to wait two weeks to return to this region and city, claim them, and do more paperwork. But it was a huge step in the right direction!
We praise The Lord for each step and are looking forward to the day we can get them out of the orphanage and make the decisions of fully entitled, legal parents! Thank you for praying for us and thinking of us today! I have received several notes stating just that.
After our morning court triumph, we had the most beautiful outdoor setting for our celebration lunch. The weather was perfect with brilliant sunlight, a spring breeze, fresh greenery blooming all around in the city downtown waterfront area, and the distant sound of waves coming from the Sea of Azov. The company was pleasant, just Chris and I with our attorney. We reflected on our process thus far, compared it with Niya’s, verbalized different lessons we’ve had because of this process, ate good food, and acknowledged God’s goodness to us, among other things.
We were able to visit Denya and Ana at the orphanage after lunch. It was fairly short as the orphanage keeps them on their normal nap and eating schedule, as well as wanting us out by 5 p.m. when they have shift change (and go to minimum manning, we think…which does not include supervising visitors such as ourselves).
Nevertheless, we reflected with them on the things that they had said at court, how they felt, how we felt, how we are waiting for the day we can take them home, the things we’ve prepared for them at home, etc. It was a sad good bye today. They have been so patient and the process is so long. They just want to leave with us! We kissed hugged, reassured “just a couple more weeks”, etc. They reluctantly, but dutifully, went on to wherever it was the teachers wanted them to go at 5 p.m.
We feel disappointed that tomorrow is a holiday, but we have to wait until 2:30 to visit them. Sounds like an outing is planned. We can’t go along, and they can’t skip it to visit with us. Major bummer since we extended our trip so we can see them, but then will just have a couple hours to visit before we need to leave this city on a bus to get to Edik’s city of Zaporizhya (where we plan to visit him on Friday).