Because I have a lot to tell, I'll break the writing up a little. After typing a super long update and losing it for the 2nd time (a warning saying "You must turn off your computer and turn it back on" popped up) right as I was finishing writing it, I decided not to try to re-write it that night. It was already past 2 in the morning. Last night, I was too exhausted to update anything except my Facebook status, which I always update as soon as I can so that everyone I know can be in prayer for what is going on.
In this blog, I'll just give the details of what has gone on adoption-wise and then on the other one, I can write about all the great ways God has been taking care of us.
The same lady, Juliana, who took us to the SDA appointment, picked us up in a taxi on the 31st to take us for our referral. This was in the same building as the SDA appointment from yesterday but we stayed downstairs. The same lady that spoke to us the day before, came down with some papers. Juliana looked over all the names to make sure everything matched with the dossier and everything looked good. We signed the book and were on our way. The lady was very nice and full of smiles. We took a taxi home, walked to go get dinner, and then headed back home to pack to get ready for our trip to Odessa.
I got up at 3:30 on February 1st so that we could be all ready, with a clean apartment, and clean towels, etc, for our 5:15 AM taxi pick up. We stopped by where Karen was staying so we could drop off her keys to her and then off to the airport we went. Do I share airport details with you here or wait for the other blog? OK...I'll wait. This will be just appointment details. And I already got off that. :)
Our friend, Viktor Migo, picked us up from the airport and took us straight to a Government building where Alyona was waiting for us. My long time friend, who I met at the orphan camp when he was 15, Artyr, met us at the airport as well, and road with us in the van up until this point. Bill and I joined Alyona and waited to be seen by a woman who worked for the Children's Welfare Department. We signed a notary book and she joined us (as a witness) to go to Luke's school. We were going there to talk to the director of the department of the part of the school that he goes to, which is the lawyer department. There, we were to sign another book, stating that we were there. They brought Luke into the office before we all went in (YEA!!!!!) and he seemed a little shy. Smiling and polite, but not really making eye contact and not really talking to us. I knew he had to be scared and nervous. I mean, who wouldn't be. oh....off subject again. I'll talk about that later...in the other blog. So, we all went in and most of the talking was done in Russian, but Alyona let us know things as we needed to know them. Basically, they were explaining to the director that we were adopting Luke and that she needed to sign some documents. During this process, the child has to write a letter stating that he wants to be adopted by these people. Usually, this isn't done on the initial visit, however, since we had the witness from the Children Welfare Department with us, she wanted him to go ahead and write it. She told him what to write and he wrote it. A teacher was called in so that we could ask her questions about Luke. We didn't really have questions since we know him, so we said, "we know Luke is a good student and well behaved, is there anything else you can tell us about him?" She beamed. She loved that he was getting a family, she told us, and she said he is a very good student and very smart and kind. She said he has difficulty in English (she is an English teacher) and we said we would help him in that and told her we have great difficulty in Russian and we all laughed. That was about all, so we all left and had to go to the head director of the whole school at another building, which we drove to. By the way, I will mention here that it's about ZERO DEGREES!!!! I mean, it's dadgum freezing cold and windy!!! OK, so we get to the other building and we wait and wait and I started nodding off because I'm freezing and I'm sleepy. We go into an office and the girls start explaining to the man what we are there for. He has only been at the school 2 months and has never done an adoption. He was supposed to write a letter explaining that Luke is a good boy and that he would be in a good place by being adopted by us. He did not know if he had the legal right to write and sign such a paper and he didn't want the responsibility of writing such a paper when he didn't know Luke. They talked about this for quite a while and he wouldn't change his mind. He finally said that he could talk to the teachers and get a report ready but it would be no sooner than 2 weeks. UGH! SO, we are praying that he will change his mind or that they will find someone else who has authority to sign this document. They were going to try getting a print out of the law showing him that he has the authority. He signed and stamped several documents so Bill and I were all excited, thinking he finally decided to sign papers. He shook our hands and thanked us for adopting and wished us a fast process and good luck. When we left we found out those documents were just stating that we were there.
Finishing that, we went to a lawyer's office so that Alyona could get our things notarized. She said it would be 30-40 minutes and would not need us. Viktor M., Bill, and I went to McDonalds and ate, got some coffee, and chilled a bit.With Alyona’s to-go order, we then went back and signed the papers that were ready. There is another problem with the regions of the school. No one knows yet who signs certain papers. The school and the dorm are in separate regions so there is a question of who signs what. They are figuring that out. It's a big deal that it is done correctly before it gets to court.
Today Alyona will be doing a bunch of behind the scenes work and will call us to join her to notarize papers later in the day.
Ok.....That's the legal stuff.....all caught up. :)