Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I remember it like it was yesterday....

On pins and needles we spent the day awaiting our anticipated court date to officially adopt the girls in Ukraine. I was particularly nervous as a result of being one of the few to go through the official Ukraine adoption process and get out of the Country without my spouse participating in the adoption in Ukraine.

On October 22, 2008, my facilitator and I went to the Courthouse in Torez and met the girls there who were brought from the orphanage with the Director of the orphanage. The girls had a choice in wanting to be adopted and the Judge needs to hear it directly from them of their desire to be adopted. The Director was as nervous as I was as a result of it being her first adoption hearing as she was filling in for the other director who was indefinitely removed from his position.

We were greeted by the Judge who was this lovely woman and the jury, consisting of two other women. There wasn't a man in the room. That offered me some assurances that hopefully these women would understand that I was completing this adventure without my husband and was a wreck as a result of it.

The girls native language is Russian -- not Ukrainian. They had studied a little Ukrainian for the short period they were in school. Apparently all official business had to be conducted in the language of the Country -- Ukrainian. It was obvious that everybody struggled with the Ukrainian language with the exception of my facilitator, Nina who was able to correct everyone as they were not sure of some of the words -- even the Judge. The girls were asked in Ukrainian if they wanted to be adopted and they were so affirmative and lacked any uncertainty about their upcoming life change.

After the process was over and everything went extremely smooth, the girls had to go back to the orphanage -- that was kind of a bummer. In Ukraine there is a mandatory 10-day waiting period. For those of you going through the process now, don't try to think you can get around it. So, the following days were spent in Donetsk buying the girls clothes to wear when I picked them up at the orphanage after the 10-day wait. They couldn't leave the orphanage with one personal item -- not even their underwear.

Then the waiting occurred. Don't ask me how, but some of the girls in the orphanage had cell phones. Ana and Dasha were able to call me nightly from a friend's phone while I was in Donetsk. We couldn't have much in the form of communication as a result of them not speaking a lick of English. Nina, our facilitator sometimes had a 3-way conversation with us so that she was able to translate during our anticipation of finally becoming a family.

What was really strange, from the moment I met the girls, I knew that one of them was going to be Daddy's little girl -- boy did I have that figured out. Little Dasha, is the twinkle in her Daddy's eye and she would be lost without him. They are definitely quite the pair. We are so lucky and have two beautiful, healthy daughters -- even if there is a little stubborn Russian streak from time to time!

Until next time,
Heather

1 comment:

Pat said...

Hi, I am reading your blog because my wife and I are adopting from Ukraine this month. Our situation is a little irregular in that my wife will be unable to make the court date because she is pregnant and needs to return to the US as soon as possible. We have been told that an addendum to our home study is necessary as well as some revised documents. That is no problem, but we have little information about what is happening after that. For instance, will she have to adopt them here in the States to become a legal guardian, or does that happen despite her absence at court?

I was wondering if you could help us out with some advice. My email is patmallon(at)hotmail(dot)com. I would love to hear more about you handled your unique situation.

Best Regards,
Pat