We just want to apologize for not writing much in the last few days. This process is an overwhelming emotional rollercoaster and sometimes we just can't put it into words. We will try to recap the last couple of days.
Yesterday, there was supposed to be a commision to decide if the kids should be adopted. When we were getting ready to go visit the kids, our driver's wife (who is also the attorney at the orphanage) called to say he would be late to pick us up and that she had the papers we needed. So I asked George if that meant the kids said yes? And he said "There couldn't be any other way." It was a celebration for us, but just a matter of fact to George. We have heard of so many stories where the children think their parents are coming back for them or an auntie or a big sister, so we worried and prayed alot. I guess we worried for nothing!!
We visited the kids again. They had a short program for St. Nicholas' day. We got to watch and George video taped some of it. They were all given sweets and a juice box. The kids came out and we played in the dreaded hallway. We brought them "fleemasters" (markers) and notebooks and colored and they ate some of their candy. Robin offerred some of her goodies to both of us. That was the first time she has really reached out to us. We brought a couple of balloons and played with those for a while. Jillian really likes balloons and giggles the whole time - unless someone takes it from her - that she doesn't like!! All three big kids were coloring and drawing pictures and Jillian and I looked over the picture book. I was naming the people in our book and she tried to say Hannah.
After our visit, we brought the needed paper to the social worker. We waited in the car for an hour or so. I fell asleep in the car. Then George came back and said the deputy city administrator (the social worker's boss) wanted to meet us and ask us questions. I really didn't have timed to be scared since I wasn't really awake. His office was only a couple of blocks away. I wasn't prepared for the answers and not really coherent and with George's different way of using English, I didn't understand a couple of the questions. I didn't feel like I answered the questions as well as I could have. The deputy did sign the papers and they will be sent on to the SDA in Kiev. (I just hope I answered them well enough that it will satisfy the SDA.) George will send the packet of paperwork to Kiev by train Sunday night for Sveta to bring to the SDA. We are hoping for court Dec. 25 - Christmas Day!! That is, if the papers get back here from the SDA in time. If all that goes well, we are planning to come home Dec. 27. We will come home for the 10-day wait. We had wanted to stay, but it is extended to 17 days for us because of the holidays. There is nothing we can do during that time and probably not even visit the kids because so may people take off from Jan. 1 to Jan. 10 for "celebrating". We will come back here on Jan. 12 when the embassy opens again and everyone is back to work. When we come back, we will be here another two weeks to get children's passports, new birth certificates, visas and medical checkups. Katya was born in a town almost to the Moldovian border so we need to go to the town of her birth to get the birth certificate changed. All this is time consuming.
Today, our driver didn't pick us up on time because he needed repairs to his car, so we had to call a different taxi and it shortened our visit by the time we found out. Back to the dreaded hallway. I can't remember if I described "our" hallway we visit the kids in. It is about 6 x 12 feet, it is dark, there are two chairs and a small table and lots of decorations. There are four doors in this hallway the children aren't suppose to open, but of course they think it is funny to keep opening them and people keep coming in and out and leaving the doors open. This situation isn't really conducive to bonding. We tried to play with balloons and they get pretty rowdy until all the balloons popped on the decorations. We gave them apples today and they ate all but the stem. They did color for a while, look at our picture book some more, and played with a ball George made out of balled up newspaper (doesn't take much to entertain us!!)
Just a couple of notes, Jillian has worn the same outfit everyday we have visited her - 6 days now. I can't wait to see her in something else!! Robin and Ryan had a shower this morning. They had to wear hats up to the room we play in. Robin's hair is wavy, we didn't notice that much before because it is always up in pigtails. She is really beautiful.
We will only visit them once today and once tomorrow. Today, we had a rest day and washed clothes, read, watched a movie, just trying to take it easy. Tomorrow evening, George will take our paperwork to Odessa - it is about 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive, so we won't get to visit the kids. We can't wait to get them home to bond with them on our turf!!!
Thanks for your prayers and keep the e-mails and comments coming!! It makes our day to hear from home!!