We are now sitting in the airport in Kiev. We got here 4 hours early, so we are going to kill an hour at the Internet Cafe. We had the most miserable drive here, but we had a good driver, so we made it safely. We left Belgorod at 3 p.m. and got here at 1 a.m. Just after we got out of Odessa, it started snowing and snowing. The thermostat in Zhenya's car is bad, so we had very little heat. Luckily, we wore our long johns. We had a blanket for sleeping, but we had to use that, wear our hoods on our sweatshirts and gloves, and it was still freezing. His windshield wipers froze up and his gas guage doesn't work. (I did a lot of praying on the way here!!) Sometimes, it was white out and one time we went to pass a semi and we got sucked in, but didn't slide too much and another time, Zhenya pulled over to work on the windshield wipers and we got stuck. It didn't take too long to get out and even though we had to drive slow, we got here plenty early. George wanted to make sure we got here on time even if we were early. He left us in Odessa to take a bus to Simferopol for a family wedding.
I am sure you are wondering how court went. It was way different than we thought. It wasn't in a court room, but in an office. The judge sat behind a desk with two witnesses and the secretary. The two representatives from the orphanage sat on one side and we sat on the other. We dressed up, but it was so cold, nobody took their coats off. First, they read a lot of routine stuff, our rights, etc. Then they asked us some questions that George translated for us, nothing very hard. It really wasn't that scary. Then they had us leave the room while they made their decision. They called us back in and read out loud that we were the parents of the kids, they read each name separately with their new names. They congratulated us and that was about it!! It only took about a half hour.
We then had to go to the notary and spent about an hour there getting papers ready. We went to the orphanage to say goodbye to the kids and tell them the news. They little ones were sleeping for their naps, but we got to talk to Robin and Ryan. I think they were embarrassed to come out because they were only wearing long johns. We then went to eat at "Do Not Be Upset" to kind of celebrate. Monte had the expensive fish and I had chicken liver and onions. I know it sounds weird, but its really good here!
After that, we went back to the clinic, packed up our stuff, and we were on our way. So here we are, waiting to check in so we can come home. If we don't have any weather related problems, we should be at MSP at 5 p.m., Dec. 27. Monte's sister is picking us up. See you soon!!