December 22nd, 2006
The Paperwork day!
We got up at 6:30 so that we could be at the notary at 8am. The Orphanage director met us at the Notary and gave us permission to adopt the children. Then we signed two documents stating that we wanted to adopt them. This took about 2 hours. Then Olga had to go to the Inspectors office, we waited in the car since my ankle was killing me. This is when we saw the Roach Coach, the cool door and the singer poster (see Svatove photos). We waited for another hour for more paperwork and then we were taken to the orphanage. We arrived just as the kids did. They had to have a medical exam done during the morning. They are perfectly healthy little children! Well, they do both need braces but what kid doesn't.
We hung out and played with the children from the orphanage for about three hours. All of the kids were wonderful. They teach them English in school so a few of the older kids were trying out their English on us. The younger ones wondered why we couldn't speak Russian. They were all so sweet. One little boy about half the age of our son-to-be declared us his new Mamma and Pappa. Our son-to-be was watching closely as all the children talked to us and played with us. By the end of the day our son-to-be said that he would go with us and be adopted but he didn't want to go today, but he would go. So we made a lot of progress in just 2 short days!
We left the orphanage to go talk to the Inspector, her boss, a judge and several other people (all at different locations). All of this was to get the paperwork we needed to submit to the State Department of Adoptions in Kiev. We had hoped that we could get the paperwork processed in Kiev quickly before the holiday and possibly get back to Svatove before everything closes for the holiday period on 12/29 but the judge in Svatove explained that they didn't know how to do everything that was needed, they had not done this before and that they needed time to get comfortable with the process so we will have our first day in court sometime after January 10th.
So we packed our suitcases and went back to the orphanage where Olga told our kids that we had to leave to complete some paperwork and that we would be back after January 10th to see them and then they would come home with us about 2 weeks later. The kids were happy. Although our son-to-be told Olga that the 11th is after the 10th. :)
It took over three hours to drive back to Kharkiv last night. It was snowing lightly and this driver was much more conservative (slower). We had hoped to catch an overnight train out of Svatove (cheaper and faster option) but there were no private cabins available so we had a driver take us to Kharkiv.
In Kharkiv we stayed at the Kharkiv Hotel and met up with our new friends Jennifer and Chris (for you FRUA folks this is JLUCAS). They are in Kharkiv with their referral. We met for dinner and had a great time catching up on everything that has happened these last few days. I can't believe we were so lucky to run into to such a wonderful couple over 6 thousand miles from home! I am sure we will be friends for a long long time.