Good news!! The power came back on………………right before we got to the vital statistics building! I’m tellin ya….God is meeting these deadlines by the skin of His teeth….just to bug me! Just kidding, but really…that seems to be the way things have gone with this adoption so far!
We had quite the long day! Maybe the longest day in Ukraine yet. We were picked up at 7:30am…went straight through until 6pm with no food or time to breathe. First, we went to see the judge. By the way, he is very friendly now! He smiled and greeted us and even shook our hands! Marina says he is quite the jokester too…when she was checking with him yesterday to make sure our papers would be ready today he said, “ahh I might need some more time, I’m not sure if they’ll be done.” But he was just joking. Good thing or I’d need to speak with him privately! Anyways, we spent about an hour there getting all the documents and getting them stamped and sewn together (here they sew all documents to bind them). We saw the witness…remember the one who was against the adoption of a child with Down Syndrome? We had the chance to share a bunch of photos we brought. We brought photos from all of the adaptive activities that we are involved with at home. We had pictures of swimming, horseback riding, sailing, therapy dog activities, and just fun pictures of kids we know and love with Down Syndrome. She was smiling and very happy to see them. She told us congratulations. I am so glad we had the opportunity to share these photos with her!
Next we went to see the social worker. She had to sign some papers for the passport too. After that. we went to the orphanage to get some papers signed. We then went to the passport office to drop off those documents. Then we drove the hour to Zoya’s birth city to the Vital Statistics Office to get her birth certificate changed to her new name and have our names put on as her parents!. The power was on!!!! We picked up some chocolates for them and convinced them to have her birth certificate printed “early”….not in our terms of early…but definitely in their definition of early…which would be 1:00pm. At the time it was about 11:30 so we left and picked up some bananas to take to the director of the vital statistics office who is in the maternity hospital on bed rest. I think we did that to say thank you to her for “working” to get the power back on during her bed rest in the hospital. We finished up at that office around 1:30 and then dropped off a picture of us and Zoya at a different social worker’s office. After that we went to another office to get Zoya’s name changed on her tax I.D. number…I guess that is like our social security numbers. It took a long time and the lady didn’t want to do it. She pointed at the sign and said, “Can’t you read, it says come at 9am for tax I.D. papers.” In true Marina fashion, she convinced the lady to do it NOW. This office has never had this type of request before so they weren’t sure how to do it. Marina says we should pray that they did it right, if they didn’t do it right it could cause some delays. After this office, we drove the hour back to Dnep and went back to the passport office to drop off some more documents.
Next we got to go to the orphanage and spring Zoya out for a field trip for her passport photo. I know you’re thinking, “didn’t they already do that?” No that photo we got was for her visa that we will get next week. We woke Zoya up from her nap but she was so excited to see us! She smiled right away and reached her arms out for me….and then just stared at us, almost looking so thankful we came back. She would just stare and then out of nowhere a big smile would creep across her face! It was so good to see her again and hold her and know she was okay. She was really good in the car and loved just looking out the window. Anyways, the passport picture extravaganza was pretty funny. They put a booster seat on the chair for her but since she doesn’t have much trunk control they had to duck down while holding her around the waist. In the first picture she was still too low so they took a huge stack of folders and papers and put that on top of the booster seat and put her on top of that. While they were trying to get her picture Marina’s cell phone rang and Zoya started doing her “dance” (where she sways back and forth moving her shoulders up and down). We thought it was hilarious but I don’t think they thought it was. Finally they got a mug shot of her that will work. We filled out the rest of the paperwork for her passport and then made a quick stop at the store for some water and bread and then took Zoya back to the orphanage.
The room Zoya is in is going to be remodeled soon. They will put up new wallpaper and put in new windows, which is great to see! So they are in the process of moving all of the kids’ things to another room. Our facilitator gave us the option to take Zoya out of the orphanage tomorrow or wait until we get her passport. She recommended we wait but left it up to us. We really really really wanted to take her out tomorrow, but we had to think about Zoya. Taking Zoya away from the orphanage will likely be very scary for her…being in new places and away from the only life she has ever known…we want it to be as easy of a transition for her as possible. If we were to take her tomorrow she would stay in this house with us until Friday or Monday and then take the train to Kiev and stay in an apartment there. That just seems like an awful lot of environmental changes, and it will be hard enough for her as it is…so we decided we will wait until we are leaving here before we take her out of the orphanage. This way she can stay on her schedule a little longer and maybe the trip home won’t be as tough.
Plan A (hoping for this one) would be that the passport comes back from Kiev to Dnep on Friday and we can spring Zoya from the orphanage on Friday or Saturday and then take a train to Kiev to begin our embassy/visa paperwork and medical exam on Monday and Tuesday and then fly home Wednesday. Plan B would be that the passport comes back Monday (they don’t have mail delivery on Saturdays here) and we break Zoya out of the orphanage on Monday and take the evening train with her back to Kiev and do the embassy paperwork Tuesday and Wedensday and come home Thursday. Plan C (C for crap) is that the passport will take longer than expected and we will have to figure things out from there! Pray for Plan A or B!
I think I am going to go to bed for the night…I have a horrible headache..probably from not eating all day (don’t worry I just ate). Tomorrow we are getting picked up at 9:15 (yay get to sleep in a little). We are going to try to find a carpet to buy for Zoya’s groupa since they one they have is pretty old and yucky. We already gave a monetary donation, but we would like to do something more. We also have to go to the bank to sign Zoya’s account over to the orphanage. All orphans are given a government back account and when they turn 18 they are given the money. We aren’t sure how much Zoya has but it likely isn’t much. We will sign this money over to the orphanage to say thank you to them for taking care of Zoya during the time she was an orphan. The orphanage will use this money for orphanage improvements. Do I believe they will really use it for that? Yes 100%. The director here really cares about the kids and we are getting that they truly are remodeling parts of the orphanage, Zoya’s groupa being one of them!
The internet connection is VERY slow here for some reason. So I can’t upload any pictures right now. I will say she is just as cute as she was before...maybe even cuter now that she is “officially, officially, having a birth certificate that says so” a Basile!