Anywyays....our attorney, who is a momma to an adopted child herself, was amazing and so helpful during this process. She was so excited to be doing this for us! Can I just say that it was NIGHT AND DAY comparing this court process to Ukraine's court process?! First of all we only had to sign a couple papers. Second, when we walked into the court house the lights were on! Imagine that. AND...ready for this? They SPOKE ENGLISH! Also, there was no "criminal cage with lock" in the court room. Okay being sarcastic now. But seriously, everyone inside the court room was similing at Zoya and us the entire time and everyone was so excited for us! This was a huge contrast to the stark looks we got in the Ukrainian court room, not to metion the very very serious faces of all 10 people in the court room. I still remember my heart pounding and sweat dripping down my back (I never sweat!). I remember feeling like I was going to lose my lunch or pass out at any moment.
But this time, it was all happy feelings! It was still a formal process and pretty neat to see since it was the first time I was ever in a US court room! We approached the bench and our attorney asked us some questions about our intentions and ability to care for Zoya (duh...like I said it's a formality at this point). I had some cheerios in my hand to feed her and keep her quiet. However, she decided to try to feed me the cheerios while I was trying to focus and listen to Shawn answer his questions. She started cracking up, which in turn made me laugh, which in turn made her laugh even harder. Every time she tried to feed me a cheerio, whether or not I ate it, she would just giggle! It became one of those times....where you can't stop laughing no matter how hard you try. You know what I'm talking about...remember being a kid and being in trouble with your parents and glancing over at your sibling and you both just bust out laughing at the same time, then you get in trouble for laughing and so you try to stop, but instead you start laughing even harder? Yah it was like that. I tried to keep it quiet and think I did a pretty good job! She sure is something else! So once our process was over (maybe 5-10 minutest total), the amazing judge let us come up to her seat and sit in her seat and let Zoya hold the gavel. She let us take some pictures with her and she gave a book to Zoya which she signed inside for Zoya's special day! I only have a couple pics from my camera but our attorney took a whole bunch and I will post those when she gives them to me:)
Zoya feeding me cheerios during the very serious proceedings LOL.
Listening to the judge make her ruling :)
Posing with Grandpa who Zoya is calling "Bampa" too cute
Funny photo shoot...she cracks us up!
Zoya's book from the judge
And just for fun and to thank our lucky stars remember the contrast...here is the courthouse in Ukraine!
It was a great day to celebrate and we were reminded just how lucky we are to be Zoya's momma and daddy and to be Americans!!