We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...


Friday, August 15, 2008 - Adoption Court Date

Well - we got up early and had some breakfast while reviewing our speech a few more times. Our coordinator picked us up at 10:15am for court at 11am and due to the crazy traffic in town, we barely arrived on time...nothing like adding a bit more stress before we go to hopefully make a great impression of ourselves and our family! We met with the translator, who reviewed our speech, made a few revisions, then headed into the courtroom. Sidebar - the "courtroom" was just that - a room in a random building...a run down random building at that! Not at all what you would ever see in the US. Apparently the official court building is under construction, so this is it's temporary location.

Anyway - we went in and were joined by the translator, the Judge (grumpy lady!), her secretary, the Chief Doctor of the Orphanage, a representative of the guardianship authorities/social worker, a rep of the Committee for Labor and Social Security, a member of the Medical Commission and the Prosecutor. We stood and introduced ourselves, then we were asked if we understood and if we trusted the "membership", after a few other questions and answers of "да" (yes) by us, Kris stood to present our speech. The whole time he was speaking and the translator was translating (obviously), the judge appeared very stoic and was flipping thru our dossier...very unnerving. There were a few questions regarding our religion - for those of you that know us, we don't attend church, save for a few holidays. We certainly don't attend any one particular church or of any one denomination for that matter. That's very hard to explain here in Russia - it's all very black and white. Either you attend or you don't (no in betweens) and either you are of one faith or another (no "nondenominational"/"christian" churches). They also asked whether or not we felt that us being together for only 3 years was long enough for us to have established a strong relationship.

After the questions, the judge left the room for deliberation, and returned about 10 minutes later. It may have been 10 minutes - it felt like ages! We were both so nervous and kept rethinking everything we said/didn't say. The judge came back in to give her decision and as she was talking & the translator was translating, I just wanted someone to say "it's all good - the answer is yes!" - of course, it was court, so they were very formal and rambled on (as I am doing now!). She closed by saying "good luck and I wish you all the best with Nikita". At that point, I was relieved and was able to breathe again! We gave our thanks and walked out as soon as we could so we could actually show some emotion! So - we are officially parents! We've got ourselves a little Russian! :)

They told us during the hearing that his grandmother, aunt, grandfather & great uncle had all denied their rights to him - so sad - he has family out there that want no part of him, but we've had to jump thru hoops to get this far! Plus - on March 28 they presented Nicky to a Russian family for foster/adoption, and they turned him down due to his medical conditions (developmental delays...due to being in an orphanage!). I could never imagine turning him down - we fell in love the second we saw the little bugger! :) We grabbed some lunch and now we get to go and visit Nicky for a bit...I hope he's in a better mood to see us today. I know it will take time for him to understand, but we're Americans and we're impatient and need some instant gratification!!!

Well, the visit with Nicky today was accompanied by more of the same grumpiness! :( They told us that he knows he will be leaving with us, and that when they moved him up to the group he's in now he was very sad, grumpy and cried a lot, so we shouldn't take it personally. We just can't wait to get him all on our own so it's less confusing for him.

Now what? Well - we leave for Basel, Switzerland in the am and will also travel to Locarno for a few days, then back to Peter on 24 August. Our 10 day waiting period is now 13 days, and we will start the final paperwork on the 28th. Then on to Moscow for the US Embassy paperwork and home on 4 September!!!

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