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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Court

I am generally a pretty calm person, but the tension of adoption court got me sweating. Thank goodness for clinical strength deodorant. And waterproof mascara, because of course I cried.

In a country where everyone is notoriously late, this day was no exception. Since the courthouse was locked, we sat outside on a park bench to wait. Buddy, escorted by his orphanage's lawyer, arrived shortly after in the new suit we had bought just for the occasion. He looked nervous and very, very cute.

Finally, the doors were opened and we entered the building. We filed into a court room with pew-style benches and a small prison cell. We took our seat in the front row with our translator behind us, as we had the first appointment. The government prosecutor, orphanage lawyer and Buddy's social worker were seated along the side of the room to our right. There were 3 large, raised chairs at the front of the room for the judge and his two assistants.

They appeared and we all rose.

Our translator did her best to fill us in on what was going on, but my head was spinning. Hubby was asked to rise and give our personal details, such as our names, ages and employment. He also gave a statement on our ability to care for Buddy. Then I stood and explained how, even though we hadn't known Buddy for very long, we loved him. I asked the judge to please allow us to become his parents. During this short speech I began to cry, which was a bit problematic as I had no Kleenex so I was left sniffling and slightly embarrassed

Buddy looked so confused, he didn't understand why I was crying. He has since learned that this Mama Bear will break down into tears at the drop of a hat when it comes to her Sweet Boy.

The social worker, who had known Buddy since he was a toddler, and orphanage lawyer both gave statements recommending Buddy's adoption into our family. The prosecutor wanted Hubby to answer a few more questions. As he went along, it became clear that there was an error in our documents. I began to panic. Thank God Hubby is a brilliant man and was able to point out the error, apologize for the confusion, and answer the overall questions perfectly. I think the prosecutor was impressed with his composure and had no further concerns.

With that, the judge approved the adoption and Buddy was officially a member of our family. We exited the room in a bit of a haze, had our first family hug and looked at our watches. Eight minutes. Eight minutes and our lives were completely changed.

2 comments:

  1. ours was about 2 hours. in a tiny and ugly room that didn't even look like a court room at all. the judge read our whole dossier. every page of it. by the end of the trial everybody in the court room was almost laughing, as she read same things again, and again, and again. she asked us to stand, to tell why we wanted to adopt, what we planned to do with the kids, what we knew about their past, and again why we wanted to adopt, what we do for life, why we choose Ukraine, and again why we wanted to adopt. then she heard the social worker, the SSU representative, the local CFS representative then, after about 1.5 hours (not exaggerating) she called the kids in. she literally tortured them with her questions. completely not sensitive and not age appropriate. E almost started to cry over there. then the nice witnesses ladies asked us more questions. then they asked us to step outside and had some discussion,
    when we entered in to hear the decision the judge kinda smiled for the first time and told us congratulations.

    I remember being extremely nervous. kids were tired and confused. ones it was finished I felt as if a mountain has fallen off my shoulders. we took some pictures and the orphanage representative was super kind to let us take the kids to McDonalds close by.
    it was one of the hardest and at the same time the happiest day of my life.

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  2. Wow, that sounds so stressful! I can't even imagine!

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