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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Don't the holidays end in January?

You'll be as shocked as I was to find out that Alexandra isn't always in a great mood. After another pleasant visit this morning we arrived early this evening to see her. We had to abbreviate our second session because of a meeting with our facilitator. When we arrived at her wing, I think all of the kids were sleeping. She got woke up, smiled, ran and hugged us, and then it went downhill from there. She either got up on the wrong side of the bed or she was still a bit tired. In any case, she had what I will describe to her when she gets older as her first cranky day. It was just one of those evenings where she wanted things her way, right away, and wasn't happy with any assistance. It did not help that the visiting area was as wild and loud as usual. Unfortunately, there really is no where else to spend time with her so we have to go there. While Alexandra still was kind enough to grace us with her presence by sitting on our laps or on our kneee, she made it clear that she was setting the pace for the visit. We took it in stride, although I think both Candace and I agitated her a bit just to see what her limits were. The next time that Alexandra is having an off day I don't think we should try to cheer her up by stuffing blocks inside her clothes. It doesn't seem to work. Also, if she is cranky and indicates that she doesn't want to eat something or do a certain activity, we should take her word for it. And finally, and most importantly, remember it doesn't last forever. When we dropped her off at her room, she was smiling again and gave us hugs and kisses.
We had a busy day outside of the visits. We met our faciltitator at 7:30 am for about an hour to get some documents ready. Then during the afternoon we had to visit another notary public to get them signed before heading to the local couthouse to meet with the supervising judge. We sat in his office quietly while he looked over our papers and leafed through our dossier. The only time he looked at us while we were there was when he checked to make sure our passports matched the people in front of him. Fortunately, he signed off on everything before sending us to see another judge who will be presiding over our hearing.
Well, our court date is now set. It is next Thursday, December 28th. Then there is the mandatory 10 day waiting period before the official adoption decree is issued. So that's great news. However, those of you with Ukrainian connections will know that the first week of January is a holiday with New Years' followed by Christmas on January 7th. We had expected to be held up a bit because of the holiday, but we had understood that it ended January 8th. Today, we find out that the holiday in this region actually goes from January 1 -10 and the first day that the papers might be ready is January 16th. Then there would be a couple of days locally and then in Kiev to prepare the final documents (birth certificate, immigration, passport). This would mean our theoretical return might be as late as January 21st or so. Our facilitator seems to be a good judge of body language...and she could tell that we weren't very excited by the prospect of an extra ten days in the Ukraine. She went back in to see the clerk and there now seems to be a chance we could get the decree on Janaury 11th, which is a Thursday. We would spend the rest of the day wrapping up the local paper work before heading to the capital city for a full day at the Embassy on Friday, with a possible departure on Saturday. We had originally booked our flight back for the Friday, January 12th so that doesn't work in either case. We are going to have to wait and see how tomorrow goes. Again, we have been very fortunate to this point and this is the first real kink that we have encountered.
As I finished writing the last section, I wondered if Alexandra really was as cranky as I thought...or maybe it was me that was having the off day. Perhaps a combination of both. Anyway, I mentioned earlier that we had to come back early this evening to meet with our facilitator to fill out some additional forms. She is finishing them on a nearby computer while we Candace and I make this blog entry. She needs them done before she drives the 90 minutes back to the city south of us. Once we are done with this, we are going to join the couple from Minnesota for supper. Hopefully, this will help me relax a bit.


Sandy Masniuk said...

Stephen and Candace,
Know that we are as anxious to have you home as you are to be here! Hopefully your agent will pull some strings and your paperwork will go through as quickly as possible -- we can't wait to meet Alexandra! May your visits and your coat checks go smoothly today! Sandy

mom & dad said...

Hi,did you know there is a little xmas eve and little xmas day on January 18, 19 so you can still celebrate even then. Think positive that there will be no more glitches. You are both wonderful at handling situations in a polite and professional way and we know you will get results in your favor. Love mom& dad

Raymond said...

Hey Stephen .... You might want to consider a writing career, your keeping people well engrossed with your story. BUT when do we get to see some pictures of Alexandra !!??!!

Bro Raymond.

Raymond said...

Hey Rob ... wanna send your BIG brother in London some of those Xmas pics of Christian !?! I'm not online as much as I used 2 B but try 2 cheg it at least every couple of days. BTW, My work addy is -, regular email is -

Love Sasha & Raymond

Jody :) said...

HI! As soon as I read about your daughter's "cranky day", I felt happy for you. Sound odd? Well, she's comfortable with you, and she knows you're there to stay. A little crankiness won't send you two away! Kids are notoriously best-behaved with those removed from the family circle, so I'd say you sound like family!
Thanks for sharing all your experiences!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Candace and Stephen

It is great to keep with the news of yor adoption. I had to laugh sitting in my livingroom all alone when u wrote about the putting the blocks in her clothes!! I had to call Darlene and we both shared a laugh. Actually I am so happy for the two of you I am in tears as I write this. Isn't it great to be a parent? But don't worry about the gliches I am sure everything will work out.
Take Care and know that we are all thinking of you three
Andrea Fortune