Well...it is official. Candace and I are legally the parents of Mila Alexandra David. We had court this morning and everything went very well and extremely quickly. At 9:10 am we entered the judges chambers. There were people there...the two of us, our translator, the judge, his stenographer, two jurors, a social worker, and the lawyer from the orphanage. Our judge was very personable and quickly made us feel relaxed. He asked us some quick questions, the social worker spoke for a minute and this was followed by the lawyer. We were then asked to leave the room while the judge and jurors deliberated. We were called back in five minutes later and the judge congratulated us and wished us happy new year. While the whole process did not take very long, we spent the rest of the day reflecting upon the significance of what had happened. From this day forward, Candace and I may be officially referred to as "mommy" and "daddy". Wow.
Given that court went so quickly, we did not have to skip our morning visit. We headed down to the orphanage and told Alexandra the good news...although I am not sure if she understood me. It doesn't matter, I am certain she could tell how happy and excited we were. We brought some clothes for her to try on and she did a fashion show for us. We discovered that we had a couple of pairs of pants and shoes that were too big, so we exchanged them later...and bought some more stuff for her. The evening visit brought more clothes and more modelling. I am thinking that she now may recognize our official designation as parents given something that happened on the way up to her room at the end of the evening. She had been calling Candace "momma" and me "papa" but she sings different things as I carry her to her room. Her favourite verses have been "malako, malako", "papa toli", and "mommy, mommy". Tonight was the breakthrough. Halfway up the stairs she started singing "daddy, daddy, daddy". While it was likely the simplest lyrics imaginable I can tell you I have never heard such a wonderful song in my entire life.
It is getting really busy with the holidays. Here on the eastern (Russian) side of the country, the biggest holiday is New Years. Today, the supermarket at our nearby mall was jammed with people. You would not believe the amount of vodka that we saw in some of the shopping carts. Already, we have noticed that the fireworks are increasing in frequency. Last night, we watched an amazing display in the sky that lasted about 12 minutes. I can't wait to see what they have for Sunday night.
A few people have asked us what our phone number is over here. We have a cell phone provided by the agency and our number is 011-38-066-447-6824. Remember, that the time here is eight hours ahead of Manitoba time. Right now it is about 9:30 pm here and it is only 1:30 pm back home. If you ever want to check what time it is in the Ukraine, click the link on the left side of this page.
Allright...Candace wants to check her email so I have to wrap up quickly. What were the other highlights...okay, I found a barber today and got a haircut. I was happy with the results and the cost was $3.80. On the way home our taxi driver did not slow down sufficiently rounding a corner and slid into a builiding. The others in the cab told us the same driver had backed into a couple of vehicles a few days earlier and drove off as if nothing happened. To his credit, it was really slippery outside. Walking home from supper with Candace and our American friends, I wiped out twice on the sidewalk. And did I mention that Candace and I are officially parents?