The bad news first...we went to pick up our official adoption decree today and they told us we had to wait until tomorrow. The good news...we are still scheduled to come home on Friday.
Candace and I packed everything up last night, woke at 5:45 am, and checked out of the hotel at 7:30 pm. We had assumed we would pick up the decree, finish the paper work today, and fly to Kiev tonight. We all know that things don't always work out the way that we assume they will.
We arrived at the court house at 7:55 am and we went in with our facilitator. Shortly thereafter, the representatives for the American and Spanish couples arrived. Candace and I sat on a bench watching them talk to the lady in the office of the decrees. There seemed to be a bit of a discussion, then our facilitatir started walking and we followed her to the third floor. The lady in the office came behind us. In a nutshell, the judge had guaranteed that we would get the decree today. The pencil-pusher from the second floor went up to remind him that the ten-day waiting period can not end on a holiday...it must end on a working day. The judge said he made a mistake and all three families were told they had to wait an additional day. It was quite disappointing...but what can you do. Needless to say there were some teary-eyed people outside the courthouse. I even found myself reciting the serenity prayer, which our facilitator then asked me to write in her notebook.
The rest of the morning was spent completing many of the tasks that we were supposed to anyway. The bureaucracy over here is amazing. You get a form filled out at one office then you drive across town to get it notarized, then bring it back to show them it is official. From 8:10 am until about noon we visited, in this order...the court house, the department of vital statistics, the court house, the notary public, and the court house again. Then we went to the orphanage to complete the paper work there and make our donation. After a month of driving in extremely warm cabs we spent three hours in the coldest taxi in the Ukraine. Fortunately, we got almost everything done and we got our plane tickets for tomorrow evening. Tomorrow at 8:00 am we pick up her decree and then we stop to get Alexandra's birth certificate and passport application. We pick up our daughter (hopefully) at 9:00 am before we drive 90 minutes to the regional capital (Donetsk) to get the passport. Then we spend the afternoon there and fly to Kiev at 6:00 pm.
On a positive note, we had a much better room at our hotel when we returned. It has three rooms plus a bathroom with a tub. The most appealing feature however was the two beds and the couch. I guess the morning played us out a bit because Candace and I spent the afternoon napping.
Our evening visit, while not planned, was extremely enjoyable. For the first hour it was just the three of us. Alexandra actually spent some time teaching us Russian. She would say a word or phrase, I would repeat it, and then she would laugh hysterically. Then she spent some time sort of yelling phrases at the door to the room while sitting in the swing. Candace and I assumed that she was telling off anyone who had wronged her prior to her departure. We joined in and encouraged her a bit telling her to yell at whomever took her nail polish off as well as the lady who gave her heck for using the adult washroom. I don't know if Alexandra was actually doing what we thought but it was quite therapeutic for mom and dad nevertheless.
The American couple actually had to drive to Donetsk to pick up the plane ticket for one of their kids. Like us, they'll go back tomorrow and head to Kiev on the same flight as us. After our evening visit, we went out for supper with them and their facilitator to a nice restaurant that we had somehow missed in the last month.