After we left Aidan at the orphanage on our first day back, we began to be tutored on what would happen at Court. We were given a list of questions we would be asked and we were tutored on how we should respond. Taking notes furiously, it began to dawn on me that we were really going to Court. . .in Russia. . .in Siberian Russia. . .and our future was dependant upon what a couple of people we had never met thought of us and our ability to raise a child. No sweat. . .RIGHT!
My stomach began to churn and I began to perspire. When we got back to the hotel, we went up to our room where I studied for a bit. Then we had a bite to eat for dinner and then I studied some more late into the evening.
The next morning, March 25th, I got up early and studied some more. . .as the one who would do the primary responding to the judge, I was cramming for the most important exam of my life. My son, and my husband, depended upon me!
Our Court appointment was for 9:30. Tired, stomach upset, palms sweaty, and no coffee available in the lobby (seems like that happened every time I really needed it while we were there!!), we headed to the lobby to await our ride to Court. With the Jergers, we headed off. When we arrived, we sat in the lobby of Court for a while and then headed through the metal detectors, which went off for all of us and no one did anything about it!, and then down several corridors and stairs to our Court Room where we all sat down outside to await the arrival of the Judge.
When the Judge arrived, the Jergers went in only to be told that we were going first. So, we went on in. I was so nervous I dropped my notes early on and then everything was out of order. I had to wing it.
An hour of presenting ourselves as suitable parents to Aidan later, and sweating and my voice cracking with nerves, the Judge began to speak. I had learned enough Russian by then that I knew something wasn't right. She was speaking to the Director of our Orphanage and the representative from the Ministry of Education. Our translator hadn't said anything, but I knew something was wrong. I finally whispered to the translator, "What's wrong?" There is an issue, I was told. The MOE hadn't checked back with the family as they were supposed to to be sure there was no one who wanted Aidan. oh. . . .What does this mean????? What will happen????What are we going to do????? I was soooo upset!!! I know Pat was too because his lips became flat and they looked stuck to his teeth (just like when we got married! : ) )
Finally, the Judge began to speak to us about what was going on. She explained what the MOE hadn't done and what they needed to do in order for us to finalize the adoption. Our translator assured us that everything was okay and that we had done everything we were supposed to and that we would still get our son right on time.
But, in my mind, we had not received our "Da" and so I was so upset!
We left the Court Room so upset and not really knowing what was going on. We were in turmoil. But, just outside the door were the Jergers awaiting their turn. Keep our faces straight. Don't let them see how upset we are. They are heading in to do what we just did and they certainly didn't need to see how upset we were!
Afterward, we were again told all would be okay, but I broke down anyway. Part of it was stress, part I was so tired, and part were were in Siberian Russia! The Jergers, once told, were so fantastic. Their first response was for us all to pray. I'll tell you right now that helped center me and Pat and made us feel so much better. Not great, mind you, but better.
We suffered through that evening as best we could. I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide (my nature) but Pat and the Jergers wouldn't let me. We went out for German food. . .
The next day we went to the orphanage early on and Aidan was whiny and cried a lot. He didn't want to engage and we just looked at each other and thought, Now What??? We kept at it for the two hour visit and he did evenutally come to me, turn around and back into my lap (this became his usual for most of our 10 day waiting period--more on why the 10 day waiting period is good next time). By the time we left, we still didn't know anything about Court and we were exhausted from trying to coerce our little boy out.
We went out for pizza (again not my nature to do that!) and then back to the room to crash and wait for some kind of word or news. About five minutes after we got to our room, our Coordinator knocked on our door. How long until you can change and be downstairs??? 5 minutes! And sure enough 5 minutes later we were in the lobby and heading out the door to Court.
Back at Court, I crossed myself on the way into the Court Room where the Judge looked back over everything, talked some about how the form was still not correct, and then sent us all out of the room. When we were called back in, we were then given our "Da!" Needless to say, Pat and I were holding hands and I broke down. If we hadn't been holding hands, I probably would have fallen to the floor. We hugged everyone, including the Prosecutor, and then went to get our picture taken in front of the Court House. We were finally parents!!!
And so, the 26th is our our "Da" Day, in honor of our Second Day in Court. Happy "Da" Day Daddy and Aidan!!! It was a long wait, but oh so worth it!!