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Bittersweet Day mostly SWEET

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Oh!!! what a wonderful day…….the day (according to Russian Government) Griffin officially became ours forever. The official time was 4:30 PM Izhevsk time. It is a spectacular day but very bittersweet as our young son lay sleeping in Glazov and we are a three hour car ride away, in Izhevsk.

SOOOOOOOOOO here’s the scoop…….the day started out as most of the others but we knew it was THE DAY. We awoke to the hotel fire alarm at 6:20 AM and never went back to sleep. We packed and decided on a breakfast before the race began. We were eating in the little out of the way door restaurant in our hotel and the girl and her mom that we met at the orphanage the night before came in and we had a leisurely breakfast. It is nice to talk to someone on the same adrenalin high that you are on. They have 2 visits with her future daughter today and then they will meet up with us again at the Izhevsk airport. We will enjoy their company for the flight to Moscow then they are off home to New Jersey and we stay on in Moscow. Once ten o’clock hit we did not stop moving until 7:30 that night. Well, except for the three hour car ride where we did nothing but sit and sit. It was Richard and I, Dr. Stalina, the Social Worker and the driver who happened to be our Glazov translator Svetlana’s, husband all in the car with all of our bags. What a sight to see. It was great though and unlike our first trip we saw a lot of the countryside.We spoke no Russian and they spoke no English…

Once we arrived in Izhevsk we had been told that we would go to the Hotel to change into court clothes. We pulled up the courthouse building and went inside…nervous because our translator was not here yet and we were still in jeans!! Finally she arrived we trekked back down four flights of stairs to the car and ran to the hotel to check in and change into our court clothes. We were ready for court and back down in the lobby in under 7 minutes. WHEW!!!!! Off to court we go again back up four flights of stairs at almost a run and in the court room with 3 minutes to spare. The judge was to arrive at 2PM. We sat and we waited. At 2:30 we thought that she was on her way in but no…..2:40 finally her……had we only known……..we could have walked to the hotel, changed clothes and still made it back for a quick Stardog (Our internet friend Josh will like that plug) before court. Anyway…..’court is now in session’. After hearing from Judge Olga (who is a wonderful caring lady she gives a wonderful speech to you at the end) it is our turn to talk. Richard will go first, we have been told ahead of time what to say and that we can read directly from printed material. Having prepared last night we are ready. Richard begins to read and the judge asks who wrote the material and he explains and she says she wants to hear it in his own words………..hello he wrote the speech………ok so drop the computer with the document and ad lib. Got it. Well, Richard begins with all the things I am prepared to talk about…..Thanks honey. Once he stops she has a multitude of questions for him. He answers them all and we move on to me. I, unlike Richard, have no problem speaking to someone I don’t know and even better that is has to get lost in interpretation. So I go on about our routine and Griffins room, who he will play with, our disciplinary plans etc. She asks me a few questions and that is done. It was extremely easy for me not so for Richard, but he doesn’t like speaking in public or writing speeches……..you can figure from there.

Now we go through all the information that we have covered 2x already. The child’s name where and when we was born what they know about the Birth families etc. The Doctor speaks gives a very positive report as does the Social Worker. For the 5th time we recap and talk about all the things we already know. Next up….will the 10-days be waved?? We begin by asking that the 10 days be waved for a variety of reasons but mostly because there is an outbreak of Chicken pox at the baby home and we want to get him home, home and quarantine him before he begins to show symptoms. Well, you would think that he had the plague…the Judge went on and on about how contagious it is and do we know what to do and we must tell the Pediatrician and good golly I have a child I know what I am doing, you have said so yourselves…. finally after much discussion (mostly about do we know what to do and what to look for and he will run a fever and well, you get the picture) the 10 days are waived. We really didn’t have a doubt since this region almost always waives but, we had been told that they are getting stricter with the new laws.

What is not covered in this chronicle is the saga of our medical records. At the beginning of December we went for our medical forms at all of our Doctors. These forms were sent to the Cradle they had them apostatized and sent them to the Moscow office on December 6 with paperwork for another family, totally normal. Well, we were informed the last night in Glazov that they did not have these papers. We sent and EMERGENCY email to the Cradle Evanston Office. Our return email said that they faxed copies and the information on when the originals were sent. So we went to court on a wing and a prayer that somewhere in Russia they would be found. As of this writing they have not been found however, the Judge did sign the adoption decree so we are set and now it is a matter for the Russians and the Cradle to work out. Poor Natalia, our translator, is taking the brunt of this and I feel awful for her. I have no doubt that she never saw the papers. Yet, she is being blamed and may lose her job with Alexander. His loss totally. She is a wonderful very demure woman. She is very professional and very, very good at what she does. She is quiet but extremely personable. I can’t imagine not having had her for our translator in court. We have her email and her address and we plan to always keep in contact with her. So goes court….

We take in a meal in the bar and head to the room to repack the clothes strewn all over the room from the wardrobe change earlier in the day. Mostly,… we wait for our son to come to us from Glazov. He will be here tomorrow and we can not wait. He will come with our driver from today and a nurse. He has made this trip before earlier this month for a health check up required before the adoption can take place. Much like Spencer’s adoption we knew he would be ours but we had to wait 9 days to bring him home. One day doesn’t seem that long then.

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