Today we had court.Itwent very well.We didn't know it, but we have been walking past the courthouse everyday. Walking by, you would never guess it to be a courthouse. It is the oldest, rattiest looking building in town. I would post a picture, but I can't from the internet cafe :(
So we entered this ratty old building and sat in this ratty old waiting room for about half an hour. I sat on a ratty old bench with a couple other people that felt like if one more person sat down, it would break in 2.
Our actual court session was not in an actual court room. It was in a small office. We were in there with the judge and her 2 assistants, 2 jurors, the orphanage director, the orphanage inspector, our translator and Terry and I. It was about 100 degrees in this tiny little office (no exaggeration) There was a tiny little fan in there, but it only blew on the judge. Go figure. The rest of us fanned ourselves with paper.
There was a lot of boring stuff. Reading through all the legalities and translating it to us. Then we were asked several questions regarding where we lived, where we worked, what our plans were with Emma. Why did we want to adopt from Ukraine? How will we teach her english? How many times have we seen her? When did we know we wanted to adopt her? How long our process took? Oh, and here's an interesting one...did we pay for the child? Technically, the answer is no. But our wallets are sure feelin' it!
The court has ruled in our favour. We now begin a 10 day waiting period in which anyone can appeal the adoption. In 10 days, Emma will be legally ours and we can pick her up from the orphanage. For now, we will keep up our daily visits. She is always happy to see us.
We officially booked our airline tickets home. It was quite scary and difficult. We were pretty much just about going to have to stay in Ukraine for another month! It is very difficult to book tickets during the summer months. When we originally booked our tickets, our travel agent advised us there would be a $300 penalty if we had to change our return flight. Because flights right now are so full, when we called yesterday she told us it would cost $1500 each to change our tickets and $2700 for Emma's ticket. That's a total of $5700 and we already paid $4000! That was very hard to swallow. Our agent advised us our only other option would be to stay in Ukraine until the end of August.....NOT! We told her we would pay...what else could we do? :(
Well, today our travel agent sent us another email. She said when she went to rebook our flights, the price went from $1500 each to $2400 each! So she couldn't book them without talking to us again. Thankfully, she found a seat sale on Austrian Airlines and could book the 3 of us one way tickets for a total of $3500. We have never heard of Austrian Airlines and don't know how the flights will be, but it's worth the $4000 we just saved! For all of you waiting to travel to Ukraine....do NOT us Air France! Nobody here was surprised when our luggage was delayed for 2 days and broken into. And trying to change your return flights is a huge rip off! They suck!
Today there was a big rain fall here. The power went out in several places. We went out to eat at our usual spot, but they, too, were out of power. But we were able to sit outside and they grilled us some pork skewers over a fire. It was actually very good. There's this really cute homeless doggie who is always outside that restaurant (he can barely walk) Terry gave him all of our leftovers. He was quite happy. When we left, he started following us home. I had a can of pringles, so I opened it up and threw him one. He picked it up and kept following us. It was so cute. He was prancing proudly with this pringle hanging out of his mouth! Last night we also bought some milk for a kitten who lives around our hotel. She was happy too!
That's about all for now. Sorry we can't post any pictures as we are at an internet cafe and they don't let us download our pictures here. We will have to try and post some if we have time when we go back to Kiev. For those of you waiting to see pictures of little Emma.....too bad!! We're not posting any until we get home! You'll all have to come meet her for yourselves! By the way, our return flight is booked for August 9. 23 more days and counting......
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