Friday, January 26, 2007


Today was quite a busy day. We had our morning visit as usual and Nadia/Emily was her usual pleasant self. She was very mellow and seemed to be quite content as though all was well with the world. After our visit we ran a couple of errands and then went home to change clothes and get ready for pre-court.

I think we made Aliya and Olga a little nervous because we weren't nervous and didn't have any questions for them. We were taken to Uralsk Court House No. 2 where we waited for the inspector, the babyhouse director and Olga to arrive. Once everyone was present we were invited to the 3rd floor where the pre-court meeting would be held. When the judge was ready, we were invited into his chambers and Tom and Aliya and I sat in chairs facing the judge. Aliya sat between us so she could interpret for us as we went.

It was really a very simple process and the judge simply asked us some basic questions that Aliya and Olga had prepared us for the night before. The judge did not make much (if any) eye contact with us and his secretary simply jotted some notes about the meeting. At one point she was actually doodling in the margins. The judge started with Tom and asked him the following questions:
1. Did he support the application to adopt?
2. Why did you decide to adopt?
3. How long have you been married?
4. Is this your (Tom's) first marriage?
5. Did you have children from your first marriage?
6. What do you (Tom) do for a job?
7. Have you been informed of the child's health and medical background?
8. Who will care for the child if we both work?
9. Since what day have we visited the child?

Then he turned the questioning to me (Jenni) and asked:
1. Is this was a mutual decision to adopt?
2. What do you (Jenni) do for a job?
3. Do you have any experience raising a child of Nadia's age?

The judge then asked if there were any questions or objections and asked the inspector/director/Olga for the documents for the case. He then announced the date for the final hearing would be on Monday, January 29 at 10:00am.

We said our thank you's and were done! We are amazed that the final hearing is so soon and are now kicking things into high gear to get everything ready for that date. (Our initial court date was estimated to be around Feb. 5 or 6!) We don't have a ton to do yet, but all of a sudden it feels like this whole process will be over before we know it. We need to shift a lot of our caregiver/babyhouse gifts around because we found out that Nadia has 15 caregivers... that's about 5 more than we were expecting. We will need to buy some new gifts for the director and the 2 babyhouse doctors and should also get something that Olga and Aliya will like as well.

To the best of our knowledge, we have less than a week left in Uralsk. We will visit on Saturday and Sunday but will likely get custody of Emily on Monday morning. When we get custody, we will take a cake and the gifts to the babyhouse to leave with the staff and we will bring Emily back to the apartment. We will need to buy formula and baby food on Sunday or at least before we bring her home. I'm not sure when we will fly back to Almaty, but I'm definitely going to miss the staff over here very much. I am already dreading having to say goodbye to Aliya. She has become a very close friend and has made the time over here move so quickly for us. We have shared a lot of laughs with her and have had a lot of very good discussions on faith that I hope other WPA families behind us will continue.

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