Friday, October 12, 2012

Volgograd Court

And....we are officially Elijah Ivan Williams' mommy and daddy!!!!! Court went really well and really quick this morning. Last night our translator, Natasha, gave us a brief rundown on what to expect in court, but really the best advice came from those of you that went before us and shared your court experiences in Volgograd! Soooo nice to have other families share their experiences...so thanks to each of you. Team effort. Haha

Barry and I spent a little time last night preparing "speeches". My speech covered how long Barry and I have been married, infertility and miscarriage, our decision to adopt, why internationally and why Russia, about receiving the referral, travel to Russia, our meetings with Vanya, his diagnoses, and our love for him. Barry's speech was about finances, home ownership, discipline and family support. They were probably 3-5 minutes each, plus time for the translation between each sentence or so.

Us this morning, ready for court! Actually...upon second thought...this was after court. Irregardless...here we are dressed for court. :)
The court proceedings went so smoothly...we appreciate all the prayers!!! We got to court at 10:30 this morning and went on up to the court room (after showing our passports a few times...you have to flash those things everywhere here...even at the grocery store when we pay with a credit card). We met the Volzhsky MoE rep and the Volgograd region rep, who would be in the court room with us giving their support of the adoption. Then we all waited for the judge to arrive...he arrived right on time and we got started right away. Side note...several of you will get a kick out of this...just take one guess what kind of shoes I wore to court. Yes, open toed shoes (not flip flops as I realize this was court...but open toed shoes none the less). Anyway...Russians like to bundle up...it's weird. I mean, Alaskans don't bundle up and their weather is more harsh than what we have here!! So me and my shoes were the talk of the court room this morning. They gave me such a hard time!! Our facilitator encouraged me to go back to the hotel to change shoes after court because she thought I would freeze (it was, I don't know, maybe in the 50's today). I stuck to my guns though and wore my shoes all day. :)
We had to introduce ourselves, everyone had to give their statements of support, etc. And then Barry and I were given the opportunity to share our speeches. Then the judge and the prosecutor had the opportunity to ask us questions. They asked a few things but nothing that was too difficult, controversial, etc. :) The judge went though our court documents one by one and then left to make his decision. Tenish minutes later he was back and read the decree that he was granting our request to become Elijah Ivan Williams' parents!!

Such relief...almost tears...but I had been told by our translator ahead of time to not cry because the judge didn't like it. Somehow I held it together....amazingly. :) I still can't believe that it's official!! We had been told it would most likely be the 16th of November, but that we wouldn't know for sure until the court decree was final which could take a week, but then just a little while ago we got an email with the dates we should be traveling, so unless something changes (which is never out of the question wibthese sorts of things) we will get to pick Elijah up Nov. 16th!

After that we were able to go back to the orphanage to take Vanya to get his passport pictures taken. A caregiver had to go with us, obviously, and he wanted to stay in her arms the whole time...which is totally fine with us. We want him to gradually warm up to us, to see that his caregivers are okay with us. It was his first car ride since he came to the orphanage, so he was a little freaked out at first but once we got back to the orphanage he was a happy little guy. We have a Mr. Independent on our hands...Barry and I played outside with him for several hours and he knew exactly where we wanted to go and exactly what we wanted to do...how dare we try to stop him. Oh my...the lungs on our child. :) He will let you know when you do something he does not like! He laughed for us on a few occasions too!! Such a beautiful sound!! How I wish I could share some of our videos with everyone!

We know this move is going to be so difficult on him in the beginning...so it's all bitter sweet. We are beyond thrilled that we are finished jumping through hoops (of course there is a ton of paperwork on the 3rd trip...but who cares?? He's ours!!) and we are officially his parents, but we know that this is going to be one of the hardest things that he will have had to face. We know he will be scared, that he'll grieve, and that he'll miss the only caregivers, language, surroundings and friends that he's ever known. We know that this is in his best interest, we know that God is in control, but it will be hard on him. We are just so ready to get him home and start the adjustment process. :) We left with him a little picture book of "his" story...a picture of him, the orphanage, him with his caregiver, mommy and daddy, mommy daddy and Elijah, picture of a car, hotel, plane, our house, etc. It tells the whole story in pictures about what is about to happen. Hopefully the caregivers will look at it with him to prepare him for the upcoming move.

And look what we saw as we left the orphanage this afternoon...

Uh, yea...that's a rainbow over the Volzhsky orphanage. How perfect is that? :)

We head back to the US tomorrow morning...but we know we'll be back soon!!!!!!!!

 

32 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!!You will be back there to pick him up before you know it.It was so hard for me to leave Volzhsky for the 30 days, but there were so many details to take care of once we got home home that the time really did go by fast.I'm sooo happy for you guys!
    Laura S.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So exciting! Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. CONGRATS!!!!!! So happy for y'all! Can't wait to hear more!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeaaaa, congratulations! Praying for your family of 3!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the prayers Allison!

      Delete
  5. Lisa, I am beyond excited for you and Barry!! What great news! I'm so glad that court went well and I pray that the Lord's favor would continue to be over you as you complete this process.

    ReplyDelete
  6. HI, I'm a follower here from Canada - so happy for you guys and I've been waiting to hear the great news and hoped that my prayers helped a little. My husband and I came home from Volgograd on June 22, 2012 and we can feel your emotions and what you are going through. God bless your new little family. :)Jackie/Chris and Dmitry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh so fun! I love meeting other adoptive families from Volgograd! I hope your family is adjusting well and I'll say hello to the city for you. :)

      Delete
  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This is so exciting! Can't wait for you to post photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to post them either!! :)

      Delete
  8. Wow, what can one say after reading that!
    Have a safe flight and know our prayers will continue through all the adjustments in the days, weeks, and months!
    God does indeed keep His promises!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my goodness...already had tears reading this post and then the picture of the rainbow threw me over the edge!! SO many congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  10. How exciting! I've been keeping up with your blog posts and I'm so happy to see everything has gone smoothly and you've been able to spend some time with your little guy. The rainbow?' How perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for following us!! I know!!

      Delete
  11. Sooo happy for you guys!! I get teary when I read your posts but they are tears of joy! Love, love the picture of the rainbow!! God is so good. Can't wait to see pictures of him! You are in my thoughts.

    (((HUGS)))
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  12. i have chills! congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations!!!!! I missed this post originally ... but WOW ... you'll see your son in a few days?!?!? :-) YAY!!! I can't wait for you to hold him in your arms and for pictures! SO, SO HAPPY for you BOTH!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Praying for y'all. Hope all is going smoothly for you on this journey. Looking forward to seeing pictures of you and your little guy. :) God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  15. You and Barry have been heavy on my heart the last couple of weeks. Tried contacting you through FB but couldn't locate your page. I hope you are adjusting to Elijah being home!!

    My mom wants to send stuffed animals to orphanages- if you know anyone traveling that is able to take a suit case full it would be greatly appreciated!!

    Merry Christmas!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the prayers! I'm sure by now you've seen the update.

      Delete
  16. We are at the same baby house. We have been following your blog anxiously awaiting your next trip. We are currently waiting for our court date.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Lisa! I was just checking on you since you hadn't posted in awhile. Hope everything is going well with you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Can't wait to hear the rest of this story....!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Lisa- I hope Christmas with your little boy was more than you dreamed it would be. You are the first person I thought of when I have been reading about Putin's new law against US adoptions of Russian children. How are you feeling about it? I imagine you may have friends within your agency who are dealing with great loss these days. Big hugs to you, as I also imagine it may be bringing up emotions for you, too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes, I have a lot of friends that are affected by the new law. Thanks for thinking of us.

    ReplyDelete