Adopting Grace

The journey to bring our little girl home

Browsing Posts tagged judge

Thankful for Sunshine

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Busy. We’ve been very busy. Not so much with lots of things to do, but every day takes a lot of energy just to do our normal tasks. We’re getting better at our new routine, but until our crowd is a little older (and a few are out of diapers) life is just going to be a bit hectic. Despite the busyness, life is good. We are learning about Pilgrims in school, learning new songs in Sunday school (Leeza only knows 2 words, but she sings them VERY loudly), learning how to use the potty, how to stay in bed until 7am, how to put on our own shoes and coats and how to chew with our mouths closed. Kasia is trying very hard to learn to walk and Josiah is surprising me daily with the new words he can read and write. Grace is my little helper in the kitchen and Leeza is learning new words every day. She can now almost sing the whole ABCs and can count to 9 in English. We’re having a few English sentences pop up every once in a while and she surprised us all when she blurted out ‘thankful for sunshine’ in the car the other day when it peeked out for a few minutes on a rather dreary day.

Just to keep things interesting, we took all 4 kids to the attorney’s office this morning to sign papers for Leeza’s readoption here in the states. She is already legally adopted, but we’re going through this so that she will be a US citizen instead of just a legal immigrant. We’ve learned that the paperwork is the same as if we had adopted her from the US, so it’s full of stuff asking the judge for permission to adopt her and change her name and let her live with us…all of which has, obviously, already happened. We will need a home visit from a social worker and possibly a judge so that they will ‘grant’ all this for us. Our court date is set for December 23rd so it looks like our Christmas gift will be having all 4 kids be Americans. :)

We get a lot of questions about medical stuff, so here’s what we have coming up…our MRI session will be Dec. 10th, we’ll be meeting with a spina bifida specialist March 3rd and sometime between those two we’ll probably meet with Orthopedics, PT and OT. After the visit on the 10th we may have a better idea of when her back surgery will happen.

‘My Brother’

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Just sitting around on a sunny Friday morning.

I called one of the facilitators in Kiev this morning to see if she could better explain why we were still waiting for a court date and found out our city courts are under some kind of investigation and all court dates have been frozen. She said this had never happened before and they usually got whatever date they requested. But because of this investigation our judge has been told she may not see any cases right now. The judge over the whole region is out of town, but will return on Monday and Violetta is supposed to be meeting with him then to request that we be seen because of our situation. So, for now, it looks like the first time we might get a date is Tuesday, but only if he agrees to let our case proceed while the investigation is happening. Keep praying!

During our visit today we looked through the photo album again and, again, Grace is especially interested in pictures of Josiah. We’ve been calling him ‘JoJo’ with her most of the time because ‘Josiah’ seems to be very difficult for her to say. I pointed him out as ‘Leeza’s braat’ (braat is brother) and she got excited and started flipping through each page, finding him and saying something that sounded like ‘moy JoJo, moy braat!’ which loosely means ‘my brother!’ Then she found a picture of Little Grace and said ‘Leeza’s sistra!’ (sister) Something seemed to click today and she’s starting to realize the people in the pictures are related to her.

As many of you have noticed, and I’m sure you heard in that last video, we are calling her ‘Leeza.’ Grace was the name used by the RR site to keep her identity anonymous for safety reasons and it’s the only name we had for quite a while. We were told to not share her real name or location with the public for these sames reasons. We’ve tried to follow that rule, but it’s getting confusing because we call her one thing and then try to write the other name here…and actually her legal name will be slightly different than either of those! So, for the sake of clarification, we have requested that her legal name be changed to Elizabeth Faith. However, for as long as she’s been at the orphanage she’s gone by the nickname ‘Leeza.’ Even though that won’t be her legal name, we have chosen to keep it since she’s already 4 and it just seemed wrong to take her name away from her. Ok, I don’t think we broke any rules with that and it should be far less confusing! :)

Groundhog Day

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Here are two of my four favorite girls. Aren't they beautiful!

Many families who have traveled before us have said they felt like they were stuck in an Eastern European version of the movie, Groundhog Day and I’m starting to relate. Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks that we’ve been gone and our days are all starting to run together. Thankfully we are able to go to church or the whole week would really feel like the same day over and over again. We still have not received a court date. Our judge has apparently said we will get in ‘soon,’ but we have no idea what that means over here. We’d been told it might be Friday, but we were also told it might be last Monday or even the Wednesday before that. Every time the phone rings I pray that it’s Violetta calling with our date.

On a happier note, we were able to see quite a few other RR kids this morning. They were all together in one of the pavilions so we went over to say hello. They all smiled at us and a couple wanted their pictures taken so we were able to get new pictures of them and interact with them a little. After a few minutes Grace got a little annoyed with it and insisted on being picked up and played with alone, which is actually a good sign. She seems to be identifying with us more lately and isn’t calling every unknown couple ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa.’ She’s also starting to allow us to help her with her shoes and clothes, which initially she refused. With our other kids we would encourage them to get dressed independently, but with Grace she still needs to learn what a Mama and Daddy do so every time she lets us care for her is good.