Today marks 6 months since our court date where Alik, Danil, and Josslyn legally became our children.
6 months. Half a year.
I can hardly wrap my mind around this.
In some ways it is like they have always been mine.
And in other ways I can re-live our court date like it was yesterday.
I was in somewhat of a tizzy after our court date, and then life turned in to a blur after that. So I never had the opportunity to blog about the details of our adoption hearing. My dear bloggy friends are probably waaaay past being interested in the details of that day, but they are so fresh to me, and I feel that there are things worth saying, so here I go...
April 13, 2011.
What a day. While our court date was not neccesarrily the adoption milestone that I was the most nervous about, it was still a very important bridge that we had to cross. If you do recall, Kellen took ever step of our adoption journey with us. While the thought of bringing Kellen with us to court made me nervous, it was not enough to deter us from bringing him to Urkaine with us. Even though it seemed our only option was to bring him with us to court. My baby boy is a sweetheart, but at this point in his life, he couldn't sit still quietly for more that a minute. I didn't want him to fuss thoughout our entire hearing, but leaving him at home(in the USA) wasn't an option, and paying for someone to come with us just to take care of him during court wasn't an option either.
God tends to have things He calls us to do planned out ahead of time. So when he called us to adopt internationally, he already knew that my mama heart couldn't physically separate with my baby. HE had our courtdate planned out ahead of time, even though in my head I just planned to wing it.
When we traveled to Ukraine for our first trip(to have our SDA appointment, meet our kids, and have court), another family that played a very pivitol role in our adoption story was walking the adoption path a few feet ahead of us. That family was the Buricks. One day I will tell "Danil's Story", which is how our adoption journey officially began. That story has Buricks(and God) written all over it. The Buricks obedience to God's call on their life has forever changed my life. We were blessed beyond measure to have the Buricks not only in Ukraine, but, uh, in the same hotel as us for the first part of our stay in region. It was surreal to lay eyes on, hug, and talk to, people who played such an enourmous role in the direction our lives had taken.
Since the Buricks were walking this path a few feet ahead of us, that means that they had their court date and went home for the 10 day waiting period before us. As the timing would fall, though, Josh Burick would return back to our region(and our hotel) while we were still there on our first trip. It just so happend, that Josh arrived back to the great region of D'nepropetrovsk the day before we were to have our court date.
At the orphanage there are two time slots a day that visitation are possible. Since Josh Burick was staying at the same hotel as us, that means we shared a cab and from orphanage visits. It was so nice to see him again, when he arrived back in region. While I couldn't fully imagine it at the time, I knew that his reunion with his son was a sweet one. So it blew me away when the day that he was reuninted with his son he offered to babysit Kellen during our court hearing. He layed the facts out plain and simple. He said that this was a day that was going to change our lives forever and that, in his opinion, he thought that we should be free to fully concentrate on and experience this life changing day.
He made a plea that couldn't be argued with, so we said yes. As it turns out, Josh Burick was an angel in disguise. On the much awaited day of our court hearing, court ran late, and then our hearing lasted long than we anticipated. Kellen would NOT have handled any of this well at all. First off, Ukrainian court houses are from Soviet times. They are old, dirty, and practically falling apart on the inside. As attached at KK is to us, he isn't exactly a sit still on your lap type baby. He's a mover and a shaker, and would have been cover in dirt by the time we finally got in the court room. As we neverously sat on a bench in a dusty hallway, waiting for our time in court, I was thanking God that Josh Burick was taking care of Kellen.
Court was everything I expected, yet a surprise at the same time. Maybe I will post about what that was like at some point, but I'll just say this. I don't cry. You could litterally count all the times I cry in a year on one hand. And 4 of those times most likely involve me watching a musical of sorts. Yet, when the judge said that the Alik, Danil, and Josslyn were officially ours, I let out one of those ugly loudish sob cries and threw my arms around Josh like we were the only two survivours of a neuclear attack. I pulled it together quick, but I couldn't help but hug nearly everyone that came within hugging distance.
They were ours.
All those papers I had prayer over had suddenly materialized in to living breathing children that belonged to me. It was a birth, of sorts. The day my children became my children.
Of course that is only the beginning of the story, but what a beautiful story it has turned out to be.
While I was sobbing in public like a freak, Kellen was wreaking all kind of havok for poor Josh Burick. Josh claims that KK was good for the most part, but at some point Kellen took an enourmous(and messy dump) that not only covered himself, but various parts of Josh's apartment. Josh was super good natured about it and quite the trooper. He detained Kellen the the bathroom while he, uh, cleaned up his apartment. I guess Kellen was just breaking Josh in to being a dad of 3 boys.
I felt terrible about the heck that the baby put Josh through(even though Josh was super good natured about it), but at the same time I wouldn't change a thing. Having Josh B baby sit Kellen was such a blessing because I feel like I could fully experience everything that happened in court. My hat is off to Josh Burick, who will forever be one of my heros!
Maybe on the one year anniversary of our courtdate I will describe what the actual court hearing was like. It is something that I never will forget.
Here is to six months of being a legal family of EIGHT!