Monday night Alla picked up our court decree as our 10-day waiting period had ended and the decree went into effect. Early yesterday morning she picked me up and the two of us, along with a new driver, headed to Zolotonosha, Kate's birth town.
Here we dropped off papers at the local SDA and then headed to the birth certificate office. Once we arrived at the office, Alla pulled up a chair just next to the woman who would create the birth certificate. Alla is all about getting things done and she will supervise whenever necessary to make sure they are done efficiently and correctly. And when you're dealing with a different sort of government and a language barrier, she is exactly who you want facilitating.
|Alla the supervisor.|
|Some serious organization of files happening in another corner of the office.|
|And in another corner.|
After several hours in Zolotonosha and lots of waiting while Alla does all the working, we completed our mission and she congratulated me as she handed me Kate's new birth certificate with mine and Adam's names as her parents. A beautiful moment.
|Kate's got parents!|
With business complete in Zolotonosha, quickly we were off to Kaniv, Max's birth town.
|Both our children's birth towns on the same sign.|
|Welcome to Kaniv.|
Once at the birth certificate office in Kaniv, I was again instructed to sit in a chair in one corner of the room and "play video games on my phone" while Alla went back into supervisor mode ensuring that the ladies at this birth certificate office also did their jobs.
|Love this "bossy" lady.|
The ladies had to take a lunch break so we, too, found a nice spot for lunch nearby. I was excited to enjoy some traditional Ukrainian food.
|I have become a buckwheat lover since my first days of orphanage food in January.|
|Alla refers to these two bags as our "4th team member". They contain all our important documents and even earned a place next to me at the lunch table.|
After lunch we returned to the birth certificate office and just ten minutes or so later I was again congratulated and handed Max's new birth certificate.
And off we drove back to Cherkasy...quickly. But, when you see a good deal on the side of the road, there's always time to stop and take advantage of it.
|Alla and our driver purchasing "real" (organic) potatoes from women on the side of the road.|
We made it back to Cherkasy and met another "good friend" in front of the building where we would apply for our kids' new Ukrainian passports. I haven't a clue what all happened during our time in this building as I was instructed to sit on a bench and play games again. Only occasionally was my presence requested throughout the day for my signature in blue ink on documents I know nothing of. But it's starting to seem less and less strange to me as the days pass, I offer more signatures, I see more blue stamps, and things continue to progress.
From the passport office we drove just down the street to the notary office and did something there which involved more blue stamps and fancy papers. At least that's what I'm supposing happened, I was not witness to any of it however as I was to "sit, relax and be patient" in the car...alone.
So, to sum up the day, I spent a lot of time sitting and when the blue pen was handed to me I signed and offered a simple "Spasiba" (Thank you). I sat in random chairs and in the back seat of the car of another strange man. I think what's most concerning about all of this is not how strange it is in all reality, but in how "normal" it's beginning to become. There are all kinds of new normals here in Ukraine. I tend not to question things. Mostly it's easier to go with the flow and do as I'm told.
Today we will pick the kids up from the orphanage to get their passport photos taken. We will go back to Kaniv to finish up business there and the rest I guess I will find out as the day unfolds.
"This just can't possibly be my life."
That's the thought that dominates my mind these days.
But it is. This is where I am, becoming part of our newest kid's stories...right where God has places us. Sometimes I feel like the Lord flew us in the middle of the night in a stealth helicopter and dropped us here. That only barely touches on how surreal this is. But I guess I should start seeing this as reality and not just some crazy movie I happen to have a lead role in because these kids, they're coming home...with me...soon.