Thursday, December 18, 2008

Glimmer of a Plan

We continue to make progress with Valya and Sergey's paperwork. Yesterday, we stayed home all day while our facilitator worked for us.

She took Sergey to visit his 19 y,o. brother, and both of his grandmothers. All of them are required to approve Sergey's adoption. She was successful in obtaining the required signatures. These signatures clear the way for Sergey to go to court. He has no property issues, so he is easy. We hope to return to these relatives again to meet them, take pictures, and get contact information so that Sergey can communicate with them if he wishes. Maybe they will come to court. One of these grandmothers is in poor health.

Valya's paperwork continues. Our facilitator remains guarded but she says that things are looking good right now. We don't know what all is going on behind the scenes here, but we are thankful for their dedication to giving Valya a new life in America.

There is another complication that has arisen with Valya. We have learned that she and her siblings own a house somewhere in some village. Valya's share is 10 square meters. If she were the sole owner of this home, it would be very complicated because the home would have to be sold before we could bring her to America. Because she has 4 siblings, though, we are hoping that we can just sign her share over to her siblings. Property issues cannot be dealt with until after court, so we cannot get started on this yet.

Our facilitator has told us that if things go well, we could have court as soon as next week. That would be fantastic. Our plan is to come home after court and leave the kids here in the orphanages until mid-January, when I would come back and bring them home. Our facilitator would work on resolving Valya's property issue while we are in America. The reason that we would come home is that the Ukrainian government will pretty much shut down during the holiday season, which will end in mid-January here. There would be absolutely no paperwork progress during that time. Once we have court, the kids are officially ours by Ukrainian law. The orphanages are under no obligation to allow them to remain there, and in fact, may refuse. So this is just an idea, but we hope we can do it. All of this, of course, is tentative. This being Ukraine, they have a way of foiling your plans.

After court, the tasks remaining to bring them home include:
- Removing them from their orphanages.
- Resolving property issues.
- Acquiring new birth certificates, with their new names.
- Acquiring domestic passports for the children. All Ukrainian citizens have a domestic passport.
- Getting medical exams in Kiev. Required for US immigration.
- US immigration exit paperwork at the US Embassy in Kiev.

Yesterday, we pretty much stayed at the apartment. We had Mark working on homework until 2:00, then we walked down to #4 to see Sergey. We spent time there playing games until 5:00, when they all had to go work on homework.

I headed downtown to buy a new wireless router for our apartment. I mentioned yesterday that the router burned up. I think what happened is that they had a power surge. One the the roommates here lost her laptop's power supply as well. I ended up buying a Linksys router, the same one that we use at home. Wow electronic equipment is expensive here. It was $120 after tax. This same router at Walmart is $79. There was 20% tax on it. They need to call the internet company to get the internet configured again, so we still do not have broadband yet. Thus, no pictures again today.

Sergey came back from their field trip to Kiev. Sergey didn't enjoy it. For one thing, someone stole all of the games he took with him. We don't know what kind of games he had, but whatever they were, they're gone.

Today, we will go to spend a little time with Valya. It is a 2-hr. trip each way. One of the roommates here, Lienna, will come along to translate the activities for a St. Nicolas celebration they have today.

That's all the news for now. Sorry no pictures, hopefully we'll get broadband turned on today.


Julie said...

I am thinking of you all and hoping you will ALL get to to be together for Christmas. Alan, You will need to turn your blog into a book, at least for the kids, if for no one else. It's such a touching story. I'm so honored to be able to follow along your journey.
Love & hugs, Juliie

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Continue all your hard work. You will be able to enjoy your labors in the end.

MamaPoRuski said...

Just caught up on your last couple of days-nothing like a cliff hanger! Still praying for your journey!

Janell said...

Appointment on Thanksgiving, Court date on Christmas?! (our Christmas day that is) What a great Christmas present that would be!

Amy and Tom said...

Just wanted you to know we are following and praying for you every step of the way! Please let Mark know that Mason J is thinking of him and missing him too!

Ashley said...

Sorry to hear someone stole Sergey's games. That is just horrible.

Praying for the house situation with Valya to be resolved.

It will be great if you could get a court date next week. :)