I've not been doing a very good job of journaling our adoption journey for Maxim. I'll just do a little recap...
At my appointment with the national adoption authority a mistake was uncovered in Maxim's file. Considering how carefully this agency checks and rechecks every single letter of every single document, this error was very surprising. The only logical explanation, in my mind, is that no one ever really looked at his file...no one ever thought he would be wanted.
I picked up the referral paperwork and set out to meet little Max. He is a fantastic kid! He is a tiny fellow for his age, and he has obvious health problems, but he is sweet and fun and SMART! I was able to teach him to perform pat-a-cake already. Zhen and Theo can't even do that yet!
In a perfect Ukrainian adoption scenario, I would meet Max and have a court date about a week or a week and a half later. This would have been the case if not for the mistake in his file. Fixing this mistake involved a trip to his birth city and lots of driving back and forth from the court house to the social worker to the baby orphanage and over and over...and a last minute expedition fee. Yuk.
Legal papers aren't legal in Ukraine until the 5th day. The signatures that we needed to schedule court would not be given for an additional 10 days. This little mistake cost me two whole weeks. I decided not to wait it out and return home as I had originally planned.
Being in Ukraine isn't just as easy as hopping on a plane. I've got nine children at home that need attention and a husband that travels way too much. I had the first trip covered thinking that I would have court before coming home. This would have made the second trip a short and sweet one since I would spend the legal 10 day waiting period at home.
Now, I'm headed back for court in a couple of weeks. I'll be spending the waiting period there, then applying for a passport for Max, and a new birth certificate, and a visa to come to the USA. This trip could be three weeks long. I am happy to report that we have great childcare in place for this second trip. More about that later.
As much as I will miss my crew at home, I'm excited to spend so much more time with Maxim before I bring him home. He needs to get to know and trust me better before I remove him from his comfort zone. He is well liked and has many friends. I believe that he will mourn this loss. He cannot know that this adoption is for his ultimate benefit. He cannot know that he would have otherwise been transferred to a place that is not so cozy and friendly. I'm preparing for a tough transition.
Along with my continuing visits and bonding with Maxim, I'm excited to have the opportunity to visit children in other facilities in the city...dorms, orphanages, and handicapped facilities. I hope to bring some good cheer and a message of hope with me as I tag along with the folks from True Hope Ukraine. Check out their ministry video:
I'm packing a bag of donations to bring with me. I'd like to bring vitamins, postcards, and other small items. I'm waiting on a list of specific items, but if you would like to participate by sending items or making a donation to cover the cost of checking an extra suitcase ($100) or purchasing small gifts, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have two specific project requests:
1. I need pen pal families for some of the children I meet. I would love for your children to write letters monthly, but I need the family to make the commitment. These children have been repeatedly let down by the people in their lives and we handle their hearts carefully. Letters will be translated and delivered monthly. Email ProjectTLC@cox.net if you are interested.
|"Samuel" would love to have a pen pal...but he really needs a family to believe in him.|
|Some of the bigger boys at a Christmas performance. These kids are incredibly sweet!|