I did XXXX out the girls country to protect other loving families and the lawyers name for the same reason.
|kpmomof7 [ PM ] Just wanted to share that I am now officially a mom to 9, as we had court on Wednesday & the judge approved our petition to adopt the girls. 🙂 (m)
|Registered: 4 years ago
Both girls have Down syndrome and a variety of other medical issues (heart conditions, possible seizures for Bethany, possible CP for Hannah ~ will know more after getting them examined by doctors at home). Bethany is 2 (will be 3 in November) and Hannah is 13 months.
We have a 10 day wait, then will spend a couple of days getting the girls’ birth certificates & passports before taking the overnight train back to Kiev (we’re currently in XXXXX, Ukraine) to have 2 days of appointments at the US Embassy to obtain the girls’ visas so we can fly HOME! Our estimated date of arrival back on US soil is October 15th or 16th. We will have been gone for 5 weeks.
If you want to see pictures of my new daughters, please visit my adoption blog at Room For More
Thanks, Everyone! We’re thrilled with our new daughters & can’t wait to get them out of the orphanage (Oct. 12th) and HOME!!! (nt)
|kpmomof7 [ PM ] We need prayers, as the prosecutor here is challenging the judge’s approval of our adoption. (m)
|Registered: 4 years ago
Even though the United States government, Ukrainian State Department of Adoptions, regional committee, local committee AND judge have all approved our adoption of Bethany & Hannah, the prosecutor has decided to appeal the decision, at day 6 of our 10 day wait, and her appeal could stop us from getting the girls.
What is her problem with us adopting?
She does not like that we have 7 children already, that we do not own our home, and she thinks our house is not big enough (2400 square feet on 3/4 acre). She said she does not believe it is in the girls’ best interest to be adopted by Charley & me.
Yes, it’s much better for them to live in an orphanage in a country where they will not be adopted because they have Down syndrome and where they will be transferred to a mental institution on their 4th birthday, where they will stay in a crib for the remainder of their very short lives. Yes, this is actually what happens. During court, the judge specifically asked the orphanage lawyer what opportunities the girls would have if they remained in Ukraine and the lawyer spelled it out very clearly that the girls would have NO opportunities if they remained in Ukraine because of their disability. She also specified that the girls would not receive medical care once they were transferred. Over 90% of children with special needs who are transferred to the institutions die in the first year. So….. yeah, you can see why the prosecutor would believe this environment would be better for Bethany & Hannah than to live with a family who loves them where they will have to ~ gasp! ~ share a bedroom.
There is nothing we can do except pray. Our lawyer is trying to reason with the prosecutor and get her to drop the appeal. On Monday, the day we were supposed to pick up the court decree that would open the door for us to take the girls out of the orphanage forever, our facilitator will see if she can get the decree. If she can, we can bring the girls home. If she cannot, then paperwork will be filed to appeal the prosecutor’s appeal and Charley & I will have to come home & wait while our appeal makes its way through the Ukrainian court system. If the judge’s decision ultimately gets upheld, we would be contacted to fly back and get the girls. If the judge’s decision was ultimately overturned, we would lose the girls forever. This process could take 3 months or more to determine.
I am brokenhearted at the thought that one person could have so much power as to derail something that so many have already approved. Ultimately, we are trusting that God is still in control and He’ll work this out however He wants. Still, that doesn’t make it hurt any less and it doesn’t make the helpless feeling disappear.
Please pray that the lawyer (XXXXX) will be able to convince the prosecutor to drop her appeal and that we will be allowed to get our court decree on Monday, take the girls out of the orphanage on Tuesday, and fly home on Friday WITH our daughters, as planned.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2010 07:23 by kpmomof7.
|kpmomof7 [ PM ] Yeah, you’d think so, but 25 days here has taught me that things are done differently in Ukraine and they (m)
|Registered: 4 years ago
don’t employ the same logic we do here in the USA.
The judge approved the adoption on August 29th, approved changing the girls’ names and approved making Charley & me their parents. This was the culmination of all of the OTHER approvals we had to get prior to court. But now this prosecutor, who apparently thinks children should have their own bedrooms & no family needs more than 2 children, has the chance to derail things. It’s very frustrating.
God’s got this, though, and we have to believe that He will make a way for us to come home with the girls. To think otherwise is devastating.
Thank you for praying.
|kpmomof7 [ PM ] Thanks, XXXX. Yes, Monday is the big day. (m)
|Registered: 4 years ago
Our facilitator will go to the courthouse to see if she can get our court decree (stating we’re Bethany & Hannah’s parents) Monday morning. If she can get it, then all is good & we’ll bust the girls out of the orphanage on Tuesday & fly home on Friday. If she cannot get it, then we’ll have to file paperwork to appeal and then Charley & I will have to come home Tuesday without the girls. We’ve been assured that if we have to file the appeal, we WILL win eventually & be able to come back and get the girls, but that is a process that could take 3 months or more. Obviously, we are praying that we get to bring the girls home with us on Friday.
Thanks for praying. I’ll update when we have the answer.
|kpmomof7 [ PM ] XXXX, I feel SUCH sympathy for you ~ we just got home with our girls at midnight on Thursday and I’m sick (bronchitis), too. (m)
|Registered: 4 years ago
This is a lot harder than I had anticipated, as well. Bethany is much more-delayed than we thought and we’re realizing there are many medical issues for both girls that we didn’t know about. It wouldn’t have changed our choice to adopt them, but it would have helped to know ahead of time what we were in for.
Anyway, I just want to send you a big (((( HUG )))) and tell you that for whatever it’s worth, I feel like I understand how you feel.
|kpmomof7 [ PM ] We’re home with the girls! (m)
|Registered: 4 years ago
This is what I posted on my blog (it’s easier to cut & paste than re-type it all):
I am writing this post on Sunday, October 9th. By the time you read it, Charley & I will be on an airplane, on our way home WITH Bethany & Hannah.
Now that we are out of Ukraine, I can tell you what happened.
On Saturday night, just before 8:30pm, our facilitator called to tell us that the lawyer in Kiev had knowledge that the appeal to challenge the judge’s approval of our adoption had not been delivered in person by the prosecutor on Friday; instead, it was mailed. As such, even though the court would know about it, there was nothing they could legally do until they received the paperwork, which gave our facilitation team a very small window of opportunity to get us everything we needed in order to get the girls out of the orphanage & get us all out of XXXXX. Our facilitator laid out the plan and explained very clearly that we needed to do everything as fast as possible & without drawing attention to ourselves & what we were doing. Thus, Charley & I agreed that we had better not post anything here in case anyone from Ukraine was checking our blog (it does happen).
On Sunday, Charley & I took our flash drive, which had all the pictures we’ve taken of the girls on it, to a shop & our facilitator had the employee convert 2 pictures into passport photos. This eliminated the need for us to go get the girls out of the orphanage & take them to the passport office in order to get their pictures done.
On Monday morning at 9:00am, the lawyer for the orphanage picked up our court decree from a courthouse employee who’d agreed to help out with the plan. At 9:15am our facilitator picked up Charley in a cab while the lawyer picked me up in another & while Charley & the facilitator went to get the girls’ birth certificates & tax ID numbers, I headed out with the lawyer to get the girls’ passports. The birth certificate office isn’t actually open on Mondays, but the orphanage lawyer was able to convince one of the employees to come in & do this favor for us. We then went to the bank to close out the girls’ accounts and then we headed to the orphanage to bust Bethany & Hannah out (more will be shared about Gotcha Day, including pictures, in a separate post).
Monday evening, we left for Kiev.
Tuesday & Wednesday, we had our Embassy appointments to get the girls’ medical exams & visas.
Wednesday night, we met a group of other Reece’s Rainbow families who were either at the beginning of their Ukraine trips or getting ready, like us, to fly home. We had dinner at TGI Friday’s. Pictures from that will come in a later post, too.
And now, today, Thursday, we are on our way home! YIPPEE!!!!!
I apologize for not being able to update until now. My hope is that you understand why I couldn’t share everything until now and that you don’t feel you were deceived or “led on” for drama. It was never my intention to do that, but I wanted people praying for us and I was not at liberty to share the details of our “escape” until we were safely out of Ukraine, so I felt the only thing I could do was post a cryptic message on Sunday.
For anyone who wonders if what we did was legal, the answer is yes. Our 10 day wait was complete on Saturday, October 9th and the paperwork for the appeal was not on file at the court, so there was no reason that the court decree should have been withheld from us. Once we had the court decree, it was perfectly legal to obtain birth certificates, tax ID numbers & passports and for us to leave Odessa with the girls. Now, TECHNICALLY, the lawyer in Kiev should not have had any way to learn ahead of time that the paperwork was en route to the court by mail, so arrangements to have someone from the birth certificate office come in on Monday and get us the girls’ birth certificates so that we could get the rest of the paperwork done in an expedited manner & then get out of the region by Monday night is an issue that some may feel is dishonest, but to be blunt about it, I don’t care. There was no legitimate reason for the prosecutor to appeal our adoption & she knew it ~ the fact is that unless she could have proven that it was not in the girls’ best interest to be adopted by us (darn near impossible to do since they live in an orphanage & are facing a mental institution & the lawyer made it clear to the judge that NO Ukrainian would adopt the girls), the appeal would have been denied. It was just a power play by the prosecutor ~ for whatever reason, she didn’t want us adopting the girls. Maybe she doesn’t like large families. Maybe she had genuine concerns that we would get the girls home and sell their organs (yep, that is something many Ukrainians believe happen, which is partially why they are so suspicious of Americans coming over to adopt children with special needs). Whatever her reason, it was unfounded & a judge would have ruled in our favor again and the lawyer in Kiev & the orphanage lawyer knew this, so they worked out a plan to get everything done & get us out of the region before this stall tactic by the prosecutor could take place. I have nothing but gratitude to the lawyer in Kiev who promised me in daily phone calls beginning last Wednesday that he was working on the situation and ultimately came through, big time, so that we didn’t have to wait an additional 3 months (or more) to bring Bethany & Hannah home to our family.
We will be home tonight, so I will update with Gotcha Day pictures, homecoming pictures & more within a couple days. I cannot wait to hug all of my kids again & to sleep in my own bed!
Tomorrow is Charley’s birthday and I think God orchestrated this as an amazing gift to both of us!
Oh, last thing! On October 6th, God gave me a Psalm and impressed on me that it would go on my blog after He had delivered us from Ukraine. It gave me peace when I read it then and now it brings praise to my lips as I recognize just how apt these verses are to our situation.
If the Lord had not been on our side ~
let Israel (us, Charley & Kate) say ~
if the Lord had not been on our side
when men attacked us,
when their anger flared against us,
they would have swallowed us alive;
the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
would have swept us away.
Praise be to the Lord,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
out of the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Is that not totally perfect? 😀
Praise be to God who made a way to deliver us out of Ukraine WITH Bethany & Hannah! We are now, officially, a family of 11!
Now, after being home for almost 48 hours, I can say that all of my children adore their new sisters completely. Charley & I are jet lagged (Ukraine is 10 hours ahead of Oregon time) and I’m on antibiotics for bronchitis. My voice is almost completely gone and I feel pretty lousy, but am hoping the meds kick in soon & I start feeling more like “me” again and stop hacking up a lung every 2 minutes.
The girls are super-tiny (Bethany, who will be 3 years old next month, is only about 15.5 pounds, and Hannah is under 13 pounds at 14 months) and both have a lot more medical issues than we were anticipating, so I feel a bit overwhelmed today as I contemplate everything that needs to be done & think about how to triage it all ~ what is the most-important to do NOW and what can wait a little bit. I don’t regret adopting and I know that this is what God wanted us to do… I just sometimes wonder how the heck I’m supposed to DO everything that needs to be done!
Anyhow, thank you to those who prayed for my family ~ Charley & I appreciate the support very much. We are VERY happy to be home again.