Now that you finally made it past the pictures, let us tell you a little more about court. First, the weather was actually quite cool here today, which made sitting in our finest much more pleasant since there didn’t seem to be any AC in the courthouse. They did have, however, the most uncomfortable benches ever. We think this is probably a part of the justice system as an added incentive to avoid court appearances. Around 10:45 we were called into the chambers for our hearing. After the usual pleasantries of having everyone formally registered as present, and a few formalities to insure that we were aware of the proceedings, we were given time to address the judge and give our prepared speech. Next, the Representative of the Body of Guardianship and Trusteeship and the Head Doctor of the Baby House spoke about Max and how we have bonded well with him and recommended that the adoption be granted for the best interest of the child. The public prosecutor then asked a few questions about Max and then we formally requested that the judge grant our adoption. Then we left the chambers to give the judge time to deliberate and peruse our information. After about 5 or so minutes, we were called back in and the judge delivered his decision to grant this adoption. Yahoo!
Now we have a 15 day waiting period and then on the 16th day we can have full custody of Max. Our “Gotcha Day” will be July 3! After that it is just another 2 or 3 week wait for visas and passports. From what we understand, there are a variety of stages for this. First, we need permissions to take Max out of Ust. Then we need permissions for him to leave Kazakhstan. Finally, we need permissions for him to enter Canada. We now see why this may take at least a couple of weeks. So, as it turns out, we don’t expect to be home before the 23rd of July, if all goes well. We’ll keep you posted on our actual travel itinerary once we know.
Word definitely travels quickly around Club BH. When there is a break in the routine, everybody knows something’s up. We were met with many congratulations and some questions when we arrived for our afternoon visit (we missed our morning visit because of court). Even Max was waiting for us. When we arrived his group was playing a game and singing songs in their play area but he just couldn’t stay sitting with them. He waited for us at the edge of the play area and beamed when we finally arrived. After our visit this afternoon, we headed out to Pizza Blues for a celebratory supper with the other two families who had court today (all successful, by the way).