When we arrived at the courthouse we couldn't believe it was a courthouse.it was a very plain old building with one of the front steps missing so you had to take a really big step up to get to the door. Boy was i glad i hadn't brought high heels. Our facilitator was wearing heels but handled it like it was nothing. I'm pretty sure all Ukrainian women are experts at balancing in heels. They wear them in snow and ice and walk all over the broken sidewalks with potholes etc. The hallways were narrow and dim and smelled like smoke. we waited out in the hallway for about 20 minutes while waiting to be called in. josh wouldn't let me take pictures because he is a rule follower and no one had specifically told him that it was ok to take pictures.
Court was a little bit intimidating. For some reason the judge seemed to want to hear more from me than Josh. She asked me a lot of questions. Mostly about whether i understood Stef's diagnosis' and what made me prepared to deal with her special needs etc. She wanted to know if i stayed home with the kids and cared for them myself. And i think everyone's eyebrows shot up when she read from our file that we already have a baby just 2 months older than Stef. I'm sure they though i was out of my mind :) She wanted to know why we would choose to adopt a child with special needs when we were capable of having healthy children of our own. We explained to her that we felt that God had called us to care for the orphans, that we had room in our hearts and at our table for another child , and that we believe every child has needs that are unique and has needs that can be challenging. We see her no differently. After about 20 min we were declared the parents of Stefanya! Josh says my face lit up like a Christmas tree, i believe him!
We knew we still had a 10 day wait before the ruling would go into effect (a window of time in which anyone who was present at the court hearing can contest the ruling) and before we could pick up an official court decree. Josh stayed until Sunday and then left for home and to get back to his job. I will have him write the next post about his crazy trip home. Here's a teaser for you, he left during a storm that brought more snow than they had seen in 100 years! No joke it was unreal!