Our DAP (Department of Adoptions and Protection of children) appointment was originally scheduled for Monday, March 25th at 10:00 am. Due to the weather here (aka snowstorm of the century), the DAP was closed on Monday. So, the incredible Serge said he would get them to squeeze us in on Tuesday.
We got a phone call from Eugene, the driver, at 7:40 am Tuesday morning. He said he was on his way to our apartment. We gathered our things and were ready when he called again at 7:55 to say he was almost here. We went downstairs and met him at the corner. I’m sure it was easy for him to recognize two Americans, standing outside the apartment building, so he pulled over and motioned to us and introduced himself. The snow he was driving through was unbelievable. We’d never survive this in Alabama. It would be like the end of the world! Finally, we arrived in the vicinity of the DAP. Eugene said it was be bad to park too close, so he found a nice spot on what looked like the sidewalk to me and we walked a couple of blocks from there.
When we arrived we met Serge, who I recognized from pictures that had been posted by other traveling families. We talked to him awhile. He answered questions and gave us a brief synopsis of what to expect in the appointment. It would be brief. They might ask some questions and they would approve for us to visit the orphanage. Soon the other adopting families arrived and we walked to the door of the DAP and waited to go inside. When we got inside, Serge called our name and we were first. We went upstairs, from one office into a smaller office with a neatly dressed lady. Since our child was “un-officially” pre-selected, it only took a moment for her to locate Our Little Girl and hand the identifying info to Serge. He translated it for me, but there wasn’t really any new info. She has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle bones) and what they call a “mental delay.” (I don’t think there’s a child in any orphanage who doesn’t have a mental delay! It comes with the territory. She will have plenty of time to catch up!) Serge and the DAP lady chattered hurriedly in their native tongue. Serge quickly asked me how I found this child. I told him that I saw her on Reece’s Rainbow (he had told me previously that it was ok to say this.) Then, he asked why I wanted a child with special needs. I said we felt this was something God had led us to do. (We discussed this previously as well.) He continued chattering to her in their native tongue and she handed me a paper to sign and then a notebook to sign. That was it. Somewhere during this brief meeting, Serge made a phone call to check on Our Little Girl. Is she still in your orphanage? Is there a family there to pursue her adoption? No. Ok. We have a family who are asking permission to come. So basically this appointment tells us she is still available and they are granting us permission to go and meet her. At this point, no one else can select her.
Of course, once we get to her region, we will meet with the regional social worker who will give us more background information, maybe some medical history, and will check that all of her papers are in order. Please pray that everything is correct. Typically, if there are paperwork glitches, they can be worked out during the process but it would be really nice if everything was in perfect order up front and ready for her adoption!
Serge tried to get our official permission papers yesterday so we could get on our way, but it didn’t work out so we will leave tonight. It will be an overnight train to her region and we will hit the ground running tomorrow to meet her. Basically, they will bring her in and let us meet her. They will ask if we want to adopt her? We will say, “Yes.” Then, we will leave and start the paper chase that will last all day long! I have our backpack with snacks and water for the trip on the train tonight and the busy day tomorrow. My camera is charged and ready for our first meeting so I can get a couple of quick snapshots. If you want to see them later, you will have to be in our private face book group because they can’t be posted or shared on any public site.
Today we’ve been hanging out here at the apartment. We walked back to the buffet for lunch and then to a “nearby” grocery store (It’s like walking from my house to the Piggly Wiggly, I think!!) Now, we will wait. Someone will call us around 3 and update our plan. We expect to go to the DAP between 4-5 and get our official papers. Then, we will catch the train around 7:00. I don’t know when we will be settled enough to get internet. It may be a day or so, but I will check in again as soon as I can. Keep praying for us!
Funny thing…. as we were walking back from the buffet, a group of 3 ladies stopped us and asked a question in Russian. I said, “I don’t speak Russian.” They smiled and one lady said, “Good! Neither do we! Can you tell us where to find Domino’s Pizza?”
Walking around town
Around the neighborhood
Lunch! It’s a pickle, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and chicken Kiev.
Our apartment building. We are on the fifth floor.
Public transportation is on the move again. I don’t feel inclined to try it!