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Day 32 - The Judge Approved Us to Adopt Vika...

Ivan, our lawyer, Marina, our translator, Lisa, I, and the driver departed at 9:30am and didn't get home until 9:00pm (Dima, our other lawyer could not come as planned).

It was a long and very interesting day. We arrived at the court house and the social worker forgot a necessary document. So Ivan had our driver take the social worker back to her office to get the document. Then, the orphanage director would not bring Vika because she was in school even though Ivan told her she had to be at court. But then the judge's secretary told her that Vika needed to be there, so she went and got her.

So we all entered into the court room along with a prosecuting attorney, the judge and two jurors. The judge explained our rights. It was a bit intimidating in the beginning. Everyone was real serious and came across as being ice cold. I, Johnny, was questioned first. The judge asked several questions like why do I want to adopt and why in Ukraine. Then, Lisa got asked similar questions. The jurors and prosecutor also asked us questions. (We'll have to tell you more about the questions later.)

The social worker and orphanage director were also asked questions about whether they supported us adopting Vika. They were both very positive in their comments. Then, the judge asked Vika if she wanted to be adopted and whether she had a good relationship with the rest of our children. Vika did quite well in her responses. The whole process took 2 hours.

The judge and jurors said they would meet privately to discuss and decide if they would approve the adoption. Vika went back to the orphanage and everyone left as well except for Lisa, I, Marina, and Ivan. We then waited 2 hours for the judge and jurors to decide and write up a 4 page document saying they approved the adoption. The judge then read the entire document which took about 15 minutes. We signed a paper saying we agree with the court decision and we were approved.

Now, according to Ukrainian law, we have to wait 10 days before the decision takes effect. Someone can appeal the decision in these 10 days, but it is unlikely. So this means that I will fly back to the USA on Monday morning. Lisa will remain with our 3 children until all the documents are completed which could be 3 more weeks from today. And then they will all fly back with my parents to USA!



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