Valentin and Joey are officially our boys!!!!
Our facilitator and driver picked us up at about 1:00 and we went to pick up the Prosecutor. It was funny to think that I was sitting next to the Prosecutor in our case as if she were prosecuting us, but her job was just to testify that the birthparents had relinquished their parental rights. We arrived at the local courthouse near the boys' orphanages and were joined in the courtroom by the local social worker, two lawyers one from each orphanage, the Judge and his assistant, and two local men from the town that I think were serving as jury type positions. It was a lot more informal then we thought it would be.
The judge read over some paperwork while our facilitator translated for us. He then asked us some questions like "Names, birthdate, address, what we did for a living, about our kids at home, why we wanted to adopt from that specific country, and why we wanted to adopt these two boys in particular." He asked the lawyers for the orphanages, the social worker, and the prosecutor if they all agreed to the adoptions and each agreed.
Then he read through all the court documents, at least 100 of them. We learned that Valentin's birthparents surrendered their parental rights at his birth. Joey was taken away from his birth mom by the state and the authorities removed her parental rights. Sadly she died in March so he had her death certificate too. Joey has an aunt, uncle, older brother, and older sister all of whom recently signed a statement releasing their rights to him. All of this saddened us. Hearing one rejection after another just absolutely broke our hearts. We could not help but get emotional as the judge read that "no one has ever visited either boy and that no one has ever shown interest in them" and therefore they were available for international adoption. That right there...the abandonment...the lack of care and concern...the desperate plight of these young children...that right there is why we adopt. It's not for us or about us, it is ALL for them. No one deserves to have those words written about them. Could you imagine that being true of your life? My heart was so broken for my boys!
But the good news...PRAISE GOD THEY ARE ORPHANS NO MORE!!!!
The judge asked us to stand up and state what we were asking of the court. "We are asking the court to grant us permission to adopt our boys!" After a 5 minute recess he came back to read the court decree. We held our breath as he read that the boys names could be changed to our last name and new birth certificates could be issued. PRAISE GOD, they are ours!
Never again will they be abandoned. Never again will there be no interest in them. Never again will they spend long days and night in orphanages. Never again will they be called orphans.
We never hit the official part of an adoption without remembering and understanding more fully our adoption or the ransom paid for it by Jesus Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will , to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:3-8a
So what is the process from here? There is a 10 day mandatory waiting period in which anyone in attendance at the court can protest the ruling. No one will but the law is what the law is and so we have to wait 10 days...11 really because the official court decree will not be ready until the 11th day. We have decided to both go home during the 10 day wait. Especially because Joey has chicken pox (which was confirmed to us) and we are not allowed to visit him and also because Valentin seems to be doing so well even after I left last time. It was not an easy decision but one that just made sense because our kids at home need us so much. And really it won't be long until we can take them out of the orphanages forever and as a sweet friend said bonding will neither be forged or lost in just 45 minute visits over 10 days.
I will be returning to the country on the 28th and will be busy getting documents done like birth certificate changes and passports. Hopefully by then I will be able to visit Joey. Tyler will come back the next week to help me with the U.S. Embassy appointments and to bring the boys home!!!! If all goes well we should take custody of the boys on June 4th and fly home June 7th!
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18
"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helperof the fatherless. You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror." Psalm 10:14, 17-18